Year after year, tourism operators throughout the province are working hard to deliver high quality products and a welcoming spirit for our visitors. Innovation, creativity, leadership and vision are common qualities among tourism operators. In some cases people take it one step further, either by showing outstanding dedication to the promotion of tourism within New Brunswick or enhancing our industry in a valuable way.
2017 TIANB Pioneer Award Winner!
The Pioneer Award recipient is chosen for its commitment and outstanding contribution to the promotion of tourism in New Brunswick. The Pioneer Award is designed to be of the highest honour. Innovation, creativity, leadership are all defining qualities for receiving the award.
TIANB honored Joe John Sanipass, an elder and artisan living at the Elsipogtog First Nation, NB. He has been making baskets for 70 years. The eighty-year old artisan is recognised throughout the “Maritimes, Canada”, and abroad for his basket-making techniques and knowledge. His baskets are coveted by communities and collectors alike. A visit to his “shed” workshop is as true a First Nation experience as one can find in New Brunswick.
As Joe John Sanipass took the stage to accept his award, it became clear he was more than a basket maker. It is meeting Joe John himself that is the true experience. Mr. Sanipass accepted his award with his family and friends by his side. As spry and chatty as a man decades younger, he was caught up in handshakes and hugs from all in attendance while emotions ran high in the room. He has been and continues to be a true inspiration, an incredible elder, “mentor and teacher…” to many in his community and outside as well. When you purchase a basket made by Joe John, you leave with more than a basket - you leave with a renewed appreciation and"…knowledge of his culture, acquired through the stories he tells with a deep pride and respect for Native heritage."