Hall of Famer Gus ‘The Gusman’ Gardner to host 2019 awards
BUSINESS & TOURISM AWARDS
The 2019 Douglas Business & Tourism Award organisers today confirmed the 2011 Hall of Fame inductee Gus ‘The Gusman’ Gardner will host and perform at the awards evening on Friday 6 December.
Last month organisers announced the awards will follow a new format for its 10th year, moving to Hemingway’s Brewery for a mass reveal award evening.
As voting for the awards comes to a close this Sunday 24 November, finalists are expected to be announced via Newsport as soon as Tuesday 26 November.
The Gusman’s return to the awards this year marks the end of his five-year hiatus in Mackay, after having lived in Port Douglas for over 25 years prior.
The Gusman was inducted into the award’s Hall of Fame in 2011 for his outstanding contribution to entertainment across the Douglas Shire community.
Gus and his brother Micka were synonymous with the live music, radio, events, and MC circuit.
Those who remember will know the dynamic duo as putting a smile on the whole town for over a decade.
Gus has since become famous across the region for his role as ringmaster in the annual ANZAC day Two-Up in Port Douglas.
On the awards night, The Gusman will be joined by his sidekick and all man swagger, Saxman, who is also a former Douglas Business & Tourism Awards Entertainer of the Year recipient.
Together the Duo will entertain the crowd all night with their contemporary rock tunes.
With this year’s venue change, award finalists and their guests will be given the keys to Hemingway’s Brewery to celebrate a year of hard work.
Organiser Sam Cullen said it’s nice that on the awards 10th year it is returning to the Marina. Upstairs above Barbados was the birthplace of the awards in 2010.
“It was our office for two years and the best venue in town to hold a gala awards night,” said Mr Cullen.
“I still remember Cam Walton and Nick White climbing every inch of the massive roof hanging lights and creating the most amazing look, cheers fellas.”
The Sheraton Mirage then became the home of the awards in 2012. Lachlan Walker, then GM, invited the awards into the Glade where it grew considerably over the years, seating 330 in 2018.
“Sheraton have been the most amazing partners over the years. We are very happy they are supporting this year’s change-up, without them the awards program would never be in the shape it is.” Mr Cullen said.
“It’s important for the long-term story of the awards that it remains fresh and enables everyone to participate but we definitely look forward to returning to the Sheraton Grand when we go back to a full Gala presentation evening.”
Mr Cullen added strong early ticket sales indicate the new format and venue has been welcomed by the community.
“Not having an all-included ticket has enabled those who want to come for a while to come and for those not sure about the awards to try it out for the first time.”
The awards are not only just about business and tourism but also have a strong focus on fashion with some of the region’s best outfits on display over the years.
“The local retail operators often enjoy a mad rush for classic gala attire in the lead up to the event,” Mr Cullen said.
Organisers confirm that in 2019 ‘dress to impress’ is still high on the agenda with the best-dressed male, female, and business prizes on offer.
Tickets for the 2019 Douglas Business & Tourism Award are on sale now via trybooking for $25 per person, which includes live entertainment, a complimentary glass of bubbles on arrival and nibbles.
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