MONTREAL – Swimming Canada’s Big Splash Awards Week got underway in earnest Monday morning with the announcement of the first of six major national awards.

Valerie Grand’Maison of Montreal was recognized as the Team Aquatic Supplies Female Para-Swimmer of the Year. The announcement was made on Breakfast Television Montreal.

The annual award recognizes the best performance by a Canadian female Para-swimmer at the premier international meet of the year.

This year’s premier international meet was the IPC Swimming World Championships, which were hosted at Parc Jean-Drapeau in Montreal from Aug. 12 to 18.

Montreal was the first North American city to host since the event was implemented in 1998, and Grand’Maison was the first Canadian to win a gold medal on home soil. She went on to collect a total of three gold medals (100-m butterfly, 100-m and 50-m freestyle) and one silver medal (200-m individual medley) in the S13 (visual impairment) category at the championships.

It’s a week-long celebration of the best in Canadian swimming as the Big Splash Awards Week continues through Friday.

A major award will be announced each day through a variety of media. Breakfast Television Montreal ( will once again be the setting Tuesday as the Team Aquatic Supplies Male Para-Swimmer of the Year award will be handed out at 8:20 a.m.

The OMEGA Male and Female Swimmers of the Year will be revealed later in the week, as will the Open Water Swimmer of the Year and the People’s Choice Race of the Year. Voting for People’s Choice Race of the Year remains open through Monday at