Photo contributed A.J. Hustins of Nanaimo Precast Ltd. is presented with an award by Shawna McPhillips of Coastal Community Credit Union at last year’s Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce Business and Community Achievement Awards. This year’s awards are Thursday (May 4).

Chamber of commerce’s achievement awards recognize whole community

Annual business awards rebrand to include community service organizations and businesses

This year the Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce renamed its annual awards celebration as a result of efforts to broaden award categories and acknowledge the work of community service organizations that contribute to Nanaimo’s quality of life.

“We had been recognizing certain community groups and their good works in past years, but decided to rebrand the awards and add some categories to emphasize how important community service is. Our slogan is ‘better community through better business’ and the name Business and Community Achievement Awards is one more way to acknowledge this,” according to Kim Smythe, chamber CEO.

Some of the new community categories include sustainability, corporate social responsibility, social enterprise, not-for-profit organization, and inclusive employer of the year. Other new, or re-named business categories include building trades, professional services, automotive, health care and medical services provider, and young entrepreneur.

“We’ve received more nominations than any year in the past which just made the job more difficult for our judging panel,” Smythe said. “It’s a nice problem to have and probably reflective of the healthy year that many businesses are reporting. It was also interesting to see how many of the nominees noted their involvement in community support activities as a highlight of their year.”

The Business and Community Achievement Awards will be presented in a red carpet event at the Port Theatre on Thursday (May 4).

Upscale hors d’oeuvres and champagne and other beverages will be served. The Wellington Jazz Combo will play in the lobby and a 10-piece big band called Decadence will set up on stage to accompany winners to the podium. The evening won’t end when the last award is presented, as there will be an after party in the lobby.

“We’re inviting everyone out for the evening to help celebrate success in our community by the private and non-profit sectors alike. This holistic approach sets Nanaimo apart from many other communities. This underscores the fact that in a healthy community, you can’t have one without the other.

“Our board of directors reflects that, as do our endeavours in the community over the years.”

Reserved seats are available at the Port Theatre ticket centre at

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