An advertisement for the Nanaimo Business Awards in the News Bulletin.

An advertisement for the Nanaimo Business Awards in the News Bulletin.

Comedian hosting this year’s Nanaimo Business Awards

Steve Patterson of CBC Radio’s The Debaters to host virtual awards ceremony

COVID-19 has forced some creative thinking from the organizers of the 2020 Nanaimo Business Awards.

As in previous years, the 2020 Nanaimo Business Awards will be presented from the Port Theatre, but other than Kim Smythe, Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce CEO, and some technical personnel, the theatre will be pretty much empty.

There’s a joke in all this somewhere and for comic relief, Smythe has turned to Steve Patterson of CBC Radio One’s The Debaters show, who will guest host the awards remotely.

Fortunately, for this year’s awards, being forced to go virtual won’t mean a boring event with presenters and award recipients staring at their computer screens from their kitchens tables and home offices.

“I came up with the idea and presented it to staff that what we really need is a cool presenter. Somebody who can hold the thing together and do it virtually,” Smythe said.

Patterson will do a stand-up comedy act from his studio in Toronto to start the show and Smythe and Patterson will team up to present the awards with Smythe on the Port Theatre stage in what he describes as “an extremely empty building.”

I’m doing half the honours and Steve’s doing half the honours and the only thing that will probably save it is the 12-minute comedy stand-up show that Steve will be doing at the beginning,” Smythe said.

Smythe said the idea to bring in a comedian to guest host the show came from the chamber’s Christmas luncheon last year when Vancouver-based comedian Graham Clark was brought in to do a comedy set.

“So why not go that comedy route again because there was no way, without somebody special stepping into this thing, that it would be worth watching unless you were the winner,” Smythe said.

Doing the show from the Port Theatre also lends a sense of continuity to the awards, which have been presented there in past years. The awards are also the first show to be held on the theatre’s stage since the facility closed to comply with COVID-19 restrictions.

Tickets, $25 each, to watch the awards are available at the Port Theatre box office. Purchasers will receive an e-mailed password from the chamber to log into the show via Zoom on Friday, Sept. 18, 7-8 p.m.
Like us on
Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A company with a lab in Nanaimo has federal government approval to manage research intended to standardize extraction of a psychedelic compound, psilocybin, from magic mushrooms. (Wikipedia Commons photo)
Experts favour use of magic mushroom derivatives for research into mental health treatment

Educators, researchers see value in studying psilocybin’s effect treating mental health and addiction

Nanaimo City Hall. (News Bulletin file photo)
Councillors have a chance to tweak project timelines in City of Nanaimo’s financial plan

Potential property tax increase now at 3.0 per cent, budget meetings continuing

The driver of a car that crashed in downtown Nanaimo Tuesday is facing multiple charges. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
RCMP recommending impaired driving charge after crash into lamp post in downtown Nanaimo

Driver sped away after ‘heated argument’ in another part of downtown, say RCMP

A 53-unit building to be built at 6010 Hammond Bay Rd. (City of Nanaimo image)
Province announces support for 50 units of affordable housing on Hammond Bay Road

Building B.C. Community Housing Fund partners with Nanaimo Affordable Housing Society

Beef to the business at the mall that told me I had to provide personal information for COVID tracing. After assuring me I would not receive marketing e-mails, they proceeded to send me e-mails promoting their business.
Beefs & Bouquets, Dec. 2

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail

Eric Byres, industrial control engineer and CEO of Lantzville-based aDolus Technology, didn’t expect his company to win the 2020 New Ventures B.C. competition, but says he will use the $135,000 in first-place prize money to hire more development staff. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Lantzville-based cyber-security start-up wins $135K innovation competition

Industrial control systems security company, aDolus Technology, wins New Ventures B.C.’s top prize

Island Health is expanding COVID-19 testing in Nanaimo with a new testing location at Vancouver Island University. (News Bulletin file photo)
Island Health expands COVID-19 testing in Nanaimo

Health authority opens new testing site with double the capacity at Vancouver Island University

Victoria’s Royal Jubilee Hospital took in two COVID-19 patients from Northern Health as part of a provincial agreement. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria hospital takes in two COVID-19 patients from Northern Health

Royal Jubilee Hospital takes patients as part of provincial transport network

B.C. Premier John Horgan on a conference call with religious leaders from his B.C. legislature office, Nov. 18, 2020, informing them in-person church services are off until further notice. (B.C. government)
B.C. tourism relief coming soon, Premier John Horgan says

Industry leaders to report on their urgent needs next week

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation at the legislature, Nov. 30, 2020. (B.C. government)
Hockey team brought COVID-19 back from Alberta, B.C. doctor says

Dr. Bonnie Henry pleads for out-of-province travel to stop

An RCMP cruiser looks on as a military search and rescue helicopter winds down near Bridesville, B.C. Tuesday, Dec. 1. Photo courtesy of RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey
B.C. Mountie, suspect airlifted by Canadian Armed Forces from ravine after foot chase

Military aircraft were dispatched from Comox, B.C., say RCMP

A logo for Netflix on a remote control is seen in Portland, Ore.,Aug. 13, 2020. Experts in taxation and media say a plan announced Monday by the government will ultimately add to the cost of digital services and goods sold by foreign companies. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Jenny Kane
‘Netflix tax’ for digital media likely to raise prices for consumers, experts say

The government says Canadian companies already collect those taxes when they make digital sales

Most Read