Hope Stewart accepts the Youth Spirit award on behalf of the John Barsby Secondary School leadership team last Thursday at the Nanaimo Business Awards at the Port Theatre. Contributed

Nanaimo Business Awards hand out high honours

More than 20 businesses and non-profit organizations earn recognition at event at Port Theatre

It was another Academy Awards style event at the Port Theatre when the 2018 Nanaimo Business Awards winners were revealed Thursday.

Winners representing individual entrepreneurs to local non-profit organizations in 21 categories were played onto the Port Theatre stage to accept awards recognizing their achievements and contributions to the community.

Kim Smythe, Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce, president and CEO, said the event continues to grow ever since it evolved from a dinner gala into a Hollywood-style awards ceremony.

“We get a much larger turnout,” Smythe said. “We had over 330 people in the audience last Thursday night. Something that helped boost that audience as well is we did part of the thing through a people’s choice online vote, so we had some 230 nominees from the public and then we asked the public to come online and vote for their favourites from which we would choose the top five finalists in each category.”

The strategy generated 4,000 online votes presented to the judges who identified finalists and winners in each of 21 categories.

Winners presented with awards were played onto and off the stage, Academy Awards style, by 10-piece jazz and funk band Decadence.

“They sort of have an idea of the finalists and so they choose appropriate music to go with the category, if not who the winner might be,” Smythe said.

He went on to say the feeling of community spirit predominates the mood of the business awards.

“Nobody wants to leave because they’re having so much fun and such good spirit backstage,” said Smythe.

The chamber’s partnership with non-profit organizations, such as the United Way Central and North Vancouver Island, emphasized the connection between business and community and enhanced the event’s feeling of community spirit as leaders from non-profits were recognized for their contributions.

“Dawne Anderson (Salvation Army envoy) … won two awards, one for herself for the Above and Beyond category, for somebody who does more than they ever really need to, to ensure that we have a healthy, happy community,” Smythe said. “The other was for the Sally Ann for [Not-for-Profit Organization] of the year category.”

Award winners included:

Small Business – NYLA Fresh Thread; Restaurant – Gabriel’s Gourmet Café; Builders and Trades – Mazzei Electric; Health Care Services – Nanaimo Child Development Centre; Retailer – Flying Fish; Mid-Size Business – Longwood Brew Pub; Hospitality Operator – Living Forest Oceanside Campground and RV Park; Social Enterprise – Coco Café; New Business – Tremain Media; Large Business – Island Health; Not-for-Profit Organization – Salvation Army; Technology – Seamor Marine; Corporate Social Responsibility – Habitat for Humanity Mid Vancouver Island; Financial Services – Smythe LLP; Creative Services – Hired Guns Creative; Inclusive Employer – Coco Café; Youth Spirit – Baneesha Gill; Youth Spirit – John Barsby Secondary School leadership team; Above and Beyond – Dawne Anderson, Salvation Army.

For photos of the winners, see page A23 of our May 3 e-edition.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Kidney Foundation Nanaimo chapter president seeks ‘bail money’ in fundraiser

Randy Spensley will be on a scissor lift in a jailbird outfit Aug. 25 at Country Club Centre

MULTIMEDIA: Fair weather, food and fun at VIEX in Nanaimo

A gallery of the second day of the Vancouver Island Exhibition at Beban Park in Nanaimo

Urban planner wants to join city council to help build Nanaimo

Tyler Brown held his campaign launch this week

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

Former homeless camp ‘dump site’ being cleaned up along Millstone River

Nanaimo’s Jeff Callaghan has taken up the task of clearing trash from abandoned homeless camp

VIDEO: Fires break out in scrap piles at Harmac mill

Nanaimo firefighters got blazes under control in early morning hours Saturday

Ex-BCTF president ‘undeterred’ after early release from pipeline protest jail term

Susan Lambert and Order of Canada recipient Jean Swanson released early

Two hurt in car wreck at Northfield intersection

NANAIMO – Honda and Volkswagen crash at 10 p.m. Friday on old Island Highway

Nanaimo’s VIEX country fair underway

Vancouver Island Exhibition happening Aug. 17-19 at Beban Park

Vehicle catches fire on Rutherford Road

NANAIMO – No one hurt in incident, which happened at 2:30 p.m. Friday

Fast food chains look to capitalize on vegetarian, vegan trend with new items

Seven per cent of Canadians consider themselves vegetarians and 2.3 per cent identify as vegans

B.C. swimmer halts journey across Strait of Juan de Fuca after hypothermia sets in

Victoria MS athlete Susan Simmons swam for eight-and-a-half hours in 9 C choppy waters

‘Hard on water:’ Smoke not the only long-range effect of wildfires

The project began more than 10 years ago after southern Alberta’s 2003 Lost Creek fire

B.C. VIEWS: Genuine aboriginal rights can be misused and discredited

Camp Cloud one of long line of protests falsely asserting title

Most Read