Chamber awards presented at gala
By Michelle Forbes
Each year the Kimberley Chamber Awards Gala invites hardworking business owners to take a break from their long hours to celebrate the excellence of the businesses in Kimberley and area.
Green Door, Bohemian Spirits, and Overtime Beer came together to cater this year’s Gala at McKim Theatre last night, Oct. 20, where nominees met, to enjoy an evening celebrating their successes.
City of Kimberley Mayor Don McCormick congratulated business owners for their nominations. Kimberley has changed, since 2011, when one-third of the buildings in the Platzl were empty, and many businesses were for sale. Now, Kimberley’s “room tax data” shows that Kimberley is enjoying its best year in tourism since the initiation of the Tourism Kimberley initiative in 2007.
The constant uncertainty and change in the lives of business owners creates a different city than the one that existed in the time of certainty when Cominco provided local employment opportunities, but after the closure of the mine in 2000, the Mayor thanked the business community for leading the city back to better times.
Columbia River-Revelstoke MLA Doug Clovechok addressed business owners as well. He conveyed his concern of the provincial government’s misplaced talk of the greed of business owners. Small businesses in B.C. make up 98% of B.C. businesses and 34% of B.C.’s GDP, and the Kootenays are one of the fastest growing small business regions in B.C.
As a previous small business owner of a coffee shop, MLA Clovechok commiserated about the difficulties of running a business and congratulated all of the businesses for their hard work, stating that owning a business is not for the faint of heart. The hard work and long hours make the honours of being nominated for the awards that much more significant.
Keynote speaker, Steve Tersmette (pictured above), entertained listeners with tales of hiking the Purcell Mountains – the highs and lows, and the hardships that had to be overcome, much like running a business.
“Success of a business is based on the people you surround yourselves with,” he said. So with lots of feats to overcome, he encouraged the business owners to cherish the small day-to-day victories and keep moving forward. With the choice of waiting for things to happen or making things happen, the choice is clear. And choosing to make things happen is what brought the nominees together for the evening.
The winners of this year’s Kimberley Chamber Awards are:
Home Business of the Year: Elizabeth Jorgensen Piano Instruction
Retail Business of the Year: Healing Hollow
Professional Services Excellence Award: North Star Veterinary Clinic
Youth Friendly Business Award: Spirit Rock Climbing Centre
Creative Professional Excellence Award: Go Kimberley
Stan Salikin Community Booster Award: Emily Smith
Tradesperson – Contractor of the Year Award: Vermette Roofing
Food and Beverage Industry Award: Overtime Beer
Employee of the Year Award: George Wood (Home Hardware)
Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award: Nicole Maria Herman (Grow – Tea & Elixir Corner)
Environmental Stewardship Excellence Award: Swag Hair Studio
Entrepreneur of the Year Award: Jill Bentley-Lobban (Stoke Juice)
Tourism Excellence Award: Kimberley City Bakery Medieval Festival
Business of the Year Award: Fruition Wellness
Congratulations to all the winners of this year’s Business Excellence Awards, and to all the nominees as well. Excellent businesses working hard to serve the community make Kimberley a great place to live, so be sure to stop by and congratulate all Kimberley’s award-winning small businesses.
Photos by Michelle Forbes