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Chamber Luncheon Thursday, Nov 20

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Content Packed Chamber Luncheon next Thursday, November 20 noon at the Pioneer Activity Centre,

located on the One-way Street just past Tim Hortons and directly behind Coast Mountain GM.

This month come and enjoy an amazing meal, complete with coffee/tea, hot dinner, salads and dessert ($20 for members and their guests, $30 for potential new members) as you network with peers and learn about one of the finalists from this year’s Community and Business Awards. I-Count High School is a  unique, personalized education program for grades 8 through 12 that provides a holistic approach to education with a high emphasis on academic goals, but blends the students emotional, physical, cultural and social growth with their studies. It provides Youth Empowerment allowing students to discover interests, passions and unique talents on their own. In operation for 3 years the program started with  a couple teachers and a few students and now, how’s this for a success story… it’s grown to include over 10 teachers and close to 45 students. Successful education means successful communities. Successful communities means attracting more residents and businesses. I-Count is now recognized as a model for other jurisdictions to consider similar educational offerings that empower students and create atmospheres for success.

Please come out to hear how the program started, how its grown, how its students become valuable leaders and how by working together and bridging gaps we all benefit. As well as the I-Count presentation there will be a short five-minute bell presentation by Bri McAloney, describing a Planning Survey on Urban Aboriginal People in BC’s Job Market and Economy…. And 10 minutes of the luncheon will feature Allan Stroet of the Bulkley Valley Economic Development Assoc. speaking about the exciting Venture Acceleration Program, paving the way for technical firms to gain assistance in getting their products market ready. The Venture Acceleration Program is a paid structured venture growth program designed to guide, coach and grow ambitious early‐stage technology entrepreneurs and effectively grow their technology ventures. The Venture Acceleration Program helps entrepreneurs accelerate the process of defining a proven business model based on a set methodology and set of best practices for growing technology companies.

To register for this month’s luncheon please call 250-847-5072 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Over 200 come out to celebrate the 2014 Community and Business Awards

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The Smithers District Chamber of Commerce is privileged each year to organize and host the annual Community and Business Awards and this year's themed event "Denim and Diamonds" was record breaking in many ways... the most public nominations we've received to date and the biggest numbers through the doors, exceeding last years record by 50. Yes, over 200 businesspeople, family and friends turned out to cheer on the three finalists in each category.

And the Coveted Alpenman Trophy was awarded to: Business of the Year, sponsored by The Interior News, The Sausage Factory; Business Person of the Year, sponsored by Vandergaag and Bakker, Ali Howard, Nature's Pantry;  Citizen/Volunteer of the Year sponsored by RW Calderwood Realty, Tom Grasmeyer; Customer Service Excellence - Business, sponsored by Hudson Bay Lodge, Bulkley Valley Credit Union; Customer Service Excellence - Individual, sponsored by the Salvation Army, Mika and Nick Meyer of the Bugwood Bean;  Environmental Business of the Year,  sponsored by the Town of Smithers and Regional District of Bulkley Nechako, Dusk2Dawn;  Family-Friendly Business of the Year, sponsored by the Bulkley Valley Credit Union, McBike and Sport;  Home-Based of the Year, sponsored by Smithers Lumber Yard,  Fox Hole Bakery;  Major Contributor to Arts and Culture, sponsored by Scotiabank,  Bulkley Valley Museum & Smithers Art Gallery;  Public Service Excellence, sponsored by Aspen Inn & Suites, Tourism Smithers; Technology Innovation Award, sponsored by the Bulkley Valley Economic Development Association, Paranormal Skis; Tourism Excellence Award, sponsored by Tourism Smithers,  Brian Hall of Stork Nest Inn; Young Entrepreneur of the Year,  Dane  Drzimotta, Sitka Tree Service;  Town of Smithers Building Excellence Awards:  Residential Property, 4909 Highway 16  (New Single Family Home)  (Leland Clarke and Sheena Miller); CommercialIndustrial/Institutional Category: 1165 & 1167 Mainerz Streetwear/Back Alley Boots;  Mixed Use Category, New Industrial Building with a Residence on 19th Avenue;  Telkwa Business Leadership Award Taka Baeckerei/Kaffeehaus.  

A complete list of nominations can be found, here and the evening's success is attributable to their generosity in silent and live auction items, along with some fun categories this year like the Dig for Diamonds, sponsored by Carter's Jewellers; Candy Buffet, sponsored by BV Wholesale; and the Fashion Dressing of Special Guests - MC Dustin Treaner was dressed for the occasion, in fashionable denim attire,  by Rayz Board Shop, as was the lovely partner of the Mayor,  Michelle Larstone; Mayor Bachrach and Pat Gallagher (husband of the Chamber manager) looked amazing in fabulous outfits supplied by Mainerz; the Chamber President, Colin Bateman, looked smashing (British-style) in fashions supplied by Mark's Work Wearhouse (now located in the newly renovated retail space in the Smithers Mall); Susan Bundock of the Chamber, looked beautiful in an outfit, and lots of  bling, supplied by Barb's Bodacious Boutique; and Tourism Smithers Gladys Atrill came adorned in amazing jewellery supplied by Heartstrings. The live auction was conducted by Charlie McClary and musical entertainment was provided by Sharon Carrington. 

There were some amazing live auction items and the Chamber would like to acknowledge: Rayz Board Shop, Hudson Bay Mountain and Stonesthrow Guesthouse for the Ski Day; Skeena Cat Skiing, Suskwa Lodge, Rayz Board Sho and Glacier Toyota for the New Year's Eve Cat Skiing Package; Dawn 2 Dusk, Highland Helicopters Fly-In Ski Package. This package included a helicpter pickup and drop off at the destination of your choice, cabin or mountaintop, a purchaser's choice of skis ($900) or board ($700) from Dawn2Dusk, a packed lunch from 2-Sisters and ski passes to Hudson Bay Mountain; Central Mountain Air for two return flights and Hawkair for its renturn Flight for 2.

For a complete list of all nominees and the three category finalists please check out and for pictures of the award finalists look under the menu heading Chamber of Commerce for the drop-down photo gallery. 



Last Updated on Monday, 17 November 2014 12:12

Nomination List for Community and Business Awards

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Congratulations to all the businesses who are so highly regarded and who received public nominations during the 2014 Awards process. This in an amazing honour and we extend our appreciation for the high level of service you provide. The Smithers District Chamber of Commerce received a record-breaking amount of nominations this year in 13 different categories. From this list of nominees a 5-member Selection Committee met, went over the criteria and selected three finalists in each category. Each of the three finalists will appear in Red on this compilation list. All of the three finalists have now been contacted and have been requested to supply biography information that will assist chamber members in casting their vote for the award finalist. The finalist will be announced at the Community and Business Awards that take place Saturday, November 1 at 6:30 at the Hudson Bay Lodge… Theme “Denim and Diamonds”.


Bandstra Transportation

Smithers Sausage Factory

Seabridge Gold


Nature’s Pantry

Roi Theatre

Heartstrings Home Décor

Hudson Bay Mountain Adventures

Barb’s Bodacious Boutique (3 NOMINATIONS)

Hawkair was also nominated but was a previous winner in 2012/13 so, as to the award policy, is not

re-eligible to be a finalist for five years. Congratulations, Hawkair, on the tremendous service you provide to our community. 


Ali Howard, Nature’s Pantry

Jason Krauskopf, Rayz Board Shop)    (PREVIOUS WINNER IN 2007-2008 and under the awards policy

is now re-eligible for 2014) 

Barb Fassnacht, Barb’s Bodacious Boutique

Tracy Marcotte, Salon 1180

Kelly Ehalt, Hetherington & Hooper

Fred & Teresa Reitsma, Smithers Sausage Factory (FRED WAS PREVIOUS WINNER IN 2008-2009 and will be re-eligible for shortlisting again in 2015)


Al & Bonnie McReary

Tom Grasmeyer

Fay Van Horn

Christina Briggs 

Jenny DeVries

Monika Gigleberger

Brian Hall (PREVIOUS WINNER IN 2010-2011, ineligible until 2016) 

Derek Holland

Fay Van Horn

Northern Lights Wildlife Shelter


Bulkley Valley Credit Union

Totem Audio Video

Sedaz Lingerie 

Northern Star Café

Extra Foods

Smithers Feed Store (PREVIOUS WINNER 2012-2013 so is ineligible until 2018)

Schimmel’s Fine Pastry

Hudson Bay Mountain

Barb’s Bodacious Boutique

Sweet Dreams Esthetics & Laser Studio



Brandi Champinchini, Pharmasave

Doug Henderson, All Seasons Automotive

Nick & Mika Meyer, Bugwood Bean

Katie Froese, Bulkley Valley Eye Care

Mary Mackay, Schimmels Fine Pastries

Joey Talon, A&W

Bernard Lundy, Wooden Mallard

Bonnie Volk, Smithers Sausage Factory  (PREVIOUS WINNER 2009-2010 and is re-eligible in 2015))

Louise, Town of Smithers  

Chrissy Chapman, Hudson Bay Mountain

Donnie Hall, Safeway and Hudson Bay Lodge

Barb Fassnacht, Barb’s Bodacious Boutique (3 NOMINATIONS)

Brian Hall, Stork Nest Inn


NWCC School of Exploration & Mining and School District #54 for Dual Credit EMAP Program

Dawn 2 Dusk

Happy Pig Organic Farms (Marlene Thimer and Paul Murphy)

Town of Smithers

Natures Pantry (PREVIOUS WINNER 2013 so is re-eligible in 2018)

Bugwood Bean

Hudson Bay Mountain



McBike and Sport

Hudson Bay Mountain

Gone Hollywood

Hetherington Hooper

Aspen Restaurant 

Big Smiles (PREVIOUS WINNER 2013 and re-eligible in 2018)

Smithers Sausage Factory

McDonald’s Restaurant

Heavenly Grinds (PREVIOUS WINNER 2012 and re-eligible in 2017)

Daddios Restaurant 

Salon 1180


Deb Camenzind, Pampered Chef  (PREVIOUS WINNER 2000-2001 AND 2002-2003)

Chicken Creek Coffee

Fox Hole Bakery, Ursala Yeker

Telkwa Strength & Fitness, Julie Saunders

Jen, Norwex Products

Donna Harness, Tupperware

Ellen Krzanowski, Tupperware


ICount High School 

Smithers Community Services

Tourism Smithers 

NWCC School of Exploration & Mining and School District #54 for Dual Credit EMAP Program

School District #54

Bulkley Valley Regional Pool

Hudson Bay Mountain Adventures

Soup Kitchen at the St. James Anglican Church

Grant Gibson – Town of Smithers


BV Energy Managers

Paranormal Skis


Brian Hall

Hudson Bay Mountain

Hoskins Ford



Alana Butler, Broadway Music Studio

Theo Bandstra, Smithers Home Hardware

Dane Drzimotta, Sitka Tree Service

Amy Brandsetter, Sedaz Lingerie (PREVIOUS WINNER IN 2012)

Keelors Poo Pourite

Tory, Northern Star Cafe 



Joanne Campbell, Northword Magazine

Telkwa Kinsmen

BV Museum & Art Gallery

Hudson Bay Mountain Adventures

SpeeDee Interior Stationery

CICK Radio


Last Updated on Monday, 17 November 2014 12:12

Area All Candidates Forums

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The Smithers District Chamber of Commerce is involved in two area All Candidates Forums for the municipal election November 15.

Telkwa All Candidates Forum Tuesday October 28 7:00 pm at the Telkwa Community Hall

Smithers All Candidates Forums Wednesday October 29 7:00 pm at the Della Herman Theatre This event will be moderated by Kelly McCormack of McCormack Management with Rick Apperson minding the stopwatch. Also involved is the BC Northern Real Estate Board providing beverages and snacks during the break. In order to field questions you want the answers to please feel free to provide us with your priorities by responding by email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with a question that you would like the moderator to ask during the forum

Last Updated on Tuesday, 14 October 2014 15:42

It's a Hat Trick - Smithers Wins three UBCM (Union of BC Municipalities) Awards and

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Smithers Chamber welcomes Open for Business Award




Smithers, September 24, 2014 – Local efforts to boost Smithers’ status as a great place to do business have won our town a key provincial award: the province’s
2014 Open for Business Award. 
“This is fantastic news for Smithers and a tribute to our town’s excellent leadership in creating a business-friendly community,” said Heather Gallagher, 
Manager of the Smithers District Chamber of Commerce. Just nine communities in all of B.C. won the award this year, out of 162 municipalities in the province. 
“It’s great to see Smithers recognized as a standout performer in all of B.C.,” and the award carries a $10,000 grant to fund more business-friendly developments in town. 
This will boost Smithers’ reputation province-wide as a great place to do business. “We hope this award will telegraph to businesses throughout B.C.:
“Come to Smithers and do business here.”
Just last week Alison Watson, Town Planner, led a group on a walking tour of downtown to display some of the improvements. Starting off at the Central Park Building 
which has been updated with a courtyard developed, over to the ex-Mohawk site with new landscaping, large courtyard and seating areas; down to Bovill Square 
with its magnificent Legacy Stage. There have been extensive changes to downtown C-1 parking regulations and elected officials have met for Business Let’s Chat Sessions, 
organized initially by the Town and continued  by the Chamber of Commerce, to listen to the needs of business owners. The Town is also experiencing one of the biggest 
building booms in years with retail outlets developed at the Smithers Mall; several multi-unit complexes, the new Perry and Company Building, and new arena  
rounding out over 12.4 million in building permits issued by June’s end, with more to come.
“Winning this award is a great honour for Smithers and a recognition of our town’s tireless efforts to build a strong economy and strengthen our job-creating 
businesses,” Gallagher said. 

And to celebrate Smithers’ Hat trick at the Union of BC Municipality’s AGM and Policy Sessions, Smithers has also won a ‪UBCM Community Excellence award for Community Engagement and 
was honoured to accept the annual WoodWorks Community Recognition Award on September 24 on behalf of all of the volunteers and builders who contributed to the timberframe stage at 
Bovill Square. The award, presented by the Canadian Wood Council, recognizes communities that have showcased the use of wood in local projects.

The BC Chamber of Commerce also commended Smithers for its win. “Smithers should be very proud of what it’s achieved here,” said John Winter, president and 
CEO of the BC Chamber of Commerce. “These awards recognize role model communities throughout the province that are taking tangible steps to build a 
better British Columbia.” The BC Chamber represents 125 Chambers and 36,000 businesses in BC.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 14 October 2014 15:41

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