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 http://smitherschamber.com/ and for pictures of the award finalists look under the menu heading Chamber of Commerce for the drop-down photo gallery.