Business Awards attracted over 150 people to celebrate the award category finalists
November 27, 2017
The town was painted "Red and White" as Smithers businesspeople applauded their peers at the 2017 Community and Business Awards held by the Smithers District Chamber of Commerce. The theme was In celebration of Canada's 150th so guests came dressed in Canada's colours and weaved through maple leaf decor. Vice-President Greg Wacholz introduced the MC, Mike Bundock who orchestrated the evening's events and announced winners in 13 categories along with Town of Smithers Building Excellence Awards and a Telkwa Business Leadership Award. The three finalists for Business of the Year (sponored by The Interior News) were Bugwood Bean, Pacific Inland Resources and Hudson Bay Mountain Resort. After Richard Jenne gave the drum roll and the MC tore open the sealed evelope, PIR was announced Business of the Year. Up for Businessperson of the Year (sponsored by Vandergaag & Bakker) were Tom Devries and Doug Veenstra of Smithers Feed Store; Kelly Ehalt and Mike Bovill from Hetherington and Hooper and Scott Olesiuk. The award recipients for Business Person of the Year were Kelly Ehalt and Mike Bovill. Customer Service Excellence for a Business (sponsored by Prestige Hudson Bay Lodge) finalists were Bulkley Valley Credit Union, Bulkley Valley Wholesale and Heartstrings Home Decor with the Credit Union being announced as the finalist. For Customer Service Excellence as an indivicual (sponsored by Salvation Army) Adin Bennett of Boston Pizza, Vereen Mitchell of Shoppers Drug Mart and Jeremy Roth were the three finalists with Vareen of Shoppers taking home the coveted Alpenman trophy. In other categores the awards went to: Citizen/Volunteers of the Year, sponsored by RW Calderwood Realty, Organzers of the Girl Guides of Canada SOAR; Environmental Business of the Year, sponsored by the Town of Smithers and Regional District of Bulkley Nechako, Joe and Simone Hug of Hugs Organic Farm; Family Friendly Business of the Year, sponsored by BV Credit Union, the Roi Theatre; Home-Based Business of the Year, sponsored by Smithers Lumber Yard, Mathew Eastabrook of Integrity Lock and Key; Major Contributors to Arts and Culture, sponsored by Scotiabank, Valley Youth Fiddlers; Public Service Excellence, sponsored by the Aspen Inn & Suites, Smithers Community Services; Technology/Innovation Award, sponosred by BV Economic Development Association, Etienne St. Onge of Jet Controls; Tourism Excellence Award, sponsored by Tourism Smithers, the Celebrity Golf Organization; and the Young Entrepreneur Award, sponsored by the BV Credit Union, went to operators of the Chamber's mobile ice cream parlour, Emerene Saefkow and Hannah Pow of Frozen North Ice Cream. In the Residential Building Excellence Category, sponsored by the Town of Smithers, the home of Thomas Christian and Danielle Bruce at 3841 15th Avenue was chosen for its renovation project that was an improvement to the community. In the Commercial/Industrial Building Excellence Category, the Smithers Legion took the award, for the mural project that improved the building's appeal; and for the Accessibility Award the improvements on the facade and accessibility features at the Smithers Friendship Centre on Main Street were honoured. Mayor Darcy Repen of Telkwa presented the Telkwa Business Leadership Award to owners of the Tyhee Market, Katie and Cindy Savage. The Smithers District Chamber of Commerce appreciates the tremendous support of the business community for contributions to the event that result in the evening's success. The Chamber would also like to thank the Colin Maskell Jazz Quartet for the excellent band music; Camus Photography for bringing the Green Screen Photo area; Sascha and Rob from Noir's at the Prestige for the wonderful Flavours of Canada appetizers. Thanks also to the Interior News for sponsoring a new award this year, the David McKenzie Community Champion Award. Bonnie and Al McCreary were the recipients in recognition of the tremendous volunteer work they have contributed to through the years.