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Local businesses celebrated at Chamber awards gala

60 nominees in 12 categories were up for awards April 6 at the Lester Centre
The Dance Academy of Prince Rupert provided entertainment for the business with one of the performances being a medley of songs from the 1970s hit musical “Grease.” (Thom Barker/Black Press Media)

After a three-year hiatus, Prince Rupert Chamber of Commerce hosted its Business Excellence Awards (BEA) at the Lester Centre April 6.

The last time the Chamber held the event was in 2020, just before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

The 60 nominees in 12 categories were celebrated and the winners announced at a black-tie gala.

The evening began with a cocktail reception at 6:30 with the awards ceremony following at 7:30.

In his opening welcome to Ts’msyen territory, Elder Clarence Nelson Sr. paid tribute to Iona Campagnolo, B.C.’s first woman lieutenant governor and former Prince Rupert school trustee, alderwoman and MP who died last week at the age of 91.

Interspersed throughout the awards ceremony were comments by elected government representatives Prince Rupert mayor Herb Pond, Port Edward mayor Knut Bjorndal and North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice.

Ken Veldman, the Prince Rupert Port Authority’s vice president of public affairs and sustainability said a few words on behalf of the port as the diamond sponsor of the event.

There were also performances by the Dance Academy of Prince Rupert and Tristan Higginson, Andy Enns and Sam Brennan previewed their upcoming production of “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged), which is scheduled for April 19 and 20 at the Lester Centre.

And the winners are:

Dining Distinction: open to restaurants, pubs, caterers, food trucks and other food or beverage service businesses. Winner: Opa Sushi.

Community Involvement: recognizes a business or organization that voluntarily engages in activities that enhance the community’s quality of life. Winner: Good Times Games.

Indigenous Peoples Entrepreneurship: open to well-respected role models and leaders operating a business with 51 per cent or greater Indigenous ownership who demonstrates initiative and risk to achieve business success. Winner: Yvonne Campbell (Genetics Fitness).

Home-based Business Excellence: open to licensed businesses operating for at least two years from a residence. Winner: Sourdough YPR.

Individual Customer Service Excellence: recognizes and individual staff member who, through exemplary service attracts repeat clients and enhances a business’s reputation. Winner: Sanj Sharma (Eddie’s News).

Industry & Manufacturing Excellence: open to two-year-plus businesses in the industry, manufacturing, or transportation sectors. Winner: Lighten Up Electric.

Professional Excellence: open to service providers whose work is governed by the technical or ethical standards of a professional association (doctors, dentists, engineers, accountants, etc.). Winner: Bob Hays (pharmacist at Safeway).

Not For Profit of the Year: open to volunteer, community, or charitable organizations with an established track record and a positive standing of honesty and integrity within the community. Winner: Pawz United Rescue Society (PURS).

Rookie Business of the Year: open to businesses under two years old that have demonstrated exceptional promise and continued growth. Nominees: Doggy Hotel and Spa.

Retail Excellence: open to local retail businesses. Winner: Eddie’s News.

Young Entrepreneur of the Year: open to entrepreneurs under the age of 40 who excel in business. Winner: Ansen Norgaard (Ansen’s Consignment).

Tourism and Accommodation Excellence: open to businesses and organizations in the tourism and accommodations sectors. Winner: Adventure Tours.

Thom Barker

About the Author: Thom Barker

After graduating with a geology degree from Carleton University and taking a detour through the high tech business, Thom started his journalism career as a fact-checker for a magazine in Ottawa in 2002.
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