The applications have been reviewed, the judges have weighed in, and now the real fun begins.
The Kelowna Chamber of Commerce announced the 27 finalists for its Businesses Excellence Awards today, building buzz ahead of the Oct. 12 awards ceremony.
This year’s ceremony will mark three decades of the awards. In recognition, the chamber totally revamped them for 2017, adding several new categories that “better reflect the changing business community in the Okanagan.”
This year’s program saw the addition of four new categories: The Social Impact Award, the Excellence in Agriculture Award, the Marketing Campaign of the Year and the Arts and Entertainment Achievement Award.
Those four awards will round out the six core awards (including the coveted Business Leader of the Year), for a total of ten categories.
“With such a diverse industry here, we felt it was time to shine a light on some of the other well-deserving sectors that are helping to place Kelowna on the map,” said Dan Rogers, the chamber’s executive director.
Rogers said the change spurred new excitement among the business community. Altogether, the chamber saw 162 nominations pour in, and half of them completed packages to enter the competition.
“We were pleased to see businesses applying that have not participated in the past, perhaps because they believed they didn’t fit into the previous categories,” Rogers said.
After a “grueling adjudication process,” the eight independent judges shortlisted the 81 applicants to the newly announced finalists.
All 27 of them will be profiled on October 12th, at the chamber’s largest event of the year, taking place from 5-9 p.m.
The full list of awards and nominees includes:
RISING STAR AWARD
- Current Taxi;
- Flask Social House;
SMALL BUSINESS AWARD (1-15 employees)
- Hybrid Elevator;
- Okanagan Wine Country Tours;
- Prime Physiotherapy.
MID-SIZE BUSINESS AWARD (16-50 employees)
- Lakeside Medicine Centre;
- Mission Group;
- NewCap Radio.
SOCIAL IMPACT AWARD
- The Bridge Youth and Family Centre;
- CRIS Adaptive Adventures;
YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR
- Andrew Gaucher, GGroup Land Development;
- Meagan Hughes, Cottage Quilting;
- Jared Lee and Devon Murray, Central Kitchen + Bar.
EXCELLENCE IN AGRICULTURE AWARD
- BC Tree Fruits;
- Okanagan Lavender and Herb Farm;
- Old Meadows Organic Farm.
MARKETING CAMPAIGN OF THE YEAR AWARD
- McKinley Beach;
- Okanagan Water Basin Board.
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
- Ballet Kelowna;
- Rotary Centre for the Arts;
- Wentworth Music.
LARGE BUSINESS AWARD (51+ employees)
- Chances Kelowna;
- Northside Industries;
- Rona Home and Garden Kelowna.
BUSINESS LEADER OF THE YEAR
The recipient of the prestigious Business Leader of the Year award will be announced prior to the Awards dinner
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