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Nanaimo Economic Development

Business “Over-Achievers” Named

The 15th Annual Business Achievement Awards were held in March to celebrate those who excel daily in our business community. In an effort to make sure Nanaimo’s only comprehensive business award maintains relevancy, we tied this year’s categories and values to the pillars and principles of Successful Cities.

Successful Cities are defined as vibrant, convivial, urban settings. They are based on five pillars — balanced cultural, economic, social vision and the built and natural environments — and engage in actions that value community well-being and aim for a higher quality of life. This is our vision for Nanaimo, so we thought we’d pattern our Awards after these themes.

In the category of Natural Environment, we awarded honours in Tourism to Harbour Air – Canada’s first carbon neutral airline, and recognized M.C. Wright & Associates – a biological consulting and software development firm for the ‘Science’ award.

Under Cultural Vitality, honours  in The Arts went to the Wellington Jazz Academy – ongoing international award winners — while the Innovation honours went to Dog n’ Suds for their pioneering business practices.

Our Economic Development ‘Stalwart’ award went home with Woodgrove Centre – based on their successful growth over the years and their impact on the local economy. The ‘Start Up’ award went to Tilray – less than a year old with over 100 employees with considerably greater ‘growth’ on their horizon.

Social Considerations acknowledged Social Enterprise and was handed over to Code Brew – the hospital coffee kiosk which has recently expanded to a second location, while the Institutional award recognized Nanaimo Community Hospice Society for their vital work.

Design, architecture and engineering, as part of the Built Environment, recognized RW (Bob) Wall for their ongoing achievements in changing the look of Nanaimo. Westmark Construction was honoured for their continuing commitment to excellence in the Construction & Development category.

Finally, we were compelled to look toward the future and recognize ‘Youth’ nominees. This year there were two and the judges could not determine which of them to honour, so we made the decision to recognize both Kenton Dick, successful musician from the Wellington Jazz Academy and Gina Mowatt from the Gitxsan First Nation for her inspiring work with aboriginal youth.

Out of nearly 6,000 hard working businesses in Nanaimo, these are the ones who rose to the top in these awards. Surely the outcomes are debatable, but we have to be proud to look over this list of over-achievers.

2015 Nanaimo News Bulletin Business Awards Page

In 2013, the Sterling Awards were totally revamped; they have a new name – the Business Achievement Awards; categories were updated or discontinued. The nomination process was tightened allowing the impartial panel of judges to better scrutinize the nominees.

We are confident the check and balances we have implemented for the Business Achievement Awards will ensure its success in recognizing the tremendous contribution all nominees make to our community.

2015 List of Finalists

2015 List of Nominees

2014 Nanaimo News Bulletin Business Awards Page


Nanaimo Economic Development


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