2017 Award Categories



Micro Business of the Year

Up to 10 Employees

A big shout out to a company in any industry for excellence as a start-up, growth model or sustaining business with a vision, who engages in innovative practices, is outstanding in their professional field and offers a promising positive future. A business plan, vision, and solid growth are part of today’s and tomorrow’s success.

Small & Medium Enterprise of the Year

11 – 49 Employees

Awarded to a company in any industry for excellence as a business with a vision and demonstrated capacity for sustainable growth, engagement in innovative practices, demonstrating outstanding performance in their field who also consider their positive impact on the community.

Major Employer of the Year

50+ Employees

Recognizes a company in any industry for excellence as a business who engages in innovative practices, is outstanding as a pioneer in their field and are focused on positively impacting the community. Shows promise for growth and increased positive stimulus for the community as an economic driver.


Young Entrepreneur

Presented to an outstanding individual who exemplifies entrepreneurial spirit, is of age 40 or under, who has distinguished themselves by building their own business or contributing significantly to another. This award symbolizes the achievements of the innovative entrepreneur who inspires others with their vision, leadership, and achievement.

Hospitality Operator of the Year

Any hotel, motel, campground, or bed and breakfast can be nominated in this category.  If they offer ‘best-in-class’ hospitality, can boast great testimonials and consistently receive top rankings… they deserve your nomination!

Restaurant of the Year

Presented to a restaurant/pub that consistently demonstrates excellence in food service, quality and presentation, is proactive with changing market trends, provides a variety of menu choices and gives good value. It pays attention to making its customers feel special and comfortable while, at the same time, enjoying exceptional food, atmosphere and service.

 Arts & Culture Business/Organization of the Year

Expressed in a broad range of activities and events that promote a vibrant Nanaimo by celebrating arts, culture, heritage, education, heritage and ethnicity. Support for cultural activities creates an opportunity to celebrate the gifts and talents of a broad cross-section of Nanaimo’s population while promoting the creative economy. Award nominees may include an individual, a business, group, organization or event.

Retailer of the Year

Excellence in a retail environment through presentation of a unique concept, an intriguing environment, unique products and/or services and consistent delivery of high-value customer service. Could be a mall tenant, the local operator of a chain outlet or a franchise, a local independent — anyone who stands out in this tough industry!

Professional Services Business of the Year

A Nanaimo area business in banking, legal, financial, investment, accounting, marketing, consulting services or other professional services is recognized for their product and service range, industry knowledge, and expertise leading to consistent customer satisfaction. They are noted for their excellent customer, industry, and employee relationships and their contributions to the community overall.

Automotive Business of the Year

We’re looking to honour new and used auto dealerships as well as associated businesses like auto repairs, parts and service outlets, body shops, and recognize their professional accomplishments, community involvement and contributions to the auto industry. In fact, any business that touches on transportation in our car-centric city.

Planning or Design Firm of the Year

High quality planning and design of our built environment creates enjoyable places and spaces that produce a more livable and ‘successful city’. The changing look of our city’s building forms and designs in the recent past ensure this category will be lively. Before it’s built, who figures out what it will look like and how it fits into its environment. Nominate a designer, planner, engineer or architect – or their firm who creates things that stand out and will sustain quality over time.

Developer or Builder of the Year

Nanaimo is being increasingly shaped through human activity in its buildings, public spaces, streets and roads. Development and construction continues to drive a large part of Nanaimo’s economy. Big or small, Nanaimo’s developers and builders shape our community. This award points to who’s doing the best job these days of building Nanaimo for the future.

Building Trades Business of the Year

If you didn’t have an excellent and diverse selection of building trades specialists, then the designers, developers and builders couldn’t do a thing. These are the men and women who take the dreams and ideas on paper and turn them into reality. Nominate a trades company – electricians, plumbers, gas fitters, framers, roofers… the list goes on!

 Technology-Based Business of the Year

It’s time to recognize significant achievements locally in the unique development and/or utilization of technology that shows market innovation. Creative business practices resulting in productivity growth, expansion of existing markets, opening of new markets, product research and development and technological change are all tips to nominees.

Healthcare & Medical Service Business of the Year

Nanaimo is home to hundreds of businesses in the health care and health sciences field, mainly thanks to NRGH. Our medical professionals and care specialists service a very broad geographic area. Whether it’s a favourite clinic that seems to always go above and beyond, a retailer – eye care, pharmaceutical, , RMT, physio or chiropractor — with service second to none.

Outstanding Corporate Social Responsibility

In recognition of a business or corporation that uses its resources, creativity, depth and commitment to support corporate responsibility genuinely engaging communities and staff across Vancouver Island. Do you know a business optimizing its Triple-P philosophy?

Social Enterprise of the Year

This award is presented to a not-for-profit organization that exemplifies excellence in serving the community while engaging in self-sustaining business activities. Their desire for growth and expanding programs, as well as service, community involvement, and sustainable practices and/or job creation demonstrates a dedicated focus on achieving a social vision and building a business.

Not-For-Profit Organization of the Year

This award is presented to a not for profit organization that exemplifies excellence and innovation in their programs, services and projects and their efforts to serve the community. Their commitment to fulfilling community need through volunteer involvement and leadership and maximizing their value to a particular constituency, is particularly rewarding to Nanaimo.

Inclusive Employer of the Year
Presented to a business or organization that, through their leadership and efforts, have made a difference in employing people with special abilities, proving the uber-value of previously under-valued workers.

Sustainability Excellence of the Year

 In recognition of a local business that is a leader in environmental and sustainable practices. Business sustainability is about creating more goods and services with less use of resources, waste and pollution.

Youth Spirit & Initiatives – High School Students

Individuals who, through their spirit, enthusiasm and dedication, are clearly making extraordinary contributions to the community at an early age.