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2019 Nanaimo Business Awards – Best Mid-Size Business

Living Better Starts Here

Alair is a Custom Contracting Company that offer its clients, partners, trade partners, and employees a unique, high quality, and fully transparent experience.  The result of each project is a beautiful, custom-built, and expertly crafted home.  More importantly, Alair delivers a positive experience with life-changing results.

Alair was thrilled to have won the award.  “We’re very flattered to receive the award and its recognition is of great help in standing out in a very competitive industry.”  Acknowledging the competition of custom contractors here in Nanaimo, winning the award is bringing a new light to them

One thing Alair Homes is looking forward to in the future is help improve peoples lives through home happiness. They feel they are in “the human life improvement business and not the construction industry.”  They operate with the viewpoint that their greatest competitive advantage lies with the personal relationships formed between all team members across Alair.

Check out their website at www.alairhomes.ca/nanaimo, like them on Facebook at Alair Homes Nanaimo, or follow them on Instagram at @alairhomesnanaimo!

Click here to download PDF.

 

 

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2019 Nanaimo Business Awards – Best Restaurant

The Mahle House Restaurant is a second generation locally owned business in the semi-rural community of Cedar.  They are a casual fine dining establishment specializing in creating outstanding guest memories.  Situated in a charming 1904 home originally built as a farm house their tables are hand made and each are individually unique, crafted from timbers from an old sawmill and built less than 300 yards from our door by a local artisan.

What sets The Mahle House apart from most Nanaimo restaurants is their approach to ‘farm to fork’.  While they do support the local farming community, The Mahle House does rely on their own farm for the majority of the produce they use.  They have over 2000 square feet of planted garden beds and a variety of vegetables and herbs. In recent years they have also added pigs to the farm and raise a few heritage animals that feature heavily in our charcuterie program.  It really gives them “a sense of pride to be able to serve [their] guests with bounty that [they] have produced ourselves.”

Winning the Nanaimo Chamber Award has helped to elevate their profile in the community and to increase awareness about who The Mahle House is and what they do.  Desipte being around since 1983 there are still many who have never experienced their hospitality.  This award has certainly encouraged diners to seek them out for the first time.  Next on the horizon for The Mahle House is to make even better use of their ‘farm’.  Each year they learn a little more about where, what, and when to grow.

Check out their website at www.mahlehouse.ca, like them on Facebook at Mahle House Restaurant, check them out on Twitter at @mahlehouse or follow them on Instagram at @mahlehouse!

Click here to download PDF.

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2019 Nanaimo Business Awards – Best Not-For-Profit Organization

Loaves and Fishes Food Bank operates a nation leading Food Recovery Program that ensures good food does not end up in the landfill, but instead in the hands of people that can use it.  This program ensures there is an abundance of food for people in need in our community.  Additionally Loaves and Fishes provides food free of charge to over 80 other non-profits and schools.

Loaves and Fishes is “honoured that [their] hard work and dedication to serving the most vulnerable in our community has been recognized by the Chamber of Commerce.”  Their work has also been recognized within the community.   This honour has helped draw attention to the work we do and the positive impact it is having on people’s lives.

Looking to the future, Loaves and Fishes is hoping to bring on more grocery store partners.  In doing this they hope to increase the amount of food available in the community.  They are also looking at starting up additional locations where people can access food.

Check out their website at www.nanaimoloavesandfishes.org, like them on Facebook at Nanaimo Loaves & Fishes Community Food Bank, or follow them on Twitter at @nanaimofoodbank!

Click here to download the PDF.

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2019 Nanaimo Business Awards – Best Large Business

Harmac Pacific is a green power generating facility and a 400,000 metric tonnes per year of Northern Bleached Kraft Pulp business.  Their products are 100% produced from regional sawmill and timber harvesting waste.  Their wood pulp is sold all over the world to produce high quality paper, packaging, and other materials essential to supporting a healthy and educated society.

Harmac Pacific makes unique products but what really sets it apart from the competition is the ownership structure since 2008.  The 340 employees own one-quarter of the company, are represented on the board of directors, and directly share in the financial success of the business.  Harmac’s employees are highly motivated to perform their best all the time.  The other shareholders in the business are committed to long-term success, demonstrating this through supporting the reinvestment of $200 million since 2008.

Among Harmac’s employees, winning the award rekindles the feeling of pride and power in their business model. It has also helped draw attention from other businesses looking to partner with them in synergistic ways.  Harmac Pacific continues to invest in its long-term future with an eye on improving competitiveness through ongoing equipment upgrades and strategic acquisitions.

To learn more about Harman Pacific and what they do in our community visit their website at www.harmacpacific.com.

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2019 Nanaimo Business Awards – Best New Business

Live·Laugh·Eat/Repeat

Famous Franks, the winner of the New Business Award in the 2019 Nanaimo Business Awards, is a small, local business that sells comfort food fast and fresh.  You can find them located at Nanaimo Northtown Centre beside Canadian Tire most days, at events across Vancouver Island, and at the Commercial Street Night Market on Thursday nights throughout the summer.

Famous Franks strives to provide their customers with the freshest ingredients.  They also are big supports of other local businesses such as Cobs, who provides all their fresh baked buns.  Their goal is to bring you comfort food made fresh in minutes.

Their chef, Tao Breese, is “a bombastic man with charisma and an explosive personality” who “enjoy[s] meeting new people, learning new things, and keeping people happy.”

Famous Franks is honoured to have been recognized by the community as the Best New Business in Nanaimo in 2019.  To them, the awards shows the hark work and dedication they have put in over the last few years to realize their dream of “bringing comfort food to Nanaimo in minutes.”  Since winning the award there are plans in the works to expand their menu and add another food truck to better serve Vancouver Island.

Check out their website at famousfranks.ca, like them on Facebook at Famous Franks Nanaimo, or follow them on Instagram at @famousfranks!

Click here to download PDF.

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2019 Nanaimo Business Awards – Best in Builders and Trades

Safety, Service, and Reliability

Congratulations West Coast Helicopters on winning the award for best in Builders and Trades in the 2019 Nanaimo Business Awards!  West Coast Helicopters offers a versatile aerial approach to support remote construction jobs across Vancouver Island.  Whether it be moving crews, slinging construction material or pouring concrete, West Coast Helicopters always finds a way to get the job done.  Their maintenance staff has also provided reliable and professional service to many other helicopter outfits over the years.

“It was a great honour for all of us at West Coast Helicopters to receive this award.  We have serviced the builders and trades community of greater Nanaimo for more than 20 years now and to be recognized in this way brings a great deal of pride to our team.  Showcasing this award on our front desk and across our social media platforms has reinforced what our committed clientele has already come to know of our service.”

West Coast Helicopters has grown so much as a company and would love to extend their services into the tourism industry here in Nanaimo.  They know of the growth and potential within the tourism sector and believe they “can offer a very exciting element to any tour package looking for a beautiful thrill!”

Check out their website at www.westcoasthelicopters.com, like them on Facebook at West Coast Helicopters Maintenance & Contracting Ltd., or follow them on Instagram at @westcoasthelicopters!

Click here to download PDF.

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The “Busy-ness” of Nanaimo’s Summer Events

It starts a little earlier every year, but by Canada Day our city is into festivals and special events full swing! It’s become part of our rising brand – a city of special events and entertainment. From our parks and waterfront, to our downtown streets and event venues, there are not many idle nights or weekends until we head back to school in the fall.

What started as a way to raise a little money for our hospital and show support for breast cancer victims and survivors has turned into one of the city’s biggest events – the Nanaimo Dragon Boat Festival on the weekend after Canada Day. Slightly more than two dozen boats showed up the first year, and now we often see up to 80 teams competing over the weekend. Almost every hotel room in the city is booked for visitors to this event that welcomes international guests as well as locals. Restaurants, bars, and shops fill up and tens of thousands of dollars are raised annually in this celebration with every penny going to the fight against breast cancer at NRGH. The financial impact of this one event on our community is massive.

Just one weekend later and Nanaimo returns to the waterfront at Maffeo-Sutton Park for the annual Silly Boat Regatta. Over $110,000 was raised for Nanaimo’s Child Development Centre last year, a goal sure to be surpassed with participation increasing annually. Businesses and organizations

© 2019 HA Photography, 2019 Nanaimo Silly Boat Regatta.

compete to raise funds and then collaborate to build all forms of wacky craft and race out to a marker buoy and back without sinking. Fortunately, for the fun of the audience, not that many make it. There are all sorts of fundraising events attached to the day and it seems like most of Nanaimo’s population is in the park.

The following week it’s the annual celebration of the spirit of Nanaimo at the Marine Festival and World Championship Bathtub Race which draws throngs of visitors from outside of Nanaimo to figure out what makes us want to race bathtubs on our waterfront – a spectacle created by none other than our famous Mayor “Black Frank” Ney. They might not figure it out but they’ll have a ton of fun trying and leave a lot of money at Nanaimo businesses in the meantime.

Space here prevents me from mentioning much about things like Thursday evening’s Commercial Street Night Market, Concerts in the Park, Infringing Dance Festival, Wheel-o-Rama Festival, VIEX, Fringe Festival, Summertime Blues Festival, the Red Bull Pump Track World Championship Qualifier…

The point is – Nanaimo is turning into a city of festivals and it’s making cash registers ring while we put smiles on people’s faces and emerge as an Island leader in how to celebrate summer.

Night Market Security

There was a brief incident at the June 27 Commercial Street Night Market that has been described in at least a couple of different ways in mainstream and social media. There is some truth to each of the stories. The most important points we’d like to make are:

Between the beginning of the incident and the point where we had the situation fully under control, no more than two minutes time passed. Our team was notified just after the first encounter between a Night Market customer and an individual clearly in mental health distress. We caught up with him only meters away where he was engaged in a physical struggle with a bystander. We attempted to intervene and calm the situation when a table knife was thrown to the ground and the individual who dropped it ran. He was pursued by the bystander and the physical altercation escalated. As soon as there was safe space to intervene, our security staff pinned the original perpetrator to the ground and police arrived to bring it to a final resolution.

The Nanaimo Chamber, organizers of the Market, have a robust security plan in place that includes our own staff, local uniformed private security, bylaw enforcement and the RCMP Bike Squad. It is imperative that attendees of the Market not get involved in any security issues but notify any of the above when there is a concern. We wish to maintain the highest level of site security and guest safety. Our staff are all wearing high visibility vests and carry radios in order to respond rapidly to any reports of trouble and put our procedures in place to ensure your safety.

The incident had a minimal impact on the Market, its vendors and guests, was confined to a small space and very brief time frame. Our apologies to any guests who may have been exposed to our first security incident in two years and felt negatively impacted by the experience.

Members’ Open Only 4 Weeks Away!

The Members’ Open is just 4 weeks away! It would be great to have you out, whether you can join solo or field a team. Keep in mind that all guests, colleagues, clients, and future-members are welcome! If you haven’t attended in the past, it’s a wonderful event to connect with the local business community and your fellow Chamber members.

And if you suck at golf – you’ll fit right in! All levels are encouraged.

We’ve also put together some fantastic sponsorship options designed to provide unique, engaging, and fun exposure throughout the day. Use a day at the links to elevate your brand, hand out swag, and generate leads for your business. Host-a-hole for just $200!

The event is also an important fundraiser for the Chamber. If you’re unable to attend, we hope that you’ll consider donating products or services to the raffle, which also provides a great opportunity to raise your profile. No donations are too big or too small.  We’re also looking for swag to add to our golfer goodie bags.

Event Details: Click Here
Registration: Click Here
Raffle donation: info@nanaimochamber.bc.ca
Sponsorship: memberservices@nanaimochamber.bc.ca