• Nanaimo Business Awards

2019 Nanaimo Business Awards

The Nanaimo Business Awards recognize the achievements of individuals or groups, and are a sign of the community’s appreciation. This recognition also serves as a reminder of the Chamber’s mission statement – “Better Community Through Better Business”.

The Nanaimo Business Awards instill a local pride-of-place. If you would like to raise awareness of the achievements of a deserving individual or organization, we encourage you to nominate, vote, and come out to enjoy the show!

Finalists & Winners 2019

Congratulations to all the finalists and Winners of the Nanaimo Business Awards for 2019

Small Business

Honours an outstanding business or organization with 1-10 employees that, in the past year, has demonstrated a capacity for sustainable growth, engages in innovative business practices, and who has achieved continued business excellence in their field, while making a positive impact on the community.

  • Bee’s Knees Community Cafe
  • Driven Performance Fitness
  • Longwood Brewery
  • NYLA Fresh Thread
  • Meat Craft Island Butchery

Mid-Size Business:

Honours an outstanding business or organization with 11-59 employees that, in the past year, has demonstrated a capacity for sustainable growth, engages in innovative business practices, and who has achieved continued business excellence in their field, while making a positive impact on the community.

  • Alair Homes
  • Cinnabar Valley Farms Ltd.
  • Island Savings
  • Koncept Nightclub
  • Longwood Brew Pub & Restaurant
  • Nanaimo Airport

Large Business:

Honours an outstanding business or organization with 60 or more employees that, in the past year, has demonstrated a capacity for sustainable growth, engages in innovative business practices, and who has achieved continued business excellence in their field, while making a positive impact on the community.

  • BC Ferries
  • Canadian Tire
  • Harmac
  • Quality Foods
  • Tilray

New Business

This award recognizes a start-up business (1 year or less), that has achieved outstanding performance and results over a short period of time. As trailblazers in their field, they demonstrate exceptional promise for growth and innovation and are well-positioned for continued success.

  • 250 Plumber
  • Cold Front Gelato
  • Drip Coffee | Social
  • Famous Franks
  • White Rabbit Coffee Co.

Tourism Operator

Awarded to a tourism business that provides exemplary service and a unique, high-value experience to Nanaimo visitors. They are successful in offering a product, service or experience that promotes the Nanaimo region as a destination and leaves visitors with a desire to return.

  • Bethlehem Centre
  • Dinghy Dock Pub
  • Harbour Air Seaplanes
  • Nanaimo Airport
  • WildPlay Element Parks Nanaimo

Hospitality Operator

Awarded to any hotel, motel, campground or bed and breakfast that provides exemplary service to Nanaimo visitors. If they offer ‘best-in-class’ hospitality, boast amazing testimonials, and have a proven track record of providing exceptional guest service and facilities, they deserve your nomination.

  • Bethlehem Centre
  • Coast Bastion Hotel
  • Inn on Long Lake
  • Living Forest Campground/RV Park
  • Westwood Lake Campgrounds


This award honours a restaurant that consistently goes the extra mile to provide exceptional food, exemplary service and great value for their customers. Whether it’s a greasy spoon or a fine dining establishment, they are proactive in response to changing market trends and implement innovative business practices to achieve sustainable, positive business growth.

  • Huong Lan Vietnamese Restaurant
  • Mahle House
  • Milano’s Ristorante
  • Longwood Brew Pub & Restaurant
  • The Nest Bistro


Awarded to a leader in the retail community who offers a variety of merchandise, and has earned a reputation for excellence in aesthetics, atmosphere, product knowledge and customer service. The retailer values strong relationships, is proactive with changing market trends, and implements innovative business practices to achieve sustainable, positive business growth.

  • Charlie’s Closet
  • Flying Fish
  • Good Life Juice
  • Longwood Brewery
  • Meat Craft Island Butchery
  • Turleys Florist


This award recognizes a dealership, parts and service outlet, or body/repair shop that has demonstrated exemplary customer service.

  • Fountain Tire
  • Harris Mazda
  • Island Mobile Detailing
  • Laird Wheaton GM
  • Steve Marshall Ford Lincoln
  • Woodgrove Chrysler

Development & Design

Awarded to a business whose projects demonstrate visionary thinking in the planning and design of our urban environment. The winner is committed to creating enjoyable places and spaces that produce a more livable and ‘successful’ city.

  • Island West Coast Developments Ltd.
  • Lewkowich Engineering Associates Ltd
  • Saywell Contracting Ltd
  • Tectonica
  • Windley Contracting LTD

Builders & Trades

Awarded to a builder or tradesperson who continually exceeds the expectations of their clients, and has demonstrated excellence in innovation, creativity, and design. They showcase exceptional craftsmanship and dedication to sustainability in their business operations and project work.

  • 250 Plumber
  • Alair Homes
  • DenMar Electric Ltd
  • Pride Painting
  • Vancouver Island Tree Service
  • West Coast Helicopters

Financial Services

Awarded to any banking, financial, investment, or accounting service recognized for their industry knowledge and expertise leading to consistent customer satisfaction.  They are noted for their ability to deliver customized solutions that help their clients achieve their unique goals.

  • Coast Capital Savings
  • Coastal Community Credit Union
  • Hub Insurance
  • Integral Securities
  • Island Savings


Awarded to a business that has used technology to create a business concept that is new or unique, or has applied innovative improvements to existing processes, products, or services that enhance their business.

  • Arrowsmith Media
  • Inuktun Services Ltd.
  • Mosaic IT
  • Real Estate Webmasters
  • ThrivingLocally

Health Care Service

Awarded to a service-based health care organization or operator who has a demonstrated history of positive customer feedback and excellent outcomes.  This business shows a consistent adherence to high-quality customer care and is a highly-regarded member of Nanaimo’s health care community.

  • Eden Gardens
  • Driven Performance Fitness
  • Nanaimo Child Development Centre
  • Rx Ram Pharmacy Specialists (Millstone)
  • Tilray

Creative Service

Awarded to any marketing or creative service provider recognized for their industry knowledge and expertise leading to consistent customer satisfaction and positive results. This category includes professionals working in branding, graphic design, advertising, public relations, web design and digital media in addition to traditional marketing methods.

  • Aura Hair Boutique
  • Elite Image
  • HA Photography
  • Nanaimo & Voyager Magazine
  • NYLA Fresh Thread

Arts & Entertainment

Support for cultural activities creates an opportunity to celebrate the gifts and talents of a broad cross-section of Nanaimo while promoting the local creative economy. This award recognizes an individual, business, group, organization or event that celebrates a vibrant Nanaimo through arts, culture, heritage, education, and ethnicity.

  • Got Pop? Concerts
  • Koncept Nightclub
  • Nanaimo Museum
  • Port Theatre
  • Vibrant Studios Ltd.

Corporate Social Responsibility

Awarded to an organization that uses its resources, creativity, and community connectivity to excel at corporate citizenship. Social responsibility is demonstrated by a ‘triple bottom line’ philosophy that is well-established in their business model.

  • Cedar Opportunities Cooperative – COCO Café
  • Coastal Community Credit Union
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Island Savings
  • Nanaimo Association for Community Living

Social Enterprise

Awarded to an organization that exemplifies excellence in serving the community while committing to sustainable business activities. They have a dedicated focus on achieving their social vision while expanding programs and services in their search for commercial success.

  • Cedar Opportunities Cooperative – COCO Café
  • Code Brew – Nanaimo & District Hospital Foundation
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Nanaimo Foodshare Society
  • Nanaimo Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Store
  • Salvation Army Thrift Store

Not-For-Profit Organization

Awarded to a non-profit organization that exemplifies excellence and innovation in their projects, programs, and service offerings to the community.  Their commitment to fulfilling community needs through volunteer involvement and leadership while maximizing their value to a particular constituency is uniquely rewarding to Nanaimo.

  • Bethlehem Centre
  • Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Vancouver Island
  • Island Crisis Care Society
  • Nanaimo & District Hospital Foundation
  • Nanaimo Child Development Centre
  • Nanaimo Loaves and Fishes

Inclusive Employer

Awarded 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.

  • Bee’s Knees Community Cafe
  • Cedar Opportunities Cooperative – COCO Café
  • Clay Tree Society
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • School District 68
  • Tilray

Above & Beyond

This award is given to a social services staff person who most exemplifies excellence.  Excellence is defined as being a role model for others, inspiring others to work collaboratively and creatively, and promoting a work environment that is respectful, collegial and supportive.

  • Chris Beaton – Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre
  • Constable Gary O’Brien – Crime Stoppers
  • Jonny Rose – That 50’s Barber Shop
  • Michelle Kocourek – Nanaimo Child Development Centre
  • Violet Hayes – Island Crisis Care Society


Eligibility and Submission Requirements

  • Nominees do not need to be members of the Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce
  • A business or individual may not receive the same award once they have won it for three years.
  • A business may be a sole proprietorship, a partnership or a corporation
  • A business may be small, an independent retailer, a service business, a franchise operator, an agricultural operation or manufacturer.
  • A business/individual may submit nominators forms for more than one business
  • A business may be nominated for more than one award but no more than three.
  • A business cannot be related to the nominee.

Submission Requirements for Nominees

  • ALL categories on the nomination form are scored and therefore must be completed.
  • Supporting materials must be kept to a maximum of 5 single sided pages.
  • It is the responsibility of the nominee to ensure that all patents/copyrights are protected.
  • If nominating a business for more than one award, individual nominations online must be submitted for each award category.

What information must the nomination package contain

  • List the key achievements of the business
  • A description of the nature of the business
  • The highpoints of your business this past year. For example, customer service, workplace environment, employee retention, growth in staff and/or facility size, awards, innovative approach to marketing or product development, media coverage, or special aspects of the business.
  • Community Contribution – list of organizations in which the business or its personnel have participated and any highlights relating to that involvement. This can include memberships, staff’s volunteer contributions, financial support, sponsorships, etc.

What is the Process?

The following steps in the selections process:

  • Nomination submission must be submitted by the deadline date of March 17th, 2017. The nominator must submit their name, phone number and email address in case the nomination committee request clarification or more information
  • The nominee will then be contacted by the Chamber to explain the process.
  • The nominee will then submit their award application to the Chamber by March 24th, 2017.
  • The nomination committee will be charged to base their decision solely on the nominee’s accomplishments as documented on the nomination submission.
  • Each committee member will review the nominations and rate them on a rate scale from 1-3 with 1 (lowest) 3 (highest) in each category.
  • The Judges’ committee will meet as a group and a vote will be taken with each committee member ranking each nominee in the areas of criteria.
  • The MNP will verify the votes and results of the committee.
  • The nominee with the most committee votes is selected in each category.
  • In case of a tie the committee will case a second round of votes for the tied candidates only.
  • Winners will be announced at the annual Chamber of Commerce Business Achievement Awards gala event in May 4, 2017 at the Port Theatre Nanaimo.
  • Members of the selection committee are not eligible to be nominated.
  • Nominators are not eligible to serve on the selection committee
  • All entries will remain the property of the Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce.

Additional Information

The following information is not mandatory, but may positively affect your judging score.

  • Letters of support reflecting the nominee’s initiatives and achievements are helpful.
  • Articles or other media pieces portraying the nominee’s efforts.
  • Any other materials (e.g. company reports) illustrating the nominees commitment to developing their business in Nanaimo.

Helpful Hints

  • Applicants are judged using a points system. Detailed answers typically trigger more points; therefore, make your application as complete as possible.
  • The Selection Committee consists of individuals who will not be familiar with your business, please be clear about what you do and avoid the use of abbreviations and jargon.
  • The judging criteria for all Awards takes into account the relative size of the business and the relative impact of their activities.

Nanaimo Business Awards 2020

April 8, 2020

6:30 PM – 9:00 PM PDT

Port Theatre

© Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce | Photography by Dirk Heydemann HA Photography | Video by Tannar Pictures