2020 Nanaimo Business Awards

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: The Nanaimo Business Awards have been moved to Wednesday, May 27th 

And the Judging Begins…

The Nanaimo Chamber is proud to recognize leaders and achievers by hosting the 20th annual Nanaimo Business Awards. The awards instill local pride-of-place, and honours the individuals, businesses, and non-profit organizations that contribute to the fabric and growth of the Nanaimo community.

If you would like to show your support to the deserving individuals and organizations nominated, we encourage you to come out to enjoy the show! The awards are presented at the Port Theatre on Wednesday, May 27th in an Oscar-style ceremony complete with a red-carpet reception, networking mixer, and jazz band. Purchase tickets here!

In the mean time, your votes have been tallied and it’s time to congratulate the Top 5 Nominees in each category; their fates are now in the hands of our judges.

(Nominees are NOT listed according to ranking, and 6 nominees have been selected in situations where there is a tie for votes.)

To sponsor this prestigious event, contact Carly Cooke: 250-756-1191 ext. 4

2020 Awards Categories

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.

  • Burnt Honey Dessert Company
  • Island-ish
  • Longwood Brewery
  • Red’s Bakery
  • Turley’s Florist

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.

  • barBURRITO Nanaimo
  • Dr. Robert Gagnon – Chiropractor
  • Habitat for Humanity Mid-Vancouver Island
  • Nanaimo Pet Services
  • Woodgrove Centre

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.

  • Alair Homes
  • Coastal Community Credit Union
  • Eden Gardens
  • London Drugs
  • Quality Foods

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.

  • Axe & Grind
  • barBURRITO Nanaimo
  • Burnt Honey Dessert Company
  • Sip and Sliders Food Truck
  • 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.

  • Casino Nanaimo
  • Harbour Air Seaplanes
  • Loyal Nanaimo Bathtub Society
  • Saysutshun
  • Vancouver Island Whale Watch
  • Westwood Lake Campgrounds

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.

  • Coast Bastion Hotel
  • Mountainaire Campground & RV Park
  • Page’s Resort Group
  • Painted Turtle Guesthouse
  • 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.

  • barBURRITO Nanaimo
  • COCO Cafe
  • Drip Coffee | Social
  • Kelly’s Kitchen Cafe
  • Mahle House Restaurant


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
  • Island-ish
  • Longwood Brewery
  • Quintessential
  • Strong Nation Gifts & Books
  • Turley’s Florist


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

  • Auto Check Automotive
  • Canada Auto Connect
  • Eco Wash Shop
  • Harris Kia
  • Tim’s Auto Repair

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.

  • Checkwitch Poiron Architects
  • Habitat For Humanity Mid-Vancouver Island
  • Island West Coast Developments Ltd.
  • Nanaimo Art Gallery
  • Nanaimo Business Services

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.

  • B. Gallant Homes Ltd.
  • Island Red Cedar Construction Ltd.
  • Island West Coast Developments Ltd.
  • Nickel Bros.
  • Pheasant Hill Homes Ltd.
  • R.W. (Bob) Wall Ltd.

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 International
  • Island Savings
  • RBC


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
  • Harbour Air Seaplanes
  • Mosaic IT
  • Real Estate Webmasters
  • Telus

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.

  • Dr. Robert Gagnon – Chiropractor
  • Eden Gardens
  • Nanaimo Child Development Centre
  • The Swet Haus Cycling Studio Inc.
  • Wild Coast Wellness

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.

  • Arrowsmith Media
  • Box 221 Digital Studios
  • Moe Akbar Marketing & Design
  • Nanaimo & Voyager Magazine
  • Pye Design

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.

  • Axe & Grind
  • Nanaimo Museum
  • Nanaimo Pride Society
  • Nanaimo Theatre Group (Bailey Theatre Group)
  • The Nanaimo Bar

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.

  • Coastal Community Credit Union
  • COCO Cafe
  • Gabriel’s Gourmet Cafe
  • Nanaimo Foodshare Society
  • Nanaimo Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Store

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.

  • COCO Cafe
  • Five Acres Farm Harewood
  • Habitat for Humanity Mid-Vancouver Island
  • Literacy Central Vancouver Island
  • Nanaimo Foodshare Society

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.

  • BC SPCA Nanaimo & District Branch
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Vancouver Island
  • COCO Cafe
  • Vancouver Island Fishing For Fun Society
  • Nanaimo Child Development Centre

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.

  • Clay Tree Society
  • COCO Cafe
  • Nanaimo Association for Community Living
  • Nanaimo Foodshare Society
  • Save-On-Foods

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.

  • Melanie Atwell – COCO Cafe
  • Marcel Aubin – Habitat for Humanity Mid-Vancouver Island
  • Samantha Latourneau – Literacy Central Vancouver Island
  • Julie Bevan – Nanaimo Art Gallery
  • Dominic Rockall – Nanaimo Child Development Centre


Process & Eligibility


  • Past winners welcome! There are no restrictions with repeat participation
  • Nominees are not required to be members of the Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce
  • Nominees but must be located between Lantzville and Cedar
  • Nominees may be a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation or non-profit
  • You may submit nominations for more than one business
  • Nominees are restricted to three categories
  • All entries will remain property of the Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce



  • Nominations must be submitted by Thursday, February 6th
  • Nominees will be contacted by the Chamber, as to explain the process request an award application by Thursday, February 6th
  • Nominees will be listed on a public voting page to be launched Friday, February 7th
  • Voting is open to the public to select their favourite nominees until from Friday, February 7th until Thursday, February 20th
  • The top five votes will become finalists
  • Finalists will be ranked by a an independent judging panel
  • MNP will provide a confidential official vote count, tally and total
  • Winners will be announced at the annual Nanaimo Business Awards gala event on April 8th, 2020, at the Port Theatre Nanaimo.

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