There were some big local names up for honours at the 2012 Crystal Awards, hosted by the Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce and Island Savings on Thursday, Oct. 11.
Held at The Blue Poppy restaurant at the Butchart Gardens, the awards night was the annual celebration of the best in business in Sidney, Central Saanich and North Saanich. Chamber president Mark deMedeiros says it shows the strength of the Peninsula’s entrepreneurial spirit.
“We are persevering in the face of adversity,” he told a full house and launched into a video called The Peninsula — Diverse by Nature. “In my opinion, no one else has a better place to work and live.”
Created by Holy Cow Communication Design Inc. (also an award winner), with support from the Sidney Pier Hotel, the Diverse by Nature marketing package is looking for traction. Holy Cow’s Ken Coward said its designed to help bolster the local economy — all it needs is a lead sponsor.
The evening’s guest speaker was Mandy Farmer, chief executive officer of Accent Inns, named one of Business in Vancouver magazine’s Top 40 Under 40. She offered some survival lessons, recalling when she came into the job in 2008 — the start of the long economic decline.
“I talked to all of my employees to get their advice on how to improve business,” she said. “I’m grateful for the challenge we’ve faced. We’ve been able to grow from it and reap the rewards from all of our employees’ hard work.”
She also encouraged business owners to redefine what success means to them. For her, it went from stable business to happy employees and happy shareholders. Farmer also told the crowd to support each other — by shopping locally.
A highlight of the evening was the presentation of the Lifetime Achievement Award to Pat Fafard, the semi-retired president of the Peninsula Co-op. He has stepped back (somewhat) from the job, but since 1981, he has been a driving force in the Co-op’s growth and success, having built it up from a time of great struggle, until his retirement after 31 years.
Watch for more photos online on the News Review’s Facebook page and in an upcoming edition.
Here’s the list of winners and runners-up:
Business of the Year (1 – 15 employees). Sponsor: Peninsula News Review.
Holy Cow Communication Design Inc.
Certificate of Merit: Ideazone.
Business of the Year (16-plus employees). Sponsor: Island Savings
Certificate of Merit: Viking Air.
Not-for-Profit Organization of the Year. Sponsor: Seaside Times.
Saanich Peninsula Hospital Volunteer Program.
Certificate of Merit: Tom Thumb Mobile Safety Program.
Contribution to the Community. Sponsor: Flader Hale Hughesman.
Panorama Recreation Centre
Certificate of Merit: Peninsula News Review.
Green Business of the Year. Sponsor: Saanich Gulf Islands Green Party.
Certificate of Merit: B.C. Hazmat.
Entrepreneurial Spirit. Sponsor: Oceanside RV Resort.
Certificate of Merit: Straightline Precision.
New Business. Sponsor: Wendy L. Everson Law.
Certificate of Merit: Canoe Cove Restaurant.
Outstanding Customer Service. Sponsor: Victoria Airport Authority.
Certificate of Merit: Arbutus Grove Nursery.
Employer of the Year. Sponsor: Peninsula Co-op.
Certificate of Merit: Viking Air.
New Product or Service. Sponsor: Knickerbockers.
iBoard Canada Manufacturing Inc.
Certificate of Merit: Holy Cow Communication Design Inc.
Newsmaker of the Year (for 2011). Sponsor: Horizon Power Installations.
Ramsay Machine Works
Certificate of Merit: Victoria Costumes.