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Smithers-Telkwa Business Walk

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business walk
Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 February 2016 11:08

2015 New Business Reception

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New Business Reception Friday, February 13, 2015

Last year the Chamber and the event’s main sponsor, the Bulkley Valley Credit Union welcomed over 100 guests at the Smithers District Chamber of Commerce New Business Reception. This year marks the seventh year the event has been held so please consider coming out and meeting the new businesspeople that took out business licences over the past year in both Smithers and Telkwa.  Also meet new Chamber members who joined in 2014.

The New Business Reception takes place Friday, February 13 from 6 to 9 at the Hudson Bay Lodge and is an evening where the Chamber honours entrepreneurial spirit.  

Over 50 invitations go out to a variety of diverse new businesses from helicopter companies to construction businesses to personal care providers. The evening is all about networking and giving new business owners the opportunity to meet established business owners from the area. There’s appetizers; cool sounds from the Smithers Secondary Jazz Combo; no-host bar;  welcoming addresses are provided to the new business owners and new chamber members by Smithers Mayor Taylor Bachrach, Telkwa Mayor Darcy Repin, Greg Wacholtz of the Bulkley Valley Credit Union;  Smithers District Chamber of Commerce President Colin Bateman, CityWest Rep and Economic Development Officer Allan Stroet.  

This is a wonderful evening to promote the diverse business activity in the Valley and the evening happens because of the tremendous support of our Sponsors: The Bulkley Valley Credit Union; Business Development Bank; CityWest, Bulkley Valley Economic Development Association and thanks to the Bulkley Valley Credit Union for the door prizes and Hawkair for the flight for 2 to Vancouver.  At the event there will be sponsor exhibit areas including Small Town LoveSmithers.

Tthe Chamber is producing a 40-page publication dedicated to acknowledging the terrific efforts of local organizations whose work results in the cultural richness of our communities through the many events and activities they create on our behalf. From concert halls to backcountry trail development our volunteers make life here so vibrant. The publication will be launched at the New Business Reception where we have so much to Honour.

Tickets for the New Business Reception are $15, (prices are low with our sponsors covering most of the cost) available  at the Smithers Chamber office,  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  or by phone 250-847-5072.  

Last Updated on Monday, 02 March 2015 15:08

Empowering Young Entrepreneurs to ThriveNorth

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BG Canada share the belief that a mix of thriving local businesses and larger development projects is essential in building a stronger, more resilient local economy. With this common philosophy in mind, the two organizations created ThriveNorth, an exciting new initiative that grants young people in the Northwest region of British Columbia access to the resources, mentorship and financing necessary to launch and grow their own businesses.

As part of the ThriveNorth initiative, the ThriveNorth Business Challenge is an opportunity for people between the ages of 18-39 years old to win $10,000 to help jumpstart their own business.

“We’re thrilled to partner with Futurpreneur Canada to launch the first ever business competition for young people in Northern B.C.,” said BG Canada President, Madeline Whitaker. “The potential in the region is enormous and we’re determined to do everything we can to help people succeed.”

The Thrive North Business Challenge is currently accepting applications in three categories: Best New Business Idea; Best Business Expansion Opportunity; and Best Social Enterprise Idea.

Applicants that qualify as finalists will have the opportunity to strengthen their business skills, attend specialized training sessions, and receive personalized coaching to help them perfect their business pitch and prepare to present their idea to a panel of business experts.

“At Futurpreneur Canada, we know that with the right tools and support, what starts as a small idea can turn into a big success, and with ThriveNorth we’re bringing these resources to a community we haven’t reached previously. We can’t wait to see what Northern B.C. has to offer,” said Jill Earthy, British Columbia Regional Director, Futurpreneur Canada.

The application period for the ThriveNorth Business Challenge closes at 11:59 p.m. PST on February 6, 2015. Interested individuals can find more information on the competition and submit their application at

Over 200 come out to celebrate the 2014 Community and Business Awards

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The Smithers District Chamber of Commerce is privileged each year to organize and host the annual Community and Business Awards and this year's themed event "Denim and Diamonds" was record breaking in many ways... the most public nominations we've received to date and the biggest numbers through the doors, exceeding last years record by 50. Yes, over 200 businesspeople, family and friends turned out to cheer on the three finalists in each category.

And the Coveted Alpenman Trophy was awarded to: Business of the Year, sponsored by The Interior News, The Sausage Factory; Business Person of the Year, sponsored by Vandergaag and Bakker, Ali Howard, Nature's Pantry;  Citizen/Volunteer of the Year sponsored by RW Calderwood Realty, Tom Grasmeyer; Customer Service Excellence - Business, sponsored by Hudson Bay Lodge, Bulkley Valley Credit Union; Customer Service Excellence - Individual, sponsored by the Salvation Army, Mika and Nick Meyer of the Bugwood Bean;  Environmental Business of the Year,  sponsored by the Town of Smithers and Regional District of Bulkley Nechako, Dusk2Dawn;  Family-Friendly Business of the Year, sponsored by the Bulkley Valley Credit Union, McBike and Sport;  Home-Based of the Year, sponsored by Smithers Lumber Yard,  Fox Hole Bakery;  Major Contributor to Arts and Culture, sponsored by Scotiabank,  Bulkley Valley Museum & Smithers Art Gallery;  Public Service Excellence, sponsored by Aspen Inn & Suites, Tourism Smithers; Technology Innovation Award, sponsored by the Bulkley Valley Economic Development Association, Paranormal Skis; Tourism Excellence Award, sponsored by Tourism Smithers,  Brian Hall of Stork Nest Inn; Young Entrepreneur of the Year,  Dane  Drzimotta, Sitka Tree Service;  Town of Smithers Building Excellence Awards:  Residential Property, 4909 Highway 16  (New Single Family Home)  (Leland Clarke and Sheena Miller); CommercialIndustrial/Institutional Category: 1165 & 1167 Mainerz Streetwear/Back Alley Boots;  Mixed Use Category, New Industrial Building with a Residence on 19th Avenue;  Telkwa Business Leadership Award Taka Baeckerei/Kaffeehaus.  

A complete list of nominations can be found, here and the evening's success is attributable to their generosity in silent and live auction items, along with some fun categories this year like the Dig for Diamonds, sponsored by Carter's Jewellers; Candy Buffet, sponsored by BV Wholesale; and the Fashion Dressing of Special Guests - MC Dustin Treaner was dressed for the occasion, in fashionable denim attire,  by Rayz Board Shop, as was the lovely partner of the Mayor,  Michelle Larstone; Mayor Bachrach and Pat Gallagher (husband of the Chamber manager) looked amazing in fabulous outfits supplied by Mainerz; the Chamber President, Colin Bateman, looked smashing (British-style) in fashions supplied by Mark's Work Wearhouse (now located in the newly renovated retail space in the Smithers Mall); Susan Bundock of the Chamber, looked beautiful in an outfit, and lots of  bling, supplied by Barb's Bodacious Boutique; and Tourism Smithers Gladys Atrill came adorned in amazing jewellery supplied by Heartstrings. The live auction was conducted by Charlie McClary and musical entertainment was provided by Sharon Carrington. 

There were some amazing live auction items and the Chamber would like to acknowledge: Rayz Board Shop, Hudson Bay Mountain and Stonesthrow Guesthouse for the Ski Day; Skeena Cat Skiing, Suskwa Lodge, Rayz Board Sho and Glacier Toyota for the New Year's Eve Cat Skiing Package; Dawn 2 Dusk, Highland Helicopters Fly-In Ski Package. This package included a helicpter pickup and drop off at the destination of your choice, cabin or mountaintop, a purchaser's choice of skis ($900) or board ($700) from Dawn2Dusk, a packed lunch from 2-Sisters and ski passes to Hudson Bay Mountain; Central Mountain Air for two return flights and Hawkair for its renturn Flight for 2.

For a complete list of all nominees and the three category finalists please check out and for pictures of the award finalists look under the menu heading Chamber of Commerce for the drop-down photo gallery. 



Last Updated on Monday, 17 November 2014 12:12

Nomination List for Community and Business Awards

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Congratulations to all the businesses who are so highly regarded and who received public nominations during the 2014 Awards process. This in an amazing honour and we extend our appreciation for the high level of service you provide. The Smithers District Chamber of Commerce received a record-breaking amount of nominations this year in 13 different categories. From this list of nominees a 5-member Selection Committee met, went over the criteria and selected three finalists in each category. Each of the three finalists will appear in Red on this compilation list. All of the three finalists have now been contacted and have been requested to supply biography information that will assist chamber members in casting their vote for the award finalist. The finalist will be announced at the Community and Business Awards that take place Saturday, November 1 at 6:30 at the Hudson Bay Lodge… Theme “Denim and Diamonds”.


Bandstra Transportation

Smithers Sausage Factory

Seabridge Gold


Nature’s Pantry

Roi Theatre

Heartstrings Home Décor

Hudson Bay Mountain Adventures

Barb’s Bodacious Boutique (3 NOMINATIONS)

Hawkair was also nominated but was a previous winner in 2012/13 so, as to the award policy, is not

re-eligible to be a finalist for five years. Congratulations, Hawkair, on the tremendous service you provide to our community. 


Ali Howard, Nature’s Pantry

Jason Krauskopf, Rayz Board Shop)    (PREVIOUS WINNER IN 2007-2008 and under the awards policy

is now re-eligible for 2014) 

Barb Fassnacht, Barb’s Bodacious Boutique

Tracy Marcotte, Salon 1180

Kelly Ehalt, Hetherington & Hooper

Fred & Teresa Reitsma, Smithers Sausage Factory (FRED WAS PREVIOUS WINNER IN 2008-2009 and will be re-eligible for shortlisting again in 2015)


Al & Bonnie McReary

Tom Grasmeyer

Fay Van Horn

Christina Briggs 

Jenny DeVries

Monika Gigleberger

Brian Hall (PREVIOUS WINNER IN 2010-2011, ineligible until 2016) 

Derek Holland

Fay Van Horn

Northern Lights Wildlife Shelter


Bulkley Valley Credit Union

Totem Audio Video

Sedaz Lingerie 

Northern Star Café

Extra Foods

Smithers Feed Store (PREVIOUS WINNER 2012-2013 so is ineligible until 2018)

Schimmel’s Fine Pastry

Hudson Bay Mountain

Barb’s Bodacious Boutique

Sweet Dreams Esthetics & Laser Studio



Brandi Champinchini, Pharmasave

Doug Henderson, All Seasons Automotive

Nick & Mika Meyer, Bugwood Bean

Katie Froese, Bulkley Valley Eye Care

Mary Mackay, Schimmels Fine Pastries

Joey Talon, A&W

Bernard Lundy, Wooden Mallard

Bonnie Volk, Smithers Sausage Factory  (PREVIOUS WINNER 2009-2010 and is re-eligible in 2015))

Louise, Town of Smithers  

Chrissy Chapman, Hudson Bay Mountain

Donnie Hall, Safeway and Hudson Bay Lodge

Barb Fassnacht, Barb’s Bodacious Boutique (3 NOMINATIONS)

Brian Hall, Stork Nest Inn


NWCC School of Exploration & Mining and School District #54 for Dual Credit EMAP Program

Dawn 2 Dusk

Happy Pig Organic Farms (Marlene Thimer and Paul Murphy)

Town of Smithers

Natures Pantry (PREVIOUS WINNER 2013 so is re-eligible in 2018)

Bugwood Bean

Hudson Bay Mountain



McBike and Sport

Hudson Bay Mountain

Gone Hollywood

Hetherington Hooper

Aspen Restaurant 

Big Smiles (PREVIOUS WINNER 2013 and re-eligible in 2018)

Smithers Sausage Factory

McDonald’s Restaurant

Heavenly Grinds (PREVIOUS WINNER 2012 and re-eligible in 2017)

Daddios Restaurant 

Salon 1180


Deb Camenzind, Pampered Chef  (PREVIOUS WINNER 2000-2001 AND 2002-2003)

Chicken Creek Coffee

Fox Hole Bakery, Ursala Yeker

Telkwa Strength & Fitness, Julie Saunders

Jen, Norwex Products

Donna Harness, Tupperware

Ellen Krzanowski, Tupperware


ICount High School 

Smithers Community Services

Tourism Smithers 

NWCC School of Exploration & Mining and School District #54 for Dual Credit EMAP Program

School District #54

Bulkley Valley Regional Pool

Hudson Bay Mountain Adventures

Soup Kitchen at the St. James Anglican Church

Grant Gibson – Town of Smithers


BV Energy Managers

Paranormal Skis


Brian Hall

Hudson Bay Mountain

Hoskins Ford



Alana Butler, Broadway Music Studio

Theo Bandstra, Smithers Home Hardware

Dane Drzimotta, Sitka Tree Service

Amy Brandsetter, Sedaz Lingerie (PREVIOUS WINNER IN 2012)

Keelors Poo Pourite

Tory, Northern Star Cafe 



Joanne Campbell, Northword Magazine

Telkwa Kinsmen

BV Museum & Art Gallery

Hudson Bay Mountain Adventures

SpeeDee Interior Stationery

CICK Radio


Last Updated on Monday, 17 November 2014 12:12

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