Over 160 businesspeople cheer for the finalists at this year's Community and Business Awards


Businesspeople, their families, friends, associates, elected officials, sponsors and award finalists came out to the 2012 Annual Community and Business Awards hosted at Hy-Tech Drilling on Saturday night (October 20). This annual event, organized and sponsored by the Smithers District Chamber of Commece, is an opportunity to showcase businesses that are nominated by the public in 12 categories, shortlisted by a six-member selection committee, and voted on by Chamber members to determine the Category Finalist. The audience was honoured by the attendance of the MLA for Stikine, Doug Donaldson, as he talked about the importance of small businesses in BC and the contribution Small Business makes to local and provincial economies. Smithers Mayor Taylor Bachrach congratulated the finalists and small business in general. As well he showed his great sportsmanship by promoting Smithers tourism marketing character "Alpine Alice" by donning costume and dancing the "Lederhosen Jig" to raise funds for the new Bursary/scholarship that the Chamber is developing for a local student pursuing post-secondary business education/training. The people in the room contributed over $700 to see the mayor dance and many even jumped in to do the Lederhosen polka with him. Thank you to the mayor for helping in this endeavour and to the Band, Boys in the Bush, and String Licorice, for having fun with the background music. Telkwa Mayor Carman Graf highlighted business activity in Telkwa. People in attendance also enjoyed the amazing array of food provided by the Grendel Group; Seasons in the Valley; the Blue Fin Sushi Bar and Sawyer's Cupcakes. The Chamber also would like to thank the many businesses in the area that contribute to the silent and live auctions, which revenues help defray the costs of the evening and provide a bit of extra revenue for Chamber activites that are non-revenue generating during the year. Our sponsors are incredibly generous and the silent auction winners and live auction winners were thrilled with their prizes. Live Auction Sponsors were: Hawkair; Central Mountain Air; Ski Experience Weekend (Rayz Board Shop, Hudson Bay Mountain, Glacier Toyota); Snowmobile Weekend Experience (Harvey Mountain Adventures and Stonesthrow Guesthouse); Dawn2Dusk Pamper Package and Shopping Spree (Dawn2Dusk, Cloud Nine Esthetics, Seasons in the Valley); Sweetheart Package (Skeena Cat Skiing, Suskwa Lodge, Rayz Board Shop and Glacier Toyota); Half Day Boat Rental (Rayz Board Shop).

Thanks to our MC Mark Edwards, whose humour and expertise added to the guests' enjoyment of the evening and to the drumroll of Mark Allen as the finalist envelope was being torn open (..."and the finalist is"...) The BV Kinsemn minded the bar; Larkspur Flowers and Gifts provided amazing floral arrangments and La Petite Maison added to the ambience by providing gorgeous lanterns for the decor. The whole ambiance was "industrial chic" in Hy-Tech's state -of-the-art new shop facility. Thanks to all the Chamber directors who helped with the set-up and tear-down as well as the sponsor contact and thanks to Harvey and Corry Tremblay for the providing the venue and to Beryl McLellan of Hy-Tech, who helped so much. If, as one of the three finalists in each category, you would like a copy of the evening's slideshow which featured the finalists please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

And now.. the finalists are...Interior News Business of the Year, Hy-Tech Drilling; Vandergaag & Bakker's Business Person of the Year, Mike Henfrey, BV Insurance Services; Oscar's Source for Sports' Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Amy Brandstetter of Sedaz Lingerie; Northwest Science and Innovation's Technology/Innovation Award: Net-Zero Structures (Mike Sawyer); Tourism Smithers' Tourism Excellence Awards, Oscar's Source for Adventure; Aspen Inn & Suites Public Service Excellence, the Salvation Army; Smithers Lumber Yard's Home Based Business, Meg Hobson of Rustica Bakery; Bulkley Valley Credit Union's Family Friendly Business, Heavenly Grinds and Little Treasures Cafe; Town of Smithers and the Regional District of Bulkley Nechako's Environmentally-Friendly Business of the Year, Summit Reforestation; Salvation Army's Customer Service Excellence for Individual, Jason Krauskopf of Rayz Board Shop; Hudson Bay Lodge's Customer Service Excellence Award for a Business, Heartstrings Home Decor; Citizen/Volunteer of the Year, Sean Mitchell; Village of Telkwa's Business Leadership Award, Leroy Dekens of Midway Service; Town of Smithers Building Excellence Awards (Residential) Jane Hetherington and Bill Stephens; (Commercial) The Bugwood Bean on Main and (Industrial) Hy-Tech Drilling on Tatlow.

Guests and Award Recipients seem to enjoy our taking the Awards Evening out into the Business Community with a different host each year, so if you have a facility that you feel would accommodate around 160 people along with room for silent auction items, and would like to transform your space, for one evening, into a Gala Hall (we provide the decor and labour) please give Heather or Susan a call to arrange for next year (250-847-5072). The businesses that have hosted are Glacier Toyota in 2008; Smithers Lumber Yard in 2009; the Aspen in 2010; Coast Mountain in 2011; and Hy-Tech Drilling in 2012. All said that showcasing their facilities to a vast array of local business people, and the promotional coverage, was excellent exposure. In 2013 it's Smithers Centennial and a wonderful year to promote 100 years of Business.

To view pictures of the evening click here http://www.smitherschamber.com/chamber/gallery/business-awards-2012.html