The Smithers Feed Store was named Business of the Year during the Smithers District Chamber of Commerce 2020 Community and Business Awards Nov. 25.
The Interior News Publisher Grant Harris introduced the award criteria as “an established business of at least two years, providing a well-run, professional, personable, reliable business with quality customer service.”
“The business must be considered a good employer, market effectively and is actively involved in the community, supporting business, community and civic organizations,” he said.
“We are honoured and thrilled to be recognized for this category,” Doug Veenstra, owner of Smithers Feed Store, when reached for comment said,
“It is a real joy to be part of this community and the amazing people who make it. We would like to thank all of you for your support over the past 50 years and in particular this past year. A special thank you to our loyal and hardworking working staff who make each day fun and enjoyable.”
In the other major award of the evening, Scott Olesiuk, owner of Glacier Toyota, was named Business Person of the Year.
Business Person of the Year was sponsored by Edminson Mehr Chartered Professional Accountants. Al McCreary and Michael Mehr introduced the award.
“The award is open to a business owner in the valley who has been established for over two years, who exhibits apparent business success, is considered a good employer, is involved with the community and actively promotes local business, civic and community organizations,” they said.
Olesiuk said the award is an honour to receive and thanked his team at Glacier Toyota, along with their many clients who have continued to show their support.
“I am deeply grateful and honoured,” he said.
Presenting the 2020 Community and Business awards live via Zoom and on Facebook from the chamber was a technical challenge that went off without a hitch, according to chamber manager Jill Barrowman.
“Smithers is the only town attempting to present awards like this live, that I’m aware of, so it will be a unique event for an equally unique year.”
President of the chamber Greg Wacholtz, opened the awards ceremony and noted the extremely difficult year it has been for businesses, non-profit organizations and volunteers. He said area businesses and individuals have continued supporting one another and that has kept the town going strong.
Mayor Gladys Atrill gave opening recognitions and remarks from her home office, also making note of the challenging year and congratulating the nominees on their perseverance and resiliance during difficult times.
Mike Bundock kept the ceremonies rolling as emcee, with humour and ease, gently reminding those with dogs and kids making noise in the background, that their “mics” were live, making everyone laugh. He said at one point everyone was “doing really good not to have an embarrasing moment live!”
The top three nominees in each catagory were recognized, with their nomination read aloud, and then the winner was announced, with most saying a few words.
Winners take home the coveted Alpine Man statue, a nod to the Smithers Alpine theme.
OTHER CATEGORIES AND WINNERS
CITIZEN VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR: Luke Smith
CUSTOMER SERVICE EXCELLENCE – BUSINESS: Heartstrings Home Decor
CUSTOMER SERVICE EXCELLENCE – INDIVIDUAL: Mary Ann Miller, Smithers Home Hardware
EXCELLENCE IN EDUCATION: Perry Rath, Smithers Secondary School
FAMILY FRIENDLY BUSINESS OF THE YEAR: UFO (Ukrainian Food Owesome)
HOME BASED BUSINESS OF THE YEAR: Chef Brandi Collins
MAJOR CONTRIBUTOR TO ARTS & CULTURE: CICK 93.9 Community Radio
PUBLIC SERVICE EXCELLENCE: Salvation Army Food Bank
TOURISM EXCELLENCE AWARD: Oscar’s Fly & Tackle
YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR: Emilie Schmidt, ReJar Zero Waste
ZERO WASTE CIRCULAR ECONOMY BUSINESS OF THE YEAR: ReJar Zero Waste
TOWN OF SMITHERS AWARDS
AWARD OF EXCELLENCE IN RESIDENTIAL PROJECTS: 4044 Second Ave. (Builder Richard Barendregt – Ridgeview Construction) and Lot 7 Ambleside Ave. (Owner Claire Dejong — the Smithers Cohousing group, Peter Erble, and Murray Vetcsch)
AWARD OF EXCELLENCE IN COMMERCIAL, INDUSTRIAL AND INSTITUTIONAL PROJECTS: 2280 Tatlow Rd. (Owner Greg Burns of Vihar Ltd., Builder Harry Leffers & Sons)
AWARD OF EXCELLENCE IN MIXED USE PROJECTS: Salt Boutique, 1168 Main St. (Owners Scott and Caroline Marko – Builder Northern Sun Developments)
TELKWA BUSINESS LEADERSHIP AWARD: Tyhee Market