After more than two weeks of voting, the ballots have been counted and the finalists can be announced in the 2019 Creston Valley Business Awards, organized by the Creston Valley Chamber of Commerce.
Sponsored by Pealow’s Independent Grocer, Canfor, and Black Press, the awards cover a range of categories to honour businesses and organizations in the Creston Valley. The winners will be announced at a gala on Feb. 23, with attendees voting on the top nominees in each category.
“We were really pleased to see so many nominations on the ballots,” said chamber manager Vern Gorham. “It will be a real challenge for our guests to choose between them.”
The awards gala starts with an hour of voting at 5:30 p.m., with ballots being tallied by chartered professional accountant Rita Patstone, and the opening of a silent auction. Music by the Creston Valley Trio will accompany a sit-down dinner, followed by the announcement of the award winners. The evening will end with dance music by the Creston Community Band and the vocal stylings of Dan Caverly and Simone Wiebe.
While the Chamber Business Excellence Award has already been decided based on emailed nominations by chamber members, seven categories — tied nominations creating three or four nominees in each — will be open to voting at the gala:
Best Customer Service: Pealow’s Independent Grocer, Save-On-Foods, Sue’s Clotheslines, Swift Internet.
Best in Hospitality and Tourism: Bahamas Travel, Casey’s Community House, Jimmy’s Pub & Grill.
Best in Arts and Culture: Creston Museum, Creston Valley Arts Council, Footlighters Theatre Society, Kunze Gallery.
Best in Professional Services: Family Practice Associates Clinic, Mann & Vander Heide, Western Financial.
Best in Trades and Services: Fig’s Plumbing, Robert Construction, Swift Internet.
Non-Profit of the Year: Creston Museum, Creston Valley Gleaners, Kootenay Employment Services.
Employer of the Year: Canfor, J.H. Huscroft, Pealow’s Independent Grocer.
In the Chamber Business Excellence category: the nominees are Baillie-Grohman Estate Winery, Century 21 Veitch Realty, and Save-On-Foods.
“I’m looking forward to seeing which nominee ends up winning,” said Gorham. “All of these businesses deserve recognition, and the chamber is excited to be a part of that.”