Brenda Carmichael presents the Not-for-Profit of the Year award to Cowichan Neighbourhood Association members. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Prominent businesses and individuals receive Golden Brush awards in Chemainus

Recipients in seven major categories in the spotlight

The stars weren’t out because it was raining, but the stars of the business community were shining inside at the Sawmill Taphouse & Grill Events Centre in Chemainus Saturday night during the Golden Brush Awards.

The revived Chemainus & District Chamber of Commerce awards showcased businesses and individuals making significant contributions during the past year.

The evening included appetizers, dinner, silent and live auctions, award presentations and great camaraderie.

“We’ve already learned a few things for next year,” said Chamber executive director Lori Frankson as the evening progressed.

North Cowichan Mayor elect Al Siebring served as MC and Peter Watts of the Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham at Oyster Bay had the crowd waving brushes in the air while leading the live fundraising auction.

The first award for Young Entrepreneur, honouring a person under the age of 35 who has excelled in business with proven leadership, entrepreneurial skills and shown outstanding vision that contributes to business success went to Brittany Pickard-Brown.

The Not-For-Profit of the Year was presented to the Cowichan Neighbourhood House Association. The society was singled out for making an outstanding contribution to the community.

Businesses of the Year demonstrating excellence through positive business growth, excellent customer service and an exceptional commitment to quality were split into three categories based on the number of employees. Celebrations by Hummingbird Hill won for 1-10 employees, Riot Brewing Co. for 11-19 employees and 49th Parallel Grocery for 20+ employees.

Art Pookjit of Thai Pinto was cited for Outstanding Customer Service and Ellen Lavender earned the honour as Volunteer of the Year.

The other finalists in each category were also acknowledged for their outstanding contributions, including Ellen’s husband Len Lavender and Kelly-Ann Argue for their volunteer commitments.

“Without the volunteers in this community, we can’t do much,” said McGregor.

In his closing remarks, Chamber president Paul McGregor thanked everyone who supported the event.

“I think we all had a great time and had some great prizes,” he said.


Chemainus Chamber of Commerce executive director Lori Frankson and president Paul McGregor accept the Business of the Year 1-10 employees award on behalf of Celebrations by Hummingbird Hill. (Photo by Don Bodger)

The Riot Brewing gang of Ralf Rosenke, Aly Tomlin and Megan Calwell accept the Business of the Year 11-19 employees award from Chemainus & District Chamber of Commerce president Paul McGregor. (Photo by Don Bodger)

The Business of the Year 20+ employees is presented by Sam Higgs to Peter Richmond, left, and Paul McGregor of 49th Parallel Grocery. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Art Pookjit of Thai Pinto is the recipient of the Outstanding Customer Service award. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Ellen Lavender receives the Volunteer of the Year award from Chemainus & District Chamber of Commerce president Paul McGregor. (Photo by Don Bodger)

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