The Chemainus & District Chamber of Commerce Golden Brush Awards provided a snapshot into the many individuals behind successful businesses and organizations who are so deserving of recognition.
The community gathered to celebrate those accomplishments Saturday night at the Sawmill Taphouse & Grill Event Centre. The award winners and nominees in each of seven categories were honoured for their contributions.
The program was emceed by Cam Drew who emphasized “the awards are open to anybody who would like to nominate any businesses.”
This is the second year of the revived awards and numerous nominations were received, making it a challenge for those tasked with making the award selections. The awards night was also moved up from the first week of November to the last Saturday in October in order to avoid a conflict with another major event a short distance away, the Purica Foundation Gala at Cowichan Exhibition’s Mellor Hall.
After dinner, Drew conducted a live auction, successful bidders on silent auction items were determined and it was on to the awards.
The first award, presented by Paul Rossmo of the Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit, went to Kelly Bellamy of The Wildwood Collective for Young Entrepreneur.
“Kelly is an outstandingly talented lady who has grown her successful business in Chemainus while raising four amazing boys,” read one nominators’ comment.
The Chemainus Health Care Auxiliary’s Thrift Shop was named the Not For Profit of the Year. President Susan Beaubier accepted the award on behalf of the organization from Moira Hauk, Coastal Community Credit Union’s regional manager for South Vancouver Island.
“The volunteers always take such care with every item,” read the comment of one nominator. “They are so helpful and pleasant.”
Amy Hughes of Bound To Be Different was the recipient of the Business of the Year 1-10 employees.
“Amy strives to re-invent the look and feel of her business each season,” noted one comment.
Gunnell and Scott Borge and staff were the winners of the Business of the Year 11-19 employees.
“Chemainus is an amazing seaside village,” said Gunnell Borge in accepting the award. “We don’t exploit that enough.”
“Sandpiper is such a wonderful part of the community,” praised one comment.
Best Western Plus Chemainus Inn received the honour as Business of the Year for 20+ employees, with manager Karla Silva receiving the award from Chemainus & District Chamber of Commerce executive director Lori Frankson.
Kelly-Ann Argue of the Chemainus Visitor Centre and Chemainus Tours earned accolades for Outstanding Customer Service.
“Kelly is the best ambassador Chemainus has ever had,” praised one comment. “She constantly promotes our town, its people and its businesses.”
“When your last name is Argue, you’ve got to go out of your way to give good customer service,” quipped Drew.
Betty Short was named Volunteer of the Year for her efforts with the Chemainus Visitor Centre and the Chemainus Theatre Festival.
“Betty gives so much to the community,” one nominator praised. “Her knowledge and passion for Chemainus is inspiring.”
Chemainus Valley Courier publisher Andrea Rosato-Taylor won the 50-50 draw and donated back the proceeds, doubling the contribution to the Cowichan Neighbourhood House to $330.
“We really enjoy hosting this event and look forward to it for years to come,” summarized Frankson.