Farmstrong Cider was filled with chamber members and guests celebrating the amazing businesses, organizations and volunteers on Thursday, May 11, as the Armstrong Spallumcheen Chamber of Commerce hosted its 2023 Community Excellence Awards.
Board and staff, dressed in flowered headbands, peace vests, bell-bottom jeans – chamber executive director Patti Noonan was barefoot – for the Woodstock-themed event welcomed business and community members.
The awards were emceed by 1960s flower children, chamber board directors emcees Madison Reynolds and Marc Szarek, and sponsored by Drax.
Awards in 10 categories were handed out to those nominated by their peers and the community. There were more than 100 nominees for the awards, which, again, were specially designed and produced by Final Touch in Armstrong.
The following were recognized:
● Rising Star: PV BLVD Coffee;
● Micro Business of the Year: Rhythm Productions;
● Small Business of the Year: Monashee Outdoors;
● Mid-Size Business of the Year, sponsored by Community Futures North Okanagan: Swanson Mountain Fitness;
● Corporate Business of the Year, sponsored by Hub International: Rancho Vignola;
● Employee of the Year, sponsored by Shepherd’s Home Hardware and Outdoor Living Centre: Natalie Sinnott (Swanson Mountain Fitness);
● Revitalization & Innovation, sponsored by Hytec - A Kohler Company: Wood Mountain Naturals;
● Hospitality & Tourism sponsored by the Township of Spallumcheen (category tied): Farmstrong Cider Co., Bloom Flower Festivals;
● Organization of the Year, sponsored by Okanagan Restoration: Armstrong Kin Club.
“We received some great nominations this year. It was evident that for some, a lot of consideration and thought went into putting the nomination together,” said chamber board president Lori Shepherd. “A record number of nominations were received including a few from residents outside of Armstrong-Spallumcheen that wanted to recognize local businesses.”
Each award winner received a bountiful gift basket compliments of Rancho Vignola.
Armstrong Wine & Brew and Okanagan Advertiser were also recognized with a President’s Choice Award, recognizing their contributions to the community as long time business owners.
“It was noted that the Armstrong/Okanagan Advertiser has captured the stories of our community for 120 years,’”said Reynolds. “And Armstrong Wine & Brew is the longest-running owner-operated brew on-premise in North Okanagan and they have a loyal base of customers second to none.”
The Peter Rotzetter Memorial Bursary was also presented to Marcus Petersen. It goes to a Pleasant Valley Secondary Student considering opening their own business, and is named in memory of the former chamber member and Chocoliro’s Fine Chocolates owner who died suddenly in 2020.
After the awards presentation, nominees, sponsors, and guests gathered for further networking including karaoke featuring soulful songs of the 70s, a fun photo booth by Flash and Frame and the door prize draw with the lucky winner taking home a Staycation Package for Two.
“We are so thankful to have the support of our members and local businesses,’ said Noonan. “We could not present an event like this without their support. It is also important to recognize the efforts of the board, staff and volunteers who worked to make this a fun networking event.”
Event sponsors were: Drax, Rancho Vignola, Farmstrong Cider Co., Final Touch, Bloom Flower Festival, and Rhythm Productions.