Achievement Recognized: Chamber of Commerce Awards Gala 2016
Each year the Fort McMurray Chamber of Commerce hosts an Awards Reception to honour the individuals and businesses that have improved our community. We aim to reward those individuals, businesses, or organizations working tirelessly to improve the lives of local families and community members. This year’s achievements were recognized during a ceremony sponsored by ATB Financial, Stringam LLP and MNP which took place on October 20 at the Royal Canadian Legion.
Each year I leave the Awards Reception feeling inspired and hopeful for the future of our region, and this was no exception. Once you learn more about this year’s recipients you’ll see why.
The Business of the Year award, sponsored by The Back to Business Resource Centre, strives to recognize a Wood Buffalo business employing 21+ people which has made an outstanding contribution in the combined areas of business success, innovation, and community service. This year’s Business of the Year award recipient was instrumental in re-beautifying our region after the wildfire. They are actively involved in the community and host numerous family attractions such s the annual corn maze and Easter egg hunt. This year’s Business of the Year award recipient is Dunvegan Gardens.
Small Business of the Year is designed to recognize a Wood Buffalo business employing up to 6-20 people which has made an outstanding contribution in the combined area of business success, innovation, and community service. This award is sponsored by ATCO and it recognized a company which has went above and beyond to ensure that the community received necessary legal services even when displaced by the wildfire. This business went above and beyond to help individuals impacted by the fire deal with their insurance companies. This year’s recipient of the Small Business of the Year award is Don Scott Law Office.
The purpose of Micro Business of the Year award is to recognize a Wood Buffalo business employing up to 5 people which has made an outstanding contribution in the combined area of business success, innovation, and community service. The Micro Business of the Year is sponsored by Balsom Communications. This year’s winner is Pinnacle Painting and Drywall. Pinnacle was another business that was nominated for their response to the wildfire while still providing services on time, on budget and with the utmost attention to detail.
The Female Business Leader of the Year, Sponsored by Canadian Tire, recognizes a businesswoman who demonstrates leadership and vision; continually invests in the development and growth of herself and those around her, and consistently gives to her community. The recipient of this year’s award is a well-connected and community minded individual who strives to make the region a great place to do work and live. She is the Editor and owner of Your McMurray Magazine which regularly highlights all of the fantastic things that happen in the Wood Buffalo Region. This year’s Female Business Leader of the Year Award recipient is Krista Balsom.
This year the Chamber partnered with Northeastern Alberta Aboriginal Business Association to develop an Aboriginal Business of the Year Award. This award is sponsored by the Business Development Bank of Canada. The Aboriginal Business of the Year award recognizes an aboriginally owned and operated company that has demonstrated an outstanding contribution to the Wood Buffalo business community. The recipient of the Aboriginal Business of the Year award is TAWS Security. TAWS Security has worked with other First Nations to help get band members get funding to train the members to become security professionals. The nominator underlined the commitment that the owners and employees of TAWS had to the community during the wildfire through the continuance of all payroll, volunteering their time to help responders and opening their homes to their staff and providing work vehicles and gas cards to help employees get to safety.
The Artpreneur Award is a collaboration between the Wood Buffalo Arts Council and the Fort McMurray Chamber of Commerce. The award recognizes individual artists, craftspeople, and arts-based business which have made an outstanding contribution in the combined areas of business success, innovation, and community services, and have added value to the local creative economy. This year’s Artpreneur recipient was called a cornerstone of the business an arts community in Wood Buffalo. They are regular supporters of community events and live concerts and are an arts champion for our region. This year’s award recipient is Campbell’s Music.
The Public Service Award is designed to recognize outstanding achievement, not programs, in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo Public Service. These are people who have extended themselves, whether in creating a whole new way of delivering a service, developing time and money-saving technology, or showing extraordinary professionalism and care in performing their daily tasks. The recipient of this year’s Public Service Award of Excellence is Carol Theberge.
The Sustainable Community Recognition Award, sponsored by Shell Canada, is given to someone who strives to contribute to sustainable community in their everyday efforts. Through their contributions, they have made our Region a better place for everyone to live. The Sustainable Community Recognition Award identifies those who have a concern for the needs of others, going above and beyond the call the duty with little or no concern for financial gain. This year’s recipient of the Sustainable Communities Award is Tamara Madden.
The Leader of Tomorrow Award is presented to an individual between the age of 18-25, who has shown commitment and genuine care for the community through their volunteerism and community participation. Their contributions to the volunteer sector in our Region have made it a better place to live and their continued support will provide the inspiration and drive to both future and present generations. Keyano College is this year’s award sponsor. This year’s recipient of the Leader of Tomorrow award is Linda Guo.
The Xceptional Kids Award, sponsored by CNOOC-Nexen, is given to an individual who has shown care and involvement throughout the community in ways that make them truly exceptional. By expressing their character through actions of heroism, courage, and outstanding citizenship, they are able to provide prime examples to their peers and the people around them. This year’s award recipient is Natalie Farahani.
The Fort McMurray Chamber of Commerce would like to extend congratulations to all the nominees and the award recipients. We would also like to thank all of our sponsors for their contribution to the event. The Fort McMurray Chamber of Commerce strives to be the voice of business in our region and events like our awards gala would not be possible without the support we receive from our members, local businesses, and the community so thank you!
Photography by Jennifer Marsh