Winners of 14th Annual Small Business BC Awards Revealed

VANCOUVER, BC--(Marketwired - February 24, 2017) - The winners of the 14th Annual Small Business BC Awards were announced last night at the Pan Pacific Vancouver during an evening of drinks, appetizers and networking with 500 entrepreneurs, industry influencers, government officials and special guests.

The Small Business BC Awards is the largest small business awards competition in the province. These awards recognize the outstanding achievements of British Columbia's entrepreneurs and celebrate the contributions that new and existing businesses registered in BC, with fewer than 50 employees, make to their local communities and the global economy.

Between October 1 and November 30, 2016, Small Business BC and the Insurance Bureau of Canada asked British Columbians to nominate their favourite small businesses. This year, 699 nominations were received from 72 communities across the province.

The businesses with the highest number of votes in each award category were asked to complete an extended application, to decide the Top 5 Finalists, who moved on to face a panel of judges earlier this month. Those who met the criteria and demonstrated they were the best for the category were announced as the winners -- they are:

PREMIER'S PEOPLE'S CHOICE Presented by the Province of British Columbia
Sea To Sky Air - Squamish
 BEST APPRENTICE TRAINING Presented by ITA and Kwantlen Polytechnic University
Ironside Design Manufacturing Inc. - Chilliwack
BEST COMMUNITY IMPACT Presented by Vancity
Rainbow's Roost - Kamloops
 BEST COMPANY Presented by Sage
Rocky Point Ice Cream Inc. - Port Moody
BEST CONCEPT Presented by Rogers Communications
Winecrush - Penticton
 BEST EMPLOYER Presented by TruShield Insurance
Central Kitchen + Bar - Kelowna
Lilián Cazacu Notary Corporation - Langley
 BEST INNOVATION Presented by BC Innovation Council
Terramera - Vancouver
Wize Monkey - Vancouver
 BEST MARKETER Presented by Yellow Pages
The Argosy - Prince Rupert

The winners received a Small Business BC Awards trophy, the Premier's Prize in the amount of $1,500 cash, a one-year all-access pass to Small Business BC education, resources and experts and one-on-one business mentorship with notable advisors from the award sponsors.

Nominations for next year's Small Business BC Awards competition will open October 1, 2017. More details on the Small Business BC Awards can be found at


"Congratulations to Carlo Galvani and the Sea to Sky Air team in Squamish for winning the Premier's People's Choice Award. True ambassadors not only of their community, but of B.C.'s growing ecotourism industry, Sea to Sky Air offers a unique glimpse into the endless beauty of our province." - Premier Christy Clark

"The significant impact small businesses can have on their communities is no secret -- they are the heart and soul of neighbourhoods throughout B.C. Many provide opportunities for young people and new British Columbians to enter the workforce, while others champion causes to give to those in need, and sponsor local sports and cultural programs. Congratulations to all the Small Business BC Awards winners. And thank you to all the participants for your drive and energy -- your contributions to B.C.'s economy and culture are part of what makes our province such a great place for small businesses to thrive." - Hon. Coralee Oakes, Minister of Small Business, Red Tape Reduction and Liquor Distribution

"We saw an incredible level of participation in the Small Business BC Awards this year with 699 nominations from 72 communities across the province. We're proud to acknowledge all the companies who participated and would like to congratulate all those who came out on top as winners in this year's competition. These entrepreneurs are helping build a vibrant economy in our province and the Small Business BC Awards are the best way to celebrate and acknowledge their success and contribution." - George Hunter, CEO, Small Business BC

"On behalf of Canada's insurers, I would like to offer my sincerest congratulations to the winners of the 14th Annual Small Business Awards. At IBC, we know that small businesses and entrepreneurs are the backbone of the Canadian economy. That is why we're proud to support this great program. Canada's insurance industry will always be there to help entrepreneurs protect the businesses they worked so hard to build." - Bill Adams, Vice President, Western and Pacific, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC)

"Congratulations to all the winners in this year's Small Business BC Awards -- especially, the winners of the Best Innovation Award, which we are proud sponsors of. They're helping to grow BC's economy by advancing innovative technologies to meet the needs of industry in British Columbia. We're proud to help companies in BC grow through our support of these awards and through initiatives like our Regional Innovation Opportunities tour, #BCTECH Summit and our province-wide BC Acceleration Network." - Carl Anderson, President and CEO, BC Innovation Council

"It's always a challenge a select a winner for the Best Apprenticeship Training Award, as all of the businesses are doing exceptional work in training the future of skilled trades. Congratulations to Ironside Design Manufacturing Inc. Their passion for passing on their knowledge and unique training model is exemplary of what we need more of in this province to ensure the skilled trades industry continues to grow stronger. We'd like to thank all businesses for participating in the Best Apprentice Training category and doing their part in training apprentices in British Columbia." - Gary Herman, CEO, Industry Training Authority

"Small business is big business. Small business represents 98 per cent of all business in the province and employs more than 1 million people. Small business drives innovation, inspires transformation and provides the most diverse platform for new ideas. As a post-secondary institution with a polytechnic university mandate, KPU is proud to note that many of our graduates either work at, or operate, their own small businesses and play a significant part in bringing prosperity and a bright future to communities across British Columbia." - Salvador Ferreras, Ph.D., Provost and Vice-President Academic, Kwantlen Polytechnic University

"On behalf of Sage, I would like to offer my most heartfelt congratulations to the winners of the 14th Annual Small Business BC Awards for their outstanding accomplishments and contributions to local communities. We are humbled by the tremendous dedication and passion BC entrepreneurs have demonstrated throughout this competition, and will continue to support them and all other small businesses so more entrepreneurs can focus on doing what they love and value most." - Paul Struthers, Executive Vice President and Managing Director, Sage Canada

"Being a strong, inspiring and supportive employer is one of the most important components to owning your own business. Congratulations to Central Kitchen + Bar for winning the Best Employer Award at this year's Small Business BC Awards, and congratulations to every nominee and participant -- each of you deserves recognition for your contributions to our communities. TruShield is proud to partner with Small Business BC and continue to support the hard-working entrepreneurs of British Columbia." - Tony O'Brien, Executive Vice President, TruShield Insurance

"Small businesses have the business ideas, unique products and services and determination to grow beyond our borders. UPS Canada is proud to be a part of the 14th Annual Small Business BC Awards and continue our support for Canadian small business growth in international markets. Congratulations to the Top 5 Finalists in the Best International Trade category." - Paul Gaspar, Director of Small Business, UPS Canada

"We are encouraged to see how these small businesses are embracing the opportunity to make a positive social impact in their communities, not only in their day to day operations, but also by engaging with their clients and the local community." - Catherine Ludgate, Manager, Community Investment, Vancity

"Yellow Pages would like to offer our congratulations to The Argosy, winner of the Best Marketer Award, for their innovative and impactful marketing initiative. We would also like to express our thanks to all participants, and to Small Business BC for the opportunity to participate in acknowledging the achievements of BC's entrepreneurs." - Sonny Magon, Senior Sales Manager, Yellow Pages

About Small Business BC

Small Business BC provides entrepreneurs with the information and guidance necessary to build a solid foundation for their business. Through a wide range of products, services, education and resources there's a piece that fits with every business. No matter what stage or what skill level, when an entrepreneur finds themselves asking "How do I...?" Small Business BC is the one to call.

About Insurance Bureau of Canada

Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is the national industry association representing Canada's private home, auto and business insurers. Its member companies make up 90% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada. For more than 50 years, IBC has worked with governments across the country to help make affordable home, auto and business insurance available for all Canadians. IBC supports the vision of consumers and governments trusting, valuing and supporting the private P&C insurance industry. It champions key issues and helps educate consumers on how best to protect their homes, cars, businesses and properties. P&C insurance touches the lives of nearly every Canadian and plays a critical role in keeping businesses safe and the Canadian economy strong. It employs more than 120,000 Canadians, pays $8.2 billion in taxes and has a total premium base of $49 billion.

Image Available:

Contact Information:

Media Contact:
Mark Blendheim
Communications Manager, Small Business BC
Direct: 604-775-5607

Congratulations to this year's winners. Small Business BC is proud to recognize passionate and hardworking entrepreneurs in British Columbia like you.