Jacob Zinn Special to the Gazette
In recognition of family-owned businesses on Vancouver Island, the local chapter of the Canadian Association of Family Enterprise is accepting nominations for its 2016 Family Enterprise of the Year Award.
The annual award by CAFE was started in an effort to honour, celebrate and promote the achievements and contributions of Canadian family businesses. CAFE is Canada’s only national not-for-profit that celebrates and supports family business.
Past Vancouver Island recipients include Country Grocer, Accent Inns, McCall Brothers Funeral Directors, Capital Iron, the Canada Homestay Network, Pacific Sands Resort, Robinson’s Outdoor Store and Monk Office.
“It’s extremely important to recognize the contributions family businesses make to the economy,” said managing director Bernadine Rudichuk, “The best way we find of doing that is to honour someone locally who has done well as a family business.”
Rudichuk said CAFE places importance on family businesses because they support the local economy through job creation and often give back to their communities.
“Vancouver Island has a very high percentage of family businesses, and many of them have been around for many generations,” she said.
“We appreciate the fact that not only do they contribute to the economy, but they provide employment and they’re local. It’s always a great feeling to support local businesses.”
Additionally, the recipients of the local FEYA from CAFE’s 11 chapters will be entered to win the national Family Enterprise of the Year Award. In 2014, Victoria’s Capital Iron won the national award, making them the first Vancouver Island recipient of the accolade.
“It was amazing — it was the first time it’s happened for us,” said Rudichuk. “It was just great.”
Eligible businesses must be family owned, defined by several criteria, including ownership or operation by different generations of a family, potential ownership to be passed on to a younger generation, more than one family member with active employment, and a head office located in Canada.
Nominations are being accepted until Dec. 15, with the Vancouver Island celebration gala taking place on Feb. 11 at the Victoria Golf Club. Residents can nominate eligible businesses that they feel are worthy of recognition in their community.
To nominate a business (self-nominations are welcome) or for more details visit www.cafecanada.ca/chapters/vancouver-island and fill out the form, or contact Rudichuk at 250-532-2402 or firstname.lastname@example.org