Save On Foods shopper Garry Hurl was a big winner of the grocery store’s recent WIN WIN event taking home $5,200 in Save on Foods gift cards and $2,543 in Petro-Canada gift cards. “Looks like Garry has groceries and fuel for a year,” commented store manager Derik Sheers. (Photo submitted)

Business notes: Nominate Cowichan businesses for awards

The Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce is now accepting nominations for the 2020 Black Tie Awards.

Organizers of the 20th Annual Vancouver Island Business Excellence Awards are anticipating a large number of entries from award-worthy businesses this year.

“We are expecting another large number of nominations this year,” says Mark MacDonald of the Business Examiner, which coordinates the event.

“We typically see nominations fairly evenly split between companies north of the Malahat and south of the Malahat, which is not surprising, since the population of both areas are very close.

“We expect that our judges will again have their hands full to determine the winners in each of the 17 categories at the Gala, which will be held at Bear Mountain Resort in Victoria on Jan. 30,” notes MacDonald.

“These awards always bring out new, exciting ventures and amazing stories about entrepreneurs who make their dreams come true on Vancouver Island.”

Black Press is a Platinum Sponsor of the BE Awards, Grant Thornton LLP is the Title Sponsor and RBC Royal Bank is one of the event’s Gold Sponsors.

Winners of each of the 17 categories will be invited to a special “Breakfast For Champions” round-table the following morning, hosted by RBC Royal Bank, Grant Thornton LLP and Business Examiner.

Categories this year are: Automotive (car and truck dealerships & fleet sales); Construction/ Development/Real Estate; Entrepreneur; Food & Food Production (agriculture, seafood, food products); Green & Technology; Health Care; Hospitality; Industrial Manufacturer; Manufactured Wood Products; Ocean Products; Professional (legal, accounting, insurance, coaching); Construction/Development/Real Estate; Retail; Small Business (under 20 employees & under $1 million in sales); Tourism; Trades (automotive repair, plumbing, electrical, roofing, etc.; Business of the Year (over 50 employees & over $1 million in sales).

The nomination deadline is Nov. 22, and companies can self-nominate. There is no charge to participate. Nomination forms can be downloaded at

For more information on the event contact MacDonald at 1-866-758-2684 ext. 120 or email:

• • •

CrossFit Anchored Athletics, a North Cowichan business located on the Trans-Canada Highway, is hosting a fundraiser and competition in support of Special Olympics Canada Foundation.

“This charity event is taking place at gyms across the country, and is organized by community volunteers who are passionate about supporting Special Olympics,” explains Rachel Gillis of CrossFit.

“All proceeds raised are donated directly to Special Olympics Canada Foundation, and 70 per cent of those donations stay in our local Special Olympics chapter to provide sport opportunities to those with intellectual disabilities in our own community.”

The other 30 per cent is donated to the Special Olympics Canada Foundation, to support the long term stability of the Special Olympics movement.

“CrossFit and Special Olympics could not be more aligned,” adds Gillis.

“We’re both promoting a spirit of inclusion, universal access to sport and fitness, and the importance of pushing oneself to reach individual and team goals.”

The event takes place on Nov. 23 at 10 a.m., and CrossFit members and others in the community will be taking part in this unique fitness challenge, working out for four hours straight.

“Special Olympic athletes will be joining us for the event, taking part in the workouts and speaking to the impact of Special Olympics programs on their own lives,” Gillis says.

“We are encouraging the community to register for CF24 NOW by visiting and selecting Anchored Athletics from the drop-down menu.

“If anyone cannot join us, we are asking members of the community to donate with this link:

CrossFit Anchored Athletics is located at 6961 Trans-Canada Highway and the phone number is 250-748-5247.”

• • •

One of the Cowichan Valley’s more exciting events is coming back in 2020.

The Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce is now accepting nominations for the 2020 Black Tie Awards.

“As many may know, the Chamber hosts Cowichan’s premiere awards celebration, recognizing business excellence and volunteerism,” says Sonja Nagel, the Chamber’s executive director.

“We started our nomination process even earlier this year There are several award categories to choose from, so start thinking about the individuals, organizations and businesses you feel are deserving of this prestigious recognition.”

The Black Tie Awards will be held April 17, 2020, in an Oscars-style format at the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre.

“For The Black Tie Awards 2020 we’re introducing a new award category for non-profit and charitable organizations, bringing us to a total of nine award categories in all,” adds Nagel.

“We’ve also made some changes to the Business Achievement subcategories to better align with Cowichan’s small, medium and large size businesses.”

There will be three Business Achievement categories, one to five employees, six to 19 employees and more than 20 employees.

“Nomination time is so exciting,” Nagel says. “When we contact individuals to let them know they’ve been nominated, they’re overwhelmed that someone took the time to recognize their hard work.

“This is one of the most rewarding parts of our work at the Chamber; to see the nominations flooding in from across the Cowichan region.”

You don’t have to be a Chamber member to be eligible for the Black Tie Awards.


The Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce held a well-attended mixer at Habitat for Humanity’s newly-constructed duplex on Glenn Fields Road in Duncan. (Alec Wheeler photo)

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