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Tourism Plays Major Role in Summerland’s Economic Development

August 8, 2016

In the Okanagan region tourism is a dynamic force in our local economies. Here in Summerland the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association estimates that tourism contributes as much as $50,000,000 to our local economy each year.

Increasingly we also understand that tourism isn’t just fun for fun’s sake, but instead it’s a tremendous leverage for resident attraction and investment. People visit communities and enjoy the amenities, then decide to relocate, bring their families, buy homes and start businesses.

A great way to introduce people to our community is through festivals and events. And through those events, visitors are seeking authenticity and an experience. This September there are three new events in Summerland that deliver on all fronts and will make a wonderful introduction to our community.

The first of these events is the new Marginal Arts Festival, September 1 – 4, created by the Ryga Festival Society. The festival honors the work of Canadian playwright and author, George Ryga, who lived in Summerland from 1963 until his death in 1987.

The weekend will include professional workshops, readings, concerts, a variety show, and performances in many art forms. A homecoming concert will be performed by 3-time Juno Award winner, Campbell Ryga and his band.

That same weekend there is a new wine event being held that will celebrate our wineries and cider companies as well as the history of the Kettle Valley Steam Railway (KVR). The Grand Sommelier Express is being hosted by the Bottleneck Drive Association and will feature a reception, a ride on the historic KVR with an all on-board wine tasting and a three course wine-makers’ dinner served at the railway station and accompanied by live music.

More feasting will be available the following weekend at the inaugural Summerland Feast of Farms. The feast will be presented under the stars, complete with musical entertainment, at Dickinson Family Farm, Summerland, BC. Locally produced wine, cheese, and bread sampling will be followed by a seated, family-style, ‘long table’ chef prepared, meal for 100 guests. This event is a fundraiser for the expansion of a Summerland community garden and the purchase of gardening tools for shared use.

We’re looking forward to all of these new events and expect them to be a wonderful introduction to our beautiful community. For information about these events and many more in Summerland, please visit:www.summerlandchamber.com/events/calendar.

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Local Economic Development in BC

July 22, 2016

In June I had the opportunity to attend the BC Economic Development Association’s (BCEDA) 2016 Summit held in Richmond.  One of the sessions introduced the results of the 2016 survey of economic development in BC.  This survey included 414 responses from communities throughout BC and was sponsored by the BCEDA, the Union of BC Municipalities and the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training Economic Development Division.

Some of the responses were particularly interesting from our Chamber’s perspective as we partner with the District of Summerland to deliver economic development initiatives in our community.  While we’ve done that for more than 15 years, the survey showed that this is becoming more common in BC.  In 2009 the survey showed that 4% of communities used the services of their local Chambers to undertake EcDev work.  In 2016 that number has climbed substantially to 32% overall with midsize communities of 5,000 – 50,000 being even higher at 38%.

Those in favor of having economic development delivered by an organization separate from the City, whether Chambers or other organizations, suggested that the arms-length relationship was non-partisan and provided the ability to build greater trust with the business community.

The report indicated that local business retention and expansion activities (BRE) continue to be the top priority for economic development efforts (65%), followed by tourism and cultural activities (48%), and attracting external industry, businesses and resources.

“Specific to BRE efforts, the three most commonly identified activities are community profiles, a developed website and personal contact with existing businesses. Other common BRE activities are business walks programs, promotional brochures and “Buy Local” events, the last of which saw a substantial increase” from  the 2009 survey.

To read Summerland’s Investment and Relocation Guide, view our promotional videos, check the reports from our 2015 and 2016 business walks or check out our #discoverhome local shopping campaign, please visit our website.

To read the province’s report in its entirety please visit gov.bc.ca/economicdevelopment.

Christine Petkau is Executive Director of the Summerland Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Summerland. She can be reached at cpetkau@summerlandchamber.com.

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Celebrating Tourism in our Economy for Tourism Week

May 31, 2016

Summerland joins communities, cities and regions around British Columbia to recognize National Tourism Week – May 29 – June 4.  This is well deserved recognition as BC’s visitor economy has been one of the province’s top performing business sectors over the past two years, generating $14.6 billion in revenue in 2014, expanding faster than the economy at large and outpacing traditional sectors such as agriculture and fishing.

The Okanagan is a very popular tourism destination in the province, generating approximately $1.7 billion/year according to the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association.   Here in Summerland, Mayor Peter Waterman joined us at the beginning of Tourism Week to recognize the achievements of local tourism operators, employees, our destination marketing organization – Tourism Summerland, and other stakeholders by personally welcoming guests to the Summerland Visitor Centre.

Tourism in Summerland is managed by the Chamber and is closely tied to our business retention and expansion responsibilities.  As the numbers above show, tourism is an economic juggernaut, both in our community and our region and while it often looks like ‘fun’, it’s far more than that.  Events, beaches, wineries, cultural and agricultural attractions all serve as a funnel for economic activity, investment and resident attraction in our communities, and often capture a key demographic that is very important to us.

Between the Visitor Centre and our 80+ tourism sector businesses, we estimate that in 2015 more than 100,000 people visited Summerland and enjoyed authentic and memorable experiences.   We didn’t have the opportunity to serve all these guests at the Visitor Centre, so this year we are expanding our scope and our presence to also offer visitor services 5 days/week in downtown Summerland.  Our Chamber members as well as our tourism sector members welcome this new initiative.

While the BC tourism industry experienced both summer and winter seasons of record setting numbers last year, the trend is continuing as businesses and destinations across BC have already enjoyed a busy first quarter and are anticipating more record results this summer.  We invite everyone to visit us in Summerland –‘ the locals pick for an authentic Okanagan experience’.

Christine Petkau is Executive Director of the Summerland Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Summerland. She can be reached at cpetkau@summerlandchamber.com.

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Biking tourism focus: Summerland, Penticton and Naramata partner on ‘Chain of Events’

April 29, 2016

For the past few years, I’ve been writing every spring about the power of cycling as an economic rejuvenator. Happily, on every front the cycling infrastructure in the Okanagan region continues to grow.

2 years ago a comprehensive economic impact study was done on the proposed North Okanagan Rail Trail that indicated significant benefits in terms of full time jobs and incremental spending. Many different types of businesses will benefit, such as accommodation facilities, food and beverage establishments, transportation companies, wineries, museums, recreation facilities and retail trade outlets.

A key consideration is that the expansion of cycling and trail routes provides all these economic benefit in our shoulder seasons, bringing people to the region as early as March/April and giving them the opportunity to enjoy the area right through Oct/November.

Similar economic benefits are expected to come to the South Okanagan and we have already seen many changes in the past 15 months. By working in their own arenas and together, the provincial government, the RDOS, our municipal governments, the South Okanagan Indian bands and numerous community groups have made great strides.

At their recent AGM, the Trail of the Okanagans Society provided a time line itemizing these which include ones directly impacting Summerland, such as the opening, last summer, of Phase I of the Lakeside Pathway connecting Lower Town to Trout Creek.

A few months ago stakeholders met to discuss options for Phase II of the Lakeside Pathway between SunOka Beach and Penticton and the Province, MOTI and Summerland and Penticton municipal councils have now committed funds for the design study.

Phase III, connecting Summerland to Peachland via the Fur Brigade Trail is also being planned and has support from groups to the north of Summerland. A new local bike path, as part of the municipal Garnett Valley Rd. resurfacing project, will link people to the trail.

In order to more effectively market this growing infrastructure to tourists, Penticton, Summerland and Naramata have joined together and have received funding support from our municipalities and from Destination BC for a spring bike festival called Chain of Events. This is a May and early June regional festival highlighting all the various events that are available for bike enthusiasts to join and is being promoted in the lower mainland and Alberta.

Two Summerland events that are featured are Tea at the Top on May 8, sponsored by Trail of the Okanagans and the new bike race event as part of the Giants Head Grind on the May long weekend.

In 2017 the communities hope to launch a signature event that takes riders on a horseshoe shaped tour between the 3 communities and will involve a water element.

Please visit http://www.okchainofevents.com to see the full regional list and learn about all the events.

We always appreciate your feedback. Please contact me at cpetkau@summerlandchamber.com or our Chamber President, Erick Thompson, at president@summerlandchamber.com .

Christine Petkau is the Executive Director of the Summerland Chamber of Commerce.

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Is labour an issue for your business?

March 11, 2016

Is labour an issue for your business?  Finding the right employees? Training them and finally, hanging on to the right people?  If so, you’re not alone.  On March 18th the South Okanagan is rolling out solutions.

We’ve known anecdotally that labour has been a challenge but in the last 5 months, partners in the South Okanagan have gone to great lengths to prove it.

These partners have included South Okanagan chambers along with regional economic development staff, the City of Penticton, Okanagan College Faculty of Business and the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skill Training.  With funding provided by the Ministry and the Southern Interior Beetle Action Coalition, a researcher was engaged to discover key issues for employers.

Frequently mentioned relocation issues included the cost of living, housing costs and availability, seasonality of available work, business skill building, community reticence to growth, workers with spouses who can’t find employment, and succession planning.   But across all the sectors, shortages in skilled labour was number one.

At the same time, the City of Penticton had received funds from the Province of British Columbia and the Government of Canada to engage in a specific labor study researching many elements of the labor question and the Local Immigration Partnership Council has also recently released its report on the employment experiences of recent immigrants.

Combine all of this formal research with the business walks conducted in Summerland and other South Okanagan communities in October and that’s a lot of data.

On the morning of March 18th we’re bringing together a panel of the region’s most creative employers, large and small, and across sectors, to share their best solutions for managing this key business issue.  All employers attending will be asked to prioritize ‘what we must do first’ and help inform the next steps in our region.  The forum will be held at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre and will provide tangible solutions for our business members and culminate in a stronger more competitive regional business environment.

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Summerland Chamber salutes awards finalists

February 4, 2016

We have reached the 78th year of our Business & Community Excellence Awards in Summerland, BC and this year our nominees totaled 59 businesses in 11 categories.  Quite an achievement for a Chamber that has just over 700 members.

Last month we featured those nominees and now, as the voting nears its completion and the awards gala approaches at the end of the month, we want to profile our finalists.

Business of the Year Award sponsored by Summerland Credit Union

Finalist: Dirty Laundry Vineyard (Proprieters: Bob Camp­bell, Her­mann Teicht­meis­ter, Neil MacGillivray and Lance Bussiere )
Dirty Laundry has been one of the major tourist destinations relating to the wine industry in Summerland. They have continuously increased their bottling output year after year and have worked to ensure that all visitors to the winery have a positive experience, resulting in a 2015 Certificate of Excellence Award from Trip Advisor. Dirty Laundry also contributes to the community by employing around 30 local people during the summer and by donating wine to local community events.

Finalist: True Grain Bread (Owner Todd Laidlaw)

Winner of the Business of the Year award in 2014, True Grain Bread has become Summerland’s  favourite Old World inspired European bakery. Their high value products, combined with increased outreach at markets around the Valley, as well as their consistent branding and vibrant story telling, has resulted in True Grain drawing loyal customers from throughout the Vernon to Osoyoos corridor.Todd and the team at True Grain supports numerous local charities, events and organizations through product donations and monetary contributions.

Citizen/Volunteer of the Year, sponsored by Nesters Market

Finalist: Paul Barber & Charlotte Burley

Paul is the Co-founder of the Summerland Rotary Sunday Market, The Community Services Director of the Rotary Club and on the organizing committees for Trail of the Okanagans and the Giant’s Head Grind-Christopher Walker Memorial Race. Charlotte is the volunteer manager of the Summerland Meals on Wheels Program (delivers meals 156 days annually), Chairperson of the Summerland United Church (SUC) Social & Community Planning Committee and volunteers with many other organizations in town.

Finalist: Karen Hooper

Karen is the Coordinator for the Summerland Blossom Pageant, and has been for the past 8 years.This entails a minimum 5 hour a week commitment all year long, and consists of many hours away from home travelling with the Summerland Royalty to represent Summerland at their many provincial events. In between coordinating all of the girl’s schedules, events and trips, Karen has also found time to be a member of the Summerland Sister City Committee for the past 6 years, and volunteer as a Girl Guide leader for the past 18 years.

Trade Services Excellence Award sponsored by Alder Street Autobody

Finalist: Summerland Glass and Mirror Ltd. (Owner, Randy Bach)

Since its establishment in 1986, Summerland glass has been servicing the glass needs of Summerland and surrounding areas. Throughout its years of operation one thing has remained unchanged, that is their commitment to customer satisfaction. They strive to stay current with new products, ideas and services, keeping them a cut above the competition. Their goal is to provide big city service with small town commitment.

Finalist: Summerland Tirecraft Auto Centre (Owner, Les McAvany)

Summerland Tirecraft Auto Centre provides tires and wheels as well as expert automotive services. They are committed to giving back to Summerland through great customer service, charitable donations, and community partnerships, such as with the Neighbourlink Community Cars program, where a vehicle is overhauled at Tirecraft and made safe, then is donated to a family in need.

Manufacturing/Industrial Excellence Award sponsored by Community Futures Okanagan Similkameen

Finalist: lone tree coffee (Owners Rochelle & Darin Fair)

Summerland based lone tree coffee is a family owned and operated artisan coffee roastery. They sell their coffee regionally and in local stores such The Beanery Cafe, Nesters Market, IGA, and seasonally at Blossom’s Fruit Stand, promoting local business and manufacturing. Lone tree also supports the local Dry Grad fundraising, as well as providing coffee for numerous events in Summerland.

Finalist: Okanagan Vinegar Brewery (Owner Alois Thurn )

Okanagan Vinegar Brewery produces wine vinegars, balsamic vinegars, wine jellies and condiments locally, that are sold across Canada. Alois has also recently opened up Bodega 1117, a local winery in conjunction with his original business. His products are unique, handcrafted, and make an impressive statement for Summerland.

Technology & Innovation Award sponsored by Accelerate Okanagan

Finalist: Cordillera Consulting (Sue Salter, President)

Cordillera Consulting is an independent freshwater macroinvertebrate taxonomy laboratory located in right here in Summerland. They process freshwater samples from all parts of Canada, from lakes large and small, to rivers, wetlands and streams. Cordillera currently process over 2000 samples per year in the lab, while still finding time to participate in community events and provide samples to local schools for study.

Finalist: What the Fungus (Brian Callow, President & General Manager, Co-owner Thor Clausen)

What the Fungus is a local ag-tech company that produces fresh, seasonal indigenous and exotic mushrooms that are locally and economically grown using environmentally sound growing practices. They have recently developed Summerland’s first laboratory facility to undertake research and development activities related to the growth and propagation of both local and exotic species, and are in the Top 5 for a Small business BC “Best Company” Award.


Professional Services Excellence Award sponsored by Brown Benefits

Finalist: Re/Max Orchard Country (Mike Stohler)

Mike has been with Re/Max for many years, and is known for his friendly demeanor, personal attention and level of dedication to the community of Summerland. A Re/Max Hall of Fame Award Winner, Mike has also achieved Top 14th agent recognition in Re/Max Network of Agents (Western Canada) for number of sales in September & November 2015. All of the other top agents were in primary markets such as West Vancouver, North Vancouver, Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary. Mike spends his free time volunteering for the Mayor’s Task Force for Summerland’s Economy and Bottleneck Drive Winery Association.


Finalist: RBC Summerland (Terry Sedawie)

Terry is a senior account manager with RBC Summerland, and is known for her award winning service, personal attention and high level of care for the community.Terry has been awarded the “Top 1500” award, honoring exceptional workers out of a community of 70,000 staff, 6 times. She has also received RBC’s highest honor, the “Leo Award” twice. Whether she is helping businesses collaborate or volunteering for local youth organizations, Terry is known for regularly going above and beyond in both her professional life and as a volunteer with SADI and the Special Olympics.

Retail Excellence Award sponsored by The Summerland Review

Finalist: Cherry Tree Quilts (Owner Barbara Gillespie)

Cherry Tree Quilts is a full service quilt store offering everything you need for quilting, sewing, embroidery and fibre art.They sell Elna Sewing Machines and offer bi-weekly in-store sewing machine service. Cherry Tree is a popular destination store throughout the valley, contributing to the success of the downtown by bringing in new shoppers to the area. Barb is also an active member of the Rotary Club, founded the 1st annual “Quilts in the Park” and has donated quilts to be auctioned off for the Local Food Bank.

Finalist: Suburban Princess (Owner Jennifer Kole)

Jennifer opened Suburban Princess 10 years ago in downtown Summerland and has since grown to become one of the most popular shopping destinations in the South Okanagan, as shown by her receiving Okanagan Life’s Best of the Okanagan Award 3 Times. She is consistently expanding her inventory and store offerings, bringing new and interesting things to the community, while also supporting community organizations such as Summerland Minor Hockey & the Summerland Blossom Tea & Fashion Show.

 

Tourism/Hospitality Excellence Award sponsored by Sumac Ridge Estate Winery

Finalist: Kettle Valley Steam Railway (General Manager Ken Orford)

The KVSR is a valuable part of Summerland’s history, and a key Summerland attraction. Since 2008, annual ridership has surpassed 25,000 each year, and in 2015 ridership reached 28,200. Special event trains regularly sell out weeks in advance. In 2015, non-profit funds were $704,000, with all monies generated from the attraction reinvested into infrastructure and the local community. The KVR’s economic impact for local and regional tourism economy is valued in the millions of dollars. Each year the KVSR also runs a special train in support of Agur Lake Camp.

Finalist: Mike West 

Mike West is the Tasting Lounge Manager of Okanagan Crush Pad Winery and has helped to promote Summerland tourism in a variety of ways. Mike designed the first of the new-style Bottleneck Drive passports and the “tube map” style design used on B&B posters and Light Up the Vines passports. In 2015 he introduced and expanded a popular Thursday evening music series, which is already developing a following and brings many tourists to stay in Summerland. Over the years Mike has contributed to many local media publications promoting tourism in the region, including the Summerland Visitor’s Guide, therefore earning the unofficial title of “Duke of Summerland”.

 

Rising Star/New Business Award sponsored by RBC Royal Bank

Finalist: Artisans of the Okanagan (Manager Rudy Skoreyko)

Artisans of the Okanagan is a collective of around 40 artists that have come together to create a business and provide a space for the sale of their products. All products are handcrafted, handmade or homegrown by local artisans here in Summerland. The collective offers something different and unique to the downtown core, bringing in shoppers from all over the valley,helping to market Summerland as an artistic and creative tourism destination in the region.

Finalist: Rotary Summerland Sunday Market (Co-founders Roch Fortin & Paul Barber)

This year Summerland got a new weekend market that offers an opportunity to showcase local farmers, artisans, wineries, crafters, and groups promoting Summerland’s lifestyle, tourist opportunities and special events.The market was extremely successful, bringing in many tourists, promoting over 200 local merchants and vendors and raising over $4,000 for local charities.

Sustainability Leader Award sponsored by IGA Summerland

Finalist: Okanagan Crush Pad Winery (Owners, Christine Coletta & Steve Lornie) 

OCP is an organic, Salmon Safe Summerland winery where the aim is to produce distinct, terroir- focused super-premium wines using sustainable methods. They received a Craft Distillery license this past year enabling them to not only create Okanagan wines but to also make small batch craft spirits from their grapes as well. OCP is a major tourism and agricultural/viticulture destination in Summerland, and the Okanagan, contributing to both an increase in tourist dollars and awareness of the community itself.

Finalist: What the Fungus  (Brian Callow, President & General Manager, Co-owner Thor Clausen)

What the Fungus is a local ag-tech company that produces fresh, seasonal indigenous and exotic mushrooms that are locally and economically grown using environmentally sound growing practices. They have recently developed Summerland’s first laboratory facility to undertake research and development activities related to the growth and propagation of both local and exotic species, and are in the Top 5 for a Small business BC “Best Company” Award.

Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award sponsored by Bottleneck Drive 

Finalist: Corinne Inman (Owner, Morpheus Graphix and Publications Inc.)

Morpheus Graphix prides themselves on supporting the promotion of local businesses through the South Okanagan Explore & Save. In addition to their graphic design work, they produce an annual visitor’s guide and coupon book for the Okanagan-Similkameen that is used as a fundraising tool for charities, non-profits, schools, sports teams, local stores, and more.The number one goal is to promote and assist local communities and businesses to explore local, save local and support local. Cori has also found time to sponsor many local and regional events and organizations, and create a brand new coupon website to supplement the books.

Finalist: Carrie Mayes (Owner, Peanuts & Pumpkins Kids Shoppe)

Opened on Victoria Street in 2013, Peanuts and Pumpkins is a downtown Summerland kid’s shop, specializing in everything related to babies, children and young families.It has since added a new online shop and has become a destination store for those in the Okanagan looking for eco-friendly, non toxic toys and children’s products. Owner Carrie Mayes regularly organizes community events in support of the Summerland Boys and Girls Club, and last year organized Summerland’s Holiday Market in support of the Summerland Food Bank.

The Mayor’s Award of Excellence, given at the Mayor’s discretion to a local organization that has made an outstanding contribution to the community, will also be presented at that time.

The Gala will be held on Saturday, February 27th at the Summerland Waterfront Resort and is catered by Local Lounge*Grille.

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Summerland Chamber celebrates Business Awards nominees with reception

January 26, 2016

The Summerland Chamber of Commerce will present the 78th Annual Business and Community Awards on Saturday, February 27th.  These awards celebrate entrepreneurial spirit, leadership, best business practices, contribution to the economy and to the community.

59 businesses and individuals have been nominated in 11 categories, which is a 35% increase in nominations over last year.  The nominees are as follows:

Business of the Year, sponsored by Summerland Credit Union: Bead Trails, Dirty Laundry Vineyard, Interior Ink Works, Sumac Ridge Estate Winery, Summerland Dental Centre, SWC General Contracting, The Suburban Princess, True Grain Bread, and What the Fungus.

Citizen /Volunteer of the Year, sponsored by Nesters Market: Awarded since 1938, this year’s nominees are Paul Barber and Charlotte Burley, Dave and Alison Carleton, Sue Eden, Karen Hooper, Ayman Kanaan, Maryana (Mirjana) Komljenovic, Mary Trainer, Ellen Walker-Matthews, Denise Whittaker, and Ingrid Wuensche.

Rising Star/New Business, sponsored by RBC Royal Bank: Artisans of the Okanagan, Back Door Winery, Beauty Box Studio Inc., Dominion Cider Co., Drew’s Kitchen, Essential Fire Protection Ltd., Esthetics by Nicole, Maximus Vineyard Management, Summerland Sunday Market, Sing Your Song Studios, Synergy Home Inspections, and Tammy’s Brush 2 Canvas.

Young Entrepreneur, sponsored by Bottleneck Drive Winery Association:  Jess Repetowski of Signwave Signs, Corrine Inman of Morpheus Graphix and Publications, and Carrie Mayes of Peanuts and Pumpkins Kids Shop.

Tourism/ Hospitality Excellence, sponsored by Sumac Ridge Estate Winery:  Kettle Valley Steam Railway, Mike West of Okanagan Crush Pad Winery, and TH Wines.

Trade Services Excellence, sponsored by Alder Street Auto Body:  Deputy Diesel Performance, GPH Mechanical, Summerland Glass and Mirror, and Summerland Tirecraft Auto Centre.

Professional Services Excellence, sponsored by Brown Benefits:  Beauty & the Brit, Chantelle Meriam of Edward Jones, Interior Ink Works, Morpheus Graphix and Publications, Terry Sedawie of RBC Royal Bank, Mike Stohler of RE/MAX Orchard Country, Sue Eden of Royal LePage Parkside Realty, Summerland Dental Centre, and Tones Hair Design.

Retail Excellence, sponsored by the Summerland Review: Cherry Tree Quilts, Summerland Home Hardware, The Suburban Princess, Summerland Builders Mart (TIM-BR Mart), and Your Dollar Store With More.

Sustainability Leader, sponsored by IGA Summerland: Friends of Summerland Ornamental Gardens, Okanagan Crush Pad Winery, Strachan Consulting, SummerGate Winery, and What the Fungus.

Manufacturing/Industrial Excellence, sponsored by Community Futures Okanagan Similkameen: Okanagan Vinegar Brewery and lone tree coffee.

Technology and Innovation, sponsored by Accelerate Okanagan: Cordillera Consulting, ElectroMotion Energy, and What the Fungus.

All of the award nominees will be honoured at a Nominees Reception sponsored by Nesters Market on Thursday, January 28th.

Two finalists will be chosen for each category on February 1st.  The business community will be able to vote electronically on the finalists from February 3 – 18.  The general public will also be invited to vote electronically for the finalists in the Citizen/Volunteer of the Year award.  All awards will be presented at the Gala.

The Mayor’s Award of Excellence, given at the Mayor’s discretion to a local organization that has made an outstanding contribution to the community, will also be presented at that time.

The Gala will be held on Saturday, February 27th at the Summerland Waterfront Resort and is catered by Local Lounge*Grille.