The parked cars were lined up down the street as people gathered in the Mount 7 RecPlex for the annual Business Excellence Awards, renamed the Community Excellence Awards.
Glitz and glamour were abundant in a room full of candles, twinkling lights, and a photo display, commemorating the 10th Anniversary of the Pedestrian Bridge which was celebrated earlier in the day.
Kicking Horse Country Chamber of Commerce President and Vice-President Jordan Petrovics and Lori Baxendale, also working as emcees for the evening, took to the stage to help hand out the awards, but to also introduce a few speakers, including a woman who Petrovics says needs no introduction, Cleo Corbett.
“Golden is a truly entrepreneurial community… and is one that is not afraid of taking risks,” said Corbett, former manager of development services for Golden. In what she described as her “love letter to Golden,” she commended the town for its versatility and willingness to adapt and move forward.
“Golden dreams, and then makes it happen.”
And there were a few dreams that came true on Saturday night as 16 awards were handed out, along with several door prizes including a trip to Ucluelet B.C. for a two-night stay in a luxury Bed and Breakfast and five-hour yacht cruise with lunch.
“It was such a great success,” said Baxendale, who was back as emcee for the second year. “Everything was better this year. Our numbers are up, the food was great, just everything.”
The buffet this year was provided by Paola Fedow and her company Cucina Catering, and included grilled chicken topped with pancetta ham, provolone cheese and basil, and pork tenderloin cooked in a wild mushroom peppercorn sauce.
Although she admits she still feels the nerves when she gets on stage in front of her peers, Baxendale was thrilled to take on the job again this year.
“Jordan and I both love to talk, so it was great,” she said. “And I was really pleased with so many of the winners this year.”
HR Pacific Construction was one of the big winners of the night, picking up the awards for Business Entrepreneur and Business of the Year. Other winners include Moon River Gift Gallery, Dr. Leah Mortimer, Eleven/22, Wolfgang Vogt with Overwaitea, Flying W Trail Rides, Mount 7 Taxi, Sears Canada, College of the Rockies, and Blaeberry Valley Plumbing.
The Chamber has been working hard for many months to put this event together. “We started back in July, looking for sponsorships. And then it just builds and builds and then it’s all the time,” said Ruth Kowalski, manager of the Kicking Horse Country Chamber of Commerce.
“I think it’s been one of our better awards. We had 210 or so people come just for dinner, and then there’s lots of people who came just for the awards ceremony. I’ve heard people say this is the best one that they’ve been to, that the food is great, and the music is nice.”
Kowalski is very passionate about the Town of Golden, and its business community. “I think every business in Golden deserves an award. And I want to say thank you to the board of directors. They worked hard on this, not just me. And we couldn’t do it without the sponsorships, they’ve been great.”