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Nomination deadline nearing for Comox Valley annual awards

Tony Parsons of CHEK Television will be the MC for the Comox Valley annual community and business awards night next month.

And, in a tradition that has spanned almost four decades, the Comox Valley Chamber of commerce is putting out a call for nominations. Members of the Comox Valley Chamber and the public are encouraged to nominate local business leaders and individuals who are making a difference in the Comox Valley. The deadline for nominations is Jan. 3 at 4 p.m.

There are 11 categories: Agricultural Business, Business of the Year, Citizen of the Year, Customer Service, Environmental Initiative, Heritage Recognition, Local Hero, New Business of the Year, Professional Merit, Recycling Recognition and Small Business of the Year.

The presentation of a 12th accolade, the George Muir President's Merit Award is not open to public nomination. The chair of the Chamber of Commerce personally selects the individual, business, or organization that receives this special honor.

Award criteria includes, but is not limited to, outstanding commitment to community, trade and commerce-related accomplishments, and extraordinary effort that results in improvement to the overall quality of life in the Comox Valley.

The George Muir President’s Merit Award, established in 1982, is presented in honour of the late George Muir. Although he was born in Alberta and could trace his family roots back to Scotland, Muir loved the Comox Valley and everything that it had to offer.

He moved to British Columbia in the late 1970s and became a partner at a successful law practice in the Comox Valley in 1981. Over his lifetime, Muir earned the community’s respect as an advocate of the arts, Scouts, Little League baseball, the Chamber of Commerce, and more.

To acknowledge his many contributions to our community, the Courtenay art gallery that he and his wife Maryann opened in 1990 was subsequently renamed the Muir Gallery.

The theme for the Chamber’s 38th annual event is Hats Off to Leadership. The awards presentation will be held at the Florence Filberg Centre on Jan. 28.

With the support of 97.3 The Eagle Radio as the major sponsor, in addition to the awards ceremonies there will be a champagne reception, appetizers, draws, raffles and an entertaining audio-video presentation. Tickets sell out quickly and are available now.

Chamber president and CEO Dianne Hawkins says that while the award categories have changed since the awards were initiated in 1974, the one thing that has remained a constant is the high calibre of award nominees and recipients.

“As the completed nomination forms are received in the weeks leading up to the awards, we are always amazed at the variety and achievements of the nominees,” says Hawkins. “It is easy to get complacent and take an individual’s or business’ achievements for granted … but when you see the many great things being done in the Comox Valley detailed on paper … it really makes you sit back and say, ‘Wow!’ ”

In addition to this year’s earlier nomination deadline, there also will also be a noteworthy change to the awards selection process.

“In the past, members of our board of directors chose the finalists and the award recipients,” explains Hawkins. “This year, an awards panel comprised of a delegation of community leaders will be involved. They will review all of the nominations and make all of the decisions. As well, nominees may be asked to provide supplemental background information and supporting documentation for review.”

Completed nomination forms may be dropped of at the Comox Valley Chamber of Commerce office at 2040 Cliffe Ave. in Courtenay, faxed to 250-334-4908 or e-mailed to awards@comoxvalleychamber.com.

The nomination deadline is earlier than in previous years and is now Jan. 3 at 4 p.m.

For more information, call the Comox Valley Chamber of Commerce at 250-334-3234 or visit www.comoxvalleychamber.com.

— Comox Valley Chamber of Commerce

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