Black Tie Awards celebrating 20th year

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Duncan-Cowichan Chamber of Commerce’s Black Tie Awards.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Duncan-Cowichan Chamber of Commerce’s Black Tie Awards.

This prestigious and popular event is Cowichan’s celebration of excellence in volunteerism and business.

The Chamber is inviting Valley residents to consider nominating an individual, business or organization that is an example of passion, excellence and community-mindedness.

The awards night itself will take place on Saturday, April 9 at Brentwood College School and will be co-hosted by Shaw TV personality Daphne Goode and Chemainus singer Ken Lavigne.

Elizabeth Croft, the Chamber’s membership and event manager, said she’s hoping there will be interest in the Black Tie Awards from well beyond the business community.

“We’d love to have lots and lots of nominations. And it’s a public event so you don’t have to be a member. We want everyone to partake,” she said.

Croft and the group are excited about plans for the Black Tie gala, too.

“We’re pretty stoked that Ken Lavigne is hosting. It’s our 20th anniversary. We’re delighted to have someone come to share the stage with Daphne Goode,” she said.

If you know of an individual or business you would like to nominate, check out and either fill out the form online or download and print it.

The various categories of awards each have their own criteria and the rules are pretty straightforward.

In Customer Service, which is sponsored by Cardino Shoes, the recognition comes for demonstrating excellence in customer service, going above and beyond the call of duty.

The Valley’s top volunteer, in a category sponsored by Peninsula Co-op, will be one who offers extraordinary help or care to individuals, families, non-profit or charitable groups, and community service or humanitarian causes.

If you’re thinking about nominating a Green Business, remember that judges are looking for success in operating a business that implements environmentally sustainable practices or demonstrates leadership in lessening impacts on the environment by reducing, solving or avoiding environmental issues. Economic Development Cowichan sponsors this one.

To qualify as a Young Entrepreneur, business owners must be under the age of 40 and have started a business within the last three years, which has excellent prospects for continued growth. Coastal Community Credit Union is backing this award.

And what about the Art in Business award, sponsored by Island Savings? It recognizes an individual who has developed a successful, growing business creating and selling their art, and who demonstrates sound management, leadership and community commitment.

No small feat.

Next there are the Business Achievement awards.

There’s one for companies with one to 10 employees, another for businesses with 11-19 employees and finally one for companies with 20 or more workers.

Operating a successful business or social enterprise and demonstrating initiative, community involvement, sound business management, creativity and consistent growth is worth getting excited about.

Island Savings sponsors the small business award, Outlooks Menswear is presenting the mid-sized company award and MNP is backing the award to the big company winner.

All nominees must operate and/or work in the Cowichan Valley Regional District.

That’s a big footprint, covering an area from the Malahat to north of Ladysmith and west right out past Youbou.

Nominations must include the nominator’s name and contact information to be valid.
Black Tie organizers reserve the authority to place nominations in the appropriate category.

All nominators must be contacted by voice/phone in order for the nomination to move forward.

Past winners cannot be finalists again for five years following their win and nominations from family, extended family, blended family and spouses, or employees of a Black Tie sponsor are not eligible.
Check the website for full details and then get those nominations in today.

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