Pam Stover and Corry Belcourt have combined to sponsor the Black Tie Award in the Business Achievement 6-19 Employees category. (Alec Wheeler photo)

Business notes: Finalists announced for Cowichan Black Tie Awards

Over the next few weeks the Chamber will conduct individual interviews with each of the finalists.

The Duncan Cowichan Chamber has announced the finalists for the 23rd Black Tie Awards.

After receiving a record breaking 217 nominations from the public, the Chamber conducted phone interviews with the nominators using a standardized set of questions, the responses to which were then scored.

Once nominator interviews were completed, the Chamber convened two round-table panels to review results and select the finalists.

Over the next few weeks the Chamber will conduct individual interviews with each of the finalists. There are two adjudicators for each award category; one representing the category sponsor and the other representing the Chamber board. The finalist interviews are scored based on established criteria and these scores are combined with scores from the nominator interviews.

The scoring and results are audited by a representative from Vancouver Island University. Once audited, the results are sealed and remain confidential until the night of the awards ceremony, when the winners are announced.

The Black Tie Awards 2020, presented in partnership with Island Savings, will be held at the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre on Friday, April 17. Tickets are now on sale.

Visit or call 250-748-1111 for more information.

The finalists are:

Customer Service sponsored by London Drugs

Andrea Laite | Best Western Cowichan Valley Inn

David Robinson | McBarleys

Vince Avery & Team | Thrive Now Physiotherapy

Volunteer of the Year sponsored by Peninsula Co-op

Alan & Allison Crisp & Family | Various Organizations & Causes

Deb Savory Wright | KidSport Cowichan

Jack Pearce | Providence Farm (Vancouver Island Providence Community Association)

Non-Profit Organization sponsored by Cowichan Green Community

Cowichan Therapeutic Riding Association

Cowichan Valley Hospice

Nourish Cowichan Society

Art in Business sponsored by Cowichan Woodwork Cabinetry & Millwork

Mulberry Lane School of Music


SPIRO Creative

Green Business sponsored by Cowichan Valley Regional District

Blue Grouse Estate Winery & Vineyard

Cowichan Auto Repair

Resthouse Sleep Solutions

Young Entrepreneur sponsored by Coastal Community Credit Union

Brennan Colebank | Stillhead Distillery

Dina Stuehler | Ironworks Café & Creperie

Grant Lestock-Kay | Cowichan Cycles

Business Achievement 1-5 Employees sponsored by Island Savings

Cowichan Valley Running

Ignition Motorsports

Small Block Brewing Co.

Business Achievement 6-19 Employees Co-sponsored by PD Stover Professional Corporation and Veridis Plumbing & Heating

Cheers Cowichan Tours

Farm Table Inn

The Old Firehouse Wine & Cocktail Bar

Business Achievement 20+ Employees Sponsored by MNP LLP

49th Parallel Grocery

Profab Manufacturing Ltd. & VanGuard Cranes Inc.

The Cobblestone Pub & Liquor Store

• • •

Veridis Plumbing & Heating and PD Stover Professional Corporation, will be joining forces to sponsor the Business Achievement 6-19 Employees category for the Black Tie Awards 2020. This is the first time in the event’s 23-year history that an award category has been co-sponsored.

“Veridis is coming up on its 10-year anniversary,” says owner/operator, Corry Belcourt.

“We couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate than by teaming up with a fellow Chamber member to support the community that has helped us grow and succeed here on the Island.”

Pamela Stover, founder of PD Stover Professional Corporation and a Chamber board director, was herself a nominee in the Business Achievement 1-5 employees category for this year’s awards.

“Starting and growing a successful business in today’s economy takes a lot of determination and hard work. It’s important to celebrate the successes along the way,” says Stover. “I’m delighted to partner with Corry at Veridis and do our part to help showcase business excellence in the Cowichan.”

• • •

The Black Tie Awards 2020 has already broken records with the number of nominations received, and now the Chamber is reinventing this time-honoured celebration with a whole new event format.

Traditionally a sit-down plated dinner gala, the 23rd Black Tie Awards will be going Oscars-style at the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre.

“From the red carpet entrance — complete with hosts and paparazzi — and the sparkling wine and live music reception, to the main stage award ceremony, dessert intermission and chocolate wrap-up, this will be a truly spectacular event,” says Alec Wheeler, the Chamber’s events and membership manager.

The Chamber has created some exclusive opportunities to get in on the action by sponsoring some of these event highlights. This is a great way to help recognize the businesses, organizations and individuals who make Cowichan great, and get a little recognition of your own, while you’re at it.

If you have any questions or if you’d like to confirm sponsorship, please contact the Chamber at 250-748-1111 or email

• • •

The Canada Revenue Agency’s Community Volunteer Income Tax Program has been helping individuals prepare their income tax and benefit returns for 49 years.

CVITP volunteers help complete more than half a million tax returns every year for individuals who have a modest income and a simple tax situation.

CRA is seeking community organizations to host tax preparation clinics in communities throughout British Columbia. The agency is also looking for volunteers to prepare tax returns. Individuals must be willing to work with their local community organization and have a basic understanding of income tax.

Community organizations and their volunteers have offered free tax preparation clinics in various locations including schools, churches, seniors’ residences, and nursing homes. Community organizations find the program an excellent way to reach out to seniors, students, and newcomers to Canada.

“The program relies on the commitment of community organizations to host tax clinics, and their volunteers who, as members of the community, have volunteered their time and effort to help others,” says Elisabeth Martin, CRA local CVITP coordinator.

“Helping members of your community prepare and file their tax returns ensures these individuals receive the benefits and credits they’re entitled to without interruptions.”

Last year, approximately 2,480 volunteers and 500 community organizations in B.C. and Yukon helped 102,790 individuals prepare their income tax and benefit returns.

The CRA offers free training and tax preparation software to community organizations and their volunteers. For more information, please call 1-888-805-6662, or visit the website at

For those who have a modest income and a simple tax situation, volunteers may be able to prepare and file income tax and benefit returns — for free. These clinics are usually open from February to the end of April every year. To find a clinic near you, go to

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