Over the past month, Central Okanagan Chambers of Commerce have all hosted their annual business awards, recognizing the best in the region, including businesses in the tourism and hospitality sectors.
2021 Business Excellence Awards
Left: Tourism Kelowna's Director of Community & Visitor Engagement, Chris Lewis, and Lake Country Chamber of Commerce's Business Engagement Advisor, Tony Pallas, present the Tourism Excellence Award. Right: Chris Lewis and Rose Hill Orchard Founder, Angelique Slade Shantz
The first award ceremony to take place this year was the Lake Country Chamber of Commerce 2021 Business Excellence Awards, which was hosted at the Creekside Community Theatre on March 3, 2022.
Tourism Kelowna was proud to present the award for Tourism Excellence to Rose Hill Orchard. This award recognizes a Lake Country-based business that delivers a top-quality product or service or offers a remarkable experience to visitors, all of which elevates the destination and promotes growth in the area. Rose Hill Orchard also took home the Family Farm of the Year award.
Oyama Zipline Adventure Park, was also a winner, taking home Business of the Year in recognition of the company's demonstrated excellence in various aspects of its business.
Jennifer and Peter Madsen of Oyama Zipline Adventure Park, winners of Business of the Year
We also want to recognize the Tourism Kelowna stakeholders that were finalists in several categories:
- Tourism Excellence: O'Rourke's Peak Cellars | Turtle Bay Marina
- Family Farm of the Year: Gambell Farms
- Hospitality Service: 50th Parallel Estate Winery
- Rising Star of the Year: Vivid Tours
2022 Key Business Awards
Next up was the Greater Westside Board of Trade 2022 Key Business Awards, which took place on March 20 at The Cove Lakeside Resort.
Jason Parkes Customs—owners of three wineries, one brewery, and one ciderhouse in West Kelowna—took home the Tourism & Hospitality Award, which was sponsored by Kelly O'Bryan's. The award recognized JPC for encouraging "growth of the Greater Westside as a must-see destination" and for the exceptional experiences offered by its businesses. Other finalists in the category were: A View to Remember Bed & Breakfast, The Landing Kitchen + Bar, and WINGS West Kelowna.
Jason Parkes Customs winery label collection. Photo credit: Scott Bakken Productions
In recognition of the contributions they've made to the community in the arts, culture, and heritage sector, Kelowna Pride Society was the winner in the Arts and Entertainment category—the award also celebrates "originality, ingenuity, and resourcefulness within the creative sector," which was evident with the major pivots the Pride Society made to continue celebrating Kelowna's LGBT2Q+ community through the pandemic.
Freida Whales at the Kelowna Visitor Centre for Kelowna Pride 2020.
In addition, The Cove Lakeside Resort was a finalist in the Platinum Service Provider category and Kalala Organic Estate Winery was a finalist in the Environmentally Sustainable Business category.
34th Annual Business Excellence Awards
Clockwise from top: Team from O'Rourke's Peak Cellars, winners of the Excellence in Tourism award, with Tourism Kelowna President & CEO, Lisanne Ballantyne;
members of the team from Festivals Kelowna, who won the Arts & Entertainment award; Greg Hopf, and his wife Sharon, accepted the Indigenous Business of the Year award on behalf of Moccasin Trails.
On March 30, the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce presented its 34th Annual Business Excellence Awards at a gala at the Delta Hotels by Marriott Grand Okanagan Resort. This year's theme was Rockin' Resilience, with businesses recognized for their "ability to keep going, keep staff and customers engaged, keep the lights on, keep moving forward."
The Excellence in Tourism award, which was sponsored by Kelowna International Airport and Edmonton International Airport, was presented to O'Rourke's Peak Cellars. Moccasin Trails took home the inaugural Indigenous Business of the Year while Festivals Kelowna won the Arts & Entertainment award.
Other Tourism Kelowna stakeholders and partners recognized as finalists were:
- Excellence in Tourism: Oyama Zipline Adventure Park | Smile Cycle Tours
- Arts & Entertainment: New Vintage Theatre | Uptown Rutland Business Association
- Small Business of the Year: Strut Footwear & Apparel
- Rising Star Business of the Year: Barn Owl Brewing
- Excellence in Agriculture: SpearHead Winery | Summerhill Pyramid Winery
- Environmental Impact: The Best Western PLUS Kelowna Hotel & Suites
Please join us in congratulating all the winners and finalists for this year's awards—our team is proud to support and market the region, including the exceptional businesses that call the Central Okanagan home!