Ten businesses were honoured with awards from the Sylvan Lake Chamber of Commerce Saturday night at the annual Mermaid Ball, and many more recognized as finalists.
This year, the Chamber of Commerce Awards received more nominations than in the past.
With the economic climate murky across Canada, Chamber President Keri Pratt says an increase in nominations is a positive thing.
“We’ve received more nominations this year than before, and that tells me we are doing something right,” Pratt said.
Each year the Chamber opens nominations for business worthy of recognition in various categories.
A secret panel of judges reviews each nomination before creating a shortlist and the eventual winner.
Pratt says each nomination is review to see how well each meets the requirements of the category.
“Sometimes growth is understanding what is working and building on that, and sometimes it’s about understanding what’s not working and having the strength to embrace those changes,” said Pratt.
Pratt says the business community’s greatest asset is one another, and is happy to see continued partnerships between local businesses and the Town of Sylvan Lake.
“We are not divided by our location or industry, but instead united by a single goal: prosperity for all,” she said.
Sylvan Lake Mayor Sean McIntyre echoed Pratt’s words during his address, saying the town is stronger when everyone works together.
“Throughout our history together we have learned that in good time and in bad times we are stronger together. And by strengthening our partnerships we equip each other to succeed,” McIntyre said.
Winner of the Young Entrepreneur Award Kjeryn Dakin, owner of Bukwilds and Bukz, said in her acceptance speech that Sylvan Lake has a lot of potential to succeed and grow.
She continued to say the community members are supportive and help businesses owners see and achieve their dreams.
“The type of business people, the community that builds up the business people in Sylvan Lake… is bar none,” Dakin said.
Dakin says the community surrounding businesses are supportive and help them succeed even when plans fail.
Dakin’s advice to other businesses is to not be afraid to fail, but be willing to move on from a failure.
“You’ve got to pick yourself up and say, ‘How do I fix it? Because I want to move forward and I want to try again,’ said Dakin.
Sylvan Lake Canadian Tire won the award for Large Business of the Year, and owner Paul Ventura, who accepted the award, said Sylvan Lake was a great community and how happy he is to be here.
“I have been all over Canada, this is my fourth store, second that I built, and this is the store I’m going to retire in,” Ventura said.