The annual Mermaid Ball brought together business owners from around Sylvan Lake to celebrate the business community in town.
This year marks 40 years of the ball and awards in Sylvan Lake. The Mermaid Ball began in Sylvan Lake in 1977, when the population was at 1,837 people and the average annual income was $15,000.
Dwayne Stoesz, past president of the Chamber of Commerce, called the ball a historic event.
“We gather here for this historic and inspiring occasion to celebrate the life and time and abundant prosperity of Sylvan Lake. We celebrate its culture, its evolution and growth, but most of all we come together to celebrate as a community of people both past and present,” said Stoesz.
During the award ceremony, Stoesz recognized those from the past 40 years, who have helped get Sylvan Lake to where it is today.
Among those was what was known as the Sylvan Lake Business Group, which would later be known as the Sylvan Lake Chamber of Commerce.
Present at the awards was Al Fisher, a founding member of the group that would become the Chamber of Commerce.
“Forty years ago there was a very small but dedicated group of business people who came together and recognized a vision of what we could be,” said Stoesz.
Forty-two businesses or individuals from the Sylvan Lake business community were honoured as finalists in the 10 different categories.
Megan Epp, winner of the Businesswoman of the Year award, said it was an honour to be recognized alongside other amazing businesswomen.
“Everyone in the category is just amazing, they can do really anything,” Epp said when accepting her award.
All together 10 awards were given out to 10 deserving businesses or individuals from the community.
When speaking to the gathered crowd, MLA Don MacIntyre thanked the hard work and dedication each business owner in Sylvan Lake has put into, not only their business, but also the community.
“Thank you for putting up with all the garbage from your government,” MacIntyre said.
The winners of the Sylvan Lake Chamber of Commerce Business awards are:
Customer Service Excellence Award: Sylvan Lake Sobey’s
Marketing Excellence Award: Best Body Fitness
Visitor Friendly Award: Sylvan Lake Farmers’ Market
Green Business Award: Clean Conscience Recycling
Employee of the Year Award: Sian Grant, Sylvan Lake Municipal Library
Young Entrepreneur of the Year: Brody Wells, Canadian Jetpack Adventures - Flyboard in Canada
Cheryl Darling Award for Businesswoman of the Year: Megan Epp, House Of Music
New Businesses of the Year: The Wood Shed - Axe Throwing
Small Business of the Year Award: LUCID Tattooing and Design
Large Business of the Year Award: DQ Grill & Chill