Sparwood’s Chamber celebrates excellence at 2023 business awards

The annual Business Excellence awards gala was celebrated at the Causeway Bay Hotel—nine award winners were congratulated.

Group of 5 ladies celebrating wins at Business Excellence award in Sparwood.

It was an evening of smiles and camaraderie at the annual Business Excellence awards in Sparwood. — Photo courtesy Blanc-Noir Photography/Facebook

Some of Sparwood’s brightest lights were celebrated at the 2023 Sparwood Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence awards, held on the evening of October 19.

The annual gala, hosted at the Causeway Bay Hotel, paid homage to the hardworking folks that help make Sparwood such a wonderful community to live and work in. Among the award recipients were a team of ‘hot-shots’ that have built a booming transportation business, a not-for-profit second-hand store that values sustainability and a local creator who channeled her fears into a successful photography business.

Read on to learn more about the nine award recipients at this year’s Business Excellence Awards:

Outstanding Customer Service: Blanc-Noir Photography

When Samantha Batten, owner of Blanc-Noir Photography, first moved to Sparwood she didn’t know anyone and the job she had moved for didn’t pan out. So—camera in hand—she started taking photos of the incredible local landscape. She decided to open her photography business back in 2018 and hasn’t looked back since. Offering portraits and photo shoots for all of life’s little milestones, she enjoys capturing special moments for the families and clients she works with.

New Business of the Year: Phoenix Tree Counselling

Jennifer Lyall opened Phoenix Tree Counselling just ten months ago. With her background in social work and clinical counselling, Lyall wanted to bring a greater depth of services to families and clients in the Elk Valley. She helps people learn practical strategies to process their emotions, handle challenging situations and improve their quality of life and mindset. Phoenix Tree Counselling offers services for children, youth and adults.

Retail Business: Buds and Blooms

“Extraordinary flowers and gifts” is the tagline at Buds & Blooms Florist in Sparwood. Stunning floral displays, beautifully-arranged fresh flower bouquets, unique gifts, houseplants—you’ll find all this and more at Buds & Blooms.

Not-For-Profit: Elk Valley Thrift Shop Society

The Elk Valley Thrift Shop Society is a volunteer-run organization that operates on the principles of “Reduce, Reuse and Recycle”. Since 2014, the Elk Valley Thrift Shop Society has donated over $120,000 to many community initiatives and programs, including scholarships at local schools and the food bank. The Sparwood Health Centre is the latest beneficiary of funds, with the society donating $5,000 towards equipment for the emergency department.

Jennifer Lyall and Erica Latka holding Business Excellence awards and smiling into camera.

Jennifer Lyall (L), owner of Phoenix Tree Counselling, and Erica Latka of EK Piloting celebrate their award wins. — Photo courtesy Phoenix Tree Counselling/Facebook

Industrial Business: EK Piloting/Hot Shot Service

EK Piloting & Hot Shot Services has built a booming business based on fast and efficient deliveries for time-sensitive items and less-than-truckload hauls. They provide services to local businesses and communities, as well as further destinations in the U.S. and Canada. Congratulations to the entire team at EK Piloting!

Community Spirit Award: Tammy Ogden

As the Community Liaison for Teck, Tammy Ogden naturally has a finger on the pulse of happenings in Sparwood and area, but Ogden goes above and beyond for the town. She regularly volunteers her time and skills with many different organizations. Most recently, she’s organized a creative cookie decorating class in collaboration with Youth Action Sparwood.

Community Youth Award: Addison Charest

Congratulations to Addison Charest who was awarded this year’s Community Youth award. This young woman is part of the Youth Advisory Commission in Sparwood and regularly volunteers her time at school and community events.

Citizen of the Year: Joanne Wilton

Joanne Wilton has been a valued and contributing resident of Sparwood since moving to the area in 1981. Over the years, she’s volunteered her time with organizations such as the local Girl Guides, the Early Childhood Development Committee as well as serving on the District of Sparwood council. She is currently the regional manager of the Causeway Bay Hotel and a chair of the Sparwood Museum Board.

Best Business Scarecrow: Sparwood Old Age Pensioner’s Society

Mama Booschca, along with her scarecrow sidekicks Perogie Pete and Perogie Paddy took the top spot in Sparwood’s Best Business Scarecrow contest. The imaginative design was created by the perogie-loving folks at the Sparwood Old Age Pensioner’s Society. 

Creative scarecrow display showing three scarecrows seated around small card table, making perogies.

Perogies proved to be the key to winning this year's Best Business Scarecrow award. — Photo courtesy Sparwood Chamber of Commerce

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