Local citizens and businesses shone at the inaugural Platinum Awards.
Sponsored by the New Westminster Chamber of Commerce, the awards celebrate business, community and individual excellence in the city.
The Platinum Awards have merged two of the chamber's previous events - the Celebration of Business Excellence (COBE) and the Citizen of the year/Bernie Legge Cultural Awards.
"It was very healthy competition," said Lana Berar, who chaired the Platinum Awards committee.
In fact, the competition was so tough that extra judges were called in to break ties in some categories. The Platinum Awards selection process gets underway when individuals in the community submit nominations, which must meet certain criteria requirements, depending on the category.
"The judging committee reviews each individual nomination. They had a scoring criteria," Berar said. "There were a couple of categories where it came down to a tie. We brought in three additional judges to break that tie."
The chamber of commerce handed out Platinum Awards at a celebration held Thursday night at La Perla Ballroom. The winners are:
? Citizen of the Year: Farhan Lalji. Mary Wilson, Tej Kainth, Allen Domaas, Kenneth Williams, Neal Michael, Alvina (Vi) Meech and Sheila Comer were also nominated.
? Junior Citizen of the Year: Bronte Wagar. Lauren Lam and Ellen Colbourne were also nominated.
? Bernie Legge Cultural Award: Angie Au Hemphill. Renee Bucciarelli and Katherine Freund-Hainsworth were also nominated.
? Not-for-Profit Organization (under $1 million in revenue): Douglas College Foundation. The Hyack Festival Association, Fraser River Discovery Centre and KIDS Daycare were also nominated.
? Not-for-Profit Organization (over $1 million in revenue): Last Door Recovery Centre. Westcoast Genesis Society and Urban Academy were also nominated.
? Outstanding Customer Service - Individual: Craig McDowell at Zoomies Dog Daycare. Derek at Freshico, Stephen at Tre Galli Gelato Café, Michael at Redbrick and Joanne at Sonse Home Design were also nominated.
? Outstanding Customer Service - Business: Cadeaux Gifts and Home Embellishments. The Keg and Charlie's Pet Spa were also nominated.
? New Small Business of the Year: Bosley's Pet Food Plus. Pamola Bakery, Pink Ribbon Bakery, Lavender House B&B and Beesafe Solutions were also nominated.
? New Medium Sized Business of the Year: Landmark Cinemas. Also nominated was Wild Rice restaurant.
? New Large Sized Business of the Year: Thrifty Foods. The Safeway at Plaza 88 was also nominated.
? Community Spirit Business of the Year: G&F Financial Group. Key West Ford, Douglas College and Wesgroup were also nominated.
? Small Business of the Year: Greens and Beans Deli. New West Cycle, the Network Hub, Charlie's Pet Spa, Cadeaux Gifts, Sonse Home Design and Mid Century Modern Home were also nominated.
? Medium Size Business of the Year: Donald's Market. The Co-Operators (at Sixth and Sixth), Salient Group (Trapp+Holbrook), and Frankie G's were also nominated.
? Large size business of the year: Westminster Savings. Key West Ford and Starlight Casino were also nominated.
? Best Sustainable Practices: I Dig Gardening and Douglas College both received this award.
"We had two very strong nominees - one that was an individual, one that was a corporation," she said. "The judging committee felt both were deserving."
Berar said she's "more than pleased" with this year's event, which combined two chamber events from past years.
"The turnout was excellent," she said. "I think everyone embraced the new format. It made for one really exceptional evening."