Chemainus chamber honours the best in the business

Winners of the 2011 Chemainus Chamber of Commerce Golden Brush Awards show off their honours at the Chemainus Theatre Festival on Feb. 7. For a write up on the winners

Winners of the 2011 Chemainus Chamber of Commerce Golden Brush Awards show off their honours at the Chemainus Theatre Festival on Feb. 7. For a write up on the winners

The 2011 Chemainus Chamber of Commerce Golden Brush Awards

Business Leadership

Chemainus Garden Holiday RV Resort came under new ownership in a sagging economy. The owners, new to the area, have spent considerable resources in improvements to the grounds and premises in order to enhance the property. Improvements include the removal of 150 dump truck loads of debris, auto and heavy equipment parts. The resort has eliminated the use of chemical fertilizer, herbicides, and other toxic chemicals. Staff receive training in order that they can take an active part and grow in their jobs. The company supports many local charities and most recently sponsored the AGM for the local Business Improvement Assocaition.


Bioflame Briquettes – produces an environmentally efficient alternative to generate heat for home and industrial purposes. The company uses waste sawdust from the wood industry. By combining technologies from North America and Europe to dry and compress sawdust they use high pressure to mould the sawdust into bricks. The high pressure and the natural resins in the sawdust hold the bricks together; there are no waxes or chemicals used in the binding process of the briquettes. The product is sold on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. After additional investment this year the production will increase from 400 tons to 1,000 tons a year. Future plans call for a production to increase to 3,000 tons a year.

Small Business of the Year

Chemainus Bakery – Steve Kim and his wife Danielle has worked quietly for the past nine years to provide Chemainus with quality baking at reasonable prices. Very little waste is produced. A good assessment is made of how much baking is required in order to ensure “day old” is kept to a minimum, and that goods on the shelf are fresh. Service is prompt; customers are greeted with a smile and without complaint. The company philosophy is that the customers don’t need to hear any negative comments when they visit the bakery. They aim to provide a good variety of delicious and fresh baking plus a good cup of coffee at a reasonable price.

Business of the Year

Urban Legends – started as a small salon six and a half years ago in Chemainus by Kathy and Terry Wilkins. After a year the salon had doubled in size and a full service spa had been added. The business has since constantly been adapting to new market trends. The customer is always the focus of the business and customer service is top priority. Urban Legends gives a 100% guarantee on all products and services. If a customer is not satisfied the staff will do whatever it takes to make sure that the customer leaves satisfied. All staff undergoes regular training and is trained by the same standards.

New Business

Crofton Hotel today the fully renovated Crofton hotel provides its customers with good food, drink and first-class entertainment. The Crofton Hotel draws customers from Crofton, Saltspring Island and the surrounding area. The Crofton Hotel serves as an inspiration for others to capture an opportunity to build a finer community for all to enjoy. The hotel came under new ownership in July 2009. It took eight months and a considerable amount of money to redesign and restructure the old derelict hotel built in 1902 and bring it up to current building and safety codes. The project has created 16-20 new jobs in the community and the renovated hotel a fixture in the community is a place of new community pride.

Outstanding Customer Service

B & H Excel Tire has been serving Chemainus since 1956. They are an independent tire dealer that sells new and used tires including specialty tires. They also repair most passenger cars, trucks, tractors and loaders. B & H has two service trucks for all type of road work including on jobsite service. The staff is very skilled and service minded and all equipment is in place to provide fast and efficient service. The staff perform consistently over and above if needed they work through coffee breaks and/or lunch hours to make sure the job is done on time. B & H Excel follow up where needed and respond and look after warranty issues. They also have an after hours phone for any emergencies.


Young Entrepreneur, Chris Webb, the Chemainus PC Doctor, based out of Chemainus, has been offering mobile computer service to the community for more than six years. It started with the idea that a computer technician could service the computer “on-site”, thus alleviating the stress and confusion of technical problems. Chris saw a need for computer and technical expertise in the area, and coupled with prior experience in the service industry, was able to develop and excellent relationship, both personally and professionally with residents and businesses in the Chemainus area and provide steadily evolving and rapidly adapting services as the needs of the industry change.

Employee of the Year

Danielle Roberts is the cheerful manager at the Dancing Bean. She demonstrates exceptionally good “people skills” in dealing with both the public and her fellow employees. Danielle has created and implemented both an inventory and maintenance system to maintain and sustain a clean and efficient working environment. She has also created new menu layouts, marketing logos and slogans to showcase the versatility of the Dancing Bean and had input in the creation of food, coffee and wine menus.She goes the extra miles and has, on more than one occasion, cheerfully returned to her workplace to open up and retrieve forgotten items left by some absent minded customer!

Volunteer of the Year

Kathy Wachs is involved with Chemainus Resident Association (CRA), Chemainus Valley Cultural Arts Society (CVCAS), the Cowichan Land Trust, the Cowichan Neighbourhood House Association (CNHA) and earlier this year the Chemainus Committee.

Kathy is constantly contributing her energy to projects geared towards improving the community – among others she has helped organize concerts, community work bees and public workshops. Despite having a full schedule between work and all of the boards she participate on, she manage to volunteer once a week at the neighbourhood house where she is forever seeking out ways to improve the youth program and get the youth involved in community projects.

She meets all her board commitments, and she comes to special events. When Kathy takes on a project, she follows it through to the end.

Lifetime Achievement

Arlene Robinson recently retired from real estate at 72 years old, but continues to practice as a real estate consultant. She currently sits on the North Cowichan Chemanius Advisory Committee, she is a member of Kiwanis, the local Chamber, she volunteers time to Emergency Social Services, Canadian Mental Health, gives communion in church, and sits on the South Island Community Connection Council. Most of all she is a founding member and the glue that have held the Cowichan Neighbourhood House Association (CNHA) together since it started in 1997.The Neighbourhood House serves as a youth and adult drop-in centre and a community resource centre. The Centre serves Chemainus, Duncan and Lake Cowichan, and Penelukut and Halalt First Nations. The organization was run strictly by volunteers until last year. It is a credit to Arlene’s character dedication and perseverance that the organization has sustained itself until now. Her energy and passion has inspired others to contribute their time and energy. Arlene is a mother of seven, grandmother of 15 and great grandmother to a growing number of children. Arlene’s efforts have been noticed far beyond our community last November she was honoured and presented with the BC Good Neighbour Award by the Association of BC Neighbourhood Houses.