Presenting your Ladysmith Spirit Awards nominees

There won't be a formal awards gala, but many individuals and businesses are being recognized for their dedication to the community.

They won’t be celebrated in a formal Spirit of Ladysmith Community Awards ceremony this year, so the Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce wants to recognize the people and businesses who were nominated for Spirit Awards.

The Spirit Awards, which are sponsored by the Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce, were scheduled to take place Friday, April 11 at Ladysmith Secondary School (LSS), but a surprisingly low response has caused the Chamber to cancel the awards this year.

“We had to cancel at this time due to a low number of nominations, which quite surprised us, given that our surrounding communities like Chemainus had over 200 nominations for their Golden Brush Awards,” said Alana Newton, a director with the Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce and chair of the Spirit Awards.

“It concerned us when we saw such a low number of nominations. We wanted the awards to significantly represent what we considered to be Ladysmith spirit. I felt that we did enough to communicate to the community, but having said that, obviously, we didn’t, so we’re looking to see how we could do it better.”

Newton says that as Chamber directors and staff considered what to do about the low numbers, questions arose such as was the nomination process too long, did they leave enough lead time for people, and were the categories broad enough. The Chamber would love to hear feedback from the community, and anyone who has any input to offer about the Spirit Awards can e-mail admin@ladysmithcofc.com and write “Feedback” in the subject line.

It was a very hard decision to cancel the Spirit Awards, and Chamber directors and staff tried to see if they could extend the nomination period or move the event forward to May, but LSS was booked up for the rest of the school year, explained Newton.

This year’s event was going to involve a lot of LSS students, and the Chamber was working closely with LSS.

“All of the staff I worked with at the school were phenomenal,” said Newton. “They were so excited and knew their students would be excited too. From culinary to drama and music, technical and lighting, and carpentry, they would all have been involved. I can’t give enough kudos to [principal] Dave Street and his staff.”

Newton would like to thank all of the sponsors who came forward and were willing to support the event.

Below is a list of all this year’s nominees.

“Each and every one of them are winners in their own right,” said Newton. “They made a difference to somebody. I really think each one of these people should be really proud of their contribution to the community because they represent what the community is all about.”

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Youth of the Year

Samanta de Souza

Natasha Sharpe

Outstanding Customer Service

Adolfo Gil-Rodriguez (Royal Bank)

Vicki Portik (Pharmasave)

Uforik Computers

Nevin Arnold (49th Parallel Printers)

Shelly White (High Street Hair)

Sasha Sumpter (Home Hardware)

Twisted Sister Lounge

Bouma Meat Market

Marty Westergaard (Blooms at 49th)

Claire’s Hair Design

Sean Durrell (E&S Heating)

Business of the Year 1-10 Employees

E&S Heating

CnR Painting

LD Plumbing & Heating

Business of the Year 10 + Employees

Ladysmith & District Credit Union

Coast Realty Group — Ladysmith

Arts and Culture

Project Reel Life|

Kathy Holmes

Morton Paul (Ladysmith Little Theatre)

Green Award

Nikki’s Designs (Nikki MacCallum)

Best Home Based Business

Claire’s Hair Design

Entrepreneur of the Year

Paul Mycroft Design PMD (Paul Mycroft)

Wayne Richmond (49th Parallel Grocery companies)

Gary & Carol Wagenaar (Oyster Bay Quay)

Jag Basi (Coastal Trucking/Integra Tire/TRT  Contracting)

Volunteer of Year

Willow Hartig (Mid-Isle Soccer Club)

Debbie Greenhorn (Community Policing)

Gord Patterson (Fraternal Order of Eagles)

Karen Fediuk (PAC)

Ed & Marie Polachek

Isabelle Anne Ouelette (Ladysmith & District Historical Society)