Members of Morinville’s business community were recognized last Wednesday during the ninth annual Business Awards Gala.
Held at the Morinville Community Cultural Centre, this year’s awards ceremony was a little different from previous years in that it took place during daylight hours.
Due to the economic pressures faced by businesses across the province, the Morinville and District Chamber of Commerce decided to combine their monthly luncheon with the gala in order to make the event more cost-effective.
“We didn’t want to put on an expensive gala and cause those expenses back to the businesses. They feel a lot of pressure to be there,” said Simon Boersma, president of the Morinville and District Chamber of Commerce.
The lunch was well attended, with about 200 guests present to celebrate their fellow business leaders and entrepreneurs.
This year’s Business Legacy Award was given to Morinville Shell. The service station has served the community for 20 years and now counts three separate sections: a gas station, a liquor store and their newest addition, The Station House, which serves a variety of home-cooked food and baked goods.
Modular and mobile home manufacturer Pleasant Homes Ltd. received the 2016 Integrity Award.
For the second year in a row the Morinville News was named recipient of the Small Business Award, while international food restaurant Bistro di Madre Piccolo received the Medium Business Award.
Morinville Sobey’s was handed the Large Business Award.
The 2016 New Business Award was given to Morinville’s new DQ Grill & Chill Restaurant, which opened in May along 100 Street. Owner Marc Cardinal said the community has truly embraced the restaurant and helped set the new Canadian record for overall sales on a DQ grand opening with the highest first day sales and subsequent week sales.
“Coming to a town like Morinville has been new to us. In an Edmonton environment, where a couple of our other locations are, it takes a while to get involved in the community. Whereas out here we felt like we’ve been really embraced,” said Cardinal in his recipient video.
Elysha’s Cleaning, recipient of last year’s New Business Award, added to its list of recognitions with the 2016 Home Based Business Award.
The Community Spirit Award was given to the Jessica Martel Memorial Foundation (JMMF). Established in January 2012, in response to the tragic death of Jessica Martel by the hands of her abusive husband, the foundation has supported countless families through abusive relationships and raised awareness on domestic abuse.
JMMF’s ultimate goal is to build a safe haven for victims of domestic abuse within the community of Morinville. The Town of Morinville awarded the foundation a piece of land earlier this year in support of its efforts.
Kyle Thorne was awarded the Youth Customer Service Award for his enthusiasm and friendly demeanor working behind the meat counter at the Morinville Sobey’s.
Back this year were the First Nations Service Business and First Nations Contractor Business awards. The awards fell off the radar last year, said Boersma, but with the addition of Marcel Arcand – who serves as economic development officer for the Alexander First Nation – to the board the chamber wanted to ensure the inclusion of their westerly neighbours.
The winners in these categories were Dallas Arcand and James Arcand, respectively.
Dallas opened Silver Bullet CafĂ© in September. The cafĂ© features traditional indigenous foods like bannock and buffalo meat and employs members of the Alexander First Nation, where it is located.
“I recently started the cafĂ© to provide a service and fill a void in our community that was needed for a really long time,” said Dallas in his recipient video. “In Alexander we don’t really have a lot of commercial development and we need it, because our people need those services.”
James is a general contractor. His company One Son Construction does new builds and renovations with a focus on green energy.