DBOT hosts outdoor Business Excellence Awards ceremony

November 5, 2020   ·   0 Comments

By Mike Baker

The Dufferin Board of Trade held its annual Business Excellence Awards night last Wednesday (Oct. 21), at Rotary Park in Orangeville. 

In keeping with COVID-19 safety protocols, the event was held outdoors at the park, with a drive-in movie format. Around 90 local business people and “community champions” attended, remaining in their vehicles and watching the event on a big screen set up beside the parking lot. 

“It went really, really well,” said Diana Morris, executive director of DBOT. “It was very similar to the concert series that was held here by the Town of Orangeville earlier this summer.”

Guests were treated to a gourmet boxed meal, provided by Lavender Blue Catering. 

Providing the entertainment was Wayne Townsend, who hosted a Dufferin trivia competition for those in attendance. 

A variety of businesses and individuals from across Dufferin County were nominated for awards by members of the community, Ms. Morris said.

“Businesses are nominated by the community,” she explained. “The public was welcome to nominate people who had their business go out of their way to help them, or provide a service. Each nominee was given four or five questions to answer. The answers were then given to a chamber of commerce, or business development organization in another community for consideration.”

She added, “We provide the answers to people outside of our community so the awards can remain impartial. Judges gave a score to each answer. The judges scores are then averages, and that determines the winners.”

Over 50 businesses and individuals were nominated for a BEA award this year, Ms. Morris said.

In the end though, there were seven awards handed out to deserving recipients. Lavender Blue Catering was honoured as the Dufferin County Business of the Year, for a company with ten or more employees, after yet another 12 months of fantastic service to the local community. In late 2019, the company, co-owned by Terry Doel and Vanessa Kreuzer, opened up Le Finis, a light lunch and desert bar, in downtown Orangeville, to operate alongside their popular catering operation. 

Less than two years since opening their doors in Orangeville, Curry Mantra was named Dufferin’s Business of the Year for a company with less than 10 employees. The local restaurant, which specializes in traditional Indian cuisine, stepped up in a big way throughout the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, offering free meals to individuals in need. 

Popular breakfast hotspot Déjà vu Diner was presented with the Adaptability Award, after becoming one of the first eateries in Orangeville to create an outdoor patio after the province placed limits on restaurant operations. 

The Orangeville Food Bank was named Association of the Year for 2020. The organization recently moved to a new home on Commerce Road in town, a move that will enable the facility to bolster its operation, and provide even more support to the local community. 

The Community Builder Award was handed out to Whispering Pines Landscaping, who have taken an active role in helping to bring the Bravery Park project to life in Orangeville. The Bravery Park project was first launched by Shannon and Valerie back in 2010 as they sought to provide local residents with a place of reflection to honour the bravery, achievements and sacrifices of members of the Canadian military. The park, which will boast four key features upon completion, sits on parkland to the east of the Alder Recreation Centre, and will be completed by summer 2021. 

Kim Van Ryn, featured on Page A2 of this week’s Citizen, was named Business Leader of the Year for the work she has done bringing Branching Out Support Services to the community. For more on Kim’s story, check out the story on Page A2. 

Rounding out this year’s awards, Art of Storytelling was honoured with the DBOT Innovation Award. 

“The Dufferin Board of Trade recognizes all businesses in Dufferin County who are working hard and striving to remain competitive and relevant during these difficult times,” Ms. Morris concluded. 

– with files from Brian Lockhart

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