The nominations are in and residents have little more than a week left to vote in the Kanata Chamber of Commerce’s People’s Choice Business Awards.
Voting, which runs from Jan. 7 to Feb. 1, has been fast and furious, said Rosemary Leu, executive director of the chamber.
“They are flooding in. The first weekend alone we had 6,000 votes,” she said, adding it topped the number during the same time last year. “So to see 6,000 and we still have three weeks to go is really encouraging.”
Last year nearly 13,000 people voted in the competition.
The number of nominees is about the same as last year, she said, with the most entries in the small business and health and wellness categories.
Leu said she was pleasantly surprised with the number of new businesses nominated in various categories this year.
“I’m always surprised by some nominees and names of businesses that I’m not aware of,” she said, adding that many of them aren’t even members of the chamber. “Some of these businesses are very small or very new.”
Nearly half of the nominees aren’t members of the chamber.
“There’s some little gems out there that people didn’t even know existed.”
A few days after voting closes, the chamber will announce a slate of up to five finalists for each category on its website, www.kanatachamber.com.
Seven people have been nominated for the Citizen of the Year Award:
- Daniel Alfredsson Ottawa Senators captain.
- Carolyn Clark, president of the Rotary Club of Ottawa-Stittsville.
- Kathleen Ellis, treasurer of the rotary club of Ottawa Kanata Sunrise.
- John Curry, editor of the Stittsville News.
- Dr. Agatha Sidlauskas, founder of a Venta Preparatory School.
- Sam Spataro, president of the Visioneering Group.
- Brian Mason, president of the West Ottawa Soccer Club.
“There’s some great people,” said Leu. “All our candidates, it’s an inspirational story behind all of them and all the work they do.”
Jim Perkins, co-founder of the Capital City Condors, a hockey program for youth with physical and intellectual disabilities, won last year’s Citizen of the Year Award.
“I don’t think there was a dry eye on the committee when they were evaluating,” she said.
This year’s categories are:
- Community support/non-profit organization.
- Best restaurant.
- Tourism business.
- Health and wellness business.
- New business (registered within last two years).
- Small business (up to 10 employees).
- Large business (more than 10 employees).
- Technology business.
- Professional services business (engineers, lawyers, accountants, doctors, certified management consultants and architects etc.).
- Citizen of the year (nominees must live or work in Kanata, Goulbourn or West Carleton). This award recognizes an individual for significant contributions made to the community in an exceptional manner such as in outstanding community service, charitable work or an act of heroism.
“The nominations are open to all businesses – they do not have to be a member of the Chamber of Commerce,” said Leu.
There are eight categories with a geographical focus, with winners to be declared for Goulbourn (including Stittsville), Kanata and West Carleton, the three areas served by the Kanata Chamber of Commerce.
There are two categories, namely technology business and professional services business, which will have only one winner from the whole area served by the Kanata Chamber of Commerce.
The Citizen of the Year Award will go to only one person from the whole area as well. In addition, the award winner will be selected by a committee.
Online voting will determine the award winners in the other categories and began on Jan. 7 running until Feb. 1. There will be up to five finalists declared in each of the 11 categories in the awards competition, with the winners announced at a gala awards night at the Brookstreet Hotel in Kanata on Thursday, Feb. 21.
This year’s nominees for community support/non-profit organization (Kanata) are:
- Capital City Condors.
- Community Employment Resource Centre.
- Kanata Food Cupboard.
- Kanata Seniors Council.
- Ottawa Hospice Services – Friends of Hospice.
- Ottawa West Relay for Life.
- TIPES Thinking in Pictures Educational Services.
- Western Ottawa Community Resource Centre.
The nominees for best new business in Kanata are:
- Dr. J. Winn Optometrist.
- Dymon Self Storage.
- Force Five Media.
- Kal’s Place.
- Pure Dance Ottawa.
- On Point Performance Training Inc.
For a complete list of nominees to the website www.kanatachamber.com