Tourism activities make an impact in Business Awards

Alpine and VoyageurTwo of Sun Peaks’ unique businesses have been recognized for their contributions to the business community with nominations from the Kamloops Chamber of Commerce 2014 Business Excellence Awards.

The NorthWest Voyageur Company has been nominated for the Tourism Award, while local business owner Gemma Harris has been nominated for the Young Entrepreneur Award.

Christopher Nicolson, president of Tourism Sun Peaks, welcomed the nominations.

“Tourism Sun Peaks nominated quite a few businesses from the community. There are many businesses here that directly service Sun Peaks but they also influence Kamloops,” Nicolson said.

Nicolson commended Harris and her Segway tours business, Alpine Explorers, for bringing something new to the region, saying Tourism Sun Peaks “really wanted to celebrate new initiatives.”

A co-sponsor of the Tourism Award, Nicolson said Tourism Sun Peaks has worked with the Chamber of Commerce to re-design the selection criteria for the award to recognize and identify businesses that are “pushing and advancing tourism in the region.”

“The feedback we receive from guests is that The NorthWest Voyageur Company offers an exceptional experience, giving guests the opportunity to touch and feel a piece of Canadian history by being in a voyageur canoe on an alpine lake and enjoying a feast afterwards.”

Nicolson said both nominees have a strong chance in becoming finalists in the Business Excellence Awards.

“They have a very strong business case, based on the last year and their previous years, and I’m very enthusiastic about their chances.”

Harris, who runs Alpine Explorers and Alpine Images, said she felt humbled by the nomination, coming on the heels of an exciting summer that saw the success of her first self-created business.

“I’m really excited to be nominated. It’s quite humbling and it’s nice to be recognized. It has been quite the learning experience,” she confessed. “But it’s going great. We’ve had such an amazing response from locals and visitors. We’ve been getting lots of repeat customers and loads of different demographics.”

Kevin Tessier, owner of The NorthWest Voyageur Company, said he was “pretty excited,” with his nomination.

“We’ve been doing this for the past 15 years, and whether we win or not, it’s certainly nice to be recognized like this,” Tessier said.

Aleece Laird, president of the Kamloops Chamber of Commerce board, said the Chamber has received a record number of nominations this year, with 468 nominations across 15 categories.

The next step in the process will see a selection committee for each category, comprised of local business people, undertake an interview process with each nominee, before announcing the top three finalists in each category.

“It’s quite a process and a lot of work for both the selection committee and the businesses, but it will deliver great benefits.”

Finalists will be announced on September 10 and category winners will be announced at the Business Excellence Awards Gala on November 1.

A full list of nominees and further information on the awards can be found at the Kamloops Chamber of Commerce website.

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