The Black Tie Awards come to Brentwood College School on April 7, where eight businesses will win prestigious awards.

Sonja Nagel is the Executive Director of the Duncan-Cowichan Chamber of Commerce and she says winning a Black Tie Award is special, but so is being named a finalist.

About 150 nominations were submitted, that number was reduced to 24 finalists and both the nominators and the finalists are interviewed by a roundtable panel before the awards gala.

Nagel says the categories vary greatly.

The Black Tie Award categories are Customer Service, Volunteer of the Year, Green Business, Young Entrepreneur, Art in Business, Business Achievement, Employee and Business Achievement for operations with one to ten employees and those with eleven or more.


Customer Service:

Elley Ruge; Cowichan Auto Repair
The Team; Dobson’s Glass
Simon Young; Monkey Bar Gym

Business Achievement (one to 10 employees):

Brad and Leah Boisvert; C.U.R.E. Artisan Meat and Cheese
Terry Raven; Pots and Paraphernalia
Aly Tomlin, Ralf Rosenke, and Morgan Moreira; Riot Brewing Company

Business Achievement (eleven to 19 employees):

Paul Brunner, Bailey Williamson, and Jenny Garlini; Blue Grouse Winery
David Kulhawy; Mastercraft Flooring
Taiji Team; Taiji Brand Group

Business Achievement (20+ employees):

Debra and Don McMurray; Arbutus Farms Fresh Deli Foods
Gary Powers; Promac Manufacturing Limited
Kate and Geoff Cram, Susan Mcdonald, and Robert Hutchings; The Old Town Bakery

Art in Business:

Tom Smith and Steve Thorpe-Doubble; B.C. Marble Products Limited
Dana Van Cleave; Island Gem & Bead Supply
Lorraine A. Blake; Steps Ahead Dance

Volunteer of the Year:

Volunteer Team; Crime Prevention Programs & Services
Judy L. Braydon; Cowichan Valley Arts Council, Cowichan Lake & River Stewardship Society
Ann Balding and Claudia Roland; Meals on the Ground

Green Business:

John and Katy Ehrlich; Alderlea Farm Cafe
Jackie Kitzler; Island Java Bag
Cristen DeCarolis; Pizzeria Prima Strada

Young Entrepreneur:

Mike and Robin Nierychlo; Emandare Vineyard
Vicky Gamble, Stephanie James, and Christina Hoffman; Forte School of Music
Ian Smith; Victory Barber and Brand North