Women steal the show at the 2018 Platinum Awards in New Westminster

Women dominated the Platinum Awards on Thursday night, taking home two of the three top honours.

The annual awards, which recognize businesses’ and individuals’ achievements and contributions to the community, were handed out at an annual gala event held at Starlight Casino.

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Organized by the New Westminster Chamber of Commerce, this year there were 14 categories up for grabs, including Citizen of the Year, Business Person of the Year, Bernie Legge Cultural/Artist of the Year, Larry Tamkin Community Spirit, Customer Service Excellence, Home-Based Business of the Year, New Business of the Year, Community Spirit Award, Green Business of the Year, Innovator of the Year, Not-for-Profit of the Year, Entrepreneur of the Year Under 40, and Lifetime Achievement Award – 50 Years in Business.

For the first time in recent years, all the nominees for Business Person of the Year were women, with Lorna Stewart, owner of Essence Hair and Fashion Accessories on Carnarvon Street, named the 2018 Business Person of the Year at the annual awards ceremony. The other nominees were Karima Jivraj, owner of Bosley’s PetValu at Columbia Square; Vivien Wong, manager of Precious Early Years Childcare; and Trudi Goels, director of operations, Billard Architecture.

Leanne Ewen, president of the Arts Council of New Westminster, meanwhile, was awarded the Bernie Legge Cultural/Artist of the Year award, beating out former City of New Westminster arts coordinator Biliana Velkova.

Another New Westminster resident well known in the arts community also took home the coveted Citizen of the Year award. That was Stephen O’Shea, executive director of the Arts Council of New Westminster.

This year’s Platinum Awards also recognized the first recipient of the Larry Tamkin Community Spirit Award, an award sponsored by local resident and lawyer Dale Darychuk in honour of the man most residents knew as the Woodward’s and Royal City Centre Santa Claus.

The Larry Tamkin Award recognizes those who work tirelessly behind the scenes for the love of the community and for their exceptional contribution to the welfare of residents of New Westminster.

The inaugural award was given posthumously to Bill Radbourne, who passed away last October.

Born and raised in Sapperton, Radbourne made his mark on the Royal City in a myriad of ways. He worked for the New Westminster Fire Department more than 38 years, starting the department’s first Boot Drive and pub crawl for muscular dystrophy. He was also involved with a variety of community organizations, including the Remembrance Day committee, the Ancient and Honourable Hyack Battery, the Hyack Festival Association, the Massey Victory Heights Residents’ Association, the B.C. and Alberta Guide Dogs, and the New Westminster Youth Ambassador Society.

In 2010, he was named New Westminster’s Citizen of the Year.

And the winners are:

Citizen of the Year: Stephen O’Shea

Business Person of the Year: Lorna Stewart

Bernie Legge Cultural/Artist of the Year: Leanne Ewen

Business of the Year: Cap’s Bicycles

Larry Tamkin Community Spirit: Bill Radbourne

Customer Service Excellence: Jolene Foreman

Home-Based Business of the Year: Daxio Design

New Business of the Year: Piva Modern Italian

Community Spirit Award: Thornebridge Gardens

Green Business of the Year: Sylvis Environmental

Innovator of the Year: 7- Eleven

Not-for-Profit of the Year: Rotary Club of New Westminster

Entrepreneur of the Year Under 40: Dr. Allana Polo

Lifetime Achievement Award – 50 Years in Business: New Westminster Savings

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