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.
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