Local award season

I recently attended the 28th annual Penticton & Wine Country Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence awards. I was asked to open the event and address the crowd. I congratulated the nominees and commented on how people joke or downplay "it's an honour just to be nominated"…well actually it is! There should be a sense of pride that people recognized you – for your service, product or achievements amongst all other businesses.

Over the last few years I've been encouraged to see more and more young entrepreneurs at the gala. There were many new faces and new businesses; that is exciting as it means a vibrant and diverse business community is beginning to flourish.

I spoke about Council's investment toward economic prosperity and the creation of our task forces on creating an Affordable Community, Tourism Development and Economic Development. I was happy to have Chief Jonathan Kruger from the Penticton Indian Band as my guest – he had never attended the awards and was impressed.

I thanked the Chamber for their strong voice and for creating a venue to celebrate and spotlight the new, unique and talented business excellence we have in our community. I thanked the attendees and nominees for choosing Penticton as their location to conduct business and reiterated "you are valued.”

Being a business owner in town myself, I know first-hand how tough it is out there; yet I feel optimistic that we are navigating towards calmer waters. It is going to take a collaboration to create the collective impact that bolsters a strong economy which ultimately will lead to a strong community.

On Thursday, I'm proud to attend the Penticton Arts Council 2nd annual Arts Awards. There are 13 categories and over 70 nominees; which signifies we have a very healthy and robust arts community.

I am nominated in the media arts category for some of my video production endeavours; recognition that makes me excited, humbled and honoured.

I always had a fondness for film and video, and finally took the plunge several years ago. I am self-taught and every production or project enhances my experience and confidence level. The creative community is a collaborative one, as some of the projects I've worked on only came to fruition by working together as a team with talented, experienced and creative colleagues.

Many of us have a creative side that we have suppressed or never made time to explore. I encourage you to reconnect with your artistic passions. The Shatford Centre and Arts Council have lots of workshops to help you refine your talents or teach new tactics and methodology.

While most people will be watching the celebrity awards shows, I will be taking close note of our homegrown talented artistic and business excellence. It solidifies why Penticton has so much to be proud of and thankful for!