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Finalists selected for the Black Tie awards

Last year’s Black Tie Lifetime Achievement award winner Ken Slade is congratulated by granddaughters Denise and Kate Slade during last year’s ceremony. This year’s Black Tie Awards will be held in Crooks Hall, Brentwood College. - Andrew Leong/file
Last year’s Black Tie Lifetime Achievement award winner Ken Slade is congratulated by granddaughters Denise and Kate Slade during last year’s ceremony. This year’s Black Tie Awards will be held in Crooks Hall, Brentwood College.
— image credit: Andrew Leong/file

We can confirm at least 24 people and businesses in the Duncan area shine when it comes to fine service.

They also would look good in a Black Tie.

The Duncan-Cowichan Chamber of Commerce has announced the finalists in each of the eight categories comprising the annual Black Tie Service Awards.

"There were many exceptional nominees, and some tough decisions," chamber vice-president Julie Scurr said in a media release. "The chamber considers it a privilege to produce the awards honouring these accomplished, community-minded organizations and individuals."

Selected out of more than 100 nominations from the public, the finalists now attend an in-person interview with a panel of two judges — one representing the award sponsor, and the other a chamber director.

"The interviews use a standardized, scored format. Once the interviews are complete, the results are forwarded to the official Black Tie Awards auditor to ascertain the results," K. Elizabeth Croft said. "These results are sealed until the night of the awards."

This year, that night is April 5 at Brentwood College's Crook's Hall. In addition to the awards, it will include a wine reception and silent auction.

Tickets are $85 and available by calling the chamber office at 250-748-1111, or online at blacktieawards.com.

This year's finalists are:

Customer Service (sponsored by Cardino Shoes): Jeff Downie, Old Firehouse Wine Bar; Suzie Fortier, Tim Hortons Trunk Road; Jim Scales, Jimgerbread Cafe.

Business Achievement 1 – 10 Employees (sponsored by Island Savings): Gerard B. Burg, Gerard's Speciality Foods; Lindsey-Lea Mercer, Identity Graphics; Andrew Higginson, Higginson Consulting

Business Achievement 11 – 19 (Employees sponsored by Jim Tyson of Investors Group): Peter Watts, Best Western Plus Chemainus Inn; Gord Rumley, Genoa Bay Café; Ivo Zanatta, Matrix Marble Corp.

Business Achievement 20 or More Employees (sponsored by Hayes Stewart Little & Co.): Corinne de Lange, Cowichan Sound & Cellular; Dr. Longair & Colleagues, Prevost Veterinary Clinic; Kelvin McCulloch, Buckerfields

Young Entrepreneur (sponsored by Coastal Community Credit Union): Andrea and Daniel Hudson, Hudson's On First; Melissa Cottam, Moo's Pizza; Sonja Todd, Hilary's Cheese Co.

Green Business (sponsored by Economic Development Cowichan): John and Katy Ehrlich, Alderlea Byodynamic Farm; Nikki MacCallum, Nikki's Designs; Dan and Karen Armstrong, Velocal Delivery

Volunteer of the Year (sponsored by Peninsula Co-op): Tina Phillips, Cowichan Search & Rescue; Mary Ann Deacon, Cowichan Valley Hospice Society; David Minkow, Cowichan Kickers

Art in Business (sponsored by Brentwood College School): Imagine That! Artisans' Designs; Anne and Grahame Fowle, GBS Glass Blowing; Gordon Smith, Cowichan Woodwork.

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