Tourism Service Provider for 2018, sponsored by Thompson Nicola Regional District “Area A”, Wells Gray Inn (L-r) Bonnie Ruttan of Wells Gray Inn and MC Flo Amundson.

Clearwater Awards Evening winners

Event celebrates local citizens, employees, businesses, and services for contributions to community

Clearwater held its awards evening last Friday at the Clearwater Legion, where Citizen of the Year was awarded to Chance Breckenridge, who was nominated for the outstanding representation he gives to the District of Clearwater, his enthusiasm promoting Wells Gray Park as well as his firefighter volunteer work.

“He supports a multitude of community clubs, and you are sure to find him at many of their events,” read his nomination.

“I cannot think of anyone else single-handedly doing as much for tourism as he is.”

Winner of the Youth award was Ashley Foster, who was praised for her hard work at Buy-Low Foods and her volunteer work with the Blackpool Fire Department.

Emphasis was also placed on her work as a talented musician.

“I feel she is a youth for other youth to aspire too, from her dedication and talent with music to her volunteer work with the seniors,” her nomination said.

“Ashley has (also) performed with the Garage Band quite often during the summer with her bandmates at the Dutch Lake music nights—for a youth of her age to be a part of the volunteer fire department is also a really special thing. There is a youth using her time wisely.”

UPDATE: Jean and Lloyd Strickland are Citizens of the Year

Kevin Fenwick of Wells Gray Inn took the award for Employee of the Year, with his nomination noting how he goes above and beyond when it comes to the work he does.

Employed as a server for the past six years, it’s also said Fenwick is happy to wear many other hats as well, while offering top notch customer service.

“He is happy to go back and cook for customers after the kitchen is closed, looks after large bookings for special events and makes sure everyone is looked after,” read his nomination.

“When there’s a busy weekend he will always arrive to work early and will start helping. Kevin is very much a team player and enjoys his work; he shines when it gets busy and not only looks after the tables he manages, but also helps other servers take meals out and clear tables.”

Rookie Business of the Year went to Pioneer Market and Meats whose nomination said the shop has changed the face of shopping in the area, and also touted the business for working diligently to provide the freshest and most competitively priced items a customer could hope for.

Pioneer Market and Meats was also called a welcome asset to the Brookfield Shopping Centre as well as the district as a whole.

“(They’re) a source of what I call ‘real’ milk and cream products, which has made me into a ‘regular’ for now. I can purchase them in glass bottles—what a blessing for a grandma to know that she is not polluting this world with plastic or waxed board,” said the nomination for the store.

“(Great) meat cutting and being able to enjoy these cuts just as you want them also has an interesting appeal to many.”

Jasper Way Inn took the award for Tourism Business Excellence: Accommodation and its nomination noted the constant improvements made year over year as well as how the inn continuously comes up with new activities for its guests.

“Shelley and staff are really doing a great job with the Jasper Way Inn,” the nomination said.

“They have been extremely innovative with the business by introducing the paddle board and canoe rentals to the motel as well as having snacks and ice cream available to guests and beachgoers alike, and again, providing amazing accommodations as well as activities for visitors to do, guests or not.”

K and A Gateway Grill took the award for Tourism Business Excellence: Restaurants and Food Service Providers, with owners Kalen and Amanda referred to as the “King and Queen of Food Service with a Smile.”

“Even when outrageously busy, they somehow manage to engage staff to bake, cook, serve and clean up around the delicious and delightful items we’ve come to look forward to enjoying,” said the nomination for the restaurant.

“(Whether) dining in or when catered, we are treated to a wide variety of disciplines; service and variety make the K and A Grill a favourite.”

The award for Tourism Business Excellence: Service Providers was taken by the Wells Gray Inn for its exemplary service to locals and visitors across Canada and beyond.

Mentioned in the nomination was the variety of different businesses all housed in one building, making it an award-worthy one-stop shop.

“(Wells Gray Inn) offers the opportunity for a person to purchase a delightful spirit of their choice, perhaps a bouquet of cut flowers or even a gift; the inn also offers the services of a massage, reflexology treatment, and brushing up on ones ‘beauty needs,’ and if you are fortunate, you might get in on a Poker Game or a great night of Karaoke,” said the nomination.

“When it comes to being a service provider, the owners of the Wells Gray Inn have set the standard high.”

Wells Gray Home Hardware took the Business Excellence: Retail award for its excellent service, products and advice, as well as for staff always willing to lend an ear to customers distressed by the various home projects that draw them to the store.

“For listening to the horror stories of renovation and plumbing jobs gone wrong, to the holes in the walls our children and pets have made, to the broken ‘this and that’ we have come to find parts to fix…thanks guys,” read their nomination.

“Thanks for listening to us, helping us in our times of great need and still showing up the next morning with a smile and a chuckle and those listening ears for the next time we have a catastrophe to fix.”

The Business Excellence: Service award was handed to Candle Creek Veterinary Service, the nomination praising the service for its compassion, quickness to respond to emergencies and all around professionalism.

“Darren’s store of knowledge and tips are astounding—thank you so much Darren for always being there in our times of need when it comes to our pets,” read the nomination.

“I’m sure we have all interrupted many lunch and dinner times with our frantic phone calls and text messages when something goes wrong. Thank you for always being there, we don’t know what we would do without you.”

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Retail Business for 2018, sponsored by River Valley Retail, Wells Gray (Home) Hardware Ltd. (L-r) Lorne Selbee of Home Hardware, MC Flo Amundson, and Cheryl Thomas, Chamber of Commerce director.

Employee of the Year for 2018, sponsored by Pioneer Market and Meats, Kevin Fenwick. (L-r) MLA Peter Milobar, TNRD “Area A” director Carol Schaffer, MP Cathy McLeod and Fenwick, employee at Wells Gray Inn. Photo by K.A. Pendergast

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