Nipissing/Canadore ready to host Northern Ontario Business AwardsWednesday, August 28, 2013 by: Mark Pare
Publisher of Northern Ontario Business Patricia Mills speaks to local media while North Bay Mayor Al McDonald looks on at City Hall. Photo by Mark Pare.
North Bay will be welcoming the best and brightest in Northern Ontario business to the city in early October for the 27th Annual Northern Ontario Business Awards.
The awards—sometimes referred to as “the Academy Awards” of Northern Ontario—will be presented at a gala dinner on Thursday, October 3rd at the Robert J. Surtees Student Athletics Centre on the Nipissing University campus.
It all starts with a welcoming reception at Canadore College’s Aviation Campus on Wednesday, October 2nd. Publisher of Northern Ontario Business Patricia Mills says this is to bring people in from out of town, get them comfortable with the city and get them to meet with local business people.
Mills says these awards are the only one like it in Northern Ontario.
“It’s a regional event,” she said, “It’s not just one city, so the competition for the categories across Northern Ontario is very stringent, but we’ve been around for 26 years and we’ve made it a policy or our mission to do a great job and we never fail because we have the cooperation of all the host cities. We’re only in a city once every five years, so when we come to that city, it’s like ‘Wow, you’re here, and everyone’s here’, it really is a great time.”
There will be 10 awards given out that night, and the winner of the Union Gas Essay Scholarship will also be announced. The gala will be hosted by Mills, as well as North Bay Mayor Al McDonald.
McDonald says the two days are an opportunity to celebrate success in risk-taking from individuals and business that create wealth and jobs in Northern Ontario, and is pleased for the city to be playing host.
“The fact that 500 people are going to visit our community is a wonderful way to showcase what we’re all about but also celebrate our local companies too, and bring recognition to them,” he said, “It is an honour to have the event here in the City of North Bay and from an economic development point of view, it really promotes what we’re trying to do on the job creation side.”
Mills says it’s a huge honour to be chosen for an award and that the competition and judging process is tough.
“We get up to 100 nominations a year and a lot of these companies go on to win other awards or they use it to open doors,” she said, “It gives credibility to what they’ve always been doing and it gives us an opportunity once a year to say thanks for economic development in Northern Ontario, thank you for staying here, creating jobs, creating wealth, helping to build our region and we appreciate what you do and I think that’s the strongest message that we can give. We appreciate what you do, thanks for staying here.”
McDonald says over 30 North Bay companies have been recognized with a NOBA award and the winners are world class leaders in their field and the global economy.
He says for smaller businesses, the award is a stepping stone towards national and international recognition and that if we don’t take the time to recognize the risk takers, they’d be doing a disservice.
The North Bay and area saw two winners last year, when the awards were held in Timmins. Evans Bertrand Hill Wheeler Architects won for Company of the Year (1-15 employees), while Luc Stang of Mattawa was recognized as Entrepreneur of the Year for his work with Gin-Cor Industries.
“It’s an entrepreneurial city,” Mills said of the Gateway City’s success in this event.
“North Bay’s industry is small business so it fits in well with who we are as well and we do a really good job of attracting business people to the community and they celebrate and are very authentic in their celebration of our event.”
The welcoming reception will be from 5:30-8:00 p.m. while the awards gala will start at 6:30 p.m.
There are individual and corporate tables available. Single tickets are sold at $169.50 and tables with seating for eight are available at $1,356.00 (HST included).
The ticket covers the reception, pre-gala reception, gala dinner with wine, awards ceremony and post-gala reception.
-Entrepreneur of the Year
-Young Entrepreneur of the Year
-Company of the Year (1-15 employees)
-Company of the Year (16-50 employees)
-Company of the Year (51+ employees)
-First Nations Business Award of Excellence
-Judges’ Choice Award
-Entrepreneurial Community of the Year