March 22, 2017 10:00 am

London host for Canada’s largest business awards

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Londoners are suiting up as the city hosts what’s described as the biggest celebration of business excellence in Canada.

The London Chamber of Commerce’s 34th annual Business Achievement Awards will be held Wednesday evening at the London Convention Centre.

“This is the largest business awards celebration of its kind in Canada,” said Gerry Macartney, CEO and general manager of the London Chamber of Commerce.

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The awards ceremony is set to draw more than 1,200 people to its prestigious black-tie evening. The event is expected to draw more people than similar business award ceremonies in Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto.

The landmark event of the year brings together London’s business and community leaders to recognize growth and prosperity within the local marketplace.

Prior to the gala’s conception in 1982, London garnered a reputation for its lack of business appreciation, Macartney said.

“We were…accused many years ago…that we weren’t celebrating our own successes enough,” he said. “The government wasn’t hearing what we had to do and what we had to deliver and we weren’t getting our message across the country. So these awards were struck up to try to accomplish that.”

More than 200 local businesses fought for a spot on this year’s finalist list, with only four making the cut for several major categories including the popular Business of the Year award as well as Corporate Social Responsibility, Environmental Leadership, Excellence in Human Resources, Innovation and Agribusiness awards.

The local business nominees also have the opportunity to move forward to the Ontario Business Achievement Awards, giving them another shot at victory through a provincial title.

In November, the board of directors presented the Corporate Icon Award, which highlights a company that has made an immediate impact on the city’s economic progress, to McCormick Canada.

The event at the London Convention Centre will commence with a social mixer at 5 p.m. followed by a dinner, award ceremony, and capped off with a gala after party at 11 p.m.

With files from Hala Ghonaim 

Business Achievement Award Finalists

Small Business of the Year

  •  Employee Wellness Solutions Network
  • Fantastic Nails and Spa
  • Sagecomm
  • Booch Organic Kombucha

Medium Business of the Year

  • Red Rhino
  • Talbot Marketing
  • Black Fly Beverage Company
  • Forked River Brewing Company

Large Business of the Year

  • Starlim North America
  • Campbell Bros. Movers Ltd.
  • Start.ca
  • McKenzie Lake Lawyers LLP

Agribusiness

  • IGPC Ethanol
  • Seelster Farms

Corporate Social Responsibility

  • TD Bank Group
  • STUDIO H Artist Group

Environmental Leadership

  • 1-800-GOT-JUNK
  • Goodwill Industries Ontario Great Lakes

Excellence in Human Resources

  • Autodata Group of Companies
  • Diebold Nixdorf

Innovation Award

  • Big Blue Bubble Inc.
  • Heeman’s
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