The Greater Victoria Business Awards were handed out during a gala at the Fairmont Empress Hotel Thursday evening.

Hundreds of guests gathered for a chance to celebrate the best in entrepreneurship in the city.

Fourteen winners took home awards in categories ranging from Best New Business (FreshWorks Studio) to Outstanding Workplace (Smart Dolphins IT Solutions Inc.) and Non-Profit of the year (Lifetime Networks).

“Each and every one in their category, in their business, does an amazing job,” said Victoria Chamber Chair Al Hasham.

 “I think to recognize the businesses that make our region vibrant is so important.”

Other winners included Balance Home Cleaning for Business of the Year (1-10 employees),  Orca Spirit Adventures (11-39 employees) and Beanstream (40+ employees).

The Business Leadership award went to Western Interior Design Group Ltd., STS Pain Pharmacy won the award for Outstanding Customer Service, Flytographer took top prize for Innovation while Bernhardt Contracting Ltd won for Sustainable Business Practices.

Longtime radio personality, businessman, volunteer and board chair Mel Cooper received the 2017 Governors’ Lifetime Achievement Award.

“When you have a lifetime of working or helping, which I seem to have, ” Cooper said. 

“That its being recognized is really very special to me.”

Other individual winners include Chamber Member of the Year Dan Dagg, President of Hot House Marketing, Business Person of the Year went to Mandy Farmer, President and CEO of Accent Inns/Hotel Zed, while Rachel Paish, owner of Passion and Performance Arts Inc. was named Young Entrepreneur of the Year.

Ben O'Hara