Parksville Qualicum Beach News

Qualicum Beach Community Awards

The Coastal Community Credit Union Lifetime Achievement Award was presented posthumously to Gary Hopkins. - Photo submitted
The Coastal Community Credit Union Lifetime Achievement Award was presented posthumously to Gary Hopkins.
— image credit: Photo submitted

Here's a look at all of the nominees for the Qualicum Beach Community Awards and the winners, who were announced Wednesday night at a gala at the Qualicum Beach Civic Centre (text supplied by Qualicum Beach Chamber of Commerce and includes some descriptions supplied by the nominees themselves).

New Business of the Year — sponsored by RE/MAX Anchor

Let's Knit A Yarn Shop isn't like other shops. First, there is all the beautiful, touchable yarn to tempt and inspire, causing customers to make "yummy" noises. Then there is the immediate common ground which knitters have with each other. That makes it easy to ask each other for advice, or opinions, or just fondle the yarns together. A good yarn shop is a happy, collaborative place — which is exactly what I want to create. Let's Knit! is all about gorgeous yarns and great service. We are always happy to share our ideas and knowledge. We have a big price range to accommodate lots of price preferences.  And we love when the shop is a happy, social group of yarn addicts.

The Edge Food Energy Company makes 100 per cent organic, real food energy bars out of their family Artisan bakery in Qualicum Beach. They launched an "active lifestyle" line of portable nutrition in March of 2012. This line of real food energy is nutritionally designed for a purpose; to fortify, maintain and replenish the body. What makes them stand out from all the rest within this highly-competitive industry;  they are the first energy bar company in Canada to wrap their products in a 100 per cent compostable package.

Mo's Minis is a bakery which creates and markets edible arrangements such as cupcakes, squares, cheese cakes in mason jars, and cake, brownie and pie pops. Owned and operated by Morgan Ray, she not only operates her storefront, but caters to family and community events with the help of her one part time employee. Morgan's passion for business and baking was nurtured in her childhood by her mother who was a red seal chef. She credits her mother as teaching her the importance of creating food products with quality ingredients, and skilled attention to detail in the baking process. Quality ingredients and attention to details are both reflected in the creative products (edible arrangements) she markets in Qualicum Beach.

THE WINNER: The Edge Food Energy Company

Outstanding Customer Service — sponsored by Black $ White Party Rentals

Debbie Hughes has lived and raised her family in Qualicum for over 30 years. She went from life as one of our best customers to a full-time employee as a Home Health Care Consultant in 2009. Debbie's genuine care and concern for our community's wellbeing is evident with every customer interaction, her compassion for people makes her a natural at Pharmasave in this department. We are very fortunate to have Debbie on our team and would like to congratulate her on this nomination.

Mo's Minis — please see above category.

The Wheels for Wellness Society provides transportation for residents of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada, to and from non-emergency medical appointments. The Society is a registered, not-for-profit charitable society that operates five days a week, 12 months of the year in all areas of Vancouver Island. Operating in winter months, they have an unbelievable record of cancelling only four vehicle trips since 1997, making the service an ultra-dependable operation. Wheels is  currently transporting 306 patients on average per month to Nanaimo from Qualicum and Parksville, as well as the regular 272 per month to Victoria for treatment not available in Nanaimo. This includes dialysis, cancer radiation, eyes, cardiac, and generally any other specialist appointments. They are staffed by 27 volunteer drivers and two paid office staff.

THE WINNER: Mo's Minis

Business of the Year — sponsored by Rodway and Perry, the MacIsaac Group of Lawyers

Bailey's In the Village changed hands in February of 2011 and has been taking the village by storm since then. Len and the gang turn out, according to Trip Advisor, "the best muffins in the world" and excellent coffee as well. Bailey's is also known for its excellent service and great lunches.

According to Yelp.ca one recommendation reads, "just seconds off the highway (old or new), and seek out Bailey's . . . great coffee/tea stop, fresh baked goodies on the premises, their muffins are the best, plus lunch fare, too. Bailey's has outdoor seating in the season, plus real ice cream cones. It's a fave of the locals, and exactly right for a stop between destinations — worth a visit."

North Pacific Windows is a full service glass and window shop that has been serving the Oceanside area for over 30 years. We have expertise in auto, residential and commercial glass as well as renovation and new construction windows and doors. Quality products, quality people coupled with a great client base has allowed us to continue to grow with our community.

Courtyard Cafe. Upbeat, friendly, and welcoming . . . just a few words describing the feeling you get when you cross the threshold of the Courtyard Café. Peter and Meryl Tryon have created a unique atmosphere for their café since taking over in March 2011.  Whether you are looking for a great cuppa joe, that perfect cup of tea or a warm muffin straight from the oven, you will find it all here and served up with a cheery greeting and a big smile. The Courtyard Cafe has gluten free, dairy free, and restricted diet options to make sure everyone has a chance to indulge.  And the gorgeous patio complete with an ever blooming garden is lovingly appreciated by all.

THE WINNER: North Pacific Windows

Volunteer of the Year — sponsored by the Society of Organized Services

Rosalee Sullivan. According to Rosalee's daughter: "My Mom is my role model. She is the kindest, most selfless person I have ever met. She is a mother, grandmother, friend, she sings at the senior's homes, works at fundraisers, volunteers at community meals, is President of a local theatre group, treasurer of another group, promoter of local talent, and gatherer of clothes and furnishings for those in need. She spends her days helping others and does not think twice about giving her time or a helping hand. She is the person I hope to be one day. She is my inspiration."

Pat Draper has volunteered consistently for more than 20 years. With the Salvation Army since 1997, Pat has Christmas fund-raised, cooked at the soup kitchen and run the food bank. As well she has coordinated the Emergency Service Society along with the Salvation Army's own emergency services. Pat has volunteered with Oceanside Hospice Society in different roles since 2000 and volunteers for VIHA acting as a social companion. But Pat does not stop there. She also works for the SOS per-school program and Seniors are talking Program. According to one of her nominators, "She is professional, hard-working, and willing to take on anything; an ideal volunteer."

Mike Haas has a long "rap sheet" of volunteer activities. After retiring the wanted to be involved with volunteering so joined the Rotary Club of Qualicum Beach Sunrise in June of 2010 and one year later was appointed Director of Community Service. Rotary however, was not his only focus. Since moving to Qualicum Beach Mike has volunteered for: Rotary Coats for Kids, Show & Shine, the Newcomers Photography and Walking Clubs, Stream Keepers Annual Salmon Toss, and many more that are too many to number in this short paragraph.

THE WINNER: Pat Draper

Newsmaker of the Year — sponsored by The Parksville Qualicum Beach News

Jillian Cameron is intent on proving that Qualicum Beach is Canada's best destination so in December last year she entered a contest sponsored by Reader's Digest Canada. Cameron submitted a narrative on why she thinks Qualicum Beach is the best destination in the country and that garnered her nomination as newsmaker of the year for 2012.

Quality Foods has been an active business in Qualicum Beach for 30 years. The owners of Quality Foods, Ken Schley, John Briolo and Noel Hayward revitalized a failing business in 1982 and are nominated for this new category for celebrating their 30th year in business. Their willingness to embrace technology when other would not and their dedication to staff – making Quality Foods a top employer in BC – has helped create a chain of Vancouver Island-based grocery stores second to none.

The Old School House celebrated its 100th birthday in 2012 and to do that they put on a celebration to end all celebrations. So, in July 2012, director of TOSH, Corinne James helped organize an event that "probably set a record for the amount of art that is taking place in one spot." That special centenary birthday and the huge successful bash accompanying it helped name TOSH and Corrine James as finalists in the Newsmaker of the Year honours.

THE WINNER: The Old School House

2012 Citizen of the Year — sponsored by Qualicum Foods

Gary Hopkins lived in Qualicum Beach with Glenys and his lovely family for over 30 years. During that time they had many businesses including operating The Sand Pebbles Inn and owning Gary's Bistro. Gary was always involved with the Qualicum Beach business community, he spent many years on the Chamber of Commerce executive and he was a strong supporter of all the events sponsored by the Downtown Merchants Association. Gary was involved in Fire and Ice, lending his kitchen to be used by some chili teams, he was always "on hand" for sidewalk sales and he was one of the businesses who spearheaded the Christmas Car give-away which lasted five years.   Gary worked very hard to get the Thursday evening summer downtown street fest but his biggest contribution (among many) was the vision he had to bring the Father's Day Car show to downtown Qualicum Beach.  It is one of the best car shows on the island and it was his idea. Gary would have been 69 on February 21, 2013.

Dr. Verne McShane moved to Qualicum Beach and opened Qualicum Dental in 1974. He has served many patients in this community and beyond as far as Victoria, Powell River and Port Hardy! His orthodontic skills and vast knowledge of general dentistry including dental implant prosthetics is of superior quality and expertise. Verne McShane graduated from UBC Dental Faculty in 1971. He has enhanced the smiles of many children and grandchildren of his early patients. He has been the Chair of the Upper Island Dental Society and Fellow Chair of orthodontic and implant study groups. Over the years, he has provided comprehensive treatment to young and not so young with service varying from orthodontics to dentures. Out of the office, he keeps busy by coaching hockey, baseball and lacrosse. His fitness mentoring & volunteering plus a few other side business interests keeps him going. His passion is his family and his antique car collection, including a 1952 M.G.T.D. and 1962 Corvette.

Merlyn Patton has been a strong supporter of the Parksville Qualicum Community Foundation

and has been involved with many Town events that support and  promote Qualicum Beach. Last year she served on the "Select 2012 Committee" celebrating our Town's anniversary. Rene Wilson started Vintage Fashion Shows and raised money for her community. Over the next 25 years Merlyn continued on with Rene's legacy of giving back. Merlyn and her team put on 3 to 5 Vintage Fashion Shows which raises between $5,000 to $8,000 each year, for charitable organizations and non- profit groups. She is presently also involved with the upcoming Buddy Holly Review on April 27th.

THE WINNER: Verne McShane

The Coastal Community Credit Union Lifetime Achievement Award was presented posthumously to Gary Hopkins.

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