BC Economic Development awards winners for 2023 announced

NEWS RELEASE                  

For Immediate Release

BC Economic Development award winners for 2023 announced

PENTICTON, B.C., April 19, 2023 ­- The British Columbia Economic Development Association (BCEDA) and FortisBC teamed up once again to announce the winners of the 2023 BC Economic Development Awards at the BCEDA’s annual awards presentation held at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre in Penticton during the BC Economic Summit.
These awards recognize BCEDA members for outstanding work in supporting their local economies, and making a meaningful difference in their communities. For over 30 years, the BCEDA has given these awards to individuals and groups who have dedicated their time to community-based economic development. BCEDA is pleased to recognize partnerships, agreements and activities that advance shared reconciliation work with a new Economic Reconciliation award category.
Congratulations to the following 2023 BC Economic Development Award winners:
Economic Development Marketing Innovation Award
The BCEDA Marketing Innovation Award recognizes achievement in marketing initiatives that support economic development.

Winner (community less than 20,000 population): Town of Princeton for #ReDiscover Princeton Marketing Campaign.
Winner (community more than 20,000 population): City of Penticton for Welcome Home / Skilled Worker Attraction Campaign
Economic Reconciliation Award
The BCEDA Economic Reconciliation Award includes submissions for partnerships, agreements and activities that advance shared economic reconciliation work.
Winner (community less than 20,000 population): Williams Lake First Nation for Sugar Cane Cannabis.
Winner (community more than 20,000 population): City of Mission for The Í:xel Sq'eq'ó Agreement.
Community Project Award
The BCEDA Community Project Award recognizes an organization that has implemented various economic development initiatives that provide economic benefits to a community or region.
Winner (community less than 20,000 population): Tourism Fernie Society for AmbassadorWILD Sustainable Tourism Partnership Program.
Winner (community more than 20,000 population): Chilliwack Economic Partners Corporation for District 1881.
Economic Recovery and Resiliency Award
This category includes submissions for programs, activities, and projects that represent a successful recovery initiative from natural and man-made disasters, including COVID-19, as well as submissions that represent replicable measures undertaken to promote long term resiliency and/or sustainability from future disasters. 
       Winner (community less than 20,000 population): District of 100 Mile House for The Path Forward – Navigating Unexpected Job Loss.
Winner (community more than 20,000 population): City of Surrey, City of Richmond and Township of Langley for Supply Chain Resiliency Program.
Chair’s Award
The Chair’s Award is presented annually to recognize a member of BCEDA who has made a significant contribution towards the profession of economic development as well as the function, goals and/or mandate of the BC Economic Development Association.
At the presentation of the 2023 Chair's Award by BCEDA Board Chair Amy Reid, Jim Anderson, the Executive Director of Venture Kamloops, was recognized for his outstanding contributions. Amy praised Jim for his selflessness and willingness to assist others in the economic development field, regardless of their level of experience. She commended him for his unwavering professionalism and eagerness to help whenever called upon, whether to mentor an EDO or provide support to a community impacted by a disaster. Amy noted that Jim always prioritizes his team and community over his own personal achievements. "With Jim, it is never about him, it is always about his team, and his community," she stated.
The awards are presented and sponsored by FortisBC.
“We’d like to congratulate all the winners for these award-winning initiatives that showcase just a sampling of the tireless efforts of BCEDA members to make an economic impact in their communities,” said Matt Mason, community and Indigenous relations manager at FortisBC. “We appreciate being a part of these awards every year, as well as working with members throughout the year to help realize this shared goal.”
“The work economic developers do in communities often goes unnoticed, but is vital to the building and success of local economies,” said Roly Russell, B.C.’s Parliamentary Secretary for Rural Development. “I want to sincerely congratulate this year's winners for the work they do, and send a huge thank you to the work all these people are doing to create resilient, thriving local economies across our province.”
“We are incredibly proud of the outstanding work accomplished by Local and Indigenous leaders, as well as BC's Economic Developers," said Dale Wheeldon, President and CEO at BCEDA. "The numerous nominations submitted by communities and economic development professionals showcase the innovative strategies that are being pursued to support local economies. This year's theme of 'Creating the WOW Factor' was exemplified by all the nominated projects, which clearly demonstrated the partnerships required to keep moving BC forward. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to everyone who submitted their projects for consideration, as it was no easy task for our judges to select the winners. We congratulate all the nominees for their work to support local economies and to recognize the importance of economic reconciliation."
For more information about the BCEDA and the summit, visit: bceda.ca.  
Dale Wheeldon, President and CEO, BCEDA
T: (604) 819-3809
E: dwheeldon@bceda.ca
The BC Economic Development Association (BCEDA) is the leading professional association of economic development practitioners in the Province of BC.  BCEDA currently has over 450 members from communities throughout the province. BCEDA provides services that help member communities grow and expand new and existing businesses, attract new business investments, and work towards strategic infrastructure investment, land use planning, and community enhancement. BCEDA services include an annual summit and networking event, educational and professional development opportunities, public relations, advisory services and resources and partnering with communities and the Province of BC to market British Columbia for business investment.
About FortisBC
FortisBC Inc. and FortisBC Energy Inc. do business as FortisBC, a regulated utility focused on providing safe and reliable energy, including natural gas, electricity, Renewable Natural Gas and propane. FortisBC employs approximately 2,652 British Columbians and serves more than 1.25 million customers in 135 B.C. communities. FortisBC owns and operates two liquefied natural gas storage facilities and four regulated hydroelectric generating plants, approximately 7,316 kilometres of transmission and distribution power lines, and approximately 51,174 kilometres of gas transmission and distribution pipelines. FortisBC is indirectly, wholly owned by Fortis Inc., a leader in the North American regulated electric and gas utility industry. FortisBC Inc. and FortisBC Energy Inc. use the FortisBC name and logo under license from Fortis Inc. For further information on FortisBC, visit fortisbc.com. For further information on Fortis Inc., visit fortisinc.com.

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