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2013 Spirit of Niagara Awards

Added: Feb 05, 2014
Category: What's up

This past Monday was the Spirit of Niagara Awards sponsored by the Niagara-on-the-Lake Chamber of Commerce and hosted by White Oaks. As usual, Janice Thompson and the staff of our chamber put on a great evening full of food, awards and networking. I always enjoy these events because it is a chance to take a breath and connect with people of influence in our community. Some I work with all the time, but also get to meet new faces that have been made a difference over the past year.

The event includes a chance to sample the fine wares of some of the culinary establishments in our town! The main stays were there like the Cannery Restaurant, The Epicurean , Olde Angel Inn, Shaw Café and Wine Bar, Trius Winery ( at Hillebrand), Peller Estates Winery Restaurant , Ravine Winery Stone Road Grille and Zees Grill. But some of my favourites were there too like Willow Cakes and Pastries. Ginger Restaurant, Zees Grill and some I have yet to try like LIV, Pig-Out and Esbache Restaurant. A surprise to me, and I don’t know why because I shop there every day, was the catering that Hendrik’s Valumart. Henrick’s is the greatest because it is a grocer but also has a deli bar with the best chicken (roasted or southern style) and readymade salads...all of which speak instant picnic to me!

The Award Winners this year, as usual, all well deserved, but close to my heart was an award given to Doug Johnson for his Entrepreneurial Spirit. A veteran from the Canadian Armed Forces, Doug remains man of action! Doug is a volunteer fire fighter, a driver for Vintage Inns, and with his wife, Phyllis they chair the Places to Stay group, organize and run A Taste of Niagara and also have a TripAdvisor 5 star rated Inn called WeatherPine.   Both Phyllis and Doug are deserving of the Entrepreneur Award and we wish them continued success!

Also awarded was Shaw Festival, which was accepted by Elaine Calder for Company of the Year.   She acknowledged that the local support of their repertoire theatre is only second to that of patronage from their Toronto clientele! Jack Custers, from our local TV Cogeco, won the Chamber of Commerce President’s Award for his coverage of all our local events. Donna Scott and Jim Garret won the Community Leadership Award for their never ending gift of their time, energy, patience and ingenuity in fundraising for our new General Hospital on 4th Avenue in St Catharines.  Also a very entertaining acceptance speech from the Lord Mayor’s Award of Excellence was Joe Pilittiri. Joe is a home grown comedic talent. Not only does Joe run a successful business he hosts an annual event and this year its February 25th at our Community Centre, 14 Anderson Lane in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Tickets are $25 and 100% of the proceeds go to local charities including Red Roof Retreat, United Way, NOTL Minor Hockey and Atom AE Wolves Hockey development fund.

Congratulations to all the Chamber of Commerce and all the award winners for making Niagara-on-the-Lake an even better place to live!

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