Nanaimo Business Column

May 5, 2020

VIREB Commercial Building Awards Postponed

Mark MacDonald

Mark MacDonald is President of Communication Ink Media & Public Relations Ltd.

The 13th Annual Vancouver Island Real Estate Board Commercial Building Awards will be held this year – just not in late April as originally planned. Organizers of the gala event, honouring the best in commercial, industrial and revenue producing buildings in 2019, note there are a near-record 43 nominations this year from the Malahat to Port Hardy. The event will be held at a yet to be determined date and location.

Phil and Brenda Levesque have sold Leemar Excavator Components Inc. and Dynamic Hydraulics in Parksville to Matt Conley and Jesse Shiels. Conley, Kyle Kusznieryk and Dorian Cota have purchased the land and building on which the company sits, from the Levesques. Conley owns Macon Industries and Kyle owns Northwest Fabworks, both in Parksville. The Levesques were the founders and majority partners of the Nanaimo Buccaneers team in the Junior B Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League, which they sold two seasons ago.

The Nanaimo Airport Commission has announced that Dave Devana will take over as President and CEO from Mike Hooper, who is retiring in June. Devana, who holds a Chartered Professional Accountant designation, is the former Chief Administrative Officer for Cochrane, Alberta, and previously was deputy CAO in Sooke and CAO for the District of North Cowichan.

They’re back home – finally! Integral Wealth Securities is finally back in its long-term location at 450 Wentworth Street. Andre Sullivan, Daniel Martinez, Mike Hrabowych and the Integral team have been working out of rented space on Skinner Street for the past couple of years while renovations were conducted at their own building, including adding a second floor.

Rachel Mason is now the Controller at St. Jean’s Cannery. Rachel had been with Communication Connection for the past several years, after serving in a management position for Glacier Media and the former Nanaimo Daily News.

Pacific Pearl Dental Hygiene Clinic Inc. is now open in Ladysmith, above the library at 12-740 First Avenue.

A tip of the hat to Little Valley Restorations in Ladysmith, which has is now officially certified by Certified Collision Care. The business is also certified by Kia, Nissan, Honda, Fiat Chrysler and Ford.

They’ve returned! The crew behind the Resident Alien was in Ladysmith recently to do more filming for their television series.

Laurie Bienart, Executive Director of the Nanaimo Foundation, is pleased to announce that donors to the Nanaimo Foundation and the Tom Harris Community Foundation have contributed $150,000 to launch a Community Response Fund to provide relief to urgent community needs due to the COVID-19 crisis.

The funds will be disbursed where support is needed, with the first phase going towards food security, assisting vulnerable seniors and housing needs for low-income families due to COVID-19 related closures.

Winners of the First Annual Ladysmith Heritage Awards include Munroe Myers of renowned palate pleasing Roberts Street Pizza at 20 Roberts Street, and to Karen Olenik for renovating 431 First Avenue, which is home to White Space Living Store and Plantitude Vegan Restaurant.

Erin MacDonald is now the Marketing Communications Manager at the Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island.

Alison Booth is the new owner of Pure Spa at 93 Commercial Street, taking over the business from previous owner Karen Murphy.

Former Nanaimo Clipper forward Dave Robinson is now Director of Sales at Horizon View Homes in northern Colorado. Robinson, a Nanaimo native, was the left winger on the highest scoring line in BC Hockey League history, and the record, set in 1979-80 along with John Newberry and Dave Wheeldon, still stands today.

Amrikko‘s Redevelopment plans for 1400 Wingrove Street in a $2.5M three floor mixed-use building with a restaurant, commercial and rental units are coming to fruition, as construction is underway on the site across from Departure Bay.

Westmark Construction Ltd. is renovating the Psychology Group medical clinic at 201 – 6545 Portsmouth Road.

A tip of the hat to Brad Archibald, who has been promoted to the position of Assistant Vice President of commercial real estate firm Colliers International.

Millstone Winery and Vineyard is expanding by adding another building to its location at 2300 East Wellington Road.

Posh Nails has moved into a location at 103 – 601 Bruce Avenue.

Communications Manager Hayley Picard notes that Queen Margaret’s School in Duncan is pleased to announce that David Robertson has stepped into the role as Head of School. David is the former Headmaster of Shawnigan Lake School and brings over 40 years of experience in education and Canadian boarding schools to QMS.

Nanaimo-based Mighty Speck Records, founded by James Kasper, is back in business, and the record label has announced its new 21-band roster, that includes seven local artists and one from Ladysmith. Folk, rock, heavy metal and hip hop genres are featured on the label.

Mark MacDonald is President of Communication Ink Media & Public Relations Ltd. and can be reached at


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