Published On: Thursday, 02 November 2017

Celebrating the Best of the West Shore

Celebrating the Best of the West Shore

- Julie Lawlor is the Executive Director at the WestShore Chamber of Commerce. You can reach her at

WEST SHORE - By the time you read this, we will have celebrated the 2017 Best of the West Shore Awards at The Westin Bear Mountain on October 26th, and the winners and finalists will be public.

This is the third year the WestShore Chamber has partnered with the Goldstream News Gazette, offering an entirely public voting platform of over 40 categories including businesses, organizations and favourite community places across Colwood, the Highlands, Langford, Metchosin and View Royal.

In 2016, these 40+ categories attracted around 7.500 votes. In 2017, there were over 30,000. This four-fold increase at first seems quite unbelievable – but we did a couple of things differently this year.

Over a five-week period in the spring, we invited West Shore organizations to register their name against their preferred Award category. This meant that when the voting platform went live, individual businesses were listed against many categories as options for voting. Instant name recognition was therefore provided for those 72 organizations that registered.

Having been involved in the registration process these 72 businesses were ready when the Best of the West Shore Awards voting platform opened in mid-July. We saw a lot more traffic on social media than in previous years, with businesses asking for their customers’ votes. We also kept the voting platform open for a longer period this year, closing it on Labour Day after a six-week window.

The more voting there is, the more robust the results and it’s been really interesting to review the top three nominees in each of the categories for 2017. For some Awards the top three favourites in the West Shore have held their own, but in some cases there’s been a shift in position between first, second and third. In other categories we’re seeing new names – some are new businesses, while others are well-established.

It is a real privilege to be a Chamber in such a vibrant community and we are delighted to be celebrating the Best of the West Shore. Congratulations to all of the nominees, and a sincere thank you to all of our 18 sponsors who do so much in our community.

A special thank you to Title Sponsor Peninsula Co-op and our Gold Sponsors Camosun College, Coastal Community Credit Union, Elements Casino, Royal Roads University, the University of Victoria and The Westin Bear Mountain.

For more information about the Best of the West Shore Awards, please visit the following link.