Published On: Thursday, 29 September 2016

October is all About the Best of the West Shore

October is all About the Best of the West Shore

- Julie Lawlor is the Executive Director at the WestShore Chamber of Commerce. You can reach her at 250-478-1130 or

WEST SHORE - By the time you read this, voting will have closed for the Best of the West Shore 2016. If last year is anything to go on, we expect a wide spectrum of votes across the spread of 8 favourite community places and 32 business categories. The 40 categories range from “Best Place to Take an Out-of-Town Visitor” to the favourite “Best Restaurant.” New categories this year include “Best Place for Eye Care” and “Best Tech/IT Business.”

Once the voting closes, there is a feverish tallying and cross-checking that takes place so that we can confirm which organizations/locations have been voted into the top 3 before we start making our 100+ phone calls at the beginning of October. It is one of my favourite times of the year, because business owners and managers are invariably thrilled to hear that their customers have voted for them.

Mitzi Dean of Pacific Centre Family Services Association, whose Skookum Café won the 2015 First Place for “Best Independent Coffee Shop” says of the Awards that “together we are building community not just economically but also as a community. The spotlight shines on businesses that are actually supporting the building of community in the West Shore.”

One of these supportive businesses is our Title Sponsor Peninsula Co-op, a Vancouver Island based co-operative who has supported the Chamber Awards over the last four years. Being entirely locally owned, Peninsula Co-op shares their profits with their member-owners, their community and their staff, which has been a part of their philanthropy since they opened their doors in 1977.

Peninsula Co-op currently has approximately 85,000 active member-owners. In 2015 $5.5 million in rebate cheques were given out and in addition Peninsula Co-op donated in excess of $370,000 to over 250 local charities, organizations, youth groups, student scholarships and community projects.

While I don’t have space here to acknowledge all of our sponsors please go to to learn more about the 12 (and climbing) businesses and organization who are supporting the 2016 Best of the West Shore Awards – with our thanks.

This all culminates in an Awards dinner which will take place this year at Olympic View Golf Club on October 26th. Tickets will sell out fast, so if you’re interested please get in touch!