TIMMINS – Rainville Health’s billboard on Riverside Drive created a “little bit of a buzz,” the business owners admitted to a packed house at 12th-annual Nova Business Excellence Awards Thursday night.
Tina and her husband Patrick said they were getting calls at their home.
Tina said some people thought their sign had been spray painted over to read, “Say goodbye to painville” instead “Say hello to Rainville.”
Others realized the sign hadn’t been vandalized but questioned whether the Rainvilles were making some sort of political statement.
Patrick recalled, “We had people calling our house saying, “What’s the matter, are you mad at the city? Say goodbye to Painville?”
The design was clearly achieving its goal in attracting attention.
At the 2014 Novas held at the McIntyre Arena Thursday, Rainville Health received the RBC Marketing Achievement Award.
It was one of 15 awards presented at what has become a signature event of the Timmins Chamber of Commerce, recognizing the achievements and innovations of local entrepreneurs.
The event was a sellout with more than 600 people in attendance.
Art Pultz, the chamber’s past president, served as the master of ceremonies of the gala event and announced this was the third-consecutive year tickets to the Novas were sold out.
Phil Barton, Timmins chamber president explained, “The purpose of the Nova Awards is to acknowledge some of the businesses that make contributions to the community throughout the year. It’s an honour to be a finalist and I think maybe it is also an incentive to companies to strive to do more for their community.”
Among Barton’s functions for the evening was presenting the President’s Award.
The award, he explained, recognizes businesses that have excelled in multiple categories, including entrepreneurial excellence and contributions to the community.
The award this year was presented to BMT Insurance and Financial Services.
“They have certainly contributed a lot to both the community and to the chamber, but they couldn’t be chosen or nominated in the past because the company president (Joel Bergeron) was directly involved with the Novas themselves.”
Last year, Bergeron was the co-chairman of the Nova Awards organizing committee.
“This year, we felt we were able to honour him because he is no longer involved with the process,” said Barton.
Thursday’s evening gala transformed the McIntyre Arena with a Garden Party theme to “reflect the ability of Timmins businesses to grow and flourish.”
Attendees set foot on real grass laid throughout the entrance while the presence of a backyard pagoda helped to build on the theme.
The 15 awards were presented to the following businesses and entrepreneurs:
• Business Contribution to the Community Award (1-30 employees), Dubé Designs (Jacqueline and Marc Dubé, owners);
• Porcupine Gold Mines Business Contribution to Community Award (31+ employees), Davidson de Laplante Insurance Brokers (Pierre de Laplante, president);
• Northern College Service Excellence Award, Guy’s Custom Cabinets (Guy Albert, owner);
• Caisse Populaire de Timmins New Business (less than two years) Award, Holiday Inn Express & Suites Timmins (John Crescenzi, general manager);
• RBC Marketing Innovation Achievement Award, Rainville Health (Patrick and Tina Rainville, chiropodists and owners);
• Collège Boréal Young Entrepreneur (under 30) Award, Paul Brunet and Alain Lefebvre, owners of Great White North Technology Consulting;
• NorFab Metal and Machine Best Place to Work Award, Panels and Pipes Inc. (Greg Hart, vice-president);
• TD Bank Group Business of the Year (1-5 employees), Quantum Realty Services (Kerri Blais, co-owner);
• Scotiabank Business of the Year (6-49 employees), Porcupine Canvass (Brenda Hagerty, general manager);
• Northern Credit Union Limited Business of the Year (50+ employees), Premier Recyling Limited (Morris Lindenbaum, president);
• City of Timmins Non-Profit Organization Award, Timmins Native Friendship Centre (Gary Martin, president);
• Environmental Excellence Award, Premier Recyling Limited (Morris Lindenbaum, president);
• NorthernTel Technology Award, Gorf Manufacturing/Contracting Ltd. (Mark Norkum Jr., general manager);
• De Beers Canada Aboriginal Partnership Award, CreeWest GP Inc. (Ron Basaraba, chief executive); and
• President’s Award, BMT Insurance and Financial Services (Joel Bergeron, president).
The recipients were selected from among more than 95 nominations by a committee of six independent community judges – Timmins Daily Press