The best of Abbotsford's business community were honoured at the 17th annual Business Excellence Awards at Tradex Wednesday.
The gala celebration is an established tradition in Abbotsford's business community, and the latest event was the most successful ever, said Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce executive director Allan Asaph.
A total of 530 guests attended the gala to see 90 nominees vie for awards in 11 different categories.
The crowd was entertained by the popular Business in Black dance troupe and later entranced by Shawn Farquhar - a two-time world champion of magic.
"It was a record crowd," said Asaph. "It was a magical evening. The decorations and trimmings made it a very special occasion."
Farquhar, who displayed his prowess as a master card magician, wowed guests at the formal evening, said Asaph.
"He dazzled and surprised everybody in the place, I can tell you," he said.
Asaph said the entire business community and members of the chamber benefit from the evening that showcases the best and brightest in local business.
"We get to recognize businesses working hard to rise above the ordinary, and learn more about who those individuals and businesses are," he said.
"And there are always surprises."
Each of the 90 nominees was interviewed by a panel of three judges who then make a final and difficult decision about the award winners.
However, Asaph noted that individual nominees are recognized at the event as well, given the high calibre of their work and businesses.
Asaph said the chamber's organizing committee is already geared up and ready to work on next year's event.
"We're already busy. Nominations are already open for next year's awards," he said.
The 2012 Abbotsford Business Excellence Awards winners:
Home Based Business Excellence - Perfect Sense Events & Balloon Supply
Retailer Excellence - Strung Out On Beads
Manufacturing & Production Excellence - Vitalus Nutrition Inc.
Agricultural & Agri-Business Excellence - Lepp Farm Market
Consumer Services Excellence - Restaurant 62
Business Services Excellence - Hana Sushi
Eric Vanderham Young Entrepreneur of the Year - Brock Tilling - Project Climbing Centre
Non Profit Organization of the Year - Abbotsford Restorative Justice Advocacy Association
New Business of the Year-Pharmasave
Established Business of the Year (1-19 Employees) - International Machine Transport
Established Business of the Year (20+ Employees) - Best Western Plus Regency Inn & Conference Centre
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