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Promoting inclusivity, building relationships

Penticton B.C. chamber of commerce fills an awards gap

Recognizing businesses with a positive impact on the Aboriginal community will be one of two new awards at this year’s local business awards in Penticton, B.C.

The Penticton and Wine Country Chamber of Commerce is introducing to its Business Excellence Awards an award that “recognizes the contribution a business has made through inclusivity with the local Aboriginal community,” according to its website.

Chamber executive director Brandy Maslowski said the award was filling a void in the annual ceremony.

“It’s something that was glaringly missing,” she said. “We have such a huge Aboriginal culture here in Penticton, and there are a whole bunch of Aboriginal businesses.”

She said this award could apply to businesses that hire a significant number of aboriginal students over the summer, or a business with strong aboriginal programs.

Penticton Indian Band Chief Jonathan Kruger said, “I think it’s a positive step towards building relationships.” He added that these relationships have a historical significance.

"A long time ago, when the first settlers came into our lands, we did have those relationships. We had business relationships, friendships, and partnerships.”

The awards ceremony will be held on Oct. 15 at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre from 5-11 p.m. and will include a champagne reception and dinner with wine.

Nominations are open until Sept. 15, and can be made at the Chamber of Commerce's website.

(Info from


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