Business bits

NANAIMO: Builders earn accolades from construction industry

A handful of Nanaimo-based construction companies and projects earned gold in 2012 CARE Awards (Construction Achievements and Renovations of Excellence).

The awards ceremony, held at the Fairmont Empress in Victoria in September, hosted 290 builders, trades and suppliers. Fifty-two awards for outstanding Island residential and commercial projects were handed out, including:

Best Single Family Detached Spec Home under 2,000 sq. ft. – Palladian Developments Inc., Cross residence;

Best Residential Renovation or Restoration under $125,000 – Palladian Developments Inc., Robison Reno;

Best Commercial Project – Palladian Developments Inc.,  Seaview Husky;

Best Multi-Family/ Townhouse Project – Hazelwood Holdings Ltd., Rockwood Heights;

Best Interior, Residential 2,000-4,000 sq. ft. – The Interior Design Group and T.S. Williams Construction, The Moorecroft;

Best Outdoor Living Space over $50,000 – T.S. Williams Construction, Arbutus Rock.

“The CARE Awards are an opportunity to celebrate housing in our community, including professionalism, creative design and sustainability,” said Casey Edge, executive officer, CHBA-Victoria.

The Gold CARE Award winners are, in the opinion of the judges, the very best projects incorporating specific criteria including unique design, function, creative use of space, compatibility with the environment, energy efficiency, effective land use, and cost.

Martial arts centre opens

Shaku Family Martial Arts Centre has opened its second Vancouver Island, and fifth Canadian location in Nanaimo.

Located at 117 Nicol St., Shaku is a blend of traditional and contemporary martial arts training as well as lessons for students in the areas of character education and bullying prevention for children; and personal development for teens and adults.

Founded by Cathal Walsh, a principal in the Nanaimo school district, Shaku schools are family centered environments where moms, dads, teens and children can work together as a family to improve physical health, respect, discipline, focus, perseverance and confidence.

“These are the skills and attitudes that help children and adults succeed in school, at work, and in life,” said Walsh. “There are so many activities out there were parents just watch their children participate. At Shaku, parents become active participants and mentors for their children.”

For more information, please call 250-591-0444 or go to

City earns business award

The B.C. Small Business Roundtable has selected Nanaimo as one of six small business friendly communities in the province.

The award recognizes local policies, projects and programs that support small business as judged by a panel of small business leaders from across the province that represent regions, industries and associations.

Highlighted in the city’s submissions were efforts to build a strong business environment through streamlining city processes and investments in economic development.

The city’s support of the Nanaimo Economic Development Corporation, Downtown Nanaimo Business Improvement Association and incorporation of the Nanaimo and District Chamber of Commerce’s Successful Cities initiative in the new strategic plan were among other efforts that helped result in the award.

“The City of Nanaimo is committed to making it easier for small businesses to operate,” said Mayor John Ruttan. “[The award] is reassuring evidence we are on the right track as a community in terms of creating bylaws and processes that allow small business owners to get things done.”

Sasha Angus, CEO of the NEDC, said small business is an important economic driver in Nanaimo.

“Fostering the ongoing success of local businesses means more household-sustaining jobs for our residents and an even stronger quality of life in our community,” he said.


Business Bits is a monthly column focusing on news in Nanaimo’s business community. To contribute, please e-mail

Nanaimo News Bulletin