Changes have been planned for the 79th annual Business and Community Excellence Awards in March.
The awards, on Saturday, March 11, are organized by the Summerland Chamber of Commerce to celebrate entrepreneurial spirit, leadership and contribution to the economy and community.
For the next awards, three new categories have been added to recognize excellence in customer service, agri-business and the arts.
The nomination process has also been changed for the next awards. Instead of a selection committee to decide the finalists, voting will be opened up so all nominees are eligible. The awards presentation evening will also change. Instead of a sit-down dinner, followed by the awards ceremony, the evening will be an Oscar-style party at Centre Stage Theatre, with live entertainment, beverages and food stations providing small bites. Nominations for the awards open on Jan. 5. “We anticipate that these changes will bring a new energy to the award process and the gala event, and allow many more people to participate,” said Erick Thompson, president of the chamber.