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21st Annual Awards of Excellence

On October 28, 2021 the Kawartha Chamber of Commerce & Tourism (KCCT) with Host Sponsor BALL Real Estate Inc., Brokerage held the 21st Annual Awards of Excellence – virtually! With the largest number of nominations ever, some very difficult decisions had to be made by the judging panel. This speaks volumes about all the wonderful businesses, organizations and individuals in this region that throughout this difficult time have displayed excellence, perseverance and commitment. Our recipients, finalists, nominees and ALL local businesses should be so proud! 

Attendees enjoyed a VIP Pre-Show with special guests Irish Millie and Bob Trennum, emceed by Cindy Windover and Mike Corner!  The VIP Pre-Show also included an exclusive chef demonstration from renowned Angle Iron Kitchen’s Chef Brian Henry.

Chef Brian & Greg Ball

Irish Millie

Bob Trennum






Deb Crossen, Wendy Smith and Cindy Windover hosted the Awards ceremony, giving the audience light-hearted laughs while celebrating our local businesses! The Kawartha Chamber thanks the community and sponsors for their support!

Deb Crossen & Wendy Smith



Citizen of the Year (sponsored by Herod Financial Services)

Sarah Budd 

Sarah Budd is literally putting a roof over people’s heads! Having been with Habitat for Humanity, Peterborough & Kawartha Region since 2006, and 14 years of that tenure as CEO, her tireless advocacy for affordable housing has seen dozens of families in our region achieve home ownership.

When she started with Habitat, they had only built four homes by that point, there was one ReStore and four staff with an administrative person. From the beginning she was a visionary, and soon crafted a plan for what needed to be done to have a bigger impact. 

Within three years she moved the organization from a working to a governance Board, increased ReStore sales, and ramped up staff so more than one home could be built in a year while not burning out volunteers. The organization’s reach has been expanded to Haliburton County and City of Kawartha Lakes. Two more ReStores – one in Lindsay and a second in Peterborough – are now operating and sales have grown from $350,000 a year to $2 million.

This year they are working on a 41-unit building on Leahy’s Lane in Peterborough, plus a few others for a total of 44 homes this year. That is more than they have built in total, since the inception of the organization! Sarah has spearheaded this major affordable housing solution for our area.

Sarah says that leading Habitat has been like raising a child. It is interwoven with who she is, and she is especially proud of what has been accomplished, both the number of homes built and the empowerment of volunteers. Having been the face of the organization, she feels blessed and lucky.

Finalists not announced 


Lifetime Achievement (sponsored by Herod Financial Services)

Harry Pearson 

Harry Pearson is a tireless volunteer and has been for decades. He is the third generation on the family farm where he managed a cow-calf beef operation for 40 years. He feels it is important to keep agricultural land productive and viable, and his goal is to leave it better than he found it. 

Not long after retiring from farming in 2003, he began volunteering with Habitat for Humanity. He was involved with the build on Bethune St and then Buckhorn in 2006 and one or more homes every year since. From Lakefield to Lindsay, Curve Lake to Bobcaygeon, Norwood to Warsaw and Peterborough, Harry volunteered 1000’s of hours. He was involved with everything including ground-breaking, footings through to framing, finishing and even handing over the keys to some of the forever grateful families. He often acted as the Lead Hand and managed the build crew. Even during COVID when construction was postponed, he built and gifted kitchen cabinets for a Habitat home.

Additionally, he has been on the Board of Wesley United Church for over 40 years; and the Board of the Lakefield Cemetery for over 30 years. Currently he is helping with the renovations at “The Barn” for Lakefield Youth Unlimited.

He feels he has had a lot of help himself through the years, so wants to provide the same to others. Recently turning 83, Harry’s wish is to continue to make a difference in people’s lives and leave this world a better place.

Special award selected by judges.


Outstanding Business Achievement (sponsored by County of Peterborough)

Beachwood Resort

Beachwood Resort has been under the watchful eye of the Morgan family for over 75 years and three-generations. This full-service, year-round operation with 1400ft of shoreline and lakeside restaurant is perfect for family getaways, weddings, conferences, romantic retreats, and anglers. 120 guests are accommodated in 31 units. There is a long-standing commitment to the environment with geothermal heating and cooling, hanging sheets outdoors and recycling since 1994. They offer more than just a room – guests feel part of the Beachwood family.

  • Central Smith Creamery
  • Kawartha Lakes Construction


Young Professional (sponsored by Community Futures Peterborough)

Mallory Graham 

Mallory Graham has had the passion of an entrepreneur from a young age. She managed her parents’ business, Terry’s Gas, for four years and founded Rosey’s Trading Post in 2013, soon after completing university. This retail operation in Curve Lake was one of the first Native stores in Canada to have a digital store. It was rebranded in 2019 as Tribal Trade Co. Additionally, she provides consulting services on Indigenous marketing for Native brands and is a popular keynote speaker.

Tribal Trade’s mission is to connect tribal people, being Indigenous or non-Indigenous, as they continue to learn and celebrate their connection to their heritage. Mallory’s focus on expanding their online presence including First Nation teachings, has seen their YouTube channel attract almost 18,000 subscribers and close to 30,000 followers on other social platforms.

She shares indigenous culture through tribal teachings to help those who are feeling disconnected from their culture and to expand cultural understanding within the non-Indigenous. Over 3000 people from around the world registered for their first Smudge Circle online course. 

She offers this advice for other young professionals. “Be really aware of yourself and what you want. Allow yourself to change your mind. Try things, experiment to find out what you love. During triumphs and hard times, be true to yourself.”

Finalists not announced.


Commercial Development or Renovation (sponsored by RBC Royal Bank)

Kingdon Timber Mart – Lakefield 

Located in Lakefield since 1927, Kingdon Timber Mart wanted their new 46,000-sq-ft retail store to pay homage to their history and location. Rough cut timber posts, canopies and farm-stone blend columns provide more of a cottage country feel than the usual big box. Materials and techniques were used for recommendation to customers. Parking spaces are two-feet wider for easy loading and ¼ are designed for truck and trailer pull-through. The project was 10 years in the making!

  • BALL Real Estate Inc., Brokerage – Apsley
  • Cambium


Customer Service Excellence (sponsored by CIBC– Mobile Advice & Commercial Banking)

Buns & Sweets 

This Bridgenorth bakery, has the mindset that they serve guests rather than customers. Their Employee Handbook details this guest philosophy. Unlike many bakeries they bake throughout the day to ensure guests have a great selection whenever they arrive. Guests are happily served outside their regular hours of business and when able, recipes are tweaked to accommodate intolerances or preferences. They have also been a much-welcomed addition to the Lakefield Farmers’ Market.

  • Computer Garage
  • Style Boutique
  • Village Pet Food & Supply


Entrepreneur Innovation (sponsored by Shop The Lake)

The Grape and Wedge

Hoping to provide wine and cheese tasting events in North Kawartha and area, the pandemic threatened the success of this new business. By collaborating with other businesses who could open, cottagers and locals were still able to pick up their artisanal cheeses and gourmet food offerings including Cottage Entertainment Bags, Cheese of the Month Club and Carnivore Club products. Two part-time staff were hired, and they opened their own location in Glen Alda.

  • Coco Cakes
  • Living Local Box


Not-for-Profit Excellence (sponsored by Darling Insurance)

Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre

Founded in 2002, they are Canada’s leading turtle rehabilitation organization and recognized internationally for ground-breaking methodology. Initially admitting 25 turtles per year they now receive 1000-1500. Over 5000 eggs are incubated yearly and over 1500 turtles are released. This work directly improves the ecological health of wetland ecosystems. Social media videos reached 3-million viewers last year. Their team consists of 4 staff and over 900 volunteers including 842 turtle taxi drivers.

  • Lakefield Farmers’ Market
  • Peterborough Public Health & Peterborough County/City Paramedics


Retailer of the Year (sponsored by Nexicom)

Lockside Trading Company

For over 34 years this one-of-a-kind shopping experience has been a sought-after destination for locals and visitors. With over 7,000 sq ft, in 14-themed rooms, they welcome over 100,000 people yearly to Young’s Point. Proud promoters of Canadian-made, their interior design services accommodate any budget, any location, and any style. They regularly host their own fundraisers to support community initiatives. Their philosophy is customers come first – always and without hesitation.

  • Lakefield Flowers & Gifts
  • Tragically Hipp Fashion Gallery


Service Sector Excellence (sponsored by ISL Insurance Brokers)

Hendren Funeral Homes

Operating in Lakefield since 1865, they provide an all-inclusive service. They don’t prescribe what a family should do but offer guidance. A funeral service should be as unique as the life it honours. Providing strength and support when needed, they are adept at knowing when to step back to give the family time and privacy. Webcasting and Zoom were helpful options for families during the pandemic. Integrity, respectful relationships, and trust are cornerstones of their service.

  • Apsley Dental
  • Kawartha Lakes Construction
  • Strexer Harrop & Associates


Tourism/Hospitality Excellence (sponsored by Peterborough & the Kawarthas Economic Development)

Burleigh Falls Inn & Suites

Established as the Park Hotel in 1859, this small property bundles “things to do in our area,” to attract visitors. Passionate staff go above and beyond, sharing the best fishing spots, paddling routes, and local lore. Creative pandemic adaptations include Takeout Sunday Dinner for Four, Easter Brunch to Go, Mother’s Day High Tea Boxes and intimate wedding packages. Being environmentally conscientious there is an onsite, Class-2 sewage and water treatment facility and “Leave Only Footprints” signage.

  • Lang Pioneer Village Museum
  • Old Bridge Inn & Restaurant
  • The Village Inn





The auction at our Awards event has always been much anticipated. This year the auction is online! 

 Knowing that many of our faithful donors have been having difficult times the Chamber didn’t want to seek donations. Enbridge Gas became a Chamber member this year and immediately wanted to help. They donated funds for KCCT to purchase items from members for the Choose Local Auction. 

Many thanks to Enbridge for their generosity and desire to support local businesses and the Chamber!

This year the Choose Local Auction has an array of items from gift cards to large packages and local getaways! There is something for everyone – show your support for local and bid on these great items! Auction is also being run through Chamber member ShopCloseBuy


Thursday, October 28, Noon to Monday, November 8, 8:00pm