March 21, 2012
Building Dreams: B.C. Housing Stars Honoured
In January, film and television industry stars walked down the red carpet at the Golden Globes; in February they stepped out for the Academy Awards. Last month, our residential housing stars celebrated their own considerable achievements at the 20th gala anniversary of the Georgie Awards, an impressive display of talents with hundreds of industry members in attendance. The Canadian Home Builders Association of British Columbia established the awards in 1992 and they have become Canada’s strongest residential-construction awards program, honouring the province’s best architects, builders, developers, renovators, landscapers, sales and marketing professionals, web designers and graphic artists.
The 20th annual Georgie Awards — ‘an impressive display of talents.’
One of the featured speakers at the gala celebration Feb. 25 at the Vancouver Convention Centre West, Premier Christy Clark praised the industry for “your resilience and determination. I always talk about the importance of families. You build dreams for families; you build their biggest lifelong investment and we are proud of what you do here in B.C.” One of the most coveted honours – the Platinum Award – was handed out to Portrait Homes and MAC Marketing Systems, given only to companies that have won at least 25 Georgie Awards. Next in line should be Concert Real Estate, now sitting at 23, counting this year’s six gold Georgie Awards, the most in the company’s history.
In another much-desired, relatively new initiative, Customer Choice powered by AVID homeowners and renovation clients judge who’s best in B.C. through an independent, third-party poll. “CHBA BC’s decision to institute a program in which customers cast their vote was a bold one, and shows a confident, take-charge industry,” said M.J. Whitemarsh, the association’s CEO.
Winners in the six Customer Choice categories this year were: Concert Real Estate (Mid Rise Condo Production Builder), Mibroc Group (Stacked Multi-Family Production Builder), Portrait Homes (Multi-Family Production Builder and Single-Family Production Builder), G.D. Nielsen (Single-Family Custom Home Builder) and maison d’etre (Residential Renovator of the Year).
B.C.’s builders of highrises have earned a worldwide reputation. This year, Solterra Development’s Dolce at Symphony Place at Smithe and Richards won three gold Georgie Awards, including Best Multi-Family High-Rise Development, High Rise Residential Community of the Year and Best Interior Design Display Suite – Multi-Family. Larco Investments’ Morgan Crossing in South Surrey won Best Multi-Family Low Rise Development, Adera Development’s seven35 in North Vancouver was judged Best Townhouse Development and Vesta Properties’ Milner Heights in Langley beat out the competition for Residential Community of the Year.
MAC Marketing Solutions won Marketing Campaign of the Year, Homescape Building & Design Custom Home Builder of the Year and maison d’etre design-build Residential Renovator of the Year. Since entering the Georgie Awards in 2009, Vesta Properties has earned 16 finalist awards; this time Milner Heights in Langley struck gold as Residential Community of the Year. Spread over 300 acres of green space with extensive trails and landscaped ponds, it has proved the company’s bestselling project.
“We’re definitely excited to receive the Georgie Award this year, recognition of how well the project has been done, that we’ve obviously done something right. Our sales are higher than others in the area and it’s not hard to understand why,” says senior marketing manager Curt Woodhall. “Milner Heights is pretty unique for the Fraser Valley with our five distinct housing types: freehold rowhomes, townhomes, manor homes and single-family homes with attached and detached garages. So you get every layer of price point which has enabled us to find something for everybody.” Add to that its Built Green status and classic arts and crafts architecture with plenty of brick and warm wood details, all a winning combination.
Among the most impressive showings was Concert Real Estate with six awards, including Customer Choice as well as Large Volume Multi-Family Home Builder of the year. Four of the company’s Georgie Awards were given for Tapestry at Wesbrook Village UBC, a seniors’ community: the Sustainable and Innovative Community Award, Best Multi-Family Landscape Design, Best Brochure and Best Ad Campaign.
Tapestry comprises two six-storey mid-rises with rental apartments, condominium homes and street-level retail, the buildings linked by an above-ground walkway and a pedestrian greenway at street level. For a complete list of Georgie Awards winners and photos of their homes and communities visit: www.georgieawards.ca. On the site you’ll also find the Leaderboard, showing wins and finalist awards back to 1992, the year it all began.