April 7, 2017

Georgie Awards honour the best in B.C. homebuilding

Tolmie by Natural Balance Premium HomeBuilders.

Tolmie by Natural Balance Premium HomeBuilders.

By Shawn Conner

The 2017 Georgie Awards winners were announced on Saturday, March 11. Awarded to B.C.’s top builders and renovators in 46 categories, the Georgies—now in their 25th year—help set the standard for home building in the province.
Not surprisingly, those who excelled at the annual awards program, presented by the Canadian Home Builders Association of B.C., also had the most nominations. Out of 10 nominations, My House Design/Build/Team Ltd. took home four awards for a range of renovation projects, as well as a Grand Georgie for Residential Renovator of the Year. Zenterra and Natural Balance took two each, out of nine and eight nominations, respectively.
An exception was Foxridge Homes Metro Vancouver. The developer was only nominated in four categories, but won three awards. The awards included a Grand Georgie for Single Family Production Home Builder of the Year, and placed the developer second only to My House Design/Build/Team in terms of wins. This year marked the first time that the developer entered the awards program.

“So it was an honour to know that the homes we’re building for our customers are best in class, I guess, and to be recognized by the industry and by our peers,” said Gary Mertens, vice-president of Foxridge. “The fact that we never entered before, you don’t realize how your product compares to other people’s, from a third-party perspective.”
A few developments also won multiple awards. Among these were Cambridge Residence, Milano and Kootenay Haven. The latter, located in Fernie, won Custom Home Valued Between $1,300,000 and $1,899,999 and Best Certified Home—Custom for LWE Builders; Cambridge Residence earned awards for Best Any Room— New or Renovation and Best Interior Custom Residence—New or Renovation for VictorEric Premium Homes.
Milano, a new condo development in Burnaby, came out tops in the categories Best Multi-Family Kitchen—New and Best Interior Design Display Suite—Single-Family or Multi-Family for Solterra Development Corp.
“We always do one to three projects a year that are different and unique, and we like to bring new ideas and new designs, and add some value and interest, to communities and home owners,” said Laura Rizzo, vice-president of marketing for Solterra.
The company imported the kitchen design and materials for Milano from Italy.
“The kitchen was definitely something we worked on, and it was nice to be rewarded for that. What the judges probably did see is that it was different,” she said.
Georgie Awards categories encompass everything from construction and design to marketing and energy efficiency. Entries had to have been built, renovated, developed, created and/or marketed between January 1, 2015 and Sept. 30, 2016. Finalists and winners were selected by a panel of out-of-province industry professionals.
The awards were handed out at the Hyatt Regency Vancouver. Todd Talbot, co-host of Love It or List It Vancouver, announced the winners in front of a capacity crowd of more than 600 industry professionals. For the awards program’s silver anniversary gala, organizers pulled out all the stops, bringing in a vocal-and-drums electronic duo from Vancouver called DESTINEAK and Westcoast Contortion & Acrobatics, and throwing a masquerade-themed party after the seated dinner.
“It was a great night, exciting for the whole company,” said Foxridge’s Mertens. “Especially to get the honour of (Single Family Home Production) Builder of the Year. It’s certainly a great achievement for our organization.”
Mertens says that that Foxridge is gearing up for 2018.
“We have a couple new projects that should be completed in the time-frame for next year’s entries,” he said. “We’ll definitely be entering again.”

A complete list of the 2017 Georgie Awards winners, finalists and photos can be found at georgieawards.ca.

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