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Inaugural VICA Awards show off Vancouver Island’s finest projects

Russell Hixson
Inaugural VICA Awards show off Vancouver Island’s finest projects
VICA - Yello on Yates netted Kinetic Construction an award in the General Contractor – Over $10 Million category at the recently held inaugural Vancouver Island Construction Association awards.

The Vancouver Island Construction Association (VICA) hosted its inaugural VICA Awards this month. VICA CEO Rory Kulmala explained that the awards celebrate the highest achievements of the Island’s construction industry, which has faced challenging conditions in recent years.

“I think if anything, the work done on Vancouver Island is certainly something,” said Kulmala. “It defies logic how well our industry does. In the last couple years lots of demands have been put on construction with lots working to our disadvantage, yet we still see a high level of output. We punch well above our weight.”

The awards saw over 50 submissions and Kulmala is hoping to grow participation in the coming years. Project-specific awards were evaluated based on key performance indicators such as financials, schedule, challenges overcome, safety records, innovation, and sustainability.

“I think we have had a great response for our inaugural run,” he said. “I think we’ve set a precedent for how to identify companies, what we are doing and how we are doing it. It just sets us up for success in the future.”

The City of Campbell River Water Treatment Plant, the Union Club Building Renovation and the North Island Hospital were projects that saw Vancouver Island companies shine, noted Kulmala. VICA hosted a gallery recently to honor the winners.

“What was also great was how our award winners acknowledged the other trades and the other companies they worked with,” said Kulmala.

The new awards also honoured the top under-40 leader in the industry, the top advocate for industry education and the outstanding woman in construction.

“for the outstanding woman in construction, we had some great finalists, so it was hard to choose just one,” said Kulmala. “These people being identified certainly showcase the strength and depth and diversity in our industry.”

The VICA Member of the Year award went to Victoria-based Rob Tournour Masonry (RTM) for its local and international charity efforts. The company sent a small team assist Nepalese rebuild schools after a crippling 2015 earthquake. The company also gives to local programs and clubs throughout the year.

“Rob Tournour Masonry strongly believes that it is our responsibility to support the arts, community sports teams and, for over 15 years, the Boys and Girls Club of Victoria,” said Rob Tournour, president of RTM, in a statement. “We have also always believed in promoting the masonry trade and construction in general through our involvement with VICA and we are humbled and very proud to be the recipients of the first ever VICA Member of The Year award.”

Kulmala said VICA has opportunities to expand the awards, but he wants to continue to keep the categories fairly narrow and specific.

“We thought it was time we acknowledged the effort that these companies do in our community”

The award winners are as follows:

VICA Member of the Year

  • Rob Tournour Masonry
  • Finalist: Century Group Inc. Constructors

General Contractor – Over $10 Million

  • Kinetic Construction Ltd. | 819 Yates Street, Yello on Yates
  • Finalist: Knappett Projects Inc., The Amica at Gorge
  • Finalist: Knappett Projects Inc., City of Campbell River Water Treatment Plant

General Contractor – Up to $10 Million

  • Saywell Contracting Ltd. | Nuutsumuut Lelum (Nanaimo Passive House)
  • Finalist: Century Group Inc. Constructors, 620 Superior Street Tenant Improvements
  • Finalist: Knappett Projects Inc., Union Club Buildin Renovations

Trade Contractor

  • Olde Country Masonry Ltd. | Union Club Building Renovation
  • Finalist: Olde Country Masonry, City of Campbell River Water Treatment Plant
  • Finalist: Flynn Canada Ltd., 819 Yates Street, Yello on Yates

Electrical Contractor

  • Houle Electric Ltd. | North Island Hospitals (Comox Valley Hospital); Victoria International Airport, HBS Recapitalization
  • Finalist: Canem Systems Ltd., The Amica at Gorge

Mechanical Contractor – Over $3 Million

  • Trotter & Morton Group of Companies | Vancouver Island University (VIU) Health and Sciences Centre
  •  Finalist: Erb Technical Contracting Ltd., The Amica at Gorge

Mechanical Contractor – Up to $3 Million

  • Erb Technical Contracting Ltd. | Brentwood College Foote Athletic Centre

Manufacturer and Supplier

  • Longhouse Forest Products | Pacific Centre Family Services
  • Finalist: Brock White Canada, Brentwood College Foote Athletic Centre
  • Finalist: Victaulic, Vancouver Island University (VIU) Health and Sciences Centre

Innovation and Productivity

  • Houle Electric Ltd. | Construction Site Security Video Monitoring

Outstanding Woman in Construction

  • Kate Ulmer, Herold Engineering Ltd.
  • Finalist: Jayna Wiewiorowski, Camosun College
  • Finalist: Kathy Price, Knappett Projects Inc.

U40 Excellence in Construction

  • Daniel Behrens, Knappett Projects Inc.
  • Finalist: Barclay Ellis, Trades Labour Corporation (TLC) Victoria
  • Finalist: Eric Ulrich, Playsted Sheet Metal

Education Leadership

  • Sarah Jayne-Roe, Camosun College
  • Finalist: Cori Coutts, Knappett Projects Inc.
  • Finalist: Mark Taylor, Mark Taylor Construction Advisory Services Ltd.

Safety Awards

  • Houle Electric Ltd.
  • Cumberland Ready-Mix Ltd.
  • K5 Contracting (Drilling & Blasting Contractor) Ltd.
  • Casman Projects (BC) Inc.

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