For one night only a memorable evening was created on the banks of the Waikato River, when Hamilton’s best CBD businesses came together to celebrate a night of success, achievement and festivity at the annual CBD Celebration Awards.
Hosted by Hamilton Central Business Association (HCBA), guests were welcomed into a transparent marquee themed for the night by event design company Royal Laboratorie.
The major sponsors of the evening Spark NZ, were delighted to put their support behind this event, recognising and celebrating local business in the CBD. “It was such a great evening of true celebration and having the opportunity for Spark to get behind the local business community aligns well with our organisations values.”
A number of Hamilton businesses contributed to the evening’s success, from SBI Productions taking up the challenge of providing lighting and technology in a venue with no power, to Moving Media capturing the evening’s magic on film.
Kerr & Ladbrook provided guests with delicious canapes, with dessert arriving halfway through the night on wheels from Duck Island’s newly renovated food truck. Coral Pitcher struck a chord with the crowd, providing musical entertainment and Stu & Camille from The Breeze ensured the evening flowed to perfection as guest MCs.
The number of entrants in the 2020 Hamilton CBD Celebration Awards exceeded previous years and came as no surprise to HCBA General Manager Vanessa Williams. “This year has obviously been one like no other and has really highlighted the role local businesses play in being the backbone for the community. This is a time we need to be shouting from the rooftops, or in this case from the riverside, about their fantastic achievements and their value to our society”.
Local radio station The Breeze who were onsite as both sponsors and attendees of the evening couldn’t agree more. “Local is where it is at. New Zealanders are wanting to support the people and businesses in their own town. 2020 has really shown us the importance of supporting and spending locally to keep our communities going,” said Steve Rowe, GM Mediaworks.
Over 70 entrants were judged across 13 categories in the Best Awards. “The opportunity to hear their stories and successes of our businesses is a humbling experience. There is so much to be celebrated in our CBD and it is these businesses that are contributing to the creation of a dynamic, desirable CBD we can and should all be proud of,” says Vanessa.
Connie Chittick, Chair of the HCBA agreed. “It is always a highlight to hear about our central city businesses and their unique achievements throughout the year and particularly in a year which has presented so many challenges. To be able to take the time to recognise and celebrate business success, is always a rewarding experience.”
An additional highlight to the evening was an intimate music performance from renowned singer/songwriter Hollie Smith. It seemed only fitting with the venue that Hollie ended her set with her international acclaimed hit Bathe in the River.
The CBD Celebration Awards were sponsored by Spark NZ and The Breeze, with support from Kerr & Ladbrook catering, Moving Media for photos and video, sound and lighting by SBI Productions and venue design and decoration by Royal Laboratorie.
Photo: Soul Gallery won Best Retail, People’s Choice and Best of the Best.
BEST RETAIL Winner – Soul Gallery
Runner Up – Texas Radio
Highly Commended – Snapshot
BEST CAFÉ Winner – Cucina Café
Runner Up – Hungry Eyes Café
Highly Commended – Frank Café
BEST SERVICE Winner – Lab Brow Bar
Runner Up – Haley Adele Photography
Highly Commended – Taylored Health
BEST EATERY/BAR Winner – Dumpling House
Runner Up – The Chilli House
Highly Commended – Banh Mi Caphe
BEST EXPERIENCE Winner – The Factory
Runner Up – Lilliputt Fun Zone
Highly Commended- Waikato Museum
BEST PROFESSIONAL SERVICE Winner – Beca
Runner Up – The Instillery
Highly Commended – Soda Inc
BEST DEVELOPMENT UNDER $500,000 Winner – Lilliputt Fun Zone – Escape Rooms
BEST DEVELOPMENT OVER $500,000 Winner – Panama Square – East Lobby Extension
BEST SOCIAL MEDIA Winner – Snack Baby
BEST SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY Winner – SkyCity Hamilton
BIG SPLASH Winner – Lab Brow Bar
PEOPLE’S CHOICE Winner – Soul Gallery
BEST OF THE BEST Winner Soul Gallery