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Burnaby Business Excellence Awards honours local innovators and entrepreneurs

Annual gala recognizes business achievements and community contributions in Burnaby, fostering a culture of economic growth and collaboration
24th Annual Burnaby Business Excellence Awards.

Now in its 24th year, the Burnaby Business Excellence Awards (BBEAs), initiated by the Burnaby Board of Trade (BBOT) and the City of Burnaby, continues to honour and elevate local businesses and entrepreneurs for their contributions to the economy and community. 

This prestigious event, culminating in an annual gala, stands as the city's most significant business recognition, fostering a culture of innovation and community involvement.

The BBEAs, according to Paul Holden, president and CEO of BBOT, play a crucial role in highlighting the achievements of businesses in Burnaby. 

“It’s about showcasing the best and celebrating excellence in our city,” Holden says. 

The awards, which began in 2000, have since grown to include a wide range of categories, reflecting the diverse and dynamic nature of the Burnaby business landscape.

Under Holden's leadership, BBOT, celebrating over a century of service, has become a pivotal force in Burnaby's economic development. The organization's unique dual role as both the city's chamber of commerce and its economic development office allows it to effectively bridge the gap between the business community and municipal objectives. 

"Our mission is to be a catalyst for economic growth, a convenor of leaders, and a champion for the roles of businesses at all government levels," Holden says.

The impact of the BBEAs on the local economy and community is significant. Holden observes that the awards not only recognize outstanding businesses but also serve as a platform for them to gain visibility and credibility, both locally and globally. 

“It’s amazing to see businesses position Burnaby on the world stage. Success breeds success,” he says.

Paul Holden, CEO, Burnaby Board of Trade. Photo by Gergo Farkas, GF Visuals

A key feature of the BBEAs is the Burnaby Business Hall of Fame, established in partnership with the city in 2003. This honour is bestowed upon businesses that have demonstrated sustained success, community involvement, and leadership. The Hall of Fame includes a diverse array of businesses, from family-run enterprises to large corporations, symbolizing the inclusive and varied nature of Burnaby’s business community.

Holden also emphasizes the importance of community involvement among businesses, a value that the BBEAs and BBOT actively promote. For businesses aspiring to win a BBEA, he advises focusing on excellence in their respective fields and active participation in community initiatives. 

“It’s about having excellence as part of your business DNA,” he says. “I would encourage any business that operates in Burnaby to look at our categories and identify the areas in which they excel.”

Reflecting on his 12-year tenure and the upcoming retirement, Holden shares a sense of personal fulfillment from his involvement with BBOT and the BBEAs. 

“It has been the most rewarding and enjoyable part of my career. Being part of this dynamic business community has been incredibly fulfilling,” he says.

Looking forward, Holden is optimistic about Burnaby's business future. The city's burgeoning sectors, like film, TV, and clean energy, are positioning it as a hub of innovation and growth. 

“The future of business in Burnaby is bright, and the role of the BBEAs in showcasing and promoting this growth is pivotal,” he says.

The BBEAs’ success, as Holden notes, is also attributed to the support of various sponsors. Their contribution not only sustains the awards program but also reinforces the collaborative spirit within the Burnaby business community.

The Burnaby Board of Trade would like to thank the following organizations for their leadership and support of the Burnaby Business Excellence Awards program:

Major Corporate Sponsors:

Burnaby Now, Hilton Vancouver Metrotown.

Award Level Sponsors:

City of Burnaby, BCIT Business + Media, Scotiabank, Douglas College, Pacific Blue Cross, ABC Recycling, Trans Mountain, Prospera Credit Union, Beedie, Pacific Link College.

Gold Level Sponsors:

Alexander College, Appia Development, Electronic Arts, FortisBC, Global BC, Gloo Studios, CN, Simon Fraser University, Parkland, Vancouver Fraser Port Authority.

To learn more about the Burnaby Business Excellence Awards and the Burnaby Board of Trade, visit