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Local businesses on centre stage

It's one thing to be noticed by your local chamber, but for three Cold Lake-area businesses their recognition is going a step further.
Seven Lakes Oilfield Services is one of the businesses up for an Alberta Business of the Year award.
Seven Lakes Oilfield Services is one of the businesses up for an Alberta Business of the Year award.

It's one thing to be noticed by your local chamber, but for three Cold Lake-area businesses their recognition is going a step further.Save & Close
The Alberta Chambers of Commerce has recognized three businesses by adding them to their list of finalists for this year's Alberta Business Awards.
Seven Lakes Oilfield Services, Jacknife Oilfield Services, and the Cold Lake Library have been selected as some of the top businesses in the province for their respective categories.
The library is up for the arts and culture award. Director Leslie Price noted this isn't their fist time in the spotlight.
"This is the second time in three years we have been in the top four for the province. We're very excited."
She believes it's the staff and their dedication to the community that has made the library stand out amongst some of the other nominees.
In order to be eligible for an award, a business must first be nominated by someone in the community.
Once the organization accepts their nomination, they submit a form detailing what they offer.
"We had to send in information about what we do under the arts and culture category. I think we actually cover it pretty good with the different programming we offer," Price expressed.
She added, the first year the library was nominated, they hadn't realized the scale of the awards. Now that they have a better understanding of what it's all about, they're eager to win the title.
"For Cold Lake, it's a big deal. To come from a community our size, and to be a library too, it's exciting," Price said about being selected as a finalist out of hundreds of nominations.
The library is not the only business stepping up to the plate for another round of recognition.
Seven Lakes Oilfield Services has received three awards so far this year.
"It's a great achievement," said John Darr, CEO and president of the company. "We're very humbled and appreciative."
The oilfield business has been nominated for the Eagle Feather Business Award of Distinction, which recognizes Indigenous-owned businesses in Alberta that demonstrate outstanding achievement.
"It's really about the frontrunners who are getting up early, putting in hours, and doing it safely, all while providing quality work. It would mean a lot to win this award. It would be the fourth that we have won within the year, and it would be truly a great experience," expressed Darr. "When you win those awards, it's a lot of hard work and dedication. It just shows the commitment that we have, not only from our employees, but also our customers."
In terms of the category, Darr explained that they employ 300 people within Seven Lakes, 80 per cent of which are Indigenous.
"We not only employ from the ownership of the company and the seven nations that own us, but we're also pulling from 53 other First Nations and Métis Settlements to get those numbers."
Jacknife Timber, who is also nominated for the Eagle Feather award, believe it's their exceptional work with the community that makes them stand out.
Like Seven Lakes, they too hold a personal connection to the category.
"Just being an Aboriginal company coming from a Métis background, we're very proud of that. We want to encourage other Aboriginal and Métis companies that, they too, can be successful," said Tracy Jacknife, owner and administrator of Jacknife Timber.
"We're very excited and proud of our company and team... It has really been a team effort," she continued. "We were quite amazed to hear about our nomination."
This is the first time the company has been selected as a finalist for the Alberta Business Awards, but that won't stop them from keeping their eyes on the prize.
The three businesses are all members of the Cold Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Executive director Sherri Bohme said she is thrilled to see so many local organizations celebrate their success.
The businesses will be invited to the Alberta Business Awards event in March, where they will announce the winners.