On the Street: Ecostar awards; Viking Air deal; new gym on Yates

Island’s green businesses shine at Ecostar awards

The Island’s greenest and cleanest were on display Thursday as the fifth annual Vancouver Island Ecostar Awards were handed out to 21 leaders in environmental achievement.

The awards, hosted by the Synergy Sustainability Institute, recognized innovation and inspiration among new businesses such as Zero Waste Emporium as an inspirational new venture and veteran players including Harbour Air Seaplanes for climate action and Eagle Wing Tours for ecological stewardship.

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This year’s other winners were: The Narwhal, Marine Education and Research Society, Hatchet and Seed, Jackie Hildering, Compost Education Centre, Tesla Tours, Huntingdon Manor, Focal Engineering, Locals Restaurant, West Coast Refill, Cascadia Architects, Topsoil -- Innovative Urban Agriculture, Eluma Beauty, Outer Shores Expeditions, Social Root Consulting, Animikii, Anian Clothing and Victoria Distillers.

Viking Air inks $42.6-million deal

Viking Air has signed a $42.6 million contract with the Ministère des Transports du Québec to upgrade eight of that province’s aircraft used to fight fires.

Viking will upgrade eight Canadair CL-415 firefighters at its Cascade Aerospace Centre in Abbotsford. The program includes design, installation, testing and certification of the Collins Aerospace Pro Line Fusion integrated avionics system.

“As an original launch customer for both the Canadair CL-215 and CL-415, the Ministère des Transports du Québec has always been actively engaged in the development of the CL platform,” said Dan Seroussi, Viking’s director of programs. “We are excited to be working with MTQ to further enhance the Canadair CL-415 through our [avionics upgrade program] and deliver the best evolution of the aircraft for the future.”

New gym on Yates

Some new life will bounce into 645 Yates St., the former home of A&B Sound, as a new 6,000 square foot fitness studio opens its doors this weekend.

Founded by Morgan Jones, Annex, which has partnered with Tofino Soap Co. for its bathroom gear, Jusu for smoothies, and Bows & Arrows for coffee, will offer classes seven days a week — including early morning and evening classes on weekdays — and spa-quality change rooms.

Walk-ins are welcome, but registration for spin, barre and strength classes will be done on a first-come-first-served basis, so online registration is encouraged. See Annexvictoria.com

Tourism awards

The Tourism Industry Association of Canada handed out its awards this week during its annual conference, which brings together industry leaders from across the country.

The Canadian Tourism Awards, which recognize success, leadership and innovation in the tourism industry, recognized Harbour Air as its business of the year, beating out finalists CN Tower and Germain Hotels of Montreal.

Eagle Wing Tours of Victoria was a finalist for the responsible tourism award, which was won by Oak Hammock Marsh Interpretive Centre from Manitoba.

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