Tech community celebrates awards evening in style

Vecima Networks, Kano Apps and Appreciation Engine were named companies of the year during a gala awards night that celebrated Victoria’s burgeoning technology industry.

More than 1,000 guests poured into the Royal Theatre for the 17th Annual VIATEC Awards to mark the innovation and excellence of individuals and technology companies responsible for making Victoria the fastest growing technology region in B.C.

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A record total of 54 finalists were honoured, with 17 recipients receiving new robot trophies (designed by Russell Papp), at the elaborate show.

Known for going over the top in the crowded pantheon of business award galas, Erin Skillen took the reigns as host for this year's production.

Billed as an “Art Deco Cabaret,” the evening featured five variety-show acts from Atomic Vaudeville and a powerful finale accompanied by the YYJ Choir and, in what has become an annual tradition, flying inflatable killer whales.

A stunning set built by Studio Robazzo and local artist Jimbo framed the stage and was brought to life by immersive video projections from Hololabs and reactive lighting by Limbic Media. The resident Vecima Ritz live band brought the audience to their feet, and everyone continued the celebration at the after party with local talents Rara Avis and Distant Grand.

“It is our honour to produce a show that brings together and entertains our tech community and we relish the opportunity to highlight and celebrate some of our top performing companies and executives,” said Dan Gunn, CEO of VIATEC. “Each year gets more elaborate and we cannot say enough about our local arts community and what they bring to make this event the unique and anticipated festivity it is has become.”

Drum rolls, please for the VIATEC award winners:

• Technology Company of the Year (50+ employees): Vecima Networks

• Technology Company of the Year (11-49 employees): Kano

• Emerging Technology Company of the Year: Appreciation Engine

• Startup of the Year: Barnacle Systems

• Product of the Year: Telmediq

• Innovative Excellence - Software or Service: Delta-X Research

• Innovative Excellence - Hardware: Latitude Technologies

• Team of the Year: SaaSquatch

• Employer of the Year: Bambora

• Leader of the Year: Valerie Foster, JSF Technologies

• Emerging Leader of the Year: Sarah Gulbrandsen, RingPartner

• Colin Lennox Award for Technology Champion: Mia Maki

• Angel of the Year: Hannes Blum

• VIATEC Member of the Year: Jim Hayhurst & Ian Chisholm

• Community Champion: StarFish Medical

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