Photo by Mamta Lulla/Advocate staff Christine Slaymaker, front, owner of Dance Magic Studio, along with her team, receive the 11 to 20 employees category award at the 2019 Business of the Year Awards Wednesday.

Central Alberta businesses recognized at Red Deer chamber awards

A Red Deer dance studio moonwalked its way to the top at the 2019 Business of the Year Awards Wednesday evening.

Christine Slaymaker, owner of Dance Magic Studio, said she was honoured to receive an award — which brings two worlds together — business and the arts.

“To be recognized on such a scale of entrepreneurship is an incredible honour,” she said.

In the category of 11 to 20 employees, Dance Magic came out on top at the business awards presented by the Red Deer and District Chamber of Commerce. The other two finalists in the category were: Berry Architecture & Associates and Messinger Meats Artisan Butcher & Bistro.

Slaymaker took over the studio about 14 years ago from its former owner. The goal of the studio is to have a space that teaches children not only the arts, but also life skills, such as giving them confidence, friendships and team building.

Often in a downturn, families keep the “needs” versus “wants.” But the dance studio has been lucky, said Slaymaker.

“We’ve been stable through the economy, which is really all you can ask for, and we’re grateful for that.”

Central Alberta’s Red Shed Malting received the Business of the Year Award for the one to 10 employees category. The other two finalists in the category were KCB Cabinets & Renovations and Sorento Homes.

Red Shed Malting, based just outside of Penhold, is a family run farm business. On the bottom of every bag of malt put out by the company, people can find where the product was grown along with the name of the farmer and the variety specifics.

“Scotch drinkers are very aware of what a single malt is, and this is so much more specific. It’s a breakdown of exactly where the barley is coming from and it’s all single source,” said Matt Hamill, co-owner.

“If you’re drinking a beer from a brewery and they’re using our malt, you can go to the brewery and ask which field did the malt come from, and they would be able to tell you,” explained John Hamill, co-owner and Matt’s father.

The central Alberta business has grown in the past three with the growth of Alberta beer industry.

“I think consumers want to know more about their food, where their food is coming from, and they want to be supporting local and they want it to be traceable,” said John.

DataCan Services Corp. was chosen Business of the Year for companies with 21 or more employees category. Budal Construction Group and Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria were the two other finalists in this category.

The Young Entrepreneur Award went to Salon Wild. The other finalists in this category were Stevens & Company Charted Accountants and Tri Beauty Studio.

Central Alberta Pregnancy Care Centre took the Non-Profit Award home. The Lending Cupboard Society of Alberta and The Mustard Seed were the other two finalists in this semi-new category started last year.

An independent adjudication committee comprised of local business leaders selected 15 finalists from more than 84 nominees in this annual celebration of business excellence.

Businesses are nominated by the public, and chamber volunteers interview nominees to develop material for the adjudication committee. The committee then conducts a comprehensive evaluation to determine the finalists. As an outcome of this process, the winners are also determined, however, the results are sealed and embargoed until the awards ceremony.

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