2022 Victoria Tech Community Awards laud local companies, leaders

VIATEC CEO Dan Gunn speaks at the 2022 Victoria Tech Community Awards. Photo: Luke Liable Photography/VIATEC.
VIATEC CEO Dan Gunn speaks at the 2022 Victoria Tech Community Awards. Photo: Luke Liable Photography/VIATEC.

Over 600 people gathered at the Victoria Conference Centre December 8 for the 2022 Victoria Tech Community Awards, celebrating the best and brightest of one of the region’s biggest and fastest growing industries.

The event was held in person for the first time since 2019, and was produced by VIATEC. Winners at the 80s-themed gala were announced between a sing-a-long, craft-making and trivia games, with Atomic Vaudeville performing and the “Orca Toss Chaos” (featuring the audience dancing and throwing hundreds of inflatable orcas) closing off the evening’s festivities. 

16 recipients were chosen from among 59 finalists and awarded the now iconic astronaut trophy created by artist Russell Papp.

Here’s the list of recipients:

Anchor Company of the Year (30+): Certn 

Scale Company of the Year (11-29): Pilothouse Digital 

Growth Company of the Year: MarineLabs 

Startup of the Year: Audette 

Employer of the Year: RaceRocks 

Leader of the Year: Dr. Karolina Valente, CEO, VoxCell BioInnovation

Emerging Leader of the Year: Julianne Johnson, Director of Partners, Checkfront

The Colin Lennox Award for Technology Champion: Jerome Etwaroo, Director, Coast Capital Innovation Centre

The Janet Baird Award for Community Champion: Trinity MacRae, Office Coordinator, StarFish Medical

Inclusion Champion: Samarth Mod & the FreshWorks Team

Social Impact Award: Joni 

Angel of the Year: Shaun Jamieson, Associate Partner, EY Design Studio

VIATEC Member of the Year: Cognito Health 

Innovative Excellence – Hardware: Joni 

Innovative Excellence – Software: VitaminLab 

Product of the Year: Barnacle Systems Inc.  

Throughout the evening, the audience was encouraged to make donations to the VIATEC Foundation Fund, with $150,000 raised to support two full years of operation at the Victoria Community Food Hub’s Kitchen Connect Food Connections program; an initiative to support some of the most vulnerable people in our community to develop skills, social connections and opportunities to thrive. 

Dan Gunn, CEO of VIATEC said “Not being able to bring our tech community together to celebrate like this during the pandemic has been difficult. Seeing all the smiling faces, laughter, camaraderie and excitement again felt amazing. Great people and companies were recognized and watching their generosity make an initiative like Kitchen Connect’s Food Connections program possible for two years makes us very proud of the great people in our sector. What a night!”