Nineteen finalists vying for seven awards at 2017 Acadian Entrepreneurs’ Gala

finalistes Gala evangeline lowresSUMMERSIDE – Jan. 20, 2017 – Nineteen entrepreneurs, businesses and individuals, from various economic sectors within the Island’s Acadian and Francophone community, have been retained as finalists for the seven awards that will be presented during the 2017 Entrepreneurs’ Gala, slated for March 18, at the Centre Belle-Alliance in Summerside.

The Acadian and Francophone Chamber of Commerce of PEI unveiled its list of finalists during its Members’ Luncheons Jan. 19 in Charlottetown and Jan. 20 in Summerside:

2017 Young Enterprising Person of the Year (for a youth aged 25 years or under who undertakes projects or initiatives)
•    Adrien Buote (Rustico)
•    Kaylee Arsenault (Evangeline)
•    Ten Strings and a Goat Skin (3 musicians from Charlottetown)

2017 Social Economy Business of the Year (for businesses or organizations that have both an economic and social mission)
•    La Coopérative d’intégration francophone de l’Î.-P.-É. (provincial)
•    Le Chez-Nous Co-op (Evangeline)
•    The Bottle Houses (Evangeline)

2017 Business Personality of the Year Award (for a business person who excels in customer service)
•    Gerald Arsenault (certified mechanic with Wellington Service Station, Evangeline)
•    Ghislaine Cormier (owner of The Great Shea, Charlottetown)
•    Nathalie Arsenault and Pepito Pinto (owners of Solos Steel Instruments, Charlottetown)

2017 Immigrant Entrepreneur of the Year
•    Dr. Abder Sahouli (psychologist, Montague)
•    Gidéon Banahene (Danso Bikes, Charlottetown)
•    Joseph Sammoun (Shaddy’s Restaurant, Charlottetown)

2017 Distinguished Entrepreneur of the Year (lifetime achievement award)
•    Claude Gallant (Egmont Bay Construction, Evangeline)
•    Franky Arsenault (Frank’s Service Centre, Evangeline)
•    Roger Arsenault (The Co-operators, Evangeline)

2017 President’s Award of Excellence (for a business providing exceptional service)
•    Le Chez-Nous Co-op (Evangeline)
•    Egmont Bay Construction (Claude Gallant, Evangeline)
•    The Great Shea (Ghislaine Cormier, Charlottetown)

The 2016 Young Millionaires Award, for a participant of last summer’s program, will also be presented to a deserving youth. Names are not released ahead of time.


finalistes gala charlottetown lowresThis 16th edition of the Gala will benefit from a general sponsorship from RDÉE Prince Edward Island, in addition to regular cash sponsorships from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, Innovation PEI, the LIENS project, Evangeline-Central Credit Union, CBDC Central PEI and The Co-operators (Mike Bradley Insurance Services).

Radio-Canada is again providing an in-kind sponsorship: Denis Duchesne, host of its Le Réveil radio show, will record brief biographies that will be used to introduce all the finalists at the banquet. The Royal Bank of Canada and ProMax 2000 will also sponsor facets of the evening.

The Gala, which is always a highlight of the year for the Chamber, will again be a colorful and dazzling event. Small additions this year will make it even more elegant.

For a second year in a row, the Gala will be held in conjunction with RDÉE PEI’S Dragons’ Contest. The finals of this contest get underway in the gym at 5 p.m. Admission to this portion of the evening is free. The Gala starts at 6 p.m. in the Entre-deux-mers Room across the hall. It features a lovely three-course meal, the presentation of the seven awards and the announcement of the Dragons’ champion.

Tickets for the gala, at $34.50 for Chamber members and $40.25 for non-members (taxes included), are available until March 10 at Wellington Rural Action Centre, the RDÉE PEI offices at the Carrefour in Charlottetown and the Centre Belle-Alliance reception desk in Summerside. Tickets can be paid by credit card, cheque or cash.


During the recent Members’ Luncheons, the Acadian and Francophone Chamber of Commerce of PEI disclosed the names of the finalists for its entrepreneurial awards competition. Raymond J. Arsenault, second from the right, coordinator of the upcoming Entrepreneurs’ Gala, is seen with finalists from the Charlottetown region. From left are Dr. Abder Sahouli, Jacinthe Lemire and Nathalie Arsenault.

CUTLINE 2: Seen are a few of the finalists of the Acadian and Francophone Chamber’s entrepreneurial awards contest from the Evangeline region: from left, Franky Arsenault, Edgar Arsenault representing the Chez-nous Co-op, Gerald Arsenault, Raymond J. Arsenault (gala coordinator), Roger Arsenault and Réjeanne Arsenault representing The Bottle Houses.


For more information:
Raymond J. Arsenault
Entrepreneurs’ Gala
(902) 854-3439, Ext. 231