You would have been forgiven if you had mistaken last night’s Vancouver Island Advanced Technology Centre annual awards dinner for a Phoenix Suns playoff game.

With 500 bright orange, foam fingers extending from the arms of the high-tech community, it was hard to tell the difference.

 The party-favour fingers were ordered to celebrate the high-tech industry hitting the $1.6-billion total revenue plateau, taking it well past tourism as Victoria’s No. 1 non-government industry.

 And they gave a festive feeling to an evening celebrating an industry that has been quietly on the rise since the dot-com bust six years ago.

 The three high-profile awards went to online lead-generation and marketing firm Neverblue Media, which took home the award as technology company of the year; network marketing software firm Oprius Software won emerging technology company of the year; and Peter Berrang, a co-founder of the Axys Group of companies, who took home the Colin Lennox award for technology champion. Axys is well known for designing and manufacturing sophisticated ocean buoys for research and data collection. Online book retailer was named VIATeC’s member of the year, which Dan Gunn said recognizes commitment to the high-tech community. “It’s a great way for us as an organization to say thanks to somebody,” he said. “Being a member of VIATeC comes with a monetary commitment but it’s a whole other type of commitment they make to participate and be an active member of the community.”

 Other award winners last night included:

GenoLogics Life Sciences Software for human resources excellence; Noah Wheelock from Atomic Crayon was named employee of the year; Triton Logging won for environmental excellence; Wayne Poncia of Etraffic Solutions was named executive of the year; Atomic Crayon won for online strategy of the year; newsmaker of the year was Contech Electronics; Archipelago Marine Research won for innovative excellence (process or product); Hydroxyl Systems won product of the year; and Paretologic won for innovative excellence (software or electronic service delivery).



Article written by: Andrew Duffy Times Columnist