This article originally appeared in the April 2016 edition of HubNow.
If you love Truro and have been looking for a way to express those feelings, you’re in luck.
This May, the first Local Love Truro awards will be held. The event aims to celebrate everything Truro by handing out 15 awards. It’s the next step in the Local Love Truro movement that was launched last year by four local entrepreneurs - Sam Madore, Michelle McCann, Rebecca Taylor and Jamie Oudemans.
“This time last year, we were all talking about the horrible winter we were experiencing and the negative impact it was having on our local business community,” said Madore. “We decided we wanted to create something that didn’t rely on a big promotion or discount. It was aimed at simply supporting local.”
The concept hit social media last April with #locallovetruro and pushed people to shop in Truro’s downtown. While it continues to be used today, the group was looking at making it much more than just a social media movement.
The perfect opportunity was created after they learned the Truro and Colchester Chamber of Commerce wouldn’t be hosting its Best of Colchester awards this year. Madore and McCann knew they had to do something.
“It created a gap and we’re going to do our best to try and fill it,” said Madore. “We see it as another opportunity to celebrate local. We’ve taken the Local Love Truro name and we’re making into something more than just a hashtag. The Local Love Truro continues to be the umbrella for this movement with everything we do falling under that umbrella.”
The Marigold Cultural Centre will host the inaugural awards event on May 26. Nominations opened April 1 and will run until the end of the month. The nomination process will take place online and once it’s closed, the top three nominees in each category will be announced.
While it’s a simple process, Madore says a little work will be required in three of the categories – Most Loved Community Support, Most Loved Customer Service and Most Innovative Business.
“We’re asking people to tell us why they’re nominating a specific business in those three categories,” said Madore. “This is a situation where people have an opportunity to share a story and offer up a bit more detail when it comes to their nomination.”
Big Dog’s Tyler and Benny will emcee the Local Love Truro awards and several performances will also be included. Although she couldn’t confirm what those performances would be, Madore confirms she’s approached some different organizations about getting involved.
Hors d’oeuvres will be served by representatives with SOUP Café.
“It’s not just about local businesses,” said Madore. “They’re definitely a big part of it but we really want to put the spotlight on everything that’s local. That means inviting local talent to perform and we’re not just talking about musicians. There are lots we can celebrate and we see it as an opportunity to highlight some of these things.”
Since unveiling the idea, Madore says the response has been overwhelmingly positive. During the recent Women’s Day Soiree, Madore and McCann had a booth which was the first time they really delved into what their plans were with Local Love Truro.
Tickets are $25 and proceeds from the event will go to the United Way of Colchester. Madore expects that once tickets go on sale, they won’t last long.
“We want this to have a real awards show feel,” she said. “The Marigold Centre has the big screen so we’re able to do some multimedia presentations which will only add to the show. Plus, you have the stage which will definitely add to the atmosphere.”
Voting will take place at www.locallovetruro.ca. Tickets are on sale at the Marigold Cultural Centre or through TicketPro.
Madore adds there are still sponsorship opportunities available and those interested can email firstname.lastname@example.org for additional details.
“This is about creating the type of community we want to live in,” said Madore, when asked why she and McCann wanted to organize the event. “We want to celebrate the community we work and live in. A lot of times Truro can get a bit of a bad rap. If something bad happens, we have no hesitation in talking about it for great lengths of time like when a store closes. There are a lot of great things going on in this community and that’s what we’re hearing from people. Now we have to reach even more people and get them to start supporting local and thinking about our community positively without attaching any sort of deal with it.”