This year’s Virtual Night Out at the Best of Canada’s Sign Industry Awards (BOCSIes), an evening celebrating the achievements and work of the Canadian sign industry, was a resounding success.
The first of its kind, this virtual gala was presented by the Sign Association of Canada (SAC-ACE) and Sign Media Canada. The event took place on the evening of Friday, Sept. 25, at 7 p.m.
Needless to say, 2020 has been a challenging year and, in these unprecedented times, the BOCSIes provided an opportunity for sign professionals from across the country to reunite virtually and celebrate their mutual dedication, love, and passion for their work. Their craft is a testament of their hard work, and this was exemplified in the record number of entries we received for the awards.
Some of the winners included:
Best in Show: Media Resources Inc. for the Reeses Pieces 3D Billboard Props
Keith Edwards, partner at Media Resources Inc. said, “This was a really cool project. Thank you so much to our 3D team, designers, painters, and installers.”
Sign Company of the Year: Access Signs
Lee Murphy, senior sales representative at Access Signs, said, “This is very unexpected. Thank you Sign Media Canada, SAC, and the jury for this recognition. On behalf of the partners at Access Signs—Luc Bouchard, Carl Dessureault, and Tammi Derkson—we want to dedicate this award to all the employees of the company. This has been a year unlike any other, and they’ve been resilient and are a testament to why Access Signs has been around for 33 years.”
The SAC individual awards were awarded to four deserving individuals who were nominated by SAC members and selected by a jury of their peers. The winners included:
Volunteer of the Year: Tim Pedrick, Hi Signs The Fath Group
Laura Brown, one of Pedrick’s nominators said, “Tim was the president of the Alberta Sign Association (ASA) for four years, and he was on the board of directors for six years. No other president has put as much of themselves into the organization. He rallied people around the association, got many initiatives pushed through, and got lots of people excited about being a part of ASA. He helped bring the Neon Sign Museum to life in Edmonton, and he continues to help the city of Edmonton manage new additions to it.”
On receiving the award virtually, Pedrick said, “It is great to see the growth of the sign industry over the past 12 years since I’ve been employed in it. Volunteering has always been a big part of the way I was raised, and it’s an honour to receive an award like this. I’d like to thank my fellow workers at Hi Signs who support me in the volunteer work I do. Sometimes, it takes hours away from my job, but they always support it, and my family, too, always supports my efforts in that regard.”
Young Professional of the Year: Lee Murphy, Access Signs
Keith Edwards, one of Murphy’s nominators said, “The Montreal Sign Guy is one of the nicest people I’ve met. His passion toward the sign industry and its future is inspiring; he encourages others to work harder for our industry, just by being around him.”
On receiving the award virtually, Murphy said, “The sign industry has become part of who I am as a person. I’m very proud to work for a great company within a wonderful industry. I’d like to dedicate this award to every young professional, not only those who are part of the Young Professionals Network (YPN), but every young person who has given this industry a chance. I’d also like to dedicate this award to every founder of our industry who has welcomed the new generation of sign professionals. It isn’t without every single person’s support, both young and old, that encourages every person in the industry. It’s not easy being pulled in so many different directions and devoting your time to each, but it’s worth every second of it.”
Mentor of the Year: Robert Blyth, Stalaich Installs Inc.
Lee Murphy, one of Blyth’s nominators said, “Robert has made it a point to include and support me in everything industry related. He’s opened doors and made me more confident in my role in the industry outside of sales. I believe he is deserving of this recognition.”
On receiving the award virtually, Blyth said, “I’ve had the opportunity to learn from many great people in my life. Twenty years ago, a young man walked into my office and said, ‘Teach me everything,’ and that’s where I started. I’ve been giving back and teaching everyone who wants to listen. I’ve learned more from giving back to these young people. I can’t thank everyone enough.”
Sign Professional of the Year: Francois Lussier, Montreal Neon Signs
Justin Boudreau, one of Lussier’s nominators said, “Francois has served in almost all roles in SAC. He has been a tireless volunteer and advocate not only for SAC, but the sign industry in general. I was lucky enough to have him as a mentor. Lussier has since moved on to take on another key role for the association and is currently serving as the Chair of Sign Expo Canada—our biggest event.”
On receiving the award in person, Lussier said, “This is a personal award, and I’m humbled. Nothing happens for nothing, and nothing happens alone. I’ve always put my heart into everything I’ve done to make the association a better place. It gives me immense pleasure to join the past winners who won awards in this category. The most important examples for me in the industry are the YPN and Breaking Barriers members who are making the association move forward. We have to talk to one another, and help each other grow and succeed.”
Not only do these professionals create signs for industries but, together, they represent a sign for the industry—one of hope, positivity, and a bright future.
Congratulations to the winners! We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your grit, passion, and hard work.