BRACEBRIDGE - A local paintball field owner was honoured in the presence of a television celebrity last week for his charitable efforts in the community.
HEARTS OF GOLD..
Back Country Paintball owner Tony Armstrong (right) is joined by Dragon’s Den star Arlene Dickinson (second from right) after receiving the Investors Group Business Excellence Award at the Central Ontario Small Business Conference in Barrie on April 18. The pair are joined by fellow award recipients Les Courts of Earth Electric in Barrie (left), Chai Gilbert of Giving Tree B&B in Collingwood (second from left), and Dave Mangoff of DM Stone in Orillia (back).
Back Country Paintball owner Tony Armstrong was presented with the Investors Group Business Excellence Award at the Central Ontario Small Business Conference in Barrie on April 18. The award is presented to businesses that have shown both effective business planning and a willingness to give back to their host communities.
The ceremony drew over 200 self-employed entrepreneurs from across the Muskoka and Simcoe County region who benefit from the province’s Self-Employment Assistance Benefit program. It also featured a speech by Arlene Dickinson, a star on the CBC’s venture capitalist show Dragons’ Den, who spoke about rising from poverty to wealth, hard work, passion and perseverance.
“I was excited to be recognized by my peers, and more importantly feel that I would not have had the success in business I have had without the support of the Self-Employment Assistance Benefit program,” said Armstrong.
Over the past year, Armstrong has dedicated much of his time to a variety of events and causes that benefit local charities, youth and start-up businesses in Muskoka.
Despite having lost the main office at his paintball field in a devastating April 10 fire, Armstrong refused to cancel a planned fundraising event for the Parkinson Society of Canada at his paintball field on April 21. In March, he worked to help bring former CFL player Keith Castello into Bracebridge for a series of motivational speaking sessions for area youth.
He also showed his leadership in business in the same month by introducing a new winter sport — the paintball biathlon — to Muskoka at Bondi Village Resort in Lake of Bays.
Three other Muskoka-area entrepreneurs were also nominated for the award. They are Dave Stewart of Limberlost Maintenance, Mike Amo of Shinezilla, and Clyde McDonald of Muskoka Legal Bookkeeping Services.