Sunday, September 26, 2010


Press Release

KELOWNA, BC – The Kelowna Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that Bruce Hamilton, Owner, President, General Manager and Governor of Kelowna Rockets Hockey Enterprises Ltd., is the recipient of the prestigious 2010 Business Leader of the Year award. This award is sponsored by Faculty of Management at the University of British Columbia and recognizes Bruce’s leadership and outstanding contribution to the Kelowna business community.

The 2010 Business Leader of the Year Award will be presented to Mr. Hamilton at the 23rd Annual Business Excellence Awards on October 20th at the Coast Capri Hotel. The 2010 Business Excellence Awards are presented by the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce along with Platinum Sponsors the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Farris, Vaughn, Wills and Murphy LLP. Recipients of awards in six other categories will also be honoured at the awards dinner. Seventeen finalists in each of these six categories were previously announced September 14th.

Bruce Hamilton is a dedicated hockey professional who has experienced all facets of the hockey business, from Player to Coach to Scout to General Manager to Owner. In the 15 years since moving his Rockets to Kelowna, the franchise has had unparalleled success both on and off the ice.

Under Bruce’s leadership, the Rockets have been one of the CHL’s most successful teams over the last decade, making an amazing 4 Memorial Cup appearances in the last 7 years. The Rockets won the Memorial Cup on home ice in 2004, the middle of a run of three consecutive appearances.

Bruce has spent many years as Chairman of the Western Hockey League’s Board of Governors with his first run being from 1998-2004 and again from 2008 to present.

He has a strong belief that the Rockets be more than just a hockey team but that his players be role models for many of the young people in Kelowna and the surrounding area.

The Rockets are also very committed to many worthwhile causes in the City of Kelowna and the many charities the team commits time and financial resources to, like the Annual Alumni Golf Tournament which has been raising money for Kelowna General Hospital for the past 10 years and has committed to raise over $200,000 over the next four years.

Bruce and his wife Laureen have two children. Daughter Jill, who recently graduated from the Vancouver School of Arts and Curtis, who will enter his fourth year playing for the Saskatoon Blades of the Western Hockey League (WHL). This past summer Bruce celebrated a pair of unique milestones as he was inducted into the BC Hockey Hall of Fame and also was able to watch as his son Curtis was drafted into the NHL by the Edmonton Oilers in the second round (48th overall).

The public is invited to come out to support Bruce and all of the 2010 award recipients and finalists on October 20th. Tickets for the Business Excellence Awards dinner are $85 plus HST per person and can be purchased at online at in the event section.

The popular event is part of the annual Small Business Week® activities (October 17-23, 2010). For the past 31 years, Small Business Week® has paid tribute to Canadian entrepreneurs and created opportunities for them to share success stories and innovative ideas. Unprecedented synergy has resulted from the active participation of members of the Chambers of Commerce, and various national and local partners/sponsors in organizing events with BDC branches across the country – all dedicated to the growth and development of small and medium sized business.

(Nathan can be reached at

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