14th Annual SSMARt Innovation Awards

Women in Leadership- Peter Bruijns, Teresa Cassan, and Asima Vezina poses with her mom

On February 12, 2020 the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre (SSMIC) hosted the 14th Annual SSMARt Innovation Awards. The event honours companies and influential individuals for their innovative contributions to the science and technology, and agricultural sectors in the Algoma District. The Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre celebrated the outstanding businesses and individuals making positive economic, cultural, environmental, or social impact on the community.

Reclaiming Shingwaulk Hall Initiative- Project of the year – Krista McCracken, Awards presented by Lori Naccarato with Peter Bruijns

The event was not only an opportunity for the Innovation Centre to honour the community’s “Most Innovative” but to share some of the new and exciting ventures that are being undertaken by the organization. “The Innovation Centre has built up a long history of performance in many areas ranging from the country’s most comprehensive geomatics service, agricultural research, commercialization activities, youth engagement, and learning opportunities in the science and technology sectors, and business to business functions,” explained Peter Bruijns, Executive Director of SSMIC at last night’s event.

Elliot of PUC and Peter Bruijns

Bruijns also shared the Innovation Centre’s plans to create a sustainable food industry in the Algoma region, and discussed a new program called TechEdge; a partnership between SSMIC, the Algoma District School Board, Huron Superior District School Board, Sault College and Algoma University that will focus on engaging and teaching youth about IT, software and geomatics careers.

This year the event awarded seven different Innovation Awards.  Nominations were submitted from across the community and four judges who donated their time and expertise to review the nominations. Winners and nominees are:

Educator of the year- Mike Oliveira with Steve Butland and Peter Bruijns

Innovation In Marketing

–        Future SSM – Winner. Nominees for the “Innovation in Marketing Award also included the Invasive Species Centre, Asian Carp Canada, Jeronamo Solutions


Innovative Project of the Year

–        Reclaiming Shingwauk Hall – Winner. Nominees for the “Innovative Project of the Year” included Ammotext, Shifting Indigenous Frontline Tactics, EarlyON Mobile Services, Thomson’s Wine Barn


Innovative Youth of the Year

–        Jake Alphonso – Winner. Nominees for the “Innovative Youth of the Year” award also included Kaydee Brown and Meghan Gray


Steve Butland Innovative Youth of the Year

–        Mike Oliveira- Winner. Nominees for the “Innovative Educator of the Year Award” also included Mike Flammia, Kristen Berger, Lisa Keranen, Becky Hodgson


Innovative Start-Up of the Year

–        Plato Testing – Winner. Nominees for the “Innovative Start-Up of the Year Award” also included Findlay’s Fungus, TruNorth Chagga


Women in Leadership

–        Asima Vezina – Winner. Nominees for the “Women in Leadership Award” also included Jennifer Rushton, Laurie Zeppa, Sandra Holmberg, and Terri Felix


Company of the Year

–        Village Media – Winner. Nominees for the ‘Innovative Company of the Year” also included Hydrotech Inc., Thomson’s Farm


The Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre congratulates all nominees for their outstanding contributions to our community.