Victoria tech group celebrates sector’s local stars

Owen Matthews and CAMACC Systems took home the premier “Freddies” Friday night as the local high-tech sector celebrated its own at the 13th annual Victoria Advanced Technology Council awards.

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Matthews, a technology investor and executive vice-president in charge of strategy and business development with the Wesley Clover group, was given the Colin Lennox award as technology champion.

CAMACC Systems, which manufactures, installs and services high-definition video and data storage systems, took home a robot trophy — called Freddie — as technology company of the year.

This year’s awards stepped away from the late night TV-talk show theme opting for a slightly cosmic bar.

“Every year, this continues to grow and we are really excited about that support, but the expectations are high so we have taken innovation to heart when it comes to this event,” said VIATeC executive director Dan Gunn. “We feel a significant amount of responsibility to entertain and inform people and make it something they will remember.”

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The experience meant three hosts and bars, which Gunn said was meant to give the night an irreverent, casual feel. The room was set up with lines of tables like a massive beer hall.

 

The crowd began the night by creating their own robot heads as a team challenge. After the awards, a de-centralized dance party carried them into the streets.

Gunn said recognizing Matthews was overdue.

“He’s started a tech company, mentored a lot of people and now invests in tech companies. He’s always willing to help,” said Gunn. “Anytime Owen and I have been at a crossroads, his response has been, ‘What is the best thing we can do for the community?’ ”

Gunn said CAMACC is an excellent example of what a Victoria tech company can be.

“A global player, but local,” he said. “They are exceptional and very community minded.”

In all, 13 winners were chosen from among 100 nominations.

— Times Colonist

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