The GVHBA Ovation Awards Call for Entries is out, and the entry form is open starting today. A lot of our clients enter (and win!) the Georgies, and if you've in Greater Vancouver and you are a GVHBA member, you qualify for the Ovation Awards as well. (And if you build/renovate/design residential projects in Greater Vancouver, go join the GVHBA so you can enter!) While you have until January 22 to get your entry in, if you've already entered the Georgies, you have a big head start on getting your Ovation Awards entry in way early. (If you're in the Fraser Valley, the Fraser Valley Awards of Excellence are on, and end November 15). Over the last few years, all the local housing awards have worked diligently to harmonize their entry requirements, and this makes life a lot easier for everyone.

We recommend entering as many awards programs (and categories) as you reasonably can, because that's more opportunities to win. One of the questions we're consistently asked is, "I put my project in for the Georgies. What else do I have to do to put my project in for the Ovations?".

The answer is: it depends on what categories you entered.

Out of all our local homebuilding awards, the Ovations have the widest selection of categories (a whopping 51 this year). That's a good thing because there are lots of cool boutique categories that you can enter (sometimes with less competition), but it's a frustrating thing because...that's a lot of categories to sift through, and it's easy to get confused.

There are three questions you need to ask and answer when you're repurposing your Georgie entry:

1. Is there a category that closely or exactly matches what you entered in the Georgies? 

A number of categories in the Ovations match the corresponding category exactly (most of the 'whole house' Custom Home, Single Family, and Multi-Family categories do). In that case, you're good to go! Just copy your photos, text, and budget from your Georgie entry, get a fresh consent form from your client (and submit one yourself, as the builder), and you're off to the races!

Saint Construction's Ross Street, Ovation Renovation $400-$699K winner (and CHBA National winner) last year

Saint Construction's Ross Street, Ovation Renovation $400-$699K winner (and CHBA National winner) last year

This can go the other way as well. If you're a new home builder and you entered the marketing categories in the Georgies, you might end up being disappointed as the Ovations have but one marketing category--Best Marketing Campaign. You can't enter your logo or your sales centre in the Ovations. Similarly, the Special Achievement categories in the Georgies and Ovations are different beasts, so read the requirements carefully as you might fit easily, or you might not fit at all.

2. Is there a better, more fitting category than what you entered in the Georgies?

You have some additional categories that you might want to consider entering as well as your Georgie categories--or instead. This is particularly the case for renovation projects, because the Ovations have different cost and square footage breakpoints, as well as some more options that let you be more strategic and specific about what you enter.

One case we see frequently is in kitchen renovations. Say you renovated a kitchen and a greatroom. In the Georgies you have to enter the kitchen in a Kitchen category, and the greatroom in the Any Room category. We often see projects where the greatroom is a good piece of design, but it's not quite enough to be awards-worthy in its own category--but the flow between kitchen and greatroom is.

A fine candidate for Kitchen and Greatroom

A fine candidate for Kitchen and Greatroom

If you just read that and said "Hey, that's my project!", then you might want to consider entering the Kitchen and Greatroom Renovation category rather than simply repurposing your Kitchen entry. Doing this is going to likely require some rejigging of your marketing text, as well as a few changes in photos to include the greatroom.

If you had us do your photography and/or writing, we can often do this for a nominal charge to cover reworking the text and licensing an extra few photos.

3. Are there additional categories you should enter?  

As I just mentioned, the Ovations have some excellent 'boutique' categories. Did you renovate a character home, or do a predominantly exterior+landscape renovation? Check out the Best Heritage/Character Home category, and the Best Exterior Reno categories.

If you're a new home builder, there are some goodies for you as well. Laneway projects get their own category this year (Best Small-Scale Home < 1000sqft). We've photographed some fantastic laneway projects this year, and it's great to see this category come up.

For the volume builders among you, look particularly at the Best Residential Community categories, which take a more holistic look at your development, including your amenity spaces and how your community fits into its surrounding. If you have great amenity features, these categories could be for you.

In these cases, you'll likely need some new writing as well as licensing some extra photos from your Georgie Awards entry, so give us a call and we're happy to help.

And if you didn't enter the Georgies, it's worth remembering that you can often use your Ovation Awards entries for the Georgies next year. Because of some quirks with the entry form, it's much easier to take an Ovation entry and reuse it for the Georgies than it is to go the other way around...but as they used to say about voting in Chicago, "enter early and often!". We have packages to help you out with your writing and photography, and we're looking forward to seeing the wonderful things you're building.

Good luck in the Ovations!