On January 20, 2001 COLCO announced the winners of its inaugural PourGee Awards. The Awards ceremony was held in the Westin Bayshore following a successful walkabout protest of the Georgie Awards. The PourGees acknowledge the individuals and organizations responsible for building our leaky rotten condos and creating the leaky condo disaster. We recognize the important need for a forum where leaky rotten condo owners can vent their frustrations and expose the people and organizations who created this disaster. We believe the first steps in renewing trust are exposing those responsible and getting them to pay for the disaster they created. We believe that the BC housing industry and economy will not recover until 100% compensation is achieved.
The PourGee Awards ceremony and accompanying walkabout drew considerable media attention. BCTV covered the walkabout live on its 6 o’clock newscast and Global TV and VTV covered the events surrounding the PourGee Awards. The major radio news stations also covered the event. COLCO did not, however, hear from the major daily newspapers.
The PourGee Awards Committee contracted with the Westin Bayshore to hold the event in the Prospect room in the hotel. The event was confirmed in the days leading up to the event. At 9:30 am on January 20, we received a telephone message from Gilles Fraissange, the Director of Catering at the Westin Bayshore. Mr. Fraissange informed us that he canceled COLCO's contract with the Westin Bayshore. Mr. Fraissange also informed us that the Bayshore will have security officers at the entrance and they planned to physically prevent us from entering the meeting room we purchased. Despite written and verbal requests, the Westin Bayshore refused to provide a written explanation for the cancellation.
The COLCO PourGee Committee arrived at the
Westin at 4:30 pm with plans to make an attempt to peacefully request that
the Bayshore live up to its contract. At the same time, several COLCO
members were already inside the hotel having tea and discussing the issue
with senior management at the hotel. By this time, the Public Relations
manager at the Bayshore had already faced news cameras and journalists
demanding an explanation for the cancellation. The combination of
intense media scrutiny and the negotiating skills of the COLCO members
inside the hotel forced the hotel to reconsider its plans. COLCO members
were allowed inside the hotel at around 6:30 pm but in a different meeting
room located in the rear of the hotel and only as long as COLCO members
used the rear entrances.