The traditions and prestige of the Canadian Jewellers Association can be traced back over 100 years to 1918.
The Canadian Jewellers Association Awards, CJA Awards, were founded to honour the incredible achievements of individuals and companies involved in all areas of the jewellery industry across Canada.
Each award category was carefully designed to honour recipients who demonstrate excellence in:
Industry and Client Relations
Innovation and Growth
Education and Leadership
Ethics and Integrity
This year, the CJA is proud to present three distinct awards.
Erol Paylan Lifetime Achievement Award
Presented to an individual or company that has made significant contributions towards the jewellery and watch industry during their career.
Canadian Retailer of the Year Award
Presented to a CJA Retailer member for their professional standards and contributions to the Canadian jewellery and watch industry.
Canadian Supplier of the Year Award
Presented to a CJA Supplier member for their professional standards and contributions to the Canadian jewellery and watch industry as a wholesaler or manufacturer.
The 2023 CJA Award Winners were announced LIVE at the
CJA Awards Dinner
sponsored by De Beers Institute of Diamonds held on Monday October 23, 2023 at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver.
2023 CJA Award Winners
2023 Erol Paylan Lifetime Achievement Award Winner
Adom Knadjian, Retired 2023 B & S Canada Inc.
Adom arrived in Montreal on February 28th, 1977 as a landed immigrant. Within a month Adom found a job at the prestigious Mappins store on St. Catharines Street, and within six months was appointed assistant manager in one of the retailer’s mall stores. In 1979 Adom was recruited by Backes & Strauss to open a wholesale distribution office in Toronto. After training in Europe for six months, he arrived in Toronto where he didn’t know anyone in the diamond and jewellery industry, or anyone socially for that matter. By knocking on doors and learning from potential clients, he was able to build the company one client at a time. In 2005 he and his brother bought Backes & Strauss Canada and changed the name to B&S (Canada) Inc. In 2012 Adom purchased the remaining shares from Vartkess. The focus of the business diversified to fine quality diamond jewellery in the late ‘80’s and continued to be the strength of the company, until Adom’s retirement in June 2023. During these years Adom and B & S (Canada) Inc. held many positions within the industry. On June 30th, 2023, on his seventieth birthday, Adom retired to enjoy his family and ‘the fruits of his labour’.
2023 Canadian Retailer of the Year Award Winner
Mitton’s Jewellers, Ridgetown, ON
Mitton’s Jewellers is proud to be one of the oldest family owned jewellery stores in Canada – open since 1897. Their longevity in the Ridgetown, ON community is a testament to their excellence. Established in 1897 by William Welbury Mitton and his wife Ida Lenetine, the business has successfully carried on through five generations. The skills and knowledge being improved upon and passed down with each new generation. Now operated by husband and wife, Craig and Rosemary, and their son Charlie and his wife Karla. Craig and Charlie have shared an interest in jewellery design and repair work with special interest in diamonds and gems. Craig and family rang in the store’s 125th anniversary in 2022, ranking Mitton’s among the oldest in the country. All five generations have all shared the tools, the work bench, and the legacy which is Mitton’s Jewellers.
2023 Canadian Supplier of the Year Award Winner
Courtney Gold Company, Vancouver, B.C.
Established in 1987, Courtney Gold is a leading importer of fine quality international jewellery, serving dealers throughout Canada. Travelling the world and hand selecting their jewellery, Courtney Gold presents clients with the very best quality and exciting new styles.
2023 CJA Volunteer of the Year Award Winner
Justin Opert, Sorbet Sapphire, Thornhill, ON
Founder of Sorbet Sapphire, Justin Opert has served as a valued volunteer on the CJA Membership and Member Benefits Committee since 2021. Justin consistently provides insights that help the CJA better serve our members. Justin is a champion for the association, sharing insights with members and non-members alike. Justin’s participation as a CJA volunteer has and will continue to create a positive impact on the association.
2022 CJA Award Winners
2022 Erol Paylan Award Winner
Duncan Parker, Dupuis Fine Jewellery Auctioneers
2022 Chairman’s Award Winner
Carmen Rivet, Bijouterie Rivet
Previous CJA Award Winners
Erol Paylan Award Recipients
John Minister/Corona Jewellery Co., 2019
Tanya Parrish, 2018
John Lamont, 2017
Sonja Sanders, 2016
Phyllis Richard, 2015
Jewelers Mutual/Darwin Copeman, 2014
Alex Barcados, 2013
Chairman’s Award Recipients
Carmen Rivet, 2022
John Vaccaro, 2019
Alex Barcados, 2018
Ernest Epp, 2017
Adom Knadjian, 2016
Pierre Akkelian, 2015
Paul Mara, 2014
Kevin Kaye, 2013
Garo Baler, 2012
Judy Richards, 2011
Dan Panos, 2010
William Stoner, 2009
Peter Myerson, 2008
Harold Weinstein, 2007
President’s Award Recipients
Carmen Rivet, 2022
Roy Katsuyama, 2006
Abby Evenchick, 2005
Toni Cavelti, 2004
Marvin Gerstein, 2003
Jonathan Birks, 2002
John Nash, 2001
Bruce Smellie, 2000
Bing Levinter, 1999