Charlottetown, PE – The Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce will celebrate Liam and Kim Dolan as the 2021 Entrepreneurs of the Year at the President’s Excellence Awards on March 24. Sponsored by Provincial Credit Union, the President’s Excellence Entrepreneur of the Year Award recognizes the accomplishments and entrepreneurial spirit of an individual in the community. The winner is selected by the GCACC’s Executive Committee.
“Liam and Kim embrace the spirit of entrepreneurship,” said Colin Younker, Board President of the Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce. “Through their dedication to the family business, promotion of PEI’s culinary offerings and contributions in the community, they set the standard for aspiring entrepreneurs to follow in their path.”
In 1978, at the age of 19, Liam moved from Ireland to Prince Edward Island. As a young chef, he always dreamed of opening his own restaurant and soon knew Charlottetown was ready for a high-quality seafood restaurant serving Island products. In 1983, after meeting Kim, his partner in business and life, the couple opened the Claddagh Room in an empty building on Sydney Street in downtown Charlottetown. Two years later, envisioning a revitalized downtown core, they expanded their portfolio, opening Charlottetown’s first live Celtic music venue – the Olde Dublin Pub, which married Liam’s homeland’s traditional music with quality Island food and service.
In 1994, the Dolans marked another milestone purchasing Peake’s Quay, which provided the opportunity for the couple to operate the Charlottetown Yacht Club. Work on the Charlottetown waterfront had yet to begin, but Liam’s vision of renovating and expanding the area to drive tourism never wavered.
In 1996, Liam founded the PEI International Shellfish Festival. This signature event has grown year after year, featuring more demos, competition, and entertainment, spanning more days and attracting more patrons and tourists to the Island. For the last 25 years, the PEI International Shellfish Festival has been a staple event for the tourism shoulder season on PEI, creating an annual economic impact of more than $2.5 million. This festival contributed to the expansion of PEI’s September events season, including the well-known Fall Flavours Festival.
Liam and Kim have been active members in the community, volunteering with events and advancing the food and beverage industry locally and nationally. Liam has been a member of many industry boards, including PEI Chef’s Association, Restaurants Canada, and the American Restaurant Association. Liam is currently Chair of Downtown Charlottetown Inc. and supports many groups working to navigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in the food and beverage industry. Kim is a well-known Island curler, having volunteered with the Scotties Tournament of Hearts and other Canadian championships hosted in Charlottetown. Together the family contributes to various charitable organizations in the community, including Make-A-Wish Canada.
Liam and Kim consider themselves lucky to raise a family while building a legacy in a fast-paced, ever-growing industry. They also feel fortunate that their children, Marc and Sinead, wanted to work alongside them in their businesses over the years. Following the sale of Claddagh Oyster House and the Olde Dublin Pub in 2018, Marc and Sinead continued to work together at the family-owned Peake’s Quay Restaurant and Bar. Liam and Kim attribute their success of having a family-run business to hard work, determination and having incredible staff over the years.
“We are humbled, grateful and honoured to be recognized in our community as Entrepreneurs of the Year,” said Kim Dolan. “We truly would like to thank the Greater Charlottetown Chamber of Commerce for all the tireless, dedicated work they do on behalf of ours and all businesses.”
The 2021 President’s Excellence Awards, sponsored by Atlantic Lottery, will take place in-person and virtually on Wednesday, March 24, from 6:00 – 9:30 p.m. at the Delta Hotels by Marriott Prince Edward. The safety of all guests, volunteers, and staff is a priority of the Chamber. This event will follow all COVID-19 provincial public health guidelines concerning large, organized gatherings.
For information on the event, contact Tania Crouse-Hardy at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 902-628-2000 x226.
Liam and Kim Dolan are the Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce 2021 Entrepreneurs of the Year.