A Look Back at 2016

The chamber AGM is around the corner and I would like to provide a brief annual review for everyone who is interested to know what the Chamber has accomplished in the last 12 months

In the first quarter of 2016, the Chamber hosted three speaker dinner meetings. We invited speakers with different backgrounds and experience to speak about their experience and vision about Hope. In January, former Hope Councillor, Ray Zervini, former Hope Mayor Bud Gardner and the Honourable Chuck Strahl, PC spoke at our first dinner about Hope’s past. In February, former Chilliwack Mayor, John Les, Mayor Wilfried Vicktor and Dale Wheeldon from BC Economic Development Association shared information about our present and some of their ideas and knowledge about the community’s current challenges and opportunities. In March, MP Mark Strahl, MLA Laurie Throness and Richard Truscott, the West VP of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business talked about the future of Hope and identified some of the head winds and tail winds for the community. We have sold more than 400 tickets for the speaker series, which indicates residents’ interest and thirst for input and ideas. These events pulled the Chamber and the community together for insight and constructive conversations about how we can collaborate and improve the community we all call home.

In March, the Hope & District Chamber of Commerce was honoured to be the local coordinator of the Economic Development Workshop in Hope that was hosted by the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training. The workshop was facilitated by the British Columbia Economic Development Association and many good ideas were exchanged in the session.

In June, the Hope & District Chamber of Commerce hosted the “Community Safety Fair 2016” in the Conference Room of the Rec Center. The purpose of the Community Safety Fair is to provide information such as Home and Business Crime Prevention tips, information and demonstrations from different service providers about security camera and alarm systems, simple self-defense demonstrations and more. We also invited the RCMP and Hope Council members to listen to citizens’ concerns.

In July, The Chamber of Commerce was proud to be one of the sponsors of the annual Canada Day Event, hosted by the Fraser Valley Regional District. It was a great success with a wonderful fireworks display to close the event. In case you missed the fireworks, here is the link to the video of the spectacular show.

In August, The Hope and District Chamber of Commerce was proud to host The Great Fraser River Salmon BBQ Competition. All the proceeds from the event were donated to The Hope Search and Rescue(SAR); over $4000 was raised and donated to SAR, to help purchase much needed specialized equipment. The event was a great success and has just been nominated as “The Best Concept” Category in the Small Business BC Awards.

In November, to finish a strong year of activities, The Hope and District Chamber of Commerce and The Hope Standard are proud to present the 2016 Passport to Christmas. It is a great event that supports and encourages the Buy Local concept, with an array of great prizes to be won. All members of the Chamber who participle in the program will receive a 20% discount. It is the 6th anniversary of this event and we are happy to see more and more businesses involved in this excellent program.

It has been a great year for the Chamber, considering our funding model is 100% non-profit with zero government funding. I would like to thank our Board of Directors and all the volunteers who contributed their time and energy to organize all these successful events.