UBC OK full dimensions President-Circle-Scroller   
   

Welcome to the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce

The Chamber works to ensure the Okanagan region will become the most economically prosperous region - and the most desirable place to live and work - in Canada. As the area's leading membership driven business organization, we are committed to providing value to our members.
 

Events

Get involved & expand your reach with over 60 Chamber events each year! Connect with the Community calendar too!

 

Chamber News

Keep informed with all that’s happening at the Kelowna Chamber!

 

Join Today!

Become a member, and join the other 1200+ members that strengthen the community and build better businesses!


  • For the first time in the history of mankind, there are four generations in the workforce
    Feb 04, 2016

    There are 35 million Traditionalists, 84 million Baby Boomers, 68 million Generation Xers and 79 million Millennials or Generation Y. There will be no escaping the demographic reality that in the very near future, there will be 84 million retiring Baby Boomers, followed by 68 million Gen Xers to replace them. This will create an employee vacuum in the workforce that only the 79 million Gen Yers can fill, increasing demand and competition for Generation Y employees, in addition to increasing the ongoing challenge of working with a multi-generational workforce.

    To learn more about managing this first-in-history challenge, join us for the first installment of our new series, Leader Skills. "Motivating the Millenials" is a late-afternoon session, with presenter Dr. Gustavo Grodnitzky. He will give a power-hour of honest, tried and true advice, providing you with plenty of food for thought and tangible advice you can implement in both your organization and your personal life. Drinks and appies will be served and great talks amongst like-minded leaders will be had. Don’t forget your notebook and pen – you won’t want to miss this! 

    Learn More or Register

     

    -KCC 

  • Come Aboard our Award-Winning Chamber
    Jan 13, 2016

    We are currently accepting nominations for the 2016-2017 Kelowna Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors!

    In a volunteer capacity, members of the Board of Directors of the Kelowna Chamber provide a leadership role in determining the long-term direction and policy decisions of the Chamber. They provide expertise to maintain a high standard of advocacy, services, programs and opportunities delivered by the Kelowna Chamber. Eight Director positions are available for the coming term. Five incumbent Directors are seeking election; additionally there are 3 vacant positions.

    2016-2017 Incumbent Directors:

    -Nikki Csek, Csek Creative incumbent .5 term

    -Martine Hickman, BDC incumbent 1 term

    -Jeff Robinson, Rush Ihas Hardwick incumbent 1 term

    -Carmen Sparg, Total Interiors incumbent 2 terms

    -Shelagh Turner, Canadian Mental Health Association incumbent .5 term

    To be eligible to sit on the Board of Directors, members must be able to commit to a two-year term on the Board and must be a member in good standing for at least 30 days prior to the date of the close of nominations. Applicants require the written endorsement of two other Kelowna Chamber members.

    If you are interested in serving on the boardplease click here for the application form. Applications must be received at the Kelowna Chamber office by 4:00 pm on Monday, February 8, 2016 at which point nominations will close. If additional applications are received exceeding the number of eligible positions, a ballot will be e-mailed to all voting members following the close of nominations for an electronic vote. For further information, contact Caroline Grover, CEO at 250-469-7356 or email caroline@kelownachamber.org.

    -KCC

  • Best. Year. Ever.
    Jan 06, 2016
    Happy New Year! Before we bid farewell to 2015 and look onward and upward to the new year ahead, we must pay our respects; for 2015 was our most successful year, ever.
     
    To that we owe thanks to our sponsors, partners, supporters, affiliates, volunteers and most importantly - our members!  Never in our history have we had more members, and more members joining. And, do they ever display a high degree of commitment to business excellence and community support! Every weekly meeting we hear the report of new members and comment on the diversity of businesses joining the Chamber. This helps us to grow and work together to create business solutions.

    Another compelling proof that this has been our best year ever? Recognition from our colleagues, across the province, and across the country. Our Chamber networks are absolutely buzzing with questions, solutions, webinars, and the occasional award: notably in our case, BC Chamber of the Year. What an honour! And, the highest nominee count ever for our prestigious Business Excellence Awards, given out in October.

    Learning. We’ve learned so much this year, particularly about the opportunities in Canada’s resource-based industries. Our CEO attended two trips to the oil sands, to see the pipeline operations along the coast of BC– and  brought back her knowledge and experiences to share with staff, businesses and residents of Kelowna. To stay up-to-date on our province's resource sectors, follow Resource Works. We support the sector in their mandates of responsible development, job creation, and the maintenance of a clean and healthy environment.

    Identifying shortfalls should always be part of any look-back-and-plan-forward. What do we see? The need for speed – getting planned strategies into place faster, so the evolution and solution of what the plan is meant to fix, is done within a timeframe that delivers needed results, sooner. Actually, all the “shortfalls” are really centered around working with limited staff and resources – a familiar theme for so many of our businesses, small, medium and large. And like a lot of shortcomings, many of them are in our heads, based on the perception that we need to be further ahead than we are – regardless if we are in a really strong, productive position. So perhaps learning to accept where we are while pushing forward is the most sensible plan to make right now.

    Looking ahead, the Kelowna Chamber is examining its branding. We realize that in this communications saturated world, we require a continuity of message, of look, and mission in everything we do. We’re hyper-critical of our own communications, so we are ensuring that what we look like to our audience, and how we are perceived has a strength and consistency that will reflect our very best face to our internal and external audiences.

    As we look into our roster of speakers in our first quarter of 2016, we see MLAs, MPs (one new), our Mayor (new last year), and our Premier presenting our provincial budget. 2016 also brings a trip to Kelowna’s sister city in Japan, in cherry blossom time, which is sold out, and an exciting excursion in the summer to Haida Gwaii.

    In the second quarter, we’ll host the province-wide BC Chamber annual convention and reception for attendees right here in Kelowna. If our hosting the national Chamber convention 18 months ago is anything to go by (yes, delegates are still talking about the party we threw for them), the provincial celebration will be another landmark.

    A strong membership; a strong board; a supportive and knowledgeable staff – if the term ‘count your blessings’ is appropriate at this time of year, then, yes, we are doing that. We are now facing 2016 with excitement, learning, involvement, and advocacy. Here's to shared success, inspiration and a prosperous 2016.
     
    -KCC 
  • Separating Myth from Fact in the TPP Debate
    Dec 30, 2015

    The TPP is getting a lot of media coverage as the new government tries to decide whether this ground-breaking trade agreement is in Canada’s best interest. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce believes that it is, but any agreement of this scope has its critics and opponents. What are their concerns? Are they valid? Rather than make you comb through thousands of pages of text with the help of a lawyer, we tackle a few of the biggest myths right here.

    Tell us if you find any others and we’ll add them to the list.

    #1 The intellectual property rules in the TPP will cost Canada billions of dollars

    False. Some say the TPP will raise drug prices in Canada and make innovators pay more royalties and licensing fees to foreign companies. But our current laws protecting patents, copyright, and trademarks are strong enough to meet the TPP’s requirements, often by a high margin. The only notable exception is on length of copyright for authors, which Canada will now extend from 50 to 70 years. Instead, the TPP is about ensuring that other countries extend similar protections to Canadian creators and innovators that we already do to theirs.

    #2 Foreign investors will be able to sue Canada for environmental and health regulations

    Not if they’re done properly. In fact, the TPP reaffirms the right of governments to take measures to protect the environment, health, public safety and other important policy objectives. What it says is that governments need to treat foreign investors in a fair and equitable manner. So if a regulation or law applies to foreign but not domestic companies, destroys the value of a legitimate investment, or is introduced without proper consultation, then the affected company may be able to seek compensation through international arbitration. Canada already has agreements like this with the U.S., China and dozens of other countries.

    #3 The TPP will hurt Canada’s auto industry

    It doesn’t help. Canada will eliminate a 6.1% import tax levied on vehicles from Japan over five years and make it easier for companies to source parts and inputs from outside North America. This could undermine the business case for investing in Canada, a case that has already become weaker because of tax incentives and lower labour and energy costs in the Southern U.S. and Mexico. On the other hand, not joining the TPP would sever the industry from regional supply chains, and do little to address the underlying problems. The more important question is about the policies and programs we need to help Canadian companies and workers capitalize on proven successes in areas like luxury models and new automotive technologies.

    #4 Canadians can’t compete with countries like Vietnam and Malaysia that have lower labour and environmental standards

    We don’t have to. Companies make investment and production decisions based on how much a given dollar spent produces in output. Workers in some countries may have much lower wages, but still be more expensive when you factor in the fact that they are less productive. As long as Canada focuses on things like skills, infrastructure, and new technologies, our workforce will remain competitive. Adding to that, the TPP is the first trade agreement Canada has ever signed with fullyenforceable rules requiring countries to protect worker rights and the environment. If a country is found to not be respecting these commitments, Canada and others can put sanctions on their exports. Civil society groups like the World Wildlife Fund have praised this aspect of the agreement.

    #5 - The TPP will bring a flood of foreign workers to Canada No. It is true that the TPP allows companies to bring to Canada certain business people, professionals, technicians and tradespeople without having to complete a formal labour market impact assessment. However, they must have a prearranged contract with the company and can only work for a limited duration. Moreover, they must meet all local certification and training requirements. It is up to our professional associations and other certifying bodies to determine which credentials are deemed equivalent. Canada has secured similar access to other TPP markets, which are very important for Canadian companies operating overseas in the engineering, mining, oil and gas and financial services industries.

     

    If you have any further questions, please contact Cam Vidler, cvidler@chamber.ca 1-800-661-2930, x230.