Smithers District Chamber of Commerce

Smithers Chamber wins BC Chamber of the Year

November 27, 2017

Vancouver, May 29, 2017 – The Smithers District Chamber ofCommerce has been named B.C.'s 2017 Chamber of the Year by the BC Chamber ofCommerce.


The Chamber of the Year Award, presented by Kubera Payments, is about encouraging and inspiring organizational excellence. This year's criteriafocused on "one" thing the winning chamber did that set it apart from the goodwork done by all chambers. The Smithers Chamber was recognized by introducing a new, niche program to encourage youth to dream big about becoming anentrepreneur. It was called "the Scoop", and involvedworking with the schoolsto offer an online entrepreneur course supplied business guest lecturers.

To encourage participation and attract youth to take the entrepreneurial journey, the chamber manager and directors invested in the constructionof a fully-equipped mobile ice cream parlour that would serve as the businessthe students could compete to manage, as their own, for the summer. Theywere selected by scoring the most points from a Pitch they made to the "GrizzlyDen" modelled after CBC's Dragon Den.

This program was championed by the chamber in collaboration withvalued community partners and sponsors. It was truly a team effort thatcaptured the imagination of its members and the community. Northwest CommunityCollege lent the expertise of its Carpentry Foundations students, WorkBC andCommunity Futures Nadina provided business plan development and financialguidance and School District 54 managed the on-line course material.

In order to provide the Chamber with funding for the program,Chocolate/ Strawberry and Vanilla sponsors were obtained. The Chamber is proudof the level of engagement from the business community providing funds forbuilding materials and equipment. Thanks to Smithers Lumber Yard, PIR, CreativeNotions, Seabridge Gold, BV Home Center, Eecol Electric, Aqua North Plumbing,Driftwood Electric, All-West Glass, Total Floors and Subway.

Colin Bateman, President of the Smithers Chamber reflected that,"the Smithers Chamber team focusses on tailoring products and services that fitthe needs of the community and serve our number one stakeholders - our members.This project was not achieved as a solo effort but by gathering groups togetherthat could share resources and expertise. The spirit of collaboration is aliveand well in our chamber and our community."

Heather Gallagher, Manager of the Smithers Chamber, said she isconstantly in awe of the incredible work that is done by chambers throughoutthe province and is always inspired by their success stories. "We areabsolutely thrilled to receive this award for our members whose investment inour Chamber allows us to take risks, like this project, to get the jobdone. I'm proud to work with directors who are imaginative, innovativeand supportive of novel initiatives like "the Scoop".

For the SmithersDistrict Chamber of Commerce Community and Business Awards, held in

October, BradleyWellington, the 2016 operator of the Ice Cream Parlour was nominated and wonthe award for Young Entrepreneur of the Year. The Chamber is proud to providethis opportunity for youth. The Parlour will be in operation again this summerby two new entrepreneurial-spirited youths.

I think the future of Smithers’ business community is bright. There’s a new generation of people starting out and taking over old businesses in the community, supplying new ideas and breathing life into this town. The people here are friendly and support each other, but I think that the best thing about our town is the diversity of people here.

-Peter Krause, Owner, McBike & Sport and Chamber Member since 1983

Meet more local business owners at