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Wednesday, 22 April 2015 10:15

BC Chamber applauds balanced federal budget

Written by Dan Proulx Published in Press Releases


 Vancouver, April 21, 2015 - The BC Chamber of Commerce congratulates the federal government on tabling a balanced budget during a time of on-going global economic uncertainty. This budget aligns fiscal prudence through controlled spending, with initiatives that support future economic growth.

"The BC Chamber applauds the federal government for achieving a balanced budget; this was certainly not an easy endeavour, with dropping oil-prices and on-going global economic uncertainty," said John Winter, president and CEO of the BC Chamber. "Canada is in an enviable position, being one of only a few nations to announce a balanced budget."

Winter also commends the budget's focus on funding for major infrastructure projects, including a commitment to provide dedicated funding through a Public Transit Fund. "Investing in infrastructure is imperative, especially transportation infrastructure. Transportation is a key driver of economic development for B.C. and Canada," Winter said. "We look forward to further details regarding the Federal government's plans, which we trust will help fund B.C. infrastructure projects, fueling economic growth."


Winter noted that there's a strong link between the investment in public infrastructure, such as roads, transit and utilities, and the productivity performance of all sectors of the Canadian economy.

"The success and competitiveness of Canadian business depends on modern and efficient infrastructure," he said. "Businesses recognize that investing in transit and transportation, alleviates congestion, gives employees commuting options, and opens up the roads for businesses to move their goods to market."

The BC Chamber also welcomed continued focus on the growth of the potential LNG sector by re-committing to the accelerated capital cost allowance on LNG liquefaction facilities as well as the expansion of the LNG export licence from 25 years to 40 years.



About the BC Chamber of Commerce


The BC Chamber is the largest and most broadly-based business organization in the province. Representing more than 125 Chambers of Commerce and 36,000 businesses of every size, sector and region of the province, the BC Chamber of Commerce is "The Voice of Business in BC."


Media Contacts


John Winter

President & CEO
BC Chamber of Commerce

C 604.376.3577



Carly Hunter

Manager, Communications 

BC Chamber of Commerce

T 604.638.8114


NEWS RELEASE                                                                                              

MARCH 12, 2015


VERNON -  The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce (GVCC) is pleased the BC Government has taken a cautious approach to increasing the minimum wage announcing Thursday that it will be tying increases to the cost of inflation.

“We along with most Chambers in BC, commend the provincial government on implementing an increase to the minimum wage and also setting out a plan for future changes, giving businesses a window to plan and prepare,” says Dan Rogers, GVCC general manager.  “Our members are only now starting to see an improvement in the economy and any big hike would have potentially driven up operational costs that may have counteracted the positive improvements that we’ve seen in the last couple of years.”

The BC Chamber also welcomed the announcement and noted that it only came after extensive government consultation with businesses.  Increases to the minimum wage have a very real and direct effect on business, especially small business. 

“This is a responsible move, with the degree of certainty that businesses appreciate” said John Winter, president and CEO of the BC Chamber. “This increase keeps British Columbia competitive and aligns us with the minimum wages seen in other provinces.”

The BC Chamber has always advocated for certainty. Most businesses are likely to be open to an idea that sees minimum wage tied to inflation through a consistent and transparent formula that could give them the certainty they need around these issues, and this plan addresses that.




Dan Rogers                                                                                        John Winter

GVCC General Manager                                                              BC Chamber President & CEO
T 250-545-0771                                                                                C 604.376.3577

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Tuesday, 10 March 2015 10:41


Written by Dan Proulx Published in Press Releases


MARCH 8, 2015

VERNON – The very best of Greater Vernon’s entrepreneurship was celebrated at the Annual Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce (GVCC) Business Excellence Awards that was a near sell out at the Best Western Vernon Lodge on Saturday night (March 7th).  Close to 300 were in attendance to recognize the top businesses and organizations in twelve different categories including the Business of the Year which went to Piscine Energetics Inc.  The firm was also recognized as Manufacturer of the Year.  

“Each of our award winners represent dynamic organizations who have given back to the community in many ways,” says Jaron Chasca, Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce president.  “I’d like to congratulate them all and wish them many more years of continued success.”

Piscine Energetics, headquartered in the North Okanagan has been revolutionizing the ornamental aquaculture and aquarium industry through innovation in aquatic nutrition. Piscine Energetics produces a nutritionally complete fish food for a global market sustainably harvested from Okanagan Lake.  (See more at:

Bannister Honda also had a good night winning the Employer of the Year as well as being recognized as the Marketer of the Year for companies with more than 10 employees. 

Other winners include:

  • Small Business of the Year: Caufields Engraving
  • Marketer of the Year (under 10 employees): Vernon Farmers Market
  • Professional Service Award: Meridian Rehabilitation Consulting Inc.
  • Sterling Service Award: The Room Collection
  • New Business of the Year:
  • Green Business of the Year:  Healthy Spot Pet Nutrition & Supply
  • Community Supporter of the Year: VantageOne Credit Union
  • Young Entrepreneur of the Year: Camillia Courts Photography

“The strength of the nominations we received indicates the high quality of entrepreneurship in the North Okanagan,” says Dan Rogers, GVCC general manager.  “Many of these businesses started small, and the growth and success they have exhibited is a credit to their hard work and the support of the wider community. It is important that we celebrate that success.”

The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce is a non-partisan, business advocacy organization that is the influential voice of business for close to 600 members and their thousands of employees in the Greater Vernon area. GVCC’s mission is to improve the local business climate, enhancing its members’ ability to do business through advocacy and member services.




Dan Rogers

General Manager

T 250-545-0771">

Wednesday, 18 February 2015 16:36


Written by Dan Proulx Published in Press Releases

NEWS RELEASE                                                                                                    

FEB. 18, 2015


VERNON – Chambers of Commerce from across the province including the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce congratulate the B.C. government for tabling a third consecutive balanced budget that combines continued fiscal discipline, including a specific focus on operating debt repayment, along with a number of targeted initiatives to support economic growth.

“Chamber’s across the province have consistently called on government to balance its books and we are pleased to see this on-going commitment to fiscal discipline, says Jaron Chasca, GVCC president. “British Columbians can take pride that we are the only jurisdictions in Canada to balance our budget and are seeing the benefit as government puts part of projected surpluses towards paying off our operating debt.”

Budget 2015 forecasts an $879 million surplus for 2014/15, with a further surplus of $284 million in 2015/16. Budget 2015 includes an $800 million payment toward operating debt reduction. Budget 2015 also includes several modest initiatives that will support on-going economic development across the province, including: an extension to the BC Interactive Digital Media and the Mining Flow-Through Share tax credit measures, the expansion of the Digital Animation or Visual Effects tax credit to include post-production activities, a three-year extension of the BC Training Tax Credit, and an increase to the Small Business Venture Capital tax credit.

“During this time of on-going global economic uncertainty, it is important for government to continue to live within its means while finding affordable ways to drive our medium and long-term economic prosperity by enhancing our competitiveness and productivity,” says John Winter, president and CEO of the BC Chamber of Commerce. “While not a flashy budget, government’s strong fiscal management is providing additional fiscal flexibility for future years. This flexibility is needed to help address top-tier challenges facing business – notably further skills development, tax competitiveness and other productivity issues.”

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Dan Rogers, General Manager                                                  John Winter, President & CEO 
Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce                                 BC Chamber of Commerce

T 250-545-0771                                                                            C 604.376.3577                                              

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Tuesday, 17 February 2015 15:34


Written by Dan Proulx Published in Press Releases


FEB. 17, 2015


VERNON –It is Chamber of Commerce week in B.C. (Feb. 16-20) and the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce (GVCC) is using the occasion as a chance to express the benefits it brings to its members and the local economy. GVCC is inviting members of the business community to celebrate BC Chamber Week by dropping by the local chamber office to learn more about what the chamber has been doing to help build a stronger economy in the Greater Vernon area for more than 100 years.

“Our primary strength is getting our local business issues out to all three levels of government,” says Dan Rogers, general manager.  “We are working on a variety of local issues that members have concerns with and also expect to have one or two policy resolutions that we will take to the BC Chamber AGM in May.”

“We are actually right in the middle of resolution time as the provincial AGM is fast approaching,” says Rogers.  The Chamber will put forward a resolution calling on the province to initiative a regional governance review.  The Chamber is also considering a resolution that calls on the province to further support the digital media industry as an economic driver in BC.

Over 36,000 businesses in B.C including close to 600 in the greater Vernon area are members of Canada’s largest Business Network:  The Chamber Network. “Our focus is to strengthen your business, offer exclusive member benefits, training resources and connect businesses like no other organization,” says John Winter, president & CEO, BC Chamber of Commerce.


To celebrate GVCC is hosting a special Business after Five networking event on Tuesday at Soul Studio, 2709 B 43Ave. (5-7pm) and will also hold a special members workshop on Thursday that will help them maximize the benefits that flow from being a member of the largest business network in the country. 


“We are using this opportunity to encourage our members and non-members to drop by our office on 32nd Street this week to learn more about the benefits of being a chamber member,” says Rogers. “The coffee is on and our team is ready to answer any questions you may have or address any concerns you have.”






66%* of consumers believe companies that are active in a local Chamber of Commerce:

ü   Use good business practices

ü   Are reputable

ü   Care about their customers

ü   Involved in the community 


* A recent national study in the U-S (Schapiro Group, 2013) indicated that consumers view Chamber Members in a positive light with two thirds of respondents saying that companies that belong and promote their membership in the Chamber are seen to be much better than those that aren`t a Chamber member.  The study showed that Chamber members are seen as more reputable and involved in the community and that leaves a positive impression in the minds of potential customers.


The study also reveals a positive perception for the local chamber itself, 82% of respondents believe that the local chamber of commerce helps create jobs and promotes local economic development.



True or False:

  • Myth #1: The Chamber of Commerce is a Bank. False. We are not a bank; we are the most broadly-based business organization working on behalf of small to large businesses.
  • Myth #2: A private club. False. We are an accessible, modern, organization supporting local business in their community.
  • Myth #3: Chambers are a part of Government: False. Local Chambers of Commerce engage with all levels government as a voice, advocating on behalf of businesses.
  • Myth #4: All we offer is Group Insurance Benefits. False. Chambers have a long list of exclusive member benefits to offer businesses; Group Insurance is just one of many.






Dan Rogers, GVCC General Manager

T 250-545-0771 E

NEWS RELEASE                                  

Feb. 12, 2015


VERNON – Friday February 13th marks the three-week countdown to the Annual Greater Vernon Business Excellence Awards and the Chamber marked the occasion by hosting the nominees’ luncheon on Thursday February 12th with the three finalists in each category being announced. 

Bannister Honda, Caufields Engraving, Healthy Spot Pet Nutrition & Supply, One Step Foot Care Inc., Piscine Energetics Inc. and VantageOne Credit Union led the way as all six were named finalists in two different categories. 

The winners in each of the 11 categories plus the Business of the Year will be announced at the awards gala on Saturday March 7th.   It is the North Okanagan’s largest business event of the year. The annual awards gala will celebrate the success of businesses in the region and this year will also salute the long running television series MADMEN which is in its final season.  


“We are trying to create a fun evening that recognizes the best of the best and by adding the theme we hope fans of the show will get into the spirit of things,” says Dan Proulx, membership & events coordinator with the Chamber. “The series is about an ad agency and the business of promotion so it’s fitting we incorporate the theme into this year’s Business Excellence Awards. We will have a few surprises that align with the theme that will make it fun for fans of the show and for those who may not have seen the long running series.”


The Awards Gala is presented by Valley First Credit Union and YLW-Kelowna International Airport and is a near sell-out event every year. Tickets are now on sale through the Chamber office and website.


“This is an exciting time of year, when businesses get nominated and we can see great local examples of businesses that are succeeding in our community,” said Dan Rogers, general manager of the Chamber. “We are pleased to have had a record number of nominations this year.”

The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce is the influential voice of business for the Greater Vernon region.




2015 BEA Finalists for Each Award Category

Manufacturer of the Year:

  • Mobile Juice Factory
  • Piscine Energetics Inc.
  • The BX Press Cidery & Orchard

Young Entrepreneur of the Year:

  • Camillia Courts Photography
  • One Step Foot Care Inc.
  • Red Bird Acupuncture Clinic

Community Supporter of the Year:

  • Kiss FM 107.5
  • Sun FM 105.7 Bell Media
  • VantageOne Credit Union

Green Business of the Year:

  • Healthy Spot Pet Nutrition & Supply
  • Mobile Juice Factory
  • Piscine Energetics Inc.

New Business of the Year:

  • Jazzercise Vernon
  • Soul Studio
  • Top Knot Events

Small Business of the Year:

  • Caulfields Engraving
  • Portico Property Services
  • White House Mortgages

Sterling Service of the Year:

  • Healthy Spot Pet Nutrition & Supply
  • Sproing Creative
  • The Room Collection

Marketer under 10 employees:

  • The Rice Box
  • Vernon Farmers Market
  • Vernon Vipers Hockey

Marketer over 10 Employees:

  • A & W
  • Bannister Honda
  • City Furniture & Appliance

Professional Service Provider of the Year:

  • Meridian Rehabilitation Consulting Inc.
  • NEUmovement Wellness
  • One Step Foot Care Inc.

Employer of the Year:

  • Bannister Honda
  • Caufields Engraving
  • VantageOne Credit Union




Dan Proulx, GVC Membership & Events Coordinator           Dan Rogers, GVCC General Manager

T 250-545-0771 E           T 250-545-0771 E


Friday, 19 December 2014 11:30


Written by Dan Proulx Published in Press Releases

NEWS RELEASE Dec. 17, 2014

VERNON – The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce (GVCC) welcomes the B.C. Government’s decision to approve Site C.
“B.C.’s economy has been built on reliable, low-cost power and while this was a difficult decision it is a significant one that will result in clean and renewable power for generations,” says Jaron Chasca, GVCC president. “By committing to building Site C, the government is investing in continued access to the energy we need to take B.C. forward.”
The project will produce enough to power 450,000 homes a year while having a relatively small reservoir footprint that will generate that power. Greenhouse gas emissions will also be lower than other energy options.
The B.C. Chamber of Commerce has long noted that reliable, low-cost power has long been a major competitive advantage for B.C. as a business jurisdiction.
“Reliable, affordable power allows our businesses to compete nationally and globally and to create jobs right here in B.C.” says John Winter, president and CEO of the BC Chamber. “It’s a key factor in our province’s economic success.”
“Site C is the largest investment decision our province will make in a generation. But let’s be clear: Today’s decision was the right decision for our economy and our future,” Winter added.
The BC Chamber’s province-wide membership has recognized the need for aggressive action on both the supply and demand side of the province’s energy mix. As part of this, BC Chamber members have long backed Site C as a strategic investment in reliable, publicly-owned energy infrastructure.

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Jaron Chasca, GVCC President                              Dan Rogers, GVCC General Manager
C 250-550-9859 E                 T 250-545-0771 E
John Winter, President & CEO                                Jenny MacPhee, Communications Officer
C 604.376.3577 E              C 604.366.4990 E

Tuesday, 02 December 2014 09:59


Written by Dan Proulx Published in Press Releases


Dec. 1, 2014


Vernon - The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce has bolstered its board by adding Diana Wilson of Kal Tire, effective immediately.  Diana has a wealth of professional experience in helping businesses improve value through technology and process improvements. She has also been busy on the community side, acting as President and Chair of the Vernon Paddling Centre for the past two years.

“I believe we have a lot to look forward to in growing the organization,” says Wilson who added, “I’ve been impressed by the work of the chamber and look forward to helping advocate on behalf of our members and local businesses to ensure the North Okanagan maintains a strong economic foundation.” 

Prior to joining Kal Tire in 2007 as Director of Solution Delivery, Diana was a Director at Sierra Systems for 10 years where she provided consulting services and managed business and system initiatives for private sector and government organizations.  The Vernon Senior Secondary grad fills one of two spots that remained open on the board since the AGM earlier this year.

“Her business experience combined with her community work, made her a great fit for the Board,” says Jaron Chasca, GVCC President. “As part of our three year strategic plan we have been strengthening our board to shape an organization that can better serve our members and add value to the business community and Diana will be an immense help that effort.”

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BACKGROUND – Diana Wilson (Bio)

Diana is the Director, Solution Delivery at Kal Tire and has over 25 years of experience delivering business value through technology and process improvement projects.  Diana was raised in Vernon and graduated from Vernon Senior Secondary before receiving her Diploma in Computer Information Systems in Kelowna in 1985.  Diana enjoys many of the recreational opportunities that Vernon has to offer and can be found kayaking, biking or skiing throughout the year.  Diana brings to the chamber board her commitment to implementing solutions that support business and her passion for Vernon and all it has to offer.



Jaron Chasca, GVCC President 2014-2015                                                              Diana Wilson, GVCC Director at Large

C 250-550-9859 E">                               T 250-558-3268">


Nov. 28, 2014

Vernon The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce (GVCC) is joining the national campaign sponsored by the Yellow Pages to encourage consumers to think local while being inundated with Black Friday advertising.    The Yellow Pages started the movement a year ago and went national this year to recognize November 29th as “Shop the neighbourhood” day.  The date was strategically selected between Black Friday and Cyber Monday to counter cross border shopping and internet purchases.

“The campaign is meant to reinforce the benefits to the local economy by shopping in your neighbourhood rather than purchasing something online from another region or country,” says GVCC President Jaron Chasca.  “We are pleased to be joining our members in reminding people of the additional economic benefits that accrue when you shop locally.”

The Chamber’s efforts will include promotion of the event through social media and other communication channels.   The Chamber is also teaming up with the Downtown Vernon Association (DVA) on Friday morning to recognize shoppers who are spending their money locally.

“This is the first year that we have been involved in this promotion,” says Dan Rogers, Chamber General Manager. “Our efforts have been pretty modest but it will allow us to gage interest and build a larger shop local program for next year.”

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The benefits of shopping locally are well illustrated in a promotional video that one of our members (The Rice Box, owned and operated by Mr. On Ouches) put together that reinforces what happens when goods and services are purchased locally.  It creates jobs, helps put food on the table for our neighbours and ultimately builds a stronger community. (



Jaron Chasca, GVCC President 2014-2015                              Dan Rogers, GVCC General Manager

C 250-550-9859 E">                               T 250-545-0771 E">



Nov 6, 2014

Vernon – The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce (GVCC) recently provided the candidates for Mayor and Council at the City of Vernon with a short questionnaire to gage their views on business development and government efficiency.  One of the questions asked if the candidate supported making a request to the Province to fund and undertake a study to determine the potential benefits of improved governance in the North Okanagan. The response was near unanimous support for such a request.

``Our members have long supported a move towards amalgamation as a means to streamline local government and make the region`s many local governments more efficient in responding to the opportunities for economic development, says GVCC General Manager Dan Rogers. ``We’re pleased to see the overwhelming majority candidates in Vernon are willing to keep an open mind on the topic and we hope other jurisdictions will follow suit.”

The chamber believes a provincially funded study would determine if there are benefits to local taxpayers from amalgamation or alternative governance models, so the air can be cleared once and for all.

In an effort to provide greater access to information about the candidates running for Vernon City Council, the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce has established a candidate’s summary page on its website (  The site has introductory videos from most of the candidates as well as their answers to the chamber’s business related questionnaire.   

“We know not everyone can come out to a public forum so by making this detailed information available online, we are helping our members and the public at large, become better informed about those running for public office,” says Rogers.  “More importantly we hope the increased profile will encourage a greater turnout for the upcoming municipal election.”


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Dan Rogers, General Manager                                                 

Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce                                

T 250-545-0771 E :">     

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