Teamwork – Working as usual by Kim Smythe, CEO & President Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce


Summer living on Vancouver Island is nothing less than great. The weather has been fantastic since spring, business seems to have found a good groove locally, and there is much going on to entertain ourselves in our communities.

The best part of summer seems to start on the weekend of the Save On Foods Dragonboat Festival – always the weekend after Canada Day. I participated in planning this event during its earliest years, we were mainly made up of a group of business colleagues who simply thought “what a good cause, what a good party”! That team has evolved and transformed, the event has grown into one of the premier annual special events in our community, contributing nearly a million dollars to the Hospital Foundation, and impacting the local economy by untold millions with the 80 or so teams of paddlers and supporters participating each year.

Nanaimo Child Development Centre’s Silly Boat Regatta followed the next weekend with teams of businesses, community groups and families whipping up vessels in a few hours that were expected to float, move forward and stay under control for a hundred meters or so. Few finish, but the experience of working together to attempt that, plus the experience of the organizers and volunteers who are successful in raising over $100,000 on that day, makes it about as rewarding as it can get for a team.

The Great Bathtub Race is the final jewel in the crown of Nanaimo’s Marine Festival month. A lot of reorganization went into celebrating the 50th anniversary of this iconic, exclusive event in 2016. Now, the race starts and finishes in the same Maffeo-Sutton Park location, a festival has regrown around race weekend, and a concert featuring the likes of Trooper, Chilliwack and Valdy launched the celebration in the park this year. Sunday, what looks like a solo sport due to the single occupant in the ‘tub’, is actually a team sport with a big group of supporters getting each racer to the start line!

The season carries on with numerous major events and festivals like VIEX – our own country fair – the Blues Festival, car shows… you get the idea. A common thread running through the success of all these events and activities is the committed and enthusiastic teams it takes to make them happen.

Teamwork is obviously the key to success in so many endeavours in our community, in fact throughout  our lives. All of these successful events that benefit community services and our quality-of-life in Nanaimo should be honoured for the collaborative efforts produced by teams of tireless workers. I hope you’re part of one of these so you can enjoy the rewards that teamwork delivers and the resulting pride in your community.

Kim Smythe

President and CEO

Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce


Member Profile – Oneaftereight Design Studio – Garret Phenix

OAE logo Stacked

When a company wants to improve their position against the competition, they go to Garret Phenix at Oneaftereight Design Studio. Garret provides creative graphic design services, plus marketing direction, to help clients increase their brand exposure, and attract more clients.

Specializing in corporate branding, from concept to implementation, Oneaftereight’s packages can include overall brand look, plus logo, business card, and rack card. Publications and newsletters can also be produced, as well as support for events, tradeshows, and any print or digital media requirements. If it’s visual, Garret can create it.

Very service oriented, Garret doesn’t just produce designs, he takes the time to collaborate with his clients. Often people come to Oneaftereight with specific design ideas, some good, some not so good. Garret will explain why certain design elements work better than others, and which ones will work best for that client’s brand project.

Client’s goals are key to graphic design, as well as how they fit into their marketing strategy. Oneaftereight helps them focus on their messaging, so they are using their dollars wisely, and not just throwing random ideas out into the market.

Oneaftereight creates a strategic action plan for each client, so they can roll out branding elements at a manageable pace.

Clients receive the design they need, and impactful marketing tools that are more affordable over the long term.

Garret experienced considerable success in Alberta where he supported companies in the health care, oil and gas, and government sectors. Since he and his wife moved to Nanaimo, almost four years ago, he has contributed design support for local clients like Kw’umut Lelum Child and Family Services, and Reed Family Wellness.

Garret is an Ambassador with the Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce, and invites Members to contact him for a free consultation. 250-668-9539

Written by Bonnie Chomica

Board Nomination Form



Request To Let Your Name Stand As A

Nominee for the Position of Director

Please fill out the following form and return it to the Chamber office along with a digital photograph. Nominations close February 26, 2016.

2016 Director Nomination pkg

Spirit of Christmas

Annual Chamber of Commerce Spirit of Christmas Decorating Contest & Residential Light Up

Download form here

Spirit of Xmas 2015

Highlights of Proposed Food Truck Licencing Process

Current Situation
Food trucks and food trailers are currently permitted to operate either on private property (in zones that permit Restaurant) or in select City parks with a Park Licence Use Agreement. They are not permitted to operate on City streets.

The Opportunity
Food trucks present an opportunity to enliven public spaces, diversify dining experiences and food options available in the City, and enhance Nanaimo’s food culture.

The City aims to establish a Food Truck Licence to:
– Increase the available locations for food trucks by establishing on-street locations
– Streamline the process so that only one permit is needed to operate in any location type
– Provide flexibility to location options so vendors have a greater opportunity for success

The Approach
Who: Food trucks & food trailers (not food carts)
What: Food Truck Licence – valid up to 1 year
When: Year Round
Where: Specified on-street, City park, and City parking lot locations.

To read the full proposal, click here.

2015 Gateway Magazine

2015 Gateway teaser ad2