Nanaimo • September 16, 2019


Business Expo, the Chamber’s salute to Small Business Month in BC, is launching the Vancouver Island Export Forum as an added attraction at the Expo on October 3 in the VICC. Export traffic from Nanaimo to destinations regionally and around the world are growing. New tools are available to support those exporting from the mid-Island and the Forum will reveal some of these.

The Island’s Foreign Trade Zone designation, the Port Authority’s Short Sea Shipping advantages, the opening of Export Navigator offices here, and recent rapid growth of advanced manufacturing on the Island were all good reasons to launch the Forum now.

“Whether your business is actively involved in export trade, or you count manufacturers and exporters among your clients and colleagues, this is an opportunity to gain an advantage early in the game. Advanced-manufacturing and exporting is a rapidly growing sector of the local economy” according to Kim Smythe of the Nanaimo Chamber.

A panel including George Hanson of VIEA, Fabrizio Alberico of Export Navigator, John Juricic with the Island Manufacturing Council, and others will be in attendance. The event starts at 1:00 pm in the Departure Bay Room at VICC and is co-presented by the Nanaimo Chamber and Young Professionals of Nanaimo.

At 2 pm, the Forum highlights a team from the Belgian Trade Commission, encouraging export to Europe by taking advantage of the new Canada Europe Trade Agreement. With trade conditions becoming more complicated with current trade partners, CETA becomes even more attractive.

Help kick off Small Business Month in BC and find out what’s happening with business in Nanaimo today – attendance is free! Register now for the forum!

Click here to download PDF.


What three core values make up HA Photography’s foundation? Professionalism, customer care, and community service. Dirk is sought after for his industry knowledge and expertise, visionary approach to impact branding, and forging synergies with small business partners. He is a welcoming and a trusted professional who takes the time to understand each client’s unique needs and desire to standout amongst others. As a fixture in the community, Dirk is committed to community and frequently offers a range of in-kind services to a variety of local charitable organizations. He believes that his “respected reputation and top-notch customer care have set me apart from my colleagues and made me the go-to photographer in Nanaimo.”

For Dirk, winning the award for “Best Creative Services” “topped of a completely stellar day.” “OMG, I was totally thrilled and could not have been happier!” Dirk had a very successful shoot earlier that day in Sooke with FortisBC capturing images of a hand drum making workshop on the Scia’new traditional territory. Winning the award has given HA Photography further recognition and profile.  This is important to Dirk as he wants to “continually raise the stature of what it means to be a professional photographer.”

There are some exciting changes coming up at HA Photography. Currently in the works is a new website featuring stock images of Nanaimo and the local area. This new website will have many new images and more information for Dirk’s clients. HA Photography is also looking for an upgraded look for the logo.  In short, there are a great deal of new things coming down the line.

Check out HA Photography’s website, like them on Facebook at HA Photography, or follow them on Instagram at @dirk.heydemann!

Click here to download PDF.

Our new City Council has taken some major steps toward Nanaimo evolving as a community firmly committed to a ‘greener’ future.  Following Council’s declaration of a ‘climate emergency’ in April, they have begun adopting policies that reflect shifting municipal philosophies to address some of the elements of human-influenced climate change.

They’ve made changes to city planning to increase our community’s walkability while appealing to the province for more transit hours to create the greatest single expansion of public transit service in our history. City staff are working on recommendations to Council on ways to regulate single use consumer plastic bags. We’ve long been targeting ‘zero waste’ in attempts to divert as much as possible from our landfill and extend its life while also encouraging citizens to reduce their water and energy use. As much as legislated actions will help minimize climate change, we need to strike initiatives on our own in our businesses and our homes.

Committing to a major shift in our thinking and practices is vital to extending our lease on this planet. This longer lease will give us more time to figure out how to balance, or more fully integrate, environmental concerns with a heathy and strong economy for the future. Rather than looking at managing climate change as an expense, business needs to look at the opportunities to create efficiencies through enhanced energy management, waste diversion, reduction and reuse activities, and other green initiatives.

Seeking out potential business opportunities in this new economy is paramount in unison with the motive of saving money and protecting the planet for future generations. Businesses are doing this in a wide and diverse manner. There are a number of local businesses either operating, expanding or planning on opening to serve new markets created by this ‘green’ shift in our thinking and actions. The term coined to describe this approach is ‘the circular economy’. Take a look around and see where what actions you’re taking and how you’re impacted by this emerging economy.

Nanaimo’s second annual Commercial Street Night Market — part street party, part artisan market, part food fest — kicked off in late June and is likely to boast big crowds until the end of August.

2019 Jonathan Ha Photography

Considered a huge success again, we’re incredibly happy that it brings together so many community members in an outstanding celebration of pride-of-place.


In May, the Nanaimo Chamber was the proud recipient of the BC Chamber Executives’ Award for Community & Member Engagement among ‘large’ Chambers in the province. This Award recognized the efforts of our staff and our many volunteers – from board members to Ambassadors to our event volunteers.

Considered for the 2019 Award were the Chamber’s efforts in non-partisan, civic leadership and government advocacy activities. The Chamber was lead organizer of many All-Candidate election events in Nanaimo for the past few years. In the lead-up to the 2018 municipal election we produced a series of Civic Leadership Workshops and presented widely-attended All-Candidate “meet and greets” and candidate debates.

Another consideration was the Chamber’s role in representing the voice of business addressing increasing homelessness problems, plus consequences to our community overall and the business community in particular. The Chamber has a seat on the City’s Homeless Coalition and Emergency Shelter Community Advisory Committees and looks forward to continuing to work on short and long-term solutions. While we are a compassionate community, safety and security for businesses and residents are a primary priority and core value of the Chamber.

The 2018 Commercial Street Night Market was also highlighted by judges – an event that went a long way to seeing Nanaimo’s downtown take some steps toward renewal. This event was so successful that we’ll all be enjoying a bigger, better, more fantastic version this summer.

Our gratitude to all who played a part in these or any of our other Chamber successes – and there are many! It’s been a great honour for the Chamber to work in the community over the years to earn this provincial recognition.

We are so excited to announce that we have new branding.  Showcasing our new look we commissioned Box221 Digital Studios (a local marketing company) to handle all of our new look!

With the new changes we have had made to the website making it easier for our members to access information, we also offer a new member spotlight advertising option.

At Box 221, every person is different, every business too.  They don’t like cookie cutter approaches to business and neither should you – you deserve better!  They  work with you to create the best bang possible options for you.

PS: I invite you to send me an email and tell me about our new look and let me know if you have any ideas about doing it better or differently.

Enhance your Directory Listing!

2019 will be the third year that the Nanaimo Chamber produces a ‘Nanaimo Business Resource Handbook + Relocation Guide’. Also known as the member directory, ads in the publication are sold exclusively to members, providing a unique channel to promote your business alongside high-demand content and the Membership listing.

This exposure provides you with an effective channel to connect with the local business community, newcomers to Nanaimo, and local consumers.

SUPPLEMENT your member directory listing with an engaging advertisement.

PROMOTE your business, product and/or services amongst high-demand content including Nanaimo business resources, community services, relocation information, and the Nanaimo Chamber member directory.

EXPOSE your brand via a unique and effective channel to connect with the local business community, newcomers to Nanaimo, and local consumers.

AFFORDABLE options including business card size and Double-UP discounts.

Publication Information:

  • All ads will be presented in full colour!
  • Initial volume of 2,000 copies
  • Delivered to: the entire Chamber Membership, community partners, newcomers to Nanaimo, local businesses




Help to nurture a strong business climate in Greater Nanaimo that supports attracting and retaining the best and brightest operators, employees, customers, and investors.


Maximize your business prospects by connecting socially with customers and suppliers and creating new connections at our many effective, high-energy networking events.

Your Chamber of Commerce has a vital role with government as an advocate and ‘thought’ and policy leader for business interests in the Nanaimo region. It is perhaps the most behind-the-scenes, and most important, role your Chamber plays – fighting for the success of our business community through reduced government interference while optimizing their support.

Your business is most likely to appear on the first pages of internet search engines by being part of the Chamber’s online business directory.


Promote your business cost-effectively to the Chamber membership, representing a large core of stable businesses already dedicated to the local economy.


Position yourself to be proactive by learning about new developments, policy changes and trends from high-level sources through Chamber connections which are passed along through our communications tools.

Our negotiated member-to-member and other cost saving deals will help reduce your day-to-day expenses – from insurance to payroll services, group health to gas and merchant card services.

As a member, your voice is important and what you say impacts Chamber policy. Chamber directors you elect will listen to the issues that most deeply impact your business, creating policies that guide the Chamber’s advocacy efforts and work plans.

Keep your skills sharp by attending our business seminars and professional development workshops.

Share your company’s news through our weekly ‘Newsline’ newsletter, social media and email outs.

Qualifications Sought In Board Members:

The Board is strongest and most effective when the following core competencies are represented on the Board, with each director contributing their unique combination of knowledge, experience, and skills.


  1. Membership and Belief in the Chamber Vision, Values and Mission
  • When nominated, and during your term on the Board, Directors must be members in good standing of the GNCoC.
  • Directors must agree to support the vision, mission and values of the GNCoC.


  1. Integrity and Accountability
  • Directors must have demonstrated high ethical standards and integrity in their personal and professional dealings, and must be willing to act on – and remain accountable for – their boardroom decisions.
  • Directors should be respected and influential in the community, and/or possess special knowledge, skills, or experience which would assist the work of the Board.


  1. Mature Confidence and Informed Judgment
  • Directors shall provide wise, thoughtful counsel on a broad range of issues.
  • Directors must value the performance of the Board as a whole over individual performance and should demonstrate respect for others in executing their responsibilities.
  • A Director must put the overall interest of the Chamber ahead of their own business interests
  • Be self-motivated and demonstrate an ability to lead others in challenging work projects.


  1. Financial Literacy
  • Directors should be financially literate and able to evaluate organizational performance.


  1. Financial Contribution
  • Be aware of a modest financial commitment, including expenses for regular attendance at Chamber functions and special events demonstrating a personal commitment and establishing credibility when called upon to ask others to give.


  1. Time Availability
  • Directors must be willing and able to commit about 8 hours per month to Chamber work in order to devote the time and effort necessary to fully participate in the governance of the organization.
  • Directors are expected to attend one Board meeting per month, a Committee meeting and Chamber events. Directors are expected to come prepared, having reviewed all Board and Committee material, and to actively participate in the meetings.


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 March 9, 2017.


(Applicants may attach additional pages if needed.)


NAME: _____________________________________________________________________________

POSITION IN COMPANY: ______________________________________________________

COMPANY: _________________________________________________________________

ADDRESS: ___________________________________________________________________________

PHONE: _____________________ EMAIL: _________________________________________________


I am prepared to let my name stand for election and will be free to carry out my responsibilities as an active Director should I be elected.  I hereby certify that I have perused the Directors commitment and responsibilities and should I be elected to represent the Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce I will fulfill those obligations.


Here is a brief summary background, and my community involvements and a picture.




Signature of the Nominee ______________________________________________________


This nomination form must be signed by any three members in good standing, as well as the nominee.


Member: ____________________________________


Member: ____________________________________


Member: ____________________________________


Origin at Longwood Logo

Sharon Wood – Origin at Longwood
Written by Bonnie Chomica,

Origin at Longwood is a unique, active lifestyle community dedicated to enriching the lives of the people who live with them, and the team members who provide their services.

When someone comes to Origin the first question they’re asked is, “What do you want to do today?” Origin recognizes that a life well lived is one with purpose, independence, and freedom of choice, and their entire service platform is geared to creating exceptional experiences for their community members.

Origin at Longwood is part of Origin Active Lifestyle Communities Inc., a 100{3236bfe566a0d68e2245ffbb9d220fc7554709fab7d664768e3da2edc73a1bc9} Canadian, family-owned and operated company with offices in Vancouver and Toronto. Origin owns or manages three communities in British Columbia. What sets Origin apart is their commitment to finding dedicated team members with a passion for caring. For community members, this is their home, and the staff make thoughtful effort to make it comfortable, interesting, and stimulating.

Residents are always on the go attending any one of the countless life enrichment programs offered. They enjoy gourmet meals in the Harvest Dining room, and have access to the many amenities, including fitness programs and spa treatments, crafts kitchen and greenhouse activities, even regularly scheduled outings to explore new places.

At a time in their life when their circle of friends has become smaller, at Origin at Longwood they meet new people, make new friends, and even run into folks they met years ago. Community members can be as social or involved in activities as they want.

Origin at Longwood rents 176 beautiful suites, from 1 bedroom to 2 bedroom and den. The majority of suites are for independent living however there is also assisted living and memory care available. To learn more about Origin at Longwood, or to schedule a tour, contact Melanie Johnson at 250-751-7755 or

Business Expo Logo

For Immediate Release
September 15, 2016
Nanaimo, BC

The Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce’s 9th Annual Business Expo on Thursday, October 20 at Vancouver Island Conference Centre is excited to confirm more of its lineup of exhibitors, special guests, speakers and participants in this consumer AND business-to-business trade show.

This year, Business Expo celebrates BC Small Business Month and National Manufacturing Month. It’s no secret that small businesses are a mainstay of the Nanaimo economy, but it might come as a surprise that the manufacturing sector is also strong in the mid-Island. Exports are becoming a bigger focus of regional software developers, educators, agri-food producers and processors, craft distillers, wineries and others who are all seeking support from experts in the field.

That’s why Business Expo is adding up to twenty booths from agencies, ministries and non-profits offering government services and funding support for small businesses and entrepreneurs.. Expo organizers will present a series of free breakout sessions featuring panels of experts speaking on “How to Sell to Government”, “Pillars of Start Up” and “Access to Financing” with a focus on entrepreneurs. The Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters Association will also present a luncheon with a keynote speaker on the subject of “Enhancing International Trade & Export from Vancouver Island”.

Business Expo began as a way for Nanaimo businesses to meet each other, and to network in an environment with their products and services on display. Consumers started to notice it was a great place to find new products and services so they began showing up in increasing numbers. As have the trade show exhibitors who will exceed 100 this year.

At the end of the Business Expo’s day, Community Futures hosts an Awards Reception honouring the best booths. The reception, hosted by the Coast Bastion, includes appetizers and refreshments. “This is going to be the apex of the Business Expo’s” according to Kim Smythe Chamber of Commerce CEO “given the number of experts, specialists, panel speakers, and the government support we’re having on hand.”

Access to the Trade Show and breakout sessions are free but there is a small fee for the luncheon, and for non-exhibitors to attend the Awards Reception.

Business Expo only happens once a year, call us today so your business doesn’t miss out. Contact Brett at the Chamber 250-756-1191, #5 or for more information.

For more information contact:

Kim Smythe, CEO
Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce