Photograph courtesy Big White Ski Resort Limited 
Yes, that was me you saw last weekend, on top of the extension ladder, taking down the holiday lights. It does seem like only yesterday when I was up on the roof, admiring the neighbourhood from my new vantage point, and trying hard not to shatter any bulbs while setting them up. We extend our best wishes to all our members for a successful new year and 2018. We know that our Chamber will continue our strong pushback against Federal Minister Morneau's hastily implemented tax policies that so negatively affect many of our local business people. [We are grateful for the modifications the Feds did make to their proposals.]  It's a very busy January and February coming up, and the details of many of our events, and our member news, are found below. We've also sent all our members whose memberships expired on December 31st their renewal notices, along with a chance to win a free membership year in 2019 if they pay by January 15th. Only eleven days to go!  Be sure to check your snail mail and your in box for your invoice. In 2018, we plan to "go green" and deliver most of our membership information, including invoices, electronically - unless you ask us for a paper copy [ finance@kelownachamber.org]  Happy New Year! 

Dan Rogers
Executive Director
Kelowna Chamber of Commerce
We're continuing to ramp up our efforts on behalf of our local not-for-profit members in 2018.  We started an initiative last November - giving back a bit every time we present one of our Okanagan College Speaker Series Luncheons.  

We ask each of our luncheon speakers to select one local member charitable organization to support, and the Chamber donates a modest $25 to that group. So far, The Chamber has donated to Starbright Children's Development Centre, and the Central Okanagan Food Bank.  

We'll highlight each month's recipient in these pages. Stay tuned for more value-added perks for this important segment of our members.
Call for Nominations - Chamber Board of Directors
Nominations are now being accepted for Directors for the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce. The Board are volunteers who are elected for two-year terms to manage the affairs of the Board in accordance with the Bylaws.  Applicants must be a Member in good standing 30 days prior to the nominations closing date of February 6th, 2018.  


For more information, and the Nomination Form, click hereNotice to Members: The Chamber AGM is Tuesday, March 13th at the Ramada Hotel, Kelowna.  
January Events
Tuesday, January 23rd | 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm | Chamber Office


Luncheon Series Sponsor
Friday, January 26th | 11:45 am - 1:30 pm |Coast Capri Hotel
Golf in January?
The Chamber Annual Golf Tournament is back

Mark Wednesday May 30, 2018 on your Calendar

Sponsorships are available to members only, and are being offered to last year's 2017 Tournament Sponsors during the month of January. We're happy to waitlist (during January) any member who would like to become a sponsor at this 33rd annual tournament, held at the stunning Harvest Golf Course. We'll have another sold-out event - registration opens March 1st. Sponsor a hole, sponsor lunch, sponsor something special. For more information, please email us.

Important Business Reminder

Business owners operating in the City of Kelowna are reminded that 2018 Business Licence renewals are due on or before 
January 15th, 2018. Renewal notices have been mailed to all registered operating businesses within Kelowna. Click here for more .

January Member News

  • The Women's Enterprise Centre is offering "Taking the Stage" to BC women
who are business owners or women in not-for -profit organizations.  The program runs for four sessions in January - March. Applications required; space is limited. Apply at  wec.ca/TakingTheStage   
  • The 2018 Hospitality Blood Drive is now on, through January 31st. Book ahead, take a team, take a shuttle. Contact the Executive Director for more details.  
  • BDO Canada LLP is congratulating three of its accounting students on achieving their CPA designations: Khristian Koulev, Jozef Vogel and Andrew Shaw all passed their final examination.  
  • Chamber Platinum Member Flair Airlines began offering low-cost service between Kelowna, Vancouver and Edmonton in mid-December. 
    "Flair Airlines is headquartered in Kelowna, so this means a great deal to us; to begin offering flights to and from Kelowna International Airport. [It's] a bit of a homecoming," said Chris Lapointe, Vice President of Commercial Operations. "We want to connect Canadians, and we believe the routes that we are offering from here will amplify our reach across Canada."    
  • Deborah Warren at Okanagan College Computer Science has eleven student teams who will work with companies needing user forms entered on their website, and report information extracted from the website.  Project sponsors need a web interface to a database - students can help proponents set up the necessary information.  Projects complete April 30, 2018.  Proposals are requested by January 10.  Request more information here.  
Policy year in review

Advocacy in action: 

Key policy issues from 2017

Our Chamber provided leadership throughout 2017 through our Policy Advisory Committee. We scored wins at the federal & provincial level with "Protecting Western Canada's Fresh Waters from Zebra and Quagga Mussels". We got the attention of the tax man by getting "Competitive Tax Environment for Credit Unions' passed at the provincial Chamber AGM Policy Session; and we advocated for favourable tax treatment when both the federal & provincial budgets were tabled. "Inter-provincial Trade Barrier Reform" hit the big time when the Supreme Court of Canada looked at the issue over two days in early December. On proposed federal tax changes, we responded early and hard on behalf of our members throughout the summer & fall, pushing back against the mis-deal of the federal cards on proposed tax changes for small business.  We are continuing that battle into 2018. And finally, we worked locally with our members and the City of Kelowna to help ensure its revised Sign Bylaw didn't put local Chamber members at risk from unintended negative consequences. 
 
What to expect in the new year
More work on the South Okanagan National Park - more advocacy around taxes - revisiting "Harmonizing BC's regulation of Worker Hours"; continued advocacy around the Digital Media Industry; and a new policy considering agricultural land use that we'll take to the BC Annual Policy Review in May 2018. Find out more or contribute to the conversation.

February Luncheon Announced

The Business of Cannabis

Canada's cannabis industry is young, entrepreneurial, rapidly evolving, and brimming with potential.

Since 2013, Canada has established a sophisticated commercial system for the production and distribution of medicinal cannabis. 

The market has surged over the years, creating an entrepreneurial industry. Now that recreational cannabis use is firmly entrenched on the horizon of July 1st, 2018 it's time to wrap our heads around how to profit from the change; how to get our regulations right; and how the emerging industry will affect and improve business right here at home.
While having exceptional long-term growth prospects, this burgeoning market is still in its infancy and experiencing constant change. Waiting for it to "settle down" isn't really an option for entrepreneurs. 
Come to this in-depth seminar and hear three experts offer guidance, cautions and outline their road map for the future.
Peter Guo works closely with private and public corporations, delivering  assignments involving governance, risk management, strategy, policy, people, systems and processes, as well as regulatory compliance, enterprise risk, internal audit, IT audit, & business process controls. Peter's industry expertise includes biotech and pharma, & he is very familiar with R&D, manufacturing, licensing, regulatory compliance, systems, & distribution for life science companies & related government oversight mechanisms.  
 
David Cram , Faculty of Business Administration, Okanagan College, says, "It's very rare in the life of a business person to see a brand-new industry emerge and be faced with all the associated challenges: regulatory, taxation, the rules of the game. Here is an industry that's unfolding because of changes in government policy. It's kind of wild west. The speculation, as well as the research, has indicated that it's in fact BC's number one agricultural commodity - but we just don't have a way - yet - to measure it, the same way we do the tree fruit industry or the grape growing industry."

David Brown, Kent Employment Law.  An individualist, his nonconformist mindset and passion for transformation set him apart in a profession steeped in tradition. He understands and appreciates not just the practice but the business of law. Add to all this his disarming wit, bellowing voice, and lofty stature, and there's no mistaking him in a crowd. A trusted workplace advisor to both companies and individuals in BC's Interior, David was quoted in the November 2017  Vancouver Sun , saying that BC workers can expect a flurry of new workplace drug policies as the legalization of recreational cannabis nears and employers try to limit their liability and avoid court battles. He calls legal cannabis a potential legal "quagmire" for employers and employees alike.  

Sponsored in part by                                                                             Luncheon Series Sponsor

Connect with us