Ottawa, June 09, 2017: The Ottawa Chamber of Commerce is celebrating 160 years of business continuity on June 10. To mark the occasion, Mayor Jim Watson issued a special proclamation making June 10th the ‘Ottawa Chamber of Commerce Day’ in the city.
The Ottawa Board of Trade was created on June 10, 1857, by special act of the Parliament of the late Province of Canada. It began with 50 members, headed by J.B Lewis – the second Mayor of Bytown, the first Mayor of Ottawa, and a Member of Parliament from 1872 to 1873.
This milestone not only commemorates over a century and a half of business advocacy, but also speaks to the Chamber’s ability to safeguard Ottawa business interests and get things done. From helping to launch the Ottawa Winter Carnival—now known as Winterlude—in the late 19th century, to founding the Canadian Tulip Festival with famed photographer Malak Karsh in the early 1950s, to advocating for Light Rail Transit development in the 21st century, the Ottawa Chamber is committed to city building.
‘’For 160 years, the Ottawa Chamber has been a place for business owners to get together, discuss important policy issues and make the connections that will help them grow their business,’’ said Mayor Jim Watson. ‘’Over the years, the Chamber’s members have played an essential role in building not only our economy, but also our community. I am proud of their work, and I wish them the greatest success in the years to come.’’
Throughout history, the Ottawa Chamber has advocated for smart infrastructure development and investment that has continued to help shape Ottawa’s economy. Currently, the Chamber ensures that Ottawa attracts top talent; builds modern infrastructure that reflects the growth of our community; develops a culture of entrepreneurship and business creation for economic growth; and works to reduce the cumulative regulatory burden faced by businesses.
“To think that the Ottawa Chamber existed long before the Confederation, validates the visionary care to help shape our business destiny,” said Ian Sherman, Acting Chair of the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce. “Though we continue to evolve with the changing corporate landscape, our commitment remains the same; to be the champion of our business community”.
Today, the Ottawa Chamber comprises over 700 members, representing 27,000 employees from multiple industries and business sizes. The Chamber hosts over 40+ events that help make business connections, recognitions, a platform for dialogue, and advocacy efforts. The Ottawa Chamber continues to remain the single largest independent voice for business in Ottawa.
The Ottawa Chamber of Commerce, along with other economic stakeholders continues to advocate to make Ottawa the best place to live, work, play and invest in North America.
There will be special celebrations throughout this week to mark the 160th anniversary, including the Plaza of Honour event on June 13, recognizing Michael Potter, the 2016 Best Ottawa Business Awards Lifetime Achievement recipient, and the Forty Under 40 Gala on June 16. Later this fall the Ottawa Chamber will host a special cocktail reception with the business community to mark the 160 years.