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Upcoming Events

Date: January 20, 2018 10:00 am

North Bay Farmers' Market Winter Market

Every Saturday at North Bay Mall, 300 Lakeshore Drive, North Bay, ON  from 10 am to 2 pm

October 21, 2017 to April 28, 2018

For more information:

Date: January 21, 2018 2:00 pm

North Bay Battalion Home Game

Regular Season single-game Tickets

Single-game tickets for all Battalion regular season home games at Memorial Gardens can be purchased online, or at Battalion Headquarters on the second floor of Memorial Gardens fr…

Regular Season single-game Tickets

Single-game tickets for all Battalion regular season home games at Memorial Gardens can be purchased online, or at Battalion Headquarters on the second floor of Memorial Gardens from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.  Or if you want seasons tickets or other information, please call the Battalion Headquarters.

Tickets can also be purchased at the Memorial Gardens box office on game days starting at 10 a.m.

For more information contact Battalion Headquarters at (705) 495-8603, ext. 2700, or via email 

Date: January 25, 2018 4:30 pm

Business After Hours

Join us for Business After Hours – members and their employees welcome!
Hosted by United Way & The Kennedy Building from 4:30 to 7:00 pm, 222 McIntyre St W, North Bay, ON. Don’t forget your business cards to hand out at this networking social.

Date: January 26, 2018 7:00 pm

Dreamcoat presents Madagascar

For more information call 705-474-4747 or visit the Capitol Centre website

Two nights – Friday, January 25, 2018 and Saturday, January 26, 2018 at 7 pm.


Last evening, Thursday, November 9, 2017, members of CFB North Bay and the Military Family Resource Centre made a presentation to the Chamber board of directors.  An abundance of information was gained for what the MFRC does for our community and the military families that live in our community.  For more information visit their website or like them on Facebook

Gearing up for the World Women’s Curling in North Bay March 17 to 25, 2018, we would love to have the whole area wearing “CURLING ROCKS” t-shirts.

Consider ordering for your employees and wear them once a week between January 15th and March 9th, 2018 and maybe the “Prize Patrol” will find you on a Friday during this time period.  All you have to do is take a picture of your staff and tweet @CurlingCanada with the hashtags #WWCC2018 and #CURLINGROCKS with the photo.  Weekly winners will be selected to win prize packages.

For the printable version of the information – CLICK HERE or view the information below.

All business members can order now and the Chamber can invoice you for the order (members can pay by cash, company cheque, Visa/MC or debit).  T-shirts are expected to arrive at the Chamber office in December.  Larger orders can be delivered when they arrive.

For non-members or community individuals, you can still send in the order form to reserve your shirts, but you will need to pick them up at the Chamber office at 205 Main Street East, North Bay, ON once the t-shirts arrive (non-members can pay by cash or debit only).

Over the past couple of weeks, numerous local companies and Chamber members have been recognized with various awards for excellence in what they do.  We have seen Cementation Canada Inc., Nordic Minesteel Technologies Inc. and J.S. Redpath Limited receive awards for being industry leaders in the safety aspect of their businesses.  Cementation was also recognized nationally as one of the safest companies in Canada to work for.  Congratulations to each of these employers and their entire teams who make this happen and it is happening right here in our own backyard.

When we look at the number of different awards that the above noted companies have won and others that have been recently recognized such as Gin-Cor Industries at the Northern Ontario Business Awards, Ontario Northland, Burrows Country Store, North Bay & Area Community Foundation at the Chamber’s “Bell Evening of Excellence” and others, we have a lot to be proud of.  These are all progressive organizations, and all have that same commonality…they are all right here, in North Bay and District.

Last week, the writer was invited to attend a smaller, but none the lesser, recognition event held at Caisse Populaire North Bay Limitee.  Norm St. Amour and his team took the time to recognize their “Business Stars of the Year” with numerous clients, dignitaries and Board members present.  What a nice change to see a business say thank you to its clients, by recognizing their accomplishments, in their individual fields.  Kenalex Construction, CTS Canadian Career College, Twigg’s Coffee Roasters Minihaha Bay, Bee at Your Service and Centre de Formation du Nipissing were recognized that evening.

It was great to see local and district businesses being recognized by the Caisse and that they host an evening to celebrate this type of event.  Norm and his team at the Caisse are tremendous supporters of the community and this event was a great way for them to say thank you to their members.  They are a very progressive financial institution but have somehow managed to maintain a hometown, local flavour in their delivery of automated and banking products.  Having been a commercial banker for most of my career, listening to the stories of the businesses and the comments by many of the members present, it was like going back in time when local banking was the norm, not the exception.  Drop in to see them and you will see what I mean.

Congratulations to all our local businesses that have been recognized in the past few months.  Keep doing what you do, it makes a difference.

Peter Chirico is the President and CEO of the North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce.

As I started to write the column for this week’s Chamber news, it had the appearance of a completely different tone and substance, given some previous letters of opinion and articles circulating at the end of last week.  Non issues become issues; “fake news” becomes real news.  Time and distance is always a good thing, especially in these days of instant gratification, which the electronic age has provided to anyone with a smart phone or computer.

Some might argue that the access to information on the internet/electronic highway, has made a difference in how we communicate and they would not be wrong.  But that in my opinion is a double edged sword.  Not only is the access to information easier for all of us, but it can also allow opinions to become “gospel truth’s” for  those that read it whether it be news, opinions and or comments regarding many so called, news worthy items.

As the North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce has moved from the traditional operating board to a governance board model, one of the clear directions from the Board is that we speak as a unified voice in public.  Whether or not board members agree or disagree on any proposal put forward, once the discussion is complete, votes are taken and the Board follows the democratic process.  Win or lose on a vote, the topic is over and the Board moves on, together.

We are fortunate to have the right to speak freely in this country and that is especially important that we keep this in mind each and every day.  Remembrance Day is right around the corner and many of our relatives fought and died for those rights, but with those rights, also come responsibilities.   Those of us that choose to speak or write publicly, need to probably every once and a while, step back and ask ourselves, whether or not we are being fair.

Going back to my earlier comments, instant gratification via media, internet or any public domain, cannot and should not be utilized to demean individuals or groups that we may not agree with or share the same opinions.  I believe it was Mark Twain who once said “never let the truth get in the way of a good story, unless you can think of something better”.  I think Mr. Twain probably had great insight into what our world, was going to evolve into.

If we are going to move our City and district forward, we have to do a better job in communicating and even more so, in a positive manner.  We cannot continue to fight each other and expect the outside world not to notice.  When we look at successful communities that are progressive, innovative and thriving, there is always discourse and disagreement, but the overriding theme is always positive.  It’s time for us to remember this and particularly before we press the “enter or send” buttons.  A kinder and gentler society is probably not a bad option.

Peter Chirico is the President  & CEO of the North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce.

Canadore’s Business Week 2017 wrapped up last week and to all the nominee’s and winners from last Thursday’s Bell Evening of Excellence, huge congratulations.  The entire group represent a cross section of business owners and individuals who continue to make a difference in our area and contribute a tremendous amount to our economy in both employment and direct spending.

Of worthy note and not perhaps by coincidence, we were also pleased to see several announcements made by the Federal Government, regarding the much published and discussed, proposed tax reforms.  Since the July announcement by the Federal Finance Minister on these proposed changes, we have seen a ground swell of opposition from all sectors of our business community.  They were vocal and the North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce was proud to act as an advocate for these businesses at both the local level and on the Federal scene as well, as a member of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

In speaking with our local MP Anthony Rota, he thanked the Chamber for the letters and messages that were sent to his office by members and business owners from across our district and he listened.  The messages were simple and quite concise.  The proposed legislation would hurt their business and stifle growth and investment in sectors that employ many Canadians, the small and medium sized businesses from coast to coast.  Our MP informed us that he brought these concerns back to Ottawa and to his caucus colleagues who as well were being urged to change the proposed reforms.

It appears the message has gotten through and with a number of announcements made last week, although it is not perfect, it is a more balanced approach and addresses a number of the concerns raised by Canadian businesses.  The Hon. Perrin Beatty, CEO and President of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce stated “By providing a voice for businesses in communities across Canada, the Canadian Chamber and its network of local Chamber’s helped prevent devastating damage.  But the hard work has only started.”  As we all know, the devil is in the details.

In the coming weeks and months, we will await the legislation and with the support of our Chamber network, will hold the Federal Government accountable to ensure the revisions are implemented.  Going backwards is not an option for our business community and we must remain competitive in a truly global market

All Chamber’s across this country, together with the Ontario and Canadian Chamber’s of Commerce, represent a powerful voice at all levels of government.  When it comes to tax reforms, we will be reaching out to our members to suggest reforms that will assist small and medium enterprises and not hinder them.

Peter Chirico is the President & CEO of the North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce.


The North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce, alongside the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) and management-consulting firm, MNP, have released a comprehensive handbook (Steering Through Change) to help Ontario businesses navigate the new costs and regulations associated with Bill 148, the Fair Workplaces Better Jobs Act. The handbook provides a summary of the incoming changes, outlines the potential risks to business, and identifies strategies to help mitigate the impact.

From substantial increases to the minimum wage, new scheduling provisions, reforms to the collective bargaining process and dozens of other changes, Bill 148 will present many challenges for employers.

The handbook includes important insights into the legislation and offers practical solutions and strategies to support businesses through the initial changes. As the implementation dates draw closer, employers will be able to turn to this handbook to understand the legislation and navigate change.

MNP and the OCC will be hosting a webinar on Thursday, November 2 from 9:30-10:30 a.m. to discuss the handbook and go into further detail about the full slate of changes Bill 148 will implement. Join the webinar to learn more, click here to register!

The handbook provides a better understanding of how to manage and plan for Bill 148, should the legislation pass. However, there is still an opportunity to provide feedback on Bill 148 before it comes to a final vote. To date, the bill has passed the second reading and has now been referred to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs. Business owners are strongly encouraged to send written submissions to the Standing Committee including your thoughts and concerns regarding Bill 148.

You can e-mail your submission to the Standing Committee to the following address:

Eric Rennie, Clerk,




North Bay, ON – October 19, 2017 – The Bell Evening of Excellence started with a gala dinner at The Grande Event Centre during Canadore College Business Week 2017.

After dinner, the evening moved on to the Business Awards in six categories.  This year, we had forty nominations in these six categories:  New Business of the Year, Not for Profit of the Year, Young Professional of the Year, Small Business of the Year (1 to 5 employees), Small Business of the Year (6 to 15 employees) and Business of the Year (16 plus employees).

Each category was voted on by the committee and the executive under criteria provided in advance to the nominees.  From there, the slate was narrowed down to the top three in each category and all nominees were highlighted at the Bell Evening of Excellence Awards.

The winners announced in the six categories are (to read the bios of the award winners click HERE):

New Business of the Year: Sugar Daddy Cupcakes and Catering


Left to right: Nathan and John Serran of Sugar Daddy Cupcakes and Catering accept the award from sponsor Jennifer Nickerson of The Business Centre Nipissing Parry Sound.






Not for Profit of the Year: North Bay Area Community Foundation


Left to right:  Carol Porter of presents the award to Kate Merritt-Dupelle, Executive Director of the North Bay Area Community Foundation.







Young Professional: Thomas Brown, Curvefront Digital Marketing


Sherry Bessette (left) and Andrea Silveri (right) of Grant Thornton, present the Young Professional of the Year award to Thomas Brown (centre).





Small Business of the Year (1-5 employees): Parkside Animal Hospital


Peter Rooney, partner with Kennedy Insurance Brokers presents the award to Dr. Hailey Bertrand of Parkside Animal Hospital.






Small Business of the Year (6-15 employees): Burrows Country Store and Garden Centre


The team at Burrows Country Store and Garden Centre, with owners Bob and Debbie Hudson (3rd and 2nd from right) were presented the award by President George Burton of Canadore College.





Business of Year (16+ employees): Ontario Northland


Left to right:  Sandy McDonald of Bell presented the award to Dennis Higgs, VP of Rail Mechanical and Remanufacturing and Corina Moore, President and CEO of Ontario Northland.






Chair Brad Gavan stated “Business week isn’t only about supporting the local businesses.  It’s a time to celebrate and encourage business successes.  Behind every business in our region, there is a story worth knowing; we just wish we could celebrate all the nominees with awards, each and every day throughout the year.  Small business (less than 100 employees) is an integral part of the economy as it makes up 98.2% of all businesses in Canada.”

Special thank you to all the sponsors for the events this week.  Special recognition to Canadore College as title sponsor and Bell as the awards sponsor.   The North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce is pleased to organize the week of events, celebrating small business in the region!

The Betty Alcorn Memorial Award has been presented since 1977, for director of the year and is voted on by the board for the director “having best exemplified dedication and diligence during the current year and has laboured untiringly for the good and welfare of the Chamber and community”.

The 2017 Director of the Year chosen by his peers, is Mr. Charles Elliott, Financial Advisor with Edward Jones.

Chair Brad Gavan was happy to present the award to Mr. Elliott and stated “Charles has been an integral part of the Chamber board for over 20 years.  He is the current vice-chair and is not one to seek accolades, but you can certainly find him in the trenches getting things done at any event or task he’s involved in.  His dedication and hard work to ensuring the community and business community thrive is unwavering.”

Special thank you to Titanium Transportation for hosting tonight’s Business After Hours, all the trade show exhibitors and all the sponsors during this week’s Business Week 2017.

Thanks to the Labour Market Group and Invest North Bay for providing the following InfoGraphics on Small Business in the region.  A great highlight during Business Week 2017 – October 16 to 20, 2017

Last week, a shortened work week, after a beautiful Thanksgiving weekend, started out as a good week however, changed quickly as Tuesday progressed.  The announcement by Sears Canada to apply for approval to liquidate all its remaining stores and sell assets, confirmed the closure of the North Bay store.  Approximately 85-part time workers would be facing an uncertain future as soon as the announcement was made.

The loss of these jobs at any time is in itself, cause for concern but this comes at a time when our local economy has certainly taken more than its fair share of hits.  Retail shopping habits have changed considerably over the past two decades and will no doubt continue to change.  Any one that remembers the seventies and the proliferation of shopping malls which changed Main Streets everywhere, it is all coming full circle.  On line shopping, Power Centres, and niche market specialty stores are taking their toll on the former retail giants.

The comments made by the Northgate Shopping Centre management, in regard to the closure, expressed optimism that redevelopment of this space into multiple stores is an opportunity for them.  For those workers that will be out of work due to the closure, that is positive news.  The naysayers out there will no doubt have an opinion on this, but we don’t have a choice.  Things happen that is out of our control and will continue to.

One thing that we can count on as we move forward is that things are going to continue to evolve and yes, change.  And, we are going to have to change and adapt to that ever-changing landscape.  Over the past six months since my arrival at the Chamber, I have been fortunate to be able to speak with many of our business community, politicians and citizens regarding our local and district economies.  I have heard that the challenges are many but opportunities also go hand in hand with those same challenges.

If our mining sector manufacturers had not adapted to their market realities and sought out global markets from right here in North Bay, they would not be here today and employing a significant segment of our local population.   Our local retail sector continues to adapt and change as well, expanding into other regions and seeking out new markets that complement their operations.

As we celebrate “Business Week” at the Chamber this week, thank you to our business community, owners and employees alike, for what you do and what you contribute to our district.  For details on events – click HERE.

Peter Chirico is the President and CEO of the North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce.