The past week has been a busy one for our area, as we welcomed the world to North Bay.  There is a very positive energy that seems to have taken over our community, as the kick off to the Ford World Women’s Curling Championships begin.  Our hotels, restaurants and businesses are seeing many new faces from around the world, walking through their doors.  This is going to be a great week of curling and show-casing our City and area, to the entire world.

I don’t know if there are enough words to be able to thank Rick Miller, Dave Bennett, and Mark Brown , along with the hundreds of volunteers and City staff who have worked tirelessly over the past 17 months to bring this event to Memorial Gardens.  I may sound repetitive in my comments over the past couple of weeks, but it is simply incredible what ordinary people can do, when they put their minds and hearts into something.  And that, they certainly have.

Our community shines when it comes to volunteering.  We do live in a wonderful place but it is the people within our communities that make it our choice of a place to live, work and play.  When we work together as a community, challenges are faced head on, causes are supported and solutions to problems and issues are solved.  We have so many talented, bright and dedicated people in our communities, both young and old, that continue to rise to every occasion, time after time and for that we should be very thankful.

As a business community, we have seen that same type of support.  These events do not get off the ground without the support from our local companies.  Many have jumped on board from the beginning, as they recognize that these events not only benefit them financially during the event, but also the community spirit and pride that comes with it.  When you get a chance to view the number of local businesses that have participated and sponsored this event, we see what can be accomplished when our business community, just like the volunteers, put their resources together to ensure success.

After this week culminates with the winning team (personal bias-TEAM CANADA), life will return to some sense of normalcy for all involved, but it is my sincere wish that the sense of community continues on as strong as ever and maybe a little more.  When we think “How might we” rather than “we can’t or won’t”, as a community we can accomplish the goals that we set for ourselves.  This event is a concrete example of that attitude.

The staff at the North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce and its Board of Directors, says thank you to our business community and the fantastic, dedicated volunteers who have contributed to this and many other successes.  What’s next?  With this type of co-operation…anything is possible.

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