Category: What’s New

Discover South Africa with the Oakville Chamber

The Oakville Chamber of Commerce is heading to South Africa with Indus Travel! 

Tour days: April 20, 2020 to May 2, 2020

Tour summaryBegin your tour with one of the most iconic sights on the continent known as ‘The Smoke that Thunders’, Victoria Falls. Choose an accommodation to suit your style and enjoy a sunset cruise on the beautiful Zambezi River before venturing out to see one of the most spectacular sights in the natural world; the thundering Victoria Falls. 

The South Africa tour gives travellers insight into the history and culture of South Africa. Guests can explore the vibrant city of Johannesburg at their leisure and enjoy a guided tour to the Soweto Township, a cultural melting-pot with a wealth of heritage sites that will fascinate any visitor. Marvel at the awe-inspiring wildlife of Kruger National Park before continuing on to historical, glorious Stellenbosch with its Cape Dutch architecture; it is the warm and wonderful heart of the Cape Wine lands. 

Visit Cape Town, a modern city with a fascinating history that is regularly voted one of the most beautiful cities in the world, enjoy time to stroll along the waterfront, to visit Table Mountain or simply relax and do some last-minute shopping.

Tour Price:
Oakville Chamber Member $5,199 CAD per person
Non-Member $5,349 CAD per person

Attend the Trip Information Meeting:
Thursday, August 22
5:00pm – 7:00pm
Euro-Line Appliances Inc.
Register now.

Learn more.


Vote Prosperity: Federal Election Platform

Vote Prosperity

“Today the Canadian Chamber of Commerce launched Vote Prosperity, the Canadian Chamber Network’s election platform. Vote Prosperity calls on all of the federal parties to support Canada’s job creators by including these seven priorities in their election platforms:

  1. A tax system that is fair, efficient and modern.
  2. A regulatory system that works for everyone, including business.
  3. Access to new markets around the world and the breaking down of trade barriers at home.
  4. Resources to help small- and medium-sized businesses grow and succeed at home and abroad.
  5. Technology that makes Canada the most connected country in the world.
  6. A workforce with the skills, education and training required to prosper.
  7. A healthier pharmacare system for healthier Canadians.

The Oakville Chamber will advocate on behalf of our members on these important priorities. We look forward to working with all of the candidates in the upcoming Federal Election.”

Drew Redden, President, Oakville Chamber of Commerce


Visit www.voteprosperityCA.ca to learn more about this initiative.



24th Annual Oakville Awards for Business Excellence

The Oakville Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary Club of Oakville West presented the 24th Annual Oakville Awards for Business Excellence on March 27th at the Oakville Conference Centre. The Oakville Awards for Business Excellence are dedicated to recognizing exemplary models of excellence and community service by Oakville’s businesses and the invaluable contribution they make to Oakville’s economic development, unique character and outstanding quality of life.

Being recognized by one’s peers, either by nomination or award recipient, is a thank you for the hard work and risk the finalists have incurred. As ambassadors for business in Oakville, finalists and award recipients provide guidance and inspiration to new and seasoned businesses – as well as young, aspiring entrepreneurs. They help foster the spirit of adventure and enterprise, risk and reward for young people and so it is fitting that the proceeds from the Oakville Awards for Business Excellence help support the Rotary Club of Oakville West’s youth programs, including the Rotary Education Awards, Camp Enterprise, and the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards.


Congratulations to the Award Recipients!

RBC Royal Bank Large Business of the Year
Encore Market Engagement
Ken Pickthall and Brian Vanstone (Encore Market Engagement) with Award Presenter Peter Choma (RBC Royal Bank)

Bell Mid-size Business of the Year
BestLifeRewarded Innovations Inc.
Cynthia Hastings-James and Susanne Cookson (BestLifeRewarded Innovations Inc.) with Award Presenter Lena Demarco (Bell)

Henderson Partners LLP Small Business of the Year 
Sounds Good AVS Solutions
Robert May and Nikki Lord (Sounds Good AVS Solutions) with Award Presenter Christie Henderson (Henderson Partners LLP)

Professional Services Provider of the Year 
MNP LLP (Cornwall Road location)
Matt MacDonald (MNP LLP) with Award presenter Tanya Leedale (O’Connor MacLeod Hanna LLP)

The Morris Mercanti Service Industry Award 
The Oakville Academy For The Arts
Heidi Schofield (The Oakville Academy for the Arts) with Award Presenter Lynn Mercanti

KPMG Young Professional or Entrepreneur of the Year 
Blake Wyatt of Wyatt Development Group
Blake Wyatt with Award Presenter Carlos Alvarez (KPMG)

Oakville Hydro Conservation Leadership Award 
Mauser Packaging Solutions
Wojciech Tymczak, Shubi Bhattacharya, and Karen Anderson (Mauser Packaging Solutions) with Award Presenter Rob Lister (Oakville Hydro)

Genworth Community Builder Award 
Oakville Soccer Club
Dave Harris (Oakville Soccer Club) with Award Presenter Kiki Sauriol-Roode (Genworth)

CN Charity/Not-For-Profit Excellence Award 
The May Court Club of Oakville
Donna Samuels (The May Court of Oakville) with Award Presenter Daniel Salvatore (CN)

Oakville’s Business Icon Award
Geotab Inc.
Award Presenter Michael Leblanc (FCT) with Neil Cawse (Geotab Inc.)


Watch Geotab Inc. CEO Neil Cawse’s acceptance speech filmed by YourTV.

For our full event album, please visit our Flickr page.



Federal Budget 2019

“The Oakville Chamber of Commerce continues to advocate that the Government focus on and address four key priorities identified by our members; Transportation, Business Competitiveness, Recruiting and Retaining Talent and Innovation.

While the Budget delivers on some of our advocacy priorities that will advance the competitiveness of our members, particularly in the areas of infrastructure and housing affordability, it does fail to provide concrete measures to address the tax and regulatory burden on businesses.

The Oakville Chamber, along with the Canadian Chamber network continue to look for a commitment from the Federal Government for a comprehensive review of the taxation system to make it fair and less cumbersome for businesses as well as a broad-based commitment to reduce the regulatory burden on businesses.

Heading into the 2019 Federal Election, the Oakville Chamber will continue to engage with Federal representatives to advocate on behalf of our members, ensuring the focus remains on increasing overall business competitiveness and fostering innovation here in Oakville and across our Country.”

– Drew Redden, President, Oakville Chamber of Commerce

Read the Canadian Chamber of Commerce analysis.



Oakville Chamber is proud to support the MNP Future Leaders mentorship program



The Oakville Chamber of Commerce is pleased to partner with MNP and other local stakeholders for the MNP Future Leaders mentorship program. We are dedicated to building the communities where we live and work and the local entrepreneurs we serve.

Recognizing the importance of mentorship for growing businesses, this program provides entrepreneurs with the support, advice and tools they need to succeed in a rapidly-changing business environment.

We encourage entrepreneurs to check their eligibility and apply before the March 25, 2019 application deadline.

To learn more about the program, visit www.MNP.ca/futureleaders





Nominations Open for the 24th Annual Oakville Awards for Business Excellence

 The Oakville Awards for Business Excellence (OABE), hosted by the Oakville Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Rotary Club of Oakville West, is now accepting nominations for the 24th Annual Awards. Nominations will be accepted until Friday, September 28th at 4pm EST.

The OABE is dedicated to recognizing exemplary models of excellence and community service by Oakville’s businesses. “We encourage members of the business community and general public to nominate any Oakville-based business with whom you’ve had consistently great experience. It is a wonderful opportunity to formally acknowledge their dedication, hard work and contribution to our community” stated Peter DeGroot, President of the Rotary Club of Oakville West.

The 24th Annual OABE award categories open for nomination are:

  • RBC Royal Bank Large Business of the Year: This award recognizes a business of more than 20 employees and/or primarily serves the provincial, national and international markets and/or generates approximately $10 million or more in revenue annually.
  • Bell Mid-size Business of the Year: This award recognizes a business of 5-20 employees and/or primarily serves the regional/provincial markets and/or generates between $2 million-$10 million in revenue annually. 
  • Small Business of the Year: This award recognizes a business of 1-5 full time equivalent employees and/or primarily serves Oakville and district and/or generates up to approximately $2 million in revenue annually.
  • Professional Services Provider of the Year: This award recognizes a person or employee team with a professional designation and whose practice is regulated by a provincial regulatory body within Canada.
  • The Morris Mercanti Service Industry Award: This award recognizes a business that primarily earns revenue through providing products and services. Nominees will be considered from the following industries but not limited to: retail, food service, health & wellness and education.
  • KPMG Entrepreneur of the Year:This award recognizes an individual who personally exhibits extraordinary entrepreneurship, energy, inspiration, leadership and / or innovation in their business pursuits.
  • Young Professional or Entrepreneur of the Year (YPEG Award): This award recognizes an individual who personally exhibits extraordinary energy, inspiration, leadership and / or innovation in their business pursuits. Nominees must be under the age of 40 (as of December 31, 2018).


“The Oakville Awards for Business Excellence celebrate the many contributions our business community makes to the outstanding quality of life we enjoy here in Oakville,” stated Ken Nevar, Chair of the Board, Oakville Chamber of Commerce. “This year we are excited to introduce a new award, The Morris Mercanti Service Industry Award to recognize the service-based businesses in our community. We are also pleased to have the Young Professional or Entrepreneur of the Year (YPEG Award) return for a second year, which recognizes the leadership and innovation driven by Oakville’s young professionals.”

All nominations submitted will be reviewed by a panel of expert judges rating them against criteria set for each category.The Judges are individuals from the professional community who bring a wealth of professional expertise and unique business experiences, having made significant contributions to their own professions.

The Oakville Awards for Business Excellence culminates in a gala dinner and award ceremony in March 2019. The proceeds from the evening, including the considerable support from our Partners, provide funds for the Rotary Club’s youth and academic programs.

To be eligible for nomination, businesses must be physically located in the Town of Oakville and cannot have won in any category in the last five years. A complete list of category criteria and eligibility rules can be found at www.oabe.ca. Nominations can be submitted online at www.oabe.ca. Alternatively, forms are available at the Oakville Chamber of Commerce.  For assistance, please call Karen Pomfret at 905-845-6613 ext. 210 or e-mail karen@oakvillechamber.com.  



Regulatory burden undermining business competitiveness, new Chamber report finds

Regulate Smarter


Canada’s regulatory system is smothering business in Canada, thanks to a growing mix of complex, costly and overlapping rules from all levels of government. A new report by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, and supported by the Oakville Chamber of Commerce, Death by 130,000 Cuts: Improving Canada’s Regulatory Competitiveness, calls on governments to modernize their regulatory frameworks and give businesses in Canada room to thrive.

“Inconsistent and unpredictable rules and processes are making it difficult for businesses—whether large or small—to keep up and comply. This leads to our businesses being less competitive and Canada becoming a less attractive place to invest, start or grow a business,” said the Hon. Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. “Regulations are designed to keep us safe and to create a level playing field. But when they start to smother businesses, that becomes a real problem.”

As the U.S., our largest competitor and trading partner, has recently implemented significant corporate tax and regulatory reforms, Canada cannot afford to fall further behind. Today’s report identifies opportunities to increase public and investor confidence in Canada’s regulatory systems and provides clear recommendations to government on how it should be done.

“The Oakville Chamber partnered with the Canadian Chamber to release this important report” said Drew Redden, President of the Oakville Chamber of Commerce. “It supports the results from the latest Advocacy Survey we distributed to our members, in which over 70% stated that regulations are unreasonable and excessive. I look forward to meeting with our local elected government officials to discuss how we can work together with regulators and businesses to improve the competitiveness of our regulatory systems.”

Some of the recommendations to improve regulatory competitiveness include:
  1. Immediately convene a government-business regulatory competitiveness working group. The working group would develop recommendations for the federal government to measure and reduce cumulative regulatory burden. It would also develop recommendations for governments to ensure a consistent application of regulatory guidelines across jurisdictions and ensure the adoption of best practices by regulators.
  2. Give regulators economic growth and competitiveness mandates to ensure economic impacts receive appropriate consideration in decision-making while preserving necessary protections.
  3. Increase federal leadership in eliminating internal trade barriers to trade through clear goals, timelines and accountability as part of the Canadian Free Trade Agreement.
  4. Validate the quality and consistency of regulatory cost-benefit analyses from departments and agencies before regulatory proposals are submitted for Cabinet approval.
  5. Improve regulatory consultations through earlier engagement with stakeholders while ensuring processes are transparent and evidence-based. Project-based public consultations should be time-limited and focused on projects, not other policy issues.
  6. Make overly prescriptive regulatory frameworks more flexible to better accommodate rapidly changing business environments by moving to risk- or outcome-based regulations where appropriate.
  7. Increase regulatory alignment with Canada’s trading partners by integrating regulatory cooperation into free trade agreements and design new regulations with alignment by default where it is in Canada’s economic interest to do so.

Read the full report. 

Learn more at regulatesmarter.com

Sold Out Crowd Celebrates Business Excellence in Oakville

Recipients include representatives from iCare Home Health, Florence Meats, Naylor Building Partnerships Inc., Positive Accounting, La Parisienne Creperie, Zarr Tech, Canlan Ice Sports Corp, Piper Foods Inc., Crime Stoppers of Halton and FCT (Absent: Paul Ferri of Limitless Training Systems).


Oakville celebrated business leaders in their community at the 23rd Annual Oakville Awards for Business Excellence Gala on Tuesday, March 27 where over 560 guests gathered at the Oakville Conference Centre. Presented by the Oakville Chamber of Commerce and The Rotary Club of Oakville West, this annual event attracts business, community, government and political leaders, as well as professionals and entrepreneurs from the local business community.

“The Oakville Chamber is thrilled by the tremendous support shown by the business community at tonight’s gala,” said Ken Nevar, Chair of the Board, Oakville Chamber of Commerce. “We offer our congratulations to all the finalists and award recipients.”

The Genworth Community of the Year Award was awarded to Piper Foods Inc./McDonald’s Restaurants. John Piper, Owner of Piper Foods Inc.  accepted the award. Known for their extensive support of local organizations including Dog Guides of Canada, Ronald McDonald House Charities and the Oakville Hospital Foundation, they recently completed a pledge of $250,000 towards construction of the new hospital. An active partner in the Region of Halton’s hiring program, Piper Foods participates in workshops educating young people to better prepare them to find a job. John Piper takes pride in preparing people of all ages and backgrounds to enter or re-enter the workforce by providing entry-level positions in the community, coupled with a solid training program. Investing in team members’ personal development is key to their business philosophy and each year, the company awards 4 scholarships for a total of $4,000.  Piper Foods Inc. became the first ever double recipient at the Awards Gala, also receiving the Franchisee of the Year Award.

The CN Charity/Not-for-Profit Excellence Award was presented to Crime Stoppers of Halton. Accepting the award on behalf of Crime Stoppers of Halton was Jan Westcott, Vice-Chair of the Board. Since its inception in 1988, the organization has been helping keep Halton Region a safe place to live, work and play. They have received over 18,000 anonymous tips on criminal activity which have led to the arrest of 1,188 individuals. Furthermore, these tips have recovered almost $3 million worth of stolen property, taken $18 million worth of illicit drugs taken off our streets, and seized 92 weapons. Crime Stoppers of Halton has strengthened their presence in our community by attending community events, conducting presentations at high schools through its Youth Initiative Program, its Roadside Sign Program, Community Secure Shred Events, hosting fundraising concerts and leading community awareness campaigns. Crime Stoppers of Halton’s dedication to preventing and solving crime contributes to Halton Region’s designation as Canada’s Safest Regional Municipality for the past 8 years.

This year’s Business Icon Award was presented to FCT. Michael LeBlanc, Chief Executive Officer of FCT accepted the award presented by John Sawyer, outgoing President of the Oakville Chamber of Commerce. From its beginning as the first title insurer in Canada to revolutionary valuations solutions, FCT has expanded its products and services to support customers across the real estate and recovery lifecycles. With more than 800 employees across Canada, including more than 300 at their home office in Oakville, the company focuses on creating a work culture where every employee has the opportunity to be great. In 2017, FCT launched their new brand identity “we’re invested” – which focuses on how they’re invested in customers, colleagues and the community. “FCT has an amazing business success story and as the Chamber of Commerce, we are so proud that they call Oakville home” commented John Sawyer.

In it’s 23rd year, the Oakville Awards for Business Excellence Gala continues to grow year over year, recognizing the important contributions of local business to the community. “We received a significant number of nominations from the Oakville community. The judges carefully reviewed all of the nominations and determined a list of 57 finalists, from which the award recipients were chosen” stated Lois Knepflar, President, Rotary Club of Oakville West.

To learn more about the Oakville Awards for Business Excellence, or to nominate a business for next year, please visit www.oabe.ca or contact Karen Pomfret by phone at 905-845-6613 ext. 210 or e-mail karen@oakvillechamber.com.

The Oakville Chamber of Commerce and The Rotary Club of Oakville West are proud to list the award recipients of the 23rd Annual Oakville Awards for Business Excellence:

RBC Royal Bank Large Business of the Year

Naylor, Building Partnerships Inc.

Bell Mid-size Business of the Year

Florence Meats

Small Business of the Year

iCare Home Health

KPMG Entrepreneur of the Year

Matthew Zarrillo of Zarr Tech

Young Professional & Entrepreneur of the Year

Paul Ferri of Limitless Training Systems  

Professional Services Provider of the Year

Positive Accounting

Franchisee of the Year

Piper Foods Inc. / McDonald’s Restaurant

The Morris Mercanti Restaurateur of the Year

La Parisienne Creperie

Oakville Hydro Conservation Leadership Award

Canlan Ice Sports Corp.

Genworth Community Builder of the Year

Piper Foods Inc.

CN Charity or Not-for-Profit Excellence Award

Crime Stoppers of Halton

Oakville’s Business Icon Award

FCT




Congratulations to the Finalists for the 23rd Annual Oakville Awards for Business Excellence

The Oakville Chamber of Commerce and The Rotary Club of Oakville West are pleased to present the 23rd Annual Oakville Awards for Business Excellence (OABE) that will culminate in a Gala Dinner on Tuesday, March 27th at the Oakville Conference Centre. The finalists for this year’s awards were officially announced at the OABE Nominee Reception held on Tuesday, February 6th at the Holiday Inn Oakville – Centre. This year, the award recipients will be chosen from finalists in nine categories: Small Business of the Year, Bell Mid-size Business of the Year, RBC Royal Bank Large Business of the Year, Professional Services Provider of the Year, Franchisee of the Year, The Morris Mercanti Restaurateur of the Year, KPMG Entrepreneur of the Year, Young Professional & Entrepreneur of the Year (YPEG Award), and Oakville Hydro Conservation Leadership Award. At the awards gala, the recipient of the Genworth Community Builder Award, Charity or Not-for-Profit Excellence Award, and Oakville’s Business Icon Award will be announced.
  • The Genworth Community Award recognizes a business that has, over time, demonstrated exemplary business practices and dedicated involvement in the community.
  • The Charity or Not-for-Profit Excellence Award honours a charity or not-for-profit organization which is highly regarded in our community and raises funds or provides services to improve the lives of people within our community.
  • The Business Icon Award recognizes a prominent Oakville business which is highly regarded in the business community.
“The Oakville Awards for Business Excellence received an overwhelming number of nominations from the Oakville community. The judges carefully reviewed all of the nominations and selected a list of 56 finalists” stated Ken Nevar, Chair of the Board, Oakville Chamber of Commerce. “I congratulate all of the finalists. It is truly an honour to be nominated by your customers and peers and to be recognized for your dedication, business practices, and community service.” Working in partnership with The Rotary Club of Oakville West, the majority of funds raised from the Gala Dinner will be donated directly to the club’s local youth programs. “Since its inception in 1995, the Oakville Awards for Business Excellence has raised almost $1,000,000 for our youth initiatives including the Oakville Rotary Education Awards, Camp Enterprise and the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards” said Lois Knepflar, President of the Rotary Club of Oakville West. “We look forward to a fantastic evening to celebrate business excellence, while supporting the youth in our community.” The Finalists for the 23rd Annual Oakville Awards for Business Excellence are: Small Business of the Year A.S. Security & Surveillance Inc. Addison Music Learning Centre Akita Natural Skin Care Products Canada Caju Multimedia Inc. DCM Event Management Expert Island iCare Home Health Innovative HR Oakview Funeral Home Painters Place Preferred Muffler, Brake & Auto Inc. Qi Tranquility Spa Resultel Technologies Inc. Speckles Art Studio Wines Unlimited Bell Mid-size Business of the Year: Automacs Collision Inc. Cameron’s Brewing Company ClubRunner Florence Meats JNB Auto Centre Inc. Mico Systems Inc. SupperWorks Total Tech Pools and Leisure Inc. RBC Royal Bank Large Business of the Year: Caravan Logistics Inc. D’Orazio Infrastructure Group Limited Glen Oaks Funeral Home and Cemetery iFLY Toronto Indoor Skydiving Naylor Building Partnerships Inc. Rona Professional Services Provider of the Year: Bazar McBean LLP Lakeshore Woods Pharmacy Positive Accounting The Milley Team (HollisWealth, A division of Industrial Alliance Securities Inc.) Franchisee of the Year: Liaison College (Oakville Campus) Piper Foods Inc. (McDonald’s Restaurant) The Morris Mercanti Restaurateur of the Year: Bronte Sports Kitchen La Parisienne Creperie Oliver & Bonacini Café & Grill The Pipes and Taps Pub KPMG Entrepreneur of the Year: Allie Ochs of Swiss Bionic Solutions Ayse Kilic of Akita Canada Dawn Porter-Schofield of Cornerstone Mediation Jane Wilson of PoleFit Nation John Thistlewaite of BCIS, Inc. Matthew Zarrillo of Zarr Tech Nicoletta Medeiros of Allure Laser Skin Studio Young Professional and Entrepreneur of the Year (YPEG Award): Derek Lee of Media Rez Studios Inc. Dr. Denise Handscomb, ND of Abaton Integrative Medicine   James Montague of James Montague the Event Planner Morsal Haidary of Lash Out Lounge and Spa Paul Ferri of Limitless Training Systems Oakville Hydro Conservation Leadership Award: Canlan Ice Sports Corp. Iovate Health Sciences International Inc. Mancor Industries Oakville Honda Pinty’s Delicious Foods Inc. The Oakville Chamber of Commerce and The Rotary Club of Oakville West thank Platinum Partner RBC for their generous support of the 23rd Annual Oakville Awards for Business Excellence and Nominee Reception. Event Details: Date: Tuesday, March 27th Time: 5:30pm – Registration & Reception; 6:30pm – Dinner & Awards Gala Location: Oakville Conference and Banquet Centre, 2515 Wyecroft Road Tickets: $125 per person; $87.50 per person for Nominees Purchase tickets online or by emailing info@oakvillechamber.com or calling the Oakville Chamber of Commerce at 905-845-6613.