An Optimistic Canada-UK Chamber of Commerce Approaches 100th Anniversary

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London cityscape looking towards Canary Wharf photo by A Howse
London cityscape looking towards Canary Wharf photo by A Howse

Next year the Canada-UK Chamber of Commerce is looking forward to celebrating the 100th year anniversary of its formation. A series of events that will take place in London and online will mark the centenary in high style.

This will be an opportunity to honour all the good work the Chamber executives have done over ten decades, for both of the economies each side of the Atlantic. Currently all its members are navigating the unknown impact of Brexit on international trade. All this after a year that Matthew Moth, President of the of Canada-UK Chamber of Commerce described as full of “tragedy, upheaval and hardship that families, friends and business partners have experienced….and a quarter of a year of lockdown.”

Since 1921 the Canada-UK Chamber of Commerce has facilitated meaningful connections between business leaders in Canada and the UK. Their mission is to be the foremost non-governmental authority on all aspects of the two-way trade and investment between Canada, the UK and Europe.

The Canada-UK Chamber of Commerce values their exceptional members who are nearly all experts in business. The group thrives on the positivity that is created during all the events that the Chamber holds that bring people together each season.

The Chamber has facilitated bilateral business relationships for nearly 100 years. Incorporated as a UK company since 1927 its members are comprised of representatives from some of the UK and Canada’s most recognisable businesses. The Chamber is still in full swing and has adapted to the challenges faced by all organisations during the coronavirus pandemic. This prestigious club has achieved this by holding virtual webinars and keeping members in touch online when social distancing rules prevent any conferences and networking socials in person.

Canada House, Trafalgar Square, London SW1Y 5BJ is the monumentally grand address of this established business focused club. There is a ‘Leadership Team’ headed up by the company president Matthew Moth and his team of seven professional business leaders. There is also a Board of twenty-two Directors who are senior industry figures. Seven Board Observers also add their commercial experience to oversee operations at the Canada-United Kingdom Chamber of Commerce.

More than 300 companies in the UK and Canada and beyond are members of the Chamber. Over a thousand people attended events in 2020 and more than 25 different ‘get togethers’ of different sorts happened due to the Chamber’s work and preparations.

Chamber Secretariat Jan Bertelsen really enjoys his role helping to develop new business and networking connections with the UK-Canada Chamber of Commerce. Building on his commercial background in retail and fashion industries, Jan has seven years experience driving change and championing high standards with both European and Canadian Chambers of Commerce in London.

Mr Bertelsen explains that there are different levels of membership for various types of companies and also individuals. An example would be for a small or medium sized enterprise who may choose to invest in an initial membership of around £460+vat. The Chamber team can make introductions to their members can open big doors of opportunity for both developing entrepreneurs and also more long standing companies that would benefit from new clients and connections.

Jan describes how webinars can be a chance to “take the lead and share knowledge and best practice with other executives and technical people. You can showcase yourself. The Chamber also offers a special package that will get personal ambassadors onboard, who will directly promote your company.”

The Chamber Secretariat recommends that “the added value of having talented Chamber representatives on your team can be quantified in terms of thousands of pounds, which makes the membership fee an excellent deal.” He also adds that the UK-Canada Chamber of Commerce Members Directory is being printed next month. This handbook for communicating between the clubs organisations and will be widely circulated. Signing up for membership this November ensures an individual listing inclusion in this valuable future publication.

The UK-Canada Chamber of Commerce group their activities into forums. These are sectors that ensure their members are engaging with people from the relevant economic areas and interests. The forum for the ‘Creative Industries’ includes the arts, design, media, information technology, software, advertising, architecture and public museums and events.

There is also a forum for the ‘Energy’ industry, ‘Mining and Natural Resources, Property and Infrastructure’, ‘Technology’ and ‘Health and Life Science’.

The ‘Diversity and Inclusion’ forum makes sure everyone is included fairly and champions equality. The ‘SME’ forum guides and assists small and medium sized enterprises so they can develop successfully.

The Chamber has its own constitution which sets out all the details of how this Limited company operates and how the meetings must be held correctly. The constitution outlined the procedures of how the committee is nominated, usually on an annual basis.

The Chamber prioritises creating first acquaintances to encourage and foster business development. An impressive array of companies lend their brand logos to this important trade association between the two countries. Canada and the UK share a great cultural and trading partnership, that goes back hundreds of years. Well known institutions such as AstraZeneca, Air Canada, Bell and the Canary Wharf Group are amongst a long list of successful corporations represented.

As well as making it possible for founders and experts in several diverse fields and different locations to make new contacts, the Chamber also raises money for worthwhile causes at many of their talks and presentations. These upbeat social sessions are arranged both in the daytime and in the evenings depending on the subject explored.

The UK-Canada Chamber of Commerce’s president Mr Moth acknowledges that the challenges are great but nonetheless he reaches out to the Chamber’s members to help continue to drive forward progress and innovation.

This month politicians, management consultants and chiefs of industry are discussing a crucially economically important bi-lateral agreement between Canada and the UK, that will commence this January.

2021 will also be a significant centenary milestone for the Chamber, which prides itself on both creating strong business opportunities and the importance of contributing to good causes. A key philosophy of its members is furthering the goals of equality and enabling a sustainable future, for their wider communities. Everybody is hoping that with new vaccines against Covid-19 on the horizon that a really splendid occasion can take place next summer.

It will be fantastic to joyfully commemorate a century of the UK and Canada Chamber of Commerce’s commitment to developing peace, trade and prosperity between these two wonderful nations. The Chamber’s role has never been more relevant as employers and managing directors worldwide endeavour to keep communicating and help each other to survive and progress. We think that the Chamber will certainly be here to mark their bicentennial, as both Canada and the UK have so much in common and a determination to help make the world a better place, for many more generations in the future.

(1) Canada-United Kingdom Chamber of Commerce website Canada-United Kingdom Chamber of Commerce website

(2) Canada-United Kingdom Chamber of Commerce LinkedIn page Canada-United Kingdom Chamber of Commerce LinkedIn page

(3) Canada-United Kingdom Chamber of Commerce Facebook page Canada-United Kingdom Chamber of Commerce Facebook page