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Upcoming Events

Date: October 21, 2019

Business Week 2019

Click HERE for Business Week events 2019.

Date: October 21, 2019 7:00 pm

Beginner Bridge Lessons

Beginner bridge lessons starting Monday, Oct. 21 to Nov. 11 from 7-9 pm at the North Bay Duplicate Bridge Club located at 245 Oak Street East, Suite 101, North Bay. Four lessons, four weeks- $20.00. Come out and learn th…

Beginner bridge lessons starting Monday, Oct. 21 to Nov. 11 from 7-9 pm at the North Bay Duplicate Bridge Club located at 245 Oak Street East, Suite 101, North Bay. Four lessons, four weeks- $20.00. Come out and learn the game of bridge, challenge your brain, and meet new friends. Lessons will be taught by Mike Beauchamp. For more information call Sue at 705-472-8271 or the club at 705-476-2345.

Date: October 22, 2019

Pinty's Grand Slam of Curling

Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling – Masters is coming to North Bay!

October 22 to 27, 2019 at North Bay Memorial Gardens

15 mens and womens teams from around the world.

Tickets available at <…

Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling – Masters is coming to North Bay!

October 22 to 27, 2019 at North Bay Memorial Gardens

15 mens and womens teams from around the world.


Date: October 24, 2019 8:00 am

Succession Planning Panel

Celebrating Business Week 2019 – Presented by RBC Royal Bank with an expert panel from Valin Partners, Grant Thornton and RBC Financial Planning.

Thursday, October 24, 2019 – 8 am to 9 am @ the Hampton…

Celebrating Business Week 2019 – Presented by RBC Royal Bank with an expert panel from Valin Partners, Grant Thornton and RBC Financial Planning.

Thursday, October 24, 2019 – 8 am to 9 am @ the Hampton Inn

Please RSVP to Paul Daigle at RBC, 705-472-5702 or email him at

Or call the Chamber office, 705-472-8480

Date: October 24, 2019 7:00 pm

Craft & Crafts 2019

At the Capitol Centre.  Check their web page by clicking HERE.


Slowly but surely, we are getting closer to some summer weather and with that warmer and hopefully drier conditions, many of the communities within our district will return to normal after the flooding and high-water levels that have been experienced.  To all the neighbours, volunteers, municipal staff and emergency personnel that have worked with homeowners and businesses throughout our area to minimize the flood water destruction, thank you for everything that you have done, and the time spent assisting.

As we return to some semblance of normalcy with the water levels decreasing, this year is one of those years that our local businesses that were affected, need our help more than ever.  Over the years, shop local and stay local campaigns have urged residents of our communities to do just that.  With many news stories documenting the flood conditions within our region, it has been a slower spring than normal for many of our seasonal businesses and that perception extends far and wide.  The Chamber office has fielded dozens of calls from potential out of town visitors in the past week, inquiring as to travelling to this area.  When possible, make sure you check out the local market and see what is available.

North Bay, Clean Green and Beautiful campaign is in full bloom and it has been amazing to see the community of North Bay come together and support this initiative.  All over the City we are seeing individuals, businesses, community groups and neighbourhoods coming together and showing civic pride by taking ownership and helping in the effort to clean up and beautify our community.   Driving around our city and seeing many of the trash bags used for the campaign full and on the side of the road prior to pick up, means the message is getting out.  No effort is too small, and it is great to see this type of engagement by people of all ages.

June is shaping up to be a busy month with preparations well underway for both Armed Forces Day on June 12th followed by the inaugural “Bay Days” community festival June 14th to 16th.  Both events provide another venue for our region to celebrate and with the case of Armed Forces Day, thank the members of the military and their families for all they do.  If you have never been down to the waterfront for Armed Forces Day, make sure you check it out.  The confirmation of the Snowbirds, Skyhawks and F-18 demonstration teams for the day long event, should be reason enough to come on downtown and to the waterfront on the 12th and return on the weekend for Bay Days.  Hope to see everyone come out and support these two great events.

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

Bay Days – June 14 to 16, 2019

Chamber members – meet Paige Judge. This energetic young professional exploded onto the local Real Estate scene less than a year ago and has not looked back for one second. A valued addition to the Royal LePage family, Ms. Judge is transforming her experience in banking and paralegal services, paired with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Nipissing University, into helping people buy and sell their homes or commercial properties.

Judge has a particular interest surrounding investment properties and aims to one day possess a number of deeds herself. If your savings are sitting idle, connect with Paige for a conversation about how you can put that money to work for you. Questions are complimentary and from personal experience I can tell you that Paige is a pleasure to interact with over a coffee or otherwise.

Further to Judge’s professional experience, this loving mother and active volunteer is invested in our City as a board member with Near North Crime Stoppers and the Vice-Chair of the Young Professionals committee at the North Bay and District Chamber of Commerce.

It’s this sort of commitment to community that should remind us all about the power of shopping locally. You can nurture the capacity of people that give generously of their time and expertise by remaining conscious of where you allocate your funds. Paige is one of those talents that is deserving of our support.

Written and submitted by: Bobby Ray, Chair, Young Professionals Committee

Many of the old adages that are thrown around daily, continue to have relevance in much of our lives, every day.  One of these such adages being; “in a progressive country…change is constant…change… is inevitable”.  The quote from Benjamin Disraeli, a British statesman during the mid 1800’s, holds true some 150 years later, on many levels.  Every aspect of our lives changes constantly, and this also holds true in the business world.  Within this sector, those changes may be influenced by both internal and external forces.  There is no escaping it.

Our district and communities are no different.  In a world where technological advancements provide so many options, businesses, consumer habits and individual choices are undergoing changes daily.  It is difficult to keep up and manage that change especially when regulations and laws do not keep pace with what is happening in the marketplace.  There is a constant need for law makers, politicians and bureaucrats to be aware of the climate and make those changes necessary to meet societal demands.

On a local level, we have seen a lot of discussions in the past few months, regarding the taxi industry and the emergence of Rideshare/Uber type programs.  The demand for this type of service has no doubt been fueled through the advancement of technology and the multitude of choices that consumers have and want.  This is not isolated to this industry but at present, is at the forefront of many conversations taking place.  From an industry perspective, they are not advocating to eliminate or not allow competition in the market, but rather ensuring that the playing field remains level.

The industry has been regulated by the North Bay Police Services Board by virtue of a bylaw passed in 1995, by North Bay City Council.  This industry is one of the most regulated businesses that we have at a municipal level.  Many of the regulations were enacted to ensure consumer protection and safety and for the most part have been effective.  The bylaws, however, have been in place for almost 25 years and have not kept up with the times.  The Police Services Board is reviewing the same, as consumer demand is asking for additional options when it comes to personal transportation.

The North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce recognizes that all businesses must adapt to consumer choice.  We have seen this when it comes to retail shopping and those that manage the change, survive.  In this regulated industry, two sets of rules for the same service should not be an option.  It is incumbent upon the Police Services Board and ultimately City Council, to ensure that in the spirit of competition, the rules for all must be equal and that means deregulation  If consumers want choice, then remove any barriers and ensure that the playing field is level for all.

Another old adage that comes to mind and is somewhat appropriate when discussing this subject “be careful of what one wishes for, lest it come true”!

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

Roy Slack formally assumed the role of CIM President for the year 2019-2020 at the end of the CIM Convention on May 1, 2019.

Slack is a professional engineer, the founder and past president of Cementation Canada, and is a director of Cementation Americas, a mine contracting and engineering firm that provides design-build and construction           management services to the mining sector.  Today, Cementation is one of the largest mine contractors in North America and part of one of the largest mine contracting organizations in the world, the Cementation Group.

Cementation Canada has been recognized numerous times as one of “Canada’s Top 100 Employers.” Cementation Canada has also been recognized as Safest Employer in Canada in 2014 (Gold), 2015 (Silver), 2016 (Gold) and 2017 (Gold) in the mining and natural resources category.

Slack has been active in numerous safety initiatives and in 2013, he was appointed to the Province of Ontario’s first Prevention Council to advise the government on workplace safety. He currently chairs the CIM Safety Committee.

A long-time member of CIM, Slack was the chair and a member of the team that was instrumental in reviving the CIM Northern Gateway Branch, which was recognized in 2008 with the Mel W. Bartley Outstanding Branch Award. In the same year, he was awarded the Engineer’s Medal for Entrepreneurship by the Professional Engineers of Ontario.

In 2009, Slack was awarded the Metal Mining Society Award by CIM. In 2012, he was named a Paul Harris Fellow by Rotary International. In 2017, Nipissing University bestowed upon him an honorary doctorate and in 2018, he was inducted into the SAMSSA Hall of Fame.

Slack’s goals for his presidency are a focus on the strategic goals of CIM including advancing public awareness of the industry, increased engagement with mining schools and fostering interaction between other mining associations in Canada as well as internationally.

“I believe strongly in the concept of OneCIM and that through collaboration between constituent groups, we can leverage the tremendous amount of talent and passion within the organization to further CIM’s strategic goals,” said Slack.

(article and photo from CIM website)



Congratulations to Cementation’s Roy Slack on taking over the reins as President of the Canadian Institute for Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum, also known as CIM. It is a great honor for our community to have the former President of Cementation as the incoming President of CIM. Good luck to Roy on his new adventure and we are confident that he will do a great job.

Last weeks Council meeting saw the kick-off of Clean Green & Beautiful the initiative of several community groups, to make North Bay the most beautiful community in Northern Ontario. The launch was a big success and we hope that the momentum continues with our community embracing it. No action is too little and anything that any individual does to contribute, will make our community just that little bit better. Congratulations to Hariett and the entire crew on making this a reality.

Also, at Council last week, the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit presented an update to Council, on possible changes to the municipal bylaws to bring in line with the Smoke-Free Ontario Act 2017. The Health Unit explained that City bylaws should be updated to conform with the Provincial Act as vaping and the legalization of cannabis need to be considered by municipal bylaws. The inclusion of prohibitions on smoking/vaping tobacco or cannabis to several area’s needed to be looked at and certainly made sense.

The resolution that was presented to Council included restrictions on the vaping and or smoking in any City park, sporting facility, playgrounds and other areas as defined by the original bylaw, passed in 2012. This makes sense and the writer fully supports these changes as outlined in the resolution presented to Council, by Councillor’s Tignanelli and Robertson. The resolution appeared to be straight forward and without issue until the resolution was amended. The amendment changed the intent and included all municipal public spaces and all workplaces. I fully support the municipal ban but have several concerns when it impacts businesses and private workspaces.

The present bylaw (2012) allows for private businesses and workplaces to declare themselves smoke free properties. Many businesses have taken advantage of this portion of the bylaw and have registered themselves as smoke free properties. This was by choice of the private business owners and the amendments proposed if passed, remove that choice. It is laudable that Council moves in this direction on all municipal open space and facilities however, at minimum, consultation with the business community should be done prior to proposing a complete ban.

One of the early lessons that many councillors over the years learn, is that you should never pass a bylaw that 1) people do not fully understand or 2) a bylaw that can’t be enforced. In an age where we continually hear that we need less government intervention/cost and red tape, it appears that Council is heading the other way. The updated bylaw adopting the changes to the Provincial Act is needed but let the individual business make the choice on whether to opt in. Business needs less bureaucracy and not more as proposed. It is hopeful that Council will at least consult with private business, before instituting the amendment.

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

Congratulations to Bobby Ray from the North Bay Granite Club for not only being nominated for a prestigious award, but for also winning that award on Saturday evening.  The Chair person for the Young Professionals of the North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce, attended the gala dinner for the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, Annual General Meeting & Conference and was recognized by the Provincial Chamber for his outstanding work in our Chamber and community.

Bobby was the recipient of the Richard Dolphin Community Service award. The award, bestowed by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, recognizes a chamber board member whose dedication to community service and the chamber network has led to chamber success.  As the Chair of the Young Professionals group of the Chamber and sitting on the Board as well, Bobby felt that the young professionals (those under 40 years of age) needed to be re-engaged. Tasked with that challenge, he came up with a unique and novel way of accomplishing that.

Utilizing his past experience of organizing curling bonspiels, he used the same format as though he would be setting up a draw for curlers.  The change was that he engaged 80 Chamber members as his teams and challenged them to meet for one hour, once a week and share a coffee. That was the birth of 52 Cups of Coffee and one that would gain instant popularity and the re-engagement, that he wanted to achieve. The real only requirement was to meet your scheduled coffee meet up person, learn something about them and post it on social media to share.

It has been an over-whelming success and has spurned many a request to expand this program to other member groups within the Chamber and outside as well.  Something as simple as talking with someone that perhaps you did not know or knew very little about.  That is really what this program was based on…communicating with a peer and making a contact with someone that you may work with, do business with or strike up a friendship in the future.  Regardless of the concept of how it might playout in the future, the basic premise of networking within a group of your peers has been with civilization, since the beginning of time.  This is what engages communities and what a great group to start with. Congratulations Bobby as the recipient of this prestigious award and your Chamber cannot wait for “52 Cups of Coffee 2.0. version”

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

On Saturday, May 4th at the OCC Chair’s Dinner and Awards Presentation, a part of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce 107th Annual General Meeting and Conference in Muskoka, one of our own received a prestigious provincial award.

The recipient of this year’s Richard Dolphin Community Service Award was presented to Bobby Ray, a director on the North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce board and the chair of the Young Professionals Committee for the Chamber.

The award, bestowed by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, recognizes a chamber board member whose dedication to community service and the chamber network has led to chamber success.

Bobby Ray is the manager of the North Bay Granite Club (Curling and Tennis centre on Trout Lake Road) and highly involved community supporter through numerous different organizations.

Through his work, Mr. Ray has acted as the Host Committee Administrator for the 2015 Canadian Mixed Curling Championships, worked with the committee to host the 10-day World Women’s Curling Championships in March 2018, and is excitingly preparing for the arrival of the 2019 Masters (Grand Slam of Curling event) coming to Memorial Gardens in October.

Ray additionally works with Ontario provincial Curling associations as a coach developer and digital communications coordinator.

Mr. Ray is a past director on Sport North Bay and last year joined the Board of Governors for Nipissing University.  Mr. Ray is the current Young Professional Representative on the North Bay and District Chamber of Commerce board of directors.

Bobby Ray accepted the award and said “I am pleased to accept this award and encourage all young professionals to be engaged in their community through the Chamber and other organizations that promote growth and prosperity for our communities and Ontario.”

The nomination was presented to OCC for Mr. Ray’s increased engagement in the chamber network through his successful program called #FiftyTwoCoffees.

#FiftyTwoCoffees was an initiative created by Bobby Ray, and received an incredible response from participants that exceeded all expectations.  In 2019, eighty-four individuals under the age of forty committed to meet, one-on-one and face-to-face, while sharing each others’ stories through social media for the community to see.

Each week, they would meet a new person in the program, allowing them to make connections throughout the year and inspiring collaboration and to strengthen the local business environment that “WE, the next generation of impassioned citizens, will be inheriting” as stated in their program outline to participants.

Bobby Ray stated “The #FiftyTwoCoffees program serves to harness the power of modern technology and social media while at the same time re-engaging young professionals in the effective practice of building relationships with peers through human conversation.”

Chair Charles Elliott, North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce stated “Bobby Ray has been an exceptional addition to our board this year.  He is a true leader and has brought even more young professionals to the table.  The Young Professionals are the emerging community leaders and we are pleased to see their engagement in the Chamber network, ensuring their voices are heard as the business world changes and grows.”   While the #FiftyTwoCoffees program was only introduced to those young professionals in our community that are under the age of 40; Chair Charles Elliott continued that “we’ve had numerous other members that would like to see this program expanded in the future.”

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Mark your calendars for May 7, 2019.  Clean, Green and Beautiful, a grass roots movement spearheaded by Hariett Madigan and her various community volunteer groups, will present at Council on that evening.  Clean, Green and Beautiful will launch a community action plan, detailing the collective vision of this group and individuals as to how we as a community, can improve the look and feel of our homes, streets and neighbourhoods.  The goal is to make this community the most beautiful community in Northern Ontario.

Three of the main talking points will focus on litter-free, offensive graffiti-free and noxious weed-free community.  The vision behind establishing these objectives were founded on the same principles that the North Bay Heritage Gardener’s established for their group of volunteers with the waterfront. Focusing on beautification and environmental education of volunteers and the community we are all witness to their accomplishments, with one of the most scenic waterfronts in Ontario.  Using that successful model, the question was asked “How can we extend this throughout our community”?

On the 7th, the group will outline a community call to action, to replicate the waterfront vision throughout our City.  We will ask every resident, business, community and school groups…everyone, to   jump on board and grow our community pride.  The official launch is still a few weeks away and already over two hundred registrations have been received or committed to this project.  The City of North Bay, Council and staff, have been tremendous in providing information and support in getting this off the ground.  Work has already begun and lots more to come.  Stay tuned for the 7th. and get ready to join the Clean, Green and Beautiful movement.

At last weeks Council meeting, a motion was brought forward to rename the civic plaza, adjacent to the Heritage Museum on Oak Street, to “Jack Burrows Civic Plaza”.  What a fitting legacy for our former Mayor and his entire family, as Jack was an ardent supporter of the Community Waterfront park and the acquisition of the former CP Rail yards. Jack had the vision and determination to make this happen and despite all the criticism, made it happen.

During my first term on Council in 2000, I was one of those critics.  Jack took me aside one day, as only Jack could do, and had a frank chat about the project.  He was extremely passionate about it and finally told me “Peter…in twenty years from now, the citizens of North Bay will know this was a good acquisition, so let’s get on with it”.  It was a good life lesson learned from a man, that all respected. He was right and although just shy of the twenty years he projected; our community does know.  Congratulations to Elaine and family for the recognition that is truly deserved.

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