Chamber’s Holds First In Person AGM Since 2019

December 23, 2021


COWICHAN VALLEY – The Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce held its Annual General Meeting at Arbutus Ridge Golf Club, after last year’s Virtual AGM. Attendees were very excited to be meeting in person once again, which brought a fantastic crowd of 50 people with 36 voting member organizations. Members in attendance conducted general business for the organization and acclaimed eight new and returning Directors to the Board.

Welcome new Directors to the Board: Alan SandersIG Wealth, Johnna PuusaEthos Career Management Group, Linda TesserCoast Outdoor Advertising, Dr. Shelley CookCowichan Housing.

The afternoon included a presentation from Arlene Rolston from the Port of Nanaimo and the Vancouver Island representative on the Board of Directors for the BC Chamber of Commerce. Arlene discussed a number of policies that were advocated for by many of the Vancouver Island Chambers including Abandoned Vessels, Affordable Housing, Aquaculture Opportunities, Emergency Medical Services for British Columbians, and more.

Chamber President Julie Scurr reported how the Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce continued to pivot throughout the pandemic, providing the business community with recovery resources and advocating on a multitude of Cowichan and Vancouver Island specific issues.  She discussed how the Chamber has continued to be a strong and effective voice on behalf of both business and community interests in these uncertain times.

Treasurer Leah Hudson presented the financials, noting once again it was a difficult year due to cancelled events and decreased retail sales revenue at the Cowichan Regional Visitor Centre. However, mentioned that due to various grants from the federal government, the Chamber is in a positive situation in comparison to the previous year, under similar circumstances.

I reflected the many phases and restrictions businesses have gone through over the last 21-months, but decided to focus my speech on the great things that happened over the last year, rather than the trials and tribulations. My top 10 highlights of resiliency include the 2021 Black Tie Awards, Dine & Sip Cowichan, Building Resilience to Thrive training programs, new revenue streams, government funding, visitor servicing, and more.

I acknowledged that the Cowichan Regional Visitor Centre won’t see the usual 25,000 visitors this year, but they did connect with around 10,000 – often persuading them to spend more time in the Cowichan Region.

In addition to gratitude expressed at the AGM, I would like to take this opportunity to thank our members for their continued support of the Chamber during this challenging time. As a membership organization, membership dues and investments are our largest source of revenue, and it is thanks to our members that we are able to continue to advocate for businesses and create a roadmap for 2022. Thank you for all you do!

We look forward to working with you in 2022 and to continuing to be the voice of business in Cowichan.  Happy New Year from the Board and staff at the Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce.

Sonja Nagel is Executive Director of the Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce.  She can be reached at 250-748-1111 or

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