Chambers: Making Connections at Home and Away

June 20, 2018

WEST SHORE – One of the favourite parts of my job is making connections – between people, to information and to new or different ideas. I find it particularly fulfilling to make individual connections between people. Sometimes that is through a face to face introduction or an e-mail. Another way we connect people is by offering networking events, both large and small.

In May we held our first ever “Patio Mob” on the Rooftop Patio at The Met located at the Four Points by Sheraton in Langford. Members and guests were able to informally network while bringing business to a fellow member, and I rather suspect we have not seen the last of this type of event!

In April I had the opportunity to make connections in an entirely different way. In the company of a small group of Chamber Executives and Directors from across North America, I went on a 7-day tour of China courtesy of Citslinc. Over shared meals I was able to learn all sorts of things about other Chambers and businesses – from rural Ontario to upstate New York, and from Portland, Oregon to Mobil, Alabama. Side by side with this, I had the opportunity to trek up the Great Wall, take a walking tour through the Forbidden City, stroll around the UNESCO World Heritage Site Lingering Garden in Suzhou and take on the sights and sounds of the Shanghai Bazaar.

Simultaneously with sightseeing and shopping was the chance to learn more about China today and experience the warmth of its citizens. I came away with a whole new appreciation of both ancient and modern China.

In partnership with Citslinc and our member Expedia CruiseShipCenters, the WestShore Chamber is putting together an April 2019 trip to China which will include everything I’ve mentioned above plus the terracotta warriors. A travel company focusing on tours of China, Citslinc specialises in running trips for North American Chambers of Commerce and their members.

While this is a sightseeing trip, Citslinc can also arrange an evening business conference so that business owners make direct contact with their Chinese counterparts. If you’re interested in finding out more, please join me on June 6th at 5:30 pm, when we’ll be holding an information session at the Expedia CruiseShipCenters West Shore office. You can RSVP by contacting me on 250-478-1130 or at

Julie Lawlor is the Executive Director at the WestShore Chamber of Commerce. You can reach her at

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