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Canadian Chamber of Commerce Celebrates Champions of Inclusive Growth at 2023 AGM & Convention

Canadian Chamber of Commerce Celebrates Champions of Inclusive Growth at 2023 AGM & Convention

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is proud to honour the winners of the prestigious Inclusive Growth Awards, recognizing outstanding efforts to advance economic reconciliation and foster diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in the Canadian business landscape.

Calgary, Alberta — October 14, 2023 — The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is proud to honour the winners of the prestigious Inclusive Growth Awards, recognizing outstanding efforts to advance economic reconciliation and foster diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in the Canadian business landscape. These awards highlight the remarkable contributions of chambers of commerce, boards of trade, business members, and underrepresented entrepreneurs across the nation.

The 2023 AGM & Convention, taking place at the Hyatt Regency in Calgary, Alberta, from October 12 to 14, serves as the backdrop for this momentous occasion. The event brings together chamber of commerce and board of trade executives and community business leaders to discuss critical economic and political issues shaping the future of Canadian business while setting the policy agenda for the upcoming year.

The Inclusive Growth Awards were presented during a dedicated ceremony on Saturday, October 14th, between 12:00 pm and 1:30 pm MT, celebrating the winners’ exceptional contributions to building a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive economy.

About the Inclusive Growth Awards

The Canadian Chamber’s Inclusive Growth Awards recognize chambers of commerce, boards of trade, and business members who have implemented successful initiatives to advance economic reconciliation, diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility in their organizations and business operations. These awards also recognize underrepresented entrepreneurs who have demonstrated excellence in innovation and social impact.

Inclusion isn’t just a buzzword. It’s a cornerstone of a resilient and thriving business landscape. We’re proud to recognize these exceptional organizations and entrepreneurs who are leading the way in creating a Canada where everyone has a chance to succeed.

Diana Palmerin-Velasco, Senior Director, Future of Work, Canadian Chamber of Commerce

These awards embody our vision of an economy that leaves no one behind, and celebrates the winners’ unwavering dedication to creating a more inclusive and equitable business environment. Their exemplary work is a testament to the positive change that can be achieved through collaboration and innovation.

Ian Faris, Senior Vice President, Chamber Network Relations & Advocacy, Canadian Chamber of Commerce

Inclusive Growth Awards Recipients

Category: Chambers of Commerce / Boards of Trade

  • The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce: The Winnipeg Chamber has long been committed to advancing reconciliation and increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion. In 2021, they launched “Commitment to Opportunity, Diversity, and Equity (CODE),” a multifaceted initiative with impressive outcomes, including capacity-building opportunities for employers, a resource hub, and professional development resources.
  • Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce: On Canada Day 2021, the Greater Victoria Chamber publicly acknowledged and apologized for its historical role in the social and economic suppression of Indigenous People, becoming the first Chamber in Canada to do so. They introduced a reduced economic reconciliation membership program for Indigenous-owned businesses, leading to a significant increase in Indigenous business membership. They have also launched various initiatives and committees to enhance diversity, inclusion, and engagement within the Chamber.
  • Newmarket Chamber of Commerce: The Newmarket Chamber’s dedication to creating an inclusive business environment has yielded remarkable results. The Chamber partnered with York University’s Schulich School of Business and a local digital transformation company to establish “Accelerate Newmarket.” This program has provided invaluable support to start-ups and emerging businesses, with a commitment to ensuring 50% of participants come from underrepresented communities, a goal that has been exceeded by 20%. To date, the program has helped raise over $25 million in capital.

Category: Members of Chambers of Commerce / Boards of Trade

  • WeBC: WeBC has been supporting women entrepreneurs in BC since 1995. Their “Enhancing the Mosaic of Women Entrepreneurs” (EMWE) project, funded by the Government of Canada’s “Women Entrepreneurship Strategy Ecosystem Fund,” expanded access to mentoring, training, and resources for underrepresented segments of the population. This support was particularly critical during the pandemic, as it offered proactive assistance to women-owned businesses impacted by COVID-19.
  • Pfizer Canada: Pfizer Canada’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Community of Practice focuses on creating an inclusive workplace and making positive impacts in the communities Pfizer serves. Pfizer actively works towards equitable access to medicines and empowerment of underrepresented groups through partnerships and community engagement.
  • Miller Thomson LLP: Miller Thomson is dedicated to fostering an inclusive workplace culture that respects and values differences. They have implemented an Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility (IDEA) Strategic Plan and a Reconciliation Response Plan. They also offer scholarships, mentoring programs, and internships to promote diversity in the legal profession.

Category: Underrepresented Entrepreneur

  • Steven Vanloffeld, Founder & CEO, e-Supply Canada, Member of London Chamber of Commerce: As a national Indigenous-owned distributor of business and industrial supplies, eSupply Canada streamlines procurement via its e-commerce platform, offering an extensive selection of over 1 million products. Their mission is to provide industries, governments, and Canadians with an Indigenous alternative to large retail chains. They are dedicated to economic development and reconciliation, exemplified by their revenue generation platform for Indigenous communities. This initiative not only helps communities recoup internal purchases but also drives sales revenue through direct and online channels.

Special Recognition:

  • Quilts for Survivors, Member of Timmins Chamber of Commerce: Founded by Vanessa Génier, Quilts for Survivors aims to honor Residential School survivors by providing them with handmade quilts. Vanessa’s goal of making 215 quilts quickly gained national attention, and she continues to grow her initiative, offering comfort and healing to survivors.

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is proud to present these awards during its 2023 AGM & Convention.

About the Canadian Chamber of Commerce — The Future of Business Success

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is Canada’s largest and most activated business network — representing over 400 chambers of commerce and boards of trade and more than 200,000 business of all sizes, from all sectors of the economy and from every part of the country — to create the conditions for our collective success. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is the undisputed champion and catalyst for the future of business success. From working with government on economy-friendly policy to providing services that inform commerce and enable trade, we give each of our members more of what they need to succeed: insight into markets, competitors and trends, influence over the decisions and policies that drive business success and impact on business and economic performance.

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Rewa Mourad
Public Relations Specialist
Canadian Chamber of Commerce
613.238.4000 (2211)

For more information about the Inclusive Growth Awards and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, please visit

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