It didn’t take very long for Stuart Ballantyne to recognize the value of having a membership to the Prince George Chamber of Commerce. It was announced in August of 2011 that Ballantyne would be the CEO of the 2015 Canada Winter Games, and within days of his arrival he attended a Chamber meeting and found himself seated at a table with Brian Fehr, CEO of BID Group of Companies. That meeting led to the BID Group becoming the first community partner for the Winter Games.
Ballantyne notes this was a key partnership in the development of the games, “and one we are very proud of given that our first sponsor came from Northern British Columbia.” The 2015 Canada Winter Games offices now reside in the Post Office building downtown, which is owned by Fehr’s company.
“The Prince George Chamber of Commerce allowed the Canada Games to integrate into the local business community earlier,” says Ballantyne. “And created the opportunity for local businesses to find out how they could get involved through either business opportunities and in a support and promotional role.”
Ballantyne also feels that a membership to the Chamber is an invaluable tool in the success of the event. “The Chamber greatly assists us by compiling and providing lists of regionally based businesses and key local contacts, and they have saved us time and effort by connecting us with Chamber members quicker in social settings.”
A Chamber membership can enhance small and large companies alike, because of the opportunities to connect and share information, according to Ballantyne. “The direct and immediate connection to the local business community can greatly advance the community’s profile, build business opportunities and enhance civic pride.”