Dec. 23, 2015

To our Members,

The year 2016 will be one for the history books.

After nearly 130 years of service to the regional business community, our board of directors has unanimously voted to recommend to our Members that they vote to rename our organization the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade.

In changing our name, the board believes we will better reflect our regional advocacy efforts and the 5,000 Members that we represent — nearly 50 per cent of whom make their living or own businesses that operate outside the City of Vancouver.

The reality is, our organization has been focused on issues that are region-wide for more than a century, because we understand that regional vision, leadership, and collaboration is critical to the success of not just our local economy, but the B.C. and Canadian economies as well.

We have a long, rich, and demonstrated history of working in Greater Vancouver’s best interests. For example, did you know the Vancouver Board of Trade was instrumental in establishing the business school at the University of British Columbia in 1926? Did you know we called on the federal government to create a local airport authority to run YVR in 1987? Did you know that we lobbied for faster border crossings to the U.S. in 1990, leading to the creation of NEXUS? Or that we helped lead the campaign to save the Canada Line after it was originally voted down by the region's mayors in 2004?

In more recent years, our advocacy efforts have also focused on regional issues, from our very public role in the 2015 transit and transportation plebiscite, to our work around Metro Vancouver’s proposed Bylaw 280 and regional waste management, our longstanding calls for a mobile business licence program across Greater Vancouver, and our advocacy at all levels of government to invest in roads, bridges, and Pacific Gateway trade infrastructure across the region.

For all of those reasons above, we want to adopt a new name — in order to reflect what we’ve been doing for nearly 130 years. However, it’s important to note that a change in our name will not change our very close working relationship with municipal chambers across the region. If anything, we hope to work even closer with them in the years ahead.

This desire to support and better engage the municipal chambers in Greater Vancouver directly impacted the structure of our new Membership model. Launched this past summer, we specifically designed the new model to encourage our existing Members — and any new Members — to join their municipal chamber of commerce. In fact, we actually provide a substantial credit towards their Membership if they also join their local chamber.

Another way we will illustrate our support for our colleagues in municipal chambers and their members is to investigate how we might extend our four unique Signature Programs to chambers throughout Greater Vancouver, including our Leaders of Tomorrow mentorship program for post-secondary students, our Company of Young Professionals, our Small Business Council, and our Women's Leadership Circle.

On Jan. 15, we will hold a meeting where our Members will have an opportunity to officially vote on our name change, as recommended by our board of directors, and help chart our path forward for the next 130 years.

Based on the feedback I have personally received so far, I am very optimistic about what lies ahead for this extraordinary organization.


The Vancouver Board of Trade

Tim Manning, ICD.D
2015-16 Chair, The Vancouver Board of Trade
Regional Vice President, Commercial Financial Services, RBC Royal Bank

Click Here to Register for Meeting


Friday, January 15, 2016
Fairmont Pacific Rim – Emerald Ballroom
Registration: 10:30 a.m.
Meeting: 11 a.m.

The Vancouver Board of Trade’s Chair has called a general meeting in order to vote on the following resolution:

WHEREAS The Vancouver Board of Trade (“VBOT”) has been a leading voice for regional business for nearly 130 years; and,

WHEREAS the bylaws of the VBOT provide eligibility for membership for individuals and businesses from throughout the Greater Vancouver Area; and,

WHEREAS Article 2.1 of the bylaws provides that the VBOT shall work “in the enlightened interest of its members to promote, enhance and facilitate the development of the region as a Pacific centre of trade, commerce and travel” and,

WHEREAS the Board of Directors of the VBOT have unanimously by resolution recommended to the membership of the VBOT to change the name of the VBOT as set out below; and,

WHEREAS the Board of Directors believes that changing our name will enable VBOT to better represent the regional interests of our 5,000 Members, nearly 50 per cent of whom make their living or own businesses that operate outside the City of Vancouver.


1. The Members approve in principle that the name of The Vancouver Board of Trade be changed to “the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade”, and (if successfully adopted);

2. The Members authorize the Secretary-Treasurer, in consultation with the Chair and the President and CEO, to present at a future General Meeting all necessary bylaw amendments for review and approval to enable the name change.

For further information regarding this meeting, please contact David Crawford, Vice President and Assistant Secretary-Treasurer of The Vancouver Board of Trade at:

Tel: 604-640-5457
Fax: 604-640-5485

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