Here we are in September and what a wonderful summer we have had! I hope that everyone was able to get out and enjoy some of the many events held in our beautiful community this summer. Not to mention the special services that were open through our tourist season.
Summertime at the Chamber of Commerce is when we switch gears a little and focus on the Tourism aspect of our role in the community. We are pleased to report healthy tourism numbers this summer, with the number of parties increasing and coming within a respectable range of the pre-covid numbers. In addition, we introduced tourism sales to our office and sold some postcards created by a local photographer as well as our beautiful Locals Love Ladysmith bags. Please stay tuned for additions to our offerings – Locals Love Ladysmith Coasters, Magnets and as we get closer to Light up, watch for our Christmas Tree Ornaments! This year we had 3 amazing summer students thank you to funding from the Canada Summer Jobs program and a small allocation through the funding we receive from the Town for the operation of the Visitor Centre. Our tourism counselor Keizo kept our doors open 7 days a week and our two marketing students Peyton and Sarina kept our Locals Love Ladysmith and Tourism Ladysmith social platforms active and informational. You may have seen the girls around town as they interviewed many of our local businesses as well as tourists to obtain content for Locals Love Ladysmith. In addition, all three students were treated to complimentary tourist experiences with the Ladysmith Maritime Society’s Harbour Tours, Sealegs Kayaking, Ladysmith Museum and the Malahat Skywalk. I am excited for the upcoming Tourism season as we have some great ideas and projects that we hope to implement and build for 2023.
Now, we are back to our Chamber focus and we are starting off strong. Please note our Candidate Forum September 21 and Governance Training September 15, 22 and October 6 set out in the newsletter. We are grateful for our partners in the Chamber network who have helped us to advertise our governance training as we have participants stretching from Parksville to Victoria! Rapidly approaching is Small Business month in October and we have had interest from our members asking to host Business after Business events, lunch and learns and webinars. I am working with other local Chambers to partner on different offerings as well as being able to offer our members access to their events as Chamber members. In addition, I am working closely with the support of BC Chamber on advocacy opportunities moving forward.
As we move into the fall and winter, I would invite our members to contact me to discuss what they would like to see from the Chamber moving forward. I would love to meet with our members and members of the Business Community in person. And if nothing else, I look forward to meeting you at our events.
Ladysmith Chamber Executive Director