2021 Virtual AGM & Conference

Event Date
May 28-29, 2021

The BC Chamber of Commerce’s 2021 AGM & Conference will be an online event due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Resilience to Recovery:
Big Thinking for Small Business

A year ago, we did not anticipate hosting our AGM as a virtual event. A year on, and we find ourselves in the same position, working towards the same purpose – economic recovery.

As we look forward to welcoming delegates from across British Columbia to this year’s virtual event, our goal as a network for the year ahead remains the same, to continue to support business resiliency and to spearhead the way in which our provincial economy recovers, such that it is more competitive, innovative, and inclusive than pre-pandemic.

Join Us

The BC Chamber of Commerce AGM & Conference will be held online May 28th – May 29th 2021.

We’ll explore resiliency and the pillars that underpin the Big Thinking for Small Business economic recovery playbook. Together, through an economic outlook, panel discussions and fireside chats, we’ll identify, discuss, and deliver tangible takeaways that businesses can use to chart a path towards their future, sustained success and so contribute to British Columbia’s future, sustained economic strength.

The AGM & conference will be hosted on the online platform Hopin. This virtual space will allow attendees to watch the AGM, keynotes & panel discussions on the main stage, connect with fellow attendees in the networking area and visit the sponsors in the expo hall throughout the day.

  • Members | $49
  • Non-members | $79

Program Information

Download a copy of the 2021 Virtual AGM & Conference program here.

FRIDAY MAY 28

8:15 – 9:00 a.m. Conference Welcomes

Including the Honourable Selina Robinson, Minister of Finance

9:00 – 10:00 a.m. Opening Keynote

Setting the scene: BC’s economic outlook with Andrew Ramlo, Vice President of Intelligence at Rennie

Fourteen months on, and we are continuing to navigate one of the most challenging economic crises in a century that has had a devastating effect on people and businesses in B.C. and across the world.

Over the same period, we have witnessed unprecedented collaboration across all levels of government and between public and private sectors that, in the recent months, has seen B.C. recover its pre-pandemic employment and set a course of an average growth in BC’s GDP of approximately 3% per year between now and 2025. Yet Statistics Canada still shows 2,300 fewer businesses operating in B.C. compared to pre-pandemic levels.

How is B.C. positioned to emerge from the pandemic, at a time of continued business uncertainty and when so much relies on human efforts and decisions to stem transmission of the COVID-19 virus?

Join keynote speaker, Andrew Ramlo, Vice President of Intelligence at Rennie, as he shares his perspectives on B.C.’s economic outlook for 2021-2022.

10:00 – 10:30 a.m. Networking + Break

10:30 – 11:30 a.m. Annual General Meeting

11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Networking + Break (grab your lunch)

12:00 – 1:00 p.m. Panel Session: Let’s compete

Building a more competitive post-pandemic economy with moderator Tim McMillan, President and CEO, Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers

Small businesses form the backbone of our provincial economy.  They are the tech innovators, award-winning exporters, local restaurants and the vast supply chain that surrounds and supports big business, and that has shouldered the weight of the pandemic since it was declared in March 2020.

Small business recovery hinges on a “B.C.-built-to-compete” framework where urban and rural prosperity are connected. Big projects that support (and are supported by) small business are a non-negotiable for a fulsome recovery.

Join our panel of experts from the natural resource sector as they discuss the impact of the pandemic on big business and what is needed for them to compete in a post-pandemic world and unleash an economic recovery that drives direct and indirect benefits to small business across B.C.    

PANELISTS:

  • Michael Goehring, President and CEO, Mining Association of BC
  • Bryan Cox, President and CEO, Canadian LNG Alliance
  • Susan Yurkovich, President and CEO, Council of Forest Industries

1:00 – 1:15 p.m. Break

1:15 – 2:15 p.m. Panel Session: Let’s innovate

Leveraging crisis to catalyze innovation, with moderator Coro Strandberg, President, Strandberg Consulting

The pandemic forced us to do business differently, to move past dated norms and find new ways of doing business. That new M.O. is here to stay.

Innovation – in all its forms – will underpin B.C.’s successful economic recovery. Whether it’s bringing better broadband connectivity to the north to unlock small business potential, incentivizing our transition to a low-carbon economy or innovating regulations to allow emerging economies to blossom, we will need to think outside the box, have courageous conversations and make bold decisions.

Join our panel of thought leaders and industry experts, as they reflect on how businesses have pivoted in the last fourteen months and how they need to continue to innovate to contribute to B.C.’s long-term economic recovery.

PANELISTS:

  • Cybele Negris, Co-Founder and CEO, Webnames.ca
  • Rob Mingay, Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Woodfibre LNG
  • Michelle Bonner, Community Investment Portfolio Manager, Vancity

2:15 – 2:30 p.m. Break

2:30 – 5:30 p.m. Policy Session

SATURDAY MAY 29

8:45 – 9:50 a.m. Panel Session: Let’s be inclusive

Creating an environment that is equitable, diverse and inclusive, with moderator Manpreet Dhillon, CEO/Founder, Veza Global

Navigating the pandemic has reinforced what we already know to be true – that we need each other and that working together delivers a better result. 

Recovery must include systemic changes that prioritize Indigenous economic reconciliation and create equitable opportunities for all British Columbians, for example, in the areas of housing, childcare and healthcare. It also includes the need to build the workforce and grow the leaders of the future, a future where women and minorities are supported not only on the frontlines, but also in the C-Suite and at the board table. 

Join us for an intimate conversation on the importance of building an environment that is equitable, diverse and inclusive and the steps that must be taken to achieve it.

PANELISTS:

  • Sagar Saxena, Director, Programs and Operations, Yell North
  • Jean Paul (JP) Gladu, Founder & Principal, Mokwateh

9:50 – 10:15 a.m. Networking + Break

10:15 a.m. – 12 p.m. Policy Session

12:00 – 12:30 p.m. Networking + Break

12:30 – 1:15 p.m. Closing Keynote

Taking what we heard to help us move forward, with Simi Sara, Broadcaster and Host of Mornings with Simi, 980 CKNW

The objective for this year’s conference is to provide delegates with exposure to a range of thoughtful, perhaps provocative, perspectives on a variety of topics that we believe are critical to B.C.’s economic recovery.

Where do we go from here?

Join keynote speaker, Simi Sara, as she offers her perspective on the next steps that public and private sectors, working collaboratively, can take to be more competitive, innovative and inclusive and so pave the way for B.C.’s post-pandemic success.

1:15 – 2:45 p.m. Policy Session

2:45 p.m. Conference Concludes

Check back for ongoing updates to the program and speaker list!


About the BC Chamber of Commerce AGM & Conference and Policy Sessions

Every year, the BC Chamber of Commerce AGM & Conference draws business leaders from every corner of the province to identify and address the issues that matter most to business — and to the public.

This annual event includes two days of speakers, presentations, panel discussions, and networking opportunities.

At the heart of it, is our grassroots policy development process.

Our approach to policy-building relies on the vast experience and collaborative, innovative leadership of our delegates. These business leaders travel (or join virtually) to debate and vote on the policies that will drive the advocacy and government relations efforts of the BC Chamber of Commerce in the year ahead.

And it’s proven effective.

For the past 70 years, our work has resulted in an outstanding track record of policy recommendations that have been implemented by government and resulted in real benefit to business.