The expression “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” is certainly relevant after the winter we have endured in Montreal. I am pleased to report that the Chamber not only survived the winter but is thriving! We are actively recruiting new members, both corporate and individual. Some of these new members (Paul Brogan, Dave Crandall, Martina McLean and Karen O’Mahony) are profiled in this edition. I am delighted that we are successfully adding to our membership and would encourage all members to renew their membership and support our various activities.
Since our December newsletter, we have hosted several events. Our Christmas party took place at the Bier Markt. Even in the middle of a serious snowstorm, we had an excellent turnout in a great location. A special thanks to Ambassador Jim Kelly and Deputy Head of Mission, Michael Hurley who honoured their commitment and travelled from Ottawa in terrible conditions. Carol McCormick gives a full briefing on the party in this newsletter. Given the success of the event, we have already booked the Bier Markt for this year’s Christmas Party. Mark your calendar for December 4th.
We welcomed Tourism Ireland, Enterprise Ireland and Invest Northern Ireland for an information evening in February. Trade and tourism activity between Ireland and Canada continues to grow and these government agencies continue to be very positive in their outlook. This in turn will create business opportunities for our members.
Our recent quiz was a great success. Over fifty people competed for the Brian McKeown Memorial Cup. Sean Murphy, as ever, was entertaining and challenging as quizmaster. It was great to see so many first timers at the event. I hope you enjoyed the evening and am looking forward to seeing you at other chamber events.
Many members of the chamber attended the St. Patrick’s Society luncheon on March 16th. There were excellent speeches, notably from ex-Premier, the Honourable Jean J. Charest and Ireland’s Minister of State, Patrick O’Donovan. Several board members had a private meeting with Minister O’Donovan on March 19th. This gave us the opportunity to highlight Montreal and also the ICCC’s role as a resource for Irish government agencies. It is very satisfying to see the level of engagement from the Irish government and the realization of the potential of the Canadian market for trade and tourism. In early April, I had the pleasure of representing the chamber at the St. Patrick’s Society celebrations of the 150th anniversary of the death of Thomas D’Arcy McGee. A wreath-laying ceremony at Mont Royal cemetery was followed by a mass and lecture at St. Patrick’s Basilica and a wake at Hurley’s. This was an excellent event, and I would like to thank President Scott Phelan and Ken Quinn of the St. Patrick’s Society for organizing it.
As you are all probably aware, a fire last month caused significant damage to the Irish Embassy bar. The Irish Embassy is a member of the society and a great supporter of our events. Our thoughts are with Paul Quinn and all the staff of the Irish Embassy. We are looking forward to it opening again in the autumn. This year is the 70th anniversary of the Montreal Shamrocks GAA club. Many members of the Montreal Shamrocks are members of the chamber also and are active participants in our events. They are celebrating their anniversary with various events on May 19-20. Please support this great organization.
Finally, we rely on our members to participate. Please take the time to attend one of our events. Use the chamber to network, find business, give business and make friends.