The President’s Desk

From the President’s Desk – March 04, 2021

A Message from your President:

Greetings Members,

What a year we have had! From the start of COVID 19 launching a global pandemic we have persevered to keep the Chamber of Commerce moving forward. Having a new Board, we held strategic planning sessions to help us establish our framework for the next few years. As we are no longer at ‘The Vault’, we are currently looking to find a new home in another location from which we can brainstorm and plan our future as a successful Chamber of Commerce in advocating and supporting our local businesses and community.

Our website has been reallocated to to be affiliated within the ‘Destination BC’ umbrella, with great success. Social Media Director Anita Lawrence, along with webmaster Paul Smith, have been working together to keep the web site current and relevant in our area. Anita also manages our Facebook and all our social media platforms. Please contact her with items you might want to share.

With the direction of Vice President Diane Lloyd, we have updated our by-laws which will be adopted at the 2021 AGM in March. She has also revised our bursary process with the assistance of Anita. Both ladies then met with the high school principal to create a working relationship with students interested in business. We are also proud to say that two local 2020 grad students were awarded the April Holmes Memorial Bursary for continuing education.

Some networking with North Island Chambers, regarding how they operate within their respective communities, has helped us to establish our footprint in our own Village. We have had meetings with Mary Ruth Snyder, Campbell River Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, who has been a wealth of information. She has helped us create a newsletter format, which we will be implementing, helped us get in touch with the contacts for the BC Chamber of Commerce and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. As well, in the future she has invited us to participate in a “Gold River: Planning your Perfect Day” spotlight video which she will also share on the Campbell River Chamber website in addition to their video, creating a great partnership opportunity.

We have members working with the Gold River Economic Development Committee, Recording Secretary Cathy Nesbitt and the Gold River Tourism Committee, Treasurer/Membership Secretary Linda Vandenberg and Director Suzanne Trevis. We have participated in the ‘Gold River Gold’ Shop Local campaign with great success and executive and directors have also participated in two business walks connecting with our members and non-member businesses. The Village of Gold River has developed an Ambassador Program through the Economic Development Committee of which we also have a couple of members on that listing. In addition, we are currently working on a local business advertising map which will be created locally and will reflect the new Gold River Branding, creating a cohesive new look to our community.

In closing we are looking forward to the upcoming year and encourage all our members to come out to the AGM on March 18, 2021. Get involved and share your ideas and concerns so that we can continue to be your voice in business.

Respectfully ,

Veanna Johnston
Gold River Chamber of Commerce

From the President’s Desk – February 21, 2020

A Message from your President:

It is my great pleasure to serve as the newly appointed President and board member of the Gold River Chamber of Commerce. I am grateful for the hard working Executive members and committee volunteers who work tirelessly to ensure Chamber events are welcoming, fun and connected to the economic development strategy of the Gold River Village.

The Gold River Chamber of Commerce provides a connection for people and organizations to come together in a supportive business environment as we advance our shared business interests within the Gold River community.

I look forward to working with the newly appointed Executive Board and building a firm foundation for our business community through stewardship, education and leadership.

In closing, I encourage you to become an active member with the Gold River Chamber of Commerce. Your input and involvement are vital to the sustainability and future of our great community of Gold River, British Columbia.


Veanna Johnston
Gold River Chamber of Commerce

From the President’s Desk – December 2017

Greetings One and All,

I want to take this opportunity to wish all our members a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year. I also extend these greetings to all who visit our website.

This last year has proven to be a year of learning, hope, as well as some frustration. One of the main items has been the struggle to get cell phone service for Gold River, Tsaxana,Tahsis and the highways that connect us to the larger centers.

The Gold River council and Mayor Brad Unger have done a fantastic job of bringing this matter to the attention of our provincial government, but, in my opinion, we are just small communities with very few votes so we are forgotten. I fear all small communities suffer the same fate in one way or another.

The telecommunication companies are only interested in profit, so once again we lose out. However, we will keep fighting for this service as it important for many reasons, the top one being safety.

Looking toward the new year the chamber will be getting involved with as many community events as possible, getting more help and advice from the BC Chamber of Commerce and contacting other chambers in small towns to see what we can share and learn.

Many good ideas are being considered and explored as to the viability here in Gold River.

Very big in our area is tourism and we are very grateful to Air Nootka and the Adventures West (Uchuck),for their contribution to tourism and we realize there are many more areas in tourism that can be explored and exploited such as eco tourism.

In summing up I feel we have many challenges facing us in the new year but also many exciting opportunities to look forward to.

Thank you to all our members and to the executive for all their hard work and dedication, it is greatly appreciated.

Roger Steele
President, Gold River Chamber of Commerce.

From the President’s Desk – April 2017


As this is my first term as president,I would like to introduce myself.

My name is Roger Steele,a team player,and an operator/owner of a small home based business that sells locally and on the internet.

My other profession is an Advanced Care Paramedic,and I work part time in Alberta. My wife (Jean) and I moved to Gold River 5 years ago to enjoy the beautiful west coast of Vancouver Island,and have never regretted the move.

My theme for this first year will be, ‘What Can the Chamber Do For You’.

Our members need to know that the chamber is working on their behalf and providing help in promoting their businesses.

I am open to all suggestions that may benefit our beautiful town and our businesses.

Please feel free to contact me through the Chamber with any questions you may have, and I will do my best to see they are answered.

Thank you for your support.

Roger Steele

From the President’s Desk – June 2015


I work hard for so little earnings. It’s hard to get out and be known for what I do. It’s expensive to find a place to do business. Why is it that no one calls? How do I get my name out there?

If some of these statements sound true to you then it is time for you to consider joining the Gold River Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber of Commerce is here to provide you with some help in answering these questions. We recognize just how important it is to have all of our cottage industries and home-based businesses involved in providing business in the community. For a limited time, we are offering you an introductory membership for only $25.00 for the remainder of 2015. We are now prepared to offer you a venue to do business in a place that will give you exposure. You will have a space to sell your product and keep all the proceeds. There will be no fee associated with you doing business on site other than your membership. The location is at the Vault in the Village Plaza. This is the new location for the Gold River Chamber of Commerce which also offers WIFI. The doors are open to fit your operation for doing business. This is an opportunity that we can provide for you to better your exposure in the community.

The Chamber of Commerce Executive committee has planned hard and long to serve the business community and we are excited in seeing you take advantage of this opportunity.

Life in business can be exciting, fun and profitable. Join the Chamber of Commerce as an independent chamber member. Stop by the Vault for more information.

From the President’s Desk – February 2015

Welcome to February.  I apologise for the delay in this newsletter posting as I wanted to be able to provide you with current information.

The evening of the AGM was a success. We want to thank the Chamber of Commerce members with setting us up with a great board for this up and coming year. The new executive board members if you have not heard are as following: President Peggy Sheehan, Vice President Tom Rasmussen, Secretary Brenda Patrick, Treasure Sheila Mallard and the following Directors Chris White, Roger Steele, Julie Schimunek and Michael McGee.

On the evening of the Annual General Meeting prior to the AGM we hosted guest speakers from the Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nations. The information provided by Chief Mike Maquinna and Mr. Michael McGee was quite informative on the progress in business development set by the Band and its’ members.

January and February has been much of a challenge for us at the Chamber. We have been on pins and needles in regards to the store front venue located in the Village Plaza. As we know the plaza is up for sale. In January the Chamber was asked to halt any movement in proceeding forward with our project. Mr. Nemtin has now provided us with a lease for the beginning of March 2015 till February 29th 2016. The Chamber is continuing to move ahead on our plans set out last year. We have now named the new location “The Vault” as we will regard this as the Village of Gold River’s vault of information. We will begin renovations on February 27th 2015. Hopefully all will be eager to contribute in donations, in-kind or volunteering.

Some old business that we continue to work on is that of the signs located adjacent to the Village information center.  We will be providing you with more information on the signs in the near future.

We welcome Veanna Johnson as our Event and Volunteer Co-ordinator. She has amazing ideas that are in progress and needless to say exciting. There have been some businesses that have provided us with some interest in exploring an event for the 50th Birthday celebration this summer. We are looking for more of you to come forward. For anyone interested in exploring their ideas please feel free to approach Veanna Johnson.

Some businesses have approached us to query the Village in regards to usage of the bulletin board located roadside at the community center for promotion of special events outside the village jurisdiction.  Tom Rasmussen approached the Village Council to direct the question, asking if the Village would be open to investigate the option. It was not a positive response as policies are in place and thus our recommendation to you is to approach the Village and request s changes. Any business interested in viewing the Village response please contact Tom at

We have had the pleasure of doing business but sad to report that we have not had any new members to add to our new and now but spring is just around the corner. How exciting!  Bridgette at the Gold River Garden Center is getting ready to take your orders for trees and shrubs. She will provide you with exceptional product and an amazing quality of service. I guarantee your welcome will be a pleasant. Check out the location; it is down in the industrial park across the street from Gold River Building Supplies.

From the President’s Desk – January 2015

Cheers, and welcome to 2015.

This news letter is limited with much detail as to the fact that the holidays have played a huge part in delay of some of our projects. There is still some news to share.

To date we are in continuing motion at establishing the store front venue and the development of relationships with the new Village Council and the Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation. The project for the store front lease and renovations had been postponed because of the Christmas season as Mr. Howard Nemtin was not prepared to provide the paper work till the end of January.  Talks will resume at the end of January.

Prior to the Village elections I had the opportunity to speak with Mr. Brad Unger.  It was during a conversation that Mr. Unger had suggested that he would be interested in wanting to develop a relationship with the Chamber of Commerce of Gold River should he be elected Mayor. The new Mayor Mr. Brad Unger and his Councillors did meet with the Chamber. As a collective group we were able to discuss briefly what the Chamber was doing. This meeting was well received by both parties.

In September, the Chamber held a special meeting requesting a vote to invest in the store front venue and to host an opportunity to the Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation to inform the businesses of Gold River on their views for business ventures. At this time the Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation where call to important meetings out of town. Both Chief Mike Maquinna and Mr. Michael McGee sent their apologise to the Chamber members for their absenteeism.  The Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation have been invited back on the night of the AGM to speak to the Chamber members. I have posted the agenda on what is to be presented by the Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation.

The AGM will be held at the Mezzanines on Monday February 2, 2015 at 7pm. Elections for the Chamber of Commerce Executive Board will be done after the Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation’s presentation. This presentation will be open to members and non members.

It is without mentioning that we are in constant search for new members. We have no new members to report for the month.

The Chamber is seeking any business in wanting to assist in promoting an event or special functions in celebrating the Gold River 50th Birthday celebration. Any business that would like to contribute to the 50th celebration must submit their idea(s) in writing or presentation to the Chamber prior to March of this year.

This is the time to get your business name out in the community. We encourage you to take this opportunity. The Chamber’s success is ours to have, business working in this great community.

The Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation presentation program:

Changing the Landscape Presented by Mowachaht Muchalaht First Nation Speakers: Chief Mike Maquinna and Michael McGee

The economic landscape of the Nootka Sound has long been the source of much discussion and debate. There is a need to rethink and rebuild our economies. The Mowachaht Muchalaht First Nation has long lived and survived through all of history and still stands strong in their vision of building the future through effective governance, economic development, strategic alliances and cooperative efforts within their Territory. This presentation will offer the audience an overview of projects and initiatives that the First Nation is working on that are challenging, exciting and could significantly alter the economic and social landscape for everyone. Also being presented will be a number recommendations for moving forward that will enlighten and encourage all in attendance. An event not to be missed.

Presenters Bios:


Mike Maquinna is the hereditary Chief Tyee Ha’wilth of the Mowachaht Muchalaht First Nation. Originally settled in Yuquot (Friendly Cove), the Maquinna name has long been the dominant figure throughout history of the successes and challenges faced by the Mowachaht people. Mike Maquinna is an eloquent public speaker and has been leading and working for the good of his people throughout his life. Mike also represents the Mowachaht Muchalaht First Nation on numerous boards and organizations and

is a highly respected figure on Vancouver Island. (more info at


Michael McGee has been the Administrator for Mowachaht Muchalaht First Nation since 2013. Michael has been providing executive management and senior economic development services to First Nations governments, organizations and businesses across British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Manitoba, and Quebec for over thirty years. He has successful proven experience in working cooperatively and effectively with elected officials, staff, suppliers, clients, governments, public, industry and stakeholders. Michael is well known across the country as a highly skilled business and economic development specialist. (more info at

From the President’s Desk – December 2014

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

For those who don’t celebrate Christmas we wish to extend a happy holiday season to you.

The Chamber executives want to wish all of our members a safe and healthy holiday season.

The Chamber of Commerce Christmas letter 2014.

If you don’t already know the chamber reconvened this year on the long weekend in May. It was during the Gold River Days that I along with Brenda Patrick had the pleasure of informing the businesses of Gold River that we were back in business.

The last six months have been filled with many ideas on how we would be able to make it possible for the chamber to begin anew.

Our first decision was to inform all the present members that we were re-establishing the Chamber and that we’d be working hard to increase our membership. To date we now have a total of 48 members and proudly still counting.

Housekeeping was the next step so we proceeded with cleaning up the website. Chucking old information that was no longer relevant and ensuring that the current information was accurate. It was encouraging to add new businesses to the website.

We added the news letter, the New and Now site and incorporated a new slogan for Gold River. We are … “at the heart of Vancouver Island”.

We are looking at the Chamber of Commerce board at the entrance of the Village. We hope to see it looking current in the New Year.

The map painted on the wall in the Village Square Plaza is quite out of date now. Some of our thoughts have been to maybe paint a new and current map in time for our 50th birthday party. The master piece on the wall today was painted by Neil Lawrence in years past; Neil and Anita now are the owners of Clayworks cafe and gallery. These two Artists are located here in Gold River and are both amazing potters.

In October we called to order a special general membership meeting. We requested a decision from our members and we asked if they were in favour of the Chamber pursuing a store front venue in the Village Square. This new adventure would be the beginning of setting the stage for the 50th birthday of Gold River. The Chamber feels that this would be a great opportunity for all businesses to be able to gain exposure. We also feel that this will provide a place for smaller businesses to have an opportunity to have a place to advertise their wares.

This space was also looked at for our Artisans; we were very excited at this opportunity for this amazing group to exhibit their talents. It is exceptionally special as we are hoping to utilize some of our talented works of art in the 50th birthday celebrations of Gold River.

The Chamber felt that this would also be a great space to incorporate the Heritage and Museum. What a way to celebrate Gold River’s 50th birthday.

At this time we are in the process of signing the lease for the store front venue located in the Village Square Plaza. The Chamber will be working to see the doors to the new site open in March of 2015. We are hopeful that your business will find a place in this new space, what a way to assist you in advertisement and marketing.

It was my pleasure to have the opportunity to represent the Chamber’s membership in the Gold River Day events and also in laying a wreath at the Remembrance Day celebration.

In the New Year the Chamber will be working on developing new committees. I hope that should you be called upon that you will be receptive in assisting us. We will be requesting donations in-kind, labour, ideas, and much support.

I want to remind all business that the Chamber of Commerce is not just a group of executive members making self serving decisions, we the executive group are here to represent the greater good for all. Your voice matters. In saying this, the next general annual meeting will be held on January the 20th 2015. The time and place will be noted in early January.

In closing the Chamber of Commerce executive members would like to thank all of our members for your continued support in believing in what really matters, good business and community involvement.

CHEERS to the end of 2014.


Peggy Sheehan, President

Our New and Now

Jerry West – The Record

Howard Nemtin – Gold River Plaza

From the President’s Desk – November 2014

The talk around the Village is that of the election. We at the Chamber of Commerce wish all the candidates much success in pursuit of seeking their seat of request. It is important for all of us not to grow silent, VOTE! The advanced poll is Nov 5 at the Village office and the scheduled poll is on November 15th at the community centre. Both polls are open from 8:00 am until 8:00 pm. Many thanks to Mrs. Dawn Dakin (Gold River Deli) of the Gold River Resident’s Association, Sheila Millard (Millard’s Storage) and Alan Woodruff for hosting the all candidates meeting.

Chamber business: The Chamber’s meeting with the members on the evening of October 22nd gave us a great sense of solidarity. We had a total of 32 business members as will as 6 individuals in attendance, of which two signed up to be a part of the Chamber of Commerce.
The membership’s reception was very positive and supportive. The key note on the agenda that evening was to address the possibility of a store front venue. The vote turned out to be unanimous. We will be able to move forward in creating awareness with this venue for the upcoming 50th Village birth date. This is a very exciting project and we are very elated with the continued progress.

We are seeking to recruit members to sit on committees. The committees will be events, membership, labour and repairs for the venue. This is not to say that we will not develop more but that these are currently the necessary committees required to successfully accomplish our goals at this point in time.
All of you will have by this time your certificates, take pride in displaying them! Focus on your fellow members and share in the support by buying locally. With Christmas approaching this is a great opportunity to increase revenue. It is at this time of the year that business can easily increase revenue by as much as 50%. Please remember to buy locally first this Christmas season.

Now that we have created the newsletter I encourage all members to let us know what is going on with their respective businesses so that we can inform the public about you. It begins with you! Tell us, we want to hear.
Welcome back to the Piper’s on the Ridge. I and a guest went out to lunch and the food was amazing, the service exceptional. My only regret there was only one other gentleman in the establishment. Give it a go, I know that your experience will be that of mine.

Until next month,
Peggy Sheehan
2014 President of the Gold River Chamber of Commerce

Our New and Now

Veanna Johnson

Roger Steele

The Treasure Chest

From the President’s Desk-October 2014

The Chamber of Commerce is back to order for the following 2014/2015 year.

This year possesses to be an exciting one for the Chamber.

We have offered honorariums to the last year member’s dues; this is the Chambers way of compensating each member for the lack of activity last year. Not only has the Chamber provided the old members a new year membership we have also included our New and Now members with a membership that will expire on December 2015.

Our agenda this year is to increase membership and secondly provide a store front venue for all members have access to on site. We are hopeful that businesses will utilize this up town site for extra exposure to promote their business. This year coming is the 50th year celebration of Gold River; the Chamber of Commerce wants every business to have an opportunity to find its way of becoming included in the celebration. The decision of a store front venue will be made by the members on the 22 of October 2014 at 7pm in the Mezzanine Lounge. I strongly encourage all of the businesses and any individuals interested in being a member of the Chamber of Commerce to grace us with their presence on this evening. We have an open door policy to anybody just wanting to come out and listen. The voting will only be open to businesses holding a current membership.

We have approached a new slogan this year which is “supporting the community with business”. You will be receiving a membership card along with a certificate from the Chamber. We hope to see this certificate in visual view to the public. We feel that this is one way of informing the community that your business is investing in this community.  Being a member also says that you feel a sense of solidarity in wanting to support the community by providing your services in doing business.

We at the Chamber recognize your hard efforts that you continue to promote in doing business in Gold River. This Chamber of Commerce appreciates and thanks all of the members for their loyal dedication in believing in us and we welcome any and all new members. Together we will make this Chamber of Commerce a viable voice that matters.


Peggy Sheehan

2014 President of the Gold River Chamber of Commerce


Our New and Now


Gold River Wood Stove inspections

Peggy Sheehan Medical Esthetics

Grieg Seafood

Conuma Cable Systems

B & L Forest Products

Gold River Chalet

Mouwachahat/Muchalat First Nations

Uptown Cappuccino

Gold River Builders Supplies & Garden Centre


Visit the business site on the web to locate all of our outstanding members