In the past, there have been configurations of Chamber-like organizations in our area but it was 1988, when a small committee of businesspersons recognized the need for a “common body that will work for the betterment of the area."
They envisioned unique potential in each individual town’s contributions to improve all aspects of life in the area by forming the Tri-Town & District Chamber of Commerce. They addressed formation, funding and a general membership drive, garnering support from local politicians and the Northern Ontario Chamber of Commerce for what was to be a highly visible, pro-active voice for business, tourism and promotion of the area.
After two years, the expanding group dedicated to forming the Tri-Town & District Chamber of Commerce first met officially to improve the economic social and civic well being of the area beyond the purposes of the many active service clubs and other charity groups. The founding Chamber, whose executive included Rod Armstrong, Brian Mackey, Kevin Bainard, Mary Duguay, Pat Anderson, Herb Baxter, Kevin Bowles, Wayne Hatherly, Bob Mackey, Wayne McCallan, Peter Rivet and Bart Walsh was essentially concerned with economic growth. Strong communal ventures, an interested and active membership, involved volunteers, motivated leadership and execution of groundbreaking programs would be the basis to prosperity in the communities.
Committees were formed to foster an environment where business and tourism could prosper by providing programs, networking opportunities, public policy advocacy and development to advance the commercial, financial, industrial and civic interests of the community.
There were 150 members that year and at the opening of the new Chamber Office and Tourism Information Centre, in November of 1991, President Rod Armstrong reiterated the Chamber philosophy that, “of prime importance was the establishment of a spirit of cooperation and a united voice representing the area.” On March 23, 1993, the Tri-Town & District Chamber of Commerce was incorporated and the directors signing the incorporation documents were Rod Armstrong, Brian Mackey, Kevin Bainard, Herb Baxter, Susan Cavanagh, Walter Franczyk, Peter Graydon, Bob Mackey, Gail Moore, Bob Norris, Jean Pierre Rivet, Vicky Trottier, Rick Walsh and Pat Anderson.
Twenty years later, there have been many changes, but that spirit still flourishes. In 2004 Dymond, New Liskeard and Haileybury amalgamated to form the City of Temiskaming Shores. In 2007, the Chamber changed its name to the Temiskaming Shores & Area Chamber of Commerce to reflect the new local identity. Today, membership exceeds 380 businesses and community organizations in an area that includes Earlton, Elk Lake, Temiskaming Shores, Cobalt, Coleman and as far south as Latchford. The Chamber is associated with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and Northeastern Ontario Tourism.
The Chamber makes the community a better place to live, work, and play and provides an avenue for local business people to create positive commercial environments. The Chamber’s website also provides members with a vehicle to promote tourism and business investment in the region and all over the world. It also helps newcomers to the area find their way when they arrive on our beautiful Shores.