Economic symposium around the corner 

Businesses of all kinds can benefit from Whistler Chamber of Commerce event this Sunday and Monday

Having the tools to handle a situation before it arrives is a considerable business asset in an ever-changing economy. The Whistler Chamber of Commerce is providing access to many of these forward thinking skills through the inaugural Outlook Economic Symposium June 5 and 6.

In its inaugural year the conference will examine the issues and opportunities influencing B.C.'s economic future in the decade ahead in the context of the economic, financial, demographic and consumer trends affecting Canada and the rest of the world.

"Small and medium business owners make up 98 per cent of British Columbia's business base," said Whistler Chamber of Commerce president Fiona Famulak. "I think Outlook will help them understand factors which are outside of their control, things like the impact of exchange rates, impact of oil, changing demographics, that kind of thing."

The symposium kicks off Sunday at 5 p.m. (registration at 3 p.m.) with an opening cocktail reception at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler. It will be followed by an opening presentation by four Business in Vancouver Forty under Forty award winners: Natacha Beim, CEO of Core Education and Fine Arts; Jill Earthy, executive director of Forum for Women Entrepreneurs; Catherine Runnals, president of brand.LIVE Management Group Inc.; and Niels Veldhuis, vice-president of research at the Fraser Institute.

The following morning, Encana Natural Gas Inc. vice president Sam Shaw will present Watching the World: Today's Global Economic Outlook at 9 a.m. (registration for the day at 7:30 a.m.). At 10 a.m. RBC Investments director Jim Allworth will speak on Canada's national economic outlook, followed by an 11 a.m. talk by Urban Futures Inc. director Andrew Ramlo on current and future trends.

At noon, B.C.'s Minister of Finance and Deputy Premier Kevin Falcon will hold court over lunch with a keynote talk titled B.C.'s Place on the Global Economic Chessboard. A 1:15 p.m. sector panel discussion addressing tourism, natural resources, technology, the arts and real estate sectors will include the participation of B.C.'s Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation, Pat Bell as well as Peter Leitch of the Motion Picture Production Industry Association of B.C. and Mark Andrew, regional vice-president Pacific Northwest and general manager, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts.

Prior to the closing reception, Canada West Foundation President and CEO Dr. Roger Gibbins will present Focusing Forward: Forecasting B.C.'s Global Economic Future at 3 p.m. The closing reception will be held at 4 p.m. at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler.

For more information or to register go to or call 604-932-5922 extension 24.





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