Happy 10th birthday to the Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce’s Tour of Industry! It is less an event than it is an institution. It has endured because it facilitates purposeful interaction between community members, local decision-makers, and the entrepreneurs that fuel our economy.
It’s dead easy to get businesses to participate in the Tour, despite the not insignificant interruption of accommodating and entertaining the 56 people traipsing through their buildings, because the connection opportunities are invaluable. The owner/manager completes a questionnaire providing information about the size of the business, the number of employees, how and why they chose to locate here and the challenges and benefits of operating on the Peninsula. This wealth of material is provided to our guests in booklet form the morning of the Tour. The site visits are more fascinating than you might think. Our hosts are rightly passionate about their businesses and their excitement is palpable.
Our organization plays a meaningful role acting as a conduit between business, politicians and the community at large. These disparate groups benefit by having greater interaction but have few occasions to do so. The networking that happens on our Tours is phenomenal. Numerous productive relationships have been sparked on Tours between fellow guests and the business hosts.
Many of the businesses we visit are competing successfully on the international stage, operating from nondescript locations where few members of the public breach their doors. The Tour of Industry offers access to operations most people will never see. It is a privileged opportunity and it’s just one of the ways your Chamber is builds community through business. Nothing good happens without our sponsors and this year we were pleased to welcome partners Telus, PureFibre and Wilsons Transportation.

Denny Warner is the Executive Director at the Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce.