The Irish- Canada Centre for Commerce Calgary was pleased to host His Excellency, the new Irish Ambassador to Canada Ray Bassett on 9th of November. Click here for further details. Please visit our new website on
Ambassador Ray Bassett addressing ICCC, Calgary.

President’s Report to Annual General Meeting Nov 17th, 2011 

I came in as President this time last year, not having been on the committee in previous year so personally felt it took some time to get settled in to the role.  I am looking forward to the coming year with a little more confidence and moreover clarity as to what we need to try and achieve.  In terms of the year gone by highlights included the following:

New Arrivals Group.  Declan, Carolyn and Deirdre’s committee did great work on this front and certainly in the early part of the year this was a key area where we as a Chamber could point to achievement and activity.  The highlight being the night in January at Grace O’Malley’s with over 300 attendees. There were many other initiatives hosted by Declan & Co including skiing, and we had approx 20 or 30 join up as members because of this. 

I think this work directly lead to the realization of the need for a more formal Immigration support structure for new arrivals and between this, and Eamonn planting ideas in Ottawa ears, we now are close to seeing the launch of the Irish Canada Immigration Centre here in Toronto, the “ICIC”.   The Chamber is one of 4 founding groups behind this initiative, and I have asked Declan to be our rep on this Board. Eamonn is acting Chairman. It remains to be seen to what extent the Chamber new arrivals committee will continue in the coming year – in theory it is covered off by the ICIC but it would be good to continue some efforts to ensure the Chamber pays attention to the needs of the new arrivals and moreover positions itself as something worth belonging to.

Speaker Series – we struggled in the early part of year to line up speakers. We did have a fairly firm line of communication with David McWilliams but partly because he was considering a run in the Irish elections, it came to nothing. Thankfully since then we managed to line up 4 well attended and well received events in relatively informal settings at PJ O Brien’s; namely Niall McGee, Eddie O’Sullivan, Dominic Hannigan T.D., and most recently the Atlantic Corridor Trade Group. 

This format worked very well and although we lost small amounts of on all, it was money well spent. We can tweak the format to break even if needed going forward, and also will seek a sponsor.  Special thanks to Kyle and Matthew for lining up the 1st two speakers. Certainly for me Eddie O’Sullivan’s speech was one of the highlights of the year for me. It hit the sweet spot of having relevance to business, and an Irish angle, and just an all round very impressive event.

Other events of note in the past year – last year’s Quiz organised by Michael & Diarmuid was  successful as always, as evidenced by early sold out status for this year’s event; also the Golf Day in June, which in part due to some great weather, was one of our best ever. Special thanks to Eamonn and the many volunteers we had on the day for that.  Finally in March we had a visit from the ICBA in Dublin, which mostly thanks to leg work on the visitor’s part, was a great success.  We co-hosted with E.I. a breakfast for them, Parade Grand Marshal Michael O’Muircheartaigh and our members which went off very well; special thanks to EI for that.

In terms of the year ahead, I would see the following as areas where we need to make progress on:

o   Further strengthen ties with other Chambers in Canada, and complete the project part funded by the Irish Government grant.  This is the 20th anniversary of the Chambers in Canada – started in Montreal – a meeting of the national Chambers in Montreal on Dec 8th in part to mark this anniversary.

o   Continue connections with the ICBA and work on matters of mutual interest.  Consider a reciprocal trip to Ireland in 2012 or possibly later.

o   Continue a speaker series along the lines of the recent events at PJ’s.  It does not always have to be a high profile speaker – just important to provide opportunities for people to meet up and connect. Will look to the Board to play a greater role in ensuring we get the numbers out to these and other events. 

o   Continue to assist Irish businesses and trade associations seeking to expand in Canada.

o   Do more to promote business among our own members. This in part will come from having more events and allowing members opportunity to promote / introduce themselves at such events.

These objectives are likely no different than would be outlined at any AGM in recent years but I hope to assign one or two Board members to champion the specific areas with a view to moving the needle on all fronts in the coming year. 

In conclusion I want to thank Eamonn, our Executive Director, also now close to his 20th year for his hard work, good humour and good advice. A big thank you to the Board and a special mention to outgoing directors, Diarmuid Donnelly and Robyn Meredith. 

I believe the Chamber has an important role to play in the fabric of the lives of those that choose to get involved with us. The majority of our members were not born or educated in Canada and hence do not have the natural network that one would have if this was the case. The Chamber can go a long way towards filling that gap.  Similarly for Canadian born members we offer a great way of expanding one’s network. Given the continuing immigration from Ireland we have a great opportunity to increase our membership and our relevance and in so doing, drive greater value back to our members, which ultimately must be the overarching goal of all that we do. 
Thank You

Mise Le Meas
Cormac Monaghan

Upcoming Event:


Chamber Speaker Series

Thursday, January 26th

“Oscar Season – The Movie Biz with an Irish Angle”

Pat Quinn Lounge at P.J. O’Brien’s, 37 Colborne Street

Cocktails: 6:30pm / Speaker Panel: 7:00pm

Tickets (at door only): $20.00 (includes a drink and finger foods)

RSVP to :

Please join us in the Pat Quinn Lounge at P.J. O’Brien’s on Thursday January 26th for the latest in our on-going Chamber Speaker Series.

In partnership with the Toronto Irish Film Festival, the evening will feature a panel discussion on film. John Galway, President of the Harold Greenberg Fund (and a proud Chamber member), will moderate the panel.

Confirmed guests include:-

Alex Farrell - Director, Media & Entertainment | RBC Commercial Markets
Tamara Shannon - Vice President of eONE Entertainment, distributor of Irish film Albert Nobbs
Eleanor McGrath - Writer, Producer & Director of Kanata: An Irish Story

In addition to the panel, the Toronto Irish Film Festival will reveal details of its upcoming 2012 festival, as well as provide DVD giveaways.

                                                                                For more info. email us at:

Annual Christmas Party – Friday December 16th


It was a good time and everyone was in the Christmas spirit. Enjoy these images captured by our very own Santa Claus – Smitty.


  • Thursday 8th December 2011- ICCC 20th Anniversary Christmas Party. Further information on these events to follow or visit 

The Ottawa chapter of the Ireland- Canada Chambers of Commerce was officially launched on
Monday June 21st at the Rideau Club in Bank Street. The primary purpose for the chamber is to provide a business network for Irish business people or those interested in doing business with Ireland, in Ottawa, and to promote such opportunities for business networking that are within our mandate.

To this end, the Ottawa chamber will focus specifically on business interactions, within Ottawa, within Canada, and between Canada and Ireland where our members have interests, presence and relevance. We will support other Irish business professionals who come to Ottawa by opening our network to them, to facilitate and enhance Ireland-Canada business relationship development. We will be the primary contact point for Irish business professionals who wish to interact with each other and with a wider Canadian business community in Ottawa.
There are many other excellent Irish cultural and Irish interested groups in the Ottawa area, which many of our members are also involved with. We are not competitive to any of these groups but are very complimentary. Our purpose and focus is to nourish the strong connections that have existed for generations between Ireland and Ottawa, but within a specific business context.
Click here for further information on the Chamber and see for more details. We be changing to very shortly.
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