The history of The West Island of Montreal Chamber of Commerce
The following is a brief history of The West Island of Montreal Chamber of Commerce (WIMCC) from its beginning in January 1978 to the present.
The Dorval and Pointe-Claire Chambers of Commerce had been successful organizations within their respective communities for many years.
As the West Island of Montreal began to grow in the 60’s and 70’s, the Directors of both the Dorval and Pointe-Claire Chambers decided the time was right to consider the formation of one West Island of Montreal Chamber of Commerce. One Chamber that could offer expanded services to the industrial, commercial and community interests for the benefit of the entire West Island of Montreal.
Our Charter was granted to include all the municipalities from Lachine to the West of the Island. There was one exception to this: Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue had a Chamber of Commerce, but eventually joined with The West Island of Montreal Chamber of Commerce.
Both the Dorval and the Pointe Claire Chambers have had excellent relationships with their officials.
As The West Island of Montreal Chamber of Commerce came into existence – this first class relationship continued – and expanded to the other West Island municipalities.
The West Island of Montreal Chamber of Commerce was fortunate in that the Pointe-Claire Chamber had two excellent fund-raising projects that had been going on for 10 years prior to amalgamation. One of these was the Annual Industrial Exhibition held each spring at the Fairview Shopping Centre. This Exhibition enabled local industry and businesses to publicize their products, services, etc. and at the same time was a revenue producer for the Chamber. The other was the Auto-Ex held each fall at Fairview.
As the Chamber grew, it was found necessary to have staff to provide ongoing services to the membership. A Manager and a Secretary were hired. Fairview generously provided accommodations at no cost to the Chamber.
In October 1982 the Chamber sponsored the West Island Economic Summit, which brought together 95 people representing various sectors of the West Island economy including all levels of government.
Many of the topics that were raised at the Summit are now being realized. Perhaps the best example of this was the creation of the West Island Business Development Council.
In early 1986, the Council hired an Industrial Commissioner and a Secretary. As you know, much activity has been going on in the area. Most of the cities and towns of the West Island plus a grant from the Provincial Government finance this Development Council.
In 1985 the Chamber initiated the Accolades program to foster pride and productivity in West Island businesses and industries by acknowledging special achievements.
This program was very well received and supported. The program was also held the year after with even greater enthusiasm and support that in the previous year. It was a gala event in all respects.
The Chamber’s first Finance Show was held in January 1986 at Fairview. Good support for this effort was provided by the financial and business organizations.
The Chamber has been fortunate to have men and women who have given generously of their time and talent as well as count on the great financial and services support of numerous business partners.