Chamber News

June 12, 2018 - Call Out For Graphic Design Work 

The Creston Valley Chamber of Commerce is seeking original poster and logo designs for its Gran Fondo event planned for September, 2019.  “Gran Fondo” is Italian for “the big ride,” and the Chamber is looking to promote Creston, along with the Okanagan and Cranbrook, as one of the premiere Gran Fondo events in western Canada.  The Creston Gran Fondo ride routes will take in Canyon-Lister, Arrow mountain and the lake road as far as just south of Gray Creek.


Two primary design components are required — a poster and a logo -- and possibly they could be integrated into one comprehensive design approach:


Poster image — with the following elements:


Foreground:  fields/farms/valley


Midground:  rolling hills and lake


Background:  mountains


Also, likely midground:  an Osprey in flight, likely over the lake;  a key element is a road that winds its way from foreground imagery to running alongside the lake in the midground.  Road must be prominent, as this after all is a road biking event.  One or more riders on bicycles need also to be included — likely as part of the road imagery (and possibly also in the logo text, see note on this further below)


The desired general design approach is simple lines and solid colours (more summery than fall), so that it can be readily rendered into T-shirts, website and, again, possible as part of the final logo design itself.


Logo type — designers should play with two strings of text in the logo (whether stand-alone or as also incorporating the poster image):



String A


Creston Valley/Kootenay Lake


September, 2019



String B


Kootenay Lake 


Creston, BC • September 2019



In string B, both of ‘Kootenay Lake’ and ‘Creston, BC • September 2019’ need to be strong elements, graphically for the ‘Kootenay Lake’ (see next point)  and through use of bold, heavy and/or black variants of the san serif font chosen).


There is also the opportunity graphically, and designers should strive in some variants they produce, to incorporate a bicycle image into the two ‘o’s in ‘Kootenay’ (the bike’s wheels).  


This is a design competition with the winner eligible for an award to be determined by the Gran Fondo planning committee, plus full recognition and acknowledgement in digital and printed media.   


For further information, contact the Gran Fondo Planning Committee Chair Mark Wolfe at 250-254-5770 or, or Joanna Wilson at .   Digital design submissions can be forwarded by email but hard copy concepts/designs also much appreciated. 


Deadline for submissions is July 15.

April 11, 2018 

April 11, 2018 - Senior Consultant Needed On Contract Basis

The Creston Valley Chamber of Commerce seeks a senior consultant to work on a short-term contract in drafting a Business Recovery Strategy for the region.  The completed project will identify existing gaps and then be conceived and written for alignment with and integration into the Regional District of Central Kootenay’s overall Emergency Response and Recovery Plan.  Extensive consultation and collaboration with the RDCK’s ERRP representatives and authorities will be required, taking potentially several months of meetings, planning sessions and consultations with Creston valley business owner and operators.  The work is to begin immediately and carry into at least the fall of 2018.


Status:. Contract


Remuneration:  $4500


Key qualifications:


The successful candidate will have demonstrated knowledge of business recovery and resilience principals relevant to the North American context, as well as intimate familiarity with the recent history of disaster and emergency response and recovery initiatives in western Canada.  Expert written and verbal communication skills as well as the ability to work at a high level of understanding of economic recovery preparedness is a must.  Candidates with an advanced degree and formal research training, including the ability to design and test key metrics of success in an ERRP execution will be given preference.


This is a one-time project funded by the BC Rural Dividend program, with support from the Creston Valley Chamber of Commerce.   To apply for this contract position, please submit by April 17th a cover letter and current resume to:


Megan McKendry:

Creston's LEAP! Program gearing up for fourth year

JANUARY 2018 – Local entrepreneurs looking to convert their ideas into viable businesses will have the chance once again to get some local coaching and camaraderie with other future business leaders.  Creston's successful local entrepreneur accelerator program (LEAP!) is accepting applications until January 13. 


LEAP! will help you kick-start your inspired idea and test it live. Kootenay Employment Services and Simon Fraser University are collaborating for the fourth year to afford Creston Valley entrepreneurs access to the powerful startup launch program.  The 13-week course is designed to help entrepreneurs evaluate their business idea, test their model, and modify it to create a sustainable business. LEAP! takes a fast-paced, hands-on, community-based approach to idea incubation.  


The approach is proven: it has helped to launch successful enterprises in many parts of rural BC – from micro-breweries to car-share coops. Participants come away with the skills and confidence to do the boots-on-the-ground work that will get their business operational.  LEAP! gives participants access to cutting-edge entrepreneurial training and provides  a supportive environment to put theory into action and evaluate results as they go.  


Next program start January 2018.

Interested entrepreneurs should contact Amber McGregor at: 

 250-428-5655 or Email

Funding provided by Ministry of Jobs, Tourism & Skills Training

1st Annual Dragon's Den a hit

The Chamber is already in planning for  Small Business week in 2018, thanks to the success of its Dragon's Den business competition held at the PCSS theatre October 18. 

The brainchild of Chamber Manager Vern Gorham, the evening of creative business pitches, song and audience participation was well received.  Congratulations to event winner Carla Simon, who took home the grand prize.  See video for more.

October, 2017CBT grant supporting Chamber student intern hire

The Chamber welcomes Faith Oler of Creston as our current student workplace intern.  Faith will work about 10 hours a week, performing office and community engagement duties on behalf of the Chamber.

Chamber Manager Vern Gorham says the addition of a student intern is welcome.

Chamber intern Faith Oler    /Wolfe

"We've got a lot on our plate as we move forward in reinvigorating the Chamber," said Gorham.  "A student intern was seen as a great way to help out and Faith is doing an amazing job."

Funding for the position is being provided by Columbia Basin Trust and is topped up by a small amount by the Chamber.  President Mark Wolfe says having a student on board in the Chamber's new offices is an important step.

"I often tell people we feel like a start-up company at times," said Wolfe. "And in a way we are. And what would be a start-up without some bright young people?"

The intern position runs until end of school year in June, 2018.

October, 2017 – Chamber responds to reduced Greyhound service proposal

Dear administrators,


It is with considerable concern that our community learned of Greyhound Canada’s proposal to cut service on this line to 2 days per week.  


As I’m sure you’re aware, this service is a lifeline — economically and, in some cases, literally -- for many people in our region. And while we acknowledge that customer thresholds exist for Greyhound re: sustainable service levels – and that we have local BC Transit options for short-haul trips to Cranbrook, for instance – we feel the proposal is pre-mature and could even thwart growth in the region that many feel is just now starting to really happen.


Local businesses, for example, report a perceived growth in the youth and young family sectors of the population — a rebalancing of the region overall that is bringing with it new energy and vitality, as well as the anticipation of the need for even greater transportation options, not fewer.  


Further, the increasing influx of people from post-oilsands Alberta in particular, and into British Columbia in particular, also portends stronger and enduring personal and therefore economic ties between the two provinces – again, pointing to the need for transportation options long the Highway 3 corridor as communities on both sides of the border bind for economic and personal benefit.


Finally, a May 2017 report from the Highway 3 Twinning Development Association in Alberta reaffirms the growing need for building traffic capacity along this important economic corridor – an assessment that calculates the economic benefits at 3 dollars for every dollar spent, and that is designed precisely to attract new businesses and workers to every community along the route. 


Decisions can always be reversed, of course, but that process is time-consuming and in, in the meantime, the proposal in question seems ill-informed and short-sighted. 


We hope that foresight and vision prevails in assessing this proposal, and if we can be of further assistance, please let us know.



Mark Wolfe, President

Creston Valley Chamber of Commerce

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