President's MessageA.J. (Tony) Ryan

On behalf of the Board of Directors, it is my pleasure to present the Venture Kamloops 2018 Annual Report.

2018 was another successful year for the organization, and saw a number of accomplishments:

  • Venture Kamloops assisted 240 businesses through almost 300 advisory sessions. Our Expansion, Start-Up or Attraction inquiries and outreach connected Venture Kamloops to over 20 specific sectors across our diversified economy.
  • The third annual LinkUp event was a resounding success and attended by over 200 entrepreneurs and business experts – and LinkUp was awarded the “Marketing Innovation Award” at the BC Economic Development Association’s 2018 awards competition.
  • We launched our exciting new pilot program, called VK Accelerate, to help small businesses get started in their first brick and mortar location, with the assistance of a full spectrum of services and supports ranging from marketing through interior design, to business coaching. The first business, Far & Wide, graduated from the pilot program in October 2018.
  • Venture Kamloops continued to develop and update web-based tools to connect aspiring entrepreneurs and businesses through the Start Here 3.0 initiative with our strategic partners.
  • The new VK Real Estate Map is a “first of its kind” application, allowing residents, newcomers, and investors to compare specific properties throughout the city to give them a clear understanding of housing prices and historical trends.
  • Finally, the 2018 Economic Impact Study painted a picture of Kamloops as a diverse and growing community with modest and consistent GDP growth forecast on the horizon.

2018 represented the final full year of the Venture Kamloops 2014- 2018 Strategic Plan and its five key pillars. The Board of Directors set an ambitious target of 20 result outcomes for the year and Staff did an excellent job in completing 17. Work continues on the 3 remaining outcomes, and they were integrated into the new Strategic Plan, setting the stage for a bright and productive future.

As our previous Strategic Plan expired in 2018, the Board and Staff worked throughout the year to develop a new Strategic Plan to guide our efforts in the future. Using our vision, “Venture Kamloops – facilitators of an economically sustainable, diverse and thriving economy” as a basis, the new 2019 – 2023 Strategic Plan focuses on achieving results in the following key areas: Economic Building Blocks; Sector Growth; Strategic Partners; and Organizational Excellence.

This Annual Report will be my final one as President of the Board of Directors, as my term will expire at the AGM in June 2019. It has been a privilege to serve as President for the past two years, and I look forward to assisting the next President of Venture Kamloops. Members of the Board of Directors volunteer their time and experience to help foster economic development in their home city, and the efforts of all Directors is appreciated.

I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to Board members who completed their terms in 2018:

  • Greg Munden, of Munden Ventures, who lent his expertise and insight to the Board throughout his six year term.
  • Councillor Pat Wallace, who has supported and helped guide the Board throughout her august term as a representative of City Council.

Our ongoing objective is to promote and encourage economic development success, and we trust that this Annual Report will help you better understand how Venture Kamloops can help your business, and our community, succeed.

- A.J. (Tony) Ryan, VK President