As the Voice Of Business, our Chamber currently has a membership of over 800 local businesses, which equates to about 12,000 employees. As well, close to 150 business people volunteer their time working on our various committees, Executive and Board of Directors.
To facilitate this process we offer a number of network building events and often combine these with educational opportunities. We also love the opportunity to recognize greatness with our annual Business of the Year Awards Gala and Top 40 Under Forty.
We offer members the advantage of discounts to reduce the cost of doing business, to encourage support of local businesses and to help provide employee retention incentives. The Chamber Group Insurance Plan is a great advantage to our members. We also provide marketing opportunities online, through social media, in the Voice of Business weekly newsletter and at our events.
A Board of Trade was established in Southern Alberta in 1887, but it was not until September 16, 1889 that such a body was formed in Lethbridge. This was the Lethbridge Board of Trade and Civic Committee, whose primary purpose was to incorporate the town.
The organization became the Lethbridge Board of Trade on November 13, 1891 and the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce on October 22, 1947. In 1982, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce was led by a Chairman of the Board, formerly called a President, and a six-member Executive Committee.
These were supported by a 30-member Board of Directors. (The mayor, Member of Parliament, and local Members of the Legislative Assembly were ex officio members of the Board of Directors. Also, certain appointees brought the membership of the Board of Directors up to about 40.) All were elected annually.
Standing committees organized seminars for special interest groups, brought members up to date on recent developments in industry and business, and assembled submissions and reports for civic, provincial, and federal governments. Other committees and task forces were appointed as required.
Sept. 16, 1889 – Lethbridge Board of Trade and Civic Committee formed
Nov. 13, 1891 – Renamed to Lethbridge Board of Trade
Oct. 22, 1947 – Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce
Lethbridge’s best-known landmark is its High Level Bridge.
Ever since steelworkers riveted the last bolt to it in 1909, this engineering marvel has enabled the town to grow and prosper. Predating the bridge, though, is a civic marvel even more crucial to the prosperity of Lethbridge: the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce.
Originally the Lethbridge Board of Trade and Civic Committee when it formed in 1889, the community-driven chamber has started or spearheaded almost every noteworthy civic endeavour for more than 100 years.
First, the group incorporated Lethbridge as a civic entity, the Town of Lethbridge, in 1891. That done, the organization undertook other projects: creating water-sharing agreements with Montana, addressing postal concerns, building better roads and bridges, promoting and hosting the first Chautauqua (travelling tent show) in western Canada, bringing entertainment to the culturally starved prairies, and helping reopen the U.S. border to Canadian beef in 1952, along with many more projects that bettered the community. Major projects in which our chamber played a significant role include:
- Lethbridge Research Station
- Lethbridge Northern Irrigation
- Exhibition Park
- Junior Achievement
- Lethbridge Public Library
- Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory
- United Way
- Lethbridge College
- Crime Stoppers
- Chinook Country Tourist Association
- Southern Alberta Food Processing Consortium
- University of Lethbridge