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General Manager Job Posting

The Stratford & District Chamber of Commerce is our region’s prominent business organization. We are committed to being the voice of business by championing economic prosperity and an exceptional quality of life for our region.

Join our Dynamic Team! 

We are currently recruiting for the role of General Manager to begin December 2018.

Reporting to the Chair & Board of Directors of the Stratford & District Chamber of Commerce (the Chamber), the role of General Manager is to help shape the direction of the Chamber in fostering a healthy business to business environment in Stratford & Perth County.

The successful applicant will be responsible for all operations of the Chamber, and will be accountable to the Board for operating within approved policy. They will lead all business, financial, communications, marketing, and human resources plans and events on behalf of the Chamber, thriving in a fast-paced office environment where prioritization and multi-tasking are essential.

The candidate will possess excellent written and verbal communication skills, be highly organized, able to work within tight deadlines and without direct supervision. They must be competent managing support staff and volunteers, have a mastery of financial statements, and the ability to direct operations to within constrained budgets while growing the impact of the Chamber.

It is essential that the candidate is social media savvy, comfortable with sales and marketing and skilled at maintaining online platforms (website and database). 

They will have a post-secondary degree/diploma in business or sales and marketing (or related), as well as event management experience. Mastery of Microsoft Office and Quickbooks would be an asset.

This is a permanent, full time position, which requires flexibility to accommodate regular operating hours as well as some evening and weekend activities. Our membership is diverse and our service to their needs on their timelines is paramount.

Recognizing that diversity fosters a rich business environment, we welcome applicants varied abilities and are committed to accommodating them throughout the hiring process. We encourage all qualified applicants to provide a resume and cover letter in a single PDF document no later than November 28, 2018 to:

Board of Directors
Stratford & District Chamber of Commerce 
Subject: General Manager, Chamber of Commerce

Click here to download pdf:

2019 Winterfest Sponsor Application

Vacant Unit Rebates and Vacant Excess Land Tax Reduction Survey

Vacant Unit Rebates and Vacant_Excess Land Tax Reduction Survey

City of Stratford News Release

City Hall, 1 Wellington Street
Stratford, ON N5A 6W1


For Immediate Release: June 26, 2018
Re: City of Stratford Explores Partnership With Canadian Opera Company

Stratford, ON – Stratford, ON – The Toronto-based, world-renowned Canadian Opera Company has expressed an interest in leasing space in Stratford’s former Grand Trunk locomotive repair shops.
Initially, the company is seeking creative solutions to fabricating and storing production sets and costumes both before and after their use on-stage at the COC’s performance venue, the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts in downtown Toronto.

Using Stratford’s refurbished Grand Trunk shops could create a mutually-beneficial partnership that would bolster Stratford’s reputation as a diversified centre of global excellence in arts and culture. It could also advance the development of the Grand Trunk property, guided by the Council-approved Master Plan. Further uses by the COC may be contemplated for this site as well.

“We’re excited about the potential to have the Canadian Opera Company become a part of Stratford’s creative community,” said Mayor Dan Mathieson. “Not only would that help with our efforts to breathe new life into the former Grand Trunk shops, but it would also create a strong local connection to yet another important Canadian cultural institution.”

Over the past decade, General Director Alexander Neef has transformed the COC into an institution of national and international prestige. It is now considered a peer to the greatest opera companies in the world, including the Metropolitan Opera in New York, Royal Opera House Covent Garden in London, Opéra national de Paris, and La Scala in Milan. The COC attracts and employs some of the world’s best artists, creators, and technicians in the performing arts sector, and its co-productions frequently appear on stages throughout North America and Europe.

Discussions between the City of Stratford and the COC are ongoing, and include ensuring that space is reserved for potential future uses. The City will also be further exploring the potential economic benefits of a COC partnership, which could include new tourism revenues through regular public events, and educational/technological partnerships with the University of Waterloo.

More broadly, this opportunity could increase the scale of the existing “creative sector,” which already plays a vital role in the local economy through a combination of entrepreneurship, technology and arts and culture. It could also complement existing and planned uses, including the future expansion of the University of Waterloo Stratford School of Interaction Design and Business.

For more information, please contact:
Rob Horne, Chief Administrative Officer
519-271-0250, ext. 233

Keep Ontario Working Coalition: Ontario Deserves Evidence-Based Reform

Keep Ontario Working Coalition: Ontario Deserves Evidence-Based Reform

Changes Will Hurt Job Creation, Consumer Costs and Economic Growth

TORONTO, May 30, 2017 – The Keep Ontario Working coalition, in partnership with the Stratford & District Chamber of Commerce and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC), today expressed concern that the Government of Ontario’s Fair Workplaces and Better Jobs Plan, commits to unproven sweeping reforms without ensuring protection against unintended consequences, including job losses, rising consumer costs, and economic hardship.

The Keep Ontario Working Coalition (KOW) is a broad-spectrum group of business sector representatives concerned with sound public policy to help produce jobs and grow Ontario.

As noted in the Business Prosperity Index of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce’s 2017 Ontario Economic Report, despite projections that Ontario will lead Canada in economic growth in the coming years, diminished profitability, lower labour market participation, and sluggish market activity; along with other key factors have resulted in a risk-averse atmosphere that businesses are disinclined to grow production. Businesses are questioning if they should grow in Ontario or expand offshore.

Despite that, Ontario’s private sector is still doing its part to support workers. As the Government pointed out in Budget 2017, 98 per cent of all new jobs since the recession in Ontario have been full time, and 78 per cent in above-average wage industries. This positive economic activity by Ontario’s private sector demonstrates a clear commitment to good jobs throughout our province.


The following is a statement by the Keep Ontario Working Coalition on the Government’s proposed workplace reforms:

“We share in the Government’s desire for broadly inclusive growth. However, in order to achieve this, we need to ensure that we are not risking job losses, rising consumer costs, and economic hardship as a result of over-regulation.

“Government cannot regulate prosperity. To demonstrate true fairness and compassion for workers, we must ensure Ontario has a strong economy to help create jobs and increase economic growth.

“That is why we are urging the government to take time this summer to have an independent third party conduct a comprehensive economic impact analysis on the proposed reforms to consider the unintended consequences to employers. In addition, as the province’s biggest employer, the government must fully understand what these changes will cost in relation to the provincial treasury as well as social services and other government agencies. 

“Why is evidence-based policy important? Only three years ago, the Premier’s own Minimum Wage Advisory Panel conducted extensive research and concluded: ‘In the Canadian context, researchers have generally found an adverse employment effect of raising minimum wages especially for young workers…typically those studies find that teen employment would drop by 3 to 6 per cent if the minimum wage is raised by 10 per cent.’

“While the Changing Workplaces Review cautioned that any regulatory change shouldn’t impair the competitiveness of businesses in the province, the reforms outlined in Fair Workplaces and Better Jobs Plan thus far do not provide the balance needed to help ensure a competitive environment for Ontario.

 “But we have time. Now we must work cooperatively with government to identify the scale of the economic impact of these changes and help employers transition into any new policy regime. We will continue to be cooperative partners with government to find solutions that will, where possible, inhibit negative impacts on the growth of Ontario’s economy, our people, and our communities.”

– 30 –

Keep Ontario Working Coalition Members

Association of Canadian Search, Employment and Staffing Services (ACSESS)

Canadian Franchise Association (CFA)

Food & Consumer Products of Canada

Food and Beverage Ontario (FBO)

National Association of Canada Consulting Businesses (NACCB Canada)

Ontario Restaurant, Hotel and Motel Association (ORHMA)

Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC)

Ontario Federation of Agriculture

Ontario Forest Industries Association (OFIA)

Restaurants Canada

Retail Council of Canada (RCC)

Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO)


Media Contact:

Sydney Stonier

Ontario Chamber of Commerce


Chamber Report on Meeting with Parliamentary Assistant to Minister of Energy, Friday, April 7, 2017

Chamber Report on Meeting with Parliamentary Assistant to Minister of Energy    Friday, April 7, 2017


On April 7, the Stratford & District Chamber of Commerce hosted a roundtable discussion on Ontario’s Fair Hydro Plan, which addresses the Ontario government’s new cost reduction measures for residential and small business users.  Following introductions, Brad Beatty, Chamber GM, led off by identifying two critical and linked concerns for businesses of all size in the province – hydro costs and the ability to stay competitive in a volatile North American economy.

The Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Energy, Bob Delaney, responded with a brief overview of the evolution of hydro in Ontario since 1945, stressing the investment by government in renewing infrastructure and transmission, particularly in the last 13 years when most other North American jurisdictions were “pushing the problems down the road”.  He emphasized that government has spent nearly $50 billion, borrowing when interest rates have been at historic lows. 

The result of this investment is infrastructure in place to last for the next 30-40 years, allowing the government to concentrate on conservation programs, nuclear power generator renewal and developing a new business model for hydro pricing.  Delaney returned to concerns that Ontario hydro pricing was exorbitant, clarifying that Ontario is on a par with other jurisdictions in Eastern and Midwestern NA and much better prepared for the future.

Discussion then revolved around questions of pricing, manufacturing competitiveness, the sale of Hydro One, small business confidence in government policy going forward, transparency of pricing and supply, and allocation of social costs to hydro pricing.

What emerged was a consensus of concern about competiveness, pricing stability and predictability, further debt assumption for Hydro, the cost of increasing amortization on the debt, cost of delivery to rural customers and the effect of the continuing sell-off of Hydro to the private sector, especially foreign investors.  Underlying all this was an expressed concern about the precarious situation in the USA.

Delaney underlined that the pricing procedure for hydro is complex and currently involves cost of hydro purchase, interest rates & inflation, capital expenditures (nuclear refurbishment costs make up about half of global adjustments) and people costs.  Addressing the question of how, when and where to pay for the increased cost of hydro, the province is considering shifting the “social costs” (such as savings programs for seniors) from hydro pricing and allocate them to appropriate departments within the regular provincial budgeting.

Unfortunately, concerns raised by manufacturers in the room were not answered as any relief or structural changes for that sector would be in the upcoming budget which will not be released for two weeks.  Manufacturers continue to underline their very real worries about global competitiveness; concerns driven by high labour and energy costs.  These concerns affect decisions about investment in existing plants and whether companies will shift production to lower cost jurisdictions.

Many of the changes will roll out over the next twelve months and consumers – business and residential – will not be fully impacted until that roll-out is complete.

Delaney again stressed that every North American jurisdiction will need capital upgrades and “you’re either renewing your system or you’re not – Ontario is.”  He shared his views that as other areas begin to lose nuclear, lose coal and have old transmission lines go down, it will become a question or who has power and who doesn’t. Ontario has stepped up to address these issues a decade before anyone else – “we’ve taken steps to ensure we have a future.”

Given the tortured history of energy in Ontario – cancelled gas plant scandals, Hydro One sales, high consumer billing and confusion over government policy – it is not surprising that many at the roundtable were skeptical about the outcome, but those in attendance were grateful for Delaney’s visit and his demonstrated willingness to listen.