Matterhorn Music in Vancouver

When you enter the store Matterhorn Music you see instruments and little tools as far as the eye can see. Right in the middle, David Gsponer is focused on repairing an instrument. “There are not many people around here anymore who are repairing instruments.”
We talked with our newest member David Gsponer about his passion and how he built up his unusual business in British Columbia.

What is your business here in British Columbia?

I run a music store in Surrey that is specialized in woodwind and brass repairs and also some guitars.

From where does your passion for musical instruments come from?

I have been involved in music since a young age – my dad was playing in the village band and I went along to rehearsals and festivals. My dad recommended me to become an Instrumentenmacher/reparateur (building and repairing Instruments for a living).

How did you build up your business/network in BC?

I worked for Northwest Music for almost ten years – five of them as the shop manager. I also played in some bands here for example the Pacific Symphonic Windensemble PSWE, Cambie Street Brass and the Vancouver Dorfmusik. Through that I met many band teachers and musicians. That helped me in getting new customers.

What were the biggest challenges when starting your own business in BC?

The biggest challenge is to stay afloat, for the first seven years all the money I made went back into my business, not much was left for my own wage. Finding good people is also very difficult.

What are the biggest opportunities for a business like yours in BC?

One of the biggest opportunities here is that you’re meeting new people all the time.

What is the next big thing for you and your business?

I am trying to grow enough to give lessons out of my store.

What is always in your suitcase when you come back from Switzerland?

Walliser Roggenbrot and Fendant.

 

Media Contact

Matterhorn Music: www.matterhornmusic.ca

Swiss Canadian Chamber of Commerce: www.swisscanadianchamber.com

The SCCC would like to thank our newest member David Gsponer for his time and effort spent for this interview.

The New Directors of the Swiss Canadian Chamber

Chris Abel and Heiko Riese are the two new directors on the board of the Swiss Canadian Chamber of Commerce. Both of them have been elected by the members during the last Annual General Meeting. We talked with them about their expectations, why they came to Canada and how it is to work for a large Swiss company abroad.

Heiko RieseHeiko Riese is Senior Relationship Manager at the UBS Bank Canada. He studied at the Freie Universität Berlin Islamic Studies and Economics and works for the UBS since 2006. He spent the last couple of years in Saudi Arabia in the UBS Advisory Office Riyadh. Since 2016 he calls Vancouver his new home.

 

Chris Abel

 

Chris Abel is Sales Manager at Lindt & Sprüngli (Canada), responsible for the field sales in Western Canada. He completed the Swiss Business Diploma at the Business School in Zurich. He has been working for Lindt & Sprüngli in Kilchberg/Zurich before he got transferred to Vancouver.

 

 

You are the newest director on the SCCC board, what are your expectations for your time on the board? What would you like to contribute to the members of the chamber?

Chris Abel (CA): First off, I am very excited and also honored to be involved at the chamber at a more senior level. My expectations are that I will personally learn more about the different individuals who are members at the chamber, their personal and corporate background and experience and also the companies and sectors that they represent. But equally important, I would like to learn what their expectations are towards the chamber. It would be my wish that I could build some strong and mutually beneficial relationships with the membership at large and the members of the board.

Heiko Riese (HR): First of all, I expect my time on the board to be a great experience and a time of learning. I would like to bring in my strength in networking, which has proven necessary and helpful to settle in in the different countries I have worked before. I will contribute to set up high-profile events in order to meet the expectations of the members of the SCCC: support in their business activities and that we provide useful networking opportunities.

How can you personally benefit from being a member and a director of the Swiss Canadian Chamber of Commerce?

CA: Personally, I think developing a vibrant and diverse network of contacts, acquaintances and connections is a big benefit, both personally and also professionally. But equally important for me is maintaining a link to Switzerland and also to Swiss and European expats and professionals who reside in Western Canada and people who share similar interests and experiences.

HR: Personally I expect to benefit from working with the other board members on different topics than my professional occupation. I want to broaden my horizon, and I also hope to get to know the SCCC members better.

What brought you to Vancouver?

CA: A long, long time ago, I had come to Vancouver as an ESL student and quickly fell in love with the city, the culture, the geography and the overall west-coast life-style. It had quickly become a dream of mine to, at one point, manage to move to Canada’s west-coast and gain international work and life experience. Ultimately, I was lucky to transfer from Kilchberg/Zurich to Vancouver for Lindt Chocolates and ended up getting fully established, with starting a family and building a network of friends.

HR: My previous work location for UBS was Saudi Arabia, and after having lived in a desert country for 5 years, my family and I were longing for a more beautiful and richer nature. Canada, and in particular Vancouver, seemed like the perfect location. Until now we have not been disappointed. (I was asked not to mention the weather in this interview.)

You’re working for a Swiss company abroad, what are the differences between the business world in Switzerland and Canada?

CA: When I first started to work in Vancouver in 1999 I noticed a few very obvious differences (as an employee: getting 2 paychecks per month, not getting a 13th salary, having income tax deducted at the source, but more importantly, a different, more direct work and communications culture, a considerably quicker decision making process etc.) as well as many smaller, subtle differences to which one adapts almost subconsciously and step by step. I also had to learn to be less judgmental… there are many ways to get things done… not just the Swiss way. 🙂

HR: I don’t see huge differences in terms of business environment between Switzerland and Canada. In both places people are well structured and organized. Maybe Vancouver is a bit more leisure-oriented, but also here you find hard working people. One obvious difference is the size of the country; meeting clients in other cities requires a different level of planning and time.

What is always in your suitcase when you come back from a trip to Switzerland?

CA: Inevitably, there will always be a few Fuenflibers, Zweifraenklers or Zwaenzgerli’s left – sometimes even a “Zwaenzgernoetli” or two – and inevitably, I will forget to bring them back to Switzerland on the next visit…(I have an envelope with a bunch of them…) But there are also a few items that I always bring back consciously: Appenzeller Baerli Biber, Glarner Ankenziger (although I do NOT declare that at customs) – I also buy Rivella in cans or smaller bottles to bring along sometimes and I always buy a few tubes of toothpaste that isn’t available here… Some habits are hard to shake…. 🙂

HR: Ovomaltine cookies (Ovo-Kekse). The best Swiss invention since the Swiss Army Knife.

 

Media Contact

UBS Bank Canada: www.ubs.ca

Lindt & Sprüngli (Canada): www.lindt.ca

Swiss Canadian Chamber of Commerce: www.swisscanadianchamber.com

The SCCC would like to thank our directors Heiko Riese and Chris Abel for their time and effort spent for this interview.

4 Trends for Corporate Events to Create Exciting Experiences

Our corporate member A111 Power of Conference Service is a professional conference organizer and offers overall conference and meeting support. Barbara Siqueira, Sales & Marketing Coordinator at A111, writes about the 4 trends for corporate events and how this impacts event planning and organization.

The purpose of Corporate Events is shifting. As a consequence, event planning has to adjust and take a new direction. Today companies are focusing on the experience of the attendee and the “After Moment.” This means what they will do after the event, how the event will impact their performance, and how events can show appreciation to retain talent, instead of only having fun.

By focusing on people’s experience, we have innovative ideas regarding décor, venue, games, creative activities, and technology.

Follow these 4 hottest trends to use for your next event.

 

1) Games to create engagement

This trend will solve everyday issues such as attendees tending to stick together among their peers. There are others who are introverted and do not initiate conversation and some just do not feel comfortable talking to different people. At some point, music and booze will not provide entertainment anymore and the party is over.

A good option to solve these hot issues is offering an exciting game where attendees will sit at different tables or talk to different people to win a prize. Here are some options on the market:

– Team Building pirates

– Murder Mystery Dinner

– Treasure hunt / Scavenger

– Guided Painting Sessions

– Finding your peer game

 

2) Unique venues: think wild

Restaurants and hotels are commonplace for corporate events but how about an art gallery that is currently hosting a new/exotic exhibition? A garden? A palace? An amusement park? There are many options to host your event and also distinct ways to customize the space to accompany your party theme.

For instance, there is a venue in London where you invite the attendees onto the stage – this creates an entirely different experience; another venue has a tenor singing during dinnertime. You could also honor your employees by inviting them to the top of the Jungfrau Mountain in Switzerland or the Empire State Building with a closed classy Apéro (a party is called in Switzerland) or inviting them to the Russian Embassy in Berlin?

Depending on the event size and goals, you should consider doing something outside of the city or country and at a special place where employees normally don’t go. To find the most unique event location to achieve your goals is easy, just use A111’s free venue sourcing service and your event will be perfect.

 

3) Event Décor: brand your company

If the option of flying to a unique venue abroad doesn’t work, you can transform a venue with innovative decor elements. Here are a couple of simple ideas: create a “home space” with couches, cozy chairs, and a fireplace. Another space could be more futuristic, with smart usage of linen or a food station with your company theme.

What you should keep in mind is to use the decor to brand the company to the attendees in a fun and smart way. Good idea but no time? No problem, just get in contact with A111 and we will help you transform a common hotel meeting space into a unique venue!

 

4) Social Media exposure? Now we are talking about the photo booths

Photo booths and Polaroid cameras are old news, but when you have a photo booth with funny accessories, hash-tags, and technology to share the pictures as you take them, then you have a new purpose.

People love to take pictures during events and post them on social media. How can you help make this happen? You will enable your attendees to brand your company.

Corporate events are experiencing changes to adapt to the new reality and its purpose. The question “why are we making this event?” has never been so important. More than focusing on the company, the new trends are looking for engagement and the “after moment” mentioned previously. Corporate Events are no longer a party with live music and booze. They are a time to market your brand and have your employees support you.

 

As an Events Planning specialist, A111 Power of Conference Services can help you with innovative ideas, complementary venue sourcing worldwide, negotiating venue contracts and finding cost-effective suppliers.

A111 transforms events and brand experiences.”

Read more about A111 in one of our older interviews with Adriana Spitteler, Director of A111, here.

Media Contact

A111: www.a111.com

Swiss Canadian Chamber of Commerce: www.swisscanadianchamber.com

The SCCC would like to thank our member Barbara Siqueira for her time and effort spent for this article.

“People who buy my books, can travel in the footsteps of my heroines.”

Our member Bernadette Calonego is a journalist and author. On May 10 she will have a reading at the Alpenclub in Vancouver where she will present pictures from her trip to the Polar Sea. We talked with Bernadette Calonego about her fascination Canada, how it is to work as a foreign correspondent and where she gets her inspiration from.

You have been in Canada for 17 years, what brought you here? Where does your fascination for Canada come from?

Apart from being a writer, I am a foreign correspondent for European media. I came here in 1996 for the first time to do a story on immigrants in Vancouver. Three years later I traveled for three months in Western Canada and liked it so much that I decided to settle here as a freelance journalist.
From the start, I have been fascinated by the beautiful and pristine landscapes, the pioneer atmosphere and the friendly people. I live on the Sunshine Coast near Vancouver but I spend a lot of time in Newfoundland, too, because my partner is from there.

What were the biggest challenges when you started to work here?

For most newspapers in Switzerland, Germany and Austria, Canada took a distant second place behind the United States. When I suggested writing something about First Nations in Canada for instance, I was told that First Nations in the U.S. would come first. I had to find connections to Germany or Switzerland, to sell a story to the editors. If the drug policy was a hot topic in Switzerland, then the editor was more interested in Canada`s drug policy.

How is it nowadays to work as a correspondent and author?  

The challenges remain, but with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the interest in Canadian politics has increased.  And there are the “perennials”: Good stories about grizzly or polar bears, about Inuit, immigrants, or important and interesting Canadian companies, or about differences between Americans and Canadians are regularly in demand. Because Canada is such a huge country, traveling is very expensive. Many newspapers don`t pay for travel expenses anymore. I still travel but on my own dime. Writing novels is a luxury: Only when I have finished my daily journalistic work, I can continue working on my novels.

Four of your books play in Canada, from where do you get your inspiration?  

I get my ideas from my travels across Canada, places that I see, people that I meet, or what I hear and read. People who buy my books, can travel in the footsteps of my heroines and find the locations that I have described. “Stormy Cove” is set in Newfoundland, “Under Dark Waters” in B.C. and in the Northwest Territories. I wrote “Die Fremde auf dem Eis” after a trip to the Arctic. It is important to me that the places in my books are authentic, and the people too, of course.

What is the next big thing for you, do you have any upcoming plans?

A new book will be published in Germany, it is again a mystery novel that is partly set in British Columbia and partly in Europe. I also hope that “Die Fremde auf dem Eis” will be translated into English this year. In the meantime I have started my next book. I also plan to travel again to the North which I love with a passion.

On May 10 you will have a reading at the Alpenclub, what are you going to present?

I thought that instead of just reading from my books, I could show some pictures of the Ice Road between Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk and talk about my trip to the Polar Sea. The winter road in Inuvik that has been built across the delta of the Mackenzie River, was open this winter for the last time. It is replaced by an overland road. For some people it might be interesting to see a legendary ice road that has now disappeared forever.

What is always in your suitcase when you come back from a trip to Switzerland?

Ohropax, Frigor chocolate, Basler Läckerli, pudding powder mix, Euceta healing cream and Camillosan ointment. I would also take cervelats, Bündner dried meat, Migros yoghurt and Mohrenköpfe with me if I could.

Event Details:

Location: Alpenclub Vancouver (4875 Victoria Drive)
Date: Wednesday, May 10, 2017
Time: 6pm
Admission: Free
RSVP: 
ku-hosp@vanc.auswaertiges-amt.de

Media Contact

Bernadette Calonego: www.bernadettecalonego.com

Swiss Canadian Chamber of Commerce: www.swisscanadianchamber.com

The SCCC would like to thank our member Bernadette Calonego for her time and effort spent for this interview.

“Vancouver is one of the most vibrant shared mobility markets.”

Evo, Car2go, Uber – ridesharing is as popular and easy as never before. Movmi, the company of our corporate member Sandra Phillips, is specialized in shared mobility and completed projects in Dubai, Zurich, Vienna, Seattle, Hawaii and major cities across Canada.

We talked with Sandra Phillips about her business, her network and her plans for the future.

What is your business here in British Columbia?

movmi is a boutique agency specialised in Shared Mobility Design: the planning, implementation and launch of shared mobility services such as carsharing, bikesharing or ridesharing. We have spearheaded the launch of companies like Evo, or BMW’s ReachNow in the US and EKar in Dubai. We support operators in building their business cases, designing their service and product offering and then assist their team in launching and operating it. We do that through assessments, workshops and our tool library giving access to dozens of lessons learnt and best practices.

How did you build up your network?

We have followed two strategies in growing our network. We do what I call traditional business development and attend conferences in our industry not only to learn about what is happening in the space but also to meet and reconnect with people in person. In addition to that we have a strong inbound marketing strategy: we have focused on our social media and blog strategy from the early days and because we are in such a niche industry, we were able to position ourselves as a worldwide expert on the subject by now. We provide interesting thought and educational pieces on our own network but we also contribute to studies, publications and blogs in our industry. This not only increases our SEO (Search Engine Optimization), it also increases our credibility and the combination of the two strategies have proven very successful for us.

 

What were the biggest challenges when starting your own business in BC?

The time difference, our clients are all over the world because shared mobility is just starting in many markets. Luckily most of us are early birds and so we don’t have an issue taking calls early in the morning. Another challenge are international payments, the North American financial system to this date has not adopted the IBAN as a standard to do wire transfers. Most of our European clients can’t believe it when we tell them that they cannot use IBAN (and sometimes their banks cannot handle it easily).

What are the biggest opportunities in BC for a business like yours?

The City of Vancouver has been a city that has recognized the value of shared mobility to reduce vehicle ownership (and ease parking pressure in neighborhoods) early on and has supported the industry through their regulations. Modo, the local carshare cooperative, is celebrating their 20 year anniversary and for car2go it was their first Canadian market. It is to this date one of the most vibrant and progressive shared mobility markets and while we cannot give away the details, there will be more innovative projects coming out of this city by the end of 2017.

What is the next big thing for you?

Last year we focused on building up our global reputation and so we decided to support only two carshare organizations: one in Dubai and one large Fortune 500 client. This year, we’re focusing on positioning ourselves as the shared mobility expert that creates the next generation of service. We have been fortunate to secure a few different clients at the same time that want to explore new business models and create new technology for these services. If the exploration phases go well and we’re successful building the product, you will see some new services in Vancouver at some point. Juggling multiple projects at the same time also means that we could hire our first full-time Business Analyst/Project Manager.

How could you benefit from the Swiss Canadian Chamber?

I’m a Swiss at heart and it is important for me to stay connected to my roots. The networking events organized by the Swiss Chamber always remind me that Swiss are very innovative, collaborative and focus on quality service. In addition to that, the SCCC has a special offer for extended medical benefits through Chambers insurance. As a small business it is not easy to tap into great extended health plans and as of last year, movmi is able to access an extended health plan.

What is always in your suitcase when you come back from a trip to Switzerland?

Three things: Chocolate, Birnel and Mibelle toothpaste.

Media Contact

movmi: www.movmi.net

Swiss Canadian Chamber of Commerce: www.swisscanadianchamber.com

The SCCC would like to thank our member Sandra Phillips for her time and effort spent for this interview.

Celebrate the Easter Holiday with Lindt

Easter is just around the corner – did you already get your chocolate for the Easter egg hunt? Our member Lindt is offering all our members a special discount of 35% on the first Monday and Tuesday of every month – the perfect opportunity to get some chocolate for Easter (more information).

We talked to Chris Abel, Manager Field Sales Lindt Canada, about Easter, the differences between Canada and Switzerland and his favorite chocolate.

What is the favorite product at the Lindt store during this time of the year?

The Lindt Gold Bunny is definitively the most iconic and important Lindt item for the Easter Season. Also, for the second year, Lindt is supporting the Gold Bunny with its own Gold Bunny Story for Children. Visit www.lindt.ca for more details and download the brand new Lindt App called “The Bell That Rang In Easter” for interactive story telling about the cute Lindt Gold Bunny… Children absolutely love it…
PS: This story was uniquely developed by Lindt in Canada for Canadian consumers…

The famous Lindt Gold Bunny

Are the same products popular in Canada and Switzerland?

Many of the products are indeed popular in both countries… particularly family bars (our Classic Bars or “Gamme Bleu” as they are referred to at Lindt in Switzerland, as well our range of Excellence Bars)… However, there are some differences: In Switzerland Kirsch-Stengeli (called “Batons Kirsch” in Canada) are very popular and available at pretty much any store that sells Lindt products. In Canada, Lindor Balls are the more popular consumer choice and Kirsch-Stengelis are only available at select locations (in particular our Lindt Boutiques) and during specific times of the year!

The Swiss “Kirschstängeli”

You have been working for Lindt for years, what is your favorite chocolate in the Lindt store?

I have indeed some products that I prefer over others… I am very much a Milk-Chocolate person: My favorite Lindt Chocolate Bar is the Swiss Classic Milk with Hazelnuts… But I also like Pralines – Swiss Luxury Edition which are called “Connaisseur” in Switzerland… and one particular product that I love are Chocolates with Marzipan – which is unfortunately not a very popular flavor in Canada… so I don’t quite get my fill on Marzipan here in Canada…

Chris Favorite Chocolate: Marzipan Chocolate

Media Contact

Lindt Canada: www.lindt.ca

Swiss Canadian Chamber of Commerce: http://www.swisscanadianchamber.com

The SCCC would like to thank our member Chris Abel for taking the time for this interview and providing us with pictures and information.

 

Swiss Avalanche Control in B.C

Wyssen Avalanche Control AG brings state of the art preventive avalanche control solutions and supervision from Switzerland to British Columbia.

In September 2016, Wyssen installed four Remote Avalanche Control Systems (RACS) at Three Valley Gap, BC, four more will follow later this year. It’s the first project of this kind in North America.

We talked to Hans-Juerg Etter, Senior Avalanche Consultant, and Walter Steinkogler, General Manager Wyssen Canada & Wyssen Austria, about their experience in Canada.

Why did Wyssen Avalanche Control decide to expand their market to Canada in 2010?

Etter: Wyssen Avalanche Control is an innovative and quality orientated company. Therefore, the CEO, Sam Wyssen, is always looking for new ideas and new markets.
I worked for more than 40 years in the Swiss avalanche business at the Swiss Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research (SLF) and in the Davos Ski resort area. In 2010, my wife Esther and I got the permanent residence status from the Canadian authorities – thanks to them. About the same time, we met Sam Wyssen and agreed that it would be the right time to start the search for approval of the Wyssen system in Canada.

You are looking back on some eventful years with Wyssen Avalanche Control here in Canada, what was your highlight during this time?

Etter: Of course, the biggest highlights were the approvals from the Natural Resources Explosive Department, from Transport Canada and other needed agreements for the remote avalanche control system LS12-5.
In addition it was a pleasure to extend my professional network and to meet more Canadian avalanche specialists.

Wyssen built four towers in Three Valley Gap so far, what were the biggest challenges of the 3VG project?

Steinkogler: As we were new to Canada we only had limited contacts and it was hard to be sure to deliver to our quality standards. Additionally, we were a small team and had limited resources.
Due to its closeness to the highway and therefore to the public, the Three Valley Gap is the most challenging remote avalanche control system (RACS) project in Canada at the moment and that Wyssen has built so far.

Your avalanche control system is new to Canadians, what was the feedback on the four towers in the 3VG?

Steinkogler: We received really positive feedback. Many people from the city of Revelstoke were talking to us and telling us how important this is for everybody. Also, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MoTI) control team was especially happy with the quality of the system. This kind of positive feedback from the client and the public is a great reward. From a technical perspective, the numbers work out too: reduction of average closure times by 50% (with just 4 out of 8 towers installed!).

During our last interview (here) you mentioned that the long term goal is not only to install but also to produce towers in BC – did you reach that goal already?

Etter: We are ready to go with multiple manufacturers in Canada. But the timing was too close for the project schedule in Three Valley Gap to engage Canadian manufacturers. Furthermore, we need to make sure that the supplier can deliver in a quality that reaches the standards Wyssen demands (excellent quality in steel and construction).

What is the next big thing for Wyssen Avalanche Control after the Three Valley Gap in Canada?

Etter: Our goal is to install more RACS to protect traffic and people. Our systems support Canadas growing economy through a reduction of closure times of transportation routes such as Highway #1 but can also be applied in ski resorts, mining or railway. After finishing the project at 3VG, Wyssen will start to install RACS in its second project in Canada: Rogers Pass.

Furthermore, we look forward to bring different technologies for avalanche detection and people tracking to Canada. These systems are just becoming a standard tool for avalanche technicians in the Alps. We are excited to bring this knowledge to Canada.

Fore example:

LARALong Range Avalanche Radar for monitoring avalanches at long distances up to 2 km.

SARA Short Range Avalanche Radar with a detection range of approximately 300 m. It is installed directly on the Avalanche Tower’s deployment box.

IDA Infrasound Detection of Avalanches. Depending on the type, avalanches produce infrasound which can be measured and sophisticated algorithms allow to analyze the approximate location of starting and ending points as well as avalanche speed.

PETRA People Tracking Radar can be installed close to an Avalanche Tower to make sure no back country skiers are near to the avalanche release area.

Media Contact

Wyssen Avalanche Control AG: www.wyssenavalanche.com/en/

Swiss Canadian Chamber of Commerce: http://www.swisscanadianchamber.com

The SCCC would like to thank our member Hans-Juerg Etter and Walter Steinkogler for their time and effort spent for this interview.

BC’s largest Swiss Cheese Fondue Night

More than 25 pounds of Swiss cheese – that certainly sounds like a possible Swiss cheese eating record for BC. The record was set at the annual Fondue Night of the Swiss Canadian Chamber of Commerce and the Swiss Canadian Mountain Range Association in late January. After a successful Fondue Night last year, many members and friends followed this year’s invitation.

The tough road conditions could not stop the guests of this year’s Fondue Night. More than 70 people found their way to the idyllic chalet of the Swiss Canadian Mountain Range Association in Coquitlam. The chalet was built in 1982 as a clubhouse for the shooting club and as a home for many Swiss events such as the celebration of the Swiss National Day.

For once, business did not come first, it was a social event in a traditional Swiss atmosphere. Nevertheless, it was a great opportunity to meet people, to connect with the Swiss community and to exchange business cards.

While the typical Swiss cheese fondue was served in 15 different pots, the guests could enjoy traditional Swiss music and share their stories and memories. The Swiss Canadian Mountain Range Association prepared more than 25 pounds of cheese in their kitchen, traditionally prepared with garlic and white wine. Cheese fondue has been the Swiss national dish since the mid 20th century, nevertheless the recipe – as we know it today – has been created long before. Swiss people love their fondue and especially their cheese – in 2015 Switzerland had a per capita cheese consumption of almost 22kg. In North America, cheese fondue was promoted in the 1960s and today it is a popular dish all over the world.

The Fondue Night was rounded off with a Swiss-Canadian Trivia. What looked like an easy quiz at first sight, turned out to be a heavy competition between the different tables. Or did you know that 77% of the world’s maple syrup is produced in Quebec? At the end, the winning table received a small bag filled with the famous Swiss chocolate Lindt – a well-deserved treat.

The Swiss Canadian Chamber of Commerce was particularly honored to welcome the Consul General of Switzerland in Vancouver and his wife at the Fondue Night. The event was a great success thanks to the outstanding volunteer work of the staff in the kitchen and behind the bar.

If you are interested in learning more about the Swiss Canadian Chamber of Commerce and their events, you will find more information the following link: http://www.swisscanadianchamber.com/index.html

100 Years of the Organisation of the Swiss Abroad (OSA)

The Swiss Canadian Chamber of Commerce (BC & AB) has been recognized as an official member of the Organization of the Swiss Abroad (OSA) as of April 16, 2016. (Welcome Letter)

The Organisation of the Swiss Abroad (OSA) represents Swiss expatriates’ interests in Switzerland. It informs Swiss living abroad about what is happening in Switzerland and provides them with a wide selection of services.

In 2016, the Organisation of the Swiss Abroad (OSA) is celebrating its centenary and 100 years of working on behalf of the Swiss Abroad. Today, almost 762,000 Swiss citizens live all over the world and it is important that their interests are protected in the best way possible, which is the OSA’s raison d’être. It is important to convey why Switzerland needs its expatriates and what exactly they contribute to our nation in view of the fact that the international mobility of our fellow citizens is continually increasing.

More information about the OSA and their activities can be found here.

 

Lindt opens Chocolate Outlet Store in Richmond

Earlier this year, Lindt opened a new Store at the MacArthurGlen Designer Outlet Mall by the Airport in Richmond. The members of the Swiss Canadian Chamber of Commerce (SCCC) and selected guests welcomed the famous Swiss Chocolate expert during a closed door event and celebrated the store opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony.

The Consul General of Switzerland cuts the Ribbon for the new Lindt Outlet store in Richmond. (SCCC)

Being in closest proximity to Vancouver’s International Airport YVR and easily accessible by car as well as by public transit, Lindt could not have asked for a better location for their outlet store. Therefore it is hardly surprising that Jodi Oluk, Manager of the Lindt store, raves about how well sales are going for Lindt at the MacArthurGlen Designer Outlet in Richmond.

With over 150 years of experience, Lindt’s master chocolatiers have seen the brand grow from a pastry shop in Zurich (Switzerland) to one of the world’s leading luxury chocolate makers. In Canada, Lindt is currently expanding its business with opening up new stores in Canada. The Richmond store is Lindt’s first chocolate outlet in Western Canada. Regular Lindt chocolate shops are more common and can be found in Downtown Vancouver and New Westminster.

The Swiss Canadian Chamber of Commerce was particularly honored to organize this event in collaboration with Lindt. Not only chocolate, but also traditional Swiss meat and cheese plus exquisite Swiss wine were offered to the numerous guests. Very soon it became obvious why Switzerland is leading the per capita chocolate consumption worldwide. Self-titled chocolate experts and connoisseurs tasted the various different styles of the sweets and nobody had to leave the store with empty bags and stomachs at the end.

Having the presence of the Consul General of Switzerland in Vancouver and the Management Team of the MacArthurGlen Designer Outlet was a special honor. The latter proudly announced during the ribbon cutting ceremony that the Designer Outlet has already welcomed its millionth visitor in October.