On February 7th, 2018, the Ireland-Canada Centre for Commerce in Calgary held their first networking event of 2018.

The sold out evening was held at Calgary’s Downtown Marriott. Members and guests enjoyed some great food and there was lively discussions throughout the evening.

Ireland’s Honorary Vice Consul, Laureen Regan, provided an update and greetings from the Irish Ambassador in Ottawa, Jim Kelly, along with highlighting some bi-lateral trade successes.

In his message to the group, the Ambassador reiterated his thanks for the warm welcome he received when he visited Calgary in November 2017 and conveyed his regrets at not being able to attend this event. The Ambassador shared how 2017 was a productive year in terms of deepening the Ireland-Canada relationship. A record of eight Ministers, including two Taoisigh (Prime Ministers), visited from Ireland. Additionally, Prime Minister Trudeau and separately, Minister McKenna, visited Dublin. These visits are an indication of the growing strength of our bilateral relations’ including increased trade and investment flows.

His message continued with his announcement of an equally busy and productive 2018, with plans already underway for five Ministers to visit Canada from Ireland before the end of March and a parliamentary delegation, including the chairs of the Canada-Ireland Inter-parliamentary Group and its UE and UK counterparts on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, to pay a visit to Ireland and Northern Ireland in March.

And finally, the Ambassador’s message concluded with a look forward at the deepening engagement with Canada’s Western Provinces in 2018, which will be supported through the opening of a full diplomatic Consulate-General in Vancouver later this year.

The ICCC in Calgary is looking forward to welcoming the new Consul-General to Vancouver and assisting with relevant market access and information.

In January, the IDA Ireland announced they will be opening their first Canadian office in Toronto. Further evidence that trade relations between our two countries continues to increase.

“Ireland is the fourth largest recipient in the EU of Canadian foreign direct investment,” Ms. Regan shared with the audience “and, among EU countries, the Irish are the seventh largest EU direct investors in Canada.” She continued with a short summary of just some of the significant activities in Irish and Canadian markets:

• Calgary’s Vermillion Energy’s 18.5% interest in the Corrib natural gas field;
• Dublin-based, Brown Bag Films acquisition by 9 Story Media Group in 2015;
• Irish multinational, One51’s, 280M CAD deal with Quebec’s Cuisse de depot, the Quebec Labor federation, FDQ, for injection-molded plastic producer IPL;
• Fairfax Financials investment of €93.5M in Bank of Ireland shares in 2011;
• Great West Life’s acquisition of Irish Life in 2013
• €450M acquisition of Topaz by Couche-Tard;
• Acquisition of Whitegate refinery by Irving Oil;
• €41M acquisition of Canadian firm, All Seasons Mushrooms, by Fyffes;
• €5.5M investment by Canadian firm, Mark Anthony Brands, in Glendalough Distillery;
• The partnership between the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland with the Canadian Media Fund to establish a €150K development fund;
• The establishment of Canadian firm, Shopify, in Galway, creating 50 jobs;
• The acquisition by Canadian Firm Greystone of 51% stake in the Ballycadden Wind Farm;

The event concluded with an announcement of two of the ICCC’s upcoming events:

• March 12 – 16 – Exhibit: The Irish Diaspora in Canada: A History with an evening event for ICCC Members and Guest on the 15th of March.
• May luncheon event: Cryptocurrency in International Trade presented by ATB.

These events are designed to improve awareness of the larger opportunities that exist for business partnerships between Ireland and Canada and to increase networking opportunities for our members.
We are committed to adding value to our members and to the business communities of which they are a part.

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