About the Chamber

The business voice of Muskoka Lakes

The Muskoka Lakes Chamber of Commerce is the voice of the Muskoka Lakes and area business community. A non-profit, Member-driven organization, the Chamber is governed by a 12-Member Board of Directors with input from over 350 members.

The Chamber offers a variety of opportunities for business to engage in events ranging from in person and virtual workshops to Business After Hours networking evenings.

The Chamber offers services and products to its Members and the broader business community, including:

The Muskoka Lakes Chamber of Commerce serves the greater Muskoka Lakes region and Wahta First Nation, and organizations doing business within the Chamber’s geographic area. Download our 2020 Muskoka Lakes Chamber Annual Report

AWARDS: In 2021, the Muskoka Lakes Chamber was honoured with the 2021 Power of the Pivot COVID Award from the entire Ontario Chamber Network for exemplary support of its Members during the pandemic.

About our Board of Directors

If you are a Chamber Member or employee of a Chamber Member in good standing and interested in serving on our Board of Directors, simply send us an email telling us why you would like to join us and attach a resume or short biography so we can get to know you better. This document outlines what we look for in developing a well-rounded Board of Directors. Download Board-Competencies-Revised-2019 information.

VISION

Muskoka Lakes Chamber of Commerce endeavours to improve economic prosperity in Muskoka Lakes through connectivity, education, and advocacy for our membership

MISSION

Muskoka Lakes Chamber of Commerce serves the Muskoka Lakes community, driving economic prosperity by connecting with our members to benefit, promote and support their businesses.

Board of Directors

Spencer Morland

Board President

North Granite Ridge Golf Club

email

About Spencer

Greg Murphy

Vice-President

Clear Water Property Management

email

Bob Boden

Board Secretary-Treasurer

Mediator and Wedding Officiant

About Bob
Chelsey Penrice, Chamber President

Chelsey L. Penrice

Past President

Harvey Kalles Real Estate

Jim Hedrich

About Jim
About Jim
About Kurtis
About Marcie

Matt Rouse

Lake Joseph Club

About Matt
About Chris

Viktoria Hamma

True North MVMNT

About Viktoria
Peter Kelley

Peter Kelley

Township of Muskoka Lakes

email
Township of Muskoka Lakes

Corey Moore

Economic Development Officer,
Township of Muskoka Lakes Liaison

email

Staff

Norah Fountain, Muskoka Lakes Chamber

Norah Fountain

Executive Director

705 762 5663
Cell: 705 706 2122
Email

About Norah

Hadley Priest

 Administrative Assistant/Member Services

 705 762 5663 
Cell: 705 500 2817 
Email

About Hadley
Britney Hammell

Britney Hammell

Summer Office Manager

History

The Muskoka Lakes Chamber of Commerce traces its history back to 1961 when the Bala and District Chamber of Commerce was incorporated. It became more active in the early 1980s when it started as an association for Bala and area businesses.

In 1990, it became the West Muskoka Chamber of Commerce. In 1999 a FedNor grant made it possible to hire Jane Templeton on a part-time basis. Jane’s role grew and she continued on as General Manager for 17 years until 2016. Membership grew as well from a few dozen members to almost 300. In the mid-1990s, the Port Carling business community began considering joining the Chamber.

As the Chamber had been serving a wider business area of Muskoka Lakes for several years, the membership changed the name to the Muskoka Lakes Chamber of Commerce in 2003. The Chamber’s year round office is located in Bala Pines Plaza at 3181 Muskoka Road 169 in Bala. A second, seasonal Visitor Information Centre was operated in Port Carling for several years as well. As of 2021, the Chamber membership had grown to over 340 members.

In 2021, the Muskoka Lakes Chamber won a coveted Ontario Chamber of Commerce Award: The Power of the Pivot Award for excellence in its pandemic response.

Timeline

1961: Bala District Chamber of Commerce incorporated in April 1961 by J. Baker

Early 1980s: Bala and Area Business Men’s Association formed

1985: Name changed to Bala and Area Business association

1987: Membership fees were $25.00 with 51 members

1990: Changed to West Muskoka Chamber of Commerce (WMCC). Visitor information booth built at Windsor Park

1992: Helped develop Hardy Lake Provincial Park and active in setting up Bala’s 125th anniversary

1993: Bala, Wales twinned with Bala, Muskoka

1999: Jane Templeton hired as Tourism Promotion Coordinator. Chamber website developed.

1999: First ever “Business after Hours” held and “Heritage Walking Tours” created

2001: Chamber created first ever Bala Farmers’ Market

2002: Chamber took over Santa Claus Parade

2003: Changed name from West Muskoka Chamber of Commerce to Muskoka Lakes Chamber of Commerce

2003: Chamber awarded $30k grant to build broadband business plan, creating the Muskoka Lakes-Wahta Community Broadband project

2003: Chamber logo produced

2004: Chamber grows to 12-member board of directors, with by-laws and had 50 volunteers

2005: Produced the first ever Visitor Guide and Member Directory. Developed Seasonal Accommodation inventory project.

2007: Township purchased the Duke House and a Visitor Information Centre was established there

2008: Chamber moved into their present office space in the Bala Pines Plaza

2009: Chamber starts an annual Christmas Market in Port Carling

2013: Chamber joins Canadian Chamber of Commerce

2013: Finalized the ‘Choose a Chamber Member First, Keep it in Muskoka’ Campaign

2014: Hosted first ‘Spotlight on Muskoka Lakes’ Event

2016: Jane Templeton retired after 17 years; Norah Fountain begins as Executive Director

2017: Chamber joins the Ontario Chamber of Commerce

2018: Chamber hires FedNor Intern Katelyn Broad as Events and Communications Coordinator

2019: Chamber (in partnership with Gravenhurst Chamber) hosts the 107th Annual Ontario Chamber of Commerce Annual General Meeting and Convention (the smallest Chambers ever to host this event) in Minett

2019: Chamber awarded Ontario Regional Economic Development grant for Workforce Development Project

May 4, 2021: The Muskoka Lakes Chamber recognized by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce with an Ontario-wide COVID-19 award, the “Power of the Pivot Award” for exceptional value delivered by a chamber directly related to the pandemic response.

We’re looking forward to welcoming you to the Muskoka Lakes Chamber of Commerce.

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