The Summit of Two Shores — a networking event for gay business owners —ended on Saturday with a brunch at City Hall with Mayor Larry O’Brien and Gatineau councilor Luc Montreuil.
The weekend was a collaboration between the Ontario Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (OGLCC), Chambre de commerce gaie du Québec (CCGQ) and Canadian Gay and Lesbian Chamber of commerce.
About 60 gay business people — from banks to bookkeepers — from Quebec City, Montreal, Gatineau, GTA, Niagara, Kitchener and Ottawa descended upon the city for the networking weekend.
It was low-key event that kicked off with a cocktail reception on Friday, hosted by MP Rob Oliphant for Don Valley West. Participants mingled with local MPs (although there was a conspicuous absence of Conservatives or Block Québecois), the speaker of the house Peter Miliken and new Democrat Party leader, Jack Layton.
The summit ended on Saturday with a brunch at city hall attended by Larry O’Brien, who spoke to participants about business values and on the importance for owners of knowing and understanding long-term business goals.
“Focus on your core business and if you don’t know your business to make a decision without all the consultants around you probably don’t enough know be in business,” says O’Brien.
He ended his remarks emphasizing the importance of the gay and lesbian communities have on cities.
“The gay and lesbian community is embraced in this city and the future of every major city is dependant upon having a healthy, vibrant, diverse community,” says O’Brien.
John Kenyon, President of OGLCC spoke at the brunch of the ways the chamber helps its members and the role it plays in developing business networks. His speech was short, matter of fact and summed up theme of the summit.
“Together, we can strengthen our business networks and because we are gay and lesbian we can actually have fun too,” says Kenyon.
Next years summit will be held across the Ottawa River on the shores of Gatineau.
For more information on gay and lesbian chamber of commerce:
Ontario Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce www.oglcc.com
Chambre de commerce gaie du Québec www.ccqg.ca
Canadian Gay and Lesbian Chamber of commerce www.cglcc.ca