Living in Toronto for the last five years has certainly given a new meaning to the importance of St. Patrick’s Day. While back at home we politely tip our cap to the great man’s achievements and enjoy a day of rest and relaxation in his honour, here in Toronto the occasion is embraced with a verve and enthusiasm that I never could have imagined.
2014 will be no different! The events are all lined up and the Irish community is in a collective crouch position awaiting the starter’s gun. Some will go hard at the start but other more experienced campaigners know that this is a marathon not a sprint. However, it must be among the most enjoyable marathons out there. It all kicks off on February 28th with the Toronto Irish Film Festival which the Chamber is once again very proud to support.
A particular highlight for the Chamber this year will be our partnership with Enterprise Ireland for a St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast with Ireland’s Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan. Minister Noonan has been instrumental in restoring economic stability in Ireland and has played a pivotal role in executing Ireland’s recent exit from the EU/IMF bailout program. His achievements are such that the FT’s influential magazine “The Banker” recently named Minister Noonan as European Finance Minister of the Year.
Other highlights include the Irish Person of the Year Luncheon which the Chamber co-presents and this year honors the outstanding achievements of former Olympic Champion and Hockey Legend, Geraldine Heaney. Furthermore, this year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade on March 16th promises to be a great occasion and we look forward to welcoming Olympic Boxing Champion, Katie Taylor to Toronto as Grand Marshal.
Although we tend not to look backwards since our last update we were delighted to kick start our partnership with Scotiabank in February with an excellent seminar on the Financial Aspects of Running Small Businesses. This was hosted by Scotia in the elegant board room on the 63rd floor of their Corporate office and I am glad to say many of our members availed of this opportunity to take their careers to new heights! We look forward to further collaboration with Scotiabank and indeed our other sponsors in the months ahead.
So all in all a very busy period ahead but a lot to look forward to.