Celebrating Our 2nd Anniversary

MAPLE Business Council® wishes to thank our members, board, sponsors, partners and followers on the occasion of the second anniversary since launching our cross-border organization. A special thank you to our ambassadors and volunteers who have sacrificed their valuable time to help grow our organization. Robert Kelle and I appreciate everyone's participation and contributions to our mission of connecting Southern California and Canada more closely together. To mark the milestone, we have developed a new infographic to profile the MAPLE community "By the Numbers".


Since Robert and I launched MAPLE in May 2015, "community" has been at the heart of our organization. We set out to develop a network that spans business sectors and size of businesses to create a diversity of experience and expertise that will be most beneficial to members interested in exploring opportunities across borders. To date, MAPLE membership includes 19 different business sectors with members across Canada (from St. John's Newfoundland to Vancouver, BC) and throughout Southern California.  Major Canadian brands such as Air Canada, Brookfield, Purolator International, and RBC are among the membership which also includes government organizations including Opportunities New Brunswick, the County of Riverside and the City of Murrieta, California.

Community means coming together on a regular basis to meet in person, make connections, learn from one another and build relationships. In the first two years, MAPLE has hosted 30 events including 20 quarterly networking events in San Diego, Orange County, and Los Angeles. In addition, special events have created some noteworthy networking including hosting the mayors of Kitchener, Waterloo, and Cambridge, Ontario from Canada's "Silicon Valley", Waterloo Region, to promoting the Province of New Brunswick at the Official Residence of Canada in Los Angeles.

The three primary work streams of MAPLE, investment, trade, and entrepreneurship, could not be more topical these days and keeping abreast of the discussions on both sides of the border is therefore critically important. On a daily basis, MAPLE shares key news of interest to our cross-border community through our social media channels. A special thank you to Ms. Michelle Thompson for her excellent work in sharing key news of the day. We also use these channels to amplify member organizations' own messaging by sharing news and announcements from members' own channels.

And as a cross-border community with thousands of miles between our members, simply keeping connected to one another requires timely communications. MAPLE produces two monthly e-newsletters focused on events and member welcomes including a new communication, MOMENTUM, launched in 2017 that spotlight the missions and work of two member organizations each month in their own words. Together, these newsletters reach thousands of followers across Canada and the U.S. each month.

Earlier this year, we led our first business delegation to Canada as part of our third Canadian mission. Six companies joined MAPLE for "48 hours in Vancouver, Canada". We scheduled the trip during the week of BC Tech Summit, an annual celebration of innovation in the province, enabling members to attend this conference too. Our delegation met with leading business and government agencies over two days. In addition, MAPLE hosted a sold-out networking reception in Vancouver bringing together area executives, investors, and entrepreneurs for an opportunity to learn more about doing business with Southern California. Based on the success of our initial delegation, we are planning future delegations to Toronto and Montréal in the coming year. In fact, we've just scheduled our Toronto delegation which will be held on Sept. 21-22.

Most recently, MAPLE has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with World Trade Center Los Angeles to collaborate on opportunities to promote more investment and trade between LA and Canada. The organizations have already been sharing information on the depth of Canada's investment in LA and Southern California (did you know Canada is the 3rd largest investing nation here?).

We are honoured to have received a letter of recognition from Canada's Consul General in Los Angeles, Mr. James Villeneuve on the occasion of our second anniversary.

Thank you to all who have supported our journey in our first two years. Canada and Southern California are two incredible places that share a long history of friendship and economic partnership. It is an honour to work to bring more opportunities to two places we call home. The best is yet to come.

Stephen Armstrong is co-founder with Robert Kelle of MAPLE Business Council, a non-profit senior executive council promoting investment, trade and entrepreneurship between Canada and Southern California. For more information on MAPLE, please visit www.maplesocal.com.