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Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Our Make Us Stand Out

Diversity and Your Business

Diversity in the workplace is much more at the forefront of discussion than ever before. The benefits of embracing diversity are clear. Increased creativity and innovation; better local market knowledge, and improved employee engagement are just the tip of the iceberg.

If you haven’t taken steps towards embracing diversity, however, it can feel overwhelming. Fear of “doing it wrong” can stop us from doing it at all, and then we could miss out on incredible opportunities for ourselves, our teams, our customers, and our community.

hands in together
man and woman talking over papers

Where Do You Start?

Join us as we learn more about how you can take those first steps into embracing diversity, and why you really want to. Through ongoing conversations and partnerships with local community groups and education resources, we are proud to offer the supports, workshops, and programs that aim to educate and connect our business community.

Connect with our community partners and keep up to date via our Equity, Diversity and Inclusion articles below.

Our Local Partners, Experts & Educators

Barrie Indian Association

A community organization strengthening cultural awareness, incorporate multiculturalism, foster growth and celebrate cultural diversity.

For more information: Click Here

Barrie Native Friendship Centre

The vision of the Barrie Native Friendship Centre is to improve the quality of life for all Indigenous / Métis people in the area, regardless of legal definition by providing a gathering place which promotes unity and wholistic healing within the community at large. This is accomplished through a network of culturally based programs, services and teachings.

For more information:

Barrie Persian Association

Barrie Persian Association is going to promote cross-cultural dialogue and understanding between the persian community (including all Farsi language people) and other communities living in Canada/Barrie.

For more information:

Barrie Pride

Barrie Pride is accepting who you are and empowering others to be themselves. It’s about being proud of who they are and advocating for those who are oppressed and victimized for being LGBTQ2I+ or being themselves. They are about inspiring everyone in our community to recognize how unique and amazing we all are.

For more information:

Empower Simcoe

Empower Simcoe, formerly known as Simcoe Community Services, is a charitable, non-profit organization that is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors. The agency was established in 1953 by parents wishing to offer their children with intellectual disabilities an alternative to institutional placement. Presently, the agency operates a Preschool Services Division, a Community Living Division as well as Regional Housing Support Services.

For more information:

Local Immigration Partnership

The Simcoe County Local Immigration Partnership (SCLIP) is a community partnership focused on the development of settlement strategies for newcomers. These strategies will bring together and support service delivery to newcomers in Simcoe County while promoting positive relationships, opportunity, and use of local resources effectively. Simcoe County LIP was established on April 1, 2011. It is one of 36 Local Immigration Partnerships in Ontario that are funded by Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

For more information: Click Here

Making Change

Making Change’s GOAL is to spark broad community interest and foster conversations around inclusion and diversity. We have a specific focus on raising awareness and educating and exposing people to the Black community, Black culture, and issues around anti-Black racism. We are building community inclusion and togetherness through activities, allyship, participation and discussion.

For more information:

Métis Nation of Ontario

The Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) is the government of Métis people and communities in Ontario. MNO has built a province-wide governance structure which includes: an objectively verifiable, centralized registry of over 20,000 Métis citizens; approximately 31 Chartered Community Councils across the province; a provincial governing body; an Annual General Assembly; a charitable foundation which promotes and support Métis culture and heritage (Métis Nation of Ontario Cultural Commission); and an economic development arm (Métis Voyageur Development Fund).

For more information:

Safer Spaces

Safer Spaces provides organizational assessments, professional development workshops, and consultation services to create more inclusive programs and workplaces for 2S-LGBTQ+ communities. Organizations engaged in our program can display Safer Spaces poster and stickers to demonstrate their commitment to 2S-LGBTQ+ communities.

For more information:

The SEMBA Awards

The Simcoe Excellence Multicultural Business Awards (SEMBA) SEMBA aims to recognize outstanding Black and Multicultural businesses and individuals in Simcoe County through an annual awards show and gala dinner taking place on April 29th, 2023.

Awards are given in a wide variety of categories, including a Senior’s Achievement Award.

  • Arts/Literature
  • Community Service
  • Education
  • Environment/Science
  • Fitness/Recreation/Sports
  • Innovation
  • Music
  • Preservation of History
  • Voluntarism
  • Professional Services

We pride ourselves in diversity and inclusion in all aspects of our event and look forward to building a big and brighter future.

For more information please visit our site:

UPlift Black

UPlift Black’s mission is to UPlift the visibility and socio-economic development of Black people based in Simcoe/Muskoka. Their work is anchored in 2SLGBTQPNIA+ inclusivity with the goal of achieving racial equality through a conscious community.

For more information:

Immigration Simcoe

Information for newcomers to Simcoe County

There are agencies in Simcoe County to help newcomers integrate into the community. Settlement Service agencies can educate you about Simcoe County and connect you with different programs and services available in this area. These services are funded by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration (MCI).

Settlement Services offer a range of services including:

  • English language classes
  • Information on living in Simcoe County
  • Information on working in Simcoe County
  • Referrals to help you find other local services

For more information:

Partner Articles, Events & Resources

BHER: Nine new innovative partnerships

April 30, 2024

Business + Higher Education Roundtable (BHER)  BHER: Nine new innovative partnerships that will bring work-integrated learning to employers and students left out of traditional placements OTTAWA, ON, April 29, 2024 /CNW/ – The Business + Higher Education Roundtable (BHER) is pleased to announce nine new work-integrated learning (WIL) partnerships. Thanks to generous support from the Government of Canada, post-secondary institutions…

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Ontario Connecting Up to 34,000 People to Primary Care Teams in Simcoe, Bruce and York Regions

March 25, 2024

The Barrie Chamber of Commerce proudly supports our local business community. Today we attended a meet and greet hosted by the PC riding association, featuring Health Minister Sylvia Jones, along with Attorney General Doug Downey, Environment Minister Andrea Khanjin, and our Executive Director, Paul Markle. This event followed Minister Jones’s announcement about significant new funding…

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Press Release: 2024 Women In Business WINNERS

March 8, 2024

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Barrie Chamber of Commerce Celebrates Success at the Women In Business Awards 2024 Announcement of Winners   Barrie, Ontario – March 8, 2024 – On International Women’s Day, the Barrie Chamber of Commerce is proud to publicly announce the recipients of the Women In Business Awards 2024; presented by Meridian. In a moving…

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