It’s “crazy” to think how much the Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce has grown in 125 years, says its CEO, Rick More.
A lot has changed since the chamber began in 1894, More said Friday.
“When you think about what Red Deer and the county looked like … and where we are today, it’s quite phenomenal. So much has happened and the chamber has been integral in supporting and advocating for business,” he said.
The community was invited to a 125-year celebratory barbecue at the chamber office parking lot Friday afternoon.
A time capsule, filled with various items, including news articles, personal mementos from central Alberta businesses and real estate listings, was buried under a tree in front of the chamber’s building at the event.
The capsule will be opened in 25 years to provide a glimpse of what the Red Deer business community looked like in 2019.
Meanwhile, the chamber is looking toward the future, said More.
“We have to think about what this world is going to look like in 25 years. Even some goofy ideas may be realistic – you look at science fiction stuff and think, ‘That’s crazy.’ But then it comes to fruition.
“We have to be creative in our minds, and say maybe we’ll be flying around or maybe shopping will be done differently. We are going to sit down and create a 50-year plan detailing what we think the chamber is going to look like and what we’re planning going forward.”
There are currently 850 members of the chamber.
“Red Deer’s growth, up until the last couple of years, has been pretty substantial. As we get through these recessions, it will start building up again.
“We’re honoured to be part of helping business get through hard times, advocate for them and work with governments. We have to all come to a sensible solution to any problem that comes forward.”