ICBA Newsletter – Winter 2023

18 December 2023

Welcome to the Winter edition of the Ireland Canada Business Association newsletter. 2023 has been a busy year and in this newsletter we bring together some of the highlights of our recent events, media publicity, podcasts, videos, and upcoming activity.

These include the launch of the ICBA’s first independent economic report, compiled by economist Jim Power; our annual Maple Leaf Dinner, held for the first time in Dublin’s iconic Shelbourne Hotel; an Oireachtas Committee hearing at which Dr Deirdre Giblin and Chris Collenette delivered speeches and engaged in Q&A with the committee members; and a very successful trade mission to Toronto and Vancouver.

As ever, thanks to you, all of our members and friends, for your continued support and engagement with ICBA events, outreach, and campaigning efforts. We look forward to working with you again in 2024.

ICBA Maple Leaf Dinner 2023

ICBA Maple Leaf Dinner 2023
ICBA Maple Leaf Dinner 2023
ICBA Maple Leaf Dinner 2023

This year’s annual Maple Leaf Dinner was held in Dublin’s historic Shelbourne Hotel and we’re proud to say that it was our best attended to date. Tánaiste Micheál Martin delivered the event’s keynote speech, followed by Ambassador Nancy Smyth. With the raffle over €7,000 was raised for the Irish Cancer Society through the Terry Fox Foundation.

ICBA Maple Leaf Dinner 2023

The Ireland Canada Economic Opportunity

A report written by Economist, Jim Power and commissioned by the Ireland Canada Business Association

Ireland Canada Economic Opportunity Report

The strength and potential of the Ireland Canada relationship was highlighted in very clear terms in a specially commissioned independent economic report, compiled by economist Jim Power for the ICBA. 

It details the ‘enormous’ growth opportunities between Ireland and Canada, including the potential for Ireland to double exports to Canada within 5 years, given the right conditions. These conditions are outlined in the report and will continue to form a central part of the ICBA’s efforts to impact policy and facilitate an enhanced business environment in Ireland for Canadian operations.

The report received a great deal of media coverage, including The Irish Times, RTE, and Newstalk Radio. 

ICBA Ireland Canada Economic Opportunities Report
ICBA Ireland Canada Economic Opportunities Report

Emmet Oliver and Kieran Cuddihy discuss the economic report 

ICBA Christmas Reception 2023

ICBA invited to address the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Enterprise, Trade and Employment 

Deirdre Giblin Chair ICBA
ICBA speaks to Joint Oireachtas Committee on Enterprise, Trade and Employment

The ICBA was delighted to be invited to address the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Enterprise, Trade & Employment in Leinster House to discuss the trade relationship between Ireland & Canada. Dr Deirdre Giblin and Chris Collenette spoke about the cultural, diplomatic and economic ties between the two nations as well opportunities for Irish SME’s exporting to Canada, Research and Development, and CETA.

Chris Collenette addresses the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Enterprise, Trade and Employment

The historically strong cultural links between Ireland and Canada, are now matched by the strength of the economic relationship between these two countries. Let us do everything in our power to support this relationship and by doing so facilitate every aspect of this strong and expanding trading relationship between our two countries.

Dr Deirdre Giblin, Chair, ICBA



On September 6th, AIB hosted the ICBA AGM in their Molesworth Street offices in Dublin. The meeting was followed by a tour of the Dáil where the ICBA group was hosted by Deputy David Stanton TD.

The 2023 annual Terry Fox Run Ireland

Terry Fox Run Dublin 2023
Terry Fox Run Dublin 2023
Terry Fox Run Dublin 2023

In 1980 Terry Fox embarked on a remarkable journey. With one leg having been amputated due to cancer, he set out to run east-to-west across Canada to raise money and awareness for cancer research. It was called ‘The Marathon of Hope’. Terry did not get to complete his journey, but his efforts resulted in a worldwide legacy, inspiring annual Terry Fox Runs around the globe, and raising hundreds of millions of dollars for cancer research. 

Thanks to everybody who took part in this year’s Terry Fox Run Ireland in Dublin’s Herbert Park. 100 % of the proceeds have gone directly to the Irish Cancer Society to help fund world class cancer research.  

We were delighted also to be joined by Terry’s brother Fred on the Ireland Canada Connection podcast. Fred talks about growing up with Terry and what he was like as a kid, the remarkable fortitude with which he handled his cancer diagnosis, the genesis of the Terry Fox Run and the impact it has had worldwide ever since.

Terry Fox Brother Fred

ICBA Trade Mission to Toronto and Vancouver

ICBA Trade Mission 2023
ICBA Trade Mission 2023

Thanks to all who participated in and welcomed the ICBA Trade Mission to Toronto and Vancouver.
The itinerary started with an Ireland Canada Business Summit hosted in the offices of McMillan LLP in Toronto with a stellar Speaker lineup. RSM then hosted the group for a roundtable discussion with ICBA Council Member MPAC. Excellent Meetings with Premier of Ontario Doug Ford and Deputy Mayor of Toronto Jennifer McKelvie allowed the ICBA to discuss the strength of the Ireland Canada relationship. Later that evening at dinner we were able to recognise the work of Hon. James Maloney in achieving the status of Irish Heritage Month for March across Canada.
On Day 2 we visited the City of Brampton and developed great insight into how innovation is fostered. Air Canada Ireland Sales Manager Bláithín O’Donnell facilitated a group visit to the operations centre and we saw the inside machinations of a world class airline.

In Vancouver we had a briefing with the Ireland – Canada Chamber of Commerce, Vancouver and witnessed the passion and commitment of the Chamber members to the Ireland Canada relationship. We had a site visit to PressReader’s offices and had interesting discussions on Ireland Canada alliances with Invest Vancouver and Innovate BC. The group was honoured to be hosted by Mayor Mike Hurley and to meet Minister Brenda Bailey and Minister Jagrup Brar.

ICBA Podcast episode:

Chris Collenette reflects on his term as Chair of the ICBA, his time in Ireland, and becoming Irish citizen.

A short Canada Day message from Chairperson of the ICBA, Dr Deirdre Giblin

Congratulations to Alan Nishida and the IMAX team, winners of the 2023 ICBA Annual Golf Classic which took place at the Castleknock Golf Club. Irish Life, captained by Derek McCabe, came in a close second and third place was secured by Rob Tierney and the VHI Team. Thank you to everyone that took part and to Castleknock Golf Club for a great day.


Upcoming ICBA Events include:

25th January 2024
Ireland Canada Trade Briefing with Shannon Chamber of Commerce, Shannon, Co. Clare

Date TBC
Ireland Canada Business Summit
Iveagh House, Dublin

For further information please email:

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If you are interested in joining the ICBA please email events@irelandcanada.com