Sukhi Kular settled down in Newton over 20 years ago. After a life raised in Kenya and years spent in cities around the globe, Sukhi obtained a degree in Economics in Calgary and worked selling advertising here in the Lower Mainland. Throughout his time selling ads, Sukhi developed close connections with his clients. He quickly found himself not only selling advertising to his clients but helping them in many aspects of their business, as well as connecting these clients together when either needed a certain service or product. Sukhi than saw many clients exchanging advertising space for other goods and services, these “contra” agreements were his first introduction to barter. From these roots, Sukhi found partners and developed his business, First Canadian Barter Exchange, 18 years ago.barter exchange


First Canadian Barter Exchange currently has 600 members and has generated millions of dollars in new revenue for the local economy over the past 18 years. Supporting local businesses is key to First Canadian’s vision. The barter exchange has helped many businesses with startup costs and aiding them into the success they envision. How does the barter exchange work? It is a unique system of exchanging goods and services without exchanging cash.


“When a barter member makes a sale to another barter member, the seller is paid in barter dollars. One barter dollar is equivalent to one Canadian dollar. The seller can then take their barter dollars and spend them with any other member of the exchange.”


What makes First Canadian special is their close connection with clients. First Canadian acts as a concierge for their clients, each client is set up with a barter broker who helps promote their business and helps them to use barter dollars instead of cash as much as possible. They have done everything from simple transactions with clients to helping a client plan a wedding all through barter dollars! First Canadian acts as a solid support system for their clients helping to strengthen their future.


An example of a Newton business’ work with First Canadian is Bill Hayer of Best Built Homes. He accepts barter dollars as a portion of his payments and has used his dollars to pay for accommodations in Victoria, car repairs, and much more.


“I was first introduced to barter when I was the general manager of a hotel, and we used barter to fill empty rooms,” said Bill. “If we didn’t book a room for the night, we’d lose that potential revenue. As a barter member, we were able to capture that revenue in the form of barter dollars. With my construction company, barter keeps my guys busy during the slower months. I like being able to build relationships with other barter members.” – Bill Hayer

“It’s really about building community,” says Amber Noakes, partner at First Canadian Barter Exchange. “Small businesses are the heart of the community and it’s all about giving them the opportunity to thrive. By trading what you have for what you want, you’re able to increase your buying power and generate new customers you’d never have otherwise. Members aren’t limited by how much cash they have in the bank. If they have a skill or product people want, they now have buying power.”


First Canadian has been around the Lower Mainland since its beginning and settled here in Newton 2 years ago. Moving close to home and recognizing Surrey’s growth and becoming part of it was important to First Canadian. “We love living and working in Newton,” says Sukhi Kular. “I’ve lived in Newton for over 20 years. There is so much opportunity for growth throughout Surrey and we enjoy connecting with members of our local community.” Sukhi and Amber recognize the potential of Newton and look forward to the community’s growth and revitalization.