August 16, 2023

Your weekly round up of BizNews from throughout Greater Victoria!

Members of the Chamber board join executives from Ocean Networks Canada for a photo yesterday after an open house at OCN's facilities. See Member News below for more information.

Harbour Authority celebrates 10 millionth passengers

Two couples stepped off a cruise ship this morning at Ogden Point to a little more fanfare than they probably expected. The passengers were the 10 millionth to arrive via cruise ship, and were welcomed by City of Victoria mayor Marianne Alto and other local dignitaries.

“We’ve been married for 14 years, and we came on this trip to renew our vow,” Emma Lonergan, one of the lucky passengers, said in a new release from the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority. The first cruise ship passengers arrived in 1969.

“Cruise supports the region’s visitor economy and creates jobs that support Victoria’s economic recovery,” GVHA CEO Robert Lewis-Manning said. "Engineers, entrepreneurs, accountants, mechanics and others are employed due to cruise tourism in Victoria, with salaries totaling more than $40 million annually."

The GVHA said cruise visitors and crew contribute $56 million annually to Greater Victoria's economy, while cruise lines spend $84 million on warehousing, ship agents, repairs and maintenance, port fees and docking services.

Upcoming Events


September Emerge Connector at Pacific FC

5 Chamber Mixer at Camosun Interurban

Hire a Co-op Student to Benefit Your Team - Webinar

Wisdom for Family Enterprises - Dinner with David Bentall

August Business Mixer at Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse - Sold out

Check our Events Calendar for updates. 

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Greater Victoria Harbour Authority: Member since 2003

City of Victoria: Member since 1863

CRD approves major upgrade to commuter trails

The board of the Capital Regional District has agreed to a $53.5 million plan that will widen and add lighting to sections of the Galloping Goose and Lochside regional trails. The sections are on the Galloping Goose between the Selkirk Trestle and Grange Road, and the Lochside Trail between the Switch Bridge and Borden Street.

The plan was developed over several years through public engagement. About three million people use the trails per year and the CRD says user volumes "will increase significantly due to trends in population growth and a shift toward active transportation and healthy lifestyles." 

Cyclists account for about 80% of traffic on the trail, compared to 20% for pedestrians.

Capital Regional District Member since 1993

Chamber Chats with CEO Bruce Williams
Rob Germain from CHEK News with Bruce Williams from The Chamber

Mike Geric Construction: Member since 2017

Chamber Chats

Leading the way in building sustainable communities

The demand for housing across Canada is surging. As it does, some innovative, inclusive and environmentally advanced building is happening in our region. In this Chamber Chat, CEO Bruce Williams speaks with Ed Geric of Mike Geric Construction — one of the leaders in building sustainable communities.

Special thanks to our series sponsor: Island Savings

Inflation expectations add to economic uncertainty

Inflation is running hot in Canada, though the relationship between higher prices and the likelihood of the Bank of Canada raising rates is "complicated." The rate was 3.3% in July compared to 2.8% in June. Some of the higher costs are directly related to interest rates, which make some mortgages and loans more expensive and impacts renters as well as homeowners. The summer heat also caused energy demand to soar, and the war in the Ukraine continues to impact food prices worldwide.

The Bank of Canada has been clear that tamping down inflation remains its priority. That means another raise in interest rates remains on the table next month. However, the Conference Board of Canada reports that inflation could be feeding on itself as consumers and businesses have come to expect prices to keep rising.

How is your organization dealing with cost uncertainty? Share your stories or advice for other businesses at [email protected].

Feature your business on a national stage

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce recognizes that small businesses are the backbone of our economy, driving innovation, creating jobs, and contributing to local communities. The Canadian Chamber is looking to highlight small business owners at any stage of business by sharing your insights as part of a social media campaign in October. They want you to share any lessons learned and what inspired you to become an entrepreneur.

Are you ready to cast a spotlight on your business and share your entrepreneurial wisdom? Don't miss out on this opportunity! Simply complete the online form provided by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce before Aug. 31. Your story could be the catalyst that propels someone else toward their own business success.

Feature your business

New reality for workplaces requires strategic rethink

If the dialogue around remote work seems to have changed from "when is your team going back to the office to how can you adopt a hybrid workplace," you're not alone. The Canadian Chamber's Business Data Lab shows that North American cities are adapting to a new reality. Employers who are facing challenges finding and keeping workers are embracing workforce mobility as a solution. However, the change requires new strategies for ensuring the economic health and safety of urban cores that have lost jobs to the suburbs. The Chamber is working with our regional partners to rethink the role of Downtown Victoria so that it continues to be the vibrant centre of our regional economy.

"We know that our suburban downtowns are thriving, and that's good news for a lot of municipalities in Greater Victoria," Chamber CEO Bruce Williams said. "What we also need to do is make sure that Downtown Victoria continues as a major draw for tourists and a great place to live for residents. Of course, the way we do that is making sure we have a great climate for businesses to thrive so they can provide the goods and services that attract visitors and support locals."

Do you want to be on a Chamber committee?

The Chamber has a number of active and engaged committees that report to our Board of Directors. Each year, our committees will have a few openings for new members. If you're interested, we are recruiting now for Jan. 1, 2024, for at least a two-year term. Here are our committees:

  • Ambassador Committee
  • Finance and Audit Committee
  • Emerge Committee
  • Public Policy and Advocacy Committee
  • Inclusion, Diversity & Equity Advancement Committee

The opportunity to apply for any of the above committees will be open from Aug. 25 to Oct. 6. At the end of the application period, the chair of the committee will review your application and you will be contacted by email or phone.

Upcoming Events

To find out more or register for an event, click on the corresponding graphic below.

2023 5 Chamber Mixer - Biz News

The Chamber Auction is back this November

Showcase your product or service

It's back! We are excited to announce the return of our Annual Auction, taking place Nov. 5 - 12.


This is a major fundraising event for The Chamber, with all proceeds supporting our work as the largest and most influential advocate for businesses in the region. Last year, we received thousands of visits to our auction platform for an action-packed week of bidding on fabulous gifts and memorable experiences.


Do you want your products and services featured in the auction?


From gift cards to great local items and everything in-between, reach hundreds of potential customers by donating a prize today. Keep an eye on our social media feed to see some of the incredible Auction items that will be featured this year.

Sponsored by:

As an event sponsor, Maximum Express, Courier, Freight and Logistics is offering donors complimentary delivery of their auction item to The Chamber office.

Any questions? Please call (250) 383-7191 or email [email protected]

Donate Today!

Summer is a great time to hire new staff

As an exclusive member benefit, use the code INTRO2023 at checkout to receive a free 30-day listing on The Chamber’s job board.

If you have any questions or need help uploading your job, email The Chamber at [email protected]
Visit our website

Carpenter - Knappett Projects

Client Executive, Signature Insurance - Megson FitzPatrick

Communications & Engagement Officer - (COAST)


GIS Analyst & Watershed Restoration Project Coordinator - Rewilding Water & Earth


Total Compensation & People and Culture Generalist - Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria

Member News @VictoriaChamber

Airport authority appoints Elizabeth Brown to top role

Elizabeth Brown is the new President and CEO of the Victoria Airport Authority, effective Sept. 18. Brown returns to Greater Victoria after 16 years of working internationally. Most recently, she was President at TBI US Airports, the organization responsible for the operation of the Orlando Sanford International Airport.

Victoria Airport Authority: Member since 1981

Ocean Networks Canada shows their work at open house

Ocean Networks Canada held an open house yesterday, welcoming business and community leaders from across Greater Victoria. Guided tours of the facilities helped visitors learn about the important work the organization is doing — from earthquake early warning systems to tsunami and flood risk inundation modelling and carbon dioxide removal initiatives.

Ocean Networks Canada: Member since 2019

Co-op diversifies business with Liquor Express acquisition

Peninsula Co-op has entered into an agreement to purchase seven Liquor Express locations on Vancouver Island.The transaction is expected to close in mid-September. Current employees will be able to stay on as members of the Peninsula Co-op organization.

The stores are at:

• Yates St. at Blanshard, Downtown Victoria

• Wilkinson Rd at Interurban, Saanich

• Six Mile at Island Hwy, View Royal

• Keating Centre, Saanichton

• Tillicum Mall, Saanich

• Esquimalt Plaza, Esquimalt

• Selby St., Nanaimo

"While valuing our origins as a community-based member-owned organization, we are thrilled to expand our footprint of retail liquor locations,” Co-op CEP Corey Gillon said in a news release. Part of Peninsula Co-op's purpose is to stimulate local economic activity, create job opportunities and help build a better community.

Peninsula Co-op: Member since 2013

Share your good news so we can share with other members! 
Member to Member Discounts

Scale Collaborative - Get 50% off Thriving Non-Profits Training!

Victoria Bullion Exchange - 50% off Segregated Vault Storage for bullion

Victoria Fitness - Private Personal Training Studio - Get a 3-session Introductory Training Package for Half Price ($125)

Charge Fitness - 10% off Personal Training & Complimentary Introductory Session

Winkchronicity - Save 10% when you book your first retreat

View all Member to Member discounts

Members can post Coupons and Discounts free of charge here.

Welcome to our Newest Members!

Yellow Mellow Daycare

Chamber Member Events
Want to know what events are happening in the community? Check out The Chamber's Community Calendar to stay up to date with plays, seminars, grand openings and more.
Are you a member? Post your own events for free.
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