Join us for the August Mixer & Mingle Thursday, Aug. 15 at the Victoria Native Friendship Centre from 5-7 pm. In addtion to excellent networking opportunities, the Victoria Native Friendship Centre will prepare traditional drinks and food and demonstrate how to make cedar roses. Register today!
Educating our federal candidates

As summer begins to wind down, it's time to get back to business ahead of the Oct. 21 federal election.
 
The Chamber is once again partnering with the City of Victoria, the Downtown Victoria Business Association, the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority and Destination Greater Victoria to determine key regional priorities for the next federal government.

On Sept. 11, we will co-host an All-Candidates Listening Session from 5:30 to 7:30 pm at the Lecture Theatre in the Victoria Conference Centre.
 
Moderated by Gregor Craigie of CBC Radio, the key priorities and presenters are;
  • Labour, Immigration & Work Force Development - Paul Nursey, CEO, Destination Greater Victoria
  • Child Care & Transportation - Catherine Holt, CEO, Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce
  • Housing - Councillor Jeremy Loveday, City of Victoria; and Jeff Bray, CEO, Downtown Victoria Business Association
  • Climate Change & Reconciliation - Mayor Lisa Helps, City of Victoria
The public are invited to attend, free of charge. There will be opportunities following the session to engage with the panel and candidates.
Chamber News
Events
Day at the Track
Roundup at the Roundhouse
Women Business Owners' Roundtable
August Mixer & Mingle
37th Annual Dinner Auction Gala
Event Photos
Upcoming Chamber Events
We need more than harm reduction to solve opioid crisis
Addressing the opioid crisis is vital to ensuring safe communities for citizens and business, but we need to make sure long-term treatment options aren't lost in the race to provide safe spaces and drug substitutes for people suffering from addiction.
 
Island Health announced yesterday that an injectable opioid treatment option will be available at its Johnson Street Community supervised consumption site and clinic. The injection is more effective at helping chronic users avoid the severe pain and nausea of opioid withdrawal.
 
Getting addicts away from dangerous street drugs is the first step toward helping people overcome their cycle of addiction. The next step, which needs more attention and resources, is making sure options are readily available for long-term treatment.
 
Our Place Society's Don Evans told the Times Colonist that his research has shown that a real solution needs to include enforcement, education and accessible treatment. Chamber CEO Catherine Holt explains why Our Place and its Therapeutic Recovery Community is our ray of hope.

Our Place Society: member since 2010
SUMMER SOCIAL SERIES:  
 
High-performance employees deserve a couple of hot laps in a high-performance car! Treat your employees or treat yourself.  

Spend an unforgettable afternoon at the Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit - coined "the most beautiful track in the world" by Autoweek Magazine. Hang out in the Paddock Lounge sampling delicious food and cold beverages, then take a tour of this amazing facility.
Sponsored by: 
Fri, Aug 16 | 2-5 pm      
Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit
4063 Cowichan Valley Hwy.   
   
         
     
 
The Summer Social Series transports you to a new location where you will enjoy a memorable event and connect over great food and local wine, beer, cocktails and non-alcoholic options
Adventure kayaking trip
Catherine 

Chamber CEO Catherine Holt and three adventurous Chamber members recently returned from five days of kayaking and hiking on Spring Island near Kyuquot on the western edge of Vancouver Island. 
 
The trip was organized by Chamber member Cathy Scott from Departures Travel and Niche Travel. Chamber members Mary
Beverly and Mary Lou
Lou Newbold from Mayfair Optometric Clinic and Beverly Carter from Beverly Carter Notary Public joined the trip, guided by West Coast Expeditions.
 
All four survived an unprecedented five days without cell phone coverage!
 
 
Departures Travel and Niche Travel: member since 2013 
 
Mayfair Optometric Clinic: member since 1996 
 
Beverly Carter Notary Public: member since 2013 
Best beer cities in the world

The craft beer scene has changed the beverage industry across the globe. Earlier this month CNN named its "15 Best Beer Cities Around World." Guess which city made the list? We did! Victoria is the only Canadian city named on the list, which included notable beer destinations such as Portland, ME, Asheville, NC and Brussels, Belgium.

Craft beer attracts many visitors to our city, and the
article mentions Chamber members: Swans Brewery, Canoe Brewpub and Hoyne Brewing Co.


Swan's Brewery: member since 1993

Canoe Brewpub: member since 1998

Hoyne Brewing Co.: member since 2015
SUMMER SOCIAL SERIES:  
 
Stampede on over to the chef stations to enjoy gourmet appetizers, BBQ sliders, mac n' cheese and pie catered by Food For Thought Catering. Quench your thirst with local BC wine, craft beer and non-alcoholic cocktails. Then kick up your boots with some line dancing. Yeehaw!
Sponsored by: 
Thu, Sept 5 | 6:30-8:30 pm      
The Roundhouse at Bayview
253 Esquimalt Rd.   
   
          
   
 
The Summer Social Series transports you to a new location where you will enjoy a memorable evening and connect over great food and local wine, beer, cocktails and non-alcoholic options.   
Members Around Town
 
Grand Opening Westhills Stadium 
Pacific FC: member since 2019 
Best new restaurants
Air Canada's list of 35 nominees for Canada's Best New Restaurants of 2019 includes Chamber member House of Boateng. Air Canada sent a writer across the country to try restaurants, armed with fake names for making reservations. Now a panel of industry judges will winnow down the list to 10 winners, which will be revealed this fall. Good luck Chef Boateng and team! 
 
Air Canada: member since 1962     
 
House of Boateng: member since 2016 
Electric ferries in the harbour 
Next year, the Gray Line Hop-On-Hop-Off division of Wilson's Group of Companies will debut the Victoria Electric Boat Co - six fully-electric boats offering a hop-on-hop-off service around the Inner Harbour and Gorge Waterway. T he 26-foot electric vessels can be operated for up to 10 hours on a single charge. There are already plans to run evening dinner cruises and eventually expand the water fleet to 12 vessels.  
Wilson's Group of Companies: member since 2004  
Alpine Disposal sold
Ontario-based GFL Environmental has bought Alpine Disposal, the solid waste division of Evergreen Industries, part of the Alpine Group. All 100 employees and management of Alpine Disposal have joined GFL, and customers will not see any changes. The sale does not affect Alpine Disposal operations anywhere else in BC, or the more than 20 other companies under the Alpine Group banner. 
 
Alpine Group: member since 2008
HarbourCats remarkable season
Last night, the Victoria HarbourCats made their third West Coast League playoff appearance in four seasons against the Wenatchee AppleSox. Unfortunately the HarbourCats' potent bats - which earned WCL single-season records for most runs, hits, RBIs and homers - fell silent in the face of Wenatchee's shut-down pitching. However, the HarbourCats are returning to Wilson's Group Stadium at Royal Athletic Park tonight for game two. If they win, there will be a third game Thursday evening, and potentially a fourth on Friday.
 
Victoria HarbourCats: member since 2012
Wilson's Group of Companies: member since 2004   
 
A limited number of early bird tickets are now on sale for the 37th annual Dinner Auction Gala. This black tie evening includes cocktails, chef stations, a silent and live auction and entertainment, including dancing and an interactive photo booth.

Saturday, November 2 | 6-10:30 pm
Fairmont Empress, 721 Government St.


  
Here's a sneak peek at a few items that will be at the event:
Want to see your item showcased at the auction? Contact chamber@victoriachamber.ca.
Sponsored by

Ride-hailing spurs debate in region

Ride-hailing company Lyft has announced it will begin operating in Vancouver by the end of the year. However, Lyft won't commit to Greater Victoria until it determines whether there are enough drivers with class 4 commercial licences to provide a reliable service. It's the same concern Uber expressed earlier in the summer (July 31 Biznews).
 
The provincial government will begin accepting applications on Sept. 3 and the earliest ride hailing services could begin is Sept. 16. The introduction of ride hailing continues to spur debate. Chamber CEO Catherine Holt told Douglas magazine that our members represent a range of industry perspectives.
 
"If we look at it from the broader community perspective, one of the things we've said is that it's important to bring it here to keep us modern with every other place tourists are visiting and business people are operating in. They like many things - the cost, the speed, the responsiveness - so there's certainly an appetite to have it here."

Lyft: member since 2017
Uber: member since 2019
Tourism dips in region as BC expected to set record   
Greater Victoria's tourism industry is cooling slightly, after riding the boom in travel that has buoyed global destinations since the end of the Great Recession.
 
After six years of growth, statistics compiled by Chemistry Consulting show hotel occupancy was down by almost 6% this June compared to June 2018, although room rates continue to rise. 
 
For the same month, BC Ferries reported a slight increase in the number of vehicles, while the number of passengers dropped by 1% and the number of buses decreased by 17.3%. Victoria International Airport welcomed 6.4% fewer passengers in June compared to the year before, and the Victoria Conference Centre had 36.3% fewer delegate days over the same time period.
 
The industry remains healthy overall and Destination BC says it expects the province to reach record levels of visitors this year.


Chemistry Consulting: member since 2006
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. 

Aug 17 - Builders on the Barge
Aug 17 - Lighthouse's 21st Birthday Bash!
Sept 9 - Easter Seals Drop Zone Victoria
Sept 20 - Harvest on the Harbour: A Night Under the Stars
Sept 22 - UrbaCity Challenge - Victoria's own downtown adventure race!
Sept 26 - The Art of Leave Management

Click here to see more great events. Do you have an event you want to share? Email us for instructions on how to post one today! 
Welcome to our newest members!
 






 


Chamber Name Tags
In response to members' requests, The Chamber has redesigned the name tags Chamber members can purchase. We increased the prominence of your business name while keeping your name clearly visible.

Need to get one of the snazzy new Chamber Name tags? Email us to order yours today.