August 2, 2023
Your weekly round up of BizNews from throughout Greater Victoria!
Make the most of your Chamber membership by registering early for all of our great events. See below for details on what's coming up.
BC Ferries: Member since 1983
Results are in for Chamber's 2024 Board of Directors
The Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce the people who will make up our 2024 Board of Directors.

Rose Arsenault, James Gatsi and Jessica Stigant are returning for new two-year terms after being acclaimed for 2024. As well, Josue Dubon will also join the Board as a full voting director. Josue currently holds a non-voting position as chair of The Chamber's Emerge Committee.

And in related news, Dean Clarke joins The Chamber Board as the chair of The Chamber's new Family Business Committee.
Chamber Chats with CEO Bruce Williams
Mental health support in the classroom
In this Chamber Chat, CEO Bruce Williams continues with the series of conversations about managing mental illness and mental health, especially in workspaces. Today we speak about school and classroom support with Andrea Paquette of the Stigma Free Society.
Stigma Free Society: Member since 2022
Special thanks to our series sponsor: Island Savings
GDP stays positive even as high rates remain
The Canadian economy continued to show resiliency this spring. Statistics Canada reports that Gross Domestic Product stayed in positive territory. The Bank of Canada will make its next interest rate announcement on Sept. 6.

Business leaders will be watching closely as high-interest rates used to fight inflation have a direct impact on the cost of investment. A Globe and Mail interview with CIBC World Markets' deputy chief economist Benjamin Tal is a good read for insights to help cut through the confusing times. Tal said he thinks interest rates have peaked or are close to the peak. He added that conditions are right for rapid growth in business investment in 2025 as inflation subsides and productivity increases thanks to innovations such as AI.
CIBC: Member since 1901
Old Town reopens to delight of RBCM visitors
The Royal BC Museum has brought back one its most beloved sections. Old Town, an exhibit originally designed to recreate the look and feel of an early-20th-century settler community, reopened to the public last weekend. The space had been closed for a year-and-a-half for repairs and modernization.

"The museum plays a vital role in Greater Victoria as an anchor for local tourism and as a space where the stories of our province are shared with hundreds of thousands of visitors every year," Chamber CEO Bruce Williams said. "It's good to see people once again enjoying and learning from Old Town. The museum is working hard to give a voice to Indigenous peoples whose stories need to be heard, and to the many communities that settled here and helped make BC what it is today."
Royal BC Museum: Member since 1994
A little love for downtown businesses
The City of Victoria is considering a program that will help spruce up the look of businesses in the downtown core. The Business Façade Beautification Reimbursement Program is on the agenda for Thursday's council meeting. The city and the Downtown Victoria Business Association would split the cost of the program.

“This is an incentive to the property owners and the businesses on that block to join together and make their block look better," DVBA CEO Jeff Bray told the Times Colonist. "And I think when you do that over a handful of key blocks, it will be very noticeable.”

"As the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce, we support investment in our very important downtown centres," Chamber CEO Bruce Williams said. "They're not all the same, of course, but they all need to be safe communities. The best way to do that is to support community pride led by local business."
Downtown Victoria Business Association: Member since 2007
Esquimalt Chamber of Commerce: Member since 1980
City of Victoria: Member since 1863
Township of Esquimalt: Member since 2020
September Emerge Connector @ Pacific FC

Join Emerge to make authentic connections and have a great time all in one inclusive, casual and fun event!

Come for the connections and stay for the game. Cheer on Pacific FC as they battle against the Halifax Wanderers in one of their last games of the season. Come decked out in your PFC or other favourite sports team gear and enjoy casual networking in the Pitchside VIP Lounge before the game from 5 - 7 PM.

This evening will include an opportunity to connect with fellow business professionals, complimentary snacks & game tickets and a cash bar.
Friday, Sept 8 | 5 - 9 PM
Starlight Stadium, 1089 Langford Pkwy
Wisdom for Family Enterprises

The Chamber hosts award-winning author, family business advisor and TEDx speaker, David C. Bentall for a networking dinner followed by an engaging presentation.

David will explore key character traits that are critical for all Family Enterprise Successors. Generously sharing from his personal journey, he will offer insights for all developing leaders, providing a roadmap for cultivating emotional intelligence and for improving family relationships.
Wednesday, Sept. 27 | 5:30 - 9:30 PM
The Union Club of British Columbia
Hire a Co-op Student to Benefit Your Team

Interested in hiring a Camosun or UVic co-op student, but not sure where to start? Come learn about timing, funding programs, mentorship and the benefits of hiring a student in 2024.

Engaging a student is a cost-effective way to tackle ebbs and flows in the workplace - no matter the economic temperature. Students are available from a wide variety of programs from technology and sciences to business and communication and everything in between!

Thursday, Sept. 28 | 12- 1 PM
Zoom - link provided upon registration
5 Chamber Business Mixer

Join us for our annual joint mixer, bringing together great businesses from the Esquimalt, Greater Victoria, Saanich Peninsula, Sooke Region and WestShore Chambers!

This year our 5 Chamber mixer will be hosted by Camosun College in their beautiful Centre for Trades Education and Innovation building located on the Interurban Campus.

This event welcomes Chamber members from all five local Chambers, providing a wonderful opportunity to build your network and make new business connections.

Thursday, Sept. 21 | 5 - 7 PM
Centre for Trades Education & Innovation
Camosun Interurban Campus
Summer is a great time to onboard 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]
Celebrating what makes British Columbia home

Take a moment this BC Day long-weekend and step into the exciting world of British Columbia, where history, diversity and community living are connected, creating vibrant experiences for all. On Aug. 7, let's embark on a journey that celebrates what truly makes this province feel like home.
Let's begin by honouring the rich heritage of First Nations, who have been the stewards of this land for generations. This is a time for reconciliation, where we stand together to support friends, neighbours, and community members, all working tirelessly to make BC the fantastic place it is today.
From the Songhees to the Malahat First Nations, let's appreciate and embrace the incredible experiences Indigenous tourism businesses offer.
Our adventure doesn't end there! Take the opportunity to immerse yourself in the vibrant culture and local shopping scene or seize the moment to embark on that long-awaited home project. And for the spontaneous folks, why not plan a thrilling last-minute getaway to discover the breathtaking natural beauty of the province?
As BC Day approaches, we wish you a relaxing day, a chance to appreciate the joy of being a part of this extraordinary province that we all call home.
Please note that The Chamber will be closed on Monday, Aug. 7 to celebrate BC Day.
Member News
Great ways to celebrate International Beer Day and BC

With a long weekend and #internationalbeerday approaching, it's a great time to enjoy a good local beer with friends.
  • Philips Beer recently launched their new Dino Sour Guava Passion Fruit beer, perfect for our amazing weather.
  • Swans Brewery has something for everyone: more than 30 beers and 5 cocktails on tap.
  • Twa Dogs unfiltered beers combine rich brews of Scotland and Europe with the quality and character of West Coast craft beer.
  • Vancouver Island Brewing has recently opened a new patio — what’s better than beer and sun together?
  • Hoyne Brewing recently launched their must-try Italian Pilsner beer — Saluti!
  • Lighthouse Brewing Company is celebrating turning 25 by hosting a Block Party on Saturday, Aug.19.
  • Spinnakers has the best cure for hangovers. Their mineral waters contain calcium, sodium and magnesium.
Hoyne Brewing Co. Member since 2015
Phillips Brewing & Malting Co.: Member since 2020
Twa Dogs: Member since 2013
Lighthouse Brewing Company Inc.: Member since 2005
Swans Brewery, Pub & Hotel.: Member since 1993
Vancouver Island Brewing.: Member since 1993
Spinnakers Brewpub & Guesthouses.: Member since 1993
TELUS Ocean building set to add new landmark to downtown

When the TELUS Ocean building opens in 2024, it will simultaneous add a fresh new look to the City of Victoria's skyline while reflecting the existing character of surrounding architecture. Designed by Aryze Developments Inc., the new glass-faced landmark will be a "statement building," bringing 450 jobs to an area that has recently lost workers to other areas of the region.

“It shows that there is still value in locating downtown,” Chamber CEO Bruce Williams told Douglas Magazine. “It’s something that will be, I think, an attraction for businesses because it’s going to be such a modern and innovative building.”
Aryze Developments Inc: Member since 2021
TELUS Business: Member since 1954
Climate change mitigation project deemed safe for the seabed

A promising innovation to help mitigate climate change won't increase seismic risks to coastal communities. Ocean Networks Canada is leading the Solid Carbon project, which has shown that CO2 can be safely sequestered below the ocean floor. The project has the potential to store 250,000 gigatons of CO2. The findings that the process doesn't add to tectonic stresses is good news for Solid Carbon, which launched in 2019. ONC is an initiative of the University of Victoria.
University of Victoria: Member since 1954
Ocean Network Canada: Member since 2017
ICA among groups helping shape BC's new anti-racism laws

The Inter-cultural Association of Greater Victoria is one of 68 organizations in BC that will help the provincial government develop anti-racism legislation.

The Anti-Racism Act will be introduced in 2024. The provincial government is also working with First Nations and Métis partners on the legislation.

You can add your voice to how government should address systemic racism by completing an anti-racism questionnaire by Sept. 30.
Inter-cultural Association of Greater Victoria: Member since 1996
Funds helps BC Transit move closer to plan for fully electric fleet

BC Transit is getting as many as 115 battery electric buses as well as 134 new charging stations across the province. The announcement was made last week by the federal and provincial governments, which are contributing almost $400 million to help transit in the province. BC Transit is planning to have a fully electric fleet by 2040.
BC Transit: Member since 1999
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