February 15, 2023
Your weekly round up of BizNews from throughout Greater Victoria!
More than 300 people gathered at the Royal BC Museum last week to celebrate the 160th anniversary of the founding of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce on Feb. 9, 1863. Thank you to event sponsors, Truffles Catering, Royal BC Museum, and the Times Colonist. View photos from the event here.
The Chamber’s earliest efforts were to promote the region as a hub for culture, finance and shipping. It was a time for adventure as well as profound disruption. Many of those stories are included in The Chamber 1863 web project, a special endeavour that highlights the history of commerce and the many communities that contributed to the growth of commerce in our region.
“It’s important to understand where you’ve been before you plan where you’re going. Looking back helps us move forward as we strive to be the region’s most diverse and influential business association,” Chamber CEO Bruce Williams said.

As part of our forward planning, the Greater Victoria Chamber 1863 Impact Award was announced in November and will provide local post-secondary students a total of $160,000 to help build the next generation of skilled workers. Find out more at
Chamber hosts Island rail corridor info session
On Feb. 14, The Chamber facilitated a Zoom session with Paul Robinson of the Vancouver Island Transportation Corridor Coalition and Larry Stevenson, CEO of the Island Corridor Foundation.

Members of chambers from across Vancouver Island attended to listen and ask questions about the corridor's future. It's currently uncertain as a March 14 court-imposed deadline looms. In 2021, the BC Court of Appeals gave the federal and provincial governments 18 months to renew their commitment to improve the infrastructure required for rail. The deadline was triggered by a lawsuit launched by the Snaw-naw-as First Nation. They want to reclaim the land that runs through their territory, arguing the right-of-way granted by Canada in 1912 is no longer being used as intended.

Island communities enjoyed rail service for more than 100 years, until it was suspended indefinitely in 2011. Since then, a vocal group of train enthusiasts, environmentalists and transportation planners have been calling for a modern passenger train that will reduce the number of cars and transport trucks on Island highways, cut greenhouse gas emissions and offer an alternative for commuters.

Island communities have also lost inter city bus service creating yet another barrier to safe travel for people who can't access a vehicle. The Chamber has asked the Federal Government to subsidize a return of that service.
Island Corridor Foundation: Member since 2020
Regional Transit Commission adds 6 new members
There are a few fresh faces on the Victoria Regional Transit Commission. On Monday, the province appointed six new people to the commission:
  • Marianne Alto, mayor of Victoria
  • Dean Murdock, mayor of Saanich
  • Ryan Windsor, mayor of Central Saanich
  • Marie-Térèse Little, mayor of Metchosin
  • Chris Coleman, councillor of Victoria
  • Colin Plant, councillor of Saanich
They join Oak Bay mayor Kevin Murdoch and Sooke mayor Maja Tait, who continue their work with the commission.

The transit commission decides on fares, routes and service levels as well as distribution of its share of revenue raised from taxes on fuel and property.
Royal BC Museum plays vital role for our region
After hosting The Chamber's 160th celebration, the Royal BC Museum continues its work reinventing itself for the future. The Victoria landmark has long been an important anchor for tourism business that cater to the visitors attracted to our destination. The museum lobby is currently hosting the 17th annual Mammoth Sale, featuring props from former exhibits as well as merchandise from the gift store.

On Monday morning, the museum was the site of an inspirational moment as members of the Nuxalk people were on hand to receive a totem pole that was taken from its home near Bella Coola in 1912. The pole will make its way back to Nuxalk territory.

"The museum is part of the fabric of Greater Victoria and many people feel strongly about what they want to see happen," Chamber CEO Bruce Williams said. "I'm fully confident in the work that museum staff are doing to modernize their facility, and The Chamber is excited about helping to ensure the museum continues to serve its important role in our region for generations to come."
Royal BC Museum: Member since 1994
It's Chamber Week!
February 13 - 17, 2023 is Chamber Week. This is an opportunity for Chamber Members to celebrate community and build relationships in Greater Victoria.
Join the conversation on social media by using the hashtag #ChamberWeekVicBC and by tagging @VictoriaChamber.
Sponsored by:
Media Partners:
Chamber Week Webinar
Attracting, Developing & Engaging Talent: The Changing Workforce
Join The Chamber and Royal Roads University on February 16th for a panel discussion on responding to changing workforce realities.

In this session, we will explore trends and developments that are shaping today’s workforce and how businesses can more effectively attract, develop, and engage talent.
Make sure to register even if you are unable to attend. Everyone registered will receive the recording.
March Emerge Connector @ Victoria Royals Game
You're invited to the first ever Emerge Connector. 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 your Victoria Royals as they battle against the Prince George Cougars in one of their last games of the season.

Casual networking in the Molson Fan Deck Club Lounge will take place before the game from 5-7pm. Complimentary premium club game tickets will be provided to the first 75 Emerge Connector guests, with additional tickets available at a discounted rate of $20 for family and friends to join you for the game.
March Business Mixer with Amica Senior Lifestyles
Join us for cocktails and community. This vibrant, after-hours business social event provides an excellent opportunity for members and future members to meet face-to-face, establishing or renewing valuable business relationships. Join us for an evening of hors d'oeuvres and refreshments at our March Business Mixer hosted by Amica Senior Lifestyles (Amica Jubilee House)
Sponsored by:
Upgrade your Directory Listing for Chamber Week

During Chamber Week, make sure you're putting your best self forward by updating your online directory listing! Through strong SEO practices, thousands of users are viewing The Chamber’s member directory every month. So, we made an easy checklist to ensure your listing is getting the views it deserves. 
Online Directory Listing Checklist:
  • Your logo, pictures and YouTube video are all up-to-date 
  • All your social media channels are listed 
  • Your listing description reflects your brand 
  • All relevant keywords are added.

It's easy to make changes to your listing — simply login here. To update your logo or photos, scroll to the Upload Media section at the bottom of your Membership Portal. To update your listing description, keywords, and social media channels, select the “Edit this profile” tab at the top of the page.

As always, you can email us the changes you would like to see and we can update your listing on your behalf.
Chamber Week: roots of the Chamber movement
As we celebrate Chamber Week, do you know where the first Chamber of Commerce began?

Although we can count our start date back to 1863, the international Chamber movement has been around since 1599, starting in France.

According to La Chambre de Commerce et d’Industrie Métropolitaine Aix-Marseille-Provence (CCIMP) website, the French government was concerned about the presence of pirates in the Mediterranean Sea and their threat to French merchant ships. As a result, the city's government brought together merchants, traders, and shipmasters to address the problem. They would become the first known Chamber of Commerce.

Over the years, Chambers and Boards of Trade have evolved beyond protecting merchant ships to helping businesses network, access resources, promote their services, and advocate their needs to governments. Chambers can now be found world-wide with the very first North American Chamber being formed in Halifax in 1750.

Learn more about historic events and The Chamber in our 1863 Web Project.
Celebrating #IndigenousBusinessVicBC
The Chamber is committed to Indigenous reconciliation. We’re proud to feature new Indigenous members, including Two Worlds Consulting!

Two Worlds Consulting is an Indigenous owned consulting firm in Victoria. They describe themselves as a navigator between worlds, finding pathways to collaborative process, informed decision-making, and shared prosperity. Two World Consulting offers many services including engagement services, socio-economic analysis, and Indigenous knowledge and land use studies.

Stay tuned as we highlight more Indigenous Chamber members — #IndigenousBusinessVicBC

Are you an Indigenous-owned business working in Greater Victoria? Learn more about Chamber membership and opportunities to connect by emailing [email protected]

Two Worlds Consulting: Member since 2020
Chamber Chats with CEO Bruce Williams
Food Security with ColdStar Solutions
One of the biggest impacts on the rise in our cost of living has been the steadily increasing price of food.

In this Chamber Chat, CEO Bruce Williams discusses the factors contributing to this increase with Travis Shaw of ColdStar Solutions, one of the major links in our food supply chain.
ColdStar Solutions Inc.: Chamber Champion since 2023
ColdStar Solutions Inc.: Member since 2012
Special thanks to our series sponsor: Island Savings
Showcase your industry in 2023 the job board

Find the best talent in your industry with The Chamber’s job board.

When you post your next job, be sure to add your "industry type" to ensure your job can be found by the right candidates. The list of industry types are constantly being updated, and can be modified to highlight any industry. Don’t see your industry listed? Send us an email!

Also remember to add a specific category for the job in the position title. From Admin and HR to Marketing and Comms positions, you can see all 14 categories here.

If you have any questions or need assistance uploading your job posting, email [email protected] 
Member News
UVic receives funding for ocean research

The University of Victoria and Ocean Networks Canada have received $46.5 million in funding to enhance their ocean monitoring system. Deep sea and coastal ocean observatories will receive enhanced tools to collect data, support safe navigation, and inform emergency response planning. Funds will be allocated over the next five years.

Ocean Networks Canada: Member since 2019
University of Victoria: Member since 1976
University of Victoria: Chamber Champion since 2020
Deuce Days will be back in July 2025

Destination Greater Victoria’s Deuce Days will be returning in 2025. More than 1,000 classic cars will be welcomed back to Greater Victoria from July 17-20, 2025, arriving from as far away as Florida to attend. Registration for Deuce Days 2025 opens this spring.
Destination Greater Victoria: Member since 1988
Black Press wins two national awards

Vic News Powered by Black Press received national recognition at the 2022 Canadian Online Publishing Awards. For the third consecutive year winning an award, this year the team received the gold award for Best Daily News Coverage, silver for Best Photojournalism, and was listed as a finalist for Best Community News Website.
Vic News Powered by Black Press: Member since 1987
Ultrasound training clinic opens at Camosun

Camosun College and Island Health have opened an outpatient training ultrasound clinic — the first of its kind in Canada. Students will receive hands-on training in the medical field, while patients receive diagnostic testing. The clinic is comprised of two ultrasound rooms and two echocardiogram rooms.

Island Health: Member since 2020
Camosun College: Member since 1981
10 years of support for Rainbow Kitchen

The Root Cellar Village Green Grocer is celebrating the 10-year anniversary of partnering with Victoria Rainbow Kitchen Society. Root Cellar provides Rainbow Kitchen 500 pounds of fresh produce every week, and through 10 years of annual fundraising campaigns, have raised over $100,000 for Rainbow Kitchen since 2012.

Victoria Rainbow Kitchen Society: Member since 2021
Root Cellar Village Green Grocer Ltd.: Member since 2011
How to take part in Random Acts of Kindness

This Friday is Random Acts of Kindness Day! We all could use some extra positivity in our lives, and The Chamber would like to encourage you to make a positive impact wherever you go. Looking for ideas? Follow a few of these tips inspired by The Victoria Foundation:
  • Buy coffee for the person in line behind you either in-store or at the drive through
  • Bake cookies for your coworkers with ingredients from a Chamber member grocer
  • Donate food, money supplies to a local non-profit
  • Donate books to the library
  • Let your staff leave work a little early
  • Leave a positive google review for a great local business.
Victoria Foundation: Member since 2004
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