September 14, 2022
Your weekly round up of BizNews from throughout Greater Victoria!
Queen Elizabeth II during a visit to CFB Esquimalt in 1983 — one of many visits to the Vancouver island by Canada's longtime Head of State.
Photo courtesy of CFB Esquimalt Naval and Military Museum
Let's celebrate democracy by voting this October
There's truth to the saying you don't know what you have until it's gone. We all experienced this during the pandemic as the loss of routines gave us a new perspective on the value of many things we had taken for granted.

It's a lesson we can apply to our approach to democracy. Let's not make going to the ballot sound like a chore. There is no burden on election day. The ability to vote is an exceptional thing. With civic elections coming up quick on Oct. 15, The Chamber is encouraging members to help lead the way. Let's remind our communities that democratic values need to be celebrated so they can continue to thrive.

The best way to make a difference is to get involved, know who your candidates are and learn what they stand for. A well-informed electorate is best way to ensure good governance.
Who is running in your municipality?
How to find out more information on candidates?
In 2022, a quick search online is an easy way to see how individuals and organizations present themselves in their own words. However, The Chamber suggests turning to local media for a more objective analysis of candidates and what they stand for.

We're lucky in Greater Victoria to have a number of sources of great journalism committed to keeping democracy healthy. Over the course of the election campaign, The Chamber will highlight key election coverage and we will actively encourage all eligible voters to exercise their right on Oct. 15.

Local Media Municipal Election coverage

Don't forget to cast your vote for Chamber Board
A new slate of community leaders have put their names forward to share their insight and experience as potential members of the 2023-24 Chamber Board of Directors.

Each fall, the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce holds an election to fill open seats on our board. Directors are elected to two-year term with staggered renewal dates. This year, there are eight (8) amazing candidates nominated for six (6) positions on the board.

Election ballots were emailed Thursday, Sept. 8, to the main contact of every Chamber member. The Chamber uses a weighted voting system, based on your organization's number of employees. Voting will close at noon Thursday, Oct. 6.

Personal write-ups for each of the nominees are included with the electronic ballot. You can also view the nominees on The Chamber’s website.

Join a Chamber committee!
The Chamber is also accepting nominations for openings on our 2023 committees. This important roles are a great way to share your leadership attributes with Greater Victoria's business community. Learn more.
CEO Column: Mental health vital for every business
Bruce Williams is CEO of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce

Many years ago, when I first entered the workforce, most people didn’t talk about mental health as something that needed to be supported.

I wonder how many people I’ve worked with who might have had better outcomes if employers truly understood the value of supporting their staff’s mental wellbeing.

We do a much better job today. There are a number of dates on the calendar — such as Mental Health Day on Oct. 10 — that are helping build awareness. We now know that all of us are affected by mental health in some way. Like many, I’ve shared personal stories on social media and in my Chamber Chats podcast of my own struggles as a younger person with mental health because I believe it’s past time to address the stigma that can keep people from getting help.

In September, I’m hosting a conversation with Jonny Morris, CEO of the Canadian Mental Health Association’s BC Division. I’m looking forward to the discussion and how businesses can help with efforts to continue improving the health of their employees. As a prelude to this you might want to check out the Chamber Chat podcast I did with Jonny a few months ago.
Thursday party planned to celebrate 55+ Games
Staying active is key to a long and healthy life, and this week Greater Victoria welcomes 2,500 older athletes competing in the 55+ BC Games. It's the first time the multi-sport event has been held in the region.

The Games kicked off on Sept. 13 and run until Sept. 17. The annual competition features 22 sports and activities at facilities in the City of Victoria, District of Saanich, City of Langford, District of Oak Bay and Township of Esquimalt.

Age categories range up to 100+ for some Track and Field events. Athletes come from 12 Zones across the province, and a special party is planned for tomorrow. The Thursday Night on the Town festival will feature music, First Nations cultural performances and activities from 5 to 8 pm on Government Street between Humboldt and View streets.

The 55+ BC Games are the largest annual multi-sport event in the province, and the first to be held in Greater Victoria since the North American Indigenous Games in 1997.
City of Victoria: Member since 1863
District of Saanich: Member since 2019
City of Langford: Member since 2019
Township of Esquimalt: Member since 2020
District of Oak Bay: Member since 2021
Watch Chamber CEO Bruce Williams' recent Chamber Chat podcast about the Greater Victoria 2022 55+ BC Games.
Honouring leadership and legacy in Greater Victoria
Tickets are selling out fast for The Chamber Business Hall of Fame, presented by RBC! Join us for a red-carpet gala celebrating the contributions of 19 inductees in the growth of our region.
Connect with Greater Victoria's most influential business stakeholders. Enjoy a wonderful evening hosted by CHEK TV's Stacy Ross and be inspired by the inductees and special guest speaker Julie Angus from Open Ocean Robotics.
Wed., Oct. 5 | 5-9 PM
Victoria Conference Centre
Or, call The Chamber office at
250-383-7191 for our concierge service.
Meet our Inductees
Eric Charman rose to a high echelon of influence among business leaders in Greater Victoria and beyond, serving as President of both the BC and Canadian Real Estate Councils.

As a boy, he developed a love for the arts. This led him to lend his considerable talents to raise millions of dollars through his role as auctioneer at more than 500 charity fundraisers.

In addition to arts groups such as the Victoria Conservatory of Music, the Art Gallery, Victoria Symphony and Pacific Opera Victoria, Eric worked hard on behalf of Victoria Hospice, Our Place Society and the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce.
Learn about Charman's impact and legacy at the 2022 Business Hall of Fame gala.
Eric Charman was awarded the
Governors’ Lifetime Achievement
Award in 2018.
Network and learn with The Chamber this fall
Get outside with Prodigy and Take a Hike Foundation
Join the Prodigy Group and Take A Hike Foundation to reflect and connect with one another in nature. Counsellors will guide attendees through a circle exercise and a walk with options for different lengths and accessibility levels.
After the walk, enjoy casual appies and drinks in the Nature House where you can continue to foster great connections and future collaborations with a diverse group of emerging professionals overlooking Swan Lake and the beautiful outdoor landscape.
Sponsored by:
Thurs., Sept. 15  | 5-7 PM
Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary, 3873 Swan Lake Rd., Victoria
Business Leaders Luncheon:
Mental Health in the Workplace with CMHA
Join Canadian Mental Health Association, BC Division's CEO Jonny Morris to learn about CMHA's work around building better mental health.
Whether you are managing a mental illness, supporting someone you care about, managing a team at work, or looking to build your own overall health, CMHA has valuable resources to build skills and resilience to help.
Sponsored by:
Tues., Sept. 20 | 11:30 AM - 1 PM
The Parkside Hotel & Spa, 810 Humboldt St., Victoria
5 Chamber Business Mixer
Join us for the annual joint mixer bringing together great businesses from the Esquimalt, Greater Victoria, Saanich PeninsulaSooke Region and WestShore Chambers

The beautiful, open space of the new Gorge Park Pavilion will set the stage for a great evening of connection hosted by The Esquimalt Chamber of Commerce and will feature some of their local member businesses.

This event welcomes Chamber members of all 5 local Chambers. Future members of a chamber are welcome to join the event to see firsthand why joining a local Chamber of Commerce is right for you.

New spots available. Register today!
Sponsored by:
Venue Sponsor:
Thurs., Sept. 22 | 5 - 7 PM
Gorge Park Pavilion, 1070 Tillicum Rd, Victoria, BC
Chamber Partners:
Small Business Month Member Networking Breakfast
Come celebrate the power of small businesses with the Small Business Month Networking Breakfast presented by Grant Thornton LLP and supported by our media partners 98.5 The Ocean and 103.1 Jack FM

After casual networking over breakfast, The Chamber Team will take the floor to begin the roundtable meetings. At each table, guests will have a chance to introduce themselves and their businesses in a 60 second elevator pitch.

Facilitated by The Chamber, attendees will connect with nearly everyone in the room. Try it out for yourself & grow your business!
Wed., Oct. 19 | 8 - 9:30 AM
Spinnakers Brewpub & Guesthouses
308 Catherine St - Upstairs in the Tap Room, Victoria
Sponsored by:
Media Partners:
October Business Mixer @ Pendray Inn & Tea House
Emerse yourself in elegance at the October Business Mixer hosted by the Pendray Inn & Tea House.

Formerly known as the Gatsby Mansion, the magnificent Victorian-era Pendray Inn and Tea House offers a boutique experience for those in search of a little old time romance.

Come enjoy it's remarkable history and outstanding service while you establish and renew business connections.
Sponsored by:
Thurs., October 20 | 5 - 7 PM
Pendray Inn & Tea House
309 Belleville Street
Victoria, BC V8V 1X2
The Chamber Auction is back this November
Showcase your product or service
Take a sneak peek at an incredible experience available at the 2022 Chamber Auction from Nov. 6 – 13! 

Seaspan Shipyards and the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority have teamed up to offer this rare and unique opportunity.

Hop onboard and join a Seaspan Mariner Team on a Tug Boat Ride-Along and Breakwater District Terminal Tour! This experience will provide you and 2 guests with an entirely new perspective of our shared harbour.

Interested in having your products or services showcased at our auction? Email or fill out our 2022 Auction Donation Form.
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
Sponsored by:
Media Partner:
Skip the walk-in clinic line with Teladoc
Don’t miss the last few days of summer by waiting to be seen by a doctor. If you have Chambers Group Insurance, you can now take advantage of Teladoc Telemedicine Services — a fast and efficient way of getting the help you need, when you need it.

Members can receive a diagnosis, treatment recommendation and even be prescribed medicine when necessary. Members can consult a physician about non-urgent medical matters by video conference or by phone, from wherever they are, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Chambers Plan offers the Teladoc Telemedicine service at no additional charge to all plan members and their dependents. With the Chambers Group Insurance plan, you can customize an employee benefits plan that meets your needs.
Chamber Chats with CEO Bruce Williams
​The Impact of COVID-19 on Pharmacies
As we maneuvered our way through the COVID pandemic, pharmacies were on the front line of health care and support.

In this Chamber Chat we learn from two pharmacists about how supplies of medication and other lifestyle necessities were impacted.

CEO Bruce Williams speaks with Linda Gutenberg of Heart Pharmacy and Murray Byers of Shoppers Drug Mart in Royal Oak.
Shoppers Drug Mart #269, Royal Oak: Member since 2022
Heart Pharmacy Group: Member since 2001
Comfort foods even better when made locally
Ice cream and peanut butter are two favorite comfort and fun foods.

In this Chamber Chat, CEO Bruce Williams speaks with two local companies creating their own version of those food favorites, Fatso Peanut Butter and 49 Below Ice Cream.

For more Chamber Chats, visit
Fatso: Member since 2019

49 Below Ice Cream: Member since 2022
Special thanks to our series sponsor: Island Savings
Showcase opportunities in your industry
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 about the job board or need assistance posting, email
Member News
Return of Rifflandia

After a four-year hiatus, Rifflandia is returning to Greater Victoria this weekend. Throughout this week, festival-goers have the chance to show their wristband at participating businesses for a chance to win great local prizes, including prizes at Goo Goo Goggles, Hands on Collective, Helijet, Mint Restaurant, Nezza Naturals, Whistle Buoy Brewing Company, Working Culture Bread, and much more.
Rifflandia Festival: Member since 2022
Working Culture Bread Ltd.: Member since 2022
Hands On Collective: Member since 2021
Nezza Naturals Inc.: Member since 2021
Whistle Buoy Brewing Company: Member since 2019
Goo Goo Goggles: Member since 2008
Mint Restaurant: Member since 2006
Helijet International Inc.: Member since 1987
Strathcona unveils Wicket Hall

After months of renovation, the Strathcona Hotel will be opening their new venue next weekend. Wicket Hall has capacity for 600 people, and will feature a golf and sports simulator for patrons. Wicket Hall is hosting a special celebration Sept. 23-24 to mark the occasion. 
Strathcona Hotel: Member since 1961
Do you have a success story? We want to hear from you
Wi-Fi expansion at BC Ferries

BC Ferries has tripled the number of terminals that offer free Wi-Fi to travelers. Now offered at 21 terminals across BC, the shore-based internet expansion was funded through the B.C. Ministry of Citizens Services’ Connecting British Columbia program.
BC Ferries: Member since 1983
BC Ferries: Chamber Champion since 2022
Defence on the Dock this Saturday

This Saturday, CFB Esquimalt will be hosting Defence on the Dock at Ship Point. You and your family have the chance to meet members of our navy onboard an ORCA or Defender class vessel and learn more about how the military serves Canada at home and abroad. The event includes boat rides and temporary naval tattoos. Chamber CEO Bruce Williams will speak at the opening ceremony at 10 am.
CFB Esquimalt: Member since 1979
Greater Victoria Harbour Authority: Member since 2003
Phillips features best Kölsch on earth
Phillips Brewing & Malting Co. has been awarded three titles at the World Beer Awards. Their new Cold Snap Kolsch received the world’s Best Kölsch award, their Glitterbomb Hazy Pale Ale won Canada Gold for American Style Pale Ale, and their beloved Blue Buck won Canada Bronze for Altbier. Congratulations Phillips!

Phillips Brewing & Malting Co.: Member since 2020
Win big by cycling this Autumn

Oct. 6-9 is Fall GoByBike Weekan opportunity to encourage everyone in the Capital Region to give cycling a try for one week. Capital Bike is giving away $15,000 worth of prizes for registered cyclists, and will be hosting Celebration Stations across the region featuring free food, beverages, and other goodies.
Capital Bike: Member since 2022
Member to Member Discounts
Members can post Coupons and Discounts free of charge here.
Welcome to our Newest Members!
Need to get one of our snazzy Chamber name tags?