Chamber Chair Dan Dagg, Bayview Place owner Ken Mariash, Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps and Chamber CEO Catherine Holt
On Tues, May 1, Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps addressed a sold out gathering of business leaders at The Chamber's Annual General Meeting, sponsored by Bayview Place. Mayor Helps spoke about improving communities and offered compelling examples of how Greater Victoria can continue to be a leader among world cities. See photos from the event here.
New Zealand warship arrives in Victoria for $300M weapons upgrade
Seaspan's Victoria Shipyards are undertaking a $300 million combat weapons systems modernization of New Zealand frigate Te Kaha. The work marks the first time since the Second World War that a foreign warship has been modernized in Canada. A second warship, the Te Mana, will undergo an upgrade in Victoria next year. Lockheed Martin, which previously partnered with the Shipyards to modernize five Canadian warships, won the New Zealand contract in 2014.

"It's going to employ 200 people in our Victoria shipyard for about two years. And also allow us to leverage about 100 companies throughout the region to help us support the refit of these vessels," Brian Carter, president and chief executive of Seaspan Shipyards, told the Times Colonist.

Victoria Shipyards: member since 2002 
Chamber News
Business Leaders Luncheons
Premier John Horgan Luncheon
Governor of the Bank of Canada Luncheon
Member Networking Breakfast
YYJ Eats
Business Mixers
Prodigy Group Mingles
Event Photos
United against Province's Employer Health Tax
The Chamber is continuing to
Watch the video here.
fight for fixes to the Province's proposed Employer Health Tax. On Tuesday, Chamber CEO Catherine Holt sent a letter to BC Finance Minister Carole James expressing disappointment that the tax came as a surprise as well as concerns about how the province plans on rolling it out. The letter was co-signed by the Mayor of Victoria and leaders of the Downtown Victoria Business Association, Tourism Victoria and the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority.

In addition to concerns already expressed by The Chamber (see links below), the tax will also force municipalities to either cut services or significantly increase property taxes next year. View Royal and Oak Bay estimate taxes will need to increase at least 1% just to cover costs associated with the tax. The City of Victoria expects at least a 2% increase next year as the tax adds $2.3 million to the cost of its payroll.

"When you think about the business community, they're going to have to pay this already for their own employees and then they're going to have to pay it again through higher property taxes," Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps told the Times Colonist.
At Prodigy Group's May Mingle connect with emerging and established members of Greater Victoria's business community . Social Media Camp attendees will be there to add to the networking fun!
 Sponsored by:   
Strathcona Logo 
Thu, May 3 | 5-7 pm 
Co-hosted by Elite Promotional Marketing and
Strathcona Hote l at Rooftop Patio     
919 Douglas St.    
Take The Chamber's Membership Survey!
In less than five minutes, you can share your thoughts on your Chamber membership by taking our Membership Matters Survey .

After completing the survey you can enter to win round-trip flights to Vancouver for two from Helijet or two tickets to YYJ Eats! Don't fret if your business's owner or manager has already answered the survey. Your opinion matters, so we'd like to get your thoughts as well on The Chamber.
Most trusted brands in Canada
The Peter B. Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria has unveiled the fourth annual Gustavson Brand Trust Index, an analysis of the brands most trusted by Canadians.

Three Chamber members were featured in the top 10 including Costco Wholesale (ranked 3rd), Fairmont Hotels & Resorts (ranked 4th) and Marriott Hotels (ranked 9th). Congratulations! See the full list here.

Highlighting how shared values, relationship management and customer experience influence consumer trust, the annual Gustavson Brand Trust Index uses a statistically representative sample of 6,342 consumers to score 299 Canadian companies and brands. It was established to raise awareness of the role trust plays in the minds of consumers when making purchasing decisions, and measures the relationships between brand performance, social equity, trust, and advocacy for brands in Canada.

University of Victoria: member since 1976

Costco Wholesale: member since 2018

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts: member since 1962

Marriott Hotels: member since 2004

Small-business task force launched by province
A new task force on small business was announced this morning by the BC Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology. A series of consultations across the province is planned for June to hear from small business owners, chambers of commerce and First Nations. The only stop on the Island will be in Nanaimo on June 8.

The task force is chaired by Michael Hwang, principal at Amicus Lawyers in New Westminister, and includes two members: Cybele Negris, CEO of, and Shahraz Kassam, owner of Shamin Diamonds. The task force will submit a report in the fall to the Province's Small Business Roundtable recommending ways for government to maintain a healthy climate for entrepreneurs and a strong economy for BC.
Members Around Town

New women in tech mentoring program

The Women's Enterprise Centre is launching its new mentoring program for BC women entrepreneurs in tech, called Discovery Foundation's EM3 (Entrepreneurial Mindset Mastery & Mentoring) Program. In Canada, women make up only 5% of tech entrepreneurs and receive less than 4% of venture capital. This program has been developed to increase success as female founders face unique challenges in accessing funding, entering established networks and growing their business.
Women's Enterprise Centre: member since 2015
A new equine scholarship
Tally-Ho Carriage Tours has created the Larry Friedlander Memorial Scholarship in honour of late owner Larry Friedlander, who died suddenly in 2015. It will be an annual award of $1,000 for a young adult, age 12 to 17, who wishes to participate in clinics or non-post-secondary equine studies.  
   Tally-Ho Carriage Tours: member since 1980  
  BC Ferries gets serious about Swartz Bay plans
BC Ferries is planning a rebuild of Swartz Bay terminal and wants to hear suggestions from the public. From mid-May to early June, BC Ferries plans to conduct a series of workshops with various stakeholders, including local governments, nearby residents, businesses and customers. Pop-up sessions at the terminal will occur May 24, 25 and June 2. An online survey will be launched May 24. 
BC Ferries: member since 1983

Full Bursaries Available for a limited time, for qualifying companies.

Participating organizations experienced an average international sales growth of 70% within one year of completing the program, penetrated new markets, and grew their workforce to meet increased global demand. Click here to watch a video on how TAP can help your business.

By enrolling in TAP Canada you can:
  • Navigate complexities of the global trade ecosystem
  • Leverage Canada's deep trade and investment resources
  • Access tailored, face-to-face coaching and advice
  • Learn about international best practices
This is a 4 day course held over a 6 week period. Victoria course dates are June 19,
June 20, June 26 and July 24. Click here for more details.
Rope for Hope
Our CEO Catherine Holt is gathering her courage and clutching her rope as she prepares to participate in  Make-A-Wish BC & Yukon 's fundraising event Rope for Hope . If she reaches her fundraising goal of $1,500, she will rappel down the  CIBC  building to help grant the wishes of children living with life-threatening medical conditions.

The good news is you don't have to overcome a fear of heights to help Make-A-Wish reach its fundraising goal of $1.5 million. Learn more and donate here .

Make-A-Wish BC & Yukon: member since 2018 
Small steps to address parking shortages
The City of Victoria has taken small steps in the right direction to try and address the dwindling number of parking spots downtown. The City has teamed up with the Downtown Victoria Business Association, Robbins Parking and BC Transit to create a second park-and-ride option for commuters. The new lot is located at 2915 Douglas St. and provides a monthly parking space and bus pass for $120.

The City has also launched a pilot project for people who have a long-term parking pass in a city-owned parkade. These pass holders can now purchase a permit to park on specific blocks just outside of the downtown core. In April, Chamber CEO Catherine Holt wrote a column in the Business Examiner asking the City to tell businesses what the plan is for addressing our parking shortage. We're glad to see the City is listening, and look forward to hearing its full plan for this important issue.

City of Victoria: member since 1962

Downtown Victoria Business Association: member since 2007

Robbins Parking: member  since 1993

BC Transit: member since 1999

Join the Greater Victoria, Saanich Peninsula, WestShore, Sooke Region and Esquimalt Chambers to hear Premier John Horgan speak on his government's vision for the Province of British Columbia as well as regional priorities.
Sponsored by:
Tue, May 15 | 11:15 am-1 pm 
Crystal Gardens , 720 Douglas St.  

Certificate of Origin Benefit   
Did you know that The Chamber authorizes Certificates of Origin for local businesses to facilitate trade around the world?

A Certificate of Origin is a document attesting that goods exported in a shipment have been wholly obtained, produced, manufactured or processed in a particular country.

Documents commonly presented to The Chamber for certification are: 

  • Certificates of origin accompanying invoices and packing lists
  • Visa introductions to Southeast Asia and the Arabic Peninsula
  • Business registration
  • Agency or representation agreements and more!

Members receive one free Certificate of Origin annually while additional certificates are $20 including tax.


Contact us before you ship or travel to arrange a Certificate of Origin or click here  for more information. 


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