At The Prodigy Group's April Mingle enjoy cold craft beer, a waterfront location, interesting conversation and new connections . The fun happens Thursday, April 11 from 5-7 pm at Swans Brewery, Pub & Hotel.
Sunday parking fees
City of Victoria councillors have decided to charge for Sunday street parking downtown, at the reduced rate of $2 an hour, and set a limit of four hours in any one spot. Street parking downtown costs $3 an hour the rest of the week and motorists are limited to 90 minutes.

Warning tickets will be issued in some cases for the first month or so as the change comes into effect, but repeat offenders could be ticketed during the grace period.

Parking in city parkades will remain free on Sundays, as well as evenings after 6 pm and on holidays.

In a Victoria News article the Downtown Victoria Business Association (DVBA) says having parking fees should help local businesses by having higher parking turnover on Sundays.
  City of Victoria: member since 1962 
Downtown Victoria Business Association: member since 2007 
Chamber News
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Prodigy Group April Mingle
April Business Mixer
Business Awards
YYJ Eats 2019
Event Photos
Upcoming Chamber Events

Chamber members can save $100 with coupon code "TheChamber100".
Climate change news for business 
Canadian Chamber calls for regulation rethink
With layers of taxes, mandatory rules and subsidies weighing down the competiveness of Canada's transportation sector, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce has released a report calling on the federal government to regulate smarter.
Though many of the regulations are aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the Canadian Chamber says the cumulative effect of these measures threatens to cause the sector to stall out rather than promote an evolution to more efficient and sustainable practises.
The Chamber advocates for innovation led by business that responds to the challenges of a changing climate. We support the Canadian Chamber's call - especially for the federal government to increase investments in transportation infrastructure and to lower regulatory barriers to adopting efficient transportation technologies.
Read the Canadian Chamber report here.
Saanich opens door to first H2 station on Island 
Saanich has agreed to a new option to support zero-emission vehicles. The municipality has given permission to the gas station at the corner of Quadra Street and McKenzie Avenue to install a hydrogen fuel station. The market for hydrogen-fueled cars is in its early days.
Victoria mayor agrees there are better approaches than suing oil companies   
Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps is encouraging the rest of city council to take a more practical approach to fighting climate change than suing the oil and gas industry.
Mayor Helps says a lawsuit would take too long, and that municipal resources would be better focused on joining efforts underway to advocate for an end to government subsidies of fossil fuel companies.
The Chamber agrees with Mayor Helps, and we are hopeful the rest of Victoria council will choose a more efficient use of taxpayer money than a symbolic lawsuit.

Read The Chamber's letter to the City of Victoria  here.
Bike to Work Week 
Get your spokes tightened and your tires pumped for this year's 25th annual Bike to Work Week! The dates of the challenge are May 27-June 2. From saving money on gas, getting fresh air and exercise while reducing your carbon footprint - there are so many benefits to biking to work.  
Haven't ridden your bike for a while? Don't have a bike? Looking to replace your old bike? Check out these shops.
You can sign up for the Bike to Work Week here. Make sure to keep an eye out for our team: The Chamber Spokes-People. Chamber CEO Catherine Holt has challenged the South Island Prosperity Partnership to take on The Chamber Spokes-People. 
New Event!
What opportunities are there for Canada's newest citizens and how can their skills contribute to our local workforce and economy? Find out during this conversation with federal Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister Ahmed D. Hussen.
Thu, Apr 25 | 7:30-9 am     
The Union Club of British Columbia
805 Gordon St.


How are Chamber members Finding Climate Change Solutions?  
As Finding Climate Change Solutions is a 2019 Advocacy Priority for The Chamber, we asked how our members are adopting innovations to limit the impact of climate change. This week, we're featuring Wilson's Group of Companies.  
Describe something innovative that your company is doing to reduce the effects of climate change.
Our Green Initiative team is working on several projects that will help to achieve our sustainability goals. Currently, we are working with EAS Power on an electric conversion project for one of our vintage double-decker buses, which will be the first of its kind. We have recently purchased electric vehicles, including buses, as well as upgrading our fleet with newer equipment. Also, we are working with Synergy Enterprise, which specializes in carbon accounting and corporate sustainability, on achieving certification.  
What response have you had from your clients and staff?
Our team has been very receptive to the changes. We encourage our staff to participate in the conversations surrounding the changes to help make them easier. Environmental issues are a hot topic in today's marketplace. For many customers, choosing a business with sustainability goals and practices is becoming a more consistent factor in their decision making. By continuing to make positive changes, we believe the decision to choose Wilson's has become that much easier.
What's one thing that every business should try to implement today? 
Promote your program to your vendors and work to bring in only items that are recyclable or compostable. If you can control what's coming into your facility, you have a much better chance at diverting more waste from landfill because the waste your facility is producing is already recyclable, reusable or compostable. And, as always, support local sustainable businesses in your community that are making a difference. 
Does your organization have innovative ideas about climate change? Send us an email! We'd like to share what you're doing to inspire other Chamber members.

Wilson's Group of Companies: member since 2004

Annual General Meeting & Mayoral Address
Residents of the City of Victoria and District of Saanich gave an enthusiastic "yes" when asked, "Are you in favour of spending up to $250,000 for establishing a Citizens' Assembly to explore the costs, benefits and disadvantages of the amalgamation between the District of Saanich and the City of Victoria?"

The Chamber is looking forward to a Citizen's Assembly examining the benefits for business resulting from amalgamation.

Hear how Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps and Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes plan to encourage this and other historic collaborations between the two municipalities.
Sponsored by:
Tue, May 7 | 11:30 am-1:30 pm
Hotel Grand Pacific
463 Belleville St

Members Around Town

Broadmead Care has launched adult day programs 
Broadmead Care has launched adult day programs at Veterans Memorial Lodge (at Broadmead) and Rest Haven Lodge, and will expand the existing program at Beckley Farm Lodge. Available seven days per week, the new adult day programs will be open during the day and evenings to seniors living in their own home by providing supportive group programs and activities. More than 60 seniors per day will be accessing the program (that's more than 20,000 Adult Day Program spaces per year) on the South Island.
Broadmead Care: member since 2017  
Songhees Nation honoured 
Last week, Camosun College's board of governors presented Songhees Nation with an Award for Innovation and Community Partnership. The award acknowledges the progressive initiatives Songhees Nation has taken in recent years, such as the Songhees Wellness Centre, Songhees Innovation Centre and Songhees Seafood & Steam's food truck as well as the generation of revenue through community fitness programming, a gift shop and cafeteria catering. The award and ceremony also focused on the partnerships between Songhees and Camosun College - whose joint ventures include trades, hospitality and ship repair programs as well as new math and English upgrading programs.
Camosun College: member since 1981    
Songhees Nation: member since 2017 
Journalism awards 
The Narwhal News Society is a finalist for two photojournalism awards and one labour reporting award from the Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ). The recipients in each category will be announced May 4 at the CAJ Awards gala and conference banquet in Winnipeg. 
The Narwhal News Society: member since 2018 
10 to Watch Awards
Douglas Magazine recognized the best new businesses on Vancouver Island at its annual 10 to Watch Awards last week.
Congratulations to the 2019 winners - Barnacle Systems, Bigfoot Donuts, Family Sparks, EIO Diagnostics, Anvy Technologies, Pani Energy, Rootd, VitaminLab, Aux Box and Endur Apparel. The publicity these winners receive through the 10 to Watch Awards gives them well-deserved applause, builds brand recognition and shines the spotlight on the Island's spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship. 
 Douglas Magazine: member since 2004  
Naming rights for Belfry Theatre  
BMO Financial Group's contribution of $100,000 to the Belfry Theatre's capital campaign earned it naming rights for the BMO Studio Theatre, and helped pay for new padded seats. BMO's assistance also helped the Belfry leverage other funding from the province, to replace outdated production lighting with more efficient - and far less hot - LED lights. 
BMO Financial Group: member since 1962  
Belfry Theatre: member since 1995
Duck ramps
Six duck ramps have been installed by the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority (GVHA) on docks between the Johnson Street Bridge and the causeway marina across from the Fairmont Empress Hotel. Ducklings have trouble getting out of harbours, and can end up dying if they can't get out of the water. The ramps are ready for duckling season in the late spring.
Greater Victoria Harbour Authority: member since 2003   
National Grilled Cheese Day 
It's National Grilled Cheese Day on Friday, April 12 and Charelli's Cheese Shop & Delicatessen is celebrating! Between 10 am-2 pm purchase a grilled cheese sandwich and the proceeds will go toward ALS research. 
 Charelli's Cheese Shop & Delicatessen: member since 2014
YYJ Eats   
Experience an exciting variety of gourmet food samples, local wine, craft beers and specialty cocktails created and presented by s ome of Victoria's most   popular  restaurants, breweries, wineries, cideries & spirit makers .
Tues, Jun 4 | 5-7 pm
St. Ann's Academy Historical Site
835 Humboldt St.
Sponsored by:  
Province commits $1.5 million for post-secondary plan on West Shore
The provincial government is spending $1.5 million to flush out a business case to make it easier for students on the West Shore to get a post-secondary education in their community.
The funding announcement comes one month after a feasibility study conducted by the region's three public post-secondary institutions, along with First Nations and School District 62, was submitted to the province.
The study found that 17% of high school graduates on the West Shore went on to college or university, compared to the provincial average of 34.1%.
Langford Mayor Stew Young told CFAX he praised the provincial government for recognizing the increasing importance of education to our labour force and our economy.
Bay Centre giving away rent-free space
The Bay Centre is offering entrepreneurs, small business owners and start-ups a chance for rent-free space this summer. Three candidates will be chosen to have their products featured for two weeks in July or four weeks in August. More than 600,000 visitors walk through the Bay Centre during the highly coveted tourism season, so this is a prime opportunity to introduce and test new products.
Candidates must submit a business proposal with a focus on unique offerings and growth potential. All submissions are due April 30. Submit your entry at the Bay Centre's administration office, located on the lower level.

The Bay Centre: member since 1990
Trade Accelerator Program

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. TAP can help penetrate new markets, and grow your 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 four-day course held over a six-week period. Victoria course dates are June 18, June 19, June 26 and July 24. Click here for more details.
Welcome to Our Newest Members!

Royal Roads University Student Association
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.