August 31, 2022
Your weekly round up of BizNews from throughout Greater Victoria!
With memories of summer mixers lingering, it's time to look ahead to some fall fun. Make sure sure to register today for the Prodigy Group Mingle on Sept. 15 at Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary. This event will sell out and you don't want to miss out on new connections!
Uber Canada asking to operate in Greater Victoria
People in Greater Victoria could soon have access to the ride-sharing brand that is ubiquitous in most of the rest of the world.

Uber Canada announced today that it has asked the province's Passenger Transportation Board to allow the company to operate in Greater Victoria and Kelowna. Uber was rejected by the board last year, which was concerned about allowing competition affecting business hurt by pandemic restrictions. However, the new request is for a transfer of licence from a company that was already approved by the board but is not operational.

The Chamber supports Uber's efforts as the company is a recognized global leader in the provision of ridesharing. Their international experience would be a welcome addition to Greater Victoria, particularly as international visitors return to our destination.
Uber Canada: Member since 2019
Economic growth surpasses forecasts for province
BC is back in the black as the province is reporting a $1.3 billion surplus for the 2021-22 fiscal year. The economy outperformed most forecasts that were expecting deficits for years to come as businesses recover from the pandemic.

“While others might have chosen cuts and austerity, our investments in people have helped our economy rebound faster than anyone in the public or private sector predicted," BC Finance Minister Selina Robinson said. "Looking ahead, the Province will keep using this economic strength to support British Columbians, including bringing in new measures in September to help those who are struggling the most with global inflation.”

The Canadian economy was also up, with national GDP rising by 3.3% in the second quarter. The jump is the largest since 1974. The increase was driven by strong consumer spending and investments by businesses, Statistics Canada said.
Chamber acknowledges role in Chinese segregation
On Monday, Sept. 5, a shameful moment in Greater Victoria's history will be commemorated with a walk and an official apology.

The ceremony marks the 100th anniversary of the decision to segregate Chinese students up to Grade 7 in Greater Victoria.

On July 27, Alan Lowe, chair of the Victoria Chinatown Museum Society, appeared before the current board of the Greater Victoria school district to ask for a formal apology.

The Chamber is also hoping to formally apologize at this time for the role our organization played in advocating for this discriminatory action.

"I want to acknowledge The Chamber’s role in supporting the racist and non-inclusive statements and practices of that time in our history, and I apologize unequivocally," Chamber CEO Bruce Williams said. "And I promise we will continue working to be welcoming of all businesses so we can better represent the true diversity of our region."

The Chamber was founded in 1863 to promote investment in our region.

"Over the course of our history in Greater Victoria, there were times when we did the wrong thing. We acted with indifference or even encouraged discriminatory practices," Williams said. "This was the case with segregation of Chinese students, which had the insidious intent of making it harder for the Chinese community to live and work here. It was racist and it was wrong 100 years ago."

Today we know that diversity is what makes all of us strong. We also know we need more than just words. To that end, The Chamber has created a committee to promote Inclusion, Diversity and Equity.
Greater Victoria School District 61 Member since 1976
Nominations open now for Oct. 15 civic elections
Municipal governments are responsible for services and infrastructure that have very real impacts on the daily lives of businesses in their community. Having good quality governance is critical to making sure money raised from taxes is well spent.

On Oct. 15, voters will have a chance to choose who will represent them on their municipal councils for the next four years.

"This is an opportunity for individuals to take a look at the candidates and what they represent, and (ask if it's) in the best interest of you, your family, your business, your neighbourhood," Chamber CEO Bruce Williams told Global News. "So make sure you're voting for the right people."

Exactly who your options are will be known by 4 pm on Sept. 9, as that's the deadline for candidates to put forward their nomination.

For key dates in this year's civic elections, which includes voting in a new school board for your districts, check out this link.
Introducing our Business Hall of Fame Inductees
In the coming weeks, The Chamber will be highlighting our inaugural Business Hall of Fame inductees starting with previous Lifetime Achievement Award recipients.
Bob Skene’s struggle to finally retire has been Greater Victoria’s gain. Skene’s working life began with a paper route at age 12. In the mid-1960s, Skene became a Chartered Accountant, serving as VP of Finance for BC Systems Corporation. Eventually, Skene organized 125 fellow employees to privatize a portion of BSCS and called it High Tech Systems.

After Bob beat a cancer diagnosis, he retired for the first time but remained productive by building a Chamber committee into what is now VIATEC.

After that, Bob retired again until he was called to establish West Coast Group, a company that helped people on social assistance gain sustainable employment.
After retiring yet again, he continued to volunteer with The Chamber as well as a number of other organizations including the Airport Authority and the Hospital Authority.
Bob Skene was awarded the Governors’ Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014.
Learn about Bob Skene's impact and legacy at the 2022 Business Hall of Fame gala.
Wed., Oct. 5 | 5-9 PM
Victoria Conference Centre
Early Bird ticket sales end tonight!
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.
Sponsored by:
Venue Sponsor:
Thurs., Sept. 22 | 5 - 7 PM
Gorge Park Pavilion, 1070 Tillicum Rd, Victoria, BC
Chamber 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
We are thrilled to announce the return of our Annual Auction, taking place Nov. 6 – 13.

This is a major fundraising event for The Chamber, with all proceeds supporting our work as the largest and most influential advocate for businesses in the region. Last year, we received thousands of visits to our auction platform for an action-packed week of bidding on fabulous gifts and memorable experiences.
Do you want your products and services featured in the auction?

From gift cards to great local items and everything in-between, reach thousands of potential customers by donating a prize today. Keep an eye on our social media feed to see some of the incredible Auction items that will be featured this year.
Sponsored by:
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
Celebrate September with savings!
Make the most out of your Labour Day long weekend by supporting your fellow Chamber members. Celebrate by enjoying a bite outa night away from home, or plan an action-packed weekend at these local treasures.

After you enjoy the long weekend, you may be getting ready for the return of the school year and your fall routine. Take advantage of The Chamber's exclusive member-only deals and discounts on quality school and office supplies.

Chamber members can save:
  • 10% at Monk Office supplies,
  • 30% when Chamber Members update laptops and PCs through Lenovo
  • Up to 85% off at Grand & Toy office supplies.

Discover more discounts and savings here.
Still time this summer to find a great new employee
As we all enjoy the final stretch of summer, ensure you’re well-staffed for the rest of the year by using The Chamber’s job board.

As an exclusive Chamber member benefit, you can post a free 30-day listing on the job board every calendar year. Use the code INTRO2022 at checkout to use this offer today.

Reach the right candidates with the help of The Chamber. If you have any questions or need help uploading your job posting, email
Member News
Ready or knot, Classic boat festival returns

The Maritime Museum of BC’s 43rd annual Victoria Classic Boat Festival, presented by Canoe Cove Marina & Boatyard, returns this Labour Day weekend. More than 100 vessels attend and compete in races as well as a costume contest.
Maritime Museum of BC: Member since 1989
Canoe Cove Marina & Boatyard: Member since 1983
YYJ awarded for efficiency
The Victoria International Airport was named one of the most efficient airports in North America for the fourth time at the 2022 Air Transport Research Society Global Airport Efficiency Awards. The award compares airport performance worldwide, focusing on productivity, competitiveness and operating and management efficiency.
Victoria Airport Authority: Member since 1981
Do you have a success story? We want to hear from you
Royals announce promo schedule for new season

The Victoria Royals just announced their upcoming 2022/23 promotional schedule, with 15 themed home games. From the Teddy Bear Toss to Star Wars Day, the team will welcome fans back to the Save on Foods Memorial Centre on Sept. 23.
GSL Group – Save on Foods Memorial Centre: Member since 2002
Victoria Royals: Member since 2022
HeroWork revamps Victoria Cool Aid Society centre
HeroWork just kicked off their radical renovation of Victoria Cool Aid Society’s downtown community centre that will be completed by volunteers. Valued at $700,000, 98% of their volunteers are from the community, coming together and rolling their sleeves up to make a difference.
HeroWork Program Society: Member since 2019
Victoria Cool Aid Society: Member since 2006
Capital Park’s solar project

Jawl Properties and Concert Properties set environmental sustainability as a guiding principle since the initial design of their mixed-use development, Capital Park. They plan to install 251 rooftop solar panels with a capacity of 114 kilowatts of electricity, one of the largest arrays on Vancouver Island. 

Jawl Residential Ltd.: Member since 2019
Concert Properties / Capital Park Residences: Member since 2012
Member to Member Discounts
Members can post Coupons and Discounts free of charge here.
Welcome to our Newest Members!
Chamber Member Events
Want to know what events are happening in the community? Check out The Chamber's Community Calendar to stay up to date with plays, seminars, grand openings and more.
Are you a member? Post your own events for free.
Need to get one of our snazzy Chamber name tags?