November 15, 2023

Your weekly round up of BizNews from throughout Greater Victoria!

Chamber Events, such as the recent Emerge Connector pictured above, continue to be in high demand this fall, with tomorrow's Business Mixer with BCLC at Elements Casino taking a wait list. Make sure to register early for future Chamber Events.

Interest rates slow Victoria's real estate sector early

It's a strange time for the real estate industry, which is a major contributor to Greater Victoria's economy. The winter typically brings a slow down, but high interest rates and uncertainty about the future are chilling activity in our region and across the country.

"Overall, property sales drifted down in October compared to the previous month, likely due to consumers continuing to navigate interest rates higher than those seen in nearly two decades," Victoria Real Estate Board Chair Graden Sol said. "The uncertainty around the direction of the Bank of Canada rate announcement in mid-October may have caused some buyers to push their purchasing plans into the future because it was unclear if rates were going to be hiked again or remain stable."

VERB said sales were down 15.2% in October compared to the same month last year. Total listings have increased by 25.7% over the same time. Meanwhile, the benchmark value for a single family home in the region's core in October was $1,305,900 — up 3.9% from October 2022.

"Greater Victoria typically fares better than many other regions during economic downturns because of our diversity of sectors," Chamber CEO Bruce Williams said. "We have a large public sector, for example, that relies on the services and goods of other industries. What we've seen in the past is that those who can, lend support to those in need. This current situation will pass, but let's remember to exercise compassion and kindness in the spirit of supporting our local economy."

Victoria Real Estate Board:

Member since 1969

Upcoming Events

2024 Business Awards - Nominate Today!

November Business Mixer with BCLC - Taking a Waitlist

Wisdom for Family Enterprises - Dinner with David Bentall

2024 Business Awards Nomination & Application Webinar

Chair's Holiday Reception

Check our Events Calendar for updates.

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How will the Online Streaming Act affect you?

The Online Stream Act was back in the news this week as the federal government gave its final direction to the national regulator about the law covering digital content.

The act is now with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, which will take years to consult and craft policy to regulate Canada's future broadcasting eco-system.

The way media is consumed and distributed has profoundly changed as Canadians embrace streaming services and digital content. The goal of modernizing the Act is to address those changes, though there has been plenty of confusion about what will be regulated.

The CRTC said the rules are not aimed at content creators, and they won't apply to your organization's use of social media. Instead, the aim is to update who is considered broadcasters in the modern era. For example, uploading videos to YouTube won't be regulated but companies such as YouTube that broadcast commercial content might be.

Check out this article from CHEK clarifying some of the confusing claims about the Act.

Gathering looks to spark $100B Indigenous economy

The Chamber supports efforts to embrace and learn from Indigenous ways of knowing as an opportunity to add resilience and sustainability to our economy.

A conference set for next week in Toronto promises to raise awareness at a national level. Indigenomics on Bay Street, hosted by Chamber member Indigenomics Institute, bills itself as a "gathering to activate value creation in the $100 billion Indigenous economy." The figure represents the changing landscape of Indigenous wealth and influence on policy and business, as identified in a 2019 study.

The conference is open to business leaders looking to advance the knowledge, tools and actions needed to activate economic reconciliation.

For more information, go to

Indigenomics Institute: Member since 2023

Origen Air CEO wins gold for thought leadership

Chamber member Origen Air's founder and CEO has won a prestigious business award. The Stevie Awards were created in 2002 and have grown to become a coveted prize covering a number of sectors. Origen Air's Susan Blanchet won gold in the Stevie Awards for Women in Business under the category Female Thought Leader of the Year - Business Products.

"Founded in 2019, Origen Air is driven by a deeply personal commitment to improving indoor air quality and well-being," states Origen Air's LinkedIn post announcing the award. "By securing exclusive global distribution rights to genetically enhanced golden pothos plants developed at the University of Washington, Origen Air offers a revolutionary solution for removing man-made toxins from indoor air at an exceptional rate."

The Chamber is a strong advocate for innovation led by business as the key to climate action leadership, and we applaud Susan and her team at Origen for their work to make office environments healthier.

Origen Air: Member since 2020

Chamber Chats with CEO Bruce Williams

Another look: Evolving media to achieve success in the digital age

Chamber Chats

CHEK News:

Member since 1971

This edition of Chamber Chats originally ran in BizNews on Aug. 9, 2023.

The conventional media world of TV, radio and print has been significant challenges with the growth of online and on-demand media. In this Chamber Chat, CEO Bruce Williams (a former media manager and host) speaks with CHEK Media Group CEO Rob Germain about how CHEK has overcome those challenges to achieve success.

Special thanks to our series sponsor: Island Savings

Meet with their local experts for solutions as unique as your business.

Greater Victoria Business Awards 2024

Nominate a deserving business today!

Each week, The Chamber will profile one of the 14 different award categories, encouraging members to nominate a deserving Chamber member.

The New Business Award honours a new business (3 years or less) that has:

  • achieved outstanding business performance in a short period of time;
  • demonstrates exceptional promise for continued growth;
  • serves as an inspiration for other new businesses;
  • and displays a commitment to the community.

Sponsored by:

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to reach out to Hanna at [email protected]

Nominate Today
Award Categories

Need some inspiration?

Check out the videos of the New Business finalists below. Thanks to BCLC who is sponsoring the award this year.

Winner:  Compass Massage Therapy

Finalist: BCause

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Tombo Eats

Member since 2023

Synergy Foundation

Member since 2017

Women in Need

Member since 1998

UPLIFT Women’s Business Summit – Member since 2023

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Chamber Job Board an exclusive member benefit

As an exclusive member benefit, use the code INTRO2023 at checkout to receive a free 30-day listing on The Chamber’s job board.

If you have any questions or need help uploading your job, email The Chamber at [email protected].

Chamber Job Board 

Director, Development – Starlight Developments

Associate Director, Eyēʔ Sqậ’lewen – Camosun College

Director, Curriculum & Teaching Innovation – University of Victoria

Financial Planner – TD Canada Trust

Customer Service & Operations Coordinator – Seaspan Victoria Shipyards

Program Manager, Terminal Construction – BC Ferries

Member to Member Discounts

Charge Fitness - 10% off Personal Training & Complimentary Introductory Session at Charge Fitness

FRS Clipper - Save 10% on all Clipper owned/operated products

Iyengar Yoga Centre of Victoria Society - 15% off your first 2-month term of classes

Joni - 10% Off Your First Order

MetCredit - Special Chamber Rate of 22.5%

View all Member to Member discounts

Members can post Coupons and Discounts free

Welcome to our Newest Members! 

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