Tomorrow, Aug 10 from 5-7 pm join Prodigy Group for their August Mingle at The Mint. Sign up here!

Thank you to our sponsor Audi Autohaus and everyone who attended Bannock & Brews last Wednesday. Check out the photos here! Don't miss our last Summer Social Series event coming up in September. Click here to see the menu and register.
Latest Job Numbers
Apparently more than our weather is heating up. Canadian job stats for July showed the eighth consecutive month of job growth with unemployment dropping to its lowest point since 2008.  
Employment has increased most significantly among women aged 55 or older (3.9%) with most other demographics maintaining smaller but steady growth,  around 2% overall
Compared to a year ago, Canada is looking at an increase of 388,000 jobs - 354,000 of which are full-time positions.

The positive news was tempered by recent figures on Canada's trade deficit.
Chamber News
Summer Social Series
Auction Donations
Business Mixers
Prodigy Group Mingles
Event Photos

BC Loves Its Beer
Last Friday was International Beer Day! It's never too late to celebrate, so why not check out one (or more) of Greater Victoria's fantastic breweries this weekend?

Currently, there are over 130 active breweries in BC. That number is expected to grow with 15 to 20 new craft breweries opening across the province next year. That's good news because according to the province, British Columbians, aged 15 years and over, spent an average of $787 on alcohol in 2015/16, with beer being the most popular choice for consumers. Newfoundland and Labrador was the only province to have a higher per capita sales of alcoholic beverages.


Tickets on sale here!  

Donate today to The Chamber's
35th Annual Dinner Auction Gala
  • Feature your brand and products as people begin holiday shopping.
  • Reach over 200 potential customers.
  • Back the region's largest and most influential business advocate.
  • Unique & buzz-worthy items will be included in our social media campaign.

Call 250-383-7191 or email us to find out how you can leverage this year's auction to promote your business.

Dave Cowen
In celebrating Canada's 150th birthday over the summer The Chamber is featuring members that have been in business for over 100 years. Find out their key to longevity and more about their leaders here!

What is the key to longevity? By staying focused on what our team does best, we've sought to continually improve our colourful annual gardens, year round landscape, cuisine, entertainment and shopping. With over one million annual visitors, it is evident that The Butchart Gardens is as relevant in 2017 as it was in 1904 when Mrs. Butchart started her masterpiece. How are you involved with The Chamber? The Gardens has been a Chamber member for over 40 years. Mr. Ross felt that both The Chamber and Tourism Victoria were important to developing Victoria's tourism sector. What was your first job? Worked in a pet shop and then a herbarium. If you could have dinner with anyone alive or dead who would it be? Jennie Butchart! 
More about Dave - and additional Member Snapshots - can be found on The Chamber's website here.  

The Butchart Gardens: member since 1976
Fighting the Overdose Crisis
Good news accompanied Premier Trudeau's visit. Health Canada has granted an exemption to the Vancouver Island Health Authority to operate a supervised consumption site in Victoria's Pandora Community Health and Wellness centre. This fixed site will be the first in Victoria and one of only 16 in Canada.

"Providing supervised consumption services is a critical component of ensuring people can use drugs in a safe space and find supports there too, when they are ready to begin recovery," said BC's Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Judy Darcy. "There is no one single solution to the overdose crisis. We must deliver a broad strategy so that when people need services, they ask once and get the help they need fast."

Construction should be completed by spring/summer 2018 and will provide 10 consumption booths as well as mental health counselling, a nursing clinic and links to addiction treatment programs. Fentanyl deaths in BC have increased from 12 a year in 2012 to 656 a year in 2016. As of May 2017, BC has seen over 525 fentanyl-related overdoses - 89 of those have been on the Island. There have been no overdose deaths in supervised consumption sites.

        Your message featured on a website for business leaders. Click here.
Members Around Town

The Victoria HarbourCats won the West Coast League's North Division second half pennant clinching them a playoff spot for a second year in a row. Last night Victoria HarbourCats and Kelowna Falcons kicked off their North Division Championship series. The HarbourCats earned a 8-2 win over the Falcons in Game 1 of their best-of-three set in front of 1,720 fans at Royal Athletic Park.   
Victoria HarbourCats: member since 2012
Q at the Empress received a 2017 Award of Excellence from the wine magazine Wine Spectator. The awards recognize dinning establishments with wine lists featuring at least 90 selections that complement the cuisine and appeal to a wide range of wine lovers.
Fairmont Empress: member since 1962    
Police Regionalization Shut Down
In a recent interview with the Times Colonist, Solicitor General Mike Farnworth shut down the idea that the province would mandate regionalization of local police forces, although he did add that he would support any municipality that chose to combine police services for efficiency.

Currently, Greater Victoria has 4 municipal forces and 2 RCMP detachments for the region. Voluntary funding and support for integrated units such as traffic, major crime, domestic violence and tactical response are in place. Unfortunately, the police forces operate using the opt-in, opt-out model that can result in units like the Regional Crime Unit, which targeted prolific offenders, to suddenly collapse.

The Chamber is a strong proponent of better governance through fewer governments and hopes to see more efforts in the region to focus on the effectiveness and efficiency of municipal service delivery to reduce the burden on businesses and improve Greater Victoria's reputation as a whole.

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