January 26, 2022
Your weekly round up of BizNews from throughout Greater Victoria
The plan is to build 2,850 homes in the Royal Beach area, ranging from single family to condos and townhouses. Over the estimated 15 years it will take to complete the project, which will begin this spring, more than 700 jobs will be created.

"Make no mistake, Colwood is on the map and that’s why notable organizations are making long-term commitments here,” Colwood Mayor Rob Martin said in a news release.

The Royal BC Museum is building a new archives and storage centre in Royal Bay, while Seaspan announced plans for an 85,000 square-foot facility in Colwood.

The Chamber applauds efforts to build new homes in Greater Victoria, as a lack of housing supply continues to be one of the biggest challenges in our region. We need enough homes to meet demand, and allow the market to serve middle income residents vital to our workforce.
City of Colwood: Member since 2020
Seaspan: Member since 2002
Seaspan: Chamber Champions since 2020
Royal BC Museum: Member since 1994
Saanich envisions bright future for Uptown area
An area near the heart of Greater Victoria is changing quickly as our region grows. To help guide development, the District of Saanich has unveiled its Uptown-Douglas Plan for the next 20 to 30 years.

“It really is an ambitious plan and future envisioning that addresses climate change, affordability and the quality of life,” Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes told CHEK News.

Some of the highlights of the plan include creating a central district and transportation hub for a fast-growing population that will be less reliant on cars. The area is currently the crossroads for a number of major routes in the region.

The plan goes to Public Hearing Feb. 15.

More housing, especially housing that is affordable for working individuals and families, is vital for our regional economy to reach its potential.
District of Saanich: Member since 2019
Support local food and hospitality with Dine Around
Dine Around, a popular initiative that helps local restaurants and hotels during a typically slow time of year, is officially underway.

The celebration of keeping it local is being organized by the Victoria Branch of the BC Restaurant & Foodservices Association and Destination Greater Victoria. This year, more than 40 restaurants are offering three-course menus with prices ranging between $20 and $60 per menu. Participating hotels are offering Stay in Town rates that range from $129 to $249.

The Chamber is a community partner in Dine Around and we're continuing to work in support of the hard hit hospitality sector.
BC Restaurant & Foodservices Association: Member since 1996
Destination Greater Victoria: Member since 1988
Josh Handysides receives 2022 Award of Distinction
The 2022 recipient of The Chamber’s Award of Distinction is Josh Handysides with the Malahat Nation. Handysides has been instrumental in building diverse partnerships between the private and public sectors and the Malahat Nation, where he serves as Chief Administrative Officer.

“Josh has been the steady hand behind a number of projects that have been game changers for our region,” says John Wilson, Chair of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors. “The Malahat Skywalk has been a boon for tourism, generating positive publicity on social media as a destination for visitors to Vancouver Island.”
Josh Handysides
Photo courtesy of Malahat Nation
The Chamber's Award of Distinction, sponsored by the Times Colonist, highlights a business person who has contributed to Greater Victoria through leadership and vision as a positive role model and a sustained commitment to a prosperous community.  
Prodigy Mingle - Online Trivia Game Night
Run out of shows to binge watch? Do you miss connecting with friends? We have just the thing to cure your pandemic boredom.

The Prodigy Group, in partnership with Quiz This, presents an online trivia game night!

Enter a team of 4 to 6 or sign-up to be placed on a random team and meet new people.

Answer questions curated by quiz master Benji for an hour long game that promises to entertain and strengthen relationships with your team. Get talking and get thinking, and maybe even learn something new at this exclusive Chamber member event.
Pre-Game social from 6:30 to 7 PM and meet all the players online before the quiz begins.
February Virtual Business Mixer to the Arts
The Arts and Entertainment industry gives energy and passion to life here in Greater Victoria. Throughout the pandemic, these organizations have continued to innovate and provide us with memorable experiences and unique performances during difficult times.

Join us to support and celebrate arts and entertainment! Connect with a diverse group of business leaders and make valuable connections from the comfort of your own home.

You choose who to meet and when to wander to the next table chatting with business professionals like yourself, establishing or renewing valuable business relationships. Let us help you stay connected.

After the success of our January Virtual Mixer on our new interactive platform, you won't want to miss the opportunity to connect with new and familiar faces at our February Virtual Business Mixer.
Thurs., Feb. 17 | 5-6 PM | Online
Questions or feedback about the new platform? We're here to help.

Contact Thomas at
What are your biggest challenges in 2022?
A survey of Greater Victoria businesses will gather data to help better understand challenges facing the region's economy in 2022. The survey, launched by the South Island Prosperity Partnership, is open until Feb. 11 and takes less than 10 minutes to fill out. Questions range from what your experiences have been with supply-chain disruptions to various affordability concerns, including housing supply.

The results of the survey will be used by industry and business associations, including The Chamber, to help our advocacy efforts with government.
South Island Prosperity Partnership: Member since 2017
Bank of Canada holds interest rates, for now
The Bank of Canada held steady on rates today as inflation pressures and an uneven economic recovery had many expecting the central bank would move to increase the cost of borrowing.

Citing Omicron and inflation that remains well above target rates, the bank removed its forward guidance suggesting future rate hikes are coming. The bank also released its Monetary Policy Report, which forecasts the economy will grow by 4% in 2022.
Chamber Chats with CEO Bruce Williams
Lights, Camera, Action! The Future of Film in Greater Victoria
The film and movie industry has been very robust in the Capital Region. We see crews shooting on our streets and in our neighbourhoods on a regular basis. Soon, we may also see the creation of studios and sound stages to take the industry and it’s economic input to the next level.

In this Chamber Chat, we speak about two pending possibilities to create our own Hollywood North in this region with Geoff Wilmshurt of Camosun College, Angela van den Hout of the Malahat Nation, and Beverley Dondale of Malahat Film Studios.
Special thanks to our series sponsor:
Camosun College: Member since 1981
Malahat Nation: Member since 2019
Malahat Film Studios: Member since 2020
Celebrating Lunar New Year 
Feb. 1 is Lunar New Year, a chance to celebrate the Year of the Tiger and prosperity ahead!

Based on the lunar calendar, Feb. 1 marks the beginning of the year in the Lunisolar calendar, which combines phases of the moon as well as the earth’s rotation around the sun. Although the Gregorian calendar always celebrates the new year on Jan. 1, Lunar New Year is celebrated annually between Jan. 21 and Feb. 20. 

Typically celebrated in parts of Asia, Lunar New Year has significant cultural meaning across the world. In Greater Victoria, we wanted to share fun ways to celebrate the occasion while supporting local Chamber members. 
We hope you have a safe and exciting Lunar New Year!
Celebrating our Chamber Champions
Showcase your industry in 2022

Find the best talent in your industry with The Chamber’s job board. 
When you post your next job, be sure to add your "industry type" to ensure your job can be found by the right candidates. The list of industry types are constantly being updated, and can be modified to highlight any industry. Don’t see your industry listed? Send us an email

Also remember to add a specific category for the job in the position title. From Admin and HR to Marketing and Comms positions, you can see all 14 categories here

If you have any questions about the job board or need assistance posting, email
Member News
Songhees Park Expansion begins construction

Kinetic Construction has begun construction on the Songhees Park Expansion in the City of Victoria. The 1.8 acre park will feature a waterfront viewing platform of the Inner Harbour, Indigenous adaptive artwork and places for individuals and groups to experience Lekwungen language and culture. The park is being built on traditional Lekwungen territory that was part of the Songhees Nation Reserve lands between 1844 and 1911. 
Kinetic Construction: Member since 2018 
Kinetic Construction: Chamber Champion since 2020
City of Victoria: Member since 1962
Songhees Nation: Member since 2017
Eco-friendly containers available now

A local collective is spearheading an initiative to reduce waste from takeout food containers. The initiative, which includes Big Wheel Burger, House of Boateng, Hoyne Brewing Co., Moka House, and Pizzeria Prima Strada, offers reusable takeout container that can be returned for future use. The containers can be purchased for $8, and then, after being used, exchanged for a new container at participating businesses.
Big Wheel Burger: Member since 2020
Big Wheel Burger: Chamber Champion since 2021
House of Boateng: Member since 2016

Hoyne Brewing Co.: Member since 2015

Moka House Cook Street: Member since 2019
Pizzeria Prima Strada: Member since 2009
Scotiabank announces global parental leave

Scotiabank has announced plans to implement a global standard for inclusive parental leave. By 2025, Scotiabank employees in 24 countries will have access to 8 weeks paid vacation when welcoming a child into their home (such as in the case of adopting a child), and parents who have birthed their child will receive an additional 8 weeks. Additional family benefits will be available to Canadian employees on April 1.
Scotiabank: Member since 1962
Scotiabank: Chamber Champion since 2021
Ruffell & Brown sold to Stofko family

Ruffell & Brown Interiors Ltd. has been purchased by Peter and Lori Stofko of Pacific Rollshutters and Awnings ULC. The name and showroom will continue to be under the Ruffell & Brown brand, and all 15 employees are being retained. Debra Ruffell and Nigel Brown, who began making window coverings in 1987, will remain as consultants during a transition period.  
Ruffell & Brown Interiors Ltd: Member since 1990 
Pacific Rollshutters and Awnings ULC: Member since 2009 
Jeneece Place celebrates 10 years of supporting families

Jeneece Place is celebrating their 10th anniversary this month. Managed by the Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island, Jeneece Place is a home away from home for families that travel to Greater Victoria for medical needs. To date, more than 2,000 families have stayed at Jeneece Place.
Chamber CEO Bruce Williams served as fundraising co-chair when Jeneece Place was being built, along with Chamber Governor Mel Cooper.
Children's Health Foundation of Vancouver Island: Members since 2007
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