October 18, 2023

Your weekly round up of BizNews from throughout Greater Victoria!

Chamber CEO Bruce Williams, third from left, at the Canadian Chamber annual general meeting in Calgary.

National honours for Chamber as leadership recognized

The Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce has earned a prestigious Inclusive Growth Award from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. The award recognizes outstanding efforts to advance economic reconciliation and foster diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility in the Canadian business landscape.

Before the AGM, Chamber CEO Bruce Williams was honoured by his peers as the nation’s top chamber executive by the Chamber of Commerce Executives of Canada. The organization connects 450 professional members in 175 chambers of commerce and boards of trade across the country. 

The Chamber was applauded for its actions showing national leadership on Indigenous reconciliation as well as efforts to make all people feel welcome in Greater Victoria’s business community.

"We are a Chamber that works for everyone, so it is important that everyone sees themselves reflected in our membership and our organization," IDEA Committee Chair Richard Michaels said.


On Canada Day 2021, the Greater Victoria Chamber publicly acknowledged and apologized for its historical role in the social and economic suppression of Indigenous People, becoming the first Chamber in Canada to do so. The Chamber introduced an economic reconciliation membership program for Indigenous-owned businesses, leading to a significant increase in Indigenous businesses as member and connecting them with opportunities across a broader business community.

"By acknowledging our past mistakes, we can take action on building a better community now and for future generations," Chamber Board Chair Kris Wirk said.

Media Releases:

Chamber earns national recognition for championing inclusive growth
Bruce Williams named Canada’s top Chamber executive

Upcoming Events

2023 Marketplace Mixer - Thursday!

Small Business Month Member Networking Breakfast - Waitlisted


Navigating Volatility: What Your Business Should Look Out For

Emerge Connector @ Coastal Community Credit Union

November Business Mixer with BCLC

Wisdom for Family Enterprises - Dinner with David Bentall - 10 tickets left!

Check our Events Calendar for updates.

Facebook  Twitter  Instagram  Linkedin  

New Roads funding helps program's ongoing success

The Chamber strongly supports the work done by Our Place Society's New Roads Therapeutic Recovery Community in View Royal as an evidence-based solution to one of the most pressing problems of our times. The announcement on Oct. 17 that New Roads will receive $4.39 million for the next three years is welcome.

"Ideally, we want to see operations costs of the centre included in the province's annual budgets," Chamber CEO Bruce Williams said. "Everyone who learns about New Roads asks why this model isn't better supported and copied in communities around the province."

New Roads serves up to 47 men who are 19 or older and have repeated experiences with the criminal justice system, housing instability and addiction challenges.

“New Roads has proven to be a beacon of hope for the men who come through its doors," Our Place Society CEO Julian Daly said. "In a time when many are struggling to find answers to the addiction problems in our community, New Roads is consistently proving that sustained recovery and sobriety is possible. It really works. We are deeply grateful to the province for this funding that makes this life changing and lifesaving work possible.”

The men follow a four stage recovery program: orientation, primary recovery, early re-entry and re-entry. The goal is to provide the supports needed to develop life skills through "therapy sessions, peer support and mentorship, recreation activities, relaxation and educational groups, personalized recovery programs, discussions on how to prevent relapse, and more."

New Roads provides residents with supports for as long as two years, including on-site nursing and physician care, counselling, Indigenous healing approaches and programs that focus on building skills for employment and daily living.

From The Chamber

Watch this Chamber Chat, right, from 2021 with Chamber CEO Bruce Williams and Our Place CEO Julian Daly.

Read this essay from The Chamber when New Roads opened its doors in 2018.

New regs aim to turn short-term rentals into homes

Our homes provide the foundation that allows us to work together to build good business and great community for all. We need to increase housing supply to help employers find and keep workers, and to provide safe communities.

Proposed legislation announced on Monday aims to help add homes, but time will tell how well it works as intended. The legislation focuses on increasing fines for rule breakers, requiring local business licence numbers on listings and establishing provincial rules and enforcement. The province hopes those measures will return short-term rentals to the housing supply as long-term homes.

In an interview on CFAX Radio Wednesday, Chamber CEO Bruce Williams outlined some of the challenges the province-wide plan could face. The visitor economy needs sufficient accommodation, especially for major international events such as the 2026 World Cup. More hotels will help and proposed developments in our region need to be supported.

"We need to see how the rules will be enforced and if they disrupt things as intended," Williams said. "Housing supply is a significant issue and real change will happen when builders have the support and resources to build new homes quickly and efficiently."

Cooling inflation good news for Canada's economy

The frenetic pace of cost increases calmed somewhat in September, with Statistics Canada reporting a broad-based deceleration of inflation. The Consumer Price Index rose 3.8% year-over-year, down from the 4% year-over-year increase in August. On the West Coast, the increase was even milder with CPI at 3.3% last month.

The drop reflects a slowing down of increases in air fares and hotels, new vehicles and groceries — consumers are paying more but not as much as if prices continued to climb at the previous month's pace.

Cooling inflation is good news for the economy, and welcomed by everyone waiting for the next Bank of Canada interest rate decision next week.

“The slower increase in Canadian consumer prices in September was a step in the right direction,” RBC economist Claire Fan said in a note reported by the Times Colonist. Fan added that she expects the interest rate to hold steady at 5%.

Chamber Chats with CEO Bruce Williams

Victoria celebrates Hockey Day in Canada as Inner Harbour offers spectacular backdrop

This week's Chamber Chat with Chamber CEO Bruce Williams
Chamber Chats

The eyes of Canada will be on Victoria in January 2024 when we host the national Sportsnet broadcast of Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada. In this Chamber Chat, CEO Bruce Williams gets the details of who, when and where from the organizers of this epic hockey event.

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.

Sustainable Business Practices honours a business that:

  • Demonstrates sustainable business practices in their own operations (aside from the product or service for sale);
  • Raises environmental awareness;
  • Demonstrates leadership and commitment to sustainable development and energy conservation and shows how these practices benefit the regional environment;
  • Exhibits a commitment to the community; and
  • Demonstrates leadership and resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sponsored by: Camosun College

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

Winner: Harbour Air - Video


Clean Air Yard Care - Video

Nominate Today
Award Categories

New face takes helm of Chamber front desk

The Chamber is pleased to welcome Esther Seanor to the team in her Front Desk and Administration position.

As a firm believer in continuing education, Esther has multiple certificates including a Certificate of Project Management. While using her extensive background in telecommunications, office management and project management to support the Greater Victoria business community and Chamber members, Esther will be updating her basic accounting skills to a managerial level through online courses. 

Esther is excited to join the team and looks forward to new connections at Chamber events and through her day-to-day work at The Chamber office. You can reach Esther at [email protected].

Upcoming Events

Chamber Auction runs Nov. 5-12

Registration is now open for the 2023 Chamber auction, taking place online from Nov. 5-12! Soon you’ll be able to bid on everything from one-of-a-kind getaways, to unique experiences, to discussions with community leaders, and everything in between! Take a look at more of the items you won’t want to miss in this year’s auction below.

Bartlett Tree Experts 

With this gift certificate, Bartlett Tree Experts will plant a beautiful Paperbark Maple in a location of your choosing. This tree will provide unique beauty to your landscape thanks to its fall colour and its exfoliating copper-orange to cinnamon-brown bark. Your yard will look beautiful all year-round!

Harbour Air

Enjoy swift travel and breathtaking views on this Victoria to Vancouver round trip seaplane flight for two. Hop aboard your Harbour Air seaplane in Victoria’s Inner Harbour and take to the skies with your pilot!

Pedego Electric Bikes

See the beauty of Victoria from an electric bike with one-day rental certificates from Pedego Electric Bikes Victoria! You and a friend will travel the city in style with this unique and convenient form of transportation. Included in the rental is a bicycle helmet, lock, and a short training session on the bike.

10 Acres

Enjoy a locally sourced tasting menu dinner with aptly paired wines for four at 10 Acres Bistro. Much of the sustainable, organic harvest served comes straight from the 10 Acres Farm in North Saanich. You won't want to miss this delicious prize!

Want to see more of the great items featured in this year’s auction? Register today to get a sneak peak! Any questions? Please call 250 383-7191 or email [email protected]

Register Today!

Sponsored by:

Member News @VictoriaChamber

Click the image to read and share the Member News story on Instagram

Brentwood Bay Resort

Member since 2010

Victoria Native Friendship Centre Member since 2019

Victoria Police Department

Member since 2008

Take a Hike Foundation

Member since 2021

Share your good news so we can share with other members! 

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 

Managing Director – The Chamber

Client Service Representative - CIBC

Senior Systems Administrator – University of Victoria

Community Centre Worker – Our Place Society

Cashier/Merchandiser – Shoppers Drug Mart

Community Health Worker/Care Aide – Pacific Coast Health Services

Member to Member Discounts

UPLIFT Women's Business Summit - Save 35% on UPLIFT Summit

Joni - 10% Off Your First Order

MetCredit - Special Chamber Rate of 22.5%

Moe's Home Victoria - 20% Off Regular Priced Items

Monk Office + Art - 15% Off Monk Office & Art Supplies

View all Member to Member discounts

Members can post Coupons and Discounts free

Welcome to our Newest Members! 

Facebook  Twitter  Instagram  Linkedin  Youtube