The Chamber was proud to host Per Sjögren, Ambassador of Sweden to Canada, and interested Chamber members this week to discuss business opportunities with Sweden.
(Left to Right) Karl Swannie of Echosec Systems, Ken Macartney of UVic, Ambassador Sjögren, Maeva Gauthier and Mike Irvine of Fish Eye Productions, Catherine Holt of The Chamber, and Rory Kulmala of VICA. Missing from this photo, Clayton Craycroft of Slegg Building Materials.

A time to celebrate all that makes us Canadian. This July 1 will mark Canada's sesquicentennial - or 150th birthday. Spirit of Canada 150 Victoria has organized many exciting free events - culminating in a spectacular firework show Sat, July 1. Check out the full schedule here.

You could also join your fellow Chambers members in celebrating by enjoying a bite out, a night away from home, or plan an action packed weekend at these local treasures.

For the July Business Matters Chamber CEO Catherine Holt compiled a list of Greater Victoria businesses over 100 years old. She also found out her great-great-great uncle James Lowe was president of The Chamber in 1867, the year of confederation. Read the full article here.

The Chamber will be closed Mon, July 3 in lieu of Sat, July 1.
Chamber News
Summer Social Series
Auction Donations
Business Mixers
Prodigy Group Mingles
Event Photos
Special Offer to Chamber members! Tickets by donation.

For tickets contact Jean Dickson at 250-388-9924 or
July  Business  Matters is Online!

The July Business Matters is in the mail and headed y ou r way. 

Our latest edition features:
  • Home Port Advantage : There are definite economic benefits for Victoria being a Home Port for the cruise industry. The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority is plotting a course to make that happen.
  • Property Tax Parity: Why do businesses pay substantially more than residents for municipal administration and service, e.g. fire and police protection, libraries, roads, sewer and water, etc.? 
  • Member Snapshots: This month we profile leaders of businesses over 100 years old. Get to know Natasha W. Crawford, Mike Shemilt and Scott Kolb.
These stories and more in the print and online edition!

Thinking about advertising for 2017? Contact us today! 
Short-Term Vacation Rentals 

The Chamber adopted the policy resolution, Regulate and Manage the Emerging Short-Term Rental Business Enterprise, at its Board of Director's meeting June 27. This policy, recently adopted by the BC Chamber of Commerce and its member Chambers, calls for the provincial government to:
"The Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce supports short-term residential rental providers operating within a fair and competitive environment," said Catherine Holt, CEO of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce. "There is good work underway by the City of Victoria to regulate short-term vacation rentals in a manner that will support local businesses and protect consumers."

Regulate and Manage the Emerging Short-Term Rental Business Enterprise is one of the Greater Victoria Chamber's 16 policy resolutions, i.e. specific recommendations to governments, which can be read in full in the Greater Victoria Chamber 2017/2018 Advocacy Book, released June 27, 2017.
Join us for a fun evening on board the Orca Spirit II vessel located on Victoria's beautiful Inner Harbour. Sip on local craft beer from Category 12 Brewery while you learn about local First Nations culture at interactive chef stations featuring seafood chowder, bannock, salmon and other traditional dishes prepared by Songhees Seafood & Steam. Click here to see the menu.

Your ticket includes appetizers and a gourmet dinner. Drink tickets will be on sale at the event.
Wed, Aug 2 | 6 -8:30 pm  
Orca Spirit II Vessel
146 Kingston St. (Marina Level)

Single-Use Bag Ban/Levy    

The City of Victoria's is working towards a ban or levy on single-use bags. Info on this initiative can be found in the Mar 9 City Staff Report here .
The Chamber and the Retail Council of BC are holding a joint round-table for local retailers on Wed., July 12 from 8 to 9:30 am at The Bay Centre . Anticipated areas of discussion include:
  • Are there any alternatives? For example, has the City considered working collaboratively with retailers and restaurants toward "measurable reduction"?
  • Definition, what is considered a single-use bag? A re-usable bag? For example, Montreal defined reusable plastic bags as those over 50 microns (0.05 mm thick). Nearly all "reusable" bags include plastic.
  • Exemptions, will there be any? For example, single-use plastic bags are used for sanitary reasons (meat produce)? Will business that currently charge per bag be allowed to continue to do so if a ban is implemented?

"We want to ensure that we bring the informed voice of Greater Victoria retailers to the City of Victoria," said Chamber CEO Catherine Holt. "Although the roundtable itself is open to Victoria-area retailers only, we will be asking Greater Victoria retailers for their input by email or phone later this month."

If you are a retailer and are interested in sharing your views, please contact Chamber Advocacy Manager, Peggy Kulmala by email or 250-360-3476.
The Chamber Welcomes New Board Director
Last week, Captain (Navy) Jason Boyd assumed command of CFB Esquimalt one of Greater Victoria's largest employers and contributors to the economy.

As it has with previous CFB Esquimalt Base Commanders, The Chamber appointed Captain (N) Boyd to its Board of Directors. He will also serve on The Chamber's Policy and Government Affairs Committee.

His career has taken him across Canada from Victoria to Ottawa to Halifax as well as internationally to Northern Europe as part of NATO in Her Majesty's Canadian Ship (HMCS) Iroquois in 1999, Afghanistan as part of Operation  Apollo in 2002, and the Asia-Pacific region in HMCS Ottawa in 2010.

"I am taking command during a time of great change and renewal at CFB Esquimalt," says Captain (N) Boyd. "We will be challenged by continuing infrastructure upgrades and more time at sea, but also reap the benefits of the modernized frigates, world-class facilities and improved ways to support our people and their families both at home and abroad. I am honoured to follow in the footsteps of Commodore Steven Waddell and I am deeply committed to both supporting our community and the work of the Defence Team here in Esquimalt."

CFB Esquimalt: member since 1979 
Keep your most important asset - your people - healthy and well taken care of with the Chambers Plan - the most popular and affordable employee benefits plan in Canada for small business. Click here for more information.
Internal Trade Barriers are Finally Crumbling!

For Greater Victoria businesses who are doing - or who are planning to do - business outside of BC, good news! A new internal free trade agreement comes into force July 1, 2017.

The Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) will:
  • reduce barriers to trade, investment, and worker mobility,
  • increase choice for consumers, expand access to government contracts, and create more jobs,
  • includes rules that open trade in goods and services, processes that reduce differences in regulations and standards, and provisions that increase access to billions of dollars in government procurement opportunities for Canadian businesses, and 
  • establishes new processes to liberalize domestic trade in areas such as alcoholic beverages and financial services.

"Chambers have long advocated for provincial governments to work together to eliminate impediments to trade, investment and labour mobility in Canada," said Chamber CEO Catherine Holt. "This is especially important given nearly 40% of Canada's trade takes place within its own borders."


The Canadian Free Trade Agreement replaces the former Agreement on Internal Trade.

Members Around Town

City Green Solutions was the 2017 recipient of the ENERGY STAR Canada Award for New Homes in the Sustained Excellence category. Since its implementation in 2014, City Green has demonstrated sustained excellence as an active participant in the ENERGY STAR for New Homes (ESNH) initiative by actively engaging industry professionals in building and promoting higher energy efficiency through ENERGY STAR certified homes. Congrats!
City Green Solutions: member since 2008  
On Fri, June 30 the Canadian College of Performing Arts will honour David Foster with its inaugural Legend Award at special event titled Dedicated to David: A Legendary Evening Honouring David Foster.  
Canadian College of Performing Arts: member since 2010  
Pearson College UWC has appointed alumna Heather Gross as Chief Academic Officer and Vice-president of Education and Programming. In her new role, Heather will manage, develop and ensure the delivery of curricular and co-curricular programming; learning through study, service and experience; and living together on campus in a cross-cultural setting.
Pearson College UWC: member since 2017    
Welcome to Our Newest Member! 
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