Thank you to everyone who attended the Chairs' Holiday Reception last night at Distrikt Nightclub hosted by The Strathcona. As the final event for our 2016-17 Chair Al Hasham it certainly was the party of the year! Click here to see the photos. 
Chamber Member of the Year: Al Hasham
An active member of The Chamber  for over 30 years, Al has served as a volunteer on numerous committees and most recently as Chair of The Chamber Board.
"Al Hasham is not only exceptionally hard-working as a businessman in the community but he is also a tireless volunteer who never thinks twice to say yes when asked for help," said Dan Dagg, incoming Chair of The Chamber. "Whether offering complimentary delivery services to local charities or sharing his leadership and business experience as a mentor to young entrepreneurs just starting out - he is always giving 100%. I can't think of a more deserving individual than Al for The Chamber Member of the Year award."
The Chamber Business Awards ceremony will take place on May 10, 2018. Make sure you reserve early for this always sold out event.
Nominations in other categories are still being accepted until Jan 23, 2018.
Chamber News
2018 Business Awards Nominations
Holiday Open House
Peter Legge Luncheon
Business Mixers
Event Photos

Place for Pot
Recreational pot sold in BC will be sold at both public and privately run stores, with the provincial Liquor Distribution Branch (LDB) handling wholesale distribution. The minimum age to purchase pot will be 19.

Solicitor General Mike Farnworth said the decisions were shaped by input from over 48,000 British Columbians received by the Province over recent months.

"It's clear that British Columbians support the priorities of protecting young people, health and safety, keeping the criminal element out of cannabis and keeping roads safe, which will guide the province in developing BC's regulatory framework for non-medical cannabis," he said in a release.

The federal government's anticipated legalization of the drug is July 2018. To date, four stores distributing marijuana in the city of Victoria have approved business licenses.
Hear Peter Legge, one of Canada's most inspiring entrepreneurs, on why good is the enemy of great - and how to move you and your company to the next level of success.

Peter Legge is Chairman and CEO of Canada Wide Media Limited, the largest independently owned magazine publishing company in Western Canada controlling a network of over 25 magazines across the country in addition to providing a diverse range of media services and products with over $15 million in sales annually.
Sponsored by: 
Wed, Jan 31 | 11:30 am -1 pm      
Coast Victoria Hotel & Marina
by APA, 146 Kingston St.

Holiday Spirit in Victoria
The holiday season has taken Greater Victoria by storm! The city has come alive with events - check out our Community Events Calendar and the DVBA's Holiday Guide to plan your December. While you're out and about enjoying the festivities, visit a local retailer to pick up gifts for loved ones and a local grocery store to stock up for holiday entertaining. 
Not into cooking? 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. This time of year is a perfect time to support one of Greater Victoria's local charities.
On Dec 14 from 3-5 pm The Chamber is hosting its first ever Holiday Open House. There will be gift wrapping, cookies, hot chocolate, tea and coffee by donation. Sign up to get a behind the scenes tour of our recently renovated office. 

Teri Hustins
Owner , Oscar & Libby's 
With two stores located in Downtown Victoria, (Fort Street and Market Square) Oscar & Libby's has become Victoria's gift store for all that is upbeat and offbeat.  
What is the one thing no one understands or knows about your business? That our business is named after our two kitties. What is the best perk of your job? Working with my husband. We're a great team. What project is your business proudest of? The Fort Street Kindness Meters; The Fort Street Parklet. What was your first job? Ice cream scooper. If you had a superpower what would it be? I often wish that I had a collapsible third arm. If you could have dinner with anyone alive or dead who would it be? Queen Elizabeth. What's new with your business? Oh! I can't tell you that but we're planning something new in 2018.
More about Teri - and additional Member Snapshots - can be found in the November Business Matters.

Oscar & Libby's: member since 2005
Nominate Now for The Chamber's 2018 Greater Victoria Business Awards
Each week The Chamber will be profiling a different award category, encouraging members to nominate a deserving Chamber member for our 2018 Business Awards.

The  Non-Profit of the Year Award honours a non-profit that:
  • Is incorporated as a non-profit organization;
  • Provides outstanding contributions to the community;
  • Demonstrates how their service provides benefits to others and how they differentiate themselves;
  • Shows quantitative and qualitative results.
Know a non-profit that deserves this award? Nominate them today!

Need some inspiration? Check out the videos of the 2017 Non-Profit of the Year finalists below.

Winner: Lifetime Networks
Finalist: Our Place Society  
Thanks to Children's Health Foundation of Vancouver Island for sponsoring this award in 2017 and again in 2018!
Therapeutic Recovery Community in View Royal Aims to Be Open by Summer 2018
Our Place Society is in the
Click here to see a detailed map and plan of the facility. 
final stages of transforming the former youth correctional facility in View Royal into
a Therapeutic Recovery Community (TRC). It will offer 12-to-24-month treatment programs
for people caught in the destructive cycle of homelessness and incarceration.  
"Currently, people who want to quit drugs or alcohol face limited options," said Don Evans, executive director of Our Place Society. "They can enter a 10-day detox and month-long stabilization program, but those options lack intensive therapy to deal with the root cause of someone's addiction." 
The goal is that every individual who graduates from this program will be in control of their addiction, have a place to live, a job, and all the life skills necessary to not only survive in the wider community, but to thrive in it.
The next steps in making this TRC possible include: raising an additional $850,000 in private dollars; securing $4.7 million from the province (over 7 years); and rezoning of the current facility by the Town of View Royal. Our Place is confident that it can meet all three of these goals in time to open the facility by the summer of 2018.

Our Place Society: member since 2010  

Low Unemployment Rate Calls for Increase in Immigration 
In November, Greater Victoria's unemployment rate of 3.3% was the lowest in the country. A wave of job creation knocked the national rate down to 5.9%, from 6.3% in October, its lowest level in nearly a decade.
"While some could view this as excellent news, it also exemplifies how hard it is for Greater Victoria employers - particularly in the retail and service industry - to fill vacant positions," says Chamber CEO Catherine Holt. "One of the ways to do this is to increase immigration, but more importantly increase immigrant allocation to the provinces that need them most. Current quotas set by the federal government for provinces and territories do not reflect the number of immigrants requested, resulting in lost immigration opportunities."  
The Chamber has been advocating for a higher allocation of immigrants to BC to meet our growing labour needs.
Members Around Town
Travel Industry Maven
Cathy Scott, owner of Departures Travel, was recently honoured with the "Beyond Boundaries Award" from Ensemble Travel Group , one of the premier travel agency organizations in the travel industry. The travel executive earned the award for exemplifying many of Ensemble's core values, particularly for her innovation and community mindedness.
Departures Travel: member since 2013
Tourism Victoria's New Board Members  
Indu Brar , General Manager of the Fairmont Empress , has been elected to Tourism Victoria's Board of Directors. In addition, Moira Hauk, Regional Manager, South Island, Coastal Community Credit Union, was welcomed to the Tourism Victoria Board as The Chamber's nominee. Moira is an active Chamber member and serves on The Chamber's Finance and Audit Committee.  
Tourism Victoria: member since 1988    
  Fairmont Empress: member since 1962
   Coastal Community Credit Union & Insurance: member since 2014 
Night Vision at Helijet 
Helijet International Inc. and BC Ambulance Service will develop and install Night Vision Imaging Systems (NVIS) into all three of its dedicated air ambulance helicopters. NVIS, also referred to as night-vision goggles, is a system technology which uses image intensifier tubes to produce an enhanced image of a scene in light conditions too low for the normal human eye to identify clearly during navigation and pilotage.
  Helijet International Inc.: member since 1987   
Office Holiday Party Tips and Tricks
'Tis the season! Holiday party invitations are probably flooding your inbox faster than Santas are invading shopping malls. So, just how do you navigate the cocktail-infused waters of the corporate holiday party?
  • Show Up - It's a great chance to build relationships and goodwill with your co-workers
  • Engage Everyone-Even People You Don't Know
  • Ignore the Dress Code
  • Be Distracted by Technology
Be sure to read the whole list here. Do you have any holiday party tips and tricks? We'll share the best on our social media channels. Connect with us there or email us your best of the season. 
Save Money When Travelling this Holiday Season
Whether you're driving up the Coquihala or over the Malahat, save money this holiday season with our  fuel benefit partners.  
As a Chamber member, you're eligible to receive 3.5 cents per litre with an  Esso Business Card and 5% off service at Certigard Car Care Centers & Petro Can Carwash and 2 cents per litre of gas savings with a Petro-Canada Superpass  
This is just one of the many benefits offered to Chamber members. Check out our full list here
Welcome to Our Newest Members!  

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