September 21, 2022
Your weekly round up of BizNews from throughout Greater Victoria!
Jonathan Morris, CEO of the BC Division of the CMHA, speaking yesterday about the importance of mental health in the workplace. The Chamber's Business Leaders Luncheon was sponsored by Coastal Community Credit Union. View photos from the event here.
Belleville Terminal generates 220,000 overnight visitors and sells over 16,000 vacation packages annually to their passengers, all of which are provided by local businesses in Victoria.

The province is developing a business case for the project. It's expected to cost up to $290 million and be completed by fall 2027.

A temporary terminal will be built until a new facility is ready.
Inflation in Canada cooling faster than expected
The latest numbers show inflation has cooled faster than expected. The August Consumer Price Index was up 7% over last year — less than the 7.3% that had been forecast. Core inflation was also lower than expected.

The drop in inflation comes after the Bank of Canada raised interest rates. However, it will take more than numbers to stem inflation and get Canada's economy back on track, said the bank's Deputy Governor Paul Beaudry.

"Some have suggested that policy-makers need to engineer a substantial slowdown — or even a recession — to get inflation back under control," Beaudry said in a speech on Tuesday. "But the best strategy for responding to high inflation needs to consider how people form their inflation expectations. If people understand and believe that the central bank will eventually bring inflation back to target, their expectations will remain 'anchored.'”

Businesses and employers can help by moderating increases to prices or wages, with the understanding that inflationary pressures are temporary. Not an easy task for organizations facing increasing costs and still recovering from pandemic challenges.
Two weeks left to vote in Chamber Board Elections
Thank you to everyone who has voted so far for the 2023-24 Chamber Board of Directors. There's still time to make your choice from the list of community leaders who put their names forward to share their insight and experience.

Election ballots were emailed Thursday, Sept. 8, to the main contact of every Chamber member. The Chamber uses a weighted voting system, based on your organization's number of employees. Voting will close at noon Thursday, Oct. 6.

Join a Chamber committee!
The Chamber is also accepting nominations for openings on our 2023 committees. You can make a difference for your community, build your network and share your leadership attributes with Greater Victoria's business community. Learn more.
Business benefits from mentally healthy workplaces
An enthusiastic roomful of Chamber members enjoyed a heartfelt and engaging presentation by Jonathon Morris, CEO of the BC Division of the Canadian Mental Health Association.

The event, part of The Chamber's Business Leaders Luncheons series, was held at the Parkside Hotel & Spa on Tuesday afternoon. Morris spoke about the benefits of better understanding the psychological health of our workplaces. Many employers in the room noted ongoing efforts to reduce the stigma of mental illness and promote safer and more productive organizational cultures.

Morris and Chamber CEO Bruce Williams discussed how businesses can improve their bottom line by taking steps to ensure staff feel safe and supported.

Special thanks to event sponsors Coastal Community Credit Union.
Canadian Mental Health Association: Member since 2022
Strong summer for tourism and hospitality
As we mark the start of fall, tourism and hospitality businesses can look back on a successful summer.

A return of customers kept many restaurants operating at capacity, though they did face other constraints. A lack of staff and a public sector strike that made stocking liquor a challenge cast a shadow on a season that many businesses rely on to make it through slower seasons.

Ian Tostenson, president and CEO of the BC Restaurant & Food Services Association told CHEK News that many Victoria restaurants operated with 80% of their staff.

The accommodation sector also enjoyed strong season. The latest Victoria Tourism Bulletin from Chemistry Consulting reports that occupancy rates in July were up from 2021 and close to 2018 levels. The average rate for a room was $305 in July, up from $230 in July 2021 and $250 in July 2019.

BC Ferries also reported a return to pre-pandemic levels in vehicles, though there were fewer passengers and buses onboard in July.

The Victoria International Airport welcomed 162,000 passengers, which is getting closer to the 185,000 in July 2019. And the Victoria Conference Centre saw a big increase this year with 8,211 delegate days in July compared to 3,633 in July 2019.
Chemistry Consulting: Member since 2006
BC Restaurant and Food Services Association: Member since 1996
Victoria Airport Authority: Member since 1981
BC Ferry Services: Member since 1983
BC Ferries: Chamber Champion since 2022
Last chance for Business Hall of Fame tickets
Tickets are selling out fast for The Chamber Business Hall of Fame, presented by RBC! Join us for a red-carpet gala celebrating the contributions of 19 inductees in the growth of our region.
Wed., Oct. 5 | 5-9 PM
Victoria Conference Centre
Ticket sales end next week Sept. 28.
Or, call The Chamber office at
250-383-7191 for our concierge service.
Introducing our Inaugural 2022 Inductees
Ian Maxwell, owner of Ralmax Group of Companies, is known as a hardhat visionary who champions the protection and preservation of industrial lands and the jobs they provide in Greater Victoria.

Frank Leonard recalls that it is Maxwell’s integrity as a business person that has led to his successful ventures.

“He’s loyal to industrial, blue collar, lunch bucket jobs. He’s rescued industries that others would say are sunset industries. But he gets his hands on them, recreates them and enhances their vitality.”

Maxwell has a wholistic approach to business. He sees the co-existence of residential, industrial and recreational activity on the harbour as an asset. As such, Point Hope Shipyard supports more than 650 companies and the jobs that they provide.
Learn about Maxwell's impact and legacy at the 2022 Business Hall of Fame gala.
Helen Beirnes was a savvy entrepreneur who ran a popular restaurant and founded an organization for women in tourism and hospitality.

“Helen would host what you would call the ‘old boys’ club’ at her restaurant, Captain’s Palace,” says Frank Leonard, who met Helen shortly after joining The Chamber. By inviting local power brokers to her shop, Beirnes deftly inserted her views into the conversation.

In 1971, Beirnes began a two-year term as President of The Chamber. She was the first woman to hold the position, though she was careful to make it clear that her election was about her skillset and not her gender. In 1976, she was elected to Victoria City Council by championing heritage buildings.

She is remembered as an intellectual who loved conversation, and believed in the potential of women.
Learn about Beirnes' impact and legacy at the 2022 Business Hall of Fame gala.
Network and learn with The Chamber this fall
5 Chamber Business Mixer
Join us for the annual joint mixer bringing together great businesses from the Esquimalt, Greater Victoria, Saanich PeninsulaSooke Region and WestShore Chambers

The beautiful, open space of the new Gorge Park Pavilion will set the stage for a great evening of connection hosted by The Esquimalt Chamber of Commerce and will feature some of their local member businesses.

This event welcomes Chamber members of all 5 local Chambers. Future members of a chamber are welcome to join the event to see firsthand why joining a local Chamber of Commerce is right for you.
Sponsored by:
Venue Sponsor:
Thurs., Sept. 22 | 5 - 7 PM
Gorge Park Pavilion, 1070 Tillicum Rd, Victoria, BC
Chamber Partners:
Small Business Month Member Networking Breakfast
Come celebrate the power of small businesses with the Small Business Month Networking Breakfast presented by Grant Thornton LLP and supported by our media partners 98.5 The Ocean and 103.1 Jack FM

After casual networking over breakfast, The Chamber Team will take the floor to begin the roundtable meetings. At each table, guests will have a chance to introduce themselves and their businesses in a 60 second elevator pitch.

Facilitated by The Chamber, attendees will connect with nearly everyone in the room. Try it out for yourself & grow your business!
Wed., Oct. 19 | 8 - 9:30 AM
Spinnakers Brewpub & Guesthouses
308 Catherine St - Upstairs in the Tap Room, Victoria
Sponsored by:
Media Partners:
October Business Mixer @ Pendray Inn & Tea House
Immerse yourself in elegance at the October Business Mixer hosted by the Pendray Inn & Tea House.

Formerly known as the Gatsby Mansion, the magnificent Victorian-era Pendray Inn and Tea House offers a boutique experience for those in search of a little old time romance.

Come enjoy it's remarkable history and outstanding service while you establish and renew business connections.
Sponsored by:
Thurs., October 20 | 5 - 7 PM
Pendray Inn & Tea House
309 Belleville Street
Victoria, BC V8V 1X2
The Chamber Auction is back this November
Showcase your brand at the 2022 Chamber Auction
Take a sneak peek at an incredible experience available at the 2022 Chamber Auction from Nov. 6 – 13!

Enjoy a one-night stay at Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort, just steps away from the beautiful Inner Harbour!

Stay in with their 24-hour room service or hit the town with a 2-day SUV rental.

Interested in having your products or services showcased at our auction?

As an event sponsor, Maximum Express, Courier, Freight and Logistics is offering donors complimentary delivery of their auction item to The Chamber Office.

Any questions? Please call (250) 383-7191 or email
Sponsored by:
Media Partner:
Celebrating first day of Fall
Tomorrow is the first day of fall! Put away your white shoes and celebrate the beginning of cooler, cozier times while supporting your fellow Chamber members.
As the weather gets cooler, take a moment to think about those in Greater Victoria who may not have warm clothes or a place to stay. View Chamber member non-profits here to learn how you can give back this autumn.
The Chamber welcomes Richard Gao to the team
The Chamber is pleased to welcome co-op student Richard Gao as our new Events and Graphics Assistant!

Richard is a fourth-year student studying Health Information Science at the University of Victoria. He is unsure about what he plans on doing after university, however, he is adamant about experimenting with different career paths and learning new skills.

Richard is delighted to be part of The Chamber and is looking forward for all the opportunities to network with and learn more about marketing from Chambers members and the community – especially as he works on the 2022 Chamber Auction.

You can connect with him at or 250-953-6684.
Hiring a co-op student is an investment in our future and a great addition to your team. We strongly encourage you to reach out to co-op programs at Camosun College and the University of Victoria to see how a co-op student can benefit your organization this year.

Interested in hiring a Camosun or UVic co-op student, but not sure where to start? Come learn about timing, mentorship and the benefit of hiring a student for 2023 at our upcoming webinar on Oct. 18.
Chamber Chats with CEO Bruce Williams
Protecting Our Waterways with Julie Angus, CEO of Open Ocean Robotics 
Open Ocean Robotics, a Chamber member based in Greater Victoria, does fascinating ocean research and data collection. Their equipment monitors seismic activity, oil spills, water quality, illegal fishing, water temperature, climate change and more across the world's oceans.

In this Chamber Chat CEO Bruce Williams speaks with founder and CEO Julie Angus.
Open Ocean Robotics: Member since 2020
Special thanks to our series sponsor: Island Savings
Find your next great employee

With Fall on the horizon, ensure you’re well-staffed for the rest of the year by using The Chamber’s job board.

As an exclusive Chamber member benefit, you can post a free 30-day listing on the job board every calendar year. Use the code INTRO2022 at checkout to use this offer today.

Reach the right candidates with the help of The Chamber. If you have any questions or need help uploading your job posting, email
Member News
Air Canada purchases new electric aircraft

Air Canada has purchased a fleet of 30 fully electric planes. These specially designed aircraft generate zero emissions during flight, and can each hold 30 passengers for regional flights. The new planes are expected to enter service by 2028.
Air Canada: Member since 1954
Smile cookies return for local charities

Looking for a reason to smile? From now until Sept. 25, when you purchase a smile cookie at Tim Hortons, all proceeds in Greater Victoria will go to the Children's Health Foundation of Vancouver Island. Each cookie costs $1, and funds will be used to support island kids with physical and mental health challenges.
Children's Health Foundation of Vancouver Island: Member since 2007
Agilus celebrates quarter century

Celebrations for the 25th anniversary of Agilus Work Solutions' Victoria office continue throughout September! Agilus is the largest full service, Canadian-owned staffing organization in the nation, with 14 offices across Canada.
At the 2019 Greater Victoria Business Awards, Agilus Market Manager Rose Arsenault was awarded with the Chamber Member of the Year Award. Rose is also on the 2022 Chamber Auction committee, which helps businesses showcase their products and services at this fun annual event.
Agilus Work Solutions: Member since 1997
Do you have a success story? We want to hear from you
BBB announces Torch Award finalists

The Better Business Bureau of Vancouver Island has announced the 2022 Torch Award finalists, and Chamber members are featured in almost every category.
Finalists include:
Community Service: CL Web Developers
Customer Service: Victoria Comfort Keepers
Custom & Specialty Cleaning: Luv-A-Rug Services Inc.
Finishing Services: Pride Painting Ltd.
Heating & Air Conditioning: Coastal Heat Pumps & Refrigeration
Masonry: Orca Masonry
Window Installation & Services: Proline Roofing Ltd. and Van Isle Windows Ltd.
60 Years Accredited Special Recognition: Lunds Auctioneers & Appraisers and McCall Gardens Funeral & Cremation Service

Winners will be announced on November 4, 2022.
Clean beaches and great BBQ

This Saturday, Gwaii Engineering will be hosting a beach cleanup at Clover Point. Part of the North American Cleanup Challenge, everyone is welcome to help clean the beach from 1-3:30 pm and enjoy a free BBQ lunch.

Gwaii Engineering: Member since 2021        
Pedego Palooza

Pedego Electric Bikes Victoria has officially opened. Offering a full line of Pedego electric bikes to customers, the storefront is located across the street from the Royal BC Museum. Chamber CEO Bruce Williams attended the ribbon cutting ceremony last weekend, welcoming Greater Victoria’s newest business.

Pedego Electric Bikes Victoria: Member since 2022
New local online marketplace

Capital Daily has launched an online marketplace for local retailers to feature their products and services. The Victoria Community Store offers online shopping and deals for local brands including Fernwood Coffee Company, Abeego Inc., Resthouse, and The Natural Hair Salon.

Capital Daily: Member since 2020

Abeego Inc.: Member since 2014

Resthouse: Member since 2022

The Natural Hair Salon: Member since 2021
Fernwood Coffee Company: Member since 2009
Member to Member Discounts
Members can post Coupons and Discounts free of charge here.
Welcome to our Newest Members!
Need to get one of our snazzy Chamber name tags?