January 4, 2023
Your weekly round up of BizNews from throughout Greater Victoria!
Happy New Year and thank you to everyone who attended the Chair’s Holiday Reception. The festive event was held at the newly renovated Wicket Hall to celebrate outgoing Chamber Chair John Wilson, who led our board over the past three years. Pictured above: Jenny McLeod with United Way of Southern Vancouver Island, Rahim Khudabux from Max Furniture, new Chamber Chair Kris Wirk with Dusanj + Wirk Chartered Professional Accountants and Coun. Hazel Braithwaite with the District of Oak Bay.
Ban on foreign purchases of homes takes effect
The federal ban on foreign purchases of Canadian homes is now in effect. The intent of the regulation is to free up housing to meet the intense demand that has seen real estate prices skyrocket over the past decade. However, just how effective the rule will be remains to be seen as foreign buyers account for less than 0.5% of real estate sales in BC.

The prohibition isn't permanent. It's set to run for two years and does not apply to non-Canadians who are looking to rent. The Act defines residential property as buildings with fewer than four homes, as well as parts of buildings like a semi-detached house or a condominium unit. The law does not prohibit the purchase of larger buildings with multiple units.

Anyone convicted of violating the Act faces a $10,000 fine, and non-Canadians could face a court order to sell the house.
Chamber's 2023 Board of Directors take the wheel
The Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce its 2023 Board of Directors.

Kris Wirk, with Dusanj + Wirk Chartered Professional Accountants, will take on the role of Board Chair, while Christina Clarke from the Indigenous Prosperity Centre becomes the new Vice-Chair. After serving for the past three years as Chair, John Wilson of The Wilson's Group of Companies assumes the role of Past Chair.

“Chamber members and Greater Victoria’s business community will be well served by the stability, expertise and leadership experience that the 2023 board of directors brings to the table,” incoming Chamber Chair Kris Wirk said. “Our previous chair, John Wilson, did a remarkable job of guiding the organization through the pandemic. I’m excited about getting to work and helping The Chamber achieve our vision for 2023.”

The Chamber’s 2023 board consists of established and emerging business and community leaders who will work with Chamber committees and staff. These business leaders volunteer their time to help Chamber members, working together to build good business and great community for all. We invite you to connect with your board and thank them the next time you see them at an event.

“Kris will be a dynamic chair and I am ready to support him in any way he needs,” Past Chamber Chair John Wilson said. “It has been nothing if not a memorable three years dealing with the challenges of the pandemic. We have come through this stronger than ever and we are prepared for any challenge that comes our way.”
Workforce buoyed as immigration sets new record
Finding and keeping workers has been an ongoing challenge facing every sector and almost all employers in Greater Victoria and across the country. We need a larger workforce to enable organizations to reach their economic potential. One of the key solutions is to welcome more new Canadians to our region. Last year, Canada set a record for immigration as 431,645 people became new permanent residents — the most since 1913. The target for 2023 is 465,000.

Canada's labour force growth is almost 100% dependent on immigration. The Chamber has been working with community partners and our national network to advocate for immigration that prioritizes workers with skills needed by employers. We're also working to ensure Greater Victoria receives its fair share of immigration, which typically gravitates to Canada's larger cities.
Island Health seeks help to fight toxic drug crisis
How can business help solve complex challenges regarding addiction and toxic drugs in our communities? The opioid crisis has caused immeasurable distress in many people's lives, affecting families, colleagues and others close to us at an unprecedented scale.

Island Health hopes that innovation, which the private sector is renowned for, can make a difference. The health authority is is seeking Expressions of Interest from not-for-profit organizations, local governments, Indigenous Nations and local businesses. A $1 million fund has been set up to provide grants of up to $50,000 for projects and initiatives that:
  • Improve workplace resilience and individual safety related to toxic drugs
  • Improve youth resilience.

Details on the grants, including how to apply are available at: New Resilience and Safety Grants - Island Health
Island Health: Member since 2020
The Chamber celebrates 160 years serving Greater Victoria
You're invited to a special celebration to commemorate our 160th year building business in Greater Victoria. Raise a glass as we toast to the work done through the decades of both challenges and success.
As members, your support is the reason we can proudly state that we've been serving southern Vancouver Island as the champion of business for 160 years —decades upon decades of connecting hard-working entrepreneurs and innovative organizations with each other, while amplifying their voices to all levels of government.
Be a part of history and on our anniversary on February 9th, join other leaders and businesses from across Greater Victoria as we celebrate both The Chamber and the role of business in Greater Victoria's success. 
Sponsored by:
Thurs., Feb. 9 | 4 - 6 PM
Royal BC Museum, Floor 3
675 Belleville Street
Have questions about our 2023 Business Awards?
Join us as we walk through our new online nomination and award application process and answer all kinds of questions about the 2023 Business Awards to help you put your best foot forward.
This event is for businesses who have already received a nomination or who want to learn more before nominating themselves. During this virtual call we will take a look at the 2023 Business Awards timeline, award categoriesnomination information, and how to submit an award entry. 
Tues., Jan. 10 | 12 - 1 PM
Virtual via Zoom
Call-in details provided upon registration
Nominate a deserving local business
From start-ups to local legends, the 2023 Business Awards shine a light on hard-working businesses, business people and community leaders in 14 categories worth celebrating. Finalists are chosen by an independent panel of prominent business leaders who serve as judges.
Nominations close: January 18, 2023
Chamber Chats with CEO Bruce Williams
Marianne Alto Outlines the Future of Victoria
Why did Marianne Alto want to be Victoria’s next Mayor? What will it be like to work with so many rookie Council members?

In this Chamber Chat, CEO Bruce Williams discusses these questions and more with the City of Victoria’s new Mayor.
Special thanks to our series sponsor: Island Savings
City of Victoria: Member since 1863
Start 2023 with Benefits and Savings
As a member of The Chamber, you and your organization are eligible for an extensive list of discounts and savings. Take advantage of these corporate discounts as part of The Chamber Benefits Program.

Need to improve your home office? Lenovo, Monk Office, and Grand & Toy offer a variety of discounts for hardware, furniture and more.

Ship your packages with ease, and get 50% off domestic and international shipping with UPS. Shipments can be easily tracked through UPS My Choice® for Business. Learn more about shipping rates and tracking here.

Our Chamber Benefits Program has many valuable offers to utilize, from fuel discounts to certificates of origin. Chamber members can also find and post on the Member to Member Offers page for free, a constantly updated resource to showcase your product/service to fellow Chamber members.

For more information on how to take advantage of these savings, or to post a Member to Member offer, contact [email protected].
Receive a 10% Discount on all regularly priced office supplies
Receive up to 85% off 7,500 quality office products
Save up to 60% off now until Jan. 9. Normally 30% off for Chamber members
Work with a Chamber Champion!
When you’re searching for your next employer, look no further than a Chamber Champion!

Featured on The Chamber’s job board, Chamber Champions are offering great career opportunities for talented individuals across Greater Victoria.

From an Autoplan Manager at Megson FitzPatrick to a Development Officer at the University of Victoria, Chamber Champions are ready to offer you your next great career move.

Visit The Chamber’s job board and find new opportunities today.

If you have any questions about The Chamber’s job board, please contact [email protected].
Member News
Scotiabank receives recognition for South American development

Scotiabank has been named the Andean Investment Bank of the Year. Winning six Bonds & Loans Latin America & Caribbean Awards, Scotiabank received the recognition for their role in a variety of loan deals across South America.
Scotiabank: Member since 1913
Scotiabank: Chamber Champion since 2021
Wildlife Photography arrives at Royal BC Museum

The Royal BC Museum has unveiled their new exhibit. From now until April 16, witness the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition to see breathtaking photos from around the world. The pieces are travelling from London’s Natural History Museum, and photos feature natural landscapes and the behaviors of wildlife.

Interested in experiencing some more history? Join us in celebrating The Chamber’s 160th anniversary at the Royal BC Museum on Thursday, Feb. 9!
Royal BC Museum: Member since 1994
Historic donation for women in trades

Camosun College has received a record-breaking donation of $1.285 million to support women beginning careers in the trades. The funds, donated by the Gwyn Morgan and Patricia Trottier Foundation, will help increase the amount of women with certifications in the automotive, carpentry, professional cooking, sheet metal and welding industries.
Camosun College: Member since 1981
Renew and Re-found helps Pearson students thrive

As Pearson College UWC nears their 50th anniversary, the post-secondary institution has launched their Renew and Re-found Campaign to support scholarships for students. The multi-year campaign aims to raise $40 million for student initiatives and to modernize the campus. To date, more than 600 scholarships have been raised for students from more than 80 countries.

Pearson College UWC: Member since 2017
WIN expands to Saanich

WIN Resale Shops has opened a new location in Saanich. As their fourth location in the region, the new Saanich location will feature high quality fashion for all genders. Purchases go towards empowerment programs for women, trans, non-binary and Two Spirit people.

Corporation of the District of Saanich: Member since 2019
WIN Resale Shops: Member since 1998
Victoria Tech Community Award winners

Winners have been announced for VIATEC’s Victoria Tech Community Awards, and Chamber members are proudly featured in a variety of categories, including:

Congratulations to all winners and finalists for promoting innovation in our region!
Barnacle Systems Inc.: Member since 2019

Pilothouse Digital: Member since 2021

MarineLabs Data Systems Inc.: Member since 2021

RaceRocks 3D: Member since 2020

joni: Member since 2022
VIATEC: Member since 1991
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