May 4, 2022
Your weekly round up of BizNews from throughout Greater Victoria
Registered event guests will receive their digital ticket via email Friday afternoon. If you are no longer able to attend, please email [email protected] or call 250-383-7191 as soon as possible.
Saturday, May 7 | 6-10 pm
The Fairmont Empress, 721 Government St.
Check out the Event Program to learn more about our Finalists. Finalists were chosen by an independent panel of prominent business leaders who served as judges.
You can also follow the story through The Chamber's Social Media platforms, which will be updated after the gala evening on Saturday.
The Chamber supports Red Dress Day
This Thursday is Red Dress Day, a national day of awareness for missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and two-spirit people.

Too many lives are lost to violence. We all grieve the loss of these daughters, sisters, mothers and wives. The Chamber is working to continue advocating for change to end this national tragedy.

Learn more about the importance of Red Dress Day and access resources for support here.
Regional police force discussed in special report
It should be no surprise that a regional police force was one of the common themes of a long-awaited report from the Special Committee on Reforming the Police Act.

The report, released last week, noted that the City of Victoria and Township of Esquimalt are the only municipalities in BC that share a local police department.

The report also stated that when the provincial government ordered the merger of the Esquimalt and Victoria police forces, the understanding at the time was that "this would be the first step towards regional integration of policing in the Capital Region, but this has not happened."

The Chamber supports a regional police force in order to ensure limited resources are used as efficiently as possible to create Safe Communities for everyone in Greater Victoria.

Open House tonight in Esquimalt

Esquimalt hosts an Open House from 5:30-7:30 pm tonight in the gallery at Esquimalt Town Square to hear from residents about the Township's police model.

“We want a dialogue with our community before making any large decisions about policing,” Esquimalt Mayor Barbara Desjardins said in a news release. “By joining the conversation about policing in Esquimalt, you will help us make crucial decisions that impact community safety, crime prevention and the use of your tax dollars.”
City of Victoria: Member since 1962
Township of Esquimalt: Member since 2020
Anti-racism data will help identify systemic racism
Information is power and new provincial legislation is a promising start to helping call out systemic discrimination.

The Anti-Racism Data Act will create a safe way to collect information that reveals how government services are not equal for people of different backgrounds, ethnicity and gender identities.

"This legislation will enable enhanced collection, analysis and utilization of data in a way that honours our rights to data sovereignty," Chief Lydia Hwitsum, political executive of the First Nations Summit, said in a news release. "Nothing about us without us. We see this legislation as a beginning to addressing the larger systemic racism issues and problems that exist within our society.”

The Chamber supports efforts to take action on reconciliation as it aligns with our mission to: Work together to build good business and great community for all.
Shortage of early childhood educators continues
Affordable and accessible child care is vital to the economy because it creates opportunities for working parents to contribute to the labour force. As such, The Chamber has long called for child care to be considered an investment that attracts families to our region and helps organizations find and keep workers. The provincial government now offers a wage enhancement for Early Childhood Educators and is working with the federal government to reduce the costs that families pay for care.

However, it will take more than funding for new spaces to address the lack of access to child care in Greater Victoria. Our region needs qualified workers for the many positions currently going unfilled.

“Finding an early childhood educator seems like trying to find a unicorn these days,” said Mira Laurence, executive director of the Oaklands Community Association which runs the Oaklands Little Acorn Centre. “There are no people,” Laurence said, in an interview with CHEK News. “The four-dollar top-up doesn’t even seem to be working.”

"We're having discussions with post-secondary institutions as well as with government about how we can get more Early Child Care workers," Chamber CEO Bruce Williams said. "We need to create pathways that lead from school to jobs, or ease immigration for qualified foreign workers. And when we find staff, we need to keep them by making sure they feel valued."
Oaklands Community Association: Member since 2019
Low inventory slows region's real-estate market
Housing supply continues to present a major bottleneck for Greater Victoria's economy. The latest figures on Greater Victoria’s real estate market show low inventory, rising interest rates and buyer fatigue has the industry off to a slow start in 2022.

Spring is typically the busiest season fro real estate sales.

"This tells an interesting story because activity traditionally peaks over the course of the spring, and this year we have seen a gradual softening of the market," 2022 Victoria Real Estate Board President Karen Dinnie-Smyth said in a news release. "As we have reported many times in the past years, the market hinges on supply and demand."

A total of 824 properties in Greater Victoria sold in April, down from 1,116 in April 2021. The board's benchmark value for a single-family home increased to $1.27 million, up from $1.23 million the month before.
Victoria Real Estate Board: Member since 1969
Next Week!
Business Leaders Luncheon: Mark Collins, CEO of BC Ferries
Hear from BC Ferries on their plans to evolve our coast ferry system. One of the world's largest marine passenger systems, BC Ferries is an economic driver of our province.
For 60 years, BC Ferries has been dedicated to providing safe and efficient travel to their customers. Their role as a ferry transportation provider goes beyond getting passengers from point A to B. With 25 routes throughout the west coast of BC, they serve as advocates for the coastal environment and communities where they operate. 
Mark Collins, CEO of BC Ferries, will take you through how the company is preparing for the future and contributing to a sustainable environment.
Sponsored by:
Thurs., May 12 | 11:30 - 1 PM
Coast Victoria Hotel & Marina by APA, 146 Kingston St, Victoria 
May Business Mixer @ Mayfair Optometric Clinic
Join us at Mayfair Optometric Clinic to see what new connections you can make within the Greater Victoria business community.
Come decked out in your favourite tropical wear for a chance to win a fabulous door prize!

This indoor/outdoor event includes hors d'oevres and refreshments and is happily hosted by Mayfair Optometric Clinic
Sponsored by:
Thurs., May 19 | 5 - 7 PM
Mayfair Optometric Clinic
3196 Douglas St.
Member Networking Breakfast @ Vista 18
Join us for the best view of town and a healthy breakfast and create new connections. 

The Chamber Member Networking Breakfast is a must-attend event for new and existing members. It's a great way to learn about services offered by one another and how you can positively contribute to our local business community.
Sponsored by:
Vista 18 at Chateau Victoria
740 Burdett Ave, Victoria, BC
Business Leaders Luncheon: Michael Pickup, Auditor General of BC
Join us to hear from Auditor General Michael Pickup on the work of his office and how they are attentive to the needs, expectations, and priorities of the Legislature, while being responsive to the needs and expectations of British Columbians.
Sponsored by:
Thurs., June 2 | 11:30 AM - 1 PM
Hotel Grand Pacific, 463 Belleville St.
Take The Chamber's Membership Survey!
In less than 10 minutes, you can share your thoughts on your Chamber membership by taking our Membership Matters Survey.

Your Chamber Membership provides you with discounts on our benefit programs, opportunities to connect with the business community and supports your business through its advocacy efforts. Are you getting your full membership value?

Help us help you! Enter to win round-trip flights to Vancouver for two from Helijet or tickets for two to this year's Picnic in the Park.

Get your answers in by May 11 to enter to win the early bird prize, free membership and 150 free driving minutes from EVO Car Share."
Enjoy scrumptious snacks and delicious drinks at Picnic in the Park!
Picnic in the Park, formerly known as YYJ Eats, is your exclusive chance to enjoy a variety of gourmet food samples, local wine, craft beers and specialty cocktails created and presented by some of Greater Victoria’s most popular restaurants, breweries, wineries, cideries & spirit makers.

If you and your business would like to participate as an exhibitor in Picnic in the Park, please email [email protected] for more details.
Presented by:
Tues., June 7 | 5 - 7 PM
St. Ann's Academy National Historic Site
835 Humboldt Street, Victoria
Member and General Public Tickets include 10 tasting tickets to use at the event. Additional tasting tickets can be purchased through online registration or at the event.
Gold Sponsor:
Media Partners:
Chamber Chats with CEO Bruce Williams
What's New at the University of Victoria? 
The academic year may be winding down at colleges and universities, but there is still a lot happening on campus and beyond.

In this Chamber Chat with University of Victoria President Dr. Kevin Hall, we hear about how the United Nations is now a part of UVic, education related to cybersecurity and the UVic Vikes!
Special thanks to our series sponsor:
University of Victoria: Member Since: 1976
University of Victoria: Chamber Champion since 2021
Celebrate Mother’s Day in style
This Mother’s Day, show your mom she’s on your mind by surprising her with a thoughtful gift or experience — all while showing love to local business, as well!

Welcome Lian Woo to The Chamber team!
The Chamber is pleased to welcome co-op student Lian Woo as our new History Writer and Digital Media Assistant!

Lian is a fifth-year student studying Sociology and Professional Communications at the University of Victoria. She looks forward to experiencing new challenges and learning new skills in her position.

Lian is excited to hear about the history of The Chamber and Chamber members as she shares stories about the diverse business communities on Southern Vancouver Island in our upcoming Chamber 160 Anniversary Project.

You can connect with her at [email protected] or 250-383-7191. 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.
Chamber Champions
Find great employees this May

As summer quickly approaches, ensure you’re well-staffed 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 [email protected]
Grow your business with successful exporting
Looking for a potential 18% increase in export revenue? The Chamber invites you to bounce forward out of the pandemic by taking advantage of the upcoming local Trade Accelerator Program (TAP)!

TAP is designed to help SMEs TAP into their full export potential. It has a proven track record helping participants get results. With new trade agreements, competitive Canadian dollar, and new business opportunities, now is the ideal time to extend your company's reach through international expansion of goods and services. Since 2017, World Trade Centre Vancouver has successfully delivered 24 TAP cohorts in B.C.

Qualifying Chamber Members pay only $500 (a $4,500 savings).
Apply Now

Enter Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce in the Who Referred you section.
Learn more about the program and apply today at

Have questions? Call TAP B.C. Team on 604-640-5491 or email i[email protected].
Workshop Days
9:00a.m. – 4:30p.m.
June 1, 2, and 3

Mentorship Days 
8:30a.m. – 12:30p.m.
July 12 and 13

Application Deadline:
May 17, 2022
Member News
Feedback needed on local governance

Residents of the City of Victoria are invited to share their views on local governance. As part of MNP LLP’s review for the city’s governance structures and processes, feedback is required to determine if any key bylaws, policies and/or guidelines need updating to ensure efficient, effective and inclusive local government. Feedback is being accepted until Friday, May 13.
City of Victoria: Member since 1962
MNP LLP: Member since 2013
MNP LLP: Chamber Champion since 2020
Local healthcare expanding

Island Health has acquired two surgical centres to increase capacity and reduce wait times for patients requiring day surgeries and endoscopies. The View Royal Surgical Centre in Victoria and Seafield Surgical Centre in Nanaimo, purchased for $11.5 million, will allow Island Health to offer 5,000 more procedures each year.
Island Health: Member since 2020
CIBC: Chamber Champion since 2020
CIBC: Member since 1962
Hear John Wilson sing the national anthem

Do you want to hear John Wilson of Wilson’s Group of Companies sing the national anthem at a Victoria HarbourCats game and support a great local organization in the process? If the HarbourCats add 50 new season tickets by May 9, Wilson will grace attendees with his rendition of the national anthem at a game this season. The HarbourCats are also hosting a pre-game event at Max Furniture on May 18 from 5 -7. Just drop in.
Wilson's Group of Companies: Member since 2004 
Max Furniture: Member Since: 2008
GVPL celebrating new Esquimalt branch

The Greater Victoria Public Library and the Township of Esquimalt are hosting a celebration to formally open the library’s new Esquimalt location. The event is planned for Saturday, May 7, at 11am with a performance from Lekwungen Traditional Dancers. There will be face painting, balloon artists, and other family friendly activities throughout the day.
Greater Victoria Public Library: Member since 2008
Township of Esquimalt: Member since 2020
Rifflandia returns for 2022

Rifflandia Festival’s 2022 lineup has been announced! Featuring Lorde, Charli XCX, Shaquille O’Neal as DJ Diesel and many others, the shows will run from Sept. 15-18 in Royal Athletic Park and other venues. Tickets will be available for purchase on Friday, May 6 at 10am.

Rifflandia Festival: Member since 2022
A concrete path to sustainability

As construction continues to expand across the region, Butler Concrete and Aggregate is working on developing a more environmentally friendly way to transport concrete. By adding a hydrogen and oxygen fuel enhancement to their fleet of concrete trucks, the engines are able to consume less diesel and produce fewer emissions.
Butler Concrete & Aggregate Ltd: Member since 1962
New director for Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria has appointed Nancy Noble as their new director. With 30 years of experience in gallery and museum administration, Noble will lead the gallery as they plan to expand to a new location in downtown Victoria.
Art Gallery of Greater Victoria: Member since 2007
Mapping the way to supporting local initiatives

The United Way of Southern Vancouver Island has launched an interactive online tool for users to track the impact of their charitable donations. As part of the Help a Neighbour campaign, users can learn more about specific programs across Greater Victoria's 13 municipalities. The campaign aims to raise $300,000 for the support of 15,000 local individuals who benefit from a variety of programs and resources.
United Way of Southern Vancouver Island: Member since 1972
CMHA Mental Health Week

Are you making your mental health a priority in your life? The first week of May is Mental Health Week, and the Canadian Mental Health Association is encouraging Canadians to #GetReal about how to help yourself and others. CMHA has created a digital toolkit to help spread messages about the importance of empathy and supporting one another, as well as a list of mental health resources.

Canadian Mental Health Association: Member since 2022
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Members can post Coupons and Discounts free of charge here.
Welcome to our newest members!