November 8, 2023

Your weekly round up of BizNews from throughout Greater Victoria!

Chamber CEO Bruce Williams with Carolina Vik of Merizzi Ramsbottom & Forster at

Colourful Business Victoria. The Nov. 4 event featured displays from diverse racialized, Indigenous, Black, and immigrant-owned businesses and showcased the value of diversity to Greater Victoria's economy.

'Living wage' now $25.40/hr; inflation, housing costs soar

The findings of a report released today calculating the cost of living in Greater Victoria is not a surprise.

According to the Community Social Planning Council, the 2023 Living Wage for Greater Victoria is $25.40 per hour. That's $1.11

(4.6%) higher than the 2022 rate of $24.29 per hour.

"The Chamber continues to work on helping employers find and keep workers, and one of the biggest challenges for organizations is the impact of labour costs on top of all the other input costs that have gone up over the past year," Chamber CEO Bruce Williams said. "Our members are great employers, but it's not easy passing on higher prices to customers. We need all levels of government to address the root of these rising costs."

Annual household expenses for a family of four are up $2,393.29 from 2022. The report, released in partnership with United Way Southern Vancouver Island, cites shelter and food costs as well as non-MSP health expenses for the increase.

“Given the pressures of housing and inflation, the rise in the Living Wage is alarming but not

totally unexpected,” UWSVI Executive Director Erika Stenson said. “It also provides us — whether we are employers, any level of government, business, or labour—with the incentive to convene and discuss realistic, pragmatic ways to help families in Southern Vancouver Island manage the issues around affordability."

Read the Report

United Way South Vancouver Island:

Member since 1972

Community Social Planning Council:

Member since 2019

Upcoming Events

2023 Chamber Auction - Bidding Open Until Nov. 12

2024 Business Awards - Nominate Today!

Emerge Connector @ CCCU - Taking a Waitlist

November Business Mixer with BCLC - Taking a Waitlist

Wisdom for Family Enterprises - Dinner with David Bentall

2024 Business Awards - Nominate Today!

Chair's Holiday Reception

Check our Events Calendar for updates.

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September sees big jump in new home permits

Greater Victoria saw a jump in the value of residential permits in September compared to the same month last year.

The total value of residential permits in September was $203.8 million, compared to $175.9 million in September 2022.

The region also posted a 134% jump from August, which saw $87.1 million worth of residential permits issued. Across Canada, the total monthly value of residential permits increased 4.3% to $7.2 billion in September, led by a 37.2% monthly increase in construction intentions in British Columbia.

The new building permits account for 21,700 new dwelling units nationwide, 5.6% more than August 2023 and 2.3% more than September 2022.

Nov. 11 - Remember those who gave everything

As we honour members of the armed forces and their sacrifices this Remembrance Day, The Chamber is proud to have a long history of commemorating the soldiers who paid the ultimate price for our freedom.

After the First World War, The Chamber was instrumental in helping create Memorial Avenue along Shelbourne Street.

Shelbourne was chosen as it offered enough space to commemorate every soldier from the city who died in the war. Chamber members helped plan the project and business owners rolled up their sleeves to dig holes for the trees.

During the Second World War, The Chamber's advocacy focused on supporting the war effort and ensuring local representation on national boards.

On Saturday, the Royal Canadian Legion Trafalgar/Pro Patria Branch #292 will open its doors at about noon, following the return of the Colour Party from official ceremonies. The Police Band, Police Chorus and others will perform to honour the memory of fallen soldiers and members of the Armed Forces who continue to serve.

The official Remembrance Day service for the province of BC includes a parade along Wharf, Government, Belleville and Menzies streets to the Legislature Grounds. A ceremony will take place at the Provincial Cenotaph in front of the Legislature from 10:30 am - 1 pm.

Greater Victoria municipalities are also hosting ceremonies in the region.

The Chamber hopes Nov. 11 is a day of reflection and remembrance for all.

The Chamber will be closed Monday, Nov. 13.

The Chamber during First World War
The Chamber during Second World War

Column: 'Diversification helps Greater Victoria stay strong in uncertain times'

What does it mean to do good business?

Saying “business is good” has traditionally meant an operation is profitable and the outlook for remaining so is positive. But good business also speaks to the powerful, positive force that businesses have on our communities. They drive innovation, create jobs and set the pace needed to keep up in a competitive world.

For the most successful organizations, doing good business means operating ethically and not shying away from social and environmental responsibilities.

Quite honestly, I’m convinced that all businesses can benefit from including social and environmental outcomes as key measures of their bottom line.

In some ways, we can compare it to what we’ve learned about how diversification is critical for economic resiliency.

Read the Full Column

Work well underway for Scotiabank Hockey Day

The Chamber is proud to support the work of the Victoria Hockey Legacy Society, organizers of the Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada celebration happening Jan. 17-20.

Family-friendly celebrations will take place in Victoria’s iconic Inner Harbour, including hockey clinics put on by BC Hockey on an outdoor skating rink, and a festival at Ship Point. 

“This is a region that loves hockey, and this event gives us a chance to showcase our deep connection to the sport while showing off our spectacular hometown,” VHLS Chair John Wilson said. “We gratefully acknowledge that we are on the traditional truly spectacular territory of Lekwungen speaking peoples — the Songhees Nation and Esquimalt Nation — and let all Canadians know that Victoria is a welcoming place to visit any time of year.” 

The Victoria Hockey Legacy Society has also partnered with Sportsnet, Scotiabank, Province of British Columbia, Destination Greater Victoria, City of Victoria, Bayview, Helen Edwards Consulting, Fairmont Empress, Chard Development, Jones Marine Group Ltd., Victoria Hyundai and many others to bring this four-day event to Vancouver Island.

Highlights include an NHL Alumni Game, opportunities to see the Stanley Cup and more, culminating with a full day of NHL broadcasts hosted from the Inner Harbour by Sportsnet’s Ron MacLean. 

BC Hockey, local minor hockey and ball hockey associations as well as the WHL Victoria Royals all play an important role in the celebration. One of the legacies of the event will be a state-of-the-art artificial rink by CAN-ICE that will be usable by skaters for years to come. Proceeds from the event benefit the Courtnall Society for Mental Health.

Subscribe to VHLS newsletter

Scotiabank: Member since 1913

Fairmont Empress: Member since 1913

City of Victoria: Member since 1863

Destination Greater Victoria: Member since 1988

Bayview: Member since 2006

Helen Edwards Consulting: Member since 2008

Chard Development: Member since 2008

Genesis Victoria: Member since 2019

Songhees Nation: Member since 2017

Victoria Royals: Member since 2022

Chamber Chats with CEO Bruce Williams

Vital Signs Report looks at community's health

Chamber Chats

Victoria Foundation:

Member since 2004

Just like your vital signs reveal how healthy you are, the Victoria Foundation Vital Sign Report analyses the health and vibrancy of our community. In this Chamber Chat, CEO Bruce Williams speaks with Paige Shoenfeld, VP with Leger, and Jonathan Dyck, Director with the Victoria Foundation, to check on our region’s Vital Signs.

Special thanks to our series sponsor: Island Savings

Meet with their local experts for solutions as unique as your business.

Greater Victoria Business Awards 2024

Nominate a deserving business today!

Each week, The Chamber will profile one of the 14 different award categories, encouraging members to nominate a deserving Chamber member.

The Outstanding Workplace of the Year Award honours a business that:

 shows a commitment to a healthy work environment through practices that benefit employees physically, intellectually and/or emotionally

 has competitive employment packages

● focuses on workplace culture as well as employee recognition and reward programs

 is dedicated to professional development and/or advancement opportunities

 and shows diversity in the workplace.

Sponsored by:

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to reach out to Hanna at [email protected]

Nominate Today
Award Categories

Need some inspiration?

Check out the videos of the 2023 Outstanding Workplace of the Year Award finalists. Thanks to Wordline who is sponsoring the award again this year.

Winner: Brentwood Bay Resort

Finalist: Orca Masonry

Upcoming Events

2023 Chamber Auction open until 6pm Nov. 12!

The time has finally come! Join us online this week as we showcase over 300 incredible items and experiences across Vancouver Island and beyond.


Find the perfect gift for yourself or a loved one generously donated by local businesses. It's never been easier to shop #ChamberLocalVicBC!


Thanks to our event sponsor Maximum Express Courier, Freight & Logistics, winning bidders can have items delivered right to their doorstep.


Vacations, exclusive one-on-one discussions with community leaders, home décor and more are just a click away. Start bidding now!

Hot Tip: Max Bid Function

Let us help you remain at the top of the bidding heap. Use the 'Max Bid' function to set your top bid and the system will bid incrementally up to your top bid as others bid against you – saving you time and increasing your chance of winning an item!

Why Buy #ChamberLocalVicBC?

Serving as The Chamber's major fundraising event, all proceeds from our Annual Auction support our 100% member-funded organization and the important work we do as the largest and most influential advocate for Greater Victoria's business community

Hotel Grand Pacific

Unwind with a one-night stay in a Victoria guest room and Breakfast for two at FATHOM, including on-site parking at the Hotel Grand Pacific. Enjoy their 14,000 square foot athletic club, or simply breathe the fresh ocean air from your room's private balcony and take in views of the Inner Harbour.

BC Legislature Tour

Experience an insider tour of the BC Legislature including lunch in the Legislature Dining Room with veteran political reporters Keith Baldry of Global BC and Vaughn Palmer of the Vancouver Sun. The stories you will hear, the insight you will learn will be, like this item, invaluable and priceless.

Mayfair Optometric Clinic

Find the perfect pair of glasses with a $500 gift certificate to Mayfair Optometric Clinic! This gift basket also includes glasses cleaning wipes, a Mayfair Optometric mug, and more.

Off the Eaten Track

Explore the amazing culinary scene of our region with this Fine Dining Evening Tour for two with Off The Eaten Track Tours! This sophisticated progressive dinner tour visits four exceptional and award-winning restaurants in downtown Victoria. Includes two wine packages for extra indulgence!

Take a look at our great prize categories and start bidding in the 2023 Chamber Auction now!

Start Bidding!

Any questions?

Please call 250 383-7191 or email [email protected]

Sponsored by:

Member News @VictoriaChamber

Click the image to read and share the Member News story on Instagram

The Vic

Member since 2023

Destination Greater Victoria

Member since 1988

Kulea Culture Society

Member since 2023

Community Social Planning Council

Member since 2019

Share your good news so we can share with other members! 

Chamber Job Board an exclusive member benefit

As an exclusive member benefit, use the code INTRO2023 at checkout to receive a free 30-day listing on The Chamber’s job board.

If you have any questions or need help uploading your job, email The Chamber at [email protected].

Chamber Job Board 

Client Service Representative - CIBC

Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) – Berwick Retirement Communities

Project Coordinator – Urban Systems

Local Marketing & Community Investment Manager – First West Credit Union

Community Health Care Worker / Care Aide – Pacific Coast Health Services

Marketing & Communications Liasion – Esquimalt Chamber of Commerce

Member to Member Discounts

UPLIFT Women's Business Summit - Save 35% on UPLIFT Summit

West Shore U-Lock Mini Storage Ltd. - 50% Off 1st Month's Rent

Winkchronicity - Save 10% when you book your first retreat

Bard & Banker - $9.99 Breakfast before 9am at the Bard & Banker

Victoria Fitness - Private Personal Training - Get a 3-session Introductory Training Package for Half Price

View all Member to Member discounts

Members can post Coupons and Discounts free

Welcome to our Newest Members! 

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