The menu has been announced for the Distillers Dinner at the Farm taking place July 3! The carefully curated four-course dinner prepared by House of Boateng will be paired with Sheringham Distillery spirits and non-alcoholic choices, in the idyllic lavender fields at Bilston Creek Farm.    
Consultants studying how to improve Downtown nightlife
As Victoria's vibrant downtown continues to evolve, we need to constantly update how we think about our city and create great late-night experiences for regional residents and visitors. The Chamber supports the City of Victoria's move to hire international experts to suggest late-night policies that improve management of the downtown core.  
Spending $25,000 to hire the  Responsible Hospitality Institute (RHI) is worthwhile if their recommendations help the city create a more safe and welcoming late-night experience. There have been many attempts to reduce the level of risk and public disturbance at closing time. Maintaining order takes a huge proportion of the city's police, ambulance and taxi resources every weekend.
RHI is expected to have a report ready by July 31, evaluating Victoria's late-night economy and suggesting ways to improve how it's managed and the potential for new opportunities.
Chamber News
Prodigy Group June Mingle
June Business Mixer
YYJ Eats 2019
Event Photos
Upcoming Chamber Events

Municipalities Need to Mind the Gap on Business Property Tax
Message from Chamber CEO Catherine Holt  
This article originally appeared in the May Business Examiner. The online edition is now exclusively available to Chamber members 
For several years, the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce has called on all 13 municipalities to mind the gap between residential and business property tax rates. This means that councils must consider the multiple they apply to business property tax rates and the percentage of revenue that businesses contribute to municipal budgets.
"I'm relieved that many municipalities have at least acknowledged that pressures to raise revenue has resulted in the tax burden creeping more and more onto the backs of business," says Catherine Holt, CEO of The Chamber. "Business continues to pay much higher tax for the same service that residents get. We need to keep working with municipalities so they remember to 'mind the gap' on property taxes and instead support initiatives that increase revenue by attracting businesses and encouraging investment and growth in their communities."
Yeehaw! Join us for a fun evening of gourmet food, cold drinks, great music and good times. 
Featuring gourmet appetizers, bbq sliders, mac n' cheese and pie chef stations catered by Food For Thought Catering. Quench your thirst with local BC wine, craft beer and non-alcoholic cocktails. How about some line dancing?
Sponsored by: 
Thu, Sept 5 | 6:30-8:30 pm      
The Roundhouse at Bayview
80 Saghalie Rd.   
The Summer Social Series transports you to a new location where you will enjoy a memorable evening of connecting over great food and local wine, beer, cocktails and non-alcoholic choices. Purchase tickets to series here 
Chamber applauds councillors for taking back reins 

Thank you to everyone who turned out to show their support last week for Victoria's horse carriage industry. Hundreds of people, encouraged by The Chamber and CFAX broadcasters, attended a rally outside Victoria city hall, and dozens of people spoke at the ensuing council meeting.
The Chamber also appreciates those councillors who listened to the facts and chose to vote against a poorly cobbled together motion that would have undermined a legitimate and popular business that has served the city for more than a century. Coun. Laurel Collins acknowledged the passionate discussion from both side of the issue, and the need to make good decisions that are based on facts and expertise.
The councillor who introduced the motion, Ben Isitt vented publicly about advocacy efforts that ran counter to his own.
"It does appear that pressure from private interests and from the Chamber of Commerce has zapped the morale or the resolve of this council to move forward with very robust regulations, in terms of regulations that would phase out the industry," Isitt said, in response to his council colleagues who changed their minds after hearing more information about the issue.
More than once, Council's longstanding animal advocate Charlayne Thornton-Joe needed to clarify that Isitt chose to ignore the most current position stated by the local BC SPCA, which supports a properly regulated industry.
After several hours of discussion, and long after midnight, council settled on a motion to invite the SPCA to speak to councillors.
Democracy takes work, as demonstrated by everyone who took time to make sure their voice was heard.
Good governance, as pointed out by the Grumpy Taxpayers, also requires effort and focus, and The Chamber encourages Victoria council to stick to its priorities. Climate change poses serious challenges and we need to support innovative solutions led by business. Our region is also facing a serious labour shortage and local government must use its most effective tools to create conditions for investment in affordable workforce housing.

Tally-Ho Carriage Tours: member since 1980
Serving Victoria since 1903

Members Around Town

Moon Under Water beer wins bronze
At the Canadian Brewing Awards 2019 in Toronto, Moon Under Water Brewery & Pub took home bronze in the Kellerbier category for its Pott's Pilsner. Kellerbier, or "Cellar Beer" is an unfiltered, unpasteurized lager containing its natural yeast & proteins in suspension. The Pott's Pilsner is lightly dry-hopped with Noble Hops for a crisp, earthy finish. 
Moon Under Water Brewery & Pub: member since 2016    
Not that Queen Elizabeth 
The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority is welcoming the luxury cruise ship Queen Elizabeth which is making its inaugural visit to Ogden Point tomorrow. The 964.5-foot vessel will be arriving at 7 am from Ketchikan, Alaska, and will depart for Vancouver at 9 pm. The Queen Elizabeth is known for its elegant Art Deco features. The ship carries 2,081 passengers and 1,005 crew members. Over the course of this year's cruise season, Victoria will welcome 700,000 passengers and 300,000 crew to the city, contributing more than $130 million to the region's economy.   
Greater Victoria Harbour Authority: member since 2003   
HarbourCats: Cuba vs. USA 
The Victoria HarbourCats will open their season this weekend with games against the Port Angeles Lefties and a team from Cuba. The Lefties and the Cubans will also face off against each other making the HarbourCats organization host the first game ever between a West Coast League US based team and a team from Cuba!   
Victoria HarbourCats: member since 2012 
Employment expertise 
ASPECT BC is hosting the first Employer-Employment Expert Summit taking place on Wednesday, June 5 at the Pacific Gateway Hotel Vancouver Airport. The Summit is a response to the increasing labour shortages experienced in the province and brings employers and employment experts together.   
ASPECT BC: member since 2013    
Prodigy Group Mingles 
Prodigy Group hosts Mingles every month so emerging and established members of Greater Victoria's business community can meet and connect. Opportunities are still available to host Mingles in 2019. Please email Christine Lewis to secure your business' spot. 

Thurs, June 13 | 5-7 pm
Whole Foods Market 
3587 Blanshard St.

Thurs, July 11 | 5-7 pm
Victopia Co-working Space  
2nd Floor - 1824 Store St.

Support businesses affected by hotel fire
The fire that destroyed the former Plaza Hotel at 603 Pandora Ave. on May 6 has created a few headaches for businesses in the surrounding area. The blaze and subsequent investigation has disrupted the flow of people, and the lingering scent of smoke is an unwelcome reminder for business owners and their staff.
One way we can all help is by supporting the neighbourhood as it recovers. We encourage all Chamber members to make the effort to patronize shops and services in the area, offer encouragement and spread the word that the neighbourhood is open for business.
We're thrilled to also hear that the Downtown Victoria Business Association is working on a few initiatives to support affected merchants. A vibrant downtown is vital for our entire region.

Saanich seeks input on climate change plan
As local governments work to find solutions to challenges created by climate change, it's vital for business to have a voice at the table.
The District of Saanich is hosting two open houses to present the municipality's draft Climate Action and Adaption Plan. The first is tomorrow, May 30, at Gateway Baptist Church, 898 Royal Oak Ave., from 4 to 8 pm.
The drop-in event will collect feedback from visitors as the Saanich enters the second phase of its plan to reach its climate action targets. Throughout the open house, there will also be presentations about electric vehicles and energy efficient homes.
If you can't attend tomorrow, another open house is planned for Saturday, 10 am to 2pm, at the Lutheran Church of the Cross, 3787 Cedar Hill Rd.
The Chamber advocates for climate change solutions focused on innovations led by business.
Victoria is also asking for input for its Climate Leadership Plan. The city is hosting a series called Climate Action Acceleration Town Halls, starting June 4 with a focus on Deep Energy and Efficiency Retrofits for Existing Buildings. The town halls run from 9 am to noon at city hall. Future town halls will focus on New Buildings and Land Use on June 10, and Low Carbon Mobility on June 21.
2019 VICA Awards
The Vancouver Island Construction Association (VICA) announced the winners of its 2019 VICA Awards, honouring members who "build and regenerate" local communities.

Congrats to The Chamber members that won:
General Contractor over $10 Million - Kinetic Construction: member since 2018
Electrical Contractor Award and Innovation & Productivity Award - Houle Electric: member since 2001
Outstanding Woman in Construction Award - Kate Ulmer, Herold Engineering Ltd.: member since 2012
Under 40 Excellence in Construction Award - Daniel Behrens, Knappett Projects Inc.: member since 1987
Education Leadership Award - Sarah Jayne-Roe, Camosun College: member since 1981

Vancouver Island Construction Association (VICA): member since 1986
Parks Canada updating rules for marine conservation areas
Parks Canada is seeking input as it works to revise its policy around National Marine Conservation Areas (NMCAs). The current policy dates to 1994. NMCAs are managed for ecological sustainability, and help regulate what people can do in these zones which includes the waterway between Victoria and the mainland. The consultation period ends June 20.
To learn more and offer feedback, go to .
Chamber to address 'fair wages' commission Friday
The Chamber is scheduled to speak to the provincial government's Fair Wages Commission this Friday, May 31. Thank you to all members who have submitted their questions and comments!
There are many variables that go into wage considerations and we know that many businesses in Greater Victoria pay much higher than minimum wage in order to retain workers. Instead of increasing employers' costs further, government can create conditions for affordable housing, better public transit and more accessible child care to help make life more affordable for employees.   
 If you haven't yet sent in your question or comment, please email Jim Zeeben at
Welcome to our newest members!

Chamber Name Tags
In response to members' requests, The Chamber has redesigned the name tags Chamber members can purchase. We increased the prominence of your business name while keeping your name clearly visible.

Need to get one of the snazzy new Chamber Name tags? Email us to order yours today.