April 20, 2022
Your weekly round up of BizNews from throughout Greater Victoria
Grace Lore, MLA Victoria-Beacon Hill, (second from left) stands with James Gatsi, left, Richard Michaels and Cheryl Wirch-Ryckman — members of The Chamber's IDEA committee — at last week's Prodigy Mingle, co-sponsored by DesignWealth and Friends of Dorothy Lounge. See more photos here.
New childcare spaces help parents pursue careers
Investing in child care allows more working parents to stay in the labour force and helps our region achieve its economic potential. The addition of 395 new licensed child care spaces in Greater Victoria, announced April 19, will help parents continue careers or pursue employment while knowing their children are being looked after.

"The Chamber has led the way in encouraging investment in child care as a way to boost our economy and help our region remain an attractive destination for working families," Chamber CEO Bruce Williams said. "We'll continue to advocate for good policies that build good business and great community for all."
Victoria streamlines affordable housing process
The City of Victoria is the first BC municipality to approve fast tracking affordable housing — and the District of Saanich could soon follow suit.

Last week, Victoria council unanimously approved a motion to speed up the development process for housing proposed by non-profit, government or co-op organizations. The proposals need to fit with the Official Community Plan but would not be required to go through rezoning or public hearings.

“The change we made tonight will get more affordable homes built more quickly for families, workers and people who need it the most,” Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps said in a media release.

Victoria's effort has inspired a Saanich councillor to try to have the same motion adopted in her municipality.

“I think if Victoria has a process which Saanich council can approve, and I hope they do that, that will make things more streamlined as agencies move between the municipalities, they’re not going to have to figure out the differences just because of the boundaries,” Saanich Coun. Susan Brice told CHEK News.

The Chamber applauds Victoria for taking action to increase housing supply that is affordable for workers. This is one of the keys to helping employers find and keep staff. The Chamber also encourages Saanich Council to adopt the motion when it comes to them. It's more efficient to have the same rules within our region as the need for more housing affects everyone in Greater Victoria.
City of Victoria: Member since 1962
District of Saanich: Member since 2019
Reduced supply and increased demand drive CPI up
Inflation crept higher in March as Canada's Consumer Price Index was 6.7% higher than March last year. All eight categories that are tracked by Statistics Canada increased in cost as the CPI recorded its largest increase since 1991, the year the Goods and Services Tax was introduced.

The cost of filling up at the pump was one of the key factors, as was higher hotel rates and the cost of housing in general. Fuel is a factor in shipping and transportation costs so the jump in gas prices results in higher bills for food, furniture and other goods.

The war in the Ukraine has significantly reduced the supply of oil and gas driving up prices. However, the lifting of pandemic restrictions has also increased demand for many services as people seek out in-person experiences.
Chamber Champions
Protocols for all in-person Chamber events
We continue to ask for your support in safeguarding the health of our community at events. Please review our current COVID-19 protocols for in-person events to understand how you can help.
April Business Mixer
@ Max Furniture

Join The Chamber and Mixer Hosts Max Furniture and Maximum Express for a very comfortable business networking opportunity. This vibrant, after hours business social event provides an excellent opportunity for members and prospective members to meet face-to-face, establishing or renewing valuable business relationships.
You will meet in small groups throughout the event venue to build meaningful connections. Remember to bring your business cards!
Sponsored by:
Thurs., April 28 | 5 - 7 PM
 3460 Quadra St., Victoria, BC
Business Leaders Luncheon: Mark Collins, CEO of BC Ferries
Hear from BC Ferries on their plans to evolve our coastal ferry system. One of the world's largest marine passenger systems, BC Ferries is an economic driver for our province.

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 
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.
May Business Mixer @ Mayfair Optometric Clinic
This vibrant, after hours business social event provides an excellent opportunity for members and prospective members to meet face-to-face, establishing or renewing valuable business relationships. Join us at Mayfair Optometric Clinic to see what new connections you can make within the Greater Victoria business community.
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.
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.

With dozens of food and beverage options available, try unique menu items from great local exhibitors such as Hoyne Brewing Co.!

We will be highlighting more of our exhibitors in the weeks leading up to the event, so stay tuned to see what great local flavours you can experience at Picnic in the Park.

If you and your business would like to participate as an exhibitor in Picnic in the Park, please email [email protected] for more details.
Tues., June 7 | 5 - 7 PM
St. Ann's Academy National Historic Site
835 Humboldt Street, Victoria, BC V8W 9E6
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.
Presented by:
Gold Sponsor:
Media Sponsor:
Chamber Chats with CEO Bruce Williams
The Elements of Local Entertainment
Concerts, theatre, dance and all other elements of the arts and culture scene are reopening post pandemic. How have our beloved performers and artists withstood COVID-19, and what does the future look like for our favorite entertainment events?

We learn more in this Chamber Chat with Kegan McFadden, Victoria Arts Council, Janyce Ronson, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, and Ian Rye, Pacific Opera Victoria.
Special thanks to our series sponsor:
Victoria Arts Council: Member since 2019
Art Gallery of Greater Victoria: Member since 2007
Pacific Opera Victoria: Member since 2007
2022 Greater Victoria Business Awards (Sold Out)
The Chamber is excited to announce that the 2022 Greater Victoria Business Awards taking place in-person are now sold out. 
If you would like to be added to the waitlist for this event, please email [email protected]
This gala event recognizes businesses in Greater Victoria that have achieved a standard of excellence in the community. Click here to see the 2022 finalists!
Saturday, May 7 | 6-10 pm
The Fairmont Empress, 721 Government St.
Make every day Earth Day
April 22 is Earth Day — a time to reflect on the environmental impact we have on the world, and how we can mitigate climate change together.

The Chamber is proud to be recognized as Green Certified by the Vancouver Island Green Business Collective, as well as an Ocean Friendly Business by the Surfrider Foundation. We continue to work to help businesses take the lead on climate solutions that will benefit us all.

We have many amazing members that are dedicated to sustainability, including our two finalists for the Sustainable Practices Award at the 2022 Greater Victoria Business Awards: Eagle Wing Whale & Wildlife Watching Tours and Oak Bay Marine Group.
Cascadia Seaweed, and TOPSOIL – Innovative Urban Agriculture Inc won the Sustainable Practices Award in 2021 and 2020, and continue to create positive impact. Visit our Member Directory to find more of our members who are committed to sustainable business.

Being green is good for everyone: people, planet, and profit. Let's try to make every day Earth Day!
Green Skills Revolution

For insight into how The Chamber is working with our national network, check out this conversation between Canadian Chamber President and CEO Perrin Beatty and Cynthia Leach, the Senior Director of Economic Thought Leadership at RBC. The two talk about Canada’s climate journey and what’s in store for Canadian businesses as we transition towards a net-zero future and economy.
RBC: Member since 1962
RBC: Chamber Champion since 2020
Showcase opportunities in your industry

Find the best talent in your industry with The Chamber’s job board.
When you post your next job, be sure to add your "industry type" to ensure your job can be found by the right candidates. The list of industry types are constantly being updated, and can be modified to highlight any industry. Don’t see your industry listed? Send us an email!

Also remember to add a specific category for the job in the position title. From Admin and HR to Marketing and Comms positions, you can see all 14 categories here.

If you have any questions about the job board or need assistance 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
BC Ferries expands local route

BC Ferries has added a second vessel to the Gabriola-Nanaimo Harbour route. The two hybrid vessels are part of BC Ferries Island Class fleet, and have the ability to become fully electric in the future. One ferry will run for 18 hours a day, while the second vessel will operate 12 hours a day during peak times.
BC Ferry Services Inc: Member since 1983 
BC Ferry Services Inc: Chamber Champion since 2022
Starlight Stadium receives major expansion

The City of Langford’s Starlight Stadium, home of the Pacific Football Club, is expanding to facilitate 10,000 seats by adding 4,000 seats. The project will cost $8.5 million and is expected to be completed next year.

City of Langford: Member since 2019

Pacific Football Club: Member since 2019
Recognizing local tourism achievements

4VI, formerly known as Tourism Vancouver Island, has recognized local businesses for their commitment to excellence at the 2022 Vancouver Island Tourism Conference. Oak Bay Beach Hotel won the Employer of the Year award. The Victoria Airport Authority won the Social Responsibility Award, and The Malahat SkyWalk, created in partnership with the Malahat Nation, won the People’s Choice Award.

4VI: Member since 2021
Victoria Airport Authority: Member since 1981
Malahat Nation: Member since 2019
Oak Bay Beach Hotel: Member since 2011
Do you have a success story? We want to hear from you
Graduates of the world's first Indigenous law program

Four years ago, the University of Victoria launched the world's first Indigenous law program. This year, 23 students will be part of the first graduating class. Students received lessons in Indigenous governance, environmental protection, family law and more.
University of Victoria: Member since 1976
University of Victoria: Chamber Champion since 2020
Tasty way to celebrate Earth Day

In celebration of Earth Day, Big Wheel Burger will be giving away green-goodies at their Vic West location on April 23. Visitors that bring small, disposable plant pots to donate can take home free pollinator seeds, edible plant starts and other sustainable prizes. As Canada’s first carbon neutral fast-food restaurant, Big Wheel Burger has saved more than three million kilograms of carbon since the company was founded.
Big Wheel Burger: Member since 2020
Big Wheel Burger: Chamber Champion since 2020
Outdoor programs for teens continue to expand

Take a Hike Foundation has partnered with the Sooke School District to offer outdoor mental health programs for teens. The foundation offers education plans, counselling services, and outdoor learning excursions to support at-risk teens. Their new program will open at the Westshore Colwood campus and will serve the communities of Colwood, Langford, Highlands, Metchosin, Sooke and Port Renfrew.

Take a Hike Foundation: Member since 2021

City of Colwood: Member since 2020

City of Langford: Member since 2019
Helping clean up local parks

Over the Easter long weekend, team members at Gwaii Engineering helped the Capital Regional District remove invasive species of plants from Elk/Beaver Lake Regional Park. Gwaii Engineering has committed to a year-long initiative to help clean up parks, beaches, and public spaces in Greater Victoria.
Gwaii Engineering: Member since 2021
Capital Regional District (CRD): Member since 1993
Member to Member discounts
Members can post Coupons and Discounts free of charge here.
Welcome to our newest member!