Your weekly round up of BizNews from throughout Greater Victoria
January 13, 2021
The Governors' Award of Distinction, sponsored by the Times Colonist, is a re-imagining of the Lifetime Achievement Award previously given in order to acknowledge the efforts of a broader demographic.

The Chamber's 2021 Business Awards broadcast on CHEK TV is at 6 pm, May 15.
Times Colonist: Member since 1961
Advent of 5G promises new innovations for business
What does 5G mean for your business? At The Chamber's Public Policy and Advocacy meeting yesterday, TELUS's Vice-president of Business Products and Services, Marshall Berkin, explained how the new technology promises to transform our lives. The expanded capacity of 5G is about more than increased speed, as it will also enhance the reliability of networks and lead to amazing innovations by business. Everything from improving relationships between healthcare providers and patients to creating more engaged communities is already happening. Marshall has agreed to share his presentation here, and more information on 5G from TELUS can be found here.
TELUS Communications: Member since 1962
TELUS: Chamber Champion since 2020
Greater Victoria joins 2030 Districts Network
Greater Victoria has officially joined a continent-wide initiative to create high-performance buildings that reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. The 2030 Districts Network is a non-profit organization working to transform the built environment in cities around the world and promote sustainability.

The Greater Victoria 2030 District consists of 36 buildings and 3.5 million square feet of space, represented by major property managers in the region: Anthem Properties, Colliers International, Cushman & Wakefield, Ivanhoe Cambridge, Jawl Properties, Richmond Property Group, Shape Properties, City of Victoria, District of Saanich and the Province of BC. 
City of Victoria: member since 1962
Anthem Properties: Member since 1977
Colliers International: Member since 1984
Cushman & Wakefield: Member since 1983
Richmond Property Group: Member since 2003
Chard Development (Ivanhoe Cambridge): Member since 2008
District of Saanich: Member since 2019
Jawl Residential: Member since 2019
Butchart Gardens closed to give staff time to rest
The Butchart Gardens is closing for two weeks in February.

"In appreciation of the hard work our staff has done over the past difficult year, and to allow them time to rest and renew, The Butchart Gardens will close to the public from Feb. 1–15 inclusive," says a statement on the iconic attraction's website. "We look forward to welcoming you back on Feb. 16."

The 55-acre property opened in 1904 and typically operates year-round.
The Butchart Gardens: members since 1976
Helping international students helps our employers
The federal government has moved forward on a Chamber advocacy initiative, paving the way for international students to help employers fill workforce vacancies.

The Chamber called on government to invest in retaining international students, who often spend co-op work terms learning Canadian skills needed by local employers. WorkBC forecasts Vancouver Island will face a massive jobs deficit by 2029, as our regional economy grows and our population ages out of the workforce.

International students can now apply for an open work permit that will be valid for 18 months and allow them to continue to build a life in Canada. "This new policy will help more graduates fill pressing needs in areas like health care, technology and more," a federal government news release said.
University of Victoria: members since 1976
Camosun College: members since 1981
Royal Roads University: members since 1996
BC Reconciliation Award nominations close Friday
There's still time to nominate someone for the BC Reconciliation Award. Nominations close Friday for the honour, which was launched by BC's Lieutenant Governor, the Hon. Janet Austin, in partnership with the BC Achievement Foundation.

"This award celebrates the promise of a shared path to reconciliation through the incredible work of leaders from all over British Columbia, whose commitment to recognizing past injustices and healing those wounds will lead us all to a brighter future."

The nominations process is open to any individuals and organizations of Indigenous and non-Indigenous identity who have shown exemplary dedication to asserting truth and reconciliation initiatives.
CleanBC doubles rebate for commercial eco-vehicles
Businesses, local governments and non-profits can now access larger rebates through CleanBC's Specialty-Use Vehicle Incentive and Commercial Vehicle Pilot programs.

Vehicles eligible for SUVI rebates include medium- and heavy-duty vehicles such as electric-battery or hydrogen-fueled passenger buses, airport and port service vehicles and heavy-duty transport trucks, as well as smaller specialty-use vehicles such as motorcycles, cargo e-bikes, and low-speed utility trucks. Rebates will now cover 33% of the cost, up to a maximum of $100,000 per vehicle.

Organizations can also access $11 million for piloting unique or large deployments of medium- and heavy-duty or very large electric vehicles, such as domestic air, marine or rail transportation through the CVP program. Eligible applicants can compete to receive up to one-third of total costs in rebates for vehicles and charging or refueling infrastructure.
In a volatile time, find out what's in store for Canada-US relations
With increased volatility in the US, information is key to understanding how you and your business could be affected.

Join us next week for information on how the change in presidency could affect trade with our largest partner.

Canadian Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Perrin Beatty will bring insights into Biden's upcoming presidency in discussion with Chamber CEO Bruce Williams.

Mr. Beatty held several senior Cabinet positions in the Government of Canada including Minister of Revenue, Solicitor General, Minister of National Defence and Secretary of State for External Affairs.
Wed., Jan. 20 | 12-1 pm
Submit your questions for Beatty by end of day Monday, January 18, 2021.
Planners ask for feedback on Victoria villages
As changes to the way we live and work continue to transform our neighbourhoods, the City of Victoria is hoping to hear from businesses to help plan the future of Fernwood, North Park and Hillside-Quadra. City planners see the three urban villages as playing a key role in the decades ahead.

To learn more about how to engage with planning, go to
City of Victoria: member since 1962
How is your business #ChamberLocalVicBC?
What does local mean to you?
The answer to that question will be key to ensuring Greater Victoria is able to recover from the pandemic and gain added resilience as we move forward.

The Chamber has always supported local business. Back to our founding in 1863, we helped Greater Victoria's economy thrive by serving as a unified voice for enterprise.

As we continue our Chamber Local campaign into 2021, we want to hear from you. What does local mean to your business and to you and your family? 

Contact Thomas at to submit a story for #ChamberLocalVicBC.
Counselling Support through Chambers Plan
When life’s challenges make it difficult to concentrate on work, support for you and your employees is available through the Chambers of Commerce Group Insurance Plan Employee Assistance Program (EAP) - Arive®. 

This confidential service provides access to professional counselling and guidance from experts who understand how coping with personal issues affects absenteeism and productivity on the job. Through the Chambers Plan Arive® EAP, you and your staff now have access to expert advisors and clinical assistance.

Employees can take advantage of confidential, face-to-face counselling with a designated counselling professional, and management can also utilize Critical Incident Stress Debriefing (CISD), providing immediate support for you and your staff. 

Learn more about this exclusive Chamber Member Benefit here, or contact Ryan Davies at Jack Insurance & Financial Services for more details. 
Chamber Job Board

During these extraordinary times, The Chamber’s Job Board connects employers needing help with employees in need of work.

Whether you’re a CEO, small business owner, or a manager looking for talent, finding and retaining employees is crucial.

Learn more about how to post on the job board here. ​If you have any questions about posting, please email
Welcome to our 2021 co-op student, Julia Banks!
The Chamber is pleased to welcome co-op student Julia Banks as our new Events Assistant!

Julia is in her fourth year of studies at Camosun College, focusing on a Bachelor of Business Administration with a specialization in Human Resources. She is eager to graduate in the fall and hopes to continue working in Victoria long-term. Julia is fluent in French and enjoys spending her free-time outdoors. Julia looks forward to getting to know Chamber members and community leaders. You can connect with her at or 250 953-6684.

The Chamber was able to utilize federal programs to hire Julia. 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 and the University of Victoria to see how a co-op student can benefit your organization this year.
2021 Business Awards
Nominations closing soon!
Each week, The Chamber will profile one of the 14 different award categories, encouraging members to nominate a deserving Chamber member.
Non-Profit/Association of the Year honours a non-profit organization or association that:

  • Is incorporated as a non-profit organization;
  • Provides outstanding contributions to the community;
  • Demonstrates how their service provides benefits to others and how they differentiate themselves;
  • Show quantitative and qualitative results.
  • Demonstrates leadership and resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic
Need some inspiration? Check out the videos of the 2020 Non-Profit of the Year finalists below. Thanks to Children's Health Foundation of Vancouver Island for sponsoring this award.
Learn how to submit a winning application
Thurs., Jan. 14 | 12-1 pm
Looking to promote your business?

Be part of Greater Victoria’s most prestigious awards as we celebrate business excellence.

Contact Stefanie Cara for more information.
Our Chamber Champions
Member News
Seaspan donates $10,000 to BC Children’s

Seaspan ULC has donated $10,000 to the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation. This donation is intended to help support the BCCHF and bring communities together while transforming children’s health care across the province.
Seaspan ULC: member since 1972
BC Children’s Hospital Foundation: member since 2016
Fourth Island Class ferry launches

BC Ferries has launched its fourth Island Class ferry, which will be arriving from Romania later this year. After successful sea trials in April, the vessel is set to begin operating the Campbell River to Quadra Island route in 2022. The battery-powered vessel offers an environmentally focused transport solution, supporting BC Ferries’ Clean Futures Plan
BC Ferry Service Inc: member since 1983
Dine Around & Stay in Town

Dine Around & Stay in Town Victoria is back from Jan. 14 – Feb. 7, featuring delicious dinners and comfortable hotel stays across Greater Victoria. Presented by Destination Greater Victoria and the BC Restaurant & Food Services Association, the event includes three-course menus from 50 of Victoria’s best restaurants. Many Chamber members are participating, and you can see the full list here.
As a Community Partner for Dine Around Victoria, The Chamber is proud to support the food and hospitality industry in our region.
Destination Greater Victoria: member since 1988
BC Restaurant & Food Services Association: member since 1996
Do you have an innovation success story? We want to hear from you!

Do you want to increase your digital literacy, project management and/or workplace communication skills? These are just some of the microcredential courses offered through the University of Victoria and Royal Roads University, and they’re free for qualified British Columbians. Check out MicroStartBC, delivered by South Island Prosperity Partnership.
University of Victoria: member since 1976
Royal Roads University: member since 1996
South Island Prosperity Partnership: member since 2017
In-Tents expansion

Global Tents has expanded its operations, and have opened a second location in Abbotsford.

Offering services in Victoria for more than 30 years, Global Tents is now providing tent rentals to Greater Vancouver and Fraser Valley.

Global Tents: member since 2019
A food drive home-run

The Victoria HarbourCats have collected more than 1,900 pounds of donated food to be provided to the Mustard Seed Food Bank.

Along with cash donations from Mayfair Optometric Clinic, Odlum Brown and others, the food drive raised more than $8,000 worth of donations in Victoria and Nanaimo.
Victoria HarbourCats: member since 2012
Mustard Seed Food Bank: member since 1999
Mayfair Optometric Clinic: member since 1996
Odlum Brown Ltd: member since 2004
Langford joins Island Good

The City of Langford has added its support to the Island Good program, an initiative that strives to identify locally sourced products on Vancouver Island and support local producers. Langford businesses are now able to utilize free licensing to promote their products and services in 2021. 

City of Langford: member since 2019
Welcome to our newest members!