Did we mention the fun - plus the prestige? Join the people who get things done. Find out everything you need to know about joining The Chamber's Board of Directors on July 9 at the Board Election Information Session.

Member Survey helps inform Chamber advocacy efforts 
Chamber members have spoken. You want your Chamber to speak out on issues vital to ensuring we have a strong economy and great community.
The Chamber conducted a survey this spring to help us stay in tune with our 1,400 members. As the largest business organization on Vancouver Island, we know our voice is stronger when we have the evidence to back us up.
Here's a look at what you told us: 
And apparently we're doing a good job. When asked, 96% of our members indicated that they were likely or extremely likely to recommend The Chamber to a friend or colleague. That shows a 5% growth over last year.
Chamber News
Summer Social Series
Prodigy Group July Mingle
July Business Mixer
37th Annual Dinner Auction Gala
Event Photos
Upcoming Chamber Events

Victoria council playing politics with critical housing needs
Another week, another questionable decision from a divided Victoria council. Last Thursday, a cohort of Victoria councillors decided to ignore their staff's own expert advice and proclaim how the real estate market will create new affordable housing.
Certain Victoria councillors appear more interested in drawing attention to themselves than solving very real problems facing our community. We desperately need workforce housing - not grandstanding. Championing idealism will appeal to a segment of voters but it's a disservice to people in need.
After commissioning a study on the best way to add to the city's stock of affordable housing, council heard that new projects become unfeasible if builders are required to make more than 10% of the units affordable.

Despite the recommendation, council voted on June 13 to increase the requirement to 20%. Last week, a vocal minority of council urged their colleagues to reduce the requirement to 10% before voting to finalize their decision.
"It's great to dream but it's another thing to be able to achieve," said Coun. Charlayne Thornton Joe, explaining to her colleagues that they need to understand the tools at their disposal.
"We already know anything above 10% is not financially viable," said Mayor Lisa Helps, referring to the development community as home builders who need to be seen as partners in creating affordable housing in the city.
"I am going to support moving back to 10% because it creates the art of the possible as opposed to what we actually just dream of," said Coun. Marianne Alto, noting that, historically, attempting to regulate developers has been less effective than engaging them in conversation. "I don't want to rely on hope, I want to get things built."
However, their voices weren't enough to change the minds of the cohort who chose to make a statement by adhering to the 20% stipulation.
They may see it as a bold move but, if it forces construction out of Victoria to jurisdictions with more realistic requirements, the city will have made the affordable housing situation worse. As has been noted, 20% of nothing is nothing.
Regional policing would ease VicPD budget crunch
We live in a metropolitan region of 400,000 people with a single downtown that has all of the issues affecting cities of the same size across North America. Having separate police departments for the urban core and suburbs makes little sense, and it's time to revisit a regional force.
Last week, the Victoria Police Department announced it was making cuts to services to try and meet the budget imposed on it by Victoria city council. Eliminating a unit that kept tabs on people who have a history of chronically committing crimes will free up officers to respond to 911 calls.
Victoria Police Chief Del Manak is to be commended for his efforts to manage the resources he has available, but he's been tasked with making choices he should not have to make.
Victoria and Saanich are taking initial steps towards amalgamation by pursuing a Citizens Assembly to look at the pros and cons of merging municipalities. The Chamber supports the process, and we think one of the benefits will be a unified police force with the resources needed to serve all of our citizens.
Listen to Chamber CEO Catherine Holt on CFAX speaking about why we need a regional police force.

You can also check out Catherine's op-ed on how the province can help fix police boards to better serve communities.
Spend an unforgettable afternoon at the Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit - coined "the most beautiful track in the world" by Autoweek Magazine. Hang out in the Paddock Lounge indulging in gourmet food and cold beverages, then take a tour of this amazing facility.

Feel the need for speed? Take your experience up a level by trying the race car simulator or ride along in a luxury racing car for a couple of hot laps of the circuit.
Sponsored by: 
Fri, Aug 16 | 2-5 pm      
Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit
4063 Cowichan Valley Hwy.   
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 options. Purchase tickets to the series here 
The Chamber welcomes new board director
Capt. (N) Sam Sader has assumed the role of Base Commander at CFB Esquimalt, one of Greater Victoria's largest employers and contributors to the economy.

"I feel honoured to assume command of CFB Esquimalt at a time when the Royal Canadian Navy is undergoing the most significant recapitalization of its fleet and support infrastructure," says Capt. (N) Sader . "I've been fortunate to have previously commanded two branches of our base, and hope these experiences help me build on the successes led by Capt. (N) Boyd. I would like to thank him for keeping the base mission-ready and I will endeavor to support the fleet, defence team and community partners."
As with previous CFB Esquimalt Base Commanders, The Chamber appointed Capt. (N) Sader to its Board of Directors. He will also serve on The Chamber's Public Policy and Advocacy Committee. The Chamber would like to take this opportunity to thank Capt. (N) Jason Boyd for his service as Base Commander and Chamber board director for the past two years and looks forward to working with Capt. (N) Sader.
CFB Esquimalt: member since 1979 
Members Around Town
Greater Victoria School District retrofits Vic High
The BC government is providing $77.1 million and the Greater Victoria School District is contributing $2.6 million for seismic upgrades and a 200-seat expansion of Vic High to keep students safe and ensure they are not attending an overcrowded school. The upgrade also meets another need in the community, as it includes a new neighbourhood learning centre for child care programs. Construction on the upgrades and expansion at Vic High is expected to begin in August 2020. Students will be re-located to a renovated SJ Willis Education Centre while the project is underway.
Greater Victoria School District: member since 1976   
Women of UDI event 
Chamber CEO Catherine Holt is a panelist at the Women of Urban Development Institute's inaugural " Celebrating Women" event on July 11. Listen to a dynamic panel of amazing trail-blazing industry professionals who offer a diversity of experiences, career paths, business practices and goals. 
Urban Development Institute: member since 2017   
Lynda and Murray Farmer inducted into Order of BC
Lynda and Murray Farmer, The Chamber's 2016 Governors' Lifetime Achievement Award winners, have been appointed to the Order of British Columbia. Murray and Lynda Farmer have enhanced BC as a place to study, live, work and visit and have set an example for community involvement as philanthropists, volunteers and leaders. Murray served on the University of Victoria board of governors as chair and served two terms as university chancellor. Lynda served on the Camosun College Foundation and the college's board of governors including as its chair. She is also a director of the BC Cancer Foundation.
University of Victoria: member since 1976    
Camosun College: member since 1981   
BC Cancer Foundation: member since 1997 
Black and White development commercial tenants  
Abstract Developments has unveiled a 60-seat full-service café with patio , a naturopathic wellness centre, and a dentist office as the first commercial tenants for its mixed-used development, Black and White. They will occupy three of the six ground floor commercial spaces in the six-storey building at Fort and Cook streets. The development is slated to be complete in October, including occupancy of the 75 residential condo units in the building.
Abstract Developments: member since 2010   
Victoria International Marina celebrates grand opening
The Victoria International Marina grand opening on July 1 celebrated the 28-berth large, luxury yachting marine centre - the first of its kind in North America and, according to CEO Craig Norris, the greenest in the world. The marina project was originally conceived more than 30 years ago by developer Robert Evans. Purchased by Community Marine Concepts in 2014, the new owners made some small alterations to the overall concept and began construction in the fall of 2016. The marina did a soft opening last summer.  
Victoria International Marina: member since 2018  
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. Kick up your boots with 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 options. Purchase tickets to the series here 
Camosun film studio would be boon to industry
  Camosun College is looking at adding a film studio and sound stage as part of a new facility to help train students looking to work in the film industry.
Camosun is working with the Lexi Development Group to study the feasibility of building a studio on land adjacent to the Pacific Institute for Sports Excellence near the college's Interurban campus.
"We're starting to explore the potential of a film studio in partnership with industry that would complement existing programs, while opening the door to educational programs that support B.C.'s film industry," Sherri Bell, President of Camosun College, said in a news release.
"While the discussions are at a very early stage, I'm excited by the potential to grow a wide diversity of good, local jobs in areas such as the trades, arts, culture, digital, office services and much more by expanding our economic base," Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes said in the Camosun news release.
The commissioner of the Vancouver Island South Film and Media Commission. Kathleen Gilbert, says a film studio is the No. 1 need for attracting more productions to our region.
"We need political will to get behind film studios as a huge economic driver," Gilbert said.
Camosun College: member since 1981
Lexi Development Group: member since 2019 
Vancouver Island South Film and Media Commission: member since 1980
District of Saanich: member since 2019
Pacific Institute for Sports Excellence: member since 2008
Standing up for business in Greater Victoria
Message from Chamber CEO Catherine Holt   
This article originally appeared in the June Business Examiner.
Chambers of commerce were founded almost 500 years ago to help merchants stand up against threats faced by ordinary people trying to do business. We've come a long way from organizing protection against marauding bandits and fighting repressive royal decrees, but pernicious risks remain.
Over the centuries, chambers have played key roles as cheerleaders for economic development and stewards of policy resolutions that help business thrive. And we continue to be staunch defenders of good business.  
The Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce recently took the lead in standing up for a local company that unexpectedly found itself the target of a municipal motion that would have killed the business.
Read Catherine's full column on how The Chamber continues to stand up for business in Greater Victoria .  
Guide to Pride 2019
Pride month is here and Victoria's Pride Week takes place from June 30 to July 7. Destination Greater Victoria has created a handy-dandy " Guide to Pride 2019"!

Here are a few events Victoria Pride Society hosts during Pride Week:
Happy celebrating!
Welcome to our newest member!

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