August 3, 2022
Your weekly round up of BizNews from throughout Greater Victoria!
Cooler housing market a relief for buyers and sellers
The pace of Greater Victoria's housing market is returning to a "calmer and more friendly environment" said the president of the Victoria Real Estate Board.

Rising interest rates have effectively slowed sales and allowed supply to return to more typical levels. In July, 510 properties were sold, which is down 16.7% from June and 38.9% from July 2021.

"The government's recent focus has been on demand-side mechanisms and other market modifiers such as a mandatory three-day cooling off period to start in 2023," VREB President Karen Dinnie-Smyth said in a news release. "A better long-term approach to housing affordability for our future is to address housing supply constraints which will be central to the next round of upward pressure on home prices."
Victoria Real Estate Board: Member since 1969
Bayview donates land for affordable housing tower
A proposal to add at least 180 units of affordable housing in Vic West has been made in an effort to help our region's housing crisis. The owners of Bayview Place have offered to donate $15 million to the Greater Victoria Housing Society for an 18-storey building. The property is on the corner of Catherine Street and Esquimalt Road.

Bayview Place is currently working to build new housing on land around the historic E&N Roundhouse.
Image courtesy of
Bayview Place: Member since 2006
Greater Victoria Housing Society: Member since 2012
Crime stats show vital need to integrate policing
It's a familiar story that has the statistics to back it up. Greater Victoria as a region is one of the safest places in Canada, but the downtown core in the City of Victoria faces challenges that require urgent attention.

A report released this week by Statistics Canada shows Greater Victoria has a Crime Severity Index of 71.5, which is less than the national average. However, there is a huge discrepancy between municipalities. With a CSI of 148, Victoria is an outlier compared to the region's other municipalities.

“If there’s any region that could benefit from amalgamation or a regional police force, it would be the Capital Regional District, given that we have the makeup of so many smaller agencies and the Victoria Police Department is carrying the lion’s share of the workload,” VicPD police Chief Del Manak told the Times Colonist.

The Chamber continues to call for Better Regional Services and Safe Communities as fundamental requirements for building good business and great community for all.
City of Victoria: Member since 1863
Victoria Police Department: Member since 2008
Post-secondaries collaborate on West Shore campus
The fastest-growing region in Greater Victoria is getting a new post-secondary campus. The province announced today it was contributing $77 million toward the $98 million project that will see Royal Roads University, the University of Victoria, and Camosun College join forces as part of a group of educational providers at the campus.

Located in the City of Langford, the five-storey mass timber building will make it easier for students from the West Shore to attain a post-secondary education. The facility is expected to open in 2024 with 600 students, and expand to 1,300 students by 2036.
Royal Roads University: Member since 1996
Camosun College: Member since 1981
University of Victoria: Member since 1976
University of Victoria: Chamber Champion since 2020
City of Langford: Member since 2019
Supply Chain Task Force needs to set clear priorities
As a globally connected nation, Canada depends on reliable international supply chains to make sure business have the goods needed for their customers. The pandemic and last year's series of climate emergencies provided tough lessons in the importance of building resiliency in our supply chains. To better prepare for future shocks, the federal government created the National Supply Chain Task Force.

"The Task Force is to report to government within 100 days, which is fast approaching," states a news release from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. "As the Task Force finalizes its interim report, the business community is looking for a partner to address the preventable items hindering our transportation systems."

The chamber network is calling on the federal government to prioritize infrastructure and economic growth. In Greater Victoria, we are part of the Western Gateway for goods entering Canada and the Greater Victoria Chamber continues to call for investment in infrastructure on the Island.
Introducing our Business Hall of Fame Inductees
In the coming weeks, The Chamber will be highlighting our inaugural Business Hall of Fame inductees starting with previous Lifetime Achievement Award recipients.
Alex Campbell spent five decades in the grocery industry, leaving behind a lasting legacy on Vancouver Island.

In 1977, he partnered with Ernie Skinner to create the first Thrifty Foods store. In 1983, the first franchise store opened in Mill Bay and, for four years, the company continued to grow.

When Ernie retired from the business in 1991, Alex continued as President, expanding operations to 20 locations and becoming the largest employer on Vancouver Island before selling to Sobeys in 2007.

Alex died in 2011, but, even today, many Island communities continue to grow around their Thrifty Foods store.
Alex Campbell was awarded the Governors’ Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009.
Learn about Campbell's impact and legacy at the 2022 Business Hall of Fame gala.
Wed., Oct. 5 | 5-9 PM
Victoria Conference Centre
Engage with The Chamber
Get outside with Prodigy and Take a Hike Foundation
Join the Prodigy Group and Take A Hike Foundation to reflect and connect with one another in nature. Counsellors will guide attendees through a circle exercise and a walk with options for different lengths and accessibility levels.
After the walk, enjoy casual appies and drinks in the Nature House where you can continue to foster great connections and future collaborations with a diverse group of emerging professionals overlooking Swan Lake and the beautiful outdoor landscape.
Sponsored by:
Thurs., Sept. 15  | 5-7 PM
Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary
3873 Swan Lake Rd., Victoria
Business Leaders Luncheon:
Mental Health in the Workplace with CMHA
Join Canadian Mental Health Association, BC Division's CEO Jonny Morris to learn about CMHA's work around building better mental health.
Whether you are managing a mental illness, supporting someone you care about, managing a team at work, or looking to build your own overall health, CMHA has valuable resources to build skills and resilience to help.
Sponsored by:
Tues., Sept. 20 | 11:30 AM - 1 PM
The Parkside Hotel & Spa
810 Humboldt St., Victoria
Registration is now open!
5 Chamber Business Mixer
Join us for the annual joint mixer bringing together great businesses from the Esquimalt, Greater Victoria, Saanich PeninsulaSooke Region and WestShore Chambers

The beautiful, open space of the new Gorge Park Pavilion will set the stage for a great evening of connection hosted by The Esquimalt Chamber of Commerce and will feature some of their local member businesses.

This event welcomes Chamber members of all 5 local Chambers. Future members of a chamber are welcome to join the event to see firsthand why joining a local Chamber of Commerce is right for you.
Sponsored by:
Thurs., Sept. 22 | 5 - 7 PM
Gorge Park Pavilion, 1070 Tillicum Rd, Victoria, BC
Chamber Partners:
The Chamber Auction is back this November
Showcase your product or service
We are thrilled to announce the return of our Annual Auction, taking place Nov. 6 – 13.

This is a major fundraising event for The Chamber, with all proceeds supporting our work as the largest and most influential advocate for businesses in the region. Last year, we received thousands of visits to our auction platform for an action-packed week of bidding on fabulous gifts and memorable experiences.
Do you want your products and services featured in the auction?

From gift cards to great local items and everything in-between, reach thousands of potential customers by donating a prize today. Keep an eye on our social media feed to see some of the incredible Auction items that will be featured this year.
Sponsored by:
As an event sponsor, Maximum Express, Courier, Freight and Logistics is offering donors complimentary delivery of their auction item to The Chamber Office.

Any questions? Please call (250) 383-7191 or email [email protected]
Enjoy an Active August
As one of Canada’s most active regions, Greater Victoria is known for its beautiful trails, expansive bike-lane network, and many waterways. With summer now in full swing, it's a perfect time to enjoy what each municipality has to offer and get active while supporting a Chamber member.

Lace up a new pair of shoes and pick up sports equipment at a local retailer to enjoy an activity with friends and family. You can also explore Greater Victoria while staying fit by purchasing a new e-bike from a local retailer. Rebates are available for this fun and active mode of transportation.

Feeling the need to enjoy some air conditioning? Gyms and fitness facilities are offering fitness classes to teach new skills and create lifelong healthy habits.

Whether you’re swinging between the trees at WildPlay Element Parks or jumping for joy at Flying Squirrel Victoria, remember to stay hydrated, purchase sunscreen and enjoy the warm weather this August.
Chamber Chats with CEO Bruce Williams
Modern Health Alternatives in the Workplace
Human health and safety in workplaces is a high priority now. 

In this Chamber Chat, CEO Bruce Williams speaks with three companies playing a role in creating enhanced health services for businesses.

Featuring Susan Blanchet of Origen Air, Mercy Southam of Eir Mobile Medicine, and Sally-Anne Haug of Mental Blocks EMDR Therapy.
Special thanks to our series sponsor: Island Savings
Origen Air Systems Ltd.: Member since 2020
Eir Mobile Medicine: Member since 2021
Mental Blocks EMDR Therapy: Member since 2022
Work with a Chamber Champion!
When you’re searching for your next employer, look no further than a Chamber Champion!

Featured on The Chamber’s job board, Chamber Champions are offering great career opportunities for talented individuals across Greater Victoria.

From a Director, Commercial Banking, Indigenous Markets at CIBC to an Experienced Line Cook at Spinnakers, Chamber Champions are ready to offer you your next great career move.

Visit The Chamber’s job board and find new opportunities today.

If you have any questions about The Chamber’s job board, please contact [email protected]
Member News
Dusanj & Wirk recognized for co-op excellence

Dusanj & Wirk Chartered Professional Accountants has received a Co-op Employer of the Year Award from the University of Victoria. Within the category of employers with fewer than 50 employees, Dusanj & Wirk received the recognition for their commitment to hiring two commerce students each term and creating a welcoming, collaborative environment.
Dusanj & Wirk Chartered Professional Accountants: Member since 2011
University of Victoria: Member since 1976
University of Victoria: Chamber Champion since 2020
BC Ferries and Snuneymuxw First Nation enter formal agreement

BC Ferries has signed a formal agreement with the Snuneymuxw First Nation recognizing the nation’s treaty rights and autonomy of their land and waterways. The agreement outlines shared goals for BC Ferries and the nation, highlighting the importance of receiving consent for new projects and initiatives within their lands.
BC Ferries: Member since 1983
BC Ferries: Chamber Champion since 2022
Esquimalt approves climate action plans

The Township of Esquimalt has approved its climate action, mitigation and adaptation plans to address potential risks to the municipality. By 2030, Esquimalt is looking to cut emissions by almost 15,000 tonnes each year. In order to accomplish that goal they will be retrofitting buildings, shifting to electric vehicles and focusing on increased transit accessibility.

Township of Esquimalt: Member since 2020
New conference centre proposed for Victoria

Destination Greater Victoria is looking to expand the Victoria Conference Centre, creating a new space as part of a 20-year project. With a plan of creating a centre with at least 120,000 square feet of meeting space, the new conference centre would allow the City of Victoria to bid on an increased number of conferences and large scale meetings.
Destination Greater Victoria: Member since 1988
Victoria Conference Centre: Member since 1990
City of Victoria: Member since 1962
New RCMP patch features Lekwungen translation

The Westshore RCMP’s uniform has a new addition thanks to a collaboration with the Songhees Nation Language Department. Officers now have a new patch that says the word ‘police’ in English and the  Lək̓ʷəŋən translation of the word, shown as qeq’el?s. The patch has been in development since 2021.

Songhees Nation: Member since 2017
Origen Air receives expansion investment

Origen Air has closed their $1.5 million Seed Round with an investment from First Inflection Business Advisors. As part of an effort to accelerate commercialization efforts, FIBA will provide Origen Air with a monetary investment as well as consulting services as they expand across North America.

At the 2022 Greater Victoria Business Awards, Origen Air received the Innovation Award.

Origen Air Systems Ltd.: Member since 2020
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