Join Prodigy Group for its August Mingle, hosted by Canoe Brewpub tomorrow, Aug 9 from 5-7 pm. Enjoy delicious food and drinks and mingle with like-minded business professionals. Don't miss out - register today!
$1-million grant to help accessibility at new Crystal Pool
The City of Victoria is getting a little help to make sure the new $69.4 million Crystal Pool and Wellness Centre is accessible to all. Victoria was awarded $1 million from Canadian Tire as part of its Jumpstart program "Play finds a way." The money was provided to remove barriers to accessing sport and play.

"This is wonderful news as we are building the new facility to be truly inclusive and to increase access to recreation and wellness activities for residents of all abilities," Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps, said in a news release. The city has committed $10 million to the project, which is also getting $6 million from the federal Gas and Tax Fund though the Union of BC Municipalities.

"This investment from Jumpstart will be applied to features such as lifts for pool tanks, fully accessible change areas, as well as adaptive sport and fitness equipment," said Thomas Soulliere, Victoria's Director of Parks, Recreation and Facilities.

City council is anticipating the bulk of the funding will come from the federal and provincial governments, with announcements expected early next year.

City of Victoria: member since 1962

Canadian Tire: member since 2018
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Film commission needs better funding model
Back in 1972, The Chamber saw the potential  of attracting film productions to help our region's economy. In the wake of filming for Jack Nicholson's Five Easy Pieces (remember the famous toast scene in the diner?), The Chamber created the Victoria and Vancouver Island Film Commission. Today, the Vancouver Island South Film and Media Commission (VISFC) continues that mandate as one of seven regional film commissions in BC.  

By promoting Greater Victoria locations and local talent, VISFC estimates local productions annually contribute between $12 million and $15 million to our region.
The commission operates on a budget of $200,000 per year, says film commissioner Kathleen Gilbert.
However, every year it seems the commission faces uncertainty due in large part to the inefficient process of having to ask 13 municipalities in Greater Victoria to contribute. Gilbert says every other regional film commission is funded as an economic development function of their local regional district. Something that the Capital Regional District has told her is not part of its mandate.
Instead, Gilbert must appeal individually to all 13 municipalities every year. It's a time consuming process that doesn't provide the stability needed for long-range planning. Things were even more unpredictable this year after the City of Victoria stopped fee-for-service grants. After appealing directly to council, Victoria agreed to provide $45,000 this year and will look at a more stable way to fund the commission.  
Other municipalities contribute smaller grants, ranging from $25,000 provided by Saanich to $500 each from View Royal, Sidney and Metchosin.
"We're looking at every imaginable scenario we can think of," Gilbert says, noting that the commission holds fundraising events and has enlisted help to search out possible grants. She says the simple solution would be for the regional district to represent its member municipalities and fund the film commission appropriately.
 Vancouver Island South Film and Media Commission: member since 1980 
With an aging workforce and near zero unemployment rate - the demand for skilled trades workers has never been higher.

Hear Tom Sigurdson, Executive Director of BC Building Trades, talk about the future of the trades industry in British Columbia and how they are working to address the skills shortage.
Sponsored by
Tue, Sept 25 | 11:30 am-1 pm 
Victoria Marriott Inner Harbour
728 Humboldt St.

Members Around Town
Kaleidoscope appoints New Executive Director
After a national search Pat Rundell has been appointed  as the new Executive Director of Kaleidoscope Theatre for Young People. With over 15 years of experience in the performing arts community, Rundell has worked with some of Victoria's leading artists and arts organizations as a producer, director, designer, administrator and Cultural Leader. Rundell's portfolio of work includes the Victoria Operatic Society, Intrepid Theatre, Puente Theatre and Langham Court Theatre. He was the founder of Urban Arts Productions, spent six years as Kaleidoscope Theatre's Artistic Associate, and three years as the principal of Kaleidoscope's Performing Arts Studio.
Kaleidoscope Theatre for Young People: member since 2007   
HarbourCats Foundation launches with support of Island Savings   
After establishing themselves for six seasons, the Victoria HarbourCats have emerged as a leader in Greater Victoria's baseball community. To give back, the HarbourCats have launched the HarbourCats Foundation which will strive to foster the growth and sustainability of baseball and softball so all youth enjoy the opportunity to play. At the Aug. 6 HarbourCat's game, Island Savings, a division of First West Credit Union, stepped forward with a $3,000 seed donation in support of the Victoria HarbourCats Foundation. 
Victoria HarbourCats: member since 2012
Island Savings: member since 1984  
For the pizza and beer lover
Pizzeria Prima Strada has moved their mobile pizza oven to Category 12 Brewing in Central Saanich until the end of September. For the duration of the partnership the pizza oven will be situated outside of the brewery serving up slices from Thursday to Saturday.  
Pizzeria Prima Strada: member since 2009
Category 12 Brewing: member since 2016 
Symphony Splash 
The Victoria Symphony estimated 40,000 people gathered around the Inner Harbour on this past Sunday for the 29th annual Symphony Splash. The open-air concert featured Victoria Symphony musicians playing pieces from Gone with the Wind, E.T. and Star Wars on a barge moored in the Inner Harbour. Organizers praised the large crowd for how tidy they were this year too. 
Victoria Symphony: member since 1984        
Brewmaster's Dinner

Only 5 tickets left!

Let the masters of smoke at Jones Bar-B-Que take your taste buds on a southern states culinary journey. The slow-smoked meats and deep-fried treats will be paired with award-winning
beer from Lighthouse Brewing Company Inc. See the full menu here.

Gather your friends for this finger-licking good time with our special group pricing! Trust us, it'll be the BBQ of the year!
Not a beer drinker? We'll have some non-alcoholic pairings too.
Sponsored by:
Thu, Aug 16 | 5:30-9 pm
Market Square - Anthem Properties
39-560 Johnson St.

How to avoid CRA tax scams
One of the most common ways that Canadians are being defrauded every year is through scams whereby individuals impersonate agents of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to falsely obtain confidential information for identity theft purposes or to misappropriate funds. Grant Thornton LLP has come up with a few tips and tricks to avoid these scams.

To protect yourself against such scams, it is important to know the answers to the following questions.
  • How will the CRA contact you?
  • How will you know if you're being scammed?
  • How should you protect yourself?
The answers to all of these questions can be found here.

Grant Thornton LLP: member since 1973

UVic housing projects in the works
The University of Victoria has started the process to build more student housing on campus. The $200 million project is expected to go to the District of Saanich in the fall for a development variance permit. Once completed, 785 students will be housed in two new buildings that will go up where the Margaret Newton Hall and the Emily Carr residence are currently located. Those buildings will be deconstructed during the process.

UVic currently has housing for 2,300 students, including 160 in the residences being torn down. Once completed, it's expected the new units will help free up housing stock that could be used by Greater Victoria's workforce.

The university is also partnering with Chard Development Ltd. on a plan to redevelop a collection of buildings owned by UVic in the 1300 block of Fort Street. The proposal, currently with the City of Victoria, is to build a five-storey building with 59 housing units that UVic graduate students will have the first crack at renting.

University of Victoria: member since 1976

Chard Development Ltd.: member since 2008
Presenteeism and Group Insurance
Presenteeism is the practice of employees that are are ill, injured, distracted or unfit to work, attending work anyway. It has become a concerning trend in our workforce that's garnering more and more attention in productivity studies.
According to the Harvard Business Review, "Unlike absenteeism, presenteeism isn't always apparent. You know when someone doesn't show up for work, but you often can't tell when-or how much-illness or a medical condition hinders someone's performance." It's also costing Canada a lot of money .
When people don't feel good, they simply don't do their best work . Support your employees by creating a healthy work environment and connecting them with the health and wellness services they need with extended health benefits so that they can thrive at work. 
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