November 27, 2019
Your weekly round up of BizNews from throughout Greater Victoria
Camosun unveils new health and wellness centre
Camosun College held a special reception last night for everyone who donated to help build the new Alex and Jo Campbell Centre for Health and Wellness on the Interurban campus. The fundraising campaign was led by Samantha and John Wilson.

The centre officially opened earlier this year, featuring modern classroom designs and an improved approach to interdisciplinary teaching and learning. The facility will train nurses, health care assistants, technicians and early childhood educators.

Last night’s gathering underscores how business leaders, governments, religious leaders, educators and individuals can work together to improve our community.
Camosun College: Member since 1981
Business is integral to community : CEO column
Whether for profit, for social outcomes or for public benefit, our members belong to the chamber because they want to run a good business that belongs to, and contributes to, our community. Not a business community. Our community, period.

This column originally appeared in the Nov. 24 edition of the Times Colonist. Read the entire column by Chamber CEO Catherine Holt he r e .
City open late to help youth collect free bus passes
In the first week of its new program, the City of Victoria handed out more than 600 free bus passes to residents under the age of 18. The city has agreed to pay the Victoria Regional Transit Commission $729,000 for 7,200 youth passes.

This week, the city will stay open until 7pm tomorrow for youth who aren’t able to pick up their passes during regular business hours.

Free bus passes are one of the demands being made by organizers of another climate strike set for Friday. Organizers of that protest say they want to focus on local solutions, including expanded transit service and electric vehicles.
City of Victoria: Member since 1962
Reducing speed cuts emissions, saves lives: Saanich
Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes is asking the provincial government to reduce the speed limit on all residential roads in BC. The move would reduce emissions and help fight climate change while saving lives and encouraging more active transportation.

"If we are truly interested in safe streets that have active transportation, this approach is very reasonable," Haynes told CBC, noting that a province-wide approach is better than having different speed limits in adjacent municipalities.

Saanich will send its request to the Ministry of Transportation, which has said it is committed to a review of the Motor Vehicle Act.

District of Saanich: Member since 2018
New cab company offers electric hospitality
Greater Victoria’s newest taxi service begins operations on Sunday, with a fleet of 15 Tesla vehicles.

Current Taxi prides itself on offering an all-electric option with a focus on “sustainable practices, luxury services and five-star people.”

The company was started in Kelowna by four people with experience in the high-end hospitality industry. They selected their drivers, or “ambassadors,” based on driving records as well as their customer service skills.

Current Taxi: Member since 2019
Plan for downtown hotel respects heritage value
The Chamber has lent its support to a plan to build a new hotel in downtown Victoria. Victoria City Council is expected to discuss tomorrow whether to send the proposal to public hearing.

The plan, by Chard Development, calls for a 139-room hotel to be built on the corner of Broad and Johnson streets. The University of Victoria owns the property and has agreed to a 99-year lease. Tourism numbers show high demand for hotel rooms downtown, with a steady increase in rates and near peak occupancy over the summer.

“Chard’s commitment to pursuing this redevelopment in a manner that is respectful of the site’s heritage — rehabilitating the existing Duck’s Building and the Duck’s Carriage Factory rubble wall — will make this a destination that truly reflects the city’s past while encouraging its future growth,” wrote Catherine Holt, Chamber CEO, in support of the project.
Chard Development: member since 1983
Land swap will help create affordable housing
A land swap between the City of Victoria and the Greater Victoria School District will create much needed affordable housing while helping fund seismic upgrades that preserve Victoria High School’s heritage value and increases its student capacity by 200.
The district will enter a 60-year lease with the Capital Regional District that expands on an existing lease. BC Housing will use the expanded property to provide affordable housing.
The school board agreed to the plan on Monday, after earlier consultations with the community. The creative approach shows how diverse organizations and sectors can work together to fund fiscally responsible solutions to ensure our region has affordable housing available for our workforce.
Greater Victoria School District: Member since 1976
Capital Regional District: Member since 1993
City of Victoria: Member since 1962
Find your next employee
Whether you’re a CEO, small business owner, or a manager looking for talent, finding and retaining employees is crucial. Recently, The Chamber launched a job board to help.

For the remainder of 2019, Chamber members can post up to five jobs for free using the promo code: INTRO. Learn more about how to post here .
Chamber Member Tip of the Week

Retain key staff by offering job sharing or other reduced hour positions. It increases opportunity for advancement for existing staff while retaining institutional knowledge."

Dave Cowen,
The Chamber comes with numerous benefits , for your team including The Chamber’s Group Insurance Plans. Contact us for details.
Celebrate the Season
Wear a bow tie to honour of outgoing Chair, Dan Dagg!
Celebrate the holiday season with us by wearing your best bow tie in honour of our outgoing Chair, Dan Dagg!

Interested in donating a door prize?
Contact: Christine Lewis at
Tues, Dec 3 | 4-6 pm
The Commons
614 Humboldt St.
Sponsored by:
Thu, Jan 9 | 12-1 pm
Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce
100 - 852 Fort St.
Thu. Jan. 16 | 4:30-6:30 pm
Future Home of Max Furniture
3460 Quadra Street
Sponsored by:
Hosting a Holiday event? We want to hear from you!

Submit your event to to have it added to our Community Events calendar. *Members Only*
Proposed fix to police boards, good start to needed changes
An all-party committee of MLAs recommending changes to how police boards discipline police chiefs is a good first step to fixing a larger problem with police board governance.

On Monday, BC Attorney General Mike Farnworth said he will consider the committee’s recommendation to task a retired judge with meting out discipline to police chiefs or deputy chiefs. Currently, the responsibility falls to the chair of the police board, which, by law, is the mayor of the municipality served. The mayors of Victoria and Esquimalt were chastised for their handling of an investigation into a former police chief. The mayors were placed in an inherent conflict because they worked too closely together to be objective.

In a column that ran Jan. 31 in the Times Colonist, Chamber CEO Catherine Holt wrote about this concern, and the general conflict that stems from forcing mayors to chair their local police board.
Optimize Online @ChamberVictoria
Grow your presence online by connecting your social media pages to your Chamber Directory Listing.

86% of Canadians interact with businesses on social media, so making sure your channels are visible is essential for successful organizations.

69.9% of Chamber members showcase at least one of their social media channels through their online directory.

Each chamber member with a directory listing receives an average of 3,083 referrals per year (more than five million in total for 2019!)

64.6% of members showcase a Facebook account, 51.3% showcase a Twitter account, and 29.8% showcase an Instagram account.

Although these are the most popular channels used, did you know you can showcase 13 social media pages through The Chamber? These include TripAdvisor, Yelp, Pinterest, and many more.

Use search engine optimization by pairing up The Chamber’s online services, your business’s keywords, website, and social media links to strengthen your business’s exposure online.

Take full advantage of your membership. Contact to have your directory listing updated today!

To connect with the Chamber — click on an icon below:
Nominations open for 2020 Business Awards
Each week, The Chamber will profile one of the 14 different award categories, encouraging members to nominate a deserving Chamber member.
The Business Person of the Year award honours a business person who:

  • Is the founder, owner, CEO, President or Senior Executive of a company(ies)
  • Exhibits business leadership and vision
  • Displays a significant commitment to the success of both his/her business and the region as a whole
  • Serves as a positive role model or mentor for other business people
  • Demonstrates a commitment to the community.
Need inspiration? Check out the videos of our 2019 finalists for Business Person of the Year (previously Business Leadership.

Thanks to Coast Capital Savings for sponsoring this award.
Finalist:  The Truffles Group
Members Around Town
Victoria hole-in-one

The Bayview Place DCBank Open has been voted the 2019 PGA tournament of the year!

The tournament, which is currently hosted at the Uplands Golf Club, was voted by PGA TOUR Canada (also known as Mackenzie Tour) members as the players' choice award.

The tour is internationally acclaimed, and is renowned as featuring some of the best maintained greens in Canada. The tour began in 1981 and is the largest running professional tour in Canada.
Uplands Golf Club: members since 2009
Bayview Place: members since 2006
New chair for LifeSciences BC

Scott Phillips, CEO and Founder of StarFish Medical, has been appointed as chair of LifeSciences BC board.

Scott will represent British Columbia through leadership, facilitation of investment, advocacy and promotion of the world-class science and industry happening in BC.
StarFish Medical: members since 2009
Denise LeBlond Lifetime Achievement Award

Kaye Melliship, the executive director of the Greater Victoria Housing Society, has received the Denise LeBlond Lifetime Achievement Award from the BC Non-Profit Housing Association.

The award, which recognizes individuals whose dedication and vision have furthered the cause of affordable housing in BC, was awarded for her efforts over more than 30 years advocating for affordable housing throughout the region. 

Greater Victoria Housing Society: member since 2012
New managing director at Mercy Ships

Darryl Anderson has been appointed as the managing director of Mercy Ships Canada earlier this week.

The board unanimously agreed on this decision, and Darryl will now oversee Mercy Ships Canada’s Canadian staff while providing executive leadership, direction and support
Mercy Ships: member since 2012
Welcome to our newest members!
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