September 1, 2021
Your weekly round up of BizNews from throughout Greater Victoria
Quebec was the first province to launch a vaccine passport, with its app going live today. Quebecers will have a two-week leniency period before penalties of up to $6,000 for vaccine passport fraud will be enforced. Ontario also announced today its plan to introduce proof of vaccination requirements by Sept. 22, with an app available Oct. 22.

In BC, people will need to have at least one dose by Sept. 13 to be allowed in specified settings. That requirement will shift to fully vaccinated for at least seven days as of Oct. 24. The measures will be re-assessed on Jan. 31, 2022, to determine if an extension is required.

The province has not disclosed exactly how penalties will be enforced. We expect businesses will be subject to inspections as with the current mask mandate.

Members Only
The Chamber adheres to the direction and advice of BC's Provincial Health Officer. We also recognize that many people are struggling with the uncertainty of the pandemic and specifically the Delta variant. We'd like to hear from Chamber members about your questions and concerns regarding BC's Proof of Vaccination proposal. Please keep your commentary civil. We will share productive feedback anonymously with decision makers. Email [email protected].
BC Restaurant & Food Services Association: Member since 1996
Election 2021: Questions for candidates due Friday
On Sept. 20, Canadians will go to the polls to elect a new federal government. As businesses continue to be affected by the pandemic, the stakes have never been higher to have our voices heard by political candidates vying to form our next government.

The Chamber is hosting a series of Candidate Listening Sessions to ensure whoever represents our region will understand the issues facing business our area.

This is also an opportunity to have your questions addressed by candidates representing parties with seats in the House of Commons. Let us know what issues are affecting your businesses, or our region’s economic environment.

Please email your questions for candidates by this Friday, Sept. 3 to [email protected].
The sessions will be recorded and available for you to watch at your convenience.

Register below to receive an event reminder leading up to the Facebook livestream. 
Tues., Sept. 14 | 12-1 PM
Tues., Sept. 14 | 3-4 PM
Saanich-Gulf Islands
Wed, Sept. 15 | 12:30-1:30 PM
Thurs., Sept. 16 | 12-1 PM
Chamber presents to provincial budget committee
On Monday morning, Chamber CEO Bruce Williams brought concerns raised by our members and Chamber Champions to BC's Select Standing Committee on Fiance and Government Services.

The Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce was asked to present to the committee along with the Burnaby Board of Trade, Greater Vancouver Board of Trade and Surrey Board of Trade. These organizations are leading advocates for business in BC and help government set priorities ahead of next year's BC budget. Among the many issues raised were finding and keeping workers, fair taxation and fiscal prudence.

"We thank the province for including the voice of Greater Victoria businesses and we look forward to continuing to working closely on programs and policies that will be key to growing our region's private sector," Chamber CEO Bruce Williams said.

Grants aim to help with safe return of events
Grants of up to $250,000 are now available to help sports, arts and cultural events get back up and running safely. The provincial government opened the application process last Friday for the Fairs, Festivals and Events Recovery Fund.

A total of $12.9 million is available in one-time grants for up to 20% of an event's budget. Funds can be used for "operational costs, health and safety measures, venue rental, marketing, wages and promotion." Applications are being accepted until Oct. 1 for events that occurred after July 1, or which will take place before Sept. 30 of next year.

"Eligible events include sport, arts and culture events, community celebrations, agricultural fairs, rodeos and exhibitions," states the news release from the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culutre and Sports. "Applications submitted by organizations will be required to demonstrate local or regional support and show the economic and social benefits for the community."
CEO Column: Federal election a chance for candidates to learn issues

The Chamber is working with our community partners to host candidate listening sessions for the four ridings in Greater Victoria. These are planned for Sept. 14-16, and anyone can tune in to The Chamber’s Facebook page to watch. We chose to hold them the week before election day on Sept. 20, so parties will have had a chance to unveil their full platforms and policies. Our panels will also be after the national leaders debates, which often affect popular opinion and create a buzz among the general public.

We’ve invited candidates running in Greater Victoria who represent parties with seats in the House of Commons. Rather than focusing primarily on candidates espousing party platforms, we want them to listen to issues identified by community leaders. The idea is to ensure they understand challenges facing our region and how government can be part of a solution. That way, whoever wins the riding can get to work as soon as their sworn in. (Keep Reading)

Shoppers reminded to BYOBags in Saanich
Don't forget to pack your reusable bags when going shopping in the District of Saanich. The municipality's bylaw regulating single-use plastic bags came into effect Aug. 20. Saanich has created posters, till toppers and other printable resources for businesses to help with the transition.

The Chamber continues to work with Greater Victoria municipalities to ensure checkout bag bylaws align and support initiatives implemented by retailers in response to public demand.
District of Saanich: Member since 2019
CHEK launches new streaming, on-demand app
There's a new way to watch programming on CHEK, after the employee-owned broadcaster launched the CHEK+ app today. This marks the first dedicated streaming and on-demand service for the local media company.

“We are excited about the launch of CHEK+," CHEK Media Group's GM Rob Germain said in a news release. "CHEK+ marks the evolution of CHEK, to a truly multi-media
company serving Vancouver Island and beyond.”

CHEK+ can be downloaded on Apple TV, iOS, Android Mobile and some Android TV devices. No cable connection or subscription fee is required.
CHEK News: Member since 1971
CHEK News: Chamber Champion since 2020
Update on in-person events
We want to welcome you back to events safely. But we're taking a careful approach and a gentle step back in the face of rising cases.

We know that many of you have been actively fighting the pandemic by getting vaccinated, keeping your bubble small, washing your hands and staying masked. Thank you.
We're doing our part to reduce our cases — and pressure on our hospitals — by choosing to re-imagine and postpone our first in-person events in September.
If you were ahead of the game and already registered for an event in September, expect an email from someone on our team to explain how we're pivoting and to confirm that you're a #ChamberChangeMaker — one of the more than 85% of British Columbian adults who have been vaccinated.
Get outside with The Prodigy Group
We're taking a fresh-air break from Zoom in this re-imagined Mingle.

Join us in one of three lovely locations across Greater Victoria for a stroll, walk or hike — your pick. Invite a colleague or supplier or connect with someone new while recharging your mental health with a little fitness. Each location will have a maximum of 15 guests, so we ask you reserve quickly.

For those of you engaging in this year's ClimbUp campaign, consider it early training.

For details about this event including best choice for all levels of physical capability - click here.

If you have already registered, a member of The Chamber Events team will be in touch this week.
Proof of vaccination required. Safety protocols will be in place and we will be following Provincial Health Guidelines for events. If you are feeling unwell we ask that you refrain from attending.
Virtual September Business Mixer
And for those that enjoy the traditional mixer environment, this month we have a return to our successful Zoom model, featuring break-out rooms.

This vibrant, after hours business social event provides an excellent opportunity for members and prospective members to establish or renew valuable business relationships.
Thurs., Sept. 23 | 5 - 6 PM
Would you like to join a Chamber committee?
The Chamber has a number of active and engaged committees that report to our Board of Directors. A key reason for the success of our board committees is the involvement of our Chamber members as volunteer committee members.

Each year, there are a few openings on our committees for new members. We are recruiting now for members who will be available starting on Jan. 1, 2022 for at least a two-year term. Here are our committees:
  • The Ambassador Committee
  • The Finance and Audit Committee
  • The Prodigy Group
  • The Public Policy and Advocacy Committee
  • Indigenous Business Task Force
  • Committee for the Advancement of Diversity and Inclusion

The opportunity to apply for any of the above committees will be open until Oct. 15, 2021. At the end of the application period, the chair of the committee will be in contact by email or phone.
Celebrate September
Make the most out of your Labour Day long weekend by supporting your fellow Chamber members. Celebrate by enjoying a bite outa night away from home, or plan an action-packed weekend at these local treasures.

After you enjoy the long weekend, you may be getting ready for the return of the school year and your fall routine. Take advantage of The Chamber's exclusive member-only deals and discounts on quality school and office supplies.

Chamber members can save:

Discover more discounts and savings here.
The Chamber will be closed Mon, Sept. 6 for Labour Day. 
Showcase your business at the 2021 Auction
Take a sneak peek at this incredible item available at the 2021 Virtual Chamber Auction from Nov. 7 – 14!

These Beats Solo3 Wireless on-ear headphones immerse you in rich, award-winning sound everywhere you want to go – Kindly donated by Tom Harris Cellular.

Interested in having your products or services showcased at our auction?

Fill out our 2021 Auction Donation Form, call (250) 383-7191 or email [email protected].
This is a major fundraising event for
The Chamber, with all proceeds supporting our work as the largest and most influential advocate for business on the Island. Last year, we received nearly 8,000 visitors to our auction platform for a week of bidding on fabulous gifts.
As an event sponsor, Maximum Express, Courier, Freight and Logistics is offering donors complimentary delivery of their auction item to The Chamber Office.
Chamber Chats with CEO Bruce Williams
How much do you know about cryptocurrency?
Cryptocurrency. How much do you know about it, or rather how cryptic is crypto to your financial-IQ?

In this Chamber Chat, CEO Bruce Williams speaks with Hash Qureshi, an expert with MNP about cyptos essence, model and use.
MNP LLP: Member since 2013
MNP LLP: Chamber Champion since 2020
Special thanks to our series sponsor: Island Savings
Make an impact in your industry

Find the best talent in your industry with The Chamber’s job board.

When you post your next job, be sure to add your "industry type" to ensure it can be properly sorted and found by the right candidates. The list of industry types is constantly being updated, and can be modified to highlight any industry. Don’t see your industry listed? Send us an email!
Also remember to add a specific category for the job in the position title. From Admin and HR to Marketing and Comms positions, you can see all 14 categories here.

If you have any questions about the job board or need assistance posting, email [email protected].
Member News
Station Avenue Revitalization underway

Applications are now open for the City of Langford Station Avenue Revitalization project, including artist studios, food trucks and business incubators. This dynamic community arts and cultural project will fulfill a long-term vision for the development of a cultural precinct in Langford. Working in collaboration with the Island Corridor Foundation, the project will significantly enhance the neighborhood by restoring and revitalizing the area.

City of Langford: Member since 2019

Island Corridor Foundation: Member since 2020
Two decades of brews

Phillips Brewing & Malting Co. is celebrating their 20th anniversary by unveiling a new beer. Aged for 20 months, the limited edition Twenty Point Buck ale is available now at Phillips’ tasting room. Packages with a specialty glass are also available at select liquor stores.

Phillips Brewing & Malting Co: Member since 2020
IMAX returns with an over-whale-ming tale

After 10 months of being closed to the public, IMAX Victoria reopens Sept. 3. The first feature film will be Humpback Whales, a look into the migratory journey of whales spanning over 10,000 miles every year. Narrated by Ewan McGregor, tickets for this film and others are available now.
IMAX Victoria: Member since 1998
Lekwungen youth job shadowing highlights

The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority has completed their second Lekwungen Youth Job Shadowing Program. In partnership with Destination Greater Victoria and Eagle Wing Whale & Wildlife Watching Tours, two youth were able to shadow the maintenance team in the Inner Harbour, DGV staff at the visitor centre, and Eagle Wing staff in the office and on the water.
Greater Victoria Harbour Authority: Member since 2003
Destination Greater Victoria: Member since 1988
Eagle Wing Whale & Wildlife Watching Tours: Member since 2013
ClimbUP for United Way

From Sept. 23 – Oct. 2, the United Way of Southern Vancouver Island hosts a fundraiser to encourage exercise and the exploration of local neighborhoods. ClimbUP for United Way challenges participants to get active and achieve 42,000 steps in 10 days. Individuals and teams can register here.
United Way of Southern Vancouver Island: Member since 1972
BRNKL Rapid Deploy receives government contract

Barnacle Systems Inc. has been awarded a remote monitoring contract from the Canadian government. In the coming months, Barnacle’s remote monitoring systems will be tested on vessels determined as hazardous to the environment or to navigation. Alerts will be sent automatically if an abandoned, derelict or hazardous vessel begins to sink or drag its anchor.

At the 2020 Greater Victoria Business Awards, Barnacle Systems won the Innovation Award.

Barnacle Systems Inc: Member since 2019
Mid-Autumn Festival for Children

The BC Children's Hospital Foundation has launched a special program called the Mid-Autumn Festival for Children. Surprise your loved ones with a box of traditional mooncakes or a gift card to local restaurants including Cactus Club Café and Earls Kitchen & Bar. Purchases will be used to help support world-leading orthopedic work at BC Children’s Hospital.

BC Children's Hospital Foundation: Member since 2016

Cactus Club Café: Member since 2009
Earls Kitchen & Bar: Member since 2010
Load Up on Local

Vancity Savings Credit Union has launched an initiative to reward local purchases.

From now until Sept. 30, earn 1.5 times more Vancity Rewards points by making purchases at local business. The Load Up on Local campaign rewards purchases at tourist attractions, salons, restaurants and more.

Vancity Savings Credit Union: Member since 2021
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