The University of Victoria (UVic) has appointed Ry Moran to serve as its inaugural reconciliation librarian. Moran is current the director of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation in Winnipeg and is a member of the Red River Metis.
Toronto-based Starlight Developments has submitted a rezoning application to the City of Victoria for the first phase of the Harris Green Village project. The application includes a plan to rezone the block at 1045 Yates Street currently home to Harris Victoria Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, to make room for a mixed-use project. If approved, the project would include towers of 17- and 19-storeys with 510 suits, 23 of which would be designated as affordable units. The proposal also includes space for commercial units on the ground floor. Starlight owns all of the 900-block and the majority of the 1000-block of Yates and View Street’s and is planning on replacing the existing buildings with new developments.
McConnan Bion O’Connor and Peterson Lawyers has named Maria Raymond as an Associate with the firm. Maria received her law degree from the University of Victoria in 2019 and articled with McConnan Bion O’Connor and Peterson prior to her call to the Bar in 2020. Her primary areas of practice include business and corporate law, wills, estates and real estate.
The provincial government will open a cannabis retail store at Uptown shopping centre early next year, marking its first cannabis shop in the capital region. Saanich council approved the new government-run store following a public hearing that drew little resistance to the proposal. The new store will open on the upper floors at Uptown between Steve Nash Fitness and Whole Foods.
McLaren Lighting is celebrating its 60th anniversary. The company has reopened its showrooms to the public in Nanaimo and Victoria with health and safety measures in place. The Victoria showroom is at 3400 Douglas Street.
The Canadian Club of Victoria recently announced changes to its executive and board of directors. Susan Haddon was re-elected president, Tom Williams was re-elected vice-president, Ellen Stensholt as past-president and Sharon Apsey as both interim membership chair and venue chair. Marilyn Schick was appointed to the role of secretary and Craig Schick was elected treasurer. The board of directors for 2020-21 includes Marie McKee, Brian Head, Tony Davis, Brian McMullen, Naz Rayani and Pam Shemilt.
The Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame recently elected a new board of directors. The incoming board includes Murray Smith, Robert Bettauer, Nicholas Cumberbirch, Chris Graham, Doug Henderson, Robert Hope, Clint Hamilton, Louise Hodgson-Jones, Fern Johnson, Stacie Louttit, Cal Mackay, Lois Smith, Jim Swanson and Tom Turnbull.
Victoria not-for-profit Red Cedar Café is on track to serving its 10,000th meal before the end of the month. The organization has been operating out of the former Willie’s Bakery on Johnson Street and has been providing free meals to seniors, and vulnerable members of the community since April.
Habitat for Humanity Victoria recently started construction on two affordable housing projects including one home in Central Saanich and 10 residences in North Saanich. The construction start marks the largest build for the organization to date. To help fund the development, Habitat for Humanity is launching a fundraising campaign on Tuesday, June 30th. The campaign is called community, family, home + you and sets an ambitious goal of raising $200,000 in 100 days.
Greater Victoria Public Library CEO Maureen Sawa is the recipient of the 2020 Award of Excellence from the Association of BC Public Library Directors. Sawa was recognized for her leadership in library advocacy, contributions to the library community and innovation.
Langford’s Island Training Centre on Kettle Lake Drive is reopening to offer sports programs to all levels and abilities. The training centre is owned and operated by Pacific Football Club and includes 55,000-square-feet of space, making it the largest indoor field in BC. The facility is equipped to host programs, leagues, camps and more for multiple sports including soccer, basketball, futsal, rugby, tennis, softball and volleyball.
Two Victoria projects recently received funding from BC’s Active Transportation Grants Program. A two-direction, protected cycling lane on Harbour Road that provides more access between the Capital Regional District and downtown Victoria received $401,250. The University of Victoria and Oak Bay received $316,380 for the University Drive Connection Pathway that will serve cyclists riding to and from the school.
IAG Enterprises Ltd has acquired Sooke Harbour House for $5.6 million under a court-ordered sale and is expecting to reopen in 2021 after upgrading the site. The 2.5-acre property was foreclosed on as a result of three new mortgages that were taken out on the property since 2017. Funds from the sale will be paid to the federal, provincial and municipal governments and the lenders who have the first, second and third mortgages on the property. The new owners are planning to operate the hotel as a boutique destination resort once improvements have been completed.
Pet Connection opened it doors July 4th in Sidney at 2443 Beacon Ave. They offer a wide selection of real food and treats made in Canada or New Zealand as well as toys and supplements. They also publish the Pet Connection Magazine, which focuses on Canada’s natural Health for pets. The Sidney retail store is the head office for the magazine.
Nominations are open for new members of the board for the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce. There are six board positions up for election. Nominations close Thursday, July 30 at 12 pm.
Waymark Architecture was the recipient of the National Green Building award at the 2020 Canadian Green Building Awards for their work on Charter’s headquarters. The building is poised to be Western Canada’s first Passive House commercial office building, which required the facility to meet some of the world’s most rigorous passive energy performance standards.
Canada’s 100 Best recently presented the 50 Best Best Bars in Canada 2020, and Victoria’s own Q Bar, made the list in the 46th spot. The Empress’s Q Bar has once again opened to the public and features signature cocktails, an extensive wine list and local craft beers on tap.
Two of the winners of Innovate BC’s eighth annual Ignite Program involved Victoria-based companies LlamaZoo and Wulff Group. LlamaZoo is working on a platform meant to accelerate tree harvesting called TimberOps, in partnership with UBC associate forestry professor Dominik Roeser and Quebec-headquartered R&D firm FPInnovations. Wulff Group is a company led by UVic chemistry professor Jeremy Wulff in partnership with US venture capital firm Epic Ventures. The company is developing a new class of molecules that function as universal polymer binding agents. Along with bragging rights, TimberOps and Wulff Group will receive $300,000 in funding for winning the award.
The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority (GVHA) announced the Victoria Harbour Ferry will continue to operate thanks to an investment by the Ralmax Group of Companies. Ralmax acquired 55 per cent ownership stake in the Victoria Harbour Ferry and signed a lease agreement with the GVHA to operate the ferry service in the Victoria harbour. The previous Friday, the GVHA released a statement about Victoria Harbour Ferry refusing to sign an operating lease, required for the ferry service to legally operate.
Small Business BC has created a new Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) marketplace that provides businesses with a searchable directory to easily locate suppliers with non-medical PPE required to operate safely during the pandemic.
The City of Langford has launched I Am Langford, a new campaign to support local businesses amid the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of the campaign the city created IAmLangford.com, a new website to share photos and stories of business people who are finding new ways to continue doing business during the COVID-19 pandemic. Langford Mayor Stew Young or a member of city council will also be committing random acts of kindness to local businesses ranging from picking up cheques for customers at restaurants to helping out with the bill at a business. Costs for the campaign have been covered by donations from the development community.
Victoria City Councillor Sharmarke Dubow is among 75 nominees for the Royal Bank of Canada’s Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Awards. Finalists for the awards are recognized for their positive contributions to their communities since coming to the country and includes the likes of volunteers, entrepreneurs, cultural icons and community advocates.
Sales of real estate in Greater Victoria were up nearly 77 per cent in June over May’s sales slump according to figures released by the Victoria Real Estate Board (VREB). A total of 808 properties changed hands in the VREB region in June, up 9.8 per cent relative to the previous year. The benchmark value of a simple family home also jumped by 1.2 per cent compared to May.
Saanich has been awarded a $100,000 grant to help install 20 new electric vehicle (EV) charging stations across the municipality. The grant comes from the Zero Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan). The new stations are expected to be installed by spring 2021 at six municipal facilities and will fall within a $380,000 budget.
Jacqueline Greenard has joined The Greenard Group. She has completed a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Victoria and received a master’s in professional accounting program from the University of Saskatchewan in 2016. Greenard articled with KPMG in Victoria and Cayman Islands offices from 2014 to 2019 and has obtained her CPA designation.
BC Ferries has resumed service on its Brentwood Bay-Mill Bay route with nine daily sailings from both ports. Service on the route was cut back in April to allow for service reductions to due pandemic-related concerns for health and safety. Drivers will be asked to remain in their vehicle for the duration of the sailing and all passengers are required to possess a face mask and wear it while at the terminal and in passenger areas of the vessel.