December 2020: Victoria Movers

January 5, 2021

John Espley

John Espley has been named Chamber Member of the Year for 2021 by the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce, where he serves as a member of the Chamber’s Board of Governors.

The Better Business Bureau of Vancouver Island has announced its 2021 Board of Directors. Chair, Marion Harding-Soare, Past Chair, Vern Fischer, Vice Chair, Gary Eisenstein, Treasurer, Robyn Walle, Secretary, Richard Gordon, Member-At-Large, Walter J. Donald, President & CEO, Rosalind Scott, Directors, Gregg MeiklejohnRichard MichaelsMark BreslauerColin WatsonBrody Funk, Honorary Life Director, Paul Chow, and Independent Legal Counsel, Sharon Cartmill-Lane.

Victoria tech start-up Open Ocean Robotics recently launched Daphne, an autonomous solar-powered vessel developed to monitor illegal fishing, completing the first stage in a multiyear project by participating in a three-day field demonstration using surveillance tech to track boats, detect fishing activity and collect evidence. Visit openoceanrobotics.com to learn more.

Avenue Barber has opened at 3174 Oak Bay Avenue in Oak Bay Village. They’re open Tuesday through Friday 9am to 5pm, and Saturdays 9am to 4pm. Give them a call at (778) 440-2174, or visit avenuebarber.ca.

The City of Langford has okayed 227 residential units on McCallum Road, consisting of one and two-bedroom units priced at market value. Construction is scheduled to begin in early 2021 according to Christina Wilson, VP of Development and Sales for Highstreet Ventures.

Entourage Hair at 100 Aldersmith Pl Suite A6, is now offering online booking. Located in the Nelson Square in View Royal, owner Teresa Duran has over twenty years of experience cutting and styling hair. Give her a call at 250-590-2803, or book online at www.entouragehair.ca.

Victoria-based Anvy Technologies has made Time Magazine’s ‘100 Best Inventions of 2020’ with the Sepura, a garbage disposal system that sorts solids into a smell-free container beneath the sink, sending liquids down the pipes. Creator and CEO Victor Nicolov, who studied engineering at the University of Victoria, notes the device is available for pre-order, and expects to begin shipping units in early 2021. https://sepurahome.com

The City of Victoria is inviting artists to submit their artwork for downtown kiosks and storefronts for 2021. Artists must live in the Capital Region, including the Gulf Islands. The submission deadline is Monday, January 11th at 4pm PST. For submission guidelines and information, visit this link. Proposals can be emailed to culture@victoria.ca.

The volunteer Board of Directors at Pearson College UWC have welcomed Anita GeorgeOwen Teo and Yewande Awe as new volunteer Directors, all of whom once attended the Metchosin international school.

Cascadia Liquor has launched online shopping, with store-to-door delivery. Cascadia Liquor delivers in Greater Victoria, Nanoose Bay, Courtenay/Crown Isle and Parksville, with locally owned locations in Quadra Village, Colwood, Langford, Uptown, Eagle Creek, Courtenay, Nanoose Bay and Parksville. Pickup and delivery options are available, with a minimum $50 purchase for delivery orders. Visit their online store at shop.cascadialiquor.com/.

Umami Bomb Shiitake Chili Oil is now available in Garlic and Extra Hot, joining their original Medium and Hot lineup. The vegan shiitake mushroom-based chili oil, produced by Sidney’s Vumami Foods, is available in more than forty-five premium markets and grocers throughout BC, and online via www.vumamifoods.com.

Mandy Farmer

Mandy Farmer, President and CEO of Accent Inns and Hotel Zed won the 2020 Women of Influence RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Award of Excellence, in a field of 8,600 talented nominees.

Concert Properties and its partners donated $90,000 this year to support Camosun College’s “Trades for Success” programming for youth, adult and K-12 learners in communities with limited access to training providers or public post-secondary institutions. The goal of the project is to build awareness of Red Seal trades and how these career pathways lead to sustainable employment within underserved regions of British Columbia.

Greater Victoria Public Library patrons will have access to computer stations as well as extended branch open hours in January of 2021, as part of Phase 3 of the GVPL Service Restoration Plan. GVPL will offer public Internet computer stations, with printing, first at the sxʷeŋxʷəŋ təŋəxʷ James Bay Branch followed by remaining GVPL locations on a branch-by-branch basis. Extended open hours will also be introduced in January 2021, beginning with all district branches (Central, Juan de Fuca, Nellie McClung and Saanich Centennial) open in the evenings until 7pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays and until 6pm on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Full details will be available at gvpl.ca, including start date and sign-up procedures for computer stations, early in the new year.

Kudos to Newport Realty! They are using the money saved for their annual corporate Christmas party to instead buy gift cards from local businesses and then donate to Our Place Society and the Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria.

Victoria again rates high on Trip Advisor’s Top 10 Experiences in Canada for 2021. Included are Butchart Gardens, Prince of Whales Whale Watching Adventure and Taste of Victoria Food Tours.

Ania Wysocka

Victoria’s Rootd was named a winner of Innovate BC’s 2020 New Ventures BC Competition. The panic attack and anxiety relief app won a $7,000 Rogers Communications In-Kind Prize Package. Ania Wysocka is the company’s founder.

Co-owners of Victoria-based Puzzle LabAndrew Azzopardi and Tinka Robev, have launched a line of puzzles made of locally sourced woods, created using custom-made algorithms. You can buy your own durable, vibrant puzzle here. (Photo Credit: Robazzo design studio)

The pilot project to move 100 government employees to the West Shore has been delayed, with employees now set to move into the 11,000-square-ft. space at Lakepoint One in Langford in early 2021. construction of the location, developed by Westhills, should be complete late December.

The Haunted Bookshop at 9807 Third Street in Sidney is changing hands, with current owner Odean Long transferring ownership December 1st. to William Matthews. The store has been in business since 1947.

The District of North Saanich and Circular Farm and Food: Vancouver Island have agreed in principle to lease terms for the 83-acre Sandown Agricultural Lands. If ratified by city council, Circular Farm would offer programs ranging from community gardens, to an incubator pilot program supporting emerging farmers.

Saanich councillors Colin Plant and Rebecca Mersereau have been elected chair and co-chair, respectively, of the Capital Regional District board.

Saanich residents and Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers coordinators Phil Downie and Gill Millam received a Crime Stoppers International award for their work in 2019, In the category for programs serving a population of 300,000 to 1-million.

The Vancouver Island Library has reopened its Sooke branch with limited service. To find out more, visit virl.bc.ca/branches/sooke.

The T’Sou-ke Nation hopes to break ground by 2022 on a $7.4-million health and community centre. In collaboration with the federal and provincial governments, the 10,400-square-foot facility will include a community complex, house administrative offices, community hall, classrooms and a health centre. Planned for completion by 2024, the community centre will be located near the T’Sou-ke Nation’s Petro Canada gas station, convenience store and Tim Hortons on Sooke Road.

Council has unanimously ratified the Saanichton Village Design Plan for Central Saanich’s Saanichton Village. The plan calls for mixed, multi-storey buildings between three to five storeys in height, as well as additional public places, greenspace and pedestrian-friendly features.

Helmcken Market at 38 Helmcken Road in View Royal was recently used as a backdrop for Netflix series, MAID. The 10-part series based on a bestselling memoir by Stephanie Land will continue shooting around Greater Victoria into early March of 2021.

Seaspan Victoria Shipyards has donated $2.65 million to the Victoria Hospitals Foundation to support the building of a high-acuity unit at Royal Jubilee Hospital. The unit will reduce pressure on intensive care units, enable teams to respond more quickly to admission surges and provide better support for the region’s aging population.

Victoria’s Citrus & Cane Tropical Cocktail Bar, located at the former Copper Owl, has opened at 1900 Douglas Street. The space had a pre-COVID-19 capacity of 120 people, but is currently seating up to 54 visitors. Check out their colorful drink menu at www.citrusandcane.com.

The City of Victoria has purchased the 12,700-square-foot Garry oak meadow at the corner of Leighton Road and Bank Street, the site of Agamemnon and Eleni Kasapi Park, with $1 million from the sale donated by the Kasapi family to the University of Victoria. The Kasapi family’s donation will be used to fund two new student scholarships at UVic.

Agamemnon and Eleni Kasapi Park is open to the public in Victoria’s South Jubilee neighbourhood. The 12,700 square foot parcel of land consists of a Garry oak meadow at the corner of Leighton Road and Bank Street. The City purchased the property for $1 million with funding from its Parks Acquisition Fund and issuance of a charitable donation receipt in the amount of $210,000 for the remainder of the purchase price.

Elite Self Storage at 4402 Westshore Parkway in Victoria is open, and offering fifty-percent off its climate controlled storage units for two rental periods. Give them a call at 778-817-1294 or visit www.eliteselfstorage.ca.

Urban Grocer at 1625 Fort Street at the Oak Bay Junction in Victoria is having a grand opening sale. They’re open daily from 7am to 10pm. Visit www.urban-grocer.ca for details.

The City of Victoria has been ranked as one of the best small cities in the world to live in by global media company Monocole, as well as ranking seventh in a new report from CBRE scoring Canadian tech talent.

The Capital Regional District has a memorandum of understanding with KENES Transportation to truck dried biosolids to the Lafarge Canada cement plant in Richmond, produced at its residuals treatment facility, starting later this year. KENES Transportation was created by the WSANEC Leadership Council and Sangan Resource Management.

Happy Buddha Cannabis at 2410 beacon avenue in Sidney has changed its name to Truth + Alibi Cannabis Co. The store is set to open soon.

Barb’s Barber Shop at 6706 Sooke Road is open for appointments and walk-ins. In addition to haircuts, shaves and even in-home cuts, Barb’s sells masks for ten dollars, with all proceeds going to Meals on Wheels. Give them at call at 250-642-6219.

Sidney has announced substantial completion of the renovation of Reay Creek Dam. The dam, now with a fish ladder, is ready for the upcoming salmon spawning season. Sidney’s original budget for the much delayed project was $900,000, with the federal government hiring QM Environmental for a total of $1.14 million. Installation of handrails and signage remain to be completed.

Sequoia Coffee has opened a new location at 365A Latoria Boulevard in Colwood. Hours are Monday through Friday 7am to 5pm, Saturday and Sunday 9am to 4pm.

Langford Pharmacy at 109 – 2854 Peatt Road is now open. Store hours are 9am to 6pm Monday through Friday, Saturday 10am to 3pm.

Threshold Housing Society has partnered with Silk Road Tea to create gift boxes with 12 different tea flavours. Sales from each box will provide housing and support services to at-risk youth in Greater Victoria. Visit www.thresholdhousing.ca/product/tea to purchase a box.

Charter Telecom and Waymark Architecture have won the 2020 Green Building Award in the small commercial/industrial building category for the Charter Headquarters in Langford.

The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority (GVHA) will proceed with the next stage of the shore power project for the Victoria Cruise Terminal at the Breakwater District. The project, costing between $23.3 million and $24.8 million, will result in the reduction of more than forty-six percent of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and criteria air contaminants (CACs) by installing shore power at two berths at Pier B. The reduction will be the equivalent to 1,394 cars on the road per year.

The Cattle Point Boat Ramp lease, through the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, is up for renewal. Oak Bay applied for a new Cattle Point lease in 2020 that will extend rights to the two boat ramps until 2049.

The Small Farm Business Acceleration Pilot Program is offering funding up to $800,000 to help small and new farms receive business plan coaching and cost-shared funding for commercial farm infrastructure and equipment. The program defines small farms as those with a total annual gross revenue of less than $60,000 in the last two years. The program funding will cover fifty to seventy-percent of total approved project costs to a maximum of $17,500 for individual farm businesses.

Starting January 4th of next year, the District of Saanich will charge one dollar an hour for use of its electric vehicle charging stations, with a three-hour time limit remaining in effect. There are 75 public EV charging stations in operation in Saanich.

Victoria has been named Canada’s most generous city in GoFundMe’s annual Year in Giving report. Victoria makes more donations per capita than any city in Canada.

United Way of Greater Victoria (UWGV) is funding a pilot project, The Digital Divide – Community Technology Help Desk program, providing community members, seniors and non-profit service providers with a virtual community help desk and a technology lending program. The community help desk can assist with technical issues, software installation, sending emails, creating documents, and more. It can be reached Monday to Friday from 9am to 7pm at 236-638-2610 and 250-217-4978.

The Victoria Foundation has channeled nearly $2.4 million to more than 120 hard-hit south Island charitable organizations struggling financially due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chef Ken Nakano

Executive Chef Ken Nakano has joined the Culinary Team at the Inn at Laurel Point, located at 680 Montreal Street in Victoria. Over his twenty years of experience, Chef Nakano has led the kitchens of Shangri-La Hotel Vancouver, Rosewood Hotel Georgia and Hotel Fairmont Empress, to name a few.

Saanich-based director and filmmaker Arnold Lim’s All-in Madonna feature film will make its debut at the virtual Whistler Film Festival on December 20th. Shot in Victoria, the film follows a 17-year-old girl living in a small rural town, who learns the dark past of her father, and who he might be. To stream All-in Madonna, visit www.whistlerfilmfestival.com/how-to-buy.

Kuku’s Indian restaurant at 24 Burnside Road West in Victoria has re-opened after more than a year under repair from damages caused when a vehicle ran into the building.

Concert Properties and its partners donated $90,000 this year to support Camosun College’s “Trades for Success” programming for youth, adult and K-12 learners in communities with limited access to training providers or public post-secondary institutions. The goal of the project is to build awareness of Red Seal trades and how these career pathways lead to sustainable employment within underserved regions of British Columbia.

Victoria again rates high on Trip Advisor’s Top 10 Experiences in Canada for 2021. Included are Butchart Gardens, Prince of Whales Whale Watching Adventure and Taste of Victoria Food Tours.

Kudos to Newport Realty! They are using the money saved for their annual corporate Christmas party to instead buy gift cards from local businesses and then donate to Our Place Society and the Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria.

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