Victoria January Movers and Shakers

February 5, 2021

Episode 3 of the Business Examiner podcast — From the trenches — is now live! Kristi Fairholm Mader, Co-Founder of Scale Collaborative talks about the newly launched ‘Business Legacies Incubator’ project, funded by the Island Coastal Economic Trust.

Evan Southern

Vice President of Client Services, Evan Southern, is taking over as lead of the new Kirk & Co. Consulting Ltd. office in Victoria. Kirk & Co. Consulting is one of Canada’s leading firms specializing in strategic communications, consultation and engagement.

The City of Langford has made a $500,000, 10-year deal with Starlight Investments for the naming rights to the stadium at City Centre Park, home to Pacific FC soccer, Rugby Canada and Westshore Rebels football games.

SitePath Consulting Ltd. has applied with Langford council on behalf of Telus to allow for the installation of a telecommunications facility to be located in Westhills Stadium, on the north side in line with the centre field line along Langford Parkway. If built, the tower will provide improved wireless service to the surrounding area and add capacity to the network.

Central Saanich council has signed off on a notice of motion directing staff to find out how much each of the three municipalities funding the Panorama Recreation Centre might pay to fund the centre’s deficit caused by COVID-19. In late October of last year, they forecast a deficit of $413,562. A month earlier, the Capital Regional District board reduced transfers to the capital reserve ($411,204) and the operating reserve to cover the forecasted deficit. The commission is requesting an increase of $181,371, 3.6 per cent, over its 2020 budget requisition of $4.993 million. Central Saanich’s decision to investigate ways to help the recreation commission comes as the municipality looks for the best use of $3.5 million in grant money through a shared federal-provincial program designed to help communities deal with the effects of COVID-19.

The Capital Regional District board has approved bylaw changes that allow for representation from local First Nations on the standing and advisory committees which make recommendations to the board on a wide range of regional issues. Board members and staff reached out to nine area First Nations before the bylaw change for advice and input.

A new Costa Canna cannabis store has opened at 310 Wale Road Suite 202 in Colwood. Costa Canna is one of three cannabis retail stores co-owned by Cowichan Tribes.

Frank Bourree

Phase two of the Oak Park redevelopment on Goldstream Avenue will include a mix of living units, and will soon feature thirty-six new licensed childcare spaces. Expected to open mid-2021, the full-time childcare spaces will allow for twelve infants and twenty-four kids between the ages of three and five. The project was funded through the province’s community housing fund and the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation-BC Bilateral Agreement’s Canada Community Housing Initiative, in partnership with Pacifica Housing and the City of Langford.

Frank Bourree is the first recipient of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce’ Governors’ Award of Distinction.

Sarah Gulbrandsen

Victoria’s RingPartner has announced Sarah Gulbrandsen as their new CEO. Sarah originally joined the RingPartner team in 2015 and has held a number of different leadership roles within the organization including Director of Marketing, VP of Sales and most recently COO.

Island Good has announced that Suzanne Hedges has been named their Relationship & Business Development Manager.

Langford’s Westshore Town Centre Starbucks is set to close permanently in the near future. The closure is part of a greater shutdown of up to 300 Starbucks locations across Canada by the end of March. Employees will be offered positions at other nearby locations, including Belmont Market.

Greater Victoria raised a record-breaking $350,000 for the Salvation Army at the end of 2020, surpassing 2019 donations by $100,000. To donate or volunteer, visit

Aryze Developments, with support from the Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness, will apply for a temporary use permit to build up to 30 single-occupancy units on the Caledonia Avenue parking lot next to Royal Athletic Park. If the final plan is approved by council, an operator selected by BC Housing would manage the short-term facility. The tiny home neighbourhood would consist of repurposed shipping containers to replace the tent village currently housing homeless.

Craft Beer Market Restaurant and Bar Family, a casual dining and craft beer chain, have announced the takeover of Canoe Brewpub, Victoria’s popular waterfront eatery located at 450 Swift Street. More information about Craft Beer Market can be found at

Carl Neilson is the new fire chief of East Sooke Fire and Rescue. Rick Moffat, a former chief of the department, will take over as deputy chief, replacing Falk Wagenbach.

The BC Craft Brewers Conference, BC Beer Con, hosted by the BC Craft Brewers Guild and presented by Great Little Box Company/Ideon Packaging is going ahead with a virtual event from February 3 – 5. Brewery staff, brewing students and beer enthusiasts are invited to take part in educational seminars and keynotes. The three days are divided into half-day tracks, broken into brewing, marketing & sales, operations and finance. For more information on BC Beer Con, please visit

The Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce welcomes Julia Banks as their new Events Assistant. Julia is pursuing her Bachelor of Business Administration with a specialization in Human Resources at Camosun College.

Mark Fenwick is the new Regional Property Manager at Devon Properties in Victoria.

Two new cannabis shops will open in downtown Victoria this spring via a partnership between the Songhees Nation and mainland BC cannabis retailer, Seed & Stone. Victoria council voted to approve new Seed & Stone cannabis shops at 901 Gordon Street and one inside the Bay Centre. The Seed & Stone brand currently operates a cannabis shop in Chilliwack. The Victoria locations will be a partnership between the brand and the Songhees Nation’s economic development corporation. The Gordon Street location will also serve as a cultural showcase of Indigenous art and cultural pieces. Both store designs will be helmed by renowned Tsehaht artist Connie Watts.

John Borrows

University of Victoria professor John Borrows, founder of the world’s first dual Indigenous and common law degree, has been appointed an officer of the Order of Canada.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting impact on local businesses, Sidney Council passed a resolution to waive Business Licence Fees for existing and new businesses for the 2021 calendar year, provided that businesses update their contact information with the Town.

The City of Langford has partnered with the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance (VIEA) to provide Langford businesses and producers an opportunity to promote their products with a one-year Island Good membership. Membership includes promotion on the Island Good website, social media pages, and other unique opportunities, including use of the Island Good logo to promote products and raise consumer awareness of the Island-made products they carry.

SunRiver Dental at 2350 Sunriver Way in Sooke opens January 25th. Visit their website at

Victoria is ranked seventh in the top ten major markets for the tech industry, based on a scoring system from CBRE Group. Tech industry concentration is among Victoria’s strongest points.

The 27th Victoria Film Festival (VIFF) will be a virtual event this year. An all-access pass for the entire festival’s offerings will be available for $79, or single tickets can be purchased for $8. To purchase tickets or learn more visit

A new report suggests a privately-run auto ferry between Sidney and Anacortes in Washington State is feasible, though would come with a number of complicated hurdles, including the prospective need to sail under the flag of a country other than the United States, and a possible requirement for a new terminal in Anacortes or elsewhere on the US side. The Joint Transportation Committee of the Washington State legislature commissioned the study.

Colwood Mayor Rob Martin has proposed the building of a gondola in the Royal Bay area, part of a larger vision including a commuter ferry from Royal Beach, to the Victoria Inner Harbour. The mayor has focused on a 10-acre piece of city-owned land behind the site where the new Royal BC Museum will be built. Thus far, the Ministry of Transportation has tentatively explored the possibility of future marine transportation corridors but made no commitment to the Royal Bay-Victoria Harbour proposal.

The 2020 StarFish Group honours for outstanding contributions to company success have been presented to Ian Chen, the Canadian Emergency Ventilators team, Kenneth MacCallum and Alen Isaac at virtual holiday parties in Victoria and Toronto. Nominations are submitted by company employees, citing a number of achievements and outstanding performance for each award.

The BC government via BC Housing will buy another hotel or residential building in Victoria to help provide shelter for the unhoused residents camping in city parks. The province recently purchased the former Paul’s Motor Inn and the Comfort Inn in Victoria, to use as shelters for the unhoused.

The BC government has opened its application portal for its latest round of COVID-19 recovery payments. Those who don’t have online access can phone a toll-free number, 1-833-882-0020, to apply. Visit to apply.

Victoria’s Fairmont Empress at 721 Government Street has been named the best historic hotel worldwide in the Americas this year by Historic Hotels Worldwide. (Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

McCallum Dental at 101-719 McCallum Road in Langford is now open. Call 250-391-6490 to make an appointment, or visit

Tsartlip First Nation assumed ownership of the 78-hectare former Woodwynn Farm property in mid-December. They purchased the farm from BC Housing through a $7.77-million grant from the provincial government.

The Northern end of North Saanich’s Scoter Trail has reopened following rehabilitation, including a $900,000 350 metres extension along the shoreline from Patricia Bay Park.

A yet-to-be-named Salish Class vessel was recently launched from Remontowa Shipbuilding S.A. in Gdansk, Poland. It will serve the Southern Gulf Islands in 2022 following sea trials in late 2021. The new vessel is the fourth of its kind built for BC Ferries designed to run on liquid natural gas.

A 12.1 hectare parcel of land on Ross Durrance Road has been purchased for $760,000 by the Capital Regional District as an addition to Mount Work Regional Park. The property was acquired through the CRD’s land acquisition fund.

The Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria’s Tools for Equity received $30,000 from the City of Victoria for a bystander intervention training program. The program is designed to combat racism and create safe, inclusive communities by teaching practical ways to support people of colour.

Sidney Council voted 6-1 to consider the design of amenities, including up to six pickleball courts and washrooms, during 2021 budget deliberations. Brethour Park has been identified as the best location for the project.

The District of Saanich has purchased a new piece of land at 3890 Swan Lake Road for $999,000, adding to the 160 acres Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary.

A four-storey, 85-unit seniors’ rental development complex for seniors proposed for 3700 Cedar Hill Road in Saanich will go to a public hearing in early 2021. The application was submitted by Dawson Heights Housing Ltd., and will be available for those fifty-five and older. The property fronts would include 78 one-bedroom units and seven two-bedroom units.

A planned taxpayer-funded $3 billion expansion of a federal government facility on the west coast will more than double existing docking space at the Esquimalt Graving Dock in Victoria, allowing for repairs to foreign-owned cruise ships, provincial ferries and Canadian navy vessels. The expansion is scheduled to begin next year and continue until 2027.

BC Transit is retiring ten double-decker buses in early 2021, all of which have operated in Greater Victoria for more than 20 years. The buses originally entered service in August of 2000.

Hallmark has recently completed an as-to-be-revealed movie in Victoria. The film co-stars American actress Erin Krakow (Army Wives) and Toronto-native Tyler Hynes (Letterkenny, Heartland).

Victoria’s GAP Publishing Group Inc. has launch a new instructional platform on their #GoWestShore portal called the Arts Channel, designed to support and sustain professional artists, teachers, and art enthusiasts with online art programs and resources. The educational platform provides easy access to quality instruction year-round, with courses taught by highly-qualified, professional artists, bringing online art instruction directly into the homes and studios of working artists and those interested in the arts. To learn more, visit

University of Victoria scientists have released a landmark study on the survivability of endangered corals after monitoring hundreds of coral colonies around Christmas Island, an Australian territory, on a series of expeditions during a nearly year-long heat wave. The team, including marine biologist Julia Baum and PhD student Danielle Claar, amongst others, discovered some corals can survive prolonged heat waves if they don’t face other human-caused stressors, such as water pollution and bacteria. It’s the first-time corals have been observed recovering from bleaching while a heat wave persists.

MaCaloney’s Caledonian Distillery & Twa Dogs Brewery at 761 Enterprise Crescent in Victoria has released its inaugural single malt whiskies after three-years of aging. Their new offerings consist of a Glenloy, a classic style single malt whisky matured in ex-bourbon, sherry and red wine casks and two variations of their Invermallie single cask single malt whisky, one ex-bourbon cask expression and a Portuguese re-charred red wine barrique expression. Visit for hours of operation, as well as their online shop.


Share This