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Craigdarroch Castle Hires New Agencies, Gets New Look

Jun 13, 2014

(News Release) VICTORIA – Victoria’s Craigdarroch Castle has retained Trapeze Communications as their advertising agency of record and Good Relations Inc. as their public relations agency of record. Both Victoria based agencies; Trapeze Communications and Good Relations Inc. are known for their work in the cultural and tourism sectors and have worked successfully together on behalf of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria amongst others.

“We are delighted to have found in Trapeze Communications and Good Relations Inc. partners who share our dedication to Craigdarroch Castle,” said Executive Director of Craigdarroch Castle, John Hughes. “Both agencies also share our passion for the development of culture and the growth of tourism in Victoria.”

Earlier this month, Craigdarroch Castle unveiled their new brand, developed by Trapeze Communications with the launch of a new logo and website.  The renowned stained and leaded glass found at the Castle is celebrated in the new logo and website design. A national historic site, Craigdarroch Castle’s stained glass collection is believed to be one of the most exquisite in North America.

The new look Craigdarroch Castle website can be found at:  www.thecastle.ca

Further information regarding Trapeze Communications can be found at www.trapeze.ca and Good Relations Inc. at www.goodrelations.ca

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The Robert Bateman Centre & Summerhill Pyramid Winery Unveil New Bateman Artist’s Series Wines

Jun 13, 2014

(News Release) VICTORIA – Summerhill Pyramid Winery, Robert Bateman and The Fairmont Empress are partnering to raise funds for the Robert Bateman Centre’s new nature education program targeted at grade 3 - 8 students in British Columbia.

On Friday, July 11, 2014, 75 guests will gather in the Palm Court to be the first to experience the new Robert Bateman Artist’s Series wines from Kelowna’s Summerhill Pyramid Winery. The ‘Grasslands’ collection includes three 100 per cent organic red wines, lovingly crafted by internationally acclaimed Winemaker & Viticulturist Eric von Krosigk. The series includes a 2010 single vineyard Cabernet Franc, a 2010 Merlot and a 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon / Syrah blend. Each wine has been aged in French and American oak and are unfined and unfiltered, preserving their full aromatic and flavour potential. They are age worthy, or can be enjoyed today.

For just $150 per person, guests will be enjoy the wines as part of a five-course dinner created by The Fairmont Empress’ Executive Chef Morgan Wilson and led by Summerhill’s CEO Ezra Cipes and Proprietor Stephen Cipes, who is also on the  Bateman Foundation’s board of directors.  Ensuring the bottles are as valuable as the wine that is poured, each bottle boasts a high-resolution reproduction of an original painting by Robert Bateman, who will also be speaking during the dinner. The Cipes family has also promised to bring extra wine to the event so that guests may purchase bottles and have the labels signed by Robert Bateman, to add to their own wine collection. Following the launch, the wines will be available for purchase with free case lot delivery anywhere in Canada and the USA (plus shipping charges) by contacting the winery toll-free at 1-800-667-3538 or by visiting www.summerhill.bc.ca.

“For more than 60 years, Robert has touched our hearts with his genius portrayal of nature and its wild creatures and now, we are so deeply honoured to have him represent the essence of pure nature in the organic, biodynamic, permaculture-produced Bateman Series Wines by Summerhill Pyramid Winery,” says Stephen Cipes, proprietor, Summerhill Pyramid Winery. “This is a true triumph as in his wisdom; he unites us all in our quest to be stewards of our precious planet.”

“Summerhill’s tag line is “celebrate nature’s perfection”, and we like to think that with every painting of Robert’s we are reminding people to celebrate and protect the magic of nature, every day,” says Paul Gilbert, executive director of the Bateman Foundation. “Now people who enjoy Summerhill wines can also learn more about the Bateman Foundation’s mission to bring nature back to the centre of life, and know they are also helping to put more nature into education.”

A portion of the funds from the dinner will go towards the creation of a comprehensive school program at the Robert Bateman Centre that will launch this September. Using the extraordinary collection of artwork by Robert Bateman, learners will deepen their understanding and appreciation of our natural world, while developing their visual literacy skills.

Space is limited. To reserve your tickets contact The Fairmont Empress at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call 250-389-2727.

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Barb’s Fish And Chips Celebrates 30 Years At Fisherman’s Wharf

Jun 11, 2014

(News Release) VICTORIA — Thirty years ago, a lady named Barb started serving fish and chips on the dock at Fisherman’s Wharf. She had a 100 pound bag of potatoes, and ran out before the end of the day because they were so popular! Ever since, Barb’s has been drawing people to the waterfront and has become a Victoria institution.

Join us to celebrate Barb’s 30 historic years in the harbour! On June 12, Barb’s will be offering free soft drinks with your meal throughout the day and 2 for 1 - one piece Cod Fish and Chips from 3 - 5 pm. The company mascot ‘Chip’ will be at Fisherman’s Wharf to greet you!

“Barb’s is not just a fun place to eat a great meal, it is a fun work environment that the managers, staff and I strive to create. We take pride in doing our utmost to make sure our customers have a great experience too,” said owner Ian Poyntz.

“Barb’s is the kind of business we love to see at GVHA properties,” said Sonterra Ross, Chief Operating Officer for Greater Victoria Harbour Authority. “Fisherman’s Wharf has many flavours, but fish and chips were and remain the original treat that bring people down to the docks each summer. Barb’s is an anchor of the busy central plaza at Fisherman’s Wharf. I congratulate them on many years of great service, and wish them every success in future.”

Can’t be there but want to tell us what Barb’s means to you? Please share your story with us on social media using #iheartbarbs! Your story will be shared on the Fisherman’s Wharf website.

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Prodigy Group Amazing Chase this Friday June 13th in Downtown Victoria

Jun 11, 2014

(News Release) VICTORIA — The Prodigy Group is hosting the 6th annual Amazing Chase, presented by Island Savings, on Friday June 13th in downtown Victoria. The Amazing Chase is an urban adventure race that combines an adrenaline-pumping race with networking and team building, all in support of Junior Achievement. Teams of four will race around downtown Victoria completing mental and physical challenges located at downtown businesses and other public locations. Funds raised from the Amazing Chase go directly to the Prodigy Group’s charity partner, Junior Achievement of British Columbia.

When & Where: Friday, June 13, 2014, 6:30pm – 9:00pm

Location: Team check-in and start of the Amazing Chase takes place beside the Flying Otter Grill in the Wharf Street parking lot by Harbour Air. Once started, teams will be completing challenges at various locations in the downtown core. Boundaries are: Pandora St. (North), Belleville St. (South), Blanshard St. (East), Wharf St. (West).

Who: Prodigy Group and Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce members and guests will be participating at various levels. Spectators are welcome and can watch from the event information area at the Wharf Street parking lot by Harbour Air at 6:30pm to see the start. Maps will be available should spectators wish to follow the racers and/or tour the Amazing Chase course.

About the Prodigy Group: The Prodigy Group is a diverse network of emerging professionals who reside in the Greater Victoria Area. Through ties to the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce and other business and community organizations, the Prodigy Group provides our members the opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals and to effect positive change in Greater Victoria.

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Royal Roads University celebrates National Aboriginal Day

Jun 11, 2014

(News Release) VICTORIA – An art show, a medicine plant walk and canoe trips are among the activities taking place at Royal Roads University’s National Aboriginal Celebration on June 20.

Everyone is invited to paddle in the Power to Be’s Voyager canoe, or to learn about medicine plants on a walk guided by Ken Elliott, Cowichan Tribes native plant nursery operator. Artwork by middle and high school students across School District 62 will be on display, and visitors can enjoy singing, drumming and refreshments.

Members of the Royal Roads University Elder’s Circle representing the Xwsepsum (Esquimalt) Band, Lkwungen (Songhees) Band, Scia’new (Beecher Bay) Band, T’Sou-ke (Sooke) Band, Tsawaout Band, and the Métis Nation will be in attendance.

This year’s celebration will be held at  Sneq’wa e’lun (the Blue Heron House) located on the shore of Esquimalt Lagoon. Established in June2013, Sneq’wa e’lun is a home away from home for Indigenous students, faculty and staff and supports continuing studies programs for indigenous and Métis students and community member and Royal Roads’ faculty and student research related to indigenous and Métis culture and history.

National Aboriginal Day (June 21) celebrates the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding achievements of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples in Canada and is observed in festivals and events across the country.

This event is free and open to everyone.

What:                   Royal Roads University National Aboriginal Day Celebration
Date:                    Friday, June 20, 2014
Time:                    10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Location:             Sneq’wa e’lun (Blue Heron House) on Esquimalt Lagoon at Royal Roads University
Parking:               Pay parking is available in Lot #3.

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Clipper Lease Extension Supports Economy

Jun 05, 2014

(News Release) VICTORIA — Families, residents, tourists, and the local economy will continue to benefit from passenger ferry service between Victoria and Seattle (Clipper Ferry) as a result of a lease extension.

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure and Clipper Navigation Ltd. have signed a three-year lease extension until 2017. This follows a separate three-year lease extension between the ministry and Black Ball Ferry Line (MV Coho), the Victoria-to-Port Angeles ferry provider.

The lease extensions will give the ministry time to develop a long-term improvement plan for the Belleville Ferry Terminal wharves and properties.

On April 1, 2014, the ministry took responsibility of the Belleville Ferry Terminal properties and lease agreements, as part of the dissolution of the Provincial Capital Commission. This will ensure the Government of B.C. can continue to provide the best-possible use of these resources while respecting the interests of taxpayers.

The Belleville Ferry Terminal Properties, as well as the operations of the Black Ball and Clipper ferries, will be considered in the Vancouver Island Transportation Strategy. The Vancouver Island Transportation Strategy also will be part of the provincewide 10-year transportation plan, which will outline the government’s vision and priorities for the next decade.

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Totangi Properties Ranked Number One Canadian Home Builder for Customer Satisfaction

Jun 05, 2014

(News Release) VICTORIA — Victoria-based real estate development company Totangi Properties has taken top prize nationally in the custom builder – small volume category for customer satisfaction in the building industry for their homes at Woodland Creek in Sooke. Regarded as a benchmark of customer service performance, the Avid Awards are given out throughout North America to builders who have set the highest standards for home quality and customer service. This is the first time a Vancouver Island company has received this prestigious recognition.

“We are excited and honoured to receive this recognition from Avid,” said Blair Robertson, co-owner of Totangi Properties Ltd. “It’s a validation of the great work that our skilled building and sales team provides and of the positive lasting relationships we are able to build with our customers.”

In North America, Avid Ratings has long been at the forefront of the industry in bringing transparency of builder performance to consumers since 1992. Purchasers of homes at Woodland Creek are given a voluntary independent survey 30 days after move-in and again one year later. The surveys tracked their satisfaction with their homes and experience of working with the builder.

“Totangi has been phenomenal for their customer service and as home builders,” said Kala Souter, homeowner at Woodland Creek. “The surveys gave us the opportunity to give our feedback, which in our case was very positive – in fact we even recommended Totangi to our friends who are building a house.”

Through the Avid Award system, each home buyer survey in the database is analyzed to determine each builder's Avid Index Score which is a combination of the total home buying experience, the willingness to refer and the actual number of recommendations a buyer has made. Builders with the highest Avid Index Score in each category are presented with awards.

“This award is an honour because it means we are doing the most important part of our job well – satisfying our customers,” said Steve Smith, SC Smith Building Company, the builder at Woodland Creek. “We take great pride in the homes we build and it is nice to know we are doing a good job of listening to our homeowners.”

Totangi Properties established the residential neighbourhood of Woodland Creek in 2004. The community now has more than 100 new homes and townhomes built and occupied. In addition to the recent Avid Award, Woodland Creek has won multiple awards including at CARE Award in 2013 for best new subdivision. Homes at Woodland Creek include the Built Green designation and the latest in geothermal heating and cooling.

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Oak Bay Village Night Markets Return

Jun 05, 2014

(News Release) VICTORIA — The Oak Bay Village Night Markets are returning for a sixth season on June 11. In response to the demand for an earlier start to the market season, the markets have moved to the second Wednesday of June, July, August and September. The Oak Bay Village Night Market features over 100 vendors with a variety of offerings ranging from cards, wood turnings and glass arts to preserves, baked goods and farm produce.

“We have an even greater range of artisans and craftspeople participating in the Oak Bay Village Night Market this year. It’s an amazing range of talented people” says Elizabeth Smith, President, Oak Bay Business Improvement Association. “Many of our favourite vendors are back with a number of new ones who I believe will be very popular.”

The market operates from 4 to 8 pm on Oak Bay Avenue between Monterey and Wilmot Street. Oak Bay Village businesses will also be holding tastings, special events, sales and in-store demonstrations. An increased number of street food vendors will also be set up through the market.

Live music will be performed by Kafoozalum from 4 – 6 pm and Dave Lang & The Twin Otters from 6 to 8 pm. The Victoria Shakespeare Society will also perform a selection of scenes from their summer shows.

Future Night Markets will be held July 9, August 13 and September 10, rain or shine.

Updates are posted at www.visitoakbayvillage.ca

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Global health leader honoured and new chancellor installed at spring convocation

Jun 05, 2014

(News Release) VICTORIA — Royal Roads University (RRU) graduates will share the stage with one of the world’s leading scholars and scientists in global health, and the university’s fifth chancellor will be installed during spring convocation ceremonies at the Royal Theatre on June 18.

Celebrated physician, researcher, and global health and human rights leader James Orbinski will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree in recognition of his contribution to humanitarianism and medical science.

Orbinski accepted the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) for its pioneering approach to medical humanitarianism in 1999. He served as president of MSF from 1998 to 2001, and received Canada’s highest civilian award, the Meritorious Service Cross, for his leadership in MSF’s mission in Rwanda during the 1994 genocide. His many honours include membership in the Order of Ontario and the Order of Canada.

“We are honoured to be able to recognize someone who applies his talents and skills as a physician to those who are most in need,” said Royal Roads president and vice-chancellor Allan Cahoon. “His service and compassion inspire us and our graduates as we continue to build a legacy of learning and leadership at Royal Roads.”

Prominent Victoria businessman and Royal Roads Board of Governors Chair Wayne Strandlund will be installed as chancellor at the start of the morning ceremony.

“Wayne is a successful local entrepreneur with a strong commitment to this community and someone who is passionate about Royal Roads University and his role as our fifth chancellor,” Cahoon said.

Strandlund is the founder and CEO of Fisgard Capital Corporation, a Victoria-based, family-run mortgage investment company he started in 1994. A director of the Real Estate Compensation Fund Corporation and a member of the Victoria Symphony Business Advisory Council, he has served as president of the Victoria Real Estate Board and the British Columbia Real Estate Association. Strandlund was appointed to the RRU board by the B.C. government in July 2011.

This spring’s convocation ceremonies recognize the achievements of more than 760 students who have earned degrees, certificates or diplomas in the Faculty of Management or in the Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences.

In a milestone event for the university, the first graduates of the Doctor of Social Sciences (DSocSci) program will be conferred degrees at this convocation. Royal Roads’ applied research doctoral program is the first of its kind in Canada.

The public is invited to nominate outstanding individuals for honorary degrees. Learn more at http://www.royalroads.ca/news-events/convocation.

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Seaspan Signs MOA with Canadian Merchant Service Guild, Agrees to Federal Mediation/Arbitration

Jun 04, 2014

(News Release) VANCOUVER – Following extensive discussions with the Honourable Kellie Leitch, Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women, Seaspan announced this afternoon it has signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Canadian Merchant Service Guild (the Guild), agreeing to enter Federal mediation/arbitration.

This announcement comes after more than eight months of collective agreement negotiations between Seaspan and the Guild, which began on October 21, 2013.

As part of the agreement, Seaspan will also defer implementation of its new collective agreement, which was scheduled to take effect on Monday, June 9. In addition, the Guild, whose members will be meeting tomorrow to discuss a strike vote, have agreed not to go on strike.

In the meantime, Minister Leitch remains thoroughly engaged in discussions with Seaspan’s other marine union, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), and we expect talks to continue throughout the remainder of her visit.

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Canadian Commission for UNESCO AGM Kicks Off at Royal BC Museum

Jun 03, 2014

(News Release) VICTORIA — British Columbia’s rich cultural heritage will be front and centre as the Canadian Commission for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) kicks off its 54th Annual General Meeting with a reception at the Royal BC Museum on Thursday, June 5.

The overall goal of the three-day AGM is to illustrate the mutually rewarding relationship between Canada and UNESCO, and highlight the relevance of UNESCO for all Canadians in a practical way.

The Royal BC Museum is hosting the meeting in partnership with the University of Victoria to draw attention to British Columbia’s rich heritage and culture.

“The founding intention of UNESCO is that cultures should discover each other and learn to know each other. This aim has not disappeared and is very much at the root of our museum and our new exhibition on BC’s indigenous languages,” said Professor Jack Lohman, CEO of the Museum. “The oral traditions of BC are part of the rich cultural diversity of this province and their voices continue to inspire their descendants in many ways.”

The reception event includes a preview of the upcoming Our Living Languages: First Peoples’ Voices in B.C. exhibition, opening June 21, which provides a look into the rich diversity of First Nations languages in the province.

“The AGM is well aligned with the objective of the International Decade for the Rapprochement of Cultures,” said Dr. Axel Meisen, president of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, “to promote mutual understanding and respect for diversity, rights and equal dignity between peoples, through intercultural dialogue and concrete initiatives.” >The University of Victoria, a co-partner for the reception, emphasized the importance of the AGM’s themes of discussion and reflection about collaboration with First Nations communities, and the connection between post-secondary institutions and community.

“We believe strongly in building global networks and research partnerships with community organizations to create and share knowledge relevant to social and economic issues and that can impact public policy,” says Vice President Academic and Provost Reeta Tremblay, who will speak at the event.

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Canadian Innovation To Change The World Of Design Visualisation And Manufacturing

Jun 03, 2014

(News Release) VICTORIA — cebas Visual Technology Inc - a leading software developer specialized in offering tools to the movie visual effects and design
visualisation industry - announces its new product release. Meet moskitoRenderTM: the next generation of robust rendering systems, which is a GPU-only (Graphics Processing Unit) renderer. The software is made available for the widely-used product line of Autodesk - a manufacturer of world leading Design and animation tools. It offers a true, continuous workflow with easy setup, less parameters and lightning fast results. It serves a wide array of industry professionals - from movie visual effects artists to architects of all skillsets and

“Our new renderer is not just another off-the-shelf implementation of existing GPU rendering technology. We are proud we did actually go the extra mile and took the time and engineering efforts to create a truly new and innovative product. moskitoRender creates images exactly based on the principles of mother nature; all colors are treated as real spectral wavelengths instead of plain old RGB values. This alone opens up a whole new world of possibilities”, says Edwin Braun, CEO of cebas Visual Technology Inc.

moskitoRender has been developed from the ground up incorporating the latest acceleration technology offered by the world leading manufacturer of graphics cards; NVIDIA (www.nvidia.com). This new piece of software technology is different in many ways: It is easy and simple to use - users do not need to worry about a learning curve or time wasted trying to understand the process behind creating photo-real images. In contrast to other GPU-Only implementations, moskitoRender allows the reuse of established workflow and existing scene setups instead of forcing the user to create new ones from scratch, with the added benefits of using less power to create more output and higher quality in significantly less time.

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Celebrate World Oceans Day at Fisherman’s Wharf

Jun 03, 2014

(News Release) VICTORIA – Fisherman’s Wharf will be a hub of activity on Sunday, June 8 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. to celebrate the oceans that surround us, educate people on the diversity of marine life in the Salish Sea, and show how making small changes in our everyday lives can add up to big differences to the planet.  The World Oceans Day celebration at Fisherman’s Wharf is jointly organized by Eagle Wing Tours, Greater Victoria Harbour Authority, merchants at Fisherman’s Wharf and the Float-home Owners Association.

“We believe that education is the first step towards conservation,” said Brett Soberg, co-owner of Eagle Wing Tours. “The primary goal for this event is to educate people about the diversity and importance of marine life in the Salish Sea, Victoria’s Inner Harbour, and Fisherman’s Wharf while at the same time raising funds to support local conservation efforts.”

The event will start with a blessing ceremony lead by elders from the Esquimalt and Songhees Nations followed by activities for young and old alike including divers showing you creatures that live under the wharf, booths of information about the Salish Sea, and a scavenger hunt. The grand prize for the scavenger hunt is filled with interesting activities and outings to keep a family busy for the whole summer. It includes a whale watching tour with Eagle Wing Tours, a two hour kayaking tour of the harbour provided by Kelp Reef Adventures, along with gift certificates from Barb’s Fish & Chips, Floating Fish Store, Jacksons Ice Cream and other Fisherman’s Wharf merchants.

Other businesses and organizations involved in this World Oceans Day celebration include:

  • Sea Change Marine Conservation Society
  • Seaquaria Watershed Model
  • Fish Eye Project
  • The Georgia Strait Alliance
  • Creatively United for the Planet
  • Vancouver Aquarium Ocean Wise
  • Gorge Waterway Initiative
  • Herring Restoration Project
  • Adopt a Whale Program

“The businesses at Fisherman’s Wharf know that the oceans help feed us, regulate our climate, provide us with 80% of our oxygen, and clean our drinking water,” said Soberg. “Healthy oceans really do make healthy communities and we need to do our part in ensuring our oceans are protected.” Businesses taking part at the World Oceans Day at Fisherman’s Wharf celebrations will donate a percentage of the day’s sales to raise money for local conservation efforts.

Fisherman’s wharf is located within walking distance from Victoria’s Inner Harbour with entrances off St. Lawrence Street and Dallas Road; however, parking is limited. Additional parking is available at Ogden Point near the heliport or plan to walk, bike, take transit or a Harbour Ferry from one of their many Inner Harbour pickup spots.

To learn more about the Fisherman’s Wharf Ocean Day Celebration head to Facebook.

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