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Victoria Real Estate Market Is On Track And Steady For Spring

May 01, 2014

(News Release) VICTORIA – The Victoria Real Estate Board today released its monthly report on real estate activity in the Victoria area for April 2014.

664 properties sold in the month of April 2014, compared to 615 in April 2013 – an increase of nearly 8% year over year. Compared to last month in March, there were 15.5% more sales.

New inventory came on to the market; with almost 9% more new listings than last month, which creates more choice for buyers. And though the total inventory level was higher than last month, it was still 4% lower than this time last year - approximately 180 fewer listings.

“We’re at an interesting time of the year for local real estate; spring is traditionally a busy season and I think the market is headed in the right direction,” Victoria Real Estate Board President Tim Ayres says. “I think people are watching numbers closely to see where house values are going and where demand is headed. But people waiting for a large change are going to be disappointed, because we see a steady market. Pricing is stable, inventory is at a good level, and we’re in balanced market territory which is good for both buyers and sellers.”

Current MLS® Home Price Index benchmark prices were relatively flat across the region. Single Family homes on the Peninsula showed the largest change in benchmark price with a drop of 2% compared to last year, while the Westshore showed the largest increase with 1.2% compared to last year. Greater Victoria condo benchmark pricing was down 0.5% from last year, but the value in the same area for townhouses increased by 2.4%.

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Camosun Receives Federal Dollars To Boost Services That Stimulate Business Innovation

May 01, 2014

(News Release) VICTORIA — Camosun’s capacity to support and stimulate local business innovation and entrepreneurship just received a boost as a result of two Applied Research Tools & Instruments (ARTI) awards from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). These awards, totalling $280,980, will be used to enhance Camosun’s robotic automation services for local manufacturing businesses and to acquire high performance liquid chromatograph (HPLC) and biofermentation equipment to support Vancouver Island’s growing micro brewery industry.

The Honourable Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology), delivered this exciting news as part of a nationwide announcement of new NSERC funding. “Moving ideas efficiently from the laboratory to the marketplace is key to driving Canadian innovation forward,” says Holder. “Our government is strengthening partnerships between colleges and local businesses to improve business and college innovation while creating jobs and prosperity for Canadians.”

The latest ARTI award from NSERC is an endorsement of the quality of Camosun’s R&D services, and this new investment will help to expand robotics, applied chemistry and biotechnology services to attract and serve an expanding client base. “Camosun is well-known for providing biochemical analytics, computer systems expertise and engineering/manufacturing technologies for local companies like MB Laboratories, Ltd. and Scott Plastics Ltd.,” says Tim Walzak, Director of Camosun Applied Research & Innovation (CARI). “Faculty researchers like Imtehaze Heerah (Mechanical Engineering Technology) and Blair Surridge (Applied Chemistry and Biotechnology) have the skills, knowledge and inventors’ insights to develop innovative solutions that yield astonishing results for our clients. A cast of engineers, technologists and administrators round out the team to provide our clients with practical solutions and a competitive edge. ”

President Kathryn Laurin, who sits on the board for the Association of Canadian Community Colleges, believes investments from national funding agencies like NSERC help businesses tap into the talented people at colleges like Camosun, helping them to innovate, compete and stimulate our economy. “At Camosun, we continue to ramp up our activity to better serve the manufacturing industries and wider business community. By connecting college researchers, engineers, technologists and students with Vancouver Island small- and medium-sized businesses, we can really make a difference in the economic prosperity of the region and in the lives of our faculty, staff and students. It is all very exciting and promising.”

Camosun VP Strategic Development Tom Roemer echoes President Laurin’s sentiments. “Camosun has a wealth of talented people, advanced equipment and well-appointed facilities to help local businesses innovate and expand their services. We have recently opened our new Enterprise Point to serve the business community in a convenient, one-stop experience.”

CARI and Enterprise Point provide real-world solutions for business, industry and the community through applied research and knowledge transfer activities. Through prototype development and testing, customized technology solutions, and product/process development and design, Camosun is helping invigorate the region’s entrepreneurial sector.

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FIFA World Cup Video Clips Available to Local Newspapers via SendtoNews

Apr 30, 2014

(News Release) — With the FIFA World Cup on the horizon, digital sports video agency SendtoNews is pleased to announce its extensive coverage surrounding the games. Beginning today, SendtoNews will roll out its comprehensive World Cup digital content package through its digital News Partnership Network™ so that fans can access content via their favorite local news sites across North America.

The 2014 FIFA World Cup will take place in locations throughout Brazil from June 12th to July 13th 2014, featuring qualifying teams from 32 nations. SendtoNews will be providing unprecedented coverage leading up to and during the games including the latest World Cup news stories, and 100 short films that feature team, player and venue profiles. During the games, SendtoNews will be on the ground in Rio, delivering a comprehensive daily package of previews and post-game match reactions as well as coverage of major stories and press conferences.

“SendtoNews is very pleased to offer the World Cup to our newsroom partners, which is not just the most popular sporting event but the most viewed event in the world,” said CEO Greg Bobolo.

To become an accredited SendtoNews newsroom partner, contact: Philippe Guay, Executive VP Strategic Partnerships, Mobile: 917.558.3108 Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call toll free 855.590.1991.

Headquartered in Victoria (British Columbia), with affiliate offices in Vancouver, Toronto, New York, San Francisco and London (UK), SendtoNews is the fastest growing syndicator of sports video highlights in the world. The company currently monetizes and distribute game highlights, player interviews and other fan-interest content for more than 75 sports leagues on four continents and its broadcast and publishing partners represent more than 1000 television, radio, print and online news outlets.

SendtoNews also operates the industry's only 'Premium Advertising Network', where it packages and connects new, exclusive inventories of sports video content with large-scale, creative opportunities for major sponsors.

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Ceremonies Across B.C. Honour Workers Who Died in 2013

Apr 28, 2014

(News Release) RICHMOND — Today, workers, families, and employers remember those who lost their lives in workplaces across British Columbia. In 2013, of the 128 work-related deaths in B.C., 39 were from traumatic injury, 22 from motor vehicle incidents, and 67 were from occupational disease, mainly from exposure to asbestos decades ago. Day of Mourning ceremonies are being held across the province.

“On the Day of Mourning, we take the time to honour those whose lives were tragically cut short, or changed forever by workplace injuries,” says the Honourable Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour. “Workplace accidents are devastating for workers, their families, their coworkers, and their communities. It is why we must all work tirelessly to ensure that we have a culture of safety that makes these kinds of tragedies a thing of the past.”

The high-risk industries of manufacturing, construction, primary resources, and transportation had the highest number of fatalities in 2013. There were 33 deaths in the manufacturing sector, including: metal and non-metallic mineral products, petroleum, coal, rubber, plastic and chemical products, and paper and wood products industries; there were 30 workplace deaths in construction; 17 in primary resources; and 15 deaths in transportation and its related services. Six young workers aged between 15 and 24 died in 2013.

“There are over half a million work sites and over 2 million workers in this province,” says George Morfitt, Chair, WorkSafeBC Board of Directors. “We must remain vigilant about health and safety for every worker in every workplace, whether that’s  in an emergency room, on a construction site, in the woods or on the farm. We owe that, whether we’re an employer, a union, a worker or a member of WorkSafeBC to every man and woman working across B.C.”

In Vancouver, a commemorative ceremony jointly hosted by the B.C. Federation of Labour, the Business Council of British Columbia, and WorkSafeBC will start at 10:30 a.m. at the Vancouver Convention Centre's Jack Poole Plaza. The Olympic Cauldron, in honour of fallen workers, will be lit at 10:00 a.m. Two of the speakers today, Linda Dorsett and young Silver Kuris, speak from the tragedy of having family members killed at work.

“Just because you think you know all the risks doesn't mean you can prepare yourself for that awful knock at the door,” says Linda Dorsett. “My husband Sean drowned in 25 feet of water. As a commercial diver and fisherman, he dove off our boat to retrieve an entangled anchor.”

The Canadian Labour Congress initiated a national Day of Mourning ceremony 30 years ago on April 28, 1984. Canada was the first country to formally commemorate workers who’d been killed at work; today, the Day of Mourning is observed throughout the world.

Linda Dorsett adds, “When it happens, you think you're the first and only one to ever feel such pain. Sadly, you're not. I hope today's ceremony gives those left behind a bit of hope and that people are listening.”

For more information and list of B.C. ceremonies, visit www.worksafebc.com/dayofmourning.

WorkSafeBC is an independent provincial statutory agency governed by a Board of Directors that serves 2.2 million workers and more than 215,000 employers. WorkSafeBC was born from the historic compromise between B.C.’s workers and employers in 1917 where workers gave up the right to sue their employers and fellow workers for injuries on the job in return for a no-fault insurance program fully paid for by employers. WorkSafeBC is committed to safe and healthy workplaces and to providing return-to-work rehabilitation and legislated compensation benefits.

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New Angel Investor Network For Vancouver Island Launches in Victoria

Apr 28, 2014

(News Release) VICTORIA — To accelerate the region’s thriving early-stage investing ecosystem, the Capital Investment Network has been established in Victoria to unify, organize and represent the diverse private local investment community of successful entrepreneurs, executives and professional on Vancouver Island. The newly formed angel forum will connect individuals, groups, and other partners that support early stage investing and improve local access to investment opportunities, education and expertise.

The Capital Investment Network has partnered with the CFA Society Victoria to launch its inaugural event the “Investors First Evening Launch Party” aimed at bringing the private investment community together to support a global CFA initiative for building awareness of the fiduciary duty to protect investor interests. The event will feature an educational discussion on crowd-funding, a hotly debated new investment platform which is regularly featured in the media. This topic is pressing to private investors as legislation in both the US and Canada is rapidly evolving to open up this investment area and investors need to be prepared by being educated on the risks and opportunities of this investment vehicle.

The discussion will feature Alixe Cormick, a leading expert in Canada on crowd-funding, Founder and CEO of Vancouver-based legal firm, Venture Law Corporation and Advisory member for the National Crowdfunding Association of Canada and Daryl Hatton, Founder and CEO of Vancouver-based FundRazr, one of the top 10 brands in the global crowd-funding market according to Forbes magazine. FundRazr has enabled over 40,000 people, businesses, and non-profits in 20 countries to raise more than $48,000,000.

The event will be held on May 14, 2014 from 5:30-7:00 pm in the Terrace Room at the Laurel Point Inn. The panel discussion will begin at 6:00 pm.

 

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Seaspan’s Victoria Shipyards Celebrates 20 Proud Years Building B.C.’s Ship Repair Industry

Apr 28, 2014

(News Release) VICTORIA — Today, Seaspan’s Victoria Shipyards Co. Ltd. (VSL), the West Coast’s leading ship building and ship repair businesses officially commemorated its 20th anniversary of operations at the Esquimalt Graving Dock (EGD) with an all-employee celebration.

“Twenty years not only marks a significant milestone for the Company, but is an incredible accomplishment for our world-class workers, who have been the driving force behind our growth,” said Malcolm Barker, Vice-President and General Manager, Victoria Shipyards. “Today’s announcement is more than a celebration, it is a success story. Just two decades ago, the business began with one 20-foot container; now we are one of Greater Victoria’s largest companies, one of its proudest community partners, and have built a track record of delivering industry-leading innovation and expertise.”

Originally founded in 1994, VSL has steadily developed a culture of safety, care and efficiency, while rapidly expanding its business to capture a wide-ranging and complex global customer-base which includes; ferries, cruise ships, cargo ships, deep sea fishing vessels, frigates and submarines.

Operating from the Government of Canada-owned EGD, the largest solid-bottom commercial drydock on the West Coast of the Americas, VSL has built and delivered two highly successful classes of Federal vessels: thirty 47-foot patrol boats for the Canadian Coast Guard and eight Orca Class Patrol Boats for the Royal Canadian Navy.

VSL currently employs more than 850 people, including a skilled workforce that is forecast to grow to 1000 tradespeople in 2014. In addition to investing in equipment, people and processes for the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy (NSPS), creating jobs for Canadians through work with the Frigate Life Extension (FELEX) program and Victoria In-Service Support Contract (VISSC) programs, VSL has an extensive apprenticeship training program underway and has created numerous partnerships with Vancouver Island-based educational institutions.

“The ship building and ship repair business has dramatically changed over the past 20 years, but despite a substantial increase in global growth and market competition, the transformation of Victoria Shipyards has been profound and we have continually adapted,” said Malcolm.
“Our Core Values have remained at the heart of everything we’ve done for our employees, communities and the environment around us, and I couldn’t be prouder of the role we’ve played as a pioneer in the resurrection of this essential B.C. industry.”

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Awarding Business Excellence

Apr 25, 2014

(News Release) VICTORIA  – The Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce celebrated local business excellence during the Greater Victoria Business Awards this evening at The Fairmont Empress. Awards were presented in 14 categories including Lifetime Achievement Award winner Bob Skene.

“We had an amazing turnout this evening celebrating the hard work and determination of so many successful businesses in Greater Victoria. Recognizing businesses for their success in leadership, innovation, and customer service allows everyone in our community to celebrate what makes our community so great,” said Frank Bourree, Chair of The Chamber. “These awards could not exist without the local business community’s continued support. Congratulations to all the finalists and winners.”

The 2014 award winners are:

Business Leadership; sponsored by Coast Capital Savings

Chard Development

Runner-up: Lifetime Networks

New Business; sponsored by Peninsula Co-Op

PBX Engineering Ltd.

Runner-up: Innovative Fitness Victoria

Business of the Year (1-10 Employees); sponsored by Greater Victoria Development Agency

Atomique Productions Ltd.

Runner-up: Cedarwood Productions Inc.

Business of the Year (11-25 Employees); sponsored by Farmer Construction Ltd.

National Courier Service Ltd.

Runner-up: Triangle RV Centre Ltd.

Business of the Year (26-75 Employees); sponsored by Grant Thornton LLP

Spinnakers Brewpub & Guesthouses

Runner-up: Outset Media Corp

Business of the Year (76+ Employees); sponsored by Capital Magazine – Presented by the Times Colonist

Wilson’s Transportation Ltd.

Runner-up: Epicure

Employer of the Year; sponsored by Air Canada

Accent Inns

Runner-up: Seaspan Victoria Shipyards

Innovation; sponsored by University of Victoria, Peter B. Gustavson School of Business

AOE Accumulated Ocean Energy Inc.

Runner-up: BC Cancer Agency – Vancouver Island

Outstanding Customer Service; sponsored by The Chamber

Balance Home Cleaning

Runner-up: ICE – Island Centre of Hockey Excellence

Sustainable Business Practices; sponsored by FortisBC

Big Wheel Burger

Runner-up: Oughtred Coffee & Tea Ltd.

Business Person of the Year; sponsored by United Way of Greater Victoria

Sybil Verch, The Verch Group at Raymond James

Runner-up: Dan Dagg, Hot House Marketing

Young Entrepreneur of the Year; sponsored by Royal Roads University

Janna Malo, Fired Up! Paint Your Own Ceramics Studio

Runner-up: Andrew Higginson, Higginson Consulting

Employee of the Year; sponsored by CHEK News

Paul Rudd, Adrena LINE Zipline Adventure Tours

Runner-up: Chris Loran, The Q! and The Zone

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B.C. Invests $2.25 Million in Innovative Wood Fibre Technology

Apr 24, 2014

(News Release) VANCOUVER — The Province is joining forces with a leading-edge, not-for-profit research institute to help advance a bio-friendly technology that will expand the market for B.C. wood fibre and help secure jobs in the forest industry, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson announced today.

B.C. is providing $2.25 million to FPInnovations, to help research and develop cellulose filament technology. Specifically, the funding will support Vancouver-based research on cellulose filament and its applications for B.C.’s wood pulp sector.

Cellulose filament, known as CF in the industry, is a flexible, wood-fibre-based additive that can be readily mixed with other materials to improve the quality of a range of products. CF has immediate applications to the province's pulp and paper industry where it could be used in stronger and less-expensive products like newsprint, packaging, tissues and paper towels. Eventually, CF could be used in a range of products, from flexible plastic packaging to photographic film to structural and non-structural panels in building construction.

FPInnovations is a research organization that specializes in the creation of scientific solutions in support of the Canadian forest sector’s global competitiveness.

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2014 Care Awards “Call For Entry” Announced

Apr 22, 2014

(News Release) VICTORIA – The Victoria Home Builders Association announces the Call for Entry for the 2014 Construction Achievements and Renovations of Excellence (CARE) Awards of Vancouver Island.

“The CARE Awards is Canada’s premier event celebrating the finest in sustainable West Coast design and construction,” says Wilf Gorter, Chair of the 2014 CARE Awards. “We invite the public to join in the celebrations by voting for their favourite project in the People’s Choice Award contest this summer.”
The entry deadline for the 2014 CARE Awards is Monday, June 9, 4:00 pm, when all projects must be received at the VHBA office, #1-3690 Carey Rd, Victoria. The CARE Awards entry forms and criteria are online at www.vhba.ca. All entrants must be members of the Victoria Home Builders Association, a registered non-profit organization promoting education and training, professionalism, consumer awareness, and housing affordability.

The Gold winners will be announced at the CARE Awards gala on Friday, September 26 at the Fairmont Empress Hotel. Prior to the event, the public are asked to select the winner of the annual
People’s Choice Award from among the CARE Awards finalists. Project photos will be displayed at shopping centres and www.careawards.ca. Voters are entered to win a stay at Long Beach Lodge Resort, www.longbeachlodgeresort.com, 2002 CARE Awards Project of the Year.

The CARE Awards finalists are selected by a panel of industry professionals using criteria such as architectural design, quality workmanship, creative use of space, and energy efficiency. The categories are Residential Planning Design & Construction; Interior Design; Commercial Planning & Design; Customer Service; Sales & Marketing; Special Achievement; and Special Interest.
“The CARE Awards has represented leadership in West Coast design and construction for more than two decades,” says Casey Edge, Executive Director, VHBA. “We look forward to this year’s entries continuing to raise the bar in design, construction, and sustainability.”

For more information, visit www.vhba.ca or contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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ViSTA Collects More Than 21,000 Pieces of Garbage in One Hour Throughout Victoria

Apr 22, 2014

(News Release) VICTORIA – The city’s streets, parks, and waterfront are cleaner than usual this Earth Day, thanks to the efforts of the Victoria Sustainable Tourism Alliance (ViSTA), who in the period of one hour collected more than 21,000 pieces of garbage.

In addition to the collection of garbage, the group partnered with the City of Victoria Parks & Recreation department and UsedEverywhere.com to leave behind Nature Reboot Kits, comprised of a flower pot with native plants and some ‘planted’ bonuses provided by each team, sprouting from the pot. ViSTA will be sharing the location of each Nature Reboot Kit via social media, using the hashtag #CleanUpYYJ and on their Facebook page (www.facebook.com/ViSTAvictoria).

Inn at Laurel Point, the winners of the competition (the top team to pick up the most garbage in a one-hour window), were awarded the coveted ‘Golden Garbage Award’ presented by Mayor Fortin. All refuse and recyclables collected during the challenge will be responsibly recycled and disposed of by Ellice Recycle Ltd. using separate bins for garbage, mixed fibres (paper/cardboard) and mixed containers (tin/plastic).

“We’re always thrilled to see our tourism community come together to help make Victoria an even more beautiful city,” says Avril Matthews, ViSTA partner and director of sales and marketing for Inn at Laurel Point. “The majority of the garbage in our city is so small that it is often hard to find, but every effort helps to ensure that our city remains one of the most beautiful spaces in Canada – especially on Earth Day!”

While not required, the majority of teams dressed up, ranging from corporate wear to themed-costumes. For the past three years, Eagle Wing Tours adopted a Neptune and mermaid theme, bringing attention to their task of cleaning up the beach along Dallas Road.

Earth Day is the world’s largest and most celebrated environmental event. Each year, more than six million Canadians join 1 billion people in more than 170 countries in staging events and projects that address local environmental issues. Earth Day was first launched in 1970 in the United States as an environmental awareness event (the first International Earth Day was celebrated in 1990). In Canada, Earth Day has grown into Earth Week and even Earth Month to accommodate the influx of environmental-related events and projects.

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B.C. Gets a Taste of Aboriginal Social Enterprise

Apr 22, 2014

(News Release) COURTENAY — B.C.’s first Aboriginal Social Enterprise Day was celebrated today with the unveiling of a symbolic logo designed by Kwakwaka’wakw artist Andy Everson, grandson of the late Kómoks First Nation Hereditary Chief Andy Frank.

Everson joined Social Development and Social Innovation Minister Don McRae at Wachiay Friendship Centre where they celebrated with Wachiay board members, elders, youth, staff, Comox Valley Art Gallery and community supporters.

Wachiay profiled several social enterprise businesses including AQ’SAAK Aboriginal Food Products Ltd. AQ’SAAK means respect for nature and is a specialty food producer of Aboriginal themed teas, chocolates and other fine products.

Cheryl Simon, a Kwakwaka’wakw business woman and traditional herbs practitioner, explained the traditional uses, history and significance behind the ingredients used in AQ’SAAK specialty products, referred to as Edible Aboriginal Legends in their literature.

The celebration of Aboriginal social enterprises also included the Gwa’wina (Raven) screen printing co-op whose young entrepreneurs practised their skills by printing the new Aboriginal Social Enterprise Day logo onto T-shirts.

Proclaiming April 22, 2014, as Aboriginal Social Enterprise Day recognizes the growth of social enterprise and the entrepreneurial legacy of Aboriginal people in B.C.

The government of B.C. has also proclaimed April 2014 as Social Enterprise Month to celebrate the expanding social enterprise sector and recognize its contribution to the strength and resiliency of B.C. communities.

Social enterprises — a form of social innovation — differ from most traditional businesses in that profits are not just used to ensure financial viability, but are re-invested to achieve, sustain and further a social or environmental purpose.

As an active member of the BC Partners for Social Impact, government works with leaders in the social innovation field to promote and support social innovation and enterprise throughout the province.

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Sooke Meadery Certified to Highest Level of Green Business Practices

Apr 22, 2014

(News Release) SOOKE — Tugwell Creek Honey Farm and Meadery is the first business in Sooke to be certified by the Vancouver Island Green Business Certification (VIGBC).
The VIGBC certifies restaurants, retail, and office-based businesses as Silver, Gold and Green, depending on the number of actions they are taking to improve the performance of their operations. The tasting room at Tugwell Creek will be receiving Green Level Certification (the highest level) for their initiatives to reduce waste, water consumption and energy usage. Owners, Bob and Dana are passionate about improving the local environment and go above and beyond to ensure a healthy ecosystem on their property.

"Sustainability at Tugwell Creek Farm and Meadery is fully integrated into the operations, our product and how we do business. This certification gives our customers an understanding of what we do behind the counter to be an environmentally-friendly company," Dana LeComte says.

At Tugwell, sustainability is about more than just LED lights and composting programs – it is about local food security and most importantly the health of bees. Bees are responsible for the pollination of ~30% of the world’s crops and their populations are declining at an alarming rate. Tugwell is participating in a Canada- wide bee-breeding program to raise queen bees that will have resistance to various pests and pathogens effectively reducing the need for pesticides. Traditionally, many pesticides and chemicals are used to control pest and pathogens in beehives.  At Tugwell, pests are controlled in the berry pasture with natural sprays made from Marigolds and Copper.  Fertilization of crops is done with manure from our animals, seaweeds from the ocean, and wood ash.

Made from local honey and berries (within 20km of the farm), the award-winning mead from Tugwell is both sustainable and delicious. Co-owner, Bob Liptrot has been keeping bees for over 43 years and making mead for over 25.

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2014 BC Shellfish & Seafood Festival In The Comox Valley Expands With More Than 18 Events

Apr 22, 2014

(News Release) COMOX – The eighth annual BC Shellfish & Seafood Festival – happening from June 13 to 22, 2014 – is expanding this year with a greater focus on expanding culinary activities, educational events and tours, helping to showcase the importance of the Valley’s role in the shellfish industry in British Columbia.

The festival expansion is driven by Comox Valley Economic Development and Tourism (CVEDS) who has taken on a greater role in supporting the development and marketing of the festival for 2014. Previously, the BC Shellfish Growers Association (BCSGA) was responsible for both coordinating the growers and the creation and management of the event. This year, their partnership with the CVEDS will allow them to focus on engagement with their membership, which has helped to foster new events for the eighth year.

“Having Comox Valley Economic Development & Tourism working to manage the BC Shellfish & Seafood Festival opens up a lot of opportunities for our growers,” says Roberta Stevenson, executive director of the BCSGA. “Bringing different industry groups together like this demonstrates the collaborative attitude that’s found in the Comox Valley. The new format will allow for an expanded events schedule and more exposure for our local products.”

Along with the partnership between the CVEDS and the BC Shellfish Growers Association, the event is assisted by a number of Comox Valley businesses and operators, ranging from growers and harvesters to wineries, restaurants and hotels.

“By helping with the marketing and promotion of the BC Shellfish & Seafood Festival, Comox Valley Economic Development & Tourism is able to work toward the long-term goal of a series of annual events throughout the Valley,” says Bill Anglin, chair of  the Comox Valley Destination Marketing Advisory Committee “By increasing the number of high-quality annual events, such as the BC Shellfish & Seafood Festival and WinterBites, which was held this past January, we’re driving investment to the region through the increase in room nights at our area hotels.”

One of the biggest changes for the 2014 BC Shellfish & Seafood Festival is the move of events including the shucking and chowder competitions, tastings and demonstrations from Marina Park to Filberg Lodge & Park on the afternoon of June 21, 2014. The move is designed to allow for more participants, both local and from out-of-town, to attend the growing annual festival.

Along with these crowd favourites a number of new or expanded events are planned for the 2014, including:

  • June 14: Feast & Fire: a five course, long table seafood dinner at Coastal Black Estate Winery with Chef Andrew Stigant
  • June 14: Under the Sea with Chef Laura Agnew: A seafood and shellfish dinner paired with the award-winning wines of Blue Moon Winery
  • June 14 & 15: BC Family Fishing Weekend at the Courtenay District Fish and Game
  • June 14 & 15: Acrylics Workshop with Esther Sample at the Comox Valley Harbour Authority Office
  • June 15: Celebrate Shellfish of the Comox Valley with Chef Gaetane Palardy. A cooking class and dining experience at Blue Moon Winery
  • June 19: Land to Sea  Tour with Island Gourmet Trails and Comox Harbour Charters
  • June 20: Gone Fishin’ Dinner and Wine pairing at The Westerly Restaurant
  • June 20: BCSGA 8th Annual Chefs’ Gala Dinner at Filberg Lodge & Park
  • June 21: Chef’s Beer Pairing Challenge four course dinner at the Westerly Restaurant
  • June 21: Seafood Feast & Casino Royale evening at Local’s and Old House Village Hotel and Spa

Tickets for the BC Shellfish & Seafood Festival are on sale now through www.discovercomoxvalley.com or by calling 250-890-7561.

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