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BC Ferries plans to convert spirit-class vessels to liquefied natural gas (LNG) to realize major savings on fuel bill

Sep 22, 2014

(News Release) VICTORIA – BC Ferries plans to convert its two largest vessels, the Spirit of Vancouver Island and the Spirit of British Columbia, to dual fuel, as well as make modifications to the hull, in order to save approximately $9.2 million per year (in today’s dollars) over the remaining 27-year life cycle of the two vessels. The conversion is part of an application the company submitted today to the BC Ferries Commissioner for approval to proceed with mid-life upgrades of the vessels. The plans come on the heels of a BC Ferries announcement in July 2014 to build three intermediate-class dual fuel vessels for delivery in the years 2016 to 2017. BC Ferries expects total savings from LNG for the five vessels to be approximately $12.0 million per year (in today’s dollars), based on current fuel price estimates, which will significantly reduce upward pressure on fares. “We are well aware that fare affordability is a concern for our customers and operating on LNG, which is approximately 50 per cent cheaper than marine diesel, is a game changer for BC Ferries,” said Mike Corrigan, BC Ferries’ President and CEO. “We’ve been driving a culture of cost containment in many areas of our business without compromising safety and we are moving forward with LNG conversions, which will help us realize significant environmental benefits and enormous financial savings on our fuel bill.” BC Ferries spent $126 million on fuel last fiscal year and the two Spirit-Class vessels consumed approximately 15 per cent of the fleet total. These vessels are the largest consumers of fuel in the BC Ferries fleet and the conversion will reduce their cost of fuel by approximately half. The Spirit-Class vessels operate on the Tsawwassen – Swartz Bay route, which carried 28 per cent of total passengers, 23 per cent of total vehicles and generated 38 per cent of total passenger-based revenue in fiscal 2014. The Spirit-Class mid-life upgrade projects will carry out regulatory requirements; renew end-of-life systems; substantially reduce fuel costs by the conversion of the propulsion to dual fuel; implement hull, electrical and passenger service modifications; and increase ancillary services net income. In addition to reducing fuel costs with LNG, the projects will implement measures to reduce fuel consumption. A new low friction underwater coating will reduce hull drag, reducing total fuel principles from the 1980’s, will be modified at the bow and stern to further reduce drag. As a result, drag is expected to be further reduced which will further lower fuel consumption by up to 1.8 per cent. These fuel efficiency initiatives are expected to generate $650,000 of the fuel savings annually. BC Ferries is planning for the Spirit of Vancouver Island’s mid-life upgrade and LNG conversion from the fall of 2016 through the spring of 2017. The Spirit of British Columbia’s project is planned to occur from the fall of 2017 through the spring of 2018. Requests for contractor bids would be forthcoming. Under Section 55 of the Coastal Ferry Act, BC Ferries must not incur a major capital expenditure without first obtaining approval for the expenditure from the BC Ferries Commissioner. The Commissioner will make a ruling within 60 days. Under contract to the Province of British Columbia, BC Ferries is the service provider responsible for the delivery of safe, efficient and dependable ferry service along coastal British Columbia.

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Finalists Named for Top Philanthropic Awards

Sep 18, 2014

(News Release) VICTORIA — Each year, National Philanthropy Day recognizes outstanding individuals and organizations in our community that are making a difference in the lives of others.  By ‘changing the world with a giving heart’, these local philanthropists have been named as the top three finalist in six award categories for this year’s National Philanthropy Day awards:

Generosity of Spirit Award, presented by the United Way of Greater Victoria

Andrew D. Beckerman

Since moving to Victoria in 2005, Andrew has pursued a volunteer career that has allowed him to engage with issues that define the struggles too many Victorians still face on a daily basis: poverty; discrimination; hunger; illness; lack of housing; and opportunity to live as they might wish. Andrew has been a community leader all his adult life, lending his time, energy, board expertise, and significant financial support to numerous organizations. Although ‘retired,’ Andrew volunteers extensively where he engages in local social justice issues.

The Chwyl Family

Upon his retirement in 2001, Ed and Mary Chwyl and their three children moved from Calgary to Victoria. The family’s quiet philanthropy has transformed many lives and a multitude of organizations and has inspired many others to do the same.  In addition, the Chwyl family has devoted thousands of hours of personal time and expertise to support the many causes that are close to their hearts. Now that Ed and Marys’ children are all attending university, the empty nesters plan to travel extensively.

Outstanding Fundraising Volunteer Award, presented by the Coast Capital Savings

Mailman Family/Seymour Pacific Developments

Imbedded in the Mailman Family’s vision for their company is the family’s commitment to volunteerism and a strong desire to build community through social innovation and philanthropy. The Mailman’s takes great pride in giving back to the Campbell River community by contributing time, funds, education and materials to many local organizations. The family puts their values, work ethics and hearts on their sleeves to improve not just their local community but also all the communities that their staff and clients live in. They would like to thank-you for this nomination; “it has been so special to be recognized for doing what we love”.

Doug and Debra Vincent

For over 30 years the Vincent Family has understood the importance of philanthropy and giving back to causes that affect the health and emotional wellbeing of British Columbians. Through their family owned business Bridge Systems, the  Vincent’s have initiated several employee based fundraising activities. In every philanthropic effort the Vincent’s become involved with, they demonstrate true philanthropic behavior, always offering to make a financial contribution while also giving of their time.

Stephen Clark

An experienced entrepreneur, Steve Clark has become a valuable fundraising resource for several organizations in Victoria. Not only volunteering of his time, Steve encourages others to follow in his philanthropic footprints. Steve has served as a director on numerous boards and committees and continues to act in a fundraising advisory role for several organizations.

Outstanding Philanthropic Service Club Award, presented by AFP Vancouver Island

Rotary Club of Sidney by the Sea

“Service above self” is motto of Rotary International. The 52 members of the Rotary Club of Sidney by the Sea have busy work lives; however, their local fund-raising activities funds have supported causes that have the power to change lives.

Recent projects include the North Saanich Free Ride Bicycle Park, the new water spray park in Iroquois Park, and the purchase of a trailer to support Panorama Recreation Centre’s Play in the Park Program.

Internationally, they make ongoing contributions to Rotary’s Polio Eradication Effort, Shelterbox, and Project Unity. Larger projects include improvements to the Malawi Girls School, a Therapeutic pool in Brazil, the Tanzania Malaria Project, and Mercy Ships.

The Westcoast Motorcycle Ride to Live - Vancouver Island

The Westcoast Motorcycle Ride to Live is a fundraiser to support prostate cancer research and education on Vancouver Island.  A core group of fourteen volunteer’s plans, organizes and stages the ride, which has attracted from 300-700 riders.  The pledge, “What’s raised on the Island, stays on the Island” has helped The Westcoast Motorcycle Ride to Live event build awareness and establish hope and pride for men, their families and friends impacted by prostate cancer.

Chemainus Health Care Auxiliary

The Chemainus Health Care Auxiliary is an incredible force of philanthropy.  Managed by a small group of Executive Members, the CHCA has approximately 170 active volunteer members that organize and run many services within the Chamainus Health Care Centre. The significant money the group raises supports a wide range of charities on Vancouver Island. While all of this makes the Auxiliary incredibly impressive, what really stands out is the way that they do their charitable work with an energy and enthusiasm that inspires and celebrates philanthropy.

Corporate Citizenship Award, presented by the University of Victoria

Tru Value Foods

Tru Value Foods is a community-based chain of full-service grocery stores located on and around Vancouver Island, BC. Each of the Tru Value Foods stores contributes to its home community through the Spirit Board, a program which works with more than 50 local charities. The program directs 1% of sales to each customer’s charitable organization of choice. Tru Value Foods staff continually lead by example, whether it be volunteering their time at fundraising events or encouraging their suppliers, community members and local businesses to give back and participate.

Country Grocer

Caring, community support and involvement are basic values to Country Grocer and essential to community growth. Bbelieving it is important to give back, this Vancouver Island and Salt Spring Island family-owned and operated grocery chain has made a significant contribution through its support and sponsorship of a wide variety of events and organizations on Vancouver Island and Salt Spring Island.

Hillside Centre

Hillside Centre has been a proven supporter of several community organizations through a variety of fundraising events and awareness campaigns. Hillside will host the 13th Annual Night of Lights (aka The Night before Late Night Shopping), a special evening including shopping, entertainment and amazing door prizes, in the centre. Over 50 local non-profit organizations each year rely on the Night of Lights event to generate much needed revenue for their special projects. Hillside is committed to being a great corporate partner and will continue to promote philanthropy throughout the Greater Victoria area.

Youth in Philanthropy Award (Ages 5 – 10), presented by The Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island

Owen Krigolson

Owen is your typical 6-year-old boy who has always had an incredibly giving heart. When his poppa was diagnosed with cancer, instead of asking for birthday presents or Christmas presents Owen began a fundraising campaign to raise money to help the doctors cure Poppa’s cancer. This amazing little boy serves as an example that you are never too small to make a big difference. His dedication and selflessness, even at such a young age, has become an inspiration for many.

SMUS Junior School

At the SMUS Junior School there is an underlying philosophy that every child will be involved in all aspects of leadership and service.  With this in mind all 180 students are expected to participate in all service related school wide events with the belief that all students can be leaders. Students at the school volunteer and raise money for a wide variety of projects both locally and internationally. By giving the students the opportunity to propose student-led initiatives, the school has demonstrated to the children that their ideas are valued and that through their own leadership they can make a difference.

Alyssia Macdonald

Alyssia Macdonald is a 10 year old girl who, at her young age, truly understands and embodies a philanthropic spirit. Alyssia has made an impact on her community and in the lives of her friends. Alyssia has raised a significant amount of money and awareness about childhood cancer. Despite her shy demeanour, Alyssia is always quick to volunteer and look out for those in her community that need support and protection

Youth in Philanthropy Award (Ages 11 – 18), presented by TELUS

SMUS Break the Cycle of Poverty Group

SMUS Break the Cycle of Poverty Group is a group of 30+ students who have been working on ways of addressing local poverty issues in Victoria.  From organizing a two day conference to educate students from our local area to raising several thousand dollars to support various projects, this group of students plans, runs and organizes events to raise both funds and awareness for local and international projects.

Jarod Waters

At thirteen years old, Jarod is already a committed and inspiring philanthropist. His passion for helping others was ignited at the age of eight when he noticed his grandmother writing a cheque in memory of her friend. This prompted him to set a goal to raise $100 to help and he hired himself out to do chores, collecting cans and bottles to turn in for refunds. He more than met his goal and continues fundraising in this way. Jarod has provided a wonderful example that many small, committed efforts contribute in a very big way!

Edward Milne Community School's Leadership class

The Leadership class from Edward Milne Community School contributes significantly to local and global initiatives.  Their annual Cops For Cancer fundraising campaign raised over $7500 in one week and they inaugurated a one-day Spin-A-Thon, which raised $5000.

They set up a challenge for the Christmas Food Drive which brought in the most collected in history. The group then participated in organizing and delivering hundreds of the food hampers around the community.

Upon learning about a staff member adopting two brothers from Lesotho, Africa, the group developed Project: Lesotho, the goal of which is to provide support to schools in the small country.

The group organized a 30 hour famine and a “Fun Day” to raise money for school supplies.


The National Philanthropy Day celebration will be held on Tuesday, November 18th, 2014, from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm at the Fairmont Empress Hotel, in the presence of the Lieutenant Governor of BC, Her Honour Judith Guichon. The Victoria event is presented by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Vancouver Island.  For event information contact Monica Powell at (250) 217-0772 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ; and visit our website at www.npdvictoria.com.


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United Way Sets $6 Million as 2014 Fundraising Goal With Unite to Change Campaign

Sep 18, 2014

(News Release) VICTORIA – Unite to Change lives and build community is the call to action for residents of Greater Victoria as United Way celebrates its 77th annual community campaign and announces $6 Million for its 2014 fundraising goal.

When you give to United Way, you support a network of services that provide a greater chance for everyone to live better lives; help children and youth gain life skills and transition to adulthood, support families that are working to meet life’s challenges and connect seniors with their community to reduce isolation.

“The need in our community is great and our mandate at United Way is two-fold – we serve the immediate needs of our most vulnerable citizens today while also focusing on the future to address the root causes of social issues and create measurable, sustainable change,” says Patricia Jelinski, CEO at United Way. “We can only do this work with the help of our many partners from business, labour, government, the non-profit sector and our generous donors and volunteers.”

While United Way serves in its dual role as a year-round fundraiser and community funder, the organization is the largest non-government funder in the region, and is honoured over 11,500 donors and 400 workplaces entrust them with building the collective good in the social service sector.

“Understanding the issues facing our region and being the best steward of our donor dollars is of utmost importance,” says Jelinski. “We are closely connected to our community partners and our donors – monitoring our programs, identifying gaps, investing in solutions, measuring our impact and reporting back on our results.”

Linking the Unite to Change campaign theme to its funding priority areas of All that kids can be, From poverty to possibilities and Strong communities, a gift to United Way means:

-Whether it’s helping people on the street find housing, providing job training or creating financial security, United Way funded programs offer opportunities for people to make better lives for themselves. Unite to Change and build pathways out of poverty for individuals and their families.

-Healthy individuals are the backbone of strong communities. When seniors have opportunities to connect with others in their neighbourhoods, they are more likely to combat isolation and overcome day to day challenges. Unite to Change and ensure seniors have access to services close to home to lead healthier more fulfilling lives.

-United Way works to ensure that every infant grows into a healthy child; every child has the support he or she needs to do well in life; and every young person makes a successful transition into post secondary and the workforce. Unite to Change and help children gain valuable life skills to become strong adults.

Every dollar makes a difference at United Way and here’s what a contribution can do to change lives:

·       For a dollar a day you can provide warm socks and hygiene supplies for homeless youth.

·       For $5 a week you can support 10 weeks of financial literacy training for a woman who has experienced domestic violence.

·       For $10 a week you can provide transportation for isolated seniors to participate in a weekly social program.

·       For $25 a week you can provide a mentorship and support program for three children for a year.

Donations to United Way’s community campaign are accepted at workplaces, United Way’s office at 1144 Fort Street, via phone 250-385-6708 or online at uwgv.ca.

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Moksha Yoga Opens New Studio in Westshore

Sep 18, 2014

(News Release) VICTORIA – Moksha Yoga Victoria, voted 'Best in City of 2013' by Victoria News, and part of North America's leading collective of highly accessible, socially and ecologically conscious hot yoga studios, unveiled the opening date of the sister studio - October 4, 2014.  When open, Moksha Yoga Westshore can be found a few blocks away from the Westhills Stadium, on the North side of the 'green' Splashes building at 311-895 Langford Parkway.

What makes this studio so unique, and unlike many other yoga studios is the directors vision to cater to students most unlikely to walk into a studio.  Whether they are an athlete concerned about injury prevention or a mother with a high-stress job, Moksha Yoga is so welcoming to all levels and body types that accessibility is this community’s 2nd of 7 pillars.  Classes are suitable to any person over 16, whether this is their first time doing yoga, they are recovering from a big game or injury, preparing for a race, crawling off the couch, in need of a good laugh or just the killer workout!  Students can test out any of the classes for FREE from October 4 – 10.

Directors Heather MacLeod (from Moksha Yoga Victoria) and Darci Nyal (Teacher at Moksha Yoga Victoria) both agree, “Mostly, we hear men and women say that yoga isn't for them.  It stems from the stereotype that yoga is only for the remarkably flexible, hip and young.  We are breaking traditional rules with what we’re offering, and proud of it.  We’ve taken into great consideration that when somebody walks into the studio and takes one of our 60, 75, or 90 minute classes, we want to hear them say, 'yes, this is my kind of yoga'.  And with Pheonix Gym next door, what a fantastic pairing for any high performance athlete."

The new studio will offer the following:

Fully loaded change facilities complete with showers, ample space and a quiet atmosphere

Large lounge and chill out area to relax and unwind  in before or after class

Boutique style retail section with athletic gear for both men and women

Male and female certified Moksha teachers, many of which have a background in athletics

A hot room big enough to fit even the narliest of athletes and non-athletes

A community vibe that is inviting and fun

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BBB Announces 2014 Torch Award Finalists

Sep 15, 2014

(News Release0 VICTORIA — The Better Business Bureau (BBB) serving Vancouver Island announced the 2014 Torch Award Finalists today.

“The following 50 businesses are in the running to win a 2014 Torch Award for their ethical practices in the marketplace,” said Rosalind Scott, President & CEO of BBB serving Vancouver Island.  “Every nominee should be proud of themselves for their outstanding customer service and commitment to maintaining trust in our business community. Every finalist deserves to win a Torch Award, but only 12 businesses will receive a prestigious Torch Award at our gala event on November 7th.”

To see the list of Torch Award Finalists for 2014 go to: http://www.bbb.org/vancouver-island/news-centre/news-releases/2014/09/bbb-announces-2014-torch-award-finalists

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New Destination Video Strikes a Chord with Visitors and Locals Alike

Sep 11, 2014

News Release (VICTORIA) – To carry the momentum of the summer season forward, Tourism Victoria launched a new destination video today showcasing the strong emotional connection visitors have with the region.

“This video gives me goosebumps,” says Trina Mousseau, Chief Marketing Officer at Tourism Victoria. “It showcases the wide variety experiences that our region has to offer while telling the story of what is special about a trip to Victoria through the eyes of a diverse group of visitors.”

Tourism Victoria’s new destination video will have multiple purposes, primarily as a tool for members and stakeholders to use in promoting the destination. The organization’s sales department will also use the video while in market conducting sales calls.

“To succeed in marketing a destination it is vitally important to create an emotional connection with the potential visitors,” says Paul Nursey, President & CEO at Tourism Victoria. “I am so proud of how this video achieves that connection. By doing so we compel the potential visitors to learn more about the destination and then ultimately book a trip.”

Tourism Victoria was pleased to partner with Victoria-based Innovate Imageworks for the production of this video that was shot over the summer and features more than 30 locations throughout the Greater Victoria area.

“I want to specifically thank the people at Innovate Imageworks who produced the video,” says Mousseau. “Their passion and connection to our destination was a driving force in this video’s success. They are a perfect example of the outstanding local talent we have right here in Victoria.”

Watch the video HERE.

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The 2014 Vancouver Island Motor Gathering Raises Over $75,000

Sep 11, 2014

(News Release) VICTORIA — The 2014 Vancouver Island Motor Gathering raised over $75,000 in support of Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island and the Saanich Peninsula Hospital Foundation. Hosted at the Viscount Aero Centre at 9800 McDonald Park Rd in Sidney, BC. The Vancouver Island Motor Gathering, presented by the German Auto Import Network [GAIN], featured hundreds of unique cars and motorcycles of all makes and models. Families and spectators enjoyed a live band, great food and much more.

The event took place on Sunday, August 17th, with over 2,800 spectators in attendance. For children, there was an inflatable obstacle course, face painting, an instrument petting zoo, balloon animals, candy bar, pedal cars, cotton candy, radio controlled cars and many more activities.

Approximately 200 participants showcased their vehicles and 16 winners were awarded for various categories including Best Import, Best Muscle Car, Best Hot Rod, Best Vintage Motorcycle, Most Original and Best of Show.

Between the generous sponsors, participants, and spectators, the 2014 Vancouver Island Motor Gathering raised over $75,000 in support of two local charities. 60% of the money raised went to Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island which helps children, youth, and their families with special needs reach their full potential. The remaining 40% of the money raised was donated to the Saanich Peninsula Hospital Foundation, which will be used towards the purchase of a much needed CT Scanner.

Visit www.motorgathering.com to find out more about the 2015 Vancouver Island Motor Gathering that will be taking place on Sunday, August 16th 2015. Registry for next year is now open on our website.


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Victoria Landmark Moves on After 93 Years of Business

Sep 05, 2014

(News Release) VICTORIA — One of Victoria’s most familiar locations to say farewell to loved ones is making changes. McCall Bros. Funeral Home, located at Johnson and Vancouver Streets since 1921, is relocating its full services to its Sequoia Gardens location in Royal Oak.

“It makes the best business sense for us to streamline our resources and energy into one main location that we can expand upon and enhance our services over time,” said David McCall, president and chief executive officer, McCall Bros.  “Our Royal Oak location is co-located at Royal Oak Burial Park and has the room we need to expand over time.”

The well known Sequoia Gardens will undergo an extensive renovation and expansion to accommodate funeral services and celebrations of life for a large number of guests in a tranquil setting with easy and ample parking.

McCall Bros. will maintain an office where arrangements can be made in a new location in the downtown area after the transition takes place.

Over the past year, the firm researched the community utilizing focus groups and by surveying more than 400 Victorians. Through this process they learned that people prefer to hold services in an uplifting, modern facility, connected to nature and the outdoors – precisely what Sequoia Gardens at Royal Oak offers.

“What we’ve learned in our years of business is that a funeral is as personal as the family that holds it,” said Trevor McCall, funeral director. “Our new design at Sequoia Gardens will appeal to people who want informal gatherings, celebrations of life, and to those who want traditional funeral services. It will have the ability to be converted into a restaurant-like setting or church-like setting.”

This transition will take place over the next 13 – 18 months. In the meantime, both the downtown and Sequoia Gardens locations will remain open for business and McCall Bros. will continue to offer exceptional service to the families they serve.

“All existing preplanned arrangements will be honoured and guaranteed,” said David McCall stressing that the redesigned Sequoia Gardens will conveniently accommodate small or large gatherings.

David’s son, Trevor McCall, and nephew, Craig McCall Williams represent the fourth generation of the family business and will assume leadership of the company in the near future.


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New Marketing Collective's Contest to Award $10,000 in Services

Sep 05, 2014

(News Release) VICTORIA — A new collective of branding and marketing experts is preparing to give away over $10,000 in services to one eager Victoria business that is ready to launch or rebrand. The winner will receive a grand prize that will include a new logo, a new website plus copywriting and blogging, professional headshots and business photography, marketing strategy with social media set-up and training, and event space to unveil the new brand.

On August 18th, 2014 the Freebird Collective announced the launch of their own brand in conjunction with the launch of The Freebird Contest. Business owners will be able to send in their creative submissions – preferably in video format - via the Collective’s website (www.freebirdcollective.com) until September 30th. The Members of the Collective will narrow down the submissions to five finalists, whose businesses will be showcased at a gala evening event at the Oddfellow’s Hall on October 16th. The grand prize winner will be revealed at the finale of the event.

“We wanted to launch our brand with a contest to really showcase what the Freebirds are all about – innovative marketing ideas that gets the whole community involved.” says Rebecca Kirstein, the founding member of The Freebird Collective. “As small business owners ourselves, we thought: what would we want to win that would make the biggest impact on our own businesses?”

The Freebird Collective is positioning their business as an affordable alternative to a traditional marketing agency for micro-businesses, entrepreneurs and small start-ups In the Victoria market. For small business owners in Victoria, sourcing professional quality branding tools from local specialists at affordable rates has been a challenge. The Freebird Collective offers comparable comprehensive services that an entrepreneur might find at a full-service marketing agency, but overall costs can be kept lower without overhead of a bricks-and-mortar business.  The Collective is also dedicated to offering group workshops and trainings for businesses operating with a very tight budget. Do-it-yourself devotees have the option of learning the tricks of the trade directly from the members of the Collective.

Earlier this spring, Rebecca Kirstein identified several women working as freelancers in the fields of branding and marketing, and brought them together to discuss her vision to offer accessible services and workshops for small businesses in Victoria. “I hand-picked each one of the Freebirds not just because of their expertise in their respective fields but because of their dedication to educating small business and their clients,” says Rebecca.

The Freebird Collective is comprised of photographers Rebecca Kirsten and Anna McKenzie (BK Studios), web designer/developer partners Kim Timothy and Niki Campbell (Boutique by Design), social media expert JUHLi SELBy (JUHLi SELBy Social Media), content writer Andrea Ting-Letts (SCRIBE Professional Writing), marketing consultant Frances Kinloch, and community connector Carolyne Taylor.

For full contest details, visit www.freebirdcollective.com/contest





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Geoff Catherwood from BDC Venture Capital Added to Speakers List for Capital Investment Network Event

Sep 05, 2014

(News Release) VICTORIA — Geoff Catherwood from BDC Venture Capital has been added to the speakers list for the upcoming Capital Investment Network event on September 15th, Write the Right Cheque - Convertible Debt or Equity?

Debt or equity - which is better for you?  Many investors (and company executives) assume that equity is the only option for early stage investing.  However there are other financing options. Deciding which is best means understanding how each works and how each can be structured.

Consider the advantages and disadvantages of convertible debt and equity from the perspective of the investor.  Learn how to structure these investment types properly to meet your return objectives and maximize tax credits.


Geoff Catherwood: Geoff is a Partner of BDC Venture Capital. Geoff Joined BDC in 2001 and currently runs BDC's Energy and Clean Technology Fund for Western Canada and is active on the boards of several early-stage companies. He also volunteers in a number of programs promoting entrepreneurship, including New Ventures BC.

Mike Volker:   Mike founded Volker-Craig, Inc., a computer terminals company that was acquired in 1981. Since then he has been active in various early stage businesses as a founder, investor, director, and officer.  He is currently President and Founder of VCC fund WUTIF Capital Inc  the Western Universities Technology Innovation Fund and the GreenAngel Energy Corp fund and he manages the Vancouver Technology Angel Network (VANTEC).  Mike is very active on the B.C. high tech scene, serving on the non-profit boards of New Ventures BC, Canadian Listed Companies Association, and the Auditing and Assurance Standards oversight Council as well as various private company boards.  Mike was named Canadian Angel Investor of the Year by the National Angel Organization as well as BC Angel of the Year by the BC Angel Forum in 2009.

Todd Tessier: Todd implemented changes to the Small Business Venture Capital Act that led to a five-fold increase in venture funding for small businesses primarily from Angel Investors.  As Executive Director of the Investment Capital Branch, the program grew from $40 million in 2001 to its present level of $110 million per year available for venture investment.  He was responsible for designing and implementing the BC Renaissance Capital Fund in 2007.  Serving then as Vice President with the fund, his team placed $90 million of capital with top-tier venture capital fund managers based in Canada and the U.S.  The fund managers associated with the BC Renaissance Capital Fund have approximately $2.3 billion of capital under management and have invested $320 million to date into BC companies since 2007.  Currently Todd is the CFO for Recon Instruments Inc., a company that has been developing computer wearable sunglasses and have sold over 60 thousand eye wear units for skiing to OEMs like Oakley, Smith and Maui Jim through its channel partner Apple.

Venue has been generously provided by GUSTAVSON CAPITAL.


Date: September 15, 2014

Time: 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm


The Spacestation.

3rd Floor - 517 Fort St.

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Tilray Holding Job Fair to Hire Additional 40-50 Staff

Sep 04, 2014

(News Release) NAMAIMO — On September 8th and 9th, Tilray is holding a job fair in Nanaimo seeking staff to fill roles including:


Customer Service Representatives

Processing – trimmers, packagers, shippers

Facilities Maintenance

Social Media Community Manager

With this round of hires, Tilray will expand its team to about 130. At their first job fair in March, Tilray was hiring for 60 people, and attracted more than 400 resumes and interviewed 250 people.

People interested in attending the job fair need to email their resume to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to receive details about participating. Additional details are available on Tilray’s Careers page: www.tilray.ca/en/Home/Careers

Tilray has invested $20 million in developing a state-of-the-art facility in Duke Point where they grow, process and distribute cannabis under license from Health Canada. They currently have more than 40 different strains of cannabis in cultivation in its state-of-the-art, 60,000 square foot facility. The company has provided medical cannabis to patients across Canada since opening on April 28, 2014. A short video about Tilray’s team and facility can be watched here.

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What Happens When Super Heroes and Affordable Housing Meet at Western Speedway?

Sep 04, 2014

(News Release) VICTORIA — This Saturday, September 6th, 2014, Pacifica Housing, Western Speedway and Heroes Inc have teamed up for an exciting night at the race tracks. At their event ”Pacifica Housing Lordco Autoparts Demo Trucks: Be a Hero for a Night” spectators are encouraged to come dressed as their favourite super hero! Numerous heroes from Heroes Inc will be amongst the spectators, adding to the excitement of the super hero theme.

“We are grateful for the amazing support we received from Western Speedway and Heroes Inc for this night,” says Karyn French, Executive Director at Pacifica Housing. “It is our 30th anniversary this year. We wanted to celebrate that milestone and offer our tenants a fun night out.”

Join us at Western Speedway on September 6th and be a Hero for a night. Gates open at 4.30pm, qualifying starts at 5.30pm and racing begins at 6.30pm. Anyone dressed as a hero can join the parade of heroes at the tracks.



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Chard’s Escher Brings a New Perspective to Downtown Condos

Sep 03, 2014

(News Release) VICTORIA – Chard Development is launching sales of Escher, 84 distinctly urban, customizable condos that reflect a new perspective on downtown Victoria and its evolving residential, business and arts community.

“Escher is Chard’s fifth downtown development and our response to the growth and vibrancy that we’ve seen in Victoria’s downtown in recent years,” said David Chard, president, Chard Development. “The way people think about this is changing as businesses and homeowners continue to invest in an evolving urban community.”

Designed by Vancouver’s Musson Cattell Mackey Partnership with interiors by Proscenium Architecture + Interiors, Escher is a 10-storey building with a bold, modern design that includes suite customization that is unlike anything that’s been offered before in Victoria. Located at 838 Broughton Street, Escher’s features reflect a growing diversity among downtown homebuyers who appreciate stylish spaces and ease of living.

“We’re seeing ever-increasing interest in the convenience of downtown living alongside the demand for truly modern design, new in-suite features and the ability for owners to customize their homes. With Escher we have taken a decade of experience building in Victoria and applied the feedback we’ve received from purchasers to the features and options we’re offering. Our goal is for our owners to have a downtown home that truly reflects their personal tastes and lifestyle,” Chard went on to say.

To allow prospective purchasers the ability to visualize Escher’s numerous customization options; Chard has created an online suite customizer that can be used on their website or presentation centre touch screens. Users can explore a variety of back­splashes, countertops, paint colours, wallpaper and flooring options as well as various built-in desks and pantries that can be added to specific locations within suites.

“The response to these design options has been very well received from our initial prospective buyers. They appreciate having a say in the details like whether or not there’s an island or a table in their kitchen. Seeing their selections in real time with our suite customizer really helps with their decision-making process,” said Jeff Griffiths, vice president of marketing for Chard.

Features at Escher extend beyond the individual suites as well: there’s a meeting room with Shaw Wi-Fi that can be booked online for those who work from home or need an occasional quiet work space; an easy ground floor entrance to secure bicycle storage for all homeowners, electric car and scooter charging stations and a dog wash facility on the first parking level to make life simpler for pet owners. The main lobby showcases original art commissioned by Chard, and the building will feature a Chard-signature rooftop terrace and outdoor kitchen on the 11th floor - complete with dining and lounge seating, secure elevator access and an accessible washroom.

Sales for Escher officially begin on Saturday September 6, 2014. A wide variety of floor plans for one and two bedroom suites, some with dens or large outdoor terraces to increase living area and flexibility are available. Prices start at $219,000 with additional launch discounts of $10,000 on one bedrooms, $15,000 on two bedrooms and $20,000 on penthouse suites, which are available for the first 25 sales. A grand opening of the Escher presentation centre, located at 102-608 Broughton Street will be held on Saturday September 6, 2014 from 10 am to 5 pm.

For more information visit www.eschervictoria.com.

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