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United Way Celebrates the Spirit of Community Giving

Mar 27, 2014

(News Release) VICTORIA – Every year, more than 400 organizations and thousands of employees support a United Way workplace campaign. While all are vital to creating real and lasting change in our community, some campaigns and volunteers stand out for exceptional community spirit, team spirit and spirit of generosity.

United Way’s 2013 Spirit Awards thanks donors, volunteers, community partners and organizations who came together to raise $5.8 Million for critical programs that sustain our social and economic fabric. It’s about moving individuals from poverty to possibility, ensuring kids grow up healthy and building strong communities.

With 12 award categories, everyone showed creativity, ingenuity and wholehearted commitment to United Way and their community. Choosing recipients was a difficult task for the selection committee. Thank you and congratulations to all nominees and award recipients.

2013 Spirit Award Recipients:

This award is presented to a workplace because their United Way campaign is an example for everybody to follow. It is presented for significant long-term achievement in all categories and can only be received once by an organization.
Award recipient Natural Resources Canada – Pacific Forestry Centre

This award goes to an organization that raised over $500,000 in one United Way campaign.
Award recipient Department of National Defence

This award recognizes an Employee Campaign Chair or ECC who has demonstrated outstanding leadership resulting in significant growth in campaign results.
Award recipients Brandy Rowan & Jennifer Downie from the District of Saanich

A great United Way campaign starts with a strong campaign team. This award recognizes a Committee which has demonstrated outstanding leadership resulting in significant growth in campaign results.
Award recipient Seaspan Victoria Shipyards

This award recognizes an organization and its employees that have achieved outstanding campaign results.
Award recipient Viking Air Ltd

For many organizations, the backbone of a strong workplace campaign is their Leadership Giving.  Employees who demonstrate their generosity with a personal gift of $500 or more set the pace for a successful campaign. This award recognizes the workplace that has the highest increase in leader participation and giving amongst all campaigns.
Award recipient TD Canada Trust

For the first time, United Way is giving out a special award to the campaign that had made the greatest impact in the community.
Award recipient University of Victoria

This award is given to the workplace which best demonstrated innovation and creativity in fundraising for the community.
Award recipient Schneider Electric

2013 marked the 25th anniversary of the partnership between United Way and the Canadian Labour Congress.  Last year, over 200 unionized workplaces ran United Way Campaigns. This award recognizes a union for outstanding engagement, involvement and endorsement of a workplace campaign.
Award recipients UNIFOR 333, COPE 378 AND CUPE 4500 for BC Transit  

This is a challenge between University of Victoria, Camosun College and Royal Roads University. The award is made to the institution which achieved the highest percentage increase in overall campaign dollars and participation.
Award recipient Camosun College

This award recognizes a funded community partner which runs a United Way campaign and demonstrates the spirit of philanthropy.
Award recipient Victoria Cool Aid Society

This award recognizes employees of an organization that achieved significant results in a first time campaign.
Award recipient MONK OFFICE

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New Agreements to Accelerate Growth of B.C. Tech Startups

Mar 20, 2014

(News Release) - Minister of International Trade Teresa Wat signed a memorandum of understanding with the Canadian Consulate General in Boston today to establish a formal working relationship and ensure that the Canadian Technology Accelerator (CTA@Boston) is fully utilized by qualified tech startups from B.C.

Wat and the Canadian Consul General in Boston, Patrick Binns, signed the MOU during a tour of the CTA@Boston facilities at the Cambridge Innovation Centre this morning. The three-month Government of Canada CTA program provides resources and mentoring from business leaders and venture capitalists to Canadian and B.C. startups, including life-sciences, information and communication technology, and other knowledge-based sector companies.

The MOU signed today supports a one-year Specified Purposed Account Agreement between the Ministry of International Trade and the Consulate General of Canada in Boston to secure a B.C. component in the CTA@Boston program. As part of the MOU, the British Columbia Innovation Council (BCIC), which accelerates technology commercialization in the province by supporting startups and developing entrepreneurs, will promote the CTA@Boston program to its partners, including companies in its BC Acceleration Network.

Over the past two years, approximately 24 B.C. companies have used Canadian Technology Accelerators in California to secure international sales, partners and investment. Four B.C. companies - Precision Nanosystems, Arazy Group, Shift Health Paradigms, and Ayogo Health -already have participated in the CTA@Boston program. Massachusetts has the largest concentration of biotech firms in the world and the second largest concentration of medical device companies in the United States.

British Columbia identified technology as a priority sector in the BC Jobs Plan and has produced a Technology Strategy that is helping the province develop talent for its knowledge-based economy, open and expand new international markets, and attract investment capital for B.C. technology companies.

To help advance that Technology Strategy, Wat will join Consul General Binns at a roundtable event with the Canadian Entrepreneurs in New England, a non-profit organization that mentors Canadian and B.C. technology companies and helps them secure funding and access to the U.S. market.

The roundtable meetings and CTA@Boston events are part of Wat's five-day trade and investment mission to the U.S. east coast. Yesterday she opened the B.C. Pavilion at Seafood Expo North America, and she will be in New York for a series of meetings with investors tomorrow before returning to B.C. on Wednesday.

Quick Facts:

  • British Columbia has over 6,000 companies in the information and communications technology sector and an additional 1,200 companies in the wireless technologies sector. They employ a talented workforce of over 50,000 people and generate over $11 billion in revenue each year.
  • The B.C. health and life sciences sector includes over 100 bio-pharmaceutical companies, 60 medical device developers and 30 bio-products companies. They collectively generate roughly $1 billion per year in revenues and employ, directly and indirectly, an estimated 14,000 skilled workers.
  • B.C. is home to 50 research centres and eight centres of excellence, including Wavefront, Canada's national centre for wireless technology research, commercialization and growth, and Genome BC, which manages a portfolio of $625 million spread across 180 genomics research projects and science and technology platforms.

Learn More:

Read the B.C. Technology Strategy:http://www.bcjobsplan.ca/wp-content/uploads/TechnologyStrategy2012.pdf

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Anthony Thorn: Alchemist Show and Sale Benefits AGGV Redevelopment

Mar 18, 2014

(News Release) VICTORIA — Anthony Thorn’s work has been exhibited with galleries throughout North America, Mexico, and the Canary Islands, and included in corporate and public collections -- the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria holds five of his works in its permanent collection.  Over a career spanning more than 60 years, artist Anthony Thorn has created paintings and carved works he calls “wall jewels”, using gold leaf, ivory, and other precious materials.  Now his career as an artist is coming to an end, and he has decided to release the cherished works that remain in his studio.

Anthony Thorn: Alchemist is a unique show and sale in the AGGV’s Massey Gallery, March 27 to April 6, 2014, with an opening reception Saturday, March 29, from 2 to 4 pm.  This is a rare opportunity for new and existing collectors to purchase one of the artist’s few remaining pieces. 

Robert Amos is coordinating the show and sale in collaboration with the artist.  “Anthony Thorn has cultivated his unique vision by exploring aspects of abstraction, sacred art, and philosophical searching,” said Amos.  “He is recognized as a master of traditional oil painting and glazing techniques.  This unparalleled exhibition of almost 20 originals - oil paintings and “wall jewels” - will make up a show of sublime richness.” 

Thorn’s unique small sculptures involve carved gesso, cast bronze and the inclusion of precious stones. They often display his fascination with gilding, using gold leaf and gold foil of high purity. 

The gallery’s sales commission will be added to Thorn’s recent extraordinary $2.6 million donation for the redevelopment of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria.

A prairie-raised artist and educator, Anthony Thorn (a pseudonym for Arthur Goldman) began to paint in 1948, soon after graduating from the University of Saskatchewan.  His studies took him across North America, to Paris, Mexico, Japan, and Greece. Thorn taught as a lecturer at Lakehead University, in Thunder Bay, Ontario from 1977 to 1979 before coming to Victoria in 1980.  Here he has exhibited widely with Fran Willis, Winchester, and Eclectic Galleries, among others.  Eight of his works have been honoured with the designation of “outstanding significance and national importance” by the Canadian Cultural Review Board and his papers are on deposit at the Archives of the University of Regina.

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Government of Canada Pilot Program Positions Canadian SMEs to Move Product, Services to Market Faster

Mar 18, 2014

(News Release) — The Honourable Greg Rickford, Minister of State (Science and Technology), joined by John R. McDougall, President of the National Research Council of Canada (NRC), announced a new program that will help small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) access the business and technical services they need to get innovative products and services to market faster.

The Business Innovation Access Program, a $20-million investment, will leverage the extensive networks and knowledge within NRC's Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) to connect SMEs with universities, colleges and other research institutions to address and resolve barriers to the commercialization of ideas, products and services.

The support available through the program can involve external business services such as planning and marketing as well as technical services such as specialized testing, product prototyping and process development.

The Business Innovation Access Program follows from a series of recommendations made by the independent Research and Development Review Expert Panel lead by Tom Jenkins in 2010-11 to better focus federal investments while maximizing innovation and economic benefit for Canadians.

To date, the Government of Canada has delivered on a number of recommendations from the Panel: it has created a Venture Capital Action Plan (VCAP) to increase private sector venture capital funds; transformed the National Research Council into a business-focused research council; created a Concierge service to help SMEs navigate existing government innovation programs; leveraged federal government procurement to encourage innovative Canadian products and services; doubled the investments of the Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP); and encouraged continued partnerships between Canadian universities, colleges and businesses.

Quick Facts

  • The Government of Canada is committing $20 million over two years to the Business Innovation Access Program to support innovative research and development that translates into products that benefit Canadians.
  • The Business Innovation Access Program is a national pilot program to be delivered through NRC-IRAP. The program will complement NRC's existing array of innovation support, strategic research, and scientific and technical services.
  • With its national network of Industrial Technology Advisors, IRAP provides support to small- and medium-sized enterprises in Canada in the development and commercialization of technologies.
  • To access the program, small and medium-sized businesses are invited to contact NRC-IRAP by calling 1-877-994-4727.


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Island Beltone Launches Made for iPhone Hearing Aid

Mar 13, 2014

(News Release) VICTORIA – Responding to the importance of technology for  today’s lifestyles, Island Beltone has launched the revolutionary Beltone First™, the first-ever made for iPhone hearing aid. The Beltone First™ hearing aid, when coupled with made for iPhone capability, allows wearers to wirelessly stream phone calls, music and other audio entertainment, as well as  turn-by-turn navigation Siri®, and FaceTime® conversations right into their ears.

“Essentially what this means is our clients can wear their hearing aids like wireless headphones and hear sound streamed from an iPhone, iPad® or iPod touch® without having to wear an intermediary device,” says Jeff Germain, owner of Island Beltone. “It has been designed to virtually disappear inside your ear and allow you to discreetly tailor your hearing via your iPhone, iPad® or iPod Touch®, as your hearing environment changes throughout your day.”

Beltone First, which is about the size of a lima bean and uses Beltone’s award winning, third generation 2.4 GHz wireless technology, can move high frequency sounds that are inaudible due to hearing loss or cochlear damage to areas of the cochlea where these sounds can be made audible. Beltone even has a name for this technology: Sound Shifter™. By simply opening and closing the battery door on the hearing aid and initiating pairing mode and then initiating pairing on the iPhone’s setting menu, the Beltone First is set into action.

Also launched with the Beltone First is Beltone HearPlus™, a free app that allows wearers to save preferred settings for different locations (i.e. office vs. home, favourite restaurant or movie theatre). When they visit these locations the appropriate settings are recalled and applied automatically. Recommended Apple technology that works best with Beltone First is iPhone 5S and iOS 7.X. There is even a Find My Hearing Aid app that helps locate misplaced devices.

Beltone worked with Apple to create this breakthrough technology with the hope that it will encourage people with hearing loss to more readily seek help. Now available at all 12 Island Beltone locations, Island Beltone’s team will demonstrate how it works and be with clients every step of the way to ensure full use of the new technology is taken advantage. For first time clients, Island Beltone will also offer a comprehensive 12 point hearing test, which is free with a doctor’s referral.

“Not only are we hoping to help new clients hear more clearly while using today’s technology, we will also offer our existing clients a very cost effective technology upgrade program,” says Germain. “Hearing aids purchased within the last three years are eligible for rebates up to 100 per cent of their original purchase price. This is our way of ensuring our clients are able to take continual advantage of the latest technology in hearing care.”

For more information, people may visit www.beltonecare.ca or call Island Beltone hearing care professionals directly at 1-800-665-3277.

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IKAN Celebrates Milestones

Mar 13, 2014

(News Release) VICTORIA — As Anthony Stubbs and Kyler Davalosky blew out the candle on IKAN’s third birthday cake, the company’s co-owners celebrated three years of hard work and growth.
To mark the occasion, the two carpenters also paid a visit to the first kitchen they installed to reminisce with the homeowners and thank them for taking a chance on IKAN.

“You didn’t know it at the time,” Kyler told the homeowners, “but my decision to quit my job and start IKAN hinged on whether we got this project.”

Anthony chimes in to remind Kyler, a Red Seal Journeyman Carpenter, about cutting off part of his thumb his first day on the job. “He was back the next day,” says Anthony with a laugh. “That tells you something about the guy.”

The two have charted a tremendous course since that now-infamous day. This month IKAN installed its three-hundredth kitchen. “The island has proven that they want us here,” says Davalosky.

“Three years is a big deal for us,” says Stubbs. “Almost half of new businesses don’t make it this far so we wanted to recognize how hard we’ve worked to make our dream a reality.”

IKAN Installations designs, ships and installs IKEA kitchens for  Vancouver Island homeowners. IKEA’s kitchens have gained popularity in recent years due to the design, pricing and launch of a 25-year warranty.

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Local Social Enterprises Chosen to Showcase Growth Opportunities

Mar 10, 2014

(News Release) VICTORIA – Social Enterprise Catalyst’s organizing team have announced that BC BioFuel Network (www.bcbiofuel.org) , Habitat for Humanity (www.habitatvictoria.com)  and Robert Bateman Centre (www.batemancentre.org)  will be presenting  at their inaugural gala  event, April 2, 2014 at the Belfry Theatre.

The finalists were chosen from over 20 applications and represent organizations from Victoria, the West Shore, and the Cowichan Valley; as well as organizations with a strong social, environmental and cultural focus. Social Enterprise Catalyst is exactly what its name says – a catalyst to accelerate and celebrate Vancouver Island’s growing social enterprise economy. It  is built upon the success of Vancouver based Social Enterprise Heroes and will be Vancouver Island’s very own pitch event and gala to shine a spotlight on the Island’s dynamic social entrepreneurs and on the resources available locally to social enterprises.

During Social Enterprise Catalyst, each of the three social enterprises will pitch an ‘ask’ for technical assistance and financial investment in a Dragon’s Den-style format.  The judges - Tamara Vrooman, CEO of Vancity Credit Union, Adrian Legin, CEO of Coastal Community Credit Union, and Mackenzie Kyle, Regional Manager from MNP Consulting, will deliberate, provide feedback and allocate prizes which include resources, memberships and $25,000 in funding.

Tickets for the 6 to 9 p.m. wine and cheese event are $25, and guests will also have the opportunity to meet and hear from Joel Soloman, President of Renewal Partners and Chairman of Renewal Funds as well as Paul Lacerte. Soloman is a founding member of Social Venture Network (SVN), Business for Social Responsibility (BSR), the Tides Canada Foundation, and is board chair of Hollyhock.  Lacerte is the Executive Director for the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres, a member of the Board of Directors for the Vancouver Foundation and serves as a Lead Aboriginal representative on key Provincial initiatives including the Government Non-Profit Initiative (GNPI). He currently sits as one of the Canadian representatives at the United Nations Permanent Forum for Indigenous Peoples in New York.

As well, all of the social enterprises who applied to present at Social Enterprise Catalyst will be invited to showcase their businesses  to attendees and a graphic facilitator will assist in mapping the social enterprise eco-system in the region and Island.

Tickets may be purchased online at www.secatalyst.ca.               

About Social Enterprise
These characteristics distinguish a social enterprise from other types of businesses, non-profits and government agencies:
§  Addressing a cultural, social and/or environmental need is the principal goal of the organization, which serves the common good through its products and services or through offering employment to people who face barriers to mainstream employment;
§  Commercial activity is a strong revenue driver, whether a significant earned income stream within a nonprofit’s mixed revenue portfolio, or as a for-profit enterprise;
§  The common good is its primary purpose, literally ‘baked into’ the organization’s DNA;
§  Surpluses and profits are principally reinvested for its social, cultural and/or environmental mandate.

About Social Enterprise Catalyst:
An event being held April 2, 2014 at the Belfry Theatre, Social Enterprise Catalyst will showcase Vancouver Island’s social enterprises. It  is built upon the success of Vancouver based Social Enterprise Heroes and will be Vancouver Island’s very own pitch event and gala to shine a spotlight on the Island’s dynamic social entrepreneurs and on the resources available locally. Tickets are $25 and may be purchased online.  www.secatalyst.ca.  A full list of seCatalyst partners is available here: http://www.secatalyst.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/partners.jpg

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Trapeze Communications announces New Hire, New Clients

Mar 10, 2014

(News Release) VICTORIA — Victoria-based advertising agency Trapeze Communications has announced the new hire of Lori Cascaden as Director of Client Services.

Cascaden is an accomplished leader with over 15 years of experience in marketing, communications and project management. Prior to joining Trapeze, she worked as a Strategic Communications Consultant for SaskPower and as Group Account Director at Brown Communications in Regina. She now brings her vast expertise to Trapeze, developing high-impact campaigns across a variety of mediums including print, digital, broadcast, social media and video production.

“Lori brings a wealth of experience that will make her a key contributor to the company’s growth,” said Richard Fisher, Agency Director and Co-Owner of Trapeze Communications. “Her sharp communications skills combined with her commitment to helping clients find ways to improve and expand their business is a perfect fit.”

Trapeze also welcomes an exciting roster of new clients, including San Francisco-based Cleantech Group, Toronto and Vancouver based Global Village Consulting Inc., Kelowna developer Homex Developments, Landlord BC, and locally, Craigdarroch Castle, LLBrougham Inc and Royal Oak Burial Park.

“We are proud to work with such a diverse range of new clients both locally and across North America,” said Fisher. “Our success in securing new business beyond Victoria displays our agency’s clear strength in brand development and expertise across a variety of business sectors from health care to technology.”

Other developments at Trapeze include a recent brand refresh of its own, complete with a new logo and website.

To see the refreshed Trapeze Communications website and logo, visit trapeze.ca.

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Camosun DECA Business Club Wins Hardware in Seattle

Mar 10, 2014

(News Release) VICTORIA — Twenty-three DECA students and three faculty advisors travelled to Seattle February 20-22 to compete in the Pacific Northwest Career Development Conference (PNCDC). The students competed in a variety of events as individuals or teams that were either prepared or timed preparation cases.

Camosun returned loaded with hardware with three 1st, two 2nd, and two 3rd place finishes and a total of 17 students placing in the top 5 of their respective categories. A total of 131 students from 7 post-secondary schools participated.

Camosun students again shone both inside and out of competition, demonstrating Canadian congeniality and spirit. Camosun competitors attributed some of their success to their preparation in the classroom. The three faculty advisors—Al Morrison, Shari Corrigan and Amy Hoggard—are extremely proud of everyone who attended.

Congratulations to the following winners:
1st Place
David Noble – Accounting
Anda Shkodra and Mathew DeGraaf – Business Ethics
Eric Brabander and Jordon Payne – Financial Statement Analysis

2nd Place
Josh Hoetzel - Accounting
Andrea Eggenberger and Duncan Hauser – International Marketing

3rd Place
Sarah Lindsay - Accounting
Paul Brown, Bob Tiet and Nick Vanstone – Advertising Campaign

Top 5
Jeannette Lyle – Accounting
Michael Pal - Accounting
Chantel Fillion – Human Resource Management
Andrew Flaro and Carl Issel – Sports and Entertainment Marketing

About DECA
DECA is a business club that prepares its members for challenging, rewarding careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management. Participating in local and international business-related competitions helps hone business skills while providing networking opportunities. Camosun DECA is the only DECA chapter in Canada west of Manitoba.

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Cross-section of Prominent Victoria-area People to Lend a Hand to WCL Team

Mar 10, 2014

(News Release VICTORIA – The Victoria HarbourCats are pleased to announce the establishment of a Community Advisory Committee.

Five well-known members of the Victoria sports and business community have been asked to provide valuable input into community engagement on all levels, giving the WCL team a fresh perspective going into the second season of HarbourCats baseball and beyond. John McLean, President of the HarbourCats, and General Manager Jim Swanson will meet periodically with the five, and are pleased to be able to add this resource following the successful inaugural season.

“We had a strong first year, but we don’t want to rest on that – we want to get better year-to-year at providing top sports entertainment for Victoria, affordable for families,” said McLean, who brought baseball back to the Capital District when he signed leases adding up to nine years at Royal Athletic Park. “It’s the old adage that two heads are better than one, and adding these outstanding, community-minded people will help us move forward and improve. They all bring a great perspective and provide valuable feedback with what they are sensing from the community.”

The five people provide a broad cross-section of involvement, and a vast array of backgrounds and experience.

JOHN WILSON: CEO/Owner, Wilson’s Transportation – Needs no introduction, heavily involved in both the local business and sports community.

SUE BROWN: Camosun College – Intern placement and educational consultant, particularly with the sports management program at Camosun.

BOB McKENZIE: Former Publisher, Victoria Times-Colonist – A sports enthusiast and veteran of media management and business operations.

TREVOR STRANDLUND: Owner, Pacific Rim Exteriors – Former professional left-handed pitcher, now a successful operator in the competitive home building and renovation industry on the Island.

FRASER CAMPBELL: Commercial real estate agent – President of Greater Victoria Baseball Association, member of B.C. Minor Baseball Association board, well-known in Victoria business community.

“It is exciting that so many people are pleased with the success of the HarbourCats, but it’s more exciting that everyone sees potential to grow further,” said McLean. “There is nothing better than listening to our fans, and to our partners in every area – including our sponsors, and the City of Victoria. Their observations and ideas, the feedback, it is crucial.”

About the West Coast League:

The West Coast League features a competitive level of play and recruits players from high-calibre baseball programs at colleges and universities across North America. With the addition of the Yakima Valley Pippins, the WCL has 12 teams in three divisions for the 2014 season, with franchises located in B.C., Washington and Oregon. The Victoria HarbourCats are in the West Division with the Bellingham Bells, Kitsap BlueJackets of Bremerton, Wash., and Cowlitz Black Bears of Kelso/Longview, Wash. The 54-game regular season starts June 6 and runs through August 10, with playoffs to follow. The home-opener for the HarbourCats in 2014 is Tuesday, June 10, against the Cowlitz Black Bears, at Royal Athletic Park. The HarbourCats will play exhibition games on June 5 (vs. BCPBL Victoria Eagles/Mariners) and June 22 (in Duncan, vs. PIL Langley Blaze).

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Real Estate Activity Continues Ahead Of Spring Market

Mar 04, 2014

(News Release) VICTORIA – Real estate market activity in the first two months of 2014 remained slightly ahead of the same period in 2013. Total MLS® sales in February were 412, a 4.6 per cent increase over February 2013 when 394 units sold and a 20.5 per cent increase over the 342 sales reported to the Victoria Real Estate Board (VREB) in January 2014.

“It’s encouraging that sales activity continues to increase as we move towards a healthy spring market,” noted VREB President, Tim Ayres. “2013 spring sales were quite strong and we’re hoping for a similar level of activity this year.”

The MLS® HPI single-family home benchmark price for the entire Greater Victoria region was $483,400 in February, a 1.4 per cent decrease when compared to the February 2013 value of $490,100.

“With a $5 million condominium sale in February, it was no surprise to see average prices for condos rise last month from $328,130 to $373,749,” said Ayres. “Since the introduction of the MLS® Housing Price Index (HPI) in November 2013, we’ve been saying the HPI is a much more reliable measure of price trend data than average prices.

Our February MLS® HPI numbers prove it; even with the $5 million sale, February MLS® HPI benchmark pricing for condos in Victoria remained virtually unchanged with an increase of only $400.”

At the regional level, the MLS® HPI benchmark price for the single family benchmark home in the Core municipalities was $547,800. This benchmark price is virtually unchanged when compared to both the previous month and February 2013. In Westshore, the MLS® HPI benchmark price for the single family benchmark home was $408,500, up 0.9 per cent from January 2014 and a 1.0 per cent decrease compared with last February. The MLS® HPI benchmark price for the single family benchmark home on the Peninsula was $502,600 for February, an increase of 1.1 per cent over the previous month and a 4.1 per cent decrease year-over-year.


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Disability Consultation Makes Final Stops in Capital City

Feb 26, 2014

(News Release) VICTORIA — Community members in Victoria have three face-to-face opportunities to make their voices heard as part of a comprehensive public consultation on issues facing people with disabilities in B.C.

Two public community consultation sessions are taking place at the Victoria Marriott Inner Harbour today. The afternoon session goes from 1:30 p.m. - 4 p.m. and the evening session takes place from 7 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. The third and final of 23 provincewide sessions is being held on March 7, 2014.

The consultation, guided by representatives from government, the disability community and the business community, is an opportunity for people with disabilities, their families and communities to come together and discuss what can be done to remove barriers and increase accessibility in British Columbia.

Participants at both the afternoon and evening discussions will provide input on six themed areas: innovation, housing and accessibility, work and contribution, social networks, asset accumulation and personal supports.

While the in-person consultations end March 7, 2014, people can take part online and explore alternate methods of sharing their ideas by visiting: www.engage.gov.bc.ca/disabilitywhitepaper

The website, which has had more than 23,000 online visits and nearly 1,000 comments to date, is accepting submissions until the close of the consultation at 4 p.m. on March 11, 2014.

Comments and ideas gathered from all sources will inform the development of a white paper - a document that will reflect the voices of British Columbians. The paper will form the foundation of a summit to be held in June 2014.

Find services and supports for people with disabilities: www.gov.bc.ca/disabilityservices

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Career Expo Connects Global Employers and More Than 1,000 BC Business Students

Feb 26, 2014

(News Release) RICHMOND — Four of BC’s leading post-secondary institutions have partnered to welcome more than 1,000 business students and alumni to the Ready, Set, Hire! Career Exposition March 5 at the Richmond Olympic Oval.

Camosun College, Vancouver Island University, Kwantlen Polytechnic University and Langara College will co-host the new business career exposition to bring highly skilled job seekers face-to-face with up to 30 different companies doing business globally. Recruiters from these organizations will be seeking the best and brightest amongst post-secondary business students and graduates. Attendees will also have the chance to attend workshops throughout the day.

Camosun College student employment facilitator, Irene Wallace, says students and employers all benefit from this type of networking event. "Ready, Set, Hire! offers valuable experience you can’t replicate in a classroom. The employers and students become part of a lifelong professional network.”

Wale Banjoko, a Master of Business Administration (MBA) student at VIU, says he plans to be among the 1,000-plus students and alumni expected to attend. “This is a great opportunity to network, he says. “As an international student, having the opportunity to network with some of the biggest Canadian companies is not to be missed.”

Exhibitors in attendance at the career exposition include companies in finance and banking, real estate, insurance, human resources, retail, accounting, government and tourism sectors. Students and alumni from the four participating post-secondary institutions can register at http://www.readysetcareerexpo.ca/. Opportunities for businesses to exhibit at the career fair are also available.

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