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Huu-Ay-Aht First Nations Citizens Vote To Continue Exploring Proposed LNG Project At Sarita Bay

Dec 02, 2014

(News Release) PORT ALBERNI – Huu-ay-aht First Nations and Steelhead LNG are pleased to announce that they will continue to explore the proposed development of a US$30 billion LNG Project at Sarita Bay on Vancouver Island. This follows Huu-ay-aht citizens voting in favour of doing so today at the Nation’s People’s Assembly in Port Alberni. The proposed Project, which includes a 24‐mtpa (million tonnes per annum) land‐based facility, is one of the largest proposed LNG projects in British Columbia.

The People’s Assembly vote approves the lease of Huu-ay-aht Treaty Settlement Lands to the proposed Project and the carrying out of comprehensive environmental, traditional-use and technical studies in advance of a final investment decision expected in 2018. The vote comes after months of intensive community engagement with Huu-ay-aht citizens, which saw Huu-ay-aht government and staff members, Steelhead CEO Nigel Kuzemko and Steelhead LNG engineers and staff members meet regularly with Huu-ay-aht elders and citizens in Anacla, Port Alberni, Vancouver, Victoria and Nanaimo. The work to address Huu-ay-aht citizen questions and concerns included community engagement sessions, home visits, visits for Steelhead LNG staff to key Huu-ay-aht cultural sites, as well as a tour of hydraulic fracturing operations in Alberta by Huu-ay-aht citizens.

“Today’s vote is an indication that our Nation is open for business and that certainty can be achieved for projects on First Nations territory in BC,” said Jeff Cook, Elected Chief Councillor of the Huu-ay-aht First Nations. “The important thing to remember is that, as a Treaty Nation that is once again in control of natural resource projects on its territory, partnerships and certainty with us must be negotiated and earned on our terms and in accordance with the principles that have guided our Nation and our people for generations. Steelhead LNG’s approach and their respect for our people, our principles and our processes are an example of how companies should conduct business with First Nations.”

Steelhead LNG and the Huu-ay-aht will now carry out technical studies that will examine a wide range of environmental and engineering issues related to the proposed Project, including: air quality and emissions, fishing and freshwater resources, Huu-ay-aht traditional land use, marine issues (fishing, carrier traffic, crabbing, eel grass, marine habitats), wildlife (migratory birds, species at risk), noise, transportation and roads and socio-economic issues.

“While this vote represents an important milestone for our proposed Project, we recognize that we still have a lot of work to do,” said Kuzemko. “Huu-ay-aht citizens have identified a number of issues that are important to them, and we look forward to studying those issues closely with the Huu-ay-aht before a Final Investment Decision is made in 2018.”

If a Final Investment Decision to build the proposed LNG facility is made in 2018, it’s expected up to 4,000 jobs would be created during the construction phase, with 300 to 400 full-time jobs created when the plant is operational. In addition, the proposed Project would generate hundreds of spin-off jobs and business opportunities in the Alberni Valley in many sectors, including: business administration, hospitality, manufacturing, first aid, accommodation, recreation, tourism, transportation, catering, security and other service sectors. This includes local spin-off jobs with restaurants, schools, grocery stores, hotels, hospitals and providers of medical, business, heavy machinery maintenance, industrial and other services.

As the proposed Project moves into the feasibility stage, five new jobs for Huu-ay-aht citizens will be created in 2014 and early 2015 to support the different activities related to the next phase of technical studies. The first position will be for a Huu-ay-aht Employment Strategy Advisor, who will create a long-term education and training strategy for Huu-ay-aht citizens to secure the direct and spin-off jobs that will be created if the LNG facility goes ahead.

To that end, Huu-ay-aht First Nations and Steelhead LNG will work with the provincial government and Vancouver Island colleges, such as North Island College, Vancouver Island University and Camosun College, to develop new trades programs that would provide Huu-ay-aht citizens with funding and training for LNG project-related jobs such as pipefitters, welders, plumbers, iron workers, equipment operators and electricians. The long-term employment strategy for Huu-ay-aht citizens will also include capacity-building education and training for a wide range of administrative, technical and professional service careers such as doctors, lawyers, accountants, engineers, human resources officers and numerous other administrative positions.

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Queen Of Oak Bay To Undergo Major $7.7 Million Upgrade Project At Seaspan’s Vancouver Drydock

Nov 28, 2014

(News Release) VICTORIA – BC Ferries’ Queen of Oak Bay is commencing the first phase of a multi-million dollar three-quarter life upgrade tomorrow at Seaspan’s Vancouver Drydock in North Vancouver.


The vessel’s extensive upgrade will include the following safety and mechanical improvements:
• Critical systems renewals (piping and equipment)
• Propulsion overhauls and renewals
• Electrical distribution upgrades
• Elevator upgrades
• Installation of local application water mist on main engine room machinery
• Energy efficiency upgrades including LED lighting in machinery compartments and HVAC
upgrades
• Large scale steel renewal
• Regulatory surveys
“The Queen of Oak Bay project is part of the approximately $150 million that BC Ferries will spend in BC this year alone on annual vessel maintenance, refits and vessel upgrades,” said Mark Wilson, BC Ferries’ Vice President of Engineering. “This extensive upgrade is an important investment in one of our major vessels which will ensure we maintain a safe, reliable and efficient service, and in the process, staying focused on fare affordability for the benefit of our customers.”
The 33-year old Queen of Oak Bay carries 360 vehicles and 1,488 passengers and crew. Following the first phase of this major project, the vessel will return to the Horseshoe Bay – Departure Bay route in February 2015. The Queen of Coquitlam is currently replacing the Queen of Oak Bay in the meantime.
The second phase of the Queen of Oak Bay’s three-quarter life upgrade is scheduled from November 2015 through February 2016 at BC Ferries’ Fleet Maintenance Unit in Richmond. The remaining scope of the project includes upgrades to the passenger accommodations and services, energy efficiency upgrades, installation of state-of-the-art bridge and navigation systems, renewal of the steering systems, further electrical upgrades and replacement of end-of-life equipment.
The Queen of Oak Bay is the first of C-Class vessel to undergo a three-quarter life upgrade. The Queen of Surrey will follow with the first phase of its three-quarter life upgrade in Feb 2016.

The remaining C-Class vessels will undergo smaller asset betterments over the next four years starting with the Queen of Coquitlam in September 2015.
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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Strong Victoria Real Estate Market Again in October

Nov 04, 2014

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

602 properties sold in the Victoria region this October, an increase of 17.6% when compared to the 512 properties sold in the same month last year.

“Here we are again, a month in 2014 ending with more sales than in 2013,” Victoria Real Estate Board President Tim Ayres says. “This year has been a solid year for local real estate – indeed we are only 154 transactions away from meeting the total number of sales from 2013 – and there are two more months left in the year!”

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core this time last year was $547,800. This month the benchmark value increased to $553,900.

“All year we’ve seen a decrease in the number of active listings and increase in sales compared to 2013 numbers,” adds President Ayres. “Last year at the end of October we saw 4,322 active listings, and this year we see 3,927 active listings, that’s a 9.1% change.”

Victoria Real Estate Board President Tim Ayres is available for comment. More information on the October 2014 report and the Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index is available from the Victoria Real Estate Board.

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Huu‐ay‐aht Leads the Way by Offering Employees Living Wage

Oct 29, 2014

(News Release) PORT ALBERNI – Huu‐ay‐aht will become the first First Nations community in Canada to adopt a living wage policy for all of its employees.

Out of respect for all Huu‐ay‐aht employees, executive council voted in favour of implementing a living wage policy on Friday, October 24. This will require that some adjustments to the minimum wage amounts in the existing wage and salary structure for employees. The decision was made based on the belief that B.C.’s current minimum wage is not high enough to meet the needs of families to promote health and wellbeing.

Huu‐ay‐aht believes people should not have to decide between paying rent and feeding their family, and with today’s high cost of living, this is a reality many people face. According to the Living Wage for Families Campaign, in 2013, 1.8 million employed people in Canada do not make enough to pull themselves above the poverty level. Many are forced to rely on food banks in order to get by. British Columbia has the second highest child poverty rate in Canada, and low wages are a key contributor. The 2013 Child Poverty Report Card found that 32% of poor children, more than 44,500 in BC, live in families with at least one adult working full time.

Huu‐ay‐aht believes that work should lift families out of poverty not keep them there.

“Too many of our people are living on minimum wage or below the poverty line,” explained Elected Chief Councillor Jeff Cook. “It is our hope that this will offer our employees choices other than to just survive and live pay cheque to pay cheque.”

In 2010, New Westminster became the first municipality to adopt a living wage policy. Currently, according to Living Wage Canada, 15 municipalities have calculated what their living wage would be. The range of wages is between $14.60 (Cranbrook) and $20.10 (Vancouver).

The living wage that has been calculated for Port Alberni is $17.22 per hour, or $33,579 annually. Using the Canadian Living Wage Framework as its guide, Huu‐ay‐aht has agreed to adopt this as their minimum wage. By doing so, it becomes the second community in BC to adopt a living wage policy for its employees.

“The Treaty has given us the ability to make decisions based on our values and goals, and implement those decisions in accordance with our own laws. The living wage policy shows how the Treaty gives us the ability to chart our own future,” said Councillor Tom Mexsis Happynook. “We have a long way to go to meet or exceed the living standards of Canadians, but this is a great step in the right direction.”

A living wage is different from minimum wage in that it takes into account the amount a family needs to cover basic expenses. These are the bare bones costs with no extras, but it is calculated as a total compensation, including wage and benefits. Where the minimum wage focuses on the needs of a lone individual, the living wage focuses on the needs of families and includes medical and health needs, food security, transportation, and skills development.

Huu‐ay‐aht wants more for its employees and its citizens. Part of the Huu‐ay‐aht Strategic Plan is to become an ’Employer of Choice’ in the Alberni‐Clayoquot Regional District. In order to foster a dedicated, skilled and healthy workforce, Huu‐ay‐aht First Nations believes it must pay a living wage to all of its employees. By doing so, they are making a significant investment in the future and building long‐term prosperity for the economy.

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Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards Starts Construction on Initial Production Blocks for First NSPS Vessel

Oct 28, 2014

(News Release) VICTORIA – The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada, announced today that Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards has started construction on two initial blocks for the first National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy (NSPS) ship, the Canadian Coast Guard’s Offshore Fisheries Science Vessel (OFSV).

“We are thrilled to begin initial block construction on the OFSV and are grateful that Minister Finley is here to celebrate this milestone moment with us, said Brian Carter, President – Seaspan Shipyards. “We are proud to be Canada’s capability partner for Non-Combat vessels and are looking forward to continuing our service to the Canadian Coast Guard and the Royal Canadian Navy under the NSPS.”

The initial block construction coincides with the final phases of Seaspan’s Shipyard Modernization Project, a two-year, $200 million project, which once complete in November, will provide state-of-the-art facilities to efficiently deliver ships under the NSPS program for more than 20 years.

“Today’s announcement confirms that the NSPS is working to employ Canadians and generate economic opportunities within our shipbuilding and marine industrial base across the country,” said Brian Carter.

Seaspan’s NSPS build package will create stable work over the next decade for trades and suppliers throughout B.C. and across Canada. It is estimated that this work will create a total of 5,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs throughout the life of the build program, and produce almost $500 million per year in gross domestic product for B.C.’s economy.

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Harbour Authority Announces Interim Ceo

Oct 28, 2014

(News Release) VICTORIA — Greater Victoria Harbour Authority’s (GVHA) Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Rick Crosby, former Chief Executive and Operating Officer of the Provincial Capital Commission (PCC), will be joining GVHA as its interim CEO effective Wednesday, November 5, 2014.
“GVHA is pleased that Rick has agreed to serve in this interim role,” said Bill Wellburn, GVHA Chair. “His experience and leadership skills will ensure a smooth transition to a new CEO.”

Crosby retired from the PCC in May 2014 following a 33-year distinguished career with the BC public service. He has a very successful track record as an effective and highly competent leader in both good times and in challenging times, including supporting the smooth transition of business operations from the PCC to government. Crosby also has a good working knowledge of GVHA business operations, its inner harbour property assets and board governance.

“I’m looking forward to leading and supporting GVHA’s dedicated and hardworking staff,” said Crosby. “During the transition period to a new CEO, my primary focus will be to support the staff with running the day to day business operations, and the governance oversight of GVHA operations by the Board of Directors representing the community we serve.”

Outgoing President & CEO Curtis Grad will be leaving on Friday, November 7, 2014, providing a few days of a leadership overlap period in order to fully brief Crosby on current operations and future plans. Grad announced his departure from GVHA on Friday October 17, 2014 to take on the leadership of a new First Nations economic development company, Skwin’ang’eth Se’las, which was established in December 2013 jointly by the Esquimalt Nation, Songhees Nation and GVHA. The GVHA board is grateful for Grad’s three and half years of excellent executive leadership and would like to wish him all the best success in his new endeavour.

Crosby will serve at the helm of GVHA for the duration of the executive recruitment process for a permanent CEO. More details will be forthcoming in the weeks and months ahead.

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B.C. University Degree A Good Investment According To Class Of 2008 Graduate Survey

Oct 24, 2014

(News Release) VANCOUVER – A B.C. university degree is a proven path to employment and a good investment in the future says a new report released today by B.C.’s six research universities, which tracks the outcomes of the graduating class of 2008.

Called Putting Degrees to Work, the report uses student survey data collected by BC Stats showing that five years after graduating, the Class of 2008 has lower unemployment rates and higher salaries than those who did not complete an undergraduate degree.  Contrary to the view that university degrees aren’t relevant to today’s job market, the report shows that the vast majority of university graduates are working in fields related to their education.

“The Class of 2008 graduated on the cusp of the worst global economic downturn since the Great Depression,” said Andrew Petter, Chair of the Research Universities’ Council of British Columbia. “Today’s survey shows that the skills and knowledge these students acquired at a B.C. university prepared them to take advantage of the economic recovery.”

According to the report’s findings, the graduating class of 2008 had an unemployment rate of 4.7 per cent five years after collecting their degrees.  This number was well below the overall provincial unemployment rate of 6.6 per cent and the provincial youth unemployment rate of 12.9 per cent.  At the same time, those graduates were earning a yearly average of $60,000.

“Today’s economy is driven by creativity, innovation, and new ideas,” said University of British Columbia President Arvind Gupta.  “That’s why the skills our students acquire are so important in today’s fast-changing labour market.”

In addition to tracking the Class of 2008, Putting Degrees to Work also shows how universities are responding to changing student demand.  Degrees in engineering, applied sciences and business have increased by 34 per cent since 2006.

“Today’s students are very savvy,” said University of Northern British Columbia President Daniel Weeks.  “And they are choosing fields that are in high demand by employers.  That is leading to significant changes in university programming to meet the needs of today’s students. For example, at the University of Northern B.C., we are graduating more engineers than ever before, students who will be needed in B.C.’s emerging LNG industry.”

University of Victoria President Jamie Cassels said that the survey reflects what employers around the province are telling him.  “Many of British Columbia’s leading job creators are looking for people with the kinds of skills that university teaches, from critical thinking to clear communication.   That is one reason why we are seeing graduates in every program succeed in the job market.”

Royal Roads University President Allan Cahoon added that “continuous learning opportunities provided by universities like Royal Roads are extremely valuable to employers who are looking for graduates who can adapt and respond to fast-changing labour market demands.”

“The success university graduates are having also shows that to keep B.C.’s economy growing, we need to graduate students at every level in post-secondary education, in science, in business, in the trades and in the humanities,” said Thompson Rivers University President Alan Shaver.  “To keep growing and generating new jobs, B.C.’s economy needs more people with post-secondary credentials.”

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City Receives Three Proposals in Response to Crystal Garden Market Sounding

Oct 24, 2014

(News Release) VICTORIA – This morning the Governance and Priorities Committee will receive information about three proposals submitted for potential uses for the City’s historic Crystal Garden. The City initiated “market sounding” closed Wednesday and resulted in proposals from Butterfly Gardens, Macaloney Brewers and Distilleries and Oceans Network Canada.

A market sounding was issued earlier this month to identify alternate opportunities for maximizing the Crystal Garden space, while supporting downtown vitality and embracing the historical significance of the building.

This is the first step in assessing market interest and potential for the property. Proposals will be presented for information to City Council this morning and made available to the community. The next steps in this process will also be discussed at the meeting.

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The Power Of Partnerships Prevails: Five Canadian Organizations Join Forces In Support Of Applied Sport Science Research

Oct 24, 2014

(News Release) VICTORIA — Mitacs, Own the Podium, Orpyx Medical Technologies (“Orpyx”), the University of Victoria and the Canadian Sport Institute Pacific have joined forces to provide a new opportunity for applied sport science research. These forward-thinking organizations are collaborating on a project with PhD candidate Samuel Blades from the University of Victoria’s Department of Exercise Science, Physical & Health Education.
Originally, Dr. Breanne Everett of Orpyx reached out to Sport Technologist Samuel Blades of the Canadian Sport Institute Pacific to get his expert advice on potential uses of their medical pressure sensing insoles for measuring sport performance. Through some initial discussions between Orpyx, Blades and his graduate supervisors, it became apparent to Blades there is a major technology gap for simple unobtrusive pressure insoles that can be used while running to provide feedback to athletes looking to improve performances and prevent injuries.

Blades’ team, which includes the Canadian Sport Institute Pacific, the University of Victoria, and Orpyx, agreed it was worth exploring further. Own the Podium then facilitated the opportunity for collaboration with Mitacs’ Accelerate program, which pairs businesses and graduate students, allowing them to apply their expert research skills and knowledge in a way that creates innovative solutions.

The study will use Orpyx’s pressure-sensitive insole, which is capable of providing real-time feedback to patients with peripheral neuropathy. With minor modifications, the insoles could be used to address the measurement needs of runners. This project will provide hardware recommendations to Orpyx to optimize their insoles for running. Further, this project will assess the day-to-day reliability of the Orpyx SurroSense Rx insole by comparing them to gold standard measures. Upon completion of this research, Orpyx will have the necessary technical information to expand their SurroSense RxTM technology from its current application to the running world, significantly increasing their potential sales market and product diversification options.

This new technology could be used to make training more efficient and prevent injuries in high performance athletes from sports that directly involve running, such as triathlon, endurance race events, rugby and soccer, while also proving beneficial to any sport that use running as an integral part of their training.

“The collaboration among Mitacs, Canadian Sport Institute Pacific, University of Victoria, Own the Podium and Orpyx demonstrates the importance of multi-partner research projects in advancing innovation in Canada,” said Dr. Rob Annan, interim CEO and Scientific Director at Mitacs. “This research will help further sport science technology.”

"We designed the SurroSense Rx™ system to be a platform technology for the collection of plantar pressure data for a wide variety of applications and verticals," said Dr. Breanne Everett, Orpyx founder and CEO. "This partnership is a giant step forward in realizing that vision."

“This is an excellent example of multiple partners coming together to support a great applied sport science research project that will have an immediate impact on the training of high performance athletes training here in British Columbia,” said Dr. Trent Stellingwerff, Innovation & Research Lead at the Canadian Sport Institute Pacific. “Samuel has been in the trenches providing performance analysis service to national sport organizations for the past five years; he knows what is missing and the research will be extremely useful within the sport science community”.

Blades is excited about the opportunity and appreciative of the partnerships. “Being able to better incorporate technology into the daily training and competition environments within high performance sport is what’s needed to get ahead. In order to have a true competitive advantage over our international competitors we need to be incorporating innovation, research and technology into our daily routines. I believe this project provides the opportunity for us to do that and I am excited to be at the helm.”

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Viking Sells Series 400 Twin Otters to Scotland

Oct 22, 2014

(News Release) VICTORIA — Viking Air Limited of Victoria, BC, Canada and Highlands and Islands Airports Limited (“HIAL”), of Inverness, Scotland, have entered into an agreement for the purchase of two Twin Otter Series 400 aircraft, making HIAL the first Twin Otter Series 400 operator in Scotland.

The two aircraft, scheduled for delivery starting in mid- 2015, will be configured as standard 19-passenger commercial landplanes based in Glasgow and providing Public Service Operation (“PSO”) routes to Campbeltown, Barra and Tiree, off the West coast of Scotland. The Series 400 Twin Otter was selected by HIAL to operate on these lifeline service routes due to its robust design, STOL performance, and reliability when operating in extreme conditions, all prerequisites for operations on Barra’s short beach landing strip.

Provisions for operator flight and maintenance training were also included in the contract, and will be provided through Flightsafety International in Toronto, Ontario, and Viking’s sister-company, Pacific Sky Aviation Inc, in Victoria, BC.

“While the legacy de Havilland Twin Otter has been reliably servicing remote communities in Scotland for decades, the introduction of the Viking Series 400 aircraft will no doubt be considered a welcome upgrade to HIAL’s offerings while providing taxpayers with the best value for money,” commented Evan McCorry, Viking vice president International Sales & Marketing. He continued, “We are pleased to provide a cost effective solution for Scotland’s infrastructure requirements, and welcome HIAL to the growing Series 400 Twin Otter family.”

 

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Pretio Interactive Acquires Tap for Tap

Oct 22, 2014

(News Release) VICTORIA – Pretio Interactive, an advertising technology startup backed by two of Canada’s leading venture investors, has acquired Tap for Tap, a mobile ad network for apps founded by veteran entrepreneur and investor, Todd Dunlop.

The deal, which closed in mid-October, was the culmination of discussions between the two companies that accelerated as Dunlop considered offers from US-based suitors. Keeping the company local, he says, was not the only consideration.

“To be honest, it was great to realize that Pretio had both a good fit and a competitive offer as a local company,” says the founder of Neverblue and Ring Partner. “Given that, and the fact that their team will be taking Tap for Tap in a direction that I wholly support, I was excited to do the deal.”

The acquisition terms were not released. However, it included both a cash and equity component which will result in Dunlop becoming a shareholder in Pretio. Tap for Tap will operate out of Pretio’s Vancouver Street offices.

Pretio, a leader within the growing in-app advertising space, sees the acquisition of Tap for Tap and its 12,000 app developers as similarly beneficial.

“Todd and his team not only built a great product, but a deep following amongst game and app developers around the world,” says Pretio CEO Jim Hayhurst. “That network plus the core technology is hugely beneficial to us. And having a local veteran like Todd continue to be involved as an advisor and shareholder wouldn’t have happened if we did a deal south of the border.”

Pretio was founded by 26 year-old entrepreneur Tyrone Sinclair in 2012 with an initial focus on helping games, apps and websites engage users by giving rewards from brands for certain activities (for instance, a $10 coupon from Target for visiting frequently or 50% off from Tommy Bahama for hitting a new game level).

In 2013, after having raised an angel round from local investors and bringing startup veteran Hayhurst on board, the company raised additional funding from Sir Terry Matthews’ Wesley Clover International and Vancouver-based VC Yaletown Venture Partners.

Since then, the company has allowed other advertising networks to use Pretio’s technology and offers to fill the millions of daily ‘moments’ where users expect to be rewarded - not bombarded with banner ads.

For advertisers, the unobtrusiveness of Pretio’s ‘ads’ creates up to 40 times more engagement than traditional banners. Since 2013, the company has worked with more than 200 brands including Target, Live Nation, Dunkin’ Donuts, Audible/Amazon, and Jessica Alba’s hot eco- retailer The Honest Company.

Tap for Tap was created to help app developers solve their two biggest challenges: Getting users and making money. The company’s network allows app developers to cross-promote their app by exchanging ad placements within other apps in the network.

As Sinclair says, Tap for Tap fits perfectly into Pretio’s plans. “These developers have 18,000 apps that will immediately be able to make more money with Pretio’s ads,” he says. “Having a direct relationship with the developers and their millions of users around the world is an opportunity that doesn’t come on the market often - much less in one’s own backyard.”

To support this growth opportunity, Sinclair says the company has already begun looking for more local backend developer talent as well as designers to join their team.

The success of both Tap for Tap and Pretio reflects the continuing growth of a unique subset of Victoria’s tech industry. As Dan Gunn, Executive Director of the Victoria Advanced Technology Council (VIATeC) notes, there are now a number of successful marketing technology companies that call Victoria home.

“What really excites me is that, while gaming and other more visible tech sectors have received attention of late, our performance marketing companies are quietly becoming global players, too,” says Gunn. “In addition to Pretio, companies like Neverblue, PlusROI and Go2Mobi are showing that Victoria can play in one of the Internet’s hottest growth areas.”

Both Tap for Tap and Pretio have been recognized by VIATeC in the past. Pretio was nominated for two technology awards in 2013, while Tap for Tap won for Best Online Strategy. In addition, Sinclair and his Pretio team were the first graduates of Accelerate Tectoria, the entrepreneurship program delivered by VIATeC.

 

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United Way Greater Victoria Announces New Director of Community Investment

Oct 20, 2014

(News Release) VICTORIA – Patricia Jelinski, Chief Executive Officer of United Way Greater Victoria is pleased to announce the appointment of Lee Anne Davies as Director of Community Investment.
In her new role, Lee Anne is responsible for managing key community investment strategies, such as collaborations, grants and community-based research for United Way. She works to align investments and partnerships with United Way’s three priority areas, vision and mission. She also engages community funded partners to contribute to social change and create joint solutions to social issues facing Greater Victoria.
“Lee Anne brings tremendous capabilities and experiences to the position through her work in the private and social service sector and with research institutions,” says Patricia Jelinski, CEO at United Way. “Lee Anne has led numerous program and policy initiatives and developed partnerships, guided funding proposals and measured program outcomes. We are delighted to have her as part of our team.”
Lee Anne Davies has a PhD in Aging, Health, and Well-Being and an MBA in Information Technology Management. She is an innovator with a keen interest in demographic change and related social implications. Her company, Agenomics, is a leader raising awareness and educating Canadians on the unprecedented convergence of age, health and wealth.
Along with many years of experience working in the financial sector including insurance, wealth management, banking, and financial education companies, she has completed research on financial management capabilities in older adults. Lee Anne started her career in the IT sector then transitioned to the financial sector including leadership roles at RBC Royal Bank and CSI (formerly Canadian Securities Institute).  Most recently she was on contract with BC Assessment.
Lee Anne has a number of publications and her most recent work can be read in Money Sense Magazine (online), Alzlive.com, Agenomics.ca and in her recently released co-authored book: When Life Bites You in the Wallet: Taking Control of Your Finances.
“My admiration of United Way’s collective approach in tackling key community challenges is what attracted me to the organization. I'm excited to enhance these collaborative efforts and further deepen the impact of our organization where it is most needed,” says Lee Anne.

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Songhees Nation Welcome Curtis Grad To Lead Economic Development Non-Profit

Oct 17, 2014

(News Release) VICTORIA — Esquimalt Nation Chief Andy Thomas and Songhees Nation Chief Ron Sam announced today that Curtis Grad has accepted a contract position to formally launch Skwin’ang’eth Se’las Development Company (SSD Co.), a federal not-for-profit corporation that was incorporated last December to promote economic development opportunities for the Esquimalt Nation and Songhees Nation communities. Curtis Grad will be leaving his position as President & CEO of Greater Victoria Harbour Authority in the coming weeks and will immediately assume executive leadership of Skwin’ang’eth Se’las, which means “Helping Hand” in Coast Salish Lekwungen dialect.

The non-profit corporation, SSD Co., was established in December 2013 jointly by the Esquimalt Nation, Songhees Nation and Greater Victoria Harbour Authority (GVHA) with equal representation on its Board of Directors. Esquimalt Nation Chief Andy Thomas and Songhees Nation Chief Ron Sam are united in their support of SSD Co.’s directors’ decision to contract Curtis Grad to lead the organization.

“Victoria Harbour is the Traditional Territory of the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations and the spirit of Skwin’ang’eth Se’las was envisioned in 2002 when the GVHA was created,” explained Esquimalt Chief Andy Thomas. “We have been patiently looking for creative ways to advance economic opportunities for the Nations for well over a decade since we became founding members of the GVHA, and SSD Co. is the vehicle that will enable our young people to return to the harbour to create livelihoods. With Curtis onboard to help us get SSD Co. off the ground, we look forward to fostering meaningful long-term First Nations engagement in the broader regional harbour economy.” “The purpose of SSD Co. is to be a catalyst for the creation of Aboriginal owned businesses and, by extension, the promotion of Aboriginal employment and mentoring opportunities,” explained Songhees Chief Ron Sam. “The future prosperity of Songhees Nation rests with our youth. In order to fully participate in the economies of our Traditional Territories, our citizens need work experience, and hands on support that includes the development of business management expertise. Curtis has the proven skills and has earned our trust over the past three years during his time at the GVHA. We are very pleased that he will be joining SSD Co., and dedicating his talents to putting form and function to our vision of a future where opportunity and prosperity on Victoria harbour is shared with the Nations.”

The SSD Co’s bylaws call for a minimum of three directors and a maximum of nine to serve on the SSD Co. Board. The initial Directors selected to serve are:

· Lyle Henry, Songhees Nation

· Tim Power, Esquimalt Nation

· Stewart Johnston, Past Director and Founding Chair of Greater Victoria Harbour Authority

Success for Skwin’ang’eth Se’las will be measured by the creation of sustainable local businesses owned and operated by Esquimalt Nation and Songhees Nation community members. The new corporation will also emphasize and promote the long history and rich culture of the First Nations in the region.

Skwin’ang’eth Se’las Development Corporation will be setting up offices in VIATeC's new downtown facility, Fort Tectoria, to build on the synergies of being close to other entrepreneurs and innovators on a daily basis. “We are thrilled to welcome SSD Co. into our innovator's hub,” said Dan Gunn, Executive Director of VIATeC. “While cultural awareness of Aboriginal people is growing, this opportunity to establish meaningful mentoring alliances of mutual benefit, and to strengthen understanding of the potential for new business markets and opportunities is very exciting for us. We look forward to working with Curtis, the Nations, and to incubating the incubator.”

“I am honoured to join the Songhees Nation and Esquimalt Nation to help with the business mechanics of setting up the Skwin’ang’eth Se’las Development Company,” said Curtis Grad. “Advancing economic development for the Nations is something I’m very passionate about. I feel honoured and privileged to take on this new role with the Nations and GVHA, as true partners in this exciting and innovative enterprise, and to identify and foster new business partnerships and opportunities. My 3+ years with Greater Victoria Harbour Authority have been incredibly fulfilling. I truly enjoyed my time working with the GVHA Board and broader community to advance the shared goals and vision for the Victoria Harbour and I take tremendous pride in the team’s accomplishments. GVHA has matured as an organization, due in large part to the dedication of its management team and staff, and it is well positioned for its next leader to chart GVHA’s direction for the decades to come.”

Curtis Grad begins work on a part time basis with SSD Co. in early December and will take the next several months to establish an office in Fort Tectoria, assess marketing potential, meet with the economic development officers at the Esquimalt Nation and Songhees Nation and work with the SSD Co. Board on developing the strategic direction for the new organization.

 

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