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Young Leaders Connection: Spring Training Seminars for Youth

Mar 10, 2015

(News Release) VICTORIA — Young Leaders Connection (YLC) is designed to help young people between the ages of 17 and 24 develop their leadership styles and abilities. The two-day training seminars focus on emotional intelligence (EQ) as it applies to leadership and communication and are offered in two streams, one for women and one for men.

The new seminars are being offered by Camosun College’s Continuing Education department in partnership with Engalen, a B.C.-based company. The seminars include yoga, creative visioning, goal setting and a community service learning project.

"With an idle market saturated with job seekers, Young Leaders Connection steps up to the gate offering an opportunity for youth to raise their own bar and become leaders of their own learning," says Engalen consultant Laura Zeman, the designer and facilitator of YLC. "Through a fun, creative and engaging approach, participants can leverage information and tools for their personal and professional development."

The seminars will be held at Camosun's Lansdowne campus, from 9:30am-4:30pm each day. The Young Women's Workshop is scheduled for April 11 and May 9 and the Young Men's Workshop will run April 12 and May 10. Upon completion, participants will have the option to test their EQ and receive a one-on-one coaching session. Cost is $199 + GST (not including the EQ assessment) and registration is now open.

For more details and to register, visit camosun.ca/ce.

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Harbour Authority Annouces Appointment of Ian Robertson as CEO

Mar 09, 2015

(News Release) VICTORIA — The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Ian Robertson as GVHA’s Chief Executive Officer. 

Mr. Robertson is currently the CEO of the Tourism Industry Association of British Columbia (TIABC).  He has over 30 years’ experience developing business solutions in companies ranging from Procter and Gamble through the Jim Pattison Group and Rocky Mountaineer.  He has also held elected office for six years as Commissioner, Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation, where he served as Chair. 

“We are delighted to appoint a CEO who brings great leadership experience to GVHA. He understands GVHA’s role as a steward of important harbour assets and he’s keen to engage the many stakeholders who share an interest in Victoria’s harbour,” said GVHA Board Chair Bill Wellburn.  “This appointment follows an extensive search and a rigorous hiring process.  Our search was aided by the input of our Member Agencies, GVHA’s Life Members, staff, and many of our key customers and stakeholders.   We are grateful for their perspectives.”

Mr. Robertson joins GVHA at a pivotal time.  The Board and staff have been developing a new Strategic Plan that will guide GVHA’s activities over the next 10 years.  A second round of consultations seeking additional input on the Strategic Plan with Member Agencies will be initiated in the weeks ahead, followed by public consultation involvement in late spring.  Mr. Robertson will have the opportunity to put his mark on the Strategic Plan and then take charge of the development and implementation of the strategies and plans that follow.

“I am thrilled to have been given this opportunity,” said Mr. Robertson.  “I look forward to leading the GVHA team, and meeting with the many stakeholders who share an interest in Victoria’s spectacular harbour.”

Mr. Roberson will take up his appointment effective April 27, 2015.  He will be overseeing his first cruise season with over 500,000 passengers and 200,000 crew scheduled to visit Victoria.  Until that time GVHA is grateful to have Mr. Rick Crosby, Interim CEO, at the helm.

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Pettinger Family Sells Tofino-based Pacific Sands Beach Resort

Mar 04, 2015

(News Release) TOFINO - The Victoria and Tofino based Pettinger family is proud to announce the sale of family-owned  Pacific Sands Beach Resort after 42 years of operations. The magical beachfront resort on the West Coast of Vancouver Island, has been sold to Vancouver based company Gordon Nelson Inc. (Gordon Nelson) a family-run company lead by Jason Gordon and Chris Nelson along with partners Robert Brown, a social and green building developer and Shane Richards, the general manager of nearby Ocean Village Resort.

Building on the vision of their parents Bill and Joan Pettinger, the Pettinger Family has overseen the development of this spectacular 40+ acre property from a modest five cottages and 12 unit motel in the early 1970's into a beautiful 77 room resort located directly on breathtaking Cox Bay. "We are pleased to pass along the legacy of Pacific Sands Beach Resort to Gordon Nelson," says Bill, Rick and Dave Pettinger. "Chris and Jason have an appreciation and passion for Tofino that brings a fresh commitment to Pacific Sands, and we are confident they will continue to serve the resort and community well in the future."

"Situated on one of the best surf and storm watching beachfront properties in North America, purchasing a resort property like Pacific Sands Beach Resort is a rare opportunity," said Chris Nelson, co-owner of Gordon Nelson, who grew up on Vancouver Island. "The Pettinger Family have been excellent stewards of this amazing piece of property and we look forward to continuing to build upon their legacy."

"We love the natural beauty of Tofino, the ability to surf almost every day and the energetic, engaged community," says Jason Gordon, of Gordon Nelson. "My wife and I have enjoyed bringing our children to Tofino for years. We would like to thank the scores of loyal Pacific Sands guests who have been returning every year to surf, body board, build sandcastles, fish, whale watch, take in local artists, and savour the great food. Tofino truly represents supernatural British Columbia at its best."

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Social Enterprise Movement Taking Vancouver Island by Storm

Feb 27, 2015

(News Release) NANAIMO – Building on the success of last year’s inaugural event, Nanaimo is hosting the second annual Social Enterprise Catalyst (seCatalyst) Gala and social enterprises across Vancouver Island have until Monday, March 23, 2015 to apply for the chance to win cash, prizes and invaluable mentorship.

Social Enterprise Catalyst is exactly what its name says – a catalyst to accelerate and celebrate Vancouver Island’s growing social enterprise economy.  A social enterprise is an organization that uses business strategies to maximize its social impact. Local social enterprises may apply online at www.secatalyst.ca and if chosen, will be one of three finalists who will pitch their best ideas and biggest challenges during a live event, May 20, 2015 at Nanaimo’s Port Theatre.

To raise awareness and educate business owners about the power of social enterprise, the seCatalyst team has been touring the island since January, setting up presentations in Port Alberni, Campbell River, Comox Valley and Westshore.  And this Tuesday, March 3rd, the Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce and seCatalyst are hosting a free, “ learn about it” event at Shaw Auditorium, at 4 p.m.  Experts, funders, event sponsors and social enterprise operators will answer questions and local businesses can find out if they qualify for the chance to win $50,000 in cash and technical support.

Finalists from all the entries will be chosen in April and provided with a coach who is not only an expert in social enterprises, but who will help social enterprises develop their pitches and presentations. During the high-energy seCatalyst Gala in May, these social enterprises will present in front of a live audience at Nanaimo’s Port Theatre and will gather invaluable feedback from a team of expert judges. The judges will then decide how do divide up the ‘winnings’ including business and financial strategy coaching, Chamber of Commerce memberships, marketing and communications support, green business assessments and certifications, and even cash prizes up to $25,000.

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Lottery Announced For Liquor Store Relocation and Grocery Queue in B.C.

Feb 26, 2015

(News Release) VICTORIA — As the B.C. Government prepares to lift the five kilometre rule on April 1, 2015, liquor stores throughout B.C. will have an opportunity to enter a lottery to determine the queue for relocations, moves to other communities or into grocery stores.

From Feb. 27 to March 27, 2015, interested liquor stores will have a four-week window to apply for relocation.

All applications received during this period will be placed in a lottery and drawn at random.

All applicants will be notified of their position in the queue after the draw is complete.

This process will apply for both private liquor stores and BC Liquor Stores.

The lottery system is set up to ensure fairness - each applicant will be given an equal chance at qualifying to relocate, understanding that the one kilometre rule will continue to play a large role in the assessment and approval of applications. If more than one store wants to relocate its licence within the same one kilometre radius, the first applicant chosen is given priority.

For example, if there are two liquor stores in Prince George and one in Vancouver who all want to relocate their licence to a new location in Kelowna - into a grocery store or otherwise - the lottery system will determine who is first in line, because the area where one chooses to relocate may affect where the others are able to move.

To be clear, this lottery process is not required for VQA or wine stores, as they continue to be exempt from the one kilometre rule, or for any licensee that is adjacent to a grocery store and plans to apply to become a "store-in-store" by simply knocking down a wall.

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Local Mayors Elected To Guide ICET Investment Decisions

Feb 25, 2015

(News Release) COURTENAY — Four new Island mayors will be joining the 13 member Board of Directors of the Island Coastal Economic Trust, filling vacancies created by the November municipal elections.

The Island Coastal Economic Trust is seen as a successful economic development model largely because of its collaborative structure including more than 40 locally elected officials. This community-centred decision making process enables the region to set its own investment priorities.

Mayor Aaron Stone of Ladysmith and Mayor Bill McKay of Nanaimo were newly elected to ICET's Board of Directors by the Central South Island Regional Advisory Committee (CSIRAC). Mayor Jon Lefebure was also elected as Chair of the CSIRAC, and will sit on the Board ex-officio.

The North Island Sunshine Coast Regional Advisory Committee (NISCRAC) saw Mayor Andy Adams of Campbell River and Mayor Michael Berry of Alert Bay chosen to help direct the investments and strategic direction of ICET. Mayor John MacDonald of Sayward was elected as Vice-Chair of the Committee.

"ICET’s success in helping communities leverage funding and create economic infrastructure that creates jobs is rooted in our local decision-making structure," said Board Chair Mayor Phil Kent of Duncan. "As a group, we bring our communities’ perspectives forward, and make investments in projects that we all agree will benefit the region."

Both Regional Advisory Committees elect four Board members for two year terms and the Province appoints five members for 3 year terms. Continuing locally elected Board members include Mayor Phil Kent of Duncan, Joe Stanhope, Chair of the Nanaimo Regional District, Mayor Josie Osborne of Tofino and Mayor Paul Ives of Comox. Mayor Teunis Westbroek of Qualicum Beach continues as Chair of the NISCRAC. Provincially appointed members include Camela Tang, Dallas Smith, Dave Mannix, Arlette Raaen and Kevin Tevington.

The NISCRAC held elections on February 6th, and the CSIRAC on February 13th. The appointments are effective until July of 2016.

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UVic hosts fourth IdeaFest, March 2-7

Feb 24, 2015

(News Release) VICTORIA — IdeaFest, a weeklong festival at UVic, returns with over 50 thought-provoking events to inform and enchant.

When does a disease turn into an epidemic? How do scientific and Indigenous knowledge intersect to help us prepare for tsunamis? How can we improve our wellness as we age? How do we teach tomorrow’s business leaders to think beyond the bottom line?

These are just a few of the topics to be featured at the University of Victoria’s fourth annual IdeaFest, which runs March 2-7. More than 50 events—all free and open to the public—will provide a glimpse into the world-class research and creative activity at UVic that are having an impact on our lives and the world around us.

"Engagement with the community is a vital part of the knowledge creation and transfer process," says David Castle, UVic’s vice-president research. "Our researchers, scholars and artists are eager for the two-way interaction—discussion, questions and lively debate are what make IdeaFest a true celebration of ideas."

A variety of panels, hands-on workshops, exhibits, lectures, performances, screenings and tours will cover topics such as cancer detection, epidemics, the oceans and climate change, healthy aging, the war against ISIS, orcas of Vancouver Island, and renewable energy, to name a few.

The full IdeaFest program is available online at www.uvic.ca/ideafest, searchable by day or category. The schedule scales to all mobile devices.

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Viking Completes Global Aerospace Logistics Contract

Feb 24, 2015

(News Release) VICTORIA — Viking Air Limited of Victoria, British Columbia, has now officially handed over the final Twin Otter Series 400 aircraft on order for Global Aerospace Logistics (GAL), of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, completing the multi- aircraft purchase contract.

The final aircraft will join the eight Viking Twin Otter Series 400 already delivered to GAL since 2013, being utilized by the UAE Government under a multi-year service contract. The specially equipped Series 400 Twin Otters are configured with paratroop provisions and intermediate flotation gear ("IFG") to enable the Government’s operations on the loose sand in the Arabian Gulf region. Global Aerospace Logistics (GAL) is an original launch customer for the Series 400 Twin Otter, having placed their initial aircraft order in 2009.

Abdulla Marassas, Aviation Program Manager for GAL, commented, "We are very happy with the Viking Series 400 Twin Otter, as evidenced by our fleet of nine aircraft. The Series 400’s performance is beyond our expectation, and perfectly serves the purpose for the design and function intended."

He added, "Working with Viking has been a satisfying experience, dealing with knowledgeable people who have made the purchase and delivery process easy, and we’re already looking forward to expanding our relationship with future projects."


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New Directors Appointed to CREST Board

Feb 19, 2015

New directors appointed within the past six months include: Jeri Grant (Juan de Fuca), Kyara Kahakauwila (Metchosin), Margaret Lucas (Victoria), Tim Morrison (Esquimalt), Niall Paltiel (Central Saanich), Rob Reeleder (Southern Gulf Islands), Sandra Sajko (Province of B.C.), Jack Thornburgh (North Saanich), Karen Whitson (BC Emergency Health Services), Eric Zhelka (Oak Bay), and Elizabeth Zook (Salt Spring Island).

Returning directors are: Brian Anderson (BC Transit), Tim Chad (Sidney), Gordie Logan (Colwood), Heidi Rast (View Royal), Kerrie Reay (Sooke), Karel Roessingh (Highlands), Lillian Szpak (Langford), and Leif Wergeland (Saanich). Colwood councillor Gordie Logan remains as chair of the board.

The new board also approved the 2015 business plan for CREST. It includes implementing a $24.5 million radio system upgrade system approved by shareholders last September.

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Greatest Greater Victoria Conversation Project

Feb 19, 2015

(News Release) VICTORIA — The Greatest Greater Victoria Conversation is an event intended to provide an opportunity for Greater Victorians to come together and discuss what they want to see in the Provincially-led governance study. It will be held on February 24 at the S. J. Willis Education Centre, 923 Topaz Avenue.

The November 2014 vote provided a very strong mandate (75% Yes) and sent a clear message to municipal and provincial governments that residents are not only yearning for, but demanding change.  

The Greatest Greater Victoria Conversation will provide an opportunity for everyone in community to come together and present a vision for the future, and to connect with one another. This is an opportunity to reaffirm the desire for governance reform, including and particularly for those residents who were denied a non-binding vote in five municipalities.

The Greatest Greater Victoria Conversation will have expert facilitators and subject-matter panelists about major services provided by local government. It will provide a forum to draw on the synergies and cohesiveness that exists within the community, and maintain the momentum for change that voters so overwhelmingly expressed in the November 2014 municipal election.

The keynote speaker is Dr. Janni Aragon. Originally from California, Janni is an Assistant Teaching Professor of Political Science in the Department of Political Science at the University of Victoria. The event will include panelists on governance, neighbourhoods/parks and recreation, emergency services, the economy, transportation, and water/sewage and infrastructure.

The Greatest Greater Victoria Conversation Project is a volunteer run event. The organizers have strived to encourage a thoughtful discussion but mistakes are inevitable. Please remember the influence that citizens have. The Conversation is not intended to polarize the discussion, but rather to harness the wisdom of residents.

We encourage attendees to rise above traditional "us vs them" reporting and instead to seek areas where common ground and balance can be found; this will encourage people to work together for the greater good.

The Greatest Greater Victoria Conversation is the starting point of a meaningful dialogue where collective wisdom can be achieved and positive change will result. By working together, this goal can be realized.

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Sendwithus’ BattleSnake brings the Silicon Valley to the University of Victoria

Feb 13, 2015

(News Release) VICTORIA — Sendwithus will host BattleSnake, an artificial intelligence (AI) programming competition, on Saturday February 21st at the University of Victoria from 11:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the Engineering Building, room 123. BattleSnake has over 100 registered participants, including UVic students and development teams from local startup and tech companies. Participating companies include MetaLab, Tiny Mob Games, CheckFront, One Net Marketing and Pretio Interactive.

The event is sponsored by Heroku and Dropbox, two Silicon Valley tech giants looking to build a presence in Victoria. Other sponsors include Sendwithus, One Net Marketing, VIATeC and the University of Victoria’s Department of Computer Science.

BattleSnake is inspired by the popular retro arcade game, Snake, where a pixelated snake moves around a grid eating food and scoring points. The Sendwithus team has built an AI platform to enable developers of various skill levels to write Snake AIs and battle against each other for a $1,000 cash prize pool sponsored by Heroku.

Participants will work in teams of one to four developing their AI. Teams then enter a digital battleground and compete against other student and corporate teams. This event is designed to encourage local companies to engage with student programmers and future hires in a fun and interesting way.

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Super Bowl Sets Digital Record in Canada

Feb 12, 2015

(News Release) VANCOUVER — SendtoNews recorded an impressive 4.7 million video views during the SUPER BOWL XLIX weekend through its News Partnership Network™ proving that digital viewership now rivals television as the medium to watch. The demand for highlights, player interviews and other content from the most watched Super Bowl in U.S. history resulted in a new record for digital impressions in Canada. Video views totalled 15.7 million during the entire Jan.26 to Feb. 8 Super Bowl extravaganza, with the Monday after Super Bowl attracting the largest audience, with 1.7 million views on that day alone. The honour of most viewed video clip after the Super Bowl game highlights  went to the post-game interview featuring Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll discussing the choice of the final call of the game,  with his telling comment "This one didn't work out right for us.”

This year's Super Bowl success represents a staggering 83 % growth in viewership over 2014. Short form digital video is now an increasingly preferred viewing platform and advertising medium that SendtoNews expects to continue with strong growth in 2015.

"Digital viewership for the second year in a row in Canada rivals television with impressive numbers and higher fan engagement," said SendtoNews CEO Greg Bobolo. "In addition, an impressive lead up to Super Bowl proved pre-event coverage is also a strong market."

Marquee sporting events have huge appeal. Not only did Super Bowl XLIX draw a record TV audience in Canada of 9.23 million, it set a digital impressions record as well, which is a bonanza for newspaper.coms. With high quality digital video highlights at their disposal, Canadian publishers that belong to the News Partnership Network™ were able to leverage the Super Bowl with pre- and post-game coverage, game highlights, interviews, top plays, news and more. SendtoNews's attractive, above-the-fold player gives the premium screen placement that HD quality, well edited Super Bowl highlights deserve and top shelf brand advertisers covet. Premium placement along with tight metrics give newspaper.coms the tools to tap new sources of ad revenue, boost their online audience and readership, and achieve much needed stability in a post print media environment.

SendtoNews is leading by example. The digital video distribution pioneer sold 100% of its available Super Bowl XLIX digital ad inventory in Canada, proving once again that this digital sports video agency is raising the bar in premium video and online advertising.

"Advertisers recognize that premium video content like the NFL highlights, with huge consumer reach, comes at a price that is worth the premium," said SendtoNews CEO Greg Bobolo.

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UVic Gustavson School of Business students help Our Place

Feb 12, 2015

(News Release) VICTORIA — A collaboration between students from the Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria and Our Place Society recommends changes to help enhance and improve food service operations. The organization serves 1,200 to 1,500 meals a day.

“Our students found that working with Our Place was both challenging and rewarding. They feel confident the resulting recommendations will help streamline operations, reduce overhead, and allow the society to further extend their reach,” says Heather Ranson, a professor in the service management specialty in the Peter B. Gustavson School of Business.

“The MBA program is built around immersive experiences that help create long-lasting relationships between our students and groups within the community.”

Our Place Society serves Greater Victoria’s most vulnerable including working poor, mentally and physically challenged, those living with addictions, and the homeless. Over the past year, the organization has increased services by more than 30 per cent, resulting in challenges around space, staffing, volunteers and integration of services.

The review and consultation resulted in several recommendations including:
•  extend meal service to 90 minutes from the current 60 minutes
•  use software to track volunteer hours and reward volunteers individually
•  develop a tracking system for food donation
•  provide conflict management training for all volunteers

“Not only was this an opportunity for the students to engage first hand with the most vulnerable citizens of Victoria, it was a unique experience for everyone at Our Place Society,” says Le-Ann Dolan, director of operations at Our Place. “It was wonderful to engage with the university and the rewards were more than we were expecting.”

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