How well is our Island positioned for business recovery from the pandemic? As it swept across the planet, COVID-19 dealt swift and harsh blows to economies around the world. Vancouver Island was no exception, with a survey by the BC Chamber of Commerce revealing over 70% of business owners expected a more than 50% drop in revenue.

When stay-at-home orders were first issued and communities began to feel its impact, Douglas magazine partnered with CHEK News to explore the issues, the challenges and the opportunities this immense change presented. The series Conversations in a Crisis interviewed business owners and community leaders who were grappling with the pandemic and fighting their way through it.

Now that we look to a different future than the one we’d all envisaged, we’ve changed the focus of the series to Road to Recovery. We’re covering the challenges, issues and opportunities business is experiencing — but this time as we navigate a brand new world.

Joe Perkins hosts the series, which airs Sundays at 5 pm on CHEK News, both on television and livestreamed via their website. Click on the dates below to view the interviews.


June 21: Devesh Bharadwaj, Pani Energy and Jill Doucette, Synergy Enterprises discuss the impact of the pandemic on the green economy.

June 28: Dr Richard Gale, Director of Camosun Innovates shares how they’re protect healthcare workers and the community from COVID-19.

July 5: District of Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes and Vancouver Island South Film & Media Commission‘s Kathleen Gilbert talk about building a film studio in Greater Victoria.

July 19: Calen McNeil pulled no punches in sharing the pain of an immediate shut down of operations. We followed up with Calen to see how he’s faring now.

July 26: Dallas Gislason of South Island Prosperity Partnership and Ray Brougham of Rainhouse Canada discuss the manufacturing industry on Vancouver Island and its role in protecting us from future supply shortages.

August 2: Laura Day of Victoria’s Migration Boutique shares how the downtown Victoria retail sector is coping and adapting.

August 9: Chief Rebecca David discusses the Pauquachin First Nation‘s purchase of the Ardmore Golf Course in Victoria this past February, and what it means for her community.

August 16: Kirsten Soder, Executive Director of Destination Campbell River, tells us how her region is faring during a summer lacking the usual visitor demographic.

August 23: Emilie de Rosenroll of South Island Prosperity Partnership and Dan Pontefract of The Pontefract Group, discuss the emerging trend of microcredentials.

August 30: Joe Perkins talks to Port Alberni Mayor Sharie Minions to find out how they’re doing and what their rebound plans are.

September 6: Ruth Mojeed of The Inclusion Project shares how the Employment Equity Partnership will help address systemic inequalities and barriers to equitable employment.

September 13: Managing Partner and GM Jim Swanson of The Victoria HarbourCats baseball team discusses their plans for 2021.

September 27: Esri Canada’s Dan Ruscheinski tells us how big data helps businesses forecast and solve problems.

October 4: Francine Carlin, Chair of both the Salt Spring Island Community Economic Development Commission and the Rural Islands Economic Partnership tells us what’s hindering them in their attempts to rebound.

October 11: Max Young of For Good Measure talks about what it’s like opening a grocery store during a pandemic.

October 18: Pacific Football Club‘s CEO and GM Rob Friend tells us how they salvaged their season during a pandemic.

October 25: Personal branding strategist Pamela Sylvan tells us how to build and maintain our professional brand when we are limited to the digital realm.

November 2: Susan Mowbray of MNP discusses this year’s State of the Island Economic Report, produced by MNP in partnership with VIEA.

November 8: Island Coastal Economic Trust tells us how they’re providing impactful support for business recovery on Vancouver Island, funding rebuilding programs for hard-hit sectors and industries.

November 15: Rising Economy Week event organizers South Island Prosperity Partnership tell us about their hopes for moving the needle on recovery.
November 22: Carol Anne Hilton of the Indigenomics Institute discusses the role the Indigenous economy plays on Vancouver Island.
November 29: Cathy Scott, CEO of Departures Travel, tells us about the impact the pandemic has had on her business and how she’s looking to rebound in a safe, timely manner.
December 6: We interview Tchadas Leo, host of the new podcast ‘Our Native Land’ and tour CHEK’s new podcast centre.
December 13: Victor Nicolov of Anvy Technologies talks about life as an inventor during an pandemic – and the invention that’s earned him a Time magazine award.
December 20: We talk to 2020 Douglas 10 to Watch winner Mercy Southam of Eir Mobile Medicine to find out how health care has been transformed through the pandemic.
December 27: Ian Welle of Polar Engineering tells us how his local business is helping mitigate climate change.
January 3: Bryan Yu, Deputy Chief Economist for Central 1, provides us with their economic forecast for 2021.
January 10: South Island Prosperity Partnership CEO Emilie de Rosenroll explains the recent trend towards microcredentialling, and how it helps boost careers.

Recommended Reading:

The Stay At Home Economy Might Be Here For Good

Will Victoria Flatten The Curve of a Projected Recession?

Four Ways to Increase Brand Trust For Your Business