When communities began to feel the impact of COVID-19, 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 grappling with the pandemic.

In the subsequent series Road to Recovery, we covered the challenges, issues and opportunities business is experiencing as we navigate a new normal.

The series aired on CHEK News, both on television and livestreamed via their website. Click on the dates below to view the interviews.



January 29: Downtown Victoria Business Association CEO Jeff Bray tells us how local retailers are faring now, exploring the challenges and new opportunities they’re experiencing.

January 22: Ron Rice, Executive Director for the Victoria Native Friendship Centre shares his advocacy work in advancing Indigenous wellness and community-building.

January 15: We learn how the Indigenous Prosperity Centre supports Indigenous-led economic development in this interview with its Executive Director Christina Clarke.

January 8: Logan Ford of Rockslide Gallery shares how his growing independent arts organization advocates for affordable artists’ studios where a vibrant local culture can flourish.


December 19, 2022: Have you ever booked a vacation and thought, ‘all I want to do on this trip is absolutely nothing?’ Jamie Sterling of The Southern Gulf Islands shares the details of their latest campaign encouraging visitors to do just that.

December 11, 2022: Synergy Foundation‘s Director of Operations, Georgia Lavender, shares how circular economies build both economic growth and help save our planet.

December 4, 2022: Kate Moran, CEO of Ocean Networks Canada, shares details on a research project to turn carbon dioxide (CO2) into rock on the ocean floor.

November 27, 2022: Accent Inns‘ Mandy Farmer shares how she prioritizes employee satisfaction and brings fun into the workplace.

November 20, 2022: The Esquimalt and Songhees Nation‘s foray into joint business ownership of Salish Seaside RV Haven shows the power of collaboration for mutual prosperity.

November 6, 2022: Dave Devano, President and CEO of the Nanaimo Airport Commission, shares how they’re rebounding from the pandemic while undergoing a multi million dollar transformation.

October 30, 2022: Dr. Scott Beatty, CEO of MarineLabs, explains how their data-mining company helps mitigate climate change, work that earned them a 2022 BC Cleantech Award.

October 23, 2022: The reusables industry on Vancouver Island is growing as more entrepreneurs step into the circular economy. Nancy Prevost of The Nulla Project talks about her business and its impact.

October 16, 2022: South Island Prosperity Partnership’s Director of Engagement Kerry Slavens on this year’s Rising Economy conference, and how it will tackle Greater Victoria’s most pressing issues.

October 9, 2022: Students of UVic‘s first ever Indigenous Law Degree graduated this summer. We learn why the degree is important – and how it contributes to fulfilling the tenets of Truth and Reconciliation in Canada.

October 2, 2022: We explore the impact of the pandemic on mental health in the workplace with Jonny Morris, CEO of the Canadian Mental Health Association of BC.

September 25, 2022: Vancouver Island Economic Alliance’s new President & CEO Julie Sperber tells us how their annual Economic Summit tackles the challenges businesses are facing now.

September 18, 2022: We talk to Laska Paré, founder of Flipside Plastics, a startup producing uniquely designed Canadian-made home goods from recycled plastics.

September 11, 2022: Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce CEO Bruce Williams on how business is coping with continued pandemic turbulence, and some solutions to current challenges.

September 4, 2022: Darlene Rotchford of the Victoria Labour Council discusses the impact of unions in our regional economy as we celebrate Labour Day.

August 28, 2022: The Land Conservancy of British Columbia‘s Cathy Armstrong on how the organization manages the balance between land demand and land protection.

August 21, 2022: A former racetrack is now the site of a program designed to nurture new farmers and promote local food security. Stephen Duck of Sandown Centre for Regenerative Agriculture shares the details.

August 14, 2022: VIATEC CEO Dan Gunn talks about how the tech sector is leveraging the strengths of our regional economy to grow its own positive impact.

August 7, 2022: What can we learn from businesses who’ve thrived through the pandemic? Clemens Rettich, frequent Douglas contributor, shares his insights.

July 31, 2022: 2022 10 to Watch winner Justo’s Plant-Based Dips talks about their journey to becoming a Business for Good, or B Corp.

July 24, 2022: Immigration dropped dramatically during the pandemic, adversely affecting our economy. Karen Hira of Victoria Immigrant & Refugee Centre Society tells us why, and how immigrants are an essential part of a healthy economy.

July 17, 2022: Sage Initiative’s vision is to build a national network of Indigenous Womxn trained in impact investment. A year after she launched her business, we speak with founder and CEO Sage Lacerte.

June 26, 2022: Lori Muñoz Malcolm, Founder & CEO at HeartPress PR #BrokersofGood, shares how corporate giving has changed over the course of the pandemic.

June 19, 2022: Kwikwasut’inuxw Haxwa’mis First Nation’s Chief Rick Johnson talks about their purchase of Echo Bay Marina and how they’re leveraging increased interest in eco-tourism to drive business growth for the Nation.

June 12, 2022: Destination Greater Victoria CEO Paul Nursey shares how the organization is leveraging events and sports to boost year-round visitor traffic.

June 5, 2022: BC Restaurant & Foodservices Association (BCRFA) Chair Peter De Bruyn talks about how the labour shortage is affecting the restaurant industry.

May 29, 2022: We learn more about the seaweed industry, and how one local company – Cascadia Seaweed – is leading the way in developing and cultivating kelp farms along the Island’s coastline.

May 22, 2022: joni cofounder Linda Biggs talks about the rise of equity crowdfunding and how it’s helped democratize investment for investors and entrepreneurs.

May 15, 2022: Tourism Vancouver Island has rebranded as 4VI, becoming a social enterprise. CEO Anthony Everett tells us what motivated the change.

May 8, 2022: The Nanaimo Bakery is now being run by a non-profit to help drive funding for their programs. We talk to Corrie Corfield of Island Crisis Care Society about the purchase and how they hope the social enterprise will fulfill their goals.

May 1, 2022: Vancouver Island Economic Alliance President George Hanson details their new project and how economic development on Vancouver Island has changed over the past two years.

April 25, 2022: Cyrus Singh, CEO of KEDC, outlines the Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw Nations (GNN) goal of creating an Aquaculture Zone within their traditional territories in Port Hardy.

April 17, 2022: Mint Cleaning‘s pandemic pivot means they’re busier than ever. The founders tell us how their line of cleaning supplies has led to overnight success.

April 10, 2022: Smart HR’s Ingrid Vaughn tells us how the workplace has evolved over the past two years, and details the challenges employers are facing as well as the positive changes she predicts are here to stay.

April 3, 2022: We learn more about online marketplace Doorway Drop, whose mission is to connect consumers directly with local producers.

March 27: Justin Young, owner of Canadian Tire Hillside Centre, talks about how his customer-centric approach and innovations can help brick and mortar stores compete with delivery giants like Amazon.

March 20: A business formed during the pandemic hopes to help repair ravaged forests and sequester carbon through non-obligation tree planting. Founder Tim Tchida of Blue Green Planet Project tells us more.

March 13: We learn how Greater Victoria’s biggest employers are faring through the pandemic as South Island Prosperity Partnership CEO Emilie de Rosenroll shares the results of their recent Business & Employer Survey.

March 6: KWENCH‘s Tessa McLoughlin on her unique take on the concept of coworking, and how she’s managed to continue her networking strategy through the pandemic.

February 27: Rob Gillezeau, assistant professor in Economics at UVic, talks about the StrongerBC Plan and its potential impact on Vancouver Island.

February 21: Florentien Verhage of the Greater Victoria Local Immigration Partnership at Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria tells us about the resources they’re providing to combat racism in the workplace.

February 13: The Malahat Nation‘s Director of Economic Development, Angela van den Hout, outlines their business goals, including developing a film studio and innovation park.

February 6: What makes entrepreneurs more likely to find the silver lining in a crisis? Geoff Archer, Associate Professor & Director of the Eric C. Douglass Centre for Entrepreneurial Studies at Royal Roads University, shares his perspective.

January 30: The Good Party‘s Emma McCormick discusses how the wedding industry has had to pivot throughout the pandemic, what they’re asking the provincial government to do, and what trends will carry on even after the pandemic.

January 23: Foodpreneur Lori Joyce tells us how her local business Betterwith Ice Cream fared – and what surprised her the most about navigating a shared societal crisis.

January 16: How has the pandemic and climate change affected the insurance industry and your risk as a business owner, homeowner or tenant? Laura Bolster of Megson FitzPatrick Insurance provides her perspective.

January 9: Bryan Yu, Chief Economist for Central 1, returns with a lookback at how the regional economy fared in 2021, with his forecast for 2022.

January 2: We revisit the Save Startups campaign which has lobbied government for new business support through the pandemic, with limited success. Peter Wood tells us how the public can get involved – read our profile on this efforts here.


December 19: Victoria’s blue economy is growing by leaps and bounds. We talk to ocean innovator Julie Angus about her local business Open Ocean Robotics and how their solar-powered autonomous boats are a game changer for the marine industry.

December 12: We learn how Eagle Wing Tours became the first carbon neutral whale watching company in Canada, and how businesses can work towards their own carbon neutral goals.

December 5: We talk to Brian Menzies of the Independent Wood Processors Association of BC about the challenges they’re facing through COVID and the climate crisis.

November 28: Kristi Rivait of Scale Collaborative talks about the impact social enterprise has on climate change mitigation in the latest Road to Recovery.

November 21: Vancouver Island isn’t unique when it comes to the housing affordability crisis. Renowned urban planner Jennifer Keesmaat provides insights on how it can be solved.

November 14: Petroglyph Development Group‘s Ian Simpson shares details of the revitalization projects the Snuneymuxw First Nation is undertaking in Nanaimo.

November 7: Feature Media‘s Justin Tse shares his insights on the world of content marketing, and how business can best leverage influencers for marketing campaigns.

October 31: South Island Prosperity Partnership‘s Emilie de Rosenroll talks about their work facilitating the Rising Economy Taskforce – and how it led to the creation of Rising Economy Week.

October 24: The Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce‘s Bruce Williams discusses the challenges small businesses have faced over the past year, how the Chamber has supported them, and how businesses can navigate the next year

October 17: Mike Delves of MNP discusses the labour shortage and other challenges businesses face today – and how they could be solved.

October 10: Content4Good founder (and frequent Douglas contributor) Erin Skillen talks about the importance of humanistic leadership in attracting and keeping employees during the current labour shortage.

October 3: How do you move beyond talk to action when implementing inclusive hiring and HR policies in the workplace? Lexi Mills of FreshWorks Studio gives practical advice on doing just that.

September 26: Michael Lane of WorkBC Victoria talks about the shifting labour market as the region experiences its lowest unemployment rate since 2019.

September 19: The FRS Clipper returned to Canadian waters for the first time on September 17, after 18 months away. Their CEO David Gudgel shares how they’ve coped and what their future holds.

September 12: OneFeather‘s Lawrence Lewis talks about how his fintech company empowers Indigenous communities with digital banking solutions.

September 5: George Hanson, President of the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance, tells us what to expect from their 2021 Economic Summit.

August 22: Carol Anne Hilton, CEO of the Indigenomics Institute, talks about her new book and how Indigenomics is shaping our economic future.

August 15: Amber Simpson, CEO of Alexzi Building Solutions, tells us how the new business will disrupt the local construction industry.

August 8: Spinnakers Brewpub‘s Paul Hadfield shares how his business has survived the last 18 months and what he’s doing to attract and retain employees during an industry-wide labour shortage.

July 25: Fay Weller of Gabriola Island Recycling Organization with details of a new project promoting entrepreneurship and the circular economy.

July 18: Jim Kent, managing director of Tidemark Theatre in Campbell River, shares how his team reimagined a whole new way to connect artists with audiences during the pandemic.

July 11: Victoria International Airport CEO Geoff Dickson talks about the future of flying and travel – both short and long term.

July 4: Tobyn Sowden, CEO of Redbrick, talks about attracting new talent to Victoria’s burgeoning tech industry.

June 27: Cyrus Singh, CEO of the k’awat’si Economic Development Corporation tells us about the challenges and opportunities faced by Port Hardy’s Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw Nations’ economy during and post-pandemic.

June 13: Indigenous Tourism BC‘s Brenda Baptiste shares the impact and importance of the Indigenous tourism industry in our Province – and how they’re promoting National Indigenous History Month.

June 6: Sage Lacerte tells us why she founded Sage Initiative, a unique impact investment fund for Indigenous entrepreneurs.

May 23: Rainhouse CEO Ray Brougham talks about the burgeoning manufacturing industry on Vancouver Island, and how his company has pivoted through the pandemic.

May 16: Epicure CEO Amelia Warren talks about how her team applies inclusive hiring policies that support newcomers and grow business success.

May 9: Claire and Lawrence Crowfoot tell us why they’re committed to supporting Indigenous and BIPOC makers through their retail business Crowfoot Collective.

May 2: GM Ken Bailey tells us what’s in store for Islanders and tourists when the Malahat Skywalk opens this summer.

April 25: Ryan Goodman of Aryze Developments discusses the challenges facing the building industry and how they’re impacting housing affordability.

April 18: Bear & Joey owner Peter Wood tells us why he’s championing the campaign to Save Startups.

April 11: The owners of That Funky Corner Shop tell us why they launched a business during the pandemic, and how their store contributes to the circular economy.

April 4, 2021: The town of Qualicum Beach has come up with an interesting idea to help grow their economy and provide pride of place.

March 28, 2021: Spirits of the West Coast Art Gallery made inventive use of technology to connect buyers to artists during the pandemic. We learn what they did and why.

March 21, 2021: The Inclusion Project‘s Ruth Mojeed talks about their mission to shift cultural norms and bias and foster inclusive and equitable workplaces, which they say are vital for economic recovery after the pandemic.

March 14, 2021: Craig Norris, Acting CEO of the newly formed Centre for Ocean Applied Sustainable Technologies (COAST), talks about Greater Victoria’s ocean economy and how its growth could support business recovery.

March 7, 2021: Karmen McNamara of The Kindness Factory talks about creating a business through COVID-19, and how she’s diversifying her product range to maintain momentum.

February 28, 2021: Doug Lyngard of DL Sound talks about the #ForTheLoveOfLIVE awareness campaign designed to mobilize support and education around the devastating impact the pandemic has had on the live events industry.

February 21, 2021: Samantha Harron of Hemp House Hair Salon shares how she and husband Tristan built their business from the ground up, using fully sustainable and environmentally responsible materials.

February 14, 2021: we learn about Island Good’s ambitious plans to boost Island businesses through their branding program.

January 24, 2021: Mayor Leonard Krog tells us how the City of Nanaimo is coping through COVID-29, and what they see for their future.

January 17, 2021: How have corporate buying patterns evolved through the pandemic when it comes to branded products? Jarid Taylor of Brandigenous has the intel.

January 10, 2021: South Island Prosperity Partnership CEO Emilie de Rosenroll explains the recent trend towards microcredentialing, and how it helps boost careers.

January 3, 2021: Bryan Yu, Deputy Chief Economist for Central 1, provides us with their economic forecast for 2021.


December 27, 2020: Ian Welle of Polar Engineering tells us how his local business is helping mitigate climate change.

December 20, 2020: 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 13, 2020: 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 6, 2020: We interview Tchadas Leo, host of the new podcast ‘Our Native Land’ and tour CHEK’s new podcast centre.

November 29, 2020: 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.

November 22, 2020: Carol Anne Hilton of the Indigenomics Institute discusses the role the Indigenous economy plays on Vancouver Island.

November 15, 2020: Rising Economy Week event organizers South Island Prosperity Partnership tell us about their hopes for moving the needle on recovery.

November 8, 2020: 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 2, 2020: Susan Mowbray of MNP discusses this year’s State of the Island Economic Report, produced by MNP in partnership with VIEA.

October 25. 2020: Personal branding strategist Pamela Sylvan tells us how to build and maintain our professional brand when we are limited to the digital realm.

October 18, 2020: Pacific Football Club‘s CEO and GM Rob Friend tells us how they salvaged their season during a pandemic.

October 11, 2020: Max Young of For Good Measure talks about what it’s like opening a grocery store during a pandemic.

October 4, 2020: 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.

September 27, 2020: Esri Canada’s Dan Ruscheinski tells us how big data helps businesses forecast and solve problems.

September 13, 2020: Managing Partner and GM Jim Swanson of The Victoria HarbourCats baseball team discusses their plans for 2021.

September 6, 2020: Ruth Mojeed of The Inclusion Project shares how the Employment Equity Partnership will help address systemic inequalities and barriers to equitable employment.

August 30, 2020: Joe Perkins talks to Port Alberni Mayor Sharie Minions to find out how they’re doing and what their rebound plans are.

August 23, 2020: Emilie de Rosenroll of South Island Prosperity Partnership and Dan Pontefract of The Pontefract Group, discuss the emerging trend of microcredentials.

August 16, 2020: Kirsten Soder, Executive Director of Destination Campbell River, tells us how her region is faring during a summer lacking the usual visitor demographic.

August 9, 2020: 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 2, 2020: Laura Day of Victoria’s Migration Boutique shares how the downtown Victoria retail sector is coping and adapting.

July 26, 2020: 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.

July 19, 2020: 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 5, 2020: 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.

June 28, 2020: Dr Richard Gale, Director of Camosun Innovates shares how they’re protecting healthcare workers and the community from COVID-19.

June 21, 2020: Devesh Bharadwaj, Pani Energy and Jill Doucette, Synergy Enterprises discuss the impact of the pandemic on the green economy.

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