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SAANICH Mike Geric Construction Has Helped To Build Victoria For Half A Century



Dodd’s, Balance Home Cleaning Top BE Awards

‘All-Star’ List Of Vancouver Island Companies Celebrated For Successful Years



SIDNEY Hook & Hook Renovations and Design wins Chamber Crystal Award


INDEX News Update 2 West Shore 4 Saanich Peninsula 4 Greater Victoria 6 Esquimalt 12 Who is Suing Whom 26 Movers and Shakers 27 Opinion 30 Tourism 29 HR 31 Contact us: 1-866-758-2684


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ICTORIA – Dodd’s Furniture was named Busin e s s o f t h e Ye a r a n d Balance Home Cleaning Small Business of the Year at the 18th Annual Vancouver Island Business Excellence Awards, celebrating the best of business on the island for the year, Thursday, Jan. 25 at the Delta Ocean Pointe Resort in Victoria. The sold-out event celebrated the best of the best of business on the island for the past year, and organizer Mark MacDonald, Publisher of Business Examiner Victoria, said it was a gathering of “all-stars” from across the region. “There were so many amazi ng compa n ies represented, and brain power and creativity SEE BALANCE HOME CLEANING |  PAGE 9

Balance Home Cleaning Ltd. of Victoria was named Small Business of the Year at the Jan. 25 BE Awards. Owner/operator Mattias Peemoeller is in the centre

Victoria’s Commercial Real Estate Market Is Energized 2018 Promises To Be A Banner Year For Commercial Real Estate Activity BU DAVID HOLMES


ICTORIA – The real estate market in the Greater Victoria area is robust on all levels, both on the residential and on the commercial side of the market place. According to the Chairman of the Victoria Real Estate Boards’ (VREB) Commercial Division, while 2017 was extremely busy, 2018 promises to be even busier. “Victoria is a very busy place these days, there’s a real demand for a wide variety of properties. Couple this with a huge building boom going on, so REALTORS® of

all types, especially Commercial Realtors would have been very active during 2017,” explained Ken Featherby, who is also a Commercial Realtor with NAI Commercial (Victoria) Inc. Unlike its residential cousin, commercial real estate sales can involve a number of different sectors and even sales specialities. While Residential Realtors are typically involved with the marketing and sale of a single home, or individual condo their commercial counterparts could fi nd themselves i nvolved i n everything from bare land acquisition to putting together the

deal for a multi-million-dollar shopping complex or leasing out a multi-storey office building. T he timeframe involved in completing a commercial sale is typically much longer than for a residential property, requiring specialized skills, local knowledge and a more thorough understanding of the regional marketplace. “One obvious thing about the Victoria market is that land values are definitely on the rise because of the ongoing demand. We’re seeing an increasing number of retirement properties being built to service our aging demographic, a significant number of purpose

built rental developments and we’re also seeing a lot of ‘Double A’ and even ‘Triple A’ class office space being built, offices that will be tenanted mostly by different levels of government,” Featherby explained. “When the government is moving into new offices that automatically means that whatever they were in previously becomes vacant opening up occupancy opportunities for the next sector to move into which helps to make the market very dynamic.” T he V R EB Commercial SEE VICTORIA REAL ESTATE |  PAGE 12


2 VICTORIA Victoria Real Estate Market Strong to the End of 2017

A total of 462 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this December, 1.9 per cent fewer than the 471 properties sold in December last year. A grand total of 8,944 properties sold over the course of 2017, 15.8 per cent fewer than the record breaking 10,622 that sold in 2016. 2017 sales came in at 21.7 per cent over the ten year average of 7,349 properties sold. “Early in 2017 we discussed how the Victoria area housing market would be different than the record breaking year we had in 2016 and that over the course of the year we’d probably see a gradual return to a more balanced market. We did see evidence of this change come early in the year, as multiple offers and rapid price increases leveled out,” says Victoria Real Estate Board President Ara Balabanian. “However, the ongoing low inventory of properties for sale meant that buyers continued to experience competitive situations in high demand areas, and multiple offers were still a common occurrence as buyers negotiated in a tighter market. What we couldn’t anticipate were outside factors such as changes to mortgage qualifying rules that may have pushed people into the market early. The pending mortgage stress test in particular is likely to have caused much of the increased activity we’ve seen in November and December.” There were 1,384 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service at the end of December 2017, a decrease of 21.5 per cent compared to the month of November and

7.3 per cent fewer than the 1,493 active listings for sale at the end of December 2016. This is the lowest level of inventory for the area in the month of December since the statistic was tracked in 1996. The Multiple Listing Service Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in December 2016 was $753,900. The benchmark value for the same home in December 2017 has increased by 9.3 per cent to $823,800, and is slightly lower than November’s value of $824,600. “Overall, the low inventory and the continued interest in Victoria real estate meant that well-priced homes were quick to sell in 2017. Moving forward, we expect to see more inventory come into the market, which will continue to move us toward a more balanced state,” adds President Balabanian. “We also expect housing prices to remain stable, without the increases we tracked in 2016, and anticipate steady slow growth.”

VICTORIA Navy Crew Trained on Virtual System A new virtual training system is being used to train the crew of the Royal Canadian Navy. The crew of the MV Asterix was trained on the system and is assigned to Canada’s first Resolve Class Naval Support Ship, and the largest ship built in Canada for the Royal Canadian Navy. The crew completed their initial qualifications on a state of the art future naval training system designed by Victoria-based technology company, RaceRocks3D. Training was completed over the summer of 2017, before the ship was built.

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Federal Fleet Services (FFS) reported that 75 Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) personnel began training virtually for the task on June 22nd, 2017. To date the ship’s Officer in Charge (OIC) and mission specialists have received qualifications through the Defence Learning Network (DLN). Naval leaders are calling the project the first deployed example of future naval training and education under the fleet renewal. The Technology Enabled Learning (TEL) delivered as part of Project Resolve is the first system that aligns with the Royal Canadian Navy’s (RCN) Future Naval Training System (FNTS), and the first system fielded on a clean slate Canadian naval platform in the digital learning age. “Federal Fleet Services prides itself in engaging small industry while getting our Navy the tools it needs. This approach was highlighted in the training development, where small businesses from Victoria and Halifax worked directly with CAF personnel from the Naval Personnel and Training Group (NPTG) to develop, vet and make the training modern, effective and relevant,” explained Scott Dewis, CEO of RaceRocks3D. “This achievement is the result of a cooperative effort between navy experts, industry experts, and the government of Canada”. RaceRocks led development of the system, which was built by a bicoastal team of RaceRocks3D, Modest Tree and CAF personnel located in Victoria, Quebec, and Halifax. The team also worked closely with FFS and Davie Shipyard teams in Quebec and Ottawa. The Resolve Class training system included documentary case studies, rich media learning, interactive simulations, and an entire virtual ship built with Modest Tree’s award winning software. “We set out with direction from FFS to use tools to ensure this ship is one of the safest afloat,” said RaceRocks3D President, Anita Pawluk.

VICTORIA Government Funds Tech Training in Victoria





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Universities in Victoria can look forward to more funding in upcoming years to support technology training. Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training, recently announced the funding from the provincial government. The University of Victoria (UVic) will receive $400,000 in start-up funding in 201718 to expand its undergraduate computer science and engineering degree programs. Prospective UVic students can look forward to an additional 500 undergraduate degree spaces in computer science and engineering – including electrical, computer, software, civil, mechanical and biomedical – by 202223. This is expected to result in 125 additional tech graduates per year by 2023. “UVic’s engineering and computer science programs are well known for being a destination for BC high school grads and college transfer students, providing a great education with lots of hands-on learning, and a pathway to personal success and good jobs upon graduation,” said Jamie Cassels, president of UVic. “Adding tech seats to the undergraduate engineering and computer science programs is a huge benefit to students from Vancouver Island and throughout BC. A big thanks to

the ministry for supporting 500 additional spaces, allowing us to increase capacity in these programs.” Camosun College will receive $200,000 in start-up funding in 2017-18 to support increased access to technology-related certificate programs in web technologies programming and engineering graphics, to get to a total of 40 new spaces by 201920. With continued government funding, Camosun will produce an additional 40 graduates per year by 2020. “Victoria has a vibrant, rapidly growing and diverse tech sector,” said Sherri Bell, president of Camosun College. “Students will be thrilled to know that there will be more spaces in tech, so they’re able to get the tech jobs that are in high demand.” Of the 83,400 job openings in tech-related fields in the next decade, 10,700 will occur in the Vancouver Island/Coast region. This provides opportunities closer to home for graduates of the expanded tech programs at UVic and Camosun, should they choose to stay. “Victoria has a lively, robust and burgeoning tech sector,” said Dan Gunn, executive director, Victoria Innovation, Advanced Technology and Entrepreneurship Council (VIATEC). “Access to qualified and talented people is mission critical. Expanding tech programs at UVic and Camosun will support the rapidly growing tech sector that is helping to drive a strong 21st-century economy.” These spaces are part of the investment in approximately 2,900 additional seats in tech programs at colleges, universities and institutes throughout the province, announced by Mark recently. Total start-up funding this year is $4.4 million, and is expected to increase to $42 million as programs ramp up over the next several years.

GREATER VICTORIA Schools Partner to Promote Victoria Education Three post-secondary institutions and three school districts in the greater Victoria region are working together to promote Victoria as an education destination for international students. Camosun College, Royal Roads University, the University of Victoria, the Greater Victoria School District 61, Sooke School District 62, and Saanich School District 63 are now members of Education Victoria, a joint partnership to promote academic cooperation and student pathways for the benefit of students and the six institutions and school districts. The five-year agreement involves joint marketing and recruitment activities in target international markets; shared coordination of activities such as agent familiarization visits, recruitment travel, conference presentations, advertising and promotion; and the exchange of data, documentation and research materials. The Education Victoria partnership dates back to 2013, when Camosun College, Royal Roads University, Greater Victoria School District 61, and the University of Victoria came together to collaborate in recruiting international students to the region. The education providers understood that by working together, they could overcome the challenges of increased competition in international recruitment, as well as explore new ways of positioning Victoria as SEE NEWS UPDATE |  PAGE 3




an education destination. To date, Education Victoria has coordinated six visits to Vietnam and two visits to Korea for Victoria Day promotional fairs. The project has also presented at leading international education conferences in 2015 and 2016. The long-term vision for Education Victoria is to position Victoria and the Vancouver Island region as a centre of excellence in education. The promotion is based on Canada’s and BC’s strong global reputation for high-quality education, and Victoria’s reputation as a safe and welcoming community that offers natural beauty and the mildest weather in Canada.

VICTORIA Victoria Foundation Awards 2.3M in Grants T h e Victor ia Fou nd ation  h a s ap prove d a re c ord high $2,294,724.40 in annual Community Grants to 104 nonprofit organizations on Vancouver Island. The region’s largest non-government funder, the Victoria Foundation has awarded over $20-million so far this year and over $196 million since the Foundation began in 1936. “Each year, we see such a diversity of amazing projects that apply for our Community Grants,” said Victoria Foundation CEO Sandra Richardson. “From tackling the opioid crisis, to supporting single parents, fostering environmental stewardship, to 25 different arts and culture projects, the range is incredible.” Supported by the Foundation’s Vital Victoria Fund, Community

Grants are awarded each December. Individual donors and fund holders also contributed significantly, this year providing almost $800,000 of the total $2.3-million. The Victoria Foundation Board has established food security and homelessness as the three-year strategic granting priorities for the Vital Victoria Fund. The latest grants include such funding as $15,000 for the Victoria Native Friendship Centre supporting their youth leadership programming in Indigenous food knowledge, to $35,000 for the Salt Spring Island Farmland Trust Society’s Food Hub supporting sustainable local food production. Thanking the foundation for the grant, Bruce Parisian, Executive Director of Victoria Native Friendship Centre, said, “This funding will be directed towards revitalization of Indigenous food systems and knowledge which are essential to the preservation of the cultural identities and self-esteem of these young people, and empowers them to live healthier cultural lifestyles. This contributes to the well-being, sense of belonging, and health of our people.” Patricia Reichert from Salt Spring Island Farmland Trust Society said the grant will go towards building a new local food centre to support local development of food resources in the region. The food centre is a model of infrastructure for storing, processing, and advancing local food education and training.  The Victoria Foundation publishes an annual community report card sponsored by Coast Capital Savings entitled Victoria’s Vital Signs. All awarded grants have a connection to one or more of the 12 areas identified in the report that contribute to the vitality and wellbeing of the community: Arts & Culture, Getting Started, Standard of Living,

Learning, Belonging & Engagement, Safety, Sports & Recreation, Economy, Transportation, Housing, Environment, and Health & Wellness.

VICTORIA CannaChain Technologies Join Venture Emerald Health Therapeutics, Inc. and Emerald Health Sciences, Inc. and DMG Blockchain Solutions Inc. have completed a letter of intent to form a joint venture, to be named CannaChain Technologies to develop a foundational blockchain-based supply chain management system and e-commerce marketplace for the legal cannabis industry. From L icensed P roducers, through testing, distribution and other steps, to the consumer, the cannabis supply chain includes many touchpoints. CannaChain’s supply chain management system platform will aim to provide total transparency and assurances for end consumers about where a cannabis product came from and regarding an array of related attributes. The platform will also assist in ensuring adherence to Health Canada reporting requirements. By logging each step along the supply chain on the blockchain - a decentralized, timestamped, and unhackable digital ledger

- this ground-breaking platform is expected to provide an irrefutable record outlining the journey the product has made, from beginning to end. In this joint venture, Emerald would provide its expertise and relationships as one of the earliest Canadian Licensed Producers under Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations. DMG Blockchain Solutions, a blockchain supply chain management solution developer and leading crypto mining hosting provider, would build and deploy a blockchain supply chain management solution designed to meet the challenges and opportunities of the cannabis industry. The Cannachain solution is intended to provide extensive plant growing, third-party testing, and handling data, and offer enhanced trust of origin, quality, and safety based on blockchain’s ability to maintain immutable records as cannabis products flow from seed-to-sale through the supply chain. The solution would serve relevant stakeholders including producers, distributors, shippers, government agencies, and consumers. The parties also intend that Cannachain would develop an e-commerce marketplace based on the blockchain-based supply chain management system to facilitate the sale of a broad product selection backed by unprecedented supporting data and trust. T he se solut ion s wou ld b e

3 designed to also provide significant advantages with respect to administration of transactions, payments and reporting. CannaChain’s supply chain m a n a gement pl at for m w i l l leverage an existing open source blockchain platform, enabling cross-industry collaboration capable of supporting global business transactions with major technology, financial, and supply chain companies. These tools will enable smart contract functionality, imperative to the automation of trust. Regulatory reporting requirements would be automated by the platform, making for a seamless, supply chain management solution for Licensed Producers.

Victoria International Marina Announces Concierge Service


unique concierge service that will bring Victoria area attractions within easy reach of visiting boaters was unveiled by the new Victoria International Marina during Vancouver’s annual boat show. The new service will offer the services of an on-site concierge team to meet visitor requests. If guests want to tee off from their yacht to an iconic oceanfront golf green, helicopter from their slip to a high-performance motorsport track mere minutes away, or host a VIP reception at the marina, the concierge team will manage every moment of the process. The service is part of the luxury welcome for guests at this new 28-slip facility, which is designed for superyachts between 65 and 175 feet. T he Victoria Internationa l

Marina is now in the final stage of construction and will open in May. Therefore, management company Community Marine Concepts was at the Vancouver International Boat Show in January showcasing the new marina’s amenities and services. At the boat show, guests were given the experience of walking through a M&P Mercury yacht using a virtual reality technology, received behind the scenes information on the making of the marina and restaurant, enjoyed a customized coffee compliments of Faebrew Cafe, or entered to win three nights of moorage at the marina. Of the 28 slips: • Seven are being reserved for daily moorage (with a three-day minimum) SEE VICTORIA INTERNATIONAL |  PAGE 6

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have been Executive Director at the WestS h o re C h a m b e r fo r exactly three years as of January 12th. Upon reflecting on these three years, I have some observations about the WestShore that I’d like to share. Ever yone k nows t h at the WestShore is booming, and this has certainly accelerated between 2015 and 2018. Population has gone from 61,625 in 2011 to 69,5 42 i n 2016, a nd is cont i nu i ng to cl i mb higher. Many businesses saw strong performance in 2017 and we see more new businesses opening at a steady pace. There are

a significant number of building projects currently taking place across the WestShore, particularly in Langford. Wit h g row t h a nd development come challenge and opportunity. We’re not talking as much anymore about sewage treatment, but we are talking even more about our burgeoning schools, lack of fa m i ly physici a n s a nd need for additional social serv ices a nd faci l ities, such as long-term care. In addition to these, I’d identify three top issues which are impacting the business community in the WestShore. The first is transportation, which has become even more cha l leng i ng since 2015 so that “peak times” are getting longer and longer. The second is inability to recruit new staff, especially to entry level positions given the h i g h c o s t of l iv i n g o n southern Vancouver Island. The third is access to housing at all levels – we can’t attract new people to come to the area if they ca n’t fi nd a ny where to

live, although of course the lack of housing goes much deeper than that. In the WestShore, both growth and challenge are set against an emphasis on relationships and getting to know one another. Finding my feet in such a supportive community has been a real privilege. I’ve appreciated that our members tell me when we get it right – and also when we get it wrong so that in both cases we can develop and improve and grow. To all of our members and supporters, staff and directors – thank you! You all make the WestShore Chamber what it is, and it’s an exciting time to be involved with our non-profit organization. Having paid off all our outstanding debt, I look forward in 2018 to continue developing our support and services to the WestShore community. Julie Lawlor is the Executive Director at the WestShore Chamber of Commerce. You can reach her at jlawlor@




here is a significant shift underway in ou r work places. T h e Wo r l d E c o n o m i c For um’s F ut ure of Jobs study predicts that 5 million jobs will be lost to artificial intelligence and robotics before the year 2020. M a ny ot her jobs will be created through this period of fast-paced ch a nge but i n order to compete, workers w i l l need to be highly reactive and adaptive. O ccu r r i n g si mu lta neously to the skills disr uption resu lti ng from

rapid adva ncements i n technology is a skills gap identified by employers who say that hires who have recently graduated have the skills to complete their assigned tasks but overall are unable to meet ex pectations because t h e y l a c k t h e a l l-i mportant “soft skills”. Investopedia defines soft skills as character traits and interpersonal skills that characterize a person’s relationships with ot her p eople. M a ny of these employees have not developed crucial abilities such as critical thinking, problem solving, conflict resolution, public speaking, teamwork, attention to deta i l a nd ef fect ive communication including proficiency in their written work. The real disconnect is t h a t re c e n t g ra d u a te s describe themselves as feeling well-prepared to enter the workforce but managers overwhelmingly disagree. Co-worker relations and customer service suffer, often leading to a significant loss of

productivity. Soft skills are not only indispensable in the workplace but help people make better decisions, be more resilient and better able to overcome cha llenges in their lives. Now for the good news: in the short-term, the necessary skills can be gained on-the-job through instruction, experience and mentorship. An important long-term strategy will be to restructure the programs in our institutions of learning so our leaders of the future will have focused on their social and emotional development in addition to career-specific training. Survival and success in this new frontier of tech n ica l ly-dependent workplaces will be predicated on our level of agility and emotional intelligence. Denny Warner is Executive Director of the Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce. She can be reached at 250-656-3616 or



Nanaimo Engineering Practice Helped Design Chinese Fish Farm Founded In 1994 Herold Engineering Is A Leading Civil & Structural Engineering Firm


ANAIMO – A Vancouver Island engineering firm has played a pivotal role in helping to enhance the Chinese food fish industry. Nanaimo-based Herold Engineering Limited has completed its work designing components of a shorebased fish hatchery in China, one of the first international assignments for this multi-faceted firm. “The project was in essence an on-land fish farm, an operation created to produce salmon as food fish. The client basically takes the fingerlings and grows them on site, with the young fish actually originating on northern Vancouver Island,” explained project engineer Holly Monaghan. “We didn’t actually go to China, but carried out the concrete design of the raceways for the fish, some other firm designed the rest of the facility. One of the unique aspects of the job was that we had to produce all of the drawings for the project in both English and in Mandarin, with one of our own staff looking after the translations.” Herold Engineering is a civil / structural engineering firm that has worked over the years with a wide range of clients including

Nanaimo-based engineer Holly Monaghan helped to design a land-based fish farm in the People’s Republic of China municipalities, institutions and various corporations. The company was founded by Mike Herold in 1994 and currently has a team of more than 60 providing consulting civil and structural engineering services with production offices in Nanaimo and Victoria and with satellite offices in Fort Nelson and Ucluelet. The practice has had extensive experience in municipal engineering, including project management, feasibility and conceptual design studies, detailed design, contract administration,

Working with his Chinese counterparts, project manager Bruce Colgrove helped to work on the fish farm project site supervision and layout, and construction management for its expansive client list. The raceway project was constructed at Dong y i ng i n the People’s Republ ic of Ch i na. Herold Engineering was hired to design a total of 16 large (24 meter by six meter) raceways for the fish farm. What was especially

unique was that the structures were housed within an expansive building. “The whole thing is indoors, essentially something like a very big warehouse, so it was a fairly unique project,” Monaghan said. “Originally I thought the project was only going to involve four raceways but it grew to 16 before

it was completed. Our normal market area is primarily British Columbia so it was certainly out of the ordinary to be selected for a project in China, but we have been involved in fish farms and other similar marine projects in the past which was a factor in our firm being selected.” Another reason Herold was given the green light for the Ch i n a assig n ment was t h at Monaghan, who has been with Herold for the past three years, had worked with the fish farm’s project manager on an earlier job, the success of which encouraged him to hire the Nanaimo firm for this current task. Dongying is located in Shandong Province, approximately 400 kilometers southeast of Beijing, close to Laizhou Bay a major entry point to the Yellow Sea and to South Korea beyond. With the success of the project behind them Monaghan doesn’t rule out the engineering practice taking on additional international assignments in the future. “This was one of the few international projects Herold has been involved in, but based on the success of the job no one says it will be our last,” she said.

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his is bound to be an extra lively year as T he Chamber rolls up its sleeves on behalf of our members. The Chamber’s theme for 2018 is Building Good Business, something we’ve done for the last 155 years. Adding to the usual mix of lively issues, the region goes to the polls in October to vote for our respective mayors and councillors. There is power in numbers so we’re asking our members to vote for the candidates you think can address the following three issues: First, employers are having a hard time finding and keeping workers to keep their companies going and our economy healthy. We need commitment to: ▪ Market our region to attract people from other regions, provinces and countries and then help them to get here and fill a job. ▪ H o u s i n g i s e x p e nsive and rentals almost non-existent. Part of attracting workers is ensuring they can find and afford a place to live - workforce housi ng developments need to be fast tracked. More student housing is needed on campus to free up rentals. ▪ A fter housing, child care is the second most expensive thing for a young family – if they can find it. We need affordable,

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quality child care, so parents can work. Employers need them. ▪ When living costs are h ig h, we need cheaper transportation options. Workers need public transit to be affordable, frequent, speedy, and to go where they need to be. The second issue is our long-standing need for better governance through fewer government. Amalgamation may be the means but ultimately the outcome needed is better service for our tax dollars. I recently learned from one of our distinguished governors, Terry Farmer, that in 1959, Eric Charman, legendary Victoria mover and shaker, and Stuart Keate, then publisher of the Victoria Times, hired J.J Deutch, a UBC faculty member “to do a study on the possible amalgamation of Victoria and the surrounding municipalities”. T hat was 60 years ago. We are encouraged that Victoria and Saanich both passed motions in January asking the Province to create a Citizen’s Assembly to examine the same issue, but we need to seriously speed up the timeline. Third, safe communities are a critical cornerstone. We all pay the price when parts of our city become associated w ith homelessness, anti-social and criminal behaviour. Safe communities require the rule of law, adequate police


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• Seven will be available for lease mont h ly (w it h a t h ree-mont h minimum) • Seven are available for annual lease; and • Seven are reserved for long-term tenants, with a 40-year lease The marina includes an amenity building that features a crew lounge, reception lounge, and business centre. The Boom & Batten, an on-site restaurant partner, will serve international and coastal fusion cuisine. Additional on-site amenities include

resources, the active participation of citizens and adequate housing and services to care for those who cannot care for themselves. We are encouraged again, by motions passed by Victoria and Saanich councils in support of a regional police force comprised of Victoria/Esquimalt, Saanich, Oak Bay and Central Saanich. The combined resources would enable a big step up in public safety. Finally, there are new and disruptive technologies and public demands for change that mayors and councillors must assess. The public should have access to innovative services and products as long as those companies operate under the same rules as existing businesses. In other words, they don’t avoid tax, public safety requirements, or fair employment standards. We’ll be watching to see how the cannabis industry is regulated, how retailers are affected by the plan to reduce plastic bags, how short term vacation rentals are managed and how ride sharing rolls out. This will be a year to set expectations for what we want from government. Let’s use it to Build Good Business. Catherine Holt is the CEO of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce. 250-383-7191,,

state-of-the-art security and technology, Wi-Fi, and the 24/7 concierge services to ensure marina visitors explore all that is available within British Columbia’s capital city and around the region. The marina will feature slip-level customizable LED lighting, 24” stainless steel cleats spaced every 15 feet, and a four-inch D-bumper finished with polished yellow cedar. Power, in the form of 120 volt, single-phase power, and hook-ups for water and sewer will be available at every slip. The Victoria International Marina (VIM), is the flagship property for Community Marine Concepts Ltd., which was founded in 2015 to showcase the Pacific marine lifestyle and unmatched hospitality.



ATHLETIC SHOE STORE WINS PRESTIGIOUS NATIONAL HONOUR Frontrunners Footwear Has Served The Running Community For 30 Years


ICTORIA – At its heart Frontrunners Footwear Inc. doesn’t exist merely to sell quality athletic shoes, clothing and accessories. For the founder, management and staff at the four Vancouver Island owned and operated stores, Frontrunners is all about providing the idea of a healthy lifestyle and an active community, for customers of every age, skill level or budget. It’s a corporate mission the company has vigorously supported for the past 30 years. “How would I define Frontrunners? I guess the best way to describe us is as a locally-owned and operated company that was started in 1988, so this is actually our 30th anniversary year. It was started by Rob Reid, my current business partner, to provide the best in footwear, apparel and fitness programs that support an active lifestyle,” explained Nick Walker, Front r u n ners’ Co-Partner. A partner in the business for the past 13 years Walker’s involvement with the sport of running and with Frontrunners as an entity actually dates back nearly two decades, when as an aspiring teenage athlete he was sponsored by the company’s founder Rob Reid. “I got involved when I was about 13, Rob actually sponsored me as a grassroots athlete, but I stayed associated with the store as a sponsored athlete and ambassador for the store all the way through high school and into university when I went to UVic,” he explained. “In many ways you’d have to say that I grew up with Frontrunners. In 2005 a friend and I (Mark Nelson), with the support of Rob opened the company’s store in Langford (123-755 Goldstream Avenue) which was actually the third store in the group. That

Accepting the IRRC award were (l to r) John Ram & Jim Kwasnicki (New Balance), Nick Walker & Rob Reid & Fred Dorval (New Balance) partnership eventually dissolved but I continued with Frontrunners, in time becoming Rod’s business partner.” In essence Frontrunners Footwear is a boutique seller of quality sports-themed products. The four stores carrying a diverse line of athletic and casual shoes, apparel for customers of all ages and even accessories such as nutritional food items, sports electronics and more – with the bonus of providing comprehensive advice and practical real world support, thanks to the experienced and knowledgeable staff found throughout the group. While sponsoring a running event may be an excellent way to promote its products in a practical setting, the positive local enthusiasm for sports the activ ities generate has seen Frontrunners singled out for its community support by the Independent Running Retailers of Canada (IRRC), which awarded the group its prestigious 2017 Store of the Year Award. Reid and Walker collected the honour during a gala presentation held last fall at the Running Event, which is the running

industry’s premier annual trade show. Bringing together North America’s top sports retailers, last year’s event was held in Austin, Texas. The pair received their accolade from representatives from New Balance Boston, an industry leader in athletic footwear and sports clothing for more than a century. A highlight of the session is the annual award ceremony, with Frontrunners the recipient last year of one of its highest honours. “This year we were chosen as the top independent retailer in Canada. There are a number of criteria for being selected for this award, with community involvement being a key part. Community engagement, not sales activity, determines in part who wins this award, so obviously we were very pleased to be recognized in this way.” For Wa l ker, Front r u n ners hasn’t been successful in business by only serving the needs of serious athletes – but rather by providing quality products for customers of any age or capability. “Realistically our market is pretty much everybody. We service everyone from children right


“We specialize in what we call ‘sit and fit’ – which is tailoring the products to the needs and body of the customer.” NICK WALKER CO-PARTNER, FRONTRUNNERS FOOTWEAR INC.

up to seniors. We specialize in what we call ‘sit and fit’ – which is tailoring the products to the needs and body of the customer,” Walker said. Presently Frontrunners have four outlets with three situated in the Capital Region. Frontrunners’ main store is located at 1200 Vancouver Street in Victoria, while it also has an outlet at 3659 Shelbourne Street in addition to Walker’s store in Langford. In 2000 the company opened a store at 101-1825 Bowen Road in Nanaimo, which is the company’s

only store located outside of the Great Victoria area. This store was opened by long time Frontrunners staff Stefan Jakobsen and Norm Thibault. Throughout the group the company has a staff count of about 30. Rob Reid founded Frontrunners 30 years ago when, as an elite marathoner in his own right, he recognized the need for a retail store that can provide both quality products and experienced advice to new and intermediate enthusiasts. Initially helping to open an athletic store in Calgary called The Tech Shop with John Forzani (who was one of the founders of the Sport Check group) Reid used that and other retail experience to branch out with his own venture, launching Frontrunners in 1988. For the future Frontrunners has no immediate plans to open additional outlets, in fact it has deliberately not opened stores where other independent providers exist as part of its ongoing focus on being a good corporate community citizen. The company also has no plan to expand beyond Vancouver Island, content with its current size and position as a regional leader in the retail sales of higher end athletic footwear and clothing. “We try to be as involved in the community as we can, from sponsoring youth programs to programs geared toward stopping smoking to supporting the cancer agencies, part of which sees us being involved with Darrell Fox and the Terry Fox Center,” Walker said. “We try to support the community as much as possible and that means being supported back so that we can continue to operate those initiatives, as a result we work with dozens of different non-profits to balance fitness and community health. What we do really is holistic it’s not just about selling shoes. It’s actually about celebrating and encouraging a healthy lifestyle in all areas. That’s the way it has been for the past 30 years and that’s the way it will continue to be in the future.”




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New Government Labour Report Projects Massive Job Openings

British Columbia Construction Association Working To Attract Youth To Sector


hanks to an energized construction market, and to the pending retirement of thousands of Baby Boomers over the next few years, British Columbia will be seeing more than 900,000 new job openings appear within the next decade. That’s just one of the findings of the BC 2017 Labour Market Outlook, released late last year by the provincial government. “The new labour market report that just came out, talks about 900,000 job openings coming. But that’s not exclusive to construction. Those numbers refer to job openings in all sectors. In fact when we drill down into the construction sector we see approximately 60,000 job openings happening between now and 2027,” stated Chris Atchison, the President of the British Columbia Construction Association (BCCA). “When you see numbers like that for our industry alone, and having talked with construction leaders across the province, it’s clear that there is a need for skilled labour all across the province.” The annual report states that during the next decade a total of 917,000 job openings will appear

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a re goi ng to be among the most sought after in terms of replacement workers. Of the 60,000 construction i ndustry jobs t h at w i l l b ecome vacant by 2027 only 2,000 will actually be new jobs in the marketplace, The President of the BCCA Chris Atchison (inset) t he va s t m asays the provincial construction industry is jority of the extremely busy vacancies will appear through in BC, with a full 70 per cent of retirement or by workers moving those slots left vacant due pri- to other sectors. marily to retirement. The report “The construction industry is also states that 48 per cent of the one that is currently booming openings to be filled will be taken in all regions of the province, by individuals new to the work- but the aging of the workforce is force, with 36 per cent of the jobs having an impact on the sector. to be filled by immigrants and by I believe in construction twoworkers moving to BC from other thirds of our workforce is over 45, provinces. so in the next 10 to 15 years there Other interesting statistics in- will be a lot of aging out. In fact cluded in the government report the government report estimates are such nuggets as the fact that 97 per cent of the job openings in more than 3,500 construction construction will be due to resenior managers will be retir- tirement,” Atchison said. ing in the next 10 years, and that On Vancouver Island the situtrades and equipment operators ation is much the same – plenty

of work but a desperate need for trained, certified and skilled workers. “From what I hear from the Vancouver Island Construction Association (VICA) the construction labor market on Vancouver Island is strong. There are plenty of projects underway, certainly in the Victoria area, and thanks to the mobility of our workforce, if there’s a job in Courtenay for example people are willing to travel to take them on,” he said. The government report states that during the next 10 years there will be 133,800 job openings in the Vancouver Island / BC Coast economic region. Of those jobs 77 per cent will be due to the retirement of existing workers. Employment in the region is projected to have negligible growth, rising by an annual average of a 0.8 per cent, which is slower than the provincial average. Atchison states that education is essential for filling the pending employment shortfall in BC. “Our statistics show there’s one in 70 high school graduates who go straight into the trades. But we calculate that we need that number to be about one in 10, some say one in five, to fill the gap that is expected,” he said.




‘All-Star’ List Of Vancouver Island Companies Celebrated For Successful Years BALANCE HOME CLEANING CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

demonstrated by the people in the room was simply astounding,” he said. “There was a company represented that does sand blasting – with ice. A restaurant that has half of its staff with developmental disabilities. A firm that manufactures desalinated sea water. A construction company that has 102 locations across Canada and the United States. A wom a n who r u n s a g re at plumbing company. A yogurt maker from Vancouver Island milk. And that’s just the start. .. Black Press was a Platinum Sponsor of the BE Awards this y e a r, a n d   R B C Roya l B a n k , Grant Thornton LLP, Shaw and

Liquid Capital West Coast Financing Corp. were the event’s Gold Sponsors. Category sponsors were Coastal Community Credit Union, Helijet, Island Savings Credit Union, Grieg Seafood, Invest Comox Valley and BE Digital. Dodd’s Fu r n itu re Ltd. h as b e en sel l i n g qu a l it y f u r n iture and mattresses to greater Victoria residents for over 40 years. This family owned business started in 1977 and is well known for quirky advertising, great deals and extensive involvement in the community. T he 35,000 square foot, flagship store, offers furniture, mattresses, rugs and accessories for all tastes and budgets. With the addition of 2 stores in Nanaimo and Campbell R iver, and a small fleet of trucks,

they are currently capable of servicing the entire Vancouver Island and surrounding Island communities. Sma l l Busi ness of the Yea r (Under 50 Employees) winner Balance Home Cleaning was founded in 2012 with the goal of providing a fresh alternative in the cleaning industry. Specializing in exceptional quality and personalized customer service, the company has developed a unique position within the market. Services include regularly scheduled home and commercial cleaning, move-in/ move-out cleaning, and post construction cleaning throughout Greater Victoria. There were 15 other categories, two of which had Award of Merit runner-up winners: Coulson Ice Blast of Port Alberni in

Industrial Manufacturer, and Kwa’Lilas Hotel in Port Hardy in Hospitality. Other winners in the other 15 categories were: Automotive: Harris Mazda of Nanaimo. Construction/Development & Real Estate: Alair Homes of Nanaimo. Entrepreneur: Coco Café of Cedar. Food & Food Production: Riot Brewing of Chemainus. Health Care: Comfort Keepers of Victoria. Hospitality: Brentwood Bay Resort & Spa of Brentwood Bay. I n d u s t r i a l M a n u fa c t u re r: VMAC of Nanaimo. Manufactured Wood Products: Creative Woodcraft of Cobble Hill. O c e a n P ro d u c t s: Sa ltwe st

Naturals of Sooke. Professional: Engaged HR of Victoria. Restaurant: Big Wheel Burger of Victoria. Retail: Close To You Ladies Fashion & Lingerie of Parksville. Technology: Freshworks Studio of Victoria. Tourism: Eagle Wing Tours of Victoria. T rad e s: Mazzei Electric of Nanaimo. A complete summary of the event and photos will be published in the next issue of Business Examiner Victoria. The official event program, with profiles of all 88 finalists, can be viewed at: markmacdonald36/docs/ be_awards_2018_booklr?e=24500915/57772959

Island Quarry Provides Materials For Clients Across North America Polaris Materials Corporation Has Been Producing Aggregates Since 2007 BY DAVID HOLMES


ORT McNEILL – The unique blessings of Mother Nature coupled with solid business acumen have made Polaris Materials Corporation an industry leading international provider of construction aggregates – just ask the City of Los Angeles and a host of other offshore customers that purchase its range of sand, gravel and other construction materials. “The company was founded in 1999 and spent several years exploring for projects like the Orca Quarry near Port McNeill that was discovered by our founder, Marco Romero in partnership with local First Nations, the Kwakiutl Band and the ‘Namgis First Nation. The geology, shape and texture of the sand and gravel in the deposit lends itself to making high performance concrete,” explained Nicholas Van Dyk, the Vice President, Investor Relations and

Corporate Development at Polaris Materials Corporation (PMC). With a permitted capacity of 6.6 million tons of material per year, construction of the Orca Quarry was completed in February 2007. Polaris Materials Corporation has an 88 percent ownership share of Orca Sand & Gravel with the local ‘Namgis First Nation owning the remaining 12 percent. Considered one of the most efficient operations in North America, the Orca Quarry produces premium quality aggregate that is noted for its performance in high strength concrete, and as a result is in demand in regions such as California with its high seismic code requirements. “The main deposit of the quarry is essentially a prehistoric river bed that accumulated masses of sand and gravel as the glacier run off flowed into the ocean. At the end of the last Ice Age, as the glaciers receded from Vancouver

Island, the land mass was actually about 100 meters lower than it is now, and the Island rose up as the ice withdrew. As we understand it, the entire deposit was placed there when that part of the Island was underwater,” Van Dyk explained. In essence the Orca Quarry is a large and contiguous swath of sand and gravel materials that fortuitously for PMC are of a consistent and high-quality material composition – making it the ideal building material for its growing client base. Integral to the operation, Polaris has constructed a dedicated ship loading facility capable of loading Panamax class vessels (the largest class of ship able to pass through the Panama Canal with a carrying capacity of approximately 80,000 tons) in a 24-hour period. In October PMC was acquired by Texas based US Concrete Inc., a major construction materials supplier in the United States,

Nicholas Van Dyk (inset) says the dedicated loading facilities at its Orca Quarry project is a key to its successful operation

“The offshore markets are essential to the company with about 98 percent of all of our sales going outside of the country.” NICHOLAS VAN DYK VICE PRESIDENT, POLARIS MATERIALS CORPORATION

Located near Port McNeill, the Orca Quarry has a permitted capacity of 6.6 million tons of material per year

which will provide Polaris with improved access to the American marketplace. “We are extremely excited to close the acquisition of Polaris. This acquisition will enable us to self-supply a majority of our current Northern California aggregate requirements and to further expand our footprint into other supply constrained markets along the West Coast, including Southern California,” explained US Concrete’s President, CEO and Vice Chairman, William J. Sandbrook at the time of the announced sale.

“The addition of Polaris to the US Concrete family is further evidence of our commitment to increased vertical integration into aggregates to capitalize on attractive long-term growth opportunities for our shareholders. We look forward to working with our First Nations partners in the Orca Quarry, the Kwakiutl Band and ‘Namgis First Nation, as the strength of those relationships are a vital part of the success of the business, today and for the future.” Solidifying Polaris’ footprint in the United States will help ensure its stability and growth in the future. “The offshore markets are essential to the company with about 98 percent of all of our sales going outside of the country. The quality of the material coupled with the ease and economy of scale in shipping and integrated logistics chain makes the gravel coming out of the Orca Quarry very attractive in several markets,” Van Dyk said.





ORTH SAANICH – Providing a consistent level of quality workmanship in a professional manner is at the heart of every job Villa Plumbing And Heating Ltd. undertakes – whether at a multi-storey residential development, or for the owner of a single family home. For company President Rich Castillo the size of the job isn’t what matters, what does is doing the job right every time. “You’d have to say that I’ve come to th is busi ness qu ite naturally as my father was also a plumber. In fact I believe his father was also a plumber back when he lived in South America, which was long before my time,” Castillo explained. ”I was told that back in his native Uruguay a plumber also had to be an engineer, so he had been in school a long time just to become a plumber. My father took that experience and immigrated to Canada, first to Toronto where I was born and then later here. We moved to Victoria when I was 12, so I really grew up in this area.” While coming from a long line of plumbers, Villa Plumbing And Heating is not the continuance of an entity started by his predecessors, but a wholly new firm Castillo launched in 2006. Prior to opening his own business he had worked for about nine years for another plumbing contractor, where he learned the business quite literally from the ground up. “I became a Red Seal certified plumber and eventually a foreman for my previous employer, where I learned a great deal about the plumbing business. It was a terrific experience as I ran a

Rich Castillo is the President and founder of Villa Plumbing And Heating which was first launched in 2006

“My employees are the heart of the company, but it’s also very important to

Key to the success of Villa Plumbing And Heating is the skills and experience of its team of plumbers and technicians


number of large jobs for them, such as on many different multifamily developments. This really allowed me to learn about the commercial side of the industry, which of course has helped me operate my own business,” he explained. For Castillo owning his own business had always been a long term goal, but he recognized that he needed to gain practical experience, and to develop fundamental business skills before launching his own venture. “I knew when the time was right, but really needed to learn the business in detail before feeling confident enough to take that final step,” he said. “In reality I did it at the worst time possible, I had just had a new

Villa Plumbing And Heating works throughout the Capital Region, for everyone from homeowners to developers baby, had just bought a house and had no income. But someone told me that if you weren’t willing to quit your job right now

and commit 100 per cent to your business you’re never going to do it – so I actually quit that night and started Villa Plumbing. It

was very much a leap of faith, but one that I’ve never regretted.” P re sent ly lo c ate d i n West Sidney Business Park i n a

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Villa Plumbing And Heating has had a tremendous amount of experience working on large scale condo projects combination workshop and administrative centre, Villa Plumbing And Heating has been the featured plumbing and heating contractor on a wide variety of projects located throughout the Greater Victoria area during the past 12 years. The company currently has a staff count of eight, supported by a small fleet of service vehicles. “The hiring of people to work with is very important to me. I always try to hire guys who I think will properly represent the company, in a way they are my ambassadors so I want them to be able to present themselves well when in the public,” he said. “My employees are the heart of the company, but it’s also very important to have a happy crew. I want people who can work well together, who enjoy working together. If I hire someone and they don’t get along with everybody then they’re not going to last very long. If the guys are happy they’re going to do good work and the customer will be happy. That’s how you build a business.”

The firm has employed its specialized services for everything from high end custom homes, to multi-unit condominium and townhouse projects, working in concert with most of the city’s top builders and developers, including Yushi Developments, Lotus Project Management and Hughes Construction Ltd., just to name a very few. “I decided to go out on my own about 12 years ago now, with a real focus on entering the local condo market. At the time this sector offered a lot more work than the residential side did. Our first job as Villa Plumbing was at The Promenade which is a 12-unit mixed development built by Casa Projects Inc., with Scott Davis which I still work for today,” Castillo said. “We worked in the small condo market for a while, then suddenly I was finding myself busy looking after residential houses, so you’d have to say that we’ll work anywhere, for anyone. It’s very much the case of no job too small or too large.”

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Since opening its doors in 2006 Villa Plumbing And Heating has earned a solid reputation for its skills and ability to handle jobs of any size. One key to the company’s success has been a willingness to service both the residential and commercial markets with equal professionalism. During 2017 for example Villa Plumbing worked on no less than 83 houses. “Because of my background, which involved working on both light commercial and heavy residential projects, we’re not afraid to tackle any sized job. Wherever the work takes us we’ll go. Three years ago for example we completed a 56 unit condominium project called The Boulevard for Kang and Gill Construction which was certainly one of our bigger projects,” Castillo explained. Thanks to its flexibility and experience Villa Plumbing And Heating has become the ‘go-to’ plumbing and heating contractor for a number of the city’s leading general contractors including Lamont Land Inc., an Alberta

based development firm with holdings all across Vancouver Island. “We’ve been working for them for over 10 years now. In fact right now we’re working on a 90 unit townhouse project in Sooke,” he said. “We’re also working on Latoria Rise in Langford, which consists of 48 distinctive new homes, which is essentially a designer community modeled after similar developments in Vancouver. We’re working with Langdon Weir Construction on this project which is a very important assignment for us. Adam Weir and Chris Langdon are really doing an exceptional job there,” he said. Working in concert with larger developers on major projects for extended periods is the preferred business model for Villa Plumbing. For Castillo, knowing he can keep his crews busy and fully employed removes some of the pressure that comes from operating a business in a market as busy as Victoria’s. “I enjoy working with the bigger builders and developers on multi-family projects. While we definitely do residential work, especially for our builders and developers if they ask us to, we don’t do a lot of regular plumbing service work. That’s not to say we won’t but we definitely don’t go looking for work of that type,” he said. “When you have so many guys you need those anchor jobs to keep them working, typically we could have three or four jobs of this type on the go at any one time. We also work for a number of builders who do custom single family homes, so we can have one or two guys leave the major worksite, take care of that job and then return to the condo project or whatever. That way I know I can keep my guys working.” A third generation plumber with the trade part of his genetic makeup, the owner of a successful contracting business for the past 12 years, Rich Castillo looks forward to what the future and the busy Victoria market has to offer. Having built his company to a size that he finds comfortable to operate, he has no immediate plans to expand his business or

to open an office outside of the Capital Region. “You know I’m pretty happy with the size of the company as it is now. It’s the right size to be easily controllable and we’re not so large that quality and customer service will suffer. I honestly think if we got too much bigger the whole thing would become too cumbersome,” he said. “At present we get to work on 80 to 90 houses a year which is plenty to keep us busy so I’m happy with that. Whatever combination works best, a condo project and fewer houses, or more houses and less multi-family. Thanks to our experience and the skills of my guys we can take on any size or scale of project so we can always keep working.” Another of the keys to the success of the company, especially after having been in business for 12 years, is the increasing number of repeat and referral projects it takes on – work that is becoming an ever more important part of Villa Plumbing’s regular workload. “We certainly get a lot of work through word of mouth – we seldom do much in the way of advertising. So having someone recommend us, or ask us back to do something else really is high praise, and I guess a sign that we’re doing our job right. After all that’s what it’s all about,” Castillo explained.

Congratulations Villa Plumbing for all of your success 250.756.6122

Congratulations to Villa Plumbing & Heating on your many years of success in business.




2018 Promises To Be A Banner Year For LEADERSHIP Commercial Real Estate Activity THROUGH VICTORIA REAL ESTATE MENTAL says that industry sectors such as TOUGHNESS Chairman technology, service and creative businesses CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

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such as architecture, engineering and others are the ones to likely take over the newly vacated space as it becomes available. “They sometimes call the city ‘Tectoria’ because of the impact this sector has on the local economy, an impact that also directly affects the real estate marketplace,” he joked. “To help put it into perspective last year we had a significant amount of office space sitting vacant, but in the last four months I’ve probably leased 20,000 square feet of space, showing just how in demand properties like these are today.” The VREB Commercial Chair also explained that mixed-used developments, structures that incorporate a mixture of retail, residential and office space are becoming increasingly popular, especially in areas such as the city’s downtown core. “In a way it’s like building a community. Your office is upstairs, you can come downstairs to buy your insurance, you can get your lunch or go shopping for groceries and then go back to your apartment in the same building,” Featherby said. “This is perfect for the downtown as it brings residents to the core, it reduces traffic and it helps to energize the overall

Realtor Ken Featherby is the Chairman of the Victoria Real Estate Board’s Commercial Division for 2018 local economy. This sort of model is certainly becoming more popular.” Looking forward into 2018 Featherby anticipates the Victoria region’s commercial real estate marketplace will become increasingly active as the year progresses. “Land values are up, the cost of building is up, the demand for space is up – add that to our ongoing building boom and you have a situation where a lot of things can happen. Last year was good, this year is probably going to be even better,” he said.

















Geeks on the Beach WEB





recent a r t icle by CBC News discussed how the Canadian economy was going to see a slow-down over the next few years. They identified two main problems, but within one of the problems is actually part of the solution we business owners should seriously consider. The article stated that the two main issues are slow growth of Canada’s labour force, and a lack of business investment in equipment needed to boost labour productivity. Over the past few months, I ’ve h e a rd f rom m a ny business owners in the construction and manufacturing sectors who are lamenting their challenges in attracting qualified people. It is easy to see how a lack of

good labour can slow down their individual operations and, on a larger-scale, the economy. I have worked for many years in the world of technical education and helping companies identify and access productivity enhancements. It is however, like pulling teeth (sorry to my dentist friends for the oral analogy) to get many business owners to identify, embrace, and invest in productivity enhancements. A 2017 report by BuildForce Canada shows that in the construction industry, Canada ranks 13th in global competitiveness and 24th in productivity-innovation! A recent Fraser Institute article shows that if you pull out the resource sector statistics (they’re doing ok) and focus on manufacturing and construction, guess what… an overall lacklustre performance! Google “innovation gap” and you’ll find lots of articles by respected organizations that warn us that we are behind the curve on incorporating productivity enhancements as a means to compete on the global stage. Over and over again productivity and innovation show up as areas where we perform poorly. Essentially,

we’re set in our ways; not realizing that the only thing that may keep us competitive in the long term, is investment in productivity improvements. That doesn’t mean buying robots to do our work, it means investing in the education of our workforce. Learning about new techniques. Embracing change. Investing in equipment that reduces labour challenges including injury. Asking for assistance, and becoming active with industry associations and forums for sharing and communication. All business owners should focus on doing more with less, this is not a quickfix, but it will help you buck the low-productivity trend and ride out the labour issues that are not going to go away. Your employees don’t need to fear this approach, we know they are a critical part of our businesses - we need to involve them, invest in them, and help them be a part of the productivity improvement. Chris Edly, CD P.Eng is President of the Esquimalt Chamber of Commerce. He can be reached at chris@



Mike Richardson New President Of Truck Loggers Association Forest Industry Advocacy Group Celebrating Its 75th Anniversary During 2018 BY DAVID HOLMES


ICTORIA – Mike Richardson was elected President of the Board of Directors of the Truck Loggers Association (TLA) at its Annual Convention and Trade Show, held January 17 - 19 in Victoria. Hosted at the Fairmont Empress Hotel and Victoria Conference Centre, the industry event also included the forest industry association’s Annual General Meeting (AGM). This year was especially significant for the TLA as it also commemorated the industry advocacy and support group’s 75 th anniversary as an incorporated entity. “The TLA came originally out of a need for a few individual forestry companies to have a collective voice, in a forest industry that was much different from the way it is today,” explained David Elstone, the Truck Loggers Association’s Executive Director. “Back then there was many small companies that simply didn’t have the time to advocate and who operated very independently. But in time they realized that a collective voice would be needed to make changes and to address the issues of the day that were impacting the fledgling independent logging companies. The TLA is the result of that need as the industry transitioned from the days of the big timber barons to smaller, independent operators.” The origins of the Truck Loggers Association can be traced back to 1939 when small scale operators on Vancouver Island began to discuss their need to have a voice in industry and government decisions around forestry. The production pressures created by the Second World War only added to those pressures, in part due to equipment and manpower shortages engendered by the war effort. The Truck Loggers Association of BC was officially incorporated in 1943. “The move from an age when rail was used to transport timber to that of mechanization in the industry was the catalyst that spurred the development of the Association. People see the word ‘Truck’ in our name and think we’re truckers, but it’s really all about the mechanization of the forest industry, as steam went out and trucks and bulldozers and the other equipment common today were being introduced,” Elstone explained.

Back in the day: the Truck Loggers Association came into being when mechanization began to dominate the industry

The Truck Loggers Association has a membership that numbers nearly 500, from communities across the province Mike Richardson was elected president of the Truck Loggers Association at its AGM held in Victoria

“The TLA came originally out of a need for a few individual forestry companies to have a collective voice.” DAVID ELSTONE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, TRUCK LOGGERS ASSOCIATION

independent sawmills, small tenure holders, industry suppliers and even some municipal governments. The TLA’s membership supports thousands of workers and its members, along with other independent contractors in BC, harvest nearly 90 per cent of the trees harvested in the province. To help commemorate its 75th anniversary, the TLA produced a new book entitled: Timber Forever! - using the Annual Convention to formally launch the new publication. The historical retrospective was created to help tell the ongoing story of the province’s first and currently largest logging contractor association by detailing the activities and achievements of its 40

past presidents. Now into his fourth year as the TLA’s Executive Director, Elstone says the need for the TLA and its collective voice as an advocate for its membership is greater today than ever, due to a lack of contractor sustainability, changing market trends, an aging workforce and a host of other factors. “The TLA has been punching above its weight for the past 75 years. Independent timber harvesting contractors are the economic backbone of communities across BC and we’re making sure the voice in those communities is heard,” he said.

Interested in worry-free income for life? What about passing on a legacy to family, avoiding unnecessary taxes and admin delays? It takes good planning.

T he A nnual Convention and Trade Show is one of the Association’s yearly highlights as it brings together industry leaders, keynote speakers, a companion trade show highlighting new trends and products to support the sector, and the election of a new Board of Directors. The Immediate Past President of the TLA was Jacqui Beban, who was the Association’s first female President. Others elected to the Board in Victoria were its Vice President Bill Nelson and Directors Sig Kemmler, George Lambert, Tim Lloyd, Dave McNaught, Brian Mulvihill, Clint Parcher, Mark Ponting, Aaron Service, Barry Simpson, Doug Sladey, Carl Sweet, Dorian Uzzell, Lawrence Van De Leur, Matt Wealick and Adam Wunderlich. While its origins are Vancouver Island based, the Truck Loggers Association currently has a membership of nearly 500 that spans the province and includes independent timber harvesting contractors,

Dale Collins CFP EPC Elder Planning Counselor

To book an appointment call 250-818-2616





I DN EY – I n ma ny ways what award winning Hook & Hook Renovations & Design Inc. does is to preserve local history. An entirely family-owned and operated business, Hook & Hook Renovations are specialists in restoring and updating historic homes, taking irreplaceable pieces of the region’s past and making them viable, comfortable and eminently livable for a new generation of homeowners. T he Hook & Hook business model must work, as the company was the proud recipient of the 2017 Business of the Year Crystal Award (1 to 15 employees) from the Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce. “Winning this award came as a surprise but it’s also a great honour. We never cut corners, we always want to do the job right, and that’s probably one of the reasons we won this award,” explained Andi Hook a co-owner and designer with Hook & Hook Renovations. But the firm does far more than renovate older homes. Hook & Hook Renovations & Design also routinely creates custom designs


Congratulations on your award, you deserve it! All the best in the future. #6 - 10019 Galaran Road, SIDNEY, B.C. Phone 250-656-2212

Andi and Larry Hook were the winners of the Peninsula Chamber’s 2017 Business of the Year Crystal Award for properties both new and old, all while carrying out full-service project management duties – taking their client’s dreams and visions and transforming them into quality realities that could last for generations. From basic kitchen renovations to building custom homes, Hook & Hook have the skills and the experience to design and construct a space that is as unique as the customers they work for. When the team at Hook & Hook takes on a job it does so with some impressive credentials behind them. Andi Hook earned her Interior Design Degree while studying in New York City in 2004 where she practiced her craft for a few years before moving back to California. Working alongside of her mother who operated her own interior design firm, she honed her skills by taking on a wide variety of challenges and custom projects. “Being an interior designer may not be something genetic, but it’s certainly something that’s been ingrained in me. It’s the thing I’ve always wanted to do for as long as I can remember,” she explained. While her partner in both life and business Larry Hook grew up in the United States, Andi Hook and her mother are both

Canadians who happened to be living and working in California when a construction assignment fortuitously led to her meeting her future spouse. “My mom and I actually hired Larry to build some cabinetry for us, that’s how we met. I hired him, after losing an earlier cabinet guy. So you’d have to say that a chance meeting has ultimately led to us building a life together, with us getting married in 2008,” Hook said. The far flung adventures of the Hook family continued after tying the knot, as the pair moved to her home province of Prince Edward Island in 2008. “I’m from PEI but really I grew up all over Canada, moving to the States when I was 18. My mom is very much a gypsy at heart so I had a chance to live all over,” Hook said. By 2010 the pair had moved to the West Coast, settling in Vancouver, where they were drawn by the climate and the attraction of living near family and friends. Using their collective skills, she as a designer and he as a carpenter, the pair began to build a business and a reputation for quality on the Lower Mainland. Having a son in 2013 helped create a desire to put down roots for the family, a desire further cemented

Congratulations to Hook & Hook Renovations & Design Inc. on your prestigious award!


Providing excellence in corporate and commercial law for over 40 years

Congratulations to everyone at Hook & Hook Renovations for this grand achievement. We are delighted to work with a company being acknowledged for their success and high standing in the community. May you continue to thrive for many years to come.

201 - 2377 Bevan Avenue | Sidney, BC Dir: (250) 656-7231 | Fax: (250) 656-0937

One of the many skills the company brings to the workplace is the quality of its line of custom cabinetry

(250) 474-0411

Hook & Hook can work on any sized project, but especially like working with individual home owners



A hallmark of a Hook & Hook project is its completeness, with all of the details envisioned and completed

Andi and Larry Hook work on projects to produce results that enhance the customer’s enjoyment of their home

when her mother moved from California to the Victoria area shortly after. “Once that happened we pretty much said ‘let’s move to Victoria’ as I wanted my mom around and as there was so much activity taking place in Victoria it was pretty certain we’d find work. There was plenty of work in Vancouver, but we take our tools wherever we go, as there is always an opportunity,” she explained. Moving to the Saanich Peninsula in 2015 the pair worked initially for acclaimed builder and developer Townline, a firm well known for developing seniors housing as well as subsidized and non-subsidized rental units in addition to commercial projects. “We thought we’d try our hand at working for someone else for a year. While there I had a contract working as its quality control person at the Hudson Walk 1 project. By 2016 the work on that building was done so we decided

the end results.” When working with the owners of older homes Hook & Hook will strive to produce finished products that make sense for a neighbourhood – to create projects that not only improve the comfort and the efficiency of a home for the owner, but to create something that is a welcomed addition to the community as a whole. Updating the wiring and other services, improving the insulation levels or enhancing the energy efficiency of a home are some of the many assignments the company handles on a routine basis. Taking an older property and making it a viable part of the 21st Century is a great source of satisfaction for the Hooks. Its work can be everything from a small update to a major residential rebuild. While the company itself is staffed solely by Andi and Larry Hook, the pair (as is the case with most builders) works with a trusted corps of sub trades when actually on the job. “Even though everyone in the building trades is super busy right now, we’ve been lucky to find a great group of trades to work with. That’s a huge part of it for us,” Hook said. W h i le on ly hav i ng been i n business for a few years, Hook & Hook Renovations & Design has already completed five major assignments, as well as number of

smaller renovation jobs, such as updating kitchens or bathrooms. For the future the husband and wife team anticipate continuing to serve greater Victoria region with its expansive custom construction and renovation services. “Ultimately we care about the client, we care about the end result, that’s a big part of what has made us successful and played a role in us winning the Crystal Award. We strive to always use the best materials, to build to code or ideally better than code. We’re completely custom. When people say ‘custom cabinetry’ that may not necessarily be the case. When we say custom cabinetry, you will know that it really is custom built for you,” Hook said. “We do all of the custom cabinet work ourselves. We do custom furniture if needed. I do 3D renderings for the client so they can see exactly how the final results will look. We deliver the complete package.” Located at #3-2042 Mills Road in Sidney, Hook & Hook Renovations & Design has the depth of skills and the creative vision to handle any scope of residential design or construction. “What it all comes down to is that the job we do is fun, that’s never gone away for either of us. That’s why we love to do what we do for our clients,” Hook explained.

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to go out on our own again and that’s when Hook & Hook was launched,” Hook explained. “We were ready to put down roots. We’d bought a home in Sidney, so when our contracts were up in 2016 we decided go out on our own again. We opened up our shop and showroom and here we are.” Effectively combining carpentry and construction skills with interior design services, Hook & Hook Renovations & Design provides a unique and multi-facetted service for its clients. Essentially a one stop shop for both construction and design, Hook & Hook can work with a client through all of the stages of a project, from the inspired conception right through to the handing over of the keys. The greater Victoria area, with its vast inventory of classic and character homes, has proven to be the ideal stage for the collective creative resources that Hook

& Hook Renovations can bring to the worksite. “We worked at renovating a number of classic homes back in PEI, Larry likes working on historic homes, and really so do I. What it all comes down to is to keep the character, the appearance of a home and to make it better. While this sort of work isn’t the core of what we do, it’s certainly a special niche for us,” she said. As a one stop shop, Hook & Hook Renovations & Design Inc. can handle any size or scale of residential renovation project, from a complete rebuild (which can be as complex as a new build) to a small scale updating assignment. “While we love working on the older homes, it’s all about bringing any home, regardless of age, back to life. For example, we’re working on a home right now in Sidney that was originally a tiny cottage that has been added onto five times over the years, without any real continuity or vision for what the final results would look like. Projects like that can create challenges,” she said. “Our job in this case is to essentially take it apart and then put it all back together, but to make it look like it was intended to look that way. We’re all about bringing creativity to the job. My husband likes a challenge, to test himself. He respects the whole design aspect, and it shows with

Congratulations Hook & Hook Renovations on your success. We are proud to support you.

CONGRATS Andi & Larry!! It’s been a pleasure being a part of your team and I look forward to working together throughout 2018. - Mike ALL-PRO

3 locations to serve you 5 – 4011 Quadra Street 2531 Government Street 111 – 2220 Sooke Road

It’s all in the details when Hook & Hook Renovation & Design take on an assignment for a customer



250 812-8088 Victoria, BC

Fully Insured | Great Rates | Free Estimates Excellent Results | Discounted Materials Flexible Scheduling Always Polite & Reliable Professionals

Congratulations Hook & Hook on your award! Serving Lower Vancouver Island and Surrounding areas

601-7835 East Saanich Rd Saanichton, BC




VICTORIA CONSTRUCTION FIRM A DEVELOPMENT PIONEER Mike Geric Construction Has Helped To Build Victoria For Half A Century


A A N IC H – M i ke G er ic Construction Ltd doesn’t just build homes, it creates communities – something its’ been doing for more than half a century. A pioneer developer, a construction firm that has grown and evolved with the city its’ helped to build, Mike Geric Construction has been building custom homes and major developments throughout Saanich and the Greater Victoria area since 1968, a legacy of achievement it anticipates continuing to fulfill for many years to come. “Yes 2018 is our 50 th year in business and for any company, especially those in the construction sector, you’re not going to be around for 50 years unless you’re doing something right,” explained company President Edward Geric. Founded by the current president’s father, Mike Geric Construction was lau nched as a quality home builder working for clients all across the Greater Victoria region, but specifically in the Saanich area. Growing and evolving to better serve the community it has long been a part of,

No stranger to receiving accolades, Mike Geric Construction has been the recipient of many awards over the years the company has been responsible for constructing more than 1,500 homes over the past half century.

Every Geric project is a showcase of quality, comfort and Old World workmanship – a legacy of the firm’s founder who immigrated to Canada from his native Slovenia. A multi award-winning compa ny, w ith nu merous CA R E Awards (Construction Achievements and Renovations of Excel lence) f rom t he Victoria Residential Builders Association (VRBA) to its credit, Mike Geric Construction is also a finalist in the 2018 Business Excellence Awards. Originally the builder of high end single family homes, today Mike Geric Construction focuses primarily on creating high-quality and sustainable multifamily developments that are as much small communities as they are living spaces. SEE MIKE GERIC CONSTRUCTION |  PAGE 17

The Geric family are the force behind the company and include (l to r) Rozy Myron, Mike Geric, Mrs. Geric and Edward Geric

Congratulations on your 50th anniversary. It has been our pleasure working with your company over the years. We look forward to many more successful projects in the future!

6785 Veyaness Rd, Saanichton, BC V8M 2A8 250.652.6461 |



Mike Geric Construction is involved in many community activities including the fundraising Pink in the Rink event

One of the company’s latest multi-family developments is Travino which includes approximately 250 homes


“We haven’t really done a high end single family home in a number of years. Right now our energy is focused on sustainable doing multi-family, condominium and townhome developments,” Geric explained. “In a way it all comes down to building communities, predominantly in Saanich but we’ve also worked in Victoria, Esquimalt and we have plans for other developments throughout the region. We take great pride in our reputation of being a trusted, local developer, one that plans and builds each of our developments with the needs and unique requirements of the community and homebuyers in mind.” Mike Geric Construction in recent years has been rapidly expanding its expertise and reputation as the developer and builder of exceptional multifamily projects, often having numerous projects underway at the same time. As an example of the company’s significant impact on the regional housing scene, in the past eight years alone Mike Geric Construction has either completed or currently has under construction more than 600 multi-family units, in developments with a combined value of

nearly $225 million. The company’s recent project portfolio includes the Broadmead, a 60 condominium project with a price tag of approximately $24 million, the $50 million Heatherdale project which features 93 individual home and The Duval, a $20 million development that incorporates 47 homes. The crown jewel for the company at present is the expansive Travino project, a multi-facetted residential development that includes about 250 homes and has a price tag of nearly $120 million. “Our third phase at Travino is closing soon so we’re really in the final push to complete the building. Our construction team is working through the weekends to make sure everything is ready for our new homeowners to take possession. There‘s always something happening on site when you’re pushing a deadline,” he said. While still a presence, and an inspiration for the current Mike Geric Construction administration, the company’s founder, now in his 80s, has been effectively retired for the past 15 years. Over that time it has been the leadership of the current president, Edward Geric that has seen the enterprise make its dramatic transformation from home builder to the developer of exceptional

multi-family projects. “My Dad’s background goes back to Winnipeg where he was a carpenter. One summer as I was growing up we came out to Victoria to visit family and as luck would have it one of the family members was also in the construction business,” Geric recalled. “My Dad and he chatted, and he realized that there was enough activity here to keep him busy so we went back to Winnipeg and by the next summer we had moved to Victoria, that was in 1967. By the next year, after having worked as

he first migrated from Slovenia to Winnipeg he couldn’t speak a word of English and had to struggle just to make it in his new home,” Geric explained. The Geric family’s personal history is in every sense the classic tale of the Canadian Dream made manifest. Both of Edward’s parents were Slovenian, and had actually known each other in their youth back in the Old Country. Reuniting in their new home they eventually married, started a family and put down roots in the land of their collective choice. That love of family, that focus on creating a lasting legacy and encouraging a sense of permanence and community is a family philosophy that has inspired and motivated Mike Geric SEE MIKE GERIC CONSTRUCTION |  PAGE 18

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Proud partner of Mike Geric Construction, congratulations on your 50th Anniversary! 6844 Oldfield Road, Saanichton

Residen al Commercial Landscaping Restora on New Construc on

Congratula ons to Mike Geric Construc on on your 50th Anniversary, we have enjoyed working with you on many great projects! 561 Hillside Ave, Victoria BC P: 250.727.7099 E:

a carpenter for family members for about a year to become familiar with the area, he incorporated Mike Geric Construction which is where it all began.” L ea rn i ng how to operate a business and perfecting his craft through extensive on the job training, the elder Geric quickly became an integral part of the Capital Region’s construction sector. Focusing on new home construction, renovation work or any jobs he could locate, the company’s early years were devoted to delivering quality products, perfecting skills and expanding its client base. “He learned about business the hard way. Right from the beginning he worked very, very hard and basically for him it was all from on the job training, but back then that’s how it was done. When

Phone: 250.544.3103 Email:



As part of its ongoing local commitment Mike Geric Construction has supported many causes over the years


Construction since its inception. Like many of the European new



Tel: 250.727.7755 • Email:

arrivals who came to Canada after the Second World War, the elder Geric brought with him a solid work ethic and a desire to do the job right – a personal drive that has influenced every project his company has completed, right up until the present day. “He definitely has the work ethic and has always been a very ‘hands on’ sort of person. He was never afraid to work hard and expected the same from others. But that effort and focus is what you need to build a business and to make it last,” Geric said. “Part of what made his business successful was that he built each home as though we were going to be living in it – he took the same care as if the home were being built for our family. I find that SEE MIKE GERIC CONSTRUCTION |  PAGE 19

While now retired, Mike Geric continues to have a positive impact on the expansive construction firm he founded

Congratulations to Mike Geric Construction on 50 years in business!

Don Mann Excavating Ltd is pleased to provide our services to Mike Geric Construction.

2189 Keating X Road, Saanichton BC, V8M 2A5

(250) 652-5200

Congratulations to the team on your many years of hard work, quality and dedication.



Nearing completion, Travino is a premium multi-faceted residential development with a price tag of nearly $120 million


Edward Geric, President of Mike Geric Construction, enjoys a happy moment with his father and company founder Mike Geric

I still use that type of language with my team today. The homes we build today have to be ones we would be proud to live in. But back then that was the truth, because in those days my dad would mortgage his home to build another spec house and Dad he would tell us whatever house sells first, we’ll live in the other one.” Growing up in a home fuelled by the construction business it was a virtual certainty that Edward would be following his father’s lead into the family business. “When I was a youngster my Dad used to work weekends so

that’s what I did. After him taking me to the hockey rink or the ball field he’d take me to the job site where I could hang out with him and help him with whatever he was working on. So I guess you’d have to say that I grew up in this business,” he said. Another of the traits especially common in the older generations was a conscious desire for their children to pursue professions and higher education, a drive that has had a direct influence on Edward Geric’s life and career. “While I grew up in the business my formal training was as a CA (Chartered Accountant) because SEE MIKE GERIC CONSTRUCTION |  PAGE 20

Congratulations to Mike Geric Construction Ltd. on 50 successful years in the construction industry. The Dominion of Canada General Insurance Company, St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Company and Travelers Insurance Company of Canada are the Canadian licensed insurers known as Travelers Canada. © 2018 The Dominion of Canada General Insurance Company, St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Company and/or Travelers Insurance Company of Canada. All rights reserved. Travelers and the Travelers Umbrella logo are registered trademarks of The Travelers Indemnity Company in the U.S. and other countries. M-18335 Rev. 1-18

Congratulations to Mike Geric Construction ... Happy 50th!




my father was like everyone in his generation, believing that for his children to succeed they needed a higher education. For that reason I went to business school, got my degree and learned about business from that perspective. It was the same for my sister Rozy Myron, who is also an owner in the company. She went to university to earn her teaching degree,” he said. For Mike Geric it made sound b u s i n e s s s e n s e to h a v e a n accountant both in the family and in the company. But for Edward his training and his degree didn’t mean his role in the firm would automatically be one confined to the office, or in a leading management position – from his father’s perspective for his son to learn the business fully he’d have to spend his time on the front line. “When I graduated from university and articled with Coopers and Lybrand in Vancouver I ended up staying in the accounting field for about 10 years, leaving Coopers and Lybrand as a manager in its tax group,” Geric said. “When I joined my Dad’s company he said to me ‘You know Ed you just can’t walk around here with your suit on all day. You’re not going to gain the respect of people that way’ so I literally took the suit off and put the tool belt on for the first four years I was with the company. I needed

Congrats Mike Geric Construction! We’re proud to have worked on so many great projects with your organization. 250.384.4128 Victoria, BC

Designed with quality and comfort in mind, the homes in Travino are elegant and feature enhanced soundproofing to be able to show people that I wasn’t just an accountant or some business degree guy, I needed to SEE MIKE GERIC CONSTRUCTION |  PAGE 21

Congratulations to Mike Geric Construction on your 50th Anniversary! 2948 Ed Nixon Terrace, Victoria

P: 250.474.5733 E:

A hallmark of any Mike Geric Construction project is a design that is as energy efficient as it is beautiful and functional

Congratulations to Mike Geric Construction on 50 years of outstanding construction

KPL James architecture

Looking forward to the next 50 years of success! Shawn Fehr, BA, CAIB, CIP Phone:  250-478-9110 Cell:  778-678-5821 Email: 115-2244 Sooke Road Victoria



A crown jewel in the Mike Geric Construction crown, Travino’s development team are very proud of their efforts


demonstrate to them that I actually knew what I was talking about.” Under the direction and through the v ision of the compa ny’s present president Mike Geric Construction has grown and expanded dramatically beyond its original scope. From a company building six or seven homes per year, the firm has become a leader in the creation of such exceptional multi-family developments as Travino, a 250-condominium community in Royal Oak that’s

been recognized for its sustainability, design and industry-leading soundproofing. About 20 years ago, the focus of Mike Geric Construction began to deliberately shift away from its previous staple of building single family homes to the multi-family developments the company is well known for today. “In many ways my Dad was a pioneer when it came to being a developer in Victoria. He was in Gordon Head developing that area. He was one of the first builders in the Broadmead area, one of the city’s higher end areas, where the city allowed a builder

to come in and essentially buy a street to build single family homes,” Geric said. “He was an innovator and a leader in this sort of development. While common now, it was practically unheard of back then. If you were to compile a list of pioneer Victoria developers, you’d have to include his name for sure.” According to Geric, even today, whenever one of his father’s original properties comes on the market the home’s supporting literature will always point out that the property had been built SEE MIKE GERIC CONSTRUCTION |  PAGE 22

J. Dias Masonry

Proud partner of Mike Geric Construction contact: Phone: 250.389.1317 Email: 3635 Craigmillar Avenue, Victoria

We’re proud to work with a quality contractor like Mike Geric Construction, congratulations on 50 years in business! 682 Sumas Street Victoria, BC V8T 4S6 Phone: 250.360.2128 Fax: 250.360.2186

Congratulations on your 50th Anniversary!


250-384-1230 2745 Bridge Street, Victoria

Congratulations to our friends at Mike Geric Construction on celebrating their 50th Anniversary 845 Orono Ave, Victoria Phone: 250.474.2100

We are proud to support the projects of Mike Geric Construction.


790 Spruce Ave



Elegant and beautiful the $120 million Travino residential development is one of Mike Geric Construction’s biggest projects


by Mike Geric Construction – a tribute to the lasting legacy his father and the company he created has given to the region. Having been part of the city’s construction sector for more than

50 years, having evolved from a home builder into the developer of extraordinary multi-family projects, Mike Geric Construction has become the go-to builder for this type of home for many customers because of its longevity and well-earned reputation for quality. “Being a single family home builder that is now building multi-family projects has helped us as a company fantastically. That’s not usually the way it is. Usually big companies get into condominiums and multi-family because that’s where they see things rolling,” he said. “But we can say that no, we started building high quality single family homes and are taking that same level of expertise into the construction of multi-family homes. We take the same care in a multi-family project that we do in an individual home. We bring that same level of quality, workmanship and customer service to every job we do.” SEE MIKE GERIC CONSTRUCTION |  PAGE 23

Another future Mike Geric Construction is a luxury condominium development planned for Sidney by the Sea Today’s Mike Geric Construction has about a dozen direct employees, but when serving as the General Contractor on a major project could employ dozens or more.

“When it comes to the plumbers and electricians and others we rely on our sub trades. But when working as the general we work with our own in-house team,” Geric said.

“We have a real depth of expertise within our core team and we have a number of key partners SEE MIKE GERIC CONSTRUCTION |  PAGE 23

O’G. Painting Ltd. your painting experts

Congratulations to Mike Geric Construction on your

Congratulations Mike Geric Construction on 50 Years!

50th Anniversary! contact info: 1040 Leslie Dr, Victoria Phone: 250.595.5268 Mobile: 250.216.5644



“Being a single family home builder that is now building multi-family projects has helped us as a company fantastically.” EDWARD GERIC PRESIDENT, MIKE GERIC CONSTRUCTION LTD.

CONGRATULATIONS to Mike Geric Construction on your 50th Anniversary! 611 Bay Street, Victoria Phone: (250) 382-8121

More than a housing development, in many ways Travino has been created to be a community in its own right


that we work with on an ongoing basis to ensure that we can manage each development in-house from start to finish. From planning and design, project and construction management and finance, sales and marketing, we have a great team in place. I’m very proud that we do the design work for each development ourselves and oversee every aspect to ensure it meets the level of quality that we’re known for.” Not content to rest on its laurels, Mike Geric Construction is always planning for that next important project. With its focus

on multi-family residential developments, and with an eye on enhancing the communities in which its projects are located, the company already has a number of pending projects slated for future development. Among its list of upcoming endeavours is a 38 home townhome development envisioned for Royal Oak called Viewmont. Perfect for a young family, this project is strategically situated near schools, parks, restaurants, shopping and many other family-friendly amenities. Another of the company’s pending projects is a proposed luxury SEE MIKE GERIC CONSTRUCTION |  PAGE 24


Congratulations to Mike Geric Construction on their 50th Anniversary!

“Come visit Mandy and her team of experts”

Victoria: 736 Cloverdale Ave. (250) 475-0277



Viewmont is just one of Mike Geric Construction’s upcoming projects, a 38 home townhome complex in Royal Oak


condominium project planned for 5th Street in Sidney. The artfully

crafted development will benefit from the fabulous ocean and mainland mountain views that Sidney by the Sea is so famous for. Mike Geric Construction has spent the

last half century helping to design and build the Greater Victoria area, and based on the number of tasks he already has on the books, it will continue to help with its development for many more decades to come. Another central part of the Mike Geric Construction story is its ongoing commitment and support to the communities that it serves. The company has been a longtime champion of numerous local athletic groups and educational institutions. From helping to restore and preserve the 128-year-old Royal Oak School house to participating in the annual ‘Pink in the Rink’ fundraiser for cancer research, to making a $100,000 donation to the Royal Oak Middle School for its library and playground, the company actively works to make its community a better place. Many people may not be aware that the Saanich Braves Junior

Hockey team, which competes in the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League, is co-owned by Edward Geric along with Norm Kelly. Geric is a great believer in supporting and inspiring youth and through his involvement with the team he strives to help develop young athletes while preparing them for college, university, and possibly furthering their competitive hockey careers. Looking toward the future, Geric is confident Mike Geric Construction will continue to be a leader in sustainable development and community leadership for many years to come. “We’re excited about the future because we keep an ear to the ground so we can find lands in unique locations. We’re nimble and we have a solid business foundation so we’re able to make decisions and act quickly when opportunities arise,” he said. “We know how to use each piece of land to its full potential – that



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means a profitable development but also a smart and beautiful design that makes our community proud. We expand not to maximize density but to foster positive growth in the community.” While solidly rooted in the Greater Victoria area, exploring projects beyond the region is something the company could consider if the right opportunity should arise. “Would we consider working outside of the Victoria area, or undertaking different types of projects in the future? Why not? We’ve always strived to be an industry leader, to recognize where the need is and work to fulfill that need, for our business and for the community as a whole,” Geric said. “The one thing that doesn’t change is that focus on serving the community that has been so good to us – after all, our company motto has always been: We build homes and community … the Geric Way.”

3942 Quadra St, Victoria Phone: 250.384.8881 Email: •

Phone: 778.533.2747 @MayConstructionVictoria



DriveWise Family Keeping Roads Safer for 40-plus Years


ANCOUVER ISLAND Vancouver Island roads have been safer for more than 40 years, thanks to the efforts of Arthur and Pat Harris, aided in later years by their daughter Kate Wells and son-inlaw Seann Wells. The family has developed the largest driving school in BC while ensuring new and renewing drivers are safe in traffic. Among thei r accompl ish ments was training 4500 drivers for the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver. This year their company, DriveWise, was named Family Business of the Year by the Family Business Association of Vancouver Island. The award was a surprise for the family since they had joined the association four months earlier. But their history qualified them as an outstanding example of family cohesion, business success, and community support over more than four decades. The DriveWise story started in 1975, when Arthur Harris turned 30 and decided it was time to leave his job as a motor vehicle branch driving examiner to start his own business. Having tested drivers for five years in Vancouver and Victoria, he recognized that driver training could be done better. “I felt people needed more of a coaching and mentoring approach that was more learner-centered,” he said, explaining that at the time, driver training was based on classroom lectures. His instinct was right. A mentoring approach that taught drivers comprehensive understanding of driving skills – instead of a series of rules – was both popular and effective. More than 80 per cent of DriveWise students pass their provincial road test exam. Plus, the new drivers are safer. Driving a vehicle is commonplace but dangerous if done incorrectly. A 2013 study by the B.C. Coroners Service into the 289 vehicle accident deaths that year attributed 71 per cent were attributed to driver behaviour, including inexperience. “We have a vision of safe, confident drivers on our roads,” says Kate Wells, who serves as Director of Operations. Her husband is the company’s provincial trainer. Arthur is the CEO and Patricia Harris handles the accounting. The family have embraced the creation of safer drivers, continually updating their training methods and options. S o m e of t h e s e i n i t i a t iv e s include: A free workshop – SafeStart for Parents – to give them driver teaching skills before they begin co-driving with their teens; A free Learners Preparation Workshop to help new wouldbe drivers gain their learner’s license on the first try;

“Our team is always looking for ways to increase good driving habits on our roads.” KATE WELLS DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS

Volunteer participation in the Island Health P.A.R.T.Y. program to combat distracted and impaired driving; Support of the Cone Zone campaign to educate drivers about safe driving in construction zones and additional support of the Shift into Winter campaign to help drivers cope with winter driving conditions; and Free training for B.C. Cancer Society volunteer drivers. DriveWise BC also donates more than $15,000 in free driving lessons to support community and charitable fundraisers, including Cops for Cancer and Dry Grad. DriveWise has trained more than 50,000 drivers and given more than 900,000 lessons. From their initial Victoria location, they have expanded to Langford/West Shore, Nanaimo, Kelowna, and Kamloops. Classes are developed to meet different needs: new Canadians, seniors, commercial/fleet drivers, winter driving, and customized lessons. One option includes pick-up/drop off at home, so

A winning team – DriveWise training vehicle, company Director of Operations Kate Wells, and her father, company CEO Arthur Harris students without wheels can access training. Initially founded as Canada West Driving Training, they were part of the Young Drivers of Canada program for more than 30 years. Eight years ago they shifted to DriveWise in order to offer an interactive training system with driving simulators. With the simulators they can – for example – give drivers hands-on experience in skills like navigating black ice. “Our team is always looking for ways to increase good driving habits on our roads,” Kate said. “We work very hard to educate the public about safe driving habits, how to teach teens to drive, and the consequences of high-risk behaviour behind the wheel.” The outcome is safer roads for everyone – and a thriving family business. “Dad and mom have worked tirelessly to get where we are today,” Kate said.

DriveWise offers driving classes and workshops from locations in the south Island, in Nanaimo, and in Kamloops and Kelowna

Part of the DriveWise fleet of training vehicles. The company also uses driving simulators to offer hands-on training

26 WHO IS SUING WHOM The contents of Who’s Suing Whom is provided by a third-party resource and is accurate according to public court documents. Some of these cases may have been resolved by publication date. DEFENDANT 0883935 BC LTD 300-145 West 17th Ave, North Vancouver, BC PLAINTIFF Pioneer West Mortgage Investments Corporation CLAIM $254,122 DEFENDANT 0883935 BC LTD 300-145 West 17th Ave, North Vancouver, Bc PLAINTIFF Pioneer West Mortgage Investments Corporation CLAIM $115,392 DEFENDANT 1005039 BC LTD 2-1240 Stewart Ave, Nanaimo, BC PLAINTIFF Harris, Thomas Linton CLAIM $485,163 DEFENDANT 1005275 BC LTD 201-1909 Island Hwy, Campbell River, BC

WHO IS SUING WHOM PLAINTIFF Gaede, Mary CLAIM $ 35,196 DEFENDANT A Lakeside Bowling Ltd 1881 9th Ave NE, Salmon Arm, BC PLAINTIFF Striker Installations Inc CLAIM $ 16,183 DEFENDANT Allied Van Lines Canada 2160-925 West Georgia St, Vancouver, BC PLAINTIFF Donaldson, Donna CLAIM $ 14,186 DEFENDANT Alta Bering Management Technology Consultants Ltd 1500-1055 West Georgia St, Vancouver, BC PLAINTIFF Palette Ventures Inc CLAIM $ 76,665 DEFENDANT Beban Park Golf Course 2280 Bowen Rd, Nanaimo, BC PLAINTIFF Timothy McKay CLAIM $ 30,276 DEFENDANT Canadian Northern Shield Insurance Company

1900-555 West Hasting St, Vancouver, BC PLAINTIFF Gross, Patrick CLAIM $ 12,516 DEFENDANT City of Nanaimo 455 Wallace St, Nanaimo, BC PLAINTIFF Timothy McKay CLAIM $ 30,276 DEFENDANT D Taylor Excavating Ltd 10965 Heather Rd, North Saanich, BC PLAINTIFF P & R Truck Centre Ltd CLAIM $ 5,043 DEFENDANT Double H Holdings 455 Wallace St, Nanaimo, BC PLAINTIFF McKay, Timothy CLAIM $ 30,276 DEFENDANT ER Homes 204-12 Baden Powel St, Ladysmith, BC PLAINTIFF Hoffmann, Andrew Steven CLAIM $ 14,682 DEFENDANT Frames N Panes Ltd


201-907 Baker St, Cranbrook, BC PLAINTIFF Chinook Business Brokers Ltd CLAIM $ 7,906 DEFENDANT In And Out Drywall Inc 10717 205th St, Edmonton, AB PLAINTIFF Van De Ligt, Jerome CLAIM $ 19,978 DEFENDANT Island Home Furniture 1499 Island Highway, Campbell River, BC PLAINTIFF Gaede, Mary CLAIM $ 35,196 DEFENDANT JR Homes Ltd PO BOX 38, Ladysmith, BC PLAINTIFF Central Builders Supply Limited CLAIM $ 14,958 DEFENDANT Kettle Creek Development Ltd 595 Burrard St, Vancouver, BC PLAINTIFF Conway, Elizabeth Fay CLAIM $ 9,704 DEFENDANT Mar Kerr Enterprises LTD 1175 Douglas St, Victoria, BC PLAINTIFF

Terrace Sight And Sound LTD CLAIM $ 35,236 DEFENDANT Rayan Shoes 9600 93rd Ave, Fort St John, BC PLAINTIFF Romeo & Juliette INC CLAIM $ 13,934 DEFENDANT S I P Building Systems 1226 Kirkpatrick Rd, Tappen, BC PLAINTIFF Central Builders Supply Limited CLAIM $ 8,309 DEFENDANT Servicemaster Victoria 1075 Henry Eng Pl, Victoria, BC PLAINTIFF Gross, Patrick CLAIM $ 12,516 DEFENDANT Snap Self Storage Inc 2840 Roberts Rd, Duncan, BC PLAINTIFF Tetlock, Dave CLAIM $ 5,716 DEFENDANT Western Watershed Designs INC 103A-8275 92nd St, Delta, BC PLAINTIFF Jenkin, Grant CLAIM $ 35,176




Business Examiner Gold Event Sponsors

Daisy Klaibert The Family Business Association of Vancouver Island will hold the 2018 Family Business Excellence Awards on February 8. DriveWise and Titan Boats will share the FBE Of The Year Award, while Daisy Klaibert of Beacon Wealth Management is the recipient of the family business young entrepreneur award. Windsor Plywood Westshore is celebrating their 30th year in business at 888 Van Isle Way in Langford. Buckerfield’s is opening a new flagship store in Langford at 975 Langford Parkway in April. The new store is expected to employ about a dozen people and will include 11,000-square-feet of space. The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority has added new directors to their board for the 201820 term. The directors include Dave Cowen of Tourism Victoria; Susan Brice of the Capital Regional District; Doug Crowder, Ryan Burles of the Victoria/Esquimalt Harbour Society; Mayor Barbara Desjardins of Township of Esquimalt; Bruce Hale of the Victoria/Esquimalt Harbour Society; Councillor Margaret Lucas of the City of Victoria; Mark Mawhinney; Starr McMichael; Gordon Safarik; Chief Ron Sam of Songhees Nation; Chief Andy Thomas of Esquimalt Nation and Christine Willow of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce.

Robin Breuer Congratulations to RDH Building Science Inc’s Robin Breuer who was recently promoted to the position of associate. RDH Building Science is at #500 3795 Carey Road. The Vancouver Island Green Business Certification Program has certified the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Victoria Business Association and Tourism Victoria.

The certification is a result of each organization demonstrating their commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship. EBay recently announced the acquisition of Terapeak, a Toronto-based tech firm with an office in Victoria. Terapeak had raised roughly $5-million in funding from Georgian Partners. Dave Mathieson has joi ned Charter Telecom Inc. of Victoria. Mathieson spent the past six years with Cisco Systems Inc., the world’s largest IT networking company, in the company’s health care group. L istGloba l ly i s pl e a s e d to announce the expansion of their global team with the appointment of Byron Burley as President North America – Australia and New Zealand and Samantha Tino as Senior Director of North America Franchise and Broker Sales. Both Mr. Burley and Ms. Tino joined ListGlobally in mid-January 2018. The Victoria Airport Authority (VAA) announces their executive and board of directors for 2018. The executive includes Eric Donald as chair, Gordon Safarik as vice-chair and chair of the Airport Consultative Committee, Marilyn Loveless as secretary and chair of the Governance Committee, Cathie Ounsted as chair of the Audit and Finance Committee, and Rod Dewar as chair of the Planning and Development Committee. Brenda Nunns Shoemaker and Charles Lovallo are both new additions to the board of directors for the VAA. The University of Victoria is holding their annual Distinguished Alumni Awards Night February 5 at the Songhees Wellness Centre at 1100 Admirals Road. The event will celebrate from different faculties, UVic Libraries, Divisions of Medical Sciences and Continuing Studies. The Fairmont Empress Hotel was named the Best Meetings Hotel in Western Canada (tied for first place with Fairmont Chateau Whistler) by Meetings & Incentives Travel Magazine’s readers and Best Wedding Hotel Venue at the 2017 Vancouver Island Wedding Industry Awards. T he Victoria Ha rbou rCats have added new staff to their front-office team to prepare for

the sixth season of West Coast baseball. Christian Stewart is the new assistant general manager of ticketing and media, Katrinka Green is the new host family coordinator, Anna James has been appointed game-day operations coordinator and Lyandra White will take the role of box office manager. The current executive for Our Place Society is Diana Butler as chair, Cairine Green as vicechair, Andrea Brown as treasurer, Scott Daly as secretary and Susan Haddon as past-chair. Their board of directors consists of Susan Abells, Karen Adams, Neal Berger, Bill Cantelon, Brett Hayward, Ernie Quantz, Linda Ryder and Ansley Tucker. Our Place Society is an inner-city c o m m u n it y c e nt re s e r v i n g Greater Victoria’s most vulnerable citizens. The Magnolia Hotel & Spa will unveil a renovated restaurant and renewed brand this spring. The renovation and re-brand is part of the multi-tiered renewal of all hotel spaces, that started with the guest rooms in 2013 followed by hallways in 2015, in advance of the property’s 20th anniversary celebration this year. Plans for the new re-brand and new concept are to be released soon. Congratulations to December’s top salespeople of the month from across Victoria. These include Luke Hawkins of Harris Auto, Jay Dick of Jim Pattison Toyota, Ray Martin of Jim Pattison Lexus, Jamie Elmhirst of Pacific Mazda, Ted Sakousky of Wheaton, David Vollet of Audi Autohaus, Brad Taylor of Volkswagen Victoria, Josh Rockwell of Victoria Hyundai, Matt Kennard of Porsche Centre, Adam Mikasko of Three PT Motors, Evan Souliotis of BMW Victoria, Eliah Marthymann of Volvo, Frank Burgeretta of Wille Dodge, Justin Stacey of Jenner, Blake Horman of Campus Honda, Rome Tewelde of Campus Infiniti, Jag Mahil of Graham KIA, Frank Pecorreli of Campus Nissan, Josh Burns of Jim Pattison Subaru, David Fields of Campus Acura a nd Bryce Metzger of Galaxy Motors. Trudi Brown, a partner with the firm Brown, Henderson, Melbye in Victoria received the Law Society of BC’s Excellence in Family Law Award. Brown was recognized along with other lawyers at the society’s annual awards ceremony recently.

Western Forest Products (WFP) has acquired Hampton Lumber Mills’ processing and distribution centre in Arlington, Washington in a deal worth $9-million US. The acquisition will help WFP better serve their US customer base and offset the added costs of American softwood lumber duties. The Downtown Victoria Business Association (DVBA) has hired former Victoria-Beacon Hill MLA Jeff Bray to serve as their interim executive director. Bray steps into the role previously held by Kerri Milton after the DVBA announced they were cutting ties with Milton, who had held the position since the summer of 2016. Victoria’s Pauline Rafferty, former CEO of the Royal BC Museum, and widely recognized as a leader in the cultural sector, has been named chair of the Canadian Museum of Human Rights in Winnipeg. Rafferty has been on the board of the Museum since 2012 and has been acting chair since 2016. Re/Max Alliance Victoria recent ly a n nou nced t hei r top performers of the month. They include Ron Neal, Alex Burns, Laura McCollom, Laura Godbeer, Layne Britton, Claude Delmaire, Steve Duben, Karen Love, Manpreet Kandola and Robyn Wildman.

Re/Max Camosun congratulates their top producers of the month. From Victoria they are Ma rk R ice, K i rsten Ma r ten, Julia Abraham, Steffen Hagen, Blair Veenstra, Cheryl Marnes, Lynne Sager, Bruce Hatter and Shane King. The remaining top performers are Oliver Katz of Sooke; Jason Leslie and Lorne Tuplin of Westshore; Jeff Meyer, Craig Walters and Dan Juricic of Sidney; and Blair Robertson and Tony Joe of Oak Bay.

Catherine Holt T he prov i nce has appoi nted Catherine Holt, CEO of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce, as chair of BC Transit. Holt has worked as a strategic business advisor to the CEO of TransLink and co-wrote a review of the relationship between local governments, the province and BC Transit for the provincial government. SEE MOVERS & SHAKERS|  PAGE 28

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Red Barn Market has opened their seventh location in the capital region in James Bay at 305-395 Menzies Street. The BC Schizophrenia Society board has added three new members to their board of directors. The new members include: Dr. Wendy Young, Samantha Fex and Morna Stephensson. The board already includes John Fear, Don Monsour, Diana Campbell, Corey Maruca, Wendy Brooks, David Axon and Jordan Sandwith. Exceptional Wealth Management Canada has added Steve Shewchuk and Christina Eddy to their team. Shewchuk previously worked at PureEdge Solutions, while Eddy was a marketing assistant for Manulife Securities Investment Services. Tenants in the expanded areas of Mayfair Shopping Centre are expected to begin opening this fall, while they will get access to their units in early April. The shopping centre is undergoing a $72-million expansion, which includes adding 100,000-square-feet of new retail space to create a total of 5 4 4,000-squ a re-feet. O ver half of the new space is already spoken for. Heart Pharmacy has moved to a new location at 3543 Shelbourne Street at Shelbourne Plaza. T he Brentwood Bay Resort and Spa is currently undergoing renovations. The dining room, pub, spa, Ocean Villa and event spaces have remained open, while rooms have been closed to undergo bathroom renovations. It is expected to be completed by Feb. 2.

Gordie Tupper Television personality Gordie Tupper is retired as off January 31 after working with CHEK TV for 30 years. Tourism Victoria announces their 2018 Board of Directors, whose terms began on January 1. The executive includes: Starr McMichael of Starrboard Enterprises as chair; Kimberley Hughes of Delta Ocean Pointe Resort and Spa as vice-chair; Darlene Hollstein of The Bay Centre a s v ice-ch a i r; Erika

MOVERS AND SHAKERS Stenson of Royal BC Museum as vice-chair; Suzanne Gatrell of The Oswego Hotel as vice-chair; and Bill Lewis of The Magnolia Hotel & Spa as past-chair. Meanwhile, the board includes: Christine Willow of Chemistry Consulting, Geoff Dickson of Victoria Airport Authority, Allison Fairhurst of Abigail’s Hotel, Brett Soberg of Eagle Wing Tours, Tom Benson of WildPlay Element Parks, Indu Brar of Fairmont Empress, Janet Docherty of Tourism Vancouver Island, Moira Hauk of The Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce, Judy Brownoff of District of Saanich and Geoff Young of The City of Victoria. The Vancouver Island Health Authority has been named one of seven organizations to win a BC Construction Association award for excellence in procurement. The health authority was recognized for initiatives including its use of electronic-bid submission, providing easy access to bid documents through BC Bid and BidCentral, and their response times to bid inquiries. Royal Bay Secondary and Belmont Secondary have received gold certification in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). To receive the certification, new institutional buildings must maintain a variety of energy and environmental standards for a period after opening. Cook Street Activity Centre is celebrating its 40th year of serving the community at 380 Cook Street. Sendwithus, a communications management platform, h a s n a m e d W i l l Wa r ren a s vice-president of engineering and Megan Tobin as vice-president of marketing. Sendwithus has locations in both Victoria and San Francisco. The Victoria Golf Club (VGC) had a number of professionals named on the top 100 list by The PGA of British Columbia for 2017. The names include Scott Kolb, general manager at VGC, Lindsay Bernakevitch, Mark Bicknell, Terrance Drader, Connor Taiji, Justin Fram, Arlen Wocknitz and Gina Hosie. The list is determined by the association’s Professional Development Program Order of Merit. The PGA of BC Professional Development Program is designed to acknowledge PGA of BC members who have demonstrated contributions to the association, the province’s golf industry and themselves.

Engagement for the City of Oak Bay were recently announced. The task force includes Coun. Tara Ney as chair, Coun. Eric Zhelka, Coun. Michelle Kirby, Naomi Pope, Andrew Appleton, Esther Paterson and Jan Mears. Re/Max Camosun Peninsula congratulates their top producer’s and listers for the month. The top producers are Jeff Meyer, Michelle Martin, Roy Coburn and Craig Walters. The top listers are Dan Juricic and Graden Sol. Re/ Max Camosun Peninsula is at 14 – 2510 Bevan Avenue in Sidney. Beacon Drive-In Restaurant is celebrating their 60th anniversary at 126 Douglas Street. The grand re-opening of Elements Casino in View Royal has been pushed back to early spring due to construction delays. Tourism Victoria awa rded a contract to refresh its brand identity and marketing strategy to Vancouver-based Destination Think!. The agency has been hired to work on a long-term strategy for Greater Victoria with Tourism Victoria. After 30 years of serving the Greater Victoria real estate market, Tom Croft has announced his retirement from selling real estate. Croft was a member of the Modern Real Estate Team and Royal LePage. Frontrunners Footwear has been named store of the year by the Canadian Independent Running Retailers of Canada. Frontrunners was established in 1988 and has three locations in the Victoria area. Former TV personality Bruce Williams and Amanda Wilson have lau nched Spark, a new consultancy business focused on strategic planning and partnerships, local engagement and marketing for businesses and non-profit groups. L evel Grou nd T rad i ng h a s moved from Central Saanich to a custom-designed facility at 1757 Sean Heights. The new location will double the company’s capacity and allow it to invite the public for tours and coffee tastings. Level Ground moved into the new location January 2 and is expected to open the tasting room in the summer.

Dean Hoff has been named top salesperson of the year at Arbutus RV and Marine Sales at 10040 Halaran Road in Sidney. Ne w ap p oi nt m ent s to t h e Ta s k Fo rc e o n C o m m u n i t y

Ron Rice


The Camosun College board of governors has elected Ron Rice as their new board chair. Rice has been a member of the college’s board since 2013 and will succeed Russ Lazarak. Rice is a member of Cowichan Tribes and is the executive director of the Victoria Native Friendship Centre.

enter negotiations with the CRD for the contract. The CRD has reserved the right to maintain relations with two other interested groups, Harbour Resource Partners and Hartland Biosolids Partners, should an agreement not be reached.

Roberta Ellis, the former senior vice president for corporate services and human resources for WorkSafe BC, has been named the chair of the board for the Industry Training Authority (ITA). Ellis will succeed Gwyn Morgan. The ITA co-ordinates the province’s skilled trades system. Persimmon Tree, a modern Korean restaurant, is now open in Millstream Village Mall at 192 – 2401 Millstream Road. The Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce has announced t hei r boa rd of d i rectors for 2018. Dan Dagg, President of Hot House Marketing, will take over the role of chair for the next two years, while John Wilson, CEO of Wilson’s Group of Companies will serve as vice-chair. Three board members have been added including Christine Clarke, executive director at the Songhees Nation, Ian Batey, principal of IPB Consulting and Rahim Khudabux, general manager and owner of Max Furniture. Continuing board members include Lise Gyorkos, president of Page One Publishing, Patricia Jelinski, CEO of United Way of Greater Victoria and Kris Wirk, partner at Dickson Dusanj & Wirk. Other continuing members include Jason Boyd, commander of Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt, Carmen Charette, vice-president of external relations at the University of Victoria, Mark Mawhinney, investment advisor at Odlum Brown and Mark Smith, chief experience officer with Query Technologies Corp. The Chamber also announced that Eric Charman will receive t h e L i feT i m e A c h i e ve m ent Award at their annual business awards held in May. Phil Venoit, a Camosun College graduate, has been appointed to the school’s board of governor’s. Venoit has worked within the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 230 for the past 22 years and has served on various training institutional boards. T he Capita l Reg iona l District (CRD) has chosen a consortium to design, build and operate the $147-million residuals treatment facility for the region’s $765-million wastewater-treatment facility. Hartla nd Resou rce Ma nagement Group, a consortium of firms including Bird Construction, Bird Capital, Maple Reinders and Synagro Technologies, will

Terrie Klotz Royal Roads University has appointed Terrie Klotz as their chief human-resources officer. Klotz has over 30 years of human resources experience and recently worked for Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario. The position takes effect on April 16. The New Inner Harbour marina is expected to open this spring. The $35-million project, which has seen some delays is being built to accommodate vessels between 65 and 175 feet in length. Once completed the marina will feature 28 slips, seven will be reserved for daily moorage, seven will be available on a monthly lease, seven will be available on a yearly lease and seven will be reserved for long-term tenants who pay for a 40-year lease. Viking Air has received certification from Transport Canada for their new flight simulator. The “Level D” simulator is an exact replica of the Twin Otter Series 400 cockpit and is being operated by Viking’s sister company Pacific Sky Aviation out of Calgary. The Victoria-based business brought the Twin Otter back into production in 2007 and has sold and delivered aircraft to 29 countries. Esquimalt Drydock has won two BC Ferries contracts worth $20-million to refit the Northern Sea Wolf, a vessel which used to run between Port Hardy and Bella Coola. The first contract is a $2-million docking contract for underwater components. The second is worth roughly $18-million and is for interior work and safety upgrades that will be done by Esquimalt Drydock along with other contractors and suppliers. The refit is expected to be completed by April. Education Minister Rob Fleming announced that the province is giving the Sooke school district $23.3-million to buy 16 acres of land to build a new SEE MOVERS & SHAKERS|  PAGE 29







s a successful 2017 turns i n t o a n e w y e a r, t h e tou r i sm i ndu st r y h a s ongoing reason for optimism. However, we ca n never ta ke success for granted. A slower start to 2017, due to global uncertainties and weather as well as a slightly softer July than ex pected, was made up by a very strong August that carried through fall and winter. If 2017 taught us anything, it is that we have to keep working hard, every day, to inspire customers to visit our region. We need to double dow n on ou r work to improve access and customer ex perience, a nd conti nue to w i n ever more con fi rmed

meetings and conference business to ensu re ou r i ndustr y remains resilient for years to come. Five Reasons for Optimism: G r e a t e r V i c t o r i a ’s p r e senc e a nd bra nd prof i le h a s never been higher. From bei ng n a med No. 2 Top I nternational Small City by readers o f Co n d é N a s t T ra v e l e r, to earning a spot among the top 10 R ising Stars in Intern at ion a l M e e t i n g B u s i n e s s by Smart Meetings magazine, ou r desti nation has not had t h i s mu c h p o s it ive b u z z or global profile for as long as we can remember. In November 2017, we showcased our destination to international tour operators at Ca n ad a’s West Marketplace, and, in 2018, we will host conferences for the T ravel Media Association of Canada and the Professional Convention Management Association to further increase awareness of our destination among businesses. Meet i ngs a nd con ferences provide predictable business for our community, and 2018 is shapi ng up to be a strong year. The Victoria Conference Centre is already on track to

see an increase in 2018 of two per cent in delegate days, and 25 per cent increase in room nights. This number could go higher as the year unfolds and more business is booked. The year ahead will also welcome a series of u n ique a nd exciting events that drive business. T he i naug u ra l Capita l City Comic Con in March is on pace to be a very big event. In June, Victoria will host a large regional conference for members of the Jehova h Witness faith —the largest conference orga n i z ers i n t he world . I n late September, Greater Victoria hosts the World Airline Road R ace, a n a n nua l event for airline professionals from all corners of the world. This is an event created by the industry to promote travel and foster friendships and coordination between airlines. Last but not lea st, i n December, Greater Victoria will be in the sporting spotlight as we host a pool of teams vying for the 2019 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship. By sea a nd a i r, access a nd c o n n e c t i v i t y to o u r i s l a n d d e s t i n at ion i s con si s tent ly improving. Clipper Vacations

has taken delivery of Clipper V, i ncre a si n g c apacit y si gnificantly from Seattle. V2V Vacations will be back on the water w ith renewed energ y. B C Fer r ie s h a s a d d e d e a rly morning sailings to its main route, a nd is retu rn i ng service between Port Hardy and Bella Coola, which increases our desirability as a touring desti nation. Victoria I nternational Airport continues to add new flights, including new A ir Canada Rouge service to Montreal and Air North Service to Whitehorse. A robust visitor economy is directly tied to consumer confidence. With a strong economy and low unemployment in Canada, the United States and increasingly around the world, we are optimistic that we will continue to gain momentum in 2018. Two Reasons for Caution: The Tourism industry conti nues to g row g loba l ly at a rate of between 4.5 and 7 per cent p er yea r, w it h Ca n ad a ga i n i ng its fa i r sha re of the m a rke t. However, we a re a cyclical business by nature and travel is vulnerable to external shocks. Greater Victoria’s

winning streak started with a good year in 2013, and we’ve enjoyed a n nua l g row th ever since. A cyclical downturn in the future will happen, so our focus now is on contracti ng as much conference business as possible and ensuring our brand is strong to enable our destination to be resilient when the winds inevitably change. One of the great things about the tourism industry is that it is labour intensive and contributes a great deal in net tax revenu e t h at helps prov id e social benefits. Regrettably, t he g row t h of u nderg rou nd distribution platforms — euphemistically called the sharing economy — increasingly drives a large percentage of the tourism industry underground a nd cont r i butes to hou si ng shor tages t h at ex acerbate labour shortages. Fortunately, governments at all levels are starting to act on this matter. Paul Nursey is the President and CEO of Tourism Victoria.

Thompson-Okanagan Thompson-Okanagan


JoshHiggins Higgins, B.Comm Josh Higgins, B.Comm Josh Higgins, B.Comm Josh Higgins Josh SeniorMarketing MarketingAdvisor Advisor Senior Marketing Advisor Senior Marketing Advisor Senior

Senior Marketing Advisor


elementary school and middle school. The new schools will be built in the Westhills development, off West Shore Parkway in Langford. Hallmark Cards and Gifts closed their location in the Broadmead Village Shopping Centre. Crumsby’s Café located in the historic Royal Oak Schoolhouse closed their doors for business on December 28. Royal Roads University and the City of Langford have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to explore opportunities that promote economic prosperity, sustainability and growth through

education that address the needs of a growing West Shore. The memorandum of understanding identifies several areas of collaboration and exploration, including: Applied research and community-focused education; Educational services that support the needs of the growing West Shore; Meeting the educational needs of local Indigenous communities and international students; Partnerships on work integrated learning opportunities for students; Opportunities in the sustainability and technology sectors and Community development initiatives. Eco-friendly disposal company Island Junk Solutions has been in business for 10 years. Run by Wes Roberts and his team, they offer junk removal, controlled waste cleanup, garden waste and other similar services.

PUT YOUR COMPANY PUTYOUR YOUR COMPANY PUT COMPANY IN THE SPOTLIGHT PUT YOUR OMP ANY INTHE THE SPOTLIGHT PUT YOUR CCOMP ANY IN SPOTLIGHT In the life of every business, certain IN THE SPO TLIGHT IN THE SPO TLIGHT In the life ofevery every business, certain In the life of business, certain events always stand out:

events always stand out: certain events events always stand out: In thelife life ofevery every business, In the of business, certain events •A grand opening always stand out: grand opening always stand out: ttAAgrand opening •brand A brand new building newbuilding building grand opening brand new opening tttAtAAAgrand • Completing aproject major project tA Completing amajor majorproject Completing abuilding brand newbuilding AtLanding brand new ttttLanding • Landing a major a major contract a major contract contract project aaamajor project tttCompleting tCompleting Celebrating amajor milestone anniversaryanniversary • Celebrating a milestone Celebrating milestone anniversary Landing a major contract t Landing a major contract tSpotlights Spotlights areyour your opportunity to Spotlights are your opportunity to are opportunity to Celebratingaamilestone milestoneanniversary ttCelebrating spread the wordanniversary about your firm to the thebusiness businesscommunity communityof ofNorthern Northern the business community ofspread Victoria and Spotlights areyour your opportunity to spread Spotlights are opportunity to BritishColumbia. Columbia. British southern Vancouver Island. the word about your firm to the entire the word about your firm to the entire Contactme me todayto to have your business business community ofthe the Okanagan. Contact today your business business community of Okanagan. Contact me have today to have your business featured ourpublication. publication. featured ininour featured in our publication. Contact me today to have your business Contact me today to have your business featured in our publication. featured in our publication.

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hile the voting public may ingest placeboes when a government claims it is “open for business”, business just sits back and waits. Words mean little if there is no action, and investors and entrepreneurs tend to survey the situation in front of them before deciding to inject hard earned dollars into an environment. They vote with their feet, demonstrating their decisions by how they move, where they move, and how quickly. Or if they don’t. “Open for business” has become a political buzzword used by every politician these days, and we are witnessing the latest with Premier John Horgan touring Asia declaring that under his government, BC is, truly, “open for business”. Non-business people who don’t understand what that really should mean, seem puzzled if business doesn’t respond appropriately

to such cute words of flirtation. “What more do you want? Didn’t you hear what they said? They want business.” But what politicians say and what the business community needs are worlds apart. Open for business means making it easy to do business, and providing an opportunity for free enterprisers to see a profitable future from their hard work and investment. To simplify, what business wants is this: Eliminate unnecessary regulations and obstacles to getting ventures started, and favourable taxation. That’s it. That’s all. A ny th i ng outside of those boundaries is political-speak and isn’t what any business owner/ investor is looking for. And if they don’t find it in one jurisdiction, they move elsewhere. That’s why certain communities in BC thrive and prosper, no matter what the larger economic forecast is. Langford and Surrey didn’t actually have a recession during the 2008 downturn because their political leadership decided to do something proactively and make their cities more welcoming. They eliminated costly, and unnecessary development cost charges, and builders moved their projects within those civic boundaries. W hen first elected in 1993, Langford Mayor Stew Young

promised building permits within a week – and delivered. He’s been re-elected ever since, and Langford continues to grow, and grow. Chopping DCC’s and introducing tax breaks for developers as the recession broke, kept developers investing – knowing that the cycle would eventually end – and people working. In Langford, and Surrey. Several years back, Langley produced a building permit for a highend automobile dealership in one week. As a result, there’s not just one, but several beautiful vehicle buildings in the east end of the city, bringing jobs and yielding longterm taxation into civic coffers. Communities that really want investment do what is necessary to get that investment. Those that don’t want investment put up barriers, red tape and, yes, excessive taxation to make sure it doesn’t happen. It’s a mystery why politicians and bureaucrats don’t get this: That these “customers” who inject millions just to get their buildings built, yield many thousands of dollars annually once they are built, for many years to come. Since commercial/industrial tax rates are higher than residential, it allows any city to function better fiscally, while avoiding having to reach out to their other main source of revenue – homeowners, who are also voters – for more money.

The public decries the ever-increasing cost of housing, and politicians wring their hands and promise to find a solution through regulation and subsidization. There is one simple solution to a situation that boils down to supply and demand. Increase supply. Build more homes and dwelling places. By increasing supply, demand will be satisfied and at some point satiated, and the result will be lower prices. That may not make sense to anti-development voices that pique the interest of candidates, or not what they want to hear. But it’s the truth. As reported in the Financial Post, on Jan. 17, Apple Inc. announced it will pay about $38 billion in taxes on hundreds of billions of overseas dollars, plus spend tens of billions on domestic jobs, manufacturing and data centers in the U.S. in the next few years. It will also create 20,000 new jobs and make capital expenditures of $30 billion over five years in the U.S. Jobs. Investment. Tax revenue. Why? Because the U.S. has drastically lowered its tax rates, thus demonstrating it is truly “open for business”. Speaking of Horgan’s overseas jaunt, one might view it as damage control. After not one but two major Liquid Natural Gas projects, one on Vancouver Island and the other major one in northwestern

BC collapsed once the GreeNDP stole power, Horgan is now saying they want it – but with new conditions. Conditions the industry and investors reject, by the way. There were two customers already here and ready to move forward with LNG. Why did they leave? Wouldn’t have anything to do with the GreeNDP’s incessant threats of increased regulation, taxation and general disdain for resource-based wealth, would it? Mark it down: There won’t be any further LNG development in BC while the GreeNDP forms government. Why? Because of the same reasons the other groups that were here left: Endless regulation and the “promise” of punitive taxation – clear signs these parties don’t want that industry here. And the political dance continues, with Green leader Andrew Weaver threatening to bring down the NDP government if LNG proceeds. Crocodile tears. He knows LNG isn’t going forward under this regime and their stipulations, and won’t bust up the coalition until the only evident thing Green wants is accomplished: Proportional representation. Open for business? Here’s the simple recipe for any government: Reduce taxation, strangulation by red tape regulations, and developmental delays. Anything else is just empty words.




n December 13th, the Senate Fi n a nce Com m ittee, after spending four months holding public hearings to study the proposed changes, urged the Federal Liberal Government to “A xe the Tax Act Changes” or at a minimum, delay the Implementation of these rules until 2019 so that the potential impact of these changes could be studied in more detail. Consistent with the way that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Finance Minister Bill Morneau have handled this fiasco so far, they promptly ignored the

Senate’s recommendations and two hours later introduced more new rules including some that came into effect on December 31st, 2017. Given the nature of the Christmas hol idays, th is prov ided CPA’s a nd ta x law yers eight work i n g d ay s to d i ge s t t he changes and advise their clients on whether or not they were affected. I will summarize in very general terms what has transpired since these ill-advised proposals were introduced on July 18 th , 2017. 1. Introducing rules that prevent the conversion of ordinary dividends to Capital gains . . .they have cancelled these proposals. 2. Increasing the tax on passive or inactive income earned within a private corporation. In October, Morneau advised t h at t hese new r u les wou ld not impact on investment income below an annual $50,000 threshold. More importantly, they advised that these new

rules would not come into effect immediately and there will be more changes introduced in the 2018 Federal Budget. I am betting that they will delay the implementation of these rules until 2019 as they are realizing how complex these proposed changes were. 3. Dividend Sprinkling/Dividend Splitting. It is beyond the scope of this article to list all of the changes to the “income spl itt i ng r u les”. I a m mentioning four fundamental changes that may make some owners of small private corporations sleep easier. A) - Will not apply where the business owner is 65 or older a nd s pl it s i nc om e w it h h i s spouse. B) - Adults aged 25 or over who owned 10% or more of a corporation based upon voting shares and value. The biggest impact would be on the adult children of the business owner. While this may sound as a “positive”, I believe that it is “fair comment” to suggest that most business

owners who depend on their corporations as a source of income for themselves would not normally have issued their adult children voting shares. Provisions were introduced which would allow private corporations to convert non-voting shares to voting shares by the end of 2018 to qualify. I would strongly advise any business owners to fully consider all of the implications of this. This will also likely require a Business Valuation that is both expensive and subjective when dealing with a CRA auditor. C) - Although mentioned in the October changes, it is significant that these rules would not effect the lifetime capital gains exemption. Many business owners that were thinking about selling their shares, accelerated their sales and sold prior to December 31st, 2017 only find that these rules did not apply. D) They have introduced some complicated rules for children of the business owner who are over 18. Although some guidelines

have been introduced, Small business will still be faced with maintaining documentation to “prove” how much that their children have contributed to the business to a CRA auditor. I would emphasize that small business owners should be talking to their accountants to obtain more details on the latest proposals. My final observation is that the way that “Justin and Bill” introduced these rules and made changes “on the fly”, based upon popularity polls, can only be described as the most reckless introduction of tax legislation that I have seen in my 45 years of practice as a CPA. Canadian small business is entitled to a transparent and relatively easy to understand tax system that is truly based on fairness and not politics.

Doug Johnston is a Chartered Professional Accountant and founder of Johnston Johnston & Associates Ltd. in Nanaimo.

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n today’s strong economy and tight labour market, the importance of a focus on your employees and succession planning becomes even more critical. Succession planning is the process of identifying and developing staff so that they can grow within your organization and take on key roles that become vacant in the future. With this process, you try to ensure that you will not have a key role open for which another employee is not prepared. Succession planning can be done on an informal basis or through a more formal process and it provides a great safety net for the organization. To start, you need to identify the key roles in your business. Which positions are vital to your organization’s success? Which

in the department. The challenge with an informal program is that other leaders in the organization may not be aware of the individual’s potential and would not be in a position to support his/her development. If the company is implementing a more formal program, there would be conversations about succession planning at the senior level, thus ensuring all members of the leadership group know about the employee’s potential and skills. Some of the ways that a company can support a high potential employee include mentoring, cross-training, project work, lateral moves and/or opportunities for training and education. Communication and feedback are also important to help the employee focus on the skills and knowledge development needed to succeed. At the end of the day, most people want to feel valued in their work and part of a bigger team, so many of these suggestions could also apply to all members of your team. At this time of low unemployment, it will serve you well to do whatever you can to support all of your team!

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roles could you not do without? You need to prepare yourself in case the current incumbent moves to another role in your organization, or out of your business altogether. Having a strong understanding of the key responsibilities and accountabilities of the role, as well as the skills and knowledge required to be successful is an important step in the process. The key roles addressed in succession planning efforts are often the more senior positions within the company. With succession planning, management will identify high potential employees and support their development in such a way that they get the exposure and experience required to make any transition easier. A frank discussion would be held in order for the employee to understand the confidence that the leadership has in their abilities and to collaborate on a career plan. If succession planning is done informally, a manager may take on this responsibility personally. A high performing individual may be given additional tasks or responsibilities, or provided with mentorship that allows for a greater understanding of the business. The individual may even be seen as the second in charge by other staff members

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Business Examiner Victoria - February 2018  

Featuring the latest business news and information for Greater Victoria, including Sidney, the Saanich Peninsula, Langford, Colwood, Sooke,...

Business Examiner Victoria - February 2018  

Featuring the latest business news and information for Greater Victoria, including Sidney, the Saanich Peninsula, Langford, Colwood, Sooke,...