Chamber Chats Archive
In 2020, Chamber CEO Bruce Williams initiated Chamber Chats to keep businesses up-to-date with information to help them stay successful. Find an archive of Chats with leading subject experts from 2020 to 2021 below.
Special thanks to our series sponsor: Island Savings
To watch our most recent Chamber Chats, click here.
A Chat with Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps
Being an elected official is not for the faint of heart at the best of times. Leadership throughout the COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging for every municipality, but the region has adapted.
One of the highest profile Mayors in our region is the guest on this Chamber Chat, as CEO Bruce Williams speaks with City of Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps.
Getting back on track with Larry Stevenson, Island Corridor Foundation
Will rail service ever get back on track across Vancouver Island?
The Island Corridor Foundation owns and manages the rail bed on Vancouver Island. In this Chamber Chat we speak with Corridor Foundation CEO Larry Stevenson about the future of trains on the Island.
All Aboard with BC Ferries CEO Mark Collins
BC Ferries is one of the largest ferry operations in the world. Throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic, there have been ongoing adjustments to operations, but innovation and progress has been the main focus of this impressive transportation operation.
Hear about this and more in our Chamber Chat with BC Ferries CEO Mark Collins.
A Chat with Langford Mayor Stew Young
The past few decades have seen a transformation take place in the City of Langford as housing, business, recreation spaces and industry have created new vitality and vibrancy.
Stew Young has been the Mayor of Langford throughout this period of transformation, and is our guest for this Chamber Chat.
A Chat with Oak Bay Mayor Kevin Murdoch
Oak Bay is a community and municipality with a distinct culture and a big personality. This iconic region has a strategic plan for the future, and a Mayor who is going to talk all about it.
In this Chamber Chat, CEO Bruce Williams speaks with Oak Bay Mayor Kevin Murdoch.
Financial Security and the Impact of COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic shook up how we interact with our financial institutions.
Credit unions and banks reacted quickly with necessary adjustments — some of which will be permanent.
Learn more about these adjustments with Kendall Gross of Island Savings and Gail Silverberg of CIBC.
What's new at the University of Victoria?
Campus life at UVic is gradually ramping up to capacity. Universities are a large factor in developing and evolving our economy and workforce. In this Chamber Chat, CEO Bruce Williams speaks with the President of UVic, Dr. Kevin Hall, about the innovation in learning to create that growth.
All About Esquimalt with Mayor Barb Desjardins
Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins joins CEO Bruce Williams to chat about all things Esquimalt. Why are families flocking to Esquimalt? How does CFB Esquimalt impact the township? We hear it all from the mayor.
A Chat with TELUS Business
The COVID-19 pandemic has seen most of us using technology as a means of communicating, meeting, planning and going about our day-to-day activities.
In this week’s Chamber Chat, Chamber CEO Bruce Williams speaks with Marshall Berkin, VP, Industry Solutions with TELUS Business. Among the significant contributions this Chamber Champion has made to our business community is the advancement of technology and community support for large and small organizations.
Mental Health and COVID-19
The impact of the pandemic on our mental health has arguably been as great or greater than its economic impact. In this Chamber Chat, Chamber CEO Bruce Williams speaks with three organizations working to bolster how our society is managing mental health.
Featuring Jonny Morris of the Canadian Mental Health Association, Daniela Cubelic of Silk Road Tea, and Mark Breslauer of the United Way of Southern Vancouver Island.
The Art of Diplomacy with Bruce Heyman
Canada’s closest ally and largest economic partner is our neighbour to the south, the United States.
The Obama administration’s Ambassador to Canada was the steward of that relationship and talks with Bruce Williams in this Chamber Chat about the status of our friendship, especially as it stands in the post-Trump era
A look into the Victoria Native Friendship Centre
How much do you know about Chamber Member the Victoria Native Friendship Centre?
Some surprises and better understanding are included in this Chamber Chat with Executive Director Ron Rice.
A chat with Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes
In our ongoing series of conversations with regional mayors, this week we chat with Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes. The District of Saanich is a diverse municipality with a mix of urban, industrial, commercial and urban areas.
In this Chamber Chat, CEO Bruce Williams speaks with Mayor Haynes about evolving priorities for the near future and beyond.
How much do you know about cryptocurrency?
Cryptocurrency. How much do you know about it, or rather how cryptic is crypto to your financial-IQ?
In this Chamber Chat, CEO Bruce Williams speaks with Hash Qureshi, an expert with MNP about crypto's essence, model and use.
A chat with Colwood Mayor Rob Martin
The City of Colwood is transforming and transitioning as growth is happening with new developments and amenities.
In this Chamber Chat, CEO Bruce Williams discusses the plans for now and the future with Colwood Mayor Rob Martin
Finding and Keeping Workers
Despite restrictions being lifted for restaurants, hotels, and other worksites most cannot function at full capacity due to the ongoing shortage of available workers.
Why is there a shortage, what is the impact of this, and what solutions are available to manage the situation? CEO Bruce Williams speaks with representatives of the hotel, hospitality, and construction/development sectors.
Featuring Samantha Scholefield of the BCRFA, Bill Lewis of the Magnolia Hotel & Spa, and Kathy Whitcher of the Urban Development Institute.
A chat with View Royal Mayor David Screech
When travelling through Greater Victoria by vehicle, transit, bike or trail, whether on the the Old Island Highway, Trans Canada Highway or Admirals Road, chances are you'll go through View Royal. It's literally in the middle of the region.
With amenities such as Victoria General Hospital, Jeneece Place, Elements Casino, Craigflower Manor and Schoolhouse, View Royal has a big story to tell. On this week’s Chamber Chat, we hear that story from View Royal Mayor David Screech.
A chat with UVic President and Vice Chancellor Dr. Kevin Hall
Plans are underway for return to classroom learning in September at the University of Victoria and other post secondary institutions. What has the pandemic changed about education priorities and processes?
Find out in this Chamber Chat conversation between UVic President and Vice Chancellor Dr. Kevin Hall and Chamber CEO Bruce Williams.
Seaspan Victoria Shipyards: A Quiet Giant of Industry and Business Part 2
This is part two of a two-part Chamber Chat looking at one of the regions quiet giants of industry and business. A 26-acre worksite in the middle of the region, the Seaspan Victoria Shipyards employs as many as 1,400 people. We go inside the gates with Vice President and General Manager, Joe O'Rourke.
Seaspan Victoria Shipyards: A Quiet Giant of Industry and Business Part 1
This is part one of a two-part Chamber Chat looking at one of the region's quiet giants of industry and business. A 26-acre worksite in the middle of the region, the Seaspan Victoria Shipyards employs as many as 1,400 people. We go inside the gates with Vice President and General Manager, Joe O'Rourke.
Securing data vital before it's too late
Securing your data often doesn't seem like a top priority until it's too late.
In this Chamber Chat, Chamber CEO Bruce Williams speaks with two experts to help ensure businesses and employee data stays protected.
Joining Bruce are Caroline Dixon, Senior Manager of Risk and Forensic Services at Grant Thornton, and Ryan Smith, Security Manager of Island Savings.
Canada's Trusted Brands
Are there brand names and outlets you trust more than others?
Learn about the most trusted brands in Canada in this year's Gustavson School of Business Brand Trust Index with the University of Victoria Peter B. Gustavson School of Business Dean Saul Klein.
Challenges and Opportunities for Step 3
People refusing to wear masks throughout the pandemic have caused added stress to the general public and to the front line employees who must manage their defiance.
In the latest Chamber Chat, CEO Bruce Williams speaks with WorkSafeBC about the management of this issue, and Charlotte Salomon, partner with McConnan, Bion, O'Connor & Peterson, who speaks about the legality of it all, health regulation vs law.
A Chat with the Base Commander
One of the largest employers in this region is largely unseen. With 6,500 employees and a local spending impact of $611.3 million, they are a driving force. They are in fact an Armed Force and a division of the Department of National Defence.
In the latest Chamber Chat, hear details of CFB Esquimalt from Base Commander Captain (Navy) Sam Sader.
Co-ops in the Workforce
Sourcing a workforce is an ongoing challenge in our region. One of the most effective means of finding workers and integrating them into the operations of a company or organization is through the Student Co-op programs at the University of Victoria and Camosun College.
Find out more about the power of Co-op from UVic President and Vice Chancellor Dr. Kevin Hall and Camosun VP of Partnerships Geoff Wilmshurst.
Giving your Business a Scorecard Rating
If you were to use a scorecard to analyze your business , how would you fare ? Are you taking full advantage of the technology being made available to support you ?
We speak with Elizabeth Vannan and Steve Wellburn with MNP (a Chamber Champion!) about this timely topic.
Sweet treats with Pivot Pilots
How was the COVID pandemic impacted small, niche specialty food producers?
In the latest Chamber Chat, we find out from three of them: Autumn Maxwell with Cold Comfort Ice Cream, Tara Black with Origin Bakery and Lindsay Dault with Country Bee Honey Farm.
Housing the Unhoused
The long anticipated process of housing the unhoused is underway as many are being decamped. How’s the process going?
In the latest Chamber Chat, Bruce Williams speaks with Julian Daly of Our Place Society, Kelly Roth of the Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness and Murray Langdon of BC Housing.
Dining with Pivot Pilots
No sector has been impacted more by the COVID pandemic than the restaurant and hospitality sector. Ups and downs, open then closed. This week we gather perspectives on that from the BC Restaurant and Food Association plus two restauranteurs, one established and one quite new.
Featuring Ian Tostenson of the BCRFA, Castro Boateng of House of Boateng, and Shellie Gudgeon of II Terrazzo Ristorante.
Building BC Back with Pivot Pilots
Housing costs continue to escalate as the supply chain for the Real Estate, Construction and Development sectors are operating at full speed. Three Pivot Pilots from the Construction and Development Industry speak about that in this week’s Chamber Chat.
Chamber CEO Bruce Williams speaks with Kathy Whitcher from the Urban Development Institute as well as Chamber Champions John Knappett, President of Knappett Projects, and Tom Plumb, CEO of Kinetic Construction.
Pivot Pilots 5.0
In this Chamber Chat we learn about the pivots undertaken by a live-music venue, an event planner and a public safety and security provider.
Featuring Nichola Walkden of Hermann's Jazz Club, Tami Tate of Social Media Camp and Mirko Filipovic of Themis Security.
All have been Pivot Pilots as we taxi along the Recovery Runway.
Pivot Pilots 4.0
As we countdown the days to summer, businesses continue to make strategic adjustments to prepare for better times ahead. In this week’s Chamber Chat, we continue our series of conversations with Pivot Pilots, those businesses that have found ways to successfully adapt and are leading the way down the Recovery Runway.
CHEK is a local media outlet that knows all about finding innovative ways to redefine and grow its business and culture. Listen to CHEK General Manager Rob Germain and Chamber CEO Bruce Williams talk about the station’s history, and how the past 10 years have prepared CHEK to be a community leader for decades to come.
Pivot Pilots 3.0
As we continue to taxi along the Recovery Runway we are having conversations with Pivot Pilots — those business leaders who were able to pivot their operations through innovation. Chamber CEO Bruce Williams speaks with Dale Olsen of Outlooks for Men, Calen McNeil of Big Wheel Burger and Curtis Vertefeuille of Moe’s Home Victoria.
The theme for this Chamber Chat is opportunity and expansion. These pivot pilots identified new markets and expanded during the height of COVID. Hard work, collaboration and a deep knowledge of their market were common threads woven throughout their experiences and bumps in the night. Thanks for the inspiration and fashion advice.
Pivot Pilots 2.0
As we continue to taxi along the Recovery Runway we are having conversations with Pivot Pilots — those business leaders who were able to pivot their operations through innovation. Chamber CEO Bruce Williams speaks with Scott Phillips, CEO of Starfish Medical, Richard Gale, Director of Camosun Innovates, and David Nicholls, Partner and General Manager of Vancouver Island Brewing.
In this Chamber Chat, we speak with a company who undertook manufacturing much-needed ventilators for medical support to help COVID patients, a post-secondary that created face shields and a safe model for transporting vaccines, and a brewery pivoting from making beer to producing hand sanitizer.
As we continue to taxi along the Recovery Runway we are having conversations with Pivot Pilots — those business leaders who were able to pivot their operations through innovation. Chamber CEO Bruce Williams speaks with Cathy Scott of Departures Travel, Paul Hadfield of Spinnakers and Marnie Hart of Sailor Jack Consignment.
In this Chamber Chat, we speak with an owner who shifted her travel business to virtual travel and mystery trips in our backyard, a restaurateur who took this opportunity to reset the bar with his staff to create a living wage for his entire team, and a consignment retailer who rethought the whole shopping experience to support young families and created a culture of caring.
Census Data Crucial for Recovery
Chamber CEO Bruce Williams speaks with Geoff Bowlby, Statistics Canada Director General in charge of the census.
Canada conducts a census every five years, and 2021 is one of those years. A census tells us more than simply how many people live in our country, it’s a thorough look at the profile of our population. What has changed and what has stayed the same — crucial data as we chart our COVID Recovery
How to Make Working from Home Work for You
Chamber CEO Bruce Williams speaks with Ann Squires Ferguson, CEO of Western Interior Design Group, Blaise McDonald, President of Mac Renovations, and Caitlin McKenzie, CEO of Monk Office.
Has working from your dining room table “office” outlived its purpose? Converting home space into working space is a pandemic priority for many people right now, and for the foreseeable future. Learn more about what considerations are needed to create a productive home environment.
COVID-19’s Impact on Philanthropy
Chamber CEO Bruce Williams speaks with Sandra Richardson, CEO of The Victoria Foundation, and Mark Breslauer, CEO of The United Way of Greater Victoria, in this week’s Chamber Chat.
The demand for non-profit and community organizations has become even more important throughout the COVID pandemic, and many have seen a profound shift in their funding and support. What’s the future of philanthropy and its impact on the work of non-profit and non-governmental programs?
Compassion the Priority for Care Homes
Chamber CEO Bruce Williams looks back at the last year and lessons learned with David Cheperdak, President and CEO of Broadmead Care, and Amir Hemani, CEO of Berwick Retirement Communities.
By responding quickly to early concerns about COVID-19, both organizations were able to ensure the safety of people under their care. What they found out was how important their staff are to bringing joy to residents in later stages of life. Find out how they rose to the challenge, and how technology and new ways of thinking about employee resiliency have become embedded in each organization’s culture.
Knowing the Facts Vital to Safe Communities
Julian Daly, CEO of Our Place Society, speaks with Chamber CEO Bruce Williams about the reality of life without stable housing or vital support networks. The Chamber advocates for Safe Communities by calling for solutions that address the underlying challenges that need to be overcome. Knowing the facts behind the headlines will help focus our efforts on calling for real changes that will benefit how all of us experience our city streets and parks.
Innovative Retailers Pivot During Pandemic
Chamber CEO Bruce Williams speaks with local Business Improvement Associations featuring Geoffrey Beattie (Oak Bay BIA), Shannon Toogood (Sidney BIA), and Jeff Bray (DVBA).
Community connections shine as pandemic brings out the best in businesses as they rally to keep customers coming in or shopping online. Campaigns such as #ChamberLocalVicBC shopping by appointment and free delivery by local BIAs helped many small businesses survive 2020.
Relief and Reconciliation with Hon. Murray Rankin
What is the province doing to help businesses in 2021?
Chamber CEO Bruce Williams speaks with Oak Bay-Gordon Head MLA Murray Rankin, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation. Topics include efforts to help more businesses make better use of provincial grants, and how the inclusion of indigenous people in the workforce is changing attitudes about reconciliation across the province.
$2.7M gift for high-acuity unit
In this Chamber Chat, Chamber CEO Bruce Williams discusses the recent $2.65 million donation to the Victoria Hospitals Foundation from Seaspan Victoria Shipyards. Guests include the Executive Director of Victoria Hospitals Foundation, Avery Brohman; physician and department head for Emergency and Critical Care Medicine at Island Health, Dr. Omar Ahmad; VP and General Manager of Seaspan Victoria Shipyards. Joe O’Rourke; and Manager of Intensive Care Units (RJH and VGH) at Island Health, Carrie Homuth.
Snapshot of vaccine research
In this vodcast, Chamber CEO Bruce Williams discusses COVID-19 with Dr. Srinivas Murthy, co-chair of the WHO clinical research committee on COVID-19, associate professor in the Faculty of Medicine at UBC, and a critical care and infectious diseases physician at the BC Children’s Hospital. As of November 2020, how are vaccine trials progressing, and how will the vaccine be distributed?
Real Estate boom during COVID
In this vodcast, Chamber CEO Bruce Williams discusses how COVID-19 has affected the housing market, and why real estate remains robust. Guests are Victoria Real Estate Board's President Sandi-Jo Ayers, President-Elect David Langlois and Executive Officer David Corey.
Click on a title below to jump to that video: