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Chamber blog

Export Navigator Workshop

Jen Dart

On Friday, Sept. 20th the Chamber hosted a workshop for those local businesses interested in expanding their market beyond Tofino. Brady Calancie of the provincial Export Navigator program led the session, and we were fortunate to have Steve Perrault from the federal Western Economic Diversification Canada program attend as well. 

Those business representatives in attendance were interested in export to alleviate seasonal stressors, and also to expand their business’ capabilities and profitability. The idea of exports inevitably leads to a host of questions around capacity and determining which markets are most suitable for your own business’ expansion. 

The Export Navigator program is an amazing – and free – resource for businesses who are looking to export products to other markets. It helps business owners determine if their business is ready for export, has the capacity, resources and willingness to move into other markets, and if they are likely to succeed in their market of choice.  

We know that Tofino has a wealth of Made in Tofino products that have the potential for success outside of our local market. We would urge local businesses interested in export to visit here to find out more about the Export Navigator program, and here to email Brady directly. 

Brady’s territory includes the north Island, and the program is supported by Community Futures Alberni Clayoquot, Small Business BC, and the federal government. Thanks to Brady and Steve, and all the local business owners and representatives who were able to attend. 

2020 Early Bird Membership Renewal - A Special Offer for Existing Members

Jen Dart

A special offer for our loyal members: 

Pay during the month of September 2019 and receive a 10% (pre-tax) discount on your 2020 membership.

Please contact our office to be billed for the early bird discount. This offer does not apply to new memberships and full 2020 dues must be received by Monday, Sept. 30th.

Regular renewal invoices will be sent in October and will be payable until Dec. 31st, 2019.

Please take a moment when you receive your invoice to fill out our 3-5 minute Member Survey so we continue to improve our services. We thank-you for your continued support of the Chamber and Tourism Tofino.

Questions asked to Ministry of Transportation project managers regarding Kennedy Hill upgrade project

Jen Dart

We have been contacted by several members regarding the unexpected delays and closures on Hwy. 4 as part of the Kennedy Hill upgrade project. We have been in touch with the Ministry of Transportation project managers Darren Englund and Mike Boissonnault on three main questions regarding traffic direction after closures, posted versus actual opening times after closures, and the reason for unexpected closures. Please see the points below and send us your feedback or additional questions at any time. 

*Italics indicate our questions. 

Why does westbound (towards Tofino) traffic go first after a closure, given that many people travelling out of town have appointments or are trying to catch ferries and planes? (answered by Darren Englund)

 The deciding reason was actually not based on the comments received but rather relating to queue management and safety of that approach to the project site.  With the sharp corners and windy alignment on the Alberni side of the site, the more we can keep queues on that side of the site shorter, this helps to avoid someone approaching the end of a building queue at speed.  The Tofino side of the site is relatively long tangents, and site lines to the queue allow approaching drivers (even when above the posted speed) to safely come to a stop at the end of the queue.  For this reason, it was decided that the Alberni side (Ucluelet/Tofino bound) traffic would be released first.

Opening times have not been precise. For example, when the posted opening is 7am but the road doesn’t open until closer to 8am. (answered by Mike Boissonnault)

The contractor strives to ensure the road can be safely opened for morning traffic after the night time blasting operations.  Traffic is released after closures as single lane alternating, with west bound traffic as the priority.  Although west bound traffic may be released around 7am, it may take 10-15 minute before east bound is mobile.  Although there may be occasions when the target time of a 7am opening cannot be achieved, it is related to ongoing clean up of blast rock off the highway and to ensure when the road is open, it provides for safe passage of traffic.

 What is the reason for the unplanned longer closures we’ve experienced this summer and if they are related to heavier blasting, is that something that will continue this fall? (answered by Mike Boissonnault) 

I am aware that there have been occasions where more materials than anticipated from blasting operations have occurred.  The significantly greater volume and size of materials that have fallen onto the road surface have required more time to safely remove.  I am also aware that the current blasting operations are removing rock from higher elevations above the road.  With this type of blasting, there is a risk that entrainment of rock from lower elevations is subsequently released, resulting in greater volumes of material removed from the rock face.  Despite the highly trained folks setting up blasting operations, there can be unexpected outcomes resulting in more material released than anticipated.  Once again, the road cannot be opened until it is safe to do so.  When greater volumes of materials are released, work crews place this as top priority to open the road as safely and as quickly as possible.  When these unexpected events occur, media notices and stakeholder updates will be provided so everyone impacted by the event is informed in a timely manner.  The blasting operations are scheduled to continue into the fall season.


Sending a Chamber email redirect

Jen Dart

The Chamber provides a service to members whereby emails can be redirected to the entire membership. Typically these notices are used to announce specials, changes in hours, special events, or other news.

These emails have a broad reach to members in local our area and beyond.

Guidelines for email redirects:

  • We may need up to 72 business hours to redirect your email, depending on how the number of requests pending. Please plan ahead (ie. if you would like an email to be redirected by the weekend, please send it by Tuesday afternoon.).

  • Emails will be sent out in the order they are received (no “queue jumping”).

  • Each member may send one redirect per month.

  • We will only redirect information that is directly related to your business (no third party redirects).

Format for email redirects:

  • Please send your email exactly as you would like it to appear to members. Note at the top “for re-direct” so Chamber staff are aware that is it meant to be sent out. We will remove this prior to sending.

  • Please make sure your email is clearly addressed (ie. “Dear Chamber members”).

  • Catch the reader’s attention with your subject line. We will put “Member Redirect” before your subject.

  • Please ensure your file is no larger than 1MB. No attachments please - paste the content into the body of your email.

  • Please do not address your email to multiple addresses. Chamber redirects should be sent on their own to

How to upload your content to backend of website

Jen Dart

It’s quick and easy to upload your content, including photos, to the backend of our website. From there it is published on your Chamber website directory and to Tourism Tofino’s website (if you are a tourism level member). Feel free to contact us if you have any trouble by emailing us.

Go to

  • In top level navigation click on Directory drop-down menu and choose “Member Login”.

  • Choose “No Login? Sign up now” link under Login and Password entry boxes.

  • Verify your identity by entering the primary administrative email address that is on file with the Tofino Chamber.

  • An email will be sent to the address you provided. Follow the instructions in the email to finish creating your account. You will be able to login and begin connecting with the Chamber and fellow members immediately.

  • *If you do not receive an email, please check your junk mail folder or check with the Tofino Chamber to ensure the correct address is on file.

TLBCC board elections 2019

Jen Dart

This year, there are two vacancies on the Chamber board for which we have three nominees. Amanda Moore, Ryan Teremy and Stephanie Hughes submitted nomination papers before the Feb. 28th deadline. The election takes place by ballot at the Annual General Meeting, scheduled for Tuesday, March 27th from 6-8pm at 1909 Kitchen at Tofino Resort and Marina. Unfortunately at this time we are at capacity for the AGM, but please email our office to be put on the waitlist (

Also at the AGM, members will vote on changes to our bylaws that will allow for electronic board elections in the future. Other bylaw changes are mainly for housekeeping purposes. A notice of proposed bylaw changes was emailed to members prior to the AGM, but please contact our office for a copy.