BUSINESS BEAT: Uptown hosting first-ever fashion swap for charity

B.C. Cancer Foundation to be helped by fundraiser event at Saanich shopping centre

Uptown is holding its inaugural Style-Uptown Fashion Swap on May 22 in support of the B.C. Cancer Foundation for breast cancer research.

Tickets are available at Uptown guest services for $20, which includes a $10 donation to the foundation and a $10 Uptown gift card.  Following the clothing swap, free hair, nail and facial treatments will be available, and entertainment, tapas and refreshments are featured at an outdoor party.

Fashion swappers need to bring 10 new or lightly worn brand-name items to Uptown to take part. Organizers are expecting up to 3,500 items to be in the mix, all of which will be carefully organized prior to the swap. Guests will then choose 10 new items to take home on the evening.

Participants have until May 19 to buy tickets and to drop off clothing at a location on Uptown Boulevard during mall opening hours. The Fashion Swap runs from 6 to 9 p.m. For more information visit

New & Notable

Hillside Centre has welcomed NYGÅRD with the grand opening of its newest Alia N Tan Jay combination store last Friday. The 1,900-square-foot store represents the latest concept in NYGÅRD’s evolution of retail outlets, combining the Alia and Tan Jay brands in an intimate and fully serviced environment.

Victoria home-grown success story Café Bliss recently released its first cookbook. It’s selling well locally and has now been picked up for distribution by Kelowna’s Sandhill Books. With more than 40 colour photographs paired with easy-to-follow recipes, the cookbook, by Café Bliss chef and owner Heather Cunliffe, offers an array of recipes highlighting how raw food can be both healthy and delicious.

Lûxe Home Interiors owners Darren Ausmus and Scott Elias recently unveiled three new product lines – hand-crafted furniture from a local Duncan company using reclaimed wood; DwellStudio, a mid-century modern furniture collection inspired by acclaimed Canadian designer Christiane Lemieux, and a new chic contemporary line by Lexington Furniture.

Island Runner in Fairfield Plaza is branching out to serve the growing local triathlon community and has recently added a new triathlon-specific bike. Island Runner is the only Victoria store offering the Quintana Roo triathlon bike and the only store to offer Oakleys’ custom sunglass program, where you can build and match your frame and lens parts to your bike, helmet or team colour.

Awards & Accolades

Victoria’s Cheap Tickets and Travel was recognized May 11 as one of’s top travel agencies. It received the President’s Award as part of the organization’s sixth-annual Power of the Partnership Awards. Cheap Tickets is one of only six agencies – out of’s network of more than 5,100 throughout the U.S. and Canada – to be honoured with the award, based on total sales growth in 2011 over 2010.

The Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce recently celebrated local business excellence at its annual awards held at the Westin Bear Mountain Golf Resort and Spa.

In addition to the awarding of the Governors’ Lifetime Achievement Award to Terry Farmer of Accent Inns, awards were presented in 13 categories: Business Leadership Award – Bee-Clean Building Maintenance; New Business Award – The London Chef; Business of the Year Award (1-10 Employees) – Lûxe Home Interiors; Business of the Year Award (11-25 Employees) – Cairnview Mechanical Ltd; Business of the Year Award (26-75 Employees) – Root Cellar Village Green Grocer Ltd.; Business of the Year Award (76+ Employees) – Harbour Air Ltd.; Outstanding Customer Service Award – Bath Fitter; Innovation Award – VicPD; Employer of the Year Award – UNIT4 Business Software; Sustainable Business Practice Award – Monk Office; Business Person of the Year Award – Shelagh Rinald, Rinald Tax Advisory Inc.; Young Entrepreneur Award – Richard Van Leeuwen, Academy of Learning; Employee of the Year Award – Rowena Hendriks, Carlton House of Oak Bay.

Building Victoria

Chard Development has launched Duet, a 90-unit, two-building residential project at 640 Michigan St. directly behind the B.C. legislature. Phase 1 of Duet is an eight-storey, 62-suite concrete building. Phase 2, expected to launch sales this fall, is a four-storey 28-suite wood-frame building. Victoria-based Farmer Construction has been awarded the building contract for Duet.

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