• Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    HeartPress PR matches businesses with charities in need with their online matching platform. see more

    HeartPress #BrokersOfGood has set up an easy way for businesses to donate their resources to charities during COVID-19. HeartPress’ new program “COVID-19 Companies Who Care” matches businesses with charities in need with their online matching platform #BrokersOfGood. Beyond financial support, charities are looking for IT services and donations of technology to support new remote ways that they must deliver their programs, various specific items for sanitation and personal hygiene, and pro-bono services for their scarce marketing and administrative resources. The list goes on and HeartPress continues to receive new requests from charities daily. 

    They are asking all local businesses who can give back at this time to come forward. HeartPress invites businesses to register and list the resources they have to give, whether it be time, money, supplies or services. HeartPress then matches the business with an organization in need, free of charge during COVID-19. As #BrokersOfGood, it’s what they love to do. 

    HeartPress #BrokersOfGood is the go-to resource for companies who care.

    They believe that philanthropy is more than just writing a cheque and that all businesses have something to offer - whether it be time, products or services. Learn more about their online matching platform #BrokersOfGood and how they are matching companies who care with charities during COVID-19.  For more information visit


    Join the conversation:





  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    A total of $45,224.40 in cash and 3,246 lbs of food has been collected for the Mustard Seed. see more

    Tech community continues support of local food bank with a $51k donation

    VICTORIA, BC - December 10, 2018 - A total of $45,224.40 in cash and 3,246 lbs of food has been collected for the Mustard Seed as a direct result from the 2018 VIATEC Foundation Food Bank Challenge! The weight in food is a new record, more than doubling last year’s weight and is equal to $6,492 ($2 per pound). This brings the total 2018 value to $51,716.40!

    It is our honour to continue to play a role in encouraging and directing the generous members of our community,” said VIATEC CEO, Dan Gunn. “The participants got creative with their fundraising this year; There were wine raffles, bake sales, pancake breakfasts, chili cook-offs, office parties, plenty of interoffice competition and even a push-up competition between two companies. They’ve been digging deep, having fun and making a difference as part of the VIATEC Foundation Food Bank Challenge for over a decade and it’s because of them that many families will have food on the table this holiday season, and throughout the year. All the credit goes to our members and donors and we look forward to aiding them for many more decades to come.”

    Since its inception in 2002, $2,201,714.40 worth of food and cash has been donated to the Mustard Seed through companies participating in the VIATEC Foundation Food Bank Challenge. With this year’s amount, the challenge has raised a total of $2,253,420.80!

    The weight in food is a new record, more than doubling last year’s weight and is equal to $6,492 ($2 per pound)


    This year’s top contributors:

    Greatest Per-Employee Contributor

    • 1st place: Aviary Technologies ($727 cash & food per employee)

    • 2nd place: RevenueWire ($309.10 cash & food per employee)

    • 3rd place: AES Engineering ($219.60 cash & food per employee)

    Greatest Overall Contributor

    • 1st place: RevenueWire ($12,364 cash & food)

    • 2nd place: Starfish Medical ($7,090 cash & food)

    • 3rd place: AES Engineering ($5,490 cash & food)

    A plaque presentation took place on December 7th at VIATEC and the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce’s Sweater Weather Get Together event, bringing out over 300 attendees.

    2018 Participants:


    About VIATEC:

    VIATEC (Victoria Innovation, Advanced Technology and Entrepreneurship Council), started in 1989. Our mission is to serve as the one-stop hub that connects people, knowledge and resources to grow and promote the Greater Victoria technology sector (Technology is Victoria's #1 industry with a $4.06 Billion Annual Revenue, a $5.22 Billion Economic Impact and over 16,775 employees across 995 high-tech companies - and growing!)

    We work closely with our members to offer a variety of events, programs and services. In addition, VIATEC serves as the front door of the local tech sector and as its spokesperson. To better support local innovators, we acquired our own building (Fort Tectoria) where we offer flexible and affordable office space to emerging local companies along with a gathering/event space for local entrepreneurs.


    About the VIATEC Foundation:

    A fund, held with the Victoria Foundation, that provides a simple way for VIATEC members to give back. Launched in June of 2017 (Raising $177,242 on its first day), the VIATEC Foundation is a result of seeing the philanthropic efforts of VIATEC Members being made privately or members lacking a direction for their goals. Because it is an industry that thrives on competition and challenges, VIATEC saw an opportunity to offer people a way to direct their generosity and show the Victoria community what’s possible.


    About the Mustard Seed Street Church:
    The Mustard Seed Street Church has been essential in fighting hunger and restoring faith to a large portion of people living in poverty, as well as the working poor, in Greater Victoria since 1975. The Mustard Seed’s operations are nearly 100 percent community funded and include Vancouver Island’s largest Food Bank, a Family Center, Hospitality programs, and addictions recovery at Hope Farm Healing Centre as well as more traditional Church services.

    The Mustard Seed Street Church positively impacts, on average 5,000 individuals per month, with more than 50 volunteers keeping things running everyday.  With your help, lives are transformed on a daily basis!


    Tessa Bousfield
    Marketing & Events Director
    Cell: 250-896-7668



  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    Join the fun with Seastar Chemicals, Starfish Medical and see more

    Victoria Festival of Trees for BC Children's Hospital Foundation looking for Tree Sponsors

    Join the fun with Seastar Chemicals, Starfish Medical and (and other generous VIATEC members!) in sponsoring a tree in the Victoria Festival of Trees for BC Children's Hospital Foundation.

    Sponsoring a tree starts at $1,000:

    • 650K+ locals will see your branded tree at The Bay Centre 
    • Enjoy memorable and meaningful team building as your crew decorates your tree
    • Networking and mingling during the Deck the Halls Ball (tacky holiday sweaters encouraged!)
    • 7 reasons to be a sponsor
    • Check out all the benefits and sign up here

    In 2017, the Festival of Trees raised over $170,000 for BC Children's Hospital and 22 kids from Vancouver Island received care. 2018 is poised to be another record breaking year. 

    Don't have time to come up with the winning design? Donate your tree to your favourite charity. They decorate the tree, and both you and your charity of choice receive branding recognition.

    Tree sponsors are being accepted until November 8th. Please contact Lacey Sheardown, Volunteer Chair, with any questions or to join. Register here.

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    Each TTC internet installation will cost $6000, and the goal is to complete 12 installations by 2019 see more


    Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan seek donations to provide Internet to Teacher Training Colleges

    For more than twenty years, Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan (CW4WAfghan), has worked to improve the quality of teaching in Afghan schools. The organization has trained over 9000 in-service teachers across Afghanistan, created a digital library of local language learning materials, equipped over 200 schools with science labs and libraries. Now it is looking at helping Afghanistan’s 40+ Teacher Training Colleges (TTCs), where pre-service teachers are prepared for the classroom. None of the colleges have internet access, an essential tool in today’s world.

    To support TTCs to gain Internet connectivity, CW4WAfghan has an agreement with the colleges and the Ministry of Education to cover the initial costs of Internet installation and Internet service for a period of 12 months, with the Ministry of Education taking over the costs of monthly service in the next year’s budget, and thereafter. 

    Each TTC internet installation will cost $6000, and the goal is to complete 12 installations by 2019. Victoria’s technology companies can help meet this target. To learn more about this project please contact Jill Leslie, Victoria Chapter of CW4WAfghan, 250-391-3908, or donate directly:

    More Information:
    With Internet access, current and future educators in Afghanistan can develop their subject knowledge, discover new approaches and methods to teaching, design better lesson plans, find materials to use in the classroom, and access education research. Access to such information online will help teachers be more effective educators, meaning Afghan children will have better learning outcomes. (One online source is the local language collection of educational materials, the Darakht-e Danesh ('knowledge tree') digital library (, created by Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan.)

    In Afghanistan, much progress has been made in improving children's access to education. There are more schools, more teacher colleges, and more female teachers than ever before in the country's history. But the quality of public education remains very low in many areas, especially outside of cities. Sometimes children are not learning to read and write at all, despite spending years in school. Teachers are often isolated from the resources they need to help them be better teachers. 

    Changing this will require harnessing the power of technology, increasing access to information and to educational sources online. TTCs are mostly co-ed, but there are more female than male students. By facilitating access to the Internet in the computer labs at TTCs specifically for female students the project will improve internet access and computer skills for women and girls throughout Afghanistan.

    It's hard to imagine our lives without the Internet. The means to satiate our curiosity is now so accessible, we take it for granted. But this is not the case in many parts of Afghanistan, where teachers -- arguably those who need access to knowledge resources more than anyone else -- are not yet benefiting from the information revolution. 

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    “We felt it was important to capture a lot more of what is already happening" see more

    Source: Times Colonist
    Author: Andrew Duffy

    Capital region’s tech sector to launch charitable foundation

    The capital region’s largest industry is about to make a little more noise.

    Victoria’s high-tech sector will announce Friday at its annual awards show that it will launch a charitable foundation, partly to demonstrate the impact the sector has on the broader community.

    “We’ve been looking at this for more than 10 years now,” said Dan Gunn, chief executive of the Victoria Innovation, Advanced Technology and Entrepreneurship Council. “Most of our members are doing a great deal for the community, but because very few of them sell products here, they are not doing it for marketing reasons and it can be somewhat invisible.”

    The VIATEC Foundation, which is to be launched in partnership with the Victoria Foundation, is designed to focus the social conscience of the industry.

    “We felt it was important to capture a lot more of what is already happening — the donations, time, volunteers and support being provided by our members so we can look at it annually, report on it and encourage increased participation by the rest of our members,” Gunn said.

    “And if we can focus them on some key areas, we think we may be able to create some unique programs,” he said, noting that will make the sector more visible and that participants can accomplish more as a collective.

    VIATEC's 558 members have shown they can make a significant difference when they pull together. Over the last 13 years, they have raised just over $2 million for the Mustard Seed Food Bank.

    “VIATEC will be quite interesting. They are such a force in the community that if they group together to do something wonderful for this community, you know it will have an impact,” said Sandra Richardson, chief executive of the Victoria Foundation. “They are very entrepreneurial and deal with a different demographic, and they look at the larger challenge. It’s not just about giving this year and then moving on.”

    Gunn said that eventually, the VIATEC Foundation could operate on its own. But for the first year, as it goes through a Canada Revenue Agency application process, it will be run under the auspices of the Victoria Foundation.

    “It makes sense because they have the infrastructure and administration in place. But this is a foundation for our members and by our members,” Gunn said. A board will be established to direct the foundation’s focus and its philanthropy toward VIATEC-determined priorities.

    Richardson said the cost for using Victoria Foundation administration will be minimal, and none of the money donated to the VIATEC Foundation will be used to pay for it.

    In terms of funding and donations, Gunn is hoping tech companies will see the value of pooling resources.

    “Our hope is companies will take their philanthropic intent for the year and dedicate it to the VIATEC Foundation. So when someone wants [that company’s support], they can say you can fill out an application online,” he said, adding that dealing with community requests will be easier.

    “When you are known as a supporter of the community, you end up seeing a lot more asks — and they increase every year. Our members typically don’t have staff to deal with that full time,” Gunn said.

    “At the same time, we will be able to capture the impact we’re having and encourage more of it. We can show the impact the tech sector is having beyond the economics.”

    Gunn is hoping to be able to announce the first contributors to the foundation at the awards show on Friday.

    He is also hoping some companies might consider a “founder’s pledge” that would fund the foundation through small equity stakes in their companies. For example, it could be a one or two per cent pledge that would be realized should the founder exit the company or the firm is sold.

    “We have been reluctant to ask for that, but if [tech companies] are willing to pledge a portion of future gains, that would be an ideal outcome,” Gunn said.

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    JackFlash Photography is giving away FREE* photo shoots for Victoria’s superheroes who support the.. see more

    FREE* photoshoot for VIATEC’s superheroes!

    Victoria, BC (October 18, 2016) -  Locally owned and operated JackFlash Photography, in partnership with CrackerJack Communications, has announced today that it will be giving away FREE* photo shoots for Victoria’s superheroes who support The Movember Foundation. 

    *Those who grow a mustache in the month of November, and make a $75 plus charitable donation towards The Movember Foundation will be rewarded with a portrait of themselves featuring their Movember mustaches. VIATEC members will have the option of donating $50 plus towards the cause instead. 

    For those who want to support the cause but cannot grow a mustache themselves, a fake mustache can be substituted for the photo shoot. The photo shoot holds a $275 value, and 100% of donations made will go directly to The Movember Foundation by donating to “”.

    The offer is limited to the first 50 people, and will be running from October 24th – November 30th, 2016.

    Reservations and questions for the photo shoot give-away can be directed to


    About The Movember Foundation

    Growing a mustache for the month of November is a show of support for The Movember Foundation.

    The Movember Foundation is committed to addressing some of the biggest health issues faced by men: prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and mental health and suicide prevention. 

    In 13 years The Foundation has funded more than 1,200 men’s health projects around the world. By 2030, the goal of The Movember Foundation is to reduce the number of men dying prematurely by 25%.

    More information about the foundation can be found at:

    About JackFlash Photography

    Jack Adamson of JackFlash Photography, in partnership with CrackerJack Communications–an ad/marketing agency alternative– opened its doors last year to support a growing need for capturing more authentic moments in time. Whether it’s a personal or a corporate portrait, an event, engagement or wedding, Jack has the eye, skill and dedication to provide his clients in Victoria and Vancouver Island with photographic memories that will stand out and be cherished for years to come.

    This initiative to raise monies for The Movember Foundation is Jack’s way of paying it forward to the local community who also see the value of supporting this important cause, and to help document such heroic acts.



  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    A prank that got radio air time Friday morning may have inadvertently helped the Food Bank Challenge see more

    Source: Times Colonist
    Author: Andrew Duffy

    December 5, 2015: Victoria, BC - A prank that got radio air time Friday morning may have inadvertently helped the local high-tech sector’s annual food bank challenge.

    An impostor claiming to be Victoria Innovation, Advanced Technology and Entrepreneurship Council chief executive Dan Gunn called into Gregor Craigie’s On the Island show on CBC and, after talking about the challenge, went on a foul-mouthed rant.

    “It definitely wasn’t me,” said the real Dan Gunn. He said publicity that surrounded the stunt — Gunn received a slew of emails, texts and tweets after people heard the show — resulted in a number of tech companies coming up with more donations for the Mustard Seed Food Bank.

    Gunn said as long as it helps feed the less fortunate he’s all for it. “I tweeted out earlier that if we raised $250,000 I would read a transcript of what the impostor said at the next VIATEC awards,” said Gunn with a laugh.

    Using the hashtag #therealdangunn, Gunn pointed out that since the prank aired, Rasool Rayani and Heart Pharmacies pledged $3,000 and 100 pounds of food, Latitude Geographics stepped up with a $2,000 donation and start-up AOT Technologies pulled together $500.

    It wasn’t clear if Gunn would have to go through with his pledge to get a tattoo of the VIATEC insignia if the challenge raised in excess of $100,000 for the Mustard Seed food bank. Late Friday, the total came in at $60,000.