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Ode to the BC Ferries

Friday, August 26th, 2011
BC Ferry photo

BC Ferries, one of the best trips you'll ever take

Confession: I love BC Ferries

How I love thy chocolate buffet filled with Roger’s chocolates, decadent cupcakes, chocolate mousse cups, Florentines, four different kinds of chocolate cake, Grand Marnier Mountains, and  – oh my, I must go back for more!

I love the serenity of the Seawest Lounge, the chaos of the playground, the flat screen TV’s playing the hockey games, the coffee machines (Dear Lord, thank you for blessing the BC Ferries with Americano machines that make divine coffee for us unfortunate coffee snobs of the world).

I love the Smart Start breakfast (it’s actually good!), the wireless internet, and best of all, the fact that I can get my toes done while en route to a business meeting in Vancouver? Heaven. (more…)

 

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Have you been to Abkhazi Gardens?

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

Victoria is well known for its Gardens. Most folks know about the world famous Butchart Gardens, one of the greatest places to visit anytime of the year. Accent Inns Victoria hotel, and our other 4 locations around the province, live up to our Victoria BC heritage by also covering our Inns with beautiful hanging baskets.  But I find that many local Victorians and visitors alike are not aware of the wonderful Abkhazi Gardens.  We are so lucky to have such a place in one of our oldest neighborhoods. Of course these gardens would not exist if it weren’t for the fantastic efforts of our friends at the TLC (The Land Conservancy of BC).   (more…)

 

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The Annual FAB 50 Elite Girls Basketball Camp

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

Head Coach Bruce Langford instructs campers.

The annual FAB 50 Elite Girls Basketball Camp was held Saturday-Sunday, April 23-24 at Spectrum Community School’s Gyms.

The annual camp brought together 40 of the top girls basketball players in grades 6-11 from schools around the Victoria area for a weekend of basketball instruction from some of the top coaches in the province.  The guest coaches included Simon Fraser University’s Bruce Langford, Thomson Rivers University’s Scott Reeves and Camosun College’s Brett Westcott, who is also the camp organizer.

FAB 50 Elite Girls at practice.

Accent Inn Victoria has been a sponsor of this youth development event for several years as the hotel hosts the visiting coaches who volunteer their time to work with the local players.  This camp also served as the selection camp for the South Vancouver Island Basketball Association select team program which will keep local players involved in the game through July with practices and games against teams from around the province.

 

 

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Family Businesses: The Secrets of Successful Succession Part 2

Monday, March 7th, 2011
Mandy Farmer shows off the new look of Accent Inns

Mandy Farmer shows off the new look of Accent Inns

So where did I leave you last week?  I had no expectations of ever talking over the family business, I worked elsewhere before working for my dad, and I continued to learn the business from experts (other than my father)  by continuing to work outside the family business.  So now what?

Learn All Aspects of the Business.  Finishing an undergrad at McGill University marked my return to Accent Inns.  With a Psych Degree under my belt and no brainwaves about what to do with it, I humbly accepted a job in the family business.  Luckily I didn’t have to clean rooms again, nor go back to the front desk where I began.  But there were other places I’d never tried, such as the sales team.  Cold calling was such a great skill to learn that I recommend it to all the young women that I mentor.  Learning to pick up the phone, walk confidently through a door that says No Soliciting, squelch that fear in your stomach while you bravely make the ask and fine tuning those public speaking skills. No matter what job you end up in, you’ll always have to convince someone of something. Sales experience rocks. (more…)

 

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35 Years and Counting for Victoria’s Flowers

Monday, February 14th, 2011
Butchart Gardens Spring Flowers

Butchart gardens leads victoria bc flower count 2010

2011 marks the 35th anniversary of the Annual Flower Count in Victoria, aptly called the City of Gardens!

The Flower Count takes place March 1 – 7, 2011 and is a friendly competition between the communities that make up Greater Victoria to see which one is the “Bloomingest Community”.  The total amount of blossoms are then tallied up and communicated (in a slightly smug way, I might add) to the rest of Canada – who can only dream of counting flowers while they shovel out from yet another blizzard and look forward to a couple more months of winter.

Victoria is blessed to have the mildest climate in all of Canada – spring temperatures average between 10-15 degrees Celsius.   This climate lends itself to having some of the most fabulous gardens in Canada – Butchart Gardens (check out our package) of course are famous, but Beacon Hill Park, Abkhazi Gardens, Finnerty Gardens at UVIC and Hatley Gardens are all worth a visit.

There are a number of ways for the public  to participate in the Flower Count. You can:

  • Count your blossoms and enter the count on the website. www.flowercount.ca
  • Attend the Mayors’ Flower Arranging Competition – the Flower Count launch event on March 1st
  • Encourage children in grades 4 and 5 to participate in the class room competition
  • Enter a flower photo contest on Facebook and Flickr and win great prizes! Access the contest sites through www.flowercount.ca

To find out more – check it out at www.flowercount.ca

 

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Big Prizes for Pink in the Rink – Feb 4th

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

Victoria Salmon Kings Pink in the Rink event

Victoria Salmon Kings Pink in the Rink event Feb 4th

It’s time to buy those tickets as the Victoria Salmon Kings host the 4th annual Pink in the Rink night!

Brand new pink jerseys, live auctions and over $7,000 in giveaways highlight annual event supporting the BC Cancer Foundation!

Victoria, BC – The Victoria Salmon Kings, proud affiliate of the Vancouver Canucks and Manitoba Moose, announced today that they have once again partnered with the BC Cancer Foundation (BCCF) to present their fourth annual “Pink in the Rink” night on Friday, February 4th, 2011.

For this year’s annual event sponsored by 103.1 Jack FM and 98.5 The Ocean, the Salmon Kings will be wearing brand new pink jerseys for one night only! Salmon Kings’ players will be promoting the annual event, helping accept donations and signing autographs today at Hillside Centre between 4:00 – 5:30 p.m. Fans will also get a chance to get a sneak-peek at this year’s Pink in the Rink jerseys! (more…)

 

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Profit Names Accent Inns CEO Mandy Farmer

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010
Mandy Farmer, President and CEO Accent Inns

Mandy Farmer, President and CEO Accent Inns

For Immediate Release:

Accent Inns CEO, Mandy Farmer, recognized as one of Canada’s Top Female Entrepreneurs on the 2010 PROFIT W100 list

October 20, 2010, Victoria, BC – In two years, under the leadership of Mandy Farmer, Accent Inns has expanded its markets, greened more of its business process and retained staff far beyond industry standards. They have also had a profitable year while holding true to their company vision of investing back into the community, in light of a poor global economy, an accomplishment elevating Farmer into an elite group of Canada’s Top Women Entrepreneurs, as recognized by PROFIT magazine’s 12th annual W100 list.

(more…)

 

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Victoria Hotel get less rain than Vancouver!

Monday, October 4th, 2010
pictures of flowers at the Accent Inn Victoria Hotel

Victoria offers great weather

FACT:

Victoria gets less than half as much rain as Vancouver!!

According to the Weather Network, the total annual precipitation (for 2009) is just 557 mm in Victoria, compared to Vancouver with 1,272 mm of rainfall.  That’s a pretty significant difference!   The reason for the dryer conditions is because of the rain shadow effect of the nearby Olympic Mountains in Washington State.  This also means that our Victoria hotel gets more sunshine than surrounding areas. With 2,223 hours of sun annually, Victoria is one of the sunniest places in British Columbia, and gets more sunshine than most other cities in Canada except those in the southern Prairies.

ed bain from CHEK News with weather map

Weather report is better for Victoria!

As an avid golfer (and wannabe weather gal), I can vouch for the numbers above.  I live about 30 minutes up Island and many times I’ve been ready to call off the golf game because it’s raining at my place.  But more often than not, it’s dry in Victoria.

So attention Vancouverites  – the next time you get tired of all the dreary, rainy winter days  – take a quick getaway to Victoria.  Chances are, you’ll be able to leisurely stroll the quaint streets of Victoria, sip on a latte and soak up the atmosphere  – all  without your brolly!

golfer in victoria bc

Golf all year in Victoria BC

 

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• Gender Discrimination – both sexes guilty

Friday, July 9th, 2010
Finger to mouth showing sshhh sound

Both sexes are guilty of gender discrimination

Confession:

I admit it.  I’m not your typical CEO.  I’m a woman, I’m in my mid thirties and I live in a town that’s known for its “Old Boys Club”.

This was brought home to me early in my career when I went to our local business club for lunch, one of those traditional gentlemen’s clubs that now accepts  women as members.  I walked in with my dad, a regular there, and followed his lead to a long communal table in the middle of the room, clearly marked, “Nooners”.

(more…)

 

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BC hotel chain achieves eco-friendly hotel stays for travellers

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

Family-owned BC hotel chain achieves eco-friendly hotel stays for travellers on a budget

Accent Inns BC Hotel Chain offers an eco- friendly option

Victoria, BC, April 20, 2010- Affordable room rates and strong social and environmental values don’t always go hand in hand with hotels, but as the next generation of family leadership takes Accent Inns into their 25th year, these three pillars are positively influencing the guest experience at all five Accent Inns in Victoria, Burnaby, at the Vancouver Airport, and in Kamloops and Kelowna. (more…)

 

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