Client Stories

With support from PacifiCan, small businesses, entrepreneurs and innovators are making a big difference in their communities across British Columbia. Here are their stories.

Use the drop-down menus below to search for stories by sector. Otherwise, use the Filter items field located above the stories to search by keyword.

Publication date Location Sector(s) All Client Stories
2024-02-13 North Vancouver, British Columbia Digital Technology
A group of representatives standing in front of a sign. Text reads: Festival De Cannes

Capilano University is Empowering Indigenous Entrepreneurs in B.C.

In today’s growing digital landscape, helping Indigenous-led businesses grow is an important driver to propel B.C. forward.

Location: North Vancouver, British Columbia
Sector(s): Digital Technology

2024-01-15 Bella Bella, B.C. Tourism
People standing on a dock in front of a YuWala Marine vessel with canoes attached to it.

Heiltsuk-owned YuWala Offers Boat Tours Showcasing the Beauty of Bella Bella

YuWala Marine Charters is combining essential transportation with exploration. Surrounded by Heiltsuk lands and waters, Bella Bella is a unique fly-in, boat-in-only community. Discover how the Heiltsuk Nation is preparing for future growth with PacifiCan funding.

Location: Bella Bella, B.C.
Sector(s): Tourism

2023-11-06 Vancouver, B.C. Advanced manufacturing
Two ARTMS lab technicians look at the Quantm Irradiation target station at the ARTMS lab.]

From Lab to Market: The PacifiCan and ARTMS Partnership

In a world challenged by isotope shortages, one business in Burnaby is delivering. ARTMS’ technology is helping medical facilities produce the world’s most-used medical diagnostic radioisotopes.

Location: Burnaby, B.C.
Sector(s): Advanced manufacturing

2023-10-18 British Columbia. Small business
A series of images of various people working in different small business environments

Driving Global Reach: How Export Navigator helps businesses access new markets

The Export Navigator program offers free expert guidance to B.C.-based businesses looking to export to global markets. Since 2016, nearly 900 B.C. businesses, including those owned by Indigenous, women and youth entrepreneurs, have benefited from the program.

Location: British Columbia
Sector(s): Small business

2023-09-26 Victoria, B.C. Life Sciences
Two lab technicians work at a counter with science equipment at University of Victoria’s Proteomics Centre.

How This UVIC Research Centre Is Driving Progress In Biomedical Science

The University of Victoria Genome B.C. Proteomics Centre has been providing mass spectrometry services that have allowed revolutionary biomedical and life science research to happen for over three decades, but there are still some missing links.

Location: Victoria, B.C.
Sector(s): Life Sciences

2023-07-25 British Columbia Clean technology
Aerial photo of the Tŝilhqot'in Solar Farm.

BC Indigenous Clean Energy Initiative propels British Columbia toward a net zero future

As stewards of the land for thousands of years, Indigenous people are finding solutions for clean energy and fighting climate change. With the BC Indigenous Clean Energy Initiative, First Nations in BC are launching new clean energy projects, reducing diesel usage, and generating nearly 1,400 jobs throughout the province.

Location: British Columbia
Sector(s): Clean technology

2023-05-19 Richmond Clean energy
A Saltworks technician with an XtremeUF ultrafiltration system

Richmond-based Saltworks Technologies Inc. makes waves to address industrial wastewater and lithium processing challenges

Protecting freshwater resources and transitioning to clean energy are global challenges. Saltworks’ advanced technologies help to reuse water, keep our environment safe from pollutants in industrial wastewater, and produce lithium for use in batteries.

Location: Richmond
Sector(s): Clean energy

2023-01-13 Victoria Aerospace
Image of two men working in a drone on a field

University of Victoria propels industry-leading drone and satellite technology with one-of-a-kind hub

Founded in 2012 with support from PacifiCan, CfAR has been steadily growing into an aerospace research powerhouse. In 2018, PacifiCan invested an additional $980,000 to help establish BC as a hub for drone and satellite tech. Unmanned Air Systems, like drones, have defence, security and environmental protection uses. They even prevent pilots from flying in unsafe situations. The Centre for Aerospace Research at the University of Victoria is quickly emerging as a leader in drone and satellite technology in Canada.

Location: Victoria
Sector(s): Aerospace

2023-01-12 Comox Transportation
Image of Airport seating area filled with blue chairs.

Strengthening regional connectivity: Comox Airport ensures Northern Vancouver Island economy can take flight post-pandemic

When airport passenger volumes fell by 85% in 2020, Comox Valley Airport restored air transportation to six communities, keeping their region connected at a critical time. Find out how the airport helped travelers safely access Northern Vancouver Island and build connectivity thanks to over $1 million in PacifiCan funding.

Location: Comox
Sector(s): Transport

2023-01-10 Nanaimo Tourism
Image of a couple walking to the Qualicum Beach Farmers Market

BC Tourism Resiliency Program provides a path to recovery for rural and remote businesses

Rural communities are an important part of the B.C. tourism experience. Many of these communities have focused on tourism to help diversify their local economies. When COVID-19 threatened their progress, PacifiCan took action, working with 4VI to support and strengthen the sector through the BC Tourism Resiliency Program.

Location: Nanaimo
Sector(s): Tourism

2023-01-09 Victoria Clean technology
Image of a street view of red and grey building with three cars parked in front.

B.C. clean tech companies make a global impact with support from Alacrity Canada

The burgeoning clean tech sector plays a key role in British Columbia’s evolving economy by developing sustainable technology used around the world. For many entrepreneurs, scaling up quickly to meet this global demand provides an exciting opportunity and a unique challenge – that’s where Vancouver Island’s Alacrity Canada comes in. With a $787,115 investment from PacifiCan, Alacrity created the B.C. Cleantech Initiative. Learn more about this program.

Location: Victoria
Sector(s): Clean technology

2022-12-16 Northern B.C. Tourism
Image of an employee passes an ice cream cone to a group of customers at an ice cream stand

Northern B.C. Tourism Association helps advance accessibility and welcome visitors back to barrier-free attractions

Creating barrier-free tourism experiences ensures that the 6 million+ Canadians over the age of 15 who have a disability (Statistics Canada) can fully participate in all that British Columbia has to offer.

To Northern BC Tourism Association (NBCTA), pandemic recovery presents an opportunity to welcome back residents and visitors to accessible, safe and inclusive spaces everyone can enjoy. Find out how they are advacing accessibility.

Location: Northern B.C.
Sector(s): Tourism

2022-12-15 South Hazelton Natural resources
Image of an ambulance car in a field

Gitxsan Safety Services helps train and protect workers as Northern B.C. economy expands

As Northern B.C.’s natural resource sector continues to expand, having medical support nearby helps to protect workers and provide immediate treatment for injuries during construction. Find out how Gitxsan Safety Services is helping to meet demand for emergency medical support in Northern British Columbia.

Location: South Hazelton
Sector(s): Natural resources

2022-12-08 Kelowna Digital technology
Image of a camera, with its protective salmon case, successfully films at a stream

Driving innovation: How Accelerate Okanagan is transforming the Okanagan tech community

In partnership with PacifiCan since 2017, Accelerate Okanagan has overseen multiple initiatives made possible with PacifiCan funding. These initiatives have provided guidance to a growing community of entrepreneurs, helping to build the Okanagan into the fastest growing tech hub in the country

Location: Kelowna
Sector(s): Technology and non-profit

2022-12-07 Nelson Advanced Manufacturing
Image of a camera, with its protective salmon case, successfully films at a stream

West Kootenays strike gold with new technology innovation centre

Since 2015, PacifiCan has invested almost $1.5 million for KAST to help address the gap in tech resources available for West Kootenay entrepreneurs.

Location: Nelson
Sector(s): Advanced Manufacturing

2022-06-12 Kelowna Business Growth, Digital / High-tech
Kelowna Innovation Centre interior, with white staircases, people walking and brightly lit hallways

How the Kelowna Innovation Centre is transforming the Okanagan into Canada’s fastest growing tech hub

In 2017, the Centre received a $3.4 million investment from PacifiCan, which helped develop and finish a new building to house innovators and foster entrepreneurship.

Location: Kelowna
Sector(s): Business Growth, Digital / High-tech

2022-10-11 Vancouver Life Sciences
Image of a middle-aged construction professional male wearing a hard looking at his phone next to the logo of Fatigue Science. The background shows a yellow operational car and an overlay graphic. The graphic is a phone notification by Readi that says Crew Member Fatigue Alert: John Connor will reach 70 in 1 hour. Group: Haul Truck Drivers (Denver)

Tireless efforts of Vancouver innovator are preventing fatigue-related injuries and saving lives

Fatigue Science’s platform analyzes data like work hours, surveys, demographics, and optionally, sleep patterns. $300,000 in PacifiCan support allowed Fatigue Science to enhance and scale up its fatigue management information system platform, enabling more accurate and personalized predictions.

Location: Vancouver
Sector(s): Health and Life Sciences

2022 Vancouver Life Sciences
UBC Hatch Life

Three ways that Hatch Life has increased biotechnology research capacity and mentorship at UBC

The University of British Columbia has a long history of transforming research into impactful treatments, products and services that contribute to the social and economic fabric of Canada.

Location: Vancouver
Sector(s):  Life Sciences

2022 Vancouver; Burnaby Clean technology
HTEC Hydrogen Fueling Station

B.C. cleantech innovators tackle environmental issues and create a cleaner future

In 2020, we spoke with some of British Columbia’s most promising cleantech innovators to learn more about their vision for a cleaner, greener future. Since receiving funding from PacifiCan a few years ago, they have made incredible progress in that pursuit.

Location: Vancouver; Burnaby
Sector(s): Clean technology

2022 British Columbia Women, Skills & Training, Business Growth

WeBC supports women entrepreneurs through the pandemic and beyond

WeBC shares the incredible local impact of PacifiCan funding since 2020

Location: British Columbia
Sector(s): Women, Skills & Training, Business Growth

2022 Vancouver Advanced Manufacturing, Digital Technology
Making Canada a world-leading centre of innovation: How SiEPICfab is accelerating the fabrication of silicon photonics

Making Canada a world-leading centre of innovation: How SiEPICfab is accelerating the fabrication of silicon photonics

In 2019, we provided $2.95M in funding to the Stewart Blusson Quantum Matter Institute for a new world-class nanofabrication facility to support quantum technology development. Now, this infrastructure is the cornerstone of SiEPICfab, which is accelerating the fabrication of silicon photonics in Canada.

Location: Vancouver
Sector(s): Advanced Manufacturing, Digital Technology

2020-11-17 Cariboo-Chilcoti Clean technology, Indigenous, Natural resources
Signage outside of FPInnovations building

British Columbia communities power up with sustainable clean energy systems

BC-based not-for-profit organization, FPInnovations, partnered with the Lhoosk'uz Dené Nation’s to develop a new biomass energy system to power community buildings, create jobs, stimulate the economy, and reduce reliance on diesel.

Location: Cariboo-Chilcotin
Sector(s): Clean technology, Indigenous, Natural resources

2020-10-23 Vancouver Women, entrepreneurship

Vancouver business creates sustainable products from recycled materials

Aisle is creating diverse and sustainable menstrual products for women across Canada.

Location: Vancouver
Sector(s): Women, entrepreneurship

2020-10-21 Victoria Business growth, women
Origin Bakery

Women’s Enterprise Initiative helps Victoria niche bakery expand

Origin Bakery co-owners Tara Black and Marion Scott have found their niche selling gluten-free goods in Victoria, British Columbia. With support from the Women’s Enterprise Center, Tara and Marion run a thriving business with a sweet future.

Location: Victoria
Sector(s): Business growth, women

2020-10-19 Vancouver Women, business growth, entrepreneurship

Coworking space in Vancouver gives entrepreneurs a taste of on-the-job work-life balance

Christina Disler started Werklab with a vision to transform our relationship to work. Now she is helping entrepreneurs and small business-owners achieve work-life balance through “The Werk”, an online health and wellness editorial platform for business owners.

Location: Vancouver
Sector(s): Women, business growth, entrepreneurship

2020-10-16 British Columbia Business growth, economic diversification, clean technology, clean resources

Four B.C. cleantech innovators envisage a cleaner, greener future

Hydrogen Technology and Energy Corporation (HTEC), Acuva Technologies, Quadrogen Power Systems, and BumperNow are four BC-based cleantech companies transforming the cleantech ecosystem

Publication Date: 2020-10-16
Location: British Columbia
Sector(s): Business growth, economic diversification, clean technology, clean resources

2020-08-19 Nelson Francophone, Tourism, Women
Lillie and Cohoe

Local luxury hat shop attracts cultural tourists to Nelson, B.C.

With the support of the Francophone Economic Development Organizations (FEDOs) and the Économusée network, Lillie and Cohoe is establishing its luxury hat shop as a cultural tourism destination in the heart of Nelson, B.C.

Location: Nelson
Sector(s): Francophone, Tourism, Women

2020-03-09 British Columbia Women, Francophone
Femmes entrepreneurs francophones

Francophone women entrepreneurs boost each other across British Columbia

Francophone women in British Columbia are building their businesses with each other’s support. Their secret weapon is a program called Femmes d’affaires en Mouvement (FAM), which means “businesswomen on the move”.

Location: British Columbia
Sector(s): Women, Francophone

2020-02-03 Burnaby Advanced Manufacturing

Tech firms get an advanced manufacturing lab in Burnaby to build and test nanosensors

These days, it seems like the online universe is expanding from computers to everyday items. With a smartphone, we can unlock doors and adjust thermostats.

Location: Burnaby
Sector(s): Advanced Manufacturing

2019-06-28 British Columbia Francophone
Official Languages Twinning Program

Official Languages: Who’s your “twin”?

At Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) we’re bolstering our bilingual bench strength in both official languages.

Location: British Columbia
Sector(s): Francophone

2019-02-05 British Columbia Clean technology, Digital technology

High-tech protects crops and reduces pollution from B.C. farms and orchards

Farmers and engineers are working together to keep fresh produce on our shelves. They are finding innovative solutions to challenges from climate change, harmful pesticides, and crop disease.

Location: British Columbia
Sector(s): Clean technology, Digital technology

2019-02-05 Burnaby Digital technology, Trade
OSI Maritime

Canadian naval technology makes navigation waves on a global level

Over 600 naval vessels across the globe rely on tactical navigation software from British Columbia's OSI Maritime Inc.

Location: Burnaby
Sector(s): Digital technology, Trade

2019-02-05 British Columbia Community economic development
feux de forêt

British Columbia communities rebuild after 2017 and 2018 wildfires

The 2017 and 2018 wildfire seasons were the worst in British Columbia's history. British Columbians regrouped and WD was there to help.

Location: British Columbia
Sector(s): Community economic development

2018-08-04 Maple Ridge Youth, Community economic development
Karina LeBlanc

Karina LeBlanc's Field of Dreams gives people a space for fitness and motivation

Canadian Olympic soccer star Karina Leblanc now has a sports field in Maple Ridge, BC, where she can share her passion for sports with the next generation of Canadian athletes.

Location: Maple Ridge
Sector(s): Youth, Community economic development

2018-08-04 Vancouver Clean technology
good natured Products

Vancouver company innovates with plant-based plastic packaging

If only there were durable packaging materials that were also biodegradable. A western Canadian company may have the solution.

Location: Vancouver
Sector(s): Clean technology

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