July, 2014

  1. Lochside Bikes: Cruise Tectoria in Style Without Breaking the Bank

    July 30, 2014 by Tessa Bousfield

    Lochside Bikes gives cyclists in Tectoria the opportunity to cruise our bicycle-friendly streets in style without breaking the bank.

    Launched earlier in 2014 by brothers Brian and Richard Kirk (they’re Campbell River transplants) and local off-shoring guru Jeff Zamluk (who, as seems to be a common theme with these B-Side blog posts, had a previous career in Victoria’s burgeoning craft brewery scene), Lochside Bikes designs and sells cool-looking bicycles with an urban sensibility for a fraction of the price.

    Lochside is the first Victoria-based company of its kind to focus on our thriving commuter cycling scene, and offers an impressive range fixed-gear and Dutch-style shopping bikes.

    The team designs their bikes right here in Victoria and has them built in China (that’s where Zamluk’s skills as an expert at offshore manufacturing comes in handy).

    Lochside then sells their bikes in several bike shops in Victoria, Vancouver and Courtenay, and through a direct-to-consumer online service on their website.

    This is an innovative development for the bicycling industry, which typically has little time for selling effectively online, as marketing is something that has to be squeezed in between getting out for a good, long ride.

    Starting at $400, Lochside’s bikes are as affordable as they are attractive. With eight beautiful models to choose from, there’s truly something for everyone.

    What made these entrepreneurs decide to launch Lochside in Victoria?

    Victoria-based Zamluk had been helping bicycle manufacturers around North America source overseas for ten years. A conversation with his friends the sports-mad Kirk brothers made the trio realize there was nobody in Victoria actually manufacturing bikes locally.

    Making bikes locally seems like a no-brainer for Victoria, the cycling capital of Canada.

    We have a love affair with bicycles in Tectoria, thanks to our relatively warm, dry winters, and our network of regional bike trails that stretch from Sooke to Swartz Bay.

    Lochside Bikes, of course, gets its name from the popular 30-kilometer cycling trail that connects downtown with Sidney and the ferry terminal.

    As more people are move to Tectoria to fill the nearly insatiable demand of local technology companies for tech workers, and as every municipality continues to find ways to promote cycling, local demand for bicycles can only increase.

    A growing population of cyclists, especially among downtown residents, means more demand for the beautiful, budget bikes offered by Lochside Cycles.

    Tectoria Cycling Stat Geek Out

    Tectoria has the most active commuters — those who bike or walk to work — per capita of any city in Canada, according to a 2011  Statistics Canada survey (we’re sure that number could only have increased over the last couple of years).

    BC’s capital and second-largest tech hub has one commuter in six who either walks (10 per cent) or bikes (5.8 per cent). In Vancouver, 6.3 per cent of those surveyed in 2011 walked to work and only 1.8 per cent biked to work.

    The commuting data was compiled as part of the Statistics Canada’s 2011 National Household Survey.

  2. Jamie Tobin: Tectoria's Own Logistical Genius

    July 23, 2014 by Tessa Bousfield

    If you enjoyed Rock the Shores earlier this month, and are looking forward to rocking out at Rifflandia in September, or even brought your kids down to the Leg lawn on Canada Day to listen to live music, you really ought to know the name of Jamie Tobin.

    Jamie is the Tectorian who plays an important role making some of Victoria’s biggest live shows possible by coordinating the setup and tear down of the massive stages.

    Jamie’s skill is not only recognized right here in his own backyard, but also all over the world –  Jamie played a key role getting it done, organizing the opening and closing ceremonies at the Sochi Olympics (his official job title: “Senior Operations Manager for Ceremonial Venues at the 2014 Winter Olympics and Paralympics).

    He spent more than a year in Russia, and returned to Victoria in March after the successful end of the Paralympics.

    The BCIT grad got his start with his own independent event management company that he started up in Whistler nearly a decade ago.

    The frequent ski and snowboard competitions at the end of the Sea-to-Sky highway just north of Vancouver provided Jamie with a steady stream of events where he could hone his skills as a planner, organizer, and all-around logistical virtuoso.

    Jamie’s hard work in Whistler paid off, and he was asked to be site manager for 2010 opening and closing ceremonies for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

    Fast-forward to January, 2013: Victoria’s Jamie Tobin arrived in Sochi Russia and had to figure out how to plan the logistics for one of the world’s biggest shows – the Winter Olympics.

    Along the way, of course, Jamie has helped shape and build massive music festivals that are making his home base of Victoria, BC, a more vibrant and interesting place to live, while boosting our reputation across Canada and North America.


    Photo of Rifflandia Stage courtesy of  amazing local photographer Gwen Ewart. Check out more of Ewart’s cool concert photos here.

    So thanks, Jamie!

    And with Rock the Shores successfully check off, and Rifflandia right around the corner, Jamie must not be getting any sleep: right now, Jamie is operations manager for the opening and closing ceremonies at the Toronto 2015 Pan-Am Games.

  3. Win a pair of tickets to the Phillips Backyard Weekender!

    July 21, 2014 by Tessa Bousfield

    Win a pair of tickets to the Phillips Backyard Weekender!

    VIATeC has 3 pairs of tickets to giveaway for The Phillips Backyard Weekender. This year’s stellar lineup includes The Funk Hunters, Shad, The Original Wailers, Charles Bradley + many more.

    How to win?

    1. New or old, find a photo of yourself with either a Phillips or VIATeC product (Spacebus, Tectoria tent, Phillips beer, Ctrl-Mlt-Dlt, Gypsy Wagon, brewery itself, etc.)
    2. Post it to Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram
    3. Include the hashtags #tectoria AND #givemethosetickets
    4. Each different photo you post counts for another entry!

    Deadline to submit is Thursday, July 24th at noon, winners will be randomly selected.

    Please email raylesworth@viatec.ca for any contest questions.


  4. Russ Papp

    July 15, 2014 by Tessa Bousfield

    Freelance artist and designer Russ Papp plays big role developing Victoria’s rapidly evolving visual brand.

    While his work ranges from landscape and furniture design, to set and costume design for film, as well as even to puppet fabrication and animation work, Russ is also one of the home-grown geniuses behind the kinetic sculptures and funky public art beloved by festival-goers, beer lovers, or anyone with an eye for visual virtuosity in Victoria and beyond.

    russ papp

    Anyone who has been too Rifflandia will immediately recognize Russ Papp’s most memorable creation, a wonderful 36-foot gypsy caravan-inspired refrigerated trailer with 32 beer taps called the Phillips Gypsy Wagon. The key to his compelling visual style? Russ thinks natural wear and tear is the most beautiful thing in the world and loves to see things with a nice “patina”.

    Phillips has a distinct aesthetic that is quickly becoming synonymous with Victoria’s fertile creative industries, an eclectic intersection of DIY breweries and the artisans who run them, artists, and entrepreneurs.

    And Russ’ work is never done.

    Russ just finished working with our friend Scott Amos on a new beer trailer for Phillip’s just unveiled at Rock the Shores:

    new phillips installation

    Russ Papp has indeed enjoyed a long relationship with Phillips Brewery – his artist space sits in a trailer in the brewery’s back lot, and he has collaborated with  talented local signmaker Chris Dobell (one of the last of a dying breed of signmakers) on many Phillips projects.

    Russ Papp and Chris Dobell also are sure to incorporate the visual style of Shawn O’Keefe, the graphic designer and illustrator responsible for designing Phillips’ labels since the company began brewing nearly 15 years ago.

    Russ Papp is also an unmistakable and stylish presence on the streets of Victoria. His vintage blue and red ’51 Chevy dumptruck (the back still lifts to dump) just screams Tectoria.

    russ papp blue truck

    Russ, of course, designed the fantastic Tectoria SpaceBus, a converted 1968 Leyland doubledecker that’s completely street-legal (and fully air-conditioned), and travels to events all over Greater Victoria from its home at 1124 Vancouver Street.

    Besides designing the look and feel of the orange-finned SpaceBus, Russ Papp assembles everything. The finished product looks fantastic:


    For the recent VIATeC Awards, Russ made Dan Gunn a space helmet in just a couple of hours (“He made it for me just because he knew how bad I wanted one,” says Dan) out of leftover foam and a skylight.


    Image courtesy Douglas Magazine
    In short, Russ Papp is creative, always upbeat, and plays a leading role transforming Victoria into one of Canada’s leading creative cities. Thanks Russ! We’re looking forward to your next creation.