May, 2015

  1. Ticket Rocket

    May 28, 2015 by Tessa Bousfield


    If you’re one of the lucky one’s that managed to snag a golden ticket to this year’s Brewery and the Beast, good for you! If you’re like the rest that swore under your breath after it sold out in a single day… we feel for you.

    A blend of great marketing, a unique event, a fantastic lineup, and an effortless ticketing service called Ticket Rocket are to blame. The newly branded (The name was previously owned by Intrepid Theatre), was born this past March and although it seemed like an overnight success, it was 17 years in the making.


    Ticket Rocket co-owner, Matthew Davey, started his company 17 years ago in New Zealand.

    Fate came to be at an All Blacks game on the south island of New Zealand when Matthew met Chris Noel, and they had an instant connection as they are both from Victoria, BC and know a thing or two about technology.

    Fast forward to today and Matthew and Chris have joined forces along with Donna Lee and Sean Toohey to establish the new Ticket Rocket. Oh, and Matthew did well with that New Zealand business, as it’s now the largest ticketing company there and has been powering everything from nightclubs to the largest stadiums and festivals for decades. A great pool of knowledge to expose Ticket Rocket to.


    Ticket Rocket is a new North American wide event ticketing business based in Victoria and Los Angeles, bringing large-scale ticketing solutions to smaller teams, venues and promoters, bridging the gap in this industry.

    “The goal is to give a large ‘Ticket Master style’ experience to the little guys at prices that make sense,” commented Chris, co-owner of Ticket Rocket and Hipwood Digital. “This means more reporting, [compatibility with] gate scanners, real time statistics, and enhanced security measures, just to name a few.”

    Just imagine a charity event or independent dance school production with ticket scanners at the front door and an overall smoother operation at registration. Ticket Rocket makes this happen.

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    Ticket Rocket has been blasting off recently with popular local events and sport teams.

    “Brewery and the Beast was our first single-day sell out client, and we are really excited for the Shamrocks and HarbourCats seasons to get started,” commented Noel.“The Fringe Festival is just around the corner and we are happy to be a major partner for that event. We have also just signed our first Oregon-based client, the Medford Rogues baseball team.

    With this kind of momentum, it’s not far off to say Ticket Rocket will become the preferred ticketing service in Victoria, and even in North America.


    Ticket Rocket has major expansion on the horizon. They hope to partner with other box offices that may be using different back end technology to power their systems, and they plan on continuing to stick-handle partnerships with hockey teams.

    “We are already in talks with many more teams and have the hockey season to start prepping for through the summer,” commented Chris. “Our goal is to be the dominant player in the second and third tier cities across North America, an area somewhat forgotten by the big boys.”

    If you have an upcoming event (big or small), contact Ticket Rocket by visiting online, in person or contacting Chris directly.
    Box Office: 1609 Blanshard Street, Victoria BC

  2. Hank’s Untraditional BBQ

    May 21, 2015 by Tessa Bousfield

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    What do you get when you mix opportunity with Montreal, Regina and a dog named Hank?

    Hank’s Untraditional BBQ.


    Hank’s started with disaster. Francois Pilon’s restaurant Driftwood in Ucluelet, BC burned down from an electrical fire the evening of Friday the 13th, April 2012.  At the same time, Clark Deutscher was wrapping up a another restaurant project.

    “We decided to come together with a shared vision both believing strongly in making food accessible to everyone, without pretension,” commented Clark, co-owner of Hank’s. “[We bring] the best ingredients and support the local farming community on Vancouver Island.  Ironically we now cook everything over fire…”

    After overwhelming success in Ucluelet after opening in March 15, 2013 in a little blue house on Imperial Lane, Hank’s opened up shop in Victoria on November 3, 2013.


    This little 14-seat restaurant on Douglas Street has a goal to bring the best possible local products to everyone at an affordable price range, while staying as far away from fine dining as they can. At Hank’s, every part of every dish hits the smoker. This is where the “untraditional” comes in.

    “We may not have baby back ribs in barbecue sauce, but at the same time, we DO have a custom-cut short loin rib with an IPA glaze or a pork belly rib with corn pancakes,”  commented Clark. “We try to be inspired from cuisines around the world as almost every nationality cooks something over fire. We make everything from scratch with fresh island products including ketchup, mayonnaise, biscuits and fermenting kimchi and sauerkraut. As well, we try to change our menu every couple months to keep fresh seasonal options for our regular customers!”

    Victoria is filled with different opportunities and inspiration, and Hank’s has a few businesses they choose to look up to and some they work with.

    Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub (first brew pub in Canada), Trigo Foods (bringing fresh local products to restaurants every day), Gian Linuzzi from Two Rivers Meats (providing Hank’s with Island meats and specialty cuts), Prima Strada (for all of the community events they take part in), and great little restaurants like Fish Hook, The Cozy Place and the Korean Sushi Market.


    Francois was born in Montreal and has cooked in some of the top restaurants on the West Coast. He has been cooking since he was in high school and has experience in many different types of food. Clark was born in Regina. He’s been competing in the BBQ competition scene for years and has been fortunate enough to have won a few awards in both Canada and the US. Hank is Clark’s dog, he was born in Winnipeg and he is a Cocker Spaniel crossed with a Pekingese. “He sleeps a lot nowadays.”

    Hank the dog enjoying some BBQ

    Hank the dog enjoying some BBQ


    Hank’s doesn’t advertise. Instead, they count on the lingering smells wafting through downtown, the reliable word of mouth and cooking up their best at local events.

    “Our favorite event of the year is Brewery and the Beast,” reflected Clark. “We had a great time and served many hundred our Puffed Pork Skins with Smoked Duck and Ale Pâté topped with house-cured Lamb Bacon and Maple Syrup. If you haven’t been, go. It’s a great event with wicked restaurants serving creative dishes and Phillips brews.”

    This year Hank’s will be participating in the upcoming Car Free Day in Victoria on June 21, Category 12’s tasting room event on May 30 and a pop-up event at the Drake Eatery on Father’s Day with Four Winds and Category 12 breweries.

    You can find Hank’s on Facebook, Twitter, at or, you can just follow the smell…

    Brewery and the Beast 2014

    Brewery and the Beast 2014


  3. Recyclone

    May 14, 2015 by Tessa Bousfield

    Thumbnail_RecycloneMoving day. The day you’ve been dreading all week and it’s finally nearing an end. You’ve emptied the house and you’ve packed everything into the moving truck. Well, almost everything. There’s still that old brown couch, TV and DVD player. You’ll probably just leave it all on the curb because you don’t have time to figure out where to recycle it all.

    Well, there’s an app for that! is a web-based app that helps citizens of the Capital Region District (CRD) to find information about recycling facilities in their vicinity and plan the shortest trip possible to drop off those items. The app provides a map and even an optimum driving route to optimize those trips. It’s in it’s early stages, so there are still some improvements being made, but there is no doubt this concept is something every CRD resident can get on board with.

    “People tend to collect a lot of junk they don’t need mostly because they don’t know where to take those recyclable items,” commented Dan Bonab, creator of the app. “During moving time, some people leave tons of items on the curbside mainly because they don’t know where to take them. This creates a messy image of the city.”


    Recyclone gives you four options:

    • Find me a recyclist
      This brings up a map of all the facilities in the area. When you click on one, you can view exactly which products that facility will accept.
    • Browse facilities
      This is an alphabetical list of every recycling facility in your area. When you click on one, it gives you the address and website.
    • Browse products
      This is an alphabetical list of the recyclable products listed on the app. If you don’t see your product on here, it most likely isn’t recyclable!
    • Recycle all
      This is by far the coolest feature. You can go through the list of recyclable products, highlight which ones you need to get rid of, and the app will generate a driving route with every facility you need to go to!



    “The whole idea of building Recyclone came out of a local meetup at Victoria GeoGeeks, when an attendee asked if anybody could print a map of recycling facilities around that specific neighbourhood,” commented Bonab. “He wanted to present the map to their condo Strata because some of the tenants kept leaving their junk in the parking lot. That sparked the idea of the app.”

    Dan Bonab works under his startup company, Adaplex Solutions Inc. On top of building Recyclone, he also hosts and maintains it. He started the web-based app by acquiring baseline data from the CRD. He remodelled and geocoded some of the data so it could be displayed on a map. For the geocoding service he went to DataBC who had just launched a Physical Address Geocoder service, which was in very early stages but still more accurate and more comprehensive than Google’s geocoding service.

    “Remodelling of the data was necessary mostly because chain store information is not available from the baseline data, and I needed to create some sort of hierarchy in the database to be able to support that,” commented Bonab. Bonab was able to add and correct data by visiting the websites of individual recycling facilities, inching that much closer towards a user friendly service.

    “The good news is that all the data we’ve curated is available to other developers with some nicely designed REST APIs (Representational State Transfer Application Program Interfaces). So, if anyone is interested in accessing that data and want to build their own cool apps, please contact us.”


    Bonab would like to keep the app as up-to-date as possible. He’s looking forward to a strong partnership with the CRD to facilitate access to public recycling data.

    “One of the features we have been asked to add is calculating the cost that recycling facilities may incur for their services and incorporating them into our optimum driving route algorithm. This way, the residents can get the best value for their gas money.”

    In addition to this feature, Recyclone also plans on adding a list of recycling facilities that do pick-ups so you don’t have to drive anywhere.


    Bonab has an Undergraduate Computer Science Degree and a Masters Degree in Complex Adaptive Systems from Chalmers University in Gothenburg, Sweden. He moved to Victoria in July, 2004 to pursue a tech career. With the help of the VIATEC Accelerator Program at Fort Tectoria, he has been provided with guidance and mentorship for his startup to launch an online marketplace platform for hosting and managing tournaments, called We’ll have to discuss Tournamatic in an entirely separate B-Side post!

    The Victoria technology community is a vibrant community and in addition to events happening around the city on any given day, there’s no limit on the amount of qualified mentors to help startups.

    “I’d like to thank my mentors who have contributed to my success and have been inspirational. Greg Britton, now a director at BC Pension Corp., Robert Bennett and Erin Athene from the VIATEC Accelerator Program, Steven Myhill Jones and David Stevenson from Latitude Geographics, Adrian Pereira from ParetoLogic, Alan Heather from Trilennium and Mike Tan, Founder of TeamPages.”

    Adaplex Solutions is on a mission to promote the sharing economy by creating products like and and we are looking forward to seeing them flourish.

    Adaplex Solutions Inc. is currently located in Fort Tectoria at 777 Fort Street. If you’d like to submit any feedback you’re encouraged to contact


  4. Artavi Skateboard Collective

    May 7, 2015 by Tessa Bousfield

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    You may have heard of the Artavi Skateboard Collective when they rolled onto Blanshard Street last winter. They sell skate goods from legendary truck companies to top-quality and locally-pressed decks. They aren’t just a skateshop, however, and they’re quickly defining their own mold within our little city.


    In the last few years especially, there has been a positive message circulating amongst Victoria residents in restaurants, supermarkets, retail stores and more. That message is “Support Local”. Artavi’s main focus is featuring everything local, from Canadian skate companies, including the Made-in-Canada Artavi Skateboard line, to alternative artwork from both established and emerging artists on Vancouver Island.

    “Artavi was an idea sparked from the grassroots of skateboarding, art, and creativity at a community level,” commented Zac Fair, founder and owner. “Born as a skateboard company and clothing line entirely made in Canada, the collective came about with the mission to provide an avenue for local creativity to prosper. Artavi roughly translates to ‘art taking flight’, and by bringing in local, skater-owned brands, alongside featuring local artists for three week long exhibitions, we stay true to our roots.”


    Walking into the shop you’ll see colourful paintings by Adam Lloyd Cook and Natalia de Costa and landscape photography captured by Zac. These three artists are featured regularly and their pieces can be purchased on

    Artavi has been host to five art shows since their Grand Opening last November, and the 6th show opens tomorrow night at 7pm. “Woolen Armor” features nature pieces from local artist Alexa Gibbs and it will be on display until May 29th.

    Inside Artavi on Blanshard Street

    Inside Artavi on Blanshard Street


    In addition to the skating and art scene, Artavi is working towards being THE location to pick up band merchandise. You can already purchase merch from bands like Brazen Bull, Couch Thieves, Downtown Mischief, Five Alarm Funk and Spaceboots at Artavi. If you can’t attend a show or you want to buy one more fan piece, you can do so on your own schedule (or during Artavi’s store hours).

    100% AWESOME

    Artavi also has a cafe where they serve freshly roasted 2% Jazz coffee. There’s a great hang out area inside, or an outdoor patio for the sunnier of days.

    Sip some local coffee, listen to local music and purchase from local artists and manufacturers. You can’t get more “island life” than that.

    Artavi proudly serves 2% Jazz coffee

    Artavi proudly serves 2% Jazz coffee


    There definitely isn’t a lack of inspiration when walking the streets of Victoria, and Zac has a few that he looks to.

    “There are some really great brands born on Vancouver Island that I feel really reflect the community here, such as Sitka and Instrumental Skateboards. These companies help build a model to what kind of direction to take with Artavi. Besides companies, the thriving music scene is a true inspiration. Every performer that fills the sound of the streets or cafes with great tunes helps to create the good vibes we love in this city!”


    Over the next five years, Zac and his skateboarding pro team hope to benefit as many people as possible by providing a huge selection of top quality skateboard gear, and continuing to support as many ‘home-grown’ brands as possible.

    “After spending last summer touring throughout BC throwing events, vending at festivals, and other promotional events, the plan is to continue with the wholesale distribution of Artavi, and spread the Made-in-Canada option to more people,” commented Zac. “Right now, plans are in the works to form a large online catalogue of products from various Canadian companies. [This] can, in-turn, lead to wholesale distribution partnerships that make it easier for other shops to support local brands by consolidating shipping.”

    With a non-corporate approach, Artavi relies on word-of-mouth in the skateboard and art communities to spread their message.

    “With an amazing amount of support from the skateboard community, it is truly fortunate to be able to remain as a grassroots collective.”


    Artavi is located at 1815 Blanshard Street between North Park St. and Caledonia on the bottom floor of the ‘Capitol Building’ (Red brick office building by the Save On Foods Memorial Centre). Parking is available right in front.

    Shop in store, order by phone or online. Whatever you do, do it with “local” in mind!

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