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Malahat Nation CAO honoured with major Chamber of Commerce award

Josh Handysides’ work integral to success of Malahat SkyWalk, other projects within nation
Josh Handysides, chief administrative officer of the Malahat Nation, was honoured by the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce for his efforts to help get the Malahat SkyWalk built and promote other south Island initiatives. (Courtesy of Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce)

For his instrumental partnership-building related to construction of the Malahat SkyWalk, Malahat Nation chief administrative officer Josh Handysides has been given the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce’s Governor’s Award of Distinction.

The award, given to “a business person who has contributed to Greater Victoria through leadership and vision a sustained commitment to a prosperous community,” was offered to the First Nation CAO for his work in “building diverse partnerships” between the private and public sectors and the Malahat Nation, the chamber stated in a release.

READ ALSO: New barriers prevent left turns on Malahat near new SkyWalk

“Josh has been the steady hand behind a number of projects that have been game-changers for our region,” said John Wilson, chair of the chamber’s board of directors. “The Malahat SkyWalk has been a boon for tourism, generating positive publicity on social media as a destination for visitors to Vancouver Island.”

Among Handysides’ listed accomplishments during his time as Malahat CAO are putting forward plans for a world-class film studio within the Nation, and promoting a better marketing strategy for the Spirit Loop tourism circuit (touching on Victoria, Malahat Nation, Port Renfrew and Sooke). He’s also advocated for improved health services and skills training within the Malahat Nation.

READ ALSO: Huge film studio development proposed for Malahat Nation lands

“I’m humbled by this recognition and grateful for the help and support of the Malahat Nation,” Handysides said. “The energy and creativity of Indigenous entrepreneurs is a powerful force for our economy and we look forward to continuing to build bridges and showcase initiatives that connect Malahat Nation to its land and traditions.”

The Governors’ Award of Distinction is a more inclusive and contemporary reimagining of the Lifetime Achievement Award, the chamber stated in the release. Winners are determined by an independent judges panel of prominent business leaders. The Chamber’s 2022 Business Awards are scheduled to be hosted at the Fairmont Empress Hotel on May 7.

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