On the Street: Bay Centre exterior getting major upgrade

The exterior of the downtown Bay Centre is getting a $750,000 upgrade this fall. Improvements are expected to begin next week and take about two months, depending on weather, general manager Darlene Hollstein said Thursday. Roof repair, new paint and fixing mortar joints are among renovations to be carried out by Heatherbrae Builders on the 24-year-old building, she said. The job is part of approximately $1.3 million being spent this year on the centre. Other improvements include sprucing up the washrooms, adding an electric-car charging station in the parkade and installing new exterior signs. The centre court will get new tiles from Italy and new soft seats by Christmas time, she said.

Also in the centre, Urban Planet moved a week ago into a 13,000- square-foot space on the third level. Ardene is taking over the vacated space and will be open by Christmas. Rogers is relocating to a larger space on the second level from the first. Out of Bounds Sports is also coming to the centre, which will be fully occupied by the holiday season.

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Seafirst buys insurance firm

Seafirst Insurance Brokers has completed its acquisition of Bob Lane Insurance Services in Colwood. Seafirst, a Brentwood Bay-based company, now has seven locations across the capital region, including Pender and Saltspring Islands. Bob Lane has retired. He opened the business 13 years ago and had worked as a broker throughout his career. Shawn Fehr will manage the office at 115-2244 Sooke Rd., and Scott Mennie has been hired as an insurance broker. Both are well known on the West Shore. Call 250-478-9110.

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Two new hires at Victoria Conservatory of Music

The Victoria Conservatory of Music has hired Cynthia Funnell as director of marketing and communications and Robert Holliston as head of its keyboard department. Funnell previously worked as an independent marketing consultant and held senior marketing and communications positions with Hewlett-Packard, Knight Ridder, Paramount Pictures/Viacom and Apple. Holliston is a respected pianist and musical educator who has worked in several countries. Since joining the conservatory in 1988, he has inspired thousands of students and musicians while also serving as choral master for Pacific Opera Victoria as well as music director, lecturer and resource for the University of Victoria.

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