The VIATEC Foundation is in a giving mood three weeks before Christmas.
During the high-tech sector’s annual Christmas bash, the group announced $130,000 in donations to five local endeavours.
The Victoria Innovation, Advanced Technology & Entrepreneurship Council’s members raised $70,000 for the Mustard Seed Street Church and Food Bank. It was the 17th consecutive year that the sector has run a fundraising competition between its member businesses to raise the money.
This year, 35 tech firms took part and raised $63,406 in cash and nearly 3,300 pounds of food for the Mustard Seed, a 40 per cent increase from last year’s total.
“It is our honour to continue to play a role in encouraging our generous members by creating opportunities of community giving,” said VIATEC chief executive Dan Gunn.
Since its first year in 2002, more than $2.32 million worth of food and cash has been donated to the Mustard Seed through companies participating in the VIATEC Foundation Food Bank Challenge.
This year’s top fundraiser was Starfish Medical, while Waterworth was named top per-employee contributor.
The VIATEC Foundation also announced $60,000 in funding commitments for four new projects.
The Independent Media Producers Network Society will receive $16,000 — $10,000 from the VIATEC Foundation and $6,000 from the Victoria Foundation and other contributors — for a film-making camp for Indigenous youth.
The Greater Victoria Public Library will receive $15,000 — $10,000 from the VIATEC Foundation and $5,000 from the Victoria Foundation — to support a digital media lab to house equipment to convert photographs, slides, audio cassette tapes and VHS tapes into a digital format.
Junior Achievement will receive $15,000 — $10,000 from the VIATEC Foundation and $5,000 from the Victoria Foundation — to offer a program for 350 Grade 9 and 10 students that will allow them to explore technology-related careers.
The Gender Equity Fund will receive $30,000 from the VIATEC Foundation to support gender-equity initiatives in the region.