Greater Victoria Harbour Authority releases 2020-21 Annual Report and Financial Statements
Sept. 29, 2021, Victoria, BC, Canada – At its Annual General Meeting, the not-for-profit Greater Victoria Harbour Authority (GVHA) announced that it concluded the 2020-21 fiscal year with a loss of $1.1 million, based on operating revenues of $7.1 million and expenses of $8.2 million.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic closing all international and Canadian ports to cruise, marine and land borders closing to transborder visitors, and public health measures ensuring the health and safety of Victorians as a primary focus for the province, the organization adapted as best as possible to its negative financial position.
“Our organization had to make difficult decisions around layoffs and cuts to capital and infrastructure spending, while acknowledging that we are a 24/7 operation which supports customers that operate their business or live full-time at one of our facilities,” said Christine Willow, Chair of the Board of Directors for the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority. “While the COVID-19 pandemic has spanned over two fiscal years, we continue to plan for the future with a goal to return to reinvesting in our facilities and community amenities as revenues return and finances stabilize.”
GVHA saw a precipitous drop in revenues between April 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021. More than 70% of annual revenues for GVHA come from cruise tariffs and sustainability fees, with the remaining majority of the 30% of revenues derived from tourism-related activities. The loss was forecasted early in the fiscal year to allow for austerity measures to take effect across all areas of the organization.
While the impact of COVID-19 was not limited to the organization, GVHA did extend support to its commercial customers through rent deferral and through the voluntary enrollment in the Canadian Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program. The much-needed CECRA funding reduced customer rent payments by 75% over the five-month period, with GVHA contributing more than $245,000 to support commercial customers and this program.
“This past fiscal year was a challenge for everyone, but I am confident that our spirit of collaboration and focus on supporting one another allowed our organization to remain resilient against this pandemic,” said Ian Robertson, CEO of the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority. “I look forward to continuing to work with our community, stakeholders, and partners as we begin to build back better in the years ahead.”
Despite financial challenges, some projects and community impact initiatives did continue throughout 2020-21 including hosting community events like the Times Colonist Book Drive at the Breakwater District at Ogden Point. In addition, GVHA lent its support to local charities such as the CFAX Santa’s Anonymous by providing space in the warehouse at Pier A. A commitment to First Nations relationships did not wane as the organization committed more than $85,000 toward First Nations initiatives through their First Nations Revenue Contribution Fund.
The 2020 Annual Report may be found here.
About the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority
The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority is a community-based, not-for-profit organization that is committed to the stewardship and sustainable growth of Victoria’s dynamic working harbour. The organization is governed by a 13-member Board of Directors, represented by four independent community members and eight Member Agencies: Esquimalt Nation, Songhees Nation, Capital Regional District, City of Victoria, Township of Esquimalt, The Chamber, Victoria Esquimalt Harbour Society, and Destination Greater Victoria.
The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority owns and operates several high-profile community amenities including the Ogden Point Breakwater, Inner Harbour lower causeway, Ship Point, and customs dock at Raymur Point. Within its commercial and marine industrial holdings are The Breakwater District at Ogden Point, Fisherman’s Wharf, four Inner Harbour marinas, and the historic Steamship Terminal. The organization manages the Victoria Cruise Terminal at The Breakwater District, which contributes more than $143 million annually to the Greater Victoria economy and is responsible for more than 800 direct and indirect jobs.
In 2021, the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority was certified as a Canadian Council of Aboriginal Business’ Progressive Aboriginal Relations Silver Member, a reflection of its ongoing commitment to a guiding principle of First Nations Relationships.