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FALL 2011



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FIRED UP FARE From its hardwood charcoal grill, Toronto’s The Bowery offers meaty delights along with punchbowled drinks and a chilled-out NYC vibe. [ PAGE 16 ] How an upstart Montreal toy company became one of the world’s largest suppliers of creative craft products for girls

[ PAGE 18 ] Paganelli’s: 14-year-old Italian eatery in Toronto is renamed and rebranded to honour its award-winning chef


• Retailer Patagonia asks us NOT to buy • Rusteak: Asian Chic furnishings • Allied Properties’ westward expansion


Patagonia’s King West store an environmental It’s been a year since Patagonia on King Street West opened its doors. Here is a list of the environmental organizations it has hosted, helped or otherwise supported: • Lake Ontario Waterkeeper • PERL (Protecting Escarpment Rural Lands) • Friends of the Rouge River Watershed • Community Bicycle Network • LEAF (Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests) • TEA (Toronto Environmental Alliance) • Stop the Mega Quarry • The David Suzuki Foundation • The PINE (Primitive Integrated Naturalist Education) Project • Stop the Escarpment Highway • The Evergreen Brickworks • Bikes Without Borders • TREC (Toronto Renewable Energy Cooperative) • Friends of Trinity Belwoods • The Blue W • Earth Rangers

KING WEST CENTRAL, TORONTO / – The staff at Patagonia’s first corporate store in Canada is no doubt pleased to see the number of Torontonians sporting the brand’s iconic mountain range logo. But don’t buy its outdoor technical clothing unless you need it, insists its Ventura, California headquarters, intent on promoting responsible consumerism. “We need to focus on how we manage consumption first,” says Andrea Reekes, a former B.C. guide who now heads the 3,000-square-foot store on King Street West. Open since last December, it regularly hosts environmental groups, facilitates grants, and promotes sustainable practices, among which is the notion that, ‘if you don’t need our stuff, don’t buy it.’ In September, the company announced the launch of a Patagonia-specific online marketplace powered by eBay that would allow gently used gear and vintage fleece jackets to find new owners. Accessible from its online store, the marketplace is meant to turn prospective new gear buyers into re-users. A cynic may see it as a marketing gimmick, but the company has been deeply committed to grassroots environmental movements long before green business • 2

practices became commonplace. In many ways, Patagonia is the embodiment of founder Yvon Chouinard’s philosophy of living modestly while having the gear you need to spend as much time outdoors as possible. By its own account, Patagonia estimates the hardcore outdoor enthusiast for whom it develops its technical clothing is likely only a small percentage of its actual customer base. But the rest of its fans are glad to benefit from the high standards this dictates. As such, Patagonia uses its retail channel as a way to deliver environmental messages, and has been doing so virtually since its start as a climbing piton manufacturer, in late 1950’s. Featuring environmental campaigns in its advertising and catalogues, Patagonia also commits one percent of its total sales or 10% of its pre-tax profits, whichever is more, to environmental activism. Since 1985, when the program One Percent for the Planet was first launched, Patagonia has donated over $43 million to over 1,000 organizations, mostly to grassroots causes. “A grant of $1,000 or $2,000 can make a big difference


action centre

By Yvan Marston

to small groups,” says Reekes, explaining that the Patagonia approach to environmentalism is to fund small local initiatives that are less likely than national organizations to put grant money towards infrastructure. That’s not to say it doesn’t support larger organizations. In fact, when it opened in December of 2010, the store was allotted a few thousand dollars to grant to a local group. Its staff chose to donate to the Toronto office of the David Suzuki Foundation (coincidentally another Allied Properties REIT tenant). Every year, staff and customers are asked to rank three environmental initiatives (short-listed by staff ) for first, second and third-place grants varying from $1,000 to $2,500. Last year Lake Ontario Waterkeeper, the PINE (Primitive Integrated Naturalist Education) Project and the Evergreen Brickworks all received funds from the Patagonia Toronto grant program. But facilitating grants is just part of the work done here. It’s mostly about facilitating discussions and awareness programs, explains Reekes. “We have hosted an event almost every month since we opened. And on a smaller scale we invite groups to set up an information table in our lounge area,” says Reekes. Acting as a blueprint for sustainable retail, Patagonia’s model hopes to lead by example and change by doing. n

Patagonia à Toronto : un centre d’action environnementale Ouvert depuis décembre dernier, le premier magasin Patagonia au Canada est enchanté de voir le nombre de Torontois arborer le logo mythique de la marque. « Mais n’achetez pas nos vêtements de plein air de haute technologie si vous n’en avez pas besoin », insiste le siège de la marque, situé à Ventura en Californie, dont l’intention est de promouvoir une consommation responsable. « Nous devons gérer le phénomène de la consommation », explique Andrea Reekes, ancienne guide en ColombieBritannique qui dirige maintenant les 3000 pieds carrés du magasin de la rue King Ouest. Ce magasin accueille régulièrement des groupes d’action environnementale, participe à l’octroi de subventions et fait la promotion de pratiques durables, parmi lesquelles l’idée de base : si vous n’avez pas besoin de nos produits, ne les achetez pas. En septembre, la société a annoncé le lancement d’un marché Patagonia en ligne en collaboration avec eBay qui permet au matériel et aux laines polaires d’occasion et en bon état de trouver un nouveau propriétaire. Accessible à partir de sa boutique en ligne, ce marché est destiné à faire de potentiels acheteurs d’articles neufs des acheteurs d’articles d’occasion.

Photo: Dawn Kish

Les cyniques pourront y voir une stratégie de marketing, mais Patagonia est profondément engagée auprès des mouvements écologistes depuis des années, et ce bien avant que les pratiques écologiques ne deviennent monnaie courante dans les entreprises. Les campagnes pour la protection de l’environnement qu’elle intègre dans ses publicités et ses catalogues ne sont pas ses seules actions. Patagonie reverse aussi 1 % de son chiffre d’affaires ou 10% de son bénéfice avant impôt (le plus important des deux) à des groupes œuvrant pour des causes environnementales. Depuis que le programme One Percent for the Planet a été lancé en 1985, Patagonia a fait don de plus de 43 millions de dollars à quelque 1 000 associations, principalement à des mouvements locaux. Patagonia started as a climbing piton manufacturer in the late 1950’s and has used retail channels to deliver environmental messages virtually since then.

« Nous avons organisé un événement presque tous les mois depuis l’ouverture. Par ailleurs, à plus petite échelle, nous invitons des groupes à installer une table d’information dans notre réception », indique Andrea Reekes. n 3 • FALL 2011


TRANSPORT ARCHITECTS 60-year-old customs brokerage and transport firm breathes new life into top floor of historic Montreal property. By Yvan Marston where we would work as a single unit to capture all aspects of our clients’ business,” continues Goldman. But the former offices, with staff spread out over three and a half floors as it was, proved a hindrance to this vision. “It was hard to talk about being an integrated logistics team when people couldn’t even see each other,” he says. Now, with everyone on one floor, work flows more efficiently and employees work more collaboratively. The open space organizes Milgram’s groups by function, and teams are strategically located to improve communication and workflow.

Milgram CEO Jay Goldman wanted office space that would promote service integration.

CITE MULTIMEDIA, MONTREAL / – For Jay Goldman, there is no straight line from point A to point B. The president and CEO of Milgram, a 60-year-old Montrealbased firm focused on customs brokerage, international freight forwarding and truck transportation says the biggest change he’s seen in his industry is how quickly things change. Whether it’s a raging typhoon in Malaysia, a crumbling dictatorship in North Africa, changes in currency valuations or plummeting housing prices in the U.S., it all affects the way the millions of tons of cargo move around the world every day. And change has come upon his firm as well, as the office of 250 employees settles into its new headquarters. Perched on the top floor of 645 Wellington in Montreal’s Cite Multimedia, Milgram’s team performs the complex interrelated functions of arranging and tracking transportation as well as managing the necessary cross-border paperwork – all within sight of McGill Street’s federal customs building and steps from the office it occupied for 60 years.

BRIGHT EXPANSE “We have been expanding rapidly for some years and we set a goal of getting everybody working more closely together,” says Goldman from the bright expanse of the new space. Behind him, the rich palette proffered by the sandblasted brick walls and eight-by-eight fir beams is set off by the glowing white of the workstations and the fire-engine red doors and accents. Light from eight-foot-high factory-style windows and strategically placed skylights fills the space. “We had defined our vision for the company as one

ENGAGING EMPLOYEES Milgram represents a wide range of importers, everything from major retailers and pharma to small ‘mom and pop’ operations. In a business where the many factors that drive pricing are beyond its control, Milgram is establishing its reputation for service and value. And it is ensuring that quality by engaging its employees with the space it has built. A closer look at the beams set throughout the angular space shows a custom steel bracket affixing strengthening spans to the already beefy joists holding the painted wood ceiling. “That’s for the roof deck,” explains Goldman. Set six feet above the roof level to provide views unobstructed by the rooftop mechanical structures, the deck is a 58-by-34-foot area laden with patio furniture and built to hold 150 people. It was something of a secret with which the company surprised its employees. CENTRAL LOCATION In a relationship-focused business such as Milgram’s, it is important to acknowledge the key value of staff. As Goldman walks enthusiastically through the split level space, nodding friendly greetings to colleagues as he goes, he points out amenities like the employee bistro, where a skylight brightens the fully equipped kitchen and where a swipe card-accessible market allows employees to buy fresh sandwiches and snacks. Maintaining a central location and adding a rooftop deck were some employee-focused values of the move. But there were other benefits. The move also gave Milgram the opportunity to upgrade its IT infrastructure (including the addition of an emergency generator), and build a brightly lit onsite physical storage unit holding three of the seven years of paperwork a logistics company is required to keep. From a chance tour of a neglected class ‘I’ building a year ago last September, Milgram has found a space befitting its vision. Not far from where it all started, and in line with where it wants to be. n • 4


“It was hard to talk about being an integrated logistics team when people couldn’t even see each other”

The second floor filing room was reinforced with steel beams to hold the weight of just three of the seven years worth of transport records Milgram is required to store.

Des architectes du transport Pour Jay Goldman, il n’y a pas de ligne droite pour aller du point A au point B. Président et chef de la direction de Milgram, société établie à Montréal il y a 60 ans et spécialisée dans le courtage en douane, le fret international et le transport par camion, il explique que le plus grand changement qu’il ait connu dans son secteur, c’est le rythme auquel se produit le changement. Un typhon en Malaisie, une dictature renversée en Afrique du Nord, le yoyo du cours des devises ou l’effondrement des prix de l’immobilier aux États-Unis sont autant de bouleversements qui ont des conséquences sur les millions de tonnes de fret qui parcourent le monde chaque jour. Mais le changement est aussi à l’ordre du jour chez Milgram ces temps-ci, alors que les 250 employés de son équipe s’installent dans leurs nouveaux bureaux. Perchée au dernier étage du 645 Wellington au sein de la Cité Multimédia de Montréal, l’équipe de Milgram accomplit les fonctions complexes et interdépendantes que sont l’organisation et le suivi du transport et la gestion des documents nécessaires pour le passage des frontières, tout ceci à proximité de l’immeuble des douanes fédérales de la rue McGill et du bureau que Milgram a occupé pendant 60 années. « Nous avons connu une croissance rapide pendant plusieurs années et nous nous sommes maintenant fixé comme objectif de renforcer la collaboration entre nos équipes », affirme Jay Goldman pour expliquer le choix de ce nouvel espace. Maintenant que toutes les équipes sont au même étage, le travail se fait de manière plus efficace et en collaboration plus étroite. Dans ce grand bureau paysager, les groupes sont organisés par fonctions et les équipes ont été placées de manière stratégique dans le but d’améliorer l’efficacité des opérations et la communication. Milgram compte parmi ses clients une vaste gamme d’importateurs, qu’il s’agisse de grands détaillants, de multinationales pharmaceutiques ou encore de petites entreprises familiales. n

5 • FALL 2011

Rusteak’s solid wood, reproduction furniture is made with reclaimed or salvaged woods from old railroad ties, telephone poles and even demolished buildings.


OLD meets NEW Where worn wood panels hang elegantly above ultra modern sofas, Rusteak’s furniture combines reclaimed wood with contemporary design. BATHURST STREET, TORONTO / – Making an impact in the furniture business demands floor space. That’s what convinced Rusteak’s owners to expand the Asian antique and reproduction furniture business by moving much of it into 183 Bathurst Street. The new space – encompassing the whole lower level of the building – creates an atmosphere that demonstrates the adaptability of the store’s inventory. While specializing in Asian furniture, the store also features modern sofas and chairs upholstered in Canadian Steven & Chris designs. “I want people to see that they can buy a really cool rustic coffee table, and it will go perfectly with any modern sofa design,” says Warren Cann. A co-owner in the business with his mother Heather, Cann sources the furniture on bi-yearly buying trips to China, Indonesia and India. “I am mainly drawn to reclaimed materials,” he says. “I’ll find old architectural fragments, old wood or farming implements, and have them made into new, functional pieces.” The shop demonstrates this eclectic source material, while also coalescing in a cohesive style where worn wooden panels hang elegantly above an ultra-modern sofa, next to an antique cupboard with an aged, patina finish. Cann understands his strengths – unique product at a reasonable price. Although he has competitors in the city that deal in similar designs, that competition is shrinking by the day. Mostly because there is less supply overseas, notes Cann. “But also, the prices are getting out of control. We’re talking 30% increases in a year. In this industry, you have to be really creative and move a lot of inventory.” Part of the excitement of the job for Cann is the thrill of the customer interaction. He got his start in the furniture business as a teenager, working for one of his current competitors. He realized then that he enjoys finding the right fit for the client and the thrill of coming up with new design concepts that will excite his customers. There are certain designs, of course, that he finds never go out of style. • 6

“Dining tables made of reclaimed wood are always going to be something that fascinates people,” says Cann, adding that he may custom build such tables in Canada soon. “As my costs increase overseas, I’ll likely try to do more of this here.” Another trend in reclaimed wood construction is the more industrial-type design that mixes reclaimed wood with iron, or iron accents presented alone. And, of course, those unique pieces of furniture you can’t find anywhere else will always be the main draw for this growing business. One other trend that Cann keeps focused on is the environmental impact of his purchasing. All of the pieces in the showroom floor are made from reclaimed wood, not illegally harvested teak. “I have been eco-conscious all my life, so if I can buy something that is recycled instead of from a plantation, I’ll do so. It just makes sense to re-use what we can.” The only big concern for Cann right now is getting enough product on his showroom floor to demonstrate the breadth of his vision. If you’ve been in recently, expect to see more new items on display soon. n

Top 3 reasons to buy furniture made from reclaimed wood: 1. You can save a forest. Having shopped in the Indonesian furniture markets, Warren Cann says using reclaimed wood and reviving older pieces saves forests, leading to a healthier global landscape. 2. When it’s built right, it lasts. Much of this wood has stood the test of time, and with the right treatment, it will last for years to come. 3. Every piece of furniture tells a story. Cann has personally been involved in the acquisition of every piece on his showroom floor, and each has its own story. It’s more than just furniture.


Located across the street from the second phase of Calgary’s Bow Tower, Art Central (100 – 7th Avenue S.W.) is a restored heritage property built in 1929 and originally known as the Jubilee Block.

The Lougheed Building at the corner of 6th Avenue SW and 1st Street SW in the downtown core has been an important part of Calgary’s business and political landscape for most of the last century.

On the Stephen Avenue Mall, adjacent to the Bang & Olufsen Building Allied acquired earlier this year, the Alberta Hotel Building (804 – 1st Street S.W.) was built in 1889 and 1901, and extensively restored and renovated in 1972 and 1997.



GOING WEST Allied Properties REIT holdings expand from Calgary to Edmonton, Vancouver and Victoria This Yaletown building at 840 Cambie Street, near the intersection with Robson Street, was the first Vancouver building in Allied’s portfolio. Tenants here include Microsoft and Ubisoft (the latter holds space in Allied’s Montréal and Québec City portfolios).


Built in 1863 and extensively restored and renovated in the 1990s, 8-10 Bastion Square, also known as the MacDonald Block, is set in Victoria’s historic quarter off Wharf Street.


Last year’s acquisition of the Lougheed building in Calgary and 840 Cambie in Vancouver marked the start of Allied Properties REIT’s decisive move into markets west of Winnipeg. In the spring of this year, Allied president and CEO Michael Emory announced acquisitions in Calgary, Vancouver and Victoria and in the summer press releases signaled closings on six Calgary properties and another two in Edmonton. By the fall, a regional office was set up in Calgary’s Lougheed Business Centre to manage the growth in these markets, with a more permanent office and staff expansion in the works. In owning and managing the properties it has acquired in Calgary, Allied has essentially become a part of a downtown revitalization effort that has come about over the last 20 years and continues today, says Alec McColm, Allied’s Western Director. “Buildings like Art Central and Fashion Central have been a part of the revitalization and we’ll be working with downtown associations and continuing to co-promote events and merchant activities,” he says. Indeed, the trend of people wanting to enjoy downtown places or live close to downtown, is helping to drive a continued interest in businesses wanting to operate in or close to the core. In Victoria, the office and retail tenant mix of 8-10 Bastion Square on the East side of Wharf Street connects to a vibrant historical district that is a part of the city’s fabric. And in Vancouver, the Allied properties in Gastown, Crosstown and Yaletown are not only historic in character, but have made similar transformations from maintained heritage buildings to sought-after brick and beam space. Allied Properties REIT buildings all draw on three key strengths: being close to the core, offering quality architectural and design environments, as well as being essentially less expensive to lease than space in a conventional tower or major mall. By expanding its national portfolio, it can offer national tenants seeking space in western markets the character space they know, under the same capable management they expect. n The Revillon Boardwalk Building (10310 - 102nd Avenue and 10230 - 104th Street) was built in the early 1900s and is located at the western edge of the financial core, across the street from another Allied property, the Metals Limited Building.


9 • FALL 2011

UN AMOUR DE PETIT GÂTEAU Une pâtisserie montréalaise se construit une cuisine industrielle pour répondre à la demande croissante.

Montreal cupcake maker builds industrial kitchen to meet rising demand for its little cakes. • 10


Le gâteau dans toute sa coquetterie AVE. DU PARC, MONTRÉAL / – Il y a quelque temps déjà que Christine Mitton a franchi la barre des 100 000 cupcakes. En effet, elle estime aujourd’hui que son équipe a préparé plus de 1,5 million de ces petits gâteaux frais depuis l’ouverture, il y a quatre ans, de Petits Gâteaux, sa pâtisserie de l’avenue Mont-Royal. Pour pouvoir répondre à la demande de ses délicieuses gourmandises, qui vont du classique cupcake au chocolat ou à la vanille à ceux plus innovants au fromage de chèvre et aux bleuets ou au thé et aux canneberges, la petite boutique avait besoin d’une plus grande cuisine. Donc c’est au 6300 avenue du Parc que l’équipe s’installera prochainement. Bénéficiant d’une grande salle spacieuse au rez-de-chaussée et d’un accès à plusieurs plateformes de chargement, c’est le lieu idéal pour la petite pâtisserie, d’autant plus qu’il est bien situé, au centre-ville avec accès facile en transports en commun. « Il aurait été plus facile de s’installer dans un parc industriel, mais nos employés vivent à Montréal et la plupart d’entre eux se rendent ici à vélo ou par les transports publics », explique Christine Mitton, en ajoutant que d’être au cœur de la ville lui permet aussi d’avoir accès aux talents culinaires de l ’Institut de tourisme et d’hôtellerie du Québec et d’autres écoles. L’équipe de Christine Mitton, qui compte aujourd’hui 20 employés, devrait s’élargir encore en 2012, une fois que la cuisine des nouveaux locaux sera opérationnelle. La majeure partie de la croissance, qui a conduit au déménagement, vient du large réseau de distribution dont Petits Gâteaux bénéficie. Actuellement, 40 points de vente comptent sur leur livraison quotidienne de ces délicieux petits gâteaux et le service de restauration, très sollicité, est passé des mariages (certains nécessitant plus de 800 cupcakes) aux événements d’entreprise. Cet automne, lors du lancement du comité officiel chargé des célébrations de 2017, la ville a servi des cupcakes aux couleurs de l’événement. Pour tous les jours, Petits Gâteaux offre, en plein cœur du Plateau, une sélection d’une douzaine de petits gâteaux savoureux en format mini ou régulier et frais du jour. n

L’histoire du cupcake Le petit gâteau est d’origine anglo-saxonne et doit son nom « cupcake » aux tasses à mesurer qui ont permis de mesurer les ingrédients en termes de tasse plutôt qu’au poids. Mais ce n’est pas tout, ces contenants (les tasses à thé par exemple) ont servi de moule à cuisson à une époque où cela prenait un temps fou pour faire cuire un gros gâteau. Ici au Québec, le cupcake a fait son apparition dans les cuisines au cours des années 50. Les cupcakes faisaient partie des habitudes et des plaisirs des Nord-Américains mais tranquillement, ils ont été abandonnés au profit des produits achetés de toutes sortes mais jamais aussi bons. En 2003, ils renaissent à New York grâce à la fameuse pâtisserie Magnolia dans le West Village et à l’émission télévisée Sex and the City.

Les cupcakes se conservent à la température de la pièce dans un contenant hermétique (plat ou sac en plastique). Ils restent ainsi moelleux et savoureux pendant trois jours.

The little cakes that could It was some time ago that Christine Mitton passed the 100,000 cupcake mark. Indeed, she now estimates her team has made more than 1.5 million of the fresh tasty treats since she opened her Mont Royal bakery Petits Gâteaux four years ago. To meet the growing demand for her desserts, which range from classic chocolate or vanilla to more innovative goat’s cheese and blueberry or tea and cranberry, the little shop needed a bigger kitchen. Enter 6300 Avenue du Parc. With a large ground floor space and access to loading docks, it was a good fit, but it was its downtown location with easy access by public transit made it ideal. “It would have been easier to go to an industrial park somewhere, but our employees live in Montreal and most of them bike or take public transit,” says Mitton, adding that being in the core also gives her access to the culinary talent from l’Institut de tourisme et d’hôtellerie du Québec and other schools. Now numbered at 20, Mitton’s team is expected to grow again once the kitchen at 6300 Avenue du Parc is operational in the new year. Much of the demand driving this move comes from Petits Gâteaux’s large distribution network. Currently, 40 resellers count on daily deliveries of the cheerful little cakes and a busy catering department has moved from doing weddings (some needing as many as 800 cupcakes) to corporate events. In fact, this fall, the city served branded cupcakes when it launched the official committee for the 2017 celebrations. For everyday, Petits Gateaux’s Mont Royal store offers a selection of a dozen different types, available in regular and mini, and made fresh daily. n

11 • AUTOMNE 2011


PÔLE D’ATTRACTION Avec sa structure innovatrice, Attraction Média rassemble sept entreprises complémentaires et autonomes sous un même toit. Cavalerie, elle s’occupe de près de la moitié de la publicité télévisuelle produite au Québec. Réunies ensemble, ces entités constituent un des plus grand groupe de production de la province.

AVENUE DE GASPÉ, MONTRÉAL / – Créer une synergie lorsqu’on regroupe deux sociétés est déjà difficile, mais quand on rassemble neuf marques sous un même toit, il vaut mieux savoir ce que l’on fait. Heureusement, Richard Speer a les compétences pour et le résultat, c’est Attraction Média, un groupe composé d’une marque de commerce et de huit sociétés œuvrant dans le divertissement et qui totalisent ensemble plus de 25 ans d’expérience. Installé depuis un peu plus d’un an au 8e et dans une partie du 9e étage du 5455 avenue de Gaspé, le siège social d’Attraction Média est en fait une série d’espaces de bureaux réunissant sept sociétés (la huitième est installée dans d’autres bureaux) et ayant chacune une fonction spécifique et une couleur qui lui est propre, ce qui permet à chaque entreprise d’avoir son identité et de bénéficier d’un certain niveau d’autonomie pour réaliser ce qu’elle sait le mieux faire, principalement produire et créer.

À L’ÉCHELLE MONDIALE Cirrus Communications, la première à arriver sous l’égide d’Attraction Média quand le groupe a été créé en 2002, a une présence de taille dans le secteur de la production cinématographique et télévisuelle, tout comme Cité Amérique, Bubbles Television (Paquet Voleur) et La Boîte de Prod (Ça Sent Drôle!). Delphis Films et sont, elles, spécialisées dans la distribution à l’étranger et Connexion Films International apporte à l’ensemble du groupe son expertise dans le domaine de la co-production à l’échelle mondiale. Attraction Média est également un acteur dominant dans le secteur de la création publicitaire. Avec Jet Films et La • 12

ÉLÉMENT-CLÉS « Nous avons formé ce collectif pour rassembler les meilleurs talents créatifs au Québec sous un même toit », explique la directrice des communications Kathleen Préfontaine. Alors que la première étape de ce rassemblement s’apparentait à un processus d’acquisition et de restructuration organique, Attraction Média semble à présent vouloir créer une synergie, et ce nouveau siège en est un des éléments clés. Dans ses bureaux, après le hall de réception central se trouve un long couloir menant à la cafétéria où sont installées une série de créations ressemblant à des salles de séjour. Chacune a été conçue et mise en place par l’une des entités (certaines ne sont pas encore complètement terminées) et constitue le symbole des différents talents de l’ensemble de l’équipe. « Quand le groupe a été formé », explique Kathleen Préfontaine, « chacune des entreprises disposait d’un jour pour « recevoir » les autres, leur offrant petit-déjeuner, déjeuner puis « cinq à sept » tout en prenant le temps de se présenter et d’exposer ses projets. »

Ensemble, les diverses entités ont reçu 230 nominations, 137 prix et elles ont produit plus de 1 000 heures de contenu visuel.

NOMINATIONS ET PRIX INTERNATIONAUX Vétéran du monde de la production, Richard Speer, président et chef de la direction d’Attraction Média, a débuté dans ce secteur en 1999 en entrant dans l’équipe de Jet Films, alors un des grands acteurs de la publicité au Québec. Puis en 2000, il a fondé Go Films et fait l’acquisition de Cirrus Communications en 2002. La même année, il fonde ce qui allait devenir le regroupement qu’on connaît aujourd’hui, Attraction Média. À ce jour, Attraction Média a déjà effectué 16 co-productions internationales pour le cinéma et la télévision avec l’Allemagne, le Brésil, la Corée., la France, la Grande-Bretagne et l’Irlande. Ensemble, les diverses entités ont reçu 230 nominations, 137 prix et elles ont produit plus de 1 000 heures de contenu visuel. n

Ça sent drôle! is a youth-targeted sketch comedy show produced by La Boîte de Prod and airing on VRAK TV.

Ça sent drôle! : Nouvelle émission jeunesse de sketchs comiques diffusée à VRAK TV et produite par La Boîte de Prod.

With hosted lunches, team-building displays and a focus on autonomy, Attraction Media’s innovative company structure gets seven media firms working together in one space. AVENUE DE GASPE, MONTREAL / – Creating synergy as two companies come together can be a challenge, but when you bring nine brands under a single umbrella, it’s best to know what you’re doing. Happily, Richard Speer does, and the result is Attraction Media, a collective of eight entertainment companies and one trademark bringing together more than 25 years of experience. Housed for just over a year in space on the eighth and part of the ninth floor at 5455 de Gaspe Avenue, Attraction’s headquarters is actually a series of designated office spaces for seven firms (one is off site). Each space is colour-coded and companies are given a level of identity and autonomy to do what they do best, which is mainly producing and creating.

The Crimson Petal and the White is a television miniseries produced by Cité Amérique in co-production with Origin Pictures from the U.K. (Airing on TMN and Movie Central in November).

The Crimson Petal and the White : Mini-série produite par Cité Amérique en coproduction avec Origin Pictures (Royaume-Uni) qui sera diffusée sur TMN et Movie Central en novembre.

Cirrus Communications, the first company to come under the Attraction Media umbrella when it was formed in 2002, has a prominent presence in film and television production, as does Cité Amérique (located on separate premises), Bubbles Television (Paquet Voleur) and La Boîte de Prod (Ça Sent Drôle!). Delphis Films and specializes in international distribution and Connexion Films International brings global co-production expertise to the mix. Attraction is also a dominant player in advertising creation. With the work of Jet Films and La Cavalerie, it accounts for almost half of the television advertising produced in Quebec. Altogether, this collective forms one of the largest production groups in the province. “The company was formed to bring together all the best creative talent in Quebec into one firm,” explains director of communications Kathleen Préfontaine. While the first stage of that process might have been acquisition and organic restructuring, Attraction appears to be busy building synergy, and this new headquarters is a key part.

C.R.A.Z.Y. (2005) produced by Cirrus Communications, won 51 awards and sold in 80 countries.

C.R.A.Z.Y. : Long métrage produit par Cirrus Communications, gagnant de 51 prix et vendu dans 80 pays.

To date, Attraction has already completed 16 international theatrical and television co-productions with countries such as Brazil, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, and Korea, and globally, the member companies have received 230 nominations, 137 awards and have produced more than 1,000 hours of programming. n

13 • AUTOMNE 2011



Chef de Cuisine Jason Maw (Star Fish) and Chef Tawfik Shehata (Vertical, Ballroom) work the hardwood-charcoal grill using locally-sourced fare. • 14



FARM FRESH NYC Named for New York’s eclectic neighbourhood, The Bowery serves hearty local fare cooked on a charcoal grill and served in a chilled-out atmosphere. By Yvan Marston ST LAWRENCE MARKET AREA, TORONTO / – A block from Front Street East’s busy destination dining strip, The Bowery is building a faithful clientele by mixing top quality cuisine with a New York speak-easy vibe. “It’s a casual atmosphere, but the food is not,” says Thanos Tripi, director of new business development for Uniq Lifestyle, the entertainment group behind the venture. Indeed, The Bowery represents something truly different for Uniq whose venues like The Brant House and The Ballroom dot downtown west’s lounge landscape. “Nightclubs offer entertainment for one part of the night, but we really didn’t have a place where someone could have a full evening experience,” he says.

The Bowery expects its patrons to ‘sip, savour and stay.’

PUNCHBOWLS AND BOOTLEGS From cocktails and punchbowls (a form of shared cocktail, see sidebar) to appetizers, to dining, to slipping downstairs into the basement’s Bootleg by Bowery to catch a mixed live band/DJ set, The Bowery expects its patrons to ‘sip, savour and stay.’ The menu’s hearty, locally-sourced fare is done on an open, hardwood-charcoal grill under the watchful eyes of Chef Tawfik Shehata and Chef de Cuisine Jason Maw. From the embers, the talented duo is producing dishes such as a 24-ounce rib eye with shaved Parmigiano, a 10-ounce strip loin, venison, rack of lamb and even an octopus appetizer. Given its casual downtown resto-vibe, The Bowery draws from the area’s thirsty office workers who come to share everything from drinks and tales of weekly woe to chorizo and buffalo mozzarella pizzas and Albacore tuna crudo. In fact, a new ‘Cinq à Sept’ program, drawing on the term for after work get-together, or the naughtier Gallic euphemism for a sweet time to meet one’s mistress, offers $5 drink specials and free appetizers, every Monday through Friday from five to seven.

WHAT’S INSIDE THAT COUNTS The menu offers plenty of comfort as does the distinctive open concept space. The large fluorescent orange armoire at the front of the house and the bright tiles by the grill provide colourful accents to the long space’s richly dark palette of deep brown woods and burgundy banquets. The orange is also a nod to the industrial notion of the farm, as is the Brooklyn-design chandelier made of hayracks and the exposed steel posts. (‘Bowery’ is an Anglicization of an old Dutch word for ‘farm’, explains Tripi.) The former tenant had the space set out as two rooms, but The Bowery team decided to open the centre wall and put a 20-foot steel bar as a focal point. Adjacent, another bar offers a wide open view of the kitchen whose smoky aromas fill the room while a chilled retro soundtrack sets a relaxed tone. STAYING POWER Custom neon art gives the front dining area a distinctive focal point, while commissioned Canadian artwork such as a large canvas of a building in New York speak to the space’s theme. More atmosphere can be derived from the details – the dining room’s reclaimed wooden chairs are direct from NYC and vintage mismatched silverware add personality to each table setting. Forming an unpretentious and engaging space, The Bowery is in many ways anything but a nightclub. Its bountiful menu and emphasis on openness is designed to be a place where people will want to meet, again and again. And as the neighbourhood continues to develop a live/work population, having a place where you can sip, savour, stay can add real value. n

What is a punchbowl? Before the cocktail, people shared punchbowls. It’s a tradition The Bowery is inviting back with a modest menu of mixes including a Beefeater Gin and Ginger Beer bowl, a Bacardi and Cognac mix and a Grey Goose vodka and sparkling wine concoction. Each is mixed with a variety of other juice ingredients to make it a refreshing way to truly share a glass with friends.

15 • FALL 2011


The Power of Accessorizing How an upstart Montreal toy company became one of the world’s largest suppliers of creative craft products for girls. By Yvan Marston CITE MULTIMEDIA, MONTREAL / – Sporting a shaved head and stubbled chin, his stylish striped shirt straining slightly against broad shoulders, Kevin Richer is the unlikely czar of an arts and crafts toy empire for tween girls. His Montreal-based company, Wooky Entertainment, is Toys R Us’s largest supplier of creative products for girls five to 12. That means that in any of the 840 U.S. stores and 716 locations in 34 other countries, three-quarters of the shelf space dedicated to ‘creative tween’ product is occupied by Richer’s items. From build-your-own jewelry kits to fashion sketch pads, tattoos, messenger bags and iron-on transfers, Wooky products are tapping into a category of young buyers who have abandoned Barbie for the more adult pursuit of fashion accessorizing.

WORLDWIDE NETWORK It is the fall tradeshow season and Wooky’s Montreal office on the fourth floor of 75 Queen Street has the palpable atmosphere of an airliner readying for takeoff. “In four years we went from zero to developing 200 products and distributing in 45 countries,” says Richer, who is opening five European offices in 2012. Indeed, four years ago, Richer may not have had product, but he had a global network. An R&D manager in the toy industry for 10 years prior to starting Wooky in 2007, he established a worldwide network of exclusive distributors and then set to work developing product with a company lean on administration and made up mostly of designers. Quality of service was a key offering, explains marketing VP Christina Sklavenitis. While it sounds obvious, the reality in

the toy industry is that international markets are often treated as secondary by large U.S. toy makers whose priority is to service the domestic buyers. For a small Canadian upstart with innovative products, filling that service gap was enough to establish a foothold. Now, Wooky has a widespread presence in France, the UK, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland and Australia. What’s more, it owns a factory in China with a satellite office and showroom to host clients.

UNTAPPED POTENTIAL The jewelry kits, by far the company’s fastest growing product line, are private labeled for some clients as well as developed under Wooky’s own brand “Style Me Up”. “The brand is in its infancy, but it has tremendous untapped potential,” says Sklavenitis, who recently announced Wooky’s partnership with Boston-based FashionPlaytes, an online community where tween girls can design clothing and accessories. Here, the Style Me Up! brand will have its own fashion design studio where tweens can design tops, dresses and jewelry and have them delivered to their homes in two weeks. Other brands such as its innovative stackable Block Crayons for toddlers, its easy-use-Mixy jewelry for the four-to-eightyear-old crowd and Mathable, a math-focused board game with a style of play similar to Scrabble, are also driving growth in the company that is expecting to expand into adjacent space as its staff grows from 30 to possibly 50 by this time next year. “We’re really a brand development company,” explains Sklavenitis. “Toys are just where it starts.” n • 16

Avec sa barbe de deux jours, son crâne rasé et sa chemise à rayures un peu étriquée cachant de larges épaules, Kevin Richer est le patron quelque peu atypique d’un empire mondial du jouet spécialisé dans les boîtes de jeux créatifs pour filles. Wooky Entertainment, dont le siège social est à Montréal, est le premier fournisseur de jeux créatifs pour filles de 5 à 12 ans des magasins Toys R Us. Ses articles, qui vont des coffrets de création de bijoux fantaisie aux cahiers de dessin de mode ou aux tatouages scintillants, sont destinés aux jeunes clientes qui ont délaissé la poupée Barbie pour se tourner vers les accessoires de mode. « Partis de zéro il y a quatre ans, nous avons depuis développé 200 produits, aujourd’hui distribués dans 45 pays », explique Kevin Richer qui ouvrira en 2012 cinq bureaux en Europe. « La qualité du service est un élément-clé », affirme Christina Sklavenitis, vice-présidente du marketing. Un argument évident à première vue, mais qui sous-tend une vraie réalité : dans le secteur du jouet, les marchés internationaux sont souvent considérés comme secondaires par les grands fabricants américains, dont la priorité est de servir la clientèle locale. Wooky bénéficie aujourd’hui d’une forte présence en France, au Royaume-Uni, en Allemagne, en Belgique, en

Suisse et en Australie. Qui plus est, elle est propriétaire d’une usine en Chine, où elle possède également une salle d’exposition et un bureau satellite pour y recevoir des clients. Les coffrets de création de bijoux sont de loin la gamme de produits qui connaît la croissance la plus rapide. Certains clients y apposent leur propre marque, d’autres les vendent sous la marque de Wooky, « Style Me Up ». Quant aux autres produits, comme les Block Crayons qui s’empilent pour les tout-petits, les bijoux Mixy faciles à créer avec des clips pour les 4 à 8 ans et Mathable, un jeu de société semblable au Scrabble basé sur les maths, ils participent eux aussi à la croissance de Wooky, qui prévoit étendre encore ses bureaux si son équipe passe de 30 à 50 personnes dans les douze prochains mois. « En réalité, nous sommes une société de développement de marques », explique Christina Sklavenitis. « Les jouets ne sont que le point de départ. » n

DESIGNERS WANTED Wooky Entertainment wants designers of all stripes to join its fast-growing team to design games and activities. Send resumes to: Wooky Entertainment recherche des designers. Les personnes intéressées sont invitées à envoyer leur curriculum vitae à

17 • FALL 2011


Wooky Entertainment : une entreprise montréalaise devenue l’un des plus grands fournisseurs de jeux créatifs pour filles

PAGANELLI’S PLACE A 14-year-old Italian eatery’s chef gets the recognition he deserves as Toronto’s Romagna By Micayla Jacobs

ST. LAWRENCE MARKET AREA, TORONTO / – Over the last 20 years, Gabriele Paganelli has built a reputation as Toronto’s go-to chef for authentic Northern Italian flavours. His downtown ristorante was producing a Risotto Fagiano e Tartufo that won an international food competition in New York and foodies began to recognize the name Paganelli far more easily than that of his establishment Romagna Mia (named for the region of his birth). That’s pretty much why the sign outside the Front Street East location says Paganelli’s but inside, you can expect the same authentic Italian culinary experience as before, in fact, perhaps even more authentic. On a few acres of land just south of the city, Paganelli has a farm that raises boars, which can be found on the menu.

NORTHERN ITALIAN More than just a truly authentic northern Italian restaurant, Paganelli’s is morphing into a brand. Besides its other Woodbridge location, it also offers full-service catering, a boutique of traditional Italian • 18

salumi (made by Chef Paganelli), and private cooking classes. The name change is intended to create buzz and give this restaurant that has been popular for the last 14 years a fresh face. He says regular patrons shouldn’t worry: All the signature dishes that put Romagna Mia on the map aren’t going anywhere. But customers can expect to find new dishes that will soon become lasting favourites, such as Octopus Carpaccio pizza.

DYNAMIC EATING While couples seeking a romantic soiree and ardent foodies are just as likely to share the space as ebullient families, the restaurant makes every dish available in family-style platters so that large groups can share. “Family-style dining creates communication at the table. They share. It makes for more dynamic eating,” says Paganelli, adding that it also creates an experience that tends to bring families back.

TORONTO Chef profile: Gabriele Paganelli Born in a region of Italy known for its centuriesold techniques of producing such gastronomic delights as Parmigiano-Regganio cheese, Prosciutto di Parma and Balsamic vinegar, Chef Gabriele Paganelli came to Canada in 1991 and opened Romagna Mia in 1997. Over the past twelve years, his accolades include first place for the 2001 Golden Spoon Risotto Competition and the 2000 Silver Spoon Risotto Competition. In Luxembourg, he won the bronze medal at the ExpoGast 2002 World Championships. Recently, he was accredited with the Maestro di Cucina from the Associazione Professionale Cuochi Italiani in Frascati, Rome. In New York, his Risotto Fagiano e Tartufo and Strozzapreti alla Romagnola In Camicia di Parma Prosciutto took second and the third place in the best recipe of North America 2003-2004 competition organized by La Cucina Italiana magazine. n

Mia renamed and rebranded in his honour. Semi-private areas throughout the restaurant can accommodate large groups for private events and corporate functions, giving groups their own area (equipped with projection screens) while still allowing them to enjoy the atmosphere of the restaurant. And if the event is elsewhere in the city, Paganelli’s offers full service catering, with most of the items on the menu available in large quantities.

TAKE PAGANELLI’S HOME For smaller meals, Paganelli’s also lets you take the experience home, not only through its boutique and extensive take out services, but through a cooking class taught by Paganelli starting this fall. Designed as much for team building events as for individual’s who just can’t get enough Paganelli, the cooking classes will run in the evenings showcasing three dishes accompanied by wine and appetizers. n

19 • FALL 2011

Photo: Alex Yeo.

[ H E A LT H ]

Thai boxing gym goes 100% not-for-profit Affordable paid memberships yield fitness results while at-risk youth program delivers lifestyle discipline RICHMOND STREET WEST, TORONTO / – The two new heavy bags hanging in the west side of the space, some additional mirrors on the east side and industrial wire shelving at the back laden with a mix of old but mostly new pads, head gear and sparring gloves are just the more obvious signs of growth at Old School Muay Thai on Richmond Street West. Enrollment is up and a complement of seven instructors and seven more assistants run morning, lunchtime and after-work sessions. But the biggest change here since its 2009 opening has been its switch to full not-for-profit status. “You’ll never get rich running a Muay Thai club,” says owner James Hines. “It’s something you do for the love of the sport.” Known as the art of the eight limbs, Muay Thai, or Thai boxing as it is sometimes called, uses elbows and knees in addition to fists and feet, to perform a range of combative techniques that make it one of the more aggressive martial arts. A head taller than anyone else in the space, the lanky Hines, known as ‘Kru’ (instructor) James, originally intended for his gym to give back by developing a not-for-profit division that would support at-risk youth by giving students subsidized access to training. After three years, his at-risk youth program was not only growing, but yielding measurable outcomes. To the point where the Trillium Foundation, a provincial organization that offers grants to Ontarians working to enhance the quality of life in • 20

their communities, provided financial support to buy new equipment. Now, paying members support the gym infrastructure while grants from the Trillium foundation cover the costs associated with offering a Muay Thai program to at-risk youth everyday just before the after-work class gets started. “If the training is good but expensive, that’s not viable,” says Hines. “What we’re offering is qualified instruction at a reasonable price.” n

Why Muay Thai? Because some students have dropped 30 to 50 lbs. People often don’t want to start sweating to the art of the eight limbs is because they can’t get over the idea of hitting something, says James Hines owner of Old School Muay Thai. “But there are so many things to learn and to do that you’ll never get bored,” he says, adding that that’s why his students keep coming back. And sustainability is key to any fitness routine, says Hines who has helped 20 students lose 30 lbs, 12 lose 40 lbs and 10 lose 50 lbs.

Shoots and Scores Veteran Winnipeg photographer lands coveted spot as Jets new official shooter. By Micayla Jacobs

photography as a specialty within a fine arts program). The countless hours he spent in the darkroom as a student helped him develop a keen eye for photo editing that would later be the fundamental skill needed to perfect digital images. Indeed, while the medium of photography has changed, this technical training is still just as relevant. “The basics of high quality photography – lighting and composition – are still the same,” he says.

EXCHANGE DISTRICT, WINNIPEG / – October 9th was a day fifteen years in the waiting for many Winnipeggers, and Lance Thomson was no exception. When the blades of the city’s beloved Jets began carving hometown ice for the first time since the franchise was sold to Phoenix, Thomson was not only present but working as the official team photographer. “On a personal level, having the NHL return to Winnipeg is fantastic and I’m thrilled by the huge impact it’s having on the city, but it’s even more exciting that I get to be involved on a professional level.” After a long relationship with the Jet’s owner, True North and its former team the Manitoba Moose, Thomson was an easy choice as head photographer. Indeed, a business relationship helps, but becoming official team photographer draws on all the skill and experience only a veteran shooter can bring. And given that Thomson started taking pictures at ten, he’s brought to the position a wealth of experience.

YOUNG PROFESSIONAL Since the day he bought his first camera with money earned from a paper route, he was hooked. From a young age he started watching photographers of his hometown paper, The Brandon Sun, where he would eventually become a full-time photographer before finishing high school. With a solid news photo portfolio, Thomson landed a coveted spot at the Brooks Institute of Photography in California, still one of the only schools in the world to offer a degree in professional photography (most schools offer

SKILL AND INNOVATION But skill must be combined with innovation to stay ahead, and here Thomson is no slouch, having developed his own pole camera system that he uses predominantly for real estate clients. “I can photograph the house, the front yard and the river behind to show where the house sits and the area around it. It gives a unique angle and an entirely different perspective,” he says, explaining that the system is made up of fiberglass poles that are assembled on site to a height of 40 feet with a remote viewer that allows him to frame the shot. Operating as a Winnipeg photographer since 1982, Thomson works mainly on the commercial projects, sometimes shooting editorial for Style Manitoba, Manitoba Business and other magazines as well as catalogue images for local companies. Besides being the Winnipeg Jets’ main photographer, Thomson is also the official photographer for the Folklorama Festival. Not bad for a ten-year-old with a dream. n

Using his customdesigned pole cam, Thomson captures low altitude shots of real estate that provide a more complete view of the area.

Capturing the magic of a Folklorama event, one of the largest and longest running multicultural events of its kind in the world.

21 • FALL 2011




CHANGING TACKS When the home deco market began to suffer, Montreal’s ADzif started selling its decorative wall-mount stickers in France. By Yvan Marston They developed ADzif as their boutique brand, and mur*mur for Rona and Reno Depot. Business was brisk from the start, but when the 2009 downturn hit, home decorating as a category suffered economically.

AVE. DU PARC, MONTREAL / – ADzif began making a name for itself four years ago when founder Maryline Lambelin and business partner Pierre Paré adapted the decorative large-format wall stickers popular in Europe for the North American market. Now, ADzif and its mur*mur brand are shipping new product to France, the very country Lambelin was visiting when she came upon the idea. “The French market is dominated by two large players and they have flooded the market with their creative,” says Lambelin. “So if you go into any big box store there, the stickers will all be the same.” ADzif ’s creative concepts offer something different. Cartoon characters for kids, poetic musings defining words like soul, love and family as well as adhesive mirrors, and clocks that can be formed into wall decorations, together formed a collection of almost 1,000 different items and illustrations never before seen in France.

A POETIC SIDE “I think the poetic side captured their imagination,” says Lambelin of the buyers for Leroy Merlin, a ubiquitous French-based building and decorating centre with 290 stores across 12 countries (mostly Europe). Experienced in the large format printing business, Lambelin and Paré left that trade in 2006 and retooled their skills to manufacturing large-scale decals that can be used to add a colourful accent or detail to an otherwise blank wall. • 22

STUDIO & PRODUCTION When the Montreal Chamber of Commerce hosted buyers from Leroy Merlin, ADzif impressed them not only with its creative, but also with its merchandising abilities (it builds its racks and displays for all its customers and has adapted baskets to function in Leroy Merlin stores). With 14 employees spread over three separate spaces all on the same side of the building, ADzif has a creative studio, a CNC machine shop to cut plastics and other materials into intricate shapes, as well as a large format printer and vinyl cutter, a production area and a shipping area. Using a stable of 15 artists, ADzif draws talent from around the world. New York, Brazil, Czech, Peru, France and of course Montreal are some of the places from which its talent hails. Working currently to establish itself in the European market with its mur*mur brand, ADzif hopes eventually to be shipping all three of its lines to a new and ever-expanding marketplace. n


Branching out beyond wall coverings, ADzif also makes wall clock kits, mirrors, iPhone skins and magnetic appliance covers.

Un virage bien amorcé : Lorsque le marché de la décoration d’intérieur a commencé à ralentir, ADzif a décidé de se tourner vers la France pour vendre ses adhésifs muraux AV. DU PARC, MONTRÉAL / - ADzif a commencé à se faire un nom il y a quatre ans, lorsque sa fondatrice, Maryline Lambelin, et son associé, Pierre Paré, ont adapté les grands autocollants de décoration murale, qui connaissaient tant de succès en Europe, pour les vendre sur le marché nord-américain. Aujourd’hui, ADzif et sa marque mur*mur envoient leurs produits en France. C’est justement là-bas que Maryline Lambelin, en 2006, lors d’un voyage, a eu l’idée de la conception de l’entreprise ADzif. « Le marché français est dominé par deux grands acteurs et il a été inondé par leurs créations », explique Maryline Lambelin. « Donc, dans toutes les grandes surfaces, on retrouve les mêmes autocollants. »

UN CÔTÉ POÉTIQUE Les concepts créatifs d’ADzif apportent quelque chose de différent. La collection compte près de 1 000 créations et illustrations inédites en France proposant, par exemple des visuels organiques ou des définitions poétiques de mots comme « âme », « amour » ou « famille », des horloges adhésives et des miroirs décoratifs. « Je pense que le côté poétique de nos visuels a captivé leur imagination », dit Maryline Lambelin des acheteurs de Leroy Merlin, une grande chaîne française d’articles de bricolage et de décoration, comptant 290 magasins dans 12 pays (principalement en Europe). Spécialisés dans le domaine de l’impression grand format, Maryline Lambelin et Pierre Paré ont quitté ce secteur en 2006 pour élargir leurs compétences et se tourner vers la fabrication d’adhésifs muraux grand format pouvant être utilisés pour apporter une touche ou un détail de couleur à un mur vierge. Ils ont développé trois marques de commerce pour leurs différents marchés : ADzif pour les boutiques de décoration, mur*mur une ligne exclusive pour Rona et Réno Dépôt et Mia&co pour les grandes surfaces. Le développement de l’entreprise

a été rapide, mais dernièrement, le ralentissement économique du secteur de la rénovation au Canada les a contraint à se repositionner.

STUDIO ET PRODUCTION Lorsque la Chambre de commerce de Montréal a reçu des acheteurs de Leroy Merlin, ADzif les a éblouis non seulement par sa créativité, mais aussi par ses activités de marchandisage (elle construit elle-même tous les présentoirs de ses produits pour ses clients ; elle les a d’ailleurs adaptés spécialement pour les magasins Leroy Merlin). La plus grande difficulté est bien entendu la distance. C’est une question de confiance, explique Maryline Lambelin, il faut savoir agir de manière décisive et rapide. « Étant donné que nous ne sommes pas une très grande entreprise, nous pouvons facilement et rapidement nous adapter aux changements », ajoute-t-elle. Avec 14 employés répartis dans trois espaces différents, mais du même côté du bâtiment, ADzif compte un studio de graphisme, un atelier avec découpeuse pour matériaux rigides, ainsi qu’une imprimante grand format et des découpeuses de vinyles, un atelier de production et une zone d’expédition-inventaire. « Rien n’est laissé au hasard. Nous produisons tous les emballages et les présentoirs », explique Maryline Lambelin, « mais même avec une présentation impeccable en magasin et la meilleure qualité de vinyle, le produit ne se vendra pas si le design n’est pas différent et original.» ADzif collabore avec 15 artistes du monde entier pour offrir des créatifs aux inspirations variées. New York, le Brésil, la République Tchèque, le Pérou, la France et bien sûr Montréal ne sont que quelques-uns des lieux de provenance de ses artistes talentueux. Essayant actuellement de s’imposer sur le marché Européen par le biais de sa marque mur*mur, ADzif espère à plus long terme pouvoir exporter ses trois marques de commerce sur ce nouveau marché et en devenir le leader des produits de décoration. n 23 • FALL 2011

LANDMARK Historic Vancouver jewel forms ideal setting for creative service firms

Source: Vancouver Pub


lic Library


CROSSTOWN, VANCOUVER / – June saw Allied Properties REIT add a landmark class A heritage property to its Vancouver portfolio. The Sun Tower at 128 West Pender Street, is located in an area known as Crosstown for its position between Yaletown, Gastown and Chinatown. Relatively close to other Allied buildings in the area, the Sun Tower, named for its former Vancouver Sun owners, was originally named as the World Building when it was built in 1912 as the headquarters for another newspaper, The Vancouver World. At 17 storeys and 272 feet, it was the tallest building in the British Empire, for about two years. Besides its stature, it attracted some attention for the bare-breasted female figures whose sculpted forms support a cornice half way up the building. Considered somewhat scandalous a hundred years ago, these adornments are now heralded as a unique part of the structure’s ornate architectural Beaux-Arts details. With its bold symmetry and green faux-patina dome roof, the Sun Tower has stood as a proud icon of Vancouver’s history for years. Having undergone extensive renovations over the last two years, its heritage space, downtown location and modern building amenities have made it a favourite for creative services firms. The Vancouver office of MacLaren McCann is here, as are a number of architecture and design firms. And Kalev Fitness Solution, the gym located on the lower level, features spa-like change rooms, a workout area fitted with Italian-made Techno Gym fitness equipment, and complete personal training services. Close to the city’s central business district, Sun Tower benefits from the charged atmosphere of being in an

Sun Tower was built in 1912. The building was commissioned by L.D. Taylor, longtime mayor of Vancouver, to house The Vancouver World newspaper. When it was completed, the 17-storey tower was the tallest building in all of the British Empire.

evolving neighbourhood. Crosstown is home to some of the most talked-about restaurants in the city: Chambar offers a stunning spread of incredible Belgian cuisine, and its sister café, Medina, is anything but your average coffee-and-lunch spot. Across the street, Wild Rice brings Asian cuisine (which infuses this whole city, of course) to a new level as one of the most critically acclaimed restaurants in Vancouver. Meanwhile, Bao Bei, a “Chinese Brasserie,” is packed wall-to-wall every night. New art galleries, clothing stores, and cafes are opening their shutters all the time. Crosstown is decidedly a neighbourhood on the move. And Sun Tower is the heart of the whole area. n


Send your company info, events and story ideas to Editor: Yvan Marston • Design: Gravity Design Inc.

Chronicle - Fall 2011  

The Allied Properties REIT Tenant Magazine

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