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VICTORIA • VANCOUVER • CALGARY • EDMONTON • WINNIPEG • KITCHENER • TORONTO • OTTAWA • MONTREAL • QUEBEC CITY

[PAGE 19]

OLD DOGS. NEW DIGGS. Pet Valu sheds its discount retail image to become a nutritional resource centre for owners of aging pets. [ PAGE 4 ] Fluevog’s Museum in Calgary includes an art gallery, a community mezzanine… and a shoe store.

[ PAGE 11 ] A UN-affiliated, New Jersey-based university in Yaletown: Who is FDU Vancouver?

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• In Montreal: Sid Lee advertising’s dedicated production house Jimmy Lee TV • In Montreal: Abitibibowater’s new face is RESOLUTE • In Toronto: High-end streetwear at Queen East’s HAVEN

SPRING 2012

THE ALLIED PROPERTIES REIT TENANT MAGAZINE


INCOMING... National expansion marked with more King & Spadina properties in Toronto, a growing presence in Montreal’s Mile End and two new acquisitions in Western Canada Allied President and CEO, Michael Emory, was glad to continue building on last year’s work with an announcement in late February of new acquisitions in Victoria, Calgary and Montreal, only to announce another portfolio acquisition in Toronto 15 days later. “The Woodstone Building opens up a new sub-market for us in Calgary, whereas 535 Yates Street adds to our

TORONTO 379 and 383 Adelaide Street West are on the south side of Adelaide, adjacent to the east of Allied’s 96 Spadina.

TORONTO 57 Spadina is located on the east side of Spadina Avenue just south of King Street West, its most notable tenant being Winners.

CALGARY The Woodstone Building in Calgary’s Inglewood neighbourhood was built in 1911 as a wood mill and later renovated for office use in 2009. alliedpropertiesreit.com • 1

foothold in Victoria. And 5445 de Gaspe Avenue in Montreal is a great complement to 5455 de Gaspe Avenue, a large-scale upgrade property we acquired last year,” he explains. As for Toronto, the purchase of a portfolio in the King and Spadina area, which includes four properties and a parking lot, was strategic not only given the locations, but also the significant upgrade and intensification potential each represents.

TORONTO 80-82 Spadina is on the west side of Spadina Avenue and is mostly leased to galleries and Home Sense.

MONTREAL 5445 de Gaspe Avenue in Montreal is adjacent to a building Allied acquired last June.

VICTORIA 535 Yates Street in Victoria was built in the early 1900s. It was restored and renovated in the 1970s and again in 2009.


COMMUNIQUÉ Milgram nommée parmi les 50 sociétés les mieux gérées au Canada

Recycle your Small Electronics Allied is encouraging tenants to ‘Think Recycle’ by using this cost-free environmental fundraising program that has partnered with the David Suzuki Foundation to help raise funds by collecting unwanted cell phones, print cartridges, laptops, digital cameras and iPods/mp3 players for disposal through re-use, refurbishment and recycling. Here’s how it works: 1. Visit www.thinkrecycle.com to become a member (please select to support the David Suzuki Foundation). 2. Collect a minimum of 10 unwanted electronics (cell phones, print cartridges, laptops, digital cameras and iPods/mp3 players) and pack into a cardboard box. 3. Request your pre-paid shipping label, attach it to your box and send it back to Think Recycle. The funds you earn will be donated to the David Suzuki Foundation.

Recyclez vos vieux appareils électroniques Allied encourage les locataires à recycler en faisant appel à ce programme de financement environnemental gratuit en partenariat avec la Fondation David Suzuki qui contribue à amasser des fonds en récupérant les vieux téléphones cellulaires, cartouches d’impression, ordinateurs portatifs, caméras numériques et iPod/ lecteurs mp3 pour les remettre à neuf, les recycler et les réutiliser. Voici comment le programme fonctionne : 1. Visitez le site www.thinkrecycle.com pour devenir membre (vous êtes encouragé à appuyer la Fondation David Suzuki). 2. Récupérez dans une boîte de carton un minimum de 10 vieux appareils électroniques (téléphones cellulaires, cartouches d’impression, ordinateurs portatifs, caméras numériques et iPod/ lecteurs mp3). 3. Commandez une étiquette de livraison prépayée, fixez-la à votre boîte et retournez-la à Think Recycle. Les fonds obtenus seront versés à la Fondation David Suzuki.

La Direction de l’entreprise de services de transports et de logistique savait que sa planification stratégique, ses innovations et son solide rendement continu lui avaient permis de figurer sur la liste des entreprises retenues en sélection finale du palmarès des 50 sociétés les mieux gérées au Canada à la fin de l’année dernière. C’est toutefois son engagement envers ses employés, ses clients, l’environnement et la collectivité qui a vraiment séduit les juges, qui l’ont nommée sur la liste des Mieux gérées, sans rang précis, affirme Jay Goldman, président de la firme de transit de fret international, de courtage en douane et de transport nord-américain dont le siège social est situé au 645 Wellington, dans la Cité du Multimédia à Montréal.

Milgram named one of Canada’s 50 best Management at the transport and logistics firm knew its strategic planning, innovation and continued strong performance helped them make the Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies shortlist late last year. But it was its commitment to its employees, clients, environment and community that truly resonated with the judges putting them firmly on the unranked top 50 list, says Jay Goldman, president of the international freight forwarding, customs brokerage and North American transport firm whose main office is at 645 Wellington in Cite Multimedia.

Fresh City Farm pick up at Patagonia Toronto Anyone familiar with the history of Patagonia clothing will know that sustainability practices and environmental stewardship are a part of the company’s operations. What’s more, each retail store worldwide is enabled to work with local groups on anything to do with sustainability practices. So it is that the Patagonia store on King Street West is now a Fresh City Farm pick up location. Fresh City Farms offers boxes of locally farmed vegetables starting at $31/week. Visit www.freshcityfarms.com, or stop by Patagonia Toronto, for more information.

www.alliedpropertiesreit.com Send your company info, events and story ideas to news@alliedpropertiesreit.com Editor: Yvan Marston • Design: Gravity Design Inc.

2 • SPRING 2012


[RETAIL]

SHOE IN

Fluevog’s Calgary store includes an art gallery, a community mezzanine and a museum featuring a 40-year retrospective on the shoe designer. By Yvan Marston FASHION CENTRAL, CALGARY / - Halfway through initiative started some nine years ago that has seen some his explanation of the Vog vending machine, a breakroom 12 original designs go from concept to production; or design snack dispenser refitted to sell arts and crafts, Stephen Bailey a Fluevog ad to win $1,000 worth of shoes. stops short. Highlights of some of the graphic arts projects stemming “It occurs to me now that if we didn’t work for a company from the Fluevog Creative initiative decorate the walls of the that supported creativity so strongly, it would be a total lower level Peanut Gallery in the Calgary store. And up above waste of money,” says the marketing director with a laugh. the main floor, the mezzanine’s open space offers what Bailey “But it builds goodwill.” calls community space. Indeed, Fluevog, the VancouverA few café tables surrounded by Fluevog Factoids based shoemaker known for its funky, the Flueseum exhibit are open for original designs, has earned enough any and all, he explains. goodwill to merit its own exhibition The space is meant to be used – at the Museum of Vancouver with a whether it’s staff from other retailers 40-year retrospective featuring looking for a neat space to scarf back 150 pairs of shoes along with letters, a quick lunch or just someone teaching sketches and marketing materials. a creative workshop on photography And when Fox, Fluevog and Friends or crochet, for example. closed in 2011 after being held over “The idea is that people can just for twice its intended running time, • John Fluevog opened his first store come here and be inspired,” says Bailey, the company bought the display cases adding that the space recently hosted a with business partner Peter Fox in 1970 and signage with an eye to using it launch for the book The Boiling Frog in Vancouver’s Gastown. It was called somehow in the future. Dilemma, which posits that nothing Fox & Fluevog. PERMANENT ‘FLUESEUM’ That generates economic wealth except the • In the 1980s, after an amicable split future was upon them sooner than power of ideas. with Fox, Fluevog sold his car to fund expected when only a few months later WHEN INSPIRATION STRIKES Indeed, the opening of a Seattle store where he the company signed a Calgary lease powered by ideas and fueled by the became the first North American retailer for space in Fashion Central on 8th creative environment it seeks to foster to import Doc Martens. Avenue SW. in each of its 14 retail locations across • In the late 1980s, Fluevog abandoned North America, Fluevog isn’t a typical The 1,100 square-foot space, an the Doc Marten sole due to some of the shoe company. While its does trend infill between two historic properties harmful chemicals used in its production analysis, Bailey admits that a lot of and so benefitting from the decorative and designed his ‘Satan-resistant’ Angel designing is done “when inspiration effect of exposed brick walls on both soles made from hevea tree latex, a strikes.” sides, had a mezzanine that served up natural latex harvested in Vietnam. a perfect venue for a scaled-down And styles that sell well are often version of the exhibition. Thus was discontinued if they feel it has run its born the more permanent Fluevog museum – or Flueseum. course, that way most runs are limited, says Bailey. Each style will usually come in two or three colours and anywhere from In more than 40 years of providing original shoe 120 to 300 pairs are made. These are then divided among designs, John Fluevog developed a loyal following known the 14 stores and assorted international retailers (while about as Fluevoggers. Now they form a virtual community that 25 percent of the company’s sales are made online, orders are regularly connects with the creative spirit of the design processed by the stores). house through several intersections on its web site. CONNECTING CREATIVE From the site’s ‘Stuff ’ heading, “So if you buy a pair of shoes in Calgary, you’re not likely to Fluevoggers can upload photos of their latest pair in situ; see them on too many other people, if at all,” says Bailey. n offer shoe design ideas through the Open Source Footwear Fluevog.com alliedpropertiesreit.com • 3


CALGARY

FAITH HI JERICHO

RADIO CISL

Store Photos: Sana Makhdoom

MIRACLES MEDUGORJE

OPERETTA MALENA

4 • SPRING 2012


[PRODUCTION]

LEE TV L’agence montréalaise Sid Lee donne naissance à une maison de production particulière qui développe presqu’autant de contenu original que de publicité. Par Yvan Marston

CITÉ DU MULTIMÉDIA, MONTRÉAL / - Un soir, Richard Jean-Baptiste était chez lui à regarder avec un vif intérêt la première télédiffusion de Les chroniques d’une mère indigne, la série Web produite par son équipe à Jimmy Lee qui a été reprise et coproduite par Radio-Canada. C’est à ce moment qu’il a été témoin d’une remarquable intégration. Le premier message publicitaire à interrompre la diffusion était une pub également produite par Jimmy Lee et son entité mère, l’agence de publicité Sid Lee; un autre message publicitaire de Sid Lee est apparu plus tard, suivi d’un autre, et d’un autre. Alors que le générique défilait à la fin de l’émission, Jean-Baptiste s’est tourné vers sa copine. « Je ne sais pas s’il y a beaucoup de gens qui se sont rendus compte de ce qui venait juste de se produire là, » lui a-t-il confié à la conclusion de cette demi-heure de télé ET de messages publicitaires presqu’exclusivement produits, post-produits ou gérés par l’entreprise mise sur pied deux ans auparavant. DIFFUSION CIBLÉE C’est en effet quelque chose d’étrange qui vient de bouleverser le paysage médiatique, alors que la télévision a perdu son rang de médium si important. Elle a en effet cédé devant le Web, qui constitue essentiellement son propre amalgame de canaux et de diffusions ciblées. Et dans ce cas-ci, alors que les médias sociaux exigent une communication davantage axée sur le contenu, il est logique que ce soit l’une des agences de publicité canadiennes les mieux connues qui prenne les devants non seulement à titre de développeur de publicité mais également à titre de développeur de contenu. Reconnue à l’interne comme le « petit frère » de Sid Lee, Jimmy Lee est une entreprise dédiée qui offre une multitude

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de services de production conçus à l’origine afin de répondre aux besoins de production audio-vidéo de Sid Lee pour le Web, la télé, le contenu de marque et les installations interactives. Mais Jimmy Lee devait plus spécifiquement être une maison de production numérique. DE L’ACHAT D’ART À LA PROGRAMMATION ORIGINALE Maintenant une entreprise de services multi-production, elle peut tout faire, de la gestion et du développement de production (elle œuvre avec un grand nombre de maisons de production en plus de coproduire) à l’achat d’art, en passant par l’organisation de tournages internationaux et la création de programmations originales complètes. « Lorsque je me suis joint à l’entreprise, j’avais une condition, c’était de pouvoir continuer de développer des projets de contenu » déclare Jean-Baptiste, ancien producteur à son compte qui est aujourd’hui partenaire de Jimmy Lee avec Claudia Roy. Les chroniques d’une mère indigne, une série de webisodes de cinq minutes qui présentent le point de vue humoristique d’une mère en congé de maternité, ont débuté un peu à la blague, admet-il. La série a été coproduite pour trois saisons avec Radio-Canada. C’est ce type de réalisation qui a aidé Jimmy Lee à signer une entente de développement avec Vidéotron pour coproduire le contenu original réservé exclusivement aux utilisateurs des plateformes numériques tel que le téléphone mobile. En collaboration avec Patrick Huard et sa maison de production Jessie Films, l’entreprise a développé LibTV, qui offre actuellement plus de 25 émissions produites depuis juin 2011 – toutes des programmations originales et toutes pour les appareils mobiles. Vidéotron devient ainsi le premier fournisseur francophone de ce type de contenu. (suite à la page 7)


CITE MULTIMEDIA, MONTREAL / - Richard Jean-Baptiste was at home one evening excitedly watching the first television broadcast of Les chroniques d’une mère indigne, the web series produced by his team at Jimmy Lee and picked up and coproduced by Radio-Canada, when he witnessed a remarkable integration. The first commercial to interrupt the broadcast was a spot also produced by Jimmy Lee and its parent company, Montreal ad agency Sid Lee, and later another Sid Lee commercial appeared, and another, and another. As the final credits rolled, Jean-Baptiste turned to his girlfriend. “I don’t know that many people caught what just happened there,” he said to her at the completion of a half-hour of television AND commercials almost exclusively produced, post-produced or in some way managed by the two-year-old company.

NARROW CASTING Indeed, something strange has come upon the media landscape now that television has lost its grip as the penultimate medium. It has ceded to the web, which is essentially its own amalgam of channels and narrow casts. And here, where social media demands more content-driven communication, it makes sense that one of Canada’s best known ad agencies stake out ground not only as a developer of advertising, but also as a content developer. Known internally as Sid Lee’s ‘little brother’, Jimmy Lee is a dedicated company offering a multitude of production services conceived originally to respond to Sid Lee’s audio-video production needs for web, TV, branded content and interactive installations. But most specifically, it was to be a digital production house.

FROM ART BUYING TO ORIGINAL PROGRAMMING Now a multi-production services company, it handles everything from production management and development (it works with a number of other production houses and even co-produces work) to art buying, arranging international shoots and creating complete original programming. “A condition when I signed on was that I could continue to develop content projects,” says Jean-Baptiste, a former freelance producer who, along with Claudia Roy, is a partner at Jimmy Lee. Les chroniques d’une mère indigne, a series of five-minute webisodes offering a humorous take on one woman’s mat leave, was started, he admits, as a bit of a lark. Now it is already in its third season being co-produced with Radio-Canada. L’amalgame des activités de publicité simples et directes que fait Jimmy Lee pour Adidas, Dell, IGA et le Cirque du Soleil, par exemple, au développement créatif plus indirect tel dans l’émission d’humour Les chroniques d’une mère indigne, a transformé l’environnement de travail en un lieu effervescent, grouillant de créativité.

Indeed, it was this kind of work that helped Jimmy Lee land a development deal with Videotron to co-produce original content dedicated to mobile phone users. Working with Patrick Huard, it developed LibTV, which now has a roster of more than 25 shows since June 2011 – all original programming and all for mobile devices. This makes Videotron the first French-language provider of such content. (continued on page 7)

6 • PRINTEMPS 2012

MONTRÉAL

« Les gens ont la possibilité de commenter le contenu que nous créons; si vous ne respectez pas ce concept, cela pourrait bien se retourner contre vous. »

Montreal’s Sid Lee spins off a dedicated production house that develops almost as much original content as it does advertising.


(continued from page 6)

SIX EDITING SUITES AND A MIX OF OPEN-CONCEPT WORK AREAS And for Jimmy Lee staff it means a healthy cross pollination of ideas in its offices at 50 Queen Street in La Cite Multimedia where six editing suites and a mix of open-concept work areas over two floors house post-production teams, production management as well as a line shooting department, art buying and content development.

SIX SUITES DE MONTAGE ET UN MÉLANGE D’ESPACES DE TRAVAIL À AIRES OUVERTES Pour le personnel de Jimmy Lee, cela signifie une saine pollinisation croisée des idées dans ses bureaux du 50, rue Queen dans la Cité du Multimédia, où six suites de montage et un mélange d’espaces de travail à aires ouvertes sur deux étages accueillent des équipes de post-production, une direction de production ainsi qu’un service de tournage en ligne, d’achat d’art et de développement de contenu. « Vous pouvez avoir un gars qui travaille sur un message publicitaire pour Dell qui croise un autre en train de développer une émission d’humour pour LibTV. Ils sont dans deux mondes différents mais travaillent dans le même environnement – cela crée une dynamique fantastique », confie Jean-Baptiste, qui explique que la plupart des maisons de production mises sur pied par des agences de publicité se concentrent exclusivement sur la production de messages publicitaires. Jimmy Lee a de plus en plus de discussions avec des clients à propos du développement de contenu original payé par les clients. Selon Jean-Baptiste, la plupart d’entre eux comprennent la nécessité de fournir un contenu intéressant. « Les gens ont la possibilité de commenter le contenu que nous créons; si vous ne respectez pas ce concept, cela pourrait bien se retourner contre vous », déclare-t-il. APPROFONDIR LA RELATION Il est vrai que les annonceurs peuvent utiliser divers moyens pour s’exprimer mais le fait d’offrir à des auditeurs un contenu qui répond à un besoin permettra d’approfondir la relation que vous avez avec eux, explique-t-il. Par exemple, lorsque la Société de transport de Montréal a voulu développer une programmation «dans les coulisses», les producteurs de Jimmy Lee ont découvert une sous-culture d’adeptes de transports publics; ils ont ainsi créé des vidéos sous forme de chroniques, par exemple sur les capacités de recyclage de l’eau des installations de lavage des autobus de la STM. « C’est un contenu que cet auditoire trouvera utile et qui peut voyager dans les médias sociaux vers un plus vaste auditoire », explique Jean-Baptiste. En effet, l’amalgame des activités de publicité simples et directes pour Adidas, Dell, IGA et le Cirque du Soleil, par exemple, au développement créatif plus indirect a transformé l’environnement de travail en un lieu effervescent, grouillant de créativité. « Beaucoup de personnes créatives dans le domaine demandent à travailler avec nous », confie Jean-Baptiste. « C’était d’ailleurs l’un de nos objectifs : faire de cet endroit un lieu où les gens veulent vraiment travailler. » n

Jimmylee.tv alliedpropertiesreit.com • 7

“You can have one guy working on a Dell commercial crossing paths with a guy developing a humour piece for LibTV. They are in different worlds but work in the same space – and that creates a fantastic dynamic,” says Jean-Baptiste, explaining that most production houses started by ad agencies focus exclusively on producing ads. Now Jimmy Lee is having more frequent discussions with clients about developing original content paid for by the clients. And most, says Jean-Baptiste, are understanding of the need to provide valuable content. “The content we are creating – people have the means of expressing their thoughts on it, and if you don’t respect that, it can turn against you,” he says.

DEEPENING THE RELATIONSHIP Indeed, advertisers can use many means to express themselves, but giving an audience content that answers a need will deepen the relationship you have with them, he explains. For example, when the Société de transport de Montréal wanted to develop some ‘behind-the-scenes’ programming, Jimmy Lee producers discovered a subculture of transit amateurs so they developed videos chronicling things like the water recycling capabilities of the STM’s bus washing facility. “That’s content that is useful to that audience and that can travel in social media to a broader audience,” explains Jean-Baptiste. Indeed, merging the straight advertising work it does for Adidas, Dell, IGA and Cirque du Soleil, for example, with the more indirect creative development has made the offices a lively place to work, and one teeming with creativity. “We are getting a lot of creative people in the business asking to do work with us,” says Jean-Baptiste. “And that was one of my objectives: to make this a place where people really want to work.” n


SUMMER GRILLING TIPS For those who love the taste of grilled food, Calphalon’s No Borders Grilling class, offered in June, takes students through each step to create a fully grilled meal featuring a lobster tail, Moroccan-inspired lamb chops and sustainably-sourced salmon as well as a grilled fruit salsa. Each Calphalon course is filled with tips and techniques from a roster of professional chefs. And for those who are ready to start grilling today – indoors on a grill pan or outdoors over an open flame – here are a few tips from Calphalon’s Executive Chef Susie Reading.

1. PREHEAT THE GRILL First, preheat the grill. Once the grill is preheated, wipe on some oil. Next, season the meat with salt and fresh pepper and place it presentation side (the nicer side) down on the grill, says Reading. This is when you will get the hottest heat and the best grill marks. Before you flip it, give it a quarter turn. (You’ll know it’s ready to turn if the meat ‘releases’ easily from the grill, says Reading.) It’ll add some nice X-shaped grill marks but more importantly, it’ll improve cooking, says Reading explaining that you always have to move the meat to another spot on the grill because the spot it has been grilling on has now been cooled by the moisture escaping the meat.

4. GET JUICIER CHICKEN Keep your chicken from drying out by keeping the fat on, suggests Reading. In other words, don’t go for boneless, skinless breasts. Instead, try breasts with skin on or thighs. To check for doneness on chicken, set the skin side down and check the meat by pressing on it with tongs. The juices should run clear. (Cooking anything on the bone tastes better, but it takes longer.)

2. DRY IS BEST Don’t pour the extra marinade all over your grill-ables, says Reading. “You’ll go from a nice, dry heat to adding too much moisture and lowering the temperature,” she says, adding that you should shake off any excess liquid before adding meat or veggies to the grill.

5. GIVE IT A REST Whatever the meat, make sure you give it time to settle before cutting it. Reading recommends fives minutes to allow the juices to redistribute themselves evenly throughout the meat (rather than have the juices run all over your cutting board). 6. GRILL YOUR FRUIT Reading says fruit is an often overlooked grilling item. “Anything with high sugar and not too much moisture, like mango, pineapple, peaches and plums will grill well. Look for something that has structure,” she suggests. Cut these into large pieces and make sure the grill is hot, “because when those sugars come out, they have to caramelize,” she explains, adding that if there are no grill marks, it’s too soon to remove it.

3. DRESS VEGETABLES AGAIN AFTER COOKING Keep the liquid used to marinate your vegetables so that once the vegetables have been grilled, you can return them to this marinade. “The warm veggies will continue to absorb the marinade, but don’t do this with meat,” she adds. You always want to avoid cross contamination of raw to cooked proteins. Don’t miss the Calphalon Culinary Center on King Street West’s 9th Anniversary party, June 2nd and 3rd. Cooking demos, food sampling, classroom tours, and of course, cake and balloons. For details, visit Calphalon.com/centers 8 • SPRING 2012

TORONTO

CALPHALON CULINARY CENTER


alliedpropertiesreit.com • 9


TORONTO

“When we look for a store location, we’re not too concerned about foot traffic.”

[RETAIL]

THAT SECRET STORE To passers-by it might be just another clothing store tucked away in a discreet spot of an up-and-coming neighbourhood, but to streetwear devotees, it’s a HAVEN. QUEEN STREET EAST, TORONTO / - Arthur and Daniel Chmielewski don’t think of it as a store as much as they do a showroom. Haven’s exposed brick, industrial wrought iron accents and white gypsum board walls rising from the polished concrete floors provide a blank canvas for the highly exclusive, urban styles tidily racked and folded throughout the Berkeley Street space, at the corner of Toronto’s Queen Street East. A wall of factory-style windows lets in the late day’s sun, lighting a white oak laminated counter that sits like a giant butcher’s block in a corner of the tidy white space. Single samples of each clothing item hang on racks, sit artfully displayed on recessed shelving that’s inset with slimline lighting, or are featured prominently on two low-slung, Douglas fir benches stained to match the shelving detail. JAPANESE RETAIL Much of the work was completed by the brothers themselves with considerable help from their contractor father, says Arthur, explaining that the clean aesthetics are something one might find in a Japanese retail environment. A massive ten by six-and-a-half-foot-wide custom mirror reflects a glassed-in section whose contents are just a little more exclusive that the regular collection. “This section is where you’ll find $2,000 jackets,” says Arthur, explaining that if there was a specialization for his store it would be Japanese streetwear and technical outerwear. Since 2006, the Edmonton-born brothers have curated designs from the likes of Original Fake, Acronym, Neighbourhood, WTAPS, Sophnet, Junta Watanabe MAN, Wings + Horns and more to establish a solid reputation as purveyors of one of the most complete collections of luxury streetwear available in Canada. ROOTS OF A STYLE Distinct from hip hop, streetwear has roots in 1980s skate wear and many of the fashions draw inspiration from military, outdoor and work clothing aesthetics.

It was adopted as urban fashion in Japan in the nineties and strengthened into designer and luxury apparel quickly finding a foothold in the U.S. market in the early 2000s. With price points ranging up to $500 for pants and $2,000 for jackets, many of the brands Haven carries appeal to a market of clothes buyers most interested in technical features, and the exclusivity offered by this carefully curated collection. To round off its offerings, Haven also has a selection of more affordable collections for more price conscious shoppers. A FAITHFUL CLIENTELE “When we look for a store location, we’re not too concerned about foot traffic,” he says, explaining that consumers forming the niche market in which he and his brother first ventured, by opening a Haven store in Edmonton, know the brands they carry and form a faithful customer base. While its slick web site delivers a large part of its sales, having a physical presence in major Canadian cities is a must, says Arthur, explaining that building a network of stores is part of an effort to consolidate a national presence as well as provide its customer base with the chance to physically experience the product. “Many of our customers have only heard of or seen these brands on the web, so having stores across Canada means they can see this stuff first hand,” says Arthur. As physical expansion goes, Toronto is the third store. Vancouver saw the company’s second store open in 2009, tucked away in a corner of Gastown. Its Queen Street East store sits in an eclectic neighbourhood, but that has always been a draw when the duo looks for locations. “We’ve always been drawn to up-and-coming neighbourhoods that have historical appeal,” says Arthur of his new Corktown space. n – Yvan Marston

Havenshop.ca

10 • SPRING 2012


[EDUCATION]

FD WHO? Why the largest private, not-for-profit university in New Jersey has a campus in Yaletown. By Yvan Marston YALETOWN, VANCOUVER / - To understand what U.S.-based Fairleigh Dickinson University’s 40,000-square-foot campus is doing set in a trendy part of downtown Vancouver, you’d have to know a bit about its history. You’d have to know that it was formed in 1942 during the last global war when its founder championed dialogue over conflict. You’d have to know that he wanted to create a school where future leaders could learn in an international context of collaboration, and that as such, it has been affiliated with the United Nations since that organization was formed in 1945. You’d also have to know that by 1999 it had two campuses in New Jersey, one in England and a president keen to further pursue that global vision with an eye to welcoming students from the Pacific Rim.

Fairleigh Dickinson University Facts

• Founded in New Jersey in 1942 by Dr. Peter Sammartino

and his wife, Sylvia it is still the state’s largest independent, not-for-profit university. • Named for an early benefactor, Colonel Fairleigh S.

Dickinson, co-founder of Becton Dickinson, an American medical technology that was one of the first companies to sell U.S.-made glass syringes. • Locations include two campuses in New Jersey, one in

England and one in Vancouver • The first American university to own and operate an over-

seas campus (Wroxton College in Oxfordshire, England opened in 1965) • The first comprehensive university in the world to require

distance learning of its undergraduates. • Enrollment for all campuses includes 8,585 undergraduate

students and 3,527 graduate students.

BEYOND BORDERS Los Angeles was initially considered, explains Dr. Cecil Abrahams, FDU-Vancouver’s campus provost, but the location committee decided to look beyond the U.S. borders. “And Vancouver was ideal. For its climate, for its city and because it was open to the pacific,” he says, adding that while the institution’s Yaletown campus started with 18 students in 2007, it has grown exponentially to 406. It is managing the growth by doubling its footprint and renovating the second floor of its 842 Cambie Street address. Indeed, 406 students is still small compared to the New Jersey campuses with their combined 12,000 students, but those serve primarily Americans, whereas the Vancouver campus is for international students. And rather than coming mostly from the Pacific Rim, Dr. Abrahams says the Vancouver student body has turned out to be much more diverse with students from some 45 countries. EXPANDING PROGRAMMING When FDU-Vancouver opened, it offered undergraduate degrees in business management and information technology, but has since expanded its offerings to include a bachelor of arts in individualized studies and a master’s degree in administrative science. “Over the next few years we plan to expand our graduate programming. We’re looking at starting a master’s of science in computer science, an MBA and a master’s of science in hospitality and tourism,” says Dr. Abrahams. FDU in New Jersey offers more than 100 accredited degree programs, to which the Vancouver campus can have access as long as the program is approved by the province’s degree quality assessment board. SPECIAL UN ACCESS With an average class size of 10 students, teaching and learning is done in what amounts to a close-knit community space. The main floor lounge is the campus’ social centre and with a growing influx of students, it needed to be larger. The renovations will push more classrooms upstairs. As enrolment grows, this UN-associated university – FDU students and faculty enjoy special access to UN resources and people, including a UN broadcast that occurs about twice a semester where ambassadors speak to campuses via a live interactive television broadcast and a monthly diplomatic series (open to the public) where local consuls general speak at the Vancouver campus – moves ever closer to its founder’s vision. In this way, FDU-Vancouver’s modest size belies its far greater mission: That of being a space in which world citizens learn to work together. n

fdu.edu/vancouver alliedpropertiesreit.com • 11


Photos: Lynda Kuit

VANCOUVER

12 • SPRING 2012


[MANUFACTURE]

AXÉ SUR LE CHANGEMENT : Le géant Produits forestiers Résolu délaisse son ancienne image pour bâtir CITÉ DU MULTIMÉDIA, MONTRÉAL / – L’aménagement est de bon goût : quatre fauteuils Barcelone disposés devant un panneau translucide décoré de poutres dénudées. Assurément, la réception de Produits forestiers Résolu se démarque radicalement des somptueux bureaux qu’occupait jusqu’à récemment, sur la rue Metcalfe, le géant des pâtes et papiers sous la bannière AbitibiBowater. C’est justement l’essence de notre message, explique Seth Kursman. « Nous voulons que cet espace reflète ce que nous sommes, qu’il représente notre volonté de réduire non seulement nos coûts d’exploitation, mais aussi ceux du siège social », explique le vice-président responsable des communications, des affaires gouvernementales et du développement durable de la nouvelle société, qui s’est affranchie du régime de protection contre les créanciers en décembre 2010 après avoir ramené sa dette de 6,8 milliards de dollars à 850 millions de dollars. Première société de produits forestiers au Canada, Résolu possède ou exploite 18 usines de pâtes et de papiers et 23 usines de produits du bois aux États-Unis, au Canada et en Corée du Sud, et sa nouvelle vision de rentabilité est liée au développement durable, explique M. Kursman. Au delà des progrès réalisés d’un trimestre à l’autre et de sa vigoureuse stratégie de gestion de la dette, qui lui a permis

alliedpropertiesreit.com • 13

d’abaisser encore sa dette de 850 millions de dollars à 586 millions de dollars, la Société s’est aussi repositionnée en tant que fournisseur de choix respectueux de l’environnement. Comment? Tout d’abord, elle est un des membres actifs de l’Entente sur la forêt boréale canadienne. Résolu siège à plusieurs comités régionaux, aux côtés d’ONGE comme Greenpeace et la Fondation David Suzuki. Signée en 2010 par 21 acteurs de l’industrie forestière et neuf organisations environnementales, l’Entente s’active à trouver des solutions aux enjeux de conservation qui répondent à l’objectif du développement durable, soit de trouver un équilibre cohérent entre les éléments que son nouveau chef de la direction, Richard Garneau, considère comme les trois piliers du développement durable liés aux activités humaines : les enjeux écologiques, sociaux et économiques. Résolu est aussi membre du programme Climate Savers du Fonds mondial pour la nature (WWF), qui incite les entreprises à se fixer des objectifs ambitieux de réduction des gaz à effet de serre et à travailler activement à l’atteinte de ces objectifs. « Tout cela est nouveau pour nous en tant qu’entreprise », explique M. Kursman, en précisant que c’est son désir de transparence qui a motivé Résolu à publier un rapport détaillé sur le développement durable en novembre dernier.


MONTRÉAL

Texte : Yvan Marston

Renewed in purpose and commitment, forestry product giant Resolute shakes off its former image to build a lean and green organization that is...

FOCUSED ON CHANGE CITE MULTIMEDIA, MONTREAL / - Tastefully appointed with a quartet of Barcelona chairs set before a translucent wall studded decoratively with exposed two-by-fours, the reception for Resolute Forestry Products marks a departure from the lavishly appointed Metcalfe Street offices the pulp and paper giant once occupied under the AbitibiBowater banner. And that, explains Seth Kursman, is the point.

une organisation verte et efficace. Préparé conformément aux lignes directrices G3 de la Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), une des normes internationales les plus acceptées pour la production de rapports responsables et transparents sur le développement durable, le rapport 2010 de Résolu analyse sa performance dans plusieurs secteurs clés, notamment l’impact environnemental, la gestion responsable des produits et les ressources humaines, en plus de cerner les défis et de fixer des engagements ambitieux en matière de développement durable. Parmi ces engagements, Résolu a promis de réduire de 65 % ses émissions absolues de gaz à effet de serre des niveaux 1 et 2 d’ici 2015 par rapport à l’année de référence 2000. Elle compte aussi accroître la proportion de ses terrains forestiers sous sa gestion certifiés conformes aux normes du Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) pour la faire passer de 18 % en 2010 à 80 % d’ici 2015. Au chapitre des ressources humaines, l’entreprise s’engage à assurer la relève au sein de son organisation en se donnant comme objectif de recruter de 2 500 à 3 500 employés au cours des trois prochaines années. Nouveau nom, nouvelle vision, nouveaux bureaux : c’est ainsi que la Société et ses 10 000 employés assument leur nouvelle réalité. Dans ses nouveaux quartiers de la rue Duke, Résolu s’est dotée d’une structure plus légère et souple, capable de s’adapter au contexte commercial et économique actuel, en constante évolution. n

“This space makes a different statement about who we are, about our commitment to reducing costs – not just at an operational level but also including head office,” says the vice-president of communications, government affairs and sustainability for the company that emerged from creditor protection in December of 2010 having reduced its $6.8 billion debt burden to $850 million. The largest forest products company in Canada, Resolute owns or operates some 18 pulp and paper mills and 23 wood products facilities in the United States, Canada and South Korea, and its renewed vision of profitability is tied to sustainability, says Kursman. So beyond the quarter-over-quarter improvements and an aggressive debt management strategy that has seen that $850 million debt further reduced to $586 million, the company has also repositioned itself as an environmental supplier of choice. How? To start, it is an active commercial member of the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement. Resolute sits on several regional committees sharing the table with ENGOs like Greenpeace and the David Suzuki Foundation. (continued on page 15)

pfresolu.com 14 • PRINTEMPS 2012


Montreal office reception area

“This space makes a different statement about who we are, about our commitment to reducing costs – not just at an operational level but also including head office.”

The agreement, signed in 2010 by 21 forestry industry players and nine environmental organizations, works to identify solutions to conservation issues that meet the goal of balancing what its new CEO Richard Garneau considers to be the three pillars of sustainability linked to human activities: economic, social and environmental. Resolute is also a member of the World Wildlife Fund's Climate Savers program, in which businesses establish ambitious targets to voluntarily reduce greenhouse gas emissions and work aggressively toward achieving them. “It’s really new ground for us as a company,” says Kursman, adding that Resolute’s commitment to transparency prompted it to release a thorough sustainability report last November. Using one of the most broadly accepted standards for accountable and transparent sustainability reporting (the G3 guidelines of the Global Reporting Initiative), the Company’s 2010 Sustainability Report reviewed performance in a number of key areas including environmental impact, product stewardship, and human resources, identifying challenges and setting aggressive sustainability commitments. Among these, Resolute aims to achieve a 65% absolute reduction in scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 2015 over the 2000 base year. It also expects to increase Forest Stewardship Council certification of its managed woodlands from 18% in 2010 to 80% by 2015. And from an HR point of view, it is committing to successfully ensure the next generation of the company's workforce, with the goal of recruiting between 2,500 and 3,500 employees over the next three years. With a new name, new vision, and new office, the company and its 10,000 employees worldwide are adapting to its new reality. And from its new headquarters on Duke Street, Resolute is showing itself to be a leaner and more flexible organization, designed to respond to today’s rapidly changing economic and market realities. n

alliedpropertiesreit.com • 15


SEEING BEYOND THE SCALE If you want a true measure of your health, you’ll need to know more than what the scale will tell you. Totum’s new Bod Pod service offers a complete peek at your body composition.

Maintaining any level of physical fitness requires regular assessments as your body changes and adapts to the workout or diet you are following. Having a clear and specific start point will help you determine a specific end point. And to that end, Totum Life Science has begun offering a body Dr. Lee composition assessment service using a high tech chamber called a Bod Pod. “The great thing about the Bod Pod is that it tells you if your workouts are effective,” says Dr. Shannon Lee, the director at Totum Performance.

WHAT’S WRONG WITH USING A SCALE? “We don’t want to just see the weight fall off, we want to see the fat go while we build muscle. The problem is that if you’re not following a proper nutrition plan while working out, you could be burning off muscle,” says Lee, explaining that muscle, or lean mass, drives your metabolism and helps your body burn calories even when you’re at rest.

impedance devices, handheld ultrasounds and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. The gold standard is underwater weighing, which measures your body’s volume, but a far more accessible method is the Bod Pod (which has been validated as being just as accurate).

HOW DOES THE BOD POD WORK? The Bod Pod uses air pressure to determine body volume. In less than five minutes, the machine determines fat and lean composition, body mass and fat percentage. Since it calculates air displacement to do the measuring, air caught in clothing and in hair can alter results. Users sit in the capsule wearing bathing suits and simply breathe naturally while inside. Testing is offered at the Totum Performance studio at 1073 Yonge Street and is available to members and non-members alike for a $60 fee. To learn more, visit totum.ca

And it’s not a matter of bulking up, she says, addressing the frequently held notion that strength training is for bodybuilders. For the same volume, lean muscle weighs more than fat. For some people, their weight might not change dramatically as they lose fat and gain muscle, but their measurements surely will, she explains. The tradeoff between muscle and fat is one of the reasons the body mass index or BMI is used only as a general point of reference for determining whether your weight is adequate for your body type.

WHY NOT JUST FOLLOW THE BMI? The trouble with the BMI, says Lee, is that is doesn’t consider body composition. For example, bodybuilders will often register in the obese range of the BMI because of their height to weight ratio, but in fact they have very little fat. Other methods range from using skin fold calipers and tape measures to bio electrical

16 • SPRING 2012

TORONTO

TOTUM TIPS


alliedpropertiesreit.com • 17


MONTRÉAL

[GAMING]

PINBALL WIZARDS Bringing 3D graphics and a real pinball feel to a mobile game was just the start. Making it a shared experience is what helped Massive Finger break through to the essence of the game. By Micayla Jacobs BLVD. ST. LAURENT, MONTREAL / Three years ago, Laurent Mascherpa and his team built a gaming experience rooted in nostalgia but firmly aimed at the future. When Pinball Ride launched in the summer of that year, it was designed to focus exclusively on new connected platforms such as iPhone and Facebook to provide a social gaming experience. Using an illustrative style, quality 3D graphics and smooth frame rate to replicate the physics of an actual pinball machine, the game took players through various challenges unlocking jackpots offered by the table along the way. FRIENDLY COMPETITION But it was the Facebook Connect option that was particularly prescient. This allowed users to compete asynchronously against their Facebook friends so that they could see each other’s rank based on score, and compare game profiles. In short, it made the individual experience of mobile gaming into something social. And fans liked it. To date, the free version of the game has been downloaded 3.3 million times and has received awards from important gaming sites such as Pocket Gamer. A SMALL COLLABORATIVE Mascherpa, who spent nine years working on console games for high profile companies like Ubisoft before setting out on his own, says Pinball Ride was a great start and a fantastic learning experience for his team, which currently includes two senior full-time employees. “It’s a pleasure to work with such a creative and motivated group,” he says, explaining that by keeping the team small, they can be more flexible and collaborative – a key component of ensuring that the positive gaming experience they aim to develop begins in the office. The team is just releasing its latest offering, a mix of pinball and Breakout called Pinball Maniacs that follows ‘Justin’ and his friends on an epic treasure hunt, encountering dangerous enemies along the way in the first two tables Pirate Bay and Dragon Castle, slated for release this spring. n

Selon Laurent Mascherpa, qui a travaillé neuf ans au développement de jeux de console pour des entreprises de grande réputation comme Ubisoft avant de se lancer à son compte, Pinball Ride fut un début incroyable et une expérience d’apprentissage fantastique pour son équipe de Massive Finger, formée de trois employés principaux qui œuvrent à plein temps. Ils proposent maintenant leur plus récente application, un mélange de machine à boules « Pinball » et de Casse-briques, appelée Pinball Maniacs. On y suit « Justin » et ses amis dans une chasse au trésor épique alors qu’ils doivent affronter de dangereux ennemis tout au long des deux premiers tableaux, l’Anse aux pirates (Pirate Bay) et le Château du dragon (Dragon Castle); le lancement est prévu ce printemps. n

Massivefinger.com 18 • PRINTEMPS 2012


[RETAIL]

Better Living for Pets Pet Valu sheds its discount image for a more targeted approach to becoming a nutritional resource for pet owners. By Yvan Marston FRONT STREET EAST, TORONTO - If it seems as though preference towards natural pet health products made with pets are everywhere, it’s because they are. An Agriculture quality ingredients. Canada report on the pet food industry estimates there are Large grocery stores can dominate the market on generally some 8.4 million cats and over five million dogs. distributed brands of pet food in terms of price and convenAnd they’re getting older. Dogs especially, according to ience, but owners want to see ingredients that are natural and the same report. that they recognize, offers the research. As Canada’s dog population ages, it explains, there is a growing Pet Valu focuses on the quality demand for quality food to address food market. To that end, says the needs of these seniors. So it is Johnston, it offers a well-priced, that, to date, more than 200 of Pet broad spectrum of holistic and natural Valu’s 435 stores across Canada foods and has taken the extra step and the U.S. have been renovated of partnering with California-based and reinvented into nutritional UC Davis School of Veterinary resource centres for pet lovers. medicine to create a robust online training system for its staff and “When the chain first opened it franchisees to be able to offer really was about value and discount informed nutritional advice. • As of 2010, 32.3% of Canadian households and the environment – right down owned a dog, a slight dip in numbers from to the triple A racking – reflected It’s a strategy that appears to have 35.1% in 2009. The dog population has that,” says Julie Johnston, vice borne fruit with year-over-year sales remained relatively stable, reaching just over president of marketing and merincreasing 20% in a tough U.S. five million in 2010. chandising for the 37-year-old pet economy and 11% in Canada, supply retailer aiming to complete much of which Johnston says, is • Canadian dog owners who purchased a systematic renovation of all its attributable to sales in natural and premium dog food, overwhelmingly chose existing stores while opening new holistic products. dry over wet food in 2010, with sales ones like the location that opened But let’s not forget play, she adds. reaching CAD $160 million. in April at 184 Front Street East. The chain still sold $15 million • The overall cat population in Canada reached The urban locale is a departure in toys last year, also as part of the 8.4 million in 2010, remaining relatively stable from Pet Valu’s traditional approach growing affection between pet and since 2008. It is estimated that 35% of to serving suburban markets, admits owner, people are more moved to buy Canadian households owned a cat in 2010, Johnston, “but we wanted to try them things, explains Johnston. And with an average of 1.8 cats per dwelling. some downtown locations in places no matter how innovative (take the Source: Consumer Trends: Pet Food in Canada, Market Indicator where we haven’t traditionally had a ultra-sonic squeaky toy that only Report, July 2011. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada presence.” your dog hears, for example) the top The new store design focuses on seller remains a rubber ball. creating a warmer environment using wood floors, a richer Active in the dog and cat adoption community, most stores colour palette and exposed brick (where it can) to create a develop relationships with local animal rescue groups, and in welcoming space in which pet owners can feel comfortable the spring ‘Paws’ event, where customers can buy paper paws discussing the nutritional needs of what most people consider for a donation and stick it to a store wall or window, can raise to be a member of the family, explains Johnston. as much as $250,000. Indeed, the 2011 Agriculture Canada report on the industry “People love their pets, but they are also concerned about points to ‘pet humanization’ as a key driver for a consumer animal welfare,” she says. n

FACTS:

Petvalu.com

alliedpropertiesreit.com • 19


Photos: Yvan Marston

TORONTO (Clockwise from top) Pet Valu’s Front Street East location; interiors feature warmer colour palette; self-serve pet bathing station; and, Jesse Thibert with a feline friend ready for adoption. 20 • SPRING 2012


[MEDIA]

UN ENVIRONNEMENT UNIQUE Aux Studios Darwin, lumière naturelle, ambiance confortable et service professionnel s’allient pour créer une expérience de casting de première qualité MILE END, MONTRÉAL / - L’acteur y verra un appartement ensoleillé de style loft. Le directeur de casting y verra plutôt un studio fait sur le long et doté d’un excellent éclairage. Et pour Catherine Simard, c’est ce que l’industrie de la production cinématographique et télévisuelle attendait depuis longtemps. La propriétaire des Studios Darwin, situés dans le Mile End, a eu l’idée de créer son environnement de casting unique il y a plus d’un an, alors qu’elle œuvrait à titre de coordonnatrice de production et qu’à la dernière minute, elle avait désespérément besoin d’un endroit pour y mener des activités de casting. « II semblait toujours y avoir pénurie de studios disponibles » affirme Mme Simard, Montréalaise dans la vingtaine, aux cheveux lisses noirs de jais. C’est son côté entrepreneurial qui l’a poussée à quitter la maison de production qui l’employait pour se lancer, il y a un an, dans la construction de ce qu’elle nomme aujourd’hui des « appartements du casting ». Situés dans le Mile End, près de quelques maisons de production (Attraction Media partage le même édifice), les Studios Darwin offrent aux directeurs de casting un environnement éclairé et confortable doté d’une cuisinette complète, d’un alliedpropertiesreit.com • 21

espace salon avec canapé offrant un vue imprenable, d’un moniteur de lecture et d’une table de travail bistro pour six. En face de ces installations s’étend un espace studio de 750 pieds carrés fait sur le long et peint en ton de gris, idéal pour la caméra. « Nous voulions avant tout créer un endroit confortable tant pour les acteurs que pour nos clients. Vous devez vous sentir chez vous » affirme Mme Simard, qui explique que les journées d’audition sont souvent longues et répétitives; le fait de profiter d’un éclairage naturel et d’une ambiance chaleureuse peut améliorer l’efficacité des groupes de casting. En fait, l’espace qu’elle propose au 5455, rue de Gaspé se divise en deux studios : le premier a l’apparence d’un grand loft pourvu de fenêtres industrielles qui donnent sur l’ouest et d’un coin cuisinette alors que le second, quoique de dimension plus modeste (350 pieds carrés), offre tout de même une atmosphère relax et les mêmes services, c.-à-d. l’éclairage, les caméras haute définition, les moniteurs de lecture et les services d’un technicien qui filme les auditions et organise et transfère les fichiers une fois la session terminée.


Studiosdarwin.com

MONTRÉAL

Il y avait bien quelques studios de casting en ville mais en nombre insuffisant pour répondre à la demande, explique Mme Simard, qui a inauguré les Studios Darwin dans le cadre d’un plus vaste plan visant à élargir ses horizons dans le domaine de la production plutôt que d’un projet purement entrepreneurial. « C’est une bonne façon pour moi de me définir au sein de l’industrie. Au lieu d’être celle qui travaille pour quelqu’un d’autre, les gens commencent à me connaître en tant que propriétaire des Studios Darwin. Cela me permet de créer des liens avec les gens de plusieurs boites pour éventuellement avoir la liberté de travailler avec eux. » déclare Mme Simard. Ce n’est pas le travail qui manque; la demande de location des espaces n’a pas ralenti depuis les tout débuts. Deux semaines avant l’ouverture officielle au printemps dernier, Mme Simard a fait parvenir des invitations à un « 5 à 7 » afin de se présenter à l’industrie et de permettre aux clients potentiels de découvrir les lieux. Les gens ont immédiatement répondu à son invitation avec des demandes de réservation d’espaces. Lorsque vient le temps de procéder à des séances de casting, certaines maisons de production s’arrangent avec ce qu’elles ont, admet Mme Simard, mais ce n’est pas l’idéal lorsque vous savez que 200 personnes se présenteront pour passer l’audition pour une publicité et que vous devrez en voir plusieurs en même temps, par exemple. C’est pourquoi vous avez besoin d’un lieu réservé à cette fin, doté d’une salle d’attente confortable, de toilettes, d’une cuisinette et d’un endroit confortable pour coordonner le tout. Et c’est pour cette raison que le carnet de rendez-vous de Catherine Simard ne cesse de se remplir. n

Simard

Studios Darwin’s natural light, comfortable setting and professional service combines to create a quality casting experience MILE END, MONTREAL / - From the actor’s point of view, it’s a sunny loft-style apartment. From the casting director’s seat, it’s a long, well lit studio. And from Catherine Simard’s perspective, it’s what Montreal’s film and television production industry has long been in need of. The owner of Studios Darwin in Mile End got the idea to create her unique casting environment more than a year ago when she was a production coordinator desperately seeking last-minute casting space. “There just always seemed to be a shortage of available studios,” says Simard, a twenty-something Montrealer with straight, jet-black hair and an entrepreneurial streak that pushed her to leave the production house she worked for and set out a year ago to build what she calls ‘casting apartments’. Located in Mile End, close to a number of production houses (Attraction Media is in the same building) Studios Darwin offers casting directors a bright, comfortable environment with a full kitchen area, a living room couch viewing space with playback monitor and a wide café-height worktable for six – all of which sits opposite a long studio 750-square-foot space painted a camera-friendly shade of grey. “We wanted to create a place that would be comfortable for both actors and our clients. It should feel like your own space,” says Simard, explaining that casting days are often long and repetitive and that having natural light and a home like environment can help casting panels work more efficiently. Her space at 5455 de Gaspé Ave. is actually two studios, this first one is large and loft-like with a bank of west-facing factory windows and a kitchen tucked into one side; while the other is somewhat more modest in size (350 square feet) but still offering a relaxed atmosphere and the same level of service, i.e., lights, cameras, playback monitors and a technician who films the auditions as well as organizes and transfers files once the session is complete. n

22 • PRINTEMPS 2012


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Chronicle - Spring 2012