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Volume 24 • Number 4


Pat Ottmann & Tim Ottmann


John Hardy

On our cover…


Lisa Johnston & Nikki Mullett

Vern Kimball, CEO of the Calgary Stampede


Cher Compton


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Nancy Bielecki Kim Hogan Melissa Arthur

Jessi Evetts

REGULAR CONTRIBUTORS Richard Bronstein Frank Atkins David Parker Lonnie Tate Mary Savage

THIS ISSUE’S CONTRIBUTORS Heather Ramsay Colleen Wallace Nerissa McNaughton Parker Grant Mark Kandborg Julia Marshall Stewart McDonough Susan Thompson Andrea Mendizabal





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volume 24 • number 4

THIS MONTH’S FEATURES 30 • The $2-Billion expansion

Being the fastest growing airport in Canada is more than bragging rights By Colleen Wallace

35 • wealth Management: Invest in a Complete Plan

A well-rounded financial portfolio improves more than your bottom line By Nerissa McNaughton

45 • Looking for Leisure? Calgarians are taking to the road and investing in recreational properties not so far away. By Heather Ramsay

53 • The art of the Lease By John Hardy 61 • The Fact of Business Life Think about it! How many things in your life have a chip? By Parker Grant

68 • not everyone Can Take it to the Bank Mortgage changes, tightening real estate inventory and


concern over interest rates is leaving many with limited financing options. Or so they think. By Heather Ramsay

70 • Much More Than a Buzzword Corporate social responsibility is about governance and doing the right thing By John Hardy

87 • It’s all about Calgary Boosting Golf tournaments are about making money! By John Hardy


REGULAR COLUMNS 10 • Quebec Makes war on religion By Richard Bronstein 12 • another Call for a national Strategy By Frank Atkins 14 • Keys to retiring By Lonnie Tate 93 • Leading Business 97 • The Calgary report Current developments for Calgary Telus Convention Centre, Tourism Calgary, Calgary Economic Development, and Innovate Calgary

102 • Marketing Matters By David Parker

8 • April 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |

COMPANY PROFILES 75 • gTg energy Systems A Decade Strong 79 • JaTeC 30 Years | Thinking About Street Lights, Freeway Signs and Electricity So You Never Have To

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Quebec makes war on religion • Richard [title] • Bronstein [section]

BY rICharD BronSTeIn

Quebec Makes war on religion


here are at least several epochs in Canadian history when religious disputes led to blood being spilled. The Riel Rebellion was at least partly about religion. Protestants burned Catholic churches in colonial Ontario. Jewish refugees were refused entry to Canada at the outset of the Second World War and returned to Germany where many perished in the Holocaust. Sikhs were similarly rebuffed. And from the time of John A. Macdonald until fairly recently, Canada can be accused of genocide against aboriginals. Fortunately we have become a much more understanding and tolerant society today. That said, the province of Quebec is now engaged in an election in which the issue of religion is casting a troubled shadow. This is because of Bill 60, the Charter of Quebec Values, a legislative proposal that would ban the display of religious symbols among public sector employees. Technically, when an election is called, the provincial legislature dissolves and all legislative items die on the Order Paper. But it is unlikely the Quebec charter will go away. Since the project was introduced it has been criticized by many Quebec elites. The province’s business leaders are very concerned. It has been denounced by most public institutions that comprise the Montreal urban community, one of the most pluralistic cities in Canada. Other political leaders across Canada have decried it as well. Despite these pleas, support for Bill 60 has shot up among francophones to the point that the wobbly PQ government of Premier Pauline Marois may win a decisive majority in the upcoming vote. We all know that when the PQ is in power in Quebec City, can a sovereignty referendum be far behind? The more immediate consequence is that electoral victory for the PQ could foment some form of religious/ethnic strife in Quebec if the government proceeds to enact Bill 60. It is one thing to compel citizens of Quebec to become more francophone, as through the province’s language legislation which aims to put a French face and character on Quebec’s culture. That is somewhat analogous to Canada demanding that newcomers embrace Canadian culture and traditions. It is fairly easy to comply with cultural dictates

10 • April 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |

because a human being can be a vessel for more than one culture at a time. But religion is a different matter entirely. Faith is not like an article of clothing that you put on and take off. It is something people hold to deeply. At home, in the community centre, at a place of worship, people practice their faith fervently. In the public space they know how to mute it. So long as religion is not being forced on others in the public sphere, how can privately religious beliefs be considered a threat to the state? Does a turban or a kippa have the power of kryptonite that even proximity to it weakens 400 years of francophone history? Of course not. The real story is that the majority of Quebecers outside of Montreal have an irrational fear of the Muslim hijab. But you can’t frame legislation on that alone. So they throw Jews, Sikhs and Christians into the same bag to mask their intentions. However, there is a very good chance that if the Marois government pushes ahead with the Charter of Quebec Values, religious groups and other individuals will push back through civil disobedience. This will not be settled easily or quickly. The nature of the revolt against Bill 60 is starting to take shape already. Several boroughs in Montreal have said they will not comply with the legislation. McGill University says it will not enforce it either. Most recently, the publicly funded Jewish General Hospital pledged it would not enforce the ban on employees wearing religious symbols at work. Civil disobedience to Bill 60 could spread further the closer it comes to being law. And then what will happen? Will Quebec resemble those southern U.S. states in the 1960s that used paramilitary force to prevent black American schoolchildren from attending integrated schools, in violation of a Supreme Court order? Will Premier Marois stand on a street corner in Laval with a bullhorn at her lips to shout at employees of the motor vehicles licensing branch: “We know some of you in there are wearing turbans and hijabs. Come out with your hands up and we will not shoot.” Bill 60 may lead Quebec into some very dark places. All for a leader who wants to win an election. biC

Wo o d Auto m ot ive G ro up

Big 4 Motors

“Thank you for choosing Big 4 Motors” Customer Lisa Kardos with general manager Rob Coleman


ig 4 Motors is where it all began. In 1995, Gerry Wood and Glen Barreth purchased the dealership, and started what would become the Wood Automotive Group. Big 4 Motors is Wood Automotive Group’s Chrysler Ram Jeep Dodge dealership. The focus is on personal service and Big 4 Motors is always a top sales and service performer in both Calgary and Alberta. “We try to be different, and to give customers a solid reason to come visit us and purchase a vehicle. We want to get to know our customers,” says Rob Coleman, Big 4 Motors general manager. “Our managers and sales team provide all the information up front and that makes a much more gratifying customer experience. It is important to us as a team to be transparent and solution-focused for our buyers.” Growth and customer satisfaction are testaments to the success at Big 4 Motors. “Over half of our business comes through repeat sales and referrals,” says Coleman. “We pride

“We pride ourselves on a small-town approach to the sales experience. Buyers are unique and we fully appreciate that everyone has different needs in a vehicle.” ~ Rob Coleman, general manager ourselves on a small-town approach to the sales experience. Every buyer is unique and we fully appreciate that everyone has different needs in a vehicle.” For the second year in a row, the Ram 1500 was named Motor Trends Truck of the Year® and with a full line-up of Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep models to choose from, Big 4 Motors is confident about 2014 and beyond. Gerry Wood, the iconic president of Wood Automotive Group says, “The vehicles we have on the market today are exceptional.” | | 403.252.6671










Another Call for a national strategy • Frank Atkins



t seems that we are inundated lately with calls for national strategies. Every time a problem that is either real or just perceived arises, certain special interest groups call for the government to institute some kind of a national strategy. I am thankful that the recent clamour for a “National Energy Strategy,” which, strangely enough came from Alison Redford, appears to have died a quiet death. Recently, according to a Canadian press release on March 6, 2014, the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) stated that, “governments need an employment strategy to create better paid and more secure jobs.” The CLC claims that the major source of our employment and unemployment data, the Labour Force Survey, does not measure what might broadly be called discouraged workers. This would include individuals who wish to work, but cannot find employment, and have withdrawn from the labour force. According to the CLC, the recent favourable employment reports for Canada released by Statistics Canada once a month are hiding the above underlying problem. This prompted the CLC to produce a report which states that, “The economy has not created enough jobs, and those that have been created are disproportionately precarious…more Canadians are unemployed, marginally attached, or simply not engaging in the labour force.” The CLC is not saying that Statistics Canada does not publish this data, but rather, according to

another Call for a national Strategy senior economist Angella MacEwen, the report’s author, “Statistics Canada produces that information, we just want them to publicize it and make it more available to the public.” Now, I am always dubious when a labour group releases a report, as these groups tend to have a tenuous grasp on actual facts. Ever curious, I

I cannot see that we need a national strategy for a problem that is going away on its own. went to the Statistics Canada database CANSIM II to see what data was available on this topic. For those of you who have ever suffered through an undergraduate econometrics course, you will recall the difficulties involved in finding non-commonly used data in the CANSIM II database. From this perspective I am in sympathy with the CLC’s call to publicize this data. Although I am certain that there must be more data available, I found two relevant pieces of data. First, there is the data series “Canada; Could Not Find Full-Time Work, Did Not Look

12 • April 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |

For Full-Time Work in Last Month.” This would be a measure of discouraged workers. This series shows that there were approximately 350,000 Canadians in this category in 1997. This number decreased continually until 2008 when it started to increase in response to the 2008 downturn. However, beginning in 2011 this number began to decrease again. In 2013 there were 143,000 individuals in this category, less than half the number in this category in 1997. The second data series measures those who could not find work but kept looking. These individuals are unemployed, but have not quit looking for work. This data exhibits an almost identical pattern to the above data. So, what does this tell us? Yes, there are discouraged workers. However, the long-run trend in Canada shows a decrease in the number of discouraged workers. Yes, there were more discouraged workers during the recent downturn in the economy, but that has reversed now, and the downward trend continues. I cannot see that we need a national strategy for a problem that is going away on its own. biC

frAnK AtKins is An AssoCiAte professor of eConomiCs At the university of CALGAry, A senior feLLow At the frontier Centre for pubLiC poLiCy And A member of the Advisory boArd of the institute for pubLiC seCtor ACCountAbiLity.

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Keys to retiring • Lonnie Tate

BY LonnIe TaTe

Keys to retiring


hinking about retirement? That was the subject of my March column. Here are some thoughts about how to retire:

often quote Gizella Davis: “Oh for God sake, don’t build your life around a four-day visit from your grandchildren. They can stay at the Best Western down the street.”

1. Start the process now. You do not have to tell the world you are “hanging them up” in two or three years. But you and your significant other should agree that your life is about to change in some finite period of time. And the sooner the better.

7. Downsize really means right size. Make sure you and your spouse have room so you are comfortable. You need private space for each of you when you are both home.

2. Practice being selfish. The importance of looking after number one is often lost by people in the working world. They get caught up serving others. That doesn’t mean you stop being nice to others. Just take a deep breath and from time to time, put yourself first. 3. Stop growing your net worth. Expanding your asset base probably has you working more than you would like. And for what? One of my best friends used to say: “The point is to have enough to get you to the finish line. Your children can have what is left … if any.” 4. Focus on where you will be 10 years into the future. Right now, you are likely in a bunch of ruts directed at being successful in whatever it is you do. That is not surprising … you have directed the bulk of your adult life toward achieving success. If you can get outside the box you are in, take a good look at yourself. Most things you are doing today will be irrelevant 10 years from now. 5. Stop accumulating stuff. For starters, you will not need it. (I have 22 pairs of cufflinks and one French-cuff shirt. And I haven’t worn it in two years!) Better yet, if you are still worried about having enough, you can save a bunch. You will soon realize that in retirement, your spending will be way less than it has been in your working life. 6. Get ahead of your lifestyle curve. Move your household to a lifestyle you can enjoy 10 years from now (i.e., downsize now). So many people move when they have to. Too late to make an enjoyable second life. Often, they are maintaining the family home so the kids can visit. I 14 • April 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |

8. Get rid of the stuff you have now. I’ll repeat that my wife and I live two six-month lives in Calgary and Palm Springs. Both homes are on concrete slabs (i.e., no basements and limited garage space). Think of the stuff you have in your basement and elsewhere … it all has to go. If you think the stuff has value, you are probably wrong. Give it to your golf buddies’ kids who are just starting out. If you are honest about it, you already know your kids don’t want it! 9. Get computer literate. You will need to communicate with the outside world. Understanding the essentials of word-processing and the Internet will leave you free to do whatever you want. I have one pretty good laptop. There is a big peripheral screen, printer, keyboard and mouse at both our condominiums. All are wireless. We use an iPad for short trips. 10. Develop a bucket list … once a year do something to cross one of those bucket things off the list. More importantly, get some big projects you can work on from year to year. I write (letters, instructional pieces, this column, an autobiography and there is a novel in the works). And I work at the piano playing for charity events. Recreation includes golf, swimming, bridge and cooking. The autobiography was the best project. There are only four copies (for my two kids and two grandkids). They hardly believe that the house of my childhood had an icebox … complete with horse-drawn cart driven by the iceman. And that was in a brand-new house in Calgary at the corner of 28th Avenue and 22nd Street SW. Pick your own projects … you will have a blast. biC


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off the top • News

Breakfast on the Bridge fundraiser to support military family resource Centre and honour the 100th anniversary of the first world war set for June Calgary’s well-known and famous Peace Bridge will be the setting of a Sunrise Breakfast, being held to commemorate the 100th year anniversary of the First World War. With its ideal location at Memorial Drive, named in honour of the Calgarians who served in the Great War, George Brookman,

Calgary’s well-known business leader, volunteer and philanthropist, is teaming up with supporting partners Telus, Tourism Calgary and Hotel Arts to utilize this iconic new landmark in a first for charity – raising money for military families in the community.

Bedtime was over an hour ago.

quicikon s possemes ho able availUR MOVE MAKE YO


lose yourself in perfect family evenings

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off the top • News

Funds raised will benefit the Calgary Military Family Resource Centre (MFRC), a not-for-profit organization that provides essential front-line services to the families and members of the Canadian Forces, promoting all aspects of health and wellness, as well as assisting with employment, education and community needs. Currently the MFRC provides services and programs to 85 full-time regular Force members in Calgary and nearly 800 reserve Force members in Calgary and from Red Deer to Lethbridge. Their priority is the Canadian Armed Forces family members residing within the area, regardless of where the member is posted. They recognize that ‘families’ are formed in a variety of ways; and does not always refer to children. Programs and services include: personal development and community integrations; child/youth development and parenting support; family separation and reunion; and prevention, support and intervention. Plans are underway for approximately 250 people to join Brookman, including dignitaries from the Canadian Forces such as the former chief of the defence staff, General Rick

Hillier, for this charity breakfast on the Peace Bridge at the break of dawn on June 21, 2014. The breakfast will kick off First World War memorial commemorations including highlights such as a performance from a military band and a flyover by vintage First and Second World War planes. Tickets and sponsorships are on sale for the fundraising event for Calgary’s military families. Brookman is well known in Calgary’s business and volunteer community. In 1984, he acquired West Canadian Industries Group, which today is considered by many to be one of Canada’s leading digital print and document management companies. In addition to his own company, he serves on the board of directors of Penn West Exploration as the chairman of the governance committee. As a volunteer, he is the past president and chairman of the board of the Calgary Stampede, past chairman of Tourism Calgary and past president of the Downtown Rotary Club of Calgary. He is currently on the board of directors of Travel Alberta as well as the Calgary Flames Foundation and the Calgary Stampede Foundation. biC

Agricultural Safety Week in Canada Agriculture is vitally important to Canada. The industry provides one out of every eight Canadian jobs, providing employment for approximately 2.1 million people. The agriculture industry accounts for roughly eight per cent of our total gross domestic product (GDP). While those are impressive facts, there are some agriculture statistics that are not as pleasant. Agriculture is Canada’s third most hazardous industry, especially for men. Recent reports show 91 per cent of fatal farm-related injuries are male, with machine rollovers and drowning as the top causes of death. Alberta alone averages 18 farm fatalities a year; four of which involve children aged 18 or younger. The Canadian Agricultural Safety Association (CASA), Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA), Ag for Life and initiative partners aim to change those unfortunate statistics through Canadian Agricultural Safety Week (CASW). This year’s CASW, which took place in March, showcased in Olds, Iron Springs and Grande Prairie. The 2014 theme, “Let’s Talk About It,” encouraged communities to engage in conversations about farm safety. The topic was not an easy one to discuss, especially for the many families that have been affected by a farm accident or death; but it is through clear and open communication that things can – and will – change for the better. “One of Ag for Life’s goals is to increase awareness of our programs,” says Ag for Life’s chief executive officer David Sprague. “In 2014 we expect to reach 10,000 children through CASW and other safety programs. That’s double from last year.” 18 • April 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |

Progressive Agriculture Safety Days. Photo courtesy of Ag for Life.

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off the top • News

Farm safety awareness in action. Photo courtesy of Ag for Life.

The popularity of CASW and other related farm awareness programs is growing rapidly thanks to word of mouth and social media. “We are hoping that from the three programs (Olds, Iron Springs and Grande Prairie) other communities will get on board,” says Sprague. “They will see the program is impactful and easy to do. Communities

understand that safety programs must be continually reinforced.” Helping to get this message across are Ag for Life’s founding members: Agrium Inc., ATB Financial, ATCO Group, Penn West, Rocky Mountain Equipment, TransCanada Corporation, UFA Cooperative Limited, and contributing members: AdFarm and Glacier FarmMedia. “Farm safety is important to Ag for Life and our founders,” says Ag for Life’s director, development and communications, Luree Williamson. “They live, work, and employ in and from rural areas.” CASA, CFA, Ag for Life and the Ag for Life members strongly believe in collaborating with community-based programs to provide long-term support and funding for the growth and development of safety programs. Working together, they plan to implement sustainable programs in every province to significantly reduce the number of rural and farm-related injuries and deaths. Many farm accidents can be prevented – and that is the message they will work tirelessly at presenting so they can preserve the precious lives contributing one of Canada’s greatest industries. biC

Bon Ton Meat Market Celebrates Grand Opening of New Store in Crowfoot A lot has changed in Calgary in the past 94 years. The same holds true for Bon Ton Meat Market. From the iconic 900-square-foot store on 7th Avenue and Centre Street, to Edmonton Trail, to the Stadium Shopping Centre, to their beautiful new store in Crowfoot, Bon Ton may have changed locations a few times, but the business model has stayed the same. The owners – including current owners Fred and Greg Keller – have always been committed to the finest quality products coupled with the finest personal one-on-one service. “While a lot of companies have changed their way of doing business, we still believe in the old-fashioned way which means giving people what they want, exactly the way they want it, every time. No games, no limits, no memberships necessary – just real personalized one-on-one service by friendly, knowledgeable staff,” says Greg Keller, manager and COO of Bon Ton. Obviously the formula is working as Bon Ton has been voted the Consumer Choice Award winner for 13 consecutive years as Calgary’s best place to buy fresh meat. The exceptional growth of Bon Ton made the new 7,000-square-foot store a necessity. “With the tremendous growth, we felt it necessary to secure a location with easy access and lots of no-hassle, free parking and to build a store that was more spacious for our customers and employees,” says Greg. “However, the new 20 • April 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |

store had to be laid out exactly the same as the old one, right down to the colour scheme. Same Bon Ton, just bigger and better. We’ll never change our business model of having a never-say-no attitude and will always be committed to only the finest products.” Bon Ton carries only the top five per cent of AAA Alberta beef, free-range fresh poultry, fresh Alberta lamb, milk-fed veal from Quebec and fresh Alberta pork. Looking for bison, quail, duck, partridge, pheasant, guinea fowl, goose, venison, elk or rabbit? Bon Ton has it all. They have 20 varieties of gluten-free in-store made sausages and 12 varieties of in-store made gluten-free burgers to satisfy everyone’s needs. They stock natural beef and grass-fed beef and have a huge deli section with 20 varieties of salads, prepared fresh in-store daily. Of course, it wouldn’t be Bon Ton without mentioning their famous meat pies, still made fresh daily with the same recipes and equipment used in the original store. During their grand opening, Bon Ton is involving Greg’s pet charities. “We’re giving away two hinds of AAA Alberta beef this month,” says Greg. Valued at $600 each, visitors can enter their name in the draw and are asked to make any denomination of donation. At the end of the month, Bon Ton will draw the names of two lucky winners as well as divide all proceeds to Kids Cancer Care, Big Brothers/Big Sisters and Ronald McDonald House. biC


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off the top • News

Hockey Marathon for the Kids Aims to Raise $2 Million for Alberta Children’s Hospital

Hockey marathoners. Photo by hanafoto.

A few of the 2014 Players at their 4 hour practice game February 3rd, 2014 at Chestermere Arena. Photo by Filipek Photography.

The Hockey Marathon for the Kids organizers decided to support the Alberta Children’s Hospital Aidan Campbell - Aidan suffered a stroke when he was just a baby. Community-funded research at the Alberta Children’s Hospital is helping Aidan and other kids who’ve had strokes recover to their fullest potential. Photo courtesy of the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation.

in one of their highest priorities,

What’s more incredible than 40 businessmen playing hockey for 10 straight days to break a world record? How about 40 businessmen planning to break the record again … all to help sick children in the Calgary area community? Two years ago, after an exhausting 246 hours on the ice, the Hockey Marathon for the Kids successfully raised $1.5 million for the Alberta Children’s Hospital to help fight childhood cancer. This time around, they’re lacing up their skates to help kids with injury and illness of the brain. From May 4-14, 2014 “Team Hope” and “Team Cure” will face off again with the goal of setting a new world record and raising $2 million for the Alberta Children’s Hospital.

because who we are starts with the brain Brain-related health issues affect tens of thousands of children in Alberta. Whether they are neurologic or mental health in nature, brain disorders can have serious effects on children that can be lifelong. Damage to the brain while it is developing can have an impact on vision, speech, motor

brain health. development, emotion and social attachment – on who kids grow up to be. Remarkably, during childhood there is a window of opportunity in which brain plasticity can be optimized, potentially helping children’s brains adapt – even rewire and repair themselves – if appropriate therapies are developed and applied. Knowing this, the Hockey Marathon for the Kids organizers decided to support the Alberta Children’s Hospital in one of their highest priorities, brain health. For decades, surgery or autopsy were the only ways to obtain insights into the anatomy of the brain. As a result, scientific knowledge about the brain – especially the child brain – is fairly rudimentary compared to other organs of the body. Over the past few years, generous community donations have helped the Alberta Children’s Hospital acquire state-of-the-art technology and add internationallyContinued on page 26…

22 • April 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |

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A Family Affair

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Elise Verdoncq and Omerio, a Lusitano horse, performing the Les Voyageurs number.

un alia’s fo elle, Cav rse d Latour Norman n, an Arabian ho rio and Gor


nce again, Cavalia’s founder and artistic director Normand Latourelle pushes the limits of live entertainment with the company’s brand-new multimedia and multidisciplinary production, Odysseo. The $30-million equestrian extravaganza, the Montreal-based company’s second production makes its Alberta première at Calgary’s Canada Olympic Park April 30. Cavalia’s first production mesmerized Calgary audiences in 2011 with 40 sold-out shows, and Odysseo is even bigger. Established in Montreal, this successful family business has blossomed since its inception 10 years ago and employs 400 on both equestrian productions, which millions have enjoyed worldwide. Normand Latourelle’s vision and artistic ambitions are supported by the drive and determination of his entire family. His life partner, Dominique Day, has embraced the project since day one. The company’s cofounder devotes her time to their 150 horses on a beautiful farm in Montreal’s suburbs where horses retired from the spotlight frolic in lush fields and newcomers train. Normand’s two sons, Mathieu and David Latourelle, work every day to bring Cavalia Inc. to new heights; Mathieu is the executive producer and Cavalia’s tour director, while David, the eldest, is the vice-president in charge of legal affairs and market development. Since 2003, Normand, Dominique, Mathieu and David have embraced this adventure with open arms, as well as the passion, devotion and unwavering faith bred from a closeknit family bond. In 2011, this precious collaborative energy gave birth to a new creation marrying the equestrian arts,

stage arts and high-tech theatrical effects at never-beforeseen levels. Odysseo comprises the world’s largest touring big top, the biggest stage, the most beautiful visual effects and the greatest number of horses of any live performance, indulging its creators’ wildest artistic ambitions in a new ode to horses. The raising of the gleaming White Big Top in each tour city is an impressive achievement in and of itself. For its Calgary run, the family business employs 200 locally to assist in the show’s set up and tear down, as well as work in the box office, kitchen, concessions, parking and front of house. Cavalia stimulates the area’s economy by purchasing machinery, stone, dirt, sand, office furniture and food for the audience, employees and horses, resulting in $5 million in local economic impact. An additional estimated $12 million flows into the local economy from tourism-related costs. Odysseo celebrates the beauty and harmony of man and horse’s age-old relationship. As friends, partners and inseparable performers on stage, 66 horses and 52 artists lead audiences on a journey through a world of dreams. Odysseo’s Rendez-Vous package offers the best seats in the house, an exquisite pre-show buffet, open bar, desserts at intermission and an exclusive post-show stable tour. This VIP experience, perfect for corporate or group outings, takes place in a luxurious tent alongside the White Big Top. Odysseo plays the White Big Top at Canada Olympic Park from April 30, also stopping in Edmonton this July. For more information about Cavalia or Odysseo, please visit

East Village is Taking Shape Years of planning and preparation are coming to fruition, as development in the East Village is well underway


eep your eye on the horizon. What started as a concept within a destination, where visitors and Calgarians alike can years ago, has continued to evolve through vision, enjoy retail, restaurants, events and renewed dynamism. extensive research, iterations of excruciating planning, The following highlights the current status of EV projects: and is now starting to physically transform. In 2007, the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC) • East Village Infrastructure – over $325 million committed; was formed as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the City of Calgary. construction of two major mixed-use residential projects Its purpose was to execute the Rivers District Revitalization (approximately 400 units; another 1200 are already in the Plan (which included the East Village). The audacious goal queue). was to create and implement a robust infrastructure program • National Music Centre – under construction. and fashion a sought-after mixed-use community. This grand • St Patrick’s Island Revitalization and Bridge – under venture would include condominiums, a Hilton hotel, an urban construction and when completed the bridge will link East shopping experience, restaurants, gathering spaces, the new Village with the west end of St. Patrick’s Island and onward Central Library and the National Music Centre; and be made to the north banks of the Bow River near Memorial Avenue. possible through an innovative funding mechanism called a community revitalization levy. • RiverWalk and RiverWalk Plaza – phases I, II and III have “By creating a new tax base for the city and completely been completed which include two kilometres of river front reworking a less desirable area, Calgary is going to be promenade; the Elbow River Traverse is under construction Calgary enhanced. is strong. And so is East Village, considerably Construction on various projects started the place and will bewhere ready for Calgary use this fall. was founded a year ago, and we are already seeing significant progress. and where the future of downtown living is being built today. The EV project is imperative to Calgary and also garnering Looking ahead a year from now, residents will be moving into the attention of others. As such, the community has attracted the community and additional projects will be well underway,” Since 2006, Master Developer CMLC has led the transformation East Village, and flood-proofing $1.7 billion ofof planned investment (there’s more to come)was and explains Michael Brown, president and CEO of CMLC. anExtensive integraldue part of the master plan – intothe past we’ve raised floodplain bygranted up to to four feet. numerous awards and the accolades have been CMLC, for diligence has been completed ensure thatfive a years, innovative and sustainable practices. transformation EV That important investment paid will off be this summer: major residential projects“The sustained littleof or venture of this magnitude and complexity a success and ouritstwo it a community like no other.and It is our encouraging to see contribute to theand city for generations to continues. come. As the interest and at will no damage, construction Our pride themake efforts of our neighbours community respond positively to the progress. The east side of our momentum is great confidence the East the Calgarians knows no continues, bounds. there Our commitment to that delivering master plan vision of the community is intact and city is going to be forever changed for the better and offer so much Village (EV) will exemplify exceptional downtown living and urban our resolve is unwavering. We look forward to welcoming you to the newest, oldest, coolest, warmest to explore and enjoy. It will be exceptional!” says Brown. exploration. The community will ultimately be a destination

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off the top • News

…continued from page 22

recognized experts to its already strong brain health team. Today, the hospital is poised to make a global impact in this crucial field. Funds raised through the 2014 Hockey Marathon for the Kids will help to fund more and better ways of helping the thousands of kids each year with brain-related disorders, including: • Epilepsy • Pediatric stroke • Severe traumatic brain injury • Concussion

• Neurodevelopmental disorders like autism and attention deficit disorders (ADD/ADHD) • Mental health disorders like anxiety and depression By teaming up with the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation, the dedicated players of the 2014 Hockey Marathon for the Kids are hoping to help the hospital reach their goal of offering nation-leading care and providing new therapies that can minimize, prevent and even reverse the damaging effects of brain-related impairments and disease – helping thousands of kids in the community and around the world. biC

The Win-Win Calgary-Scotland Friendship There may be 4,032 miles (6,488 kilometres) between Calgary and Glasgow but the unique relationship – built on a foundation of solid energy and investment business deals as well as strong cultural ties – makes it seem a lot closer. “Recent stats show that about five million Canadians have some direct or indirect Scottish background,” says Adnan Ahmad, the upbeat and positive senior executive for Scottish Development International (SDI), in the organization’s downtown Calgary offices. “There’s most definitely a bond between the two cultures and, in terms of business and investment, there are various parallels and quite a few synergies between the economies of our two countries. “Oil and gas have a significant and positive impact on both economies and both Canada and Scotland have tremendous experience dealing with harsh environments and a determined focus on sustainability and the environment. “Canada is of great strategic importance for us,” Ahmad points out. SDI is a joint venture with partnerships that include the Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Business Gateway Scotland and TalentScotland. Scottish and Canadian facts and figures (particularly Calgary-specific details) underscore just how actively the strong relationship is growing. Both countries and its business leaders and government agencies are work-

ing closely, often behind the scenes, to strengthen existing bonds, especially between Alberta and Scotland, by building on established cooperation like Adrok, Swell X, Wood Group and the Alberta Scottish Business Association. Also, Calgary-based companies like Nexen, Suncor and Talisman are already building on the win-win relationship with successful operations in North Sea oilfields. Building primarily on the CalgaryScotland energy connections was one of the key reasons for the whirlwind, five-day, late-February Calgary visit by a dozen members of the most recent SDI delegation. And Adnan Ahmad, SDI’s Calgary point man, had a hectic but excitingly productive week, arranging and whisking the group to more than 30 meetings with Calgary oil and gas executives, operators, EPC companies and regulators during the delegation’s tight and action-packed five-day stay. “Although the two market dynamics are quite different, this was our second trade mission to Calgary,” he explains, “discussing market parallels between

26 • April 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |

offshore and unconventional markets like the oilsands, trying to better understand the Alberta market and create awareness and opportunities.” Ahmad underscores the positive value of the delegation’s various meetings and discussions in Calgary. “It was particularly effective when it comes to the critical SDI mission, considering the rapid rise in Scotland’s oil and gas supply chain and ensuring that investment from Canadian companies continues to play a role in the future growth of Scotland’s energy industry.” The solid and unique Calgary-Scotland friendship and dynamic business relationship continues to grow. For now, the delegation is back home, reviewing their notes, implementing action and following up with contacts from their most recent strategic Calgary meetings. “Aye! Let the wind blow high, let the wind blow low!” They’ll be back! Probably with the 2,000-plus exhibitors and 60,000-plus attendees at the world-famous 2014 Global Petroleum Show, all set for June 10-12, 2014 at Stampede Park in Calgary, if not before. biC

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Little Warriors’ Be Brave Ranch The statistics are staggering. One in three girls and one in six boys will experience sexual abuse. Eighty per cent of these incidents will occur before the child is 18, and 95 per cent of the victims will know their abuser. The fallout of the abuse is devastating. Seventy per cent of abuse survivors report heavy drug and alcohol use later in life and the majority will experience long-term mental and social disorders. There is an organization that aims to change this. Little Warriors, a Canadian-based national charity, focuses on the education and prevention of child sexual abuse by teaching adults how to recognize, prevent and react to sexual abuse. The organization also provides information and support resources. In June 2014, a long-awaited vision of Little Warriors will come true. One of Little Warriors’ missions is to “provide a treatment facility to help children cope with the devastating effects of child sexual abuse.” This treatment facility is taking shape as the Be Brave Ranch. According to a statement issued

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28 • April 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |

on Little Warriors’ website, “Throughout the country there are dozens of therapeutic centres dedicated to the rehabilitation of child rapists, but not a single long-term treatment facility devoted to the treatment of the damaged victims they’ve left behind. By creating the Be Brave Ranch by Ray LaBonte and family, Little Warriors is taking a major step towards correcting this baffling inequity.”

off the top • News

Be Brave Ranch’s early intervention strategies will be victim-focused and aims to treat 40 children each month. The mission of the ranch is as follows: • To provide children who have experienced the horror of sexual abuse a safe place to heal. • To provide families affected by child sexual abuse a place to deal with their emotions, grief, guilt and profound anger so they are able to support their children. • To provide those in relationships with sexual abuse survivors a place to learn about symptoms, prevention and how to understand the long-lasting effects. There are many ways to help Be Brave Ranch create a safe place for children to heal. Monetary donations are accepted online and by phone. Volunteers are needed for junk removal, cleaning and building projects, and the following material donations are being gratefully accepted: • Commercial 4-part stove • Commercial 6-part stove • Commercial freezer • Commercial fridge • Commercial double ovens • 4 microwaves • 30 power horse tractor equipped with a snowblower and mower

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• barbecues • Weed whacker • Skid steer or Bobcat • Patio furniture • Horse tack A complete list of items and services is available online; the list is constantly updated as the various needs are filled. Little Warriors is committed to spreading the message of responsibility, action and hope while reducing the stigma of sexual abuse for the victims and creating roadblocks for the perpetrators. They strive to “turn pain into change”; the Be Brave Ranch is a major step forward in creating this muchneeded change. biC

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the $2-billion expansion • News


$2-Billion Expansion Being the fastest growing airport in Canada is more than bragging rights By CoLLeen waLLaCe | aLL PhoToS CourTeSy oF CaLgary aIrPorT auThorITy


here is a widely accepted business axiom that, in various ways, an airport is a direct and potent reflection of an area’s dynamics and economy. Locally, regionally, nationally and internationally, the success, the growth, the ranking and the performance of Calgary International Airport (YYC) is positive, good news for Calgary. Even while the $2-billion Airport Development Program (ADP) continues in high gear as a massive construction project work in progress, some recent Canadian airport stats and airline plans and strategies are proving to be not only solid

30 • April 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |

testimonials about Calgary as a vital travel destination but a reflection of a great community for doing business and enjoying a superb quality of life. As with so many other industries and businesses, a significant and reliable measure of a major airport’s performance and success is a numbers game. And according to recently published 2013 Canadian passenger volume growth numbers, it is a resounding and documented fact: • Calgary is officially Canada’s fastest growing airport • Calgary is now the third busiest airport in Canada

the $2-billion expansion • News

• Calgary is officially Canada’s fastest growing airport • Calgary is now the third busiest airport in Canada

With an impressive 4.9 per cent growth and handling an all-time record volume of 14.3 million passengers in one year, Calgary International Airport has overtaken Montreal’s Pierre Elliott Trudeau (Dorval) Airport. Experts and analysts agree that, aside from the latest stats sol-

idly boosting Calgary’s market profile, reputation, prestige and bragging rights, YYC’s growth and business-important number 3 ranking is a major achievement, especially comparing apples to apples. Because in terms of economies and population base, Montreal is more than three times the size of Calgary.


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the $2-billion expansion • News

The current top 10 Canadian airports (by passenger volumes) are Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal, Edmonton, Ottawa, Halifax, Winnipeg, Toronto (Toronto Island Airport) and Victoria. “On the airport management side, we really don’t compare ourselves or how we operate to other airports,” says the hectically busy and gung-ho YYC spokesperson, Jody Moseley. “As part of the Calgary Airport Authority business plan, we target a three to four per cent annual growth but our primary focus is to make sure we have all the necessary services for our customer airlines as well as the public – the passengers who come through our airport. “Of course the positive feedback about how we’re doing is nice and appreciated but our mandate is to grow Calgary Airport for the benefit of Calgary’s economy and to ensure that we consistently provide an exceptional customer experience for departures and arrivals,” Moseley adds with high energy and enthusiasm. Everything else is detail. Given the momentum of Calgary’s economy, continuing strong migration trends and other vital and uniquely Calgary market factors, business insiders are upbeat, optimistic 32 • April 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |

the $2-billion expansion • News

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and off the record anticipating the likelihood of tremendous YYC success with more spikes in YYC passenger volume numbers and activity after the massive airport expansion is completed. Even now, about a year and a half before the ‘bigger, better and all improved’ Calgary Airport is ready for business, the various signs of future YYC success are taking shape. The sprawling new terminal will double Calgary Airport’s passenger space. The 22 new gates will handle more aircrafts on more routes to and from Calgary. The longest runway in Canada (which is already complete and will be operational next month) “to accommodate the largest aircraft in the world,” Moseley adds, with emphasis, and increased parking for more than 11,000 cars. Although the grand opening of the supersized Calgary Airport is slated for October 2015, YYC’s current passenger and cargo volumes, its consistent and exceeding-expectations growth, its performance and the number 3 national ranking are already triggering vibrant plans for expanded services by existing airlines as well as generating other national and international business interest about future Calgary Airport opportunities. Late last year, YYC added to its already expansive network of routes, destinations and connections. WestJet introduced Encore, its new regional service, to three new routes from Calgary – Brandon, Fort St. John and Nanaimo – as well as seasonal direct service to Dallas/Fort Worth and Miami as well as increasing seats to other popular

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the $2-billion expansion • News

regional and U.S. destinations. As the headquarters for WestJet (and now Encore) Calgary is undisputedly WestJet’s largest Canadian hub. In 2013, Air Canada (AC) grew its YYC presence by significantly enhancing services from Calgary to Frankfurt, Germany and London, England, additional daily flights to Tokyo and continuing as Alberta’s only nonstop service to Asia. AC also increased capacity on some popular regional and international destinations, like three daily flights from Red Deer to Calgary. KLM is increasing frequency on its summer and winter schedule on the Calgary to Amsterdam route and British Airways confirmed that Calgary will be one of the first Canadian airports to have its new 787 Dreamliner on the popular Calgary to London route. Meanwhile, as Moseley and airport senior management acknowledge the positive feedback about YYC’s growth and ranking and are gratified by the positive momentum of confidence from the airline industry and especially existing YYC customers like WestJet, Air Canada, KLM and British Airways, they remain focused on success and service-centred business as usual. There is a steady caravan of trucks, lots of heavy equipment, cranes, construction commotion and temporary detours on the massive airport property. The days and nights

are exciting and exhilaratingly hectic. The mind-bogglingly complex ADP plans, logistics, details and schedules are into the home stretch. While some additions and new features were finished and became operational in 2013 – such as a new 125,000-squarefoot air cargo building, a new 150,000-square-foot hangar and charter terminal for Sunwest Aviation, an 80,000-square-foot hangar and office development for the North West Group and Air Partners – construction is happening on two new 40,000-square-foot hangars and other new on-site facilities, including a hotel and additional industrial and office space. No doubt about it. By public and business consensus, the $2 billion worth of YYC expansion details will yield a definite long-term payoff and will be the attention-getting, high-profile ‘stars of the show.’ As some economists and business analysts imply, the tremendous volume of YYC activity, the business growth, the national ranking and the overall positivity about Calgary International Airport not only sends an irresistibly potent message about the dynamics of the Calgary community but it could also be a subtle indicator of a much bigger picture. Some suggest that it may be a telltale barometer about an economic and business shift to the West. biC

Thank you to everyone who made the Great Gatsby Big Band Gala, in support of Rockyview General Hospital, a roaring success. All our guests, sponsors and hospital staff made this night one to remember!

Great Gatsby Big Band


34 • April 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |

wealth management: invest in a Complete plan • Finance

Wealth Management: Invest in a Complete Plan

A well-rounded financial portfolio improves more than your bottom line By nerISSa MCnaughTon


ealth management is more than putting money in an RRSP, paying your taxes and mentioning your house in your will. Dive a little deeper to see what your portfolio may be missing and how money management impacts all aspects of your life. Chris Rawles is a net worth adviser at RT Mosaic Wealth Management Ltd. in Calgary. RT Mosaic focuses on asset allocation in conjunction with each client’s life goals and risk tolerance for long-term financial success. “In my opinion, there is an absolute positive correlation between wealth, health and happiness, if managed properly,” says Rawles. “Wealth accumulation can be a powerful tool if you allow yourself to become a balanced individual. If you have a solid financial plan in place, that will most certainly lead to peace of mind. Peace of mind enables you to focus more time on important things like relationship quality and quality of life from a mental and physical perspective. Wealth can also be all consuming and if you become too materialistic, that pursuit of wealth can negatively impact all other facets of an individual’s life.”

Chris Rawles, net worth adviser at RT Mosaic Wealth Management Ltd.

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This is not an offering for sale. Such an offering can only be made with a disclosure statement. E.&O.E. | BUSINESS IN CALGARY April 2014 • 35

Wealth Management: Invest in a Complete Plan • Finance

think this would be an easy task, but we are Among the many services offered by finding that this is becoming more daunting RT Mosaic are two you may have yet to for households. Younger generations seem consider: education planning and debt to be entitled and want a very high standard management; two plans essential for of living. Consequently, banks and lenders a balanced budget and a balanced life. have no problem enabling this lifestyle. Rawles explains, “Education planning is Cost of living is constantly rising because of important for several reasons as it enables taxes, inflation, societal pressures and gova person to devise in advance, a financial ernments’ reckless spending. When we talk strategy to pay for the cost of an educato clients about debt planning we talk about tion. In a society where taking on student consequences of taking on too much debt. It loans is a reality for many people, planall goes back to choices. Do you want to be ning gives an individual an advantage a slave to a bank or lender just so you can of not having debt or mitigating against have an inflated lifestyle, or would you prehaving huge student loans. We find going fer to have choices and personal freedoms?” through the education planning process Andrew Ruhland is the founder of typically opens up a young person’s mind Andrew Ruhland, founder of Integrated Wealth Management Inc. Integrated Wealth Management Inc., an to their educational career path and poteninnovative, client-focused firm dedicated tial opportunities. It is important to have to helping clients simplify, organize and structure their an education plan in place because it starts the conversation finances. The results of their work aim to “lower stress and of having career goals and from a financial standpoint, the give peace of mind.” government grants achieved through many of the govern“Health, wealth and happiness are intimately interconment education accounts is exceptional.” nected ingredients in the recipe for living a fully-potentiated Education and debt seem to go hand in hand, but as Rawles life, though the exact nature of their chemistry is still being points out, debt is within our ability to control. “Debt planning is explored by scholars, scientists and spiritualists,” says Ruhbasically the practice of managing one’s debt levels. You would land. “While it’s possible to have one or two of these without the other(s), society demonstrates that they frequently go together. They are not Open for mutually exclusive, but they are defiTake-Out & Delivery! nitely mutually supportive.” 735 - 12th Avenue SW, Calgary Integrated Wealth Management’s services include estate planning, which Serving Calgary since 1985 is not just for the wealthy and famous. Estate planning, despite its dubious and misleading portrayal in the media (often shown as relatives squabbling Pasta al! i c over the family fortune), should be part e S p pecia S $2 of l ! Pizza ny pizza, of everyone’s financial plan. Ruhland f any p ff a a o s explains, “Estate planning is essentially t % a e , 0 y , ve 1 da when ry day, taking responsibility today to ensure every ick-up you p p u o that those affected (mostly family) by y i c k-up when your loss of decision-making ability (via death, disability, etc.) are not forced to deal with unnecessary complexity or financial hardship. It’s about not leaving a big mess for others to clean up or pay for. As such, every adult should have a current, properly drafted set of basic estate planning documents: a will, power of attorney and personal directive. If you don’t have these, Serving corporate Calgary for lunch the emotional and financial costs of See the full menu at your inaction will burden those you P: 403.244.3838 • F: 403.244.3862 Fax order in advance love. Most people fear death, so they

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wealth management: invest in a Complete plan • Finance

“By purchasing the right product(s), the policy owner can take advantage of some great tax deferrals to provide Darlene Minogue, consultant with LSM Insurance

typically avoid doing even the basics until death, disability or loss of mental capacity happens to someone they know, and they witness the effects.” Life insurance goes hand in hand with estate planning and is a very important piece of the financial portfolio puzzle. “Insurance is essentially a wise tool for providing financial certainty to those who rely on your income and/or health remaining stable in order to maintain their lifestyle. Insurance doesn’t need to be fun; it just needs to be done,” says Ruhland. Calgary’s Darlene Minogue and Bill Harvey agree. Both are consultants with LSM Insurance, a leading provider of life and living benefit insurance solutions for Canadians. “Depending on the product, life insurance can be used to guarantee the quality of life that your beneficiaries have grown accustom to. It can also protect business owners to provide cash flow and operating costs due to a death of a partner or business owner. By purchasing the right product(s), the policy owner can take advantage of some great tax deferrals to provide an income in the retirement years,” says Minogue. The LSM Insurance consultants state that any financial plan can be undermined if the income producer is not insured. “If you don’t insure the person that produces the income to invest in the best financial plan available, that plan will be guaranteed to fail,” cautions Minogue.

an income in the retirement years.” ~ Darlene Minogue.

As part of a complete financial portfolio, LSM Insurance recommends: • Term insurance for mortgages or any other short-term debts. • Whole life and universal life because the coverage is permanent and there are some excellent tax deferral savings within the policies. This cash can be used in retirement. • Critical illness insurance because it will pay a lump sum tax-free payment in the event of a critical illness. You can use this money in any way you wish. • Long-term care to pay for the care of the insured with the necessities of daily living whether in their home or an institution. There are many different facets to wealth management, but one thing is clear. Failing to have a financial plan affects more than your bank account. Lack of a plan can lead to debt, curtail your choices (such as affording higher education) and impact your dependants for years to come. Talk to an adviser today about your financial portfolio. Wealth management isn’t just about accumulating money. It’s about managing what you have in order to create the best-case scenario for your life, your future and your loved ones. biC

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403.232.1122 GreenBean550 | BUSINESS IN CALGARY April 2014 • 37


stampede: the year-round business • Cover

the Year-round Business The Ceo is supercharged by values, heritage, community and staying relevant

By John harDy PhoToS By ewan nIChoLSon PhoTograPhy


side from behind-closed-door board of directors meetings, most corporate CEOs are spared the often dreaded and invariably uncomfortable ritual of employee evaluations. But if Vern Kimball, CEO of the Calgary Stampede, did have to sit through an evaluation with his boss, the notes on file would definitely include personality and performance comments like: passion, genuine pride, enthusiasm, strong business savvy, inspiring organizational smarts and ... a whole lot of charm. Aside from all that, Kimball is likely Calgary’s only CEO who wears a cowboy hat, year round.

It makes a statement, it’s terrific branding and potent PR from meetings, negotiations, reconnaissance sessions, studying and making the rounds to get parade ideas at Mardi Gras in New Orleans, at the Rose Bowl in California and pitching the Stampede at trade shows from Las Vegas to Munich, Moose Jaw and Montreal. Here at home, especially in the Calgary business world (where Kimball is well known and tremendously respected) the hat is sometimes misleading and may innocently aggravate the myth and common misunderstanding. There is so very much more to the business of Stampede than the legendary 10-day party and cowboys, horses, | BUSINESS IN CALGARY April 2014 • 39

Stampede: the Year-round Business • Cover

“Our most important job and responsibility is to be active and relevant year-round,” Kimball says, lapsing into focused CEO mode. “How do we make our prime and valuable 200 acres not only a unique gathering place but a viable business?” parades, pancakes, national TV coverage, rodeos, chuck wagons, mini donuts, Shania Twain and wonderful summer days and nights with a quirky spectrum of people – from stressed and pressured oil traders, plumbers, dentists, tourists, executives, truckers, investment bankers and bus drivers – sporting plaid shirts, rugged jeans with chunky belt buckles and leather boots. The other 355 days of the Stampede is very much a busy and full-time big business, with strategic plans, balance sheets, revenue streams, HR issues, capital projects, market analysis and organizational plans. Despite the 102-year track record of business performance (spelled out in meticulous detail in each year’s annual report), the legacy of experience and a legendary international reputation, “the business” of Stampede continues as a dynamic work-in-progress. The business’ formal name, the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede Ltd. (CS), and Kimball’s leadership, long hours and tireless hard work are all about a successful big business with 300 year-round, full-time and 1,000 part-time employees, (4,000 part time staff during the 10 actual Stampede days in July), an enthusiastic army of 2,500 volunteers – and an annual budget of well over $130 million. “Our most important job and responsibility is to be active and relevant year-round,” Kimball says, lapsing into focused CEO mode. “How do we make our prime and valuable 200 acres not only a unique gathering place but a viable business? “We are hard to categorize. Stampede is the home show, the auto show, the comic expo and the boat show and various trade shows like the massive Global Petroleum Show and other industry events. “The 10-day Stampede – the greatest outdoor show on earth – may be our biggest draw,” he beams with a grin and infectious pride, “but for the other 11.5 months of the year, we are in the highly competitive conference and trade show business, we are in the entertainment business with concerts and the casino, and with the banquets, graduation and company Christmas parties and even wedding receptions, we are definitely in the hospitality business.” The uniqueness of Stampede as a year-round business also adds a dimension of uniqueness to Kimball’s CEO responsibilities, like the tricky, fact-of-seasonal business life of managing cash flow. About half of the CS revenues are generated during the 10 40 • April 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |

days in July and the other half happens throughout the rest of the year, with some special, seasonal big activities in the fall and spring. Kimball explains that being current and up to date is the organization’s key priority. He is revved and ready, citing the ambitious but determined goal that the business of Stampede must be as vital and exciting in its 200th year as it was two years ago, during the record-breaking centennial year, with a grand total of nearly 1.5 million customers cranking the perfect-summer turnstiles. Planning and strategizing the organization’s future was a key reason why the board of directors (made up of 20 volunteer directors elected by shareholders, seven appointees and the immediate past president) huddled at a 2012 retreat. The board had a full agenda. From capital projects to succession planning, talent management, expansion and charting long-range plans not only for the legendary 10-day event but defining strategic direction and outlining policy for sustaining and growing the year-round business that is the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede Ltd. According to Kimball, the purpose of the brainstorming was, “What will the business be like in 2030? The board dealt with many factors and options and came up with three ‘core pillars’ of what we want to be and the best ways to get there. “We are determined to have inspired space. We will create exceptional experiences that people will remember, share and tell stories about. And we will be relevant year-round.” In addition to being the CEO of the genuinely unique Calgary organization, his devotion to every aspect and detail of his multifaceted role is palpable. There is almost a visual transformation in his eyes, the expression on his face and even in his body language whenever he senses an opportunity to enthusiastically talk Stampede. “We have a solid board, terrifically talented staff and a truly remarkable contingent of volunteers,” he says with appreciation and pride. “Regardless our specific areas of responsibility, our team works hard to retain our clients and attract new ones.” Professionally and privately, Kimball is unconditionally positive and also realistic about dealing with business speed bumps. The weather will always be a crap shoot for any business that relies heavily on things happening outdoors.


Where do you go from here? To ensure you pay the least amount of tax possible, you need a tax strategy that keeps up with the growth of your business. If you’ve outgrown your current strategy, it may be time for a new approach. Stewart, Randy and Dylan, backed by a knowledgeable team of tax specialists, have extensive experience working with both private enterprise and public companies to develop effective and innovative strategies that minimize your taxes and maximize the returns to your business. Contact Randy Bella, CA, Regional Tax Leader at 403.536.5536 or

stampede: the year-round business • Cover

Vern reviewing the progress on the Stampede’s $100 million capital campaign with Sarah Hayes, executive director, Calgary Stampede Foundation.

He touches on a key Calgary factor that is already impacting the business of Stampede. Kimball is buoyed and acknowledges that Calgary is an excitingly growing community with a booming migration of people, primarily young demographics, continuing to move to Calgary from other parts of Canada and the world. “That’s such a terrific positive. It also presents a tangible and real challenge for us,” he admits. “There are increasing numbers of Calgarians who didn’t grow up here. They didn’t grow up coming to watch the rodeo or get together with friends for pancake breakfasts in the street and they were never exposed to cowboy hats and boots and the atmosphere that is the Stampede. “During the 10 days in July and for the rest of the year, staying relevant and up to date is a key aspect of our longterm business plan. From Saskatchewan to Somalia, we welcome everyone,” the cowboy-hatted CEO beams. After 28 years on the job, Kimball still bristles at the slightest suggestion that jeans, cowboy hats and boots are just props or costumes for the annual wild and woolly big party. He is adamant (without a hint of amusement) that it may be a fun novelty for some but “they are traditional symbols of our western values which make Calgary what it is and the best of what we stand for.” Aside from the responsibility, rank and stature of his high-profile, executive role, Kimball is one of those rare, 42 • April 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |

hard-working high achievers who often get envied because they epitomize the cliché that “if you love your job, it’s not really work.” He good-naturedly brags about loving his job since day one. “I was in food service management at the University of Calgary for about a dozen years, particularly helping to organize the ’88 Olympic athlete food facilities,” he remembers. “When the Stampede first hired me, I worked in sales and facilities and then as CFO for about 10 years. “Being appointed CEO was a genuine honour. I honestly thought I just got the best job in the world! And my feelings haven’t changed one bit. It’s not only the best job but it’s a privilege. It is stewardship for something that was bequeathed to us and building on it. It’s a great gig,” he adds with an endearing smile. The Stampede staff, the board, other business leaders, community contacts and even the mayor agree: Vern Kimball eats and breathes Stampede, as a tradition and as a dynamic business. Starting in June and for six hectically busy weeks, he and his senior management team and their staff are in full Stampede attack-mode. It’s 101 per cent about the Stampede. The rest of the year, Kimball is in inside and outside meetings, he reviews updates and activity reports, he develops bright ideas, and he pitches, proposes, negotiates, follows-up and does whatever it takes to grow the iconic, year-round business.

stampede: the year-round business • Cover

Kimball is one of those rare, hard-working high achievers who often get envied because they epitomize the cliché that

“if you love your job, it’s not really work.”

“We invest in infrastructure,” he says, citing one of the organization’s priorities. “We added to the BMO Centre in the last few years and now the Agrium Western Event Centre is nearing completion and set to open this June. It will be a superb facility and unique in Canada, with 150,000 square feet of dedicated livestock-friendly space.” He points out that the new, $61.5-million building is the Stampede’s biggest ever project, paid for by $25 million each from the governments of Canada and Alberta and the key sponsor, Agrium. Kimball and his sales staff have been busy and have already signed multi-year deals for the Agrium Western Event Centre to host the Arabian Horse Association Championships (late July), the Team Roping Canada Canadian Finals (September), and the Canadian Team Cattle Penning Association National Finals (mid-October) and more to be announced soon. Although he is teasingly tight-lipped about long-range project development in the organization’s business plan, there are rumours about restaurants, shops, a western museum, performing arts and other agricultural facilities, reinforcing the Stampede’s year-round business focus. As most supercharged and upbeat workaholics usually shrug off: there’s a thin and sometimes non-existent line between work and play. “Nothing is more important for me than family,” he says with emotion about his wife, Wendy, and his 19-year-old

stepson, Iain, a student at the University of Victoria. “My wife is so supportive and smart and she is also my hero. Last June, when our basement was hit hard by the flood, she did all the crisis management, solo.” While he admits to not being very good at disconnecting or relaxing, he sometimes indulges a weakness for red wine, good cheese and venison sausage. Maybe a clash of stereotypes but the Stampede’s CEOwith-a-Stetson is hooked on classical music, playing piano and not only curls up with a good book but (a la Oprah) he and five of ‘the boys’ are in a book club which meets eight times a year. Although he chuckles about the blurred lines between his work life and his private life, he is very serious about community playing a vital role, in both. At work, he is consistently driven by his conviction that the Stampede is a reflection of the spirit of the Calgary community. Community also figures prominently in his private life: Kimball is president of the University of Calgary Alumni Association, serves on the board of the Calgary Philharmonic, is an active member of Rotary and mentors students in Rotary’s Stay In School program. “When I was 10 years old, growing up in Ontario, my father played Wilf Carter records and I dreamed of going to the Stampede.” It seems some dreams do come true. biC | BUSINESS IN CALGARY April 2014 • 43

Looking for Leisure? • Recreation & Investment Properties

Looking for Leisure? Calgarians are taking to the road and investing in recreational properties not so far away. By heaTher raMSay | aLL PhoToS CourTeSy oF TrILLIanT reaL eSTaTe grouP


fter the long and dark winter months of living in the deep freeze, who doesn’t yearn for some much-needed time away to enjoy the sunshine and relaxation at the lake? Albertans certainly love their recreation and have some fantastic options within a reasonable distance. It doesn’t matter if you love to swim,

water-ski, hike, bike, climb, shop, garden, barbecue, sit in the sun or simply do nothing. Whether you’re two or 102, the opportunities to enjoy the highlights and activities of the seasons in Alberta and British Columbia are plentiful, and more and more people are making the investment in recreational property. | BUSINESS IN CALGARY April 2014 • 45

Looking for Leisure? • Recreation & Investment Properties

While more recent years saw an insurgence of activity in fractional ownership and timeshares, that trend has shifted to outright ownership and purchases and properties even closer to home.

While more recent years saw an insurgence of activity in fractional ownership and timeshares, that trend has shifted to outright ownership and purchases and properties even closer to home. One new property owner summarizes it this way: “When we first started looking for a recreational property we automatically defaulted to the Shuswap, but with busy careers and a young family, the seven-hour drive was a deterrent. If we were to invest in a second property we wanted to ensure that we could use it frequently and year round. In the end we opted for the gem next door, beautiful Canmore. Sure it’s only 45 minutes away from home, but that’s far enough that when you pack up you can go enjoy the splendour of such an amazing place without losing a day in travel.” Of late the most sales and growth activity has been seen in Canmore and Sylvan Lake, Alberta and Invermere, British Columbia. Sylvan and Invermere have long been favourite 46 • April 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |

destinations of Calgarians and local real estate agents suspect it will continue to be such, for generations to come. “The Columbia Valley offers very unique features and benefits year round. Where else can you drive only three hours from Calgary, and be able to enjoy plentiful hot days of sunshine, lake-front access and summer activities, and then premier ski and backcountry all winter?” says Ray Ferguson, agent with Re/Max Invermere. “Plus, there is fantastic golf, hot springs and other interesting amenities in communities such as Radium, Fairmont and Panorama.” It doesn’t matter what the season is, there are always plenty of Alberta licence plates in the Columbia Valley. In fact, the population grows from approximately 3,000 permanent residents to 10,000 in the peak winter months. Then come summer that number quadruples. “The influx of seasonal residents and visitors to our communities brings such

Looking for Leisure? • Recreation & Investment Properties

their property value,” says Ferguson. substantial economic and social bene“Since then condos have been the fit. We are a close-knit community and mainstay and thankfully things are yet really do appreciate and welcome starting to shift to more reasonable Calgarians and others who own properand sustainable levels.” ties out here,” explains Ferguson. Since the slump, the real estate While the close proximity, splendour market has nearly doubled. Today and amenities of Invermere and the interested buyers can get into a oneColumbia Valley have always caught bedroom condo for $100,000 to the attention of recreational investors $125,000, a two-bedroom condo for and particularly Calgarians, the mar$240,000 to $260,000 or a single-famket took a hit over the past two years. ily home starting from $599,000. According to local agents, the market As the market in the Columbia Valbecame overloaded and pricing peaked ley is recovering, activity in central towards the end of 2007. That was Alberta continues to be strong. Sylvan unfortunately followed by overbuilding Lake and area has also been a longtime and then the consequence was a sharp favourite destination of many, and drop and dwindling sales. more and more people are becoming The numbers were harsh. By the end permanent residents or investing in of 2008, pricing had dropped by nearly Pat Garritty, owner of Trilliant Real Estate Group property for pending retirement. 45 per cent. Projects stalled, inventory According to Pat Garritty, owner sat on the market for prolonged periof Trilliant Real Estate Group, Sylvan ods and scepticism set in. “There were Lake has seen rapid and steady growth since the mid-1990s. numerous factors at play both nationally and internation“We are one of Canada’s fastest growing communities and ally, that rippled into our area. Those who were able to buy have now peaked at a population of 13,000 residents. It is a during the downturn have certainly seen appreciation in




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Looking for Leisure? • Recreation & Investment Properties

Things to keep in mind when selecting a new property: Access – not all locations are accessible year round or include access/right of way to water and services, inquire about maintenance and upkeep of roads and municipal services Waterfront Boundaries – confirm property and shoreline limits that may include waterline/lake bed ownership Water Supply – determine whether water is supplied by a private water system or municipality, if it is co-op and sourced from the lake or a river Sewage Systems – know the current status of any sewage system/septic system/holding tanks Heating Systems – ensure heating systems meet inspection and insurance requirements Environment – assess for environmental damage and ensure appropriate municipal authorities or community boards are informed Survey – access land surveys for essential information in the purchase of a property (boundaries, building locations, encroachments, water boundaries, road access and easements) Severance and Setbacks – ascertain the specific locations/measurements to ensure future development or subdivision is possible Zoning – zoning must meet intent of use Co-ownership – there must be clear agreements between parties/owners regarding use of property, review impending bylaws or restrictions Expenses and Upkeep – consider and be realistic about ongoing maintenance and related costs Taxes and Bylaws – review all bylaw and municipal requirements, fees and taxes

48 • April 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |

vibrant community that has gained momentum and become an even greater destination of choice. Infrastructure and amenities have improved significantly and there is more to come,” says Garritty. “The redevelopment of the shore area along Lakeshore Drive and the improvements to Centennial Park are stunning.” The nucleus of the community is of course the lake itself. Considered one of the biggest, deepest and cleanest lakes in the province, Sylvan Lake is a hot spot for residential real estate investment and summer fun. Garritty goes on to explain, “Being on the QEII corridor provides ideal access and driving time for anyone in Calgary, Red Deer or Edmonton. We’re in the heart of a fantastic agricultural community and interestingly enough most of our buyers are already in the community or live not too far away.” Many currently living in Sylvan Lake tend to keep their eye on new listings as they are interested in upgrading, upsizing, purchasing a second property or finding a location on the lake itself. Then there are those who currently live in Red Deer and are looking for a close ‘getaway’ spot. “We have numerous Calgarians in the community, but interestingly we are seeing more buyers from areas even closer,” explains Garritty.

Looking for Leisure? • Recreation & Investment Properties

For those looking for premier lake-front inventory, the market is tight but properties are available. In the past two years, 23 lake-front properties have sold and albeit that the pricing has dropped in some areas, sales activity is at encouraging levels. The average sale price of a lake-front home over the past two years has been $927,000. There are currently only 75 single-family homes on the market, with an average asking price of $410,700. The 12 condominiums that are available will There are plenty of options… all likely sell above the average asking price of $225,000 and luxury condominFor some that is a condominium with iums with a lake view will sell for more limited upkeep that they can sell in a few than $350,000. The most expensive house that has sold in Sylvan Lake within the years and profit from. For others it is a past two years was in Birchcliff and had a $1.84-million price tag. home on the water where family and friends There is no question that Sylvan Lake and other neighbouring communities will will gather for generations to come. continue to grow and be sought after. With the extensive infrastructural upgrades and local agents strongly encourage you to seriously consider already completed, an influx of amenities and service, and your budget and what you really want out of your investthe timely announcement of a new and expansive recreation ment. For some that is a condominium with limited upkeep centre in Sylvan Lake, more and more will be accessing if that they can sell in a few years and profit from. For others it not living in the community. is a home on the water where family and friends will gather For those considering the mental, physical and emotional for generations to come. Purchasing recreational property is benefits of investing in a recreational property, keep in mind about lifestyle and after all, life is good on the lake. biC you don’t have to venture far. There are plenty of options 50 • April 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |

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to the historic Burns Building 237 - 8th Ave SE

The Chicago Chophouse is excited to announce the next step towards steakhouse supremacy! We will be moving east on Stephen Ave to the historical Burns building, backing onto Olympic plaza. Mr. Burns was Calgary’s first millionaire; his success came from providing great cuts of beef through his butchery. In keeping in that tradition The Chicago Chophouse offers only the highest quality steak cuts available. Come for lunch, dinner, or after work for a palate-tingling splash of wine!

Adam Dalsin and Victoria Harris welcome you to their new location on Stephen Avenue

Ph: 403.265.3000 Monday-Thursday: 11:30am-10:00pm Friday: 11:30am-11:00pm Saturday: 5:00pm-11:00pm

Perfect venue for events such as weddings, corporate parties, Stampede parties, Christmas parties. Great access to Stampede grounds and Saddledome for hockey games and concerts, and to Theatre Calgary and Epcor events. +15 access. Full service charcuterie counter. Same fantastic wine selection, in-house dry aged steak and all of the favorite menu items that Chicago Chophouse has become known for. The beautiful new room is a perfect throwback to our old Chicago roots.

[title] Real • [section] the Art of the Lease • Commercial Estate

The Art of the Lease Lease or buy: the process can be a pricey learning curve By John harDy


– to get involved in managing the building and all of its he age-old (overused and abused) real estate cliché – physical and maintenance aspects. location, location, location – has been compromised. “Most larger companies choose not to go that route. They Not scrapped, dumped or replaced. Of course it still prefer to concentrate on their primary business. Besides, matters but, in Calgary’s commercial and residential real leasing also allows them flexibility and the important abilestate markets, what bombastic developer Donald Trump ity to manage their expenses.” infamously called “The Art of the Deal” is turning out to be Regardless how the final copy of the agreement to lease “The Art of the Lease.” happens on the desk for signature, the average executive Now more than ever, especially in Calgary commercial will only participate in a handful of leases (possibly none) real estate, the logic and the logistics of ownership versus over the course of an entire career. So acquiring actual leasing is redefined and the location-location focus has been hands-on lease experience and skills refreshed, enhanced and infused with could be limited. the new relevance and key aspects of It’s been proven many times in many lease savvy. ways that leasing the ideal and most Regardless the level of management effective office, industrial, distribuor the input of consultants, from early tion or retail space can be a very pricey planning and feasibility stages to the learning curve. The potential negative search, proposals, discussions, negotiaeffects of a poor lease arrangement sigtions and the final drafts of agreements nificantly impact the company’s bottom to lease, understanding the lease proline. Mistakes and oversights can be cess, from beginning to end, is at the top very costly and laced with regrets. of the important business practices list. Whether it’s intentional or the nature “A vast majority of businesses opt to of the leasing business or it just works lease not own,” says David G. Routledge, out that way, commercial real estate vice president, Real Estate Management leases are usually very long, complex and West of the Oxford Properties Group. invariably printed in very small fonts. “Purchasing commercial real estate is There is unspoken consensus that definitely not the best use of a company’s most people, even real estate profescapital. And owning real estate means the David G. Routledge, vice president, Real Estate Management West, Oxford Properties Group sionals, dread reading them. company must be willing – and qualified | BUSINESS IN CALGARY April 2014 • 53

Hungerford Properties Launches a Flurry of Development and Investment Activity in Calgary H

ungerford Properties, a Vancouver-based development and management company, has just launched its third major commercial project in Calgary. With a 35-year track record of success in investing and building residential, office, retail and industrial properties, Hungerford has several projects on the go with more to be announced in the near future. “We strongly believe in the business opportunity that is supported by the people and businesses in Alberta. We have a tremendous amount of confidence in the future economy,” says Michael Hungerford, partner, Hungerford Properties. “We are very excited and optimistic about the future.” Calgary has many similarities to Vancouver in terms of population and employment growth – making it a strong real estate market – although it is more heavily weighted towards the resource sector. “We are looking to invest in a wide variety of asset classes including office, retail, residential and industrial,” explains Hungerford. “The key thread and commonality between our investments is that there is a lot of creativity and value-added elements. What that means is we are bringing in capital to either reposition or revitalize existing assets or develop from scratch.” First up for the award-winning Hungerford Properties is the transformation of the former Haworth building into a bustling business centre. The location, renamed the ICON Business Park, will appeal to manufacturing and logistics enterprises and suburban office tenants. With an investment of more than $10 million in refurbishment, the property will get a redesign including more than 60 new dock doors, exterior landscaping and customized interiors, offering flexible workspace. “The vision for this property will see it transform from a single manufacturing use to a multi-tenant industrial park,” says Hungerford. Dubbed “southeast Calgary’s most intel-

Michael Hungerford

ligent workspace,” the building will offer an unprecedented opportunity to lease award-winning warehouse and class-A office space with a unique mix of quality, flexibility and amenities on great transportation routes. All together it will turn Foothills Industrial Park back into a thriving industrial centre. While ICON offers an opportunity to lease new, classA space, Hungerford Properties has two other projects that offer business owners the opportunity to own rather than lease property. Northwing Business Park, a commercial condo development in northeast Calgary, has just completed construction and is available today for sale. Northwing is the most versatile, quality business park in the region, and able to accommodate large-scale warehouse tenants requiring ample loading area to small and medium businesses. Similarly, Nexus Business Centre, in Calgary’s Meridian/Franklin area, provides business owners and investors a chance to purchase new class-A showroom, warehouse and office space in a well-located area. “Northwing and Nexus are both commercial condominium projects allowing businesses owners to own rather than lease. The financial returns on ownership are compelling,” says Hungerford. “Ownership allows businesses to control their own destiny, invest in their own space, and pay themselves rather than someone else rent. Both Northwing and Nexus are high-quality class-A buildings in a great location.” With few options for businesses owners to buy new space in the Calgary market, Nexus and Northwing will likely sell out quickly. In addition, low interest rates and a strong business market make for an ideal time to buy. As Hungerford’s three Calgary projects continue to build momentum, the company is pursuing other opportunities across different asset classes. As the company expands, their name will be associated with innovative and valueadded projects in not only Calgary but also Edmonton, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.


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the Art of the Lease • Commercial Real Estate

Particularly smaller companies that need less than 10,000 square feet of space…often end up signing the landlord’s standard lease, with only basic and minor modifications, if any at all.

56 • April 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |

Many large companies, whose rental needs often exceed 100,000 square feet or more, likely have in-house real estate departments and lawyers who are used to drafting or at least modifying leases to best fit their company’s specific needs and standards. On the flip side, most landlords of established and desirable Calgary properties also have teams of experienced brokers and lawyers and are themselves used to negotiating a big client’s in-house prepared leases or modified changes. Some mid-size and smaller companies rely on the guidance and advice of outside professionals, like the market expertise of knowledgeable real estate lawyers and commercial real estate brokers. Some go it alone, using a combo of experience and gut feel to analyze their company’s needs and determine squarefootage requirements, doing their own property and market value comparisons and the often picky but all-important lease clause analysis. The dynamic Calgary market has its own unique commercial real estate factors and quirks. Area brokers and lawyers are not only familiar with the pros and cons of specific Calgary properties and the location trends but they advise clients about rates and availability and also help the business navigate through various Calgary landlord and tenant hot issues, what terms and clauses should be included, excluded, avoided and what could come back to bite the company. There is commercial real estate consensus that a lease is simply a contract, similar to many other contracts companies sign. But it can be a baffling minefield. Particularly smaller companies that need less than 10,000 square feet of space and likely do not have the benefit of in-house commercial real estate expertise often end up signing the landlord’s standard lease, with only basic and minor modifications, if any at all. Professionals caution that “standard” doesn’t necessarily mean correct or completely fair to the tenant. “One thing for sure,” Routledge emphasizes, “with or without outside guidance, today’s lease customer is much more informed and sophisticated. They are asking some terrifically insightful questions, way beyond rates and availability.” He adds that contemporary commercial real estate professionals, especially in a dynamic market like Calgary, must be constantly up to date with not only Calgary facts but industry trends like technology and operating systems, long-term financial structure, complex clause analysis and the building’s sustainability certifications. When it comes to the leasing of commercial real estate in Calgary, particularly office space, it’s a bit of a good news-bad news story. The lower a market’s vacancy rate, the higher lease rates tend to go. In Calgary, the impressive good news (mostly for investors and property owners) is that, although the pendulum of vacancy rates swings widely from prime downtown AA

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the Art of the Lease • Commercial Real Estate

…it is documented by independent, national real estate tracking surveys that Calgary’s overall commercial real estate vacancy rates are the lowest in Canada. “Unlike commercial, we track availability and occupancy, space to A, B and C space in older buildings and outlying not vacancy. The national occupancy rate is 96 per cent. The areas, percentage for percentage it is documented by indepositive news, at least for landlords and owners, is a 98 per pendent, national real estate tracking surveys that Calgary’s cent occupancy rate in Calgary. overall commercial real estate vacancy rates are the lowest “While commercial leases are usually 10-year terms, it’s in Canada. trickier with residential lease. It’s usually one-year terms For some (tenants) the bad news is that square-footage because, unlike commercial, residential landlords take all the rental rates have gone up proportionately. Year-end 2013 risks like taxes and utility costs going up. Because of those figures showed that net rental rates for AA space was in the extra costs, residential leasing is an example that only three $40-$48 psf range, $32-$40 psf for class A space, $22-$30 things are guaranteed in life: death, taxes and turnover. psf for class B and $14-$22 psf for class C. Geremia calls on his tremendous expertise in Calgary’s Like the buyer’s or seller’s market categories in residential residential real estate market to explain that turnover is the real estate, the landlord’s market continues in Calgary comkey negative factor in residential leasing. He itemizes that mercial real estate. turnover costs (cleaning, painting, repairs, replacing coun“In 2010, 2011 and 2012 we had three good years of tertops, carpeting and fixtures when a tenant leaves) are remarkable growth in the Calgary market,” Routledge points expensive, on the average more than $3,000. out, upbeat and enthusiastic. “Now the market is moderated “That’s why we stress service and quality of product. If and has more manageable growth. Class A markets are at reasonably possible, we don’t want to lose that tenant and 6.8 per cent and last year we had negative absorption (the necessitate a turnover,” he admits, candidly. “The residential percentage rate at which available space is leased during a lease priority is most definitely retention. With our particuset period).” lar portfolio, we’re on the right track. Average retention is By a parallel contrast, Calgary’s residential leasing landup from 2.2 years to 3.5 years.” scape is the flip side of the positive coin. With the enviable and tight “landlord “As with commercial leasing, net market” and the lowest vacancy rates migration is a key factor for residential in the country, Calgary’s commercial leasing,” says Rob Geremia, president of real estate sector is also fine-tuning the Calgary’s Boardwalk REIT and chair of whatever-it-takes approach to servic16th annual Calgary Real Estate Forum ing the customer. being held this October at the Calgary “In three of our key buildings, we Telus Convention Centre. provide concierge service – greeting the The forum brings together industry customer and their visitors, recommendaleaders, executives, panels, seminars tions for hospitality like accommodations, and guest speakers to provide the latest, restaurants and special events – and we up-to-date information on the leaswill be expanding the concept throughing, investment, development and out all our major markets.” financing trends, strategies, risks and New angles. New logic. New stratopportunities of office, industrial, retail egy. For residential and especially in and multi-unit residential real estate in Calgary’s commercial real estate, The Calgary – widely acknowledged as one Art of the Lease is a whole new ball of the most important ICI markets in Rob Geremia, president of Calgary’s Boardwalk REIT and chair of game. biC Western Canada. 16 annual Calgary Real Estate Forum th

58 • April 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |


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the fact of business Life • Telecommunications

The Fact of Business Life Think about it! how many things in your life have a chip? By ParKer granT


For more than a decade, Deloitte (the iconic financial serorrowing from the recent pop music hit, telecommuvices firm) has surveyed and tracked the latest and emerging nications technology is an exciting and sometimes technology, media and telecommunications trends and frustrating situation of blurred lines. More than ever published its annual Deloitte Technology, Media and Telethere is a state-of-the-art overlap between telecommunicacommunications (TMT) Predictions Report. tions at work and at home. The Deloitte data is sourced from global industry playLess than a generation ago, conventional office phones ers and polls. The data includes Canada-only predictions and personal cellphones were the only similarities while most based on 1,032 Ipsos-Reid interviews conducted online businesses and homes had separate-use PCs and laptops. nationally. Eventually Wi-Fi connections started to blur the lines According to Duncan Stewart, Deloitte’s high-energy between personal and workplace online telecommunicaand plugged-in director of research for TMT, “Telecomtions, although most employees rarely had remote access to munications is a very mainstream, sophisticated reality. the company’s restricted server. The numbers tell the ultimate story. TeleFast-forward to only about five years, communications, primarily the sales of when the limitless technology of smartsmartphones, tablets, laptops and other phones and tablets made personal and popular technology, is now a $760-billion workplace telecommunications contemglobal business. porary and routine. “Businesses now having to deal with For some businesses, it continues as a growing employee expectations about workplace dilemma. companies offering Bring Your Own Some say the overlap was inevitable Devices (BYOD), working from remote and and any “dilemma” is unfortunate, unnectelecommuting is not very surprising.” essary and a problem that the companies Stewart and other tech industry experts may have brought on themselves. Without agree and caution that telecommunicatechnical specs and jargon, today’s smarttions in the workplace is not the future phone, tablet, laptop and other devices – it is the present. And while some comare an unavoidable reflection of how very panies have adapted and made a relatively much telecommunications has become a seamless transition, other businesses are routine and entrenched part of daily lives. dealing with three common telecommuniIt’s inevitable that consumer trends are Duncan Stewart, Deloitte’s Director of Research for cations dilemmas. mirrored in the workplace. Technology, Media & Telecommunications | BUSINESS IN CALGARY April 2014 • 61

the fact of business Life • Telecommunications

For many businesses telecommunications also involves the sharing of information via social networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, websites and blogs.

Making the right choices The valid cliché that technology is changing at warp speeds makes choosing the most usable hardware, software, gizmo upgrades and competitive bundled service deals for the company’s unique and specific technology needs a tricky manoeuvre. Big companies usually have the benefit of in-house IT specialists evaluating and matching the company’s needs with the most effective options. Businesses that can’t (and don’t) justify IT staff are often left to scramble or rely on outside consultants to be up to date with effective and cost-efficient telecommunications options for their specific needs. Many service providers offer business telecommunications services, so it’s important that a company do research to find what packages may be available. No one package is suited for every business. For example, if a business rarely contacts clients who live out of town, phone services with unlimited long distance may not be worth the cost. 62 • April 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |

From the basic and traditional telecommunications business options like telephone and faxing to email and the Internet to video and voice conferencing to speech recognition, cloudbursting and the mind-boggling gamut of company-provided or Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) tools like smartphones, laptops, tablets and increasingly popular phablets (part-smartphone/part-tablet with a screen size of 5.0-6.9 inches). For many businesses telecommunications also involves the sharing of information via social networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, websites and blogs. “The growth in sales of smartphones, tablets, PCs and gaming consoles has been about 11.8 per cent compounded annually since 2003. Deloitte predicts that growth won’t stop, but it will plateau,” Stewart predicts. “Devices are getting cheaper. Less money for hardware means more money that can be spent on software, better data speeds, services and content. The decade of software is upon us.

the fact of business Life • Telecommunications

would unconditionally comply with company BYOD policies but, unfortunately, most workplaces don’t have BYOD policies and procedures in place,” he shrugs. Telecommunications experts like Stewart and Van Binsbergen agree. Whether a company still resists new telecommunications options, clings to concerns about the ByoD policies possible impact on employee performance He traces the widespread use of smartor has security and risk management issues phones, tablets and laptops to explain the about open access to company informasurge in demand for a BYOD workplace tion and databases, it is an unavoidable and the growing popularity and increasing reality that business, regardless of size, has employee push for telecommuting (workalready shifted from a tethered to an unteing by remote) as a routine work option. thered work world. “One of the biggest challenges in today’s “Workplace surveys show that eight workplace is changing some company Steve Van Binsbergen, Senior Director of Business Segment at Rogers out of 10 employees feel that popular outlooks and policies about technology,” cautechnologies like company-issue smarttions Steve Van Binsbergen, senior director of phones, tablets and laptops or policies about BYOD use on business segment marketing at Rogers. “So far, according the job would make them more focused and productive,” to national stats, only about 10 per cent of companies have Van Binsbergen cites with enthusiasm. implemented a full BYOD format. The problem is not lack of “More than 75 per cent of employees surveyed say a comtechnology and hardware. The problem is lack of company pany-issue smartphone would increase their job satisfaction.” BYOD policies and procedures. The trend of telecommuting allows employees to do their “It’s a bit crazy but about 25 per cent of Canadian employjob away from the office, from home, huddled over a caraees still carry two smartphones. One for personal use and mel macchiato at Starbucks or waiting for a flight at the another for work. Surveys have shown that a vast majority “No matter how you look at it, analyze it and take it or leave it,” he suggests. “The key is to keep up with the latest info as much as you can. Regardless what industry you’re in, you must be at least aware of what’s out there.”

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the fact of business Life • Telecommunications

According to a recent BMO (Bank of Montreal) survey of Canadian business owners, Alberta companies are way ahead of the rest of the country in adapting to telecommunications.

gate, and it has been documented that employees respond positively and experience increased productivity about technologies that enable working from remote. “Workplace mobility is a major issue,” Van Binsbergen points out. “Organizations are realizing what employees want and what technology is capable of. I know a client who was really struggling to recruit. Eventually he realized that not providing a smartphone or a tablet and not having a BYOD program was keeping candidates from considering his company.” Workplace mobility is a big feature in the Calgary workplace. According to a recent BMO (Bank of Montreal) survey of Canadian business owners, Alberta companies are way ahead of the rest of the country in adapting to telecommunications. The survey found that more than 34 per cent of Alberta-based companies already offer telecommuting for their employees. Despite the latest, innovative technology options, four solid communication basics continue as the standard for most businesses: email, videoconferencing, voice conferencing and faxing. Although Twitter and texting have long overshadowed email for personal communication use, email continues as the business communication of choice, primarily due to ease of access and reach. “Email is effective for communicating information in the workplace,” he explains. “But it is terrible for open and instant communication. That’s why a lot of business use relies on SMS, instant messaging. It’s great for quick questions and instant answers, chat groups for collective group thinking and participation.” Email is also the most efficient way to send business information to groups at the same time and it’s a popular format for sending out proposals without incurring bulky printing and mailing costs. Videoconferencing – with popular online service providers such as GoToMeeting, and software like iVisit and WebEx – is a high-tech version of face-to-face communication, but saving the time and expense of travelling. Faxing may be considered a bit vintage but continues to be popular with its ability to quickly transmit hard copies of documents without waiting for the time delay and expense of mail or couriers.

For many businesses, the fax machine’s ability to generate backup (date and time) transmission receipts is important. The Internet boosts even basic telecommunications, from voice-over-Internet protocol (VoIP) – a popular and costefficient way to make online phone calls – to fax modems that send faxes online or directly to a conventional fax machine. Whether management is convinced or still hesitant about newer and newer state-of-the-art technology, there is widespread workplace consensus that, aside from the preferences of employees, the popularity of business telecommunications is driven by proven ways to reduce operational costs.


Concern about side-effects Despite the cost-conscious consensus and the availability of so much new, cutting-edge technologies, there is a telecommunications tsunami gushing through the contemporary workplace. Some employers, even those who are reasonably techno savvy, are still leery about negative side-effects such as work efficiency, productivity, performance, face-to-face communication ability, deteriorated problem solving, reduced interpersonal interactions, weakened verbal, writing and social skills and other possible impacts of more and more technology and telecommunications in the workplace. A recent study about Facebook and Twitter found that heavy users may have diminished analytical skills and significantly reduced ability to think for themselves, without relying on the input and opinions of others. Beware! Well-intentioned business skeptics must tread softly. Technology is such a solid (almost sacred) fact of work life that daring to even objectively question any aspect of its wonderfulness may provoke defensive put-downs and comparisons to clichéd out-of-touch and embarrassing ’80s shrugs about “computers are just gadgets that will never last.” “Companies that are ignoring social media are beginning to feel like the skeptics and hold-outs that used to, and still do, grunt about getting their assistants to turn on their computer,” Stewart adds. “They’re out there! “Sometimes gadgets are just that, gadgets. But mostly it is an enormous proliferation of constantly updating technology and devices. Think about it! How many things in your life have a chip?” biC

64 • April 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |


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not everyone Can take it to the bank • Real Estate - Mortgages

Not Everyone Can Take it to the Bank

Mortgage changes, tightening real estate inventory and concern over interest rates is leaving many with limited financing options. or so they think. By heaTher raMSay


uying a home is a big deal. Typically the most costly purchase people make in their lifetime, it is often fraught with hours searching for the right real estate agent, hunting for the perfect property and then sourcing adequate financing to make the purchase. As lending rules tighten, pricing continues to rise and interest rates shift, it is becoming more and more difficult for some Calgarians to qualify for a traditional mortgage. Ron Prefontaine, mortgage associate with Verico Compass Mortgage Group (whose moniker is the ‘Blue Jean Banker’), specializes in working with clients who don’t fit the traditional class A lending products typically offered through banks. “Alberta is a hotbed for entrepreneurs. As such, there are a significant number of people who simply cannot qual68 • April 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |

ify due to being a small business owner or contractor. The good news is there are plenty of class B and C lenders who understand and appreciate their situation, and are astute in their lending parameters,” he explains. With the recent release of the mortgage changes from the 2014 budget, homebuyers and brokers are going to be further tasked with finding creative financing solutions. The good news from the budget is that the Department of Finance (DoF) wants to “ensure that mortgages are readily available to creditworthy Canadians at a reasonable cost.” The not-so-good news is that albeit the system has been working well, the DoF believes that further changes and restraints are required. Gord Appel, VP and broker of record with the Mortgage

• Real Estate - Mortgages

Featured Listing “It is anticipated that the tightening inventory in Calgary’s real estate market is going to continue to push pricing up. That should be a far greater concern for borrowers than their interest rate right now.” ~ Ron Prefontaine

2405 ERLTON STREET SW Group, says it is important for borrowers to be clear on their goals and personal thresholds for financing, and also understand that they have options. “We interface with a multitude of lenders and our responsibility is to facilitate the process to ensure the most appropriate funds are accessed. Ongoing rule changes will likely mean more rigorous reviews and documentation in order to qualify,” says Appel. For the past two years, interest rates have remained moderately flat. Subtle shifts in fixed and variable rates have been ongoing, and overall experts are encouraged by interest rate projections for the year ahead. “The prime rate is low and it is unlikely we will see a significant shift either way this year. It is anticipated that the tightening inventory in Calgary’s real estate market is going to continue to push pricing up. That should be a far greater concern for borrowers than their interest rate right now,” explains Prefontaine. According to the Housing Market Outlook (Canada Edition), released in the fourth quarter of 2013 by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, interest rates are expected to support the housing market throughout 2014. In contrast to historical standards, mortgage rates will remain low, with projections for the average one- and five-year posted mortgage rates to be between 3.25 to 3.75 and 5.25 to 6.0 respectively. BiC

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Chairman’s Club, REMAX Hall of Fame | BUSINESS IN CALGARY April 2014 • 69

much more than a buzzword • Environmental Stewardship

Much More Than a

Buzzword B uzzwor d

Corporate social responsibility is about governance and doing the right thing By John harDy

“Sustainability takes into account all kinds of capital and it can no longer be taken for granted. There are hard scientific metrics ver since mass media went mainstream and corporate public relations types churned out the kinds of things that can now be linked to the the boss wanted the public to hear, there has been a steady gush of fancy but meaningless business buzzwords financial statements.” flying around. Conservation. Recycling. Saving the planet. Holistic. ~ Houston Peschl Organic. Ozone layer. Green. And environmental stewardship. Gradually, as media smartened up, became more discrimiof entrepreneurship and innovation at the Haskayne School nating and asked bolder and more serious questions, a new of Business. “It’s a part of being a responsible business. breed of business leaders and senior management also became “Realistically, we must speak the lanmore discriminating and serious about guage of business: money and ROI. legit issues and being social-savvy, and as Economic capital used to be the only way a result refocused corporate priorities. to measure business success. But it’s getAnd so the former buzzword, environting more and more accepted that it’s no mental stewardship, was transformed into longer just about economics, anymore. just one key aspect of the big picture that There is a triple bottom line: social, emois corporate social responsibility. tional and environmental (natural) capital. Today, from the MBA classrooms of the “Sustainability takes into account all Haskayne Business School, the boardkinds of capital and it can no longer be rooms and executive offices of giant taken for granted. There are hard scienCalgary companies, trendy think-tank tific metrics that can now be linked to the open-concept offices like DIRTT and other financial statements,” he cautions, makCalgary indie startups to remote Tervita ing a passionate point. job sites – environmental stewardship is Although the corporate responsibility of taken very seriously and is a very hot “environmental stewardship” has specific topic. aspects in specific divisions of specific “It’s much more detailed and complex Calgary businesses and industries, there Houston Peschl, Instructor of Entrepreneurship and than it sounds but it’s all part of a specInnovation at the Haskayne School of Business is increasing consensus, especially among trum,” explains Houston Peschl, instructor


70 • April 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |

much more than a buzzword • Environmental Stewardship

“It’s not window dressing. It’s a key, long-term investment in a community.” ~ Jeff Gaulin “It’s not window dressing. It’s a key, business leaders, that the serious comlong-term investment in a community. mitment is no longer token lip service, “We are in the business of business positioning publicity or what is cynically and no company can just do their busicalled greenwashing. ness and walk away. Corporate social The corporate responsibility that is responsibility is about governance and environmental stewardship is both a cordoing the right thing. It’s not about porate attitude and a focused business charity. It is about integrity, the way we plan unto itself. do business, and very simply it’s part of “Corporate social responsibility is mulour culture.” tifaceted,” says Jeff Gaulin, the dynamic Especially in the energy sector-dominant and gung-ho vice president of marWest, there’s a harmless but misleading keting and communications at Tervita and inaccurate assumption that environ– the Calgary-based environmental and mental stewardship refers only to oil and energy services company that provides gas companies and oil service businesses. primarily the energy industry with serAs a national and global priority, the corvices ranging from waste management, Jeff Gaulin, Vice President of Marketing and Communications at Tervita porate social responsibility of environmental drilling and coring to well servicing and stewardship involves manufacturing, finanother environmental services. “It’s based cial, transportation, mining, forestry, utilities, even health care on people – our people and the people in the communities and most other business sectors. where we operate.

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much more than a buzzword • Environmental Stewardship

Another uniquely Calgary-based example of fresh, new environmental stewardship, as well as parlaying innovative sustainability into a dynamic business and success story, is DIRTT – the state-of-the-art Calgary company that is almost amusingly hard to describe. There’s not much immunity when it comes to walking the walk of environmental stewardship. The western high profile of oil and gas-related businesses are merely one effective, good example of what can be done and how it can be done. There is enthusiastic worldwide interest (and praise) for the leadership in environmental stewardship being shown by Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA), the coalition and environmental think-tank formed by Canada’s 12 major oil producers (including BP, ConocoPhillips and Shell). The COSIA action plan includes ambitiously confronting the carbon footprint and greenhouse gas (GGE) problems and has made considerable early progress in reducing nitrogen oxide (NOx) and sulphur dioxide (SO2) emissions. “Environmental stewardship is a management tool as well as a commitment,” Gaulin explains. “Sustainability is about the long term and Tervita is on the right path. Basically we see ourselves as the sustainability partner for our ‘three big buckets’ of customer partners: oil and gas, mining and industrial. “Corporate social responsibility has changed the way we operate at the front end. We position it at the forefront of our planning and what we do. It’s a much more proactive approach, not an after-the-fact review.” Tervita is also a good example of not only a rock-solid commitment of incorporating environmental stewardship but also weaving it into the fibre of how the company works and what it stands for, internally and externally. A recent Tervita newsletter, targeting staff at all levels, featured an informational update, underscoring the company’s sustainability focus. “Tervita is committed to environmental due diligence. This commitment is supported by the work done in 2013 by the environment and regulatory (E&R) team to manage Tervita’s environmental performance and risk. “Supported by an interdepartmental steering and working committee, Tervita is developing a company-wide environmental management system (EMS). “The EMS assists operations across North America in implementing and measuring sustainable practices as they relate to the environment, such as providing a standard process for handling and reporting spills, tracking how much energy and water is issued at Tervita’s 87 fixed facilities and how much fuel is expended by nearly 1,000 light-duty trucks. “The system provides procedures and tools to help man72 • April 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |

age Tervita’s activities, products and services to identify, monitor and manage environmental risk continually. “Over time, Tervita will see benefits such as improved environmental performance and compliance. The EMS makes us more competitive, strengthens our reputation and increases customer trust. “Employees can be assured that our company is making every effort to manage environmental risks by meeting or exceeding regulatory requirements as well as our own internal best management practices. It’s a win-win situation!” The company’s approach in walking the walk of environmental stewardship is not only refreshing, it’s part of the new and redefined standards of business practice that starts as early as the MBA classroom, if not before. As Haskayne’s Houston Peschl explains, companies are no longer emphasizing sustainability because they have to, for regulatory reasons. They are convinced that it is the right thing to do and they genuinely want to do it. “We even sense it in the classroom,” he says. “For many students, it’s like a bell curve. For some it is a passion and they are extremely in tune and aware about many aspects of corporate social responsibility. It sometimes depends on their culture and their previous education. “Studying corporate social responsibility aspects like environmental stewardship gives the students a lens of sustainability, to view the positive impact of corporations and how a company (like Tervita) impacts the world.” The MBA professor has a unique perspective to cite a positive and encouraging contemporary observation. “The millennial generation is the next generation of business leaders, and they want to work for a company that cares.” Another uniquely Calgary-based example of fresh, new environmental stewardship, as well as parlaying innovative sustainability into a dynamic business and success story, is DIRTT – the state-of-the-art Calgary company that is almost amusingly hard to describe. The well-known and widely-respected business name, DIRTT, is a catchy and unusual acronym for Doing It Right This Time – because the last time, with conventional construction, the computer didn’t exist to go from design, to real-time 3D, to specifications and on the manufacturing floor. And, unlike ‘the last time,’ sustainability wasn’t tied to a company’s bottom line. Doing It Right This Time (DIRTT) affordably manufactures

much more than a buzzword • Environmental Stewardship

with optimizing the workplace real estate, conserving energy individualized spaces and the business of the business is creand maximizing available light, working with existing spaces ating customizable and sustainable architectural interiors for in existing buildings, whenever possible, and always quality offices, showrooms, retail stores, doctor’s offices and more. over quantity. “Our focus is to reduce, rethink and reuse sustainability to “It’s all about sustainability on various levels.” its logical conclusion,” grins Julie Pithers, a senior member The learning curve of environmental stewardship, and the of the DIRTT management and manufacturing operations big picture of corporate social responsibility, is steep but it team but whose formal business card creatively and surprisis unarguably a vital fact of business life. ingly does say: ‘DIRTTbag.’ Some businesses and their management “A big part of what we do is lookembrace it with more gusto than others. ing closely at every job, at everything “Because money is the language of we design or create and at every aspect business, we must ‘monetize’ the true of how we do things. We don’t expect social impact of best practices and busiclients to throw everything away but, as ness decisions,” Peschl suggests about the our founder and president says, ‘Nobody present and the future. “The way a comwants to sustain ugly.’” pany will keep growing and succeeding is She refers to Mogens Smed, the acclaimed to leverage their social impact.” business visionary whose bright idea not He adds that the timing is ideal for the only created DIRTT in 2005 but continues to surge of corporate social responsibility. transform the core platform of sustainabil“As we preach in our business school ity into a booming $140-million business, classrooms: this is one of the few times based in Calgary with offices and manufacin your life when you have access to turing in B.C., Georgia and Arizona. four generations in the workplace: the “Our approach and philosophy is defiboard, senior management, managers nitely from the heart,” Pithers admits, “but Julie Pithers, “DIRTTbag” at DIRTT Environmental and students.” biC it’s also smart business strategy. We deal Solutions

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hen it comes to Canada’s entrepreneurs, it’s no secret that Alberta is home to many successful business leaders ... and if one idea fails, they simply try another – Albertans are a resilient and resourceful group. However there is also a group of business people who subscribe to a slightly different mantra. They’ve done their due diligence and they are determined to succeed the first time around – failure is not an option. One such example is found inside the Foothills Industrial Park, at the office of GTG Energy Systems. When Glenn and Terry Graversen decided to start a family-run business 10 years ago, they only had one option. “We are not disposable thinkers,” says Glenn Graversen, president, GTG Energy Systems. “When we started the company, giving up was never an option. We have taken our skills, expertise and experience and used them to build a company that continues to serve our customers and the marketplace.” Since 2004, GTG Energy Systems has been designing, fabricating and assembling customized production equipment for the upstream oil and gas sector, although Glenn has been working in the industry for almost 40 years.

Today, GTG Energy Systems specializes in building packages that meter and measure oil and gas in an ‘on-site’ capacity for real-time data acquisition. They provide 3D custom-designed drawings and build pressure equipment packages along with a host of other related products. And after 10 years in business, they are recognized as an industry leader. Their ability to diversify the business while helping pinpoint their customers’ needs has contributed to their track record. GTG Energy Systems brings a wealth of knowledge, proficient processes and personalized service to every customer and every project.

Starting Small and Staying Focused…

When Glenn and Terry started the business a decade ago, it was with one B-pressure welder in a 4,000-square-foot bay – which happened to be located across the street from their current facility.


The team at GTG Energy Systems. Photo by Bookstrucker Photography.

By then, Glenn had nearly 30 years of experience as a welder and fabrication inspector, along with earning his certification as a welding engineering technologist at SAIT. But Glenn’s exposure in the industry started from a young age. His father, Ole Graversen, was a welder and an oilfield equipment inspector. And when the plans for GTG Energy Systems were underway, it came as no surprise that Ole helped design the quality control system that is still used today. While Glenn was busy developing his career, Terry was doing the same in management and accounting. By the time GTG Energy Systems was established, Terry brought a strong background in administration, management and finance to the business. She was instrumental in setting up many of the data systems, processes and policies that help to streamline the internal operations. Two years after starting the business, they expanded and took over another 4,000-square-foot bay and then expanded again after another two years. By 2008, they were operating from 12,000 square feet with approximately 25 employees, but eventually they needed more space and land.

About four years ago, GTG Energy Systems crossed the road and moved into a larger facility – offering a 20,000-square-foot shop and a five-acre yard. They continue to employ an average of 25 people depending on the number of projects underway and they continue to provide the same detailed attention and expertise to each customer. As Terry has observed, one of the key components to their longevity and growth looks to diversification. “Successful companies are diverse – this allows them to ride out the peaks and valleys in Alberta’s economy,” says Terry. “Much of the work we did originally has changed and now we are finding niche markets – like in metering and measuring.” GTG Energy Systems has become more diverse by listening to their customers and by watching the industry. Although it’s inevitable that certain things are going to change over the course of a decade, it’s safe to say that other things have remained the same. The ‘big picture’ goals that Glenn and Terry set forth when establishing the family-run business haven’t really changed that much in 10 years, nor have the data systems and processes that Terry implemented in 2004.


PH: 403-279-2840


FAX: 403-279-6180

Congratulations GTG Energy on Your 10 Years of Success. Wishing Many More to Come. (403) 279 8171

Congratulations GTG Energy Systems on your 10th Anniversary! We are proud to be part of your history and success.


A Snapshot of Services: • Blending Packages

• Truck Loading / Unloading Skids • Metering Stations • Separator Packages • Production Testing Equipment – skid mounted and mobile trucks • Steam Injection Manifolds • Pipe Rack Modules • Sweet and Sour Service • Carbon Steel and Stainless Steel

L-R: Britta, Glenn and Terry Graversen. Photo by Bookstrucker Photography.

Likewise, they have a core group of employees who have been with the company almost from the upstart and regardless of the economy, Glenn and Terry always find work to keep them busy. “We won’t let our core group of employees walk out the door,” says Terry. “You can’t suddenly restart the company when times are good again.” The owners have remained committed to nearly every aspect of the business – from quality control, safety and shop cleanliness to the people who make their business successful. One of those people is Terry and Glenn’s daughter, Britta. When you enter the reception area, Britta greets you. Much like her father, Britta has been involved with the business from a young age. She began helping with administration at GTG Energy Systems at age 14 and then accounting at age 16. After graduating high school, Britta decided to pursue a bachelor of commerce at the Haskayne School of Business and is currently in her fourth year. She works part time at GTG during the school year allowing her to still keep a hand in the business.

Congratulations, GTG Energy Systems! Wishing you many more decades of success. Ph 403-888-7878 | Fax 403-204-9010

• Custom Equipment, Design and Fabrication

Metal Processing Services

Congratulations GTG Energy Systems on your decade of success in the industry! We wish you many more. 8525 52 Street S.E Calgary, AB Ph: 403.279.7751 • Toll Free: 1.877.726.6493 • Fax: 403.279.6647 •


Photo by Bookstrucker Photography.

“Britta is essentially the office manager and performs most of the day-to-day tasks that keep the office running smoothly,” adds Terry. “We are very proud of both our family and our business, and now our daughter represents the second generation. Our history is not unique from other family-run companies, but we have worked hard to keep ‘business time’ separate from ‘family time’ and I think we have succeeded in both aspects – and that makes us a little unique,” adds Glenn with a smile.

Field Information at your Fingertips

The next time you’re travelling through the countryside, keep an eye out for small house-like structures that seem to pop up in the middle of nowhere. And once you notice them, they may seem a bit ubiquitous – dotting the rural blanket of Alberta. The metering and measuring buildings that GTG Energy Systems fabricates are commonly called a ‘cut shack,’ a ‘Q-A building’ or a ‘lab building.’ In the oil and gas industry they may have different names, but they all perform similar functions: to extract and test samples collected from upstream pipelines. From ‘data to desktop’ the mini-rural labs provide invaluable field information to oil and gas companies. GTG Energy Systems, in collaboration with engineering firms, has played an important role in helping to design and fabricate these structures.

Today the company provides several customized products. “We build some packages that resemble a laboratory to measure oil density and viscosity. Everything is tested on-site and in real time, so it eliminates the need to send samples to a lab,” adds Glenn. “In addition to the processing side of the oil business, we are expanding into other areas that include fabrication of truck offloading, blending and measurement system packages,” asserts Glenn.

Two Words: Thank You

As GTG Energy Systems celebrates their 10th anniversary, they pause for a moment to extend a sincere ‘thank you’ to all of the customers, business partners, suppliers and employees who have contributed to their success. “Thank you for helping us survive the roller-coaster that this industry has endured in recent years,” says Glenn. “We couldn’t have achieved this milestone without your support.” Looking forward, the family believes the future is bright and all the signs indicate it’s going to be a great year. “Because I’m an Albertan, I always hesitate slightly when talking about the future,” notes Glenn. “Alberta is cyclical and diversification is necessary to survive. In our case, it’s taking our knowledge and expertise, and then transferring it to other areas of the industry … it’s the same knowledge, but the customer’s needs are changing and we are paying attention.” •

(403) 279-5527 | GTG ENERGY SYSTEMS | 10 YEARS | 4

Thinking About Street Lights, Freeway Signs and Electricity So You Never Have To By Mark Kandborg


magine you’re gliding along one of Calgary’s freeways late at night. What are some things you’d have a hard time living without? Street lights and road signs would definitely make the list. What about at home? Electricity, certainly. Yet street lights, road signs and electricity are probably things you rarely think about, if ever. Why is that? Because JATEC thinks about them for you, then gets the job done. Now that you are thinking about lights, road signs and electricity, here are some numbers for you to consider. When JATEC recently completed work on a the third leg of the Southeast Stoney Trail, they had moved over half a million kilograms of steel, poured over 1,000 square metres of concrete, drilled 81 piles nearly 700 metres into the earth, erected 73 structures and well over 2500 square metres of signage. After racking up 38,584 man hours, the whole incredible undertaking came in on time and on budget.

The completion of huge projects on time with no time lost to injury or property damage is more than just impressive. It’s JATEC’s signature and a testimony to the company’s commitment to safety in all aspects of the job. “Safety is a huge concern for us,” says JATEC owner Jim Allen, “so we put a lot of our energy into training and teaching to ensure it. The way we see it, safety equals efficiency.” As with all equations, this one works equally well in either direction. Not only does working safely make you more efficient, working ef efficiently keeps you safer. Over the years, the name JATEC has become synonymous with efficiency. One very important key to JATEC’s achieving such a high level of efficiency on these big projects has been their ever-increasing ability to ‘self perform’. “It can be difficult to get sub-contractors with the right equipment to the job site when you want them,” Allen explains. They might need pile trucks or big cranes

Jatec • 30 Years

on a Monday, but couldn’t get them until Thursday. “It was really starting to hurt our schedules,” he says. “We needed more control.” The solution? Acquire the equipment and the operators yourself. This means the equipment and operators work for JATEC and no one else. “We’re one of the few construction companies with the ability to self-perform. We don’t have to wait. It’s worked out well.” That simple phrase, “it’s worked out well”, is one that Allen could easily apply to just about every as-


pect of JATEC’s business. He started the company with a friend 30 years ago this month after the two electricians found themselves laid off and looking for work. “It was either get a job or start a company, and there weren’t a lot of jobs,” Allen recalls. So the decision was a fairly easy one. There was only one problem. “We couldn’t pull permits, so we had to hire a master electrician who could. He’d pull the permits and we’d go to work.” From its beginnings working out of a garage in 1984, JATEC now employs more than 130 people. Much of the company’s success is due to Allen’s focus on working directly with large developers in the city. “You want to get as high up the decision making pyramid as you can,” he says. “You learn a lot more that way. You get to see things. You’re

Jatec • 30 Years

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What do you get when you build a company on a culture of mutual respect, learning, safety and efficiency? In JATEC’s case, you get loyalty from employees and customers, thirty years of continuous growth and a proud business owner. not bidding, you’re negotiating, dealing with the owners. The relationships we’ve developed are built on trust, on years of service. This allows us to put a personal touch on problem solving and I think it’s another thing that sets us apart. It also gives us control of our own destiny.” If JATEC’s overall efficiency and attention to safety, its ability to self-perform and its familiarity with the top of the decision making pyramid are what sets Allen’s company apart, he believes it’s those 130-plus employees that bind it together. “They’ve all got the same idea. Everyone works together. Everyone learns together. They teach each other. We say to our people, train

your replacement to be able to sit in your seat, then you can move on to a different seat,” Allen says. “No fear. That’s a big part of the culture that drives our company.” What do you get when you build a company on a culture of mutual respect, learning, safety and ef efficiency? In JATEC’s case, you get loyalty from employees and customers, thirty years of continuous growth and a proud business owner. “I sure didn’t see myself running a company of this size when we were working out of that garage,” Allen says. “I’m very proud of our people.” Here’s to the next 30 years. Happy Anniversary, JATEC!

Congratulations to Jatec on their 30 th anniversary! Nova Pole International Inc. is proud to be the sign structures supplier to Jatec Electric for the Anthony Henday and South East Stoney Trail projects. Nova Pole International Inc. wishes you continued success.

Toll Free: 1-866-874-8889 • Jatec • 30 Years


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H.O. Concrete Supplies Ltd. Unit 10, 2807 107 Avenue SE Calgary, Alberta T2Z 4M2 Phone Number: (587) 352-7148 Fax Number: (587) 352-7235

Congratulations Jatec on 30 Years!

PEDDIE ROOFING & Wishing you many years of continued success! WATERPROOFING LTD. Safety COR Certified


Precast Concrete Electrical Bases for Transformers, Switching Cubicles and Lamp Poles and Breakaway Bases

Congratulations to Jatec on 30 years of service in the construction industry. 403-369-5822

Division of Sonepar Canada Inc.

6145-75 Street Edmonton, AB T6E 0T3 Phone: (780) 469-8675 • Fax: (780) 465-7434

Congratulations on 30 years Jatec

wire and cable specialists since 1978

Proud Supplier of Jatec

Congratulations Jatec! Happy anniversary Jim, Dave and team! Wishing you many more years of success as you celebrate your 30th year in business.


Call 1.800.252.7545 to speak with a wire and cable specialist today.

#201 8403 Coronet Road NW Edmonton, AB T6E 4N7 Phone: (780) 801-2700 • Fax: (780) 801-2701 •


Jatec • 30 Years

20 Years

of Tip-top Quality and Service By Julia Marshall

Photo courtesy of Unimark Creative


hen David Peddie and his family moved to Calgary from the Toronto area in 1978, they only intended to stay for five years. At the time, David was an estimator for a roofing company that wanted to establish a presence in Western Canada. David agreed to relocate to Calgary to set up the new branch of the business, but shortly after, the parent company pulled out. Sensing the opportunities in the heart of the new West, David decided to stay and take over the fledgling Calgary operations. He founded his own business in 1979 and

incorporated in 1981. Fifteen years later, David renamed the company after his family name, and Peddie Roofing & Waterproofing Ltd. was established. Today, the company is a leading commercial roofing contractor with clients such as Shaw Communications, Sears Canada, Real Canadian Superstore, Bell Canada, Home Depot, Walmart and Foothills Hospital. The company, based in Calgary with an office in Edmonton, completes projects throughout Western Canada, including Regina, Saskatoon, Lloydminster, Fort McMurray and Grande Prairie.

Peddie Roofing | 20 Years | 1

The team at Peddie Roofing. Photo by Melissa Arthur.

All in the family

The company is a true family-owned-and-operated business. David Peddie acts as president and his wife, Heather, takes care of HR, marketing, promotions and event planning. Their son, Ashley, is the company’s general manager, and their other son, Colin, oversees the maintenance department of the business. “Both my sons do a great job; they’re very compatible,” says David. “They communicate well and support one other.” Even employees without the Peddie name are considered part of the family. Several staff members and entire crews have been with the company since the mid-1980s. “We are very family-oriented,” says David. “We hold four gatherings a year, at Christmas, Thanksgiving, Stampede and Easter, where we have a meal together and express our appreciation for our employees.” The longevity of the company’s staff allows Peddie Roofing to offer reliable, consistent service. “We’ve retained our core employee base over the years by treating each employee as an individual with their own unique gifts,” says David. “We want them to know they are a valuable part of the business, and in turn, they take pride in what they offer our customers.” Long-standing relationships within the business extend to the company’s client interactions. Several high-profile customers have retained the company as their exclusive contractor for 10 or 20 years. Because Peddie Roofing specializes in inspecting and maintaining roofs in addition to building them, clients save money by avoiding

costly repairs often caused by neglect. If something does go wrong, the company offers comprehensive repair and 24-hour leak service.

Built to last

Like any established business, the company has faced and overcome challenges over the years. During the recessions in the early 1980s and late 2000s, many commercial businesses scaled back their building plans. “What sustained us through tough economic times was our service,” says David. “Like vehicles, roofs require checkups and maintenance, and we’ve always been able to offer that expertise to our customers.” He adds, “If we can make a roof last, then the owner doesn’t have to replace it. Our customers appreciate that we partner with them to properly understand and meet their needs.” During Calgary’s boom times, the company experienced exponential growth along with the city. Originally headquartered in a small building on Horton Road, Peddie Roofing is currently located in the Foothills Industrial Park with more than 14,000 square feet of warehouse and office space. In 2010, the company added a new addition to the facility and hired more staff. While roofing is the company’s main business, they also offer waterproofing for parkades, tunnels, bridge decks and other structures. In addition, Peddie Roofing’s tradespeople complete projects involving ceiling and caulking components. A substantial portion of Peddie Roofing’s work is installing new single-ply and two-ply roofing systems, as well as

Peddie Roofing | 20 Years | 2

Photos, this page, courtesy of Unimark Creative

maintaining metal roofs using material made from the company’s own sheet metals department. The company does some conventional asphalt and gravel roofing but prefers to use the latest materials and technology in order to offer clients the very best. “We attend conventions across North America and bring back the newest trends and standards,” says David. “It’s a rapidly changing industry, so there is rarely a month that goes by where we don’t learn and implement something new.” Safety and education are two other core tenants of the business that keep Peddie Roofing on top. The company employs a full-time safety officer who visits sites on a regular basis and ensures standards in occupational health and safety are consistently met. “Our WCB rates are some of the lowest in the industry due to our excellent safety program and the cooperation of our employees,” says David. “Our safety meets the standards for the Alberta Construction Safety Association’s Certificate of Recognition program.” In terms of education, Peddie Roofing often sends its employees to complete the roofing apprenticeship program, which the company has input into. “We feel it’s very important for the development and education of roofers to support their learning,” says David. “The new generations are very eager to make careers for themselves and succeed, and highquality education is a big piece of that.”

Top-notch reputation

The excellent rapport Peddie Roofing has with clients is evident by the company’s long-term relationships. Client

letters of recommendation frequently refer to Peddie Roofing’s professionalism, safety, responsiveness, service and adherence to specifications as reasons to hire the company. In addition, the company holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and is a member in good standing with the Alberta Roofing Contractors Association (ARCA), the Calgary Residential Rental Association (CRRA), the Alberta Allied Roofing Association (AARA), the Calgary Construction Association (CCA), the Building Operators Association (BOA) and the Building Operator and Managers Association (BOMA). Peddie Roofing also provides Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified services.

Leaders in giving back

Leadership in philanthropy is also very important to the company. “It’s vital that we make a contribution to the communities in which we live and derive our business from,” says David. “We’re involved with the Calgary Residential Rental Association to help make accommodation more affordable, we do exclusive roofing work for the Mustard Seed, and we’ve worked with Habitat for Humanity to build homes for the less fortunate.” David and his wife, Heather, also travel internationally with Samaritan’s Purse to distribute shoeboxes full of special items to impoverished children, most recently in South America. Pictures depicting their experience visiting remote villages are displayed in the lobby of Peddie Roofing’s headquarters. “Next, we’d like to give our staff

Peddie Roofing | 20 Years | 3

the opportunity to participate in such an experience,” says David. “It would be a reward for our staff to show our appreciation for them, as well as a chance for our employees to give back.”

Next steps

The Peddies went from anticipating a five-year stay in Calgary to building a successful local business with decades of excellence in the industry. Today, David and Heather have

a succession plan in place to transition the company to their son, Ashley. “We don’t have a set date for the transition, and we plan to remain involved in the business and its charitable efforts,” says David. “But we’re definitely looking forward to spending more time with our grandchildren – we have five with another one on the way.” With several family members and an established business based in Calgary, the Peddies will evidently call the city home for generations to come. •

For more information, please visit or call 1-877-851-7700

4910 Builders Road SE, Calgary

403.262.1008 Congratulations to Peddie Roofing! Wishing you many more years of success.

Peddie Roofing | 20 Years | 4

it’s All About Calgary boosting • Golf Business Tournaments

It’s all about

Calgary Boosting golf tournaments are about making money! By John harDy


ust thinking, reading and talking about golf in April is a Calgary mood-booster. Despite unreliable groundhogs, it means hibernation is coming to an end; it’s time for shorts, sunscreen, tee times, perfecting swings and putts and bragging or complaining about your game. According to legend, there are three Calgary golf seasons: preseason, peak season and tournament season. The phone-call blitzes will soon begin. Some already have. Then the email blitzes. The flyers and registration forms will soon be in the mail to recent, loyal and faithful names in group databases. Then a friendly extra nudge of cajoling, followup phone and email reminders. And the list will quickly grow to “full.” Before you know it, it’s that sunny day flagged in the calendar and time to rearrange the schedule, book off a half day for some enjoyable getting together, mingling, good laughs, meeting new people and catching up with some you haven’t seen since last year, sipping a few pops, occasionally talking shop, enjoying a nice meal, picking out a token prize from the prize table, playing a round of well-organized golf – and helping! Sorry, but with unconditional respect for sunshine, the donated time, the energy and the hard work and the terrific planning of volunteers, the tremendous support and loyalty of sponsors, the relaxed and friendly atmosphere, as well as

find us on facebook | BUSINESS IN CALGARY April 2014 • 87

it’s All About Calgary boosting • Golf Business Tournaments

those unforgettable (and forgettable) miracle and botched putts – golf tournaments are about making money! It may sound crass but everything else about the event, including the score, is a bonus. It’s all about boosting and supporting the terrific and worthwhile Calgary causes and making Calgary a better place. Playing golf and boosting local charities is a natural fit. Because, in Calgary and across Canada, golf is more popular than ever. According to Golf Canada – the governing body of Canadian golf and responsible for promoting participation in the game of golf as well as administering the rules of golf, amateur status, handicapping and course ratings – each year there are nearly six million Canadian golfers playing about 70 million rounds of golf at some 2,400 Canadian golf courses (about 325 in Alberta). Aside from being a popular and an enjoyable game and hobby, golf is most definitely a serious business. A recent survey for Golf Canada shows that golf accounts for an estimated $11.3 billion of Canada’s gross domestic product (GDP) and provides more than 341,700 jobs. Then there are the serious and vitally important, close-tohome aspects of golf.

The Business Fore Calgary Kids golf Tournament

“Getting 25 business owners together at the same time and in one place is difficult. Getting them to agree on something is almost impossible!” laughingly roars Brad Field, co-chair of the popular Business Fore Calgary Kids tournament. In its eighth year, the committee, made up of diverse and gung-ho Calgary business leaders (from food services and heavy equipment repair to lawyers, contractors, developers and others), has not only managed to do the impossible, it has built a dynamic Calgary tradition out of playing golf to help the community. So far, the tournament has raised over $1.6 million to benefit Calgary kids through the great work of the YMCA “Strong Kids Campaign,” EvenStart for Children Foundation, Distress Centre, Little Warriors and Hull Services. “We have absolutely no overhead,” Field explains. “Every penny goes to the kids!” The 2014 Business Fore Calgary Kids tournament is all set for Monday, June 9, 2014 at The Glencoe. Online registration starts next month.

88 • April 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |

Golf tournaments are solidly proven to be one of the most popular and effective ways to raise money for local causes and charities. According to national stats, every year, about 24,000 charitable events raise a staggering $439 million usually for local charities and community causes across Canada. It’s impossible to isolate Calgary-only totals but, no doubt about it, Calgary is a terrific hot spot for charity golf tournaments. A vast majority of fundraising charity tournaments are planned, organized and coordinated by enthusiastic and community-spirited small armies of volunteers who usually huddle into weekly meeting mode just about this time of year. They form committees, itemize details, draft schedules and get down to all the behind-the-scenes hard work and whatever else it takes to make the tournament happen so seamlessly in a couple of months. The good news? Calgary has many tournament opportunities to have an enjoyable good day of golf and support local charities. The bad news? Calgary has so many tournament opportunities that Business in Calgary couldn’t possibly highlight them all. So, following is just a random sampling...

The energy Fore Friends golf Tournament

As it says on the Energy Fore Friends website, “The province of Alberta is blessed with natural resources and a vibrant economy that we all prosper from. Energy Fore Friends targets the energy sector to give back to the community that supports us.” “It’s what it’s all about,” says original committee member Rob Van Horne. “We are fortunate that it’s usually sold out but it’s a great way for people in the energy business – marketers, producers, pipeline companies, storage operators, power companies and others – to make our tournament, and the boost to Calgary charities, bigger and better than ever. “We rely heavily on our connections and, of course, we reach out to them,” Van Horne grins. “We stay in touch year-round. The committee may change and evolve but there’s always the same sense of pride.” This special 10th anniversary year – on Monday, June 23, 2014 at The Glencoe – will likely put the Energy Fore Friends total over the $1-million mark, with all funds going directly to Special Olympics Calgary, the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation and Jamie’s Preschool.

it’s All About Calgary boosting • Golf Business Tournaments

The SBPC Charity golf Classic

“Last year we were able to raise a record $53,500 for the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation. This is our 15th anniversary and we would like to raise even more,” beams Jerry Koonar, a golf committee member of the Sikh Business and Professional Club of Calgary – a communitybased organization that serves the social, business and philanthropic activities of the local Sikh community. “Every year,” he explains, “the designated charity is chosen by the core golf organizing committee and then approved by the executive of the club. It’s always done in keeping with the club’s formal mandate: to help Calgary charities by providing support of health and welfare and education as well as women’s initiatives in the community.” The special 15th anniversary year for the SBPC Charity Golf Classic will be at Country Hills Golf Club on Wednesday, July 23, 2014.

The Calgary Stampeders golf Tournament

From vintage Stampeders greats like Jackie Kellogg and Srecko Zizakovic to newbie alumni like Wes Lysack and John Bender, they’re getting ready for Monday, July 21, 2014. It’s the big 25th anniversary of the Calgary Stampeders Alumni Golf Tournament. The still giant Zizakovic, Stampeders Alumni president and tournament co-chair, says the event hosts 210 golfers on 27 holes of the two Country Hills courses; two ‘fivesomes’ per nine holes. “Thanks to our guests and sponsors, the golf will be great and our prizes are extra special, with autographed Stampeders footballs and other memorabilia,” Zizakovic says with a big smile. “But we keep our focus. It’s all about the kids and Calgary – giving back to our wonderful community that was so good to us when we were playing.”

Golf tournaments are solidly proven to be one of the most popular and effective ways to raise money for local causes and charities. Equity Golf Memberships and Annual Associate Golf Memberships available. Corporate Tournament dates and public golfers welcome.

Contact Mike Gawryluk, CPGA Head Professional @ 403-949-3663,; or Paddy Big Plume, General Manager @ 403-949-3733,

90 • April 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |

Stretching for Golfers O

ver the winter months, the golf muscles we use throughout the summer tend to take a vacation. We lose their mobility to move in the direction they can during the summer months. Stretching before you take out your driver and start striking golf balls in the spring will help to eliminate any risk of injury, create flexibility for your core muscles that are used in golf and create Stretch 1 a smooth transition in the golf swing. These two stretches can be completed in the comfort of your own home in very little time. Start two to three times a week, four weeks before the golf season, and the result will be a more confident, balanced and flexible golfer.

Stretch 1: Leg and Back Stretch With both hands at the top of the golf club, separate your feet by having your left or right foot stretch back of centre and have the other leg bend at 90 degrees. Your back knee may touch the floor but keep the leg relatively straight to feel the muscle being stretched. Your arms should be relatively straight back from the grip position.


John Seymour Head Golf Professional Lynx Ridge Golf Club

Lastly, reverse this process with the other leg. Feel the muscle being stretched and do not rock back and forth as this may cause injury. Hold this position for five to 10 seconds with each leg.

Stretch 2: Shoulder and Hip Rotation Take your middle iron (I have a five iron in this picture) and place it behind your shoulder blades. Both hands should be at either end of the golf club. In a golfing posture, feet shoulder width apart, knees bent, and spine angled towards the golf ball, rotate the club left to right holding the position for five seconds when the end of the club is pointing down to the golf ball. Not only does this rotate your body as it would in a realistic swing, it opens up your shoulders and creates weight distribution which can be felt through this stretch. Complete this full turn five to seven times. I hope these two stretches will help with your golf swing through flexibility, balance and confidence as we enter the spring months of golf here in Calgary! Stretch 2

John Seymour, Head Golf Professional

Golf is deceptively simple and endlessly complicated; it satisfies the soul and frustrates the intellect. It is at the same time rewarding and maddening and it is without a doubt the greatest game mankind has ever invented. ~ Arnold Palmer, US golfer


it’s All About Calgary boosting • Golf Business Tournaments

The Building hope Charity golf Tournament

Since it began in 1987, Calgary’s real estate professionals, their golfer friends, their sponsors and other boosters have contributed more than $5 million to a wide range of Calgary area charities and non-profit organizations. A key source of moneys raised is the annual CREB Building Hope Charity Golf Tournament. “Last year, we had fluky bad timing,” remembers Aneve MacKay-Lyons, coordinator of the CREB Charitable Foundation. “The tournament was scheduled for one week after the flood. We postponed it until September. “But it turned out well and we had a great day, a full turnout of 144 golfers and not only raised a lot of money for the Calgary charities but, after an emergency vote, the board donated $10,000 for flood relief.” This year, the CREB Building Hope Charity Golf Tournament will have a popular new twist: a new morning shotgun format. As MacKay-Lyons explains, “Later shotguns usually go into evenings and, especially for real estate people, that can be a problem.” And this year it is at Springbank Links Golf Club on Thursday, August 28, 2014. biC

Playing golf and boosting local charities is a natural fit. Because, in Calgary and across Canada, golf is more popular than ever.

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Leading Business Connecting to solve business challenges

APRIL 2014

The Top Five Barriers to Competitiveness in Calgary


ast month the Calgary Chamber released The Top Five Barriers to Competitiveness in Calgary, a policy report that highlights the key challenges to the competitiveness in our city, and how these issues affect businesses and residents. The report is based on extensive input from the Calgary business community including all Chamber committee volunteers, results from the annual membership survey, and engagement from the public. What are those barriers and what can we do about them?

1. Labour Shortage Calgary is struggling with a shortage of skilled and unskilled labour. It’s estimated that Alberta lacks approximately 30,000 workers, and by 2021, this number is expected to reach approximately 114,000. A shortage of skilled workers also forces wages up for already obtained workers, making Calgary a more expensive place to hire and do business. Alberta’s average weekly earnings are 23 per cent higher than the national average. What we can do: adopt policies that tap into underutilized pools of labour, and explore tax incentives that encourage the mobility of the workforce (making it more affordable for people to move within Canada to find work).

2. Affordability By many measures, Calgary has worse than average adorability including: monthly parking rates, hourly wages, real estate costs, and rent. To a certain extent, this is a natural by-product of a growing economy. What we can do: approve secondary suites at the municipal level. Expanding the pool of available housing can help moderate price increases, making it more affordable for existing and potential workers to live here, and therefore making it more affordable for businesses to operate here.

3. Access to Capital Many businesses require financial assistance to start or grow, but access to capital is difficult these days. Calgary businesses are investing less due to decreasing margins, increased costs, and a lack of capital funding. Creating an environment that allows businesses to thrive, providing greater access to capital, and support our city’s entrepreneurs, is a top Chamber priority. What we can do: support small businesses with the significant costs associated with initial research and development, so that they can continue to be successful while they look to grow.

4. Market Access Calgary is a very energy-centric economy, and if our energy production can’t reach external markets, that means we aren’t capturing the value of higher world prices, which hurts our competiveness. What we can do: build the necessary infrastructure to ensure our products reach world markets, forge trade agreements with emerging economies to tap into growing markets, and improve our overall productivity so that we can market our products at competitive prices.

5. Reliable Infrastructure Calgary faces a multi-billion dollar infrastructure deficit, with a growing population. We need reliable, modern infrastructure to support our city’s growth. However, if we don’t have an adequate financing plan to fund infrastructure improvements, than the problem will become more expensive down the road. What we can do: our municipal government needs the tools necessary to adequately support infrastructure, and not have to rely solely on provincial or federal government grants, which can be unpredictable and inconsistent forms of funding. To read the full report visit | BUSINESS IN CALGARY April 2014 • 93

2014 Board of


Chamber Member Spotlights

Executive Chair: Leah Lawrence, President, Clean Energy Capitalists Inc. Immediate Past Chair: Joe Lougheed, Partner, Dentons Canada LLP Chair Elect: Rob Hawley, Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

The Calgary Chamber is proud to represent many Calgary businesses large and small; this month we are highlighting some of our industry leading members.

Second Vice Chair: Denis Painchaud, Director, International Government Relations, Nexen Inc. Vice Chair, Finance: Bill Brunton, President, Stratus Marketing Inc. CEO: Adam Legge, President and CEO, Calgary Chamber

Directors David Allen, President, Calgary Land, Brookfield Residential Properties Inc. Carlos Alvarez, Audit Partner, KPMG Lorenzo DeCicco, Vice-President, TELUS Business Solutions Rob Hawley, Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP Wellington Holbrook, Executive Vice-President, ATB Financial Guy Huntingford, Chief Executive Officer, Urban Development Institute Bruce Okabe, Chief Executive Officer, Travel Alberta

TransCanada TransCanada is a leader in the responsible development, and reliable and safe operation of North American energy infrastructure. For more than 60 years, TransCanada has been connecting energy supplies to key North American markets with $54 billion of assets in natural gas and oil pipeline portfolios and it is one of the continent’s largest providers of gas storage and related services. A growing independent power producer, TransCanada also owns or has interests in over 11,800 megawatts of power generation in North America. TransCanada is vigilant about minimizing the environmental impacts of its operations while meeting growing energy demands across the continent. Each year, TransCanada invests more into research and development to improve efficiencies and reduce the environmental impact of its operations. For more information visit

Phil Roberts, Vice-President, Axia NetMedia Corp Linda Shea, Senior Vice-President, AltaLink Mike Williams, Executive Vice-President, Tervita Corporation

Management Adam Legge – President and CEO Michael Andriescu – Director of Finance and Administration Kim Koss – Vice President, Business Development Scott Crockatt – Director of Marketing and Communications Rebecca Wood – Director of Member Services Justin Smith – Director of Policy, Research and Government Relations

Leading Business magazine is a co-publication of the Calgary Chamber and Business in Calgary

TD Bank Group TD is the sixth largest bank in North America by branches and serves over 22 million customers in three key businesses operating in a number of locations in financial centres around the globe: Canadian Retail, including TD Canada Trust, TD Auto Finance Canada, TD Wealth (Canada), TD Direct Investing, and TD Insurance; U.S. Retail, including TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank, TD Auto Finance U.S., TD Wealth (U.S.) and an investment in TD Ameritrade; and Wholesale Banking, including TD Securities. TD also ranks among the world’s leading online financial services firms, with approximately eight million active online and mobile customers. For more information visit

Calgary Chamber 600, 237 8th Avenue S.E. Calgary, Alberta T2G 5C3 Phone: (403) 750-0400 Fax: (403) 266-3413

Vodigo Serving Calgary and Western Canada for over 10 years, Vodigo is an award-winning provider of unified communications products and services designed to meet ongoing business needs. Brilliantly simple and extremely functional voice solutions are the cornerstone of every business. Vodigo offers robust and easy-to-use converged voice and data solutions to address business needs today and into the future. Reduce travel costs, enable collaboration and increase productivity. Vodigo offers a broad range of VC solutions for every budget. For more information visit

94 • April 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |

Thank You to our customers, staff and partners for helping us become one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies for the 8th year in a row.

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Calgary South East 3660–50 Avenue SE


19 locations across Canada

Toll Free 1•800•936•9353 |


Belong to the Calgary Chamber The Chamber is deeply rooted in Calgary’s history. On May 2, 1891 the Chamber, then called the Calgary Board of Trade, was formed. The first president was Calgary’s mayor of the day, Alexander Lucas, who led a group of 46 original members. Those pioneering business leaders would have never envisioned how much the landscape of our city would change over the next 123 years. Over that time the visionary leaders at the Chamber were instrumental in founding the Calgary Airport Authority, the Calgary Foundation, the Calgary Homeless Foundation and the Parks Foundation Calgary. Calgary is now a world-leading city, and with that, the needs of business have evolved just as Calgary has grown from its humble beginnings on the Bow and Elbow rivers. Two years ago the Chamber headed down a road of transformational change, in order to refocus and get back to its core purpose of helping Calgary businesses be more successful, and foster a healthy climate for commerce in our city. The journey wasn’t easy, but change never is. The Chamber is now a leaner, more focused organization; one that is willing to step beyond the boundaries of what most people believe a Chamber can do.

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To celebrate change, the Chamber is launching one of the largest awareness campaigns in its 123-year history. Over the next couple of months there will be a larger visual presence from the Chamber in our community, as a lead-up to the Chamber’s 2014 awareness campaign, simply titled: Belong. The Belong campaign is designed to drive awareness about the Chamber, its work as well as the benefits of being connected to the broader business community. The campaign will take place over the course of three days and will run from May 27-29, engaging over 250 volunteers. For more than 123 years businesses have depended on the Calgary Chamber to help them grow, connect with new customers and be their influential voice in shaping policy. The Chamber works every day to ensure that Calgary remains a great place where our businesses and communities continue to thrive and succeed. Belong to the Chamber and keep Calgary in business. For volunteer opportunities or to join the Calgary Chamber, contact

40 Years of CalgarY HistorY Before the opening of the Calgary Convention Centre, Calgary was already a popular convention destination. Over 150 conventions were held in Calgary in 1972, which was approximately 14% of the Canadian total. Calgary city council made the decision to proceed with the construction of a new downtown facility to ensure the city would continue to host meetings and conventions for North American and International visitors. The federal, provincial, and Calgary’s municipal government funded the construction of the facility. In 1973, the North American market for conventions was approximately $8 billion. The North American meeting and convention market is now worth approximately $300 billion in direct spending, with approximately one trillion dollars in economic impact. The Calgary facility was the first full service convention centre in Canada and developers marketed the facility effectively in an intensely competitive industry establishing a head start on new convention facilities opening up across Canada. Calgary’s convention centre ranked 25th in size in North America when it was completed in 1974 and with the expansion in 2000 the Centre now ranks 10th in size in Canada. The Calgary TELUS Convention Centre’s (CTCC) downtown location was of vital importance in 1974 when the facility opened and continues to be a factor in the Centre’s popularity. Two thirds of the participants in an international convention industry survey desire meeting and exhibition areas in the downtown area of a city and prefer a location close to hotel accommodation. The CTCC’s close proximity to these amenities, restaurants, and shopping continues to attract meetings and conventions to Calgary. The original convention centre was opened by John Diefenbaker on November 15, 1974 and was expanded in 2000 to host the World Petroleum Congress. The facility was a key location during the G8 Summit in June 2002, and journalists from around the world utilized the cutting edge technology installed during the expansion and renovation. International events like these create awareness of Calgary as a desirable business, tourism, and convention destination. Calgary has more than tripled in size since the original facility was opened in 1974 and the city’s infrastructure must continue to grow to keep pace with the needs of an expanding population and business community. The CTCC is an important economic engine for Calgary and a meeting place for Calgarians. The past 40 years have been a great success for the Convention Centre and for Calgary, and with continuing expansion plans in the works the Centre will continue to play a key role in attracting visitors to our city and meeting the needs of Calgarians. | BUSINESS IN CALGARY April 2014 • 97

It’s Time to Treat Tourism Like a

Spark Plug By Stewart McDonough


he Canadian Chamber of Commerce has highlighted “uncompetitive travel and tourism strategies” as one of the top 10 barriers to Canada’s economic progress. According to the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, the travel/tourism sector is one of Canada’s largest generators of GDP, contributing $85 billion to its economy annually, and accounting for more than 600,000 jobs. Calgary’s tourism industry employs close to one in 10 working Calgarians and accounted for an estimated 7.5 million visitors in 2013 who spent $1.6 billion in Calgary’s tourism-related businesses. The Tourism Industry Association of Canada has outlined the fact that Canada has grown too reliant on domestic travellers, comprising 80 per cent of total revenues compared to 65 per cent a decade ago. Over that same time Canada’s international arrivals have dropped by nearly two per cent – moving in the opposite direction of the global average growth rate of four per cent. A decade ago, Canada was one of the top five international tourist destinations; now Canada is in danger of forfeiting its spot in the top 20.

The Canadian Chamber outlined three key barriers to competition: High costs: Canada has one of the most expensive air transport markets. User fees and levies on aviation add hundreds of millions to passenger costs. These non-carrier charges typically account for 40 to 70 per cent of passenger costs. According to a report prepared for Canada’s Standing Senate Committee on Transport and Communications, the Government of Canada should stop treating airports as a source of public revenue and start treating them as economic spark plugs. Tax: Tourism is the only export sector in Canada that is not zero-rated for GST and Canada is the only G8 nation that does not rebate its value-added tax. The Crown collects nearly half a billion dollars of GST, which would be rebated in other countries. Marketing: Canada should be redoubling its marketing efforts to overcome its high costs and the decline in U.S. tourism. Instead, the budget for the Canadian Tourism

98 • April 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |

Commission has been repeatedly cut. Today the commission spends $58 million promoting Canada in 11 markets. Meanwhile, Canada’s rivals are outspending it – Ireland, Australia, Mexico and tiny New Zealand outspend Canada. Not surprisingly, each of those countries has seen steady increases in their volumes of foreign visitors (Ireland up 14 per cent in 15 years, Australia up 30 per cent, New Zealand up 83 per cent). Canada lost 10 per cent of arrivals from key markets in those years.

In 2014, the Canadian Chamber is advocating for: 1. The implementation of the federal government’s tourism strategy. Canada needs measures that reshape the sector so it can compete. 2. Creating a climate in which major tourism and hospitality investors commit to Canada, ahead of other nations. 3. Canada’s marketing efforts must be substantially increased. Even doubled or tripled, the Canadian marketing budget would only represent a fraction of the revenues lost by the federal government as foreign visitors continue to rapidly decline. 4. The Canadian Chamber calls on the federal government to conduct a wide-range examination of the travel sector with special attention to the high public costs borne by aviation customers. 5. Upgrading Canada’s visa application process to increase its capacity and reduce its complexity and inconvenience for potential visitors. Canada’s global tourism competitiveness is important to Calgary’s tourism community as we work with Travel Alberta and the Canadian Tourism Commission to attract international travellers who spend more and stay longer.

Content in this article was sourced from the Tourism Industry Association of Canada and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s 2014 Top 10 Barriers to Competitiveness.

[header] The Changing Face of Downtown By SuSan ThoMPSon


ey, what’s that being built on the corner of…” is an often-heard question in Calgary these days. The question that no one ever asks, but is just as important: “what impact will XYZ building have on the city?” The current growth cycle for Calgary’s downtown area started in 2006. This is its fifth major growth cycle since the downtown area was founded in 1875. It is now the third largest downtown office market by square footage in Canada, behind Toronto and Montreal, and is expected to surpass Montreal by 2017. It is also home to over 12,000 people, according to the City of Calgary’s 2013 Civic Census for the Commercial Core, West End and Eau Claire areas. Today there are eight office projects already under construction or committed to, and at least seven highrise condominium towers. So what does five million square feet of office space and over 2,000 new residential condominiums over the next three to five years mean for Calgary? Interesting architecture is added to the skyline. New environmental design and sustainability characteristics are introduced through LEED certification. Thousands of construction jobs are created during the development period. Public art is added in and around new buildings. The +15 Skywalk system is extended. Companies signal their commitment to Calgary by signing long-term leases. People get new homes. Businesses get new space. The building owners generate rental income. There is an increase to the tax base for the City of Calgary. Calgary’s position as the head office capital in Western Canada is further strengthened. In numeric terms, these new buildings translate into the following increases: using an average ratio of 250 square feet per employee, five million square feet equals spots for approximately 20,000 people. However, modern offices are reducing their average area per employee through shared

workspaces or more efficient use of space and more collaborative work environments. As a result, this new space could hold over 30,000 employees. On the residential side, the current average occupancy in the downtown area is 1.5 people per unit, which means those towers currently underway or proposed could house over 3,300 people. More people in the downtown core, either residents or daytime workers, means more supporting services are required such as shopping, restaurants, banks and professional services. More frequently, buildings are being designed to include this network of services within close proximity to improve the quality of life and productivity of employees and residents. If a person doesn’t have to travel as far to get to the gym, visit the dentist and pick up groceries, they can spend more time focusing on more important things. This discussion hasn’t included East Village, an area to the east of city hall expected to eventually be home to 11,500 residents, office space, retail, a 300-room hotel, the National Music Centre and a new Central Public Library. It is anticipated that this area will not be fully realized until 2027. Confidence in the city and its economy, while still positive, slid a bit at the end of 2013. Not enough to cause developers to slow down on any of the projects that already have lease commitments. Calgary is expected to have one of the highest rates of GDP growth in Canada in 2014. The biggest reason for the hesitancy in the market is the oil and gas sector waiting for announcements on pipeline projects. Expect to see the buoyancy of the market bounce back once those announcements are made. What is that construction site over there? Confidence in Calgary. To see a map of existing or proposed development visit | BUSINESS IN CALGARY April 2014 • 99

FREDsense Technologies Inc. From student team to startup company |

By anDrea MenDIZaBaL


group of young entrepreneurs from the University of Calgary are developing a unique biosensor system that provides real-time detection and identification of toxins in water, primarily to be used in the oil and gas industry to aid in water remediation. Water is a key ingredient in oil and gas production, specifically in the oilsands. Before recycling and reusing the water, or releasing it back into the environment, oil and gas producers must remediate these large volumes of water. Current methods of testing water are either slow, labour intensive or do not accurately report the relative toxicity. FRED (which stands for Field Ready Electrochemical Detector) harnesses the power of genetically modified environmental bacteria to be able to quickly and accurately detect petroleum-related toxins. “FRED is a very unique sensor,” says David Lloyd, cofounder and co-chief executive officer at FREDsense Technologies, an early-stage startup company based out of the University of Calgary. “Instead of using an actual physical or chemical method to be able to detect what’s in your water, we’re using a living bacteria organism that we’ve modified to be able to go and sense all of these toxins.” Lloyd is one of seven who currently make up the team at FREDsense Technologies, a group of interdisciplinary students with diverse technical backgrounds ranging from genetics and biochemistry to microbiology and electrochemistry. In addition to telling you what’s in the water, FRED can also sense and report back multiple compounds at the same time. The electrochemical component uses electricity to be able to tell you what’s there. Compared to current methods, FRED has the potential to be rapid, on-site and require little to no sample prep, providing a distinct advantage to other competing technologies currently available to oil and gas service companies. This unique biosensor and startup company is the result of participating in the International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition, a worldwide undergraduate student competition where university school teams design and build biological systems and operate them in living cells. 100 • April 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |

C FREDsense Technologies, an early-stage startup company made up of young entrepreneurs from the University of Calgary, are developing a unique biosensor designed to quickly and accurately detect petroleum-related toxins in water. Photo courtesy: FREDsense Technologies

Winning several awards at iGEM 2012, the team decided to take those ideas and begin building a company. To date FREDsense Technologies has also received recognition in several other competitions including winning the inaugural Energy New Venture Competition, the 2014 Queen’s Entrepreneurs’ Competition, best elevator pitch at the BMO Financial Group Apex Business Plan Competition, and is a finalist for the Nicol Entrepreneurial Award in Ottawa and the William James Foundation sustainability competition in Washington. “We have followed a really unique path for a startup company,” says Lloyd. “We’ve always been working in the academic space and now we’re transitioning into more of an industrial setting, working in our own lab and developing our business.” Currently, FREDsense Technologies has a lab-scale prototype, is in the process of completing the patenting process, and aims to have the technology ready to hit the market by 2016. To learn more about FRED and FREDsense Technologies, visit or follow them on Twitter @ fredsensetech. To learn more about Innovate Calgary and how it supports new and emerging technology, visit



marketingmatters • David Parker




hen Jim Hill contracted Abugov Kaspar Architects to design a building in trendy Inglewood along 9th Avenue SE it was primarily to house his own extensive contemporary art collection and provide a venue for other exhibitions. But he also dreamt of it being a hub for the creative community – and it has proved to be just that. On the top floor of the office portion, across from the entrance to the Esker Foundation Art Gallery, is the home of Kasian Architecture – designer of Hill’s gallery – and other notable creative industry people working in the Atlantic Avenue Art Block include Critical Mass with 250 staff. Pattison Signs and C&B Advertising are tenants along with newest neighbours Kelly Brothers Productions and Foundry Communications. Foundry owner and creative director Zahra Al-Harazi says the full-service agency is off to another good year doing work for a number of new accounts including Albi Homes, TransCanada, Shakers Fun Centre and a second-phase campaign for Fort Calgary. Staff has grown to 20 with the addition of new account coordinator James Kurczaba, who was communications designer and marketing strategist at Riddell Kurczaba Architecture, and I see that more career opportunities are posted on Foundry’s website. •••••••••••••• Larry Clausen, who has over 30 years of local public relations/communications experience, has been elevated

to the role of executive vice-president Western Canada for Cohn & Wolfe. His former position as managing partner of the Calgary office has been filled by Tim Moro, who for the past 17 years has been in the role of senior vice president at Ipsos-Reid. Clausen has always been a busy man. Besides his dedicated company responsibilities he is perennial chair of the Bill Brooks Prostate Cancer Benefit and board member of the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation, and he is past chair of Alberta Ballet, the Alberta Ballet Foundation and the Calgary Downtown Association. He opened an office in Vancouver and, along with Moro, will continue to grow the practice here while assisting Calgary companies with their issues in B.C. •••••••••••••• Stir Films, a division of Corkscrew Media, was chosen to produce two new Heritage Minutes for Historica Canada. Both feature the First World War and will be filmed in Calgary this spring, bringing together the talents of producer Brent Kawchuk, director Grant Harvey, and writer and playwright Stephen Massicotte. The new minutes are being created to mark a century since the beginning of the First World War in 1914 and will share lesser-known stories about Canada’s role during a formative period in its history. •••••••••••••• After an extensive advertising agency review process, Fabricland has selected William Joseph as agency of record for its western Canadian operations, a change for Canada’s largest fabric distributor after 26 years. Fabricland’s new advertising campaign is set to kick off this summer across Western Canada. William Joseph has also been busy with a number of non-profit organizations. CEO Ryan Townend has been personally and actively involved with the

102 • April 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |

Canadian Cancer Society as a thought leader and the Canadian Mental Health Association has engaged William Joseph to launch an innovative youth program, including the design and development of a groundbreaking website that effectively engages young people in discussing mental health issues. •••••••••••••• Congratulations to Heather Lawton who has been appointed president of Quintaro Imaging. For the past seven years she has been the company’s director of operations and assumed the new role after president Reg Anaka stepped down but is staying on as director and consultant. Quintaro is a Calgary-based production facility for fine graphics specializing in graphic reproduction and commercial art for the hospitality industry, architects, designers and corporate professionals, as well as residential projects. •••••••••••••• Twist Marketing has been awarded a multi-year contract with SUBWAY restaurants Alberta to manage the branding, media placement and sponsorship opportunities for its 360 Alberta restaurants. The world’s largest submarine sandwich franchise, with more than 40,000 restaurants in over 100 countries, has over 2,900 in Canada. •••••••••••••• Mark Szabo, most recently with Karo and Critical Mass, has been appointed director of marketing and communications at Bow Valley College.

Parker’s Pick: The Swine and Sow Wine and Ale House logo by Strut Creative.


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April 2014 Business in Calgary  
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