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APRIL 2017 | $3.50 BUSINESSINCALGARY.COM

CHANGING of the Guard PM41126516

LAURA JO GUNTER TAKES OVER AS PRESIDENT OF BOW VALLEY COLLEGE



U R BANOMICS: THE REDEVELOPMENT CHALLENGE

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CALGARY CHAMBER SECTION

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The Statesman Group of Companies is celebrating over 40 Years of leading innovative and award winning developments throughout North America. In the 80s we introduced Calgary to Villas. In the 90s we introduced The Manor Village Life Centers – elegant senior living. Today, we’re mastering steel and concrete towers on the multi-family residential and resorts...

Move in 2019

3rd Phase 85% sold

Witness what the Future will bring... Statesman’s premier condo towers are located in the award winning community of Varsity in Northwest Calgary. This concrete & steel structure features customized interiors, on-site fitness centre, free yoga classes, and convenient access to shopping, restaurants, and the C-train. The final phase is now 85% sold. Call today, and receive a $5,000 Upgrade Credit in our design centre.

www.grovesofvarsity.com | 403.286.8143 Aptly named The Views, this future community lies at the intersection of West Springs & Cougar Ridge, on Old Banff Coach Road. Nestled into the Paskapoo Slopes hillside, this gated community provides the best & last great views over the Bow River valley. Scheduled for completion in 2019, you will have plenty of time to sell your current home once the market recovers. Buy low, sell high. Reserve your suite today with a small deposit.

www.theviewscalgary.com | 403.262.5070

(403) 256-4151 • statesman.ca


RETAIL/SHOWROOM

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Centron specializes in real estate development, leasing,

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Phone: 403-252-1120 Email: leasing@centrongroup.com Centrongroup.com


ALBERTA-GROWN COMPANIES HAVE FOUND A “NICHE” AND SUCCEEDED AS A RESULT

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ince opening their doors in early 2006, Liftboss Materials Handling has gone about what they do, in a much different way than their competitors. Service has always been the focus right from the beginning, with regards to the forklift industry. They have grown a strong customer base in the 10 years they have been open and in 2012 became the Doosan heavy equipment dealer for central and southern Alberta. One of those long-term customers is On-Track Railway Operations, another Alberta-based company that prides itself on doing things much differently than any other. On-Track’s expertise spans six decades and is an accomplished designer, manufacturer, supplier and contractor of railway material handling systems and services. Their first project was with Canadian National Railway in 1978, when Ken Massé, founder, developed the first process for wood tie rehabilitation for ties generated from the P8-11 concrete tie program. Over the years, it became apparent there was a growing need to develop new machinery and equipment to meet the rigorous demands of contract service. On-Track develops machinery to provide contract services tailored to meet specific needs. They have a reputation for being an entrepreneurial company in the highly specialized “maintenance of way” field. As a result, On-Track is industry known for demonstrating improved concepts in all areas of railway material handling. On-Track bought their first Doosan® machine back in 2010, a DX190W wheel excavator. They are still using that unit today. They have purchased another new DX190W wheel excavator, three additional Doosan DX180LC track units, and a DL350 loader from Liftboss, authorized Doosan heavy equipment dealer since 2012. On-Track Railway Operations Ltd. is an experienced contractor and leader in the development and manufacture of specialized railway material handling systems and work all over North America. Liftboss is a full-service Doosan heavy equipment company that focuses on servicing the customer above all else, and offers new and used sales, parts and rentals in the heavy equipment industry.

Branches in Edmonton and Calgary Toll Free (877) 474-1470 www.liftboss.ca

Doosan® and the Doosan logo are trademarks of Doosan Corp.

www.liftboss.ca

On-Track Railway Operations Ltd. is located at 55024 Range Road 234 Sturgeon County, AB Toll Free: (888) 973-6003


THE RIGHT TIME IS NOW! WITH OVER 3000 HOMES SOLD IN 20 YEARS, MY EXPERIENCE IS YOUR ADVANTAGE!

JUST ASK ME c

403 870 8811 |

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403 686 7800 |

www.SAMCOREA.COM

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SAM@SAMCOREA.COM


MY EXPERIENCE SPRINGBANK | $8,500,000

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PI N N AC LE R I DG E PL AC E , S W

Tuscan country home in Springbank! Crafted by exceptional artisans and boasting only the finest of imported & local materials this 14,000 SF Tuscan villa inspired home is less than 10 years old yet it almost instantly transports you to Europe with an incredible sense of old world tradition and authenticity. With a 1,000 SF gym, 1500 SF professional style theatre, gourmet kitchen, elevator, 7 bedrooms, pool house, sport court, 5 car garage, opulent master wing & south facing courtyard this home is ideal for a large family or as an executive retreat. It was used as a set in the Fargo miniseries, has been featured in the National Post & most recently leased to Leonardo DiCaprio for 6 months during the filming of The Revenant. 2 acres overlooking the mountains & minutes from shopping, services, trendy restaurants, Springbank airport & several of Calgary’s very best private schools.

BEARSPAW | $4,900,000

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WOODL AN D L AN E

Spectacular Bearspaw hideaway with 5-star hotel inspired pool house, a total of 6 bedrooms & nearly 10,000 SF of luxurious living space! Backing onto a pond this home sits on 2 exquisitely manicured acres with a stream & dream treehouse! Beautifully crafted bungalow with loft, walkout, elevator, 4 car garage and almost everything is done at just the touch of a button. Impressive in every way with stunning curb appeal, chef’s kitchen (induction range, espresso maker, Wolf, Sub-Zero, Miele), elegant master wing (w/ sitting rm, bar, walk-in, laundry & steam shower ensuite), main floor den, homework room & ensuite guest Rm. Walkout with family/games room, wet bar, laundry, 4 bedrooms & mudroom. Secure pool room w/ huge mosaic tiled pool with hard cover, water & fibre optic light features hot tub, wet bar, gym & wall of sliding doors opening wide to a private patio with pond views.

MY EXPERIENcE IS YOUR ADVANtAGE

JUST ASK ME!


IS YOUR ADVANTAGE BRITANNIA | $3,200,000

BRITANNIA | $1,750,000

711

903

C R E S C E N T B O U L E VA R D, S W

E D I N B U R G H R OA D, S W

This renovated home is walking distance to local shops, river pathways, Sandy Beach & close to downtown. Spoil yourself with Wolf & Sub-Zero appliances, 2 fireplaces, hardwood & heated tile flooring, Nuvo audio system, built-ins, A/C & boasting a gorgeous kitchen with huge island,, custom cabinets, expansive dining room & intimate sitting area with fireplace. There are 3 bedrooms & 2 baths upstairs. Lower developed with mudroom (heated tile), family/games room, gym (rubber floor/mirrored walls), laundry, 4th bedroom, 4pc bath & huge flex space. Extensive updating incl. windows, roofing, electrical/mechanical & more. Sunny SW backyard w/ deck & stone patio.

Contemporary new home with an oversized 4 car garage and 6169 SF of luxurious living space, set on a fabulous 75-foot wide lot in Britannia! Beautifully appointed with huge rooms, expansive window walls, designer lighting, stone counters, glass railings & wide-plank hardwood floors it boasts: A total of 5 ensuite bedrooms, dream kitchen with quartz counters and Wolf & Subzero appliances, living room with fireplace feature wall, wet bar, home office, big mudroom and a generously scaled master suite retreat with massive walk-in closet & steam shower ensuite. 5th bedroom (with full ensuite), family room, wet bar, media room & gym all developed in the lower level.

SPRINGBANK HILL | $995,000

RICHMOND | $985,000

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2132

ELMONT RISE, SW

2 7 T H S T R E E T, S W

Prime location, perfect for a care-free “lock & leave” lifestyle! This walkout bungalow backs large greenspace & offers 2500 SF of beautifully appointed living space with 3 bedrooms & den. It offers 2 stone fireplaces, custom built-ins, elegant panelling, built-in speakers, in-floor heating, central AC, & maintenancefree deck w/ a retractable awning. The kitchen is appointed with 2 sinks & Viking appliances & has a big pantry opening to a mudroom. Den features tray ceiling, wainscotting & french doors. The master suite boasts lovely views, walk-in closet & ensuite. The walkout basement has 2 more bedrooms, full bathroom, media room & games room with full service wet bar.

Rooftop decks with mountain & city views, 3 bedrooms & 3 ensuite bathrooms (+ 4th bedroom down), heated floors (in 4 bathrooms & basement), central air, granite counters thruout, media Rm, floating stairway (w/ glass wall) & a party-sized kitchen perfect for entertaining with 10’ island, walk-in pantry & high-end appliances (incl. gas cooktop, pop-up fan & glass-front wine fridge)! Open main floor, backyard with hot tub, 2nd level with den + 2 ensuite bedrooms, incl master w/ 15’ walk-in closet & ensuite w/ air-jet tub, 2 sinks & huge shower. Top floor with 3rd ensuite bedroom & access to 2 rooftop decks. Basement has heated flooring, media room, full bathroom & 4th bedroom.

SOUTH CALGARY | $849,000

WOODLANDS | $795,000

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17 T H S T R E E T, S W

W O O D C R E S C E N T, S W

3100 SF of total living space! This home is an expanded plan with a must-see renovated kitchen (with stainless steel appliances, granite counters, tons of cabinetry & cozy heated flooring) and extra large family room! Home has been extensively updated & offers a big dining room (fireplace & modern glass doors), living room (with built-ins) & architecturally designed family/games room with bar, fireplace, heated flooring & curved glass wall overlooking west backyard. There are 3 bedrooms & 2 renovated bathrooms up. The master suite has an updated 5-pc ensuite & large walk-in closet. The 2nd bedroom opens to a den/playroom w/ built-ins & the 3rd bedroom has a Juliette balcony. There are 2 bedrooms, TV room, cold room & 3-pc bath downstairs.

Sophisticated townhouse with elevator, city view & party sized rooftop deck! This 2 bedroom 2-storey with its own elevator, city views and distinctive urban look & feel, offers over 2000 SF of living space with extensive upgrades & an awesome 570 SF rooftop deck with sunroom & outdoor kitchen! Carefree lock & leave inner-city living with high-end finishes: Hardwood floors, quartz/marble counters, lacquered cabinets, Fisher & Paykel appliances, built-in speakers, A/C, 3 fireplaces, 2 bedrooms & heated garage. Entertaining is easy with an open planned living, dining & kitchen. The master is your private retreat with panoramic views, walk-in, fireplace & spa-like 5-piece ensuite.

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403 870 8811 |

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SPRINGBANK HILL | $1,695,000

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M Y S T I C R I D G E PA R K , S W

A quarter acre (almost) pie lot, backing onto a natural ravine! 3487 SF with 3 ensuite bedrooms + developed walkout (4th bedroom, bath & media room) for total of 4635 SF of living space. Offering tranquil ravine views from most rooms it is appointed with high ceilings, big windows (custom blinds), hardwood, quartz counters, white cabinetry, stainless steel appliances (6-burner gas cook-top), chic lighting & built-in sound. Open-planning living room (fireplace), island kitchen, casually elegant dining room, expanded mudroom, big laundry and vaulted master with dressing room & ensuite(free-standing tub).

ASPEN WOODS | $919,000

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A S P E N S U M M I T P O I N T, S W

Cul-de-sac location, siding onto a green area and close to public/private schools, shopping, c-train (for a quick & stress-free commute to downtown) & parks/playgrounds! This home offers over 2700 SF of living space with 3 big bedrooms, homework loft, bonus room, island kitchen, formal dining room (or den), and large living room with gas fireplace. The bright (unfinished) basement with huge windows will offer tons of additional living space when you finish it. Features: Classic white cabinets & builtins, deep-toned hardwood, neutral paint & carpeting, granite counters, stainless steel appliances (gas cooktop), glass doors, big windows, custom blinds, curved stairway & west exposure

WEST SPRINGS | $675,000

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W E N T W O R T H WAY, S W

Chic & modern, upgraded family home in prime location walking distance to St. Joan of Arc Elem. Features a fabulous kitchen with Caesarstone counters, marble backsplash, extra deep sink & high-end stainless steel appliances including gas range. Main level includes: Great room with dry-pack rock fireplace, dining area, 2-pc bathroom & mud/laundry room with built-in organizers. Upstairs are 3 bedrooms & bonus room with vaulted ceiling, master has ensuite with soaker tub, rainhead shower & vanity w/ make-up table. 2 more bedrooms share a 4pc bath. Developed basement with 3pc bath (heated tile floors), family room with built-in speakers, 4th bedroom. Great yard with no maintenance deck & stamped concrete patio.

www.SAMCOREA.COM

|

SAM@SAMCOREA.COM


JUST ASK SPRINGBANK HILL | $575,000

327

SPRINGBANK VILL AS, SW

Perfect in every way, this bungalow villa is a must see! Beautifully renovated it offers 2069 SF (main, loft + developed walkout) and is set on an elevated pie lot, steps from shops & services. Spoil yourself with rich travertine stacked stone feature walls, hardwood flooring, fresh paint, chic updated lighting and a renovated kitchen with granite counters, soft-close cabinets, stainless steel appliances (gas stove with oven + warming drawer) and an extra-deep sink w/ hands-free faucet! Designed with entertaining in mind the open & vaulted plan features living room with accent wall & gas fireplace, den with glass doors & master suite with updated ensuite. Glass surround deck off main level has been updated with an awning for shade. Upstairs is a bonus room. Family room, 2nd bedroom, Renovated bathroom (heated floor) & laundry room in walkout.

BELTLINE | $299,000

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1 0 5 3 1 0 T H S T R E E T, S W

Pedestrian friendly living in the downtown core, just steps from Coop Fresh Market and close to Community Natural Foods, c-train/ bus, Shaw Millenium Park & the river pathways. This 13th floor suite faces west with panoramic views over the west end and towards the mountains & river valley. This 1 bedroom + den suite is in a safe & secure building and boasts new carpet & neutral paint colors, custom blinds, 9’ ceilings, deck (with gas outlet for BBQ) & an open plan with huge windows, cheater ensuite bathroom & insuite laundry. The den/flex room has a big walk-in closet for extra storage, use this space as a den or TV room or add a murphy bed for when you have guests. The unit comes with 1 heated underground parking spot and a low condo fee of $356/month which covers almost everything including electricity (this is rare)!

c 403 870 8811 t 403 686 7800 F 403 686 7804 Sam@SamCorea.com www.SamCorea.com

MY EXPERIENcE IS YOUR ADVANtAGE JUST ASK ME!


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STORY TITLE // SECTION

Supporting the visions of entrepreneurs one story at a time. Volume 26 | Number 4

REGULAR COLUMNS

16

Stimulus Spending and the Infrastructure Deficit By Frank Atkins

18

Send Governments a Message to Secure a Future Without Further Tax Hikes By Paige MacPherson

22

Urbanomics: Building to Trends By John Hardy

CONTENTS COVER FEATURE

40

Changing of the Guard Laura Jo Gunter takes over as president of Bow Valley College By Melanie Darbyshire

ON OUR COVER: ABOVE: LAURA JO GUNTER, PRESIDENT OF BOW VALLEY COLLEGE. PHOTO SOURCE: BOW VALLEY COLLEGE

83 105

Leading Business The Calgary Report

110

Current developments for Calgary Telus Convention Centre, Tourism Calgary, Calgary Economic Development, and Innovate Calgary

Marketing Matters By David Parker

SPECIAL GUEST COLUMNS

20

What Actually Drives Calgary’s Economic Recovery

FIND US ONLINE! B US I N E SS I NCALGARY.COM

22

Op/Ed: Oil Production: Some Hard Realities

BUSINESS IN CALGARY

10

@BUSINCALGARY

APRIL 2017 // BUSINESS IN CALGARY // BUSINESSINCALGARY.COM

By David Yager

By Cody Battershill


EVERYDAY LIFE. UNCOMPROMISED. WE’RE BUILDING LUXURY HOMES FOR YOU AT EVERY STAGE OF LIFE. With thoughtful design, luxurious details and uncompromising standards, we’re proud to offer extraordinary living in the award-winning community of Artesia at Heritage Pointe. Discover sophisticated bungalow and two-storey home plans designed to bring together family and friends. It’s about a life well built, in the very best places to call home. Visit ALBI Luxury by Brookfield Residential in Artesia at Heritage Pointe: 110 Waters Edge Drive Heritage Pointe, AB artesia@albihomes.com | 403.452.7320

AlbiHomes.com


STORY TITLE // SECTION

Supporting the visions of entrepreneurs one story at a time. Volume 26 | Number 4

91

THIS MONTH’S FEATURES

34

S  hortage of Workers Coming Out of the Recession Oilpatch companies challenged to find skilled employees. By Business in Calgary

CONTENTS COMPANY PROFILES

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91 94

The District Energy Centre Downtown Calgary’s best-kept secret

Alberta Golf

Alberta Golf Rolls Out New Membership Program

Alberta Bike Swap

A Better Way to Buy and Sell with Alberta Bike Swap

Cresa Alberta

Celebrates 25 Years

Calgary Elite Roofing

Celebrates 10 Years

APRIL 2017 // BUSINESS IN CALGARY // BUSINESSINCALGARY.COM

E  mployee or Management Buyout Start early to maximize value. By Kim Locke

54

E NMAX Corporation

97 101 12

46

T  hinking About Buying a Recreational or Investment Property? Summer home versus winter home. By Lorena McDonald

62 71 76

88

C  algary’s Ecoheroes Celebrating environmental leadership. By John Hardy

It’s Good to be a Tenant Understand who is representing you. By Erlynn Gococo

The Tax Exemption for Employer Health Benefits Strong arguments for keeping it. By Nerissa McNaughton and Melanie Darbyshire

R  eady For Fore! The basics (and passions) of Calgary golf. By John Hardy


PUBLISHERS

Pat Ottmann & Tim Ottmann

ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER

Evelyn Dehner evelyn@businessincalgary.com

EDITOR

Melanie Darbyshire

COPY EDITORS

Lisa Johnston, Nikki Gouthro

ART DIRECTOR

Jessi Evetts jessi@businessincalgary.com

CONTRIBUTING DESIGNER Andrea Espinoza

FLEXIBLE. AFFORDABLE. CHOICE. Our cost control and plan management expertise means you can offer a group benefit plan that meets the needs of your employees at a price you can afford. Call us today for a confidential no-obligation quote or talk to your plan advisor. 403-294-4004 www.ab.bluecross.ca Prescription Drugs • Dental • Extended Health • Travel Coverage Life and Disability • Vision• Spending Accounts Critical Illness • Employee and Family Assistance Program

ADMINISTRATION

Nancy Bielecki nancy@businessincalgary.com Denise Templeton denise@businessincalgary.com

REGULAR CONTRIBUTORS Paige MacPherson Frank Atkins David Parker

THIS ISSUE’S CONTRIBUTORS Melanie Darbyshire Rennay Craats John Hardy Kim Locke Lorena McDonald Erlynn Gococo Nerissa McNaughton

PHOTOGRAPHY

Cover photo courtesy of Bow Valley College

ADVERTISING SALES

Chris Miller chris@businessincalgary.com

DIRECTORS OF CUSTOM PUBLISHING Kelsi Vescarelli kelsi@businessincalgary.com Shannon Wilson shannon@businessincalgary.com

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STIMULUS SPENDING AND THE INFRASTRUCTURE DEFICIT // FRANK ATKINS

Stimulus Spending and the Infrastructure Deficit BY FRANK ATKINS

F

or a long time, governments have been promoting a confusing link between infrastructure spending and stimulating the economy. I have long believed the Keynesian concept of stimulus spending is at best an outdated idea or at worst an idea that should have been buried long ago with John Maynard Keynes. Canada’s gross domestic product is over one trillion dollars. I do not understand how anyone thinks stimulus spending measured in billions will actually stimulate the economy. However, clever politicians over the years have convinced the public stimulus spending is an effective manner in which to help an economy recover from a downturn. Part of the rhetoric used to convince the public of the effectiveness of stimulus spending has been to couple it with the need for infrastructure spending. Politicians love the concept of an infrastructure deficit – a purely political creation – which started to creep into common use approximately 20 years ago. The problem here is not only that no one seems to know exactly whether an infrastructure deficit actually exists; it is also that even if it did exist it would be virtually impossible to measure. Of course, this has not stopped politicians from using the term whenever they discuss the economy. This is because over the years there has been a deliberate blurring of what should be included in the concept of infrastructure. I do not think anyone would dispute that, for instance, roads and bridges are needed in order for the economy to operate effectively, and that these items should be included in infrastructure. However, politicians have greatly expanded the concept of infrastructure to include some questionable items. For instance, building recreation centres is now considered to be a form of infrastructure spending. This

completely ignores the fact that if the government builds and operates recreation centres, they are directly competing with private-sector recreation centres, which does not seem to be an effective use of taxpayer money. Several years ago, a group called Transformation Calgary expanded the concept of what should be included in infrastructure by claiming Calgary had a “cultural deficit” and a one per cent municipal tax to spend on culture in Calgary would be an effective manner in which to eliminate this deficit. It turned out this cultural deficit included building a new Saddledome. Apparently, professional hockey arenas should also be included in the concept of infrastructure. So here we are today with the widespread belief that stimulus spending is acutely needed to help the Canadian economy and that this stimulus spending should be on vitally needed infrastructure because we have an infrastructure deficit. Unfortunately, the general public appears to have bought into this story. Apparently for a period of at least 20 years we have been pouring taxpayer money into various sorts of infrastructure spending in order to eliminate the infrastructure deficit. However, politicians are still warning us we have a dangerously large infrastructure deficit. I find it somewhat strange no one has stopped to consider the following question: when will the infrastructure deficit be eliminated? Politicians are once again buying votes with taxpayer money. Only now marketing of this age-old idea is much more politically sophisticated.

Frank Atkins is a senior fellow at the Frontier Centre for Public Policy.

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Nominations are now closed; thank you to all who have nominated, and to the nominees who are part of this year’s program. We look forward to assembling another group of influential people from our business community who will be honoured for their contributions towards making Calgary a great place to live and work! Business in Calgary will celebrate the 2017 winners at our 10th Annual Awards Gala, and our July issue will feature the Leaders and their companies.

Save the Date Wednesday, June 28th | 6pm To stay informed on details for our event, visit www.businessincalgary.com/leaders or email leaders@businessincalgary.com

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SEND GOVERNMENTS A MESSAGE // PAIGE MACPHERSON

Send Governments a Message to Secure a Future Without Further Tax Hikes BY PAIGE MACPHERSON

W

ith both the provincial government and Calgary city council ignoring the necessity to meaningfully reduce spending, it’s crucial now for taxpayers and businesses to push back against further tax hikes on the horizon. According to the Alberta government, we’re starting to see “green shoots” in the economy. The province’s recent fiscal update showed 18,000 jobs have been created since July 2016. Most of those jobs come from the province’s oil and gas sector.

spending, advanced new government programs and hired 3,458 new government employees. The government made the symbolic move at the end of February to cut the perks and pay for executives at the province’s agencies, boards and commissions, which will save $16 million when it takes effect two years from now. Unquestionably this was the right thing to do, but $16 million is a drop in the bucket with a $10.8 billion operational hole in the budget.

Though business tax revenues are still $981 million below what was forecast in the last budget, the uptick meant good news for revenues overall, which increased by $1.5 billion from April 2016 forecasts.

It really can’t be emphasized enough that the government needs to take a tip from families and businesses across the province and get its spending problem under control. Between the debt load and tax hikes impacting Alberta’s competitiveness, the government isn’t doing much to inspire confidence in investors.

Given that the government has been repeating to Albertans that its multibillion-dollar deficit is the result of a revenue problem, not a spending problem, you’d think an increase in revenue would mean a decrease in the deficit. Not so.

So what does this mean for Calgary? As the public gets closer to knowing what city charter tax cocktail our politicians are brewing up behind closed doors, the state of provincial finances matters.

Despite the deficit ($10.8 billion in operational spending alone) contributing to the province’s ballooning debt load, compromising Alberta’s credit rating and costing taxpayers $1 billion per year in debt interest payments, Alberta Finance Minister Joe Ceci did not live up to his assurances that balancing the budget is a priority.

If the province grants Calgary city council with new tax powers, there’s been no indication they’ll reduce taxes at the provincial level to balance it out. With the province’s whopping deficit, tax cuts aren’t likely.

Instead, the government chose to spend every nickel of that $1.5 billion. Any further assertions that the government has a revenue problem and not a spending problem should not be taken seriously. If you know any Albertan business owners, you’d know they’ve probably been cutting back for the last year or two. But the government gravy train is chugging forward. In the past fiscal year, the government increased program

If the province and city agree instead on a revenue-sharing agreement – which Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi describes as a “percentage of the province’s revenues flow[ing] to the cities every year, no matter what” – without provincial surpluses, that means higher debt and possibly higher taxes for all Albertans. Despite their endless desire for more revenue, it’s time to make governments at the provincial and city level recognize what Calgarian business owners have already accepted – that spending control is needed – and fight to ensure a future without further.

Paige MacPherson is Alberta director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

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WHAT ACTUALLY DRIVES CALGARY’S ECONOMIC RECOVERY // DAVID YAGER

What Actually Drives Calgary’s Economic Recovery BY DAVID YAGER

I

t is a massive contradiction between what works and what we’re told we need. No business has done more to drive Calgary’s economy than oil and gas. But many, including successive Alberta governments, claim things will improve when we do something else. The good news is the old standby is back in the game after two years in the wilderness. The NDP government’s $10.8-billion budget deficit “shock absorber” has failed to protect Calgary from Canada’s highest major urban unemployment rate. Fortunately, oil has returned to pay the bills. Here’s how a real economic recovery works. Forget platitudes. Heed the numbers. Calgarians should demand a comprehensive explanation of how all the non-oil, non-coal bright ideas will replace or even augment the proven wealth creation of hydrocarbons. The ARC Energy Research Institute is a unit of iconic private equity manager ARC Financial Corp. For years ARC has prepared a weekly macroeconomic model of Canada’s upstream oil and gas industry. On a trailing and forwardlooking basis it tracks and/or estimates commodity prices, production volumes, total revenue, after-tax cash flow for reinvestment, and capital spending on oilsands and conventional reserve growth/replacement. Everyone remembers 2014 as a great year. No wonder. Revenue totalled a record $149.5 billion, cash flow hit $71.8 billion and reinvestment on oilsands and conventional production totalled $80.7 billion. External equity and debt capital inflows covered the difference between cash flow and spending. Oil was at US$100 a barrel. The economy was rocking. What a ride! Two years later in 2016 the enormity of the devastation was

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clear. While they are still only estimates, ARC figures revenue fell to $78.4 billion, 48 per cent less than 2014. This was the lowest number in 15 years. After-tax cash flow to invest was only $20.9 billion, merely 29 per cent of the 2014 figure and the lowest number in 15 years by one-third. Capital spending totalled $36.7 billion, the worst since 2009. With insufficient internal cash flow, oil companies had to bring in billions from other sources to fund oilsands projects already under construction. Fortunately, 2017 is a whole new story. Thanks to higher oil and gas prices and production volumes, ARC estimates revenue will rise to $111.5 billion, a 42 per cent gain from last year. More importantly, after-tax cash flow to drill wells and hire people is estimated at $46.6 billion, 123 per cent higher than 2016. This additional $26.2 billion is a massive cash injection, 99 per cent of which will be run through the head offices in downtown Calgary. CAPEX on conventional resources will rise by 41 per cent. That’s why more rigs are drilling. This is a needle-moving capital injection that will be felt across the entire economy. Although not all the money will be spent in Alberta, it will certainly be processed here. The cash flow boost is about 50 per cent of the entire budget of the province. It is not borrowed meaning no interest charges or repayment. If the NDP’s huge deficits are a shock absorber, then oil and gas is the car. Oil prices are holding steady and may rise. The early stages of a stable, long-term, oil-powered recovery have begun. Proponents of alternative energy, new technologies and new jobs in new industries must explain where their incremental $26.2 billion in investable cash will come from. Because platitudes, promises and dreams don’t pay the bills.


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BUILDING TO TRENDS // URBANOMICS

BUILDING TO TRENDS CALGARY BUILDERS FOCUS ON CONSUMERS BY JOHN HARDY

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ot surprisingly, Calgary-area builders and Calgaryarea new homebuyers have interesting priorities in common.

According to the 2016 Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA) Home Buyer Preference Study, consumer preferences are constantly changing and it is more important than ever for businesses to intimately understand today’s consumers. The study found the largest cohort of today’s Canadian homebuyer continues to be the growing family with kids, followed by a single occupant or couple with no kids. The Internet, population demographics and home design preferences are just a few examples of factors driving change with today’s homebuyers. Of course, location and price points still drive the new home market. But – from energy efficiency, size, layout, elevations and streetscapes to what is popular when it comes to exterior finishes, kitchens, ensuites, flooring and granite – buyer trends matter. “Homebuyer wants and needs are the key contributing factors for consumer trends,” explains Howard Tse, president of Cedarglen Homes and a member of BILD Calgary Region. “The trends can be driven by political, economic, social and technological factors and they can certainly be influenced by personal preferences.

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“Over the past few years, we have seen a transition to incorporating new, low-maintenance materials and contemporary designs to exterior elevations, including fibre cement siding as a premium product and more brick and engineered tongue-and-groove materials. Also covered decks and triple-pane windows. “Calgary-area consumers are not necessarily opting for more square footage but rather for smarter designs,” he adds. “More focus is being placed in the mud room, incorporating built-in lockers to help keep a busy household with children as organized as possible. “There has been an increasing consumer trend toward floor plans for cultural requirements, such as multigenerational dwellings. While this may be more prevalent in some cultures, it has seen a rise overall in part due to affordability.” Dave Hooge, president and general manager of Stepper Homes and a BILD Calgary Region member, admits contemporary homebuyers are drawn to what they see in home decor magazines, home stores, TV shows and, of course, show homes. “People in Calgary also want open layouts with lots of light, plenty of storage, nine-foot ceilings and good use of windows. Rooms have become more square and layouts simplified. We’re seeing a move to centre bonus rooms (lofts) with the secondary bedrooms on the front of the home.”


BUILDING TO TRENDS // URBANOMICS

“IN KITCHENS, GRANITE QUARTZ IS EXPECTED, AND FOR SOME MULTIGENERATIONAL FAMILIES, SOMETIMES TWO KITCHENS. THE ONCE-POPULAR PHONE DESKS IN THE KITCHEN ARE GONE, REPLACED WITH MORE KITCHEN WORKSPACE.” ~ DAVE HOOGE Sometimes option decisions don’t get finalized until about one year prior to a builder determining the selection of models that will be available in a new home community. “When it comes to our new model show homes, we routinely plan six months to a year in advance,” Hooge says. New home consumer trends are notorious for shifting. The layout of new homes and the standards and upgrade options can vary drastically in a five-year span. “Some features that we have seen phased out in recent years include laminate countertops, dens and gas fireplaces. In its place, we have seen a rise in the popularity of modern, designer electric fireplaces,” Tse points out. “We’re also noticing the finished hardwood trend phasing out, mostly due to the lack of humidity in Calgary damaging hardwood. Instead, LVP (luxury vinyl plank) is popular for families with young children and dogs, due to its durability. It has the look of engineered hardwood and homebuyers often opt for LVP throughout the entire main floor, including the mud room, since it is water-resistant.” Some things never change: kitchens and ensuites “sell” the home. Both Hooge and Tse agree the Calgary market new homebuyer is still interested in decadent ensuites and luxurious kitchen cabinets and counters – what some sales types call the dazzling bells and whistles. “Ensuites are becoming spa-like with curbless showers, freestanding tubs and separate vanities,” Tse says. “Main baths

are incorporating double sinks in the vanity and a separate door for the toilet and tub areas. “The raised eating bar that was a staple for early 2000s homes is gone. Hood fans have evolved from a utility nature at times incorporating an over-the-range microwave in favour of more design-friendly chimney hoods. Large oversized islands are sought after and builtin appliances are extremely popular. With the ubiquity of wireless networks, laptops and portable devices, we are seeing the trend to forgo a formal den resulting in an open concept layout.” According to Hooge, “Buyers are asking for private ensuites, even in smaller homes, where, a few years ago, a shared bathroom would have been acceptable. In kitchens, granite quartz is expected, and for some multigenerational families, sometimes two kitchens. The once-popular phone desks in the kitchen are gone, replaced with more kitchen workspace.” Strategically reacting to consumer trends is always forwardlooking. Savvy Calgary-area builders are continually monitoring and are on top of the latest new home wants and needs. “Sustainability and energy efficiency will be the next big trend,” Tse predicts. “While the new Energy Code prescribes how homes are to be built to be more energy efficient, homeowners will benefit from researching those homebuilders that certify their homes to an even higher standard.”

ABOVE: DAVE HOOGE, PRESIDENT AND GENERAL MANAGER OF STEPPER HOMES AND A BILD CALGARY REGION MEMBER.

BUSINESSINCALGARY.COM // BUSINESS IN CALGARY // APRIL 2017

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Learn more at bildcr.com


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2017 Energy New Venture Competition Six Calgary entrepreneurs win big On February 28, 2017, aspiring energy sector entrepreneurs and emerging energy tech companies from Canada and the United States competed for almost $140,000 in cash and in-kind prizes at the 2017 Energy New Venture Competition held in downtown Calgary. Dedicated to advancing early-stage emerging technology companies and concepts to the next level, the fourth-annual competition was hosted by the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Haskayne School of Business and supported by Innovate Calgary. Twelve teams (shortlisted from 69 applicants from around the world) competed in one of two categories – the “concept” stream for very early-stage businesses and the “venture” stream for those further along – and made 10-minute presentations to judging panels and a crowd of 250 investors, other entrepreneurs and sponsors. Each stream had a first-, second- and third-place winner. “This competition is focused on energy but because the industry is so broad we get to see incredible diversity in the entrepreneur’s pitches,” says Kimberley Neutens, director of the Hunter Centre at the Haskayne School of Business. “Some focus on equipment innovations and process innovations, others on enhanced technology to support decision-making, and of course innovative solutions to problems that positively impact the environment. All of our competitors showcased their concepts or businesses well and showed us, the audience, some real opportunities for innovation in the energy space. The six winners included an environmental sciences student who developed a natural remediation method that uses fungi; veteran oilpatch engineers who developed a downhole evaluation tool to report the “health of the well” to the client; University of Calgary students who developed a safe solid-state sodium-ion battery to store renewable energy; a developer of a suite of software to streamline and audit pipeline asset data; and a company that developed a

modular system to provide solar power for remote industrial operations and communities. Cold Bore Technology, which provides digital downhole acoustic monitoring, took first prize in the Venture stream, walking away with $25,000 and the chance to present at the PROPEL Energy Tech Forum. “It was really great,” says Brett Chell, the company’s managing director who quit art school to work in the oilpatch. “Very well run with a lot of really reputable people involved.” Winning $25,000 and the chance to speak at PROPEL were great rewards, he says, but so too were the contacts he made. “Getting to stand up in front of the right people disseminates back to the big oil companies. It offered a lot of credibility and translates into real business opportunities.” As a result of his pitch, Chell says he was contacted by a number of large oil and gas companies interested in Cold Bore. As well as cash prizes, the Venture stream winners will share $40,000 of in-kind support from a number of sponsors including Bennett Jones Kickstart, Collins Barrow, GLJ Petroleum Consultants, William Joseph Communications and VA Angels.

ABOVE: UNIVERSITY OF CALGARY PRESIDENT ELIZABETH CANNON; BRETT CHELL, MANAGING DIRECTOR OF COLD BORE TECHNOLOGY AND WINNER OF THE VENTURE STREAM; DOUG HUNTER, PRESIDENT OF BLUESKY EQUITIES LTD.; AND JIM DEWALD, DEAN OF THE HASKAYNE SCHOOL OF BUSINESS. PHOTO SOURCE: KELLY HOFER

BUSINESSINCALGARY.COM // BUSINESS IN CALGARY // APRIL 2017

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New Community of Livingston Welcomes Calgarians A massive, mixed-use development in the northern part of Calgary takes its name from the city’s historical roots and will create a vibrant, new urban community for thousands of residents and workers. The community of Livingston, by Brookfield Residential, just north of Stoney Trail on Centre Street North, was named in honour of Sam Livingston, who is often referred to as Calgary’s first settler. The first show homes in Livingston opened to the public during a special celebration in early March and demand is high. More than 40 homes have been sold already. “We’re thrilled to open the doors to the Livingston community and extremely pleased to see the strong consumer demand – for Livingston’s homes and its community vision,” says Trent Edwards, chief operating officer, Brookfield Residential. “People tell me their community has a significant impact on their families’ quality of life, so creating the best places to call home for the thousands of Calgarians who will call Livingston home is truly exciting.” When build out is complete, Livingston will be home to 30,000 people and 7,000 full-time jobs. As one of the first communities approved and delivered under Calgary’s current Municipal Development Plan and covering more than 1,200 acres north of Stoney Trail, development and construction of the community will generate hundreds of millions of dollars in economic activity. It is also the first community in Calgary requiring sprinkler systems in all homes. The show homes open to the public showcase a diversity of housing types and price points from starter condominiums to homes from Calgary builders Brookfield Residential, Morrison Homes, JaymanBUILT, Cedarglen Homes, Homes by Avi and Avi Urban. The large-scale development will be an urban centre in itself with more than 11,000 homes in seven neighbourhoods, 12 parks, six schools, 20 per cent open space, thousands of trees, an anticipated one-million square feet in commercial

and institutional space, a sustainable lighting system and an outdoor amphitheatre. The Main Street and commercial hub will be the length of downtown Calgary. As connectivity to other parts of Calgary is important, Livingston will have a dozen entry and exit points and is in close proximity to the QEII Highway and eventual C-Train service. “Calgary and Brookfield are growing together,” says Edwards. “That’s clearly demonstrated by the vision of this community which is all about improving the quality of the lives of our residents.” That comment resonates with the great-greatgranddaughter of Sam Livingston. “Given his extraordinary influence with encouraging early settlement in the Calgary area, it is very fitting that he is being honoured in this way,” says Calgarian Shawna Lindsay. “As Livingston descendants, we look forward to watching as this wonderful community grows and embodies the spirit that Calgary has become so well known for.” ABOVE: WARD 3 COUNCILLOR JIM STEVENSON LOCKS HIS COMMITMENT TO COMMUNITY AT THE GIANT L I V AT LIVINGSTON’S MAIN ENTRANCE. BELOW: HUNDREDS OF CALGARY ANSWER TOURED THE 17 NEW SHOW HOMES AT THE GRAND OPENING OF LIVINGSTON. PHOTO SOURCE: LIVINGSTON

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BDO ALBERTA WELCOMES OUR NEW PARTNERS With the merger between BDO and Etelligent Solutions Inc. (ESI), there is the addition of four new Partners who will help to further strengthen BDO’s IT Solutions practice as the leading Microsoft Solutions partner in Canada. BDO welcomes Jesse Byam and Darcy Quast to the Calgary office and Scott McHale and Fabian Perez Parada to the Edmonton office. In addition, BDO welcomes Partner Mitch LaBuick, who joins BDO as the leader of the Indirect Tax practice in Alberta, working out of the Edmonton office. Our new Partners bring a wealth of experience, skill and expertise in their respective areas and are poised to assist our clients with the ever-changing state of business in Alberta.

Jesse Byam Partner, IT Solutions 403 277 2554 jbyam@bdo.ca

Darcy Quast Partner, IT Solutions 403 697 2924 dquast@bdo.ca

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Fabian Perez-Parada Partner, IT Solutions 780 452 3033 fperezparada@bdo.ca

Mitch LaBuick Partner, Indirect Tax 780 643 8981 mlabuick@bdo.ca

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OFF

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Survey Reveals Giant Denial Among Alberta Businesses Around Fraud Six in 10 Alberta businesses know or suspect they experienced fraud in the last year yet eight in 10 say they are confident in their ability to prevent it Incidents of fraud are rising every year, yet an overwhelming majority of Alberta business owners and C-suite executives say they are confident in their ability to prevent it.

of the most common types of fraud experienced by businesses. “Fraudsters will go to great lengths to assume the identity of company executives or trusted vendors; spoofing company email messages, researching employees who are responsible for money management and using language specific to the company being targeted,” says Lynn Danis, criminal intelligence analyst with the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. “Victims range from large corporations to small businesses which is why it is critical all organizations create a proactive security-vigilant culture. Ultimately, fraud prevention falls on the business.”

The disconnect could be due to a dangerous combination of overconfidence and naiveté when it comes to fraud detection and prevention, according to a new Ipsos survey conducted for national accounting, tax and business consulting firm MNP LLP. The survey revealed that six in 10 (58%) of Alberta businesses either suspect or know for certain their business has experienced fraud or scams in the last year. Despite the fact that so many recognize it is occurring, an overwhelming majority (eight in 10) say they are confident in their ability to prevent it. Another almost 90 per cent feel at least somewhat equipped to deal with it. Survey respondents were more likely to identify fraud as a serious issue in the wider industry in which they work than in their own place of business. Most businesses are operating with a false sense of security, warns Calgary-based Greg Draper, former RCMP investigator and current vice president of valuations, forensics and litigation support at Alberta-based MNP. “This kind of ‘it won’t happen to me’ optimism puts the advantage in the hands of criminals and makes businesses tremendously vulnerable,” says Draper, who leads a national team of specialists in workplace fraud mitigation. “The reality is that no organization is immune from either internal or external fraud.” The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre agrees. Last year the federal agency saw a 45 per cent increase in the number of complaints of wire fraud in Alberta. Wire fraud involves electronic communications like email scams and is one

Draper adds there is a “giant denial” among Alberta businesses when it comes to preventing fraud. Two-thirds of survey respondents describe their business’ attitude to fraud and scams as proactive. “Oftentimes we see businesses who come to us after they have been compromised but they don’t know how or why it has happened,” says Draper. “They may have had security awareness and fraud training processes in place but sophisticated scammers or even internal employees can find points of vulnerability. They realize they were not as equipped to deal with it after the dollars go out the door.” Despite the rising occurrence of fraud in Canada, the majority of Alberta businesses say they are about as concerned (52%) or less concerned (10%) about this type of crime than they were two years ago. “Fraud is a serious threat no matter the size or the industry of the organization. All businesses must take preventative measures utilizing best practices, training and technology. When you consider the financial and reputational risks, it is clearly worth the effort.” ABOVE: GREG DRAPER, FORMER RCMP INVESTIGATOR AND CURRENT VICE PRESIDENT OF VALUATIONS, FORENSICS AND LITIGATION SUPPORT AT ALBERTABASED MNP. PHOTO SOURCE: MNP LLP

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OP/ED: OIL PRODUCTION: SOME HARD REALITIES // CODY BATTERSHILL

Op/Ed: Oil Production: Some Hard Realities BY CODY BATTERSHILL

S

ometimes we don’t focus enough on energy’s hard realities. In terms of production, maybe the hardest reality is this: the world will continue to consume oil for a very, very long time to come. I’m hoping Canada will play a stronger role in supplying that oil. There’s simply no way around it. Sure – wind and solar will make a growing contribution to our electrical needs globally over the long term, provided governments are willing to put in place the subsidies to help make these sources more affordable. But whether they’re affordable or not, there’s a limit to society’s ability to rely on intermittent power sources. And at least in Canada, nuclear electricity seems to have reached a plateau in Ontario, with few prospects in our western provinces either. We’re lucky to have fairly abundant hydroelectricity, but especially for transportation we – and other countries – are going to need oil for the foreseeable future. Add in the fact that energy demand domestically and around the world is growing, and pretty quickly you can see we all face an energy challenge. Fortunately, it’s a challenge that’s easily met. The first step is for Canadians to make it a priority to become more familiar with Canada’s record on sustainable energy production. We should all join the energy conversation today, and exchange information openly and regularly with our neighbours on the importance of supporting affordable, reliable Canadian energy that meets the world’s highest standards for worker safety, human rights and environmental protection. Sure, it sounds like a tall order. After all, we’re busy, we have jobs, families, recreational activities and other things that

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IN ONE WAY OR ANOTHER, ENERGY IS CRUCIAL TO VIRTUALLY EVERY ASPECT OF LIFE – FROM WORK TO LEISURE; FROM FACTORIES, SCHOOLS, HOSPITALS AND OFFICE TOWERS TO HOME; FROM FOOD TO TRANSPORTATION; TO VIRTUALLY EVERY MANUFACTURED PRODUCT. WHETHER IT’S THE ARTS OR THE SCIENCES, ENERGY TOUCHES ALL OF IT. consume our time and keep us from learning about our own proud record in the sustainable production of Canadian oil and gas. And yet, boosting our own understanding, even only slightly, about our Canadian energy sector and its options might be one of the most important things we can do in our spare time. Here’s why. In one way or another, energy is crucial to virtually every aspect of life – from work to leisure; from factories, schools, hospitals and office towers to home; from food to transportation; to virtually every manufactured product. Whether it’s the arts or the sciences, energy touches all of it. Familiarity with Canadian oil will protect us from common myths – for example that Alberta oil is “dirty.” In fact, the oilsands contribute only 0.15 per cent of global greenhouse


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OP/ED: OIL PRODUCTION: SOME HARD REALITIES // CODY BATTERSHILL

AND FOR THE U.S., 20,000 MANUFACTURING AND CONSTRUCTION JOBS WILL MEAN AN INCREASE IN PERSONAL INCOME FOR ALL AMERICAN WORKERS BY $6.5 BILLION DURING THE LIFETIME OF THE PROJECT, AS WELL AS A LARGE BUMP IN TAX REVENUE FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENTS. gas (GHG) emissions and at least six other countries along with 13 oilfields in California have higher upstream GHGs than our oilsands do. When we’re told First Nations all oppose oilsands development, be aware that over the past 15 years aboriginal companies earned more than $10 billion in revenue through strong working relationships with the oilsands industry. It’s also important to note that more than 25 per cent of all Canadian First Nations produce oil and gas now, or want to in the future. I’m hoping we’ll also become more aware of energy supply in the context of global demand – in other words, “the big picture.” For example, it’s important to know the world needs an additional 30 million barrels of new oil production by the year 2030 just to replace the depletion of existing production. It’s also crucial for Canadians to be aware that current shipping routes force us to export our product only to the U.S. and, as a result, the U.S. pays us a discounted price. Pipelines like Northern Gateway, Energy East and Trans Mountain would all help sell more of our product to the global market, but we should all be aware we’re not there yet. Today, we continue to operate at the whim and control of our U.S. neighbours. And still our regulatory reviews on liquid natural gas (LNG) exports lag behind, just as U.S. and Australian construction speeds ahead. In fact, Australia will soon be the world’s largest LNG exporter. Make no mistake, the race is on. We need a strong finish.

Leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos heard recently from the CEO of Saudi oil giant Aramco that the world will need to invest US$25 trillion in new oilproducing capacity over the next 25 years if it is to meet growing demand. The U.S. government’s recent approval of Keystone XL will allow us to ship Canadian oil to our largest trading partner and replace oil coming from countries that don’t share our human rights and environmental values. It’s a project that’s very positive for Canada, creating some 4,500 Canadian construction jobs. And for the U.S., 20,000 manufacturing and construction jobs will mean an increase in personal income for all American workers by $6.5 billion during the lifetime of the project, as well as a large bump in tax revenue for local governments. For Canada, it’s great news when you consider the number of energy workers currently on the job hunt. But it will also ensure people working in our oilsands region will experience continued strong demand for the products they create through their hard work, innovation and unrivalled commitment to safety and environmental responsibility. But, there are hurdles to be jumped before shovels are in the ground. That’s why it’s so important all Canadians engage in the hard realities of the energy sector and demonstrate their support for responsible resource development in Canada. The time to do so, without question, is right now.

Cody Battershill is a Calgary realtor and founder/spokesperson for CanadaAction. ca, a volunteer organization that supports Canadian energy development and the environmental, social and economic benefits that come with it.

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SHORTAGE OF WORKERS // HUMAN RESOURCES

Shortage of Workers

Coming Out of the Recession OILPATCH COMPANIES CHALLENGED TO FIND SKILLED EMPLOYEES BY BUSINESS IN CALGARY

A

prolonged recession took its toll on the oilpatch for the past two years as thousands of people were laid off by the vicious downturn.

Now, in a bizarre twist of fate, companies have been experiencing a difficult time finding workers with drilling activity on the upswing.

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“The big challenge is that there certainly is a big shortage of trained, skilled, experienced people in our industry,” says Mark Scholz, president of the Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors. “There’s no question about that. Because of the reality that there was just not enough work to maintain our existing staffing levels, many senior highly-


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SHORTAGE OF WORKERS //HUMAN RESOURCES

“THE BIG CHALLENGE IS THAT THERE CERTAINLY IS A BIG SHORTAGE OF TRAINED, SKILLED, EXPERIENCED PEOPLE IN OUR INDUSTRY.” - MARK SCHOLZ

“When you look at those numbers and you take where we should be at in a better year, 450 to 500 rigs working, even more than that in some of our busier periods in the history of the industry. We’ve seen literally tens of thousands of people who have been impacted and out of work because of the downturn. Keep in mind that 2016 was the worst period on record that we really have seen in this industry.”

“You have to go back to the ’80s to see something that would be comparable [to] the employment challenges we have experienced today. But many veterans in the industry would say 2016 was much worse.” Mark Salkeld, president and chief executive of the Petroleum Services Association of Canada – with a member base of 175 companies – says the industry lost more than 100,000 workers over the past two years. “We’ve been experiencing a downturn on the oilfield services side of things since early spring 2014 when drilling programs were cut and people and equipment were sent home,” says Salkeld. “We don’t make money when we’re not working not like producers who still have revenue streams from their production. When they shut us down, we stop making money so we have to act fairly quickly. One of the most unfortunate things that happens is layoffs. “Member companies did everything they could to save as many people as possible. Those companies that could afford to kept key personnel on staff because there are many skills you just can’t hire off the street in the services sector…. The current situation is with this uptick, those that could afford to retain are working.

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ABOVE: MARK SCHOLZ, PRESIDENT OF THE CANADIAN ASSOCIATION OF OILWELL DRILLING CONTRACTORS


HUMAN RESOURCES

%

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4,175

HASKAYNE

Executive

5,150

Those that they could recall are back to work and now we’re in a situation where we’re hiring new.” The first quarter was busy for the industry as a few thousand people were hired back but Salkeld said it is difficult to determine what to expect for the rest of the year. There is cautious optimism though. And there are concerns about future hiring. “A lot of people have been gone for two-and-a-half years so they’ve found jobs in other industries. They’re not coming back,” he says. In its most recent 2017 Canadian Drilling Activity Forecast, PSAC reports the number of wells drilled would be 5,150, representing an increase of 975 wells, or 23 per cent. In December, the Oil Sands Labour Demand Outlook to 2020 Update report, released by PetroLMI, a Division of Enform, predicted a “modest” recovery of about 3,400 net jobs over the next four years as companies shift their spending from expansion to maintenance, repair and optimization of their operations. Employment is forecast to grow by about six per cent from an estimated 63,800 in 2016 to 67,200 in 2020. Jobs in on-site construction and module fabrication will decline by 6,500 but will be offset by an increased requirement for 9,900 workers to support ongoing operations, maintenance and turnaround activities, said the report.

“A LOT OF PEOPLE HAVE BEEN GONE FOR TWO-AND-A-HALF YEARS SO THEY’VE FOUND JOBS IN OTHER INDUSTRIES. THEY’RE NOT COMING BACK.”

MBA

‘‘

I decided on the Alberta Haskayne Executive MBA for my education because of the local learning community created within the Haskayne School of Business. The ongoing face-to-face interaction with faculty and classmates was instrumental in the development my skills and knowledge. The Alberta Haskayne Executive MBA network has been a great resource for me to draw upon, both in and outside of the classroom.”

Rachel Moore, EMBA’15 Vice President, Human Resources Encana

Where Calgary connects.

- MARK SALKELD

ABOVE: MARK SALKELD, PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF THE PETROLEUM SERVICES ASSOCIATION OF CANADA

haskayne-emba.ca BUSINESSINCALGARY.COM // BUSINESS IN CALGARY // APRIL 2017

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HUMAN RESOURCES

THE ULTIMATE TRAVEL & PERFORMANCE SUIT

‘‘WE FELT THAT IT WOULD BE QUITE A BIT EASIER TO BRING PEOPLE ON BUT WE’RE FINDING A CHALLENGE GETTING THE QUALIFIED PEOPLE.” - ROB COX

With current oilsands construction projects nearing completion and no new major projects on the horizon, demand is expected to increase for jobs such as heavy equipment operators and welders, while occupations more closely connected to growth-related capital spending such as some engineering roles, geoscientists, construction managers and estimators, are expected to experience below-average growth. Last fall CAODC’s 2017 Drilling Forecast projected 4,665 wells —an increase of 1,103 from 2016 (3,562). Rob Cox, vice-president Canadian region for Trican Well Service, says the company had about 1,200 employees in the early part of the year from Fort St. John to Estevan with 14 operating bases in between. In Canada, the company employed about 2,400 people at the peak in 2014, dropped to 950 in the spring of 2016 and started to add people last September. ‘‘It’s challenging. It’s tougher I think than any of us thought with the unemployment rate the way it was in Western Canada and throughout North America,’’ says Cox. ‘‘We felt that it would be quite a bit easier to bring people on but we’re finding a challenge getting the qualified people, the people who are experienced and done this kind of work before to come back to the business. They’ve been stung with a two-year downturn and have gone on to new careers and found a comfort range where they are and they are not as willing to come back. Certainly some have come back and they’re good employees but I guess we thought we would see more experienced people wanting to come back into the patch.’’ TOP LEFT: WORKERS AT THE TRICAN FIELD. BELOW: ROB COX, VICE-PRESIDENT CANADIAN REGION FOR TRICAN WELL SERVICE

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HUMAN RESOURCES

WEATHERING THE STORM

RIGHT-SIZED MANAGEMENT FOR A DOWNSIZED MARKET

Trican has resorted to recruiting a little differently. It is going beyond newspaper and radio advertising by making more use of social media and career fairs. The difficulty in hiring does not come as a surprise to Todd Hirsch, chief economist with ATB Financial. ‘‘A lot of those workers were what we call inter-provincial so they’re from the East Coast often and they were up working in Fort Mac or Peace River somewhere and now they’ve gone home. They’re probably not as easy to attract back just on a turn of a dime,’’ says Hirsch. ‘‘This (recession) is a little bit more difficult because there’s been so many people laid off. You have to go back to the 80s to find something as severe as this. So this is worse than a typical downturn where they might have shed five or 10 per cent. This is down almost a quarter. Now to fill up some of that hole that has been left is going to be harder than it has been in typical recessions.’’

AFTER TWO YEARS OF A DOWNTURN,

A lot has changed in Calgary’s property management sector. With leasing activity going from white hot to stone cold, property owners have had to act decisively to weather the economic downturn. Changing times call for changes in the way you manage and maintain your real estate assets. That’s where we come in. Summit Property Group offers a no-frills, one-stopshop approach to professionally manage and service all of your property needs. Summit’s fully integrated business model ensures a well-coordinated approach designed to contain costs without compromising the safety, security, and marketability of your property.

THEY’VE LOOKED FOR OTHER OPPORTUNITIES BECAUSE THEY NEEDED TO DO SO.’’ - CAROL HOWES

www.summitpropertygroup.ca Carol Howes, vice-president of communications with Enform and PetroLMI, says there was an expectation as long ago as last spring that difficulties in hiring would start to happen once activity picked up. ‘‘A lot of the workers have left the industry and have gone on to do other things. That’s particularly true of the service sector where a lot of the workers can go and find other trades jobs or move elsewhere. A lot have gone back East. After two years of a downturn, they’ve looked for other opportunities because they needed to do so,’’ says Howes.

Call today to find out more, and let’s get working on a plan to return to sunnier days.

SUMMIT PROPERTY GROUP TOP RIGHT: WORKERS AT THE TRICAN FIELD. BELOW: CAROL HOWES, VICE-PRESIDENT OF COMMUNICATIONS WITH ENFORM AND PETROLMI

845 – 24th Ave. S.E. Calgary, AB. T2G 1P6

Tel: (403) 536-2028 www.condo911.ca BUSINESSINCALGARY.COM // BUSINESS IN CALGARY // APRIL 2017

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CHANGING OF THE GUARD // COVER

ABOVE: LAURA JO GUNTER, PRESIDENT OF BOW VALLEY COLLEGE. PHOTO SOURCE: BOW VALLEY COLLEGE

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CHANGING OF THE GUARD // COVER

CHANGING of the Guard LAURA JO GUNTER TAKES OVER AS PRESIDENT OF BOW VALLEY COLLEGE BY MELANIE DARBYSHIRE

A

s the only comprehensive community college in Calgary, Bow Valley College plays an indispensable role in the city. It provides a variety of learning opportunities – from high school upgrading to English to certificate, diploma and post-diploma certificate programs – to more than 15,000 full- and part-time students a year (over 350,000 since inception). It is a public institution where people from all over the world and from all walks of life can learn according to its “any time, any place, any path, any pace” approach. And now, for the first time in 20 years, it has a new president. Hailing from Toronto, Laura Jo Gunter assumed the role of president and CEO on January 1, 2017. She takes over from Sharon Carry who, since 1997, has led Bow Valley through substantial growth and change, and whose shoes are large ones to fill. Gunter, with a resumé that makes her prime for the job, is undaunted. “When I looked at Bow Valley, its strategies and where it was going, and given where I think education is going, it really felt like this was a good place to be,” Gunter says. “We are set up to explore some of those [directions] and be very agile in terms of anything we have to do to move towards them.” The college’s approach to its learners also appealed to her. “It really, really cares about its students,” she says. “I was impressed by that.” Gunter comes from George Brown College where she was senior vice president of academic. Prior to George Brown,

she was the dean of two successive portfolios (the faculty of information arts and technology and then the faculty of communication, art and design) at Seneca College. “Both George Brown and Seneca were large colleges,” Gunter explains of the degree-granting institutions. “Working in those large colleges gave me a very broad perspective in terms of being able to see the different ways colleges can work.” At George Brown, in particular, Gunter’s job involved much city and community building, including the revitalization of Regent Park and the waterfront, which will be valuable in her role at Bow Valley. “We’ve got the revitalization [of the East Village] happening literally behind us. That’s something I’ve had experience with.” She also knows what it’s like to function in a downtown campus – a reality Bow Valley must deal with. “There are things that happen in a downtown campus that may not happen if you’ve got lots of land.” The college has been located downtown on 6th Avenue and 3rd Street Southeast since it began as the Alberta Vocational Centre in 1965. Over the years it has grown, been renamed, renovated and rebuilt, and today it houses not only its own courses but also the Calgary campuses of the University of Lethbridge, Athabasca University and Olds College. In addition to its Calgary location, Bow Valley has regional campuses in Airdrie, Banff, Canmore, Chestermere/ Strathmore, Cochrane, High River, Okotoks and Treaty 7 First Nations.

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CHANGING OF THE GUARD // COVER

It serves more learners than any other community college in Alberta, with a student makeup that is older – the average age is approximately 28. It is also highly multicultural (learners come from 142 countries and speak 128 different languages) and female – 75 per cent of students are women.

In the current downturn, in fact, Bow Valley has seen an approximate nine per cent increase in enrolment. “Colleges are economic drivers,” Gunter says. “We have regional stewardship and we are in the city. We provide a fundamental role in giving people that first chance.”

Six schools and centres comprise Bow Valley: Chiu School of Business; School of Health and Wellness; School of Community Studies; School of Creative Technologies; Centre for Excellence in Foundational Learning; and Centre for Excellence for Immigrant and Intercultural Advancement – all of which Gunter believes are vital to Calgary’s economic prosperity.

Some of the more popular certificate and diploma courses Bow Valley offers include the health care aid certificate, hospital unit clerk certificate, practical nurse diploma, business administration diploma, early learning and child care diploma, and justice studies diploma. Its academic upgrading and English language learning programs are also hugely popular.

“We’re very well known for our foundational programming and we’re very proud of it,” she says. “We also have strong career programming. More and more people are coming back to college after they get a degree to get skills for jobs. It’s a really important role that we play in terms of that strong tie into skills, jobs and training.”

Experiential and online learning are important at Bow Valley and, according to Gunter, the way of the future. “Education is going through some disruption,” she explains. “It’s starting to remodel some of the ways that we do learning, and I’m really excited about the fact that Bow Valley could be at the forefront of some of that change.”

ABOVE: BOW VALLEY COLLEGE’S SOUTH CAMPUS IN DOWNTOWN CALGARY. PHOTO SOURCE: BOW VALLEY COLLEGE

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Suddenly, You Realize The Importance Of A Succession Plan. Because you don’t have one. You don’t always get to choose when or why you leave your business. But you can make sure that whenever that day comes, you’re prepared. MNP’s team of succession professionals work closely with you to develop your ExitSMART™ plan so you’re prepared to responsibly transition your business and take care of your family, finances and stakeholders. To ExitSMART™, contact: Jim Rea T: 403.537.7641 E: jim.rea@mnp.ca

Dave Zimmel T: 403.537.8416 E: dave.zimmel@mnp.ca


CHANGING OF THE GUARD // COVER

I’m going to create something, and not only that, I’m going to convince you that it’s important and useful to you.” An invaluable skill for a leader. “When you have to make changes or foresee something that’s coming down the road, it’s really useful to be able to provide that context for people so that you can bring them along with that idea.” Before Condition30, Gunter was vice president of creative and community for User Friendly Media, an online cartoon company. “It was a dot-com,” she reminisces. “We had a lot of fun. It was a highly creative time, and I think when you go through those experiences you really get a sense of what can be possible, even if it doesn’t all work out.” Gunter returned to education – prior to her work at Condition30 and User Friendly Media she was the vice president of programming, special projects and industry partnerships for the Vancouver Film School and before that, the continuing education program director for applied science at Simon Fraser University – for a couple of reasons. “Education is such a diverse set of experiences,” she says, “so for a very curious person who likes a lot of variety, it’s a really great place to be.” International travel to places like India and China, and involvement with a variety of sectors including health sciences, community services, culinary and fashion, are just some of the things Gunter has enjoyed throughout her career in education.

She highlights the college’s commitment to flexible programming and online learning – integral to the new School of Creative Technologies. “We want to start thinking more flexibly about how we can deliver and yet maintain the standards of the credential – be able to meet the learners where they are and provide an environment so that education is really exciting,” she says. “And being a college we can make it far more experiential.” Gunter’s interest in the digital world has a basis in her past as an entrepreneur and businesswoman. Before her time at George Brown and Seneca, she was the CEO and co-founder of Condition30 Inc., a software and game company that developed an algorithmic music engine. “When you’ve been an entrepreneur you get really excited by new challenges,” she says. “You’re basically looking into the void and saying

“And of course the most important thing is that you can go to bed at night and say ‘I helped somebody today’ whether directly or indirectly,” she adds. “You know that you’re doing good work.” An A student herself – after high school she went to journalism school at Carleton University, worked as a journalist and then completed an MBA at Queen’s – Gunter believes everyone has their own unique strengths, academic or not. “Not everybody does well at school,” she points out. “But high academic achievement isn’t necessarily an indicator of how well you’re going to do in other things. Sometimes it’s just not your time to shine, for a variety of reasons.” Her breadth of experience was one reason Gunter was offered the job. “We conducted an extensive search and attracted a very competitive group of candidates,” explains

ABOVE: BOW VALLEY LEARNERS. PHOTO SOURCE: BOW VALLEY COLLEGE

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CHANGING OF THE GUARD // COVER

David Collyer, chair of Bow Valley’s board of governors. “We selected Laura Jo based on her background in both the private and public sectors, her strong business acumen, her extensive experience in the comprehensive community college environment, her demonstrated leadership skills, a visible commitment to academic excellence and student success and, very importantly, her strong interest in coming to Alberta and Bow Valley College.” Gunter’s first priority as president is to get to know the college, both internally (including the 662 full-time equivalent staff) and externally. “Preserving the values and getting to know the community and the system – that’s always priority number one,” she says. “And then building on Vision 2020.” (Vision 2020 is a community engagement process embarked on by Bow Valley in 2010 to set the college’s direction over the next 10 years.) She highlights two areas in particular on which she’s focused. “First, we’re growing, so what does that mean in terms of campus development and expansion, especially because we’re in the downtown core? Second, how will that tie into

our technology and digital learning strategies, and how can we be more flexible and accessible for our learners?” She’s settling into Calgary, in spite of the colder, drier climate. “My mother always said to me ‘live where you are,’” she recalls. “Calgary is a very livable city. We have some amazing neighbourhoods and there’s a lot going on. I’m leaping in with both feet, getting involved with the communities, getting to know the people.” Challenging economic times don’t discourage her. “Necessity is the mother of innovation. I think right now is a great opportunity. Calgary is diversifying and Bow Valley can start to build some programming around that. We can be part of that city and community building.” An astute and encouraging perspective from the new president, one that will be welcomed by those working with her and by the city and province she serves. With Gunter steering Bow Valley through the changing waters of education and the growing needs of its community, the college is bound to come through stronger.

ABOVE: A BOW VALLEY COLLEGE LEARNER STUDYING INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS. PHOTO SOURCE: BOW VALLEY COLLEGE

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EMPLOYEE OR MANAGEMENT BUYOUT // SUCCESSION PLANNING

EMPLOYEE OR MANAGEMENT BUYOUT START EARLY TO MAXIMIZE VALUE BY KIM LOCKE

W

e’ve all heard the adage there are only two things in life that are certain: death and taxes. While business owners are always cognizant of minimizing the latter, no one really likes to think much about the former. As inconceivable as it may seem to someone in the height of their career, at some point, each and every owner of a private enterprise should come to terms with the fact that they and their business are, in fact, two separate entities, and at some point, the business will transition to different ownership. Entrepreneurs are a special breed of people: driven, motivated, committed, passionate, tireless, invincible – the list goes on, and the prospect of separating oneself from

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what is often as intrinsically woven into the fabric of one’s being as one’s own child can seem daunting to say the least. Many owners of private enterprises do bring in their children or other family members to the business with the ultimate intention of passing it on to them. But what if you don’t have kids? Or if family members have chosen alternate paths in life or simply aren’t cut out for managing and growing a business into the next generation? What if your business is not the type of business that is a candidate to be sold to or amalgamated with another company in the same industry? What if there are no willing buyers knocking at your door ready to immediately offer you what you think your business is worth? Or what if you


EMPLOYEE OR MANAGEMENT BUYOUT // SUCCESSION PLANNING

THE FIRST STEP IS IDENTIFYING WHETHER YOU ALREADY HAVE AN EMPLOYEE WHO IS A LOGICAL CANDIDATE OR A TEAM OF MANAGERS INTERESTED IN PURSUING A BUYOUT. OFTEN THESE ARE PEOPLE WHO HAVE COME UP THROUGH THE RANKS, STRONG AND CAPABLE, AND WHO KNOW THE BUSINESS INSIDE AND OUT.

can’t possibly conceive of an outsider, who likely does not have anywhere near the same degree of commitment to and passion for your ‘baby,’ taking over what you have nurtured and grown for years? What will happen to your legacy? It’s time to start thinking about that now, and a common scenario is an employee purchase or management buyout. The first step is identifying whether you already have an employee who is a logical candidate or a team of managers interested in pursuing a buyout. Often these are people who have come up through the ranks, strong and capable, and who know the business inside and out. People who have a level of commitment to your business and a true and driven desire for it to succeed that is equal to or on par with yours. Those who share your vision and mission for the business and who you can truly see taking it over some day. Other times, no such candidate(s) emerge. If this is the case, the recommended approach is to identify someone younger

within your ranks who can be groomed to be this person, or to bring in someone from the outside to work in the business for a period of time to learn the ropes prior to your full exit. Once an appropriate individual or management team has expressed interest, there are many considerations the seller must take into account. For instance, it is increasingly likely a purchasing employee or management team will not be able to procure financing to pay the entire purchase price up front. Scenarios such as bringing in employees as shareholders over time or vendor takeback financing are common. Owners should be prepared not to expect to receive cash up front for the entire purchase price, but if they have a good business that is generating positive cash flow, they should feel confident they will eventually get paid in full. This is why it is crucial the seller choose the right person or group of people for the transition.

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L I F E I N S U R A N C E F O R W E A LT H H O L D E R S BY R E N N AY C R A ATS

D

on Smith started DSI Estate Planning Inc. in 1979 to provide knowledgeable financial advice and estate planning to Calgary clients. Over the past four decades, he has established himself as an authority in the field of life insurance for wealth holders, guiding some of Calgary’s most successful entrepreneurs, professionals and family enterprises to meet their estate planning needs while minimizing their tax liabilities.

Don Smith

Despite Smith’s impressive knowledge base and experience, he continues to invest in advancing his knowledge and skills to serve his clients even better. He recently completed a 400-hour, yearlong program leading to a Family Enterprise Advisor designation to bring another level of service to his clients. BIC: Why is having life insurance important to wealth holders? DS: My clients have more than enough assets to take care of their families and businesses in the event of their death. What life insurance does for wealth holders is it acts as a financial tool that helps them preserve their assets in a very cost-effective, taxeffective way. When life insurance is viewed as a tax-free financial instrument, it becomes something different. You can draw the analogy between life insurance and a tax-free savings account: the money invested is not deductible, the income inside the plan accumulates taxsheltered, and when the plan matures all the investment income is paid out as tax-free insurance proceeds. BIC: Why do your clients buy life insurance? DS: It adds flexibility and optionality to their estate planning. An example is succession planning. Typically you have two or more shareholders who own a business and they have an agreement to buy out the shares of a deceased shareholder. But where do you get the money to buy those shares? Life insurance is a cost-effective tool for providing liquidity when it is needed. The company buys policies on both shareholders and upon death of the first, money comes into the company’s

capital dividend account and is paid out on a tax-preferred basis to redeem the shares. BIC: What are some other uses of life insurance? DS: Oftentimes business owners want to leave the company to the next generation that is involved in the business but also want to provide for their spouse and children who are not involved. Instead of putting a line of credit on the business we can create insurance trusts to fund a spouse’s, children’s and grandchildren’s capital requirements independent of the business. This can be done in a private, creditor-exempt manner if structured properly.

801 13th Ave. SW Calgary, AB T2R 0L1 P: 403.228.4260 • don@dsiestate.com • www.dsiestate.com


D O N W ORKS W I TH ENTREPRENEU RI AL FAM ILIE S A N D W E A LT H HOLDE RS TO S T RUC T UR E IN SUR E D ESTATE PLANS THAT MAXIM IZE T HE P RE S E R VAT ION OF C AP ITAL AN D MI NI MI ZE T HE IM PAC T OF TAX.

Clients also use life insurance to cover lines of credit and debt as they build their wealth. If the policy is assigned to the bank, a portion of the premiums are tax deductible. BIC: What about tax on retained earnings and the fair market value of a private corporation? DS: Many clients have built up significant wealth in holding companies and profits accumulate in the form of retained earnings. As long as that company is intact, those retained earnings aren’t taxed but the day of reckoning is when the shareholder dies. Capital gains tax is due and payable on the market value of those shares. A private corporation in Canada can buy life insurance on its shareholders and the premiums are not a taxable benefit to the shareholder as long as the corporation is the beneficiary. On death of the shareholder, the proceeds go into the company’s capital dividend account and can be paid out to the estate tax-free providing the necessary funding to pay the capital gains tax. BIC: A basic principle behind estate planning is preserving capital. How does life insurance help achieve this? DS: The concept is keeping in place everything that wealth holders have invested a lifetime building and not having the tax system erode the value of that wealth. Life insurance is an excellent tool for delivering the money to pay the tax so that the assets do not have to be sold or financed. In that way it is a capital preservation tool. BIC: Is there a way to use life insurance to help wealth holders fund philanthropic interests? DS: Yes, our clients are looking for strategies to enhance their philanthropic interests and bequests. We have put a number of substantial insurance programs in place for clients to multiply the value of their gift. If the policy is assigned to the charity at the outset, the premiums are eligible for a 50 per cent charitable tax credit, or clients can use the charitable tax credit to offset the estate tax that would otherwise be payable. Clients then have the peace of mind knowing their philanthropic interests will be secured and endowed and the rest of the estate stays intact for their family.

The concept is keeping in place everything that wealth holders have invested a lifetime building and not having the tax system erode the value of that wealth. BIC: Why do wealth holders come to you? DS: Wealth holders are smart. They don’t want to be sold – they just want to understand their options. We go through a process, with a typical plan taking 12 months from start to finish. I work in concert with the client’s other advisers – the CA, CFO and tax lawyer – so it’s a multidisciplinary approach to bring together the plan. At the end of the day, the magic is how the insurance is integrated into the plan. It’s not just a product out there by itself. It’s always part of a master plan. The clients understand how it fits, where it fits and why it fits, which is why they implement it. BIC: Why is it a great time for wealth holders to set up a life insurance plan? DS: I think as confidence in the economy grows, people take a longer-term view and when they do that, estate planning makes more sense. It resonates with wealth holders as they are determined, optimistic and plan for the future. Also a negative becomes a positive for my business. As tax rates continue to increase on wealth holders’ estates, the need for liquidity also increases and the value of tax- exempt insurance as a funding vehicle becomes even more important.

801 13th Ave. SW Calgary, AB T2R 0L1 P: 403.228.4260 • don@dsiestate.com • www.dsiestate.com


Clients Get Concierge Treatment at Excel Benefit Consulting When Caroline Kugelmass started Excel Benefit Consulting 10 years ago, she did so with little more than a dream and a staff of two sharing a desk in a small northeast office. Since then her unique vision has evolved into a five-person operation that delivers group benefit plans for companies in a way that no one else has.

appropriate to every situation. Whether it’s a company of 15 employees with basic health coverage to an international company that needs to provide unique benefits to expatriates, third-country nationals and in-country nationals, Excel manages all the moving parts and produces an easy-tounderstand customized plan.

“Excel’s focus is to be extremely concierge,” says Kugelmass, president of Excel Benefit Consulting. “We’re interested in the boutique hotel type of experience where you feel like you’re the only person there.”

Service goes well beyond simply presenting annual renewals. Excel performs a full independent audit of the carrier’s renewal and presents clients with a streamlined report. They also regularly send updates and check in with clients to see how things are going, all the while keeping people abreast of industry information through social media, blogs and newsletters.

That’s the kind of relationship Kugelmass and her team have built with clients over the years. They appreciate that human resources managers and CFOs are under more pressure than ever before, so Excel is happy to shoulder as much of the benefit burden as they can.This can involve anything from hand delivering a cheque to preparing and presenting reports to senior management.They educate clients to ensure they are getting the best value possible and with Excel as the expert resource on health benefits, clients know they can call on them for anything.

And Excel takes customization to heart with its Blue Sky calculators. Using this analytic tool, consultants help clients assemble their dream benefits package while reconciling the bottom line expenses to make it feasible.

“It’s not even going the extra mile – it’s going the extra 10 miles,” says Scott Holden, senior benefits consultant at Excel.

“We sit down and listen, ask great questions, have a strategic conversation about a company’s philosophy, and find out what keeps them up at night,” says Holden. Then they craft a plan that makes the client’s wish list a reality and that allows the HR in charge to sleep a little better.

The firm offers a broad range of expertise and applies it to ensure clients are well informed and that the coverage is

The most appealing part of this concierge treatment is that it is all-inclusive. Clients don’t have to worry about how much


Kugelmass has worked hard to build an impressive firm over the past 10 years and is now looking at moving it into the next phase to ensure it’s around for decades more. Holden, a certified financial planner, came on board two years ago to help Kugelmass do just that. While she’s not planning to retire any time soon, she realized the prudence of having a future exit plan. “A lot of people build these businesses and they never stop to think about how am I going to transition to the next phase of my life while ensuring my clients, who I care so much for, continue to receive that high standard?” she says. “Scott’s the ultimate succession plan.” Thinking about succession planning while she is still active and engaged in the company is smart business. She brought Holden on to learn the ropes over the next years with a plan that, when the time is right to retire, he can seamlessly take over operations. “Who Caroline is as a human being is really impressive and will be hard to live up to,” Holden says. “It’s a little intimidating to be honest.”

Caroline Kugelmass, President of Excel Benefit Consulting. Scott Holden, Senior Benifits Consultant at Excel.

it will cost them to call Excel with a question or issue. Everything is covered. “We love doing it because it creates incredible synergy,” says Kugelmass. “We always want our clients to feel that they are our only client.” Relationships are the foundation of Excel Benefit Consulting, and clients appreciate all the little things the company does as much as they do the big things. It’s not uncommon for Kugelmass to share a glass of wine or have a nice lunch with clients to get to know them better, or to send appreciation gifts like cupcakes or flowers. She also encourages charitable giving with ATB Cares and Benevity by sending donation cards to clients, who can then direct the donation to their charity of choice. Many clients have become friends over the past decade and Kugelmass and the Excel team value their friendship as much as their business. Kugelmass values her staff too. Excel enjoys an amazing team dynamic based on respect, expertise and a genuine love for their jobs. To ensure this never changes, Kugelmass regularly brings in leadership coach Jenn Lofgren of Incito Consulting Inc. She helps fine-tune their processes and determines what could use a tweak in order to provide an even better product to clients.

Kugelmass isn’t worried. The two have been an ideal fit from the start; they are both passionate about doing what’s right for their clients and both focus on the people rather than just the numbers. At the same time they are different enough to offer alternate ways of looking at a problem in order to find creative solutions. Together they have built up the concierge business model, brought in efficiencies and are poised to grow the company. They are looking to expand to no more than 40 clients to ensure they can still maintain the same high service levels and accessibility for every client all the time. Having Holden handle more of the daily operations of the company has allowed Kugelmass to give back to her community. She mentors entrepreneurs and hosts open seminars on industry-related topics to share ideas and information that will benefit everyone’s clients. She cares about people and is dedicated to helping wherever she can. Excel Benefit Consulting is a one-in-a-million concierge firm that provides incredible service and knowledge to clients but is always striving to improve. “Perfection is a waste of time but trying to achieve greater excellence is what you want to aspire to,” says Kugelmass. And with Caroline Kugelmass and Scott Holden at the helm as it grows, the company will continue to make a difference for clients – and continue to excel. Excel Benefit Consulting Inc. Suite 210, 1324 – 36 Ave. NE Calgary, AB T2E 8S1 Ph: 403.538.5649 | excelbenefitconsulting.com


EMPLOYEE OR MANAGEMENT BUYOUT // SUCCESSION PLANNING

David Bentall of Next Step Advisors assists businesses across Western Canada with succession planning. He notes the importance of compatibility between sellers and buyers. “One of the few reasons that I may recommend partners do not work together is if they do not share the same values. For example, if one partner is a gambler at heart and the other is a saver then they probably should not be co-owning a business together. Similarly, if one partner is a proponent of environmental sustainability and another believes that money is the only measure of a business’s success, then they will likely not be good ‘bedfellows.’” It is widely recommended sellers do bring in trusted advisers who can guide the entire transition process, ensuring the maximum value is received for the business. One such adviser is a chartered business valuator (CBV). According to Doug Welsh, a CA and CBV who has been working with Calgary and area businesses for 30 years, an independent business valuation is what sets the stage for successful succession planning. Though there are as many different approaches to valuing a business as there are valuation methodologies, financial metrics are of course always crucial. Assets, liabilities, an analysis of the financial statements and projected future earnings and cash flows dictate what a business is worth.

In addition to the hard metrics, though, a business valuation must also take into account its intangibles. Aspects such as determining the level of risk associated with dependencies on key customers or suppliers and – particularly with owneroperated private enterprises – the human resources of the business are considered too. Often, much of the worth of a private enterprise is dependent on its founder. Goodwill, industry knowledge and experience, and a deep and fundamental understanding of all aspects of the business tend to be inherently linked to the individual who started it. As such, these can be lost if selling to someone who does not have this level of connection. If these unique skills have not been transferred to others, it is reflected in the value of the business. This underpins the need to identify a purchaser well in advance of the expected date of transition. Welsh points out it can often take five or 10 years from the time of identifying a suitable employee who is interested in purchasing the business to when the transition is actually completed. Because it can be such a long process, it is important to retain not only a valuator, but actually a whole team of advisers early on. Choosing the people carefully cannot ABOVE LEFT: DAVID BENTALL OF NEXT STEP ADVISORS ASSISTS BUSINESSES WITH KEY ASPECTS OF SUCCESSION PLANNING. PHOTO SOURCE: REVIVAL ARTS

ABOVE RIGHT: DAVE ZIMMEL, PARTNER AT MNP, HAS BEEN GUIDING SELLERS IN TRANSITIONING THEIR BUSINESSES FOR 30 YEARS. PHOTO SOURCE: MNP LLP

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// SUCCESSION PLANNING

CLEAR. FAIR. VA L U E .

be understated. “Start setting up an advisory group many years prior to the anticipated transition” Welsh says. “Have different skill sets – everyone should bring something special to the table.”

TROY VALUATIONS TRUSTED FOR:

From one’s own CFO internal accountant to external accountants, lawyers and even negotiators, the appropriate advisory board will depend on the business being sold, but in all cases advisers work together to ensure the seller receives maximum value for the business.

• Business Valuations

Dave Zimmel is a partner at MNP LLP and vice president of private enterprise. He provides assurance, accounting and advisory services to clients in a range of industries. Zimmel agrees that involving advisers early on is wise and can maximize value down the line. “Having an experienced tax adviser on your team from the very beginning can ensure that tax opportunities upon transition are maximized to the fullest extent possible,” he says. “Depending upon the nature of the business, careful restructuring over a number of years may allow for significant tax advantages to the owner when the business is sold.”

• Business Succession Planning • Sale of Business • Litigation Support • Divorce

There are many considerations when transitioning one’s business to an employee or group of managers. Starting the process early means what is important to you can be achieved and you can indeed be set up well for the next chapter of your life. Tax advantages, a smooth and painless transition period, adequately funding retirement or your next project, leaving a legacy – all are likely outcomes when succession planning is started many years in advance of the business owner’s anticipated exit.

troyvalue.com | 403.479.6097 BUSINESSINCALGARY.COM // BUSINESS IN CALGARY // APRIL 2017

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THINKING ABOUT BUYING // INVESTMENT & RECREATIONAL PROPERTIES

THINKING ABOUT BUYING A RECREATIONAL OR INVESTMENT PROPERTY?

S U M M E R H O M E VE R S US WI NTE R H O M E

BY RICHARD BRONSTEIN

T

he thought of sipping a glass of wine while watching a coppery sunset settle over a lake, or of cosying up to a fire after a day of skiing, might inspire anybody to buy a recreational property for either personal enjoyment or investment. Surely, the dream of owning a vacation home is more emotional than pragmatic for some. People often describe owning a recreational property as a way of creating glorious family memories despite that sometimes there comes a high cost of ownership and unexpected problems. Likewise, recreational real estate as an investment can become difficult when rental property is damaged or rental revenue is less than expected.

This is why, considering the types of amenities and things to do in a particular place – along with the pros and cons of owning a second property – is valuable before buying. Calgary recreational buyers are fortunate to have either summer or winter real estate to choose from depending upon personal interests. Most often the motivation to buy a vacation home relies on budget, location, convenience and preference. When it came to purchasing a recreational property, Jo Larson bought in Canmore due to the close proximity to Calgary. “We love the outdoor lifestyle that Canmore offers (because) there are so many activities to do year round. There are great restaurants and amenities in Canmore as well as

ABOVE: CANMORE, BC. PHOTO SOURCE: JO LARSON

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THINKING ABOUT BUYING // INVESTMENT & RECREATIONAL PROPERTIES

“NOW WITH THE CURRENCY EXCHANGE WHERE IT IS AT, AND THE INCREASE OF THE AMERICAN CURRENCY COMPARED TO THE CANADIAN CURRENCY, WE HAVE SEEN A RETURN STARTING LAST YEAR THAT AMERICANS ARE BUYING CANADIAN RECREATIONAL PROPERTIES AGAIN.” - ELTON ASH

“Now with the currency exchange where it is at, and the increase of the American currency compared to the Canadian currency, we have seen a return starting last year – which we will certainly see through this year – that Americans are buying Canadian recreational properties again,” says Elton Ash, regional executive vice president of Re/Max Western Canada. festivals and sporting events throughout the year,” Larson explains. “We are very active there with mountain biking, hiking, walking, paddle boarding and swimming in the summer, (and) also downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and hiking in the winter.” Other seasonal ski resorts like Fernie, Kimberley, Panorama and Kicking Horse offer year- round fun with skiing in the winter and golfing in the summer. “Kimberley in particular has access to world-class golf courses that people come in the summertime for; there is also downhill biking, mountain biking and things for tourism,” says Philip Jones, president and owner of Royal LePage East Kootenay Realty. Most recreational buyers decide on a location based upon their choice of lifestyle. For some investors the decision to buy either a summer or winter property depends on where they see themselves spending free time. For instance, some buyers prefer Invermere, Radium, Kelowna, Vernon or Shuswap Lake for the summer. The weather is hot and there are plenty of water sports like wakeboarding, windsurfing, jet skiing and paddle boarding. Similarly, Sylvan Lake and Pigeon Lake attract buyers primarily from Edmonton and Calgary who enjoy boating, fishing and swimming during the warmer months. On the other hand, the sunbelt – Phoenix, Scottsdale, Palm Springs and Florida – offer better weather for snowbirds wanting to get away from the cold winters. But, those areas are currently less affordable to Canadians due to the high exchange rate.

Ash explains Canadian mountain retreats are popular with Americans when it comes to purchasing recreational properties because “ski resorts like Whistler, Revelstoke, Big White, SilverStar, Sun Peaks and Fernie are really what they are looking for more than anything else.” Lately, the low Canadian dollar has enticed a few American and Chinese buyers to Canmore. “We have seen a few more American buyers this year and since the election there has been more inquiries because we are on their radar. Also, there have been some interest and a few sales to Chinese buyers in 2016, (but) we saw more at the end of the year than the beginning of the year,” states Brad Hawker, broker and owner of Royal LePage Rocky Mountain Realty. According to Ash, the cohort of buyers for recreational properties still remains the baby boomer demographic even though the millennial segment is becoming stronger. “The baby boomers when they buy recreational property it is often seen as legacy so their children and grandchildren can enjoy it. For a millennial purchaser, they are buying it for themselves because they are looking at it in a different perspective – which is to unplug and get out of the mainstream,” adds Ash. Even so, the majority of recreational buyers in Western Canada are primarily from Alberta and British Columbia. Many of these investors are drawn to both mountain and lakeside resorts because of the outdoor activities. “Historically the trends really haven’t changed a great deal when we look at recreational properties and who is out there buying and what the great attraction is, or areas that are most popular,” states Ash.

TOP: ELTON ASH, REGIONAL EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT OF RE/MAX WESTERN CANADA. PHOTO SOURCE: ELTON ASH

BUSINESSINCALGARY.COM // BUSINESS IN CALGARY // APRIL 2017

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Welcome to Elk Park Ranch, one of Canada’s premier master planned ranching communities. Located in the stunning Columbia Valley, Elk Parch Ranch is just minutes north of the Village of Radium Hot Springs. Owned and developed by Schickedanz West, Elk Park Ranch boasts 200 acres of pristine land along the Columbia River, of which nearly 100 acres is dedicated to green space. Buyers can choose between sizeable single family lots or homestead acreages ranging between 3 and 5 acres. Schickedanz West has made every effort to ensure that both the quality of the development and beauty of this renowned area has not been compromised, lending a fairy tale like setting to both outdoor enthusiasts and nature lover’s alike to enjoy endlessly. With current lot prices starting around $90,000.00, Elk Park Ranch offers buyers from all avenues an opportunity to fully experience this unique locale. With almost 70 years in the industry as a builder developer, Schickedanz West has left nothing to chance, working meticulously to ensure the landscape and native vegetation stay intact as much as possible. “The beauty of Elk Park is in its attention to detail and the developers vision to stay true to the natural landscape”-writes owner Kris Lapierre. Aside from the innate beauty of this area, Elk Park will be offering some amazing services as development continues. Amenities will include various walking trails, a central community centre and a lake for owners to enjoy! The project will also include a community wide park with picnic tables, fire pits and manicured greens.

beauty of eastern British Columbia. Its close proximity to small town BC and major urban centres like the city of Calgary make this rural mountain community a site worth experiencing. Life’s too short to miss out on golden opportunities, go and see for yourself!

Nature lovers from around the world have sought out this little piece of paradise nestled within the exceptional

Scott Sauermann at 1.250.342.5889.

For all your questions feel free to contact

SHOWHOME 7062 ELK RIDGE ROAD, VILLAGE OF RADIUM | WWW.ELKPARKRANCH.COM | 1.250.342.5889.


Built Right and Built to Last: The Residences at Bighorn Meadows Resort

B

ighorn Meadows Resort is privately located between the 9th and 10th fairways of the prestigious Springs Golf Course in Radium Hot Springs, B.C., just 2.5 hours west of Calgary through Banff and Kootenay National Parks in the heart of the B.C. Rockies. The resort is now selling its final phases of the Residence townhomes. These professionally managed vacation homes offer flexible ownership options that make it easy for you to own a magnificent mountain-contemporary style vacation home in this exclusive resort community. Another appealing component is that you won’t have to worry about maintaining your residence at Bighorn. Our professional on-site management company takes care of all the work for you to free up your valuable time for vacationing. All PLAY, no work! Make the most of your time together: Comfort, convenience, open and inviting best describe the floor plans in our newly built Residences. The kitchen/dining area is open to the living room that flows seamlessly onto your covered patio. Providing a free flowing space without the usual optical impedance and barriers that separate these areas for gathering gives your home a special warm and inviting feel. Your time with friends and family should be about enjoying each other’s company. Spaces like these allow you to make the most of your time together.

Built right, built to last: The Residences are constructed with high quality, low-maintenance exterior finishes that will last and keep your home looking good for years to come. Hardie® board siding, poured concrete aggregate patios and high quality roofing materials ensure your vacation home will perform and look great. These homes are built right and built to last. Your peace of mind is important: We are a licensed residential builder and are proud to be members in good standing with the Homeowner Protection Office of the province of B.C.. Your peace of mind is important to us; as a result, we are pleased to include new home warranty with all of our Residences at Bighorn Meadows. Two, five and 10-year coverage now comes standard with every residence we build. We understand: With an onsite management company and 24hour security, your vacation home is more than just a building; it’s a part of you and your family. It will be a relationship that can last for years to come. Like any relationship, it is something

you value immensely and our onsite management company understands this. We offer maintenance, housekeeping and repair services, vacation rental services, concierge, and 24-hour security. Leave the worries to us; we understand. After all, you’re a part of our family too. Opportunity: Less than 50 families will have the opportunity to own a Residence at Bighorn Meadows; the rest will have to pay you rent. Contact us at 1-888-766-9637, visit bighornmeadows.ca, or email info@bighornmeadows.ca to learn more.


All Play, No Work! The Columbia Valley’s only full-service resort community of Vacation Homes in Radium Hot Springs, BC.

Now Selling! Phase 11 along The Springs Golf Course

Visit www.bighornmeadows.ca Or call 1-888-766-9637 today


THINKING ABOUT BUYING // INVESTMENT & RECREATIONAL PROPERTIES

which drives the Canmore, Fernie, Sylvan Lake and Pigeon Lake market in northern Alberta,” explains Ash.

“THE RECREATIONAL MARKET FOR CALGARY BUYERS AND SOUTHERN ALBERTA HAVE ACTUALLY CONTINUED REASONABLY STRONG EVEN THOUGH THE ALBERTA ECONOMY HAS HAD THE DOWNTURN THAT IT HAS.” - PHILIP JONES Most investors consider buying a vacation home depending upon affordability, individual preference and closeness to their primary residence. Ideally, a recreational property must provide the ease and convenience of getting there. “The majority of people want to buy recreational property within a two-hour driving distance of their home which becomes more local than anything else. There are a lot of Calgarians who will drive six hours to the Shuswap, but the majority of people prefer to drive (less) from their home

For this reason, Canmore real estate has remained relatively stable despite the economic downturn. “There was a drop off in sales in 2015, but then 2016 hit and the Canmore market has been very busy which was unforeseen,” says Hawker. Much of Canmore’s recreational market is influenced by Calgary buyers who prefer the close driving distance with the opportunity to buy a maintenance-free condo property. Hawker adds, “It was a very strong year in Canmore where we have seen declining inventory year-over-year with properties that need to sell down 36 per cent from last year during this time.” Such news is hopeful for both primary and recreational owners in Canmore because property values will likely remain steady this year. Additionally, the Kootenay East recreational market stayed fairly stable with most purchases coming from Calgary buyers. “The recreational market for Calgary buyers and southern Alberta have actually continued reasonably strong even though the Alberta economy has had the downturn that it has,” states Jones. As encouraging as this sounds, recreational investors should pay careful attention to the type of factors affecting real TOP: KELOWNA, BC LEFT: PHILIP JONES, PRESIDENT AND OWNER OF ROYAL LEPAGE EAST KOOTENAY REALTY. RIGHT: BRAD HAWKER, BROKER AND OWNER OF ROYAL LEPAGE ROCKY MOUNTAIN REALTY. PHOTO SOURCE: ISTOCK PHOTO, PHILIP JONES, BRAD HAWKER

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THINKING ABOUT BUYING // INVESTMENT & RECREATIONAL PROPERTIES

estate activity. Being knowledgeable about a particular market is helpful in understanding if a recreational property will provide a return on investment from either resale or rental revenue. For many buyers, the potential of renting out a recreational property using websites like Airbnb, VRBO or HomeAway can be important for offsetting any ownership costs.

FOR SOME INVESTORS THE DECISION TO BUY EITHER A SUMMER OR WINTER PROPERTY DEPENDS ON WHERE THEY SEE THEMSELVES SPENDING FREE TIME.

The extra expenses and taxes of owning might be at times more unnerving than originally thought. But, most investors who are willing to spend on a recreational property usually have the monetary means to do so. Whether you are buying a property for personal enjoyment or investment, Ash’s advice to purchasers is to “always stay within your economic means to enjoy the lifestyle that you want, and do not – especially in buying recreational property – stress yourself economically to buy a property that you are trying to relax at.”

Karoleena is a manufacturer of designer prefabricated homes, focused on providing premium modern dwellings that are move in ready in just 6 months.

Starting at $275 per sq. ft.

karoleena.com

BUSINESSINCALGARY.COM // BUSINESS IN CALGARY // APRIL 2017

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CALGARY’S ECOHEROES // ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP

Calgary’s ECOHEROES CELEBRATING ENVIRONMENTAL LEADERSHIP BY JOHN HARDY

S

tereotypes are usually flawed inaccurate generalizations. At best, they are misleading.

As Calgary business continues to diversify and, despite the energy sector accounting for more than 30 per cent of Calgary’s GDP and the buzz about the industry’s stereotypical impact on the environment, it’s refreshing and exciting to realize “Calgary is a dynamic leader when it comes to the environment.” That’s the solid and experienced comment of Carmen Boyko, executive director of the Alberta Emerald Foundation. “Each year the Emerald Awards recognizes businesses large and small – we salute them as ecoheroes – who have made a commitment to being conscious about their practices and how what they do will affect the world we live in. “Businesses are taking on green business practices and not only stay competitive but create new or improved business ideas to keep their environmentally-conscious customers happy,” she says with positivity. “Their innovation and success motivates growth.

“The Emerald Awards over the past 25 years show that we have gone from thinking about repurposing used tires and being the first to start recycling programs to creating net-zero communities, ensuring that our children have environmental learning in their school curriculum.

ABOVE: CARMEN BOYKO, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE ALBERTA EMERALD FOUNDATION.

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Alberta's Electronics Recycling Program is ready to serve you. Old computers (including keyboards, mice, cables and speakers), monitors, printers, copiers, servers and TVs can take up a lot of valuable office and storage space. Find out below how you can take advantage of Alberta's Electronics Recycling Program. Dropping off your old electronics?

How are electronics recycled?

Across Alberta, 375 municipal electronics recycling depots are ready to accept your old electronics. Just go to www.albertarecycling.ca to search for a location near you.

Electronics are taken apart at the registered recycler’s facilities and separated into glass, metal and plastic. These materials are then sent back into the manufacturing supply chain to be made into new products.

No time to drop them off? Seven registered electronics recyclers provide pick-up service. Contact them directly to make arrangements. Their information can be found at www.albertarecycling.ca, or call Alberta Recycling at 1-888-999-8762 for details.

If you would like more information visit www.albertarecycling.ca

Worried about information still on your hard drive? The Electronics Program requires the registered recyclers to destroy all hard drives as part of the recycling process. They can also provide you with a Certificate of Destruction.


CALGARY’S ECOHEROES // ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP

50 per cent reduction of city water use and the protection of original trees and ponds.” Taylor proudly notes the targets have been mostly achieved, with over half of the houses built so far in the EchoHaven development. Although it’s a touchy (and crass) topic in some circles, measuring ROI on environmental consciousness is difficult. “The Echo-Logic focus never considers ROI in financial terms,” he says. “But in quality-of-life terms, the return is wonderful. Our target is to be able to have a sustainable house at no extra monthly cost (mortgage plus utilities) versus code standard. The environmental and health benefits are free. We are close and with careful cost-control, the modelling shows it to be achievable.” “Showcasing environmental success stories leads to successful environmental growth and engagement and positive involvement in the protection of the environment.” Is the Emerald Foundation satisfied about the environmental consciousness in business? “No,” she adds with a smile. “There will always be more to do and new innovations to discover, but I believe Albertans are out there working hard to find and implement them and that will continue into the future.” Here are just three outstanding 2016 examples of Calgary’s environmental innovation.

EchoHaven “Many business leaders recognize that a majority of people support measures to protect the environment,” says Brian Taylor, president of Calgary’s Echo-Logic Land Corporation – developers of EchoHaven, Calgary’s award-winning and sustainable natural-setting community at Rocky Ridge, dedicated to quality of life, minimal environmental footprint and healthy and extremely efficient homes. “And people will seek out products that are in line with that philosophy. “Echo-Logic has a solid commitment to eliminate greenhouse gases from operation of new houses, primarily by using solar energy. The targets include the elimination of GHG emissions, a 50 per cent reduction in electricity use, a

Brian Taylor is a testimonial about the value – and the meaning – of earning the Emerald Award. “It is wonderful to have recognition of what we have struggled so many years to achieve. The Emerald Awards further innovation in the province because it gives publicity to new ideas,” he says. “It also encourages individuals and organizations to do things that will make a difference to our quality of life.”

ConocoPhillips Canada Is it a challenge to avoid critical stereotypes while being an iconic giant of Canada’s energy sector? Not really. “Our communities and stakeholders understand that ConocoPhillips is committed to responsibly developing our energy resources,” says Nathan Maycher, director of environment and sustainable development systems at ConocoPhillips Canada. “But their standards, and ours, are high, and we are continually improving our environmental performance in all areas of our operations. “ConocoPhillips Canada doesn’t necessarily have a single area where we are focused on this year, but Alberta’s Climate Leadership Plan is just one innovative example. It is paving a new path forward for the province in terms of the management of greenhouse gas emissions while creating opportunities to get our products to markets.

ABOVE: BRIAN TAYLOR, PRESIDENT OF CALGARY’S ECHO-LOGIC LAND CORPORATION, DEVELOPERS OF ECHOHAVEN.

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CALGARY’S ECOHEROES // ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP

and the value of making a positive environmental dent is a complex manoeuvre. “Measuring environmental impact isn’t as straightforward as classic financial return calculations. You can measure it in the strength of your relationship with local communities. And sometimes,” he smiles, “you can measure it in terms of dollars saved. When the greenhouse gas reduction goals are reached, how much money is saved in compliance costs? If we do interim reclamation on an area, how much money will be saved in weed management?” ConocoPhillips Canada is proud to receive the Emerald Award and, as Maycher notes, “It recognizes tangible steps that the oil and gas industry can take to make significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.”

“We’re spending a great deal of time and increasing our focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” Maycher points out. “And we’re also working with our industry peers and environmental organizations to advocate for balanced policy.”

Photo by PhotoArt4U - Zev Vitaly Abosh

He particularly highlights that ConocoPhillips Canada is proud to be a part of COSIA – Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance. “Testing, deploying and openly sharing the results of a comprehensive program has resulted in significant greenhouse reductions (the equivalent of taking 98,000 cars off the road).” Like most business leaders, he emphasizes that measuring ROI

ABOVE: A WELL SITE IN SOUTH-CENTRAL ALBERTA WHERE CONOCOPHILLIPS CANADA IS USING SOLAR CHEMICAL INJECTION TECHNOLOGY AND LOW-BLEED INSTRUMENTATION TECHNOLOGY TO REDUCE METHANE EMISSIONS.

Diversified and Decentralised Energy for a Prosperous Alberta Energy Future Thank you to ENMAX, EQUS and EPS AB for generously supporting us in Business in Calgary Help Build our Future. Join DEC today!

CELEBRATING 15 YEARS www.deassociation.ca info@deassociation.ca 403-210-5374

BUSINESSINCALGARY.COM // BUSINESS IN CALGARY // APRIL 2017

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CALGARY’S ECOHEROES // ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP

DIG (Do it Green) For most people it may be subtle but – from paper plates, plastic water bottles, Styrofoam and other containers to diapers, packaging and wrappers – popular big events like Calgary’s Stampede, Summerfest, Beakerhead, music festivals and other gatherings attract tens of thousands of people and generate a lot of waste. That’s where the dynamic strategy and gung-ho staff of DIG (Do it Green) comes in. The Calgary-based business provides vital environmental services for event organizers in Calgary and throughout Alberta – saving clients time and money; keeping their sites clean; and boosting environmental reputations. “Traditionally, managing waste at big events was seen more as a matter of sanitation and esthetics,” says DIG founder Leor Rotchild. “Today there are new government regulations and waste is increasingly viewed through the lens of climate change action, because 10 per cent of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions come from landfills. “The demand for diverting waste from the landfill is increasing.”

Rotchild speaks with passion, pointing out that DIG is barely halfway toward its mission to divert 100 tonnes of waste from the landfill by 2020, and, with every event and on-site involvement, DIG measures its success against that ambitious goal. “We are also building on our waste-management expertise with cleantech solutions for water and clean power and expanding into new geographic markets and creating more quality jobs in the environmental sector. “With new regulations, there is increasing demand for organizations like DIG, who monitor environmental issues closely to help identify opportunities to add value to for event organizers and other clients. Composting and recycling is now required by law and there are increased tipping fees for events and venues that do not have effective programs in place. “By designing systems for our clients, we can ensure activities are consistent with expectations from the City of Calgary, we can save our clients money, help them avoid fines,” he grins, “and help stage world-class events that offer memorable and unique experiences for their audiences.”

ABOVE: DIG TEAM MEMBERS, (LEFT), CO-FOUNDER CHRIS DUNLAP AND JESS HUA.

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ENMAX PROFILE

ENMAX DISTRICT ENERGY CENTRE DOWNTOWN CALGARY’S BEST-KEPT SECRET

THE BUILDING IS SEEN EACH DAY BY THOUSANDS BUT NOT MANY LIKELY KNOW WHAT IT DOES AND ITS IMPACT ON THE AREA. The District Energy Centre, in Calgary’s East Village, is a perfect example of ENMAX going beyond the scope of its conventional business and driving out value to the community with more responsible energy generation and distribution.

Village on 9th Avenue and the 4th Street SE underpass, the

“It’s probably the best-kept secret in downtown Calgary,” says Patrick Bohan, director, district energy and combined heat and power, ENMAX Corporation.

architecture coming out of the ground in East Village such

“Essentially it’s a centralized heating system where we have a generation facility that produces heat and then we distribute the heat through underground pipes to buildings throughout Calgary’s downtown. The essence of what we do is we displace building boilers, or the building heating systems, with a heat transfer station that allows our heating network to heat those buildings.”

Engineering for the District Energy Centre began in 2008

The District Energy Centre is truly one of downtown Calgary’s best-kept secrets. Situated at the gateway to East

and the excess will be exported to the grid. It will produce

building is seen each day by thousands of motorists but not many likely know what it does and its impact on the area. Its unique and modern design fits in nicely with the as the National Music Centre, highrise condo towers and the Central Library.

with construction starting later that year. The plant was completed in March 2010. The building is about 25,000 square feet and it has four boilers. Last year, it approved the installation of a power plant for combined heat and power that will be commissioned by the end of this year. The power plant will produce electricity to be used on site heat as a byproduct of producing that electricity.

1| ENMAX DISTRICT ENERGY CENTRE 67


ENMAX PROFILE

Bohan says the heat

“We will continue to

coming off the power

grow to meet demand.

plant will displace between

The interesting thing is that demand is high. That’s been a very nice evolution in the business,” says Bohan. “The city’s planning department is putting pressure on building codes and practices to drive out more energyefficient buildings.”

15 to 17 per cent of the heating fuel or natural gas that would be used to heat the hot water. The District Energy Centre’s network reaches into East Village, Victoria Park, the beltline and the downtown.

THE CENTRE IS AN EXAMPLE OF ENMAX’S COMMITMENT TO DEVELOPING PROJECTS T H AT I NVO LV E R ES PO N S I B LE E N E R GY PRODUCTION AND DISTRIBUTION.

Bohan says the centre is an example of We’re trying to find the ENMAX’s commitment large buildings, the higherto developing density developments, projects that involve which is what we are - PAT BOHAN, DIRECTOR, DISTRICT ENERGY responsible energy really liking about that AND COMBINED HEAT AND POWER production and intra-urban development,” distribution. Initially says Bohan. envisioned by city council, a number of senior company executives and board The direct impact on people is much larger than at first members then visited northern Europe to research what thought with fourteen buildings part of the network – two the future of energy distribution would look like. senior residences, city hall, the National Music Centre, Bow “We follow demand.

Valley College, the Salvation Army building and condo towers in East Village. The massive Telus Sky skyscraper, a mixed-use development in the heart of downtown, has recently signed on.

“Some people say the biggest reason they see value in connecting is they don’t have an entire floor plate dedicated to a boiler system in their building. They’ve got now 20,000 to 25,000 square feet they can release, sell as

“As for the number of people impacted, we’re still doing

condominiums or they can actually use that space. I had

some work on that but it’s way larger than we initially

a friend of mine tell me once that I’m not in the energy

thought,” says Bohan.

business; I’m in the real estate business. We’re basically giving space back to the developer,” adds Bohan.

Whether people are having a coffee or lunch in the trendy Simmons Building in East Village, going to school at

ENMAX services more than 650,000 commercial and residential

Bow Valley College, visiting the National Music Centre or

customers with an expertise in maintaining and operating

working at city hall, they are enjoying the benefits of the

generation, transmission and distribution assets throughout

District Energy Centre but have no idea it exists.

the province. It powers the homes of more than 530,000 Alberta families and more than 40,000 Alberta businesses.

Currently, there is six to 6.5 million square feet of commercial, institutional and residential buildings

Electrical energy is its primary business but ENMAX also

connected to the system and capacity is being added to

provides thermal energy through its District Energy Centre.

heat up to 10 million or more square feet.

It is utilizing an old concept, district heating, to help bring

TITLE PAGE: CALGARY DISTRICT ENERGY CENTRE ABOVE: PAT BOHAN, DIRECTOR, DISTRICT ENERGY AND COMBINED HEAT AND POWER PHOTO SOURCE: ENMAX CORPORATION, PHOTO MASSI

2

| ENMAX DISTRICT ENERGY CENTRE


ENMAX PROFILE

the historic East Village community back to life and heat the core of the city. The District Energy Centre is positioned to provide much-needed thermal energy generation to thousands of residents in East Village and in the downtown. It is cost effective and a resilient alternative to traditional methods of generating building heat. One of the innovative ways ENMAX is working to achieve this is by integrating combined heat and power (CHP), commonly referred to as cogeneration, into the District Energy Centre. By doing so, the efficiency of the facility will increase from approximately 85 per cent to nearly 90 per cent. The real estate industry is a direct benefactor of the current District Energy configuration, as well as future expansions, due to the longterm efficiencies and environmental impacts of centralized thermal and electricity generation. The ENMAX District Energy Centre generates 55 megawatts (187 million BTUs) of thermal energy, in the form of hot water, and distributes it through a network of insulated underground pipes to buildings. The heat is transferred from the thermal pipeline, via a plate heat exchanger, in the customer’s building and is used for space heating and domestic hot water in commercial office towers, institution buildings and residential condos. Bohan says it provides building owners and operators an alternative to traditional heating systems and is simple to connect to.

ABOVE LEFT: PHOTOVOLTAIC SOLAR ARRAY. ABOVE RIGHT: DISTRICT ENERGY BOILER FLUE. PHOTO SOURCE: ENMAX CORPORATION, PHOTO MASSI

3 | ENMAX DISTRICT ENERGY CENTRE


Combined heat and power (CHP) is essentially a

HERE ARE SOME OF THE BENEFITS, ACCORDING TO ENMAX: • Reduced operational risk associated with owning boiler assets and the avoided capital spent to install or replace them. This in turn leads to increased efficiency, productivity and revenue through reduced operating expenditures. • There is no longer a need to purchase/replace, operate and maintain boiler plants for domestic hot water and space heating within the building. Boilers can cost up to $1 million for certain buildings. All the space which would have been allocated to this mechanical infrastructure can be recovered and repurposed for lease to generate new revenue. • Building operators can focus on providing increased customer service to tenants as opposed to maintaining a boiler plant.

ENMAX

reciprocating engine that combusts natural gas, or some other fuel source. Attached to the engine is a generator that rotates to produce electricity that can be used to service a building or be sold into the electricity pool. The heat produced by combusting natural gas is harvested off of the engine and is used to heat water inside boilers within the District Energy Centre. The plant continued operating during the great flood in the summer of 2013. As part of its resiliency efforts, ENMAX put in what amounts to be aquarium glass on the basement windows. “We have got the built-in resiliency and redundancy in our plant and it’s our intent to deliver services whenever possible. One of the key things is that instead of having 15 separate boiler plants that are managed and maintained on 15 different sites, we’ve got one,” says Bohan. It is the only District Energy Centre that ENMAX currently

• The carbon footprint of the building may be reduced by connecting to an environmentallyresponsible energy source which can contribute to attaining designations such as LEED.

operates but it is developing a few other sites for the

• The building will have increased thermal energy security from built-in redundancy at the District Energy Centre. In addition, emergency connections are installed at the customer building to allow for continued service via mobile heating plants in the event of a service interruption.

ENMAX has also been working with the City of Edmonton

• By connecting to District Energy, building administration will have a guaranteed thermal energy rate for the term of their contract allowing for accurate long-term budget forecasting.

power on a customer site. The fact that it’s responsible

• There is no capital expense required by the building owner to connect to the District Energy system. ENMAX assumes the capital risk to connect each building and owns and maintain all equipment installed at the customer site for the term of the thermal energy agreement. There is no maintenance of this equipment required by the building operator.

really resonating with developers and municipalities right

future. Also, the company operates a small CHP (combined heat and power) outside the Village Square Leisure Centre providing heat for the pool and electricity for the inside.

to implement a District Energy System in downtown Edmonton similar to Calgary. “This is where the capital cost value proposition really resonates. We can put in place heating, cooling and generation that we’re going to be able to use the heat that is produced as a byproduct of making electricity to heat and displace natural gas combusted for heating, that’s now,” says Bohan.

Jason Grabinsky Manager, Business Relationships 141-50 Ave SE Calgary, AB T2G 4S7 Phone | 403-689-6779 Email | jgrabinsky@enmax.com

LEFT: DISTRICT ENERGY THERMAL DISTRIBUTION PIPE. CENTER: PAT BOHAN & JASON GRABINKSY, MANAGER, BUSINESS RELATIONSHIPS RIGHT: DISTRICT ENERGY THERMAL DISTRIBUTION PIPE PHOTO SOURCE: ENMAX CORPORATION, PHOTO MASSI

4 | ENMAX DISTRICT ENERGY CENTRE


IT’S GOOD TO BE A TENANT // COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE

It’s Good to be a Tenant

UNDERSTAND WHO IS REPRESENTING YOU BY ERLYNN GOCOCO

I

n mid-2014 when oil prices fell below US$100 per barrel, Calgary’s office vacancy rate skyrocketed. And according to new data, this rate will only increase as new constructions near completion. Cresa Calgary, an international corporate real estate advisory firm that exclusively represents tenants, published in their Calgary Q4 Downtown Office Market Report that overall vacancy continues its ascent to record heights, reaching 24.34 per cent by the end of 2016. The current state of the economy, as we all know, has resulted in job losses for many Calgarians. According to Statistics Canada, the unemployment rate as of the end of 2016 in Calgary remained the highest of any major city in the country at 10.2 per cent. That said, companies forced to downsize consequently no longer need large space – and offices are starting to look empty as a result.

Businesses and tenants have more options and leverage to obtain better lease terms due to the historically high amount of vacant commercial space available, says Grant Kosowan, president of Orange Group, a national advisory firm that focuses on commercial real estate, research and demographics, and business advisory services.

ABOVE: INTERIOR SPACE, SCOTIA TOWER. PHOTO SOURCE: COLLIERS INTERNATIONAL

INSET: XTERIOR OF H&R BLOCK’S CANADIAN HEADQUARTERS LOCATED IN DOWNTOWN CALGARY. PHOTO SOURCE: H&R BLOCK CANADA

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IT’S GOOD TO BE A TENANT // COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE

That is why it so important to understand who is representing you. Adam Hayes, principal and broker with Cresa, suggests that while many large real estate firms in Canada claim to have better information and a deeper reach into the industry, smaller firms such as Cresa have a very solid market share in Calgary and have access to the same information as their competitors. He also points out that, “the commercial real estate sector sometimes lacks transparency for tenants and the market is consistent supply side-oriented (landlord-centric).” He goes on to say the relationship between landlords and tenants is inherently adversarial and it’s important to have an advocate who represents the tenant’s interests only. This, according to Hayes, is the only way to find the landlord’s bottom line and push in areas others may not be as comfortable pushing. Hayes quotes Peter Smirniotopoulos, a George Washington University professor, to help illustrate his point: “If legal ethics prohibit an attorney or a law firm from representing both the landlord and a tenant [in a lease] … how can the divergent interests of those same parties nonetheless be adequately represented by the same real estate firm?” Kosowan echoes this sentiment and says it’s more likely conflicts of interest will arise when a brokerage company trying to represent tenants has several listings and management contracts. “Believing that one company can do all jobs effectively is analogous to believing that the plaintiff’s lawyer can also effectively represent the defendant in the same court of law.” Our city is littered with leasing signs advertising vacant office space. When people call the number on the sign, says Kosowan, it’s important to understand the name on the sign actually works for the landlord/owner of the property. So unless “dual agency” is disclosed beforehand, “a listing agent’s fiduciary duty is to the landlord while their legal obligation is to achieve the highest rates and best terms, also on behalf of the landlord. Given the substantial conflicts of interest that arise from these antiquated industry norms, many jurisdictions are making dual agency illegal.” There are only a small number of firms that work for tenants only in North America and only two such firms in

Calgary: Cresa and Orange Group. However, real estate firms that specialize in tenant-only transactions seem to be a growing trend in the U.S., and it’s likely the number will continue to grow throughout North America. So why would someone want to deal with a tenant-only firm versus a larger brokerage firm? According to Kosowan, tenant advisory firms are growing quickly because of two main trends. The first trend was the Wall Street financial collapse “which uncovered the failure of regulators and highlighted undisclosed conflicts of interest in business.” This, he says, “ultimately led to higher regulatory and ethical standards in the U.S. and more scrutiny to protect consumers, companies and the public from conflicts. There are currently eight U.S. states and counting that have made dual agency illegal.” ABOVE: ADAM HAYES, PRINCIPAL AND BROKER, CRESA CALGARY. PHOTO SOURCE: CRESA.

INSET: GRANT KOSOWAN, PRESIDENT, ORANGE GROUP.. PHOTO SOURCE: ORANGE GROUP

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IT’S GOOD TO BE A TENANT // COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE

The second trend is that today’s business leaders appear to demonstrate an increasing awareness of conflicts, financial acumen and diligence. More and more companies understand the value of retaining their own real estate experts given the enormous financial and functional consequences – even for small companies. “Now more than ever, understanding how commercial real estate works and retaining good advice can have an immense financial impact on a business,” says Kosowan. “Dollars add up very quickly when you multiply the rent by the size of the space and again by the term of the lease – which often lasts up to 10 years.” Downtown Calgary, in particular, is experiencing a very high office vacancy rate which is providing substantial opportunities for tenants to obtain low rents in high-quality spaces. Such was the case for H&R Block who was represented by Orange Group when they decided to relocate their Canadian head offices from Calgary’s southeast quadrant to the downtown core in the fall of 2016. As their advisers, Orange Group wanted to take advantage of an opportunity to obtain better financial and functional terms than what were historically possible. “Serving taxpayers for more than 50 years, H&R Block’s relocation to downtown is reflective of the company’s ongoing growth and success in the marketplace, and will allow us to better serve the nation,” says Altaf Hirji, H&R Block’s AVP of real estate. Hirji adds that while market opportunity and economics obviously played a role in the decision, there were other factors which led to the final decision. “Our move to the downtown core positioned us in the heart of the city accessible by all, which taps into a larger talent pool, and feeds off the vibrant and energized environment allowing our corporate culture of innovation and development to flourish.” Hirji is confident their decision to relocate the company positions them well for the future. But what about leasing space in the suburbs? Wouldn’t it be more economical than the downtown core? Perhaps, but the downtown core also boasts an inventory of large spaces that cater to large oil and gas firms that just aren’t common in suburbia. “The supply/demand ratio in suburban areas is much more balanced and therefore rents have not been impacted nearly as much,” says Kosowan.

Hayes acknowledges that many examine the cost/benefit of moving versus staying, but at the end of the day “a majority of the tenants in the suburbs are there for more qualitative reasons (i.e. parking access, work/lifestyle balance, access/ egress to certain quadrants of the city, etc.).” So while there are obvious benefits to working with tenantonly firms such as Cresa and Orange Group, Craig Hulsman, senior associate with Colliers International, is quick to point out that tenant rep brokers can also find themselves in a conflict of interest position. For example, “how does a broker manage a conflict when two or more of his own tenant clients are favouring the same space?” He cautions it is important to consider potential conflicts of interest that may arise when dealing with any broker regardless of whether they brand themselves as purely “tenant-rep” or otherwise. ABOVE: ALTAF HIRJI, AVP OF REAL ESTATE, H&R BLOCK. PHOTO SOURCE: H&R BLOCK

INSET: CRAIG HULSMAN, SENIOR ASSOCIATE, COLLIERS INTERNATIONAL. PHOTO SOURCE: COLLIERS INTERNATIONAL

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AMVIC Licensed


THE TAX EXEMPTION FOR EMPLOYER HEALTH BENEFITS // HEALTHCARE

THE TAX EXEMPTION FOR EMPLOYER HEALTH BENEFITS STRONG ARGUMENTS FOR KEEPING IT

BY NERISSA MCNAUGHTON AND MELANIE DARBYSHIRE

O

ne of the most important aspects of a job offer is the benefits package, and for good reason. Health care is expensive. A report by the Fraser Institute notes an average Canadian two-parent family with two children have annual medical expenses in excess of $11,000; and when you also consider Albertans pay up to 30 per cent more for dental care than residents in other Canadian provinces, it all adds up to sticker shock. So why aren’t Albertans speaking out about these high costs? It’s because we simply don’t see them. Thanks to taxes and employer-sponsored health and dental benefits, Albertans’ out-of-pocket costs for health care are negligible. That means most Albertans flock the dentist for checkups and cleanings, book appointments with doctors and don’t think twice about handing over a $10 co-pay on a $90 round of medication.

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Now, for a moment, imagine a province in which employersponsored benefits ceased to exist or were drastically reduced. Thanks to report from a Government of Canada (Health Canada) advisory panel, we know this could have been a reality. The panel released Unleashing Innovation: Excellent Healthcare for Canada, a report that took a long, hard look at the federal government’s role within the existing Canada Health Act. One of the suggested initiatives was to shift employer paid premiums for health and dental benefits from its current model to a taxable benefit to the employee while permitting employees to claim those medical expenses under the new refundable health tax credit (RHTC) or medical expense tax credit. Record scratch. What?


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THE TAX EXEMPTION FOR EMPLOYER HEALTH BENEFITS // HEALTHCARE

WILLOUGHBY SAYS THAT THE AVERAGE AMOUNT OF ADDITIONAL TAX WOULD BE APPROXIMATELY $1,200 PER YEAR PER EMPLOYEE. “FOR MOST FAMILIES THAT’S A LOT OF MONEY.”

The Johnston Group, who, in rebuttal, produced the Report on the Importance of the Tax Exemption for Employer Health Benefits in Canada noted: “It is the opinion of some that the elimination of this exemption would lead to greater fairness. Their view is that a tax exemption that only applies to those that have an employer benefit plan is supported at the expense of those that do not. The perception is those that have private and individual benefit plans that pay tax on those plans are subsidizing those that receive the exemption. It is further assumed that those on their own plans are typically of a lower income bracket and the exemption favours high income Canadians. “The push to eliminate the credit is based on the perception that lower income Canadians do not receive employer‐based benefits and are left to invest in private and personal plans. One proposal is to institute a rei nvented Medical Expense Tax Credit that will allow all Canadians to receive a tax benefit equally as long as they meet a certain income test.”1 Johnston Group’s report went on to list detailed arguments opposing the elimination suggestion and in even better news, Justin Trudeau recently stated his government had no plans to start taxing employee health benefits. For now, Canadians can breathe easily knowing employer-sponsored plans (along with taxes) will still absorb the brunt of our upfront medical costs, but if this were to change in the future, the consequences would be far reaching.

“Most employees don’t realize that their health and dental premiums are tax exempt,” explains Ken Willoughby, regional marketing director for Chambers of Commerce Group Insurance Plan. “But anyone that has an employersponsored plan would be impacted if they brought the tax in.” Willoughby says that the average amount of additional tax would be approximately $1,200 per year per employee. “For most families that’s a lot of money.” And the tax would apply to all employees in group plans including government, corporate and not-for-profit workers. “In this province, there’s approximately 30,000 to 40,000 government employees – they would all be affected,” Willoughby says. Tony Stirling of Stirling Benefit Plans Inc. argues that if employee benefits became taxable, many companies would cancel them altogether. “Companies work on budgets, and goods and services are based on expenses,” he says. “If those expenses go up one of two things has to happen: either the cost of those goods has to go up to pay for that increase or the employer has to cut back on expenses.” He says one of the first things employers cut is the benefit program. “Because if they have the choice between keeping an employee or keeping the benefits, the benefits go (or get reduced) and they keep the employee.” Even though benefit plans may be cut back or scrapped altogether, benefit costs must still be paid. “Many of these ABOVE: KEN WILLOUGHBY, REGIONAL MARKETING DIRECTOR FOR CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE GROUP INSURANCE PLAN.

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THE TAX EXEMPTION FOR EMPLOYER HEALTH BENEFITS // HEALTHCARE

MINTZ AGREES THAT GROUP INSURANCE PLANS ARE CHEAPER THAN INDIVIDUAL ONES. “BUT WOULD IT BE THE END OF GROUP INSURANCE? I’M NOT SURE.”

private plans cover off a lot of the health-care needs of working Canadians,” Willoughby says. “If you took this coverage away, the need is still there but it’s going to be downloaded onto the public health-care system.”

credit anyway,” he explains. “It was more than just taxing employer benefits. It was also using the money to provide more support for non-medicare expenses, especially for lower-income families.”

“Private insured health-care plans help relieve the burden on the medical system,” adds Stirling. “They cover anything not covered under the current program. So if I don’t have those type of benefits, I have to go back to the social system to get those needs covered, somehow or someway.”

The taxation of employer benefits, he says, would be almost equivalent to the RHTC, making the change revenueneutral. Stirling is skeptical. “They said ‘let’s tax employee benefits and put that tax income into a program that helps all Canadians.’ Well we all know how those work – it goes into general revenues and you never see it again.” The 65 per cent of employees in Canada who currently enjoy employer benefits will be worse off, he argues.

The report’s proposed RHTC is an inadequate replacement, Willoughby says. “We have people that have tens of thousands of dollars of prescription costs a year. The cap of $3,000 per year wouldn’t come anywhere close to covering off the needs of some of these people that rely on coverage from these private plans.” He thinks the advisory panel was originally trying to target the high-paid executives of large corporations who have generous benefit programs. “But the way that they were thinking of applying it would impact every single employee in Canada,” he says. “And I can pretty well guarantee that close to 99 per cent of employees in Canada aren’t executives with gold-plated salaries and benefit packages.” Jack Mintz, the president’s fellow of the School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary, sat on the advisory panel on healthcare innovation and in fact wrote the chapter that contains the proposal to tax employee benefits. He says the RHTC would have been good for many low- and middleincome individuals. “It would be tremendous help because a lot of low-income people don’t have anything, and because they don’t pay taxes they can’t use any medical expense

While Mintz accepts that taxing benefit plans might lead to their cancellation altogether, he makes another point. “You can argue that they are very popularly used because people can get tax-free income this way, rather than get wages and salaries. It’s a non-taxable source of income and still a deduction for the employer. So from a tax point of view, it’s a good deal.” He agrees that group insurance plans are cheaper than individual ones. “But would it be the end of group insurance? I’m not sure.” “Quebec did it provincially and the impact was quite significant,” Willoughby says. “About 20 per cent of the private plans were basically withdrawn or terminated whey they implemented that tax.” For now, employer health benefits are free from the federal taxman’s grasp. In the future however, they may be easy targets for either level of government to tax. It’s an issue to keep an eye on. ABOVE: JACK MINTZ, THE PRESIDENT’S FELLOW OF THE SCHOOL OF PUBLIC POLICY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CALGARY. HE ALSO SAT ON THE ADVISORY PANEL ON HEALTHCARE INNOVATION.

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World of Choices connects high school students with professionals from a variety of industries, giving youth the opportunity to find out what it takes to land their dream job or even discover a new calling. This career forum is just one of the experiential programs and events that JA offers to help youth build a successful future

JA Southern Alberta A Member of JA Canada

F O U N D I N G PA R T N E R

WELCOME CONTRIBUTOR

PRESENTER CONTRIBUTOR

B R E A K FA S T CONTRIBUTOR

W O C TA L K CONTRIBUTOR

CAREER SECTOR CONTRIBUTORS

CAREER MENTOR CONTRIBUTORS

Every young person can achieve success. With the support of volunteers and donors, JA Southern Alberta provides work readiness, financial literacy, and entrepreneurship education at no cost to youth in grades 5 -12

learn more at www.jasab.ca


Strength in the Calgary Positives Post-downturn moving forward

Let’s Ask an EOer

By Melanie Darbyshire

A

s Calgary businesses deal with degrees of the downturn impact, there’s consensus on the importance of looking forward, planning, strategizing and being realistic about Calgary’s business profile, Calgary’s competitive edge and the uniqueness of doing business in (and from) Calgary. “Calgarians are perceived to be entrepreneurial and friendly and a big part of our culture is being connected to the mountains,” says Paul Cataford, president, CEO and co-founder of Zephyr Sleep Technologies and an EO Calgary member. “Speaking as a CEO of a high-tech medical device company, I think we need some more success as an industry before stepping out of the shadow of oil and gas. “But Calgary is a great city with the best nearby playground in the country. Our employees love living here. Calgary also has a great airport and you are one or two hops away from any important city in the U.S.” Most Calgary business leaders cite the uniqueness of Calgary and Calgary’s competitive edge for doing business. “Calgary has always been predominantly an oil and gas city,” admits Torry Tanner, CEO of Bodo Wellness Technology and an EO Calgary member. “But beyond the corporate landscape, there is a very resilient and strong entrepreneurial foundation. The community welcomes and supports success and values the contribution that local businesses make to the economy. “One of the things I love most about Calgary is that it still feels like a small town. People are happy and friendly and very positive.” According to Chris Peterson, president, Star Concrete Floor Treatments (Star Floors) and an EO Calgary member, “There is much

pride in the way we do business in Calgary. And for Star Floors, being headquartered in Calgary gives us an ability to dispatch our crews throughout Western Canada with relative ease. Geographically I feel we are in an advantageous location for our type of business.” Positivity seems to be an underlying factor as Calgary businesses move forward, past the downturn. But so is being realistic. “For Zephyr Sleep, the impact has been both good and bad,” Cataford points out. “Our premises costs and choices have improved and, right now, we do not have to compete with a much better paying oil and gas industry for technical staff. “But high-tech companies need private investment capital. While there seems to be a lot of talk from governments on the emerging importance of high technology and diversity, here on the front lines, we’re not seeing much real support.” Peterson highlights a good and a bad. “A positive is that we are primed for head offices to move to Calgary, with so much available, vacant space at competitive rates. The possible caution may be that people and businesses may become disenfranchised with our roller-coaster economy and with an increasing minimum wage it may be a challenge for some small businesses.” “Anybody can make a business successful in a booming economy. It takes strategy, courage and a good dose of common sense to be successful in a downturn,” Tanner says with enthusiasm. “Like a lot of businesses here in Calgary, we have seen our sales drop significantly, but on the positive side, it is also an opportunity to look at restructuring, reinventing and reviewing our company from the inside out, because things will turn around. They always do!”

Contributing Members:

Upcoming Events:

Chris Peterson

Torry Tanner

Paul Cataford

Star Concrete Floor Treatments (Star Floors) and an EO Calgary member.

CEO of Bodo Wellness Technology and an EO Calgary member.

president, CEO and cofounder of Zephyr Sleep Technologies and an EO Calgary member.

Apr 3

• Q3 Moderators Meeting

Apr 5

• Leadership Breakfast Series

Apr 20 • Sherry Stewart DeutschmannLetter Logic Culture Apr 29-May 3

• Global Leadership Conference-Germany

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www.eocalgary.com

|

For membership inquiries: membership@eocalgary.com


Leading Business APRIL 2017

IN THIS ISSUE... • Chamber Member Spotlight: Bilal Hydrie • REV - Calgary’s only conference dedicated to growing entrepreneurial businesses • Member Profiles

Bringing great minds together to think differently In just two days, connect, network and learn new ideas to reinvent the future of your business. Don’t miss your chance to experience Onward June 5-6, 2017 BMO Centre

CalgaryChamber.com

BUSINESSINCALGARY.COM // BUSINESS IN CALGARY // APRIL 2017

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2017 Board of

Directors

Chamber Member Spotlight: Bilal Hydrie

Executive Chair: David Allen, Founder & President, Situated Co. Vice Chair: Phil Roberts, President, Vintri Technologies Inc Past Chair: Denis Painchaud, International Government Relations Treasurer: Wellington Holbrook, Chief Transformation Officer, ATB Financial CEO: Adam Legge, President and CEO, Calgary Chamber

Directors Linda Shea, Senior Vice-President, AltaLink Bill Brunton, Vice President, Habitat for Humanity, Southern Alberta Mike Williams, Executive Vice-President, Encana James Boettcher, Chief Idea Officer, Fiasco Gelato Brent Cooper, Partner, McLeod Law LLP Desirée Bombenon, President & CEO, SureCall Contact Centres Ltd Mandeep Singh, Audit Partner, Deloitte Jason Hatcher, Managing Principal, Navigator Greg Garcia, President and CEO, Calgary Elite Roofing Brian Bietz, President, Beitz Resources Management Adam Legge – President and CEO Michael Andriescu – Director of Finance and Administration Kim Koss – Vice President, Business Development and Sponsorship Scott Crockatt – Director of Marketing and Communications Rebecca Wood – Director of Member Services Zoe Addington – Director of Policy, Research and Government Relations Leading Business magazine is a co-publication of the Calgary Chamber and Business in Calgary Calgary Chamber 600, 237 8th Avenue S.E. Calgary, Alberta T2G 5C3 Phone: (403) 750-0400 Fax: (403) 266-3413 calgarychamber.com

B

ilal Hydrie has quickly become a well-known name in Calgary’s business scene.

Hydrie was born and raised in Pakistan and came to Canada 17 years ago, where he became a citizen, learned exceptional English and completed his chemical process engineering education at SAIT. Young, dynamic, innovative and community minded, Hydrie is a true reflection of what the next generation of great business leaders looks like in our city. Hydrie started his career in business at a young age, first working in the family business, the Habib Group. A banking and financial services company started almost a century ago, the Habib Group has grown to manage a wide scope of business across the globe in the areas of finance, automotive, manufacturing, insurance, retail, IT and education. Like many of Calgary’s young, successful entrepreneurs, Hydrie now has a hefty portfolio of projects he is involved in – including positions as the director of North American operations for the Habib Group, an independent director of publicly-traded energy firm Pennine Petroleum Corporation, and the president of Global Centurion Investments, a private equity firm. Hydrie is probably best known in Calgary, however, for starting Inclusive Energy, an oilfield equipment services company. Oilfield equipment service is a traditional industry in Alberta, but since starting his company, Hydrie has been shaking things up and doing things differently. After completing his SAIT diploma back in 2009, Hydrie took on a number of roles in the oil and gas industry for various companies. He soon noticed a market opportunity in the equipment services sector, and he decided to step in and try to bridge what he saw as a big gap in the industry. “I noticed pretty quickly a gap in the drilling and completion sector, where demand was high and supply was at an all-time low,” says Hydrie. “Upstream companies were overpaying – sometimes by hundreds of thousands of dollars – to acquire customized equipment, with a lengthy turnaround time. Drilling and completion companies were sourcing separate third parties for just about everything.” Hydrie recruited a team of professionals to offer clients the entire package of services in a onestop shop. Not only did Hydrie provide convenience and considerable savings for the customer – he also created Inclusive Energy. As the name suggests, Inclusive Energy offers its well drilling and completion clients all the necessary service items needed for a project from start to finish, including designing, drafting, custom fabrication, delivery, setup and even flexible financing options. “We have built our business from nothing to one of the most well-established and recognizable oilfield equipment supply companies in the Canadian energy industry,” says Hydrie. “My family business was built on hard work and tenacity. I have approached Inclusive Energy in the same manner, and I’ve managed to build a successful business with a very strong team.” “I’m in Calgary for the long term,” he adds, “to expand our business, create more jobs and build stronger connections.” Given the tough economic situation in our province over the last number of years, Inclusive Energy (like many Alberta companies related to oil and gas) has also seen its fair share of

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struggles, and Hydrie says his company continues to prepare for challenges into the foreseeable future. However, Inclusive Energy has been backing conventional wisdom, and in large part through innovation, is finding ways to thrive. “The Inclusive Energy team is nimble and flexible, and we’re always looking for new opportunities and ventures to expand our horizons,” says Hydrie. “That may mean a capital injection for a new drilling site or working on a joint venture to assist another company. Inclusive Energy is open to discuss any concept brought to our table.” Hydrie says his customers have been forced to trim significant material and labour costs to their budgets, and are simply not able to pay as much for equipment or services as they were two years ago. In light of this economic hardship being faced by its clientele, Inclusive Energy has sharpened its customer service strategy even further, and is playing an important role in the private sector by assisting struggling well-drilling and completion companies. “We are constantly developing innovative ideas and products to reduce client costs and improve the efficiency of our equipment,” says Hydrie. “The past two years have been hard for this province, with so many jobs lost related directly or indirectly to the energy industry.” When big banks are refusing financing due to economic constraints, Inclusive Energy is working to create collaborative solutions and sustainable partnerships so its clients get the best value for their dollar. Hydrie says his company is doing its part to help out – by reducing rates to help clients meet their budget requirements. This has significantly affected Inclusive Energy’s overall revenue, he explains, but the company values the loyalty it gains through this process. For Inclusive Energy, that customer loyalty has more value in the long run. Inclusive Energy’s customers are also able to benefit from the company’s lending and rent-to-own options, as well as the ability to custom design equipment to fit a project’s specific needs – helpful options during a period of economic instability. Other strategies Hydrie has developed, during times of economic hardship, include focusing on purchasing surplus and distressed equipment so that Inclusive Energy can recondition these units, have them examined by the company’s quality control division, and have them ready for times of economic rebound. As a successful business leader, giving back to the community is a huge focus for Hydrie.

Bilal Hydrie, president and CEO of Inclusive Energy and Calgary Chamber member.

“The business community is the beating heart of any town or city, and that is quite clearly the case in Calgary,” Hydrie explains. “Businesses drive communities. They also build communities. There’s a strong belief that businesses should contribute to the needs of a community, and I share that belief.” Having lived in Calgary for nearly 17 years, Hydrie considers himself a Calgarian. He approaches community investment in much the same way as his family business does back in Pakistan, where the Habib Group has developed a cancer institute and a number of schools for the community. Since 2011, Hydrie and Inclusive Energy have supported 15 international students at SAIT in the petroleum engineering technology stream with tuition help, as well as food and living allowances. There is no set of expectations or a binding contract; he just hopes these students consider working for Inclusive Energy when they graduate. Another way Hydrie likes to give back to the community is through being a Calgary Chamber member. “Being a Calgary Chamber member has proven invaluable for Inclusive Energy, even after only a short time. Networking is such an important part of business, and the Chamber has allowed us to meet the right people,” says Hydrie. “Every business has a value proposition, and the Chamber brings those businesses together and helps them thrive,” he says. “It’s the right setting for Inclusive Energy to get our name out there.” “I think it’s been worth every penny.” BUSINESSINCALGARY.COM // BUSINESS IN CALGARY // APRIL 2017

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Calgary’s only conference dedicated to growing entrepreneurial businesses May 11, 2017 - Calgary Zoo, Enmax Conservatory

I

f you are looking to take your business to the next level, then Rev is the one conference this year you can’t afford to miss. This jam-packed day of innovation and inspiration is filled with the fresh ideas, high-level networking and hands-on tools you need to get your business accelerating. Attended by 300 of Calgary’s fastest-growing companies, this full-day conference is the only one of its kind in the city that is targeted specifically to the interests, challenges and opportunities that uniquely face growth-focused entrepreneurs. Increase your knowledge base through learning workshops on a variety of topics like online marketing, strategic planning, social media and sparking business innovation. From the hottest tech trends in software, apps and service, to increasing your company’s productivity, to branding and

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identifying the right social platforms, to disruptive innovation, Rev’s power-packed lineup of industry-led workshops will give you new approaches to growing your business, and provide you with powerful insights on strategies that work. Find out more and network with owners from some of Calgary’s most exciting brands at Rev’s business showcase, featuring companies of all sizes from a variety of industries. Whether it is meeting the next big client, building a strong business relationship, learning new skills or getting great advice from a peer who’s been there before, Rev will be the best time you spend on your business this year. And what could be more inspirational than the natural surroundings of the Calgary Zoo to empower you to bring your vision for your company to a reality.


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

Blakes Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP (Blakes) is one of Canada’s top business law firms, providing exceptional legal services to leading businesses in Canada and around the world. With a focus on building long-term relationships with clients, Blakes offers unparalleled service and the highest standard of legal advice. Their integrated network of 11 offices worldwide provides clients with access to the firm’s full spectrum of capabilities in virtually every area of business law. Blakes also enthusiastically invests in the communities where we live and work — from pro bono work to supporting diversity, women’s initiatives and the environment.

For more information visit Blakes.com.

Human Resources Professional Association

HRPA is Canada’s HR thought leader and public regulator of the professional practice of its 24,000 registered members. HRPA issues three professional certifications based on vigorous validation: • Entry to the profession/administrative (Certified HR Professional, CHRP), • Fully professional (Certified HR Leader, CHRL) and • Executive (Certified HR Executive, CHRE). In repeated surveys, top business executives report that their confidence in the contribution of HR to business results has increased by more than 60% because of this certification framework. HRPA advances protection of the public interest by:

Thanks The Chamber thanks the following long-standing member companies celebrating anniversaries this month for their years of support to the Calgary Chamber, and their commitment to the growth and development of Calgary.

Member name

Years as a member

PARLEE McLAWS LLP

30

Netherlands Investment Company of Canada Limited

30

Qualicase Ltd.

30

Elan Construction Limited

25

Evolique Design Inc.

10

• Ensuring competent and ethical HR practice through regulatory oversight and commitment to continuing professional development, • Ereating compelling value propositions for all in HR to become members, • Providing strong and respected designations based on a globally recognized body of knowledge, and • Validation of that capability through rigorous examination and supervision of experience.

For more information, visit HRPA.ca.

Tervita

Tervita is a leading environmental solutions provider with a relentless focus on safety, efficiency and regulatory compliance. At the core of Tervita’s culture, is the belief that they are uniquely positioned to help their clients and partners in oil and gas, mining, and industrial sectors minimize impact while maximizing returns. Their reputation as an environmental leader has been earned over time, working with industry to support responsible development while protecting the environment. Their team of dedicated employees understands the challenges you’re up against at every stage of a project. From exploration and development, to production, and abandonment and reclamation, Tervita has the experience to meet their clients’ ever-evolving needs.

For more information, visit Tervita.com.

Elan Construction Ltd.

This month Elan Construction celebrates 25 years as a Calgary Chamber member. From Retail Districts, Business Park and Warehouse Facilities, National and big box retailers, Manufacturing Facilities and Private Schools, whatever type of business it may be, Elan Construction Limited can build it. Elan Construction may have been founded in Calgary, but their craftsmanship has put them on the map nationally and even internationally. With a forty-year history of general contracting, design build and construction management, their expertise is far reaching and all in house. Dedication to value, care for quality, and an unfailing grasp of on-budget/on-schedule completion, Elan Construction gives you a trusted strategic building partner from start to finish. After four decades of forging relationships in Calgary, you get the personal touch of a local company, powered by people who know the institutional, commercial and industrial sectors of the construction industry in Calgary and surrounding communities.

For more information visit ElanConstruction.com. BUSINESSINCALGARY.COM // BUSINESS IN CALGARY // APRIL 2017

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READY FOR FORE! // GOLF

Ready For Fore!

THE BASICS (AND PASSIONS) OF CALGARY GOLF

BY JOHN HARDY

N

ew year resolutions happened a long four months ago. Some were kept, some faded and some were (embarrassingly) scrapped. And some are about to happen. This month, when Calgary-area golf courses open for the season, it will be time to make good on the resolution that 2017 will be the year to start or maybe renew the passion that is golf.

nglewood

Golf and curling club (1980)

CALGARY’S FAVORITE PLACE FOR CURLING AND GOLF.

Calgary golfers are ready for fore! The trick is to do it right, or as right as they can. With lot of diplomacy and professional experience, most Calgary-area golf pros and experts agree – despite unlimited and gung-ho confidence and well-intentioned naive assumptions – starting with golf lessons is vital. “Your personal learning style and ability is individual,” stresses Terry Carter, director of Calgary’s National Golf Academy. “It also dictates the type of golf lessons you should take. Lessons are available for new, intermediate and advanced golfers in a variety of programs such as golf schools, clinics, group and private instruction. “But before you sign up, be honest with yourself and determine how you learn best. Do you like a group setting or prefer private instruction? Do you learn better visually, verbally or physically? These questions should help you decide how to proceed. Your local Calgary PGA professional will guide you into the best program suited to you.” Kevin Heise, general manager of Calgary’s Springbank Links Golf Club, echoes the important fact that golf, especially beginner’s golf, is entirely personal. “First, try a single lesson with a golf pro (PGA) recommended by a friend or fellow golfer. It will help you get a feel if the type of instruction works for you. “If you’re happy, sign up for a series of lessons that should come with a package price. Group lessons are beneficial for the basics: grip, stance, posture and full-swing movement. But personalized instruction is what will really help your game.”

CORPORATE PACKAGES STARTING AT $4,000 +GST Includes 40 Rounds 7 day Advance Booking Includes Power Cart and Driving Range WWW.INGLEWOODGOLFCLUB.CA 19 Gosling Way SE Calgary, Alberta T2B 3V7 | Pro Shop: 403-272-4363

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Ryan Anderson, PGA of Canada pro and head teaching professional at the Glencoe Golf & Country Club, agrees. “Lessons are a must. As a new golfer there is so much to learn to get started. Doing a series of lessons will make


Inglewood

Golf and curling club (1980)

Centrally Located in Downtown Calgary’s Backyard...

Nestled Along The Beautiful Bow River, one of Calgary’s Finest Semi-Private Golf Facilities Certificate Memberships $6,500 Includes 2017 Annual Dues, Share Certificate, Driving Range Pass Club Storage

Corporate Memberships $10,000 Includes 2017 Annual Dues, Share Certificate, Driving Range Pass Club Storage 20 guest green fee’s w/cart

18 Hole Championship Golf 31 stall driving Range Full practice facilities PGA Professional Instruction 6 Sheet Curling Rink Open to the Public

19 Gosling Way S.E. Calgary, AB. T2B 3V7 403.272.4363

403.272.9709

WWW.INGLEWOODGOLFCLUB.CA


READY FOR FORE! // GOLF

a huge difference in developing good fundamentals and speeding up the learning process of the player. Private or group lessons that focus on all aspects of the game will help get a good understanding of the different setups and swings.

New golfers and seasoned veterans wonder about equipment as a factor in the game, and the enjoyment, of golf. Most experts agree: a key aspect in terms of types of clubs is body size and height.

“Getting on the golf course with a professional is so important. They will teach you how to play the game by showing you tips, tricks and strategies. Course etiquette and speed of play are best learned by playing, and an experienced professional will help you move around the course in a comfortable, stress-free manner.”

Average-size men and women usually fit with standard-size men’s and women’s clubs, when it comes to length, lie angle and grip size. Taller or shorter golfers may need adjustments to fit individual body size.

Even though hibernating and newbie Calgary golfers are anxious to get on the course, to get the most out of golf, there’s much to learn. Common sense dictates it’s important to spend a lifetime perfecting the game. “In all areas of the game, the key is to start with solid fundamentals,” Carter cautions. “That means proper grip, stance, posture and ball position. They are all critical to build the proper golf swing and putting stroke. Once you have an understanding of the importance of these fundamentals you can move on to swing mechanics and proper short-game techniques.” “The grip and address position and taking dead aim are the first things everyone should learn,” Anderson urges. “Also the basics on full swing, pitching, chipping and putting.” Heise points out new golfers always benefit with range time before getting professional instruction to get swinging. “It’s a kind of ‘self-discovery.’ It can lead to more productive lessons, as the novice golfer can better identify their faults and strengths. Once the ball is regularly airborne, it is time to move to more control and consistency factors. “After the basic technique, all you need to master your putting is a putter, a ball and a putting green, and lots of practice. It can actually be very relaxing and all courses have a practice green.” Going with the flow, as in so many other aspects of life, is also a crucial fact of golf. “The other aspect of a smart start is learning how to play on the golf course,” Anderson suggests. “Playing quickly is a big part of the game. Being ready, being in the right spot at the right time saves a lot of time and will make a big difference in your enjoyment of the game.”

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Most manufacturers make “box sets,” complete with standard drivers, fairway woods, hybrids, irons, bags and putters. An important aspect to enjoying the game is choosing the right course. While wishful thinking inspire golfers to dream about playing with McIlroy or Mickelson at St. Andrews, Pebble Beach or Augusta, Calgary experts have valuable course details to consider. “It’s common to see green speeds very quick on many courses these days,” Carter warns. “With better technology, fertilizers and expertise, greens are now better than ever. Watching golf on TV, many courses have immaculate greens, which make for lightning-fast greens – often a big problem for the inexperienced golfer. “Especially for new golfers, start off on a shorter, less-penalizing golf course. A par-3 or executive course will have less obstacles like sand traps, long grass, trees and water hazards.” Of course, green fees and other costs are often a factor for golf course choices. “It takes time and money to play golf at any level,” Heise explains. “Start on an easier, shorter course. Especially for beginners, it will be the best value. Longer yardage, elevation changes, topography, carries and hazards such as bunkers and water hazards are golf course factors to keep in mind. Check the slope rating of the golf course via the pro shop or Google. Slope rating is a numeric measure of challenge for a course.” “Learning green speed is difficult and takes much practice, even harder due to a severe slope of the green,” Anderson notes. “Analyze the putt for uphill, sidehill, downhill, grain and green speed to hit it with the right speed. Practice moving around a putting green from hole to hole with one ball with the goal of getting it within two to three feet of the hole.”


By Rennay Craats

Alberta Golf Rolls out new Membership Program

S

ince the first Scotsman swung a club in the 1400s, golf has become a worldwide phenomenon enjoyed by millions. And for more than 100 years, Alberta Golf has helped golfers of all ages and ability levels on this side of the pond to grow the game. With a membership of 50,000, it may represent a large number of golfers but with a pool of 300,000 Alberta golfers, it’s looking at new ways to reach even more.

These golfers played or competed regularly, diligently entering their scores and keeping an active handicap. The new membership program being rolled out this spring appeals to individual golfers and provides them with great benefits while inviting them to help grow the game further. This will attract golfers without memberships along with members from the 125 golf courses not currently involved with the association.

“We’re trying to take a big step forward in Alberta this year,” says Phil Berube, Executive Director and CEO of Alberta Golf. “We’re introducing a new membership program that will appeal to all golfers.”

The new membership model still accommodates a golfer’s desire to keep score, track progress, and support the association’s mandate to be stewards of the game but it offers other tangible benefits as well. For a low annual fee, golfers receive custom labels displaying their membership number that they can stick on their clubs. Should a club get misplaced or left behind, golf courses can easily find out to whom it belongs and return it to its owner.

Alberta Golf has been best known for its handicap and rating system and membership traditionally appealed to golfers who belonged to one of the 175 courses the association supported.

Page 1 | Alberta Golf 91


Membership also includes an insurance package that covers golfers in the event of an errant tee shot that breaks a window or a wicked slice that damages someone’s property. “If a golfer hits a house, golf courses have traditionally paid the homeowners out of being a good neighbour but now they can say it’s up to the member to pay it out of their insurance,” he says. Membership also covers inadvertent damage to golf carts as well as up to $2500 in equipment coverage for lost or stolen clubs. On top of these benefits, members receive a Rules of Golf book, Golf Canada magazine delivered to the door, membership to Golf Canada and, where eligible, participation in national and provincial championships. The value is incredible, and the goal is simple: to get more people playing the game. Alberta Golf was originally established to declare a men’s and women’s amateur provincial champion each year. Now it has evolved to include around 125 programs and events, all funded by membership revenues, that help promote golf in the province.

The association helps organize 13 championship tournaments each year that attract top players in all categories—men’s, ladies’, juniors and seniors. It also helps introduce the game to Alberta youth through various junior programs. The association is even organizing a junior golf summit that gives program operators a chance to share their success stories and strategies with other course owners, operators and managers. “We want to contribute more in the future to best practice sharing,” he says. Today’s youth programs are wide reaching. Alberta Golf sets up booths at girls’ hockey and ringette tournaments in an effort to cross-promote the sports as part of the She Swings She Scores program. Future Links and Golf in School programs also help get clubs into the hands of kids who have never played before. The association supports more experienced players looking to develop their skills and earn a spot on Team Alberta or acquire scholarships as well. “Our sport pyramid extends to our high performance athletes, and we supply some of our more elite players with coaching and sport science expertise throughout the year,” Berube says.

We are your home for prairie golf! Alberta Golf… you too have game!

403-286-1456 • silverspringsgolfclub.com

Alberta Golf| Page 2

The largest deck, best chicken wings and coldest beer for miles! collicuttgolf.com | Bookings: (403) 946-2343 1025 Western Drive Box 740 Crossfield, Alberta T0M 0S0


LEFT BEHIND: HERITAGE POINTE GOLF CLUB. LEFT FRONT: THE NEW ALBERTA GOLF CUSTOM LABELS. CENTER: INGLEWOOD G&CC RIGHT: ALBERTA GOLF MEMBERS.

Alberta Golf is investing a lot of resources into developing these players as well as in encouraging the young players coming up to strive for that level of excellence. At the same time it supports weekend golfers in their efforts, whether that is improving their score in the handful of rounds they might play each year or working toward qualifying for championship play. Alberta Golf is a great resource for all golfers and the organization is involved in the majority of the sport’s events across the province.

albertagolf.org

To accomplish this, Alberta Golf relies heavily on its stable of volunteers. At any time, around 200 golf enthusiasts are on hand to fulfill a variety of functions, from manning stations at events to educating people about rules at tournaments to completing course ratings. As Alberta Golf moves forward, it is looking to be more strategic about how volunteers are utilized as a means to broaden the volunteer base and keep the programs running smoothly. Alberta Golf’s new membership program is sure to be the talk of the tee boxes this season as word spreads and more courses and players jump on board. From duffers to champions, everyone can benefit from joining Alberta Golf.

Public Golf

nglewood

Golf and curling club (1980)

CALGARY’S FAVORITE PLACE FOR CURLING AND GOLF.

27 Championship Holes Annual Corporate Opportunities Groups and Tournaments

1 Heritage Pointe Drive, Heritage Pointe, Alberta T1S 4H1 www.inglewoodgolfclub.ca 19 Gosling Way SE Calgary, Alberta T2B 3V7 | Pro Shop: 403-272-4363

403.256.9192 | www.heritagepointe.com |

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Meeting and Banquet Facilities

Page 3 |Alberta Golf


A BETTER WAY TO BUY AND SELL WITH

By Rennay Craats For many people, cycling goes beyond simply pedaling from Point A to Point B. It offers a sense of community, wellbeing, and environmental responsibility. For Chris and Laura Grant, it changed their lives. The couple met cycling to work on a January morning eleven years ago and have been together ever since.They love cycling and want to share that love with others in the community. And after a few sketchy encounters while trying to buy or sell bikes online, they sought out a better system. “We sat down at the kitchen table and thought ‘how do we make a safe venue to sell or buy a bike?’ So we started Alberta Bike Swap,” says Laura Grant, founder. Since its genesis in 2011, the couple has turned this idea into huge one-day events in five cities that offer a safer, more convenient way to get bikes into the hands of those who need and want them. The event has grown exponentially across the province, with hundreds of bikes available for purchase and dozens of volunteers to run it.The Calgary event is May 6 at City Centre Parkade, 34010 Ave SW, with events running between April 28 and May 13 in Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, Red Deer and Edmonton.

“Our events are very large and we are chronically short of bikes. We have 12 to 15 buyers per bike and thousands of buyers. It really is a seller’s market,” says Laura. Part of the event’s attraction is motivated sellers. The founders are hoping to attract more attention—and more bikes— to this year’s event. Between property management companies that have abandoned bikes locked up at their properties to families with overflowing garages, the Grants are looking forward to offering more bikes for sale and more donations.They hope to help out Albertans in these tough economic times and ease transportation challenges. It’s a great system. Buyers know that a volunteer technician has inspected each bike and the serial number has been recorded, affording them peace of mind. Police and RCMP have seized bikes from pawn shops and online sales based on the Bike Swap paperwork. Bikes that don’t make the cut go back home, or if they are donated may be relegated to an “As-Is” rack, which is great for handy cyclists looking for a fixer-upper, and that money is directly donated to a local group. And sellers know that, for a small fee, their bike will be sold hassle free. The Grants help to determine a fair price, host and do all the background work for the swaps, and send sellers a cheque when it’s over.They charge only a $15 fee to register the bike ($10 if sellers are AMA members) and

ALBERTA BIKE SWAP PROFILE


THANK YOU TO ALL THE STRATEGIC ALLIANCES OF

A L B E R TA B I K E S WA P

Top: A large crowd at the Alberta Bike Swap event. Bottom: Founders Chris and Laura Grant

withhold 13 percent of the sale price, half of which goes to funding safe cycling programs and the other half to running the event the following year. But much of the event is funded by the Grants. The Swap accepts donated bikes as well. The $2 admission to the event is allocated to a non-profit group to fix up these donated bikes and get them back into the community. “We’re known for our bike events, but what we’re about is cycling safety,” says Chris Grant. They support cycling education and safety programs and have produced 33,000 safe cycling cards. They are business card sized and display rules of the road as well as a place to record information in case of an incident. The Grants also have bike racks that events and festivals can borrow to help encourage alternative transportation, these bike racks are used nearly every weekend. From bike safety and donations to racks and a new ride, Alberta Bike Swap is keeping bikes on the road and people pedaling.

ALBERTABIKESWAP.CA |

@ALBERTABIKESWAP

P.O. Box 45015, 319 – 3630 Brentwood Rd NW, Calgary, AB T2L 1K8.

P R O U D S U P P O RTER O F A L B E R T A B I K E SW AP

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TEL: 403.453.0727 WEBSITE: WWW.DIVERSESPORTS.CA EMAIL: INFO@DIVERSESPORTS.CA 405-4600 CROWCHILD TR. NW, CALGARY, T3A 2L6 (NORTHLAND PROFESSIONAL BUILDING)

ALBERTA BIKE SWAP PROFILE


ONE-STOP SHOP FOR TENANTS by Rennay Craats In 1993, Moss Realty Inc. was the only real estate firm in the city that advocated exclusively for tenants. For 10 years, this boutique firm helped tenants navigate through the corporate real estate process before being introduced to Cresa. In 2003, with their mandates aligned, the Alberta arm of Cresa was born. “As professionals in the industry it was very apparent that tenants were not benefiting from the same level of representation enjoyed by landlords. It was this observation that drove Mark and I to start Cresa Alberta all those years ago,” says Gary Jones, founding principal of Cresa. “A firm based on integrity, respect and an unwavering dedication to our clients’ best interests. We are extremely proud of our accomplishments to date and look forward to seeing that same commitment to our founding values continue on into the future.”

Two of the founders, Mark Moss and Gary Jones, are still active in the company and set the high standards of service from the beginning. Cresa has become a one-stop shop with its fully-integrated service model. The approach Cresa takes is to understand their client’s business and help align their real estate and business plans. Cresa handles everything from strategic planning through identifying the most efficient and costeffective options to negotiating a lease to managing the design and construction of office space, followed by relocation of clients. The company continues to grow its project management division in order to fulfil the needs of clients beyond just site selection. Project managers act as an in-house extension of the transaction teams who can manage the entire process for clients. They work with designers to examine renovation options and costs, oversee

1 | CRESA ALBERTA 25TH ANNIVERSARY 97


the construction and help clients relocate to their new premises. The transition is seamless and easy, which creates loyal, longterm clients. “We have a great track record of retaining clients by virtue of giving them services outside of the traditional brokerage model, which is focused solely on transactions,” says Adam Hayes, principal and broker at Cresa. Cresa prides itself on doing what is best for clients, and that dedication is evidenced by the corporate culture of trust, respect and collaboration. Unlike many companies, Cresa has

“[CRESA IS] A FIRM BASED ON INTEGRITY, RESPECT AND AN UNWAVERING DEDICATION TO OUR CLIENTS’ BEST INTERESTS.”

Congratulations Cresa Alberta Celebrating 25 years of being a part of the entrepreneurial energy of our city.

- GARY JONES, PRINCIPAL/FOUNDER

a company-wide shared database from which employees can draw market information and they all work together to find the best solutions for clients. “Over the past 25 years the company has grown more than fourfold, but the fundamentals that led to our early success remain unchanged,” says Hayes. PORTRAITS: MARK MOSS AND GARY JONES, FOUNDING PRINCIPLES OF CRESA ALBERTA.

ELEMENT Integrated Workplace Solutions Ltd. would like to congratulate Cresa Alberta on your 25th Anniversary!

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2 | CRESA ALBERTA 25TH ANNIVERSARY


The company’s growth has been largely organic and principals are selective about whom to bring on. They seek out the best and the brightest to invite into the fold, and the senior members of the firm mentor these new hires to ensure they get the right training and tools to excel in the industry. Because the Calgary office is locally owned, it has autonomy and freedom to make decisions about staff and policy. The company is built on an equity model that allows Cresa to offer up-and-coming leaders equity in order to ensure the legacy plan is set by the founders continues to secure the future of the company. That future entails carrying on with the winning formula – hiring incredible staff, serving clients ranging from the largest energy companies to small boutique law and investment firms, and growing the suburban and industrial markets while further developing their integrated services platform. The Calgary office has grown to 25 people, of which 14 are actively servicing the downtown market and five are servicing the industrial and suburban markets. Because they exclusively represent tenants, Cresa does not have signage on buildings representing landlords or developers. Instead, Cresa flies under the radar and relies on its superior service, word of mouth, referrals and best-in-class market knowledge to attract and retain clients. In addition, Cresa delivers results that are consistently better than transactions completed by competitors because they don’t have a conflict of interest with landlords. Many other firms represent landlords as well as tenants, which can muddy the waters. It would be like hiring a lawyer who is also representing the other side in a court case.

By exclusively representing tenants, Cresa levels the playing field in landlord-tenant relations in order to get the best possible transactions for their clients. Negotiating a tenant-friendly lease can include anything from lower rent and increased incentives, to more flexible terms for such things as lease terminations, expansion and contraction rights, flexible subletting provisions, and additional allowances for tenant improvements. “We help to evaluate all aspects of the real estate transaction that might affect the company’s top line and bottom line,” says Kendra Pinder, principal. Cresa achieves superior real estate transactions for clients by doing things differently. It prides itself on being the exception in the industry, both in its tenant-focus and its philosophy of being service-oriented rather than transaction-oriented with advisers who are client-focused not deal-focused. Cresa’s promise to clients is to do the right thing, listen, be entrepreneurial, think creatively and provide the highest level of service. Cresa is, in every way, the tenant’s advantage.

The only consideration of Cresa brokers is to get the right deal on the right space to ensure the best, long-term fit for a tenant. TOP PHOTOS: CRESA CLIENTS’ PREMISES PHOTO SOURCE: JUSTIN FARROW, CRESA ALBERTA

GROUP PHOTO: THE TEAM OF PRINCIPALS AT CRESA ALBERTA PHOTO SOURCE: MICHAEL CUDJOE PHOTOGRAPHY

PORTRAITS: DAMON HARMON (MANAGING PRINCIPAL), JOHN ENGBLOOM (PRINCIPAL)

CRESA ALBERTA | 1400, 606 4 ST SW, CALGARY, AB T2P 1T1 | (403) 571-8080 WWW.CRESA.COM/ALBERTA

3 | CRESA ALBERTA 25TH ANNIVERSARY


Fresh Work, Experienced Firm

Mode Licensed Interior Design Studio is proud to congratulate Cresa Alberta for 25 years of excellence.

C o m i ng t o ge t he r i s a b eg inning , keep ing tog et her i s p ro gre s s , a nd wor king tog et her is suc c ess.

Co ngra tula tio n s to Cr e sa A l b e r ta o n 25 year s o f suc c e ss!

labbeleech.com 4 | CRESA ALBERTA 25TH ANNIVERSARY


CALGARY RAISES THE BAR ELITE ROOFING By Rennay Craats Calgary Elite Roofing is a perfect example of the Canadian dream: Greg Garcia moved from France with $300 in his pocket and over the past 10 years has built a successful roofing and exteriors company. Along the way he partnered with Robert LaPierre, a lifetime Calgarian, and together they have set out to create a different kind of company. “It’s like the integration of the new communities that are coming in and the roots of the born-and-raised Calgarian, and we’ve made a successful company with great ethics and values,” says Greg Garcia, president of Calgary Elite Roofing. The ethics and values are what set this company apart from the competition. Calgary Elite Roofing prides itself on taking the time to get to know customers and walking them through the process to ensure they are making the best decision for their situation. Whether providing a product promising a lifetime roof or the best investment for a renovation for sale, Calgary Elite only uses the best products manufactured by companies that share its philosophy of accountability and customer service. The company also only deals with other companies and subcontractors who are willing to go above and beyond for every client.

“At the end of the day it’s not about who’s giving the cheapest price. You have to stand behind your product,” says Robert LaPierre, vice president of Calgary Elite Roofing. “Our suppliers have to understand the one value we have, which is the customer’s needs must be met.” They also keep customers in the loop by taking photos before, during and after the work is complete to ensure customers are fully informed about what has been done and why. In an industry that has had to battle against stereotypes introduced by irresponsible fly-by-night crews, this exteriors company is changing the way people see their industry. And its recent expansion into Lethbridge means more of Alberta will see first hand the quality product and customerfirst attitude of Elite Roofing. Lethbridge Elite Roofing was established in the new year and welcomes another partner, Ruben Guimond, into the family. “I look forward to being able to continue to bring that smallcity, neighbourly mentality and culture from our company to another area in our province,” says LaPierre.

CALGARY ELITE ROOFING || 10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY 101


TOP CONTRACTOR OF THE YEAR

2016

Guimond has hit the ground running, applying Calgary Elite’s philosophy and culture to one of Canada’s windiest cities. The Lethbridge crews are up to the challenge, bringing the unique way of doing business down south. “Every roof we install is done with the highest-quality materials and craftsmanship to ensure we see repeat business in the future, which is a different mentality than a lot of competitors” says Guimond, CEO of Lethbridge Elite Roofing. “You treat everyone differently if you expect to see that person in 25 years. We need to believe in our product, and everything in the entire process reflects that belief.” This dedication to client satisfaction, professional excellence and the focus on providing top-notch service hasn’t gone unnoticed. Last year Calgary Elite Roofing was given the Customer Service Excellence Award and was the first roofing company to ever win the Small Business of the Year Award from the Calgary Chamber. In recognition of its efforts in recycling and becoming a carbon neutral company, Calgary Elite was also a finalist for the Chamber’s Environmental Stewardship Award. Sorting and separating roofing materials for recycling takes time, effort and money so many companies don’t do it. Environmental responsibility is one of Elite Roofing’s core values and Previous Page: Calgary Elite Roofing Truck Fleet Above: Left to right: Robert LaPierre, Vice President; Ruben Guimond, CEO - Lethbridge; Greg Garcia, CEO Photo credit to PhotoArt4U - Zev Vitaly Abosh CALGARY ELITE ROOFING || 10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY

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the company is proud to be an environmental leader in the construction industry. “Sure, it affects the bottom line but what’s the cost if we don’t? We recycle around 400 tonnes of asphalt per year,” Garcia says. The company is looking at various green initiatives like wind and solar power to continue to lessen its footprint and to take care of the planet for the next generation.

After all, the company values people over profit. The partners are invested in their employees, both on and off the job. They encourage employees to take care of themselves and their families, whether that entails time off after a loss or a shortened workday to take in a child’s playoff game. The partners also are interested in helping their employees realize their own ambitions, even if that takes them outside of the company.

‘‘WE RECYCLE AROUND 400

TONNES OF ASPHALT PER YEAR.”

“So many companies want to hang on to staff as long as they can but we prefer to help other people build their dreams,” says LaPierre.

-Greg Garcia, president of Calgary Elite Roofing. Elite Roofing takes just as good care of its employees as it does its customers and the environment. The partners These ideals filter into the value their staff and are community as well. The dedicated to keeping them safe. They’ve implemented a strong partners quietly support need where they see it, from replacing safety program led by a full-time safety officer that exceeds the roof for a person undergoing cancer treatments to redoing the province’s legislative standard. Employees also undergo the roof on the equipment shed and clubhouse for a Little extensive training and education to ensure they know the safety League organization for cost. It’s important for them to give protocols and follow them. back to a community that has given them so much. “We want to make sure everyone is going home in the same condition they showed up in,” says LaPierre.

Calgary Elite Roofing and Lethbridge Elite Roofing are certainly not typical construction companies, and as Alberta’s one-stop

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shop for home exteriors, they are raising the bar. Between its environmental initiatives, quality product and people-first mentality, Elite Roofing will continue to grow and be a leading force in the industry.

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MEETINGS HAVE REAL IMPACT. That impact often goes unheralded, but on April 6, this message will be widely touted at Meeting Professional International’s (MPI) second annual Global Meetings Industry Day (GMID). This is an expansion of National Meetings Industry day that originated in Canada 20 years ago. Some 100 GMID events are held in cities across Canada and around the world. In Calgary, your Calgary TELUS Convention Centre (CTCC) will participate and support the gathering of local industry experts. “Meetings are powerful economic drivers,” says Clark Grue, CTCC’s President & CEO. “An Oxford Economic report found that every dollar invested in business travel generates $9.50 in new revenue and $2.90 in profits. In-person meetings also nearly double the opportunity to convert prospects into customers.” Grue says the Calgary’s GMID will look at how businesses can capture the value and benefits our industry provides. This year’s theme is Inspire and the event will introduce attendees to a panel of the city’s rising entrepreneurs in meetings, conferences, conventions and incentive travel sectors. Among them will be three of Avenue Magazine’s Top 40 Under 40 winners: Breanne Sich and the sister/brother team Erynn Lyster and Zach Lyster. Sich is the marketing coordinator of the Teatro Group (Teatro Ristorante, Cucina, Vendome Cafe and others) as well as the community leader of MealShare, a local charity that helps feed youth. Mealshare’s buy one, give one approach has been adopted by 60 Calgary restaurants and has seen more than 250,000 meals donated. The Lysters run The Commons Calgary, a hip shared workplace that is a community and professional hub for contemporary entrepreneurs, small business owners and local innovators. Grue, also a Top 40 Under 40 alumnus, says GMID and its panel presenters will expand the horizons of meetings in

Calgary and propel the local event industry to generate more benefits for Calgarians. “Our spaces are places where big ideas and innovation come together,” he says. “The exchange is the most important part of what we offer people. We want to show them how it can be more meaningful and memorable.” GMID will also feature the Influence Award. The award recognizes the leadership a Calgarian has demonstrated in attracting business to Calgary’s meeting and convention industry. Past winners include Juno Host Committee and Mayor Naheed Nenshi.

calgary-convention.com BUSINESSINCALGARY.COM // BUSINESS IN CALGARY // APRIL 2017

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Community Leaders Brainstorm Ideas at Downtown Summit BY STEPHEN EWART

T

om Murphy has seen this scenario before and the former mayor of America’s Steel City has some advice for Calgary.

Murphy, who served as mayor of Pittsburgh from 1994 to 2006, oversaw the remarkable revitalization and redevelopment of the Pennsylvania city after the steel industry went through a painful downsizing and restructuring over a decade earlier. He encourages Calgarians concerned about their city’s future following a structural change in the oil and gas industry to roll up their sleeves, get down to work and be prepared for a decades-long commitment to drive an enduring economic transformation. “Change is hard … changing a city is hard work,” Murphy said. Murphy offered the advice at the Downtown Economic Summit in March that brought together more than 160 leaders from Calgary businesses, governments, education, and arts and culture organizations to address the historic downtown office vacancy rates. With almost 30 per cent of offices downtown empty, the summit was organized by Calgary Economic Development, the City of Calgary and Calgary Municipal Land Corp. to support a motion from city council titled Downtown Calgary and Economic Uncertainty: A Coordinated Response. Calgary’s city centre drives about 25 per cent of employment citywide and generates up to 40 per cent of non-residential tax revenues but those revenues have been under pressure since the recession that’s forecast to end after two years with a return to growth in 2017. The summit attendees were told ensuring the downtown core remains an economic engine for the entire city will take time, money, bold new ideas, a lot of hard work, and, above

all, collaboration. That necessary sense of cooperation was evident during the brainstorming sessions. “Tremendous creative energy and ideas,” Councillor Druh Farrell tweeted at one point during the sessions. Most of the themes that emerged aligned with Building on our Energy, the 10-year economic strategy for Calgary that was created through widespread community input and is stewarded by Calgary Economic Development. The participants listed the strengths that drive the resiliency of the downtown as: easy access to capital, talented workforce, and affordable and available real estate. The ideas will be incorporated in an action plan as part of a report to city council before summer. The ideas put forward support the growth and diversification of the economy and ranged from greater residential densification and more innovation hubs to attracting postsecondary institutions, improving walkability and cycling infrastructure, and a new arena. Overall, the participants settled on the need for greater focus by all stakeholders on public and private partnerships, infrastructure investment, leveraging city real estate assets and recognizing all economic growth going forward will be driven by ideas and innovation. The attendees were told how Pittsburgh reinvented itself following a painful restructuring of its largest industry in the 1970s and ’80s through thoughtful infrastructure spending and links to local universities to revitalize the economy. However, the incredible value of Calgary’s young population, well-educated workforce, community spirit and entrepreneurial spirit can’t be understated. As Murphy said: “There’s lessons to be learned from us but you’re starting from a much better place than we were.”

Stephen Ewart is communications manager at Calgary Economic Development.

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Calgary Preparing to Host the World with Rendez-Vous Canada CANADA’S PREMIER INTERNATIONAL TOURISM MARKETPLACE WILL BE HOSTED IN CALGARY MAY 9 -12, 2017

BY CASSANDRA MCAULEY

C

algary will soon be extending its famous western hospitality to delegates of Canada’s premier international tourism marketplace, Rendez-Vous Canada. This annual event connects international buyers with Canadian sellers of tourism products. Led by Destination Canada, Rendez-Vous Canada is hosted in a different Canadian city each year. It reunites some 2,000 international tourism industry leaders gathered for a series of speed-dating-style appointments, where international buyers seek the best-matched Canadian tourism sellers. The end result is travellers get to choose from the best selection of Canadian experiences. Calgary will be hosting Rendez-Vous Canada from May 9-12, 2017 thanks to a partnership between Tourism Calgary and Travel Alberta. Calgary last hosted this event in 2009. “Hosting the largest contingent of international travel buyers here in Calgary gives us an unparalleled opportunity to showcase all that our city has to offer,” says Cindy Ady, CEO Tourism Calgary. “Calgary has seen significant changes since 2009, particularly when it comes to offerings for visitors. We will use this showcase to continue to position Calgary, and Alberta, as premier tourism destinations to the international market.” Tourism contributes $2.9 billion in GDP to Alberta, with $1.7 billion of that in Calgary. In fact, total direct, indirect and induced economic impact of visitor spending in Alberta was $9.2 billion in 2013, making tourism an important industry and part of a diversified economy. Nationally, tourism is a $90-billion-dollar sector, supporting 1.6 million Canadian jobs.

WHILE DELEGATES ARE IN CALGARY, THEY WILL BE TREATED TO EVENTS FEATURING MANY TOURISM CALGARY AND TRAVEL ALBERTA PARTNERS, INCLUDING THE CALGARY STAMPEDE AND STUDIO BELL, HOME OF THE NATIONAL MUSIC CENTRE. While delegates are in Calgary, they will be treated to events featuring many Tourism Calgary and Travel Alberta partners, including the Calgary Stampede and Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre. They will also be invited to participate in many tours, highlighting the diversity of experiences awaiting visitors in our city and region. These excursion options include: Calgary Brewery Tours, Calgary walking food tours, shopping tours, a Rockies Heli Canada tour, a downtown Calgary adventure tour, and a tour of Calgary attractions. Hosting Rendez-Vous Canada during Canada’s sesquicentennial is an additional boon for Calgary. Travel to Canada was at a 14-year high in 2016 with over 20 million inbound visitors and with additional marketing promoting the country’s 150th and our favourable dollar, Canada will be in the spotlight as a key travel destination around the world. To learn more about Rendez-Vous Canada, please see rendezvouscanada.travel/welcome. To learn more about Tourism Calgary, see visitcalgary.com.

BUSINESSINCALGARY.COM // BUSINESS IN CALGARY // APRIL 2017

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Guiding Prototype Development for Clean Energy Tech BY ANDREA MENDIZABAL

S

outhern Alberta innovators are taking the next step in their entrepreneurial journey with the help of a prototype facility and program that supports clean energy technologies. The Kinetica Innovation Centre at SAIT (KICS) is helping innovators move their ideas from testing and experimentation to prototype development. Ben Reed is principal hardware hacker at Veerum Inc., an Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) startup focused on removing rework from the world’s largest, capital-intensive remote projects. “Capital projects have many moving parts involved in the planning, designing, manufacturing, shipping, testing and commissioning of sub-components of remote construction sites,” says Reed. “Rework is a persistent problem in capital projects affecting productivity, cost and schedule. It is caused by mismatches between the physical site and manufactured components, missing tools and misplaced assets. This can lead to a 10 to 30 per cent overall increase in project cost and schedule growth.” Veerum is in the process of developing their first version of a comprehensive product that will help remove waste and track assets from the most complex construction sites and manufacturing facilities by creating a digital twin of reality and matching it to the project plan. The technology has the potential to eliminate cost and schedule overruns, improving efficiencies in the global energy industry. Innovations that address the energy sector’s needs are

increasingly attractive as industry looks to improve efficiencies and minimize environmental impact. Karen Canon-Rubio, research assistant with the University of Calgary’s Solar Biocells project, is also working out of the KICS facility. The team, comprised of graduate students and researchers, is collaborating to commercialize a patentpending technology that produces a sustainable biofuel and captures carbon dioxide in the process. “Looking at existing research on biofuels, there were challenges that still needed to be conquered,” says Canon-Rubio. “The challenge is to produce a biofuel at an affordable price with commercial potential that can be scaled up and implemented.” Current biomass production systems have high operational costs associated with C02 supply and high capital costs associated with the growth of algae as dilute suspension. Solar Biocells uses naturally occurring phototrophic microorganisms and sunlight as an alternative for converting solar energy into a fuel which can then be converted into either methane, a liquid fuel or biomass pellets. This has resulted in very high, sustainable and scalable productivity at an extremely low cost. The 2,200-square-foot KICS facility allows innovators to take the next step by providing economical bench space, a project planning framework, access to SAIT’s facilities and talent, and the support needed to move their technology forward. Visit innovatecalgary.com/kics to learn how to apply for the KICS program.

ABOVE: THE KINETICA INNOVATION CENTRE AT SAIT (KICS). PHOTO SOURCE: INNOVATE CALGARY

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Make powerful connections at your Calgary TELUS Convention Centre.

FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT:

calgary-convention.com


MARKETING MATTERS // DAVID PARKER

Marketing Matters BY DAVID PARKER

S

hannon Buhler has been appointed to the position of media director for the Calgary office of DSA Media, a company based in Langley, B.C. that she joined last year.

Buhler is an honours grad of the marketing communications program at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) and has had 12 years of experience in media and marketing. She has worked in both Vancouver and Calgary with media planning and buying companies, and in addition to her agency experience has held a number of different strategic marketing and communications-related positions with Nintendo, Shaw and the City of Calgary. Buhler leads the Calgary DSA team responsible for leadership, management and future growth. DSA is celebrating its 20th anniversary at its four offices across Western Canada and currently works with more than 100 advertisers.

Metrographics is part of a team working on a ‘climbable interactive mural’ for Parks Canada to be installed at Science World Vancouver, and for that Driediger has spent two weeks painting on Salt Spring Island. As for other big news, he has moved out of Currie Barracks and taken space for Metrographics in cSPACE creative hub.

No question Ryan Townend believes in the power of print magazines – he publishes one for his own William Joseph Communications. The second issue of WJ Magazine considers the concept of authenticity as it relates to effective brand building and its power to inform identity, as well as highlights some of the recent projects that pay homage to the unique client relationships that define the work it does. They include Genesis Aviation, PBA Land and Development, Global Troxler and Fabricland.

Metrographics owner/creative director Doug Driediger was the man commissioned to paint 11 sites in northeast Calgary’s Crossroads area – Vista Heights and Mayland Heights – for the ‘Painted City’ initiative. Bad weather delayed the completion at the end of last year but he will be back shortly, creating a walking gallery of local species of birds. Driediger also did the huge hand and dove mural on the side of CUPS and a landscape image on the back of the Calgary Petroleum Club building.

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Parker’s Pick Kudos to Sam Corea who understands the need to ramp up advertising during an economic downturn.


Each of Alberta’s over 440,000 entrepreneurs has a story.

Watch one of them at atb.com/amplifybusiness

YFILPMA

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noitca ruoy no ylelos desab si elohw eht tub noitcarf eht ylno er'uoy taht kniht yam uoY ti ta tseb eht eb od uoy tahw rettam oN

?htiaf fo pael a ekat ot tiaw yhW ?taerg leef uoy sekam taht wonk uoy nwod peed taht gniht eht otni pat ot tiaw yhW .niatpac eht er'uoy ,yllaer nehw noisiced ruoy sseug dnoces yhW

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Nothing is promised, Heaven forbid you may not live to see 60 so why wait?

AMPLIFY I mean how much time do you have anyway?

YFILPMA ?yawyna evah uoy od emit hcum woh naem I ,desimorp si gnihtoN ?tiaw yhw os 06 ees ot evil ton yam uoy dibrof nevaeH

in fact its almost part of the method/ battle tested, scarred yet hardly rested/ Its one goal, after the other stay invested (x2)

so every time that I struggle / I find comfort in understanding that theres light at the end of the tunnel/ you know doubt is expected/

the dream doesn't happen over night/ resistance is necessary to flight/

tax filing, every year I'm reminded/ Im on the front line so sacrifice is required/

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AMPLIFY

/dohtem eht fo trap tsomla sti tcaf ni /detser yldrah tey derracs ,detset elttab )2x( detsevni yats rehto eht retfa ,laog eno stI

/ elggurts I taht emit yreve os /lennut eht fo dne eht ta thgil sereht taht gnidnatsrednu ni trofmoc dnfi I /detcepxe si tbuod wonk uoy

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...gnileef siht dah syawla ev'I / htworg ym ot laitnesse lla saw ti llams oot saw ksat oN /ecafrus eht gnihctarcs tsuj s'tahT tuB /suovren morf raf em sekam elytsefil siht woh fo noitnetni ym gnitareti yleraB / tnematset a ekil tsuj snoitcurtsni cisab tuo dial AND yM /ecnellecxe ylrae ot largetni sseccus rof em gniriw-draH /noitibma dna slairt morf depoleved sllikS yM /noitiutni dna lliw elbappotsnu ,krow draH / nizeehw tsomla em tog stI nam ,tcnitsni tug /snosaes ynam sah sseccus rof tsacerof ehT esuaceb /wofl hsac yrd ot edit hgih ,dloc ot toh morf )2x( enim sti tub ,ylenol eb nac daor eht wonk I YFILPMA ,sti ees uoy /sgninrom ylrae yb dewollof sthgin etaL /gnirons trats ot hcum oot yaw smaerd esahc I /me ezigetarts I os ,senildaed ,eseht taeb attog /me ezilanfi dna kcehc ytilauq ,esiver /tneilc ym morf ssenippah ,noitcafsitas /hpmuirt I taht tcejorp yreve morf sworg ecnedfinoc ym


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