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Champions Calgary Leah Lawrence, incoming chair of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce


Private Schools Feature r

Triple Whammy

Exempt Markets


The Oil and Gas Industry Has a


Se ry C pa ct ha ge io m 93 n be

The Healthy Facts of Contemporary Worklife

Ca lg

JANUARY 2014 $3.50

The New Chamber Chair



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Volume 24 • Number 1


Pat Ottmann & Tim Ottmann


John Hardy

On our cover…


Lisa Johnston & Nikki Mullett


Cher Compton

Leah Lawrence, incoming chair of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce



JANUARY 2014 $3.50


Nancy Bielecki Kim Hogan

Jessi Evetts

Richard Bronstein Frank Atkins David Parker Lonnie Tate Mary Savage

THIS ISSUE’S CONTRIBUTORS Heather Ramsay Stewart McDonough Luke Azevedo Andrea Mendizabal Parker Grant

The New Chamber Chair

Champions Calgary


Cover photo courtesy of Bookstrucker Photography


Leah Lawrence, incoming chair of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce

Renee Neil Bobbi Joan O’Neil Brent Trimming Evelyn Dehner Kerri McMahon


The Healthy Facts of Contemporary Worklife The Oil and Gas Industry Has a

Triple Whammy




Exempt Markets

Private Schools Feature



1025, 101 6th Ave. SW Calgary, AB T2P 3P4 Tel: (403) 264-3270/Fax: (403) 264-3276 Email:

















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COVER 37 • From The New Chamber Chair Champions Calgary camels in Qatar to global expertise about LNG markets, Leah Lawrence gets around. By John Hardy

The publisher does not assume any responsibility for the contents of any advertisement, and all representations of warranties made in such advertising are those of the advertiser and not of the publisher. No portion of this publication may be reproduced, in all or in part, without the written permission of the publisher. Canadian publications mail sales product agreement No. 41126516

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volume 24 • Number 1

THIS MONTH’S FEATURES 22 • Moodys Gartner Tax Law Isn’t Afraid of Taxing Problems

By Nerissa McNaughton



• The Oil and Gas Industry Has a Triple Whammy

Last year was the first time in North America that more wells were horizontal than vertical. By Colleen Wallace


• Exempt Markets: Rebuilding Credibility and Perception “It’s a fallacy that people who have great wealth are sophisticated investors.” By Parker Grant

30 COMPANY PROFILES 81 • Spacemakers Construction Services Inc.

Continues Innovative Legacy by Celebrating 30th Anniversary

42 • Real Estate Forecast It’s official – 2013 was quite a year and indications are that the real estate markets in our city are only going to continue to gain momentum By Heather Ramsay

45 • Private Schools Feature 69 • Meetings, Resorts, and Retreats 74 • The Healthy Facts of Contemporary Worklife

Healthy and happy employees impact workplace atmosphere and morale By John Hardy


My CBC – with Attitude


Two Reasons Why Interest Rates May not increase in 2014

By Richard Bronstein


By Frank Atkins


Comparing Calgary and Palm Springs and Ford By Lonnie Tate

93 97

Leading Business

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102 • Marketing Matters By David Parker


8 • January 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |


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My cbc – with attitude • Richard Bronstein

By riCHarD BrOnstEin

My CBC – with attitude


n the coming months, Canadians will be asked what they think of the CBC’s role in our society. The reason for having this national conversation is because of the thunderous deal recently announced in which Rogers Communications paid over $5 billion for long-term rights to broadcast the National Hockey League. This new arrangement takes away one of the important audience pillars from the CBC and leaves our public broadcaster searching for a new mandate. The study into the CBC is being conducted by a committee of the Canadian Senate headed by Liberal Senator Dennis Dawson. There will be public hearings. So here is my brief: (Reader alert – I have not falsely claimed any expenses in preparing my comments for the Senate. I have not smoked crack cocaine – either drunk or sober. I have never ordered a $16 glass of orange juice.) I’m just a happy, hard-working, middle class Canadian who believes very strongly that public broadcasting has a valuable role to play in society and that it remains a viable business in the future even as the total broadcast environment evolves in ways we cannot even predict today. There is a hard-core minority of perennial CBC haters who loudly argue that the CBC is a complete waste of $1 billion in taxpayer dollars every year so now is a good opportunity to ditch all public broadcasting in this country. If we saved this $1 billion, it might give each taxpayer one night out in a bar. Are our collective imaginations so bare that we would choose to kill all public broadcasting for one night on the town? Don’t listen to these book burners. The next issue is to differentiate between English and French, and radio and television. CBC Radio is healthy, creative and thriving and must be protected, especially from creeping commercialism. French CBC radio and television are immensely popular and influential. Those two services have to be protected. CBC English television is the sick puppy in the family and it didn’t just start with the Rogers deal. In a perverse way, the people who most love CBC television have been its greatest impediments. The turning point came during the 1980s (I was a CBC-TV producer then) when the CBC was involved in another existential debate. 10 • January 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |

The winning side of that debate articulated the view that CBC’s main role was to “tell Canadian stories to Canadians.” I disagreed then and I disagree now. That philosophy made CBC television small and imitative. It shrank our national culture. It proved we could produce junk television that could compete with all the other junk television in the universe. What we should have been doing instead, some of us argued back then, is what we should be doing today now that we are in another CBC crisis – and that is to produce and market a spectrum of high-quality programming to the entire world. It will take time to develop this vision and many failures along the way. But we do have the key resources – talent, which is way more important than money. BBC producers and PBS producers are no better than CBC producers. Canadians play a huge creative role in Hollywood. And in London. Obviously we have the ability to be among the best in the world in media content. We can do serious, we can do populist, we can do variety, we can do talk, we can do drama, we can do everything. But we have to figure out that our market is the entire English language. Gordon Lightfoot and Arcade Fire do not limit their record sales only to Canada. What foolishness allows us to think that we can make a living producing television only for Canadian eyeballs? There is no question that the future loss of Hockey Night in Canada is a serious challenge for CBC television. But it doesn’t have to be fatal – that will only happen if CBC leadership lacks faith in pursuing a bold new vision. Too many leaders in recent CBC history have been dull corporate managers. And they have created layers of bureaucracy to buffer them from the challenges of actual programming for which they have no aptitude. A well-paid accountant could run the CBC just fine. What Mother Corp really needs now is a programming head who plays guitar in his/her basement, who likes hanging out in edit suites at midnight eating cold pizza, and who will passionately advocate for innovation and experimentation for a whole new wave of public broadcasting. BiC




Wood Automotive Group:

30 years of success


Woodridge Ford-Lincoln a one-stop shop for style, selection and service


enry Ford said, “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” By Ford’s definition and others, Woodridge Ford-Lincoln is certainly successful. Many of the dealership’s management, sales and service staff members have been there for two or three decades, and it’s evident they work very well together. This collaboration lends itself to the onestop shop format of the dealership. Clients can ogle sleek, shiny Lincolns, browse a vast selection of new and pre-owned automobiles, or sip a coffee while their vehicle Rory Wood, Sales Manager; Travis Eade, General Manager; and Gerry Wood, President of Wood Automotive Group. is serviced in the 30-bay garage – all in one place. here.” The dealership also allows clients to lease used vehiWoodridge Ford-Lincoln is part of Wood Automotive cles, a unique offering. Group, an iconic collection of five dealerships and a colliAnother distinctive feature at Woodridge Ford-Lincoln is sion centre located throughout the Calgary area. Gerry Wood, its extensive service facility and convenient hours. “We’re President of Wood Automotive Group, founded the company open until 9:00 pm during the week and all day on Saturdays,” 30 years ago, which has since been recognized as one of says Rory Wood. “We were one of the first dealerships to Canada’s Best Managed Companies. “It all began with this pioneer Saturday service, to be available when our customdealership,” says Gerry Wood. “I took over Woodridge in ers are.” Cailean Wood, Gerry’s other son, manages the All 1983, and it just grew from there.” Today, Wood Automotive Makes Collision Centre for the Wood Automotive Group, addGroup’s operations are based at the Woodridge Ford-Lincoln ing another level of specialized service. dealership. The longevity of the dealership’s staff on the both the sales Five years ago, Woodridge Ford-Lincoln moved from its and service sides is a huge appeal to clients. “We do our location on Macleod Trail to a $25 million, state-of-the-art business by repeats and referrals,” says Travis Eade, General facility on 24 St. S.E., just off Deerfoot Trail, near DougManager at Woodridge Ford-Lincoln, who has been with the lasdale. The dealership, now the leading Lincoln dealer and company himself for nearly 20 years. “We’ve been around a one of the top five Ford dealers in Canada, has won sevlong time, and we pride ourselves on taking care of people.” eral awards for sales, customer satisfaction and community That level of care applies to clients and to the greater cominvolvement, including the Ford President’s Award and Ford munity. “To do more for the world than the world does for Salute to Dealers. you – that is success” is another Henry Ford philosophy that Ford automobiles run in the family for Gerry Wood, a 2012 rings true at Wood Automotive Group. Business in Calgary Leader of Tomorrow. His father owned For nearly 30 years, the company has held an annual golf a Ford dealership in Scotland, and Gerry Wood sold Fords tournament that’s raised more than $4 million in support of when he first moved to Calgary in the 1970s. Gerry Wood’s initiatives such as the Woodridge PREP Centre, a resource son, Rory Wood, is preowned Sales Manager at Woodridge for individuals with Down syndrome. Wood Automotive Ford-Lincoln and has been with Wood Automotive Group for Group also supports many other organizations, including six years. food banks, the Alberta Association for Community Living Gerry Wood credits his son with boosting the volume and (AACL), Mount Royal Transitional Vocational Program, Salselection of pre-owned vehicles at Woodridge Ford-Lincoln. vation Army and HandiBus. “If we have a client looking for a particular make and model, “You have to give to get,” says Gerry Wood. “That’s what odds are we have it,” says Gerry Wood. “We have $6 or $7 my father taught me.” million worth of high-quality trade-in vehicles available

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Two Reasons Why Interest Rates May Not Increase in 2014 • Frank Atkins

By Frank atkins


n my younger years, after finishing a master’s degree, I took a job as an economist with the Bank of Canada. I worked in the monetary and financial analysis division, the area that was responsible for policy concerning interest rates. For those of you who are as old as I am, you will remember that between 1979 and 1981 interest rates soared to nearly 20 per cent in Canada. One of my colleagues at the Bank of Canada, who shall forever remain nameless, was in the process of purchasing a new automobile, which he needed to finance. This individual came back to work after visiting a car dealership and said to me, “Since when have interest rates been 20 per cent?” Now, this individual was in possession of a PhD in economics from a reputable university, and was widely considered to be very intelligent. I relate this story to make a simple but sometimes overlooked point: educated and respected people can sometimes blind themselves to realworld events. There are (at least) two recent examples of this, and both of them may have some effect on monetary policy in 2014. First, consider the economy of Ontario which is basically a basket case with large government debt and deficits and high unemployment. A great deal of this economic malaise can be attributed to the attitude of the Liberal government of Kathleen Wynne and her predecessor

two reasons Why interest rates May not increase in 2014 Dalton McGuinty. These individuals have a slavish naive adherence to what they think of as a “green economy.” Consider the massive, ore-rich area in a remote part of northwestern Ontario that is commonly referred to as the Ring of Fire. Development of the Ring of Fire is estimated to be worth $60 billion in economic development, and the government is dragging its feet on development. At some point when he was premier, Mr. McGuinty said, “We cannot continue to make a living by pulling stuff out of the ground.” If Mr. McGuinty thought about his own statement, he would realize that is basically what the Ontario manufacturing sector does. He did not mind defending the manufacturing sector when he believed that Alberta’s oil sector, which pulls things out of the ground, was causing Dutch disease. What this policy is doing is keeping the unemployment rate in Ontario high. This is contributing to the high level of unemployment in Canada, which is preventing interest rates from increasing. The second example involves monetary policy in both Canada and the United States. One of the reasons that interest rates have not risen recently is that the unemployment rate in Canada, and especially in the United States, has been agonizingly slow to come down during the recovery. One of the reasons for this is that the econ-

12 • January 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |

omy is changing and the skill sets of workers are not changing fast enough to keep up with the changing demand. Workers who get laid off in a downturn are finding it difficult to find jobs because they have the wrong skills. This keeps the unemployment rate high, even though some areas have labour shortages. Notice that loose monetary policy (low interest rates) is not going to correct this problem. This problem requires a concerted effort to train workers with the proper skills for today’s job market. In Alberta we are exacerbating the problem by turning community colleges into universities. We do not need more universities; we need more institutions that teach hands-on skills. Given that Canada’s largest province will likely continue to pursue job-killing green policies and given that the federal and provincial governments will likely continue to argue about jurisdiction over labour market skills training, the unemployment rate will likely continue to remain high. This means that interest rates will likely not increase in 2014. BiC

FRaNk aTkINs Is aN assocIaTe pRoFessoR oF ecoNoMIcs aT The UNIveRsITy oF calgaRy, a seNIoR FelloW aT The FRoNTIeR ceNTRe FoR pUblIc polIcy aNd a MeMbeR oF The advIsoRy boaRd oF The INsTITUTe FoR pUblIc secToR accoUNTabIlITy.

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comparing calgary and palm springs and Ford • Lonnie Tate

By LOnniE tatE

Comparing Calgary and Palm Springs and Ford


y wife and I returned to our condominium in the California desert on November 1. It is a nice place in a middle class development … more of a cottage than the stereotypical California condominium. It is warm outside and America’s service economy is very welcome after living in poor-service Calgary. We are very fortunate. The change in economic environment is stunning. In Calgary, you cannot move without being aware of the booming economy. Construction everywhere; people walking the streets are hurrying to something; there is a pace to life that is just plain invigorating. Switch to Palm Springs and the place is relatively dead. The buildings are the same but even more in need of some TLC; there are more vacancies in retail malls; there are lots of stalled construction projects. A year ago, in my 1,000unit condo community, a developer announced (with great fanfare) a 120-unit final phase. Units would be selling and occupied by March of 2014. They haven’t yet broken ground on the infrastructure. There are lots of reasons for the delay; the largest one is no one is in a rush. To be sure, more resale homes are selling. That is because sellers have come to the conclusion their home values have permanently declined. So what is all this about the growing U.S. economy? That is big business stuff. Economic circumstances could not be better for large established businesses. Interest rates have been low for a long time, the Fed is pumping cash into every nook and cranny, people are looking for work, there is virtually no inflation, and the cost of the universal input for all big business (energy) is falling. Small wonder the New York Stock Exchange indexes are at all-time highs. That is the top 10 per cent. For the bottom 90 per cent the economy is very quiet, perhaps still in slight recession. As stimulus money dries up, so does the economy that most affects the 90 per cent. The federal sequester cuts also hit the lower 90. And the bottom half of the 90 is really struggling. Did you know one in seven Americans (over 47,000,000 of 14 • January 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |

them) are on the federal food subsidy program (commonly known as food stamps)? So how will the malaise be resolved? Sensible health care will add a million new jobs, many at the lower end. The immigration legislation before Congress would add another million jobs; almost all at the lower end. That would take the unemployment rate from the high sevens to five point something. It is a big stretch to think that Congress will be sensible but I think the members of Congress will eventually come to their senses. As Winston Churchill said: “You can always count on Americans to do the right thing – after they’ve tried everything else.” There has been a change in U.S. news that is equally stunning. As this is written, the economy, health care, immigration, Syria, Iran, Afghanistan and North Korea have disappeared from U.S. news. That is too bad because Toronto’s Mayor Ford has become the number one news item and has driven them all from television news. How pervasive is the bad news? My barber (who lives in a town you have never heard of and works out of a ladies salon – his barbershop died in the recession) immediately asked: “So how close are you to this Mayor Ford guy?” It is no secret that the U.S. television and cable networks clamour for steamy news with less than perfect participants. When a hot one appears, everyone jumps in and in this case they all recognize they have hit a bonanza. The terrifying part is that my barber is like most folks in this country in knowing little about Canada. So while we know this turkey is 2,500 kilometres away, he is next door to Calgary as far as they are concerned. Worse yet, our prime minister seems to think there were just a couple of minor indiscretions in Ford’s behaviour and the finance minister has been reduced to tears worrying about his friend, the mayor. In the immortal words of Charlie Brown: “Good grief!” For my part, I think we should re-energize the colloquial use of Hogtown when referring to Toronto … their mayor is perfect for that. BiC

Available exclusively at

BBB celebrates Calgary Torch Award winners Gasoline Alley at Heritage Park was transformed into a place of celebration and support for the 16th Annual BBB Torch Awards for business ethics held on October 30, 2013.


ith close to 150 guests, a champagne reception and silent auction, a fully catered gourmet meal and honorary MC, Ward 11 Councillor Brian Pincott, the evening was a success. People networked, engaged with other businesses and BBB staff as well as participated in celebrating this year’s award recipients including: VistaVu Solutions: Marketplace Award MAXgreen Windows and Doors: Green Award Chinook Landscaping and Design Inc.: Consumer Trust Award This year, the BBB chose to dedicate the Torch Awards to the businesses of Alberta impacted by the devastating June 2013 floods. The event was dubbed “Flood and Fire”

and made into a fundraiser to generate monetary donations to benefit a small business through a silent auction and a 50/50 draw prize. The total number of proceeds raised is still being calculated and will be split between a small business and the BBB’s Savvy Consumer program. The Savvy Consumer Program includes speaking engagements to civic groups, service clubs and schools; appearing on the Internet, radio and TV talk shows; as well as distributing consumer pamphlets at trade/home shows and other public events. Each year the BBB recognizes businesses for regularly demonstrating ethical business practices including value-based decision-making and social responsibility. Nominate a business for next year’s Torch Awards.

Torch Award Winner Profile: VistaVu Solutions

President and CEO of VistaVu Solutions, Jory Lamb, decided to make the move from his hometown of Lloydminster, Saskatchewan to Calgary in 1994 and established the business two years later in 1996. He did so in order to pave the road for smooth operation in daily business processes. “I decided to start VistaVu Solutions because I’m a huge fan of helping business run more efficiently and effectively through technology in their day-to-day tasks,” he says. “I also wanted to partner with the 800-pound gorilla SAP in order to work with the company and its most critical aspects of their business.” Much like the BBB, VistaVu Solutions is a value-based business that focuses on its core principles including: integrity, growth, service, commitment to excellence and passion. Lamb says that these standards help the business build and maintain trust within the energy service marketplace and with clients. The business has been accredited since its doors first opened in 1996, and according to Lamb, accreditation was necessary in order to develop a strong brand as a new business. “The BBB represents and embodies the ethical standards of business that we want to associate with,” he says. “Being an accredited business has helped us gain customer and marketplace trust over the years and that is something we want to continue in our years to come.” In addition to achieving and maintaining an A+ rating, VistaVu Solutions has reached numerous milestones. These include: winning the 2011 medium business category of the BBB Business Ethics Torch Awards, being recognized in PROFIT 500 Magazine as one of Canada’s Fastest Growing Companies as well as being recognized in the 2013 Leaders of Tomorrow awards by Business in Calgary magazine, to name a few. Due to the organization’s success over the years, social responsibility and teamwork have become an integral part of the business. Lamb recognizes the importance of giving back to the community that has helped him get to where he is today. “VistaVu regularly supports many charitable programs in Calgary including Inn From the Cold, Bea Fisher Centre, United Way, Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter and the Calgary Humane Society,” says Lamb. “It’s always a full team effort at VistaVu and this award just reinforces that we are pointed in the right direction.” With office locations in Calgary and Houston, Texas, as well as partnerships in the U.K. and Australia, VistaVu Solutions has become one of the leading businesses in business management software solutions. For more information visit

President and CEO of VistaVu Solutions, Jory Lamb, poses with the company’s Marketplace Torch Award for business ethics. Photo courtesy of Leah Brownridge.

An 800-pound gorilla is not the first thing that comes to mind when describing a business management software provider. But for one Calgary business, winning a BBB Torch Award was no matter of monkey business. The gorilla reference is often used to describe the vast and monstrous size of SAP (Systems, Application and Products), the global enterprise software company. SAP has partnered with this year’s winner of the Marketplace Torch Award, VistaVu Solutions. VistaVu Solutions is a leading business management software provider serving the North American energy service as well as oilfield product manufacturing, distribution and rental companies.

Torch Award Winner Profile: Chinook Landscaping and Design Inc.

Owner of Chinook Landscaping and Design Inc., David Abbott, poses with the company’s Consumer Trust Torch Award for business ethics. Photo courtesy of Chinook Landscaping and Design Ltd.

Ethics, passion and excellent customer service are the ingredients for a rock solid foundation for one of Calgary’s landscaping businesses. For the past 16 years, the Better Business Bureau Serving Southern Alberta and East Kootenay has hosted its Torch Awards in celebration of business ethics. This year, Chinook Landscaping and Design Inc. is the recipient of the BBB Consumer Trust Award. Owner and Calgary native, David Abbott, explains that his customers are the

heart of his business because they are the true measure of success. “To us, the concept of ethical enterprise involves completing jobs as advertised and agreed, without unduly stressing customers and ensuring that they are happy with the finished product,” he says. Since Abbott established the business in 2005, it has continued to climb the ladder of success. Over the years he has planted seeds of ambition and has taken the steps to fertilize his visions to fruition. Last year, Chinook Landscaping and Design Inc. received an honourable mention from the BBB for its trust, performance and integrity. The business obtained accreditation four years ago and has since achieved and maintained an A+ rating. Abbott says he applied for accreditation because he believes the BBB seal signifies a place where customers can turn to for unbiased and objective information about ethical businesses. “I constantly tell my customers and other business owners that the Better Business Bureau is more important than ever because, unlike the Internet, it is the only place you can get real reviews and real information on businesses because it is staffed by real people,” says Abbott. Abbott expressed his gratitude to his clients for selecting his business as the recipient of this year’s award because they have given him the opportunity to make a career out of his passion for the outdoors and for customer service. “I started the business because I love landscaping and working with the public,” he says. “Designing and creating beautiful landscapes for my customers is an awesome job and allows me to meet so many great people.” Abbott says he looks forward to many years of helping customers achieve their landscaping goals. “I cannot stress enough how proud I am of this company’s integrity and hard work, and how happy it makes me to see customers overjoyed with their newly landscaped properties,” says Abbott. “It continues to be a very rewarding experience.” Chinook Landscaping and Design Inc. offers a variety of landscaping construction services including: residential landscapes, paving stones, retaining walls, outdoor kitchens, decks, pergolas, water features as well as tress and shrubbery. For more information visit

Torch Award Winner Profile: MAXgreen Windows and Doors Ltd. MAXgreen Windows and Doors Ltd. is this year’s winner of the Green Award. In addition to possessing the drive and ambition to achieve its business goals, this organization takes care to focus on the planet and charities. They have made the effort to become as paperless as possible in order to conserve natural resources and are mindful of carbon emissions. The business donated its services to some of the residences affected by the June 2013 floods and has donated services to some of Calgary’s buildings in need of repair. MAXgreen Windows has been an accredited business with the BBB for the past three years. They offer a variety of window and door installation services as well as vinyl siding and other general contracting services. For more information visit

Owner and president of MAXgreen Windows and Doors Ltd., Adam Jones. Photo courtesy of Trevor Carter of D’Angelo Photography.

For more information, visit *Trademark of the Council of Better Business Bureaus used under license.

Off the Top • News

Sunshine Village offers VIP experience for group getaways Nothing says ski season like soft snowflakes in crisp mountain air, friendly smiles from chairlift attendants and cold beverages after a day on the slopes. At Sunshine Village, located 135 kilometres west of Calgary International Airport and just 8 kilometres west of Banff, ski season is officially underway, and the snow, smiles and hospitality are in full bloom. Business in Calgary recently had the opportunity to experience a Sunshine Village group retreat, which is a special offering for corporate or social gatherings of 15 people or more. Groups receive exclusive discounts on lift tickets, rentals, lessons, overnight lodging and more. Sunshine Village’s group specialists arrange every detail, including transportation by coach bus from Calgary and back, team-building activities, meals and après-ski snacks. For overnight events, Sunshine Mountain Lodge, the only ski-in, ski-out hotel in Banff National Park, features

18 • January 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |

Sunshine Village. Photo credit: Banff Lake Louise Tourism - Paul Zizka

off the Top • News

breathtaking mountain views with rustic-chic ambiance. Groups can choose from several different options to fit their budgets. The recently renovated West Wing of the hotel is the most luxurious, with in-floor heating, jetted tubs, fireplaces and large-screen TVs, all in an eco-friendly setting. New at Sunshine Village this year is the revamped Creekside Lodge building at the base of the resort, featuring a brand new merchandise shop full of shiny gear that will tempt any skier or rider. There’s also a new locker facility in Bourgeau Lodge with both daily and seasonal storage availability. To offer the finest in après-ski sips, the resort recently unveiled a wine bar showcasing more than 50 bottles. Sunshine Village has a high-speed gondola, 12 lifts and 111 trails. They’re open for skiing and snowboarding until mid-May. BiC

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Off the Top • News

Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts Takes Home Prestigious Award A staple in the tourism industry for 27 years, Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts has been awarded Business of the Year at the 2013 Canadian Tourism Awards. The Air Canada Business of the Year Award is presented to a tourism business that exemplifies industry best practices in all aspects of its operations, and is thus an example of all-round business excellence in the tourism industry. “As a family company, we are incredibly excited about this win,” says Pat O’Connor, owner of Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts. “This award belongs to each and every person who makes up our company. We have a very dedicated team in place and their contributions have led to this accolade.” Since opening Emerald Lake Lodge in Yoho National Park in 1986, Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts’ collection of properties and restaurants has continued to expand. Currently consisting of three upscale boutique lodges – Buffalo Mountain Lodge in Banff, Emerald Lake Lodge in Field, B.C, and Deer Lodge in Lake Louise – four unique restaurants located in Calgary – Bar C, Divino, Cilantro, and The Lake House – a game ranch called Canadian Rocky Mountain Ranch, a specialty market called CRMR at Home as well as Painted Boat Resort and Spa on the Sunshine Coast of B.C., Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts has hosted thousands of international, national and local visitors – as well as employed them.

Cilantro on the Lake at Emerald Lake Lodge. Photo courtesy of Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts.

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off the Top • News

“With a commitment to growth, innovation and product development, we strive to deliver a memorable tourism experience that is unique for our guests and complements our natural surroundings,” says Larkin O’Connor, development manager. “From the Sunshine Coast in British Columbia to the Canadian Rockies in Alberta and B.C., we are very fortunate to share these beautiful destinations with our guests.” A holistic business model allows the company to ensure quality, reduce operational costs and maintain jobs within the company. The baked goods at the lodges and restaurants are produced through Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts’ own bakery, Panino; the elk and bison found on the menu of each property are raised naturally without hormones or antibiotics on Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts’ own game ranch; and the laundry is all done at Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts’ own laundry facility. Not only does Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts benefit from the use of their own products and services, but many other hotels or businesses use their products or facilities. These attributes allow Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts to provide the best possible experience for their guests and thrive as a business. The Canadian Tourism Awards are presented annually by the Tourism Industry Association of Canada to recognize success, leadership and innovation in Canada’s tourism industry, and to reward those people, places, organizations and events that have gone above and beyond to offer travellers superior tourism experiences in Canada. BiC

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Moodys gartner Tax law Isn’t afraid of Taxing problems • News

Moodys Gartner Tax Law Isn’t Afraid of Taxing Problems BY nErissa MCnaugHtOn

Greg Gartner

Roy Berg


ords have the power to evoke powerful emotions, but few words strike fear in the heart of a person like the phrases: tax law, IRS and CRA. Yet, while any quake at the thought of tax legalese, long phone calls with tax agents, and mountains of confusing paperwork, there is a small yet stalwart group that welcomes the challenges of tax law with open arms. They are Moodys Gartner, and their slogan, “tax well solved™,” summarizes their approach to business. They solve tax problems – and they do it on both sides of the border. Moodys Gartner Tax Law is a firm with branches in Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver and New York State. The roots of the firm go back six years with Kim Moody, Greg Gartner, Roy Berg and Dale Franko as its founders. The niche firm specializes in Canadian and American (cross-border) tax law, and largely serves private clients. 22 • January 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |

Kim Moody

Moody, a chartered accountant and director of Canadian tax advisory, works from the Calgary office. “There is a big, big, need in the marketplace for what we do,” he states about the reason for existence of the firm. “There is a huge need and it was underserviced.” Greg Gartner is both a chartered accountant and a lawyer and acts as the director of Canadian tax law for the firm, working from the Edmonton office. His reasons for entering the profession came about in a slightly different way. “When I was going through business and law school, I spent some summers working on the rigs up north. My dad put his foot down and said ‘it never hurts to learn something about accounting.’ So, I started working for an Edmonton accounting firm while going through law school to pay my way. I got interested in it from there.” But, he admits with a laugh, “some days I still miss the rigs!”

Moodys gartner Tax law • News


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“What makes us unique is that we have U.S. professionals and Canadian professionals and those professionals are both accountants and lawyers. It is a very unique mix of professionals.” ~ Roy Berg

However, whatever thrill is missing from navigating a big rig on a northern road is recaptured in the specialized services offered by Moodys Gartner, as Roy Berg, director of U.S. tax law, is happy to point out. “What makes us unique is that we have U.S. professionals and Canadian professionals and those professionals are both accountants and lawyers,” says Berg. “It is a very unique mix of professionals. The reason for that is if you need tax advice, you can either go to a lawyer or you can go to an accountant. The advice you get from a lawyer is understandable for other lawyers. The advice you get from an accountant is understood by another accountant. By having both accountants and lawyers working together under the one roof of a tax law firm, we produce a work product that is understandable and actionable by both professions, which is most beneficial to the client. Our U.S. tax lawyers are typically U.S. born,” Berg continues, “They all (myself included)

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Moodys gartner Tax law Isn’t afraid of Taxing problems • News

In addition to providing expert tax law services, Moody, Gartner and Berg are always happy to provide education about the profession through volunteer speaking, mentoring, legal education programs and more.

were educated in the U.S., have graduate degrees in U.S. taxation from U.S. institutions and have practiced in the U.S. There are only a handful of firms based in Canada that have this type of expertise.” Gartner, who advises on purchases, sales of businesses and corporate reorganizations, says his job entails a 50 per cent cross-border element in the U.S., Europe and South America. To demonstrate the need for cross-border tax specialist advice, he points out, “The Income Tax Act alone is over 2,000 pages. In the last five years in my practice I’ve seen more changes than I had in the previous 15!” When it comes to taxes, there are many things the average Canadian fails to consider. In addition to making sure your reporting has been completed and filed correctly, one must also think about tax planning. According to Gartner, if you are proactive in terms of your future transactions and how you structure them, you can minimize your tax burden. In Canadian tax law, it is perfectly legal to structure your affairs to pay the least amount of tax as long as you remain in accordance with the rules. While Canadians are warming up to the idea of seeking advice to utilize these tax laws, they are still shy about dipping their toes into the murky waters of planning around U.S. tax laws. “Expanding into the U.S., that is where taxpayers get either overwhelmed by the complexity or ignore the issues because they perceive the tax laws are the same as Canada’s,” says Gartner. He is, however, happy to point out, “That is changing very quickly. Our firm cements this practice by having services for those people.” While not an exceptionally large firm, Moodys Gartner proves their strength lies in their expertise. Currently there are 20 employees in Calgary, eight in Edmonton, two in Vancouver and 13 in New York State. “Those are not huge numbers, but we are only a tax shop. To have 40 professionals doing just tax – only a handful of international law firms will have that large of a tax department. So if you took 24 • January 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |

the entire tax department of one of the biggest law firms in Canada, we stack right up with them in terms of the quantity and definitely the experience of the biggest and best,” says Berg with pride. Their newest location, Vancouver, houses a senor dispute resolution tax litigator (and interestingly enough, former professional baseball player), Tim Clarke. “He is the cornerstone of that office,” says Berg of the man hired to head up their newest service offering. While Moodys Gartner has assisted clients with dispute resolution in the past, addressing it in this targeted way is a new venture for the firm. Clarke will handle CRA dispute matters and if the firm’s past track record is any indication, this will be yet another area of great success. In addition to providing expert tax law services, Moody, Gartner and Berg are always happy to provide education about the profession through volunteer speaking, mentoring, legal education programs and more. Moody is a former chairman of the Canadian Tax Foundation, which he served without compensation, as well as the former chairman of The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners for Canada (STEP). Berg sits on the advisory board of the New York School of Law’s international tax program and sits on board of STEP’s Edmonton chapter. “The bottom line is, we are not shy about volunteering for the benefit of our profession,” says Moody. The way to succeed is to work hard in the areas you excel, and trust the experts in the areas you are unfamiliar with. Just like a bride would likely not sew her own gown, make her own cake, provide the DJ services and officiate the wedding, neither should a person unfamiliar with tax law try to navigate the many rules, changes and procedures on their own. Moodys Gartner Tax Law, a firm founded by and staffed with a wonderful group of people whose careers are dedicated to the tax profession, are the professionals to trust for sound, expert and timely tax law advice. BiC

The oil and gas Industry has a Triple Whammy • O&G Completions

the Oil and gas industry Has a

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or most of 2013, oil and gas completions services hung tough while dealing with a triple whammy of oil and gas issues. While some media, industry critics and opportunistic crusaders and protestors insatiably keep trying to turn temporary negatives into gloom and doom, the oil and gas industry and completions services stay focused, tackle the problems and keep moving forward toward ultimate solutions – the new trend and reality of existing and new wells, readying for the reversal and recovery of the natural gas price slump and the start of a promising “new” natural gas industry. “The industry goes up and down. It always has,” says upbeat Keith Schaefer,

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The oil and gas Industry has a Triple Whammy • O&G Completions


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Technology is setting the stage for another boom in Alberta’s non-oilsands oil and natural gas industry. editor and publisher of the respected Oil and Gas Investments Bulletin. “Now it happens to be a down cycle. Last summer (before Aminex acquired Canyon Oil and Gas Ltd.) Canyon’s revenues per job were down 18 per cent and the company let 40 per cent of their fleet idle instead of bidding on jobs which would lose money. “The oil sector’s good news,” he says with enthusiasm, “is that oilsands production is increasing steadily and last November’s announcement that western production will increase 200,000 barrels a day. 26 • January 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |

“All in all, Q3 numbers show that most of the bad news is behind us and hopefully 2014 will be a good year for completions, particularly weighted toward the back end of the year.” The province’s summer 2013 edition of the Alberta Oil and Gas Quarterly Update credited contemporary completions sciences and echoed the positivity. “Technology is setting the stage for another boom in Alberta’s non-oilsands oil and natural gas industry. Until the last few years oil production had declined from a peak of 1.43 million barrels a day in 1973

The Oil and Gas Industry Has a Triple Whammy • O&G Completions

to a low of around 460,000 barrels per day in 2010,” according to the government publication.

Thane Russell, VP of Business Development and Technology, Absolute Completion Technologies Ltd.

“But things are changing for the better, as increased implementation of long horizontal wells and multistage fracturing in tight oil plays across the province – not to mention new provincial royalty incentives to encourage drilling – has crude oil drilling activity and production on the upswing.” Thane Russell, the knowledgeable and dynamic VP of business development and technology at Calgary-based Absolute Completions Technologies Ltd., is walking the walk of completions services and also optimistic about the industry dealing with its issues and the likelihood of a healthy, good year ahead. “Most of 2013 was a slow year with a noticeably lower level of capital spending,” he looks back. “The oil side actually breaks out into two businesses: light type oil technologies, which have lots of activity and continue in very good shape, and heavy oil, which is | BUSINESS IN CALGARY January 2014 • 27

The oil and gas Industry has a Triple Whammy • O&G Completions

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slower with more uncertainty about price and where it can go.” He admits that only seven to eight per cent of Absolute’s market is Canada. “We are much more impacted by foreign oil work like South Africa, Indonesia, the U.S. and Russia. They are all much bigger markets than Canada. “But, overall, we are projecting a 30 per cent growth for 2014,” Russell forecasts, “with an increased 10 to 12 per cent of our business coming from Canada.” There is broad industry and completions technology agreement that, subtle or significant, new technologies and the new ‘science of completions’ is redefining the oil industry. “The big difference is that wells are getting a lot longer,” Schaefer explains the most significant change. “It has and is dramatically changing the industry. The actual number of wells is no longer as important as the number of metres drilled. “It’s almost a new standard. Everyone is going to two kilometres horizontal. That works out to not nearly as many wells are needed.” Absolute is globally renowned for being on the cutting edge of the new ways of doing things in oilpatches in Canada and throughout the world. “We’re focused on injection and flow technology because there will be more and more emphasis on how do you live with these wells, optimize their production, make them more pro-

28 • January 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |

ductive and efficient. But some things never change,” he smiles. “The more efficient you can make a well bore, the better the return on capital and you need fewer wells.” Although Russell cites the various business reasons why a majority of their completions projects are international, with professional and personal sincerity, he underscores that there’s no place like home. “Calgary is vitally important for us. There’s no better place in the world to develop technology. The people in Calgary have exceptional engineering and manufacturing skills and expertise. It’s really a world-class location for anything to do with the oilfield industry,” he says with much industry savvy and a lot of Calgary pride. He also highlights the revealing industry-changing indicator that last year was the first time in North America that more wells were horizontal than vertical. Since North America usually leads the industry, it’s likely that horizontal drilling is becoming routine. In Alberta, the new technology is being used in an increasing number of oil plays. Among the most advanced plays are the Cardium in west-central Alberta, the Beaverhill Lake Carbonates near Swan Hills, the Viking in east-central Alberta and at Red Water north of Edmonton, the Pemiscot at Princess in southern Alberta, and at Judy Creek in

The oil and gas Industry has a Triple Whammy • O&G Completions

northwestern Alberta. Also emerging plays include the Alberta Bakken in the southern reaches of the province, and in oil windows in the Duvernay and Montney shale. According to provincial and industry projections, high drilling activity in these areas will likely offset the steep decline in Alberta conventional production that would otherwise be expected. The present as well as the immediate future of Canada’s (and Alberta’s) natural gas situation is a bit more challenging and mostly beyond control. For completions, the encouraging positivity about oil doesn’t offset the lingering industry concerns about gas. Russell is a ferociously knowledgeable and internationally respected completions expert. He doesn’t mince words. “The Canadian natural gas business is basically dead! There seems to be some hope. The 2014 projections are for a very slowly firming natural gas price, from $3.5 per MCF (measure of 1,000 cubic feet) to perhaps $4 or $4.5 per MCF.” Although Canada continues to be the third-largest natural gas producer in the world – with about 80 per cent of the country’s gas being produced in Alberta – Schaefer cautions that Canada’s overwhelmingly biggest natural gas customer, the U.S., may cause even further problems for the future of Alberta-produced natural gas. “We are still their No. 1 source for imports,” Schaefer says, “but the high end of the U.S. northeast used to be the most lucrative market in North America. Things have changed drastically. The U.S. is getting closer to self-sufficiency, especially in the northeast and even starting to displace Canadian gas imports in the large northwest market.” According to provincial stats, at the end of 2012, remaining established reserves of conventional natural gas stood at 33 trillion cubic feet, while remaining established coalbed methane (CBM) gas reserves stood at 2.4 trillion cubic feet. The province estimates the remaining ultimate potential

of marketable conventional natural gas at 74 trillion cubic feet. Although low natural gas prices have reduced drilling activity in Alberta – when it comes to the current and projected number of new natural gas well connections and the number of horizontal gas wells drilled and connected – as prices rebound, the province will be well positioned to capitalize. Regardless, conventional natural gas remains a very important part of Alberta’s natural gas supply and horizontal drilling and multistage fracturing now allow for development of natural gas from new sources of unconventional natural gas resources. Aside from CBM, Alberta’s unconventional natural gas resources include tight gas (natural gas trapped in low-permeability sedimentary rocks, such as sandstone or limestone) and shale gas (trapped in shale rock). According to Schaefer, the new technology as well as British Columbia’s recently formed, aggressive new natural gas development super ministry – mandated to do whatever it takes to build liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects on the northern coast of BC in the second half of 2014 – underscore the industry guesswork and momentum that Canada’s natural gas future will rely heavily on LNG. “Right now the market is depending on LNG to kick-start the industry,” Schaefer predicts. “My hunch is that, while it may still be somewhat premature, drillers and frackers are geared up and getting ready for LNG. But there’s not much doubt that until we see LNG activity, the gas market is going to stay challenging.” Considering the good – as well as the temporary not-so-good oil and gas situation – the completions services industry stays determined and focused. All things considered, modern completions technology – like horizontal and directional drilling, multilateral drilling, synthetic drilling muds, measurement-while-drilling (MWD) technology and others – offers more efficiency in the search and drilling for oil and gas. BiC

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exempt Markets: Rebuilding credibility and perception • Finance

Exempt Markets: Rebuilding Credibility and Perception “It’s a fallacy that people who have great wealth are sophisticated investors.” BY ParkEr grant


ties Commission (ASC), and must also meet various dealer xempt markets (EM) are one of Canada’s most misobligations – from insurance, audited and financial stateunderstood, sometimes controversial but increasingly ments to capital and solvency expertise and compliance. popular sources of capital. Contrary to popular myth, the EM concept is nothing new. The textbook definition cites EM as a segment of the “In its rawest form, the exempt market is back-to-basics capital markets for which certain exemptions are provided investing,” says the dynamic and revved under provincial securities legislation. Craig Skauge, president and chair of the Exempt market dealers (EMDs) are regisAlberta-based National Exempt Market tered dealers, trading in exempt securities, Association (NEMA). to qualified exempt market clients. “It’s about investing in a product because They deal in certain market sectors (oil one believes in the underlying idea and and gas, real estate, minerals, technology, people behind the idea, not because they etc.) and their clients can be companies, anticipate that a tweet from a TV personinstitutional investors or qualified, high ality or announcement from the federal net worth individuals. government will move the market and While EMD registration is a must in all make them a few bucks. provinces, actual specific rules, regula“While many look at this as a new way tions and enforcement varies, sometimes of investing, it is really one of the olddrastically, from province to province. est forms there are. Some people find it Despite some skeptical controversy, hard to imagine a time before the stock EMDs are subject to full dealer regismarkets existed. How did people invest tration and compliance requirements, Craig Skauge, President and Founder, National Exempt Market Association (NEMA) before they could find and check stock directly regulated by the Alberta Securi-

30 • January 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |

exempt Markets: Rebuilding credibility and perception • Finance


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“It’s about investing in a product because one believes in the underlying idea and people behind the idea, not because they anticipate that a tweet from a TV personality or announcement from the federal government will move the market and make them a few bucks.” ~ Craig Skauge performances in the newspaper?” he asks, with an amused smile. “Quite simply, people invested in their community, with people they knew and in brick-and-mortar ideas they could see happen.” As the most committed and enthusiastic industry boosters (like Skauge) reluctantly concede, the exempt market

sector has some lingering credibility, image and perception issues. Despite being a rapidly growing corner of Canada’s capital markets, some recent EM failures (with hundreds of millions of dollars of vanished investor money) eventually prompted Canada’s securities watchdogs to step up scrutiny of the industry’s business practices.

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exempt Markets: Rebuilding credibility and perception • Finance


“There is a dangerous fallacy when it comes to investors. It’s a false and

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risky assumption that people who have great wealth are sophisticated investors.” ~ Marian Passmore

“Canadian regulators have been dealing with a number of exempt market issues at play,” explains Marian Passmore, associate director at the Canadian Foundation for Advancement of Investor Rights (FAIR), the independent, national non-profit agency for securities regulation and enhancing the rights of Canadian shareholders and individual investors. “Given the widespread non-compliance with the rules, a multifaceted approach including reforming the regulatory framework for exempt market dealers and portfolio managers has to be in place to protect investors. “There is a dangerous fallacy when it comes to investors,” she warns. “It’s a false and risky assumption that people who have great wealth are sophisticated investors. It’s been proven over and over that it’s simply not the case!” In late 2009, the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) – the umbrella group for provincial securities regulators – proclaimed National Instrument 31-103 into force as an attempt to better regulate the various exempt markets across the country and create some measure of accountability for the people who operated within it. But for many Albertans who were already invested in the exempt market, 31-103 proved to be too little, too late. By the time it was passed into

law, it was clear that they would never see the money that they invested with real estate firms like Bridgecreek, Concrete Equities and the Harvest Group of Companies, among others, either because of deliberate fraud or massive incompetence on the part of the people running them. At the time, Calgary’s Frank Lonardelli was embroiled in controversy as the new Harvest Group CEO. He quickly discovered that the situation was much worse than it looked when he took on the ugly job of standing at the front of raucous town hall meetings

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exempt Markets: Rebuilding credibility and perception • Finance

“Maybe it is the entrepreneurial spirit of Albertans but this province has the most exempt market dealers in the country.” ~ Craig Skauge with thousands of devastated and incensed investors. “It was extremely difficult, taking responsibility and explaining to halls full of private investors that their life savings were gone,” he remembers with haunting emotion. Today he is the bold, confident and refocused president and CEO of Arlington Street Investments and admits to having learned many, many painful exempt market lessons, the hard way. “It has to be the most nuanced space in the capital markets, with the most complicated and diverse set of products but it has representatives selling the product that have the lowest level of proficiency.

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Lonardelli makes no excuses for some of the EM sector’s past failures, but looks back (with much sincere regret) that some of the key aspects of the crushing problem were lack of industry regulation and education. He is now reasonably satisfied that his industry is on the right track with changes. “Exempt markets need a strong regulatory regime that protects investors without choking off business and anyone who works in the industry must be properly trained and must understand the business.” According to Skauge, it was only about six years ago that EM was a welcome alternative for established capital markets.

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exempt Markets: Rebuilding credibility and perception • Finance

“When 2008 hit, credit tightened up drastically at the conventional banking level, particularly for small and medium-sized businesses. It’s almost as though those who didn’t want money could get it relatively easily, while those who needed money had to fend for themselves. “Back to basics – and a kind of holistic approach – is where we find ourselves today in the exempt market: people raising money locally for local deals. NEMA started off with 10 members. Now we have 300 very, very good, active and involved EMD members. Maybe it is the entrepreneurial spirit of Albertans but this province has the most exempt market dealers in the country.” Prestige Capital’s $120-million Calgary Airport Hotel and Conference Centre is a prime example, not only of Alberta’s entrepreneurial spirit, but an exciting, current Calgary project that raised $43 million in the exempt market. “The goal is to help Calgary become a world-class destination for conference and business travel,” according to Curtis Potyondi, gung-ho EM booster and president of Prestige Capital. “We looked at all capital options. Even now, banks are tight with funds and we wanted to build a corporation with a strong balance sheet and wanted to syndicate our equity. “Besides, private equity has been the cornerstone of commerce. Gradually the retail markets took that away from people. The stock market doesn’t provide important, local tangibility. Dealing with the exempt market offers more of a sense of community.” Potyondi’s endorsement of exempt market capital combines with his excitement about the Calgary Airport Hotel and Conference Centre and his boundless Calgary pride. “The economic spinoffs are significant,” he beams. “In fact, we are already having quite an impact. Through the construction phase we are

supporting about 300 jobs and after completion, we will be employing 175 full-time people. “In the end we are just local investors and EM allows all the investors to participate in a business opportunity they otherwise wouldn’t have. We create the business opportunity, investors share in the ownership and they can drive by, see the building and say ‘that’s where my money went.’ ” It is precisely the kind of credibility, image and reputation Skauge and his 300 NEMA members are working hard to establish and build on. The commitment includes the association’s EMD members actively focusing on the education, the qualifications, the accountability and the compliance of the exempt market industry, as well as the marketing and desired perception strategy as the exempt market sector learns from its missteps and moves forward. “There is lots of work to be done,” Skauge points out. “I’d like to see barriers to entry be tightened a bit and raise the bar of our education standards. The current standard is considerably better than it used to be but could be improved.” He acknowledges that, aside from a misunderstood image perception of exempt markets, there is also some misunderstanding about its actual target markets and competitive positioning. “Our members are absolutely not trying to compete with the big, conventional capital markets,” he openly and adamantly asserts. “We offer a complementary product. It’s not for everyone. Maybe we can be a portion of their portfolio and there are investors who should not be in the exempt market altogether.” In the meantime, Calgary’s exempt market dealers grow their client and investor base, train new industry professionals, satisfy skeptics, pitch for projects ... and earn a bigger piece of Alberta’s capital markets pie. BiC

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The New Chamber Chair Champions Calgary • Cover

The New Chamber Chair

Champions Calgary From camels in Qatar to global expertise about LNG markets, Leah Lawrence gets around BY JOHN HARDY


Leah Lawrence, incoming chair of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce. Photo by Bookstrucker Photography.

n some ways, Leah Lawrence is different from previous chairs of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce. Without exception, former Chamber chairs have been committed, inspired and skilled professionals and energetic Calgary boosters. So is Leah Lawrence. Despite her solid business skills and experience and the invaluable strengths she brings to her new Calgary role, Lawrence is likely the only Chamber chair with a Twitter handle – @noprincessleah. Unlike some conventional business leaders, Lawrence is a professional engineer, an economist, a proficient writer on environmental and sustainable energy issues and she has been a tireless crusader for climate change and environmental technology since long before it was fashionable. The Edmonton-born, Regina-educated Calgary entrepreneur and professional engineer devotes her career to working on sustainable energy development in Canada. “Sustainability must be more than just a tossed around catchword. It’s not a ‘department’ but a way of doing business, that everyone in a leadership role of a contemporary company needs to embrace. Anyone who is in business today needs a broad perspective,” she says with conviction. “We must all be more cognizant of the people, the businesses and the situations around us.” In her much-in-demand day job (heading up Clean Energy Capitalists Inc., the respected Calgary-based consulting business) and her diverse and limitless extracurricular energy business passion (she also happens to have a master’s in economics), Lawrence is a gutsy, confident and outspoken professional and a focused high-achiever who continues to earn a solid industry reputation in Calgary, throughout Alberta and Canada, and around the world. | BUSINESS IN CALGARY January 2014 • 37

The New chamber chair champions calgary • Cover

Since last September, she has been adding to her professional workload and industry credentials by trekking on a hectic, working world tour – from Australia, Venezuela, Tokyo and Houston to Panama and Doha in Qatar.

Unusual sights just outside the international conference on LNG in Doha in Qatar.

Since last September, she has been adding to her professional workload and industry credentials by trekking on a hectic, working world tour – from Australia, Venezuela, Tokyo and Houston to Panama and Doha in Qatar – in meetings, discussing, asking, studying, researching and building especially on her industry expertise about the global natural gas market situations, new ideas, new techniques, learning about problems and solutions and how they could benefit Canadian natural gas producers. “Things have changed, drastically. The communities we impact are no longer just Calgary, Alberta, B.C. or Canada. They are global. And there are tremendous and valuable global experiences we can learn from.” As an engineer and respected energy consultant, Lawrence is engrossed in industry issues and trends. Professionally and personally, she is savvy and insatiably plugged-in, continually acquiring viable sources of information and industry details. Her unique style is to dynamically absorb and share new techniques, new strategies and effective new approaches relevant to the energy industry, specifically for her clients or both. She recently shared global energy findings by actively blogging with followers of her recent world tour at #energytourist. As she openly and boldly states on her company’s Clean Energy Capitalists website, “We are interested in understanding the revolution underway in North American and global energy markets and what it will mean for Canadian compa38 • January 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |

nies. We focus on niche energy projects – from cogeneration to carbon capture and storage and utility-scale solar, both developing our own projects and supporting others in their investment decisions.” Last November, after a one-on-one meeting with the senior gas analyst from the directorate of energy markets and security of the International Energy Agency (IEA) in Paris, she blogged some of the results of her meeting and energy industry opinions. “LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) supply is dominated by Qatar, Malaysia, Australia, Nigeria and Indonesia. In 2012, the five of them combined to deliver almost 60 per cent of supply. But in the long, drawn-out timing that characterizes how economists think (in the medium to long term) things are about to change,” Lawrence explains. “Malaysian and Indonesian gas reserves are in decline. Australia has 60 million tonnes per year of new export capacity under construction. By 2017, if all goes well, it will surpass Qatar as the largest LNG exporter in the world. “Meanwhile, American companies with idle re-gasification infrastructure are looking to bring on 40 to 50 million tonnes by 2018. Supply from Canada, Russia and East Africa may or may not follow. Add it all up and the end result is a very different world by 2020,” she predicts. A vital part of Lawrence’s updated expertise and valuable consultation with her clients is the reputable ability to track energy industry trends and present informed and sound forecasting.


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The New chamber chair champions calgary • Cover

She is enthused about her new role as chair of the Chamber’s board of directors and has been an active Chamber member for more than 10 years. “I have seen a lot of change at the Chamber and it reflects the many changes in Calgary’s business community.”

Leah Lawrence. Photo by Bookstrucker Photography.

“LNG buyers may be changing too. Today, Japan is by far the dominant LNG buyer, followed by South Korea. China places a distant third. IEA forecasts predict a doubling of Chinese demand over the medium term, which will bring it in line with South Korea. “According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, China holds the world’s largest potentially recoverable reserves of shale gas, an estimated 1,115 trillion cubic feet compared to 665 trillion cubic feet in the U.S.,” she explains with an important caveat. “After 2020, Chinese demand is highly uncertain. The Chinese reserves are distant from towns, cities and industrial demand. They are not supported by an upstream sector that is expending billions of exploration dollars and proving up reserves. Pipelines will need to be built. All this will take time, but how much time, nobody can really say.” Calgary’s Lawrence pays particular attention and tracks Canada’s biggest customer – the U.S. markets. “If you combine the capacity of all the announced American projects, it’s in the neighbourhood of about 300 billion 40 • January 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |

cubic metres (10.6 trillion cubic feet),” she details. “That’s why the U.S. is the biggest natural gas market in the world. The gas goes to supply power generation facilities, chemical plants and other value-added manufacturing.” But Lawrence also adds that the U.S. situation is not smooth and void of ‘issues.’ One example is that major American users of natural gas, like Dow Chemical, have already started raising concerns about natural gas exports. She predicts that the U.S. government will have to tread lightly and balance both the domestic and would-be exporter interests as it determines how much export capacity is appropriate. Lawrence cites recent facts and figures to underscore that the U.S. Department of Energy has approved four export licences, for a total volume of around 1.68 trillion cubic feet – which is about seven per cent of the U.S. dry gas production in 2012. Whether she is dealing with global factors and realities in the energy sector or unrelated business matters close to home in Calgary, Lawrence exudes the kind of focused posi-

The New Chamber Chair Champions Calgary • Cover

tivity and engaging approach that is both vital and valuable for her new role as chair of the Calgary Chamber. In many ways, business and personal, Leah Lawrence is a gung-ho Calgary booster. “There’s nothing like seven weeks of being overseas to reinforce genuine pride and excitement about home,” she says with a sentimental smile. “Calgary is truly such a stimulating and energizing place. The Calgary business sector has such great spirit, involvement and advocacy. Look how it rallied and what happened during last year’s flood. “Maybe it is due to the terrific diversity, especially in the business community, but we have such amazing resources in Calgary.” Adam Legge, president and CEO of the Calgary Chamber, enthusiastically agrees. “Our membership, and the Chamber board itself, reflect the diversity of business in this city. Businesses of various sizes and many industries play a key role in the Chamber’s governance,” he says. “I am thrilled to have Leah Lawrence as chair of the Calgary Chamber board of directors. As a local business owner, she lives every day in the business world that the Chamber serves. “Her insight and leadership as an involved local business owner will continue to keep the Chamber strategically grounded in the changing needs of businesses in this city,” Legge points out. Despite some random negativity, Lawrence believes there is no ‘slump’ in Calgary. “A three per cent growth is certainly no slump,” she says with confidence. “As a matter of fact, it’s ahead of other areas, the national average and most of the world. “And 2014 looks encouraging. By most indications it will be a year of moderate growth (more than in 2013) sparking reinvestment. Especially for Alberta it will be a year of hopefully positive pipeline decisions and a good year for improving our competitiveness in various businesses – from residential and commercial development all the way to the oilsands.” She is enthused about her new role as chair of the Chamber’s board of directors and has been an active Chamber member for more than 10 years. “I have seen a lot of change at the Chamber and it reflects the many changes in Calgary’s business community.” Not surprisingly, based on her track record and proven success at being a respected energy industry leader and a master communicator, one of her key Chamber priorities is networking. “The Chamber is a valuable opportunity to meet new people and share valuable new ideas.”

As Legge points out, “She steps into her new role as chair of the Calgary Chamber with an already accomplished leadership track record, having served as chair of APEGA (Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta) and on the boards of the Alberta Economic Development Authority and the Calgary YMCA.” Leah Lawrence’s formal bio is also riddled with many professional extras. More than 10 years ago she helped start Climate Change Central, the first public-private partnership on climate change in Canada. She also partnered with a Utah-based greenhouse gas credit and physical CO2 company to kickstart a CO2 business in Alberta and she worked on carbon capture and storage and CO2-enhanced oil recovery with Canada’s largest independent oil and gas producer. Last June she was honoured to join 47 of her peers from across Canada as a new fellow in the Canadian Academy of Engineering (CAE), committed to providing strategic public policy advice on matters of critical importance to Canada. “I admire Leah’s active role in the community,” Legge says, “and I am excited for the new ideas, dynamic energy and creative approach she will bring to our Chamber.” As colleagues, clients, followers of her blog and fellow Chamber members wonder, especially since Lawrence’s appointment to chair of the Chamber Board: where does she find the time? Lawrence shrugs, grins and concedes that it probably goes with the territory. “Being involved in the industry and the business community is important and managing time and balancing commitments are all part of it and what you sign up for.” Whether it’s discussing breakthroughs and challenges with a world leader in the field of LNG and then blogging about it from a sidewalk café across from the Eiffel Tower, consulting with an Alberta client and investigating the potential for electricity storage and applying for funding from the Climate Change Emissions Management Corporation or jumping on her BMW bike for a relaxing marathon ride from Calgary to Halifax and back, to just cocooning at home with Chris Biegler, her spouse of 20 years, “cracking open” a bottle of wine and indulging her passion for cooking or, between conference sessions, riding camels and elephants in Doha, the capital of Qatar – Leah Lawrence is a skilled and knowledgeable professional, a high-energy free spirit ... and a committed, revved but slightly and refreshingly unconventional Calgary Chamber chair. BiC | BUSINESS IN CALGARY January 2014 • 41

Forecast • Real Estate


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Real Estate Forecast It’s official – 2013 was quite a year and indications are that the real estate markets in our city are only going to continue to gain momentum By Heather Ramsay


hile other Canadian cities and markets continue to struggle, real estate in Calgary keeps climbing. The past year saw consistent growth and according to experts, 2014 is likely to see ongoing increases in activity and pricing, albeit perhaps not at the same rates as last year in some sectors. The first half of 2013 was considered decent in the sense of new construction and resale in the residential market. Ongoing confidence in the local economy encouraged sales activity and by the second half of the year the market had improved even further. 42 • January 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |

Ann-Marie Lurie, chief economist with the Calgary Real Estate Board, explains that, “Given we were in a sellers’ market for the later part of the year, it wasn’t surprising to see a pick-up in activity. Net migration was stronger than anticipated, we saw ongoing employment growth and the flood tightened the rental market. Add to that rising longterm rates and the market continued to strengthen.” The residential resale market experienced strong gains overall and double-digit sales growth over the third and fourth quarters. This was the culmination of all sectors and not just single-family homes, which had been more typical

Forecast • Real Estate

The residential resale market experienced strong gains overall and double-digit sales growth over the third and fourth quarters.

Photos by Cher Compton

We make traveling for business a pleasure. We make traveling for pleasure our business. 403.229.2040 | BUSINESS IN CALGARY January 2014 • 43

Forecast • Real Estate

Projects of Note • Eighth Avenue Place – West Tower - scheduled for completion – 3rd Quarter 2014 and will add 850,000 sq. ft. of office and retail space - first tower completed in 2010 and gained recognition as Canada’s first LEED Platinum highrise office building • Royop’s Biscuit Block in Victoria Park – extensive renovation to 1912 building with addition • The Avenue project by Grosvenor and Cressey – mixed-use and head offices for Shaw Communications • Telus Sky – mixed-use will add 341 residential suites and hold Telus Communications as anchor tenant • Cadillac Fairview’s City Centre – first tower under construction and boasting 850,000 sq. ft. of office space (estimated completion 2016 with additional plans for a hotel and residential tower) • Eau Claire Market by Harvard Developments – will add over a half million sq. ft. of retail, 1,000 residential suites and 800,000 sq. ft. of office inventory (construction likely to begin 2014 and is a seven- to 10-year project) • Large-scale residential condominium projects - Lake Placid’s The Park, Cove Properties’ Alura, and Hon Towers’ Guardian (Victoria Park) - Embassy Bosa’s Evolution and Fram + Slokker’s First Tower (East Village) - Grosvenor’s Drake Tower, Qualex Landmark’s Mark on 10th and Calla (beltline) • Office - Brookfield Place – 2.5 M sq. ft. (completion 2017) - Manulife House – 560,000 sq. ft. (completion 2017) - Oxford’s Eau Claire Tower – 615,000 sq. ft. (completion in 2016 and MEG Energy anchor tenant) - GWL Realty Advisors’ First Canadian Center, East Tower – renderings released with over 730,000 sq. ft. and estimated completion 2017

44 • January 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |

Harrison Gallelli, business development manager, real estate and location, with Calgary Economic Development

earlier in the year. “Listing inventory was tight earlier on and that pushed up pricing. With the lack of supply of affordable homes, we saw an increase in activity in the condominium market as well as towns and communities surrounding the city,” explains Lurie. Activity and development within the commercial, retail and office sectors followed a similar trend and Harrison Gallelli, business development manager, real estate and location, with Calgary Economic Development, is encouraged by what is scheduled for the coming year. “There will be considerable changes to the downtown core and surrounding districts of the city in 2014. There will be significant construction starts and also a number of midto-highrise projects completed. These will add to the vibrancy of our communities.” In addition to the activity in these markets, discussion and designs are anticipated to be unveiled for the new Central Library in East Village as well as the Cantos National Music Centre. Project completions are estimated for 2018 and 2015 respectively. “All of these projects are massive steps for Calgary. More retail offerings, office space, residential density and phenomenal new public and cultural spaces. We have a lot to look forward to in the coming years,” says Gallelli. BiC

alberta Independent schools • Private Schools Feature

Alberta Independent Schools: Serving Students, Parents and Communities BY DuanE PLantinga, EXECutiVE DirECtOr OF aisCa


arents are naturally interested and concerned about how well their children do at school. Some may be anxious about how the academic side of schooling works out. Most are concerned, however, about the total life experience each child encounters. The typical 13 years of schooling is a highly formative experience and convincing parents of the value of a specific school may prove to be challenging in a highly mobile society with urban sprawl, increased social challenges and greater demands for the next generation to be educated in more complex ways than the last. Some may seek options other than the range of public school programs. This article provides perspectives on independent schools as an option.

Board Structures The most distinctive feature of independent schools is that they are generally single site operations under the supervision of a small board that gives focused attention to that school and all of its programs. Each board is a society with a specific vision and mission that may vary according to the type of education programming. Boards may be elected or appointed. While many public institutions operate with appointed boards, some opponents to independent schools argue that this in undemocratic in independent schools. Different governance models are practiced and all function under the Society’s Act of Alberta. All community-based ECS (kindergarten) operators and all independent schools operate as not-for-profit agencies and

report accordingly to Alberta Education, to the Alberta government and to CRA. As single sites, independent schools do not have large centralized support offices but acquire additional services as required by contracting and collaborating with other local agencies. They hire all employees directly. There may be various support committees to assist in managing all the services and facilities but decisions are generally made quite rapidly and in a responsive manner. Decision-making is more functional.

Teacher Qualifications and Volunteer Expectations Teachers in independent schools hold the same professional certificates as in public schools. They are accountable to the Professional Standards Branch and evaluated externally for permanent certificates. Their teaching practice is governed by provincial legislation governing certification and professional development. Contract obligations are managed locally. Volunteers may also play a significant role in some of the schools in assisting on field trips, serving on committees or serving on the board itself. Very few have paid directors. Teacher may earn similar or lower salaries as public school counterparts but be able to exercise their professional skills with less bureaucratic meddling and unionized politics. When boards, parents and teachers work together for a common cause, schools work better for students as well. | BUSINESS IN CALGARY January 2014 • 45

alberta Independent schools • Private Schools Feature

Independent School Enrolments In a 2012/13 provincial system of 615,000 students, approximately 18,500 (3%) attended independent (private) schools. Another 4,700 (1%) attended community-based private ECS sites (kindergartens). Some international, First Nations and non-resident students are also educated in independent schools, bringing the estimated total to approximately five per cent of the system. Seventy per cent of the students in community-based kindergartens have specialized learning needs and about a dozen independent schools are recognized as providers of specialized supports ranging from mild-moderate to severe needs children. Most of the schools enrol under 200 students with a handful reaching 700 or even 1,000 students.

Accountability of Independent Schools Publicly accredited independent schools must meet standards established by the government that are described as the accountability pillar. The standards are same as that required of public schools if the school receives any government funding. The requirements for establishing a school, the accountability requirements and audited financial statement obligations may be viewed on the AISCA website at

Independent School Economics Considerations Education is never “free” like the air we breathe. Alberta’s investment – all cost drivers considered – is likely approaching $14,000 to $15,000 per public student as dated Statistics Canada figures from 2009 reported the public investment at $13,500 per public student. Money is always required for buildings, buses, playing fields, gymnasiums, labs, libraries, computers, special support services, janitors, maintenance personnel, teaching resources and teachers. The largest cost – likely 80 per cent or more – is typically needed for salaries and benefits for the employees. A holistic estimate also needs to include the $2.2 billion payout plan made several years ago to address the unfunded pension liability issue in the public schools. The total annual public investment is therefore more than the $6.4 billion reported in the education budget. What about independent schools? How are they funded for the education they make available to about four per cent of Alberta’s students? All Alberta independent schools operate on a not-for-profit basis. They receive one part of a core grant, called basic instruction – not of all instructional costs. Qualifying schools at the Level II accountability (almost all independent schools) are granted about $4,600 per student. The grant is less for Level I schools and a handful of registered schools do not receive any funding. Qualifying special needs students may qualify for additional grants as a fundamental entitlement. Designated Special Education Private Schools may only admit students requiring specialized supports but are not funded for other operating and capital expenses. 46 • January 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |

Tuitions are required in independent schools to pay for the rest of the costs of operating the school and will vary considerably depending on the kind of capital investments for buildings, teacher/student ratios, extracurricular program activities and other enhancements to the programs offered. They are different for each school. For comparison, public schools charge international students between $11,000 to $15,000 per student and additional fees for extras. For the typical student, the province benefits from an educated student at about 35 to 40 cents on the dollar. From AISCA’s perspective, and a fair public policy perspective, the primary function of a school is to deliver education and since that is not a “private” function but a public good it is justified to provide partial funding to any student being schooled under the required conditions established.

Current Politicized Environment Over the past year in Alberta, more politicized voices are championing the cause that choice in education is not good. Or, at minimum, it should be limited to one unitary system: all for one and one for all. For more than 100 years a pluralistic system of education has served Alberta well but some ideologues stress that systems are competing and that is not good so they should be amalgamated to rescue us from too much diversity and social fragmentation. The key argument is that independent schools do not allow everyone to attend. While public schools select students by geography, specific program types and at times gender, every student cannot enrol in every school. A universal education system that is genuinely inclusive includes an education system inclusive enough to permit parental choice for the sake of their child’s education. As an aggregated system independent schools are as inclusive as the public schools. Arguments opposing independent (private) schools are nothing new but appear to be more ideologically driven and based on misleading information and exaggerated claims this past year. Opponents fail to consider the significant contributions independent schools make to society and ignore that the primary beneficiaries are children. At the end of the day students are provided with education that is not a private matter; it is a public function provided in notfor-profit institutions approved by the government and held accountable by the government.

alberta Independent schools • Private Schools Feature

Often a very narrow definition of the “public good” is used to make the false claim that only services delivered through government agencies qualify as meeting the common good. While governments play an essential role in education and have obligations for oversight, surely parents and the public are not naive to the point of believing that non-government and not-for-profit agencies and institutions in democratic societies are unworthy of public support. They provide numerous benefits and meet the public and common good. Providing education through schools not directly operated by government but which meet the required operating conditions is not contrary to meeting a public and common good. Graduates of non-government schools do indeed contribute to the public good, the education survey analysis concludes. The executive summary in A Rising Tide Lifts all Boats: Measuring Non-Government School Effects in Service of the Canadian Public Good (2012) states, Overall, graduates of non-government schools are at least as likely to be involved in society and culture working toward “the common good” as their public school counterparts. In other words, this study shows that the claim that religious and other independent schools do not prepare their students to contribute positively to Canada’s multicultural society is unfounded. (, p. 7) In the midst of the politicized noise surfacing in the media, independent (private) schools have once more become a public whipping post. It is alleged they are the source of scarce resources in public schools and may in fact be the cause of social ills, real and imagined. What are parents to make of it all? From the perspective of parents, their primary concern is with how schooling is working out for each of their children in a particular school, often with a specific teacher and group of students. Parents desire a clear idea of what a school is about and what it is trying to do not in some abstract international PISA score. Is the practical way schooling is expressed in the daily life and organization of learning activities for their children enabling or not? Each day of the 13 years counts. Remember that you are the most qualified person to determine which school is the best choice for your children. Discuss it as a family. If as a parent you are not comfortable with your decision, your children will not be either. Inviting your children along on a visit will give them impressions as well, but realize that changing schools is a transition for any child. Some hesitate in accepting change and may dislike moving at first. It requires patience, understanding and time to settle into a new school environment – perhaps as much as six months. For most of us, it usually takes time to establish quality relationships as we fit into a new environment with different expectations. Transferring between schools is not any different. BiC To FINd oUT MoRe aboUT INdepeNdeNT schools IN yoUR aRea, schools ThaT aRe MeMbeRs oF The assocIaTIoN oF INdepeNdeNT schools aNd colleges (aIsca) aRe lIsTed aT aIsca RepReseNTs appRoXIMaTely 85 peR ceNT oF albeRTa’s pUblIcly accRedITed INdepeNdeNT schools.

How to Choose the Right School Each independent school establishes its own policy with respect to entrance requirements. The following hints may prove helpful for parents when reviewing schooling options. • Visit the school’s website. Websites may serve as a valuable starting point for contact information, admission information, fees and program information. Such sites, however, are a limited portal on the school’s living and breathing activities. • Arrange to visit the school but not just on open house days when everyone is on their best behaviour. Arrange to tour classes in action and ask permission to wander the hallway and playground during breaks to see how students and teachers interact. Imagine your child among them. Request permission to observe a few classes and get a sense of the teaching styles, interpersonal relationships and discipline in the school. Pay special attention to the respect students and teachers show each other and get a feel for whether the students enjoy being in the school. • Talk to the principal and the teachers and ask about the programs offered. Ask the principal about the schools accountability pillar results and to explain the various levels of satisfactions and strengths and weaknesses the school has. Can the teachers explain how the philosophy and values of the school are integrated into the daily classroom activities? If your child has special needs, make sure you understand how they will be addressed. What special events and enrichment activities does the school provide? Funding is not automatically available for special needs and some schools may have limited resources so be sure to study all options. • Talk to other parents. If you time your visit to the school for the beginning or end of the day, there will always be parents bringing or picking up children. Ask them why they chose this school and what they value most about it. • Ask questions. As a parent, you have the right to ask questions. You may want to ask about the provincial achievement results, class sizes and extracurricular activities. Ask about tuition and program fees. Ask about specific expectations for students. Obtain a copy of the student handbook and ask about any other policies you may have questions about. • Ask for recent newsletters that have been sent home to parents. These will give you an idea of what goes on in the life of the school community and make you aware of the quality of home and school communications. | BUSINESS IN CALGARY January 2014 • 47

PREPARING STUDENTS FOR A CHANGING GLOBAL ECONOMY Reflections by Dr. William Jones, Head of School, Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School


have spent almost my entire life in school. And for at least a third of my career, I have been simultaneously a teacher/ administrator and a student as I have been enrolled in university courses and programs while practicing in the field of education, giving me a broad perspective on the evolution of education, both in Canada and abroad. It has exposed me to the everyday practice of running schools, to changes in government educational policy, and to the theoretical frameworks and research emerging from our institutions of higher learning. I say these things to qualify my next statement. There has never been a more challenging time in education. And by challenging, I mean exciting, confusing, uncertain, hopeful and intriguing all rolled into one. At Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School (STS) we focus on developing well-balanced students for a life of purpose by inspiring excellence in scholarship, leadership and character — all while the educational ground beneath our feet is shifting. We are truly experiencing a transformation in education, brought about by technology and an explosion of new knowledge that is unparalleled in our history. And there is no turning back. Technology is unlike previous innovations in education. The Internet has fundamentally and irreversibly altered the interactions among students, teachers and knowledge. At the same time, research is providing new insights into how students learn. Now, in the world of education, there is a pervasive discourse ongoing about how best to prepare students for living in the 21st Century – an era in which most of the jobs we are preparing them for do not exist today.

are no longer serving our needs. For example, Dr. Zong Zhao, internationally renowned scholar and author, found that those with high mathematics scores have low entrepreneurial scores. The point here is not that mathematics is unimportant — the opposite is true. However, standardized testing of basic skills fosters teaching strategies that thwart students’ creativity and natural curiosity, which are seen as important elements of innovation and entrepreneurism – the very skills that we now believe will be important to their future success. At STS, we prepare our students to succeed in a rapidly changing world and increasingly global economy. Grounded in their communities, they collaborate as part of their responsibilities as ethical citizens of an interdependent world. Intrinsically motivated and persevering, analytical and reflective, they seek innovative solutions to challenges. Effective communicators and lifelong learners, they are adaptable to change. The journey is not straightforward, but it certainly is interesting. Our school is proud to be a part of this exciting time in education – ensuring our students have the skills needed to thrive in the 21st Century. Dr. William Jones Head of School, Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School

The best minds in current educational thinking are telling us that the new “basic skills” for students are things like: creativity and innovation; digital literacy and citizenship; collaboration; research and information fluency; critical thinking; technologybased communication skills; intercultural understanding; and so on. In times of rapid change and uncertainty, we tend to cling to the things that have served us well in the past. Standardized testing is one of those lingering elements of measurement designed to assess the target skills of an earlier era. There is mounting evidence to demonstrate why standardized tests

Dr. William Jones, with students.


What is different about Strathcona-Tweedsmuir? Everything.

EXPECT MORE Alberta’s only Grades 1 – 12 full IB independent school.

Providing an Inclusive Education With Proven Academic Results Offering Progressive and Montessori streams, our learning opportunities consider the whole child during this significant developmental period. A leader in providing inclusive educational programs with proven results, River Valley School meets the needs of students whose abilities range from learning challenges to giftedness and everything in between. Each child receives personalized attention and instruction is catered to the needs of the individual. Mentorship and leadership skills are taught in order to provide a well-rounded elementary school experience that promotes independence, confidence, citizenship and academic success. Our inclusive mandate extends beyond the walls of our classrooms. We offer children a multitude of special programs working with experts in their field. Some of our innovative programs are described below.

MathPickle MathPickle joined River Valley School this year. Believing that the primary purpose of mathematics education is to teach problem solving, Mr. Pickle brings ridiculously hard fun into all RVS classrooms, weekly. MathPickle is aiming to get one curricular, unsolved problem in front of every K-6 child at RVS.

Arrowsmith Program® River Valley School is the first authorized site for providing the Arrowsmith Program in Alberta. This program is founded on neuroscience research and over 30 years of experience demonstrating that it is possible for students to strengthen the weak cognitive capacities underlying their learning dysfunctions through a program of specific cognitive exercises. Strengthening these weaker capacities of the brain increases the overall functioning of these specific cognitive areas allowing them to be used effectively for learning.

Scouts Canada We have partnered with Scouts Canada to deliver annual outdoor education to our K-6 students each year. Children apply learned concepts and explore new curriculum through outdoor, hands-on experiences. This serves to solidify knowledge, connect with nature and teaches our students to “appreciate the principles of outdoor ethics, focus on self-development and enhance their self-esteem and motivation”. Students attend week long full day camps and continue to extend this learning throughout the year. For more information, please contact us at (403) 246.2275 or by email at To view our academic results and annual education report, please visit the governance section on our website at


Excellence in Education

RUNDLE COLLEGE PRIMARY Preschool - Grade 3 2445-23rd Avenue SW

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RUNDLE COLLEGE ACADEMY Grades 4 - 12 4330-16th Street SW (Learning Disability Program)

DISCOVER RUNDLE: • Independent, coeducational, day school for students in Preschool to Grade 12 • Accredited by Alberta Education, affiliated with CAIS (Canadian Accredited Independent Schools) and a member of Calgary's Independent Schools Athletic Association • Small class sizes averaging 6-15 students per class (depending on program) • Rigorous academic curriculum and university preparatory program for the upper grades • Focusing on developing well-rounded students prepared for life beyond the classroom • Dynamic and dedicated faculty with numerous teaching specialists in both academic and complimentary courses • Exceptional extracurricular programs in athletics, clubs, intramurals, clubs, second languages, fine arts and drama • Extensive field trip and travel programs • Leadership, humanitarian, and character development programs • Academy program for students in Grades 4-12 with diagnosed learning disabilities


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Calgary Christian School God’s Children Making the World a Better Place

Community then... 53 students

At Calgary Christian School, we believe in developing the whole child and providing the tools for each to be successful as they discover their place in God's World.

Elementary Campus Preschool – Grade 6 2839 49 Street SW

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Secondary Campus Grade 7 – 12 5029 26 Avenue SW

making the world a better place ...

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Calgary's first independent faith-based school, integrating faith and learning since 1963

Preschool - Grade 12

Community now... 893 strong and growing

Intellectually • Emotionally • Socially • Physically • Artistically 403.242.2896


expressing “God is here” ...

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Calgary Girls’ School The girls and young women of CGS are agents of change who develop confidence and a strong sense of self in a safe, collaborative, inquiry-based learning environment.








Calgary Girls’ School

A centre of excellence enabling girls and young women to become confident and innovative leaders.

Currently Accepting Applications for the 2014-15 School Year 6304 Larkspur Way SW Calgary, AB T3E 5P7 Phone: (403) 220-0745 Twitter: @CalGirlsSchool

directory • Private Schools Feature

Alberta Education Private Schools

Access International College (Calgary) Inc. Accredited ECS, Grades 1 – 12 Box 100 , B1 - 2451 Dieppe Avenue SW, Calgary, AB T3E 7K1 Phone: (403) 217-3830 Fax: (403) 217-3818 Email: Website:

Airdrie Koinonia Christian School

Banbury Crossroads School Member of the Canadian Coalition for Self Directed Learning Accredited / Eligible for Funding J/K,ECS, Grades 1- 6, Grades 7- 9, Grades 10 – 12 B1 #201, 2451 Dieppe Avenue SW, Calgary, AB T3E 7K1 Phone: (403) 270-7787 • Fax: (403) 270-7486 Email: Website: Offers Home Education Program Offers Home Education Blended Program

Accredited / Eligible for Funding ECS, Grades 1 - 12 2104 Yankee Valley Blvd SW, Airdrie, AB T4B 0R7 Phone: (403) 948-5100 Fax: (403) 948-5563 Email: Website:

Bearspaw Christian School

Akiva Academy

Bethel Christian Academy

Accredited ECS, Grades 1 – 6, Grades 7- 8 140 Haddon Road SW, Calgary, AB T2V 2Y3 Phone: (403) 258-1312 Fax: (403) 258-3812 Email: Website:

Alberta Chung Wah School Accredited / Eligible for Funding Grades 10- 12 #270, 328 Centre Street SE, Calgary, AB T2G 4X8 Phone: (403) 973-7773 Fax: (403) 232-6337 Email:

Aurora Learning Calgary Accredited / Eligible for Funding Grades 6 – 12 623 - 35th Avenue NE, Calgary, AB T2E 2L2 Phone: (403) 277-9535 Email:

Accredited / Eligible for Funding Jr. K, Sr. K, Grades 1 – 12 15001 - 69 Street NW, Calgary, AB T3R 1C5 Phone: (403) 295-2566 • Fax: (403) 275-8170 Email: Website:

Accredited ECS, Grades 1 – 6, Grades 7- 9, Grades 10 – 12 2220 - 39 Avenue NE, Calgary, AB T2E 6P7 Phone: (403) 735-3335 Fax: (403) 219-3059

Calgary Academy Accredited / Eligible for Funding Grades 2 - 12 1677 - 93rd Street SW, Calgary, AB T3H 0R3 Phone: (403) 686-6444 Fax: (403) 686-6588 Email: Website:

Calgary Academy Collegiate Accredited / Eligible for Funding Grades 10 – 12 1677 - 93rd Street SW, Calgary, AB T3H 0R3 Phone: (403) 686-6444 Fax: (403) 686-6588 Email:

58 • January 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |

Calgary Chinese Alliance School Accredited / Eligible for Funding Grades 10 – 12 150 Beddington Boulevard NE, Calgary, AB T3K 2E2 Phone: (403) 274-6925 Fax: (403) 275-7799 Email:

Calgary Chinese Private School Accredited / Eligible for Funding Grades 10 - 12 599 Northmount Drive NW, Calgary, AB T2K 3J6 Phone: (403) 264-2233 Fax: (403) 263-3895

Calgary Chinese School Accredited / Eligible for Funding Grades 10 – 12 #110, 138 - 18 Ave SE, Calgary, AB T2G 5P9 Phone: (403) 228-5335 Fax: (403) 228-5330 Email:

Calgary French & International School Accredited / Eligible for Funding Preschool, Jr. K, ECS, Grades 1- 6, Grades 7- 9, Grades 10 – 12 700 - 77 Street SW, Calgary, AB T3H 5R1 Phone: (403) 240-1500 Fax: (403) 249-5899 Email: Website:

Calgary Islamic Private School Accredited / Eligible for Funding ECS, Grades 1- 6, Grades 7- 9, Grades 10 – 12 2612 - 37 Avenue NE, Calgary, AB T1Y 5L2 Phone: (403) 248-2773 Fax: (403) 569-6654 Email:


elcome to a centre for learning where children are encouraged to reach and grow within an emotionally supportive community. Welcome to a school that pushes students academically but never forgets to nurture creativity, curiosity, social development, and physical well-being. We welcome you to join us as we celebrate achievement and imbue a lifelong passion for learning, exploration and self-improvement. At Edison, we place an emphasis on the attitudes of our students. Developing a positive attitude toward learning, teamwork, and setting and achieving personal goals is crucial. While each member of our faculty believes in our core values of academics, community and leadership, we are aware that the foundational development of positive attitude starts in the home. The Edison community works in partnership with the parents and caregivers of our students to provide support and guidance to each family. Our rigorous academic program is complimented by a global perspective that includes discussion and debate as well as off-campus excursions and community involvement. Elementary and middle

school students learn the Singapore Math Program in addition to provincial requirements. By graduation, most of our students have completed at least one Advanced Placement course, with many high school graduates entering university with nearly a full semester of university credit. Edison offers a beacon for those parents who wish, through a parent-school partnership, to foster the growth of caring, responsible, contributing members of the community who are happy, healthy and achieve their potential. Please visit our website at, or contact Beth Chernoff at 403-938-7670 ext. 200 for more information or to arrange an interview.

• Kindergarten to grade 12 • Student to teacher ratio of 12:1 • Uniforms • Busing available to Okotoks and south Calgary





French Immersion

Wolves’ Athletics

Experiential Education

Business Institute

Advanced Placement

Rigorous Academic Programmes

Outdoor Education

International Studies

Wolves’ Athletics


French and Spanish as a Second Language

Extensive Co-Curricular Activities

French Immersion

Fine Arts

Health Sciences

West Island College invites you to discover a school driven by passion, led by inspiration and committed to learning through innovation. Your child will be part of a community where dreams take shape and educational experiences go far beyond the classroom — imagine the possibilities.

West Island College | Grades 7 - 12 | 403-255-5300

Learn Play Grow Belong 7410 Blackfoot Trail SE, Calgary AB

Directory • Private Schools Feature

Calgary Jewish Academy

Delta West Academy

International School of Excellence

Accredited / Eligible for Funding Nursery - Grade 9 6700 Kootenay Street SW, Calgary, AB T2V 1P7 Phone: (403) 253-3992 Fax: (403) 255-0842 Email: Website:

Accredited / Eligible for Funding ECS, Grades 1- 6, Grades 7- 9, Grades 10 - 12 414 - 11A Street NE, Calgary, AB T2E 4P3 Phone: (403) 290-0767 Fax: (403) 290-0768 Email: Website:

Accredited / Eligible for Funding Grades preschool – 12 3915 - 34 Street NE, Calgary, AB T1Y 6Z8 Phone: (403) 234-0453 Fax: (403) 250-2401 Email: Website:

Calgary Quest School

Eastside Christian Academy

Italian School of Calgary

Accredited / Eligible for Funding ECS, Grades 1- 6, Grades 7- 9, Grades 10 – 12 3405 Spruce Drive SW,.c/o Spruce Cliff Elementary Calgary, AB T3C 0A5 Phone: (403) 253-0003 Fax: (403) 253-0025 Email:

Accredited / Eligible for Funding ECS, Grades 1- 6, Grades 7- 9, Grades 10 – 12 1320 Abbeydale Drive SE, Calgary, AB T2A 7L8 Phone: (403) 569-1039 Fax: (403) 569-1023 Email: Offers Home Education Blended Program

Accredited Grades 7 – 9, Grades 10 – 12 24 Beddington Way NE, Calgary, AB T3K 1N9 Phone: (403) 264-6349

Calgary Waldorf School

Edison School

Accredited / Eligible for Funding ECS, Grades 1- 6, Grades 7- 9 515 Cougar Ridge Drive SW, Calgary, AB T3H 5G9 Phone: (403) 287-1868 Fax: (403) 287-3414 Email:

Accredited / Eligible for Funding ECS, Grades 1- 6, Grades 7- 9, Grades 10 – 12 Site 11, P.O. Box 2, R.R. 2 Hwy 2A, 1KM North of Okotoks Okotoks, AB T1S 1A2 Phone: (403) 938-7670 Fax: (403) 938-7224 Email: Website:

Chinook Winds Adventist Academy Accredited / Eligible for Funding ECS, Grades 1- 6, Grades 7- 9, Grades 10 – 12 10101 - 2nd Avenue SW, Calgary, AB T3B 5T2 Phone: (403) 286-5686 Fax: (403) 247-1623 Email:

Clear Water Academy Accredited / Eligible for Funding Jr. K, K, Grades 1- 12 2521 Dieppe Avenue SW, Calgary, AB T3E 7J9 Phone: (403) 217-8448 Fax: (403) 217-8043 Email: Website:

Columbia College Accredited / Eligible for Funding Grades 10 – 12 802 Manning Road NE, Calgary, AB T2E 7N8 Phone: (403) 235-9300 Fax: (403) 272-3805 Email: Website:

Cultural Centre Chinese Learning Academy Accredited Grades 10 – 12 197 - 1 Street SW, Calgary, AB T2P 4M4 Phone: (403) 262-5071 Fax: (403) 232-6387 Email:

Equilibrium Senior High & ESL School Accredited / Eligible for Funding 707 - 14 Street NW, Calgary, AB T2N 2A4 Phone: (403) 283-1111 Fax: (403) 270-7786 Email: Website:

Foothills Academy Accredited / Eligible for Funding Grades 3 – 6, Grades 7 – 9, Grades 10 – 12 745 - 37 Street NW, Calgary, AB T2N 4T1 Phone: (403) 270-9400 Fax: (403) 270-9438 Email: Website:

Greek Community School Accredited / Eligible for Funding Grades 10 - 12 1 Tamarac Crescent SW, Calgary, AB T3C 3B7 Phone: (403) 246-4553 Fax: (403) 246-8191

Green Learning Academy & Foundation Accredited (A Private Charitable Non-Profit School) Pre-school, JK, K, Grades 1- 12 (ADL program) #150, 7260 - 12 Street SE, Calgary, AB T2H 2S5 Phone: (403) 873-1966 Fax: (403) 873-1967 Email: Website: Offers Student Directed Teaching Program Offers Home Education Program

62 • January 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |

Janus Academy Accredited / Eligible for Funding Grades 1 - 6 2223 Spiller Road SE, Calgary, AB T2G 4G9 Phone: (403) 262-3333 Fax: (403) 693-2345 Email: Website:

Janus Junior High/High School Academy Accredited / Eligible for Funding Grades 7 - 12 8516 Athabasca Street SE, Calgary, AB T2H 1S1 Phone: (403) 262-3333 Fax: (403) 693-2345 Email:

Khalsa School Calgary Educational Foundation Accredited / Eligible for Funding ECS, Grades 1- 6, Grades 7 - 9 RR6 Site 1 Box 2, Calgary, AB T2M 4L5 Phone: (403) 293-7712 Fax: (403) 293-2245 Email:

Language School of the German Canadian Club Calgary Accredited / Eligible for Funding K, Grades 1 – 12, Adult Classes Bowcroft Elementary 3940 73rd Street NW, Calgary, AB T3B 2L9 Ines Schiemann

Lycée Louis Pasteur The International French School Maternelle (3-5 yrs old), Elementary (Gr. 1–5), Collège (Gr. 7–9), Lycée (Gr. 10-12) 4099 Garrison Blvd. SW, Calgary, AB T2T 6G2 Phone: (403) 243-5420 Fax: (403) 287-2245 Email: Website:

Ranked Consistently as one of Alberta’s Top Schools AN EXTRAORDINARY EDUCATION Beginning with our Junior Kindergarten and Kindergarten Programs, Clear Water Academy offers children an environment in which they will receive a solid academic preparation, enjoy creative play, form new friendships, and flourish in an atmosphere of Christian faith. Every day is full of new discoveries for your young child. At Clear Water Academy, we tailor each child’s learning experience to their personal needs, helping them master one challenge after another so that the adventure of learning is always fresh and exciting.


CAMPUS TOURS AVAILABLE Call (403) 240 • 7917 to arrange yours today! WWW.CLEARWATERACADEMY.COM


Tomorrow’s World One student at a time

With 7,105 languages in the world, three seems like a good start. “Fluency in multiple languages, supported by a diverse academic and co-curricular program, creates amazing opportunities for our students.” ~Mme. Margaret Dorrance, Head of School At the Calgary French & International School, learning extends far beyond the language arts for each of our 750 students in preschool to Grade 12. Located on 14 acres in Cougar Ridge, our school’s warm and welcoming community of parents, enthusiastic faculty, and skilled staff work to support each student’s unique potential.

Academically, our elementary division is the highest-rated in Alberta among French immersion schools and the tenth highest of all schools in the province, according to the Fraser Institute rankings. Our secondary division continues with strong academics, diverse Advanced Placement program choices, and a wealth of co-curricular offerings including more than 80 options, teams and clubs. Beginning with the early childhood programs, academic and co-curricular courses are taught in a French immersion context, complemented by formal English instruction beginning in Grade 3, Spanish classes beginning in Grade 4, and intensive

Spanish instruction in the secondary division. At every grade level, leadership, international and citizenship initiatives bring learning to life, developing character and a strong sense of responsibility. With excellent academics, a global perspective and proficiency in Spanish, French and English, Calgary French & International School graduates step into a world of choice. Please contact us for a prospectus by email at, by phone at 403-240-1500, or visit to learn more.

700 - 77th Street SW, Calgary, AB T3H 5RI • 403-240-1500 •

20131129BusinessInCalgaryCALGARYFRENCH.indd 1

13-12-03 9:52 AM

Directory • Private Schools Feature

Maria Montessori School Accredited / Eligible for Funding ECS, Grades 1- 6 Building B4, #003 2452 Battleford Avenue SW, Calgary, AB T3E 7K9

Montessori School of Calgary Accredited / Eligible for Funding Preschool (3-6 yrs), Grades 1- 6 2201 Cliff Street SW, Calgary, AB T2S 2G4 Phone: (403) 229-1011 Fax: (403) 229-4474 Website:

Mountain View Academy Accredited / Eligible for Funding ECS, Grades 1- 6, Grades 7- 9, Grades 10 – 12 Building B4, 2452 Battleford Avenue SW Calgary, AB T3E 7K9 Phone: (403) 217-4346 Fax: (403) 249-4312 Email: Website:

New Heights School and Learning Services Accredited / Eligible for Funding ECS, Preschool (2 ½ - 6 years), Grades 1– 12 1323 McKnight Blvd. NE, Calgary, AB T2E 5T4 Phone: (403) 240-1312 Fax: (403) 769-0633 Email: Website:

Phoenix Home Education Foundation Centre Accredited Grades 10 – 12 Bay #1, 2821 - 3 Avenue NE, Calgary, AB T2A 7P3 Phone: (403) 265-7701 Fax: (403) 275-7715 Email: Offers Home Education Program Offers Home Education Blended Program

Renfrew Educational Services - Child Development Centre Accredited / Eligible for Funding ECS for typical children and children with disabilities 3820 – 24th Avenue NW, Calgary, AB T3E 6S5 Phone: (403) 291-5038 Fax: (403) 291-2499 Email: Website:

Renfrew Educational Services - Park Place Centre Accredited / Eligible for Funding ECS for typical children and children with disabilities 3688 – 48th Avenue NE, Calgary, AB T2E 6S5 Phone: (403) 291-5038 Fax: (403) 291-2499 Email: Website:

Renfrew Educational Services - Psychological Services

Rundle College Elementary School

For children, adolescents and adults Assessment, Counseling and Consultation Minimal wait time Extended hours Offered at any Renfrew location in the city

Accredited / Eligible for Funding Grades 4 - 6 2634 - 12 Avenue NW, Calgary, AB T2N 1K6 Phone: (403) 282-8411 Fax: (403) 282-4460 Email: Website:

Renfrew Educational Services - Sundance Centre Accredited / Eligible for Funding ECS for typical children and children with disabilities and grades 1-5 for children with disabilities 75 Sunpark Drive SE, Calgary, AB T2E 6S5 Phone: (403) 291-5038 Fax: (403) 291-2499 Email: Website:

Renfrew Educational Services - Bowness Centre Accredited / Eligible for Funding ECS for typical children and children with disabilities 8620 48th Avenue NW, Calgary, AB T2E 6S5 Phone: (403) 291-5038 • Fax: (403) 291-2499 Email: Website:

Renfrew Educational Services - Janice McTighe Centre Accredited / Eligible for Funding ECS for typical children and children with disabilities and grades 1-6 for children with disabilities 2050 - 21 Street NE, Calgary, AB T2E 6S5 Phone: (403) 291-5038 • Fax: (403) 291-2499 Email: Website:

River Valley School Accredited / Eligible for Funding 3 year old “Tots” – Grade 6 3127 Bowwood Drive NW, Calgary, AB T3B 2E7 Phone: (403) 246-2275 Fax: (403) 686-7631 Email: Website:

Rundle Academy Accredited / Eligible for Funding For students with learning disabilities Grades 4-12 4330 - 16 Street SW, Calgary, AB T2J 4H9 Phone: (403) 250-2965 Fax: (403) 250-2914 Email for admissions: Website:

Rundle College Primary School Accredited / Eligible for Funding Prek-grade 3 2445 - 23 Avenue SW, Calgary, AB T2T 0W3 Phone: (403) 229-0386 Fax: (403) 229-2669 Email for admission: Website:

66 • January 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |

Rundle College Junior Senior High School Accredited / Eligible for Funding Grades 7 - 12 7375 - 17 Avenue SW, Calgary, AB T3H 3W5 Phone: (403) 250-7180 Fax: (403) 250-7184 Email: Website:

St. John Bosco Private School Accredited / Eligible for Funding ECS, Grades 1- 6, Grades 7- 9 712 Fortalice Cres SE, Calgary, AB T2A 2E1 Phone: (403) 248-3664 Fax: (403) 266-1978 Email: Website:

Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School Developing well-balanced students for a life of purpose by inspiring excellence in scholarship, leadership and character Offering both International Baccalaureate (IB) and Alberta Learning curriculum Alberta’s only Grades 1 - 12 full IB independent school Scholarships and bursaries available 200-acre campus minutes from Calgary City-wide busing RR 2, Okotoks, AB T1S 1A2 Phone: 403-938-4431 Email: Website:

Swedish Language School Accredited / Eligible for Funding ECS, Grades 1- 6, Grades 7- 9, Grades 10 – 12 739 - 20 Avenue NW, Calgary, AB T2M 1E2 Phone: (403) 284-2610 Fax: (403) 284-2675 Email:

Tanbridge Academy Accredited / Eligible for Funding K, Grades 4 - 9 Box 4, Site 22, RR8, Calgary, AB T2J 2T9 Phone: (403) 259-3443 Fax: (403) 259-3432 Email: Website:

Directory • Private Schools Feature

The Chinese Academy Accredited / Eligible for Funding Grades 10 – 12 6620 - 4 Street NW, Calgary, AB T2K 1C2 Phone: (403) 777-7663 Fax: (403) 777-7669 Email:

The Third Academy Accredited / Eligible for Funding Grades 1- 6, Grades 7- 9, Grades 10 – 12 B4 Currie Barracks 2452 Battleford Avenue SW, Calgary, AB T3E 7K9 Phone: (403) 288-5335 Fax: (403) 288-5804 Email:

Third Academy Calgary South Accredited / Eligible for Funding Grades 1- 6, Grades 7- 9, Grades 10 – 12 Box 4 Site 22 RR8, Calgary, AB T2J 2T9 Phone: (403) 201-6335

Trinity Christian School Accredited / Eligible for Funding ECS, Grades 1- 6, Grades 7- 9, Grades 10 – 12 #100, 295 Midpark Way SE, Calgary, AB T2X 2A8 Phone: (403) 254-6682 Fax: (403) 254-9843 Offers Home Education Program

Tyndale Christian School Accredited / Eligible for Funding Grades 1- 6, Grades 7- 9, Grades 10 – 12 28 Hart Estates Blvd. NE, Calgary, AB T1X 0L3 Phone: (403) 590-5881 Fax: (403) 590-6998 Email:

Webber Academy Accredited / Eligible for Funding JK and Kindergarten , Grades 1 – 6, Grades 7- 9, Grades 10 – 12 1515 - 93 Street SW, Calgary, AB T3H 4A8 Phone: (403) 277-4700 Fax: (403) 277-2770 Email: Website:

Alternative Banff Hockey Academy Grades 7 – 12 College bound hockey athletes Box 2242 Banff, Alberta T1L 1B9 Phone: 1-888-423-6369 Fax: (403) 760-0868 Email: Website:

Glenmore Christian Academy Accredited / Eligible for Funding ECS, Grades 1- 6, Grades 7- 9 16520 – 24 Street, SW , Calgary, AB T2Y 4W2 Phone: (403) 254-9050 Fax: (403) 256-9695 Email:

Heritage Christian Academy Accredited / Eligible for Funding ECS, Grades 1- 12 2003 McKnight Boulevard, NE , Calgary, AB T2E 6L2 Phone: (403) 219-3201 Fax: (403) 219-3210

Calgary Christian School

Masters Academy

God’s Children Making the World a Better Place Preschool - Grade 12 Elementary Campus (Preschool - Grade 6): 2839 49th Street SW Secondary Campus (Grades 7-12): 5029 - 26 Avenue SW Calgary, Alberta Phone: (403) 242-2896 Fax: (403) 242-0682 Email: Website:

Accredited / Eligible for Funding ECS, Grades 1- 6 4414 Crowchild Trail SW , Calgary, AB T2T 5J4 Tel: (403) 242-7034 Fax: (403) 242-3515

Calgary Girls School Grades 4 - 9 6304 Larkspur Way SW, Calgary, AB T3E 5P7 Phone: (403) 220-0745

Edge School Accredited / Eligible for Funding Grades 5-12 33055 Township Road 250, Calgary, AB T3Z 1L4 Tel: (403) 246-6462 Fax: (403) 217-8463 Email:

West Island College Accredited / Eligible for Funding Grades 7- 9, Grades 10 - 12 7410 Blackfoot Trail SE, Calgary, AB T2H 1M5 Main: (403) 255-5300 Admissions: (403) 444-0023 Fax: (403) 252-1434 Email: Website:

Yufeng Chinese School Accredited / Eligible for Funding Grades 1- 6, Grades 7- 9, Grades 10 – 12 27 Citadel Ridge Close NW, Calgary, AB T3G 4V4 Phone: (403) 289-7876 Fax: (403) 210-0261

68 • January 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |

Master’s College Accredited / Eligible for Funding Grades 7- 12 4414 Crowchild Trail, SW Calgary, Calgary, AB T2T 5J4 Tel: (403) 242-7034 Fax: (403) 242-4629

Menno Simons Christian School Accredited / Eligible for Funding ECS, Grades 1- 9 7000 Elkton Drive, SW , Calgary, AB T3H 4Y7 Tel: (403) 531-0745 Fax: (403) 531-0747

Meetings, resorts and retreats

Conferences Events and Trade Shows Corporate Retreats

The prime places for your clients to host their next event! Meetings Resorts and Retreats | BUSINESS IN CALGARY January 2014 • 69

Official Nomination Form

Go Online to Submissions Directions: Please complete the application in its entirety. Send the form via fax to 403.264.3276; or scan and email to Eligibility: All nominees must own, be a partner, CEO, or President of a private or public company, and be

a primary stakeholder responsible for the recent performance of the company. In addition, the nominee’s company must be Calgary and area based and have been in existence for a minimum of three years.

Judging Panel and Criteria: The independent panel of judges will consist of a selection of successful business leaders from the community. The judges will analyze an extensive list of criteria that will include finances, strategic direction, product or service innovation, company leadership (including personal integrity, values and key employee initiatives), community involvement and philanthropic activities. Nominee Print or Type Only Please

Nominee’s Name: Title: Company Name: General Company Phone: Business Address: City:


Postal Code:

Company Website: Nature of Business: Nominee’s Phone:

Nominee’s Email:

Assistant’s Name: Assistant’s Phone:

Assistant’s Email:

Has Nominee previously been nominated for Consideration? Yes / No Year(s): For any questions or follow up related to this information, please designate a contact, or confirm nominee or assistant as primary contact.

Platinum Partner

Gold Partners


Hand-crafted excellence.

Thank you for recognizing us as Calgary’s #1 Employment Agency 1.855.266.7030 | View our website to see our full range of products and to create your personalized spindle and rail pattern with our custom railing design program.

2777 Hopewell Place NE Calgary (403) 250-1020 • Toll Free: 1-800-382-8502

72 • January 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |

People | Partners | Performance

Mr. rooter Calgary awarded Eighth Consecutive Consumer Choice award


There’s a reason they call us Mr.™ r. Rooter Calgary is a family-owned and operated HE’S54 PROFESSIONAL HE’S PROFESSIONAL HE’S AN EXPERT business with years of combined experience in • Fast • Complete plumbing repairs Fast service service24/7 24/7 the family alone as as • Know the before start • Clogged drains/ • Know theprice pricewell beforewe we startmany years of experi•• Never Sewer cleaning Never an anovertime overtimecharge charge ence from dedicated employees. •• Clean • Faucets/Disposals Clean service serviceprofessionals professionals •• Fixed right • Hydroscrubbing Fixedhas rightthe thefirst firsttime time in Calgary for over 12 Although Mr. Rooter been • Workmanship & parts guarantee • Faucets/Disposals • Workmanship & parts guarantee • Scheduled appointment times • Water heater installation & repair years, it is a franchise that has been around for over 40 • Scheduled appointment times • There’s a reason they call us Mr.™ • Sewer & water line replacement • Workmanship & parts guarantee years. Some of the Calgary employees have been with the company since its inception in 2001. They specialize in meeting the individual needs of the customer with a focus 403-640-7789 A Proud Sponsor

Independently Owned and Locally Operated Licenced • Bonded • Insured

Mr. Rooter Calgary is a family-owned and operated business with 54 years of combined experience in the family alone…

on providing quality plumbing service and parts. There is a fleet of 10 fully-stocked vans that help provide the customer with what they need while reducing cost and time to complete the work. Mr. Rooter can deal with both plumbing and drain issues for residential and commercial customers. The company also provides gas work as well as an assortment of other services ranging from hot-water tanks to ranges and barbecues. As far as drainage issues, they can clear the drains and offer sewer replacement and rehabilitation. Mr. Rooter Calgary has been very fortunate to win the Consumer Choice Award for the past eight years and is very proud of that accomplishment. According to company representatives, customers are the number one concern and they strive to provide professional service with courteous, considerate and helpful staff from first contact with the call takers to their technicians and supervisors. There is a reason they are called “Mr.”

Bon Ton Meat Market There’s a reason they call us Mr.™

Bon Ton is proud to be your Consumer Choice Award winner for 13 years in a row 13 -time winner

Now O in Cro pen wfoot


HE’S AN EXPERT • Complete plumbing repairs

• Fast Fast service service24/7 24/7

• Clogged drains/

•• Know Know the theprice pricebefore beforewe westart start

Sewer cleaning

•• Never Never an anovertime overtimecharge charge

• Faucets/Disposals

•• Clean Clean service serviceprofessionals professionals •• Fixed Fixed right rightthe thefirst firsttime time

• Hydroscrubbing

Our friendly experienced staff are always around to help make sure any customer will be a returning customer.

403.282.3132 | 28 Crowfoot Circle NW

• Faucets/Disposals

• Workmanship & parts guarantee

• Water heater installation & repair

• Scheduled appointment times

• Sewer & water line replacement

• Workmanship & parts guarantee

• Workmanship & parts guarantee • Scheduled appointment times

• There’s a reason they call us Mr.™


A Proud Sponsor

Independently Owned and Locally Operated Licenced • Bonded • Insured | BUSINESS IN CALGARY January 2014 • 73

The healthy Facts of contemporary Worklife • Health, Wellness & Rejuvenation

The Healthy Facts of Contemporary Worklife Healthy and happy employees impact workplace atmosphere and morale BY JOHn HarDY


t’s proven. It’s documented. It’s the undisputed truth. Health and wellness in the workplace matters, a lot. Healthier employees are happier employees. Healthy and happy employees impact sick day absenteeism and productivity, and ultimately affect workplace intangibles like atmosphere, mood and morale. Conventional health usually includes a gamut of medical matters – from diabetes, heart disease, migraines, hip and knee replacements, sciatica, fibromyalgia, depression and substance abuse to schizophrenia, dental, glasses and prescriptions. Wellness can include (covered or not covered) physiotherapy, weight loss, laser eye surgery, skin tightening, smoking cessation, facelifts, tummy tucks, hair transplants, massages and flexible work hours to Botox, skin treatments and even relaxing, rejuvenating spa days. In poignant contrast, the colossal gaffe and mess that is the American “Obamacare” is apples and oranges when it comes to any comparison to Canada’s and Alberta’s massive and mostly efficient socialized medicine health care, despite patient grumbling about some wait times being longer than many prefer. By all indications, even the most cynical critics begrudgingly concede that between AHCIP and the various benefits coverage offered by many Calgary area employers, when it comes to conventional medical issues – from heart disease, 74 • January 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |

cancer care, emergency, elder and maternity care, diabetes, glaucoma, prescriptions, dental, glasses and flu shots to wellness and various rejuvenation options like massage therapy, laser eye surgery, weight loss and flexible work hours – most working Calgarians are fairly well looked after. Although health and wellness programs are becoming more and more commonplace with contemporary employers, in a minority of Calgary workplaces, particularly in smaller companies without an in-house HR department, there is lingering resistance about the real need as well as the added expense of offering company benefits in addition to the standard and comprehensive AHCIP coverage. One of the biggest hurdles for human resource professionals is convincing senior leaders that organizational resources allocated to wellness initiatives will provide an adequate return on investment (ROI). Regardless, it has been consistently proven that proactive company wellness programs not only improve the health and the lives of employees, but give a company a definite edge when it comes to recruitment, attracting and retention of especially younger employees. Health and wellness benefits have also been undeniably proven to positively impact ‘the bottom line.’ Recent HR studies show that efficiently planned and designed health and wellness programs reduce employee absentee rates (sick days), lost productivity days and, in some companies,

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t starts with a visit to your doctor: you are told you will have to see a specialist for a proper diagnosis. You wait six months for the appointment where you are told you will need an MRI to confirm the diagnosis. Two months later, the specialist’s office calls to review the MRI results and schedule surgery for six months later. Your life has been put on hold for 14 months. Are you that patient? The wait is over. HealthSure™ Medical Access Insurance is a unique plan that’s specifically designed to expedite medical services. It’s proactive. It provides coverage for diagnostics such as MRIs, 10 types of specialists and certain surgical services. It helps people to access health care in a timely manner, while shortening the queue for others. “The public health system is costing employers money. Employees on disability who are waiting to get MRIs or see specialists translates to lost time, lost productivity and higher health and disability premiums. It is also detrimental to the mental health of the employee. With HealthSure, the employer can help their employees get diagnostic services sooner,” says Marie Milone, marketing manager of Acure Health Corporation, wholesaler of the HealthSure program. From an employer’s perspective, when an employee is sick and left untreated – due to medical wait times – it creates residual problems. The employee is probably on prescription drugs for pain management and sometimes not able to function at full capacity.

HealthSure provides access to specialists in the following categories: orthopedic, cardiology, general surgery, gastroenterology, ophthalmology, spine team, neurology, rheumatology, urology, and ear, nose and throat. “HealthSure is a forward-thinking approach that helps people while easing the public health-care system,” explains Milone. “HealthSure takes people off of the ‘wait list’ and helps them via the private system.” Milone adds, “According to the Fraser Institute, a little over two per cent of Canadians are on at least one wait list at any given time and that’s roughly 800,000 people who could have benefited from HealthSure. For example, the average wait time for an MRI or CT scan in Alberta is four to 10 weeks*. With HealthSure, the wait is three to four days.” HealthSure is available to all corporations either on a stand-alone basis or as an add-on to an existing group insurance program. HealthSure premiums are tax deductible and the benefits to employees are tax free. HealthSure is the first insured product that solves this waittime problem and depending on the size of a company, coverage (per employee) can be obtained from $14.50 - $49.00 per month. The coverage is available with or without surgery. Alberta employers understand the importance of employee retention and loyalty. It’s about attracting the best people, retaining the best people and treating them the best.

• Individual programs are available. • Group coverage available for two or more. • Surgical program unwritten by the Lloyd’s of London. * The Fraser Institute’s “Waiting Your Turn: Wait Times for Health Care in Canada, 2011 report” Available through your Insurance Broker | Please contact: 587-888-1886 or call 1-866-662-8062

The healthy Facts of contemporary Worklife • Health, Wellness & Rejuvenation

“Albertans have built a reputation of working hard and playing hard. With 50-plus hour work weeks becoming the norm, time off to recharge batteries has never been more important,” she cites from the survey results.

Jennifer Kirby, senior advisor at Vital Benefits Inc.

have been tracked to reduced disability claims and on-the-job injuries. More and more, even employee benefits skeptics and hold outs are also beginning to embrace some of the workplace intangibles of health and wellness benefits. The charts and graphs

show reduced employee turnover due to increased loyalty, improved mental function and enhanced productivity. Rarely part of the hard-core business aspects of employer and employee life, it is solidly shown that healthier employees are happier employees and that happier employees consistently impact workplace morale. “The ROI of wellness programs is at least $3 for every $1 spent,” says Jennifer Kirby, senior advisor at Vital Benefits Inc., the Calgary-based benefits consultants, specializing in innovative benefit solutions for corpo-

76 • January 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |

rations and independent professionals. “It is documented that wellness initiatives work out to changed behaviours and ultimately turn out to be a benefit with cost savings. There’s no doubt that poor lifestyle choices (such as unhealthy eating habits, obesity and smoking) are having a detrimental impact on benefit costs. “But sometimes,” Kirby admits, “the challenge is still to justify wellness budgets when explaining it to some executive teams.” In a recent survey of Calgary employers, only 35 per cent of responding

The Healthy Facts of Contemporary Worklife • Health, Wellness & Rejuvenation

organizations say they offered wellness benefits. Some of the newer programs being offered (in addition to conventional dental, glasses and prescription benefits) include health coaching and disease management, therapeutic massage, fitness training subsidies, flex time, healthy food choices at company cafeterias, healthy eating and meal planning seminars, smoking cessation and weight loss. Some other popular, contemporary Calgary workplace benefits are flu clinics (67 per cent), taxable wellness accounts (65 per cent), subsidized fitness memberships (64 per cent) and various specific types of wellness education (59 per cent). Kirby’s expertise includes constant research and monitoring of not only provincial but national and North American trends of benefits being offered in the workplace. “Alberta is unique when it comes to wellness benefits,” she explains. “We

are leaders across Canada and we are well ahead of the Canadian trend. Our programs are a lot richer and much more leading edge, in areas like wellness spending accounts, prescriptions and flexible work times.” Several common factors impact the various types of health and wellness coverage offered to employees in Calgary workplaces: generational trends are a significant factor; as is the size of the company; and, as of recently, some new eligibility rules from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) are also having affect on what taxable wellness spending employers actually seek out and opt for. Kirby explains that health and wellness benefits are more and more being generationally customized. “While baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) and gen-X employees (born between 1965 and 1984) still appreciate traditional company health benefits like dental, glasses, prescriptions and retirement savings programs, genera-

tion Ys (born after 1985) are different. They look for lifestyle-related wellness options, like health spending accounts, flexible working arrangements, extra paramedical benefits.” She highlights generationally interesting and redefined values from the most recent Vital Benefits survey of benefits program trends. “Albertans have built a reputation of working hard and playing hard. With 50-plus hour work weeks becoming the norm, time off to recharge batteries has never been more important,” she cites from the survey results. “This year’s results highlight the importance that organizations are devoting to support balanced lifestyles for their employees. Half (50 per cent) of survey respondents provide employees with flex days; and of these organizations, 64 per cent don’t require employees to earn flex days (by working additional hours); and 53 per cent provide more than five days annually.” | BUSINESS IN CALGARY January 2014 • 77




The healthy Facts of contemporary Worklife • Health, Wellness & Rejuvenation

Soma is a boutique spa in downtown Calgary that exemplifies the essential role of wellness in contemporary life.

Other findings of the Vital Benefits survey also underscore the priority that contemporary employees are putting on various aspects of an altered work-life balance. More than 64 per cent of the surveyed companies provide flexible work hours, 32 per cent offer a compressed work week (working 80 hours over nine days instead of 10) and 32 per cent provide the option of telecommuting. “By 2020, some 40 per cent of the workforce will be made up of generation Y employees,” Kirby points out. “Today’s employers have to start meeting the needs of those changing demographics.” According to the Vital Benefits survey, “Although Alberta is in a tight labour market, only 25 per cent of respondents are planning to make changes to their benefits in the next 12 months. Of those forecasting some change, 69 per cent plan to make program enhancements, mostly by adding flexibility, and 29 per cent by introducing wellness programs.” The health and wellness benefits industry is also creating a new, more efficiently managed drug landscape. Partially in response to the popularity of the pricey, newer type of biologic medications made from living organisms not chemically synthesized drugs (like Humira, which some tout as a miracle biologic arthritis drug but can cost as much as $5,000 a month), an increasing number of company benefit plans have clamped down and specify ‘generic’ instead of ‘brand’ medications whenever available. “Many insurers have implemented mandatory and optional drug cost management changes in the past year,” the Vital Benefits survey says. “It is not surprising that 36 per cent of the companies planning some kind of change are focusing on drug cost management.” Although non-taxable and taxable health and wellness spending accounts are becoming more prevalent, with menu options that range from fitness club and personal trainer subsidies, weekly therapeutic massages to laser and other cosmetic treatments, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has 80 • January 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |

begun to clamp down about what kinds of wellness benefits are (or are not) allowable as tax exempt. Soma is a boutique spa in downtown Calgary that exemplifies the essential role of wellness in contemporary life with its branding slogan, “look well, live well and be well.” Soma is just one Calgary example of popular wellness and rejuvenation options, where customized treatments are created by owner Lourdes Juan and staff professionals to provide a broad range of wellness services – from clinical and glycolic facials and skin treatments and therapeutic massages to diamond tip microdermabrasion and fractional laser therapy for collagen and elasticity of the skin. There is an updated and contemporary list of popular rejuvenating options that are not covered by most benefit plans nor are they tax exempt. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) – the leading professional organization of plastic surgeons, with 2,400 members in Canada and the U.S. – many people are opting for various popular rejuvenating cosmetic surgery options as part of personal definitions of wellness. The ASAPS stats show that the most sought-after procedures include facelifts, breast augmentation, liposuction, eyelid surgery, rhinoplasty (nose jobs) and abdominoplasty (tummy tucks); and that people age 35 to 50 had the most procedures – 5.4 million and 46 per cent of the total. People age 19 to 34 had 21 per cent of procedures; age 51 to 64 had 25 per cent; age 65 and older had six per cent; and age 18 and younger had less than two per cent. An interesting new trend in the rejuvenation field is the increasing number of men opting for neck lipo, a procedure in which pockets of excess fatty tissue beneath the skin are located and removed by suction through a thin, metal tube to create a firmer, toned and sculpted appearance eliminating what some call a ‘turkey gobble.’ Covered or not covered, health and wellness pays off. BiC

Continues Innovative Legacy by Celebrating 30th Anniversary By Shelly Brimble


goal without a plan is just a dream. For many business owners searching for a future in a new building, the process of bringing their vision to reality can be a daunting task. Calgary-based Spacemakers Construction Services Inc. helps them navigate through the difficult process of finding or creating a new facility by simplifying the complex design-build and construction management process to ensure successful results. Their philosophy is reflected in their mission statement, “To take the complex and make it simple, delivering distinct value for our clients.” “The company has built a successful business one client at a time, ensuring they create lasting relationships by paying attention to every detail throughout each step in the construction process,” says Mike Meyer, business development. “We don’t promise to be perfect, but we do promise to get it right.” Spacemakers has been getting it right throughout the years by creating and evolving a process to simplify designbuild and construction management. As a result, they have become a strong company celebrating its landmark 30th anniversary.

The company began as a problem-solving firm that built a reputation for taking on construction projects that other contractors simply could not, or would not complete. The founder, Les Willems, brought over 20 years of experience to this innovative company that originally began as Aria Management and later changed to Spacemakers in 1989. Spacemakers began in a humble two-storey house on 12th Avenue NE where they incubated for 15 years eventually moving to an expansive office space in southeast Calgary where they remain today. Throughout the years, Spacemakers grew, adopted visionary goals and expanded into the company it is now under the leadership of Bart Benoit, Debbie Tomaszewski and Mike Meyer. Spacemakers resolves design challenges that often occur from a clash between technical realities of wish lists versus the reality of what can be done within budgets, existing construction practices and materials. They have done this while delivering projects on time and on budget. Mike adds, “Our expertise and knowledge helps the client save money while building a successful home for their business.” Mike rounds out the partnership team with extensive leadership and business development expertise. Each

Spacemakers | 30 Years | 1

The staff at Spacemakers. Photo by Bookstrucker Photography.

Spacemakers partner brought their own strengths that complemented each other’s. Throughout the years they have strengthened their skills within the company by being able to overlap their duties executing portions of each other’s roles as time constraints or circumstances dictated. The partners agree that their success has been due to the fact that they stuck to their core values throughout the high and low economic cycles in the last three decades. Debbie Tomaszewski, general manager finance and partner, says, “We were flexible and made adjustments to our business in order to survive the ups and downs and to keep our key people; we knew eventually the economy would turn around.” Early in the business, an innovative value-added approach emerged to provide a total solution for clients. Spacemakers began bundling land with a construction contract. Avoiding conflict with clients’ needs, the company does not own any land holdings but they have strategic alliances giving them the ability to source land to suit the building needs of the client. This legacy continues since Spacemakers currently has exclusive access to strategic land holdings and sites in the light industrial market. “If you are having a difficult time finding a site, we can help you find the right site in the right location for the right price,” Mike says. Spacemakers also ensures each building is optimally situated on the land so that the client has future flexibility and room for expansion. Furthermore, they make sure that the buildings are built with specifications that will help their clients with reselling features in the future.

Building Success One Client at a Time

Spacemakers always takes the time to get to know each and every client. The valuable time they spend, especially in the early planning stages, ensures long-lasting relationships. Mike adds, “Each and every job is both exciting and rewarding as each client becomes part of a lasting relationship.” Bart Benoit, general manager operations, adds, “We spend the time to really understand why they’re building. We learn what drives them – is it a requirement for operational efficiency, business growth, or are they looking for an investment? We make sure we build a suitable strategy based on the owners’ objectives to satisfy the clients’ requirements both now and in the future.” Once they identify why the client is building, the Spacemakers team can make effective recommendations to satisfy their objectives. Different client objectives result in different solutions, so it is important to understand what motivates them. Is it business growth, operational efficiency, investment or simply a resale? “Every project is different, we don’t sell boxes, we develop solutions,” says Bart. But the process does not stop there. Spacemakers, along with a team of subtrades and consultants, then analyzes the building and its proposed usage in order to optimize its function. This is why it is said that at Spacemakers, they build a building from the inside out. Getting it right at the beginning stage is why Spacemakers is able to build their

Spacemakers | 30 Years | 2

Congratulations to Spacemakers Construction on their 30 Year Anniversary!

We are recognized leaders in the advancement of insulated panel technology, serving the Architectural, Commercial, Industrial and Cold Storage industries with energy efficient and cost effective insulated metal wall and roof panels.

PMS Color 287C Blue PMS Color 5405C Gray Ultra-Lite Doors has served Calgary and area for more than three decades, with durable and distinctive overhead doors in a full range of prices, styles and materials. Family owned and operated, Ultra-Lite Doors offers expert installation and service, along with products from the world’s top manufacturers.

Congratulations, Spacemakers! Wishing you continued success.

Spacemakers | 30 Years | 3

clients’ buildings with just over one per cent by value in project change orders. Spacemakers takes a sincere interest in the success of the client and their business. “Our results speak for themselves,” adds Debbie.

Strategic Formula

Like a strong chess player, Spacemakers continues to make moves to challenge themselves while staying innovative and exceeding customers’ expectations. “Where we stand out is that we understand what the client requires today and what they require in the future,” Debbie says. “We help them grow into future plans with our designbuild focus. We design it to suit today’s needs as well as if they need to repurpose the building.” Spacemakers believes the strength in their relationships is accomplished by having a close-knit project team for each project and ultimately has one person responsible. This is accomplished by providing a single source responsibility through its comprehensive service package that takes the client through the entire life cycle of a project. When asked what the primary reason is for their success

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the team agrees it is the accountability. Bart says, “There isn’t a client who we have built for that doesn’t know they can contact anyone of us at any time to get help or just to discuss a challenge or a change if they need it. We are willing to look at different ways of doing things in order to solve the challenge.” Bart joined the team in 1997 during the construction boom in Calgary. He brought extensive construction expertise to the partnership since he was a carpenter by trade with 12 years of superintendent experience. Spacemakers ensures quality through effective processes. “By spending the time up front we ensure clients’ needs are met in the design process,” says Bart. “The result is less than one per cent of change orders across all the projects. Spacemakers also stands behind their deliverables by being accountable for the quality of the building – even if the warranty has expired.” Spacemakers also guarantees the projects are kept on budget. Debbie says, “We measure the cost not only at the proposal stage, but at contract, construction completion and after the first three years, you will see Spacemakers delivers the best value hands down.” A very important aspect of any construction project is having the skills and the ability to navigate the difficult per-

OVER 80 YEARS OF EXPERTISE AT YOUR SERVICE DESIGN • INSTALLATION • MAINTENANCE INDUSTRIAL • COMMERCIAL • RESIDENTIAL • Automatic sprinkler systems • Special hazard systems • Fire alarm systems • Clean fire protection solutions • Portable fire extinguishers, hoses and emergency lights • Specialized fire protection engineering services • Inspection service with certification • Free estimating and technical assistance


w w w . v i k i n g f i r e . c a Spacemakers | 30 Years | 4

mit process. “When we started we spent about 70 per cent of the time with the customer and 15 per cent with the subtrades and staff and the remaining time was spent on city process,” says Mike. “That has all changed since we now spend about 70 per cent of our time managing permits.” In order to deliver the projects on time and on budget, Spacemakers has also grown its own in-house team of construction professionals who currently have over 90 years of combined expertise with the company. Spacemakers also has a much larger team of subtrades and consultants who have become a strong part of their network, enabling them to keep pace with construction boom cycles. Mike says, “This extended team is very important to us both now and in the future.” Spacemakers takes pride in their relationships with all subtrade partners and have been chosen by many as the go-to design-build firm when they needed a new facility. The design-build method of delivery will always remain a core and growing business at Spacemakers. This focus will enable the company to continue to strengthen its relationships with developers and broaden its builder-of-choice model.

Congratulations Spacemakers! We wish you many years of continued success!


Throughout the years they have refined a complete life cycle of construction services that demystify the process for business owners. They accomplish this by providing end-toend construction services including: design, process mapping and operational efficiency planning, operations/equipment floor planning, permits, construction, commissioning and building maintenance services. “Owners have a business to run and seek our services to deliver on the owners’ best interests,” says Mike.

Alberta Beverage Container Recycling Corporation Alberta Beverage Container Recycling Corporation (ABCRC), the provincially licensed not-for-profit product stewardship corporation responsible for the collection, recycling and bylaw compliance of recycling beverage containers, had outgrown its facility in the Ogden area of Calgary. ABCRC turned to a team of professionals including Spacemakers to help them find a facility that would meet their growing needs. The process helped them identify an existing 100,000 ft2 facility in northeast Calgary that could be renovated to meet their requirements. “Spacemakers provided ABCRC with some of the key components that allowed our project to be successful – a strong team and effective support in navigating complex permitting Spacemakers | 30 Years | 5

process,” says Guy West, president of ABCRC. “We also benefited from Spacemakers’ practical strategies for resolving constructability issues and embedding sustainable design. We’re pleased to be in our new and improved space on time and on budget.” The facility required numerous improvements to suit ABCRC’s operations. Designs included construction of a freight yard on adjoining lands to accommodate the tractor and trailer activities. Building access was enhanced through additional dock doors, and increasing the size of overhead doors. Demising the operations areas into separate operational spaces and functions enhanced operations. They were further enhanced through the design and construction of specialized conveyor pits to automate the separating, loading and processing of the recycled containers. Office areas were also renovated and refreshed. The project also included the implementation of sustainable initiatives including: rainwater harvesting for operations housekeeping, utilizing certifiable high-recycling content materials, recycling construction waste, new highefficient operations lighting, and reworking existing and installing new HVAC systems.

Spacemakers helped ABCRC to achieve their vision of creating a new container-recycling facility that has now become the new benchmark for operational efficiency and quality control in the container-recycling sector.

Compact Rentals Ltd. Compact Rentals Ltd., located in northeast Calgary, contracted Spacemakers through their Realtor to help them create a new state-of-the-art construction rentals facility near Deerfoot Trail and Country Hills Boulevard. “They gave us excellent objectives with a mandate to get it done right,” Mike says. The new Compact Rentals facility will improve efficiency, and the customer service experience, building on the already highly regarded service Compact Rentals has become well known for. “The team of experts Spacemakers gathered, on our behalf, have done an awesome job of simplifying the never-ending challenges a project like ours presents,” says Jenny LaBoret, director, Compact Rentals. “This, of course, reduced our stress load immensely and allowed us to do what we do best, and that is ‘looking after business.’ Spacemakers’ knowledge

Congratulations to Spacemakers on their 30 th Anniversary!


F ro




us Spacemakers | 30 Years | 6

of the most current and innovative strategies really streamlined our state-of-the-art design.” The complexity of the building required the navigation of various permitting processes. This included assisting in negotiations with the developer and the City of Calgary to adopt the way the building could face on the property. If built under the existing restrictions (facing Deerfoot Trail), there would not have been enough space for a future expansion. Jenny adds, “The number one issue for Compact Rentals in building our new facility was dealing with our city bureaucracy. It is well known that our city’s building and planning process is frustrating and cumbersome. Not a friendly place to do business. The expertise Spacemakers provided to navigate this process has been priceless. I can unequivocally say I would not have wanted to do this without ‘the Spacemakers team’.” “We had the right people on the job. They were able to create a design and engineering strategy that got the nod from the city,” Mike adds. The new design-build Compact Rentals development includes: • Architecturally approved building elevations including precast concrete, composite panels, thermal panels,

locally manufactured curtain wall and ribbon glazing and special building features • High-end site fencing for screening, security, durability and maintenance-free enjoyment • Full suite of technically advanced security systems • Drive-thru service bays for the maintenance of rental equipment • Ribbon glazing throughout the service area for abundant natural light • Drive-thru wash bay • Specialized yard area to efficiently organize, load and unload equipment • A new yard loading ramp • On-site environmentally compliant refuelling station • Building is designed for a future expansion • Excellent customer service area with automated sliding glass doors and a world-class showroom, service and parts areas • Staff amenity spaces including outdoor amenity space, lunchroom and training room, gym with change room/ shower, locker-room, etc.

CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR FRIENDS AT SPACEMAKERS ON 30 YEARS IN THE BUSINESS! Wishing You Continued Success For The Next 30 From all of us at Watt Consulting Group Civil, Municipal and Traffic Engineering | Storm Water Management | Geomatics/Legal Survey | Transportation Planning

Spacemakers | 30 Years | 7

Douglasglen Properties Douglasglen Properties is a multi-tenant development located in Douglasglen, directly adjoining Quarry Park that will be ready for occupancy in 2014. “The client has a residential portfolio with the objective of diversifying their portfolio with some light industrial holdings for lease,” Bart says. They contracted Spacemakers through their Realtor to help them optimize the project that will provide eight light industrial building bays with a typical 3,680 ft2 of area on one floor. In addition, multiple bays can be assembled to create larger size areas. The building is ideally suited to satisfy the business requiring excellent location, multiple high-volume routes in the southeast. The building utilizes sound building materials and design to reduce the cost of utilities, and provides a large rear loading area with large overhead doors. The building is located in a light industrial area surrounded with other architecturally appealing businesses. The construction is currently underway and the bays are available for lease starting in spring 2014.

Pretty N Pearls Creating a boutique shop out of a bay in less than four months was just another exercise in how to apply Space-

From playing with blocks…

makers’ design-build formula to repurpose an existing space. Pretty N Pearls, a boutique women’s clothing store located in a convenient retail mall in Copperfield, opened in record time with a unique design that reflected the owner’s flair for fashion. The space was designed with the owner to deliver on the vision of a walk-in closet to rival any women’s wildest dream! The 1,400 ft2 space is inviting, exciting and encourages client curiosity to explore the potential ensembles. “They took care of the small details that I as a small business owner was too busy to see, and in the end I see that those details were actually very big things,” says Jennifer Sawka, Pretty N Pearls owner.

Kienna Coffee Kienna Coffee, a specialty coffee selector and processor, had a challenge they could not resolve. Their rapid growth had resulted in their operations being spread out in a multibay facility in southeast Calgary. Their corporate success had them bursting at the seams so they also turned to Spacemakers for an innovative solution in a new purpose-built facility to meet their growing needs. Spacemakers assisted Kienna in securing the right site, in the right location at a competitive price.

TSE Steel - Our strength is our people

…to 30 years of business…

Congratulations Spacemakers on your 30th Anniversary!

Congratulations Spacemakers on 30 years!

For your utility and grading needs — 403.619.5710

Heavy equipment rentals — 403.612.6595

4436 – 90 Avenue SE Phone: 403-279-6060 • Fax: 403-279-2054

Spacemakers | 30 Years | 8

Acorn consulting EnginEE nginEEring EEring group ltd. Acorn consulting EnginEE nginEEring EEring & AssociA ssoci tE ssociA tEs Es ltd. Congratulations Spacemakers! Wishing you many years continued success. 1921 - 10th Avenue S.W. P: 403.228.2827 • F: 403.244.8786 (403) 279 8171

Congratulations to Spacemakers Construction Services as you celebrate 30 years in business. We wish you many more years of success.

Aym Installations Ltd. Sheet Metal + HVAC Congratulations Spacemakers on 30 great years! Phone: 403-630-3800 • Fax: 403-207-0062

"Congratulations Spacemakers

Congratulations Spacemakers! Wishing you continued success.

on 30 years of business. We are proud to roof the spaces that you have made."

Barrier Systems Inc.

202, 3639 - 27 St. NE | Calgary, AB T1Y 5E4

Phone: 403 291-1335 | Fax: 403 250-2445

Congratulations Spacemakers on your 30th Anniversary. • Industrial Property Sales • Industrial Property Leasing • Tenant Representation

Marshall Toner Executive Vice President (403) 750-0531

Spacemakers | 30 Years | 9

Ryan Haney Senior Vice President (403) 750-0532

Katie Proud Sales Associate (403) 750-0529

Tyler Allen Sales Associate (403) 750-0504

This new facility leverages sustainable initiatives to mitigate the environmental footprint. The design process is exploring a heat-recovery system, the potential of a geothermal system and demountable partitions to keep up with the ever and dynamically changing requirements of a growing business. The design incorporates other high-efficiency systems such as thermal panels for the building exterior, and locally sourced and manufactured window systems to reduce the effect of solar loading and insulate against the cold Calgary winters. The floor plans have been developed from Kienna’s years of experience in the business and integrates clean, automated systems and equipment with functional human interaction and flexibility. The new Kienna facility will house a sophisticated coffee process, adding value to the raw coffee bean materials with

proven roasting techniques, specialized grinding, packaging and distribution.

Calgary Indoor Tennis Centre Spacemakers is excited to announce that it has just been appointed the builder for the Calgary Indoor Tennis Centre located on 90th Avenue SE. The construction on this exciting new sports facility is expected to proceed this spring. The centre will provide the newest indoor tennis courts in the city with some of the best court surfaces and the newest lighting technologies. “We are proud to be part of the project team and looking forward to the facility opening,” Mike says. “The team is presently fundraising and seeking sponsors at every level. If any of the Calgary corporate community can assist with a tax-deductible donation, please contact us.”

Special Congratulations from your friends at Belyea Consulting and Strategic Realty Services Inc.

Congratulations Spacemakers on 30 successful years.




Equipment Rentals Ltd. 4729 - 32 St. SE, Calgary, AB T2B 2X3 Ph: 207.4577 • Fax: 207.0099

Chain Link Fencing 403.285.5601

Rick Balbi Architect Ltd.

5917 1”A” Street SW Calgary, Alberta, T2H 0G4 tel: 403.253.2853 • fax: 403.253.3078

Best Wishes and Continued Success in the next 30 Years!

Spacemakers | 30 Years | 10

Congrats Spacemakers on your 30th Anniversary!






Congratulations, Spacemakers! Proud to be working with you, and we wish you continued success in the industry. Suite 2020, 736-6th Avenue S.W. 403.265.9966

2626, 48 Street SE • 403.273.0113 • 403.248.6305

Global Commercial Real Estate Advisors

Congrats on 30 Years!

•• •• •• ••

Congratulations to Spacemakers on their 30th Anniversary!

Structural Structural Design Design Structural Restoration Restoration Structural Heritage Building Building Preservation Heritage Preservation Post-tensioning Evaluations Post-tensioning Evaluations

For moreinformation, information, visit visit us For more us at at

Congratulates Spacemakers on 30 years!

Your Commercial Electrical Specialists Tele - Data Systems AV Controls Lighting Design Build

All the best for continued success.

Congratulations to Spacemakers on 30 successful years in the industry!

Troubleshooting Fire Alarm Retrofits Maintenance Controls

Free Estimates • 403-931-1066 •

Spacemakers | 30 Years | 11

(403) 590-2525

Future Focus New Products Opening New Markets Business is changing and so is Spacemakers’ vision to expand across Western Canada into new markets. Mike says, “The team is looking forward to leading Spacemakers into the future and the next transition of the growth. This will involve opening new markets and offices throughout Western Canada.” Spacemakers recently signed a partnership deal with Rigid Global Buildings to provide products and solutions to expand into new markets. These rapid turnaround quality steel buildings will enable Spacemakers to enter new opportunities in: agricultural, aviation, fabrication, religious, recreational, and oil and gas facilities. “This is a great addition to the construction solutions we already provide our customers,” adds Bart. “The addition of the Rigid products has already opened new doors, helping us get the contract for the upcoming Calgary Indoor Tennis Centre.” “We also expect expansive growth in oil and gas facilities,” adds Mike. Rigid, a leading steel building manufacturer in the U.S., designs, value engineers and manufactures steel building to exact specifications. These buildings are engineer certified throughout Canada and the U.S. Spacemakers has already done some consulting work on oil and gas projects in the Fort McMurray area and expect


Just over 1% by value in project change orders


Safety, reoccurring benefit from much lower than industry incidents, claims, lost time and costs

the addition of the Rigid products to expand their business opportunities. The steel buildings can be used in any oilfield operations from well-site facilities, SAGD operations, upgraders, pipeline infrastructure, field offices, distribution centres and fabrication facilities. “We have a product to match any oilfield need on budget with a rapid deployment time,” Mike adds. As the geographical footprint grows so will Spacemakers specialized services and processes to serve their remote and out-of-town clients with full construction services to reduce client investments in time, travel and costs.

New Services Strengthen Client Relations Spacemakers recently added maintenance services to complete the loop as a full-cycle con construction services company. “Maintenance was an organic expansion of our current business offerings,” says Bart. “We are intimate with the client and the building requirements. Hence it is easier for Spacemakers to deal with the maintenance of the building as well as ensuring warranty of all products within the project. The life cycle of the building becomes longer and more efficient as a result of our continued care of the facility.” Whether it is providing consulting services, design-build or construction management services the team will continue to build Spacemakers’ reputation one client at a time. •

2008 Award 2008 Best Safety Performer Work Safe Alberta


Get it right We don’t promise to be perfect but we do promise to get it right


Quality, less than l% by project value of incomplete work at substantial performance


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The Year Ahead I

t is the beginning of January, and for many businesses, it is a time to reflect back on all that was accomplished in the previous year, and a time to re-prioritize objectives and start fresh with renewed vigour. The Calgary Chamber is excited for what lies ahead this coming year, and is in the business of serving the needs of its members, and doing everything possible for business in Calgary to be successful.

Connect The Calgary Chamber is Calgary’s main connector of people and ideas. This year, Calgary Chamber members will have the opportunity to build relationships, and grow their client lists at over 50 breakfast and Business After Hours networking events that will be held across the city. The Chamber hosted Mayor Nenshi last December in his first address to the business community after being re-elected.

Develop The Calgary Chamber will continue to develop programming and learning opportunities that allow members of the Calgary business community to hear and learn from industry leaders on trending topics that provide the information needed to build a thriving business climate in this city.

Great Cities At the heart of the Calgary Chamber lies a commitment to making Calgary a more globally competitive city to ensure that both our businesses and communities continue to thrive. With this in mind, the Calgary Chamber has developed the Great Cities event series and policy. Great Cities will profile a number of high-level keynote speakers throughout the year that will highlight success stories and best practices from other great cities to generate action plans in the context of continuous improvement opportunities for Calgary.

Inform For over 100 years, the Calgary Chamber has been the voice of the business community at government meetings to ensure that policy-makers are aware of its members’ business issues.

Advocacy In 2014 the Calgary Chamber will continue its advocacy work at all levels of government to create the conditions business needs to grow and succeed. With the conclusion of the 2013 municipal election, the Calgary Chamber has been and will continue to meet with all of city council to discuss the policy priorities that came out of the Chamber’s Great Calgary 2013 report, and will work with city council to ensure that Calgary remains a prosperous place to live and do business. The Chamber’s policy and government affairs department will explore the issue of mental health in the workplace, and the role that governments can play in creating more supportive workplaces from a mental health standpoint. The Chamber will also be looking into developing advocacy work and a report on market access for Alberta’s unrefined petroleum, which includes opening new markets both within Canada as well as globally. | BUSINESS IN CALGARY January 2014 • 93

2014 Board of


Chamber Member Spotlights

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

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

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

Boardwalk Rental Communities Directors David Allen, President, Calgary Land, Brookfield Residential Properties Inc. Bill Brunton, President, Stratus Marketing Inc. Carlos Alvarez, Audit Partner, KPMG Lorenzo DeCicco, Vice-President, TELUS Business Solutions Rob Hawley, Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP Wellington Holbrook, Executive Vice-President, ATB Financial

Boardwalk Rental Communities is Canada’s largest owner and operator of rental apartments. Creating a caring and supportive environment for their resident members and their communities is important to Boardwalk Rental Communities, which has been successfully strengthening communities and providing resident members with quality rental opportunities for the past 25 years. Boardwalk Rental Communities recognizes the influence and impact they have on the communities in which they operate in, and are committed to contributing to local communities and charitable organizations. For more visit

Guy Huntingford, Chief Executive Officer, Urban Development Institute Leah Lawrence, President, Clean Energy Capitalists Inc. Adam Legge, President and CEO, Calgary Chamber Joe Lougheed, Partner, Dentons Canada LLP Bruce Okabe, Chief Executive Officer, Travel Alberta Denis Painchaud, Director, International Government Relations, Nexen Inc.

Canadian Oil Sands

Phil Roberts, Vice-President, Axia NetMedia Corp

Canadian Oil Sands (COS) is the premier investment opportunity of light, sweet crude oil in Canada’s oilsands. COS is committed to maximizing the value of shareholder investment, optimizing operations, developing long-term growth capacity and being a responsible producer. With 36.74 per cent interest in the Syncrude project, COS delivers long-term value to shareholders through a robust production stream of fully upgraded crude oil, exposure to future crude oil prices, potential growth through high-quality oilsands leases and an attractive dividend. For more visit

Linda Shea, Senior Vice-President, AltaLink Mike Williams, Executive Vice-President, Tervita Corporation

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

Devon Canada Corporation Devon Canada Corporation is a leading independent oil and natural gas exploration and production company that has nearly doubled its onshore North American oil production since 2008, and has a deep inventory of development opportunities to deliver future oil growth. In many of its producing areas, Devon also owns natural gas pipelines and treatment facilities, where it produces about 2.6 billion cubic feet of natural gas a day – more than three per cent of all gas consumed in North America. Devon is a Fortune 500 company and is included in the S&P 500 Index. Its common shares trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol DVN. For more visit

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2332–23 Street NE, Calgary

403 • 296 • 0770

3660–50 Avenue SE, Calgary

403 • 296 • 0776

Upcoming Events The Calgary Chamber is pleased to announce its exciting lineup of events planned for 2014. Watch for more details on these events as they become available on the Calgary Chamber events page at

Aboriginal Relations Series

The Calgary Chamber has a long history of being at the forefront of aboriginal policy. It was the first chamber in Canada to create an aboriginal committee to familiarize the Calgary business community with aboriginal perspectives and opportunities from working with these communities. Our Aboriginal Relations Series is intended to influence positive relations between the Calgary business community and Canada’s aboriginal population, and to facilitate intercultural understanding, cooperation and sharing of best practices. The series includes multiple one day sessions led by Dr. Neil McDonald, one of Canada’s most experienced diversity trainers, where participants will benefit from gaining the knowledge found in an entire whole conference in a one-day workshop. Participants will walk away with tangible and actionable best practices to working with aboriginal communities.

The Energy Future Series was kicked off last November with the Calgary Chamber hosting the former U.S. Energy Secretary, Dr. Steven Chu, and the former Canadian Environmental Minister, the Hon. Jim Prentice, who spoke to a full house on topics such as U.S. and Canadian energy security, market access and greenhouse gas emission regulations.

Agribusiness Series

Great Cities

As many Calgary-based companies have downstream involvement in the agribusiness sector, this series was developed to better understand the impact, scope and future of agribusiness, as well as to generate discussion around issues and trends in the industry, and to recognize the economic impact of agriculture as a commercial enterprise, and the opportunities and challenges that comes with it.

Energy Future Series

Alberta’s energy sector is a key economic driver in this province. Calgary houses the headquarters of major Canadian and global energy companies, and has earned the reputation as a leading international energy-based city. This series aims at positioning Calgary as a global energy centre by showcasing Calgary’s local talent, and the leading-edge developments being made in Calgary’s energy industry, in order to continue to attract more of the best and the brightest talent to this city. The series is also meant to highlight emerging opportunities and challenges inherent to the energy sector, and to get us thinking beyond the current gas price, to taking a longer term approach to energy strategy.

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The Calgary Chamber hosted the former U.S. Energy Secretary, Dr. Steven Chu and the former Canadian Environment Minister, the Hon. Jim Prentice last November to discuss the future of the North American energy industry.

Over the past five years, Calgary has been rated as one of the top places to live and do business throughout Canada and the world by various polls and media. Calgary is on the tipping point of being a truly great world city. Making Calgary a better place to live and work is at the heart of the Chamber’s vision and mission. This series will include various high-profile keynote speakers who will highlight best practices and success stories from other great cities to generate ideas and action plans for making Calgary an even better place to live and do business. The Calgary Chamber kicked off the series last December with Mayor Naheed Nenshi, and will continue with speakers of this calibre throughout 2014.

Interprovincial Politics Series

The Calgary Chamber is continuing its commitment to reaching beyond our borders to create dialogue, and to facilitate the space for Calgary businesses to build meaningful interprovincial relationships and international trading partners. This series will bring in relevant speakers to discuss important topics that are at the forefront of the Calgary business community.

At Forty yeArs And Counting the CtCC Proved to be A sound investment For CAlgAry On November 15, 1974, The Calgary TELUS Convention Centre (CTCC) officially opened with former Prime Minister the Right Honourable John Diefenbaker presiding over the opening ceremony. At a cost of $8.8 million, the CTCC was Canada’s first purpose-built, full-service convention centre. From this initial investment, the Centre has grown to become an international convention destination that benefits both Calgarians and visitors to our city: a sound investment that has served the needs of the Calgary business community. Through years of Calgary’s growth and change, the Convention Centre continues to draw organizers and exhibitors from many diverse fields. The CTCC draws an average of 300,000 people per year to its central Calgary location benefiting downtown businesses, services, and attractions. The Centre connects to 1,100 executive hotel rooms at three centrally located hotels making the centre an ideal place for large events and national and international conventions. But, the demands of a changing business world mean that the CTCC must expand its facilities and meet the expectations of present and future clients to take Calgary’s valued investment into the next decades. As the host of more meetings that any other Canadian convention centre, the CTCC has a substantial impact on Calgary’s economy generating direct spending of $50 million per year and an annual economic impact of approximately $105 million. The Convention Centre supplies tax revenue of over $13 million per year for the City of Calgary. It is imperative to all Calgarians and Calgary business leaders to ensure that the CTCC remains a destination for local, national, and international conferences and events. Expanded in 2000, the Centre added what is now known as the North building adding an additional 68,000 square feet. Over the last thirteen years, the size of the Convention facility has not kept pace with the growth of the city and the growth of large-scale conventions. To retain its status as a world-class meetings and convention facility, the CTCC must consider a range of options to meet the current needs of convention planners and organizers. At the centre of Calgary’s downtown core, the CTCC is a major reason that the city’s core remains vibrant. Business and convention related tourism is an economic engine for Calgary and the Convention Centre plays a vital role in bringing visitors and their spending dollars to our city. The continued desirability of the CTCC as a destination is vital to Calgary and the investment that has brought so much to our city in its first forty years must remain a valued asset to our business community. | BUSINESS IN CALGARY January 2014 • 97


Becomes Canadian Social Enterprise Dedicated to Workplace Transformation



noun 1. A management strategy that encourages employees to work where and when they are most effective with a focus on results rather than “presenteeism.”


early five years ago with the leadership of Calgary Economic Development WORKshift launched in Calgary. Our objective was to accelerate the adoption of flexible and remote work in the Calgary business community. We believed the research that supported this practice of part-time remote work could improve employee productivity and retention, that it supported organizations in their quest to optimize their real estate (second biggest expense next to employees) and would improve the overall livability of Calgary by reducing unnecessary commutes. Guess what? It worked. Organizational leaders including those from human resources, IT and most often real estate and facilities management began to connect with us. They too saw the irrefutable trends towards an increasingly mobile world. For example, did you know that a quarter of all meetings are now conducted virtually? Don’t believe me? How do you conduct meetings with your partners and clients who don’t work in the same city as you? What per cent of your day do you spend actually sitting at your desk? Well, the research says in your average office, they are only occupied 45 per cent of the time! The rest of the day employees are in coffee shops collaborating, at partner sites, in a boardroom, on an airplane, etc. Think about your own workday and test the theory. Not only did Calgary organizations get engaged and excited about the opportunities that WORKshift offered their company, employees and community but we started to get interest from other cities and countries wishing to leverage the brand and the approach. In September 2013, WORKshift Canada, and its team of founders and partners, announced itself as a national social enterprise dedicated to promoting, educating and accelerating the adoption of flexible work programs. These programs allow companies across Canada to accept and embrace a changing world of work. While we recognize that it all starts with awareness and education, companies need more than that to implement a successful program. The most common question we get from leaders is “where do we start, what is the road map to success?” So, in partnership with our founders, KPMG, Citrix and Shaw Business,

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From left to right – Laura Croucher, KPMG Managing Partner; Nancy Schepers, Deputy City Manager of Planning and Infrastructure, City of Ottawa; Councillor Keith Egli, Chair of the Transportation Committee, City of Ottawa; Robyn Bews, Executive Director, WORKshift; David Potter, Canadian Marketing Manager, Citrix; Karen Bayerle, Director Corporate Real Estate ATB; Councillor Marianne Wilkinson, City of Ottawa

we are on a path to developing a standards-based organization that will do exactly that: create a comprehensive road map. Our goal? To do for the workforce what LEED did for buildings 15 years ago. “Shaw Business is proud to be a founding member of WORKshift,” says Peter Bissonnette, president, Shaw Communications Inc. “We recognize that Canadian businesses today are faced with competitive markets for employees and rising costs to support growing teams. It’s natural for us to be a part of a solution that not only helps the communities where Shaw lives and works, but also helps the quality of our customers’ business and residential experiences.” We are proud to be launching WORKshift with our partners in Ottawa and Halifax (and others!), as they begin their WORKshift journey – managing traffic demands, supporting innovation and collaboration, attracting and retaining talent, and driving productivity across their cities. The year 2014 will be busy for WORKshift. We will be launching an app and the WORKshift book featuring many Calgary-based success stories. We will be working with new partner cities that are ready to embrace the changing nature of work. And with our founders and industry partners, we will continue to work towards creating the certification criteria that will define what it really means to have a flexible work environment. Keep on top of developments by following us on or on twitter @WORKshift.

Calgary’s Tourism Strategy Building to $2.3 billion By Stewart McDonough


s one of the five most livable cities in the world (The Economist), Calgary is also a fantastic destination to visit. With a vibrant culinary and shopping scene, dynamic family attractions, approachable and downto-earth locals, a broad range of accommodations, the world-renowned Calgary Stampede as well as offering a base camp to explore the remarkable nature and history that surrounds us on all sides, we have a compelling destination to market. In addition, our tourism economy continues to improve. Tourism Calgary has recently launched its strategy for 2014-2016.The plan builds off an award-winning 2013 and is responsive to new trends and the needs of today’s travellers.

Our business objective Tourism Calgary will work with our community to grow tourism revenues to $2.3 billion by 2020. We will lead with a bold Calgary brand and leverage the tourism marketing investments of the entire industry.

Our strategic pillars Generate incremental visitation and spend The primary strategy is to generate significant and sustainable increases in tourism revenue across the industry – at hotels, attractions, restaurants and sports and events. Marketing efforts will be balanced between shorter-term initiatives to address weekend and shoulder season travel and longer-term initiatives to build awareness and interest in visiting Calgary.

Energize Calgary’s tourism brand The Calgary brand supports incremental visitation and spend by surprising and inspiring visitors. It makes leisure, business, meetings, conventions and sports and events travellers more interested in coming to Calgary, spending more time here and engaging in more activities. The brand inspires new visitors to consider Calgary as a destination and reminds previous visitors why they want to come again soon.

Work together as a tourism community From our industry stakeholders and partners, to Travel Alberta and the Canadian Tourism Commission, we will leverage the investments of the tourism community to develop more effective and efficient programs and to improve the overall knowledge, skills and expertise of the industry.

Sharpen the focus of the organization Our stakeholders reasonably and appropriately expect Tourism Calgary to operate with the discipline and focus of a high-performing, private-sector marketing organization.

What is different this year Responding to the constantly evolving tourism environment and to our industry stakeholders’ needs, the 2014-2016 Strategic Plan has a number of key differences from previous years: • We are increasing our investment in high-potential, longhaul markets to build our share of the high-yield traveller over the medium-term. • We are growing our research capacity and sharing insights with industry to help local tourism businesses make research-based marketing decisions. • We are placing greater emphasis on the development, curation and dissemination of traveller-focused content in the communications channels that are most used by our key audiences. • We are developing collaborative initiatives with Canmore and Banff to create high-value packages for long-haul travellers. • We are increasing our focus on attracting and leveraging sports and major events to ensure that we maximize the tourism spend of these visitors. • We are creating more pay-to-play marketing partnership opportunities for the local tourism industry.

Building for tomorrow Tourism indicators are strong and we have the opportunity to experience strong growth in 2014 if we move the right marketing levers. We need to capitalize on existing business, visiting friends and relatives, sports and events travel by extending their leisure travel consumption. We need to balance regional tourism marketing with the development of higher-yield long-haul markets and defend against the efforts of other destinations trying to attract the same visitors. Ongoing product, sports and event development, improving perceptions of our destination and the support of a strong Calgary brand give us a strong platform for marketing. Deep integration of our marketing, sales and events, industry relations and visitor services will ensure that we capitalize on these opportunities. | BUSINESS IN CALGARY January 2014 • 99

PROPEL Energy Tech Forum Industry leaders launch global energy tech venture forum January 22 - 23, 2014 | sheraton Eau Claire, Calgary, aB |


his January, Calgary is hosting the inaugural PROPEL Energy Tech Forum, a global two-day energy technology-focused investment conference that will bring together the most innovative emerging and established energy technology companies. The conference will identify, screen and present the highest potential companies to key leaders in the petroleum industry. Mark Blackwell, fund advisor with Cenovus Energy, is co-chairing the upcoming PROPEL Energy Tech Forum.

Q: What is the PROPEL Energy Tech Forum? MB: PROPEL is positioned to be one of the leading oil and gas technology conferences in Canada. We are expecting some 250 delegates from around the world for the conference, which takes place over two days plus a pre-day event. Throughout the three days we will have over 25 companies present on the main stage including a variety of corporate and financial investors, a series of panel discussions from some of the industry’s leading experts and two special keynotes. Lastly, the pre-day event is a partnership between PROPEL, Innovate Calgary and the University of Calgary’s Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. It will showcase 16 seed-stage companies in a Dragons’ Den-styled event, with the winner receiving up to $50,000 in prizes and going on to present on the main stage at PROPEL.

Q: How did the idea for this conference come about? MB: The concept for PROPEL really came out of a long discussion had over dinner at the 2012 Banff Venture Forum alongside a large group of strategic and financial investors who were increasingly becoming more active in oil and gas technology investments. We all agreed that given the critical mass of activity, investment and research taking place in the province that we needed to have a dedicated conference focused on showcasing some of the leading innovators in oil and gas across North America. In addition, one of the things that gets me most excited about this is the pre-day event with the Hunter Centre. We have been trying to unlock the amazing commercialization potential that the U of C has in the energy space and we truly believe this event will be a strong foundation for showcasing, promoting and helping to fund some of those innovators to create very strong companies. We hope that it will be an 100 • January 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |

BY anDrEa MEnDiZaBaL

annual event that creates a strong legacy for the Haskayne School of Business.

Q: What makes the PROPEL Energy Tech Forum unique? MB: A couple of key things make PROPEL unique to any forum being held in Canada including: (1) The diversity and breadth of the audience including financial and corporate investors, entrepreneurs and some of the leading oil and gas operators and service companies from across North America; (2) The reach that our advisory board has in sourcing and selecting some of the top innovators in the oil and gas sector across North America. What is really going to differentiate this conference in comparison to others is the quality and calibre of the companies that make it to the main stage; (3) Lastly the pre-day event we are hosting with the Hunter Centre is going to make this event really stand out and lay the foundations for making Calgary a necessary stop for investors looking for the most innovative technology companies in oil and gas.

Q: What are you looking for in presenting companies? MB: The selected companies for this year’s main stage were chosen among a very large pool of candidates from across the globe. The key differentiator in these companies was their unique technology platforms, strong and diverse management teams, either first sales or indication of strong industry pull and keenly looking to develop partnership and funding relationships with the delegate base.

Q: Who should register to attend and why? MB: Anyone who has a vested interest in the long-term sustainability of the oil and gas industry in Alberta and Canada. Innovators like the ones that are going to be presenting at this conference in my view are going to be key to the overall success of our industry. They are the ones challenging the status quo and developing new ways of thinking which are going to be critical for many operators and service companies in the years to come. To learn more about the PROPEL Energy Tech Forum and to register to attend, visit To learn more about Innovate Calgary and how it supports new and emerging technologies, visit



MarketingMatters • David Parker

MarketingMatters ager for Axia; today he is a member of marketing and communications at the Calgary creator of customizable, sustainable architectural interiors. •••••••••••••• By DaViD ParkEr


wist Marketing continues to grab the headlines with new accounts and additions to its growing number of staff. The strategic marketing firm has become a leader in branding, engagement and communications and has created a process and methodology that has helped a number of Alberta and B.C. communities and regional economic development organizations with their tourism and economic development initiatives. Now its expertise is travelling further with the awarding of a community branding assignment to help shape the future of Fort Frances, Ontario, and develop a uniform brand throughout the town. Twist won the project following a formal RFP process and its team is currently in the midst of conducting one-to-one stakeholder interviews in what is called the Rainy River District of Northwestern Ontario. Joining the Twist team from Scout Communications where she was account supervisor is Sarah Schmidt. Schmidt has been named an account director responsible for overseeing the management of accounts and for the planning and executing of marketing strategies for Twist Marketing’s clients in the Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver offices. •••••••••••••• I was a little surprised to see Bill Hart’s name at the bottom of an email from DIRTT Environmental Solutions. When we first met he was with a division of Hayhurst but for the past few years has been communications man-

I love to brag about Calgary agencies so kudos to Woodruff Sweitzer for capturing eight Best of CAMA awards that honour the best of Canadian agricultural marketing; the most wins of any agency at the event. The biggest crop centred around the Inferno Duo campaign for Arysta LifeScience that captured five awards including two Best of Show honours – in the Integrated Marketing Campaign and Electronic Media categories. The centrepiece was a highly polished animated video featuring a high-tech robot character blasting weeds with sprayer arm canons. Woodruff Sweitzer Canada president Jeff Groeneveld says, “It was a risk for agency and client, but we feel like we know how to strike that fine balance between pushing the creative while always appealing to our target audience.” Other Best of CAMA honours for the agency were two awards for their work for Bayer Animal Health, another for Arysta LifeScience, and a certificate of merit in the Internal Communications category for the agency’s cause-marketing client, Cat Friendly. Woodruff Sweitzer is also thrilled to have been able to lure Alita Gonzalez from Toronto to Calgary as its new associate creative director. She brings experience from leading agencies including Sid Lee, Zuku Alpha Kilo, Juniper Park, Bruce Mau Design and Taxi in Toronto as well as agencies in Amsterdam and Santiago, Chile. Her client list includes notable brands such as Bud Light, Mini Cooper, Absolut, Red Bull, Adidas and the National Ballet Canada. ••••••••••••••

Conrad Black – was announced but it was largely thanks to the new website by Fuse Creative Communications that the sell-out crowd was ensured. The gala, named after the outspoken and often irascible editor of the Eye Opener newspaper, is a signature fundraising event for the Calgary Public Library Foundation. The Fuse website is designed to act as an online archive of past Bob Edwards award winners and assist in raising year-round awareness of the foundation and the work it does to support philanthropy for the library’s free literacy programs. •••••••••••••• Communications veteran and founder of Mosaic Studios, Melodie Creegan, has spent a lot of her time over the past few years looking after some sizable American clients in the energy and manufacturing sectors. Now she has swung her focus back home, changed the name to Mosaic Communications, and beefed up the company’s experience and skill levels with new hires. Joining her senior management team are Leah Murray, vice president public relations, and account director Wendy Shaw. Coming home has already paid big dividends in capturing new major accounts that include Ensign Energy Services, YouthLink, Kidoodle.TV, and Canada 3.0, a digital conference coming to Calgary next spring. BiC

Parker’s Pick: Thai Sa-On on 10th Avenue at 4th Street SW has no windows; but the restaurant has been dressed up with so many Buddahs it’s a cheery place. And the food is great.

The Bob Edwards Award Gala drew a lot of attention when the recipient –

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January 2014 Business in Calgary  
January 2014 Business in Calgary