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OCTOBER 2017 | $3.50 BUSINESSINCALGARY.COM

The Educator

DR. NEIL WEBBER AND HIS MANY ACCOMPLISHMENTS

LIFESTYLE, NOT INVESTMENT THE GENERATIONAL DIFFERENCE

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STARTUP SUCCESS FUNDING IS THE KEY



U R BANOMICS: THE AFFORDABILITY FACTOR: IT MATTERS!

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CALGARY CHAMBER SECTION

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The Alberta Collection Elevates REALTOR® Service in Calgary

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ristine Semrau’s background is in law, but with her ties to the land development and the real estate industry, she is passionate about raising the bar on how real estate could – and should – be conducted in the city. So, Semrau presented a strong case for Sotheby’s International Realty to come to Calgary, and when they did, she was their sole agent the first year. As Sotheby’s thrived and expanded, Semrau started to miss the personal connection she felt when working in a boutique firm, so she decided to raise the bar for Calgary again – this time, advocating for Christie’s International Real Estate (CIRE) to come to Alberta, in the form of The Alberta Collection. Most people know Christie’s as the famous fine art and collection auction house, but it’s more than that. With 250 years of enriching the world with exclusive items, the move to include high-end real estate was only natural. Today, CIRE has one objective: to provide expertise and discretion to buyers and sellers of the most luxurious properties in the world. The Alberta Collection is the exclusive affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate in Calgary. “While CIRE markets homes at the $1 million+ mark, The Alberta Collection provides the same level of unparalleled concierge service for properties both above and below $1 million,” smiles Semrau, president and owner-broker of the firm. “Our goal at the end of the day is to exceed each one of our client’s expectations.” The Alberta Collection is passionate about creating a memorable experience for each client. Semrau’s brokerage of experienced associates understand and share her vision. “Serving the citizens of Calgary also means being active in the community,” Semrau points out. “We volunteer at least

once a month with organizations such as Calgary Drop-In & Rehab Centre, Habitat for Humanity, Soap for Hope and many more.” The Alberta Collection’s properties are for those seeking a personalized experience when buying or selling a property. Contact the firm today and experience how their boutique, distinguished and best-in-class service is changing how real estate is transacted in Calgary. The Alberta Collection, in conjunction with Christie’s International Real Estate, is the global authority in the marketing of distinctive properties worldwide. Based on positive referrals, The Alberta Collection, which is located in Britannia, has grown significantly since its launch in 2015. You are invited to learn more at www.thealbertacollection.com.

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STORY TITLE // SECTION

Supporting the visions of entrepreneurs one story at a time. Volume 26 | Number 10

REGULAR COLUMNS

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A Turning Point for the Federal Liberals By Frank Atkins

12

Grill Candidates Who Knock on Your Door By Colin Craig

14

The Last Country Out of the Pool By Cody Battershill

CONTENTS COVER FEATURE

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The Educator

ON OUR COVER: ABOVE: DR. NEIL WEBBER, PRESIDENT AND HEAD OF WEBBER ACADEMY PHOTO SOURCE: BOOKSTRUCKER PHOTOGRAPHY

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Urbanomics: The Affordability Factor: It Matters! By John Hardy

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Leading Business

Dr. Neil Webber and his many accomplishments By Melanie Darbyshire

BUSINESS IN CALGARY

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The Calgary Report

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

Marketing Matters By David Parker


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STORY TITLE // SECTION

Supporting the visions of entrepreneurs one story at a time. Volume 26 | Number 10

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THIS MONTH’S FEATURES

30 36

CONTENTS 49 70

COMPANY PROFILES

103

Alberta Real Estate Association Celebrates 70 Years

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Maple Reinders

Celebrates 50 Years

L  ifestyle, Not Investment The generational difference By John Hardy

S  tartup Success Funding is the key By Colleen Wallace

S  ocial Media A must for businesses or just a bunch of hype? By Kim Locke

C  algary Housing Market on Road to Recovery Homebuilders ‘bullish’ about prospects By Mario Toneguzzi

79 87

B  ig Versus Small Events The most bang for your buck By Erlynn Gococo

T  he Big Impact of Small Business Small Business Week recognition By John Hardy

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A TURNING POINT FOR THE FEDERAL LIBERALS // FRANK ATKINS

A Turning Point for the Federal Liberals BY FRANK ATKINS

W

hen the Liberals first got elected to office, the favourite game amongst the disgruntled rightwing people was predicting just how long the honeymoon phase would last, and exactly what insane Liberal policy would be the tipping point. My personal guess was that it would involve oil and pipelines. I thought this mainly because of the views of Gerald Butts, Mr. Trudeau’s principal secretary, who in the past had a strident anti-oil, anti-pipeline stance. My second guess was that Canadians would quickly tire of the stream of vacuous statements coming from Prime Minister Trudeau. As it turns out, the tipping point for the Liberals involves taxes. The Liberals have always been a tax-and-spend party, and Mr. Trudeau wasted no time in increasing government spending at alarmingly high rates. However, the manner in which they chose to go after the resulting “revenue problem” showed a great deal of economic and political naiveté. The Liberals have decided small business owners are not paying their “fair share.” This is a bit of an odd assertion as during the 2015 campaign Mr. Trudeau promised to reduce the small business tax from 11 per cent to nine per cent over four years. It is interesting that, once elected, the Liberals started to reduce this tax, but stopped at 10.5 per cent, breaking yet another election promise. This proposed tax change has turned into a public relations nightmare. It appears the Liberals want to close what they call loopholes in the taxation of small business owners who operate under legal professional corporations. Certainly, we should all be in favour of fixing any wrongs that exist in the tax system. However, it is not clear the Liberals understand what they are actually attempting to accomplish. In a long line of mind-numbing inane statements, Mr. Trudeau said

AS IT TURNS OUT, THE TIPPING POINT FOR THE LIBERALS INVOLVES TAXES. THE LIBERALS HAVE ALWAYS BEEN A TAX-AND-SPEND PARTY, AND MR. TRUDEAU WASTED NO TIME IN INCREASING GOVERNMENT SPENDING AT ALARMINGLY HIGH RATES. this tax change will help the middle class at the expense of the one percenters. It is not clear what this means, or how any change of this sort will help anyone. Further, there is no universal consensus on what portion of Canadians actually constitute the middle class in Canada, and whether they actually need government help. What is clear is the Liberals did not expect the backlash that arose when announcing this proposed policy change, and they immediately went into full damage control. Politically, the Liberals did not seem to realize the group they are targeting are individuals who have been strong Liberal supporters for years. This is a turning point for the federal Liberals; a public relations problem they are bungling badly. Now is the time for the federal Conservatives to step in and somehow convince this portion of the electorate that Conservative policies are favourable to them. For Mr. Scheer, this situation represents a perfect opportunity to show leadership. He needs to step up to the plate and capitalize on this situation.

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

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GRILL CANDIDATES WHO KNOCK ON YOUR DOOR // COLIN CRAIG

Grill Candidates Who Knock on Your Door BY COLIN CRAIG

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s we get closer to Calgary’s municipal election, don’t be surprised if a candidate asks your business to make a donation to their campaign or pops by your house to ask for your vote. With that in mind, have you thought about what you might ask a candidate if they seek your support? Here are a few questions you might want to consider. Let’s start with everyone’s favourite subject: property taxes. Since the recession took hold in 2015, there have been countless stories about Calgary businesses shutting down; many citing rising property taxes as a contributing factor. If an incumbent councillor asks for your support, why not ask about their track record when it comes to voting on tax increases over the past few years? Have they been part of the problem – council deciding to increase spending and property taxes at more than double the rate of inflation? Or can they demonstrate that they opposed such reckless financial behaviour? If the candidate is not an incumbent, you could ask if they would commit to keeping property tax increases at or below the rate of inflation. You could also probe their thoughts on the city’s finances overall. Do they think the city needs more taxing powers? Or do they understand city hall has a spending problem and needs to get its costs under control? Speaking of the expenditure side of the ledger, a good question to ask candidates is: would you vote to reduce city salaries by five or 10 per cent? If he or she balks at the idea that’s a good indication they’re weak-kneed and just not up to the job.

Since the recession gripped Calgary, thousands of people in the city’s business sector have been laid off or received significant pay reductions. So far, city employees have been immune from such difficult decisions. It’s time to elect a council that has the fortitude to require city employees to feel the pinch too. Another problem that needs to be addressed are the city’s golden pension plans. In short, the city’s defined benefit pension plans are hardly fair for taxpayers; they’re costly, they put tremendous risk on taxpayers and the plans are far too generous. Will the candidate you come into contact with commit to putting new employees (and council members themselves) into a far less costly pension plan (defined contribution)? To understand why tackling this is a crucial activity, note that labour costs represented 53 per cent of the city’s expenses in 2016. Thus, it’s a spending category that’s too large to ignore. Perhaps you might also consider asking local candidates if they would contract out city services to local businesses in order to reduce costs. For example, if a lawn-care company could cut the grass in your local park for a lower cost, why not hire them to do the work? Finally, you could also ask local candidates about priority setting. Do they consider funding activities like public art a priority? Or would they behave like most households and halt such spending, instead focusing on true priorities while times are tough? Those are just a few questions to consider asking local candidates this fall. Let the grilling begin!

Colin Craig is the interim Alberta director for the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

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THE LAST COUNTRY OUT OF THE POOL // CODY BATTERSHILL

The Last Country Out of the Pool BY CODY BATTERSHILL

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sk any swim coach. The future champion is usually the one who was always the last out of the pool during training sessions and meets – the one who showed real commitment and genuine drive. In global petroleum markets, there’s a pool of suppliers that includes Saudi Arabia, Russia, Iraq, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Iran. These are no paragons of virtue in the democracy and human rights departments. In many of these jurisdictions, women are banned from driving cars or leaving their homes unaccompanied by a male, while in other supplier countries collective bargaining rights and environmental, health and safety regulations are virtually non-existent. A little further down the list of suppliers in the global pool is Venezuela, where the failed state’s president brutally smashes his political opposition through violence, trumped-up prosecutions for treason and a unilateral constitutional overhaul. Canada is in the top global supplier pool too. But unlike the others, we’re also the top-ranked country for freedom, democracy, equality, social progress, freedom of belief, freedom of the Internet, freedom of the press, best places to live, human development, equality, best places to raise a family, transparency and environmental performance. And yet we’re the only supplier country where energy exports have effectively been blocked by sophisticated groups that have spent several years and millions of U.S. foundation dollars to build a coordinated U.S.Canada activist campaign that brands our sector as environmentally destructive.

ALL CANADIANS WIN WHEN OUR ENERGY SECTOR IS STRONG. BETWEEN 2007 AND 2015 ALBERTANS PAID $221.4 BILLION MORE IN FEDERAL TAXES THAN THEY RECEIVED IN TRANSFERS AND FEDERAL PROGRAMS. We know organizations like Pembina Institute, Greenpeace and ForestEthics have been involved in such a coordinated campaign, and it’s clear similar activities continue – either by these same groups or by their allies. If Canada is prevented from supplying oil to the world, then other countries – often far less focused on human rights and the environment – will be happy to take our place. All Canadians win when our energy sector is strong. Between 2007 and 2015 Albertans paid $221.4 billion more in federal taxes than they received in transfers and federal programs. The best projections suggest the world will continue to use fossil fuels for generations. If in a hundred years the world reduces its oil and gas consumption, then we should plan on being the last one out of the pool. As Canadians, our social programs and our employment derive largely from our own industry. It’s a made-in-Canada opportunity to maintain the best possible level of social security and quality of life for all Canadians. We should compete globally and we should be the last one out of the pool. Cody Battershill is a Calgary realtor and founder/spokesperson for CanadaAction. ca, a volunteer organization that supports Canadian energy development and the environmental, social and economic benefits that come with it.

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THE AFFORDABILITY FACTOR: IT MATTERS! // URBANOMICS

THE AFFORDABILITY FACTOR: IT MATTERS! BY JOHN HARDY

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hile traditional aspects – like the location, economy, job market, and migration – are important to Calgary housing starts, developers and home builders also track the affordability factor when it comes to forecasting and planning for Calgary housing trends. The risky challenge is that while affordability is vital and real, it is difficult to track since it is also impacted by things like market trends, supply and demand, and consumer confidence. “Affordability is vital at both the builder and the consumer levels,” explains Guy Huntingford, CEO of BILD® Calgary Region, the respected voice of the building industry in Calgary and the surrounding area. “A simple definition of affordability is when a Calgary family can buy a home that suits their needs and doesn’t require more than 35 per cent of their disposable income for principal and interest. The larger the universe of buyers, the healthier the market becomes. As affordability decreases, the universe of buyers decreases. At some point supply outstrips demand, and that is bad for the industry.” He adds, “Of course, it gets more complex than that. In Calgary, there are various factors that impact affordability: dispersion (the ability to find a home in all quadrants), competition (a development environment that attracts multiple players), and regulation and policy (rules and

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regulations imposed by all levels of government inevitably add costs to the home). This is all passed on to the home buyer.” While important issues, like the downturn and the employment slump, do impact the affordability factor, the issue is, by no means, unique to Calgary. The deterioration of affordability in most Canadian markets over the past two years appears to be negatively impacting consumer confidence. A recent EKOS Research poll tracked national statistics showing that two in five Canadians believe housing in this country is not affordable for them. The poll broke out the numbers and showed that Calgary fared better than the perceived affordability in some other hot Canadian real estate markets. Only 6 per cent of respondents in Toronto and 2 per cent in Vancouver believed housing was affordable. In Calgary, it’s over 11 per cent. Numerous professional organizations and some government departments monitor and track affordability trends. According to this summer’s National Bank of Canada’s Affordability Monitor, the deterioration of housing affordability in Canada over the past two years appears to be negatively impacting consumer confidence. The Monitor shows that the lack of affordability in Q2 was the eighth in a row, the longest run in almost three decades. The national composite is the least affordable since 2008.


THE AFFORDABILITY FACTOR: IT MATTERS! // URBANOMICS

“WE FORECAST STRONGER ECONOMIC CONDITIONS, THE PRICE OF OIL STABILIZING, STRONGER EMPLOYMENT GROWTH AND OTHER MOVES TOWARD IMPROVEMENTS IN THE MARKET. LARGELY ACROSS THE PRAIRIES, THE MARKETS ARE MOVING FROM A BUYER’S MARKET TO A MORE BALANCED MARKET.” ~ RICHARD CHO

The Bank points out that Canadian households have been able to fall back on the condo market, which was traditionally more affordable. Current conditions have created a new normal when it comes to affordability, but even the condo market is now the least affordable in years. Richard Cho, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s principal market analyst for Calgary, cautions that “Although the housing market is an important part of the economy and affordability is important for social outcomes, one thing that must be kept in mind with affordability benchmarks is the average prices in different markets, and that the index is bound to be much different from a four-bedroom house to a condo. Condos have always been a common first option but, for various reasons, Calgary condo markets are still softer than other housing markets.” Huntingford also emphasizes a frequently misleading generalization. “Affordability is not synonymous with a single family, semi or town home. This is not how we view affordability. We look at it for each built form. Every type of housing should be affordable for those seeking that style of home. What will affordability trends mean for Calgary’s 2018 housing outlook?

“We expect the market to move away from a buyer’s market to more balanced market,” Cho says. “We forecast stronger economic conditions, the price of oil stabilizing, stronger employment growth and other moves toward improvements in the market. Largely across the prairies, the markets are moving from a buyer’s market to a more balanced market.” Huntingford points out a positive side to the trend. “Calgary is still relatively affordable compared to other Canadian cities. We wish it to stay that way. There is absolutely no reason why Calgary shouldn’t remain an attractive and affordable city. “It is primarily regulation and policy that can cause affordability to erode. Things like labour shortages or escalating costs for construction materials tend to right themselves as builders find ways to control these issues. Regulation and policy just adds more layers of costs irrelevant of all the other factors. “There is a healthy supply of new homes on the market, so 2018 will likely be a good year to buy a new home. Our concern is 2019 and beyond, as there are developments waiting to get approval. It takes years to get ‘into the ground’ and bring the first show home to market.”

ABOVE: RICHARD CHO, CANADA MORTGAGE AND HOUSING CORPORATION’S PRINCIPAL MARKET ANALYST FOR CALGARY.

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The VAULTS Celebrates Phase Two Development Owners, new buyers and those interested in the VAULTS were on hand September 14 to celebrate phase two of the development – Canada’s premier luxury storage condominiums. The celebration event was an opportunity to view completed phase one units, the show suite, enjoy the owners’ clubhouse, and see the work that has been completed to date on phase two. “We’re creating a lifestyle around what you store,” explains James Murray, vice president of the VAULTS.

“Whether it’s your car, boat, RV or arts/painting that you have – we believe you love that, so it’s not just sticking it into storage but rather it’s creating a lifestyle around what you’re storing.”

B:6.875”

Owned rather than rented, each VAULT unit includes a mezzanine and a three-piece bathroom. There are five different format sizes, ranging from 1,650 square feet (1,200 on the floor and 450 in the mezzanine) to 4,000 square feet (3,000 on the floor and 1,000 in the mezzanine).

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“When you step into a VAULT you really appreciate the volume,” Murray explains. “The ceiling is 27 feet high. We’ve done everything from looking at the height of the underside of the mezzanine. So if you drive an RV or anything legally on the road, you can get it underneath our mezzanine – which allows you to use the entire floor space of an individual unit.” He adds that a car lift can also be installed. Each unit can be customized according to the individual owner’s tastes. “Whether you’re putting a home office in the mezzanine or you’re creating an entertainment space – a bar, TV, couches, pool table – whatever the case is, it’s a comfortable space for you,” Murray explains.

hold individual title and can sell their units, which are individually metered. In addition to their own unit, owners are able to use the clubhouse, which features five large TVs, a bar and a mezzanine. “They can also host an event in there,” Murray says. “We have the double doors, so they can drive a vehicle in and make it part of the event.” There is also a private wash bay for owners’ use.

There are two designers on the team and owners typically do some enhancements – ranging from basic to elaborate – to their units. “In one of our larger units we have three different graffiti artists that have been commissioned to come in and do specific graffiti art,” Murray says.

While vehicle storage is the main purpose, VAULT units can also be used for inspirational space – for example by an amateur artist desiring a loft below the gallery – as long as it has a storage element to it. “You can’t run a business out of there, though you may own it as a business,” Murray explains. “The intention is not for commercial activity because it’s a secure premise. The entire perimeter once complete will be all concrete walls, a minimum of 27 feet high, with two large doors that open with a fob.”

Phase one, which was completed this summer, comprises 10 units, while phase two has nine units. Phases three and four will have 10 and 14 units respectively. Unit owners

The VAULTS is located at 1750 120 Avenue NE (at the intersection of Deerfoot and Stoney Trails). “It has quick access, which is really important,” Murray adds.

PHOTO SOURCE: THE VAULTS

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Impact the future of Canada’s youth and help shape tomorrow’s workforce JA Southern Alberta thanks the Economic Futures Council for positioning young people for future success. Over the past 5 years, with Economic Futures Council support, JA Southern Alberta has:

• increased program delivery and student reach by 30% • expanded rural programming and reach • developed on-line and SMARTboard applications of popular programs • delivered financial literacy programs to Indigenous youth on reserves • Partnered with the Calgary Board of Education to build customized semester-long financial literacy programs for students in non-traditional career pathways such as arts and trades • delivered more programs to at-risk and vulnerable youth

So much more needs to be done to support our youth. Play a role in their future. Join the Economic Futures Council Today. Contribution levels start at $5,000.


JA Southern Alberta is proud to recognize the Founding Members and *Patrons of the Economic Futures Council. John (in memoriam) & Cheryl Aldred Clive Beddoe David A. Bissett R.A.N. Bonnycastle Robert G. Brawn Wayne Chiu Jim Davidson Jack & Joan Donald N.Murray Edwards * Richard F. Haskayne Wayne Henuset Sam Kolias Hal Kvisle Alvin Libin * Ronald N. Mannix Ronald P. Mathison Jeff McCaig Susan Nelson & Gordon Case David O’Brien Todd Poland * Clayton Riddell * JR Shaw The Stollery Family Guy Turcotte David Werklund Mac Van Wielingen C.H. Woitas Family

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OFF

THE

Woodridge Ford Lincoln Awarded President’s Diamond Club Award by Ford of Canada Calgary auto dealer Woodridge Ford Lincoln once again proved to be a leader in its field when it was awarded the President’s Diamond Club Award for 2016 – the highest award bestowed on Canadian Ford dealers – by Ford of Canada’s new president, Mark Buzzell. Having won the President’s Award over 20 times in the last 34 years, Woodridge is again at the top of its class as a Diamond Club Award winner – in the top five of the eight President’s Award winners in Western Canada. “The Diamond Club Award recognizes our dealers who not only do a really great job with sales and service but also those who do a really great job of taking care of our customers,” says Buzzell. “It’s not really an award from Ford Motor Company but an award from our customers, because it’s based on customer satisfaction surveys.” To qualify for the award, a Ford dealer must achieve at least 85 per cent of both car and truck share – a requirement Woodridge has no problem meeting. The second differentiating measurement is customer service. This is measured via surveys which are emailed directly to both sales and service customers from Ford of Canada. “The award recognizes the fact that this store here does a really great job of taking care of its customers,” Buzzell says. Gerry Wood, dealer principal and founder of the Wood Automotive Group, was delighted with the award. “It means we have provided customer service to the highest level, and that’s something we pride ourselves on.” Buzzell, who took over his new role in January, has been with Ford since 1989, in a variety of marketing, sales and service positions across the United States, the Caribbean and Central America. Within Canada, he notes the strength of the western regions in particular. “The western part of the country are our highest performing dealers – it’s amazing,” he lauds. “Some of the sales this year and the customer satisfaction scores have been so high.” He says while both Ford and the overall industry are doing very well this year, it is dealers out West that are driving the

largest year-over-year improvements. In fact, while the initial industry forecast at the beginning of this year was lower than last year’s record, it has since been adjusted to what could be another all-time record. Last year, Ford sales were approximately 304,000; Buzzell expects a greater number this year. He highlights a few things to look forward to later this year: a refreshed 2018 model F-150 as well as an all-new Expedition and Navigator for the first time in 10 years. “We’re actually number one in SUV sales in Canada and most people don’t know that; they just think of us as selling full-sized pickup trucks,” he says. “So we’re really excited to continue to grow SUV sales with the new Expedition and new Navigator.” He’s also looking forward to continuing to work with the 427 dealer partners Ford of Canada has across the country, including Wood. “I’ve had a chance to get to know Gerry over the last six months and he’s a tremendous person. You can tell that his people really love working here, and that’s one of the things we see at our better dealerships: if you’ve got employees who really love working there, are engaged and empowered to do great things, you’re going to be very successful.”

ABOVE: MARK BUZZELL, PRESIDENT AND CEO OF FORD MOTOR COMPANY OF CANADA, PRESENTS THE PRESIDENT’S DIAMOND CLUB AWARD FOR 2016 TO GERRY WOOD, DEALER PRINCIPAL AND FOUNDER OF THE WOOD AUTO GROUP. PHOTO SOURCE: MELANIE DARBYSHIRE

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

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Eco-Growth Environmental Turns Organic Waste into Fuel by Rennay Craats

W

hat started out as an oilpatch innovation has morphed into a leading-edge clean technology that solves the problem of commercial disposal of organic waste. Eco-Growth Environmental, an IronCreek Oilfield Rentals-affiliated company, was originally working on a system that would eliminate the need to truck out drill cuttings by instead using an on-site process to clean them to the point where they are hydrocarbon-free and could be spread on existing locations. But just before it was ready for beta testing, the oilpatch crashed. “When that happens, the budget money for these ‘science’-type projects is gone, and everyone says ‘let the other guys develop it and then we’ll put it on all of our rigs,’” says Scott Kerr, president of Eco-Growth. “When the City of Calgary announced its new organics bylaw coming into effect November 1, we saw an opportunity to tweak the technology.” Those tweaks resulted in the Eco-Growth Organic Reactor, or “EGOR™.” This technology processes raw organic waste to create a solid biofuel that can be used to run a hot-water boiler. The company’s three models have a daily food waste capacity of 125 pounds, 250 pounds and 500 pounds, so Eco-Growth’s products fit any business’s needs. A patented process quickly converts raw food waste to a dry fibrous material with a high-calorific value. The process takes 12 to 24 hours to complete. “We take that 500 pounds of wet-food waste straight from the kitchen and reduce it by 75 to 90 per cent to make about 125 pounds of dry biofuel,” says Glen Smith, VP of business development for Eco-Growth Environmental.

“After processing, the biomass material is virtually odourless.” Clients simply have to dump the raw waste into the reactor and walk away. It is just that easy. The reactor automatically deposits the biomass, which resembles dry earth, into the bin when it’s finished processing. Unlike compost outfits that have to pick up regularly to cut down on odours and pests, Eco-Growth can schedule pickups of biomass when collection bins are full to further lessen the initiative’s carbon footprint. The biomass material is a compatible fuel for Eco-Growth’s line of hot-water boilers. There are currently two boiler systems up and running; one at the Executive Mat Service laundry facility in Calgary and the other at a YMCA in Regina heating swimming pool water. EcoGrowth expects to have an additional 12 boiler systems up and running over the next four to six months. Eco-Growth biomass boilers can help clients become carbon neutral or even carbon negative in their businesses. If a client generates enough waste they can install their own boiler in tandem with the reactor to use their own fuel to assist with heating their facilities. For instance, Eco-Growth is working with a craft brewer who produces enough biomass material to fuel their energy needs for boiling their process water. Eco-Growth has capacity to manufacture 250 units per year and has plans to increase production as the demand increases. There are several systems already installed in Calgary and Regina with over 75 requests for systems – and this interest has been generated simply from word of mouth.


Alternative solutions to the organic disposal problem all involve hauling wet organic waste to out-of-town landfills outside Calgary’s stringent rules. However, this not only increases trucking fees for businesses and puts more polluting trucks on the roads but it also exacerbates the issue of buried food waste releasing methane gas and leachate. One pound of buried food waste may produce as much as 40 pounds of CO2 equivalent into the atmosphere as it decomposes anaerobically. When organic materials make up 30 per cent of landfills, this is a huge problem. The other option would be to hire commercial compost companies to collect the waste. This isn’t appealing to many businesses either. Clients would have to store rotting, malodorous food waste on site until they can have it trucked to compost sites. “Our solution is to turn it into a powdery biomass material using reactors that we sell or lease to businesses in Calgary,” says Smith. Customers save money by dramatically reducing their trucking costs. One early adopter of the

Eco-Growth technology has reported an annual cost reduction of over $100,000. The technology is ideal for waste generators of all sizes. Restaurants, residential condos, commercial buildings, shopping malls, school campuses and even small- to medium-sized communities could all realize significant cost savings. In addition to costs savings, the technology has the potential to produce significant carbon credits which make the economics even more appealing. “The thing we are most proud of is the fact that everything about our technology is homegrown. The R&D, engineering and manufacturing is all done in Canada to CSA standards,” says Kerr. “We are contributing to a stronger Alberta and Canadian economy.” With its made-in-Canada innovations, EcoGrowth Environmental is blazing the trail for clean, easy solutions to organic waste disposal across the country and around the world.

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CAMROSE – THE RIGHT PLACE

The Right Time

W

hen entrepreneurs plan to start or expand their business they look for a place like Camrose. Camrose is an economic oasis and success story. One of the few Alberta communities not driven by oil and gas, Camrose’s diversified economy grew steadily even during the downturn. Located 90 kilometres southeast of Edmonton with a population of over 18,000 and a trading area of over 100,000, Camrose is close enough to a big centre to get everything you need but far enough away that residents shop locally. Camrose has a skilled, well-educated workforce and Camrose’s progressive City Council advocates for business and development friendly policies resulting in streamlined permitting processes and a low effective tax rate. Affordable commercial and industrial land is available for sale and lease rates are very competitive.

Camrose is one of the most livable cities in Alberta. Sustainability, positive work-life balance, an abundance of green space, innovative environmental initiatives, and excellent healthcare options ensure the health of the community. A vibrant arts scene, excellent public and separate school systems, extensive indoor and outdoor recreational facilities, and unique shopping experiences in the historic downtown, all anchored by the University of Alberta’s modern Augustana Campus, make Camrose a bustling hub of activity. Camrose is looking for entrepreneurs. Whether your business is retail, commercial, or industrial, Camrose is exactly where you need to be. Make your move to Camrose. It’s the right place and the right time.


For more information about the Camrose Advantage, please contact: Victor Goodman, LLB MBA EcD CEcD Director of Community Development and Innovation 5204 – 50 Avenue Camrose AB T4V 0S8 T: 780 672 4426 E: vgoodman@camrose.ca


LIFESTYLE, NOT INVESTMENT // RECREATION INVESTMENTS

Lifestyle , NOT INVESTMENT THE GENERATIONAL DIFFERENCE

BY JOHN HARDY

R

ecreational properties have always been impacted by factors like lifestyle trends, location, interest rates and the economy. Recently, in Alberta and the Calgary area, it is also being impacted by the downturn and employment situation. Now more than ever, nationally as well as in Alberta, the recreational property market is noticing the impact of overlapping generations. A few years ago, when baby boomers were at the peak of strategizing about retirement, recreational properties were a hot topic for personal lifestyle as well as for sound investments. Contemporary strategizing about recreational properties has shifted to gen-Xers (35-54 year olds) and especially millennials (18-34 year olds). Location is still a key factor as are prices but recreational property strategy is heavily balance-of-life driven.

According to respected real estate expert Elton Ash, regional executive vice president, Re/Max of Western Canada, there is a generation shift happening. “The traditional key driver in the recreational property segment has been the financial ability of the baby boom generation to buy recreational property. The motivation has been fuelled by a desire to lead a more balanced lifestyle and provide the opportunity for children and grandchildren to also enjoy a great lifestyle. “Baby boomers looked at recreational properties, cabins and cottages as a legacy they could provide for their families. There is a major shift happening. We are seeing a growth of ownership in the gen-X and millennial generations looking to improve their 24-7 plugged-in world by finding time and a place to unplug and spend quality time with family and friends. ABOVE: THE WILDERNESS CLUB FRACTIONAL OWNERSHIP PROGRAM FULLY MAINTAINS THE PROPERTY FOR ITS OWNERS. BELOW: ELTON ASH, REGIONAL EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT OF RE/MAX OF WESTERN CANADA.

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LIFESTYLE, NOT INVESTMENT // RECREATION INVESTMENTS

“A RECREATIONAL PROPERTY IS TRADITIONALLY A RETREAT AND FAMILY BONDING EXPERIENCE, SOMETIMES OVER GENERATIONS, AND COLLATERALLY HAS INCREASED IN VALUE OVER TIME, SOMETIMES A LITTLE, SOMETIMES A LOT. “ The dollars and common sense of a recreational property is a different story. A quarter of the respondents to the report indicated they would consider purchasing a recreational property as an investment vehicle to help finance retirement. The caution, from many millennials, is that high real estate prices in the city will negatively impact their ability to buy a recreational property, in addition to owning a primary residence.

After all,” he says, “millennials are the most plugged-in generation ever.” When it comes to location, a reliable benchmark reference is the annual Re/Max Recreational Property Report that monitors and shows comparables for recreational property markets in 41 regions across Canada. The 2017 report shows: “More than a quarter (28 per cent) of Canadians with children under the age of 18 indicated they would consider selling their primary residence in the city in which they live in order to purchase a cottage, cabin or ski chalet. “Other options that these potential buyers are willing to consider include fractional ownership in a shared property, purchasing a recreational property with a friend or family member, and renting out the recreational property they purchase on a vacation rental website such as Airbnb.” Despite recreational property supply-and-demand trends, some things never change. Such as the consistent cautions about considering recreational properties as investment strategy. The consensus is – don’t!

According to Douglas Gray, a retired lawyer and respected author of 25 books, including The Complete Guide to Buying and Owning Recreational Property in Canada, “A recreational property is traditionally a retreat and family bonding experience, sometimes over generations, and collaterally has increased in value over time, sometimes a little, sometimes a lot. “But recreational property purchased specifically for investment purposes implies a rental revenue plus capital gain objective. Careful research has to be done to ensure an investment goal can be realistically achieved. There are many variables: a high-demand vacation area; zoning and condo bylaws that allow short-term rentals. The projected financial numbers have to work.” The 2017 Re/Max Recreational Property Report also highlights the new and influential generational factor. “Almost 65 per cent of millennials expressed interest in purchasing a recreational property in the next 10 years.” For Alberta – and specifically the reasonable-distance range for the Calgary area – the hot spots continue to be Canmore, Sylvan Lake and, although a bit of a trek, the Shuswap and Windermere.

ABOVE: DOUGLAS GRAY’S RECREATIONAL PROPERTIES HANDBOOK.

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LIFESTYLE, NOT INVESTMENT // RECREATION INVESTMENTS

Distance, or the commute, may not be a hard-core businessof-real-estate factor but it is important when looking at recreational property options. “Thursday and Friday and Sunday night on the Trans-Canada is a good indicator,” Ash points out. “Increasing pricing and desire are big factors and location is still a huge factor. It always has been. It’s still a popular preference to be within two to three hours of home. That may also be changing. It’s less and less of a big deal, especially for millennials, to drive six hours to the family cabin in the Shuswap. And six hours back!” Although recreational property decision-making has new aspects, Gray recommends setting out the primary motivations in priority to determine whether the timing or decision to buy is appropriate. He mentions factors such as “affordability, tax implications on rentals and sale, location and driving time, personal use or rental use or combination of both.”

Ash underscores technology is a relatively new but vital component of the recreational property generational factor. Technology allows the gen-X, millennials as well as thinkingabout or recently-retired boomers to enjoy the special aspects of being rural but staying connected. “Wi-Fi is increasingly now more common and available in many recreational property areas and affords the opportunity to enjoy the cabin or cottage lifestyle with the option of connecting and working by remote.”

A Little Piece of Paradise “Recreational properties around the world are in more and more demand,” says Brian Ehlert, managing partner of the Windmill Golf Group and Montana’s Wilderness Club.

ABOVE: A CABIN AT MONTANA’S WILDERNESS CLUB.

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The Perfect Getaway … Is Closer Than You Think …

“People are more knowledgeable and want to get away to explore, have fun and relax. “Experience and discretionary income go hand and hand. People want a place to go where they can participate in a variety of activities.” With subjective bias but a whole lot of genuine pride, he explains that Wilderness Club (WC) is a little piece of paradise in the ponderosa pine forest with the number one golf course in the state of Montana (also ranked number 60 on the Top 100 courses in the U.S.). “WC also provides horseback riding, clay shooting, a water park with slides, cabanas, hot tubs and splash pad, as well as a spa, sports courts with basketball/volleyball and an inset sports field for soccer. Outside of the resort, WC owners have world-class snowmobiling, fly-fishing, boating, hiking, deep-lake fishing, cliff jumping and various types of skiing.” While the “timeshare” concept of a generation ago has been redefined, Ehlert explains that a new concept is popular at Wilderness Club. “It’s a fractional ownership program, similar to timeshare but the individuals actually own real property within the club. People who don’t want to have the expense or sometimes hassle of full ownership of a home can opt for the WC fractional ownership program for as much as a half or as little as one-17th of the on-site cabins or villas.

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“The club fully maintains the property for the fraction owners including the cleaning, furnishing, landscaping and general maintenance so the owners can fully enjoy the resort and surrounding amenities during their stays. “Nothing will match the time spent away from the hustle and bustle of daily life, and in my opinion,” he smiles, “there isn’t a better area of the world to be in than northwest Montana, only three-and-a-half hours away from the busy city of Calgary. After all, the recreational property idea is all about lifestyle enjoyment!”

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START-UP SUCCESS // START-UPS & FUNDING

FUNDING IS THE KEY

Start-up Success BY COLLEEN WALLACE

S

eed money. Bootstrapping. Crowdfunding. Angel investors. Peer-to-peer lending. Venture capital. A rose by any other name.

Business development consultants echo the ultimate startup bottom line: the most common challenge is coming up with the necessary seed capital. • Bootstrapping is a popular – and private – type of startup funding and typically includes personal savings accounts, credit cards and home equity lines of credit. • Local, provincial or federal small business development centres help connect entrepreneurs for networking and angel investors for funding, as well as alternative funding sources like micro-loan organization and crowdfunding websites. • Eventually startups usually involve outside investors: angel investors – usually established business people with high net worths who are looking to invest anywhere from $10,000 to a few million dollars. • Funding at least $1 million or more is the world of venture capitalists (VCs), which requires in-depth and airtight business plans. Whether it’s an innovative new online parking app, a craft brewery, a mobile dog-grooming service, baby accessories that will revolutionize parenting, a remote connection for oil drill sites or a hot-concept café, most businesses and most entrepreneurs need a little or a lot of funding to launch, especially in the early days. “A lot of startups never get off the ground because they haven’t satisfied the most basic requirement of offering a

“A LOT OF STARTUPS NEVER GET OFF THE GROUND BECAUSE THEY HAVEN’T SATISFIED THE MOST BASIC REQUIREMENT OF OFFERING A PRODUCT OR SERVICE THAT A SPECIFIC CUSTOMER SEGMENT DESPERATELY NEEDS.” ~ RAY DEPAUL

RIGHT: RAY DEPAUL, DIRECTOR OF THE INSTITUTE FOR INNOVATION AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP AT MOUNT ROYAL UNIVERSITY.

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A human approach to insurance product or service that a specific customer segment desperately needs,” emphasizes Ray DePaul, director of the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Mount Royal University. “A lot of entrepreneurs fall in love with their idea and don’t go through the critical process of determining what burning problem they are solving and for whom. Those who get past this hurdle and end up running a small business are faced with a different set of challenges. “While we need to create many more startups in Alberta, we also need to ensure the high-potential ones actually grow.” The reality of the real business world sets in early, according to Kari Gordon, executive director of Startup Calgary, the committed

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

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START-UP SUCCESS // START-UPS & FUNDING

“TO GAIN MOMENTUM AND ACHIEVE GROWTH AND

HASKAYNE

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I enrolled in the Alberta Haskayne Executive MBA program to develop and expand my ability to effectively tackle and solve complex organizational issues. Evolving my thought process has provided me with a greater depth of skills thus accelerating my advancement and helping me reach my career goals.”

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SUCCESS, THE ENTREPRENEUR MUST BE INVOLVED IN THE LOCAL STARTUP COMMUNITY, UNDERSTAND WHO THE PLAYERS ARE AND DEVELOP RELATIONSHIPS AND ACCESS WITH LIKE-MINDED PEOPLE WHO NEED TO KNOW WHO YOU ARE, ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS, YOUR VALUE PROPOSITION, AND WHAT IS COMPELLING ABOUT YOUR STORY.” ~ KARI GORDON and passionate not-for-profit that connects new entrepreneurs with people who can help take their ideas from wishful thinking to making-it-happen. “One of the primary keys to startup momentum is being realistic, understanding the customer and knowing what problem you’re solving. It defines the market.” “Investors are looking for three things before they invest in a startup,” DePaul explains. “Does the startup have a strong value proposition that solves a big problem? Do a lot of customers have this problem? Can the team actually pull this off? “While the relative importance of these questions varies for each investor, it’s commonly understood that without the right team, nothing else matters. Given that it’s likely the startup will have to change directions at least once before they find success, investors like teams that have the capability to make these pivots before they run out of money.” All three levels of government have various groups and agencies to encourage entrepreneurs and small business hopefuls. “While launching a startup is not for the faint of heart, it is rewarding and exciting,” Gordon adds, referring to the many Startup Calgary activities, forums and valuable opportunities for entrepreneurs to network and get involved. “To gain momentum and achieve growth and success, the entrepreneur must be involved in the local startup community, understand who the players are and develop relationships

haskayne-emba.ca

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RIGHT: KARI GORDON, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF START-UP CALGARY

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


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There’s a consensus that startup funding is available, but not easy to acquire. “It’s always tough to get funding, but the proliferation of startups actually increases the available funding,” DePaul points out. “Those who invest in startups often invest in dozens of companies. This level of diversification is critical in the higher-risk world of earlystage investing. “Managing cash flow for a cashstrapped startup is always hard. If you are selling physical products, you often have to buy inventory months ahead of when you will see the revenue. This is a good place to access credit to bridge these gaps. Some entrepreneurs are loath to

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START-UP SUCCESS // START-UPS & FUNDING

RECENT YEARS HAVE BEEN A BOON TIME FOR CALGARY STARTUPS. IRONICALLY, THE DOWNTURN AND THE CALGARY EMPLOYMENT SITUATION HAVE PROVEN TO SPIKE INTEREST IN STARTUPS, PARTIALLY DUE TO DISPLACED WORKERS OPTING TO START THEIR OWN BUSINESSES.

take on debt. They are often underpaying themselves and the thought of adding debt to their burden can cause a lot of stress. They have to view debt as a vehicle to fund growth.” Many business stats confirm that funding can be a startup dealmaker or a deal-breaker. A recent survey showed that poor cash flow is the main reason why 90 per cent of small businesses fail. “Too often they get excited after the launch or after the first customers and they tend to spend money on things like a marketing budget without paying attention to the KPIs (key performance indicators) – the measurable values that demonstrate how effectively a company is achieving key business objectives. They lose sight of the customer,” Gordon adds. Recent years have been a boon time for Calgary startups. Ironically, the downturn and the Calgary employment situation have proven to spike interest in startups, partially due to displaced workers opting to start their own businesses. “While there is funding capital available in the Calgary market,” she says, “it’s tough work. Calgary requires hustle and grittiness. It’s not like strolling into the Dragons’ Den. You have to be willing to hustle, connect with people and the community. “But we get a lot of people at Startup Calgary, coming from 10 or more years of the corporate environment, where other people were driving the bus. We coach them, we mentor them and get them ready to transition and drive their own bus.” DePaul says people are drawn into the startup world during tough economic times.

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“When times are booming, people are starting companies to be opportunistic. When times are tough, people start companies to control their own destiny. I actually think it’s a pretty resilient ecosystem.” With Calgary-area business savvy and enthusiasm, he mentions the city’s solid business base and growing diversity. “Calgary has a lot of experience in the energy sector, so those who made their money in oil and gas are most comfortable investing in what they know. We also have a growing technology sector and over the last few years, more funding is becoming available. “We have very strong grant programs from Alberta Innovates and the federal IRAP (Industrial Research Assistance Program), a growing core of angel investors, VC funds like the Accelerate Fund, Yaletown Venture and iNovia Capital, and a new Alberta Investor Tax Credit (AITC) to entice investors to support local startups. We are on the right trajectory.” There’s no denying the uncertainty of the Calgary economy can make it a bit of a bumpy ride for startups. “Let’s be honest,” he adds with positivity. “It’s a bumpy ride for startups wherever they happen to be located. Good entrepreneurs are exceptional at creating value for their customers. If they can do that, they will be successful. If they find it challenging to sell to local customers, they will target organizations outside of Calgary and Alberta. They will go where the customers are. “Remember, great companies like Microsoft and GE were founded during a recession. There is an abundance of talent available and an incentive to go out on your own. Some would argue that it’s never been a better time to create a startup.”


WEBBER ACADEMY P R E PA R I N G S T U D E N T S T O T H R I V E

IN UNIVERSITY AND BEYOND DISCOVER THE OPPORTUNITIES AT WEBBER ACADEMY Attend one of our upcoming Information Evenings or book your own tour of the school campus.

I N F O R M AT I O N E V E N I N G S Thursday, November 2, 2017 at 7:00 PM Thursday, January 18, 2018 at 7:00 PM Thursday, February 22, 2018 at 7:00 PM

VISIT WWW.WEBBERACADEMY.CA OR CALL (403) 277-4700 FOR MORE INFORMATION

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

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THE EDUCATOR // COVER

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THE EDUCATOR // COVER

The Educator

DR. NEIL WEBBER AND HIS MANY ACCOMPLISHMENTS BY MELANIE DARBYSHIRE

I

t’s a Wednesday morning in mid-August: school’s out, vacations are on, and many are taking advantage of the last few weeks of summer. If at all possible, work is generally avoided. At Webber Academy in Calgary though, Dr. Neil Webber, president and head of school – and now 81 years old – is busy overseeing plans for the coming year. He has done so for the past 20 years.

His intention has proved successful. Webber Academy students consistently score at the top on provincial exams. The school ranked third out of 790 elementary schools in Alberta in the Fraser Institute’s 2015-16 ranking and third out of 585 Alberta elementary schools in the last five years. High school students also score very well on Advanced Placement (AP) exams.

“I still go in every day,” Webber says. “As long as my health stays fine I will continue on as president and head of school.” It’s a role that has suited him and served the school well. “When we founded it [in 1997] I didn’t expect it would develop into what it is today. We started off with 82 students in a leased space on the north side of the city, and thought if we get a few hundred students over time that would be good.”

A university preparatory school, the university entry rate for the Grade 12 graduating class is consistently 99 per cent. “Most of them go to universities in Canada, but a number go to the U.S., and occasionally we have one who goes to the U.K. – we have a student at Oxford right now,” Webber says. “Almost all of the students have some form of scholarship when they leave here too.”

This past September, just under 1,000 students – from junior-kindergarten through Grade 12 – entered the school, whose impressive campus is now located in southwest Calgary. The facilities comprise a Kindercentre, a main campus with two gymnasiums, a 10,000-square-metre high school Science Centre, a Performing Arts Centre with a 500seat theatre, a running track, a soccer field and cross-country trails. The school employs 120 staff.

The school’s students achieve success outside the classroom too. “We have done extremely well in local and international science fairs,” says Webber. “Even down at the Grade 6 level – this year we had six students eligible for the Calgary science fair and they obtained the highest results in the city.”

“We wanted to have a school that would be attractive to parents of children with generally above-average abilities, and for parents who wanted a more direct-teaching instruction,” Webber explains of the school. “We have high expectations for discipline and achievement levels.”

At the high school level too, science is a strength. “This year, we had a student who won the top intermediate award at the Canada-wide science fair, and won a number of scholarships as a result,” Webber says. He credits the school’s Science Centre – established in 2012 – with fostering these accomplishments. “It has attracted many of our students to science.”

LEFT: DR. NEIL WEBBER, PRESIDENT AND HEAD OF WEBBER ACADEMY. PHOTO SOURCE: BOOKSTRUCKER PHOTOGRAPHY

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

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THE EDUCATOR // COVER

Music, speech, debate, drama and dance are other areas of achievement, helped with the addition of the Performing Arts Centre in 2012. “We’re able to have all our assemblies, school activities and concerts there,” says Webber, “as well as an annual citywide spelling bee contest and an annual debate and science camp each summer.” While university preparation initially attracted Ian Chang to Webber Academy, he was also involved in extracurricular activities while there. Chang graduated in 2015 and is now attending Duke University. “My experience at Webber Academy was exceptional,” he says. “The academics were no doubt challenging and rigorous, but that’s exactly why I chose to attend. I was an avid participant in debate and Model UN, and had the opportunities to travel both locally and internationally as a result.” Another unique Webber Academy offering is the President’s Breakfast Club ATB Speaker Series, a series of talks featuring industry professionals from a variety of areas who present to students from Grades 7 through 12. Past speakers include astronaut Dr. Robert Thirsk, drummer Kenny Aronoff, Court

of Queen’s Bench Justice Kristine Eidsvik and former prime minister Kim Campbell. Former Alberta premier Peter Lougheed was another notable Breakfast Club speaker. Not surprising given the long relationship Webber had with the former premier. Indeed, Webber, who served as an elected member of the Alberta legislature for over 14 years and was a member of Lougheed’s cabinet, had accomplished much before he started his school. Born in Hanna, Alberta, in 1936, Webber was the eldest of nine children. His parents operated a cattle ranch and his mother had been a teacher. “There was a lot of hard work and a strong work ethic was developed there,” Webber recalls, “but my parents also believed that education was very important, so we attended school.” Though prolonged absences from high school (in order to help his father, who was often ill, on the ranch) caused some struggle, he was nonetheless accepted into the University of Alberta (U of A), where he excelled. He went on to complete

ABOVE: WEBBER ACADEMY GRADUATION CLASS OF 2017 WITH MR. KEITH MACPHAIL (GUEST KEYNOTE), CHRISTINA CLOUSTON (HEAD OF SENIOR SCHOOL) AND DR. NEIL WEBBER (FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT).

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


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THE EDUCATOR // COVER

four degrees: a bachelor of science in mathematics from the U of A; a master of science in mathematics from the University of Montana; a bachelor of education from the U of A; and a PhD in mathematics education from the U of A. He also completed a two-year meteorological officer program at the University of Toronto. He married his wife Dorothy in 1957 and began his teaching career that same year. He taught high school physics and mathematics at Queen Elizabeth, St. Mary’s and Saint Francis high schools through the 1960s and into the 1970s. He also taught math at Mount Royal College. It was this early experience that provoked the notion for Webber Academy. “It goes back to my very first year of teaching where I had 35 youngsters in a class of physics at Queen Elizabeth,” Webber explains. “There was a wide range of abilities, extra help needed for those that were struggling and I also felt that we didn’t challenge the brighter students. I thought ‘Wouldn’t it be nice to focus on those who are generally the top 25 per cent academically, have high expectations and work with the parents to help develop future leaders in our society.’” In 1969, Webber met then-Premier Lougheed and heard him speak – a moment that triggered a young Webber’s political interest, setting him on a new path. In 1975, he ran for the provincial legislature and won. Throughout his political career he held various portfolios including minister of energy, minister of education, minister of social services and associate minister of telephones. Webber eventually retired from politics in 1989. “I was close to 53 years old, and thought ‘What am I going to do in an afterlife from politics?’ I thought if I leave it too long, I might be less employable. I’d spent 14-plus years in politics and it was time to move on.” Then-Premier Don Getty asked Webber to become chairman of Alberta Government Telephones (AGT) and steer the crown corporation through its privatization. Webber was a key figure in this privatization and remained as chairman of Telus until 1992. In 1995, at an age when most people plan their retirement, he began planning Webber Academy. Today, four of his children work at Webber Academy.

The fifth, son Len Webber, followed in his father’s earlier footsteps and went into politics – he was an elected member of the Alberta legislature and is now a member of Parliament. Each of Webber’s 10 grandchildren has been through the school (three are still there). “Our father continues to motivate us to work hard and take on challenges with a positive attitude,” says Lorne Webber, head of advancement and communications. “It is surreal for us to see what he has developed over the past 20 years with the academy. The fact is he is not finished yet and strives for constant improvements in every aspect of the school and the business of running a school. The foundation he has built will be instrumental in the future of Webber Academy.” In addition to substantial growth over the past 20 years, the school’s population has diversified too. “We have a

ABOVE: DR. WEBBER MINISTER OF ENERGY. BELOW: DR. WEBBER AND HON. PETER LOUGHEED.

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


THE EDUCATOR // COVER

real international flavour to our population now with students from many different backgrounds and cultures,” Webber explains. “In the Grade 12 graduation this year of 52 students, 25 of them were born outside of Canada and there are 18 different languages spoken at home among those 52 families.” Change is rarely without struggle, and Webber Academy has faced one notable challenge recently: in 2012, two Muslim students and their families took the school to the Alberta Human Rights Commission when it refused to allow them to pray at school. Webber Academy was found to have discriminated, and appealed the decision to the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench, where it was upheld. “We believe that the practice of religion should be separate from the education of youngsters at the school here,” Webber explains, “and on that basis don’t allow prayer space for any religion at the school.” He adds that years ago a Catholic family had wanted catechism taught in the school after classes and that was denied as well. The school has appealed the Queen’s Bench decision to the Court of Appeal, which hears the case this month. Meantime, Webber says enrolment hasn’t been

affected. “I think we’re well known now as a secular, non-denominational school and I think that has been an attractive feature for a lot of people.” He highlights another reason parents choose his school: “We have been very fortunate to be able to get excellent teachers, a number of whom have international experience.” With small class sizes, remuneration at levels equal to or above what is paid in the public system, a bonus system and oneyear contracts, Webber says they retain high-quality teachers. And while the educational side of the school is a success, the business side is equally satisfactory. In January 2017, Webber Academy became debt-free. “We’ve essentially completed our capital investment,” Webber says. “We’ve been able to hold tuition fees this year at the same level they were at the previous year. The future looks pretty bright, I think, from a financial perspective.” A life full of accomplishments by a man who is not yet finished. With so much to choose from, what does he hope to be remembered for? “Primarily, this school – Webber Academy. My family and I want to see this thrive in the future as being one of the top university preparatory schools around.” The legacy is alive and well.

ABOVE: DR. NEIL WEBBER, PRESIDENT AND HEAD OF WEBBER ACADEMY. PHOTO SOURCE: BOOKSTRUCKER PHOTOGRAPHY

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

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SOCIAL MEDIA // BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY

SOCIAL MEDIA

A MUST FOR BUSINESSES OR JUST A BUNCH OF HYPE? BY KIM LOCKE

T

he vast majority of Canadians walk around daily with more computing power in their pocket than that which sent mankind to the moon in 1969. That’s a powerful thought, and personal access to incredible technology isn’t going anywhere. It was only a decade ago that Apple revolutionized the mobile industry through its release of the iPhone, yet the smartphone has completely permeated daily life, and its ubiquitous presence significantly shapes our everyday behaviour. Today’s consumers spend hours each day staring at their screens, much of the time perusing various social media platforms.

Is social media valuable for businesses or is it all just a bunch of hype? If you came of age prior to the digital era, it can be challenging to determine whether you should incorporate social media into your company’s digital marketing strategy, and if so, how to do so effectively. First things first, social media is not magic. Merely setting up a Twitter or Facebook account will not automatically bring you loads of new clients or make your product fly off the shelf. But many types of businesses can leverage a well thought out and carefully implemented social media strategy into an increased bottom line.

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SOCIAL MEDIA // BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY

“JUST THE SAME AS YOU WOULDN’T START A BUSINESS WITHOUT DOING PRELIMINARY RESEARCH, YOU SHOULDN’T START A SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGN WITHOUT FIRST HAVING A STRATEGY.” ~ SARAH KIRKPATRICK

First, know your audience and your target market. Are your potential customers and clients on social media? Can you develop and execute a strategy to reach them, and build and gain trust and appreciation? For B2C (business-to-consumer) businesses, the answer to these questions is likely to be yes, particularly in Calgary, Canada’s youngest city. If you’re in the business of selling consumer goods to millennials, you would be foolish to ignore social media as a marketing channel. For B2B (business-to-business) businesses, though, or businesses with an older target market, this becomes a more difficult analysis. If you sell windows to home manufacturers, or your ideal B2C consumer is an octogenarian in a nursing home, social may not actually have a useful place in your marketing mix. An astonishing number of businesses simply jump into the social media world because they think it’s the thing to do. They fail to post relevant content in such a way as to attract and keep an audience, then lose momentum and essentially abandon their platforms after a few months, concluding that social media is an ineffective marketing channel and not worth the time and effort. Sarah Kirkpatrick, owner of Jumping Elephant, a Calgary digital marketing company, understands the challenges business owners may have with respect to navigating the social media world. She advises those seeking guidance to choose an experienced professional. You get what you pay for, Kirkpatrick says, warning that the social media industry has taken off so substantially in recent years that there are a lot of “consultants” out there who have no or limited

expertise. A background in traditional and digital marketing and formal education in language or journalism are all desirable. And of course, demonstrated results in the social media world are essential. Kirkpatrick highlights the importance of approaching social as you would any other endeavour. “Just the same as you wouldn’t start a business without doing preliminary research, you shouldn’t start a social media campaign without first having a strategy,” she says. Taking time to flesh out an overarching strategy prior to starting to develop and post content or further content can save a lot of time later on, and this is something a professional can help with. Kirkpatrick recommends that at least 10 per cent of a marketing budget be allocated to digital. She also suggests that businesses that manage their own accounts focus on only one or two platforms, as it is far more effective to manage fewer platforms well. Kirkpatrick points out that many of today’s consumers, particularly younger customers, don’t use the phone to contact businesses. Rather, they connect through companies’ social media accounts. It’s essential to ensure that you are devoting enough time and attention to social that you can respond to each and every inquiry in real time and don’t end up ignoring certain platforms. The appropriate platform(s) depends on your company, your industry, the resources available to you, and the profile of your ideal customer, says business owner Kara Rohl. Rohl leveraged the experience she gained from her previous career at a digital communications agency when launching her own ABOVE: SARAH KIRKPATRICK OF JUMPING ELEPHANT MEDIA ADVISES BUSINESSES ON THE EFFECTIVE USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA. PHOTO SOURCE: JUMPING ELEPHANT

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SOCIAL MEDIA // BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY

Calgary-based photography business. The vast majority of her marketing is done via Instagram and, of course, word of mouth from satisfied clients. Rohl appreciates that social is no or low cost, however “free” is not “easy.” She has been successful because she devotes a lot of time and attention to social and spends a significant portion of each day managing her accounts and connecting with potential customers. As such, her business has grown exponentially. It’s important to understand social is not just about pushing ads at your target audience, particularly if you are a service provider or a B2B business. It’s about building your reputation, developing and keeping an audience, connecting with them, and providing them with valuable, timely, enjoyable and well thought out content. If you do it well, chances are good you will be front-of-mind when someone in your audience is looking for a business in your industry. If you do not, then social will not work for you. Good content is crucial, and this of course includes not only photos but also blog posts, articles and video, depending on the platform. Kirkpatrick emphasizes that knowing what kind of content is being featured by your platform(s) at any given time can help you get in front of your demographic. For instance, live video is currently being featured by Facebook, thus if you produce live videos, your content will be seen by a wider audience. Blogging, also, is particularly effective for businesses. How do you know if it’s working? Literally hundreds of management tools exist to create content, plan and schedule posts, and measure your content’s reach and performance.

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Planoly, Buffer and of course Hootsuite are a few popular choices, and platforms have their own analytic tools as well. But translating analytics into whether or not you have garnered increased sales is often less scientific. Brandon Perlman has extensive experience with social management tools. He founded the Gramlist, a B2B firm that blends the most sophisticated data and analytics with a human touch to curate social influencers for companies ranging from small organizations to Fortune 500 firms. “At the end of the day, you want awareness and consideration, and this can be difficult to measure,” he says. “If five years ago, you bought an ad in the local paper, and it moved the needle for you, now you’re looking to translate that into social.” Professionals say that as with traditional marketing channels, a certain degree of trial and error is inevitable. Tried-and-true techniques such as offering coupons and specials via social and tracking uptake can provide guidance as to whether you’re on the right course. Done right, social can have a huge impact, but it takes strategic thinking, analysis and commitment to get it right. You don’t need a Facebook, Instagram or Twitter account, and it’s easy to dismiss social as a kids’ game. But if a lot of your potential clients and customers spend significant time on social media, and you’re ready to commit the time and resources to actively and consistently managing your account(s), before dismissing the idea of social outright, it’s wise to analyze whether an appropriate social strategy could help your bottom line. Otherwise, you, too may dabble in it, and reach the conclusion that the hype is overblown.


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Elbow Park masterpiece set on a beautiful, park-like lot (over 13,000 SF) in a superb location - this is truly an urban oasis and you’ll feel transported from the hustle & bustle of the city as soon as you step inside the gate! This home has been professionally, lovingly renovated by an architect (to the studs with updated insulation, plumbing, garage, kitchen, ensuite, wiring, copper piping, 6” walls + entire basement & mechanical redone in 2013/14 & roofing in 2017) yet maintains all the charm & character expected in a home of this vintage. This home boasts a triple garage (with loft), huge outdoor entertaining space with fireplace, a chef ’s kitchen with Calcutta marble countertop, white cabinets & high-end stainless steel Wolf & Sub-Zero appliances (48” Wolf range w/ 2 ovens), generously proportioned formal living spaces, 4+2 bedrooms, 5 fireplaces, renovated spa/6-pcs ensuite with heated Carrera marble flooring & renovated basement with wine room, family & games rooms, bedroom, bathroom, gym (could be 6th bedroom) & hobby/work room.

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BEARSPAW| $2,695,000 BEL-AIRE | $4,900,000

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Truly one of the most exquisite homes Calgary has to offer! This 4768 SF Bel Aire home sits on 1/3+ acre & exhibits rare details that are right out of “Town & Country.� The beautifully manicured south backyard with pool is a private oasis sure to impress & the redesigned, expanded + totally renovated 2-storey (in 2008) offers exquisite craftsmanship & features an incredible kitchen (Sub-Zero & Wolf appliances, glass front wine fridge), dazzling living areas, palatial master suite (w/ sitting room/walk-in & spa bathroom), 3 + 1 bedrooms, richly panelled library, huge gym, mudroom, oversized triple garage, superb built-ins, all new electrical/lighting, plumbing, windows/doors, exterior, home automation system with audio/video inside & out, spectacular, automated salt water pool (virtually maintenance-free), heated cabana, fullservice outdoor kitchen w/ Viking/Sub-Zero appliances & commercial grade heaters. This property raises the bar for renovated/redesigned family homes in a prime inner-core location. World class!

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BRITANNIA | $2,650,000

807

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Contemporary 2014 build, steps from boutique shops in highly coveted Britannia with 4 ensuite bedrooms & a 4 car garage, on a generous 74’ wide lot with sunny south backyard! West Coast design meet modern elegance in this light & open residence & over 5630 SF of living space. Spoil yourself with high-end appliances (induction range, multiple dishwashers, glass front wine fridge), heated floors, custom window coverings, a sculptural staircase of steel, wood & glass, extensive built-ins (large mudroom, several walkin closets), quartz counters, stone backsplash, glass railings, chic lighting, home automation system, in-floor heating & central a/c. Entertaining oriented main level with large dining room, open kitchen, glass wall den. 4 bedrooms, 4 ensuite bathrooms, bonus room & laundry room upstairs. Basement developed with media/games room & 5th bedroom + bathroom. Minutes from downtown & walking distance to river valley pathways.

SPRINGBANK HILL | $2,495,000

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S P R I N G VA L L E Y V I E W, S W

Live in the lap of luxury in this opulent estate home + developed walkout for a total of 6397SF of living space with 4+1 bedrooms & 4 car garage, set on a 1/3 acre lot w/ sweeping views. Lavishly appointed with natural travertine floors, hand-scraped walnut, A/C, soaring, coffered & 25’ high barrel vaulted ceilings, chic lighting, extensive built-ins, professional-grade appliances including a 48” Wolf gas cooktop, huge pantry & 4 sinks in the kitchen, a stunning master ensuite with cathedral ceiling, central jet-tub, 11’ rounded Roman shower (2 entryways) & 2 sided gas fireplace. The master also has a sitting room, huge walk-in & views & the 3 additional bedrooms are all ensuite. The finished walkout wet bar, fabulous wine cellar, gym, flex/media Rm & in-floor heat. The incredible attention to detail continues outdoors w/ professional landscaping featuring an outdoor living space w/ wood burning fireplace, extensive natural sandstone & built-in 48” grill.

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ASPEN WOODS | $2,300,000

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Contemporary, timeless & spectacular this Malibu Beach style 2-storey with walkout basement offers the ultimate executive lifestyle with 5663 SF of total living space, 6 bathrooms (3 ensuites), 4 bedrooms, den, home theatre, wet bar, wine room, multiple decks, home gym, 2 therapeutic (hot & cold) plunge pools, huge dining room, vaulted living room, 2 laundry rooms, mudroom & oversized triple garage w/ built-ins & epoxy flooring. All upper bedrooms have their own ensuite & the master has a private balcony, gas fireplace, 2 walk-ins & spa ensuite w/ multi-head steam shower & air-jet tub. There are quartz counters thru-out, extensive built-ins, 3 fireplaces, deeptoned hardwood, charcoal stained ebony, sculptural staircases & gourmet kitchen & butler’s pantry with Viking stainless steel appliance package. Sprawling 62 x 140’ lot in a quiet cul-de-sac steps from Rundle College & close to transit, multiple schools, Westside Rec Centre & Aspen Landing.

HILLHURST | $1,695,000

NEST

4 2 6 , 4 2 8 O R 4 3 0 11 T H S T R E E T, N W

Three units to choose from, offering luxury in the heart of Kensington! this incredible, architecturally designed new executive tri-plex features outstanding, high-end fixtures & fittings, spectacular interior design and a location second to none, perfect for those who appreciate walkability/ pedestrian friendly living it is set on a quiet, tree-lined street just steps away from trendy shops & restaurants, Riley Pk, c-train & Bow River. Walk/ bike to nearby SAIT, Jubilee auditorium for a concert, ballet or opera or to downtown from this inner city retreat with bedrooms (2 master suites) & 4 bathrooms, rooftop deck, city views & developed basement. Showcasing exceptional finishes thru-out if offers: Wolf & Sub-Zero appliances, Empire kitchen & bath millwork, Caesarstone counters, site-finished white oak hardwood, European plumbing fixtures, 10” baseboards, Legrand electrical outlets, ICF party-walls & foundation, heated garage & basement floor.

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LAKE BONAVISTA | $1,499,000

447

L A K E PL AC I D G R E E N , S E

Highly coveted loc’n, 2nd lake access in desirable Lake Bonaventure Estates w/ beautiful english garden & an extensively reno’d 2135 SF bungalow! Quiet cul-de-sac mere steps from exclusive Lk Bonventure for swimming, boating & skating. Boasts an expanded master suite, updated main bathroom, huge walk-in & new kitchen w/ classic cream cabinetry, centre island, granite counters, & stainless steel appliances incl. high-end, super-fast & efficient induction cooktop. Features updated hardwood, lighting, panelled walls, cove mouldings & 2 fireplaces. The family Rm w/ gas fireplace overlooks the backyard while the living Rm has a wall-mounted fireplace. The dining Rm is open to the kitchen & living for easy entertaining. There are 2 bedrms + den on the main. The master has sitting area, huge walk-in & 5-piece ensuite. Downstairs offers 3rd bedrm (w/cheater ensuite access), 2 guest Rms, 2nd den, full bathrm (w/ oversized shower), family/games Rm & wet bar.

SPRINGBANK HILL | $1,495,000

208

F O R T R E S S B AY , S W

5300 SF of total living space & lots of extras/upgrades, near Calgary’s most prestigious schools! Heated 3 car garage, developed basement (in-floor heat), 4 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms, exotic stone counters, 2 A/C, wet bar, in/ outdoor speakers & kitchen w/walk-thru pantry, island/eating bar & Bosch/ Viking stainless steel appliances! Main floor has den (TV & french doors), living room (TV & built-ins), formal dining room (coffered ceiling), mud room (lockers) & 2 pc bath. There are 3 bedrooms, laundry & bonus room up. The master has huge walk-in & spa ensuite w/ fireplace, heated floor, free-standing tub, big shower, private toilet & his/her marble vanities. 2 more bedrooms (both with built-in closet organizers) share a 4-piece bathroom with natural stone countertop. There is a media room (w/ built-ins), gym, games room, wet bar (granite counter, built-in microwave & bar fridge), 2-piecec bath & bedroom w/ walk-in closet & 3-piece ensuite downstairs.

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WEST SPRINGS | $1,395,000

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Exceptional finishings in this elegant estate home offering 4289 SF of total living space & a triple garage (w/ built-in cabinetry)! This Wentworth Estates home is set on a huge lot (76’ frontage, 9181 SF) w/ south backyard, just steps to the shops/restaurants of West 85th Street & close to schools. It boasts 3+1 bedrooms, formal dining room, living room, bonus room, 3 1/2 baths, main floor den & laundry/mudroom & a gourmet kitchen with large centre island, granite counters, walk-in pantry & stainless steel appliances including a gas cooktop. Features A/C, 2 fireplaces, 10’ high flat/painted ceilings, hardwood floors, granite counters & built-in speakers throughout the house. The master suite offers a gorgeous ensuite w/ jetted tub, shower w/ built-in bench, his & hers sinks & generously scaled walk-in closet. 2 other bedrooms share a 5pc bathroom. Superb basement development offers media Rm, wet bar 4th bedroom, full bathroom & family/games room.

COUGAR RIDGE | $1,395,000

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C O U G A R P L AT E A U C I R C L E , S W

Idyllic location, on the ridge, backing large greenspace with panoramic views, this stunning 2 storey with fully developed walkout basement offers in excess of 4300 SF of luxurious living space with 3 car garage, extensive use of travertine, granite, stone feature walls, high & coffered ceilings. Main level boasts den, formal dining room, vaulted living room & chef ’s kitchen w/ huge pantry, granite counters, Viking & Bosch stainless steel appliance package (incl. gas stove w/ pot filler) & eating area. A curved, open-string stairway leads you to 3 bedrooms and bonus/flex room. The Master has superb views, oversized walk-in closet & ensuite w/ 3-sided fireplace, his/her sinks, jetted tub & spa-shower w/ body sprays. Both additional bedrooms have walk-in closets. The walkout offers family & games rooms, full-service wet bar, dedicated media room, gym, 4th bedroom & 3pc bathroom. Incredible landscaping w/ water features & hot/cold tubs.

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BEARSPAW || $4,900,000 RICHMOND $1,275,000

2105

N I N E T E E N T H S T R E E T, S W

A stunning renovation, worthy of a spread in Style at Home magazine! This ultra-chic 2-storey is perched on the ridge with city views & a gorgeous, lowmaintenance, walled “secret garden” with waterfall, extensive perennial plantings & a big deck. Inside you’ll find extensive updates feature: kitchen (site finished with high-end appliances), bathrooms (including steam shower adjacent to gym), dark hardwood & porcelain tile, designer paint & lighting, plumbing & heating systems, custom window coverings, fireplace feature wall & extensive site-finished built-ins! Plan offers chef ’s kitchen with Thermador & Miele appliance package, quartz counters & glass backsplash, living room w/modern fireplace, formal dining has a dramatic light fixture & city views, 2 bedrooms upstairs including the tree-house inspired master suite with fireplace, sitting room, amazing closet & spa bathroom. Basement has gym, 3rd bedroom & spa bathroom with steam shower.

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MISSION | $995,000

#M06

318 - 2 6 T H AV E N U E , S W

Huge terrace + completely renovated suite! An amazing find, this positively stunning, fully renovated 1771 SF home comes with as much outdoor living area & inside and boasts your own (exclusive use) 1889 SF terrace. The interior was taken down to the studs, thoughtfully designed and completely rebuilt. It features porcelain tile & hardwood flooring (silver toned oak), custom cabinets, Caesarstone countertops, Swarovski crystal lights & cabinet pulls, custom order bathroom fixtures & a chef ’s kitchen with imported cabinetry & high-end appliance package. The laundry is fitted with a steam washer/dryer. The spa-like ensuite (with free-standing tub, multi-head shower, designer fixtures, towel warmer) is your private retreat at the end of a long day. There are 2 bedrooms, sunroom, 2 bathrooms, 2 underground parking spots, large living & dining rooms. The building, across from the river & steps from trendy 4th Street shops/restaurants.

ALTADORE | $799,000

2048

F O RT Y- S E V E N T H AV E N U E , S W

Minutes from Downtown, this trendy infill boasts a highly sought-after location in the heart of Altadore on a quiet street within walking distance to parks, schools, shopping & transit. It offers a total of over 2500 of total living space, boasting an open concept with plenty of natural lighting, high ceilings, glass railings, floating vanities, 2 fireplaces, built-in speakers & chic modern decor. The kitchen has quartz counterts & stainless steel appliances (incl. gas cooktop). Beautiful hand-scraped hardwood floors flow thru the main. The impressive upper is home to 3 generously scaled bedrooms incl. a luxurious master bedroom with speakers, vaulted ceiling & walk-in w/ custom organizers. The spa-ensuite offers a steam shower with a glass wall & raindrop shower-head. Basement is finished with 4th bedroom, full bathroom & large family room. The wonderful home comes complete with double garage, newer water softener & built-in vacuum & custom blinds.

MY EXPERIENcE IS YOUR ADVANtAGE

JUST ASK ME!


WORTH ®

YOUR HOME

FOR ALL IT’S

COUGAR RIDGE | $795,000

110

CO U G A R S TO N E TE R R AC E , S W

Move in ready, light & bright with lots of updates! Superb location on pie lot w/ beautiful backyard, half block from Waldorf school! This stylish 3+2 bedroom home features new hardwood flooring flowing thru the main level, chic updated lighting, designer paint colours & gorgeous renovated kitchen w/ classic white cabinetry, extended island/eating bar, quartz counters & stainless steel appliance package. A grand foyer with turret ceiling & statement chandelier welcomes you. Spacious dining room with tray ceiling & built-in speakers. The living room (fireplace & built-ins), nook (window on 3 sides) & kitchen all overlook the yard with patios & pergola. A den, 2-pc bath & mud/laundry Rm complete the main. The master suite has a sitting area, walk-in & reno’d ensuite with contemporary styling & quartz counters. The basement is finished w/ 2 more bedrooms, full bathroom and a combination family/games room with gas fireplace & built-ins.

GARRISON WOODS | $699,000

175

YPRES GREEN, SW

Stylish brownstone with beautiful finishes & upgrades steps from the school, bus, shops, restaurants & services! 3 bedrooms, 3 bathroom townhome w/ open-planned main level ideal for modern family living & entertaining. A full-height gas fireplace is shared between the living & dining rms. The kitchen features a large island, peninsula, pantry & granite counters, which compliment the antiqued french cabinetry & stainless appliances including a Viking gas stove & Bosch dishwasher. Wide plank walnut hardwood flows thru the living & dining while durable slate flooring in the mudroom & kitchen is accented by a stone feature wall. The 2nd level offers 2 bedrooms, a computer/homework area, full bathrm + laundry rm! The 3rd level is home to the master suite w/ sitting area, walk-in & 5-pc ensuite w/ 2 sinks, soaker tub, shower, private toilet & 3-sided fireplace. There is a double garage & patio in backyard.

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403 870 8811 |

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403 686 7800 |

www.SAMCOREA.COM

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SAM@SAMCOREA.COM


MARKETING

CHINOOK PARK | $599,000

1035

S E V E N T Y- F I F T H AV E N U E , S W

Inner city bungalow, with 2100+ SF of total living space. 3+1 bedrooms & 3 full bathrms! Steps to schools, bus & shopping, Rockyview Hospital, Heritage Pk, Glenmore Pk & the reservoir. Many upgrades in recent years including: Windows, blinds, lights, bathrms, vacuum system, refinished hardwood & tile, brand new basement carpeting, tile & fresh paint but the highlight is the newer kitchen with white cabinets, quartz counters, tile backsplash, eating bar & updated stainless steel appliances. Dining Rm w/ glass doors opens to a big deck and sunny south backyard. Refinished hardwood flows into 3 bedrooms on the main. Master bedroom w/ 3-piece ensuite & big windows with between the glass blinds. 2 other bedrooms share a newer 4-piece bath. Basement w/ bedroom, 3-pc bath & Rec/Family Rm w/ free-standing gas fireplace with thermostatic control. Keyless entry backdoor & storm door offers access south backyard & heated/insulated oversized double garage.

SILVER SPRINGS | $575,000

120

S I LV E R C R E E K C R E S C E N T, N W

Spacious 2-storey split with attached double garage & extensive updates including bathrooms, new flooring, paint &most windows replaced, custom window coverings, gas fireplace and a new kitchen with granite counters, tile backsplash and stainless steel appliances package! Great location, family friendly low traffic street walking distance to transit, shopping & Crowchild Twin Arenas. Gleaming hardwood flows thru foyer, living room, dining room and into the island kitchen with eating bar & computer desk. There is also a main floor den/homework room, family room, mud/laundry room & powder room. There are 3 bedrooms up (with new carpeting & updated bathrooms) including big master suite with 4-piece ensuite featuring 2 raised bowl glass sinks & a private toilet & oversized glass shower enclosure. 2 other bedrooms share another updated bathroom. The basement has a rec room & storage space. There is an RV pad & patio in the fenced yard.

MY EXPERIENcE IS YOUR ADVANtAGE

JUST ASK ME!


WORTH ÂŽ

YOUR HOME

FOR ALL IT’S

ASPEN WOODS | $479,000

#216

45 ASPENMONT HEIGHTS, SW

Brand new & extensively upgraded in a picture perfect location, overlooking the water in trendy Aspen with tranquil views from both levels, this chic 2-storey condominium is absolutely a must see! Spoil yourself with a gourmet kitchen that features deep-toned cabinetry, tiled backsplash, waterfall edge casearstone counters and full compliment of high-end stainless steel appliances including a side-by-side fridge with ice/water dispensers. This spacious suite has chic lighting fixtures, custom blinds, in-floor heating & 3 bathrooms each with caesarstone counters & raised bowl sinks! There are 2 master suites (1 on each level for maximum privacy), 2 ensuite bathrooms, a big living room, separate dining room + an in-suite laundry. The unit comes with 2 parking spots (1 underground, 1 above ground), storage & a balcony. The boutique shops & restaurants of Aspen Landing are a short walk away & the c-train is close by for a stress-free commute to downtown.

EVERGREEN | $375,000

61

E V E R S TO N E AV E N U E , S W

Stylish 2 storey with soaring ceilings, stone fireplace, built-ins & sunny south backyard! This well kept 2 bedroom 2-storey has a south backyard & is close to a large park, schools, public transit & more. An attractive stone walkway leads you to the front porch. On the main level is a front flex room (use this space as an office or a more formal dining room), a conveniently located guest bathroom, island kitchen, dining area & lovely, sun-filled living room, featuring a vaulted ceiling, stone-faced gas fireplace, built-in speaker system and built-in oak wall-unit. The kitchen has an abundance of cabinets, island/ eating bar, black appliances & breakfast nook with bay window. There is a big deck, shed & parking area in the backyard. There are two good-sized bedrooms upstairs. The master suite has a walk-in closet, private balcony and cheater access to the large 4-piece bath bathroom.

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403 870 8811 |

t

403 686 7800 |

www.SAMCOREA.COM

|

SAM@SAMCOREA.COM


BEARSPAW | $4,750,000

103

WOODL AND L ANE

9341 SF, on the pond! This incredible home sits on 2 exquisitely manicured acres with stream, pond & dream treehouse! Thoughtfully designed, beautifully crafted bungalow w/ loft, walkout, elevator, o/s 4 car garage (w/ workshop, storage & sport storage rooms) & 5-star hotel inspired pool room with hot tub, wet bar, gym & wall of sliding doors opening wide to a private patio with pond views. Perfect for family living & entertaining it boasts sophisticated, programmable lights, sound, security, blinds, water feature, pool features, sprinklers, heating & cooling. Impressive in every way with stunning curb appeal, chef ’s kitchen (Butler’s pantry, induction cooktop w/ pot filler, espresso maker, Wolf, Sub-Zero, Miele), elegant master wing (sitting rm, bar, walk-in, laundry & steam shower), den, homework room & ensuite guest rm on main. Walkout w/ family/games rm, wet bar, recycle/pet wash rm, laundry, 4 bdrms & mudrm. Secure pool room w/huge mosaic tiled pool (hard cover, water & fibre optic light features).

PRIDDIS GREENS | $1,550,000

11

H AW K S L A N D I N G D R I V E

Stunning bungalow built by Baywood Estate Homes has a finished lower level & offers a total of 5524 SF of living space. Set on the Priddis Greens golf course in Hawks Landing, 15 minutes west of Calgary off highway 22X (note that new ring road will reduce driving time). Perfect for entertaining it’s a custom plan & has high-end finishes that are sure to impress. It sits on a .82 acre lot & backs the 10th hole. Home has full house Control4 system. The main floor master suite features soaring ceilings & breathtaking views towards the fairway, ensuite has in-floor heat, 2 person jetted tub in a private grotto & there is an oversized, tiled multi-head shower. Invigorate your inner chef in this amazing kitchen with designer cabinetry, marble counters & Viking Professional Series appliances & a butler’s pantry. The loft retreat has another bedroom, ensuite bathrm, wet bar & lounge area while the basement is home to a superb home theatre, wet bar, gym, 2 bedrms & spectacular Family Rm (open to the upper level).

PRIDDIS GREENS | $1,295,000

108

H AW K S L A N D I N G D R I V E

Breathing room for the soul! Your private hideaway from the hustle & bustle of the city this architecturally designed walkout bungalow is tucked into the trees & boasts a spectacular backyard oasis ($250,000+ spent in landscaping) & peekaboo views of Priddis golf course & the mountains. Leafy views from huge windows (in most rooms) give a treehouse-like atmosphere while a 4-season ‘screened in porch’ makes you almost feel like you’re at the cottage. But this estate is anything but rustic; it features a chef ’s kitchen (high-end stainless steel appl), big dining Rm, grand living Rm (25’ ceiling) & master suite w/ fireplace, sitting area, dressing room & jet tub ensuite. A 2-pc bath & mudroom w/ access to the oversized triple garage complete the main. Upstairs is a loft/sitting room & a 2nd ensuite bedroom. Walkout (in-floor heating) offers 3 bedrooms, 3-pc bath, family/games Rms (wood-burning f/p) & access to the gorgeous, low maintenance yard w/ babbling brook, firepit, stone patios, pergolas & a dog run.

c

403 870 8811 |

t

403 686 7800 |

www.SAMCOREA.COM

|

SAM@SAMCOREA.COM


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CALGARY HOUSING MARKET ON ROAD TO RECOVERY // REAL ESTATE

CALGARY HOUSING MARKET ON ROAD TO RECOVERY HOMEBUILDERS ‘BULLISH’ ABOUT PROSPECTS BY MARIO TONEGUZZI

C

algary’s real estate market is on the road to recovery after a tough two years when the city’s economy struggled during a prolonged recession, resulting in thousands of layoffs, particularly in the energy sector. “We’re quite bullish about the market,” says Guy Huntingford, CEO of BILD Calgary Region. “As much as we have seen a lot of job losses in Calgary in a very specific area...there’s still a number of people who have moved to Calgary over the last few years. “So, there’s still people in the market for new homes. We had one year of negative migration; now we’re back to positive migration and we expect that to continue to ramp up. You’re seeing certainly all of the economists and powers that be saying that the Alberta recession is over. We’re coming out of it. The homebuilding business is such that it has to anticipate what’s coming. You can’t just turn the tap on overnight. It’s a long-term process. A lot of people forget that.”

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


CALGARY’S ONLY LUXURY PARKFRONT CHOICE THE VALUE OF PARKFRONT: Downtown Calgary park-front homes are priced 50% LESS than comparable homes in Vancouver

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CALGARY HOUSING MARKET ON ROAD TO RECOVERY // REAL ESTATE

RISING MORTGAGE RATES TO HIT HOUSING AFFORDABILITY E X P E RTS WAR N OF N EGATIVE I M PACT

R

ising mortgage rates and more stringent mortgage regulation could negatively impact the housing market for the rest of the year.

“Mortgage rates are expected to continue climbing with the Bank of Canada likely to hike its policy rate three times in the next year and a half,” says Diana Petramala, economist with TD Economics. “As such, housing affordability is likely to deteriorate broadly across Canada.” Ann-Marie Lurie, chief economist with the Calgary Real Estate Board, says the impact of interest rate hikes on consumers is closely tied to their incomes.

The economic indicators are pointing in a positive direction and that has people in the real estate industry smiling these days. From new home construction to the resale housing market, there’s just a feeling that things are going to get better. “A pent-up demand has developed over the last two years as buyers wait for a combination of economic optimism and seller realism,” says Don Campbell, senior analyst with the Real Estate Investment Network. “Right now . . . there is a sense with consumers that maybe Calgary is nearing the bottom of this negative economic cycle and this confidence, whether misplaced or not, is spurring some demand. The unemployment rate in Calgary continues on a downward trend, rents have stabilized and some hiring has occurred.” Here are some reasons why spirits are buoyed these days in the local real estate industry. After two years mired in a deep recession, Alberta is forecast to lead the country in economic growth for the next two years, according to a report by TD Economics. The bank is predicting growth in the province to be 3.7 per cent this year and 2.6 per cent in 2018 following

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“We have gone through a period where our incomes have essentially fallen for the most part. They’re starting to stabilize now. But incomes have come down and at the same time the cost of lending has increased,” she says. “Typically, when lending rates increase it can pull off some of the demand. But for us it tends to have more of an impact because you’re also facing the fact that general incomes haven’t risen as well.” Don Campbell, senior analyst with the Real Estate Investment Network, says mortgage interest rates have been rising steadily for over 12 months now. That trend, combined with tougher qualification rules, has already led to a tightening of market demand and affordability. “Now with the headline Bank of Canada rate beginning its move upwards what we witness is actually counterintuitive. When the headline rate increases, especially at the beginning, there is an initial increase in home purchase demand as those who were waiting on the sidelines begin to experience fear of missing out on rate bottoms,” says Campbell. “This spurs them to be more aggressive in their hunt for a purchase before rates increase even further. This is felt across most levels of the market. This lasts for a few months, and experiences an upward-demand bump every time headline rates move … despite the fact that the actual rates have already increased and mortgage rate discounts have dropped substantially.”


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227 8th Avenue SW, Calgary • Prime retail location with great visibility in the downtown core, predominantly commercial development. • 4 million tourists visit downtown core annually. • The building is part of a significant grouping of historic structures on Stephen Avenue Mall.

Kelly Carver, VICE PRESIDENT, ASSOCIATE BROKER

kcarver@barclaystreet.com c: 403-804-4094 p: 403-290-0178

FOR SALE

TWO OFFICE BUILDINGS

1912, 1920 and 1924 10th Avenue SW, Calgary

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402 8th Street SW, Calgary • Frontage: 50 ft. on 4th Avenue SW and 123 ft. on 8th Street SW • Site size: ±6,161 sq. ft. • Building size: ±1,530 sq. ft.

8th Street SW

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Kelly Carver, VICE PRESIDENT, ASSOCIATE BROKER

kcarver@barclaystreet.com c: 403-804-4094 p: 403-290-0178

18 St SW

10th Avenue SW

FOR SALE

• Two character office buildings conveniently located just two blocks from Sunalta LRT Station • Quick access to Downtown Core • High ceilings and high-end finishings • HVAC, electrical and lighting installed in 2009 • In-sute shower and changing area

BELTLINE COMMERCIAL PREMISES

MARK on 10th, Calgary • Commercial premises in the brand-new Beltline condo building. Built in 2016. Located on the corner of 8th Street SW and 10th Avenue SW. • Two floors: main floor retail and second floor office.

Kelly Carver, VICE PRESIDENT, ASSOCIATE BROKER

Dan Harmsen, PRINCIPAL, VICE PRESIDENT, ASSOCIATE BROKER

Kalinka Ivanova, RPA, CCIM, ASSOCIATE – INVESTMENT SALES

Kalinka Ivanova, RPA, CCIM, ASSOCIATE – INVESTMENT SALES

kcarver@barclaystreet.com c: 403-804-4094 p: 403-290-0178 kivanova@barclaystreet.com c: 403-463-0805 p: 403-290-0178

COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE

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dharmsen@barclaystreet.com c: 403-852-0403 p: 403-290-0178 kivanova@barclaystreet.com c: 403-463-0805 p: 403-290-0178

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CALGARY HOUSING MARKET ON ROAD TO RECOVERY // REAL ESTATE

contractions of 3.6 per cent in 2015 and 3.8 per cent in 2016. The Alberta economy has been volatile in the last few years. In 2014, it had annual growth of five per cent. The employment picture is also looking good, considering the city went through two years of vicious cuts in the oilpatch. Thousands of people, who had stable and secure jobs, were now unemployed. And of course, the longer you’re unemployed the tougher it is to keep paying for a home or to even consider purchasing one. But recent data from Statistics Canada indicates there may be a light at the end of the tunnel. The federal agency says employment in the Calgary region was 837,000 in July, marking the 13th consecutive month of employment gains since June 2016 when employment had dipped to 794,700. In May 2015, it had peaked at 827,200.

“LAST YEAR WAS A FAIRLY WEAK YEAR BUT WE DEFINITELY STARTED TO SEE THE TURNAROUND ROOTED IN THE FACT THAT AT LEAST EMPLOYMENT ISN’T FALLING ANYMORE.” ~ ANNE-MARIE LURIE

“We improved over last year for sure. Last year was a fairly weak year but we definitely started to see the turnaround rooted in the fact that at least employment isn’t falling anymore. We’re seeing some positive momentum there,” says Ann-Marie Lurie, chief economist at the Calgary Real Estate Board. “Unemployment rates are starting to trend down. We’re not in a recession anymore. All of those things are helping the market but the recovery in the housing market is going to be fairly slow. No question we’re seeing sales improve and ...continued on page 76 ABOVE: ANN-MARIE LURIE, CHIEF ECONOMIST AT THE CALGARY REAL ESTATE BOARD.

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TALKING CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES AT THE CALGARY REAL ESTATE FORUM BY RENNAY CRAATS

T

he recent economic downturn left few Alberta sectors unscathed, but most agree the worst is finally over. For the first time since 2015’s crash, doom-and-gloom reports are being replaced by some welcome positive news.

to exchange ideas about what’s going on in the market and touch on subjects that are of interest to the professionals in the industry. And it’s a fantastic networking opportunity,” says Schmidt.

“The investment market in Alberta and Calgary specifically has picked up and there is a fair amount of activity. You’re also seeing strong absorption and growth in the industrial market,” says Darryl Schmidt, VP of national leasing for Cadillac Fairview, and this year’s Calgary Real Estate Forum chair.

The forum brings together around 1,200 professionals from across Canada, making it the second largest in the country. This year’s event includes an economic overview from Craig Wright, senior vice president and chief economist at Royal Bank of Canada; a look at what’s next for the international energy sector from Helima Croft, managing director and global head of commodity strategy and global research for RBC Capital Markets; and a conversation with Mary Moran, president and CEO of Calgary Economic Development, and Jeff Fielding, city manager and chief administrative officer for the City of Calgary, about how Calgary is set to move forward.

Experts predict a slow and steady economic recovery with a 2.8 per cent provincial growth rate for 2017. Moderate growth means companies are starting to rehire staff as they get busier while at the same time serving to stabilize costs for real estate after a period of overheated growth. With around 25 per cent vacancy rates downtown, changes and diversification in the oil and gas industry on the horizon, and a different way of doing business in the post-recession economy, there is much for commercial real estate professionals like Schmidt to consider. And they will do just that at the 19th annual Calgary Real Estate Forum on October 26. “It’s a great venue to get updates on different sectors of commercial real estate. It provides a great sounding board

As Calgary, Alberta and the rest of Canada start to rebuild, a meeting of the minds such as this one can help flesh out strategies for growth for 2018. “It’s important for the health of the industry that we have these forums featuring diverse professionals who have common goals but offer different perspectives and insights into what it will take to overcome the obstacles in the Alberta marketplace,” says Schmidt.

ABOVE: MORE THAN 1,200 COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE EXECUTIVES ATTENDED THE SOLD-OUT 2016 CALGARY REAL ESTATE FORUM.


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listings are starting to rise a bit again so there’s likely to be some bumpiness along the way. On the whole, we’ve generally seen inventories trending down this year and prices are starting to stabilize.” According to the Calgary Real Estate Board, until the end of July, MLS sales in the detached market were up 9.26 per cent year-over-year to 7,543 units while apartment sales rose by 7.19 per cent to 1,788 transactions. The benchmark price – which CREB cites as typical properties sold in the market – was up 0.56 per cent for detached homes to $505,114 while apartments fell by 4.5 per cent to $266,414. “We are seeing improvements in the economy. We’re seeing some job growth. We’ve been seeing some growth over the last several months now and more importantly growth in full-time employment. That’s really supporting housing demand,” says Richard Cho, principal market analyst in Calgary for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. “The population in Calgary continues to grow as well. In 2016, we saw growth of over two per cent. That’s certainly positive and we’re seeing people continue to move to Calgary. So, there are a number of factors that have been really supporting demand for housing.” That is welcome news for the homebuilding industry as the number of housing starts have fallen in the past due to a lack of demand. But now, Huntingford says, most of the larger developers are bullish and want to continue to build because they see a market for it and they’re getting good traction at their various show homes. The new home construction industry is coming out of a period of caution due to the economic slowdown and that is clearly evident in the numbers. According to CMHC, at the end of July, the seasonally-adjusted annual rate for total housing starts in the Calgary census metropolitan area was 13,363 or down 18 per cent from the same period a year ago. The single-detached market was off by three per cent to 4,771 units while all other new home construction dipped by 24 per cent to 8,592. There was hope, though, in July. After a slow start, the trend in new home construction this year has increased, moving closer in line with historical averages, says CMHC.

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BIG VERSUS SMALL EVENTS // EVENT PLANNING & CATERING

Big

VERSUS Small Events

THE MOST BANG FOR YOUR BUCK BY ERLYNN GOCOCO

W

hen it comes to successful event planning, there are several factors to consider. And while there are many event planning companies in our city, some are key players when it comes to organizing some of Calgary’s most popular and well-attended events. These events range in size from big to small, but they all have one thing in common: clients want the most bang for their buck.

When planning an event, whether large or more intimate, the most important question is ‘what is the purpose?’” says Adrea Wirl, manager of marketing and events for TransCanada. She explains it’s important to establish what the client is trying to achieve. “Are they trying to educate, influence or entertain? What types of conversations need to happen at the event? And how should the attendees feel at

ABOVE: VIP EVENT FOR CANADIAN COMPANY VERSATILE. PHOTO SOURCE: BIJOU EVENTS

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

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BIG VERSUS SMALL EVENTS // EVENT PLANNING & CATERING

the conclusion of the event?” These answers will ultimately drive the size of the event. Jocelyn Flanagan is the founder and CEO of e=mc2, an event and conference company with three locations in Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto. Her company’s mission statement is “…to create, connect, and inspire. To deliver purposeful, innovative experiences that matter.” In order to achieve this mission, Flanagan says it’s important to ask the right questions. “Every event has its own clear and identifiable objective. As event professionals, it is our job to dive deep into learning everything there is to know about the objective(s) and to help our clients determine the metrics they will use to measure the successful outcomes.” Once the objective is established, says Flanagan, it’s the event planner’s responsibility to collaborate with their client to determine what the event should look like, how broad of an audience should be in attendance, and what activities will be included in the overall experience. Meredith Trueman and Juliane Farinazzo are event directors and partners of Calgary-based Bijou Events, a boutique events house servicing clients across North America that aims to create avant-garde experiential events through a structured approach using progressive digital technology, highly-regarded project management skills and trendsetting decor. They echo Flanagan’s comments and believe that when working with their clients, whether to host a small or large event, there are several things to consider as there are pros and cons to both. Clear communication between event planner and client during the pre-planning stage is a crucial element to executing a successful event.

TRUEMAN AND FARINAZZO ECHO FLANAGAN’S COMMENTS AND BELIEVE THAT WHEN WORKING WITH THEIR CLIENTS, WHETHER TO HOST A SMALL OR LARGE EVENT, THERE ARE SEVERAL THINGS TO CONSIDER AS THERE ARE PROS AND CONS TO BOTH. ABOVE: JULIANE FARINAZZO, PARTNER/OWNER, BIJOU EVENTS. BELOW: MEREDITH TRUEMAN, PARTNER/OWNER, BIJOU EVENTS. PHOTO SOURCE: MEMOTIME PHOTOGRAPHY

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BIG VERSUS SMALL EVENTS // EVENT PLANNING & CATERING

brand awareness, then a public event is a great way to gather a large group and showcase a particular promotion, product or service.” Of course, money remains a key factor when planning an event, be it large or small. One of the first questions asked, says Trueman, is: what’s the budget? She explains that understanding the dollar amount that a client is comfortable spending on an event helps to manage expectations and brainstorm interesting ways to create an exceptional concept without breaking the bank. “With the downturn of the last few years, clients are more reluctant to spend their budget on events if they don’t see a measurable ROI. For large public events, personalized vouchers are a great way to track if customers are coming back and cashing in on the promotion. Data collection is also important in large events to ensure employees can follow up with guests and allow for a second, more personal point of contact. It’s impossible to speak to every guest at large events, so this provides an opportunity to ensure every guest receives information and is made to feel important,” explains Trueman.

FLANAGAN EXPLAINS THAT IF THE MESSAGE OF THE EVENT IS TO PROMOTE CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY OR LAUNCH A PRODUCT TO THE MASSES – THEN A LARGER AUDIENCE IS THE APPROPRIATE DIRECTION. “It’s very important to understand our client’s goals, the product or service they are trying to showcase, and their expected ROI for each event,” says Trueman and Farinazzo. “Small events are very popular right now as they allow clients to target a specific audience, produce an exclusive and intimate setting, and create important one-on-one time with key stakeholders. That said, if a client is looking to increase

What if a client is unsure of how much money to spend on an event? Trueman says Bijou Events is always prepared to provide a detailed breakdown of what different types of events may cost them. “More often than not, clients have an idea in mind of what they want and it’s up to us to provide creative and inexpensive solutions to give their event that ‘wow’ factor. A great way to increase your budget without opening your bank account is to find key sponsorship collaborations that will add value to your event and fall in line with your brand. This type of collaboration allows both you and your sponsor to benefit and share some of the costs.” Flanagan explains that if the message of the event is to promote corporate social responsibility or launch a product to the masses – then a larger audience is the appropriate direction. “This equates to a smaller per-person costs, with equitable rewards. On the flip side, if the message of the event is to showcase high-end service to C-level executives, then a much more intimate affair is required. This obviously equates to a much larger per-person cost – but with the goal of a much larger reward.”

ABOVE: JOCELYN FLANAGAN, FOUNDER/CEO, E=MC2. PHOTO SOURCE: E=MC2

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BIG VERSUS SMALL EVENTS // EVENT PLANNING & CATERING

These days, fundraising-type events seem to be on an upward trend – the idea is to host an event that not only provides a fun, social experience, but also allows guests to open their pocketbooks and show their generosity. Darren Kershaw, owner of Special Event Rentals Calgary, Western Canada’s largest and best-equipped event rental company, says there is a huge element of giving when it comes to some of Calgary’s largest and most popular events. Examples include Brett Wilson’s annual Garden Party or Tundra Oil & Gas’ Stampede Party, both of which raise money for some very important local charities. Attendees are prepared to have fun and raise funds at the same time. “Leaving the function feeling better about where your time and money is going is a larger focus now for events. The senses, such as the music you hear, the smell of flowers or food, the lighting and colours, coupled with the company’s branding and image are what seem to be a focus,” says Kershaw.

According to Flanagan, “Now more than ever a clever combination of thoughtful event strategies is needed. It is important that a company thinks about mixing innovative meetings, social, philanthropic and client-building events in their strategy. Budgets should be in alignment with the anticipated reward and using a reputable, certified and professional event agency can ensure measures are met and stakeholders and guests are given the experience that matters to each of them. At the end of the day, it is not about spending more money – it is about spending the right money in the right places for the right reasons.” For Trueman and Farinazzo ensuring bang for your buck is no doubt important, however, it is equally important for all events they produce “to leave attendees feeling inspired and ready to spread their memorable experience with our client through all their social media channels.” When it comes to discussing the biggest bang for your buck related to large or small events, Wirl says, “It depends on what the client hopes to achieve. If you don’t know that, you’ll miss the mark every time!” ABOVE: BRETT WILSON’S ANNUAL GARDEN PARTY. PHOTO SOURCE: DARREN KERSHAW

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Helping you tell your story

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phone: 403-630-1745


The Power of Unplugged Let’s Ask an EOer

By John Hardy

S

uddenly the clichéd and much talked about work-life balance is a controversial topic for discussion. There are conflicting expert opinions about the need, the value and the real possibilities of taking technology breaks and getting un-plugged, and using up vacation time. Some call the single focus on work dedication and commitment. Others call it madness. “It’s important to be unplugged and to take care of yourself, first and foremost. Making it a priority is the first step,” says Todd Litwiniuk, managing partner at Litwiniuk & Company Barristers and Solicitors, and a Calgary EO member. “I take care of my physical and mental health and from there, everything else falls into place. This allows me to be a peak performer and give everything I have to my family, personal and business life.” For Bill Roberts, president of Calgary Archives and a Calgary EO member, the concept of unplugging can take two forms. “Unplugging, for me, is the separation of physical space and electronic connectivity. I respect that for others, it may not be so severe and just a pure electronic disconnect may suffice.” There’s subtle pushback that true unplugging is easier said than done. “Just earning the option and ability to unplug is as important as the act itself. A lot of stress can come from knowing you are tied to your devices and the feeling there is no way out,” says Kevin Read, who is president and CEO of Nomodic Modular Structures and also a Calgary EO member.

ability to perform at a high level if you don’t take time to check out and reset your mind. It’s important to listen to the people in your life when they tell you it’s time to take a break.” “It is important to reset yourself to avoid feeling stressed and overwhelmed,” Litwiniuk adds. “I don’t need to be the person who touches every single thing in my business. That’s what I hire smart and talented team members for. I can unplug when I need to because I’m surrounded by great people who know what to do and when to do it.” The workplace reality of people not using up their vacation time is baffling for some business leaders. “Does it reveal that people are less confident about their job?” Roberts asks. “Not using vacation time is unhealthy. There are many positive outcomes to refreshed employees. They become more engaged, more focused and contribute to the health of the company.” Read cites from experience that “the reason may be related to money or workload. In either case, the employee’s focus is not on what is most important: their long-term well-being and productivity. If the people on the team are empowered to make decisions that impact their jobs, a natural balance between money and deliverables, plugging in and unplugging will occur.”

“Burnout is a real thing. No matter who you are or how passionate you may be about your business, prolonged periods with heavy workload and long hours will eventually erode your

Contributing Members:

Upcoming Events:

Todd Litwiniuk

Bill Roberts

Kevin Read

Managing Partner, Litwiniuk & Company Barristers and Solicitors

President, Calgary Archives

President & CEO, Nomodic Modular Structures

Oct. 3

• Sandler Training Sponsor Workshop-Accountability

Oct . 4

• Leadership Breakfast Series

Oct . 5

• Calgary Mentorship Program

Oct . 19 • Zach Obront “Book In A Box”

The international Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) is the respected, world-wide business networking group — with more than 10,000 members in 35 countries — where business leaders meet informally to brainstorm, compare notes, learn and share relevant discussions about business. EO has 122 chapters around the world, including the Calgary chapter which is the fifth largest and one of the most active EO chapters in the world.

www.eocalgary.com

|

For membership inquiries: membership@eocalgary.com


THE BIG IMPACT OF SMALL BUSINESS // SMALL BUSINESS WEEK

THE

BIG IMPACT OF

Small Business SMALL B USI N ESS WE E K R ECOG N ITION

BY JOHN HARDY

“S

mall businesses are the engines of job creation in Calgary,” says Manjit Minhas, the respected Calgary business leader, Canadian entrepreneur, co-founder and CEO of Minhas Breweries, a Dragons’ Den judge and one of the judges of Calgary’s 2017 Small Business Week (SBW) Awards. “Their value and the role they play in our economy is sometimes underestimated because they are in fact small. But the truth is there’s nothing small about the impact they have on our economy in providing stability and diversity of industries.” For all businesses, having a strategic business plan is a basic. For Calgary’s Small Business Week, the positive and unique

strategic plan is to showcase, inspire and recognize the role and importance of small businesses in Calgary. “Small Business Week, and particularly the awards program, is about celebrating the many contributions small businesses make to our local economy,” explains Adam Legge, president and CEO of the Calgary Chamber. “They are our neighbourhood florists, our favourite restaurants and local gyms. The Small Business Week Calgary Awards really help to shine a spotlight on these businesses.” “We may call them small businesses, but clearly these entrepreneurs are mighty,” says Teresa Clouston, executive vice president, business and agriculture, at ATB Financial. “These nominees show what it means to be relentlessly

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THE BIG IMPACT OF SMALL BUSINESS // SMALL BUSINESS WEEK

Calgary’s SBW nominations were reviewed and judged in August, and reflected a tremendously diverse small business landscape in Calgary. The judges’ files had nominees ranging from boxing studios, coworking spaces and mobile photo booths to employee-engagement software companies and pop-up event businesses. “What is unique this year is we are seeing a lot of newer businesses in non-traditional areas for our city: tech, creative industries and culinary entrepreneurs,” Legge notes.

inventive and agile while remaining steadfastly genuine to who they are. It’s small businesses – taking big chances – that make Calgary and all of Alberta such a great place to live and work.” The exciting positivity of Calgary’s weeklong small business salute is laced with some Calgary business realities. “The research we did this spring showed that although small businesses have felt the pinch of the downturn, small business leaders are more optimistic about the future of our economy,” Legge adds. “Small businesses are most challenged by regulations and increased taxation from all levels of government matched with consumers spending less, creating a perfect storm of higher expenses but lower revenues. “Many businesses have seen three or more increased costs including increasing property taxes, minimum wages, corporate taxes and expensive new regulations.”

“WHAT IS UNIQUE THIS YEAR IS WE ARE SEEING A LOT OF NEWER BUSINESSES IN NON-TRADITIONAL AREAS FOR OUR CITY: TECH, CREATIVE INDUSTRIES AND CULINARY ENTREPRENEURS.” ~ ADAM LEGGE

The Chamber collaborates with the SBW sponsors to organize a vital (and action-packed) October 16-20 week of small business activities and events. “This year’s Small Business Week Conference will be the largest yet. We wanted to make it accessible for all entrepreneurs, especially the 7,000 who started a business in the past year. There are three parts: a big public expo and trade show; a full-day academy of learning sessions; and an Oscar-style awards show.”

ABOVE: ADAM LEGGE, PRESIDENT AND CEO OF THE CALGARY CHAMBER.

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Small Business Week Calgary Evening with the Entrepreneurs #EEYYC Presented by McLeod Law LLP

McLeod Law is proud to sponsor Small Business Week Calgary for a fifth year. Celebrating the contributions of small and medium-sized businesses to the local economy is what Small Business Week is all about. A marquee event of Small Business Week Calgary, we are pleased to host this year’s Evening with the Entrepreneurs, featuring two local success stories: David Farran of Eau Claire Distillery and Graham Sherman of Tool Shed Brewing Company. We invite you to join us for an evening of up-close and personal interviews with these two dynamic entrepreneurs who are leading the charge in redefining their industries from right here in Calgary. They will be putting it all on the table for you, sharing their unique stories, insights and lessons learned in business and how they have built successful companies.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017 | 6:00pm - 8:30pm Studio Bell National Music Centre - Performance Hall

David Farran is a seasoned serial entrepreneur, starting new ventures and growing them into leading local and national companies. As founder of Eau Claire Distillery, David brings together his love for agriculture and deep understanding of craft artisanal spirits and products.

Graham Sherman is the co-owner of Tool Shed Brewing Company and a high level geek who, along with business partner, Jeff Orr, obsessed over mastering the craft of brewing artisan beer. Four years after brewing their first batch in Graham’s backyard, Tool Shed retails in over a thousand locations in Western Canada.

Hosted by Robert Fooks, Partner and co-head of the Corporate | Commercial group of McLeod Law LLP

To Register visit www.mcleod-law.com/events McLeod Law is the official law partner of:

mcleod-law.com


THE BIG IMPACT OF SMALL BUSINESS // SMALL BUSINESS WEEK

“SBW is invaluable to small businesses because it provides a community to network with,” Minhas points out. “It helps find new partnerships, collaborate with like-minded individuals and companies, gain knowledge and expertise in a variety of areas currently affecting entrepreneurs and is a go-to place to get inspired and positive energy.” Like the Oscars, it will be a top-secret, “the envelope, please,” award show on Thursday night, October 19, in the BMO Centre but a terrific list of finalists was announced last month, vying for every category from Community Impact, Innovation and Environmental Stewardship to People’s Choice and Small Business of the Year. Small business is a key aspect of Calgary’s business uniqueness. Spragg’s Meat Shop was a finalist in the Environmental Stewardship category of the awards. The Calgary small business, family-owned and operated by the hard-working and dedicated Greg and Bonnie Spragg, raises hogs, processes and markets their free-range, pasture-raised and naturally-fed pork direct to Alberta consumers. “The key to our success has been being committed to our goal of bringing free-range pork direct from the farm to the customer,” says Bonnie Spragg. “We never had a plan B, so failure wasn’t an option.

“IT HELPS FIND NEW PARTNERSHIPS, COLLABORATE WITH LIKE-MINDED INDIVIDUALS AND COMPANIES, GAIN KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERTISE IN A VARIETY OF AREAS CURRENTLY AFFECTING ENTREPRENEURS AND IS A GO-TO PLACE TO GET INSPIRED AND POSITIVE ENERGY.” ~ MANJIT MINHAS

“As a company, Spragg’s Meat Shop comes with an attitude of customer service first and striving to fill the demand for our product in the Calgary area. To be successful as a small business, we have to bring something more to the customer in service, in quality and in value to offset the fact that we are small and our cost of production is greater.” Nicola Kozmyk Jones is not only a dynamic and successful example of Calgary small business, but a motivational people-person. She is the founder and owner of Pure Motion, the Calgary-based dance company that provides exceptional dance instruction through proper technical training in a fun, creative and positive environment while promoting the importance of a healthy and active lifestyle. Pure Motion was also a finalist in the SBW Customer Service Excellence Award category.

ABOVE: MANJIT MINHAS, THE RESPECTED CALGARY BUSINESS LEADER, CANADIAN ENTREPRENEUR, CO-FOUNDER AND CEO OF MINHAS BREWERIES, A DRAGONS’ DEN JUDGE AND ONE OF THE JUDGES OF CALGARY’S 2017 SMALL BUSINESS WEEK (SBW) AWARDS.

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// SMALL BUSINESS WEEK

CLEAR. FAIR. VA L U E .

“Miss Nicola” now teaches 10 different types of dance to more than 700 students a year, from the age of two to adult. “The number one key to small business success in Calgary is innovation. It sets you apart from others in the crowd and continuously reignites your passion for your business. It keeps your customers on their toes and excited about what’s coming up next,” Jones says. Dynamic is an understatement about the small business approach and success of Breakout Business Award finalist, Eight Ounce Coffee. Co-founders and owners Jennifer and Wesley Farnell focus on curating and sourcing the best possible coffee (and tea) equipment and accessories for coffee professionals and people who just want to make and enjoy great coffee. Eight Ounce Coffee products are also in cafés and lifestyle stores around North America and the Calgary-based small business also distributes to some of the biggest and best names in specialty coffee around the world.

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“We’re a fun group of people from diverse backgrounds,” Jenn Farnell explains with enthusiasm. “Most of us have worked in cafés and all of us love coffee. We have experience that spans coffee, the corporate world, banking, computer programming, food broadcasting and media, yoga studios, and sports and lifestyle. We laugh a lot, and drink a lot of coffee.” “When we initially started, the key to our success could be distilled into a few simple areas: having a clear vision of what we wanted the business to be and the core principles that would guide our decisions,” Wes points out. “Of course, some experience was useful, but hard work, reduced sleep and no social life played a significant role.” Staff is a key to the Eight Ounce Coffee success. “Empowering our employees is vital – to bring ideas to us, to run with projects, to work with us as partners and to drive towards a shared goal of business and job sustainability for us as well as our customers,” Jenn emphasizes. Being Calgary based is not only a positive but an important aspect of small business success. “Calgary was the ideal place to start our business. It’s not only a thriving and supportive coffee community and a positive business environment, but it is a culture that celebrates the success of others,” Wes says. “Another significant asset that Calgary and Alberta have is access to ATB. They have been exceptionally supportive of our business, particularly through our early growth. That and the support of amazing organizations like the Chamber and the overall community feel of the city. It was the best choice we could have made.” “Calgary has an in-built entrepreneurial spirit. All of our neighbours own their own businesses, so the support system is unparalleled. The proximity to the mountains and the clear blue skies didn’t hurt either,” Jenn smiles.

troyvalue.com | 403.479.6097

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Leading Business OCTOBER 2017

IN THIS ISSUE... • Policy Bites - A Calgary That Works: Business Priorities for the 2017 Municipal Election - Times have changed • Upcoming Events • Member Feature - Building an innovative Calgary • Member Spotlight

Small Business Calgary Conference Your best bet to grow clients and revenue this fall October 19, 2017 - BMO Centre

CalgaryChamber.com

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2017 Board of

Directors Executive Chair: David Allen, Founder & President, Situated Co.

Policy Bites A Calgary That Works: Business Priorities for the 2017 Municipal Election Times have changed

Vice Chair: Phil Roberts, President, Vintri Technologies Inc Past Chair: Denis Painchaud, Founder, Baneret Consulting Inc. Treasurer: Wellington Holbrook, Chief Transformation Officer, ATB Financial CEO: Adam Legge, President and CEO, Calgary Chamber

Directors Linda Shea, Senior Vice-President, AltaLink Bill Brunton, Vice President, Habitat for Humanity, Southern Alberta Mike Williams, Executive Vice-President, Encana James Boettcher, Chief Idea Officer, Fiasco Gelato Brent Cooper, Partner, McLeod Law LLP Desirée Bombenon, President & CEO, SureCall Contact Centres Ltd Mandeep Singh, Audit Partner, Deloitte Jason Hatcher, Managing Principal, Navigator Greg Garcia, President and CEO, Calgary Elite Roofing

H

eading into the 2013 election, our great city was booming. The unemployment rate was 4.6 per cent, the price of oil was hovering around $100/barrel, and the biggest issue facing the business community was trying to find enough talented labour to fill job vacancies.

Times have certainly changed. Between 2014 and 2016, Calgary lost roughly $4.6 billion in economic output. In 2016 alone, 7,124 businesses closed their doors. At nearly 30 per cent, Calgary’s downtown office vacancy rate is the highest of any major global city. Our unemployment rate, which was the envy of other major Canadian cities, is now among the highest. It is unlikely our economy will return to the way it was any time soon. Heading into the 2017 municipal election, one thing is all too clear: we need a Calgary that works. The Chamber will continue to be an active voice promoting key business priorities to city council candidates and voters. To ensure a competitive business community, we will be advocating for a city built on three pillars. A city that is efficient, equitable and entrepreneurial.

Brian Bietz, President, Beitz Resources Management Adam Legge – President and CEO Michael Andriescu – Director of Finance and Administration Kim Koss – Vice President, Business Development and Sponsorship Scott Crockatt – Director of Marketing and Communications Rebecca Wood – Director of Member Services Zoe Addington – Director of Policy, Research and Government Relations Leading Business magazine is a co-publication of the Calgary Chamber and Business in Calgary Calgary Chamber 600, 237 8th Avenue S.E. Calgary, Alberta T2G 5C3 Phone: (403) 750-0400 Fax: (403) 266-3413 calgarychamber.com

1. Efficient In a Calgary that works, costs are kept to a reasonable level. This results in taxes that are manageable, enabling business to continue to grow, invest and hire. Jobs are created because new businesses can start up quickly, and current businesses are not held back by inefficient duplication, bureaucracy or red tape. An efficient city means processes are lean, quick and consistent. When spending is not constrained, if processes are inefficient, if program efforts are duplicated – costs increase. And when costs go up, tax increases eventually follow. Why is Calgary not currently efficient? Since 2008, the city’s spending (operating) has increased by 64 per cent. During that same period, Calgary’s total property tax bill has increased by 58 per cent. In fact, Calgary’s cost structure has exceeded the popular limit of inflation plus population growth (referred to as the “Smart Spending Bandwidth”). While average annual inflation and population growth has been 3.4 per cent since 2009, spending increases have been nearly double at 6.5 per cent. Had the city stayed in the Smart Spending Bandwidth since 2008, the city would have saved $743.5 million in 2016 alone, with total savings reaching over $4.6 billion – roughly the cost of the Green Line LRT. To rectify this problem, the city needs to address current inefficiencies in service delivery. For example, Calgary’s total cost for garbage collection per tonne is 70 per cent more than Ottawa, and 72 per cent more than Toronto.

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How can Calgary operate more efficiently? The Chamber recommends city council contain annual spending increases within a “Smart Spending Bandwidth” – the combined rates of inflation plus population growth. This will ensure necessary services continue to be provided, while guarding against inefficient program delivery and climbing property tax bills. Why is Calgary not currently entrepreneurial? Over the past few years, Calgary businesses have had to be smart with their money. We urge city council to do the same.

2. Equitable In a Calgary that works, businesses and residents pay their fair share for city services. Why is Calgary not currently equitable? Calgary’s business community pays a greater property tax rate than residents, a ratio of 3.5:1. Since 2012, Calgary’s businessto-residential property tax ratio has increased every year. Furthermore, Calgary’s ratio is larger than all other large cities in Alberta and most major cities across Canada. The large increase in office vacancy – due to the economic downturn – translated into a $4-billion drop in property values in Calgary’s downtown core. The drop in value meant the city had to make up their budget shortfall elsewhere, resulting in surrounding business communities footing the entire bill. Roughly 6,000 businesses in Calgary suburbs saw their taxes increase significantly, some as much as 200 per cent. While it is generally accepted in Canada that business contributes more of the property tax revenue, it’s clear that in Calgary this principle is being taken advantage of – businesses over contribute to city revenues. With the economic downturn, and the resulting high office vacancy downtown, the city’s revenue model is now facing extreme risk, with hundreds of local small and mid-sized businesses being pushed to the brink of bankruptcy.

Calgary has demonstrated the capacity for innovation by adopting ideas like the ParkPlus system and the Food Truck Pilot program. While the city has shown willingness to work with innovative companies in the past, it has also proven to be slow moving at times. Calgary was slow to recognize the demand for ride-sharing services, and took until 2016 to put rules in place regulating the new business service. An entrepreneurial city would have quickly recognized the opportunity this new service delivery model represented, and ensured rules were in place to allow these types of companies to operate. How can Calgary become more entrepreneurial? The Chamber recommends city council put in place a fast-track process when outdated or a lack of regulations are preventing a business from operating. A task force of innovative business leaders should be created to recommend to the city on how they can better encourage and embrace new and disruptive business models. We are competing against cities all over the world – cities that are jumping at the chance to pilot self-driving vehicles, drones or even just new brewpub concepts. It’s time to create a Calgary that celebrates new ideas, new businesses and creates new jobs. That all starts by saying: “You have a business idea? Hell yes, we can do that.” We need a Calgary that works

3. Entrepreneurial

Business is at a breaking point: costs are continuing to add up – whether it is increased corporate taxes, minimum wage increases, carbon levies or rising property taxes – all while revenues drop as a result of fewer customers and reduced investments. Businesses face very difficult decisions as to how to pay for higher costs when fewer dollars are coming in the door: layoffs, reduced hours, reduced investment, reduced salaries or even closure. None of this benefits our community.

In a Calgary that works, city council says “hell yes” to new ideas and new business models.

Moving forward, we need a Calgary that works.

How can Calgary become more equitable? The Chamber recommends the business and residential tax rates be locked to a fixed ratio, with a goal of achieving a 2.85:1 ratio during the next city council term, and a 2:1 ratio within 10 years.

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Upcoming Events For details and to purchase tickets for any of the Calgary Chamber’s events, please visit CalgaryChamber.com.

2017 2017 Small Business Calgary Conference October 19, 2017 - BMO Centre

2017 Small Business Calgary Conference – Celebrate and Grow Amazing things happen when entrepreneurs get together, and that’s what Small Business Week is all about. This year the highlight of the week is a full-day conference with a dazzling expo, a phenomenal keynote speaker, interactive deep learning sessions and the famous awards show. What makes it even sweeter is that this day is your best bet to grow clients and revenue this fall. It has three parts: Small Business Calgary Expo The Small Business Calgary Expo is the biggest exhibition of Calgary small business under one roof you’ve ever seen! As you wander the expo floor, you will build connections with our city’s finest entrepreneurs, uncover new resources to grow your business, explore the small businesses that make YYC great, and take in a phenomenal keynote from Matthew Corrin, founder and CEO of Freshii. The Academy Finding the time for professional development can be hard if you’re a busy entrepreneur. Enter the Academy at the Small Business Calgary Conference, and over the course of one day you’ll learn all you need to take your company to the next level alongside 250 of your fellow business leaders. From building a 30-minute business plan and mind mapping to unlock your brain for innovation to digital marketing and cybersecurity, sessions at the Academy have been hand-selected to cover topics relevant to your business, right now. Small Business Calgary Awards Show and Dinner As the sun sets, we’re rolling out the red carpet for the 2017 Small Business Calgary Awards. Hosted by Andrew Phung, this is like the Oscars of small business. Get dressed up and get ready to celebrate the entrepreneurs of Calgary and all the amazing work they do. Schedule: Expo and the Academy 8:30 am: Session registration opens for the Academy 9:00 am – 4:45 pm: Academy sessions 11:00 am – 6:00 pm: Expo floor opens 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm: Keynote with Matthew Corrin Awards show and dinner 5:30 pm – 6:15 pm: Reception 6:15 pm – 9:30 pm: The Small Business Calgary Awards show and dinner To learn more, and to buy tickets to Calgary’s biggest small business conference, visit smallbusinessweekcalgary.com.

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AMVIC Licensed


Member Feature Building an innovative Calgary Times have changed John Vardalos is the founder and CEO of JFIVE, one of the fastest growing strategy and innovation advisory firms in Canada. JFIVE works exclusively with Alberta-based organizations helping them adopt new mindsets, methods and tools required to explore new business models. To learn more about JFIVE, visit www.jfive.ca.

J

FIVE CEO John Vardalos is well acquainted with the need to innovate. When he started JFIVE, a Calgarybased boutique consulting firm four years ago, his business was thriving. But by the summer of 2015, JFIVE was struggling with the downturn, and Vardalos had to find new services for his clients. “It was very real to me that my company could go out of business,” says Vardalos. “They were dark days, but they led to some important lessons about resiliency.” Today, JFIVE is one of Canada’s fastest growing innovation consultancies, and yet it focuses only on Alberta. JFIVE’s mission is to help Alberta-based organizations adopt the mindsets, methods and tools required to survive in times of disruption and uncertainty. “Clients come to us to design disciplined innovation programs that are practical and drive results, and at the moment there is no lack of demand. Business leaders are looking to generate new ideas and solutions without wasting time or resources,” says Vardalos. JFIVE founder and CEO John Vardalos and managing director Kevin Drinkwater.

Vardalos believes the most common struggle facing leaders today is the decision to pivot, persevere or stop. He knows this, because he was no different. “When the price of oil tanked, we tried to persevere and paid the price,” says Vardalos. Soon after this time, Vardalos was introduced to the practice of design thinking by fellow JFIVEr Kelly Shaw. Design thinking is a set of techniques that industrial designers use to find creative, customer-centred solutions to complex problems. Very similar to a scientific method, design thinking emphasizes building low-cost prototypes or experiments. “What design thinking helped me realize was that technology is a small part of innovation. Really, it’s all about what people need and are willing to adopt,” says Vardalos. With the new-found concept of design thinking, Vardalos guided JFIVE through its own reinvention. Led heavily by managing director Kevin Drinkwater, the team at JFIVE made a study of proven innovation processes, and assembled a set of tools including the Strategyzer Business Model Canvas and design sprints used by companies like Google and California-based industrial design firm IDEO.

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Photo credit: Robin Laurenson, Mother Pixels Photography.

These tools now help teach the fundamentals of design thinking to JFIVE clients to help them plan and execute their own innovation programs. Today, JFIVE is located in the heart of downtown Calgary in a space they call their innovation lab. “I love giving tours of our creative space. It’s a place where any team can approach work in new ways, while gaining the courage to fail fast,” says Vardalos. JFIVE works with clients like ATB Financial, Cenovus Energy, Shaw Communications and Calgary International Airport to help teach the habits of effective innovators. “There is tons of great new thinking done inside wellestablished businesses that isn’t being tapped into. JFIVE is here to help these organizations embrace innovation as a mindset,” says Vardalos. JFIVE focuses on building the business of today, not inventing the business of tomorrow, and begins with smaller demonstration projects as proof points for the rest of the organization.


“Once they get a taste of a more entrepreneurial way of working, it’s usually contagious,” Vardalos explains.

collaboration that other Calgary businesses could really benefit from,” says Vardalos.

JFIVE advises clients to set aside the traditional “insideout” approach that many businesses focused on operational efficiencies tend to have.

When Vardalos started JFIVE, it was his hope to do business across Western Canada. With his work with clients in the not-for-profit sector, Vardalos has seen first-hand the plight of Albertans affected by the recession.

“If you worry less about how much profit you’re earning, and worry more about what your customers need, things will take care of themselves,” Vardalos says. JFIVE also works with a number of clients in the not-for-profit sector including Calgary Homeless Foundation, Capital Regional Housing and Calgary Economic Development, which Vardalos believes in many ways are better equipped than corporations to find creative solutions, because they are less competitive, have fewer resources and are more benefit oriented. “Not-for-profits embrace a sort of openness and spirit of

“When I started to realize how many people were struggling here, I understood that there was an opportunity to help in our own backyard, and that we could be part of the story of the new Alberta,” says Vardalos. Vardalos believes there are many ways to build a more innovative Alberta, and it’s not necessarily about creating the next great thing, but amplifying the great things already being created. He believes that if we continue to reshape sectors like energy, power generation and agriculture, all of these bring great opportunity for the future.

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

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

Member name

Years as a member

J. Vair Anderson Ltd. BDC-Business Development Bank of Canada Brewers Distributor Ltd. Chevron Canada Resources Imperial Oil Limited Manpower Services Alberta Ltd. Scotiabank Data Modeling Inc. Kensington Clinic Rogers Insurance Partnership Group Sponsorship Specialists Stream-Flo Industries Ltd. Calgary Jewellery Ltd. Calgary Montessori School O2 Planning +Design Inc. Edelman Strategy Portal Inc.

80 45 45 45 45 45 45 25 20 20 15 15 10 10 10 5 5

PATTISON Outdoor Advertising

PATTISON Outdoor Advertising is Canada’s largest out-of-home, transit and digital display advertising company, and the nation’s market share leader, serving over 200 markets from coast to coast. To connect with today’s consumers, a business needs to stand out in a sea of sameness with unmatched reach and coverage. Brand advocacy must be empowered by delivering messages and bold ideas in a way that engages audiences and best serves a brand. PATTISON is constantly developing products to meet the evolving needs of advertisers and marketers, and providing solutions for measuring results like Eyewitness(TM) and Web Mapping. Products include billboards, digital displays, street-level units, transit advertising, airport advertising, mall advertising and specialty niche products. For more information, visit pattisonoutdoor.com.

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Chamber Member Spotlights The Calgary Chamber is proud to represent many Calgary businesses large and small; this month we are highlighting some of our industry leading members. ensure what is taking place today will help achieve the business goals of tomorrow. For more information, visit servus.ca.

RGO Products Ltd.

RGO prides itself on the long-standing traditions implemented when it was established in 1966. It has grown to meet the demands of emerging trends and new technology, which has allowed the company to offer a wider range of services. Working closely with clients to solve unique office challenges, RGO has always been able to arrive at the ideal products and processes that contribute to business success. The goal is to offer everything needed to efficiently operate a modern office, whether it’s a 40-storey tower, public institution, health care or dazzling corporate showpiece.

For more information, visit rgo.ca.

Gowling WLG

Gowling WLG is an international law firm created by the combination of Gowlings, a leading Canadian law firm, and Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co (WLG), a leading U.K.-based international law firm. With more than 1,400 legal professionals in 19 cities worldwide, they provide clients with in-depth expertise in key global sectors and a suite of legal services at home and abroad. They see the world through their clients’ eyes, collaborating across countries, offices, service areas and sectors to help them succeed – no matter how challenging the circumstances. For more information, visit gowlingwlg.com.

Air Canada

Air Canada is Canada’s largest domestic and international airline serving more than 200 airports on six continents. Canada’s flag carrier is among the 20 largest airlines in the world, and in 2016 served close to 45 million customers. Air Canada provides scheduled passenger service directly to 64 airports in Canada, 57 in the United States and 95 in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Australia, the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America and South America. For more information, visit aircanada.com.

Servus Credit Union

Providing a member-owned, community-based approach to banking, Servus is Alberta’s largest credit union. Dating back to 1938, and with more than 100 locations in 60 communities across Alberta, Servus understands the unique needs of doing business in specific communities across the province. Whether just starting out, growing a business or planning for the future, Servus’ customizable selection of financial products and expert financial advisers will

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BDC – Business Development Bank of Canada Since its inception in 1944, BDC – Canada’s business development bank – has been helping to create and build strong Canadian businesses. Focused on supporting small and medium-sized enterprises, BDC is committed to the long-term success of Canadian entrepreneurs. With 118 business centres from coast to coast, BDC supports entrepreneurs in all industries and at all stages of development. Complementing the role played by private-sector financial institutions, BDC provides Canadian entrepreneurs with financing, advisory services and capital solutions. For more information, visit bdc.ca.


AREA CEO Ian Burns with Calgary REALTOR® and 2017 AREA President Bob Jablonski. Photo by Tammy Hanratty Photography.

Harnessing the Power of a REALTOR®

AREA celebrates 70 years of helping Realtors guide consumers by Mario Toneguzzi

B

uying or selling a home is one of the biggest financial transactions anyone can undertake in their lifetime and REALTORS® are a critical and valuable part of the process.

Their knowledge and expertise along every step of the decisionmaking journey is important in ensuring the real estate experience is a good one for people. The Alberta Real Estate Association, which is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year and represents 10,600 Realtors across the province, is helping Realtors remain at a top level of professionalism by continuing to raise the bar for them and advocating at a provincial level.

Edmonton REALTORS® and AREA volunteers: Director Doug Singleton, Vice-President Charlie Ponde, Provincial Government Relations Committee Chair Jennifer Lucas, CEO Ian Burns. Photo by Memories by ME Photography.

“We know that the public thinks it’s important (to have a Realtor) because it’s the largest financial transaction that most people will ever undertake in their entire lives. But you’re also making an emotional decision. So, when you’re dealing with a massive financial decision and there’s emotion attached it’s important that you use a trusted professional,” says Ian Burns, AREA’s chief executive officer for the past three years.

“Realtors have very specific expertise and knowledge. There’s a saying that real estate is local. I think that’s very true. If you want to know what’s going on in the market, you want to talk to a Realtor in your local area. They’re absolutely experts in what they do and they have the ability to help you through that transaction to save you money, to protect yourself.”

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CHOOSING A REALTOR® IS A PERSONAL DECISION. And Albertans clearly believe it’s important to use a Realtor. AREA information shows that more than 90 per cent of Albertans surveyed say that if they are going to buy or sell a home they’re going to use a Realtor. If you ask, people have mixed views of Realtors on the whole, but they are usually positive if you inquire about their most recent Realtor experience. Those numbers are stunning with satisfaction levels in the 80-plus per cent range, based on AREA market surveying from earlier this year. Burns says some people doubt the value of Realtors but those feelings typically come from a lack of understanding of what Realtors provide and their role in the real estate industry. In 2016, there were 52,169 MLS transactions in Alberta. Total dollar volume was $20.6 billion with the average sale price at $394,576. About 70 per cent of Albertans own their homes, according to Statistics Canada 2015 data. Burns says one of the key functions of a Realtor is to protect both buyers and sellers by providing them sound advice. It is a licensed and regulated profession, therefore giving both sellers and buyers confidence in the advice they are receiving.

You may interview several REALTORS® before finding the perfect fit for your personality and specific needs. Some of the best ways to find a REALTOR® are: • Talk to family and friends. REALTORS® build their business through referrals, so asking others about their experiences and recommendations is a great way to find a REALTOR® who suits you; • Look at REALTOR® names on property listings in your desired neighbourhood, as these REALTORS® may have a good understanding of that neighbourhood; and • Search for a REALTOR® on realtor.ca, by name, office, city or language spoken. When interviewing a REALTOR®, there are several questions you may want to ask before entering into an agreement to buy or sell through that REALTOR®.

Here is a list of questions to consider asking: • How long have you been in real estate? • What is your average list-to-sales price ratio? • How will your marketing plan meet my needs? • How will you ensure I find a place I love? • Do you have any references? • May I review documents I will be asked to sign? • What sort of referrals will you make? • How much do you charge? • What sort of guarantee do you offer? • What haven’t I asked you that I need to know?

ALBERTA REAL ESTATE ASSOCIATION • 70 YEARS • 2


Not all real estate agents are REALTORS®. With the support of a 120,000-member network, a Code of Ethics to follow, and exclusive access to Boards’ MLS® Systems, REALTORS® have more to offer. Look for the REALTOR® “R”.

The MLS® trademarks and the associated logos are owned by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by CREA and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA.


Alberta Real Estate Association, 1st Annual convention. Palliser Hotel, Calgary, October 3rd, 1947. Photo courtesy of Glenbow Archives NA-4049-5.

Realtors have a regulatory obligation to fulfil their fiduciary duties of loyalty, confidentiality and of full disclosure of all conflicts of interest that may arise between the seller’s interests and those of the Realtor or buyers. Rules and regulations are changing. Market conditions are changing. But Realtors – by the nature of what they do every day and enhanced by requirements they have through professional affiliations at the local, provincial and national level – are uniquely positioned to be up to date in the advice they relay to consumers. Whether the market is heated or struggling the sound advice of a Realtor is crucial. AREA represents about 5,500 Realtors in Calgary, who are served on local matters by the Calgary Real Estate Board. In 2016, the Calgary region experienced 22,522 MLS transactions for a total dollar volume of $10.4 billion and an average sale price of $463,047. Bob Jablonski, president of AREA and a practicing Calgary Realtor, says his perspective is simple: a Realtor is a trusted adviser to clients.

“You’re there to protect their interests in all cases and scenarios – to give them advice, to talk to them about the values of the properties they’re looking at buying or selling, to give them the data so they can make an informed decision. At the end of the day, it’s their money and it’s a lot of money. And you have to be there to make sure you’re giving them the best advice possible,” says Jablonski. Realtors guide people through the decision-making process; not making the decision for them but helping them understand everything about a transaction. Calgary has experienced an active and changing housing market over the last few years. With that dynamic taking place, it becomes even more important for consumers to have access to the expertise and knowledge that Realtors provide. “We have to know all the markets and if we don’t know a market well enough we find out. We study the market. We ask questions of other Realtors in the community. Get information from the real estate board or from AREA to make sure that we’re totally competent in giving the proper service and if we’re not we’ll refer to someone we feel will take care of it,” says Jablonski.

Proud to work with REALTORS®

CENTURY 21® Bamber would like to thank the Alberta Real Estate Association for your continued

We are proud partners of Alberta Real Estate Association for 70 great years. Congratulations! 1135 17 Ave SW www.toolepeet.com 403-245-1177

partnership and congratulations on your 70th Anniversary!

“Proudly serving you as the #1 CENTURY 21® Brokerage in Alberta” 403.245.0773 | www.century21bamber.ab.ca

ALBERTA REAL ESTATE ASSOCIATION • 70 YEARS • 4


Realtors are the rational voice in what can be a very emotional transaction. So, when someone gets an offer on a property or they make an offer for one, they know they’re being reasonable and realistic.

Examples include the provincial Condo Act legislation as AREA worked closely with Service Alberta on the development of condo regulations with its main position being a reduction in fees for condo documents.

Jablonski says Realtors are also very important in helping people navigate through what can be a very confusing and complicated process if they don’t have the experience and knowledge to undertake a complicated financial and legal transaction.

AREA participated in consultations and the announcement of new legislation introduced in May – the New Home Buyer Protection Amendment Act – which will establish a builder licensing program that will help consumers distinguish good builders from bad builders. AREA supported builders’ licensing and an online registry of builders to protect consumers and encourage safer building practices.

“Nowadays there are so many rules and regulations and things that come up in a home inspection. Non-disclosure of defects in a property. Selling it for under what it’s worth. A buyer that’s under-represented may overpay for a property,” says Jablonski. “It’s a very emotional process and you need somebody there to be level-headed for you and give you the information. That’s where the Realtor comes in. They can give you that arm’slength transaction and help you make the right decision.” Burns says rules and regulations in the real estate industry are an essential part of maintaining the base level of what is required to be a licensed professional but AREA’s role as an association is to elevate a member’s ability so they are achieving professional excellence and giving clients the best service and being the best Realtor they can be. “Really our goal is to foster and promote professional excellence through member-centric services, advocacy and professional development. Those are really the three pillars of what AREA does for our members,” explains Burns.

A major initiative for members is ensuring there is no land transfer tax in Alberta and AREA has successfully lobbied for it to remain at zero in the province – once again another major benefit to consumers. AREA is also very focused on the professional development of its members. “Our goal is really to improve the level of professionalism for Realtors to make sure that they’re up to date on the latest information and that we are giving them the skills and tools that they need to do their job well,” says Burns. “We have required mandatory education on an annual basis to make sure that Realtors are kept up to date on important things.”

Advocating for members is done in different ways but the primary one is protecting Realtors’ interests with the government. That work ultimately benefits consumers. AREA’s advocacy comes through direct lobbying and consultation.

Last year, AREA offered a course on FINTRAC, the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada, to make sure Realtors understood what was required of them. The centre is Canada’s financial intelligence unit assisting in the detection, prevention and deterrence of money laundering and the financing of terrorist activities.

“We have significant consultation with government on matters related to real estate,” says Burns.

Other professional development is voluntary but geared to train Realtors in various ways of improving their skills.

Rogers is proud of our partnership with the Alberta Real Estate Association

AREA Wireless is pleased to offer an unparalleled low-cost mobility plan with fantastic features to Alberta REALTORS®, friends and family. Start saving today!

Contact areawireless@albertarealtor.ca or 1-855-783-1717 for more information or to join the plan. www.albertarealtor.ca/page/area-wireless

ALBERTA REAL ESTATE ASSOCIATION • 70 YEARS • 5


AREA’s third pillar is member-centric services. It is responsible for all the forms that are used in real estate contracts within the residential world. It ensures they are constantly updated for consumer protection. “We’re evolving and creating the best documents we can so that real estate transactions can happen smoothly,” says Burns. AREA’s focus on forms allows Realtors to work with consistency throughout the province. They are written in easy-to-understand language, containing the necessary legal and regulatory terms to protect their legal integrity. And Realtors receive information and training sessions to keep them current on their use of the forms. AREA also continues to look at ways of supporting Realtors by offering them services to help them do their job better. “We want our Realtor members to be able to focus on providing their clients with the best possible experience,” says Burns. “By providing value to our members they can, in turn, provide the best value to the Albertans they serve.”

Suite 217, 3332 20 Street SW, Calgary, Alberta T2T 6T9 In Calgary: 1.403.228.6845 • Toll Free: 1.800.661.0231

albertarealtor.ca

Serving AlbertA’S reAl eStAte induStry with experience And prActicAl Advice miller thomson has a team whose knowledge spans all areas of real estate including residential real estate, property development, condominium law, retail and hospitality law, commercial transactions, leasing and syndications. our lawyers have the depth and breadth of experience to handle any and all real estate matters and depending on the scope of your needs, can also provide specialized financing, tax, environmental and other advice. it is part of the multidisciplinary approach that our group takes to ensure that you have all of the angles covered. For more information on our services, please contact: calgary Telephone: 403.298.2400 Toll Free: 1.888.298.2400 Fax: 403.262.0007 Email: calgary@millerthomson.com

edmonton Telephone: 780.429.1751 Toll Free: 1.800.215.1016 Fax: 780.424.5866 Email: edmonton@millerthomson.com

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ALBERTA REAL ESTATE ASSOCIATION • 70 YEARS • 6

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8/29/2017 5:05:22 PM


MAPLE REINDERS:

Half a Century of Innovation in Building, Civil and Environmental Construction By Nerissa McNaughton

M

aple Reinders is a full-service builder with offices across Canada and a portfolio of over 2,600 completed projects from coast to coast. Now, in its 50th year of operations, the company that specializes in building, civil and environmental construction, has grown to be one of the most respected firms of its kind in Canada.

Lawrence Seaway. Over time, Mr. Reinders came to notice what he perceived to be a lack of synergy between the disciplines of engineering and construction, and so he founded the company as a way to marry those two concepts. His vision from the start was to apply sound engineering principles to the design and construction of all the projects the company undertook.”

“The company was founded in 1967 by Fred J. Reinders, who still serves as the company’s chairman and CEO,” says Jeremy Olthuis, the company’s national vice president of buildings. “Mr. Reinders was exposed to engineering from an early age, as his father played a prominent role as a marine engineer in the Netherlands. He graduated as a civil engineer and came to Canada, first cutting his teeth with various marine projects, including along the St.

Reinders was an immigrant from Holland and was proud to become Canadian. He launched his company during Canada’s centennial year. The unique name was developed to denote the Canadian roots of the company, with the maple leaf itself being an important part of the company logo and Reinders, naturally, being the family name. The colours behind the logo are also important: blue to symbolize Mr. Reinders’ roots in marine engineering and

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Sechelt Water Resource Centre.

construction, and orange to honour the Dutch roots of his home country. It didn’t take long for the Maple Reinders name to become synonymous in the industry with quality, dependability, outstanding customer service, and a company that could take a project from start to finish in an efficient, safe and ecologically responsible manner. Diverse industries, from transportation and manufacturing, and to commercial and academic, sought the company’s expertise. Maple Reinders also quickly became a leader in the areas of environmental projects and water/wastewater management. Two of Maple Reinders’ latest high-profile projects include the City of Calgary’s composting facility, a 356,860 square foot mastery of engineering that is the largest indoor composting facility in North America. With the ability to process 100,000 wet tonnes per year of source separated organics, leaf and yard material, as well as approximately 40,000 wet tonnes per year of biosolids, this facility will help the city reach its goal of diverting 80 per cent of its waste from landfills by 2020.

The Vector Group would like to congratulate Maple Reinders on 50 Years of growth with excellence!

5344 – 36 Street ph: 780-469-7900 • fax: 780-469-2122 www.thevectorgroup.com

Secondly, Maple Reinders’ work on the Sechelt Water Resource Centre in B.C. has been the recipient of numerous industry awards including the CCA Environmental Achievement Award and the Canadian Design Build Institute’s Award of Excellence. “We created a way to treat wastewater by utilizing the technology of a greenhouse on top of the plant to clean and treat the wastewater while also growing fruitful and lush plants,” Olthuis describes of the botanical water resource center, which is as beautiful as it is functional. Maple Reinders looks inwards, too, to ensure excellence in employee and human resource management, and that kind of reflection has earned the company platinum status in the Best Managed Companies program. “The Best Managed Companies designation is not an easy one to attain,” Olthuis admits. “The Best Managed program recognizes best-in-class Canadian-owned and managed businesses that show strategy, capability and commitment to achieving sustainable growth; and by consistently demonstrating excellence in these fields, Maple Reinders has passed the rigorous evaluation procedures. This year, Maple Reinders was honoured with becoming a platinum member with Best Managed Companies, meaning we have retained our Best Managed designation for seven consecutive years. This serves as a testament to the company’s management skills and practices, but also as a testament to Maple’s employees, who all contribute to making the company as successful as it is.”

MAPLE REINDERS | 50 YEARS | 2


BMP Mechanical Ltd Mechanical Contractor

Commercial and Light Industrial Plumbing, Heating, HVAC / Refrigeration & Sheet Metal Services

The destiny of Hard Work Is always Success! Congratulations! to Maple Reinders for completing 50 years of success in business. We wish you all the success for many more years to come. BMP Team

BMP Mechanical Ltd #110; 6420 - 6A Street SE; Calgary, AB T2H 2B7 Telephone:403.816.4409 • Fax: 403.697.1549 www.bmpmechanical.com


That success is earned every day as the company constantly adapts to meet the needs of a changing market. “The company is growing rapidly, and the economy is everchanging,” confirms Olthuis. “We are adapting and trying to be frontrunners in the markets in which we see opportunity, as well as value. We have restructured to handle our growth, and to have more efficiencies within the company.” It’s a crucial time for the company’s evolution, Olthuis notes. Over the past 50 years of Maple Reinders’ operations, “Projects have become more complex. The contracts have become more complex. Project sizes have grown, and we went from being a company of 50 people to 450. All of this has pushed us to develop innovative building and design solutions that address the ever increasing complexity of both the industry and our clients’ needs. Examples of this innovation can be found in the value engineering and scheduling work that we did to shave eight weeks off of an already aggressive 28-week concrete formwork schedule on the Allendale 5 Office Building in Edmonton; and with the Distribution Centre that we built for Gordon Food Services in Calgary, where we installed two water recycling systems to exceed municipal standards and address the outflow water quality and quantity requirements of the project.” Social responsibility is a very big part of Maple Reinders. In fact, the company donates 10 per cent of its profit to charity through its Reinders Family Foundation, along with supporting initiatives such as: the Hockey 4 SickKids tournament, the Ride to Conquer Cancer, Relay for Life, Run for Wells and many more.

Olthuis, who has been with the company for 20 years, says 100 in business is the next milestone. He looks forward to seeing the company through the next generation of leadership and ownership, and to Maple Reinders continuing to be a leader in the industry. “We don’t want to be the biggest. We want to remain the trusted partner that provides exceptional value, and we want to uphold our reputation of being very good at what we do.” On behalf of Maple Reinders, Olthuis is pleased to thank the company’s past and present staff, clients, vendors, supporters and community partners for 50 great years. “I also want to acknowledge our executive team, who are a big part of everything we do. It would have been a very different company today without their leadership.” Maple Reinders looks forward to continuing to make a measurable impact and difference in the communities it works in by offering complete solutions for the many varied needs of the industries it serves.

32 Royal Vista Dr NW #205, Calgary, AB T3R 1R8 T 403-216-1455 • F 403-216-1459 www.maple.ca

Congratulations

MAPLE REINDERS THERMO DESIGN INSULATION LTD.

on a fantastic 50 years in business! We look forward to many, many more years of great building projects and collaborations!

Congratulations Maple Reinders on celebrating 50 years of excellent business. HEAD OFFICE BRANCHES WEB

3520 56th Avenue, Edmonton, AB T6B 3S7 • Phone: 780.468.2077 • Fax: 780.465.2683 Vancouver, Kelowna, Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Vaughan www.thermo-design.com

architecture | interior design | 3d visualization fire & building code | accessibility design

visit us online at riddell.ca

MAPLE REINDERS | 50 YEARS | 4


OUTGOING BOARD MEMBER EXCITED ABOUT CONVENTION CENTRE’S FUTURE

Board members listed left to right: Kurt Hanson, Mayor Naheed Nenshi, Clark Grue - President and CEO, Greg Yont, Leslie Weekes, Georgine Ulmer, Darren Demchuk, Tom Bornhorst - Chair, Diane Colley Urquhart, Levonne Louie, Gill Basford, (missing, Wellington Holbrook).

A bright future lies ahead for the Calgary TELUS Convention Centre as a solid foundation for growth has been laid to build momentum going forward.

of The City of Calgary. The Authority is charged with maximizing overall economic benefits to Calgarians and maintaining acceptable financial performance.

Darren Demchuk, a Charter Professional Accountant (CPA) with MNP LLP and an outgoing board member with the Calgary Convention Centre Authority, says there have been ups and downs and changes in focus over the years but today the path for the organization is clear.

“I see Calgary continuing to grow as that leading-edge city that attracts a lot of top-rate events and conventions. It’s a great place to live and a city we should be proud of, of course,” says Demchuk.

Demchuk says when he first joined the board eight years ago he wanted to connect with talented, like-minded people and learn from their skill sets. But more importantly it was also an opportunity for him to better connect with others in the community who were interested in serving Calgary. “We’re excited. We’re going through a unique period of momentum to continue to play a role in connecting visitors to Calgary,” says Demchuk, who is leaving the board after eight years. “We now have better relationships with industry members and, partners and other key organizations. “We’ve moved from being focused on expansion to stepping back and ensuring our house is in order and we’re operating the best convention centre possible with a more managed approach towards growth. Instead of approaching growth like that old movie quote if you build it they will come, we want to ensure that we build a case that the future demand warrants a larger centre.”

He says the Convention Centre has been operated as a well-run machine in the past and current changes being made will help the organization move forward as it changes with the times. This is a key role Demchuk and the rest of the board managed over the past few years. “Our board is part of the CTCC family. We are grateful for all the time and wisdom they bring to our organization and how they are always ambassadors for our city and centre,” says Clark Grue, President & CEO of Calgary’s TELUS Convention Centre. “I have enjoyed working with Darren over the past year and thank him for all his support and hard work.” Demchuk says being on the board was an opportunity for him to stretch his day-to-day boundaries. “You get used to a certain thing you do day-to-day . . . but this gives you a little bit more of a stretch. You’re dealing with city council and how that whole world works,” he says.

The Calgary TELUS Convention Centre is managed, marketed and operated by the Calgary Convention Centre Authority on behalf

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A River Runs Through It; Calgary’s Amazon Ambition BY STEPHEN EWART

T

o be clear on one thing about the continental competition Amazon launched to be the location of its new HQ2 – Calgary is in it.

And we’re in it to win it. From the moment the Seattle-based company revealed it was soliciting bids from every major city in North America to be the home for its second corporate headquarters – and as many as 50,000 high-paying jobs – Calgary Economic Development has made it our mission to bring the retailing giant here. The competition is intense but Calgary has several of the key attributes – top tech talent, office space, major airport, quality of life – that Amazon has set as the criteria for the perfect location for HQ2. This is a mega opportunity for Calgary as we work to diversify the city’s economy. The value proposition that Calgary can offer Amazon is compelling but facts and figures around our low cost of doing business, low tax burden or our high labour productivity won’t be enough to make the case. Every city in North America with over one million people has expressed interest in the $5-billion U.S. project but Calgary can offer turnkey solutions for Amazon with our real estate and highly-educated workforce they can’t match. We also have the distinct advantage of being a community that rallies together to support an important endeavour. That’s evident in the offers of support business and community leaders have made to Calgary Economic Development as we spearhead the bid.

Cynics have cited bigger cities or ruled out Canada for political reasons in the process to attract Amazon but it would be irresponsible not to make our case. This is the biggest opportunity for exposure to business audiences in North America and globally for Calgary when we’re working to accelerate growth in our key sectors and emerging industries as well. Canada’s continuing support for a globally-oriented workforce and free trade, for example, are critical to the longterm planning for any number of multinational companies. The Amazon bid process helps us market Calgary’s value proposition to countless other companies. Fans of the Seattle Seahawks are celebrated for being the team’s boisterous 12th man and the people of Calgary are similarly our secret weapon. We want your best ideas to demonstrate to Amazon why Calgary is the ideal place for it to meet its future business needs. Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s CEO, is famous for crowdsourcing ideas to help the philanthropic causes he supports. If it works for him, it can work for us. We’ve set up a process to get the top ideas from Calgarians before bids are due October 19. Think outside the box. We need to capture people’s imagination. We could petition city council to rename the Bow the Amazon River or cut a likeness of Jeff Bezos’ face into a cornfield. Or come up with a really good idea. Go to our website – www.calgaryeconomicdevelop.com – and there’s a place to provide your best ideas. Calgary would work well for Amazon and we’re working to make sure they know it. Stephen Ewart is manager of communications and content for Calgary Economic Development.

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Tourism Calgary Earns International Industry Accreditation BY CASSANDRA MCAULEY

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ourism Calgary recently joined the ranks of internationally recognized destination marketing and development organizations by achieving the tourism industry’s highest level of recognition of organizational excellence – the Destination Marketing Accreditation seal from Destinations International. Destinations International is a global advocate for the tourism and travel industry serving destination marketing and development organizations in approximately 15 countries. “This designation puts an official stamp on what we already know – that Tourism Calgary is a leader in our industry,” says Cindy Ady, CEO of Tourism Calgary. “We represent over 650 industry partners and are committed to the highest standards in destination development and marketing and increasing the economic impact of Calgary’s tourism economy.” Achieving accreditation requires a destination marketing and development organization to successfully comply with over 90 standards related to governance, finance, human resources, sales, communications, destination development and research. “The Destination Marketing Accreditation Program is a rigorous process that ensures the highest level of industry standards,” says Don Welsh, president and CEO of Destinations International. “By achieving this accreditation, Tourism Calgary has achieved a visible industry distinction showing quality and a commitment to best practices in destination marketing and management. We applaud their commitment to raise the bar for their community that will provide measurable benefits.”

ACHIEVING ACCREDITATION REQUIRES A DESTINATION MARKETING AND DEVELOPMENT ORGANIZATION TO SUCCESSFULLY COMPLY WITH OVER 90 STANDARDS RELATED TO GOVERNANCE, FINANCE, HUMAN RESOURCES, SALES, COMMUNICATIONS, DESTINATION DEVELOPMENT AND RESEARCH. Tourism Calgary’s development of a long-term strategic focus – Calgary |Ultimate Hosts – on addressing opportunities to enhance Calgary as a vibrant destination now and into the future augmented the importance of international accreditation. Ultimate Host City is, at its core, about place building, for Calgarians and for visitors to our city. It addresses five key findings: Calgarians and visitors need to be better aware of the events, festivals, performances and experiences available to them; Calgary needs an emotionally compelling personality; Calgary has a deficit of hosting infrastructure; stakeholders want to work collaboratively to ensure the successful implementation of the destination strategy; and, Calgary has the potential to be the ultimate host city. To learn more about Tourism Calgary, see visitcalgary.com.

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

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The TELUS Technology Accelerator BY KERRI SAVAGE

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he TELUS Technology Accelerator (TTA#2) is back for a second year, bigger and better than ever. For this second iteration, TELUS and Innovate Calgary have partnered with the innovation ecosystem across Alberta and British Columbia to identify high-growth potential startups to participate in this unique program. The TTA#2 is a six-month program focusing on priority areas where TELUS could use, integrate or commercialize startup technology including Industrial Internet of Things and big data, digital health and wellness, seamless communication and entertainment experience, smart fleet and transport, and smart cities. “TELUS understands the importance of enterprises and startups collaborating towards the common goal of growing their business and contributing to the diversification of the economy in provinces like Alberta and B.C.,” states Rogelio Ferreira, technology strategy and innovation manager at TELUS. “We believe industryfocused accelerators are a vital component of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Canada. For this reason we are proud to support the TELUS Technology Accelerator program for high-potential startups in Alberta and B.C., in conjunction with Innovate Calgary and its strategic partners in Western Canada.” After a rigorous selection process, six companies were selected to participate in this second cohort. Veerum is a global Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) technology solution focused on improving the viability of energy projects and eradicating rework. The MindfulGarden is a therapeutic device built on a custom software platform that responds to movement and sound, and uses biosensor input

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(heart rate, galvanic response, respiratory rate) to trigger a multilayer interactive “garden” experience that reduces anxiety, agitation and aggression in hospitalized patients experiencing delirium/dementia. Routeique combines a powerful cloud-based software platform with mobile applications as well as Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) devices for vehicle tracking, asset tracking, signature capture and remote invoice printing. UrbanLogiq is a platform that aggregates government data, adds external information sources and applies machine-learning analytics to automate city workflows and provide urban planning intelligence. SafetyTek software removes safety paperwork and optimizes the safety process on a digital platform. FieldCap streamlines the way oilfield services track, approve and bill jobs faster and more accurately. Innovate Calgary will help strengthen the teams’ business model and founding team effectiveness, TELUS will offer technology mentorship, and innovation ecosystem partners will assist in building each startup’s operational backbone. The company demonstrating the most progress throughout the program will receive $30,000 and an additional 50 hours of mentorship from TELUS. The conclusion of the accelerator will be marked by a demo day – an event that will see the cohort present to TELUS executives, investors and high-profile entrepreneurs from the community, and others. The aim is for the graduates to receive valuable advice and feedback from high-level business people to increase the probability of their overall success and investment in the future. To learn more about the TELUS Technology Accelerator, visit innovatecalgary.com.


Make powerful connections at your Calgary TELUS Convention Centre. FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT:

calgary-convention.com


MARKETING MATTERS // DAVID PARKER

Marketing Matters BY DAVID PARKER

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n 2004, Ellen Parker was working as an assistant to MLA David Swan until she took off to New York where she joined a PR agency. After a couple of years, she came back to Calgary and was hired as manager of education and outreach at the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. Then working as a stay-at-home mom with two children, she used her Mount Royal University PR skills as an independent consultant, but soon became too busy and two years ago launched Parker PR that now has four employees. Last year, they picked Youth Singers of Calgary as a pro bono account; this year it is the Calgary Drop-In and Rehab Centre. They began serving meals but have now been retained to help promote events like the October 18th Concert for Kindness with the CPO. Then it is on to the annual Christmas campaign to raise funds to help implement its many programs. Kensington figures high in its growing list of clients, helping retailers and restaurants as well as the BRZ. Parker PR also helped organize the Harry Potter-themed day that drew more than 50,000 people to the Kensington community celebration.

Mark’s has engaged Tandem Marketing Design to work on point-of-sale and packaging solutions for its proprietary brands including Denver Hayes and WindRiver. Tandem managing director Todd Fraser also reports his team is busy creating and implementing campaigns for Calgarybased Fresnel Software that is developing cloud-based production accounting software for the fibre-optic industry. Tandem is involved in all aspects of its marketing program including brand strategy, naming and logo development, and digital execution.

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Good to catch up with Tyler Chisholm, CEO of ClearMotive Marketing Group, who spends a lot of time travelling between his Calgary and Toronto offices. The Calgary team has begun working with RGL Reservoir Management, a global leader in the heavy oil industry, and on what Chisholm calls a very cool virtual reality project for Hive Innovations, also a heavy oil player. On the non-oil and gas front, ClearMotive is rebranding Matrix MSK, a leading sports medicine institute and physiotherapy group, and launching a revolutionary young driver’s insurance program called Carrot in Alberta and Ontario.

Calgary Telus Convention Centre (CTCC) has hired Kurby Court, who has had 20 years of experience at Spruce Meadows where he served as the vice president of special features and contract management. He becomes CTCC’s vice president of experience, while Adam Joyce, consultant with Adjoy Ventures, is the centre’s new vice president of acceleration.

Yvette Biggs, formerly with Alberta Cancer Prevention Legacy Fund, has joined United Way Calgary and Area as vice president of marketing and communications.

Parker’s Pick Washington-based Clutch, an independent third-party review firm, has ranked Calgary’s Full Blast Creative as one of Canada’s top 2017 branding, PR and digital agencies.


Amplify : Tenacity

Giselle Courteau is chasing perfection at Duchess Bake Shop. See her story at atb.com/duchess


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