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Another Group Loses the Plot

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Cody Battershill | Another Group loses the Plot

ANOTHER GROUP LOSES THE PLOT by Cody Battershill

T

here are few NGOs more famous than Amnesty International. The group has earned the world’s respect predominately for decades of advocacy for unjustly-held political prisoners around the planet. That’s why an open letter from Amnesty’s Canadian head recently sent to the Alberta premier raised more than a few eyebrows around Edmonton and across the country. It seemed to show Amnesty isn’t above politicizing a difficult, pressing economic issue that Albertans grapple with daily – the landlocking (the activists’ words) within the province of Alberta oil exports, and the loss of thousands of potential jobs for indigenous and nonindigenous Canadians. With genuine respect for the good works Amnesty has carried out for prisoners of conscience over nearly six decades, it’s weird that Amnesty’s Canadian head, Alex Neve, would claim in the letter that Albertans are threatening the human rights of various Canadians simply because we want to set the record straight. U.S. energy interests have watched their production double to the point they’re the world’s largest oil producer. But we’re forced to sell our product to the U.S. at a huge discount as a result of the non-Canadian funded

“landlocking” of Alberta oil, in which Canada’s pipeline proposals are stalled through the coordinated efforts of well-funded activists. A majority of Canadians know Canada’s innovative energy industry is among the most scrutinized and regulated of any on the globe. It’s nonsensical that a reputable brand like Amnesty would claim Albertans’ commitment to truth in campaigning somehow threatens the freedoms of association and expression. And while I admire the fact Amnesty’s track record for bringing to light injustices around the world continues to be valuable, it’s surprising to me Neve would claim that Albertans’ enthusiasm for pushing back on misinformation fails to commit “to urgently address the human rights impacts of the mounting global climate crisis.” Neve might consider that the recent push of environmental groups for a prohibition on oilsands activities – and their fight againt all pipelines too – force Canadians to use 700,000 barrels per day of imported product from countries with generally inferior records of environmental and human rights standards, and curtailments of freedoms of the press, of religion, of women’s rights and of fair labour practices.

4 • Business of Energy • October 2019


| Cody Battershill

If the planet adopted world-leading Canadian standards for oil and gas production, emissions per barrel of global production would drop by 23 per cent. But for Neve and Amnesty to claim Alberta’s pushback strategy “fails to recognize (this) province’s vital obligation to advance reconciliation and safeguard the rights of indigenous peoples” is truly bizarre. Indigenous organizations like the National Coalition of Chiefs, the Indian Resource Council, Project Reconciliation, the Western Indigenous Pipeline Group and others are actively supporting Trans Mountain’s sale to indigenous interests and energy development overall. Many see this as a constructive way forward. Alberta is one of the only top-10 oil-exporting jurisdictions with carbon-pricing initiatives that have been in place since 2007. If the planet adopted world-leading Canadian standards for oil and gas production, emissions per barrel of global production would drop by 23 per cent. Even Amnesty International could support that, B couldn’t they? OE

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

5 • Business of Energy • October 2019

ALBERTA OWNED AND OPERATED


David Yager | Federal Elections, Climate Change and Single-Issue Politics

FEDERAL ELECTIONS, CLIMATE CHANGE AND SINGLE-ISSUE POLITICS

N

by David Yager

obody involved in oil and gas or reading this magazine is not closely watching October’s federal election.

The choices have never been clearer. The stakes are high. Because every time oil becomes a federal election issue, regional single-issue politics ensure the West gets clobbered when the wrong people win. Single-issue politics dominates 21st century elections. Using modern polling techniques and social media tools to identify supporters, political parties deliver highly-targeted messages, promise what people will vote for and, when elected, deliver the goods. Nowadays the economy is not always a key election issue unless voters are directly affected. Like Albertans. Today’s politics is highly polarized, pure us versus them. The technical terms are “cleavage” or “partisan sorting” by which voters deliver their support based on their peer group, region, gender or social values. They then reject or even attack those who don’t agree. For oil, the first and worst example was 1980 when Pierre Trudeau’s Liberals won a majority government then delivered the national energy program, the most economically disastrous and

divisive policy in modern history. The issue was a shortage of oil and it cost too much. This election will be about climate change and the future of fossil fuels. Today, there is too much oil that doesn’t cost enough. The Green party and NDP are in a contest to see which can sacrifice the most Canadian oil jobs. This is the first time two of the options on the ballot promise to reduce employment, not increase it. They claim Canada’s energy future is in renewables and replacement jobs will come from massive government investment in mass transit and insulating homes and buildings. This will be financed by increased taxes on high-income earners, corporations and ending investment tax deductions for oil and gas developers. This was renamed fossil fuel subsidies by the anti-carbon movement. The Conservative Party of Canada is the exact opposite. The CPC will tackle climate change through technology, not taxes, and encourage low-carbon energy advancements for worldwide markets where 98.4 per cent of emissions are created. Conservatives are concerned about the exodus of foreign investment from the oilpatch, will undo bills C-48 and C-69, and ensure the Trans Mountain pipeline is completed.

6 • Business of Energy • October 2019


Federal Elections, Climate Change and Single-Issue Politics | David Yager

Somewhere in the middle is Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party which must run on its record. This includes pipeline cancellations, C-48 and C-69, climate change, carbon taxes, social issues, big spending, big deficits and no admission they have ever committed an egregious blunder. However awful Trudeau’s SNC-Lavalin fiasco looks to the rest of the country, the native son of Quebec has proven he will do whatever it takes to protect that province’s interests. Unless the Liberals do something really stupid, Quebec will deliver almost one-third of the seats required for another Trudeau majority. Climate change will be a major campaign platform outside of the Prairies. Neither the Green party, NDP or Liberals are likely to win a single seat in Alberta. September polls indicated all three might elect only four MPs from 62 seats in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. This means the Liberals, Greens and NDP can campaign aggressively against the oil and gas industry without jeopardizing success. Their battlegrounds for supporters will be the Lower Mainland of B.C. and urban residents of Ontario and Quebec. These voters can support aggressive climate policies at the expense of oil without losing their own jobs or risking shortterm financial cost. The Green party platform is a collection of classic socialist doctrine including social justice, diversity and world peace, cemented together by the menace of climate change. The Greens reinforce the recent Liberal national climate emergency declaration stating, “Accept, at every level of government, that climate is not an environmental issue. It is the gravest security threat the world has ever seen.” If this makes oil workers uncomfortable, it should. The Greens admit they won’t form government, but if they hold the balance of power, they will push their anti-fossil fuel agenda. This would end unrefined oil exports (effectively shutting in 2.5 million barrels per day), ban fracking, Trans Mountain and LNG Canada, make every new car on the road electric by 2030 and prohibit internal combustion engines 10 years later. The only use for oilsands will be plastics and petrochemicals. This would eliminate over half of Canada’s oil jobs. The NDP isn’t far behind. This party pledges to exceed Canada’s 2030 Paris commitments by slashing fossil fuel emissions. Leader Jagmeet Singh puts social justice and climate change in the same sentence stating, “It becomes more clear each day that the time for talk on climate change and economic inequality is over … it’s time to act like our future depends on it, because it does.” This will be accomplished by billions in government spending on green transportation infrastructure and assistance for provinces and cities to make public transport free. There would be $5,000 subsidies for electric vehicles, free charging stations at federal buildings and $600 for households to install EV chargers. The NDP formerly supported LNG exports but backed off after losing a byelection on Vancouver Island to the Green party. Led by the relentless high profile of federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna, since 2015 the Liberals have been assuring Canadians their policies will deliver climate salvation. McKenna regularly uses every bad weather event as proof that immediate action is essential while claiming Liberal programs will solve the problem. 7 • Business of Energy • October 2019

Federal Elections, Climate Change and Single-issue Politics

It is well understood by CPC supporters that a new government would send a clear and powerful message to domestic and international investors that Canada is again open for business.


David Yager | Federal Elections, Climate Change and Single-Issue Politics

Pursuing regional, single-issue policies to chase votes may be bad for the West and the country, but it works. In politics, nothing else matters. Regionally, many Canadians are relatively comfortable financially. From 2014 to July of 2019, the national unemployment rate fell from 6.9 per cent to 5.7 per cent. Quebec is on a roll. Its unemployment rate dropped from 7.7 per cent in 2014 to 4.9 per cent in July. Ontario is enjoying similar results, from 7.3 per cent down to 5.7 per cent. Since 2014, the B.C. unemployment rate declined from 6.1 per cent to 4.4 per cent this summer. Alberta and Saskatchewan have gone in the opposite direction. Unemployment in Alberta in 2014 was at 4.7 per cent. In July, it was 7.0 per cent, down from a peak of 8.1 per cent in 2016. In 2014, Saskatchewan’s unemployment rate was 3.8 per cent, the lowest in the country. With its potash, oil and agriculture facing headwinds, that figure this July was 5.4 per cent. Saskatchewan peaked at 6.3 per cent in 2018. Last May, Calgary, once the booming envy of the nation, had the highest unemployment rate of any major city in the country at 7.6 per cent. Based on where the economy is strongest, unemployment figures in the summer of 2019 were going in the right direction for all three political parties prepared to trade oil’s future for votes. Political isolation of Alberta and the rest of the Prairies. Again. Canada’s agricultural and carbon resources warehouse versus the rest of the nation. A significant contributor to single-issue climate politics is urbanization. In 2016, 65 per cent of the nation’s 35 million people lived in 100 urban centres with a population of 50,000 or more. Thirty-five per cent of the population lived in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver alone, hardly hotbeds of support for oil and gas. When Canada was created, 84 per cent of the population lived in rural areas. By 2011, that was down to 18.9 per cent. Canada’s economy

remains heavily driven by resources with oil and gas the largest by any measure. But with over 80 per cent of voters not living where resources are produced, it is easy to understand why people increasingly don’t grasp or care where their food, energy and other products come from. And why political parties target urban voters. But by area, the 100 cities that house nearly two-thirds of Canadians occupy only one per cent of the nation’s land mass. Offsetting all this bad news are several positive realities. As this column is written, the CPC is polling slightly ahead of the Liberals in committed public support and more than all the other parties combined. A CPC minority government is possible and majority not impossible. Justin Trudeau is no longer well liked. During the campaign, voters will be reminded of his many mistakes. Carbon taxes are proven vote killers. Even the Liberals know this which is why they advertise rebates for most households every time they mention it. The Liberals tell us we must pay for pollution yet claim to be putting more money in our pockets. Disingenuous? Absolutely! Climate change is a global challenge requiring global solutions. Many more people understand this than will say so publicly because they are terrified of being branded climate change deniers. And no matter what campaigning politicians may claim, the world still runs on oil and gas and will for the foreseeable future. Canada is a large cold country. Interruptible renewables will not work for most energy needs. Mass transit and even electric vehicles are impractical for 99 per cent of the country by area. But now you know why everyone is paying close B attention to this election. OE

Living in Calgary, David Yager is an oil and gas writer, energy policy analyst and author of From Miracle to Menace – Alberta, A Carbon Story.

8 • Business of Energy • October 2019


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Melanie Darbyshire | The Woman for the Job

THE WOMAN FOR THE JOB

ALBERTA’S ENERGY MINISTER SONYA SAVAGE ON HER NEW ROLE AND THE CHALLENGES AHEAD by Melanie Darbyshire

I

f one is fortunate in life he or she will, at some point, have a job perfectly suited to them. Work that requires a blend of the person’s skills, talents and interests while also providing meaningful opportunity for growth and challenges along the way. A job seemingly made for the person, or vice versa.

As minister of energy for Alberta, Sonya Savage has landed that job. Officially sworn into the new role on April 30 of this year, Savage brings with her a background steeped in the business and politics of Alberta and Canadian energy. A lawyer by profession, she worked in the oil and gas industry for the 13 years prior to being

10 • Business of Energy • October 2019


The Woman for the Job | Melanie Darbyshire

elected. Her experience and knowledge are oneof-a-kind, a perfect match for the job of minister. The timing for Alberta couldn’t be any better. With an economy trudging through its fifth year of struggle – the result of damagingly low prices for Canadian energy – and a federal government overtly anti-Alberta energy, the province’s industry desperately needs strong, intelligent political leadership. Savage is it. “I was thrilled to be appointed minister of energy,” says Savage, who also represents the riding of Calgary-North West, with a humble smile. “But also certainly cognizant of the challenges ahead. I was not naive at all to what needed to be fixed.” Born and raised on a farm near Standard, Alberta, Savage got into politics while attending the University of Calgary. After earning a master of laws in environment and energy, she practiced law for 13 years before taking a job at Enbridge Inc. in 2006. “I worked on some of the biggest projects the country’s ever had,” she reminisces. “Northern

Gateway, Alberta Clipper, Line 9. I did policy and government relations and worked collaboratively with the teams that were doing indigenous affairs and regulatory, getting those applications through.” Much of this work was with the National Energy Board, now the Canadian Energy Regulator. “I saw the challenges, knew the landscape, knew the industry,” she says. She moved to the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA) in 2015, taking on the role of senior director of policy and regulatory affairs. “I had the regulatory affairs file plus indigenous affairs and government relations,” she says. “A much larger gambit which included responsibility over the climate change file, regulatory reform and bills C-69 and C-48. I had a front-seat view to what the federal government was doing. “And I can tell you that when Justin Trudeau said he wanted to phase out the oilsands, he meant it,” she says, referring to comments made by Trudeau in January 2017.

11 • Business of Energy • October 2019


Melanie Darbyshire | The Woman for the Job

Given her experience, Savage assumed office with many priorities, most of which lead back to one thing: “Market access,” she says. “Almost all of the challenging issues in one way or another lead back to the fundamental problem that we don’t have enough pipeline capacity, rail capacity, ways to get our product to market.” The Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, in various stages of pre-construction and still subject to litigation (the most recent development being the grant of leave to appeal by the Federal Court of Appeal to six First Nations groups in September) must be built, Savage says. “It’s in the national interest; it’s needed. I can’t conceive of any circumstance that it won’t be built because it has to be built. It’s an abrogation of the rule of law if the federal government doesn’t see it through.” She’s less unequivocal on Keystone XL, which is slowly making its way through court challenges. “They face political risk in the United States; there’s no risk here in Canada.” Energy East, she explains, was abandoned by TransCanada because of the federal government’s Bill C-69, which adds climate change as a factor to be weighed in any pipeline assessment. “TransCanada very clearly said don’t make us responsible for upstream and downstream GHG impacts; we can’t possibly get through a regulatory process with that much uncertainty and with having to meet tests that are out of our control,” she laments. “But the government put it in and TransCanada walked.” Proclaimed into law in August, Bill C-69 has been a contentious piece of legislation for Alberta. “We’re challenging it,” Savage says bluntly. “No question. Definitely constitutionally challenging it. The project list, the factors to consider, the scope of the assessment. They’ve really clearly intruded into provincial jurisdiction.” She expects most other provinces, including Ontario and Quebec, to do the same, though some for different purposes. “I would think we’ll have a pretty strong coalition. Nine out of 10 provinces opposed it. I’m not sure how many will step in to litigate, but I would expect a good chunk.” A similar strategy will be employed for Bill C-48, the so-called tanker ban bill. “It’s not a tanker

ban, it’s an Alberta oil ban,” Savage clarifies. “It only applies to one product coming from one province. We’re exploring the options and the process for a constitutional challenge.” Litigation is already underway regarding the federal carbon tax, another policy the Alberta government vehemently opposes. Saskatchewan and Ontario are also challenging it. “It’s winding its way to the Supreme Court,” Savage says. “But hopefully it all becomes moot on October 21 [the date of the federal election].” Indeed, Savage holds no bars when it comes to what she thinks about Justin Trudeau, his government and her desire to see them replaced with this month’s federal election. “He’s filled the prime minister’s office, all the key ministers’ offices, with environmental activists,” she says. “Some of them came from Tides, one was the head of Pembina. Gerry Butts was from World Wildlife Fund. And a number of these groups were there in New York City in 2008 when they launched the Tar Sands Campaign. And we’ve seen that strategy play out of the last 10 years. I think there’s a deep story there on what they’re intending.” Part of Premier Jason Kenney’s “fight back” strategy to deal with environmental activists and the Tar Sands Campaign is the highly-publicized war room, which, Savage says, has attracted thousands of emails from Albertans offering to help. “We’ve hired [oil and gas reporter] Claudia Cattaneo to give us some vision on what it should be doing,” she explains. “It’s going to be a nimble, rapid response way of dealing with things. Like a media room that operates quickly. It will be responding to, and creating content on the narrative of how Alberta really is a leader.” The war room is partially funded by industry through the tier levy for heavy emitters. Similarly, a $10-million litigation fund has been set up for use by pro-resource indigenous groups. In addition, the Alberta Indigenous Opportunities Corporation has been created to help indigenous groups, whether through acquiring equity or their own business projects, become involved in major resource projects. In August, Savage made the decision to extend oil curtailment (a policy originally implemented by the previous NDP government to correct an oversupply of oil in the province) for another

12 • Business of Energy • October 2019


The Woman for the Job | Melanie Darbyshire

“We expect it to create 55,000 jobs and really stimulate the economy. The response from the business community has been overwhelming. Some of them, only a year ago, were ready to pull out of Alberta, out of Canada. But now they’re staying.” year. She increased the limit from 10,000 to 20,000 barrels per producer per day. “We want a gradual, orderly exit off curtailment,” Savage confirms. “It’s not ideal, but it was necessary to keep the differential from blowing up again to $43 per barrel. By lifting the base exemption to 20,000 barrels, we got 13 companies off.” Sixteen companies, out of over 300, remain on curtailment. Savage is also exploring the options to get out of the $3.7-billion crude-by-rail deal entered into by then-Premier Rachel Notley on the eve of the April election. “That was a terrible deal,” Savage says incensed. “It was going to cost $3.7 billion to run the program and all they expected to make out of it was $2.2 billion. That’s a $1.5 billion loss. By anybody’s standards it was a terrible deal.” The deal is now with CIBC Capital Markets in divestment, and various options are being sorted out. Beyond issues related to access to market for Alberta’s oil and gas resources, Savage has been busy with other files. The corporate tax rate was lowered to 11 per cent from 12 per cent on July 1, with the plan to get to eight per cent. “It will make us the most competitive jurisdiction in Canada,” Savage says proudly.

“We expect it to create 55,000 jobs and really stimulate the economy. The response from the business community has been overwhelming. Some of them, only a year ago, were ready to pull out of Alberta, out of Canada. But now they’re staying.” In September, she announced the review of the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER), which is

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Melanie Darbyshire | The Woman for the Job

responsible for overseeing Alberta’s energy sector and for ensuring the industry operates in an environmentally-responsible way. “It takes too long to get anything done and in place,” she laments. “There’s too much red tape. We’re doing a thorough comprehensive review of the AER to see if there’s some structural pieces that need to be fixed in order to achieve speedier time frames.” Her decision to scrap the NDP’s plan to overhaul the electricity system to a capacity market was one of the easiest she’s made. “We did a 90-day review right at the outset because we knew we needed to give some certainty on which direction we were going,” she explains. “We held broad consultations with all the affected groups. And it was just overwhelming, from everyone, to stick with the energy-only market. Everyone from the renewable folks to the generators to the distributors to the consumer groups wanted to stick with the energy-only market.” Though it’s been a mere five months, Savage,

with husband of 23 years Eric by her side, has taken on her new role with gusto, inspired by an energy industry she describes as resilient. “They’re down, and they’re being kicked when they’re down,” she says frankly. “Prices are down, they don’t have market access, they don’t have a federal government supportive of their industry. They’re down, but they’re resilient and innovative.” Full of praise for Premier Kenney, whom she says moves at the speed of lightning, she’s confident in the UCP caucus of which she is a part. “We hit the ground running,” she says proudly. “We have an enormous mandate of things that need to be fixed, and we’re just getting started. A lot of the issues we’re working on are very much frontend loaded because they’re critical to getting Albertans back to work.” Evidently made for the job, Savage is the energy minister Alberta needs right now. All Albertans should be grateful for her leadership B and service. OE

14 • Business of Energy • October 2019


Let’s Talk Sales | Chuck Bean

LET’S TALK SALES by Chuck Bean

T

he best marketing any company can do walks around on two legs. It is, of course, your salespeople. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the oilpatch. Whether you are an E&P, service company, trader, investor or financer, what attracts and keeps your clients, vendors and investors with your firm is how your people communicate, relate and represent your corporation.

salespeople take the focus off their offering to how they can help clients with anything. This is how relationship are built.

Ask anyone in the executive suite and they will tell you the same thing, “We have seen the rear end of that 10-year run.” Times have changed – and they’ve really changed when it comes to customer relations.

Pat Shouldice – the industry icon who built Nowsco into an industry giant – once told me the secret to success was being the first and the fastest to solve a client problem (expletives removed). He added you will be judged not by the work you do, but by how well you stayed ahead of the client. Keeping them in the loop was the trust builder. Going the extra mile was the trust sustainer. Reciprocity is the king of relationship building and doing things for others, above and beyond, is transcendent.

Companies like Amazon and Netflix have conditioned buyers to expect real-time, ondemand services. Immediacy is no longer an exception, it’s a given. If you are building (or rebuilding) a business, you’d better get used to this. You’re not being compared to your energy competitor; you’re being compared to the “FAANG” of high-performance technology companies (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google). They’re your new competition. Can you imagine a hardened oilfield salesperson who learned the ropes turning pipes on the rigs being compared to a chatbot? Believe me, it’s happening right now! A common problem I hear from executives is they worry their salespeople aren’t engaging enough with clients. It is a genuine issue and it stems from being so focused on our current challenges that we are losing the art of communicating and relating with our clients. If you want to future-proof your business, it starts with face-to-face conversations that keep sales professionals connected to their clients. Operating 24-7, salespeople who work quickly to solve problems gain customer trust. Great

If you are in sales or direct your corporate sales, ask yourself these questions. What have you done for your client lately? What have you done to help them? Are you telling them or teaching them?

Every single interaction a client has with a sales representative, or anyone in your organization, is a reflection of your brand. Every contact, be it tiny or bold, will determine the longterm relationship and resulting loyalty. Your salespeople are representative slices of your company. If they are shining, smart, empathic and pragmatic people, your clients will believe that your entire organization is the same. If they communicate and build relationships, your clients will do the same with you. In this age of email we are losing our connection. With the insurgence of AI, professional salespeople are going to have to work faster, harder and smarter. Those salespeople who make the decision that face to face is where it is at – communicating and building relationships with clients – will be B the winners. OE

15 • Business of Energy • October 2019


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THE CRITICAL RESOURCE OF YOUTH // BRAD FIELD

The Critical Resource of Youth BY BRAD FIELD

C

algary used to be a beacon of opportunity. In the notso-distant past, young people from all over Canada were flocking to the city to find a career, build a great life and make some money. Calgary is now facing a reverse reality. The current generation entering the workforce is afraid of what their livelihood looks like here, and without the right solutions, we’re going to lose them to other provinces. It’s a palpable feeling in the city, and it’s hard to pinpoint when it started. I’ve said it before, and we’re all hearing it everywhere: times are bad. What are the implications of losing our young people? It’s the vibrancy, the vitality and the future of the city. We can look next door to Saskatchewan to exemplify what I’m talking about. The mass exodus of young people heading westward at the turn of the millennium was because of a lack of opportunity in that province. A longtime customer of mine, a large U.S.-based firm, is closing its Calgary office in October and will be laying off its staff. This adds another 40 engineers to an already flooded talent pool, plus 25 additional technicians and support staff. What happens to the engineering class that graduated from U of C this past spring? They are now competing for jobs with experienced people who are chomping at the bit to get back in the workforce. New grads are going to start searching for jobs everywhere but here. How do we encourage them to stay and build their career? Making Calgary an attractive option for up-and-coming sectors is imperative. Technology is the low-hanging fruit. Why can’t Calgary be Canada’s hub for big data, artificial intelligence or cloud computing? We have move-in ready infrastructure and restrictive American immigration policies reduce the drain on our talent south of the border.

Economic diversification will depend on the emerging tech sector in Alberta, but we need significant investment to make it globally viable. The good news is that the innovation ecosystem in Calgary is growing fast. As Calgary’s business leaders and professionals, whether we work in the tech sector or not, we can help by supporting young entrepreneurs. Calgary has always been an entrepreneurial city. Many organizations support entrepreneurship, mentorship and philanthropy in Calgary; it’s up to business people of all ages to lend their wisdom and experience. Groups such as the Young Presidents’ Organization, Entrepreneurs’ Organization, A100, MacKay CEO Forums and Rotary Club have created incredible opportunities for me and many others. Whether it’s one of these organizations or the one you belong to, building community translates into prosperous career opportunities. As parents, mentors, leaders and friends to Calgary’s young people, we play an integral role in supporting their economic future. We must encourage our local political, business and community leaders to support employment and training, prioritize affordable housing and transportation, and make a concerted effort to engage local talent. There is no more critical resource to invest in than young people, not only with dollars and cents but with mentorship and intangible supports. If we lay that foundation for success, we may be able to keep them around. I don’t want my kids to have to find their prosperity in another city. I want this generation to have the same opportunities we had so that they can pass the torch to the next generation in due time.

BUSINESSINCALGARY.COM // BUSINESS IN CALGARY // OCTOBER 2019

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THE ELECTION IS COMING // FRANK ATKINS

The Election is Coming BY FRANK ATKINS

A

s I write this column in early September, the federal election campaign has just begun. This means the silliness will start. I find it quite odd how elections have devolved into a continuous series of ridiculous promises by all parties, as if the government has an endless supply of money to spend. In reality of course, the government has no money, it is all taxpayer money, so we are being bribed with our own money. This is a sad state of affairs. Think back to 2015 when we had a mini bout of Trudeaumania. Trudeau the Junior demonstrated he was probably a good drama teacher. In his speeches, he appeared to have a strong grasp of all the issues. As it turned out, he just used words well and actually had little understanding of the major issues. When he was not giving a prepared speech, he just wandered off topic, and we were left with no idea of what he was saying. Now here we are in 2019, and what has happened over the last four years? Basically, it has been a continuous series of bad policy decisions, and Mr. Trudeau should be made to answer a lot of questions. For instance, with a growing economy and falling unemployment, why is the government running huge deficits? The case for government stimulus in an economy is tenuous at best and non-existent in a growing economy. How does the government propose to pay for all of this debt servicing when interest rates are starting to climb? A lot of people, including myself, warned that when Mr. Trudeau got elected he would behave exactly like his father did. Trudeau the Senior left us with an economy where the amount of taxpayer money spent on servicing the outstanding debt nearly bankrupted the government. Like father like son.

NOW HERE WE ARE IN 2019, AND WHAT HAS HAPPENED OVER THE LAST FOUR YEARS? BASICALLY, IT HAS BEEN A CONTINUOUS SERIES OF BAD POLICY DECISIONS, AND MR. TRUDEAU SHOULD BE MADE TO ANSWER A LOT OF QUESTIONS. And then there was the pipeline mess. The Trudeau administration made a decision to buy the Trans Mountain pipeline. As I wrote in 2018 in this publication, this appeared to be a completely vacuous decision. This decision angered both the opponents and the proponents of the pipeline. An alternative solution would have been to speed up the regulatory process. At least this would have only angered the opponents of the pipeline. Let us not forget the SNC-Lavalin scandal. I recommend reading the recently published report by ethics commissioner Mario Dion. Mr. Dion found that Mr. Trudeau was guilty of conflict of interest (and this is not the first time). Mr. Dion found that Mr. Trudeau (along with Gerald Butts) exhibited partisan political motivations for pressuring Jody WilsonRaybould into overturning a duly constituted criminal prosecution. There is a pattern here. This served to alienate both female voters and aboriginal voters. In his report, Mr. Dion quoted Mr. Trudeau as saying, â&#x20AC;&#x153;We can have the best policy in the world, but we need to be re-elected.â&#x20AC;? Given the bad policy decisions made by Mr. Trudeau, I say good luck with that.

Frank Atkins is a Senior Fellow at the Frontier Centre for Public Policy.

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OCTOBER 2019 // BUSINESS IN CALGARY // BUSINESSINCALGARY.COM


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I joined the Calgary Petroleum Club fifteen years ago as my career responsibilities began to broaden. The Club was an obvious fit with my new role as the best place to network and meet others in the Calgary business community. It remains the best place to grow business relationships regardless of your profession. If you want to develop your business and sneak in a little bit of fun, you belong here. â&#x20AC;&#x201D;Paul Murphy


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Calgary’s Solar Power The Greengate success story It’s no secret that anything to do with the energy sector in Canada is notoriously layered in levels of bureaucracy. But recently, a major (and final) hurdle has been overcome. The largest solar energy project in Canada – and one of the largest in the world – has received Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) approval. And Calgary’s Greengate Power Corp. is all set to start construction in southern Alberta next year. “We now have our licence to construct and operate the Travers Solar Project,” says Dan Balaban, Greengate president and CEO. “We’re just finalizing the financing and detailed design, and if things go according to plans, we hope to be under construction in the first half of 2020 and fully operational by the end of 2021.” He explains that equally or more important than the technicalities and bureaucracy is the critical natural resource factor. “Most importantly, Alberta is the sunshine state of the North. We have a tremendous solar resource, which allows for solar photovoltaics (the conversion of light into electricity) to be highly productive, especially during our long summer days. “Travers Solar is particularly compelling because of its scale. It will be the largest solar energy operation in Canada, but the project is sited with transmission running directly through the project lands and few constraints,” he adds. “All of this allows the construction of Travers to be relatively low cost because its design is very simple and repeatable. We are essentially building an outdoor assembly line, so simplicity and repeatability are vital.” In Alberta’s energy sector, the Greengate Power performance and reputation are solid and respected. It is an industryleading, privately-held renewable energy company that (since 2007) has successfully developed close to 600 MW of operating or near-operating wind energy projects in Alberta and Ontario, including the 300 MW Blackspring Ridge Wind Project, which is currently the largest-operating wind energy project in Canada. Greengate projects represent well over $1 billion of investment and provide a clean source of power to more than 250,000 homes.

Balaban points out that solar is an interesting technology because it is the lowest-impact way of producing electricity. The electricity industry is one that requires a diverse portfolio of technologies and he notes that between solar, natural gas and wind, Albertans should receive affordable power for years to come. He openly admits that land use is a contentious sustainability topic throughout Canada and in Alberta, making the positive point that some are surprised to find out the Travers Solar farm will only borrow 0.002 per cent of Alberta’s farmland through its more than 35-year life. Balaban also mentions the little-known fact that all renewable projects in the province are voluntary – landowners actively choose to use their land for the projects because it makes more economic sense than traditional farming. Being the largest solar energy project in Canada is not only a bragging right; it has tremendous national and global spinoffs. “From engineering, procurement, construction, supply and financing, there has been a significant Canadian and global interest and global capital,” he says with enthusiasm and pride. “At a time when Alberta is seeing a significant outflow of foreign direct investment, Travers Solar is a vital opportunity to attract investment in Alberta. There was more invested globally in renewable energy last year than downstream, midstream and refining of oil and gas combined. Renewable energy is a highly sought-after asset class among global investors.”

ABOVE: DAN BALABAN, PRESIDENT AND CEO OF GREENGATE POWER CORP..

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OCTOBER 2019 // BUSINESS IN CALGARY // BUSINESSINCALGARY.COM


Do you remember the first office space you used to build your business? Did you work through the night at your kitchen table? Did you spend sunny days in a small room in your basement? Maybe you rented space that fit the tight budget. Whatever the space – there was a big dream holding it all together. When the economy turned, relying on some starting-out basics was a natural response. Quickly, priorities changed to protect the future of your business. Moving back to a smaller space to reduce rental costs might have made sense. Cash-flow may have been an immediate concern. No matter what you decided to do to protect your business, waiting out the downturn was inevitable. We’re a local business, too. We understand the small-business struggles that Calgary business owners have had to face over the last decade. Our commitment is to help Calgary based business owners achieve their big dreams. Calgary is our home. Our Estancia Investments Inc. downtown commercial buildings and our Safeway Holdings

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A Different Kind of Daycare The innovative Summit Kids difference For more than a decade, redefining daycare and taking it to new levels has been Nancy E. Klensch’s passion, commitment, calling and, in various ways, her life. The dynamic and innovative Calgary high-achiever’s passion was innocuously triggered by an entirely private urge. Shopping around for a Calgary daycare for her young son, she couldn’t find any that offered much more than minimum standards. So, with gung-ho passion and much savvy, she created a better idea – Summit Kids. “Most daycares are set up primarily to take care of young children in a safe environment. That’s it!” she explains. “But that’s not enough. There had to be a better way. It’s vital that childcare spaces provide spaces and opportunities where kids can thrive on their own terms! “We wanted to create a concept and a place where children can achieve their best, while parents have the peace of mind knowing that their children are safe, having fun, cared for and enjoying their time in childcare. Summit Kids is not just a place, it’s a personality,” she says with warmth and determination. Fast forward 10 years, and the pioneering, Calgaryinspired concept and success story has 18 locations, 120 meticulously-selected and trained staff, legions of wellprepared-for-life “graduate”’ and loyal parents. Numerous accolades like the Prime Minister’s Award honouring excellence in education as well as a listing on the Growth 500 ranking of Canada’s fastest-growing companies bestow Summit Kids. The groundbreaking concept continues to grow and the Summit Kids program is now expanding – with a uniquely innovative difference. The October 11, 2019 grand opening of the Summit Start Riverview location will be a terrific new dimension for the popular childcare concept.

“We believe it is imperative that children are not isolated when they are learning,” Klensch points out. “They need to include people of all walks of life in the children’s daily activities while they are at this critical stage of development. It will ensure that their perspective of the world is not limited in any way.” In collaboration and partnership with the Bethany Care Society, one of Western Canada’s largest voluntary, notfor-profit providers of health, housing and community services for seniors and persons with disabilities, Summit Start Riverview will be situated in Calgary’s popular Bethany Riverview facility on 26 Avenue SE. “It’s a place where history will meet the future in a very human setting,” she adds. “A place where young and old will learn and benefit from the special setting of inclusivity and diversity. The key to Summit Start Riverview’s success will be the intentional inter-generational programming that will be part of the children’s everyday activities. “The integration of these two communities at the far ends of the age scale will serve to build strong, worldly and confident kids while ensuring a sense of community, contribution and value in the residents of Bethany Care Riverview. The spaces have been specifically designed to allow numerous opportunities for interaction. A prime example of this is our centrally-located dynamic children’s playground. It is visible from a variety of locations and allows the residents of Bethany Riverview to hear and see the children playing. “After all,” Klensch emphasizes with enthusiasm, “The best communities are inclusive, encouraging people of all ages and backgrounds to interact and grow together.” ABOVE: NANCY E. KLENSCH CEO, CREATOR & INNOVATOR WITH HER SPOUSE TYLER ALTON, CO-OWNER AND CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER.

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OCTOBER 2019 // BUSINESS IN CALGARY // BUSINESSINCALGARY.COM


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A Canadian First

Alberta’s energy story is so solid and colossal that, aside from the transformations of technology and the flux of the economy and politics, innovative and industry-altering “firsts” are rare and unusual. But an exciting Canadian energy industry first is happening in Carseland, about 60 kilometres southeast of Calgary. With $15 million in financing now in place, Calgary-based Rocky Mountain GTL is forging ahead with a major construction contract for its facility that will process flare gas, natural gas and natural gas liquids into higher-value, cleaner-burning diesel and other premium liquid fuels. The Carseland Rocky Mountain GTL #1 plant is the first commercial scale gas to synthetic fuels operation in Canada. “There is an abundance of natural gas in Western Canada, due to the success of unconventional natural gas exploration along the eastern slopes of the Rockies, in areas such as the Montney and the Duvernay,” says Jim Ross, CEO of Rocky Mountain GTL. “Much of this gas is stranded due to pipeline infrastructure constraints. “LNG was to be the solution for the gas producers of Western Canada. But it has been more than a decade since LNG was initially proposed and a limited number of projects have achieved final investment decision (FID) and even fewer have been built in Canada. “Rocky Mountain provides GTL (gas to liquids) solutions for natural gas producers that may not have access to pipelines or are trying to manage rich natural gas high in ethane, propane, butane. Our plants are designed to be able to change their feedstock mix dynamically, depending on market conditions.” Ross notes the GTL process is actually a well-known, century-old technology. Approximately 800,000 barrels of synthetic fuels are produced worldwide. For various reasons,

until Carseland Rocky Mountain GTL, none were produced in Canada. The enhanced Rocky Mountain GTL plant is a commercial pilot that will feature “Direct Fuel Production”™ from Greyrock Energy Inc. and Rocky Mountain’s own Enhanced GTL® technology. Some of the technical specs show the site is designed to process up to approximately 5.0 MMscfe/d of natural gas and natural gas liquids into a nominal 500 bbls/d of paraffinic synthetic diesel and naphtha. “Rocky Mountain’s ‘Well to Wheel” Enhanced GTL modular plants, along with our partner Greyrock’s Direct Fuel Production platform will allow us to build plants closer to natural gas producers, providing them with a low transport sales point.” There’s no denying environmental features are vital aspects when it comes to the contemporary business of energy. Ross notes the Carseland plant will incorporate several unique environmental features, such as a self-sustained water supply and self-sufficient electric power while recycling significant process CO2 in order to produce additional synthetic diesel.

ABOVE: THE CARSELAND ROCKY MOUNTAIN GTL #1 PLANT, ABOUT 60 KILOMETRES SOUTHEAST OF CALGARY.

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OCTOBER 2019 // BUSINESS IN CALGARY // BUSINESSINCALGARY.COM


3 SPRING MEADOWS LANE C4266532

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Modern, chic & sophisticated describe this completely renovated 2 bedroom unit with over 1,500 sq ft of living space in Point on the Bow. A spacious foyer introduces distressed white oak hardwood floors, floor to ceiling windows & high end finishing throughout. A feature fireplace is the focal point of the main living area showcasing living & dining areas adjacent to the sleek, chef-inspired kitchen finished with custom white Denca cabinets, resiliant Corian counter tops, island/eating bar & top quality Miele appliance package. The master retreat showcases a walk-in closet & luxurious 5 piece ensuite with dual sinks, tranquil soaker tub & separate shower.

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2019 SAIT School of Construction Golf Classic: A Huge Success Thanks to the Construction Community This year’s 24th annual SAIT School of Construction golf tournament – presented once again by Chandos Construction – was held on August 15, 2019 at Springbank Links.

company owners who see the value in supporting the next generation. SAIT alumni join their talented workforce and this event brings that important fact to the forefront.

Thanks to the dedicated committee members Garnet Young (chair), Bob Robinson (vice chair), Brian Schamber, Hans Tiedemann, Erich Binder and James Foster, this year was another sell-out. Thirty-eight teams participated and more than 25 companies sponsored the tournament which raised over $70,000 for endowment and student scholarships.

Sustainability is a focus for the School of Construction, not only in the built environment, but also in education and community involvement. Thanks is extended to all the participants who come out year after year to make the Golf Classic a sustainable event which in turn supports the School of Construction’s strategic areas of focus: excelling in applied education, collaborating with industry partners, promoting innovation, elevating perceptions and inspiring engagement.

“This event is integral to student success and supports all construction trades offered at SAIT as well as the vision for the 740,000-square-foot Trades and Technology Complex (TTC) which became a reality in 2012,” states Reva Bond Ramsden, dean of the School of Construction. “The TTC facility allows us to educate an additional 8,100 students every year. Last year, SAIT awarded almost $45,000 in scholarships to over 30 recipients enrolled in trades and technology programs at SAIT.” In addition to the financial support, the School of Construction Golf Classic has built a community of dedicated

Summer 2020 will be a milestone year featuring the 25th annual SAIT School of Construction tournament. When asked what sponsors and golfers can expect, Reva Bond Ramsden states, “Well, I think it is safe to say that we will be acclaiming this important milestone and if you want to get involved, it’s never too early to contact us. We will be looking to set a new fundraising record. I guarantee it will be a heck of a celebration!” ABOVE: 2019 SAIT SCHOOL OF CONSTRUCTION GOLF CLASSIC HOSTED BY SPRINGBANK LINKS AND PRODUCED BY PINKSAND MARKETING & EVENTS.

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WORKPLACE OF THE FUTURE, TODAY // BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY

Workplace OF THE FUTURE, TODAY Experts share tips on how to avoid productivity pitfalls with digital workplace transformations BY JAMIE ZACHARY

W

hat did your workday look like today? Perhaps you shared your screen with an IT technician to diagnose a printing problem? Or you filled out an employee engagement survey through an internal digital portal? Maybe you attended a digital town hall, took part in a Skype meeting or collaborated via Microsoft Teams on a big presentation due next week – all without leaving the comfort of your home? Today’s workplaces have long since evolved beyond the cubicle culture. Instead, they have entered a digital age where the tools of today are not pencils and notepads, but instant messaging and videoconferences. Earlier this year, global research and advisory giant Gartner estimated that more than 70 per cent of organizations globally have a goal to achieve a formal digital workplace.

BUSINESSINCALGARY.COM // BUSINESS IN CALGARY // OCTOBER 2019

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WORKPLACE OF THE FUTURE, TODAY // BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY

THE REALITY IS THERE ARE WAY MORE TOOLS AND TECHNOLOGY THAN ORGANIZATIONS KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH,” SAYS CHRIS RADCLIFFE.

“Workplaces want to move to models where employees can help themselves to the tools and resources they need. This enables employees to work anywhere, any time,” says Catherine Heggerud, who teaches business technology management within the Haskayne School of Business at the University of Calgary and is the director of the master of management program. “We think about employees getting offices in a box – everything you need to work from wherever you would like.” Yet workplace transformation experts warn the effectiveness of these new tools is not guaranteed. They argue that a well-intended digital journey can easily take a costly detour without proper evaluation and change management, leading to disengaged employees and productivity shortfalls. “A lot of organizations are wrestling with how to create a road map to roll out all of these tools. The reality is there are way more tools and technology than organizations know what to do with,” says Chris Radcliffe, a digital workplace adviser at Habenero Consulting Group, which has worked with companies such as Suncor, Enbridge, Wawanesa Insurance, Lululemon and the Greater Toronto Airports Authority. “A lot of our work is focused on the planning and envisioning side where we help organizations make sense of the way to roll out these tools and drive successful experiences for their employees to create frictionless collaboration.” The path to the promised land starts by choosing the tools that best meet what a business is trying to accomplish, says Heggerud. “Many organizations don’t spend enough time up front on figuring out what they are trying to do,” she says. “They pick a tool (i.e. we need email!) and then rush to put it in. Perhaps their organization really needed a coffee room.” ABOVE: CHRIS RADCLIFFE, DIGITAL WORKPLACE

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WORKPLACE OF THE FUTURE, TODAY // BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY

What is the goal of the organization? Increased collaboration? Document retrieval? Whatever the case, the organization needs to be aligned with the outcome, says Heggerud. She notes Microsoft Office 365 and Google G Suite are two of the more prominent digital workplace tools available today. Other players gaining traction in this space include Slack, Dropbox or Box and Workfront or Asana. When it comes to implementation, companies should ask employees what they’re struggling with today before attempting to create any sort of digital workplace, says Mike Hicks, chief marketing officer with Igloo Software, a Canadian-based digital workplace solution provider. What they like and what they don’t like about the tool set they are being given. Where do they think things are being dysfunctional? What’s frustrating them? “Then work to figure out what you need to do to solve those problems,” says Hicks, whose firm has worked with companies such as Enmax, Hulu, Cigna, Canfor and Gildan. “You can’t underestimate the difficulty in change management across the board.” Adds Heggerud, “If anyone has ever tried to take up an exercise plan, quit smoking, give up chocolate, it’s really hard if we rely on external motivators. Employees need to buy in to the change and believe that it is in their best interest. Then they will change their behaviour to use the new tool.” Radcliffe urges companies to ditch traditional change management thinking because it assumes employees will “just get it.” “The historical perspective on change management is to create some posters, send out some emails, offer a couple training modules and hope it works. That’s like throwing darts at a wall,” he says. “We see a lot of companies that are struggling with change management because they never really considered it enough in their initial roll-out phases. They just assume people will adopt the new tools.” Instead of a traditional big-bang waterfall-like roll-out, Radcliffe recommends companies adopt more of an agile and iterative approach to introducing their technology, and factor training and communication into their plans from the outset. That could involve engaging an early adopter group in initial phases where employers see those interactions first-hand. In subsequent phases, those early adopters could collaborate as project champions on the materials and education needed to successfully switch over to the new system.

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WORKPLACE OF THE FUTURE, TODAY // BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY

Radcliffe also recommends involved IT on that journey as they may want to change how they’ve configured the solution based on the feedback. Horror stories of digital workforce implementation gone wrong are, unfortunately, common, says Hicks. It most cases, it traces back to confusion around the tools that should be used, including when and how they should be incorporated. “A lot of times, customers or prospects will come to us and say we’ve got a major communication issue, or we have a knowledge management issue because there are data repository silos all over the place,” he says. “In either case, these issues are severely impacting productivity and the ability for people to get their work done in an efficient way.” When evaluating the effectiveness of a digital workplace,

Hicks urges senior leaders to avoid using traditional returnon-investment formulas. “You have to start looking at things like increases in employee engagement,” he says. “It’s not necessarily about spending money on technology to gain five per cent efficiency that allows us to output 10 per cent more widgets at the end of the day. It’s more about job satisfaction and how that helps with retention. And retained and engaged employees are more productive, which ultimately saves the company money.” He points to a Corporate Leadership Council study that found those employees who are most committed perform 20 per cent better and are 87 per cent less likely to leave the organization.

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“They’re also more willing to break down barriers to cross-functional collaboration, which is a key to innovation,” says Hicks. “They’re willing to come to the table and share ideas on how to create additional value for the company.” Heggerud also cautions that digital workplace transformations are not a one-size-fits-all approach. “Just as we have seen in the legacy ERP space, different applications fit different organizations better. The same is true for digital workplace tools. You need to pick the services that fit your organizational road map.” And with so many choices, the best advice Hicks has is to not just throw technology at this problem. “You have to understand how this technology is going to be used, you have to plan the roll-out and you have to have open communication about what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.”


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SHOW ME THE MONEY // CALGARY’S PRIVATE DEBT

SHOW ME THE MONEY PRIVATE DEBT OPTIONS BROADEN THE CREDIT WORLD AND ARE INCREASINGLY POPULAR

BY MELANIE DARBYSHIRE

C

apital is to business survival as water is to human survival: without it, a business (just like the person) will eventually die.

While many businesses obtain large chunks of capital through conventional bank debt, others don’t have that option. For various reasons – the business’s size or stage of life, an immediate need for cash, past financial record or current financial situation – many organizations are unable to access short- or long-term debt from traditional lenders. Enter the private debt market.

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Estimated at over US$770 billion, the global private debt market has grown considerably over the last decade. With traditional banks restricting lending following the last financial crisis, private debt has filled the void. Consisting of loans to companies that are generally secured against the value of machinery and equipment, real estate or other assets, private debt includes everything from mortgages, accounts receivable loans, equipment financing/leasing, mezzanine financing and bridge capital/loans.


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SHOW ME THE MONEY // CALGARY’S PRIVATE DEBT

The U.S. and Europe have seen an explosion of private debt firms, financing everything including infrastructure; commercial real estate; technology; health care; finance; residential real estate; manufacturing; shipping, transport and distribution; trade finance; aviation; and leisure, retail and consumer sectors. Likewise in Canada, the private lending landscape continues to grow. Due to strict Canadian banking regulatory requirements, many fast-growing, viable companies with strong assets but challenging cash flow are unable to access traditional bank financing. Thus, they turn to the private market. Headquartered in Calgary, Pillar Capital Corp. provides asset-based loans ranging from $100,000 to $5,000,000 to small and medium-sized business owners across Canada. Incorporated in 2014, the privately-held lending company has offices in Calgary, Edmonton and Toronto and close to 50 borrowers nationwide with a loan portfolio in excess of $50 million and growing. “We primarily do bridge lending to companies that are in need of short-term capital (90 days to one year) and who are unable to access it from the conventional banks,” explains Steve Dizep, president. Dizep has been in the industry for over 20 years, previously at Century Services and Canadian Western Bank. “We bridge the gap between when funds are needed and when they’re received.” Pillar is a direct lender that provides bridge capital to fund everything from liquidity, working capital needs, mergers and acquisitions, and capital expenditures to equipment purchases, growth capital, restructuring and distress financing as well. Industry agnostic, its credit facilities are based on the value of the company’s assets and borrowing needs. “We underwrite on all types of tangible assets, including machinery, equipment and real estate, both in the company and outside of the company – for example, holding company assets and personal real estate can form part of our collateral,” Dizep explains. Pillar is purely an asset-based lender, and doesn’t rely on financial covenants or cash-flow metrics like a bank typically will. Swift River Farms Ltd. of Saskatchewan borrowed $4.5 million from Pillar last year to purchase 2,400 acres of

“WE UNDERWRITE ON ALL TYPES OF TANGIBLE ASSETS, INCLUDING MACHINERY, EQUIPMENT AND REAL ESTATE, BOTH IN THE COMPANY AND OUTSIDE OF THE COMPANY – FOR EXAMPLE, HOLDING COMPANY ASSETS AND PERSONAL REAL ESTATE CAN FORM PART OF OUR COLLATERAL,” DIZEP EXPLAINS. irrigated farmland southwest of Saskatoon. “Pillar can move very quickly and allow you to do a lot of deals where the traditional banks are long behind you,” explains Mark Langefeld of Swift River. “And they’ll work with you because they don’t have the constraints of banking. The institutional banks can’t move the goalposts. Whereas with private debt, if there’s a hiccup or something, they’re really good at working with you.” The value of the asset(s), Langefeld stresses, is key. “They really want to know that the assets can survive the interest rates,” he says. “We had to do an independent appraisal of the asset, and it was a very thorough due-diligence process. Once we were through that process, it didn’t take long to get the money. Maybe a month total from beginning to end.”

ABOVE: STEVE DIZEP, PRESIDENT OF PILLAR CAPITAL CORP.

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SHOW ME THE MONEY // CALGARY’S PRIVATE DEBT

This speed is an advantage private debt lenders enjoy. “We are more nimble than larger commercial lenders,” Dizep explains. “We offer short-term loans on a quick turnaround to meet immediate needs until borrowers can secure more traditional loans. As a result, we have established a symbiotic relationship with the banks where they are happy to refer both existing and future borrowers to us, and then we can refer back.” For Wolverine Energy and Infrastructure, an oil and gas services company, a short-term bridge loan from Pillar was the key to acquiring an equipment rental business going through receivership. “It was time sensitive and we really needed to act quickly to get it done,” says Wolverine shareholder John Carvalho. “It probably took about three weeks – from the time we had initial discussions, and they reviewed the equipment and then we received the money in the bank.” The loan was secured against the equipment and paid back in 30 days. Carvalho admits they paid a slight premium for the financing, but it was worth it. “I think everybody recognizes that to get access to that capital, that quickly, is not inexpensive,” he says. “You have to weigh the opportunity and the returns on that opportunity versus the price you’re paying on a short-term interest rate.” Dizep adds that Pillar’s credit facilities provide the flexibility for early prepayment and are non-dilutive, protecting the owner’s equity in a business. In addition to banks, private debt lenders work with various intermediaries, including lawyers, brokers and accounting firms. “When an insolvent entity comes to us through council or from the banks, quite often they will need unconventional lending,” says Grant Bazian, president of MNP Ltd., the insolvency division of MNP LLP. Bazian is based in Vancouver. “The conventional lenders aren’t completely up to speed or comfortable with some of the situations that the private debt guys get into. The banks are very thankful for them.” From informal to formal restructurings, private debt firms are able to finance companies going through a turnaround, secured by the tangible assets of the business.

“WE DO ALMOST EXCLUSIVELY ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE FINANCING,” SAYS CHRIS SILVERTHORN, PRESIDENT AND CEO. “OTHERWISE KNOWN AS INVOICE FACTORING. OUR AVERAGE FACILITY SIZE IS ABOUT $400,000.” An added benefit the traditional banks (as well as the private lenders) enjoy comes from the jurisprudence created when private debt players have challenged the Crown’s priority claims in court. “There have been cases taken all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada,” says Bazian, “and [the private debt companies] have won. This benefits the insolvency world in general because it gives more confidence to the lenders to lend money in insolvent situations and know their priorities are protected.” PROVIDA (pronounced pro-vee-da) Financial Corporation is another player in Calgary’s private debt market. “We do almost exclusively accounts receivable financing,” says Chris Silverthorn, president and CEO. “Otherwise known as invoice factoring. Our average facility size is about $400,000.”

ABOVE: CHRIS SILVERTHORN, PRESIDENT AND CEO, PROVIDA FINANCIAL CORPORATION.

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SHOW ME THE MONEY // CALGARY’S PRIVATE DEBT

In a typical deal, PROVIDA will provide a short-term loan against a company’s accounts receivables. It will insure the receivables if they aren’t investment grade (meaning from a major oil and gas producer like Suncor or Husky Energy). It also takes an assignment of the receivables and a general security agreement over the assets of the company.

says Dizep. “There’s a huge demand for alternative financing nationwide. It covers so many different areas and the underlying story remains the same – there is a large market of small to medium-sized companies that are under serviced by traditional lenders and require alternate sources of capital to meet their funding objectives.”

“We can make a decision very quickly and turn a deal around in a week if it’s clean,” Silverthorn says. “Our aim really is to come in and help these companies through a tough period and then send them to cheaper money.”

“Being able to source money is what prohibits many people from making deals,” Carvalho says. “Private debt really fills that gap. They can come to the table with short-term capital and move quickly so people can take advantage of opportunities. It’s not inexpensive, but if people really recognize the return that they’re getting on the opportunity that they’re acquiring or buying, then what Pillar brings to the table is pretty valuable.”

Access to capital is always a challenge, and the private debt market provides a much-needed source of capital for many companies. “On average we probably look at a deal a day,”

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THE LNG MOMENTUM // LNG UPDATE

Momentum THE LNG

$40-billion projects are no small chunks of capital BY COLLEEN WALLACE

T

here is strong global demand for liquefied natural gas (LNG), and the timing for Canada to be a world supplier is giving the much talked (and argued) about Canadian LNG potential new momentum. Simplistically, LNG plants take natural gas and liquefy it so it can be put on tankers and exported. Once it arrives at its destination, it is regasified and sold in its original state. The LNG market is huge, and getting bigger. Global natural gas consumption is set to grow by 45 per cent over the next 25 years, according to the Canadian Energy Research Institute. Most of the growth will likely come from Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. The most recent Shell LNG Outlook, the industry-respected survey which tracks LNG trends, shows that, this year, the world LNG supply is set to rise by 35 million tonnes and world demand for LNG is expected to exceed 384 million tonnes by 2020. Canadian energy experts and industry leaders share guarded positivity and cautious optimism about momentum for Canada to become a global LNG player. While the signs and potential are encouraging, thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s also consensus that Canada must deal with various speed bumps if it hopes to move from talking the LNG talk to walking the LNG walk.

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// LNG UPDATE

A KEY REASON WHY WE ARE SHIFTING TO BEING LNG EXPORTERS IS BECAUSE WE HAVE LOW COST, ABUNDANT SUPPLY,” SAYS JACKIE FORREST, WHO ANALYZES EMERGING AND STRATEGIC ENERGY TRENDS AS DIRECTOR OF RESEARCH AT THE ARC ENERGY RESEARCH INSTITUTE. “A key reason why we are shifting to being LNG exporters is because we have low cost, abundant supply,” says Jackie Forrest, who analyzes emerging and strategic energy trends as director of research at the ARC Energy Research Institute. “By most estimates, shale gas resource could last 100 years at current consumption levels. A little-known fact is that the production growth from Western Canada’s natural gas shale plays is comparable to that of the oilsands. In the past 15 years or so, western Canadian shale gas and associated liquids grew by about 700,000 barrels of oil (equivalent) per day, while the oilsands grew by 800,000 barrels per day.”

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CALGARYUNITEDWAY.ORG ABOVE: JACKIE FORREST, DIRECTOR OF RESEARCH AT THE ARC ENERGY RESEARCH INSTITUTE.

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factor has absolutely nothing to do with the industry and business strategy of production and shipping to markets. By fluke of nature and geography, Canada is resource rich when it comes to natural gas. “We have a tremendous supply of natural gas,” says Pat Ward, CEO of Calgary’s Painted Pony Energy. “We have way more energy than we can ever consume for domestic use. It’s primarily in the Montney play, which is one of the largest gas fields in the world.” Susannah Pierce, director of corporate affairs with LNG Canada, adds, “Today, supply and demand for LNG is close to 300 MTPA with LNG under construction bringing supply up by another 50 MTPA. By 2030, supply will be closer to 320 MTPA based on existing supply declines. The challenging fact is that demand is predicted to be at over 500 MTPA.” In addition to the vast supply of available natural gas in Canada, she underscores other LNG positives. “Canada has a number of distinct advantages, especially for supplying the high demand of Asian markets. We are only eight to 10 sailing days away, unlike our competitors in the U.S. Gulf Coast and we don’t need to transit through the Panama Canal. It’s also vitally important that Canada has a supply of highly-qualified skilled labour, locally, within British Columbia and within Canada.” The world’s timing is also working in Canada’s favour. Global attitudes about sustainability and reducing

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THE LNG MOMENTUM // LNG UPDATE

Executive

“WE HAVE A TREMENDOUS SUPPLY OF NATURAL GAS,” SAYS PAT WARD, CEO OF CALGARY’S PAINTED PONY ENERGY. “WE HAVE WAY MORE ENERGY THAN WE CAN EVER CONSUME FOR DOMESTIC USE. IT’S PRIMARILY IN THE MONTNEY PLAY, WHICH IS ONE OF THE LARGEST GAS FIELDS IN THE WORLD.” greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, like the global action sparked by the 2016 Paris Agreement, is exponentially spiking interest and demand for LNG as a low cost and viable option. “Demand continues to grow, not only in North America,” Forrest points out, “but there is growing and big global opportunity as more countries move away from high-carbon coal for power generation as well as other uses like home heating. LNG has played an important role in the global energy system over the last few decades, as an increasing number of countries turn to natural gas to meet their growing energy needs.” The report also illustrates the critical role natural gas can play in providing cleaner energy to the world. According to world trends and stats, the push for cleaner-burning fuel in several Asian markets is driving rapid growth LNG use and was the prime factor for 2018 global demand growing to 319 million tonnes. Chinese LNG imports has helped with the Chinese success to improve air quality in some of its biggest cities over the last few years and make the air cleaner for millions of people.

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haskayne-emba.ca ABOVE: PAT WARD, CEO OF CALGARY’S PAINTED PONY ENERGY.

BUSINESSINCALGARY.COM // BUSINESS IN CALGARY // OCTOBER 2019

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THE LNG MOMENTUM // LNG UPDATE

ABOUT 10 YEARS AGO, AT THE START OF WHAT THE INDUSTRY SOMETIMES CALLS THE SHALE GAS REVOLUTION, THE U.S. AGGRESSIVELY SET A COURSE TO BE INCREASINGLY LNG SELF-SUFFICIENT WHILE CANADA STARTED LOSING ITS MOST IMPORTANT AND ONLY NATURAL GAS CUSTOMER. TODAY THE U.S. IS PRACTICALLY LNG SELF-SUFFICIENT AND PIPELINE EXPORTS FROM CANADA TO THE U.S. HAVE VIRTUALLY DRIED UP. Most energy experts agree that one of the several challenges for Canada being sluggish when it comes to LNG output, is being outpaced by the multifaceted U.S. factor. About 10 years ago, at the start of what the industry sometimes calls the shale gas revolution, the U.S. aggressively set a course to be increasingly LNG selfsufficient while Canada started losing its most important and only natural gas customer. Today the U.S. is practically LNG self-sufficient and pipeline exports from Canada to the U.S. have virtually dried up. Forrest acknowledges the U.S. factor and some Canadian disadvantages it creates. “Compared to the U.S., Canada has been slow with more complex projects. Our challenge is more complicated. Canada has mostly greenfield projects in remote areas that take longer and have more complex regulatory requirements.

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“The Americans have more brownfield sites with access to gas at liquid trading hubs that are in close proximity and have been faster to build. In Canada we need to build upstream wells, pipelines that are 700-900 kilometres long and liquefaction facilities in remote locations on our west coast.” She admits Canada has a much more complicated regulatory process, without the regulation luxury of building on mostly brownfield sites. Painted Pony Energy CEO Pat Ward echoes the realistic frustration. “We are dealing with incessant delays due to regulatory disagreements. The energy industry used to go with consensus. We don’t, anymore. The fact is, Canada has excessive timelines and barriers to getting approval. The U.S. regulatory process works much more efficiently. Ours? Not so much. “For the here and now, it is what it is. Current LNG demand and consumption is 43 bcf a day, and expected to rise to 57


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Call 403.703.9525 or visit themethodeffect.com bcf in the next five years. That’s a 34 per cent increase. The U.S. will be exporting 8.2 bcf by the end of this year. Canada? Zero! “The good Canadian news is that there’s hope. It’s kind of like the distant flag on a 550-foot hole. But it is happening.” He mentions some indicators of positive Canadian momentum – despite the constant noise from eco groups and some media, creating a public perception that LNG is merely a Canadian controversy and that LNG plans are not going ahead. He cites the recent go-ahead of the $40-billion Shell-led, joint venture project in Kitimat that includes a gas liquefaction plant. “And there are two other projects that may be a couple of years out but going ahead in the not too distant future. “The industry and investment reality is that $40-billion projects are no small chunks of capital.” It may not be happening at the pace that some prefer, but Canadian LNG momentum has begun. And the push for exporting LNG could soon boost Canadian natural gas production and create significant investment, jobs and economic growth.

BUSINESSINCALGARY.COM // BUSINESS IN CALGARY // OCTOBER 2019

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THE BUSINESS COUNCIL OF ALBERTA // COVER

THE BUSINESS COUNCIL OF ALBERTA PROMINENT BUSINESS LEADERS JOIN FORCES TO MAKE LIFE BETTER FOR ALL ALBERTANS BY MELANIE DARBYSHIRE

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iven its name, one might reasonably assume the newly-formed Business Council of Alberta (BCA) has a singular focus on business: an organization made up of, advocating on behalf of, Alberta businesses. That assumption, however, would be wrong. For while BCA is comprised of notable businesses and entrepreneurs, its purpose is far broader than that sole sphere; it encompasses the well-being of all Albertans, the province’s economy and the environment. Put simply, BCA is about shared prosperity. Conceived in late 2018 by business titans Ron Mannix, chairman emeritus, Coril Holdings Ltd.; Hal Kvisle, board chair, Finning International; Mac Van Wielingen, president and founder, Viewpoint Group; Nancy Southern, chair and CEO, ATCO Group; and Dawn Farrell, president and CEO, TransAlta Corporation; BCA is a non-partisan policy and advocacy organization focused on making life better for Albertans. By harnessing the experience and talent of business leaders and entrepreneurs, the goal is to build a better Alberta.

“We look at prosperity in a broad sense for Albertans,” explains Kvisle, one of the five founders. “Not just looking at the well-being or the success of big corporations or any individual business, but rather how well is Alberta working for the broad base of Albertans in both economic and social terms?” This focus, in addition to the impressive list of founders and members, sets BCA – an organization arguably long overdue in Alberta – apart. It also gives it a uniquely influential position. “One of our core beliefs is that when the province is economically strong, we have the capability and flexibility to do a number of other things,” Kvisle explains. “We can deliver better education and better opportunities for people. We can have better investments in infrastructure and can fund social programs. When the economy is weak or when we’re operating under unusual burdens imposed upon us, all of those things become a whole lot more difficult.” ABOVE: BCA MEMBERS (LEFT TO RIGHT): AROON SEQUEIRA, CHAIRMAN OF SEQUEIRA PARTNERS; RUSS GIRLING, PRESIDENT AND CEO OF TC ENERGY; DAVE FILIPCHUK, PRESIDENT AND CEO OF PCL CONSTRUCTORS INC.; JUDY FAIRBURN, CORPORATE DIRECTOR AND FOUNDER OF THE51. PHOTO SOURCE: REBECCA HARDCASTLE

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THE BUSINESS COUNCIL OF ALBERTA // COVER

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THE BUSINESS COUNCIL OF ALBERTA // COVER

Indeed, things in this province have been much more difficult over the last five years. Far beyond the energy industry, the economic malaise has gripped everyone. It’s these challenges, and the solutions to them, that have inspired 44 BCA members to join to date.

LAUNCHED TWO PROJECTS. THE FIRST IS THE CREATION OF AN ALBERTA SHARED PROSPERITY INDEX TO

“It’s a pivotal time in Alberta right now,” says BCA member Dave Filipchuk, president and CEO of PCL Constructors Inc. in Edmonton. “The economic prosperity enjoyed in the past is no more. I see it as a critical time for doing the right things to set us up for a bright future. We can deal with current realities as best we can, but we also want to set ourselves up for generations to come.”

MEASURE THE SHARED PROSPERITY

“We want it to go beyond the traditional framing of a think tank or lobby organization and be more of what we call a ‘dotank,’” explains Adam Legge, BCA’s founding president. “We need to do our best, in a public policy way, to increase the prosperity of Albertans using business as the critical vehicle to achieve that prosperity.”

ON FUTURE SKILLS AND TRAINING.

The 44 BCA members are from Edmonton and Calgary, though the goal is to have approximately 150 members, from diverse sectors and geographies across the province. “I see BCA as an opportunity to bring the ‘and,’” says member Judy Fairburn, corporate director and founder of The51. “We have at the table large firms, startups, younger and older generations. We have the core group from the traditional sectors but increasingly membership from the tech world. This bringing together to find solutions and enable our province to be successful on all fronts: economically, socially and environmentally.” In just a short time, BCA has launched two projects. The first is the creation of an Alberta Shared Prosperity Index to measure the shared prosperity for Albertans over time and compared to other jurisdictions to see where work should be done. The second is the Task Force on Future Skills and Training. “This will help us to make sure we have an ecosystem of both business and post-secondary institutions such that people are continually adapting and evolving their skill sets to be prepared for the changing workplace,” Legge explains. For Fairburn, a focus on digital skills and adoption is imperative. “It’s key to maintaining competitiveness, as

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IN JUST A SHORT TIME, BCA HAS

OCTOBER 2019 // BUSINESS IN CALGARY // BUSINESSINCALGARY.COM

FOR ALBERTANS OVER TIME AND COMPARED TO OTHER JURISDICTIONS TO SEE WHERE WORK SHOULD BE DONE. THE SECOND IS THE TASK FORCE

we’ve seen in many sectors around the world. Having the skills and training to be able to adapt and to know that we are going to be well positioned, rather than poorly positioned, to evolve as the world keeps changing.” Beyond the two projects, a major focus of BCA will be identifying what steps are needed to help get Alberta’s economy and prosperity back on track. “It’s a really frightening world out there right now,” says Southern. “When we see inverted yield curves, slowing of demand, global trade uncertainty, geopolitical uncertainty, we need to have all the best thinking brought together in order to continue to ensure that Alberta is prosperous. That it has its best foot forward and remains competitive in a highly-competitive environment. We need to maintain advantages, work on our strengths and mitigate our weaknesses. That’s the role of BCA.” Southern highlights the vilification of the oil and gas industry as one issue at the forefront. “That has to be one of our priorities,” she says. “We need a measured, well-thoughtout approach to improving our oil and gas image.” The issue is top-of-mind for member Russ Girling, president and CEO of TC Energy, and fourth-generation Albertan. Having spent 35 years in Alberta’s energy industry, he’s experienced many ups and downs but is more concerned today than he’s ever been about the future.


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THE BUSINESS COUNCIL OF ALBERTA // COVER

“This is a great place to work, live, raise families and invest,” he says. “Never have I seen the opportunity so great. But at the same time, never have the challenges been so daunting. Misinformation and activist movements have been focused on a keeping-it-in-the-ground strategy, while we have failed to ensure that the facts are out there for people to make informed decisions.” Those facts, he continues, include that Alberta and Canada have one of the largest resources bases in the world. “Our environmental standards, employment standards and the way we conduct our business is the most responsible on earth,” he says proudly. “That message has been drowned out by those with a clear objective of shutting down our business here. It’s been a huge challenge in terms of public policy and ensuring we have a sound foundation for future growth.” Access to markets, within and outside Canada, is another key issue. “We need to have open borders within this country,”

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says Filipchuk. “We need access to tidewater for Alberta’s resources.” “Access to market is a problem for the energy sector, and also for the forestry sector and the agricultural sector,” Kvisle adds. “It has been the single-biggest challenge Western Canada has faced for 400 years, going back to the fur traders. It’s a big deal in agriculture and certainly in the pipeline space today.” Member Aroon Sequeira, chairman of Sequeira Partners in Edmonton, echoes his support for the province’s energy sector while encouraging the promotion of a diverse province. “We must attract businesses of all types to Alberta and create a generally good business climate, emphasizing that we are a diverse economy beyond energy,” he says. “We have some of North America’s largest and most respected engineering and construction firms, one of the two major Canadian airlines and one of the two major railroads based here. We have some


THE BUSINESS COUNCIL OF ALBERTA // COVER

WITH SIGHTS SET ON SIGNIFICANT GOALS AND THE BEST POSSIBLE PEOPLE WORKING TO ACHIEVE THEM, BCA PLANS TO HAVE A MAJOR IMPACT, IN ALBERTA, CANADA AND THE WORLD. of the best health care in the country. We top the charts for philanthropic giving. We’re a beautiful part of the country. I would like to see that message – of what Alberta really is – get out to the rest of Canada and the world.” “Alberta can and should be known for our depth beyond the energy industry,” agrees Filipchuk. “Our company, PCL, is the largest general contractor in Canada, headquartered here in Edmonton. That’s something that locals know and are proud of, but I’m not sure that’s broadly known in the rest of Canada. Frankly, it’s been a wonderful place to be headquartered.” Another area Southern hopes BCA will make headway on is the streamlining of policy and standards across provincial boundaries. “It’s so inefficient in Canada to have a regulatory body in each and every province that act in different ways,” she says. “That in itself creates protectionism for each of the provinces, and we can’t be that insular. We have to think about how we make Canada better, not just each province. What we can do from each province that brings strength and allow the country to capitalize on the strengths of each province.” Tax policy is another area BCA aims to make progress in. “Specific high taxes that have been introduced are a real disincentive to people,” Kvisle laments. “And we’ve already seen the tax reductions implemented in Alberta have stimulated economic activity. The federal government needs to give some serious thought as to whether their tax policies have been going in the right direction.”

For all BCA founders and members, recapturing the public trust and improving public sentiment towards businesses in general is a priority. “There’s a conversation happening, across North America, about the role of business,” Girling says. “About the role of free enterprise and markets. They are the cornerstones of this prosperous society that we have, that provides opportunities for education, investment, job creation and meaningful work for people. We need to be in the conversation.” A focus on attracting and retaining younger Albertans in the province is also needed. “We need to ensure that our younger generation is choosing Alberta as a place of opportunity,” Fairburn says. “Let’s make sure we’re taking the steps to enable our province to be future-relevant, offering meaningful work, a digital and sustainable foundation, diverse sectors with diverse leadership. Look at it through their eyes, because talent is so mobile.” With sights set on significant goals and the best possible people working to achieve them, BCA plans to have a major impact, in Alberta, Canada and the world. “I have not, in all my career, seen an initiative like this with so many influential, passionate people coming together in a non-partisan fashion,” Sequeira marvels. “It’s very ambitious goals with an anythingis-possible attitude. That excites me. Will there be frustration along the way? Probably. Will there be diverse points of view and lots of arm-wrestling on things? Absolutely. But I believe ultimately, we will see results.”

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VENI, VIDI, VICI THE VENUE // EVENT PLANNING & CATERING

VENI, VIDI, VICI THE VENUE CHOOSING THE RIGHT PRIVATE ROOM FOR AN EVENT BY DANYAEL HALPRIN

I

n the interstices of Christmas and Stampede there are cocktail receptions, team-building lunches and full-scale client parties. With so many fabulous venues in Calgary, choosing the right one for a corporate event is matchmaking at its finest. Throwing a party at the newest, hottest venue gives guests bragging rights and, of course, an Instagram post. Providing uniqueness is one driver but planners should reflect on the event’s purpose: what’s important to the success of the event, and if the venue’s reputation and vibe align with the corporate culture. Perhaps location, budget and food are higher priorities.

ABOVE: THE BODEGA AT BARCELONA TAVERN. PHOTO SOURCE: BARCELONA TAVERN

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VENI, VIDI, VICI THE VENUE // EVENT PLANNING & CATERING

“I’m a firm believer in finding a venue that fits what you’re doing. Don’t try to stuff an idea into a venue, because it will either cost more money or not make sense,” says Keri Miller, partner and chief creative strategist at Calgary’s e=mc2 events. Once streamlining the criteria and identifying the venue (an event planner can be engaged to do the venue search), view the space and be mindful of the amenities needed for the event’s season – a coat check for winter apparel may not be top of mind when visiting on a hot summer day. When discussing food and beverage minimums and room rental fees, remember there’s generally room to negotiate. It is important to feel comfortable and trust the venue contact, and Miller encourages selecting a venue with a “yes” attitude to ensure a good planning process. Venues should be open to shaking things up, such as re-conceiving floor plans, where possible, and working with vendors outside its list of

preferred ones. “Just because they host an event one way doesn’t mean it’s the only way, or the best way,” she says. Read the contract carefully. A common misunderstanding is that people think gaining access to a venue at 4 p.m. means being able to set up at noon, which is not the case, and also applies to the takedown. For those desiring a setting outside the downtown core, head toward the mountains to Bearspaw’s new Flores & Pine. Named after Flores LaDue, the first lady of the Calgary Stampede, Flores & Pine embodies the former Bears Den, renovated and reopened as an elevated casual restaurant in July. Local owners Mahyar Khosravi and Kristin Romeril have created bright, modern gathering spaces that incorporate the surrounding environs and pay reverence to the building’s

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history through the select wildlife sculptures from its former self by local artist Trevor Duval. The semi-private glass atrium with its art deco furniture and towering faux olive tree is a stylish setting for 38 people. The LED colourchanging wall of a bear and her cubs is a cool design element, illuminating the room in a sandy sunset hue in the evening. The atrium can spill over into the adjacent Grillroom for 100 guests featuring the wood-fired rotisserie and grill. The major event centre, the Estate Room, is designed to accommodate a variety of floor plans for 138 people and flows onto the patio with its cosy fireplace.

ABOVE: THE ATRIUM (TOP) AND THE ESTATE ROOM (BOTTOM) AT FLORES & PINE. PHOTO SOURCE: FLORES & PINE

OCTOBER 2019 // BUSINESS IN CALGARY // BUSINESSINCALGARY.COM


VENI, VIDI, VICI THE VENUE // EVENT PLANNING & CATERING

FLORES & PINE OFFERS A CONCIERGE SERVICE TO HELP REALIZE THE CLIENT’S PLANNING AND DECOR VISION. “WE’RE REALLY PROUD OF OUR CLIENT CUSTOMIZATION, FROM CREATING CAKES TO SELECTING GIFTS FOR THE TABLE, AS WELL AS OUR FLEXIBILITY WHEN IT COMES TO MENU OPTIONS,” SAYS MARTINIELLO. “What’s beautiful is that you can enjoy a journey through the building,” says Maria Martiniello, Flores & Pine’s business development and event sales manager. An upcoming corporate event sees guests in meeting and planning sessions in the Estate Room, moving to the patio for cocktails followed by dinner in the Grillroom.

multiple, versatile, raw spaces with stylish design elements for a completely tailored experience. For some of these venues, clients will be securing a liquor licence and arranging catering, AV, decor and security via a third party. For those wanting to give guests a more visual and interactive experience, the Hangar Flight Museum and Heritage Park’s Gasoline Alley are dynamic venue spaces.

Flores & Pine’s cuisine is contemporary rustic Canadian featuring locally-sourced ingredients. Even the bees are local – many of its seasonal dishes and signature cocktails are sweetened with honey from the on-site apiary. Flores & Pine offers a concierge service to help realize the client’s planning and decor vision. “We’re really proud of our client A vibrant new event space and restaurant in the heart of Bearspaw, featuring multiple rooms to host groups of various sizes. customization, from creating cakes to selecting gifts for the table, as floresandpine.com • events@floresandpine.com • 403-241-7611 well as our flexibility when it comes to menu options,” says Martiniello. While restaurant hospitality is appealing because of its onestop shopping, for the most part, hosting a function in a blank-canvas event venue allows for the space to be completely transformed. People are raving about The Pioneer, which renovated the former Art Gallery of Calgary on Stephen Avenue, and The Commons, part of the Ramsay Design Centre in Inglewood. These character buildings offer

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VENI, VIDI, VICI THE VENUE // EVENT PLANNING & CATERING

Downtown’s Barcelona Tavern is a fun, hip restaurant and popular event venue. Within the high-ceilinged interior splashed with Mediterranean blue and vibrant murals on exposed brick, guests flirt with the different spaces as they flow throughout its multi levels. The wrought-iron balcony on the upper floor is a perfect perch to sip sangria while observing the festivities below. An exclusive restaurant buyout can host 500 guests for cocktails and 250 for a seated dinner, or gather privately in the Bodega, Cava, Chef’s Table and Terrace rooms. Enjoy tapas at the Spanish tavern. Its culinary team is committed to sourcing local ingredients for the Mediterranean-inspired dishes. Barcelona’s wine collection is displayed in Cava’s floor-to-ceiling bookcase complete with a rolling library ladder. And if the event calls for it, the two golf simulators on the second level can be rented for driving practice or a full game. And, there’s always the establishment. Throughout the Calgary Petroleum Club’s 71-year history, landmark deals have been inked and powerful connections made, lending an august ambience to any occasion. While preserving its rich past, the membership-only club completed a $7-million renovation last year modernizing esthetics, amenities and services. To adapt to rapidly-changing business practices, a new audio system was installed as well as high-tech visual and data services in all meetings spaces. Of its 11 private rooms, the chandelier-lit subterranean Wine Cellar featuring 7,500 bottles from its wine collection is an impressive dining space for 20 guests. An additional 400 bottles carries over into the Trophy Room on the main floor facing 5th Avenue and showcases a floor-to-ceiling display of golf trophies won by the Canadian Energy Executive Association (formerly the Oilmen’s Association). It’s a naturally-lit room with a cosy fireplace for a capacity of 60. On the top floor is the club’s elegant and largest event space, the Devonian. “This is where Calgary does business,” says general manager Toni-Marie Ion-Brown, referring to its daily functions accommodating up to 500 for cocktails and 250 for a seated event. There are no room rental fees, and minimum food and beverage spends depend on the time of day and room size.

Menus can be customized for an event; for example, when the Filipino consulate dined there they enjoyed a sumptuous spread of Filipino food and desserts. A function coordinator accompanies every booking, and the club is proud of its in-house artisans such as its butcher, pastry chef, baker and table-linen collection. “Gatherings are important, and businesses are beginning to understand the impact of the experience they’re giving their guests,” says Miller. “So whatever venue people select, it should maximize value and experience.” ABOVE: THE DEVONIAN ROOM (TOP) AND THE TROPHY ROOM (BOTTOM) AT THE CALGARY PETROLEUM CLUB. PHOTO SOURCE: THE CALGARY PETROLEUM CLUB

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BOOSTING SMALL BUSINESS // SMALL BUSINESS WEEK

BOOSTING SMALL BUSINESS IT’S ABOUT NETWORKING AND RECOGNITION

BY JOHN HARDY

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t’s an undisputable business fact: small businesses are critical to Calgary’s economy.

While perceptions continue to change, references to “small business” can be misleading. The biggest faux pas: small businesses (compared to big businesses) are often deemed insignificant. According to stats, there are more than 1.2 million small businesses in Canada and 98.1 per cent of all Canadian private sector businesses have fewer than 100 employees. The majority of businesses in Alberta are small businesses comprising 95 per cent of all business in the province. Small businesses are the tortoise-and-the-hare drivers of the economy, accounting for almost 30 per cent of Alberta’s GDP.

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Particularly in the Calgary area, small businesses are earning success in virtually every business sector. Coming up will be a special week in Calgary. The Calgary Chamber’s Small Business Week (SBW), set for October 21-25, features five action- and information-packed days – inspiring, motivating, networking and recognizing small business in Calgary. A fitting focus, because small business, particularly in Calgary, earns and deserves the special attention. “The goal of Small Business Week is simple,” explains Sandip Lalli, president and chief executive officer of the Calgary Chamber. “To nourish, empower and inspire Calgary’s small businesses. Small businesses contribute so much to our


Robert Fooks Partner and Panel Moderator McLeod Law

Scott Gravelle CEO/CTO/Co-Founder Attabotics Inc.

Ray DePaul Director, Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, MRU

Evening with the Entrepreneurs CELEBRATING SMALL BUSINESS. A marquee event of Small Business Week, McLeod Law is pleased to host the 2019 Evening with the Entrepreneurs. You are invited to an evening of up-close and personal interviews with two dynamic entrepreneurs who will be putting it all on the table, sharing their unique stories and insights. October 22 | 5:30-8:30 | Studio Bell National Music Centre Register at SmallBusinessWeekCalgary.com/events

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BOOSTING SMALL BUSINESS // SMALL BUSINESS WEEK

economy. The Chamber’s role is to connect with business owners and support them on their growth journey. After all, when businesses thrive, communities thrive, and Small Business Week highlights just that!”

time,” Garcia points out. “Business owners are risk takers. Successful ones are those who best analyze those risks, the market, political moves and how it will all affect their business but it is now becoming harder and harder.

Most business insiders acknowledge that, despite small businesses having unique challenges, the past five years or so have added additional speed bumps.

“Alberta’s climate of uncertainty is part of the reason why we are losing important corporations and investors. We need better industry diversity, because these corporations have a tremendous trickle effect on small businesses. When the population income is high, people feel more confident about the future and will spend their money in the local economy. It’s important for local car dealerships, local roofing companies, local real estate, other local businesses and even local charities and our communities, in general.”

“On a global scale, Canada has a great economy,” says small business owner Greg Garcia, president of Calgary Elite Roofing, a past winner of a Calgary SBW Award, and a Calgary Chamber board member. “We are in the top 10 of the world’s largest economies and we are still growing. For the past two years, Canada has reported record GDP at around 3.5 per cent. And, for the fourth year in a row, we have ranked best country for quality of life. “We do face a climate of political uncertainty that makes it difficult for small business owners to run their business with peace of mind,” he admits. “Local or global policies and economic announcements made one day keep being challenged after every election. These decisions have a direct and significant impact, particularly on small businesses.” While Calgary business is managing the positive momentum of a gradual recovery, the annual SBW boost is more special than ever. “Calgary is fortunate to have a rich and diverse small business community which holds so much capacity for growth,” the upbeat Lalli says. While conventional business challenges usually make for a small business bumpy ride, laced with many risks, there’s consensus the downturn caused a much bumpier ride than normal. “We have to make decisions based on a shorterterm vision than before because things can change at any

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According to the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) – Canada’s only financial institution devoted exclusively to entrepreneurs with more than 56,000 small business clients – the three essential small business basics are: • Leveraging existing clients as the best opportunities for small business expansion success. • Growing smart on the right path for the small business and not expanding into new business areas just because it’s possible. • Not micromanaging, because entrepreneurs sometimes have trouble delegating decisions to staff. Small businesses should hire good people and let them be productive. Advice, information, resources and achieving the small business edge is the focus of Calgary’s Small Business Week. And the weeklong special event has already earned a respected reputation for being Alberta’s biggest B2B expo. “As our economy continues to recover, it is critical that we continue to provide small businesses with the opportunities for growth,” Lalli adds.


BOOSTING SMALL BUSINESS // SMALL BUSINESS WEEK

… and the envelopes, please.

THE 2019 SMALL BUSINESS AWARDS:

This year’s SBW will be an information- and resourcefilled week, a valuable networking opportunity and a recognition of the uniqueness of Calgary’s contribution to small business. Although the Chamber’s innovative planning and coordination includes various events and networking opportunities, the focal point will no doubt be the Small Business Calgary Expo, headlining 160 exhibitors with 1,500 attendees, an exhibition of local businesses, two keynote speakers and the Digital Tools Stage featuring 15-minute rapid-fire sessions on new tools to transform and grow Calgary small businesses. The award finalists have been announced and the winners will be congratulated at the SBW Awards Gala on Friday, October 25, 2019 at the Westin Calgary. The gala is much more than a VIP party. “The Small Business Calgary Gala is where we roll out the red carpet and celebrate small businesses,” Lalli explains. “These business owners spend so much time and energy building their businesses they often don’t take time to celebrate the successes. The gala allows us to do that.” Local small business success story Greg Garcia raves about the SBW Awards with unique first-hand experience. “In 2016, Calgary Elite Roofing won the Small Business of the Year Award, as well as the Customer Service Award and was runner-up for the Environmental Stewardship Award. And it was a huge booster. It brought great pride and confidence and gave us a lot of exposure and credibility. Our sales doubled the following year, our network greatly improved and so did our business opportunities.” It’s a consensus. Calgary’s SBW is a win-win for small business.

• The ATB Small Business of the Year Award, for the Calgary small business that demonstrates significant business achievement, sustained financial growth and performance. • The BDC Emerging Growth Award, presented to the new, emerging Calgary small business that has shown rapid growth and profitability in its first one to three years of operations and the potential for future growth and commercial success. • The Company Culture Award, for a company leading the way in employee engagement, satisfaction and retention. • The Innovation Award, for a Calgary small business that is pushing conventional boundaries and disrupting and reshaping its industry through groundbreaking achievements with creative business concepts, product creation or an innovative approach. • The KPMG People’s Choice Award, presented to the Calgary small business that has engaged the loyal support of its community. (The only SBW Calgary Award that is determined by public vote, showing the community thinks they go above and beyond.) • The Social Entrepreneurship Award will go to the Calgary small business that is a leader in finding ways of conducting operations while benefiting the larger community and the environment. • The Better Business Bureau Ethical Business Award, for the Calgary business demonstrating a commitment to advancing marketplace trust through ethical business practices. • The TD Inclusion and Diversity Award, for the Calgary small business that is a leader in progressing principles of inclusion and diversity in the workplace and in the community.

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The Calgary Chamber is the voice of the business community. We double down on commerce and work with businesses to create catalysts for growth.


October is quickly shaping up to be one of the busiest months of 2019. On October 1 and 2, Calgary will be home to the first-ever Natural Resources Summit. The summit marks the culmination of the successful our natural resources campaign which has been running since May 2019. The Canadian Global Cities Council, a collection of Canada’s eight largest Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade, brings national leaders together from coast to coast to have thoughtful conversations on natural resources and demonstrate that Canada can be both a leader in the fight against climate change and produce the resources the world relies on. This year’s federal election is shaping up to be one of the most significant elections for businesses in recent years. Whether or not there is a change in government, business leaders and entrepreneurs from across the country will be looking to Ottawa to really put an emphasis on policy that will help Canadian businesses thrive. With the election period well underway, Canadians are now immersed in policy platforms and campaign promises. Up until election day, the Chamber will continue to provide non-partisan analysis and insight into each party’s vision for Canada and their position on business-related issues. In partnership with the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce, the Calgary Chamber has created a non-partisan platform to address the concerns of Alberta’s two largest business communities. Our platform is built around five key pillars: developing environmental policies that keep economic growth in mind, expanding market access for our natural resources, updating the federal tax system, closing the talent gap between the education system and employers, and developing a fiscal plan for Canada’s future. Our platform can be found on the Calgary Chamber website at www.calgarychamber.com. October is also the month featuring Small Business Week Calgary, Canada’s largest celebration of small business. This year, Small Business Week runs from October 21-25, culminating in the Small Business Calgary Awards Gala. Small Business Week is also an opportunity for businesses to engage in Canada’s largest business-to-business expo. On October 24, the BMO Centre will play host to 1,500 of Calgary’s top entrepreneurs for a day of networking and professional development. Tickets to Small Business Week events, including the expo, are still available on our website. The new provincial government’s first budget is slated for release in late October. Over the summer, the Kenney government enlisted the help of a Blue-Ribbon panel to review the financial situation of the government. With the panel’s report in hand, the government has been hard at work putting a budget together that aims to meet the needs of Albertans. In March, the Calgary Chamber called on the Government of Alberta to become more fiscally responsible. This would be accomplished through measures such as charting a path to balance, eliminating operational spending growth and more effectively aligning spending with government priorities. The Kenney government ran on a platform of creating stability for businesses and generating economic growth; we look forward to seeing how this budget accomplishes those goals. To stay up to date on the Chamber’s policy work and receive more information on upcoming events, sign up for the Calgary Chamber’s newsletter at www.calgarychamber.com/newsletters.

Sandip Lalli President & CEO Calgary Chamber


Five Priorities for a Competitive Future in this Year’s Federal Election By Janet M. Riopel, President & CEO and Dr. Sandip Lalli, President & CEO

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ith the federal election approaching, Canadians face an important choice. In a rapidly changing global economy, Canada needs strong leadership to navigate the way forward in a way that will boost our competitiveness, strengthen our trade relationships, harness the power of technology and equip our workforce with the skills to thrive. If we fail to do this, we’ll be forced to watch from the sidelines as other nations compete and win. That’s why the Calgary and Edmonton Chambers of Commerce have united to speak with one voice about how Albertans, and all Canadians, can secure a competitive and prosperous future. We’ve outlined five key election priorities that will allow Canada to lead the global fight against climate change, increase trade within and beyond our borders, modernize our tax system, close the skills gap, and address our fiscal imbalance. Through these priorities, we’re urging the next federal government to create business-forward policies that allow us to seize the opportunities before us to be a world leader in energy, innovation and talent. Developing Environment and Climate Policies that Stimulate Competition Fighting climate change is a critical global issue, and it’s one that we are prepared to lead. It begins with investing in infrastructure that gets Canada’s responsibly-produced energy products – such as liquefied natural gas – to global markets, where they can displace higher emission fuel sources in other countries and address climate change on a much larger scale. Since Canada is a leader in environmental stewardship among energy-producing countries, we have the ability to export emissions-reducing technologies and the knowledge that experts in the field have gained over years of development and implementation. Exporting to global markets while developing technologies and infrastructure that supports and helps meet domestic demand for energy will have greater positive impact on the environment and stimulate competition across the country.

Canada is in a unique position to be a global leader in responsibly-produced energy products, while meeting energy demands through energy innovation. The products and technologies we produce are in demand worldwide, and this demand is projected to increase. By adopting environment and climate change policies that increase competition and support innovative technologies that help lower emissions – within and outside our borders – we can grow our economy, invest in infrastructure and social programs, and lead the fight against climate change. Expanding Market Access and Trade Barriers to domestic and international markets are slowing growth for Canadian businesses. For Canada’s energy sector, a lack of access to global markets means we’re forced to accept deep discounts on our high-quality products. At the same time, small and medium-sized enterprises are severely limited in how much they can grow by barriers that restrict their access to trade opportunities. To expand market access and trade for Canadian businesses, we need to reduce red tape and trade barriers that slow economic growth and diversification. Streamlining Canada’s complex regulatory system and reducing red tape would expand investment opportunities, facilitate the development of innovative technology and increase business efficiency, creating a competitive advantage for Canadian businesses. Similarly, inconsistent regulations and standards between jurisdictions are thwarting efforts to boost inter-provincial trade, placing the equivalent of a 6.9 per cent tariff on goods flowing between provinces according to Statistics Canada. Securing access to markets from coast to coast requires that we establish dedicated rights-of-way for major infrastructure projects across the country, like pipelines and power lines. What’s more, establishing these corridors and tearing down internal trade barriers would have more than just economic benefits – they could help stitch together the social fabric of our country by connecting us through trade.


Creating a Globally Competitive Tax System Internationally, Canada’s tax system presents another trade barrier. The strength of our economy largely relies on international trade, yet our complex and outdated tax system hinders Canada’s attractiveness to foreign investors. Canadian businesses spend more on tax compliance than many of their counterparts in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and ongoing increases to Canada’s top personal income tax rate puts us at a disadvantage when it comes to attracting and retaining skilled labour. We believe that Canada should establish a Royal Commission to comprehensively review and update the tax system to reward risk taking, encourage competition and make Canada a destination of choice for investors. With defined outcomes and strict timelines, a Royal Commission would offer certainty for businesses and investors for years to come. Best of all, it would provide a long overdue opportunity to reshape the Canadian economy in a way that encourages growth for our country. Closing the Talent and Skills Gap As technology and automation play increasingly important roles in our economy, equipping Canada’s labour force with the skills to thrive is essential to creating a competitive and prosperous future. The skills gap in Canada is widening, with 68 per cent of businesses across the country experiencing a shortage of skilled workers. This problem is compounded by the lack of alternative education and development programs available mid and late career, which is preventing Canadian workers from acquiring valuable workplace training. Addressing the skills gap requires a comprehensive approach, with governments, industry and post-secondary institutions all working together. It requires improving the collection of market information and skills forecasting across industries, expanding training opportunities, and developing consistent and harmonized recognition for professional certifications between provinces. Above all, it involves prioritizing continuous learning by eliminating barriers to job-training programs like the Canada-Alberta Job Grant. If we take these steps to close the talent gap, we can increase our productivity and drive growth, while ensuring all Canadians benefit from greater economic prosperity, including groups currently under-represented in the workforce. Planning for our Fiscal Future When we look to the future, we see a precarious fiscal situation. Years of running deficits and accumulating debts have contributed to economic uncertainty and increased the risk of doing business in Canada. Meanwhile, sharp

demographic changes are set to place a serious strain on government resources that are already stretched thin. Unless all orders of government find ways to deliver services in a more cost-effective manner, Canadians can expect ballooning debt, major tax increases and significant cuts to the services we rely on. There is much more we should be doing to plan for our fiscal future. To begin, Canada should publish regular fiscal plans to reassure both Canadians and international investors and demonstrate responsible budgeting. Most importantly, Canada must take steps to balance service delivery with a reduction in operational spending. Keeping spending increases to below the rate of inflation and population growth will force departments to find efficiencies, while keeping taxes and fees low so we can continue to attract and retain businesses in Canada. We know that when businesses are successful, they create jobs, grow our economy and give back to our communities in countless ways. At the Edmonton and Calgary Chambers, we’re using our powerful voice to urge all federal parties seeking election to adopt the above business-forward priorities. We believe they offer a clear way forward to restoring Canada’s competitiveness and securing a more prosperous future for all Canadians. The Calgary and Edmonton Chambers are grateful to our business community members for their feedback and assistance in developing these priorities for the 2019 federal election. Please lend your perspective and voice to these priorities as you speak with local candidates, as you discuss the election with your colleagues and friends, and when you head to the polls. Regardless of which party succeeds in the 2019 election, we’ll work to advocate for policies that support the individual businesses and job creators who work tirelessly every day to grow our economy and keep Alberta strong and flourishing. The Calgary Chamber is an independent non-profit, non-partisan business organization. For 128 years, the Chamber has worked to build a business community that nourishes, powers and inspires the world. To reach the Calgary Chamber, please contact Geraldine Anderson, Director, Policy and Communications, at ganderson@calgarychamber.com or at 403.750.0437. The Edmonton Chamber is the respected voice of business in the Edmonton Metropolitan Region. We are a non-partisan organization and we do not endorse any political party or any candidate seeking elected office. To reach the Edmonton Chamber, please contact Brent Francis, Director, Advocacy and Outreach, at bfrancis@edmontonchamber.com or at 780.902.4551.


Small Business Calgary Awards Gala – There’s Nothing Small About It!

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s the sun sets on Small Business Week, we’re rolling out the red carpet to celebrate some of Calgary’s top small businesses. The Small Business Awards Gala is the culmination of a six-month awards program recognizing the contribution small businesses make in our community. There are eight awards up for grabs this year, with multiple finalists in each category. Awards encompass a variety of areas including the highly sought-after ATB Small Business of the Year Award. All applications go through a rigorous third-party judging process to ensure the best of the best are crowned.

•LAMOSE Inc. •TradeSpace KPMG People’s Choice Award •Hedkandi Salon •Hippo Hug •RedBloom Salon •True Büch Kombucha •Western Ball Hockey

The finalists for the 2019 Small Business Calgary Awards: ATB Small Business of the Year Award •GPI Outdoor Designs •Pekarsky & Co. •RedBloom Salon •Routine Inc. •True Büch Kombucha BDC Emerging Growth Award •Black Belt Jung’s Taekwondo •CrushCamp •Doodle Dogs Inc.

Andrew Phung will MC the Awards Gala on Oct. 25.


Congratulations Finalists KPMG People’s Choice Award Passion is what drives entrepreneurs, family businesses and fast-growing companies alike. It’s also what inspires KPMG to help drive your success. Support Small Business Week Calgary and join the conversation.

#SBWYYC #KPMGINYYC

Contact Daniel Adams Leader, KPMG Enterprise T: 403-691-8035 E: dbadams@kpmg.ca

kpmg.ca © 2019 KPMG LLP, a Canadian limited liability partnership and a member firm of the KPMG network of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”), a Swiss entity. All rights reserved. 24838 The KPMG name and logo are registered trademarks or trademarks of KPMG International.


BRITT Land and Engagement accept the Company Culture Award at the 2018 Awards Gala.

Company Culture Award

•Mealshare Aid Society

•Dogma Training and Pet Services

•True Büch Kombucha

•Fiasco Gelato •Hedkandi Salon

TD Diversity and Inclusion Award

•POD Marketing

•Ecofitt Corporation

•TWT Group

•Milk Jar Candle Company

Better Business Bureau Ethical Business Award

•Virtual Gurus

•ActiveConversion •Citizen Dental Hygiene •InSite Performance Coaching Ltd. •Power Properties Ltd.

Join us on Friday, October 25, 2019 as we celebrate the finalists and crown the winners of the Small Business Calgary Awards! Get your tickets at SBWYYC.com.

•Dragonfly Wellness Innovation Award •Helcim •Provisions Analytics •Think Tank Innovations Ltd. •TriCore Carbon Solutions Inc. •Whipcord Social Entrepreneurship Award •Cerebral Palsy Association in Alberta •Hippo Hug •Local Laundry

Grey Eagle Casino hosted the Awards Gala in 2018 and was the recipient of the Indigenous Business Achievement Award.


CAUTIOUS OPTIMISM // REAL ESTATE

CAUTIOUS OPTIMISM CALGARY’S COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE

BY JOHN HARDY

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ommercial real estate, particularly in the downtown core, continues to be a solid and reliable barometer of the Calgary economy. When it comes to vacancy rates and absorption – the two vital factors of Calgary’s commercial (and downtown core) real estate market – the news is encouraging and, in some sectors, good. According to Avison Young’s Second Quarter 2019 Calgary Office Market Report, Calgary’s overall office market recorded its fourth consecutive quarter of positive absorption, an accomplishment that has not occurred since 2014. The positive trend carried through to the downtown office market, which also registered its fourth consecutive quarter of positive absorption, something which hadn’t happened for the past seven years. “Calgary’s downtown office market has definitely turned a corner with peak office vacancy already past,” says Todd Throndson, principal and managing director of the Avison Young Calgary office. “Even with the addition of TELUS Sky in first-quarter 2019, vacancy did not rise above the peak vacancy of 26.4 per cent recorded in second-quarter 2017 when Brookfield Place was added to the downtown office market supply.”

“CALGARY’S DOWNTOWN OFFICE MARKET HAS DEFINITELY TURNED A CORNER WITH PEAK OFFICE VACANCY ALREADY PAST,” SAYS TODD THRONDSON, PRINCIPAL AND MANAGING DIRECTOR OF THE AVISON YOUNG CALGARY OFFICE.

ABOVE: TODD THRONDSON, PRINCIPAL AND MANAGING DIRECTOR OF THE AVISON YOUNG CALGARY OFFICE.

BUSINESSINCALGARY.COM // BUSINESS IN CALGARY // OCTOBER 2019

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dense multi-family complex. Instead, it has the feel of a resort that encourages people to get out and enjoy the stunning lake, beautiful natural spaces, and the wide array of retailers. This urban village has it all, with 32,000 sq. ft. of boutique retail, office and restaurant space that features everything from medical offices and coffee shops to ice cream parlours and drycleaners, wine stores and spas to fitness studios and daycares. Residents also enjoy priority reservations at Chairman’s Steakhouse, a high-end restaurant located right outside their doors.

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Avison Young’s recent stats show that the downtown office vacancy rate was 24.4 per cent in the second quarter of 2019, down from 25.3 per cent in the first quarter and 26 per cent from the year before. Specifically, the Calgary downtown office market showed 446,000 square feet of positive office absorption in the first half of this year, more than for all of 2018 combined. Throndson adds that while most commercial real estate insiders probably wouldn’t call a 24 per cent vacancy rate “good,” the overall market is showing some positive signs. While actual Calgary AA, A, B and C commercial real estate stats vary based on specific locations – such as the downtown core, the beltline and suburban areas – energy and related services undisputedly continue as the linchpin of Calgary business. “The single largest contributor to the overall health of Calgary’s downtown and beltline office markets is the economic state of our Canadian oil and natural gas industry,” explains Matt Rachiele, managing director of the Calgary downtown office of Colliers. “In addition to seeing depressed global benchmark prices for these commodities, our domestic players face a perfect storm of egress constraints, limited access to capital, political hurdles and regulatory headwinds, all of which have led to significant cost cutting and headcount reductions.” He underscores the impact of the energy sector on commercial and particularly downtown office space with the documented fact that prior to the energy downturn (which hit in the fall of 2014), Calgary’s downtown office vacancy rate was below 10 per cent. Despite the economy and the gradual recovery of the downtown market, there are lingering negatives and trade-offs about locating or relocating in the downtown core. It is well known that Calgary has some of the highest parking rates in North America, floor-plate sizes in the suburban market can be much larger and traffic congestion, even with high downtown vacancy, is still a challenge at peak times. Some commercial real estate insiders candidly suggest that Calgary’s suburban market is simply a better fit culturally for some companies.

“THE SINGLE LARGEST CONTRIBUTOR TO THE OVERALL HEALTH OF CALGARY’S DOWNTOWN AND BELTLINE OFFICE MARKETS IS THE ECONOMIC STATE OF OUR CANADIAN OIL AND NATURAL GAS INDUSTRY,” EXPLAINS MATT RACHIELE, MANAGING DIRECTOR OF THE CALGARY DOWNTOWN OFFICE OF COLLIERS. “Calgary’s industrial sector is one of its bright spots,” Rachiele points out, “with a vacancy rate of just 5.8 per cent. Our city is uniquely situated from an ingress/egress standpoint, making it a critical transportation, logistics and distribution hub. We are starting to benefit from the tightening industrial market in Vancouver (including diminishing industrial development land), with significant players pivoting to Calgary as an alternative consideration after exhausting efforts to locate in the port of Vancouver, one of the largest import/export terminals in North America.

ABOVE: MATT RACHIELE, MANAGING DIRECTOR OF THE CALGARY DOWNTOWN OFFICE OF COLLIERS.

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OCTOBER 2019 // BUSINESS IN CALGARY // BUSINESSINCALGARY.COM


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CAUTIOUS OPTIMISM // REAL ESTATE

“Calgary’s technology sector continues to grow in terms of space requirements,” he says. “We have creative, innovative, well-run technology firms here. Our challenge is finding talent to fill complex, largely software development jobs. Retail is holding its own, with stable vacancy and rental rates, except in the downtown and inner-city street fronts.” Construction and development also impact the commercial real estate situation. Stats show that although construction costs are up, mostly due to the weakness of the Canadian dollar, multi-family sales remain active on both the condo and rental fronts and suburban and industrial development land sales are encouraging. Due to various factors, commercial real estate in the three primary business areas of the Calgary market show different trends. The high vacancy rates in Calgary’s suburban (17.3 per cent) and beltline A class space (27 per cent) office markets continue to be largely driven by the reduction in headcount in the engineering and oil and gas service sectors. The suburban market remains more diversified than innercity counterparts. “Outside of the downtown core, the suburban south office market is performing the best among Calgary’s remaining office sub-markets,” Throndson says. “The availability of highquality suburban south properties and desirable locations has proven to be a winning combination for office tenants. “The beltline, just to the south of the downtown core, is struggling the most at this time. With many older buildings and rentals rates competing with higher-quality, betterlocated buildings in the core, the beltline is challenged to compete in today’s marketplace.” Calgary’s commercial real estate experts agree the downturn has taken its toll, particularly in the new normal of downtown core office space. Numbers cited show the majority of office

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leasing deals being completed in Calgary today are for less than 10,000 square feet, suggesting the shift to smaller tenant sizes is in stark contrast with the large, multi-floor deals that used to dominate Calgary’s office market. “The predominance of smaller tenants combined with a high vacancy rate is pressuring landlords to stay competitive with rental rates and inducements and being flexible with lease terms and building amenities,” Throndson adds. “And the new normal tenant market for office space has also created a new trend. Many B and C class properties are having increasing vacancy rates, while A class properties are seeing declines in vacancy. There’s definitely a flight to quality. Tenancies in class B and C buildings are now able to consider space in better-quality buildings due to lower rent and the increased availability of options. Landlords and tenants are finding a market that offers both sides opportunities to make advantageous deals.” There is cautious agreement about positive traction in Calgary’s commercial real estate market. “Our beltline office forecasts show that the vacancy rate will remain stable through the end of 2019 and should fall slowly to 23.4 per cent at year-end 2020,” Rachiele projects. “We expect the suburban office market vacancy rate to fall slightly at the end of 2019 and continue to fall towards a rate of 16.8 per cent by year-end 2020. “Overall, vacancy rates will remain high, but the market will make slow, small but steady corrections.” Throndson shares the guarded optimism. “We have a long way to go. It could be over a decade before Calgary’s office market reaches an approximate eight to 10 per cent balance, which is a neutral territory between a tenants’ market and a landlords’ market.”


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A HOME AWAY FROM HOME // RECREATION & INVESTMENT REAL ESTATE

A Home Away FROM HOME

Condo versus single-family vacation homes BY ERLYNN GOCOCO

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iving in Alberta has many advantages, including being in close proximity to the mountains and lakeside vacation spots. In the winter, Albertans enjoy taking advantage of the snow with weekend getaways to the mountains. In the summer, they enjoy the warm weather by escaping to nearby destinations that have water, fun and sun. Popular resort locations include Canmore, Sylvan Lake, Invermere/Windermere and Kelowna. Owning vacation property certainly sounds ideal; who wouldn’t want a place to run away to when city life gets chaotic? The idea of sipping wine near a warm, cosy fire with a ski-in/ski-out option sounds luxurious. Wakeboarding or jet-skiing on the lake in the summer

sounds idyllic. But for Albertans considering purchasing recreation or investment real estate, it’s important to understand the pros and cons as well as deciding on condo versus single-family home living. Kelowna real estate professionals Sherry Truman and Jane Hoffman of Jane Hoffman Group say, “Choosing a condo or single-family home as a recreational property is a very personal decision and often comes down to investment tolerance and lifestyle. With single-family homes, people are going to want more space and more privacy and are generally prepared to do the maintenance themselves.” Many Calgarians make the trek to Kelowna because of its warm Okanagan climate and proximity to water and sand.

ABOVE: EXTERIOR PATIO – BIGHORN MEADOWS. PHOTO SOURCE: BIGHORN MEADOWS RESORT

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Looking for a great investment opportunity? We’ve done the math, now it’s your turn to get on the board.

One low, all inclusive monthly payment of only $1,116.00 (including all GST, condo fees and property taxes) vs the existing average rental rate in the area of $1350.00 means this particular property is not only a great value, but could potentially yield up to a 21% percent return on rental opportunities.* The established amenities in Auburn Rise, prime location with easy access to Seton Health Campus and Deerfoot Trail make this an ideal investment for both first time and experienced investors alike. **Approximate total based on 20% down, 5 years fixed, 2.69% interest rate amortized over 25 years. Condo price is based on the 2 bed + 1 bath Richler unit ($213,045.00). Condo fees are estimated at $220.00 per month and property tax is estimated at $115.00 per month. Rental rate is based on the average rental price of a comparable condo in Auburn Bay. Calculations taken on September 5, 2019. Pricing and promotions are subject to change without notice.

For more information call Judy-Lynn Lavelle: 403.768.4323, or judylynn.lavelle@logelhomes.com Visit our Sales Centre at 100 Auburn Meadows Common SE Hours: Mon - Thurs: 2 PM - 8 PM Weekdays + Holidays: Noon - 5 PM • Closed Fridays

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A HOME AWAY FROM HOME // RECREATION & INVESTMENT REAL ESTATE

CONDO LIVING IS CONSIDERED MAINTENANCE-FREE LIVING, A LIFESTYLE SOME ARE WILLING TO PAY CONDO FEES TO ENJOY. TRUMAN AND HOFFMAN ADD, “WITH A CONDO, IT IS MORE OF A LOCKAND-LEAVE LIFESTYLE. SOMETIMES THERE ARE AMENITIES AVAILABLE WITH A CONDO COMMUNITY AND OWNERS CAN SHARE IN MAINTENANCE COSTS.” When considering purchasing vacation or investment property, whether condo or single-family, it’s crucial to crunch the numbers and do the math. While it may sound affordable in the beginning, potential buyers must think long term and what it will cost to maintain the property year round. Even if the property is part of a rental pool, will it be rented out consistently or will there be periods when the unit/home is vacant? Condo living is considered maintenance-free living, a lifestyle some are willing to pay condo fees to enjoy. Truman and Hoffman add, “With a condo, it is more of a lock-and-leave lifestyle. Sometimes there are amenities available with a condo community and owners can share in maintenance costs.” Radium Hot Springs condo owner John Go purchased a small onebedroom, one-bathroom condo back in 1991. “At that time, the condo complex was managed by Radium Resorts Hotel,” he says. “As my unit was a part of a condo pool, it was always being rented out when we were not using the unit. This was very handy in terms of offsetting the cost of owning the unit. Fast forward to today, the unit is now paid off and my family and I continue to enjoy quick weekend getaways together – something you can’t put a price tag on. Purchasing the condo was a great decision, in my opinion. I plan to will it over to my kids, so that they can enjoy it with their families for years to come.” Go says he purchased in Radium Hot Springs because it was close enough to Calgary, where he lives, but not as close as Canmore, for example. “I didn’t see the sense in purchasing 45 minutes away from home, especially since we don’t ski. Radium offers winter and summer

ABOVE: JANE HOFFMAN, REALTOR AND SHERRY TRUMAN, REALTOR – JANE HOFFMAN GROUP. PHOTO SOURCE: DARREN HULL

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OCTOBER 2019 // BUSINESS IN CALGARY // BUSINESSINCALGARY.COM


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A HOME AWAY FROM HOME // RECREATION & INVESTMENT REAL ESTATE

activities and the short two-and-a-half-hour drive makes it seem like a real vacation.” Susan Smith and her family purchased in Canmore for the very reason Go did not. Smith explains, “Our family consists of two adults and two children, all of whom ski and hike. Canmore is close to home and offers the best of both worlds for our family. We don’t like spending too much time in the car, so Canmore made the most sense for us. We decided to purchase a single-family home, since we spend almost every weekend in Canmore and wanted the feeling of privacy and seclusion in a larger home.” One of the other considerations when purchasing is whether the property is situated in a gated community. “Whether they are single-family homes or condos, there is a feeling of an extra layer of security with a gated community that provides additional peace of mind,” says Truman and Hoffman.

Luxury Resorts West, located in Radium Hot Springs, B.C., is an experienced team of professionals who specialize in developing, marketing and selling their own fractional real estate resort properties. One of their projects, Bighorn Meadows – located between the Rocky and Purcell mountain ranges in British Columbia – is situated on an expansive nine-acre site surrounded on three sides by the prestigious Springs Course in the Village of Radium Hot Springs. Bighorn Meadows offers luxury, maintenance-free living with amenities such as concierge service, fitness room, playground and free wireless Internet, just to name a few. Has the downturn in Alberta’s economy affected sales in the recreation and investment real estate market? Luxury Resorts West director of sales and marketing Valerie Bracken says, “Year to date, stats show a slight decline in the region versus 2018. However, at Bighorn Meadows Resort, we have seen strong interest in our resort community. Our records show that 83 per cent of the interested parties that are looking at our show home come from Alberta and 69 per cent specifically from the Calgary area, typically due to our close proximity. In our development, the majority are vacation home owners.”

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Bracken adds that Bighorn Meadows caters to a variety of budget types. “Our resort community not only offers whole ownership, but also one-eighth shares, so that owning a vacation home becomes very affordable to different budget types. This allows for the upkeep, maintenance, and not to mention, the initial cost to be shared with seven other owners, which makes it affordable for almost all to own a vacation home.” She goes on to explain that their demographic is mostly professional couples who realize the health benefits of staying active and enjoying the outdoors. “Many of our


A HOME AWAY FROM HOME // RECREATION & INVESTMENT REAL ESTATE

PURCHASING A SINGLE-FAMILY VACATION HOME, ON THE OTHER HAND, TYPICALLY COSTS MORE FROM THE GET-GO THAN CONDO LIVING. DEPENDING ON THE SIZE, THE COST TO MAINTAIN A SINGLE-FAMILY HOME PER MONTH IS USUALLY SIGNIFICANTLY MORE THAN CONDO FEES. SOMETHING TO CONSIDER WHEN DECIDING TO PURCHASE VACATION PROPERTY. WILL YOU HAVE THE MEANS TO KEEP THE PROPERTY RUNNING, EVEN WHEN YOU’RE NOT THERE? owners are retired or close to retirement but we also have young couples with young children who enjoy spending summers exploring hiking/biking trails, beaches, fishing and many other outdoor activities in the valley or learning to ski in the winter.” When it comes to contemplating condo versus single-family home, Truman and Hoffman say, “The individuals that benefit from condo living are parttime owners where they can feel confident that the amenities are being taken care of. The day they arrive, they can enjoy their property without worrying about becoming a maintenance manager. Their time is totally focused on enjoying their seasonal stay.” Purchasing a single-family vacation home, on the other hand, typically costs more from the get-go than condo living. Depending on the size, the cost to maintain a singlefamily home per month is usually significantly more than condo fees. Something to consider when deciding to purchase vacation property. Will you have the means to keep the property running, even when you’re not there? As for where to purchase a vacation home or investment property, Bracken says, quite simply, location, location, location. “Bighorn Meadows Resort, for

example, is quietly situated between the ninth and tenth fairways of the Springs Course. So, not only are there beautiful views from every direction, but it’s also very peaceful in summer or winter. The resort community is located in the Village of Radium Hot Springs, so everything is close by and within walking distance. Radium is also central to 15 golf courses and six ski hills, all within a oneand-a-half-hour drive.”

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83


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Barclay Street Real Estate

Offers Local Expertise with Global Reach By Rennay Craats with Photos by Riverwood Photography

BARCLAY STREET REAL ESTATE | 15 YEARS

85


A

great deal has changed in Calgary since 1973 when the young city was growing amidst the oil and gas boom. Since then, the city has boomed and busted on a loop as it grew into an economic centre of Canada. And through the ups and downs, Barclay Street has been there every step of the way. It began as Torode Realty and served Calgary clients for 30 years before it rebranded with a new name, Barclay Street Real Estate, in 2004. In the 15 years since the name change, Barclay Street has brought superior service to a diverse Alberta clientele, first with commercial real estate brokerage services and then with the introduction of its property management division in 2007. “Our focus is commercial real estate brokerage and property management. In brokerage, our services include leasing of industrial, office and retail spaces, as well as investment sales of industrial, office, land and retail properties,” says Barclay Street Real Estate president David Wallach. “Our property management division emphasis is managing commercial properties, especially condo association management.”

SERVING CLIENTS IN ALL AREAS Barclay Street Real Estate was built on quality service and a sincere desire to help clients succeed. That’s what has kept clients loyal to the firm. No matter the real estate service required, the team exceeds expectations in every area. “On the brokerage side, our strength is in industrial leasing and sales as well as office leasing,” says Wallach.

Environmental Diagnostics Inc. www.environmental-diagnostics.com 403-212-3888

Barclay Street Real Estate was built on quality service and a sincere desire to help clients succeed. That’s what has kept clients loyal to the firm. “We are turning our attention to investment sales and retail leasing, and we are developing those now to have a better market share in Alberta.” The leasing division offers institutional and private tenant and landlord client services in office, industrial and retail leasing, providing service in growth strategies, project and construction management, and market analysis. The leasing team works closely with clients in all sectors to locate the perfect space. Their knowledge and trends of the Calgary and Edmonton markets allows the team to help clients make the right decisions in all aspects of the real estate life cycle, all the while fostering great relationships with clients. The investment sales team has real estate experience with both private and institutional investors, ensuring a good match between property and buyer. The professionals at Barclay Street offer investment expertise across sectors and in all areas including land sales, joint venture opportunities, industrial, retail,

Congratulations to Barclay Street Real Estate on 15 years of success.

Leaders in Urban Environmental Assessment With more than 25 years experience we can assist you with your next brownfield development project, environmental assessment or remediation work.

BARCLAY STREET REAL ESTATE | 15 YEARS


office, land and multi-family. These dedicated experts offer investors and owners everything from marketing strategies and materials to professional analysis; acquisitions and dispositions to market review. The property management division offers clients extensive professional services to best manage their real estate assets – whether office, industrial, retail or residential condo – in order to make the most of their

investment. With years of experience in a variety of property types, the team provides innovative plans to meet any real estate requirement. The range of services include: investment and mixed-use property management; leasing negotiations and renewals; budget and financial reporting preparation; and developing and managing building operations. The division also provides real estate asset management strategies and develops health, safety and security programs for clients.

Condo Maintenance • Commercial Services • Tree Services • Commercial Landscape Maintenance

Quality Service, the First Time Give us a call and see what Norse Landscapes can do for you.

403-909-1861 www.norselandscapes.ca

Congratulations Barclay Street on your 15 Year Milestone! BARCLAY STREET REAL ESTATE | 15 YEARS


Congrats on your 15th Anniversary!

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403.209.5555

MEDICAL SPACE FOR LEASE

After facilitating our first project in Marda Loop more than 12 years ago, Barclay Street set off a chain reaction of success for us in the Marda / Garrison area and we are happy to celebrate their 15th anniversary!

RONMOR DEVELOPERS INC. p. 403.253.8180 w. www.ronmor.ca

Congratulations g a to t Barclay’s l Street Real Estate for th their 15 year anniversary businesses to call Calgary home.

Learn how you too can be part of the energy at calgaryeconomicdevelopment.com

“We are looking to grow the portfolio on the property management side, to really redefine our portfolio. We definitely want to see clients prosper and continue to grow,” says Theresa Llewellyn, executive vice president and general manager of property management. One growth area in property management has been industrial condos. Development in Calgary is robust in industrial areas and developers are moving toward the individually-owned bays of industrial condos. Barclay Street Real Estate is uniquely poised to offer superior service in this area; if a developer client doesn’t sell all of the units, the brokerage division is available to step in and do the leasing as well. “We’ve really gotten into that niche in Calgary. We have almost three million square feet in industrial condos,” she says. As clients’ needs evolve, so does Barclay Street Real Estate. The team keeps its finger on the pulse of the industry to ensure it’s giving the best possible service to create the most satisfied client base.

BARCLAY STREET REAL ESTATE | 15 YEARS


Real Estate

Wills & Estates

Business

IT’S A PEOPLE BUSINESS Since the beginning, Barclay Street Real Estate has earned its reputation for quality and high service standards by focusing on exceeding client expectations. To achieve that, they had to staff the firm with like-minded, client-focused professionals. No matter their role, every one of the 48 Barclay Street employees honours the company’s core values in every interaction and transaction. The core values – leadership, professional standards, success and balance – create a positive work culture and productive relationships with clients. “The biggest core value we have is teamwork. We are definitely team oriented in everything that we do here,” says Llewellyn.

No matter their role, every one of the 48 Barclay Street employees honours the company’s core values in every interaction and transaction. BARCLAY STREET REAL ESTATE | 15 YEARS

Family

Litigation

Congratulations Barclay Street Real Estate on 15 years! www.masuchlaw.com


Clients want the attention to detail and personal touches they can get from a boutique firm like Barclay Street whether they are seeking property management services, looking to lease a new space or acquiring a property.

CONGRATULATIONS BARCLAY STREET REAL ESTATE ON YOUR 15TH ANNIVERSARY!

estancia.ca

Congratulations Barclay Street Real Estate on your 15th Anniversary. BFL is proud to work with your team and we wish you continued success!

BFL CANADA INSURANCE & CONSULTING SERVICES 200-1167 Kensington Crescent NW Calgary, Alberta T2N 1X7 PHONE: 403 451-4132 bflcanada.ca

Congratulations on 15 years of contribution to our City! From all of us at Bedouin Suites, we wish you another 15 years of success!

“Life is Better at Bedouin” BEDOUIN SUITES

934 6 Avenue SW, Calgary AB, T2P 0V5 P 403.930.8000 | www.bedouinsuites.com

The company lacks the hierarchy ingrained in many companies. Everyone works in a bullpen instead of individual offices, encouraging staff to bounce ideas off each other, brainstorm and get to know each other well without the barrier of a closed door. From the president down, Barclay Street is people-focused and it’s the performance of the talented people at the firm that has made the difference. Staff are respected, challenged in their work and have the opportunity to move up the ranks, so Barclay Street Real Estate sees limited turnover. It must be a great place to work, as seven employees have been with the company for more than 30 years and a handful of others for more than 20 years. This loyalty and longevity strengthen the relationships with clients, lending consistency from deal to deal. Barclay Street employees bring the highest levels of service and expertise to client relations and work toward achieving success for clients as well as colleagues. The teams are invested in clients and go the extra mile to make sure they are happy. “Our slogan internally is ‘Because We Care.’ We are not interested in just doing the deal, getting the cheque and walking away. We like to keep in touch with clients, and we like repeat deals with clients,” says Wallach. “The people who work here care about the clients, and we care about the employees.” As a result of the blue-chip treatment for every client, many are repeat clients, and many of those recommend the firm to others. Its impressive performance has attracted a growing number of institutional clients across the country along with local entrepreneurs fuelling the Alberta economy. Clients want the attention to detail and personal touches they can get from a boutique firm like Barclay Street whether they are seeking property management services, looking to lease a new space or acquiring a property. The firm is a onestop shop for clients, making any real estate transaction hassle-free.

BARCLAY STREET REAL ESTATE | 15 YEARS


“It’s a strong local boutique company that fits everything to your measurements so you don’t have to buy off the rack and go for alterations. There are no alterations after you deal with us,” Wallach says. COMMERCIAL LEASING AND SALES | RESIDENTIAL

Being local is important, and Barclay Street has decades’ worth of experience in Alberta that it can put to work for clients.

LOCAL EXPERTISE, GLOBAL REACH

[

Congratulations on 15 years Barclay Street Real Estate!

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The firm is predominantly Alberta based, with two offices in Calgary and another in Edmonton. Over 90 per cent of its business is operating locally, and the Barclay Street team knows the players on all sides. Being part of the commercial real estate landscape for decades gives the firm an advantage and being a boutique firm means the team can better cater to clients’ needs personally. But being boutique doesn’t mean being limited. Barclay Street is a member of TCN Worldwide, which is a consortium of more than 800 privately-owned commercial real estate companies working in more than 200 primary and secondary markets ranging from Australia and Mexico to Italy and the United States. As the Canadian representative, Barclay Street has access to the expertise of members, enjoying the exchange of information as well as twoway referrals between offices.

3150 – 114 Avenue SE • P (403) 203-3000 www.telsec.ca

“Almost every year, we have done a few deals that are referrals from the U.S. to us, or we refer down to the States. We’ve done some sizable deals so that helps us compete with the big international whales,” says Wallach.

Congratulations to

MOVING FORWARD

Barclay Street Real Estate

But Barclay Street Real Estate isn’t interested in being a whale. It is interested in providing unparalleled service to clients and helping the community grow. The firm supports the arts, both financially as a company and as individuals participating on various boards, and David Wallach stays on the forefront of what is happening in the city as the co-chair of the Calgary Economic Development Real Estate Advisory Committee.

on completion of 15 successful

“We live here and we want to see this place succeed. We want to see more art and more sports and we see this as a vibrant city that we’re proud to be part of,” Wallach says.

Calgary Main branch t. 403.262.8700 e. calgarymain@cwbank.com

Barclay Street Real Estate is interested in providing unparalleled service to clients and helping the community grow.

years in business. We are obsessed with your success and can’t wait to help you reach even loftier heights in the years to come.

CWBANK.COM

BARCLAY STREET REAL ESTATE | 15 YEARS


Congratulations Barclay Street Real Estate on 15 years! AN ENTIRELY NEW KIND OF CROSSOVER.

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This vibrant city has been struggling over the past few years, and as the head of an independent boutique firm, the downturn has given Wallach some sleepless nights. Throughout it all, Barclay Street didn’t downsize staff and through efficient management and hard work has weathered the economic storm. “We see a flashlight at the end of the tunnel – sometimes it’s flashing and sometimes it’s solid so we don’t know yet which direction it is. But we’re having a better year this year and have had some sizable deals that have pushed us in the right direction,” he says.

DEALER RESERVES THE RIGHT TO END PROMOTION AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. ERRORS AND OMISSIONS EXEMPT. VEHICLE MAY NOT BE EXACTLY AS SHOWN. FEATURES ADVERTISED MAY BE UPGRADED OR UNIQUE TO VEHICLE PACKAGE. STOCK NUMBER AS ADVERTISED: YK149655 SEE DEALER FOR DETAILS. AMVIC LICENSED DEALER.

After more than 45 years in business, and 15 years as Barclay Street Real Estate, the firm remains the benchmark in commercial real estate and now, infused with new talent, is ready to turn that flashlight into a spotlight to take the company into a promising future.

15 YEARS!

Sam J. Feldman Managing Partner Direct Line 403-209-4137 Mobile 403-650-8998 sfeldman@wmbeck.com

Congratulations Barclay Real Estate.

Suite 200, 407 - 8th Avenue SW Calgary, AB T2P 1E5 Phone: 403-290-0178 | Fax: 403-262-1314 www.barclaystreet.com BARCLAY STREET REAL ESTATE | 15 YEARS


AERO AVIATION LTD.

Celebrates 40 by Rennay Craats

YEARS 93


N

ever has the phrase “the sky’s the limit” been truer than with the evolution of Aero Aviation Ltd. over the past 40 years. In 1979, Adrian Cruse opened the doors to Aero Metal Fabrication Ltd., which later became Aero Aviation Ltd., to serve the Calgary aircraft sheet metal repair and modification market. A year later, he took on his third employee, Donald Pott (Ducky), who several years later became a part owner in the enterprise. Over the decades that followed, the partners took their services to every corner of the world. “We’ve worked all over the world – Belgium, Australia, Tanzania, Yemen, France, Germany, Brazil, Antigua, Thailand, South Africa, England, USA and wherever else we were needed,” says Ducky, Vice President.“Now we work mostly in Canada, working for aircraft operators in Ontario, Manitoba, Northwest Territories, Yukon, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia.”

No matter where they are, Aero technicians bring their attention to detail and second-to-none expertise with them to ensure clients’ aircraft are up and flying quickly.

No matter where they are, Aero technicians bring their attention to detail and second-to-none expertise with them to ensure clients’ aircraft are up and flying


40 YEARS disassemble components, thoroughly inspect them, repair anything that is faulty, and reassemble them to ensure compliance with manufacturer and regulatory requirements. While Aero is not a parts manufacturer, they will fabricate unavailable parts in-house in order to make the necessary repairs. As the industry has grown and the engineering of aircraft has evolved, so has Aero. Today, the company specializes in composite component repair and overhaul. Many of today’s airplanes have flight controls, flaps and entire fuselages made of graphite, Kevlar or other composite construction. “The composite structure has very few mechanical fasteners so it’s all done with resins, heat and an autoclave, which incorporates pressure and heat to bond the assembly together,” says Adrian.“We have one of the largest independently-owned autoclaves in Western Canada.” Aero has earned its reputation for quality workmanship, experience in every imaginable aviation situation and competitive pricing, which has contributed to the company’s longevity in the industry. It is now one of the largest aircraft composite and component repair companies in Western Canada.

quickly. Since its beginning, this small company has delivered big results, becoming the go-to company to meet their customers’ needs for aircraft sheet metal repair, composite repair and overhaul and aircraft line maintenance. Aero has also worked with manufacturers to implement modifications to their aircraft. “The manufacturer would identify a modification during production, but rather than trying to implement the change on the manufacturing line they would have Aero carry out the modification after delivery to the operator,” says Adrian, President. Along with this modification work, Aero also repairs parts damaged by everything from bird strikes to hail damage to aircraft salvage. Over the years, Aero has assisted aircraft manufacturers with validation of service bulletins, developed cargo/passenger modifications, performed heavy maintenance checks on everything from Hercules airplanes to 737s. Aero also does inspections and repairs on parts with its preventative maintenance program for major carriers and private jets. Aero technicians will

Through the years, Aero has developed long-lasting relationships with clients, which include aircraft manufacturers, cargo carriers, aircraft charter companies, national and international airlines. Aero takes pride in providing dedicated service with a quality product on time and on budget, and has made that a priority since the beginning. “If we say the airplane is going to be done in three days, it’s done in three days or less. We do our best to undersell and over-deliver. We make sure the customer has the product they deserve. There is no grey area. We consistently turn out a quality product at competitive prices,” says Ducky. “One of the greatest assets of Aero’s business is our people. The work that Aero does is extremely labour intensive and we are proud to say that Aero’s workforce is as highly skilled and conscientious as any in our industry. Thank you to everyone at Team Aero.” For 40 years, Aero Aviation has kept clients around the world flying high. Aero has grown from a one-man shop to one with 30 employees, a hangar facility and a reputation that attracts the biggest names in aviation. Ducky and Adrian have no designs on throttling down any time soon. AERO AVIATION LTD. • 40 YEARS


Thank You

TO ALL OUR PAST, CURRENT & FUTURE CUSTOMERS

Business Air Services (Calgary) Ltd.

A EROSPACE

Adrian Cruse, President

CALGARY, ALBERTA PHONE: (403) 250-7553 WWW.AEROAV.COM

Donald Pott, Vice President (Ducky)


BOW VALLEY INSURANCE:

40 YEARS AND GOING STRONG by Rennay Craats with photos by Courtney Lovgren

F

rom humble beginnings come great things, and Bow Valley Insurance Services has certainly grown into something great. When Kirit Gohill and his business partner Gord Keegan Sr. started the insurance brokerage firm in 1979, they had no idea that 40 years later it would become a major player in the industry in Calgary. They scraped together some money to establish Bow Valley Insurance’s downtown presence and slowly built a quality business from the ground up.

BOW VALLEY INSURANCE CELEBRATING 40 YEARS • PAGE 1 97


“We started with nothing. We each put in $2,500, had a small office in Bow Valley Square with one employee, and built the business through acquisitions and referrals,” says Kirit Gohill, president of Bow Valley Insurance Services. Since Keegan’s retirement in 1998, Gohill has pushed the firm forward on his own. The brokerage has grown organically as well as by acquisition over the years, buying such entities as Connolly Insurance, Bentley Insurance, Sterling Insurance and Sirs Insurance to widen its customer base. It also grew from a three-person operation to one that employs 70 people out of the 10,000-square-foot Horton Road office as well as two small one- and two-person branches in the city. Despite the significant growth, Bow Valley Insurance has maintained the founders’ dedication to customer service and client satisfaction. And being an independent insurance broker helps it do just that: by representing several insurance companies, the team can better look after the varied needs of its clients. BOW VALLEY INSURANCE CELEBRATING 40 YEARS • PAGE 2


TWO ICONS. BOTH INTRODUCED IN 1979. We all know which one had staying power

Congratulations to Bow Valley Insurance

for 40 years of exceptional service (no batteries required).

Economical Insurance includes the following companies: Economical Mutual Insurance Company, Family Insurance Solutions Inc., Sonnet Insurance Company, Petline Insurance Company. Group insurance from EconomicalŽ may be underwritten by Waterloo Insurance Company or Economical Mutual Insurance Company in your respective province. Due to government insurance plans, Economical does not offer auto insurance in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, or Manitoba. Economical does not offer insurance in Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, or Yukon. Š2019 Economical Insurance. All Economical intellectual property belongs to Economical Mutual Insurance Company. All other intellectual property is the property of their respective owners.


Bow Valley Insurance offers service in both personal and commercial insurance products, and it specializes in group auto and home insurance policies for corporations and associations. It also has expertise with insurance policies geared to long-haul and short-haul trucking, commercial fleets and recreational vehicles including motorcycles, trailers, motorhomes and RVs. “We try to find customized insurance solutions with our ability to go and shop around from all these different insurance companies,” says Neil Gohill, managing director at Bow Valley Insurance and Kirit’s son and successor. “We try to find our clients the best coverage at the best rates.”

Make sure your Autoglass is covered.

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Instead of being limited to the best products available at an individual insurance company, Bow Valley clients are presented with the best products out there to ensure the most competitive rates and superior coverage. This allows the brokers to help clients better protect their assets, no matter what those assets may be.The firm has solid relationships with some of the largest insurance companies in the country and often places clients with such companies as Intact Insurance, Wawanesa Insurance, AMI, Aviva, Economical Insurance, Saskatchewan Mutual Insurance, Travelers Insurance and Northbridge Insurance. The firm also believes in having longterm relationships with its suppliers and vendors like Arc Digital, Blue C Inc., Executive Mat Service, Greenery Office Interiors, Payworks, Robil Forms, Sun Life Insurance, Telsec Property, Unity and Connected. Bow Valley Insurance offers service in both personal and commercial insurance products, and it specializes in group auto and home insurance policies for corporations and associations. It also has expertise with insurance policies geared to long-haul and short-haul trucking, commercial fleets and recreational vehicles including motorcycles, trailers, motorhomes and RVs.

We are extremely happy to have such a great customer and to congratulate Bow Valley Insurance on a wonderful milestone – 40 years! From all here at blueC

www.bluec802.com

What is more exceptional than the products Bow Valley Insurance offers is the way in which they offer them. Many insurance providers operate call centres to deal with customers’ needs, which means clients have to repeat their situation or issue every time they contact their insurance broker. Bow Valley does not. Each of their customers is assigned a knowledgeable representative to act as a consistent point of contact in their insurance dealings. Many of the brokerage’s employees have been with the company for more than 20 years and some for more than 30, so staff develop great long-term relationships with their customers. “They will always be with that particular person. Having a dedicated account manager makes a big difference to our

BOW VALLEY INSURANCE CELEBRATING 40 YEARS • PAGE 4


Congratulations

Bow Valley Insurance on 40 years of growth and success

BOW VALLEY INSURANCE CELEBRATING 40 YEARS â&#x20AC;¢ PAGE 5


COMMERCIAL LEASING AND SALES | RESIDENTIAL

[

[

Congratulations on 40 years Bow Valley Insurance!

3150 – 114 Avenue SE • P (403) 203-3000 www.telsec.ca

It offers a smartphone app that allows clients to access their insurance documents like vehicle pink cards, all with the swipe of a finger. To further accommodate clients’ busy schedules, Bow Valley is employing audio signature technology that allows clients to authorize transactions using a voice recording rather than a physical signature. customers,” says Neil. “They know the accounts and they get to know the customer really well. It’s important that we build those relationships.” These representatives are more than just a voice on the phone; they are working continually to ensure clients have the best coverage possible for the best price. They keep in regular touch with clients to stay abreast of any changes that could alter their insurance needs or make them eligible for discounts. Whether clients can save by combining personal auto and home insurance policies, are eligible for a discount after upgrading a home furnace or water heater, or if additional coverage could better protect them given their lifestyle, Bow Valley Insurance representatives pride themselves on keeping information and coverage up to date. The brokerage keeps its offices up to date as well. As an innovative company, Bow Valley Insurance is at the forefront of technological advancements that can affect the industry and its client base. “We’ve been investing in new technologies that are up and coming,” says Neil. “When we see something new that is available, we assess it to see how it fits in to our company, and if it fits we try to implement it.” The firm recently implemented an artificial intelligence chatbot for the website in order to better answer clients’ questions and inform potential clients of what Bow Valley Insurance can provide. It offers a smartphone app that allows clients to access their insurance documents like vehicle pink cards, all with the swipe of a finger. To further

BOW VALLEY INSURANCE CELEBRATING 40 YEARS • PAGE 6


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accommodate clients’ busy schedules, Bow Valley is employing audio signature technology that allows clients to authorize transactions using a voice recording rather than a physical signature. Many tech-savvy clients embrace 21st century technology and appreciate its implementation to make their lives more convenient. However, Bow Valley still caters to those clients who prefer a face-to-face meeting, and staff welcome clients in to the office to discuss new policies, go over changes to existing policies, update information or to carry out a complete review of their upcoming policy renewals. The firm is dedicated to going above and beyond to ensure clients are happy and well cared for. In fact, that is part of the corporate core values. Bow Valley takes its six core values seriously and they are addressed in every staff meeting and applied in every transaction. Firm employees know them and live by them: staff is expected to go above and beyond for clients; be eager to learn and adapt; display structure and discipline in their work; value reputation; be team players; and treat everyone with respect. “We hire by the core values, we operate by the core values and we manage by the core values,” says Kirit.

CONGRATULATIONS TO BOW VALLEY INSURANCE On Your 40 Year Anniversary SMI would like to congratulate Bow Valley Insurance on their 40th Anniversary. Excellent customer service and family values are at the core of their success. SMI is honored to celebrate this milestone anniversary with Kirit & his Staff at Bow Valley Insurance.

www.saskmutual.com

Commercial

BOW VALLEY INSURANCE CELEBRATING 40 YEARS • PAGE 7

Farm

Habitational


Congratulations

Bow Valley Insurance on 40 years!

Unit 6-115, 28th St SE, Calgary, AB T2A-5KA 1-877-720-6287 • infocal@executivemat.com www.executivemat.com

40 Years of Success Congratulations Bow Valley Insurance on celebrating your 40 year anniversary in the insurance industry.

SOLUTIONS FOR YOUR BUSINESS NEEDS

Whether it’s an individual insurance plan, a retirement savings plan, or a group benefits plan, we have solutions for you. Let’s talk. Jens Wachter* CFP ® Advisor jens.wachter@sunlife.com

Alfred Schorath* B.Comm, FSA, FCIA Associate Advisor alfred.schorath@sunlife.com

Jens Wachter Financial Services Inc. 403-266-2061 ext 2276 5980 Centre Street South Calgary, AB T2H 0C1 *Mutual funds distributed by Sun Life Financial Investment Services (Canada) Inc. Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada is a member of the Sun Life Financial group of companies. © Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada, 2019.

Simple.

The leadership team promotes the core values to staff and encourages them to recognize the embodiment of these values in others. The team is careful with who they hire and is proud to have a staff full of dedicated professionals who have bought into the vision. To celebrate this, staff can nominate colleagues for going above and beyond in their dealings with clients and each other, and both of them can win a gift card in appreciation of their great service to clients and the company. There is also a monitor in the middle of the office that displays the core values, staff nominations to highlight the application of those values, and regularly updated customer reviews that allows the staff to see what people are saying about their experiences to ensure Bow Valley is hitting their service targets. Expectations are high and the staff routinely exceeds them. Exceeding expectations and delivering a superior product has contributed to Bow Valley’s four decades in business. With Neil Gohill representing the next generation leading the charge into the next four decades, Bow Valley Insurance will remain an insurance leader in Calgary.

Get everything your small business needs, plus extras you won’t find anywhere else.

9805 Horton Road SW Calgary, Alberta T2V 2X5 Tel.: 403-297-9400 | Toll-Free Tel.: 800-332-1308 www.bvinsurance.ca BOW VALLEY INSURANCE CELEBRATING 40 YEARS • PAGE 8


Meetings Matter O

ne innovative Calgary IT business leader avoids meetings, dismissing them as “administrivia.” Other successful, highachieving Calgarians consider them a secret of their success. Practical and contemporary business smarts place meetings somewhere in between. “I cringe at times when friends of mine at larger corporations talk about how much time they spend in meetings,” says the focused Amanda Hamilton, founder and creative director of Amanda Hamilton Interior Design and an EO Calgary member. “It often seems to be the curse of growth for a company. To ensure they don’t become a drag, there must be a vision for the meeting and not held just because someone requests one. And they must have an agenda and an end goal.” EO Calgary member Casey Kachur, co-founder and CEO of Virtuo, the Calgary-based and tech-enabled concierge service that drastically trims the lengthy and stressful checklist that comes with a move, underscores the importance of staff meetings. “We do daily (eight-minute) huddles to talk about what’s good, what’s important today, KPIs and stucks. We also do weekly huddles to tackle bigger issues and stay in sync and on track for our quarterly objectives. Then we do quarterly and annual planning sessions to set the strategy. “When we have a clear vision strategy, our meetings are far more productive. If the team doesn’t know what the vision is, they won’t be engaged in the meeting and it won’t be productive.” Regular scheduled meetings are a must for Andrew Obrecht, the dynamic co-founder of YYC and YEG Cycle Spin Studios with five locations and a staff of 300 in Calgary and Edmonton.

“We like to call our meetings ‘pulses’ and they are essential,” says Obrecht, an EO Calgary member. “Each leader within our business must have a set of weekly, monthly and quarterly pulses with their teams to ensure that communication and alignment is always clear within our organization. An agenda for meetings is very important. Not only during the meeting itself, but also providing a framework and materials prior so that each participant is able to come prepared and ready to deliver the content or provide valuable feedback to the discussion.” Kachur underscores the importance of a meeting agenda. “I don’t think I have ever had a productive meeting that didn’t have a clear agenda. It spells out the basic rules: be engaged, know why you’re there and have clear deliverables when you leave. If you don’t do those things, don’t bother meeting.” For Hamilton, a meeting agenda is a key component of effective time management. “You need a vision of what problems are going to be solved, a timeline to adhere to and ideally, a moderator who can keep the schedule and conversation on time. Time is the entrepreneur’s most valuable resource. And we could all do better in both our professional and personal lives, if we respected and held our time as a precious commodity.” Basic e-concepts like teleconferencing and working by remote are impacting meetings. “There is a lot of connection lost when you can’t see everyone’s face,” Obrecht points out. “Whether it is a face-to-face meeting or one using technology like FaceTime or Zoom, it is essential to the connection within your teams and organizations to see each other while meetings are happening. It also enables powerful non-verbal communication.”

Contributing Members:

Andrew Obrecht

Amanda Hamilton

Casey Kachur

co-founder of YYC and YEG Cycle Spin Studios

founder and creative director of Amanda Hamilton Interior Design

co-founder and CEO of Virtuo

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


NPower Canada Graduates First Tech Cohort in Calgary

“T

his is an amazing opportunity!” “I had no idea of the scope of the tech jobs in Calgary.” “I geeked out!”

The emphatic expressions of new-found optimism about their career prospects in the digital economy resonated throughout the graduation ceremony for students in the first cohort from NPower Canada’s tech training program in Calgary. Just four months after opening its first location in Canada outside Toronto, NPower Canada celebrated its first group grads at the Calgary Public Library. The 10-week course helps to create a pipeline of job-ready workers and one-third of the three dozen grads secured an entry-level job in tech before the course concluded. With support from the Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund, NPower Canada expanded to Calgary in May to help upskill underserved young adults for careers in the digital economy. In the five years since the New York-founded nonprofit organization was launched in Canada, 85 per cent of its 1,000 grads have secured junior IT jobs or furthered their education at post-secondary institutions. “The NPower Canada model is based on an ‘it takes a village’ approach. We know that good workforce development requires partnerships, consideration and commitment,” says Julia Blackburn, CEO of NPower Canada. “We chose Calgary as our first site outside the Greater Toronto Area because this is a town that understands how to work together.” More than half the graduates from the first Calgary cohort were women and 40 per cent were new Canadians. There is strong demand in Calgary for NPower Canada’s training, but enrolment is linked to the number of companies it can attract as potential employers. “We believe in NPower Canada’s vision to create career opportunities for deserving Calgarians and see it as an

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investment in our people and in our city,” says Deana Haley, vice president of client services for Calgary Economic Development. “The tech sector is growing fast in Calgary and these graduates have the chance to get a foot in the door and build a rewarding career.” Talent is one of four pillars outlined in the city’s economic strategy. With Calgary companies expected to spend $7.5 billion in digitization across the core sectors in the next three years, NPower Canada’s work supports Calgary Economic Development’s three-pronged approach of recruit, retrain and retain talent to ensure the local workforce is skilled to meet the demands of the new economy. NPower’s course is structured and committed to workintegrated learning. It starts with a boot camp that includes career exploration, aptitude assessment and employability coaching. Training takes up the bulk of the course with a focus on professional and technical skills. Job placement sees grads hired for entry-level jobs and career advancement ensures they receive coaching, mentorship and networking supports for five years post-hire. The NPower grads have made an impact. “What started as a good social thing to do, is now a good business thing to do,” said Stephen Gardiner, chair of NPower Canada and digital lead in Canada for the global management consulting firm Accenture, at the opening of the Calgary cohort. Gardiner spoke from experience. Accenture has hired more than 60 graduates from NPower for entry-level tech positions. Now Calgary companies have the same ability to support deserving members of the community and do good for their business too.


#LoveYYC Day Returns to Promote Civic Pride and Calgary’s Unique, Shareable Experiences TOURISM CALGARY AND ITS PARTNERS ENCOURAGE CALGARIANS TO EXPLORE, AND CELEBRATE, THEIR CITY

BY BRIDGETTE SLATER

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ourism Calgary’s fourth annual #LoveYYC Day returns on Saturday, November 2, 2019 to encourage Calgarians to explore their city and to share stories about the people, places and experiences that make Calgary so unique. To amplify the celebration, Tourism Calgary’s valued partners have cued up compelling #LoveYYC Day deals and programming including: free tours and tastings at Fiasco Gelato, several staycation deals at local hotels, discounted admission rates at major attractions and much more. While these deals encourage Calgarians to seek out – and share – the experiences that are uniquely Calgary’s, they also offer a significant lift to Tourism Calgary partners. Over the years, some partner highlights have included Heritage Park doubling admission attendance to Gasoline Alley when compared to the same day in years prior to #LoveYYC Day promotions, and Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo tripling its best one-day ticket sales record. Each year, Tourism Calgary looks forward to following the conversation on social media and hearing about all the reasons why Calgarians #LoveYYC. In 2018, over 100,000 people and businesses engaged with the campaign through social media, eliciting stories that promote civic pride including: • Jenna Dutton (@debutton): “I #LoveYYC for many reasons, but they definitely include being able to bike to work every day and around on the weekends to beautiful places and events like @DeaneHouseYYC, @TheatreCalgary, @Glenbow, @NMC_Canada and the central @CalgaryLibrary!” • Vanessa Gagnon (@nessincalgary): “Enjoyed an awesome #LoveYYC Day tour of @BurwoodSpirits! Cory is such a passionate storyteller, teaching folks about how to support

local and be proud of the fact that Alberta is home to the world’s best barley!” On November 2, Calgarians are encouraged to explore the city alongside their friends and family, and to join the #LoveYYC conversation once again. For the best #LoveYYC Day experience, Tourism Calgary recommends Calgarians review the full list of deals on visitcalgary.com/loveyyc, select deals that pique their interest, read any associated terms and conditions and then join their fellow Calgarians in exploring and celebrating their city. To learn more about #LoveYYC Day and view the full list of available deals, see visitcalgary.com/loveyyc.

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Every day, we set the stage to deliver a truly unique experience that inspires creativity for our guests. Our partners add the final touches. We would not be able to deliver the same experience without themâ&#x20AC;Ś

calgary-convention.com


LEVERAGING PARTNERS TO DELIVER THE BEST EXPERIENCE As the saying goes, “there’s strength in numbers.” But what about strength in partners? Some organizations lose sight of the value that comes from mutually beneficial partnerships. The best organizations build upon their own expertise while engaging partner companies that are great in their fields. Every Batman needs a Robin, and every organization needs great partners to make their offering exceptional. A recent study from Standford University found that people who worked in a collaborative environment stayed committed to their task 65% longer than their peers. They also found that they were more engaged and less fatigued. Similar studies have also found that collaboration can increase performance up to 500%.The bottom line is, expanding your current strengths is always a plus, but engaging partners can offer massive benefits to all. At the Calgary TELUS Convention Centre, we recognize that while we are experts in hosting events, we are not experts in all the associated services. That’s where our

partners come in. They complement our expertise with theirs to bring the greatest experience to our guests. Just to list a few of our amazing partners: The Calgary Marriott Downtown Hotel provides delicious food creations for our catering needs, Decor & More makes our hosted events more engaging and accessible, FMAV brings their audio and visual expertise to craft amazing immersive experiences, and finally, Superior Show Service looks after signs and booths (to name a few) that attract more visitors to our location every year.

“It is not in numbers, but in unity, that our great strength lies.” –Thomas Paine (Scholar, Intellectual, Writer)

For the benefit of our guests and all those involved, there is definitely strength in partners. calgary-convention.com


MARKETING MATTERS // DAVID PARKER

Marketing Matters BY DAVID PARKER

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ongratulations to Shauna MacDonald and her team at Brookline Public Relations who will be celebrating 15 years in business this month.

Recognized as one of this city’s premier PR firms, Brookline has spread out its professionalism to Edmonton with work on the ICE District and for ONE Properties, and captured the media’s attention with a sneak peek tour of Amazon’s new fulfilment centre in Leduc. MacDonald also launched a new podcast, Beyond PR, bringing together stories from notable leaders every month. In September it featured master chef Connie DeSousa of Charcut, Charbar and CHIX Eggshop and this month we can look forward to an interview with Sara Austin, CEO, Children First Canada. And Brookline continues to land new clients; the most recent being Calgary Downtown Association, Greengate Power, Southern Energy Corp. and Moby, Calgary’s newest telecom service provider. On the pro-bono front, it is working with ACE Class, a national networking organization for women.

Jon Holden reports that Forward Level Marketing has hired Chelsea Balsdon as its new marketing manager, adding a lot of digital marketing experience.

Edmonton-based live event and entertainment management firm Trixstar has opened an office in Calgary to be run under the direction of vice president Chris Schoengut, who will be relocating here from our capital city. The company has partnered with many organizations to provide unforgettable experiences at events such as the

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Big Valley Jamboree in Camrose, the Canadian Badlands Amphitheatre concert series, and the StagEX Music Festival at Whoop-Up Days in Lethbridge. Last year, Trixstar was involved with the Grey Cup Festival in Edmonton and will be working on the 2019 game in Calgary next month. Earlier this year, Trixstar opened its first office in the U.S. in downtown Nashville where many agents and managers for artists live and work, making talent buying more efficient for its Canadian clients.

Anyone watching the exciting U.S. Open on television on ESPN must have marvelled at the great graphics – the work of Calgary’s Jump Studios. The tournament’s entire broadcast design packages have been created by the Jump team for the past five years. In 2018, they were taken to a new level by using the latest technology to create photo realistic 3D glass elements of a tennis ball and racquet. This year, the glass elements world expanded to include a 3D towel on a bench with a tennis bag. Very clever.

Meetings + Conventions Calgary, integrated into Tourism Calgary, is now under the leadership of new executive director David Woodward, formerly of Fairmont Palliser.

Parker’s Pick The appointment of Peggy Perry, one of the city’s best marketing people, as president of Willow Park Wines & Spirits.


“When I’m driving through town and I see someone with one of our cups in their hands, I can’t believe it.” Connoisseurs Ben, Jeremy and Justin had a dream of bringing people together around the warmth and wonder of coffee. And while they knew just about everything about the noble bean, they admittedly knew nothing about being entrepreneurs. Now locally famous, Monogram serves some of Calgary’s best coffee in three locations. Here’s to their continued success and more places to get our morning fix! See their story at atb.com/monogram

Justin Eyford & Ben Put, Monogram Coffee


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Profile for Business in Calgary

Business in Calgary - October 2019  

Business in Calgary - October 2019  

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