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Supporting the visions of entrepreneurs one story at a time. Volume 26 | Number 9


12 14

Implications of Bad Policy By Frank Atkins

Alberta Government Rubbing Salt in the Wound

CONTENTS The success of Bilal Hydrie’s Inclusive Energy By Melanie Darbyshire




Leading Business The Calgary Report Current developments for Calgary Telus Convention Centre, Tourism Calgary, Calgary Economic Development, and Innovate Calgary

Marketing Matters

Something Ventured, Much Achieved


BOMA Calgary News Fall 2016




57 67 97

By Paige MacPherson




By David Parker

BDC is where you need us to be: right there with you. There are a lot of different ways to grow a business. As the only bank devoted exclusively to entrepreneurs, we’re there to give you the financing and advice you need to create yours from scratch. See how we can help at bdc.ca

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Supporting the visions of entrepreneurs one story at a time. Volume 26 | Number 9




74 79


Celebrates 20 Years


Calgary Residential Rental Association Helps Members Succeed

87 91

28 42

Riteway Signs

Celebrates 25 Years

The Factor Group


Celebrates 25 Years

53 72 87 8


D  ealing with the New Normal The CFO’s challenge By John Hardy

L  iving the Lifestyle Harmony’s uniqueness By Parker Grant

C  algary Corporate Challenge Rising Up to the Calgary Corporate Challenge

T  he Benefits of Benefits New workplace trends By John Hardy

S  mall Business is Big Business Calgary’s Small Business Week celebration By Colleen Wallace

Control your group benefit plan costs… without compromising choice or flexibility.


Pat Ottmann & Tim Ottmann


Evelyn Dehner evelyn@businessincalgary.com


John Hardy


Lisa Johnston, Nikki Mullett


Jessi Evetts jessi@businessincalgary.com



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

REGULAR CONTRIBUTORS Frank Atkins David Parker John Hardy

THIS ISSUE’S CONTRIBUTORS Rennay Craats Parker Grant Melanie Darbyshire Paige MacPherson Colleen Wallace

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STARTYOURLEGACY.CA m a k e t i m e . m a k e a w i s h . m a k e a l e g ac y



Implications of Bad Policy BY FRANK ATKINS


n 1975, while he was leader of the Ontario New Democratic Party, Stephen Lewis said, “The Tories have been, and are, ideologically reliable. They really believe that guff they espouse. By contrast the Liberals are the most incorrigibly opportunistic bunch of people I ever laid eyes on. What do the Liberals believe? God only knows.” I have always admired Mr. Lewis’ intellect, although I very rarely agree with anything he says. However, the fact that this quote stays in my mind some 40 years later shows that I think that Mr. Lewis was at least partially correct about this one. During the election campaign last fall, Mr. Trudeau showed a remarkable lack of understanding of any issues, and this was especially true about economic issues. Once he became prime minister, his underlying true talent came to the forefront. Smile, be optimistic, but never say anything substantive. Apparently Canadians like this, as the polls show him to be very popular. From an economics perspective, this could be both bad and good. The obvious bad part can arise if, while lacking a detailed understanding of economic issues, the potential to implement policies that have potential disastrous consequences looms large. The good part can arise when a politician avoids implementing bad policies through a policy which may be termed benign neglect. However, it must be said that Mr. Trudeau’s benign neglect of the pipeline issue is hurting Alberta’s economy. Although Stephen Lewis did not state it, it is clear that he believed the New Democratic Party (NDP) to be ideologically

reliable. It appears that the current NDP government in Alberta clings very strongly to this left-wing ideology, and they will not let it go, in spite of the potential damage that is being inflicted on the Alberta economy. We have seen ideologically-driven higher taxes, higher spending and very large deficits. This is bad enough on its own, and will become a complete disaster when interest rates start to rise. Increasing interest rates will increase debt servicing costs, which will decrease revenue available for ideologically-driven spending increases, which will lead to increasing borrowing and taxes. We have seen this before, when Trudeau the elder nearly ruined the Canadian economy with similar policies. We should remember that it took us a long time to dig out of the consequences of these policies. This is where I disagree with what I consider to be the essential point of Mr. Lewis’ quote. He seems to have been implying that, because NDP policies are consistently ideologically driven, they are superior to any fuzzy thinking policies that come out of the Liberals. This cannot possibly be correct. The NDP policies that are ideologically driven have simply been stolen by the Liberals, who do not care to think about ideology. However, a bad policy is still a bad policy, whether it comes out of ideology or out of thin air. Unfortunately, in Alberta, we are suffering from the consequences of left-wing policies that are both ideologically driven at the provincial level, and come out of an intellectual vacuum at the federal level. As a result, the downturn that has been caused by low resource prices has been exacerbated by left-wing politicians. Frank Atkins is a Calgary economist.





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Alberta Government Rubbing Salt in the Wound BY PAIGE MACPHERSON


he Alberta government does not control the price of oil. If it’s been said once, it’s been said a million times. It’s the main line of defense from the government when facing its fiscal critics. The Alberta government does not control the price of oil, however, the Alberta government does control its policy reaction to the price of oil; and right now, that reaction is to grab a handful of salt and rub it right where it hurts. For the first time since Statistics Canada began collecting data in the 1970s, Alberta’s unemployment rate has surpassed that of Nova Scotia. For decades, Nova Scotians have migrated to Alberta in droves to find work. East Coasters are a dime a dozen in Edmonton and beyond, but now, alongside other Albertans, many find themselves struggling with the same lack of jobs they faced back east. Alberta’s unemployment rate was spiked recently by a large number of new people entering the province’s labour force, without the availability of jobs with which to match them. Those hardest hit are aged 15-18. These workers are mostly seeking lowskilled, part-time work – jobs generally created by Alberta’s retail stores and restaurants. Unfortunately, these businesses have small margins and are the ones hit fastest by tax and wage hikes. With the provincial recession, Albertans are already consuming less. This reality should have signalled that businesses need support in the form of lower taxes and lessened regulation. The Alberta government didn’t drop the price of oil. The government didn’t spark the recession. But they are certainly fanning the flames.

Almost immediately, Alberta’s NDP government hiked business taxes, personal income taxes, alcohol and tobacco taxes, train fuel taxes, education property taxes, doubled the existing “big emitter” carbon levy and introduced a whopper of a carbon tax and substantial minimum wage hikes. These policy choices (yes, the government had a choice) were all made at the same time the federal government hiked taxes and Canada Pension Plan premiums, and municipal governments in Calgary and Edmonton hiked property taxes for the umpteenth time. Protests at the legislature have been frequent. Business groups have begged the government to please take a step back and put their steamrolling tax hikes on hold. Calgary’s small businesses are dropping like flies. None of it seems to matter to the government. Recently, a Lethbridge restaurant owner explained to Global News that a minimum wage hike would force him to cut staff by 50 per cent. (It should be self-evident that a business must turn a profit in order to create jobs.) He wrote to Lethbridge East MLA Maria Fitzpatrick. Her response? Fitzpatrick called him selfish. Publicly. Why isn’t the government receptive in the least to the plainfaced struggles of those who are paying our MLAs’ tabs? Perhaps we should start phrasing it in a way they’ll actually respond to: if you want healthy tax revenue, you need a healthy business climate that respects job creators. Just ask the Nova Scotians-turned-Albertans who call this onceprospering province home.

Paige MacPherson is the Alberta director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, a nonprofit, non-partisan citizen’s advocacy group dedicated to lower taxes, less waste and government accountability. For more information, visit taxpayer.com.



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Contemporary & fully developed newer home in an exceptional inner city location across from Flock park and walking distance to elementary school & the river pathways. Like new, this architecturally designed, professionally decorated 2-storey home tucked away at the end of a cul-de-sac sits on a 75-foot lot and offers in excess of 4800 SF of total living space with 6 bedrooms (4 ensuite), state of the art kitchen (with Wolf & Sub-Zero appliances, walnut cabinetry, quartz countertop with waterfall finish on centre island), open-planned dining room with bar (equipped with 2 glass front wine fridges), main floor den, amazing master suite with fashion lover’s dressing room & spa ensuite and a fully developed basement with professional style gym, media & games rooms, wet bar, full bathroom & 2 additional bedrooms. The oversized attached garage is accessed via a family-sized mudroom with built-in storage & seating and the fenced yard is private & quiet with large patio and lots of space for kids & pets to play.



Crafted by exceptional artisans & boasting only the finest of imported & local materials, this 14,000 SF Tuscan villa inspired home is less than 10 years old & yet it almost instantly transports you to Europe with an incredible sense of old world tradition & authenticity. With a 1,000 SF gym, 1500 SF professional Exquisite appointments & stunning architectural details set this style theatre, gourmet kitchen, elevator, 7 bedrooms, pool house, sport court, amazing home apart from the rest. Spoil yourself with travertine 5 car garage, opulent master wing & south facing courtyard this home is ideal marble floors, granite counters (in kitchen & all bathrooms, wet bar for a large family pantry) or as an antiqued executive retreat. It was used as a set in the Fargo & butler’s cabinetry, stone-faced fireplaces and mini-series, has been featured in the National Post and most recently leased to amazing ceiling details including domed, barrel vaulted, coffered Leonardo DiCaprio for 6 months (at approx. $60,000/month) during the filming & vaulted ceilings with special paint details. 3639 SF + basement of The Revenant. Ideal location set on 2 acres overlooking the beautiful Rocky for a total of 5080 SF designed by the renowned John Haddon! Mountains just a few minutes away from of shopping & services. This yet incredible home offers a total 6 bedrooms (4 with ensuite),

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This incredible home offers a total of 6 bedrooms (4 with ensuite), spectacular & huge kitchen w/ full-height antiqued cabinets

ELBOW PARK | $2,595,000 (illuminated uppers & contrasting island), granite counters, walk-


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ELBOW PARK | $1,695,000 A rare find in Elbow Park - If you’re looking for a new beginning then now it the time. Snap up this large, elevated lot in a prime location backing onto a treed green space in desirable Elbow Park, the perfect spot to let your creative juices run wild designing and building your dream home! This oversized inner city vacant lot measures 87.5-feet wide by 125-feet deep, which is just shy of 11,000 SF in size, that’s over a quarter of an acre! This inner city location is beyond 9 T Hcompare. S T R E EIt’sT a Svery W quiet street, close to amenities, walking distance to two elementary schools and the Contemporary & fully developed home into anthe exceptional city Elbow River pathways andnewer mere minutes downtowninner business locationdistrict across from Flock Parkshops and walking distance to & The the and all of the & restaurants onelementary trendy 4thschool Street. river pathways. Like facing new, this architecturally sunny, west backyard is very designed, private asprofessionally it backs ontodecorated a heavily 2-storeytreed homegreen tuckedarea. away The at the end ofelevation a cul-de-sac sits on lot and raised allows fora a75-foot multitude of offers inbuilding excess ofoptions 4800 SF of total living space withand 6 bedrooms (4 ensuite), stateproviding east, south west exposure and the of-the-art kitchen provides (with Wolf Sub-Zero appliances, walnut cabinetry, quartz elevation an&opportunity for a view depending upon the countertop waterfall onto centre stylewith of home youfinish decide build.island), open-planned dining room



8 A S T R E E T, S W


with bar (equipped with 2 glass front wine fridges), main floor den, amazing master suite with fashion lover’s dressing room & spa ensuite and a fully developed basement with professional style gym, media & games rooms, wet bar, full bathroom & 2 additional bedrooms.






BANKVIEW | $1,595,000

Another Trickle 8Creek masterpiece A ST R E E T S -Wthis new home, with triple garage & developed basement, is ready for immediate possession with over 4200 SF of total living space. Set on a spacious .29 acre A rare find in Elbow Park - If you’re looking for a new beginning then now is lot (82’ frontage by 151’ deep) in the wonderful community of the time. Snap up this large, elevated lot in a prime location backing onto a Watermark it offers a sunny south backyard so you can soak up the treed green desirable Elbow spot to letgang your over creative sun space while in you watch the kidsPark, playthe or perfect have the whole for juices run wild designing and building your dream home! This oversized inner a BBQ. Features extensive hardwood flooring, quartz countertops, city vacant lot measures 87.5-feet wide by 125-feet deep, which is just shy of beautiful tile accents, chic lighting, tray ceilings, den with barn 11,000 SF in size; that’s over a quarter of an acre! This inner city location is door and designer kitchen boasts stainless steel appliances beyond complimented compare. It’s a very quiet street, close amenities, distance by natural wood & to classic whitewalking cabinetry and to two elementary schools and the Elbow River pathways and mere minutes to accented by quartz countertops. There are 3 bedrooms, a laundry the downtown business district all of the & restaurants on suite trendy room, bonus room and and an artist’s Loftshops upstairs. The master is 4th Street. The sunny, west facing veryday. private as it abacks onto a your private retreat at the backyard end of a islong It offers big walk-in heavily closet treed green area. Theensuite raised elevation allows for atub. multitude of building and spa-like with free-standing The basement is options developed providing east, west exposure and the provides an withsouth a 4thand bedroom & bathroom aselevation well as lots of extra opportunity forfor a view depending theroom style & ofgames home you decide to build. space family fun in theupon family room.


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21S T AV E N U E S W

Artistic design meets modern elegance in this extensively renovated 2084 SF bungalow with park-like south backyard, steps from New construction, 3000courts! SF of Boasts total living space, in Triple a cutting edge urban ravine & tennis new/updated: pane windows, location,furnaces/hot steps to tennis courts & walking distancemillwork, to 17th Avenue this water tanks, chic lighting, custom - door, is the perfect lock 2 &refaced leave home! FromCarrera the talented trio of McIntyre Bills hardwood, fireplaces, marble & granite counters, interiors, Jackson McCormick Design & Rawlyk comes this rare find: renovated kitchen & bathrooms! SuperbDev. for entertaining & family A bungalow with all principal on the main level & livingstyle withtownhome big principal rooms, highrooms ceilings, multiple french superb downtown views. With concrete highroom ceilings, Controlby 4 doors, built-in speakers & greatconstruction, flow. The living is flanked + Lutronspacious lighting,formal Fleetwood doors, glass10) railings white room oak floors dining roomframeless (easily seats and a+music with no detail has been overlooked. It’s a great room plan, flooded with natural built-ins. Kitchen, nook, family roomm & master all overlook private light, and anchored by 400-ft a marble faced fireplace & wall of nesting High-end windows backyard (with cedar deck & motorized awning). will make mealkitchen prep ais fitted breeze in finest the updated island openingappliances to the outdoors. The chef’s with quality custom cabinetry, Miele with appliances, island& &classic wet barwhite with wine fridge.The Themaster dining kitchen granitehuge counters cabinetry. room offers to a huge terrace andmarble the master suite2boasts ensuite has access an updated ensuite with counter, sinks a&luxury heated floor. & enormous walk-in. The lower level offers updated 2 more bedrooms, media room, 2 other bedrooms share another bathroom. Basement 4th and bedroom, full bath garage. & family/games laundry,developed full bathroom a heated double A must toroom. see!


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New construction, Renfrew townhomes, with 2 floorplans to choose from: 2 bedroom 1493 SF unit or 3 bedroom 1723 SF unit. Light & Both brightplans West offer Coasthardwood style 3085 flooring, SF newer home extensive upgrades quartzwith counters in kitchen & and extras features: Bonus room, cityappliances views, limestone facedgas fireplace, bathrooms, stainless steel (including stove),south high exposure, rooftopstacked deck, hickory floors & cabinets, open stringer staircase, ceilings, stone fireplace, 4 bathrooms, and upper level quartz countertops, appliances, lighting, audio and bonus room.Viking Perfect plan for a automated young family, open home main level offers sprinklera systems. Therewith are 3 fireplace, bedrooms on the second including master living room kitchen with level, glass-tile backsplash, quartz counterstub & & fullsteam compliment of stainless steel appliances. suite with free-standing shower ensuite. The loft level features a Dine with at the eating or inpatio the dining area.onAlso on the floor bonus room a wet bar,bar rooftop and views 3 sides. Themain basement has in-floor heat androom. is developed a family room,you second wet bar, is a powder Ascendtotoinclude the 2nd floor where will find the fourth bedroom & bathroom. sunnysuite backyard exposure is your bedrooms including The a master withwith fullsouth ensuite bathroom & a generously scaleddone walk-in The third levelpatio is a and bright & private oasis, professionally withcloset. an exposed aggregate steps spacious bonus room. include insuite laundry with to detached garage. You’ll also Both find afloorplans second patio where you can entertain stacking & dryer, balcony, fullschools basement (undeveloped) friends and family.washer Ideal location near all level of (including Mt Royal) and as single Close to schools, Renfrew pool,Park. 16th Avenue & & shopping well garage. as walking distance to Glenmore Athletic Edmonton Trail shops, services and restaurants.

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The green lines running across the glass of the boardroom zigzag from tiny houses to office buildings to big data towers. The lines stencilled on the glass illustrate the fibre-optic infrastructure that Axia has installed across rural Alberta. But they also help tell the story of Art Price, the company’s CEO. Price’s career includes growing the family ranch into the Sunterra group of companies, running Husky Oil and heading up a transformational technology company, but for Price, it’s been a pretty straight line from the ranch to sitting behind the boardroom glass at Axia’s brand-new downtown Calgary office. “With my career it’s always been: ‘See an opportunity and sink or swim in that opportunity,’” he says. “I was always excited about pushing the envelope and leading a successful team, and if you put it in that context then everything I’ve done is the same.” After graduating from the University of Alberta with a degree in mechanical engineering in 1973, Price had offers from several big oil and gas companies, but he took a job at a little transmission company. By age 30, he was CEO of Husky Oil. Then in 1995, along came Axia. While most people were just waking up to the power of the Internet, Price saw an “obvious” opportunity to build a fibre-optic network across Alberta. “The industries I’ve been involved in are rural. Oil and gas manufacturing is all in the field, in agribusiness the manufacturing plant is in the field and for most of Alberta that’s the story,” says Price. “It was clear that digital connectivity was going to be critical and there was no apparent interest by the incumbent phone and cable companies to do anything about it.” Axia teamed up with technology heavyweights Cisco and Microsoft and won a contract from the province to connect

rural Alberta with fibre optic. “Here we are 20 years later and we’re the only place in the world that has created a rural comprehensive fibre grid between all the communities,” says Price. Now that communities are connected, Axia is connecting individual houses in rural communities to the information grid. The company has also installed fibre-optic grids in France and Singapore – government clients that came knocking on Axia’s door. “We’re already in the right spot in those markets so it’s not like we’re short of opportunity. We’d rather take the jurisdictions where we’ve done the heavy lifting and add fibre connections to more homes, businesses and institutions.” Expanding its fibre grid to new customers just got easier. Partners Group, a $55-billion private markets investment management firm headquartered in Switzerland, has acquired Axia in a deal that pays shareholders $4.25 a share. As a privately-held company with deep pockets, Axia can make bigger, longer-term investments in building networks for the 21 century. As the green lines of Axia reach deeper into rural Alberta, Price can’t fathom how people will use the company’s network 20 years from now, or 100. But he’s confident fibre optic is the key to delivering the information needed to make decisions in education, health care, industries, communities and government. Even high-performance mobility devices depend on fibre-optic connections. “Roads, railroads, airports, power lines, sewer systems – basic infrastructure is needed and that’s what this is. We are going to have infrastructure that is not a barrier to any digital thing that anybody invents, ever.”




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The Mindset “Successful companies are successful for the way they change, not for the way they remain the same” –Jim Dewald Despite popular stereotypes about the business success of innovative entrepreneurial thinkers, business reality is that the culture of entrepreneurial thinking is essential for longterm survival and success in business. That’s the vital message of Achieving Longevity the ravereviewed new book by Calgary’s Jim Dewald, the former corporate executive, entrepreneur and the dean of the Haskayne School of Business. The plugged-in and respected Haskayne dean admits that the underlying message of his book is really a burning passion that had to be vented. “I needed to write this book because I am concerned that businesses in general, and business leaders in particular, have lost touch with the all-important entrepreneurial spirit that drove their business’ growth and prosperity. “An interesting thing happens to many businesses after they taste success. After years of start-up pain — long hours, no recognition, and the constant need to prove themselves — they seek stability and tend to avoid risk. While it may be understandable, it’s also dangerous to the long-term health of their company.” Business studies and surveys consistently make the case that every new venture that survives the first five years starts to drift away from entrepreneurial thinking and mistakenly assumes they have achieved the path to longevity. Jim Dewald’s solid, from-experience urge–and the spirit of Achieving Longevity–is that no company can afford to lose the agility, the flexibility, the innovation and the determination of a start-up. “Sometimes leaders put too much emphasis on efficiency and commoditization rather than innovation,” he cautions. “Never confuse operational efficiency with strategy.” The book is getting positive feedback and attention, particularly in Fortune and CEO magazines and was on the

prestigious Forbes Hot List of books for executives to read this summer. One of the many insightful Achieving Longevity business points warns, “Competitors are easier to quantify than new opportunities. Competitor statistics are the domain of analysts, financiers, and shareholders, so naturally it is attractive for companies to focus on them primarily. Undefined opportunities, which may be built from innovation, are the stuff of dreams and passion, relegated only to entrepreneurial thinking.” The personable Dewald emphasizes that leaders sometimes forget about the adrenalin rush of entrepreneurs and the business concept of bricolage–continually creating better ways of doing things. “After all, successful companies are successful for the way they change, not for the way they remain the same. Entrepreneurship is not for getting there, but for staying there and going further.”






ATB Encouraging Investors to “Choose Alberta” with Unique, New GIC ATB Financial – Alberta’s largest homegrown financial institution – has launched a new guaranteed investment certificate (GIC) that’s tied directly to the performance of Alberta’s economy.

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The Choose Alberta GIC offers a 1.65 per cent guaranteed return and a one-time bonus connected to the provincial unemployment rate. As Alberta’s unemployment rate drops, the bonus increases, with a maximum bonus of 0.75 per cent. The principal amount invested in the Choose Alberta

“This truly is a win-win-win scenario,” says Rob Bennett, ATB’s executive vice-president, retail financial services. “When the economy begins to improve and the unemployment rate begins to drop, that’s good for our customers, good for Alberta businesses and good for the


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province as a whole. Plus, deposits into the Choose Alberta GIC will be used to support Alberta businesses, families and communities.” The Choose Alberta GIC bonus is based on the provincial unemployment rate at the time of the investment’s maturity. On the first working day of the month a Choose Alberta GIC matures, ATB will pull the unemployment rate for Alberta published on economicdashboard.alberta. ca/unemployment. Bonuses are based on the most recent month’s Alberta unemployment rate. “What we’re saying with the Choose Alberta GIC is that we believe in Alberta,” adds Bennett. “We believe that, even with a few battle scars, Alberta will not only survive the downturn, but come back as strong as ever. As that happens, job creation will follow, resulting in a healthier economy and happy ATB customers. Alberta wins, you win.” Unlike market-linked GICs, which use complex calculations and don’t always perform as promised, the Choose Alberta GIC is easy to understand, delivers a guaranteed rate of return, and includes the possibility of a one-time bonus. Hearing the frustrations of Albertans, ATB stopped selling market-linked GICs in 2013, choosing instead to offer clear products with understandable returns. For more information, please visit atb.com/ supportalberta.


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New Normal




he new normal” is the new standard in so many aspects of contemporary life and business – from communicating, home designs and the workplace to airport security, the environment, fashion, lifestyles, geopolitics and the many facets of the oil and gas industry. “I’m confident the recovery is imminent, if it hasn’t already begun,” says John Dielwart, founder, director and former CEO of ARC Resources and now vice-chairman of ARC Financial, Canada’s leading energy-focused private equity manager with over $4 billion of capital under management. “The industry may look similar and, in many ways, it is nothing like ever before. It will be the new normal. “The business has hopefully woken up that debt can kill your company. During this two-year downturn, I think the industry has done a remarkable job, adjusting for the new normal and getting drastically more efficient.”





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Many oil and gas CFOs are humming a similar, cautious but optimistic tune about planning, strategy and efficiency as key components of the new normal. “A vital hurdle in managing through a low oil cycle is being solidly prepared going into the cycle,” explains Ken Lamont, CFO, Crescent Point Energy, one of Canada’s largest light and medium oil producers with assets across Western Canada and the United States. “Unfortunately, many oil and gas companies were illprepared for this one. The commodity price downward move was very quick and many companies couldn’t react quickly enough. “For Crescent Point, we have fundamentally believed in a strong balance sheet to protect against these cycles. This means having low leverage during high commodity price environments (target debt to cash flow 1.0X to 1.5X) and maintaining a strong hedge book that you can lean on when commodity prices cycle down. Also, we targeted our core





oil plays to have deep net backs (margins) which allows for positive cash flows during significant oil price crashes.” As many industry analysts have pointed out, the current cycle is the result of a global, supply-driven oil surplus and it will likely be long and painful as the oil market works off the excess supply and finds a better balance with demand. Lamont also mentions that there are some unique characteristics of this cycle. “One is the technical revolution in horizontal drilling and fracture stimulation in North America, which has contributed to the increase in global oil supply.



“Another factor was the tremendous access to capital that North American oil and gas firms enjoyed prior to the price correction, especially in debt markets.”


While most seasoned oil and gas industry professionals vouch for the unpredictable reality – like hurricane season in some parts of the world – the industry is always susceptible to the ups and downs of cycles, from job losses to cash flow and share prices.


It’s a tough challenge, even for the most resilient and gungho of CFOs. “Overall strategy does not change, although there is certainly more focus on the CFO’s role during challenging times,” Lamont admits. “My focus is on cost control, liquidity and access to capital, as well as communicating our financial model. I have been more focused on investor relations and ensuring that we stay engaged with our shareholder group and available to answer questions.” He reflects that, traditionally, investor curiosity and investor questions tend to parallel the industry’s cycles. “About 18 months ago, the investor focus was on growth and pace of growth. As prices fell, the questions were more about sustainability and whether a company would survive or not. “With Crescent Point being widely viewed as a survivor, the questions were about how we would take advantage of the downturn. In the past few months, investors have again started to think and ask about growth, sources of growth and pace of growth.”

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“Managing through this cycle isn’t really different than with previous cycles. They always involve a certain amount of pain for stakeholders: reduced capital expenditures and drilling activity, cost reductions, labour force cuts, empty office space, dividend cuts, debt covenant relief, debt restructuring and asset sales.” He underscores that, although the CFO’s cost analysis and capital strategy is both complex and delicate, at the very least it is well-informed, plugged-in and professional guesswork.

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“One observation I have over the last decade is that we are seeing increased volatility in oil prices. Companies must be prepared to manage through these rapid cycles. Policies and practices in the areas of hedging, capital allocation, cost control, credit risk and bank liquidity, access to equity and debt capital and dividends should all be reviewed in light of volatility.”


Dielwart echoes the fragile manoeuvre of understanding and dealing with the moods and anxieties of investors. “There’s no doubt about it. Investors have been pretty badly bruised in this downturn. There is also investor uncertainty about just what the carbon tax and other possible new taxes will mean to the industry and just what the Alberta government may and may not do.

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With his industry expertise and focused CFO skills, Lamont emphasizes that another common hurdle is making the right decisions for the business, as opposed to the easy ones. Cutting staff, suspending capital investment or only drilling the best possible inventory can have short-term positive impacts to the financial model, but, he warns, it may also have a lasting negative impact on the valuation and competitiveness of the company in the future.


“We may lose some of the investment capital coming into Canada and capital may not be as readily available for high-risk companies. Of course investors will continue investing in energy and capital will still be available, but it may be very, very selective,” he says with cautious confidence.


Last month, when the Olympic athletes manoeuvred and managed the turbulent white water rapids and rough waters of the canoe slalom, they called it: sport. In Calgary, as oil and gas company CFOs manoeuvre and manage industry rough waters, they call it: business! Dielwart agrees that effectively managing this time has been different, because this cycle – or downturn – has been unique. “Volatility has always been the name of the game in our industry. The last time, we managed through a ninemonth downturn. This time, it will be 24 months, or more. Even as the recovery sets in, it will likely not be businessas-usual for quite a while. The market has exposed some companies with dangerously weak balance sheets and they had to sell bigger assets than they planned. “And this time, the oil and gas service sector has been badly beaten up,” he points out. “Reality is that the equipment and the people who run the equipment can’t just instantly restart. When it happens, it will take several quarters, maybe a year or longer, to not only get back into shape but function in the new normal.” “On the positive side,” Lamont says, “we are seeing tremendous improvements in efficiencies and technology during these cycles. Technology has revolutionized our industry in the past 10 years. The industry has become much more capital intensive and the growth prospects are much greater than ever before.” “Rig automation is a key aspect of the new normal,” Dielwart says. “And that means fewer people working on the rigs, fewer people on payroll and fewer people in harm’s way. Manpower intensity will never get back to what it used to be. Software and new tools are automating rigs, making it possible to get more for less.” “In the conventional oil and gas space, being a low-cost producer is critical to long-term success, given that we have virtually no control over global oil prices. This is both the cost of finding and developing resources as well as operating cost structures and royalty regimes,” Lamont says. “Companies need to be willing to innovate and try new ideas and actively monitor their results.”


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he head of Calgary’s Inclusive Energy – a private oilfield equipment supply company unlike any other in the country – hardly fits the typical image. Bilal Hydrie is a young, Pakistani immigrant to the city with no connections to the oil and gas sector before starting his business. An outsider in an industry with deep Alberta roots, Hydrie has let none of these differences stand in his way. Truly, nothing has. In the span of seven years, Hydrie has taken Inclusive from nascent startup to one of the most successful oilfield equipment suppliers in the country. In addition to Inclusive and partly due to its success, Hydrie also now runs Global Centurion Investments (a private equity firm) and is an independent member of the board of directors of Pennine Petroleum Corporation (a public company). The polite and soft-spoken executive will tell you his success, and that of his businesses, has been the result of good old-

fashioned hard work and, he admits, a bit of good fortune. He has no plans to slow down. Born into a wealthy, established family in Pakistan, Hydrie always knew he was destined for business. He is a member of a family business – the Habib Group – a large group of international investors headquartered in Dubai, with businesses in a range of sectors around the world including banking (Bank AL Habib, Habib Bank, Habib Overseas Banks Limited, Habib African Banks Limited and Habib Capital Markets), manufacturing and retail (Habib Sugar Mills and HSM Textiles), insurance (Habib Insurance Company Limited, Global Insurance Services and Greenshield Insurance Services), and several schools, colleges and universities. He grew up in both Pakistan and Dubai watching his family run these businesses, understanding that one day he would do the same.




from scratch with a $50,000 investment of his own money. “It was a struggle,” he concedes. “I knocked on a lot of doors trying to convince clients to give me one opportunity to prove myself.” He reminisces on the many hours travelled (“oftentimes on Greyhound buses,” he laughs) into rural Alberta to meet potential clients, barely knowing where he was or what he was doing. His (literal) blood, sweat and tears eventually paid off, and Hydrie soon landed his first deal with TransAlta. He realized then, the money to be made in his new venture. “The margins I made were too good to be true,” he smiles. “That was such motivation to grow the business.” “In Pakistan, we work from a very early age and the goal is to keep everything in the family, following in the generations,” Hydrie explains. “If the father is a businessman, the son will be too.” Hydrie moved to Canada with his parents to get a better education. “My goal was, when we moved here, to get an education, go back home and run the family business,” Hydrie says. “That was the whole intention.” After graduating from the chemical process engineering program at the Southern Alberta Institue of Technology (SAIT), and with several other certificates to complement his diploma, Hydrie went to work – and it’s then where his path took an unexpected turn. “I worked in the oil and gas industry for six years, and I noticed a gap in the drilling and completion sector – where demand was high and supply was at an all-time low – for customized equipment,” he says. Companies were outsourcing jobs to various third parties and paying huge dollars for equipment that took a long time to receive. “And I realized, I can do this myself.” His concept was to bring together a team of professionals under one roof to offer the full package. “I established Inclusive with the goal of being a one-stop shop for our clients,” he explains. “The word ‘Inclusive’ means we offer and include all services – from designing, drafting, custom fabrication, delivery, setup and even flexible financing options.” With limited experience and still-lingering newcomer status, and yet to impress the Habib Group, Hydrie started Inclusive

From there, Inclusive took off. As more contracts were won, Hydrie reached the point where he could no longer finance the venture himself and turned to the Habib Group for help. Nothing was a given though, and he had to convince the group he had a solid business. They were impressed and Inclusive was brought under the umbrella. Today, it is a subsidiary of the Habib Group and Hydrie is a member of the Habib Group board of directors as head of North American operations. Based in Toronto, Hasnain Habib is a director of the Habib Group and chair of Inclusive. “All the deals go through him,” Hydrie says. “He is my greatest mentor and has the greatest experience in the industry and international businesses, several of which he is managing himself.” Under the guidance of both Hydrie and Habib, Inclusive has grown steadily, the results of which are staggering. The initial $50,000 investment had become, by the end of 2014, $35 million in assets. “We have a minimum of $20 million in assets at all times sitting in our yards which allows us to deliver with quick turnaround times,” Hydrie says. The company has three equipment yards – Red Deer, Lloydminster and Edson – which supply businesses throughout the province. Storage tanks come in a range of sizes, from 100BBL to 3000BBL, for use in sweet or sour projects, heavy oil storage, fractional operations, oilsands facilities and refinery tank farms. The company also provides




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line heaters, separator vessels/packages, large camp accommodation (65-80 man camps) and office trailers for well sites and construc-tion sites. All of Inclusive’s equipment comes from manufacturers in Alberta and Saskatchewan. What distinguishes Inclusive from the competition is its delivery times, which are remarkably fast. Typically, a standard tank takes up to four weeks to be deliv-ered; with Inclusive, standard tanks are always in stock, available and ready for next-day delivery. Whereas a custom tank normally takes up to three months, with Inclusive it takes two weeks. “We buy steel in bulk, and keep cans in stock for quick modifications,” says Hydrie. “We design everything and have agreements with our manufacturers so they’re always busy building. Because everything is in stock, delivery times are exponentially faster.” While most clients purchase equipment, Inclusive offers rental and rent-to-own options at extremely flexible terms. These are ideal options for companies waiting for well results prior to committing to a purchase, for those with limited capital facilities or those requiring to convert rental equipment into rent-to-own equipment. “We work with our clients to agree to whatever payment terms they can afford, and once they decide to buy the equipment, a large portion of the rent paid is accounted towards the purchase,” Hydrie says. Through Global Centurion, Hydrie provides financing to companies – mostly manufacturers – struggling in the current economic environment. Charging a nominal interest rate, to date Hydrie has invested several millions. A perennial businessman, he examines every opportunity that comes his way. “We are open to helping companies that are struggling,” he says. “We’d love to get involved through a joint venture, working interest, or if they require funding or equipment.” Inclusive’s focus on and commitment to its clients is another reason for its success. It has established a large network of clients and has built trust by offering a no-deposit policy for returning customers. “For me, customers are the most important,” Hydrie says. “Right now, even if I’m losing money, I will still do the deal – just to keep my clients happy.” And his clients have nothing but praise for Hydrie and his company. “Inclusive is an all-around great company with great people,” says Carmen Pino, senior project manager

at VEPICA Canada, an engineering, procurement and constructing firm that has worked closely with Inclusive in the past. “Bilal and his team are very easy to work with. From communications to document control to delivery – the experience was great.” Within his company, Hydrie has installed the best and brightest in the industry. He currently has 16 employees between the three yards and head office in Calgary. This is after having had to let go of some staff because of the downturn. Indeed Inclusive, like all other companies in the industry, has been affected by the drop in oil prices. In addition to layoffs, the company downsized its office space in an effort to save costs and avoid further layoffs. But Hydrie has seized opportunities as well. “We’ve taken advantage of the economic conditions by purchasing distressed inventory,” he says. “We can offer these units at extremely low prices, to help struggling companies carry on with planned projects.” Being part of the Habib Group has also helped. “We are backed by some of the most successful businessmen in the world, and not a single business of our group has failed,” Hydrie says proudly. “We carry high standards and morals, and every large business decision is reviewed by our whole group.” After 16 years here, Hydrie considers himself a Calgarian and doubts he’ll ever leave. With a wife and two young children now, he is part of the community. “Calgary gave me everything – who I am – so I want to give back,” he says; just as the Habib Group has done in Pakistan and Dubai (in the form of a cancer hospital and several public schools, colleges and universities, for boys and girls). In this regard, Hydrie recently became a member of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce. He also supports international students; currently he pays for the food, lodging and monthly expenses of nine international students at SAIT. He is also actively involved in helping the community, by organizing charity events and volunteering. Given how much he has accomplished so far in Calgary, there is no doubt Hydrie has a bright future ahead of him. The young man who used to be an outsider is now a major player in Alberta’s oil and gas game.



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n Calgary, and in many major Canadian cities like Vancouver and Toronto, real estate is a vital topic; not only because it is such an important component of the area’s economy, but because it is a reflection of the pulse of the community. There’s no denying that, in terms of real estate and most other aspects of Calgary business and community life, although there seems to be a definite light at the end of the tunnel, real estate in Calgary continues to be a bumpy ride. “Calgary has experienced numerous market fluctuations over the last number of decades,” admits Claudio Palumbo, vice president of community development with Qualico communities, one of the largest fully-integrated, privatelyowned real estate companies in Canada with operations in



the cities of Calgary, Edmonton, Fort McMurray, Red Deer, Vancouver and also in Austin, Texas. “Some of these fluctuations are due to external and unpredictable global market changes, like the price of oil, while others are due to local factors such as challenges in delivering Alberta commodities to the global markets. “Given this resilience and entrepreneurial spirit exhibited in the past by Calgarians and Albertans, we fully expect the market will again change, both in the short and long terms. We believe that the strengths of Calgary, Alberta and Canada will overcome the challenges in the market, and that people will see the virtues offered in Calgary and they will continue to migrate or remain in areas that provide safe, healthy and prosperous ways of life.”

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One of the most important and interesting aspects of real estate, particularly in a growing and exciting area like Calgary, is that it is an ever-changing dynamic of the people, the trends and the lifestyles. It is also why creating something innovative and new in the world of real estate is sometimes a bit like reinventing the wheel.

Palumbo explains that fitting in with the unique feel that is Calgary, as well as the family aspects of the planning and development of the Harmony community, have been key priorities since the drawing board stage. “Calgary is a world-class city, well known for its youthful and educated population,” he says.

Unless it is Calgary’s newest residential and recreational community, which is meeting the real estate challenge of doing something fresh and daring with a relatively basic, specific but sometimes overlooked aspect of new community planning and design. “Unlike conventional new community development, our philosophy is that no single family resident will directly back onto another homeowner, adding to the sense of openness,” Palumbo explains.

“It is a vibrant city with a special diversity of ethnicity that promotes innovation and entrepreneurial spirit, and an important part of the Calgary uniqueness is that it’s all grounded around family, friends and community while ensuring a true balance of social, economic and environmental sustainability.”

Qualico is the developer of Harmony, Calgary’s newest sought-after, master-planned community in Springbank, 20 minutes west of the city. Harmony is co-managed by Qualico communities and Bordeaux Developments, with each leading a particular aspect of the project.




Harmony promises to be the newest example of Calgary’s flair and knack for unique and innovative real estate. The Harmony community will include 3,500 new homes (singlefamily, villas, town houses and condominiums), 140 acres of lake and wetlands for a range of water activities (including swimming, canoeing, paddle boating, skating and more), 600 acres of open space, 25 kilometres of trails and pathways and a 35-acre lifestyle-designed village centre with shops,


restaurants, professional buildings, retirement residences, waterfront condos and town homes, boathouses, outdoor plazas and social gathering areas. Likely one of the most popular Harmony focal points will be the Phil Mickelson National Golf Club of Canada. The course will be the legendary golfer’s fourth design and the only one of its kind in Canada. “The design was intended to take the existing natural topography of the Harmony area and enhance the elements so the course appears it has been there for a 100 years,” raves Barry Ehlert, managing partner of Calgary’s Windmill Golf Group who will operate the Harmony golf course. “We wanted to do something that’s totally different from any other course in the area – whether that’s the grading, landscaping, water features, green design and all the other design elements. Being a




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challenging golf course is not our primary goal,” Ehlert points out. “We want to create a golf course that is playable and enjoyable for all members and guests.” “When it comes to Calgary real estate, it’s not unique to this latest downturn,” Palumbo notes. “Consumer concerns about job market and economic uncertainty is always an issue for real estate and new home starts.” While the cautious but optimistic Calgary business

community delicately senses and suggests that the turnaround has begun and stability will enable “the new normal” to start happening, Calgary real estate (new home starts and resale) is gradually resuming the normalcy that there will always be fluctuating real estate cycles. “Our view of Harmony is long term,” he adds with positivity. “And we anticipate seeing a number of market fluctuations over the course of Harmony’s development.”


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Rising Up



algary Corporate Challenge is a professionallyrun, non-profit event company providing fun, engaging team-building events throughout the year, highlighted by the annual CCC September Games. A staff of four full-time employees works year-round to bring these events to the Calgary business community. They rely heavily on a team of approximately 100 fantastic primary volunteers to help run events on-site. Participating with CCC brings organizations together by emphasizing team-building, fitness and fun in an inclusive environment where there is something for everyone. Companies experience an increase in corporate pride, morale and engagement that often extends beyond their involvement in CCC’s events.

CCC SEPTEMBER GAMES Each year, over 20,000 participants from local Calgary companies come together to take part in 16 days of Olympicstyle events. These events include sports (like volleyball, soccer and softball) and other games (like bocce, truck pull and trivia). There is also a strong emphasis on raising donations for a number of local partner charities through events such as the blood donor challenge, adopt-an-athlete and the big bike challenge. Finally, CCC also organizes fun events open to the general public like family day and both the opening and closing ceremonies.



The 2016 CCC September Games are set to take place from September 9-24, with events running in the evenings and on weekends. Over 150 participating companies will compete in one of five CCC divisions (determined by the number of employees within each company), or in the “Purple” division, an introductory division that allows new companies to play in 11 of the 22 sports events. Participating companies range in size from 10 to over 10,000 employees and represent all areas of Calgary’s corporate sector, serving both private and public interests. Events take place at multiple venues around Calgary, maximizing exposure and networking opportunities for participating companies and individuals.

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Cube will have their candy food truck available to help satisfy sweet tooths. There will also be inflatables and activities for the kids to check out. Two new sports events have been added to the roster for 2016. Spin will involve stationary bike riders taking part in a 30-minute session at Peloton Cycling to see who can travel the furthest. Elbow River Casino will host poker, in which players will compete to see who can take home the most (imaginary) prize money.

WORK WITH CHARITIES CCC works closely with a number of local and national charities, including Canadian Blood Services and the Calgary Food Bank. Registration fees help raise money for these important organizations, and food, clothing and other goods are provided through charity events. Since 2000, participating companies have raised over $8 million for CCC’s partner charities.

HEART AND STROKE FOUNDATION OF CANADA Participants collect pledges to take part in the big bike challenge, where they ride a 29-person bike to raise money that goes toward funding the fight against heart disease and stroke. In 2015, CCC’s participating companies raised over $480,000 through this great team-building event.

CANADIAN BLOOD SERVICES Companies send employees, friends and family to donate blood to help save lives. Every year, the blood donated through this event makes up 25 per cent of all the blood needed in Calgary from April to September.

KIDSPORT CALGARY In 2015, participating companies raised over $100,000 through KidSport Calgary’s adopt-an-athlete event. This was enough to help over 400 Calgary and area kids enjoy the positive benefits of sport.

SCAVENGER HUNT CCC’s scavenger hunt event helps to collect donations



for other local charities such as the Calgary Food Bank, Calgary Reads and the Mustard Seed. Scavenger hunt participants collect charitable donations along with some other rare, challenging items to gain points for their companies.

OFF-SEASON EVENTS The CCC September Games are the main focus of the organization’s efforts, but CCC also has monthly events that run in the “off-season” (February to July). These events are open to everyone, regardless of whether or not their company participates in the September Games, and each event helps raise funds for a local charity. Perhaps the most popular off-season event in the CCC lineup is the human bonspiel. Participants run and slide on giant “curling rings” (fibreglass sliders fitted with inflatable inner tubes) in this event, trying to get closest to a set of curling rings painted into the winter ice at Olympic Plaza. This mainstay event traditionally runs in February and raises money for KidSport Calgary. Other 2016 off-season events included a trivia night that raised money and donations for the Calgary Food Bank, a yoga event at the YWCA of Calgary and the newest addition, an axe-throwing tournament at BATL Calgary in support of Calgary Special Olympics. For more information on how to be a part of Calgary Corporate Challenge as either a participant or a volunteer, head to their website: www.calgarycorporatechallenge.com.

LUCK?!? WE DON’T NEED LUCK! The theme for this year’s Calgary Corporate Challenge is Lucky 21, but Lady Luck doesn’t work for Agrium, and that’s the way we like it. “We like to stand on our own two feet – both in business and in sporting competition,” says Michael Webb, Agrium’s Senior Vice President, Human Resources. “There’ll be no lucky rabbit’s feet or four-leaf clovers on the field or the court when we’re competing. We win, lose or draw on our own steam.” That’s why in the weeks leading up to Corporate Challenge, Agrium employees intentionally stomped on sidewalk cracks, hung their horseshoes upside down, opened umbrellas indoors and made no effort to avoid salt spills, black cats or the number 13. “We won’t walk under ladders or deliberately break mirrors, though: we’re a safety-first company,” quips Richelle Jimeno, chair of Agrium’s Calgary Corporate Challenge crew this year. Agrium will be represented at this year’s CCC events by employees from its Calgary head office, its Carseland manufacturing facility located 30 minutes east of the city, and Agrium Retail’s Crop Production Services Canada operations in High River. They’ll participate in events ranging from basketball and baseball to laser tag and the 10K run, to bowling and darts – as well as the CEO

Challenge, thanks to strong support from the company’s senior leaders. “Our talented, hard-working employees are the core of our success, so we work hard to show them our appreciation,” says Webb. A global manufacturer and retailer of fertilizer and other agricultural products, services and solutions, Agrium has sponsored Corporate Challenge for each of the past 17 years. “Corporate Challenge is a blast. It’s about camaraderie, sportsmanship and fan support. It’s a chance to get some exercise while we get to know each other better outside of work – and to let our hair down a little as we connect with people from other companies,” says Jimeno. “We definitely love to compete, but we also just love to play.” Agrium is known for its strong community outreach program, which focuses on community investment and participation, wherever its employees work and live. “We encourage all of our employees to get involved in Corporate Challenge this year,” says Webb. “Whether you’re a player, a volunteer or a spectator, you’re part of this team, and we need you.”



Benefits of Benefits NEW WORKPLACE TRENDS



hile employee health and wellness are basic and vital aspects of every workplace, the new trends for benefits (what is and is not offered and covered) are not only ever changing but proving to be sometimes contentious for many organizations. Benefits matter for recruiting new employees and keeping existing staff satisfied and, ultimately, they impact the company’s bottom line. Calgary employees negotiate and depend on employersponsored health and wellness benefit plans for prescription drugs, dentists, physiotherapists and psychologists as well as relatively new wellness benefits like massages, chiropractors, holistic health and company plan-approved health reimbursement accounts (health and wellness lines of credit) for options such as fitness memberships, personal trainers, health screening procedures and other paramedical services not covered by Alberta Health Services (AHS). “In the past five years or so, there has been a trend to health spending accounts – companies providing basic coverage but

having a large health spending account,” explains Calgary’s Janet Salopek, partner and senior consultant at Salopek & Associates Ltd. “It is an effective recruitment tool and good retention strategy. Particularly in Calgary, millennials currently make up a significant portion of today’s workforce and companies pay attention to this demographic when designing plans.




Conference Board of Canada. “Employer-sponsored benefits are valued by employees, but in order to control costs, organizations are making tough decisions about where to best allocate funds. “Beyond preventative measures, employers are also keeping benefit costs lower by limiting certain long-term benefits to employees, for example, retiree benefits. More than half of the Canadian employers surveyed for Benefits Benchmarking 2015 offer benefits to employees after they retire, primarily covering prescription drugs, vision care, hospital stays, and dental and paramedical care.”

“The younger generation is not as concerned about traditional group benefits as much as flexibility and control over how they spend their benefit dollars. We are also seeing a trend where companies are tiering the health spending account so the dollar amount available to the employee depends on years of service. It’s a great retention strategy.” Even without the impact of the downturn on the Calgary job market and economy, there’s a consensus, particularly in the Calgary workplace, that health and wellness benefit options are changing and many employers are re-examining traditional benefits as well as some new employee preferences, to more effectively plan and budget for company-offered programs. It’s also a fact of doing business that providing health and wellness benefits is a spiking cost for employers. Drawing from a survey of hundreds of Canadian companies, the Conference Board of Canada compiled the Benefits Benchmarking 2015 Report, comparing mid- to large-sized employers across Canada. It shows that the average cost of providing health and wellness benefits for employees (including AHS premiums) is $8,330 per year, per employee. “With the prevalence of chronic disease and incidence of mental health issues increasing, the costs of benefits have never been higher,” says Nicole Stewart, senior research associate, leadership and human resources research with the

The report also showed that, between 2012 and 2015, the percentage of employers limiting retiree benefits only to “grandfathered” employees doubled among respondents. Some changes are causing ripples about the health and wellness options being offered by Calgary employers. The AHS delisting of some services along with the rising cost of expensive drugs is causing some Alberta employers to review ways to contain health care costs while maintaining a healthy and happy workforce. “More than half of organizations we surveyed (52 per cent) reported increases in benefit costs for active employees, averaging 6.2 per cent,” Stewart says. “For employers, providing benefits while containing costs is a constant priority. To manage costs, some employers are looking to generic substitutions for prescription medicines or exclude certain drugs from coverage. “Others seek to increase the employee share of premiums. However, these solutions only address part of the cost pressures facing employers. A big, contemporary trend is a holistic view. Companies are looking closely at absentee rates and looking at benefits from a prevention perspective. “Organizations are increasingly turning to programs aimed at physical and mental health promotion because early assessment and intervention helps reduce the cost of claims.” Some trends revealed in the Conference Board report include: • More than 90 per cent of employers provide full-time employees vision care coverage (92 per cent); private





or semi-private hospital accommodation (96 per cent); out-of-country medical coverage (99 per cent); paramedical services like massage therapy, chiropractic coverage and physiotherapy (99 per cent); major restorative dental services (98 per cent); and long-term disability (99 per cent). • Most organizations do not have a set annual maximum for prescription drug coverage, but on average, reimbursement is limited to 89 per cent of the claim. Annual maximums are typically in place for dental work. • Over the past three years, there has been a significant increase in the number of employers offering full-time employees critical illness insurance (from 26 per cent to 35 per cent) — though more as an optional benefit than a standard one. As Salopek points out, “Traditional wellness benefits included exercise classes, chronic disease support and smoking cessation but an even newer, emerging trend is a more holistic approach to a healthy lifestyle, which broadens the eligible benefits to include volunteerism, financial planning and flexible work arrangements.” Some companies are surprised that flextime ranks high with employees. According to recent research by Regus, the global workplace provider, flexibility is a key value for Canadian workers, with three out of five employees saying they would turn down a job where flexibility was not offered. Also, 39 per cent

said they would have stayed longer in a previous job had flexibility been an option. “Flexibility, and specifically the ability to choose to work from a location closer to home, is becoming ever more important to helping modern workers find a balance between their hectic work lives and their physical and emotional demands,” says Wayne Berger, vice president of Regus Canada. “In fact, many millennials place greater importance on flexibility than on pay. “Businesses wanting to attract and retain highly-skilled and valuable workers cannot afford to ignore how important providing good work/life balance has become.” The Regus survey also shows that flexible employees having more spare time as the added benefit of choosing work location and workload helps to juggle personal and professional demands. Most importantly, flexible work enables employees to spend more time with family and friends. Not surprisingly, when choosing between two similar job prospects, 95 per cent of would pick the job that offered flexibility. “Technology is the overarching factor,” Berger adds, “allowing workers to remain connected away from the office. Technology means workers are now connected 24-7, but it also allows for the freedom to work from home, the road or closer to work from a flexible workspace. Employees may need to be available to their managers and clients outside the regular 9 to 5, and some days may be working more than eight hours. “To achieve work/life balance in today’s ever-connected world, it’s important to push for flexibility, when possible, in where and when you work.” The job market is, of course, impacted by the economy and the business climate, particularly in Calgary. “Currently, due to cost controls and budget cuts, especially in the oil and gas sector, benefits are employer-driven,” Salopek points out. “The economy is stabilizing and companies will want to retain good employees, and benefit programs will again become more employee-driven.”



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Page 1 - What if Lower for Longer is True? - Part II Page 4 - Taking Home the EARTH Award Page 6 - BOMA Insider Page 8 - Strolling Around Calgary’s East Village


By Sandy McNair


What if Lower for Longer is True? - Part II Succeeding in Both Hot and Colder Business Climates

ot long ago, for many people, Lower for Longer referred to interest rates. Today for many Canadians and most every Albertan, Lower for Longer is an even more compelling reference to oil prices and in turn, business and consumer confidence as well as growth rates. That is, the rate of growth of the economy, the local population, the participation rate and the employment rate. With implications across Canada, Alberta’s, Saskatchewan’s and Newfoundland’s economic performance has shifted from being one of Canada’s key growth engines and performance leaders to the other end of the continuum. For those in the commercial real estate market, Lower for Longer may also be a comment on future rents. In this article we will identify the current industry-wide as well as the city-specific dynamics that make today

unique with potentially surprising outcomes for our commercial real estate markets.

Shifting Industry-Wide Drivers and Dynamics

The fundamentals of supply and demand will always matter and impact all commercial real estate industry participants. Yesterday, today and tomorrow are different from each other. Understanding the underlying drivers and resulting dynamics is a key early step to successfully preparing for the future. Here are five recent and likely ongoing shifts in the drivers for us to explore more deeply as we anticipate the future of specific markets, portfolios, neighbourhoods, occupants and buildings:


• More New Supply - driven by ongoing pressure from institutional and other investors to place capital; - appeal of new buildings to occupiers in their “battle for talent” by using new technology at higher densities; - results in many occupiers more intensely using less but better space; - presents existing buildings with uneven but significant challenges as supply is no longer being driven by incremental demand. BOMA Calgary News

BOMA Calgary News is a co-publication of BOMA Calgary and Business in Calgary.

Business in Calgary

1025, 101 - 6 Ave. SW, Calgary, AB T2P 3P4 Tel: 403.264.3270 • Fax: 403.264.3276 info@businessincalgary.com www.businessincalgary.com

BOMA Calgary

120, 4954 Richard Road SW, Calgary, AB T3E 6L1 Email: info@boma.ca • Web: www.boma.ca Tel: 403.237.0559 • Fax: 403.266.5876

Communications Committee Leah Stewart, Chair, Sizeland Evans Interior Design Carly Chiasson, Vice-Chair, Bee Clean Building Maintenance Kelsey Johannson, TransCanada Corporation Jon Holmes, Camfil Canada Inc. Lisa Maragh, Strategic Group

• Intensification - accelerating focus on and successes with work/live/learn/shop/play spaces and buildings at downtown and other significant nodes with significant and varied impacts on vibrancy and value. • Fragmentation - viewing buildings within the same asset class or geographic market as equivalent or homogeneous is flawed – the averages are dangerous; - we all need to dig deeper into the details including new attributes and details to understand the risks, strengths and options. • Conversions and Next Best Use - identifying and understanding the full range of options and probabilities; – being ready to go beyond upgrades and repositioning into repurposing as part of a future-proof plan as opposed to hoping to avoid becoming a distressed asset/owner with only the more desperate options remaining.

Danielle Smith-Deveau, Strategic Group Christine White, Oxford Properties Group Aydan Aslan, BOMA Calgary

Board of Directors

CHAIR Chris Nasim, GWL Realty Advisors CHAIR-ELECT Lee Thiessen, MNP LLP SECRETARY TREASURER Richard Morden PAST CHAIR Ken Dixon, Strategic Group


Dustin Engel, Alberta Infrastructure Corrine Jackman, Hopewell Real Estate Services Jay de Nance, RioCan Management Inc. Steve Walton, Oxford Properties Group Todd Throndson, Avison Young Guy Priddle, Cadillac Fairview Marina Nagribianko, Allied REIT Rob Blackwell, Aspen Properties

The Building Owners and Managers Association of Calgary publishes BOMA Calgary News quarterly. For advertising rates and information contact Business in Calgary. Publication of advertising should not be deemed as endorsement by BOMA Calgary. The publisher reserves the right in its sole and absolute discretion to reject any advertising at any time submitted by any party. Material contained herein does not necessarily reflect the opinion of BOMA Calgary, its members or its staff. © 2015 by BOMA Calgary. Printed in Canada.


• Operational Excellence - new and evolving expectations of tenants and other stakeholders reward those commercial real estate owners, managers and leasing experts with the desire, processes and ability to create, shape, fulfil, communicate and manage expectations in an evolving market; - superior returns will be even more directly linked to tenant satisfaction, referral, recommendation and retention. Deeply understanding the leading indicators to these outcomes has become the key differentiator in markets that are increasingly over supplied.

City-Specific and Neighbourhood-Specific Variations

The markets have fragmented and the averages are dangerous. Within the same city, the differences in performance and direction can be stark. In our ongoing search for leading indicators, analytic tools and techniques, we have been isolating and tracking office buildings with one acre or more of space available for lease. As the graphic on the right summarizes, the pattern in Vancouver and Edmonton is more muted than Montreal and Toronto, with Calgary experiencing the steepest increase in both the number of buildings and the total amount of available space in the “One Acre Club.” In Calgary there are now 81 buildings in the “One Acre Club” that contain in aggregate more than 10 million square feet of available space, or an average of almost three acres for each of those 81 buildings. Only three years ago in Calgary, there were 28 buildings in the “One Acre Club” containing a total of 2.8 million square feet of available space for an average of 2.3 acres per building. Revealed within this data is the relative stability of Calgary’s beltline. In suburban Calgary, the number of buildings in the “One Acre Club” has held steady during the past three years while the total available space has doubled, compared to the 5.6 times increase in the total available space in the “One Acre Club” buildings in downtown Calgary.

The premise behind tracking changes in the “One Acre Club” is that the owners, managers, lenders and leasing teams associated with these larger blocks of available space have a material impact on future market behaviour, performance and values in both up and down cycles.

Alternate Scenarios for the Future

Next quarter we will explore future scenarios for Calgary’s office markets along with the drivers and logic behind each scenario.



susta i

dership ea

5 years of

bility l na

A Global Leader in Sustainable Property Investing

Bentall Kennedy ranked 1st globally among its peer group in the 2015 Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB)


Taking Home the EARTH Award

Equium Group’s Jonathan Lachance talks about the experience

Serving Alberta since 1985


n Thursday, May 12, 2016 at the Westin, the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) of Calgary recognized leaders in commercial real estate at the TransCanada BOMA Excellence Awards. Managed by Equium Group, 639 5th Avenue was the recipient of the EARTH Award, the most rigorous of the awards standards which recognizes buildings that excel in environmentally sound management and resource preservation, and includes occupational health and safety criteria. We interviewed Jonathan Lachance, general manager of Equium Group, about his experience with the BOMA Awards program.

Why did you decide to submit for the Awards this year?

Our organization’s core values are based on the notion of sustainable property investment (SPI). Given this notion, we submitted the EARTH Award application due to the recent awards and recognition obtained from BOMA and NAFA, including BOMA BEST Gold (83%), BOMA 360 and the Clean Air Award representing best management practices in the commercial real estate industry.

General Contractors and Project Managers

www.akelaconstruction.com 4

What benefit, if any, did you find going through the Awards process?

The application provides candidates the opportunity to benchmark best management practices within the field of sustainability and may serve as a template for building

performance enhancement which is a key function towards the overall asset management strategy for commercial property investment.

How has the winning in this category affected your team? Your clients or organization?

Sustainable management practices are no longer optional for commercial property owners. Numerous studies have depicted the premiums associated to sustainable best management practices. These practices are essential in remaining competitive within the market through tenant retention, operating cost reductions and net operating income (NOI) enhancement, which affect the valuation of incomeproducing assets. Obtaining the BOMA Calgary EARTH Award depicts Equium Group’s commitment towards sustainable management practices, which was greatly appreciated by all of its stakeholders including tenants, vendors and our client, Northam Realty Advisors Limited.

What would you say to a company or team that is thinking of entering the Awards next year?

We would recommend that candidates take the time to review the application as soon as it is made available. The requirements are extensive and should not be taken lightly. Regardless, if the application is successful, the EARTH Award is a great opportunity to learn and benchmark sustainable best management practices within property management.

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BOMA Insider Excellence Awards Recipients

The Property Management Team of the Year - Bow Valley Square, Oxford Properties Group

TOBY Medical Building - East Calgary Health Centre, Bentall Kennedy (Canada) LP

The Building Operations Team of the Year - Keynote One Office Tower, Triovest Realty Advisors 6

The Malcolm Bryce Award - Tanya Marsh, Cadillac Fairview

The EARTH Award - 639 5 Avenue SW, Equium Group

TOBY Retail Building - Westhills Towne Centre, Triovest Realty Advisors Inc.

TOBY Over 1 Million sq/ft - Eighth Avenue Place, Hines Canada Management

Building Operator of the Year - Matthew Topolovich, Aspen Property Management

The Pinnacle Award for Innovation - ENMAX Energy

TOBY Under 100,000 sq/ft - Quarry Park Professional, Artis REIT

It’s time to recycle more than this magazine Nov. 1, 2016 – New recycling requirements for business Many businesses and organizations are doing a good job recycling, but we need to do more. Nearly 60 per cent of garbage from businesses could have been recycled, but instead goes in the landfill. Effective Nov. 1, 2016 a new recycling bylaw will require all businesses and organizations to recycle the following: metal

paper & cardboard

untreated wood


Is your business ready? Contact your garbage collection company or visit calgary.ca/businessrecycling to learn more.


plastic film & containers


TOBY Historical Building - Lougheed House, Alberta Infrastructure

TOBY 250,000 – 499,999 sq/ft - Intact Place, Bentall Kennedy (Canada) LP

Welcome New BOMA Member Companies! Faithful + Gould – Greg Roberts Riviera Electric – Kim Dolan Canwest Elevator and Lifts – Mike Jennings Janico Cleaning Solutions Ltd – Jasvir Sandhu Airtron Canada – Tim O’Donnell Avmor Ltd – Rachel Dyer

TOBY Industrial Building - Foothills VII, TOBY 100,000 – 249,999 sq/ft – Plaza 1000, TOBY Retail Building - Westhills Towne Centre, Triovest Realty Advisors Inc.

Belimo Aircontrols (Can) Inc – Edward Smid

Two decades ago, AEDARSA was created to bring independent oversight to the installation and ongoing safety compliance of elevating devices, amusement rides and passenger ropeways throughout Alberta. It has been quite a ride! We have established a new level of cooperation and collaboration with industry and agent/owners in our efforts to regulate, monitor and enforce safety standards – for the protection of all Albertans. We look forward to continuing to reach higher in order to maintain the highest level of safety possible.


2014 BOMA Canada National Pinnacle Award - Customer Service

403.263.8170 8


By David Parker


Strolling Around Calgary’s East Village

eeting a couple of friends for lunch at Charbar – loved the charred napa cabbage salad – I took the opportunity to take a good look around East Village, for the first time. I’ve been around this city long enough to have lived through several planning sessions for the area, unfortunately divided from the rest of downtown by the ‘wall’ created by a city municipal building with a block-long backdrop. I did get excited about what I thought would be a great saviour for the lands when a development around a canal system was presented with restaurants and shops along its banks, but it too was rejected and we waited again. But this time, it is working. Thanks to a decision by council to increase the taxable area of the East Village boundaries, the money was found to build up the infrastructure and then thanks to some masterful salesmanship on behalf of the newly formed Calgary Municipal Land Corporation and the willingness of some gutsy residential developers – it is indeed working. More people will become residents as soon as the towers are completed, but thanks to the Simmons building (that houses Phil & Sebastian, Charbar and Sidewalk Citizen Bakery) many are getting exposure to the district that is bustling with construction. The very good-looking National Music Centre is open along the 9th Avenue south edge of the community and the Central Library will become another modern icon. They mix well with the “I’m so glad they kept” St. Louis, Hillier Block and King Eddy. Seems a long time since we enjoyed our chicken and chips at the Louis while listening to the “live” horse races. Anyone still remember the Safeway store in East Village? Getting groceries must be a problem for residents today – and for people living in neighbouring Inglewood and Bridgeland – so the decision to build an urban Loblaws store on the site of the former Calgary Police Association building is of huge benefit to the entire development. Over $500 million is being invested in this collaboration of RioCan and Embassy Bosa Inc. to bring another 500 condos to the site – Bosa has committed to a total of 1,100 multi-family units in East Village – plus around 188,000 square feet of retail.

The very good looking National Music Centre is open along the 9th Avenue south edge of the community and the Central Library will become another modern icon. And they mix well with the “I’m so glad they kept” St Louis, Hillier Block and King Eddy. On the east side of the Simmons Building, the M2 building is beginning construction and will be another exciting addition – a 20,000-square-foot modern block that spills out onto the RiverWalk and will be home to two more restaurants with upper floors of classy office space. Scheduled to open in September is another confident investment into East Village – two Hilton hotels by Widewaters. Homewood Suites by Hilton and Hilton Garden Inn will offer over 300 rooms, the first by Hilton in Calgary’s downtown core. A stroll around East Village gives one a confident feeling about what was a forgotten area of the city. It has, or has planned, lots of public spaces like 5th Street Square, Celebration Square and Crossroads and there’s the new bridge over to St. Patrick’s Island (does anyone remember its new name?). Add to that the soon to be opened renovated Deane House restaurant, which is walking distance around Fort Calgary. I just wish there was a walkway through the municipal building from the library all the way onto Stephen Avenue to really bring East Village into downtown. 9

Leading Business SEPTEMBER 2016

IN THIS ISSUE... • Member Profiles • Policy Bites: Incentivizing Integrity: Adoption of a Canadian False Claims Act



2016 Board of


Policy Bites: Incentivizing Integrity: Adoption of a Canadian False Claims Act

Executive Chair: Denis Painchaud, Director of International Government Relations, Nexen, a CNOOK Limited Company Past Chair: Rob Hawley, Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP Vice Chair: David Allen, Founder & President, Situated Co. Treasurer: Wellington Holbrook, Executive Vice-President, ATB Financial CEO: Adam Legge, President and CEO, Calgary Chamber

Directors Bill Brunton, Vice President of Marketing and External Relations, Habitat for Humanity, Southern Alberta Carlos Alvarez, Audit Partner, KPMG Lorenzo DeCicco, Vice-President, TELUS Business Solutions Phil Roberts, President, Vintri Technologies Linda Shea, Senior Vice-President, AltaLink Mike Williams, Executive Vice-President, Corporate Services, Encana James Boettcher, Chief Idea Officer, Fiasco Gelato Brent Cooper, Partner, McLeod Law LLP Desirée Bombenon, President & CEO, SureCall Contact Centres Ltd. Management Adam Legge – President and CEO Michael Andriescu – Director of Finance and Administration Kim Koss – Vice President, Business Development and Sponsorship Scott Crockatt – Director of Marketing and Communications Rebecca Wood – Director of Member Services Justin Smith – Director of Policy, Research and Government Relations Leading Business magazine is a co-publication of the Calgary Chamber and Business in Calgary Calgary Chamber 600, 237 8th Avenue S.E. Calgary, Alberta T2G 5C3 Phone: (403) 750-0400 Fax: (403) 266-3413

The Calgary Chamber policy team recently submitted a policy resolution to the Canadian Chamber of Commerce calling for the adoption of a Canadian False Claims Act, a measure that will help ensure taxpayer dollars are spent efficiently, and will help make it easier for businesses to compete fairly for public contracts.

Background Governments across Canada spend billions each year providing a variety of public goods and services such as health care, defence, transportation, education and infrastructure. The federal government buys an average $15 billion (CAD) worth of goods and services each year, through approximately 60,000 transactions. Hidden among honest goods and services providers, however, are individuals and organizations that defraud the government for private gain. Procurement fraud can take many forms, from bid-rigging and kickbacks to illegal subcontracting and prevailing wage violations. Fraud committed against the government within the context of public sector procurement not only costs taxpayers millions of dollars annually, but allows perpetrators to obtain an unfair competitive advantage over honest competitors when vying for government contracts. This hurts honest businesses, that make up the vast majority, because it makes it harder to compete on a level playing field. Regardless of their design, fraud schemes share two important characteristics: they can be very difficult to identify without critical and salient inside information, and they can be resourceintensive to investigate and prosecute. The potential for fraud increases when one considers the ambitious infrastructure spending plan that the federal government plans to roll out over the next decade. The government has committed to steadily increasing federal infrastructure investment each year, which will result in a $65 billion spend over the next 10 years, which will be the largest new investment in infrastructure in Canadian history.


Much of this spending will go to the construction industry, which has been known to be particularly susceptible to bid-rigging and other fraudulent practices. As of 2016, procurement fraud is the third most common form of economic crime in Canada at 21 per cent, preceded by cybercrime (28 per cent) and asset misappropriation (62 per cent).

Issue In recent years, there has been increased interconnectedness of business entities in outsourcing value chain elements, purchasing materials, and increased government reliance on suppliers. The overall false claims protections afforded to the Canadian government, and ultimately the



taxpayer, are inadequate. Presently, Canada lags its OECD counterparts in terms of our overall fraud prevention mechanisms in public procurement. As the scale and scope of federal spending is set to increase, the federal government should implement a series of reforms, including a more powerful incentive to support whistleblowers in order to more effectively prevent fraudulent conduct.

Recommendation One of the most effective tools against fraud currently missing from Canada’s enforcement basket is a False Claims Act (FCA). This would provide a meaningful incentive structure for whistleblowers to bring credible information forward to government, in order to facilitate the investigation of such crimes and the recovery of lost proceeds. Individuals and organizations committing fraud can be assessed for the damages and whistleblowers can be awarded out of the proceeds. The principle of the law, as seen in the U.S. False Claims Act, is straightforward: any citizen informer (known as a relator) who finds the existence of fraud against the government may initiate and sustain a recovery proceeding on the government’s behalf. The citizen informer can then expect to receive in return, a portion of the sum recovered by the state if successful (between 15 and 30 per cent). The private right of action to which the relator is entitled, known as a qui tam, or whistleblower provision, is what makes this approach so effective, providing an innovative and powerful legal avenue that allows the government to leverage the power of the public to detect and punish fraud against the state, and recover money embezzled by dishonest companies and individuals. By any measure, the U.S. False Claims Act has been the most effective legal tool in combating fraud against the public purse. Total recoveries in the past six years to the U.S. Treasury

under a False Claims Act are $26.4 billion. There has been a 20-to-one return since FCA induction; for every dollar that the federal government spends on FCA enforcement, it recovers $20 in return. In fact, it has been so effective that 30 separate U.S. states have also implemented their own FCA legislation. Canada ought to follow suit. A Canadian False Claims Act would bolster enforcement capacity of the federal government without necessarily expanding the federal workforce or devoting additional financial resources for that purpose. Fraud is a serious crime that undermines competitive local markets and costs Canadian taxpayers millions of dollars annually. When someone secures a public contract by cheating, or an individual embezzles public funds, we all lose. A Canadian False Claims Act would be a progressive step in addressing these economic consequences and help limit fraudulent conduct in Canada.



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

Boardwalk Equities Inc. Starting with just one building over 30 years ago, Boardwalk Rental Communities has grown to include over 225 properties across the country, and is one of Canada’s largest owners and operators of rental apartments. Boardwalk strives to be Canada’s friendliest landlord and provide their resident members with superior quality rental communities and customer service. For more information, visit BWalk.com.

CIBC Whether a business is just starting out, expanding or wellestablished, CIBC has the right combination of business solutions to help manage day-to-day banking, enhance cash flow and maximize savings and investments. Their business advisers will work with clients to understand goals and provide financial advice for success. For more information, visit CIBC.com.

Husky Energy

Indian Business Corpation Since 1987, the Indian Business Corporation (IBC) has provided access to capital for First Nations peoples, fostering opportunities for success and development. IBC provides lending and financial services to First Nations’ businesses and individuals across numerous sectors including agriculture, heavy equipment and transportation, and the service and hospitality industries. Since its inception, IBC has had the opportunity to lend out over $80 million to help finance First Nations’ business initiatives. For more information, visit IndianBC.ca.

Husky Energy is one of Canada’s largest integrated energy companies. Headquartered in Calgary, Husky also operates in the United States and the Asia Pacific Region with upstream and downstream business segments. Husky’s balanced growth strategy focuses on consistent execution, disciplined financial management and safe and reliable operations. For more information, visit HuskyEnergy.com.

Electronic Recycling Association

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

Years as a member

Mr. Rooter of Calgary


Sealweld Corp


Electronic Recycling Association


Matex Control Chemical




This month, the Electronic Recycling Association (ERA) celebrates 10 years of membership to the Calgary Chamber. ERA is a non-profit organization dedicated to reducing electronic waste through the secure reuse and recycling of unwanted computers, laptops and related electronic equipment. With a sharp focus on data security and professional services, ERA is committed to ensuring operational equipment stays in use for as long as is reasonable by refurbishing unwanted tech. Equipment is then donated to Canadian charitable organizations or sold at a low cost to individuals unable to afford new equipment. For more information, visit ERA.ca.

AMVIC Licensed




ome people just misunderstand small business.

According to Canadian (and especially Calgary) stats and figures and despite business perceptions or whether it ever gets the deserved recognition or not – small business often translates into big success. Statistics Canada figures show that there are more than 1.2 million small businesses in Canada. The criteria to determine small or big business does not depend solely on balance sheets. Primarily, it is the number of employees that defines the category of “small business”. More than 98 per cent of all Canadian private sector businesses have fewer than 100 employees. It’s one reason why it may be a jarring revelation for some, that small businesses are the key driving force of the Canadian and Calgary economy, partially because they employ more than 6.8 million people across the country. “Some people just don’t realize that small businesses represent the fastest growing job market for people in Alberta and throughout Canada,” says Wellington Holbrook, executive vice president of ATB, the largest Alberta-based financial institution and a popular choice for Alberta businesses. Today, ATB has 5,300 staff, 172 branches, 135 agencies and more than 710,000 customers in 244 Alberta communities. “Most new jobs in Canada are created by entrepreneurs and new businesses. And Alberta is the most entrepreneurial province in Canada. Small business is solidly part of the ATB focus and entrepreneurship and small business has been in the DNA of ATB for the past 75 years. That’s never going to change. “We’re conscious and working hard not to lose ‘the small feeling.’ We always remember our roots and we constantly



think like entrepreneurs. It enables us to differentiate ourselves in Canadian banking. We are the bank for entrepreneurs and small business, particularly in Calgary,” he emphasizes. “The towers may be filled with big nationals but small businesses are the lifeblood of the Calgary economy. Most Calgary big businesses rely on Calgary small businesses like lawyers, accountants, consultants, engineering, IT and other services. Let’s face it, if it wasn’t for small business, Calgary would not have its unique personality. One random example is 17th Avenue, and all the small businesses that makes Calgary so vibrant.” Each year, small business is highlighted and celebrated during Small Business Week(SBW). This year, it’s all set for October 16 to 22, with events, networking, displays and awards, underscoring the value and the dynamic role small business plays in the Calgary business community. “As Canada’s engine of job growth, they deserve to be celebrated, and that’s what BDC Small Business Week is all about,” explains Michael Selci, senior vice president, financing and consulting, at the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), the federal bank devoted exclusively to entrepreneurs and promoting entrepreneurship with a focus on small and medium-sized businesses. With its more than 110 business centres from coast to coast, BDC provides businesses in all industries with financing and advisory services. “Now in its 37th edition, BDC’s Small Business Week is about daring to grow the business, which is never an easy task. Inevitably, there are barriers that need to be knocked down as entrepreneurs navigate the path to success. “Confronting challenges is essential if the business wants to win in today’s competitive global environment,” Selci


cautions. “It’s not only about having the will, but also about having the tools and resources, both financial and non-financial.” SBW is a proactive, win-win idea for the business community to salute and bring together entrepreneurs and prospective entrepreneurs to network, share ideas and brainstorm at conferences, workshops, luncheons and the trade fair and, in the Calgary area, at a prestigious and inspiring award ceremony. The unanimous highlight of the special week happens on Thursday, October 20, 2016 at the business expo trade show and SBW awards. It’s the annual chance for Calgary businesses to display their products or services, discover new businesses and network with other people in Calgary’s business community. The award ceremony will recognize the nominated and judged “emerging stars” of Calgary’s small business scene. The ATB partnership with BDC, the Chamber and other supportive sponsors makes Calgary’s Small Business Week the most active (and talked about) Small Business Week event in Canada. ATB worked with the Calgary Chamber to launch SmallBusinessWeekCalgary.com – a customized website that is the single-largest touch point for all events and

activities planned for the mid-October Small Business Week in Calgary. It’s an informative and easy-to-access hub where everything Calgary and SBW is instantly available. The website not only lists the schedule of what is planned and relevant details but it is the place where award nominations and voting happened for the Emerging Growth Award, the Indigenous Entrepreneurship Award, the Innovation Award, the Customer Service Excellence Award, the Community Impact Award, the Environmental Stewardship Award, the Breakout Business Award and the People’s Choice Award – the business Calgarians think is just the best of the best. To underscore that encouragement and support for small business is serious business, ATB got together with BDC for a major, small business-boosting initiative. In mid-July, recognizing a need to help Alberta-based small and mid-sized businesses get access to capital, ATB and BDC forged a $1-billion agreement to support Alberta small businesses. Each bank is contributing $500 million in new business loans to help Alberta’s innovative small businesses create jobs for Albertans. It is the first-of-its-kind deal between the two financial institutions and demonstrates both BDC’s and ATB’s commitment to stand by Alberta businesses in good times and difficult times.




Managed Services Digitex Digitex Celebrates Celebrates 20 20 Year YearsAnniversary in Business


By Rennay Craats in Collaboration with Digitex Management Team

hen Digitex Canada started 20 years ago it was ahen small Red Deer company and servicing Digitex Canada startedselling 20 years ago, it was photocopiers and printers. Since then, the com a small Red Deer company selling and servicing pany has grown to be a leader in providing managed print photocopiers and printers. Since then, the comservices solutions mid- and large-sized companies pany hasand grown to be atoleader in providing managed print across theand province. services solutions to mid- and large-sized companies across the province. Digitex first branched into the Calgary and Edmonton mar kets and has experienced explosive growth across Alberta. Digitex first branched into the Calgary and Edmonton marLast strategically acquired the across Cypress Group, ketsyear and Digitex has experienced explosive growth Alberta. adding Medicine Hat and Lethbridge into the fold. With Last year Digitex strategically acquired the Cypress Group, service both McMurray addingbranches Medicine in Hat andFort Lethbridge intoand the Saskatch fold. With major centres and ewan, they are able support clients in and service branches in to both Fort McMurray Saskatchewan, they are able to support clients in major centres opportunities to expand footprintThey through services and remote areas across their the province. continue to and acquisitions. look for opportunities to expand their footprint through services and acquisitions. Despite this incredible growth, Digitex never abandoned their corporate philosophy of providing the best service Despite this incredible growth, Digitex never abandoned intheir the industry. the company’s highest corporateCustomers philosophyremain of providing the best service in the industry. Customers remain the company’s highest service priority.and Thesupport. staff takes pride in providing local, dependable service and support. Centrally headquartered in Red Deer, the majority of the hardware housed in a 25,000-square-foot facilityofand Centrally is headquartered in Red Deer, the majority thecan be shippedistohoused clientsininaCalgary or Edmonton in 90and minutes. hardware 25,000-square-foot facility can Inbesuch a competitive market, recognizes need to shipped to clients in CalgaryDigitex or Edmonton in 90the minutes. be responsive. In quick such aand competitive market, Digitex recognizes the need to be quick and responsive. “We have a dedicated team of local customer service repre sentatives to field incoming service calls. In the event the call “We have a dedicated team of local customer service can’t be resolvedtoover phone,service a qualified techni representatives fieldthe incoming calls.service In the event cian dispatched to diagnose andphone, resolvea the error on-site,” the is call can’t be resolved over the qualified service says Hugh Porter, Digitextopresident. technician is dispatched diagnose and resolve the error on-site,” says Hugh Porter, Digitex president. Besides having the best employees who truly care about building relationships and Besides long-lasting having the best employees with who customers truly care about suppliers, Digitex alsorelationships recognizes the of team building long-lasting withimportance customers and suppliers, Digitex also recognizes the importance of teaming up offers technology leaders including Samsung, Canon, Sharp, with the best partners in the business. The company offers Lexmark, Toshiba, Dell andSamsung, Microsoft. Digitex not only technology leadersHP, including Canon, Sharp, Lexsells and manages printMicrosoft. fleets butDigitex will manage forsells com mark, Toshiba, HP, new Dell and not only panies that have existing print fleets in order to drive down and manages new print fleets, but will manage for companies that have existing print fleets in order to drive down

Photo by EPIC Photography Inc.

Hugh Porter, President & CEO Hugh Porter, President & CEO

operational costs and proactively manage devices through their MPS tools and software. It’s all part ofdevices Digitex’s focus operational costs and proactively manage through on ensuring complete client satisfaction. their MPS tools and software. It’s all part of Digitex’s focus on ensuring complete client satisfaction. “We’ve always looked at ourselves as a service-first company and whilealways sales looked aren’t an it’s definitelycomnot our “We’ve at afterthought, ourselves as a service-first number-one focus,” Porter. pany and while salessays aren’t an afterthought, it’s definitely not our number-one focus,” says Porter. It’s this philosophy that has fostered the company’s growth, both geographically and has within the industry. Digitex-re It is this philosophy that fostered the company’s towithin offer more value toDigitheir cently expanded their services growth, both geographically and the industry. tex recently expanded their services to offer more value totomanaged IT, document management and man their clients. They now offer a scalablesoftware and customized aged print to services. approach managed IT, document management software and managed print services. Digitex has come a long way but shows no signs of slowing down ashas they continue bring to their custom Digitex come a longtoway butmore showsvalue no signs of slowing down as they continue to bring more value to their customAlberta’s independent businesses, providing best-iners. The largest company is determined to establish itself as one of class hardware, and services. Alberta’s largestsoftware independent businesses, providing best-inclass hardware, software and services.

Digitex Canada Inc. 20 Years Digitex Canada Inc | 20 Years

In partnership with Lexmark, Digitex's MPS Program can become a productivity-enhancing part of your business workflow. Lexmark’s new generation of colour laser printers and multifunction products bring more to your lexmark workgroup: quality, innovation, reliability, productivity, and ease of use. Photos by EPIC Photography Inc.

“We are grateful to be celebrating 20 years of success in this “We are grateful to be celebrating 20 years of success in this associates the years. looks forward to and industry,” throughout says Porter. “Thank youDigitex to our business partners many more, providing value as a technology partner.” associates throughout the years. Digitex looks forward to many

Digitex, congratulations on your 20 th anniversary and thank you for your 9943 - 109 Street Edmonton, AB T5K 1H6 partnership! Telephone: 780.442.2770 • Fax: 780.426.1555 digitex.ca

more, providing value as a technology partner.” Digitex Edmonton 9943-109 Unit 8-7005 Street Edmonton, Fairmount DriveAB SE T5K 1H6 Calgary, AB T2H 0J1 P.403.280.6482 P. 780.442.2770

Digitex Calgary





Congratulations CongratulationsDigitex DigitexCanada CanadaInc. Inc. on achieving 20 years in business! on achieving 20 years in business!

We Wewish wishyou youmany manyyears years of ofcontinued continuedsuccess! success!

Thank you for partnering with Samsung Thank you for partnering with Samsung


Digitex Canada Inc. 20 Years Digitex Canada Inc | 20 Years

Prestige Railings and Stairs Ltd. Prestige Railings and Stairs continues its “rise and run” to the top of the stair and railing industry in Alberta as we once again have received the Consumer Choice Award for Business Excellence in both Calgary and Edmonton. For well over a decade, Prestige has been privileged to receive these awards – a constant reflection of our dedication to quality and a sincere effort to exceed customer expectations – every step of the way. Prestige, through our sister company, Royal Oak Circular Stairs Ltd., continues to build the highest quality stairs in the industry and we pride ourselves on helping our customers realize their dreams in creating a focal point in their homes with unique designs and extraordinary craftsmanship. Prestige offers an extensive variety of quality products, all the way from glass stair treads and stainless steel components to spindles featuring Swarovski crystals; from LED accent lighting to interior and exterior spiral stairs. Prestige continuously works with architects and designers, builders, contractors, and building and home owners to

Consistency, Quality, Craftsmanship

achieve the goals and visions of each individual customer. Whether it be a starter home with a feature railing or a commercial property with 10 stories of interior railing that needs retrofitting, Prestige is the only call you need to make. For well over 25 years, Prestige has been pleased to set the highest standards in the industry and will continue to raise the bar and focus on improving the product and the process. While the customer doesn’t realize it in most cases, Prestige is the only stair and railing company to be ISO 9001 certified and the only stair and railing company to be a member of the Architectural Woodwork Manufacturers Association of Canada. This speaks to the Prestige commitment to constant evaluation and improvement in an industry where we already set the bar for quality. The Company’s vision of being the most respected, reliable and sought after provider of all things stairs and railings to the residential and commercial construction industry, is the focus of everything we do. While the awards are a nice pat on the back and a huge morale booster, we know the work to improve never stops.

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Blue Ocean Interactive Marketing Remember when the Internet was ugly? Blue Ocean Interactive Marketing does, and yes – it was awful. Luckily, the web these days is exponentially better than it was in 2000. Thanks to advances in web technology, the boldness and talent of great designers, a heavy focus on UX and the vast improvement of content management systems, websites are much more user-friendly, attractive and more easily managed than ever before. That is, when they are designed by professionals. Blue Ocean Interactive Marketing develops stellar, functional web designs, logos and branding services for established companies like Innova Global (formerly ATCO Emissions Management) and startups like the new valet storage service – YYC Storage. Whether clients are rookies in the business game sparked by an entrepreneurial fire that stokes Blue Ocean’s own creativity or seasoned business veterans looking to recalibrate their online strategy, every project is immersed in a concerted effort to see their clients’ businesses succeed. Websites have surpassed the esteemed position of a welldesigned business card (although, Blue Ocean designs these

too) by serving as a legitimacy indicator for businesses. Credibility is given to those whose businesses have a well-designed, functional website. Let’s be honest, there is nothing more infuriating then waiting too long for a website to load, not being able to find what you’re looking for within a site because of poor information architecture and well, just plain ugly web design. Great web design is not just about esthetic appeal however, it’s about creating an experience for users that is useful and intuitive. Like an attractive potential partner who opens their mouth to reveal nausea-inducing halitosis, pretty only goes so far. A business website must be great from the inside out and this is where Blue Ocean shines. Blue Ocean Interactive Marketing is composed of passionate, creatives and brilliant programmers. Their extensive awareness of web design trends and web technology has seen the company awarded the Consumer Choice Award five years in a row for web design in southern Alberta. It’s what they do best. Contact Blue Ocean today if you’re looking to up your online business marketing game. They’re ready to play.

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Photo courtesy of Boardwalk Rental Communities-Chateau Apartments.

Calgary Residential Rental Association Helps Members Succeed By Rennay Craats | Photos by Michael Cudjoe Photography Inc.

Calgary Residential Rental Association | Since 1959 79

(Pictured from back to front: Nikki Petrowitz: Administrative Assistant, Gerry Baxter: Executive Director, Sarah Harrison: Financial Administrator and Event Coordinator and Jordan DeBarros: Business Development and Marketing Manager)


othing is more intimidating for the average person than trying to wade through a piece of government legislation. That’s where the Calgary Residential Rental Association (CRRA) comes in. Since 1959, this non-profit society has been helping landlords and tenants navigate the legislation surrounding the residential rental market.

To achieve this end, the CRRA offers a number of valuable resources to its members. Eight times throughout the year, the CRRA hosts seminars and luncheons at Hotel Blackfoot. Seminars are geared more towards property managers and landlords, while luncheons are more general and cater toward the membership as a whole.

The association was founded by the original owner of the Elbow River Casino as a means to facilitate networking for landlords in the city. Since then, it has grown in scope and size. Members now fall into one of three categories: owners and managers of residential rental properties, service companies that provide a product or service in support of the residential rental industry, or non-profit organizations that either provide affordable housing solutions or consist of professional trade associations.

These luncheons often feature high-profile speakers such as Mayor Naheed Nenshi and Brian Burke from the Calgary Flames. These events present members with a great opportunity to network and learn from others in the industry.

The CRRA was formerly called the Calgary Apartment Association, and in 2010 the organization changed its name to better reflect its ever-evolving member demographics. With a membership of around 1,050 across the province at the end of 2015, ranging from large property management and residential leasing companies to small landlords with one rental unit, the CRRA is the largest residential rental association in Alberta. Its mandate is simple: to help its members succeed in their businesses. “We want to make sure that our members have all the tools that they need to be effective and successful in their businesses,” says Gerry Baxter, Executive Director of the CRRA.

“Being a smaller landlord can be quite isolating, but when they come to our events, there have been lifelong friendships forged – it’s very cordial and it’s a good sense of community,” says Nikki Petrowitz, Administrative Assistant at the CRRA. The atmosphere is friendly at board meetings, seminars and luncheons, the growing trade show event, and social events like the awards gala and annual golf tournament. While many members are competing with each other in the marketplace, when they gather at CRRA events they are always willing to share information. Representatives from larger rental companies are happy to help those from smaller ones learn the business. “When you put them in a room together, they share information and work very well together, and it’s one thing that has always impressed me. It’s a harmonious working relationship,” Baxter says.

Calgary Residential Rental Association | Since 1959 | 2

Drummer Realty & Property Management Congratulates the CRRA on their continued success!

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Congratulations CRRA!

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AEDARSA is very proud to be a member of the CRRA. Congratulations on serving Calgary since 1959! Celebrating 20 years of Safety Top to Bottom!

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Calgary Residential Rental Association | Since 1959 | 3

Photo courtesy of CRRA member Simco Management (Calgary) Inc.

The CRRA is happy to share information as well. Five times per year, Gerry Baxter teaches a two-day course on the Residential Tenancies Act of Alberta. It covers the legislation from start to finish and guides people through best practices and how to apply them to their businesses. In 2012, the provincial government awarded the association with a Consumer Champion Award of Merit in the Non-Profit

category for this two-day course. Since 2007, nearly 1,100 residential property owners and managers from Calgary and throughout Alberta have taken the course. While these seminars and luncheons are open to nonmembers, membership saves attendees 50 per cent off the cost of attendance. In many cases it’s cheaper to join the association

Peoples Trust Company would like to thank the Calgary Residential Rental Association for 22 years of partnership.

Congratulations on your successes. ÂŽ


Calgary Residential Rental Association | Since 1959 | 4

Photo courtesy of Boardwalk Rental Communities-Spruce Ridge.

and take advantage of the discounts available than to pay full price at the events. Members can also take advantage of deals extended from service providers.

“We are one of the few associations that we’ve found that actually provides that service right out of the office. We are a great resource for people,” says Baxter.

The service companies in the association work in a wide range of businesses, with some of Calgary’s best plumbers, electricians, bailiffs, roofers and restoration companies among them. Members enjoy reduced rates from many of the 147 service companies that also hold memberships.

Owners can join the association and immediately start enjoying the benefits of having this knowledge base at their fingertips. There’s no wait time. As soon as they have paid their membership fee and have agreed to the code of ethical principles, they can access all that the CRRA has to offer.

“We have an exclusive discount program, that some of our service members partake in by offering an exclusive tangible discount to all CRRA members,” says Sarah Harrison, Financial Administrator and Event Coordinator for the CRRA.

The code of ethical principles is also required for membership from prospective service and non-profit members. This agreement states that members must comply with all laws and regulations applying to their business and the industry, carry on work in a way that enhances the image of the profession and the association, and act in a professional manner. The CRRA also asks that its members continue to upgrade their knowledge and to treat those they encounter in their business with fairness and respect.

However, the discounts are not the only benefits to membership. The CRRA provides members with information, assistance, discounted forms and documents, and referrals that help them in running their rental business. “We are like insurance for our members. They may not need us all the time but when a problem arises, most of our members find a simple call to our office is all that is required to solve it,” says Jordan DeBarros, Business Development and Marketing Manager of the CRRA.

“We just expect our members to be honest, ethical and to treat customers and others with dignity and respect – that includes from the owner/managers and the tenants too,” says Baxter.

The four members of the CRRA staff have all taken the Residential Tenancies Act course, so they are very familiar with the legislation and can answer most questions that are posed to them. With such a complex industry, there are bound to be questions that in-house staff can’t solve, but they will make sure members are connected with an outside source who will have the answer.

Membership is open to any residential rental property owner or manager regardless of how many units they own or manage. Many of the CRRA’s members are smaller businesses with one or two units. Often they have purchased rental units as investment properties to supplement their incomes, and they use the rent money to help pay down their mortgages, put their kids through university or build their retirement portfolio. Nearly 60 per cent of CRRA members own or manage fewer than 11 units, and 38 per cent have fewer than four.

They aren’t lawyers so they can’t provide specific legal advice but they can provide information about the legislation specifically, as well as what is happening in the industry in general, in order to put members on the right course.

It’s these members that the association is eager to attract most. For many of these owners, the rental property is a side job and they don’t consider it a business. They don’t realize that if they don’t follow the rules and do things right, it could get very costly



reserve now at www.execsuite.ca Calgary Residential Rental Association | Since 1959 | 5

Photo courtesy of Boardwalk Rental Communities-Auburn Landing.

for them. The association guides these owners through the process and strives to alleviate the disconnect often experienced between being a small landlord and being a businessperson. Small and large landlords aren’t the only ones who can be confused about the legislation. Tenants often don’t understand the expectations related to residential rentals. The CRRA works closely with many groups in the community to educate people about the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants. Over the past five years, the CRRA has reached 1,200 people through presentations to student groups like those at Bow Valley College and Chinook Learning Services, organizations including the Centre for Newcomers and the Calgary Catholic Immigration Society, and First Nations groups including Siksika and Tsuu T’ina Nations.

“We provide them with a fair and balanced presentation about the Residential Tenancies Act, talking mostly about landlord and tenant rights and responsibilities under the legislation,” says Baxter. This arms people with the right information so they can ensure their landlords are doing the right things, and it makes them better tenants knowing what their responsibilities are as well. Both the CRRA and its members are active in the community, lending a hand wherever they can. Most recently, CRRA members provided housing solutions for evacuees during the Fort McMurray fires and supplied many units to Syrian refugees looking for housing in Calgary. Many members also work with non-profit social housing agencies in helping house thousands of homeless Calgarians.

Congratulations to the CRRA!

Congratulations to Bethany Care Society on your 70th Anniversary!

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Calgary Residential Rental Association | Since 1959 | 6

Photo courtesy of Drummer Realty and Property Management.

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The association has also partnered with the Calgary Housing Company and the Calgary Homeless Foundation on projects that provide a hand up to individuals and families in need. In 2007, the New Start program saw members step up to provide more than 1,000 rental units over the course of a year for families and workingpoor Calgarians. At the end of the four-year program, 2,200 people had rentsupplemented housing and were on their way to self-sufficiency. Last December the Home for the Holidays program obtained funding and members provided housing for around 30 families in time for Christmas.

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In fact, the association and its members are very active with social agencies on a regular basis. This goes against the stereotypical image of a landlord who isn’t concerned with the well-being of tenants and the community at large. The truth is they are hard-working, compassionate people who are invested in their community.

Michael Boisclair FCIP, CRM Senior Vice President Real Estate - Alberta Region 403.299.2465 | michael_boisclair@ajg.com

This truth is something the CRRA wants to convey to the government as well. Most landlords are small businesses who work with social agencies to support the community. The association has had a great working relationship with municipal and provincial governments and acts as the voice of the industry to government. Members of the association participate on government committees relating to the housing and rental industries to ensure that initiatives and laws represent what is best for the industry as a whole.

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“It’s important that we have our ear to the ground on behalf of our members because we work hard to ensure the laws work well and that they are fair to both landlords and tenants,” says Baxter. Since 1959, the CRRA has been helping residential rental owners and managers grow their businesses and be successful. With incredible resources only a phone call away, and with an amazing network of members, the Calgary Residential Rental Association is an essential tool for Alberta landlords and property managers, service companies and non-profit organizations.

4653 Macleod Trail SW Calgary, AB T2G P. (403) 265-6055 • www.crra.ca Calgary Residential Rental Association | Since 1959 | 7

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Congratulations to the CRRA


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to the CRRA

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Calgary Residential Rental Association | Since 1959 | 8

Melodie and Bryan Bunz.

RITEWAY SIGNS CELEBRATES 25 YEARS By Rennay Craats | Photos by Michael Cudjoe Photography Inc.


ation, with Bunz and his wife Melodie as the sole shareholders, and as their business base grew, they began hiring contractors to help with the workload.

Riteway specializes in installing and manufacturing residential and commercial real estate, property management and rental signs in Calgary and area, and the company has grown every year. Despite this growth, it has never lost its focus on providing exceptional customer service. It has remained a small oper-

Now, 25 years later, Riteway Signs operates out of a modern workshop and office built on Bunz’s property in southeast Calgary, and despite the fact that he now has employees, Bunz is a hands-on owner who is involved in every aspect of the business. He contracts three highly qualified and knowledgeable full-time residential installers and one commercial installer as well as a contract graphic designer to offer more value to customers. Riteway’s signs can be seen extensively throughout Calgary and surrounding communities.

wenty-five years ago, Bryan Bunz established Riteway Signs, a full-service sign provider for real estate agents in Calgary and surrounding areas. Built from the ground up, Riteway Signs is now known for its unprecedented customer service and unparalleled quality.

Much has changed in the industry and within Bunz’s business over the years and Riteway has been a leader in adapting to and initiating these changes in Calgary. Hand lettering and silk screening gave way to digital printing, and Riteway offers in-house digital printing to clients. Riteway was also the first to abandon metal signposts in favour of PVC ones. Manufacturing that was previously outsourced is now done onsite, and Riteway can produce all products pertaining to real estate signage including residential and commercial signs, decals, banners and sandwich boards.

Century 21 Bamber would like to thank Riteway Signs for 20+ years of partnership and congratulations on your 25th Anniversary! WWW.CENTURY21BAMBER.AB.CA | 403-245-0773

“Order processing has changed as well, and Riteway was one of the first to offer online ordering and sign tracking of real estate signs in Calgary,” says Bryan Bunz, Riteway Signs founder.


Roland 54” digital printers.

Bradley and Jessica Bunz.

Riteway has kept up with the technological advancements in the industry in order to offer clients the best possible product for the best price. It boasts two large format digital printers, a laminator and a Rollsroller Flatbed Applicator. “This allows us to provide top quality signs in a very efficient time frame,” he says. This is important, as quality and efficiency are the backbone of Bunz’s business. Riteway offers next-day sign installations and removals of signs ordered prior to 2 p.m., and

“I have been using Bryan and his team at Riteway for over 25 successful years. I am very pleased to support Bryan and would like to mention not only is their service excellent, they also take great pride in creating custom sizes and artwork for all required signage, have a very efficient online ordering system, timely sign set up and near perfect sign placement every single time. Thanks again Bryan and Riteway. Hope we can work together for another 25 years!” ~ Scott Thibeault, Century 21 Summit Realty

Maxwell Canyon Creek Congratulates Riteway Signs on their 25th Anniversary! www.MaxWellCanyonCreek.ca 403.444.7624


“Riteway Signs is a remarkable company to work with. They are prompt and eager to ensure their clients are satisfied. We are pleased to have them a part of our extended real estate team as a service provider and will continue to refer clients. The online ordering system they offer makes it fast and easy to order up signs for our clients. Happy 25th anniversary Riteway Signs.” ~ Tanya Eklund, Re/Max Real Estate (Central)

Riteway Riteway Sign’s Sign’s modern modern and and efficient efficient workshop workshop in in SE SE Calgary. Calgary.

Rollsroller Flatbed Applicator.

Bunz ensures all signs are cleaned prior to installation. Clients can work with Riteway’s designer to match colours, incorporate branding and create a unique, professional design on their signs. Once they have their ideal sign, clients know that their signs will be installed right and on time. Riteway’s reliable and courteous service means that someone always picks up the phone and is happy to answer questions or take orders. The personal touch makes a difference, and that along with the company’s reputation for professionalism and providing quality products has led to its extensive list of longtime customers. “Signing up with Riteway, you’re not just a client. These are valuable long-term relationships to us,” Bunz says.

Many clients have been repeat customers for decades and Riteway’s customer base continues to grow thanks to word of mouth and recommendations from satisfied customers. Riteway Signs currently serves thousands of clients across the city. At any one time it has more than 3,000 signs installed throughout Calgary and area, and the company does approximately 20,000 installations and removals each year. Between its competitive prices and the staff ’s attention to detail, Bunz does all he can to keep clients happy and coming back. He goes above and beyond expectations, offering superior service at all times including holidays and offers clients sign storage at the workshop. The Riteway staff treats customers like family – and they know a little something about family.

Congratulations to Riteway Signs on

25 Years

Of Success www.powerproperties.net info@powerproperties.net (877)913-8555


“It is hard to find a company willing to put forth the effort and level of service that you have shown time and time again. Royal LePage Benchmark can always count on Riteway Signs’ team to be here at a moment’s notice, even when there are challenges. In our line of business, it is essential to have companies such as yours to rely on to make everything run as smoothly as possible.” Corinne Lyall, owner/broker, Royal LePage Benchmark


In recent years, the family-owned and operated company has become even more of a family affair with daughter Jessica and son Bradley working full time. Jessica has learned at her father’s hip since she was a kid and is preparing to take the company into the next 25 years. That future will bring continued upgrading of technology, provide good value and quality customer service, and cater to the customers that she has grown up around. “I feel we care more than other companies because it’s all about family. They aren’t just customers. I know them personally, and that matters,” says Jessica. Riteway Signs is proud to be one of the city’s top sign companies for real estate professionals, and the second generation is eager to carry its legacy into the next quarter-century.

Your Partner in the Evolution of Digital Imaging

Congratulations Riteway Signs on your 25th Anniversary! 1-800-501-4451 1470 28 St NE, Calgary, AB T2A 7W6

403.236.3432 • www.ritewaysigns.com

Congratulating Bryan on 25 years of Success! LUXURY GLOBAL REAL ESTATE SERVICES Congratulations Riteway Signs on your 25th Anniversary! calgary.evcanada.com (587)387-2228

www.deckedout.ca P. 403.948.5050 F 403.948.9128

Majec Accounting A Calgary Tax and Accounting Service


Congratulations from AK Coatings

Thank you to Riteway Signs for 20 years of partnership and congratulations on your 25th Anniversary

www.MajecAccounting.com | MajecAccounting@gmail.com 403-201-1604


Quarter-Century of Quality Construction and Custom Homes with the Factor Group By Rennay Craats | Photos by Michael Cudjoe Photography Inc.


armine Caputo moved from Edmonton to Calgary in 1990. After about a year of working at someone else’s flooring business, he realized that he wanted to be in control of what he did and how he did it.

AKS PLUMBING & HEATING LTD. Quality Begins Here 403-816-8718 | aks1plumbing@gmail.com

In 1991, he started his first company, Factor Interiors and Exteriors, out of his basement, providing quality flooring and small renovations. It wasn’t long before Caputo expanded into other areas of the industry and found his permanent home in Altadore. Factor ventured into office and retail renovations, improvements for landlords and tenants, and through word of mouth the company expanded. As the company’s experience and expertise grew, Caputo created additional companies under the Factor Group umbrella to accommodate the diverse work it could do. Today, five companies operate as part of the group: Factor Interiors and Exteriors provides a variety of commercial renovations; Factor Interiors does home renovations; Factor Construction focuses on commercial buildings and interiors; Factor Restoration deals with fire and flood insurance claims; and Design Factor Homes builds high-end custom homes mostly in Kensington, Briar Hill, Elbow Park Pictured above: Sophie Zhang, Carmine Caputo, Russ Blazeiko, Connie Caputo and Adam Caputo.

The Factor Group | 25 Years |1


“I opened up Factor and I never looked back,” says Caputo, owner of the Factor Group of Companies.


and Mount Royal. The most notable Factor-built home is also the most expensive MLS sale in Calgary – a stunning Crescent Heights home situated on the ridge overlooking the city. “We have been effective in both residential and commercial markets,” he says.

The Factor Group | 25 Years | 2

What has also made Factor effective and successful is Caputo’s attention to detail and refusal to accept anything less than perfection. In a business like custom home design, where client expectations are high, this is critical. The Factor staff helps clients make hundreds of decisions over the course of the 12- to 16-month build, ranging from selecting cabinets and appliances to picking electrical plugs and hinges. It takes commitment, time and effort from clients, but the result is well worth it. Factor gives clients their dream home rather than a variation on an existing floor plan as they would get with other builders. Caputo is a true custom builder and never builds the same home twice. “Our motto is ‘Imagine. Design. Build.’ We have a blank piece of paper and we can do whatever they want,” Caputo says. “Every project is special and unique. Our passion and pride sets us apart from the others.” Factor takes custom seriously. Each detail is considered so that the house perfectly fits the people building it. These details are put together so the house is stunning as well as functional. Design Factor Homes strives to ensure that the floor plan flows and the space and style meet the client’s needs. Factor also equips its homes with automation and technology throughout

After all, Caputo stresses the importance of constantly learning, evolving and improving. With every foray into different markets, the Factor staff worked with larger, more experienced companies and learned all they could from them. They then use that knowledge to enhance their own policies and practices. for added security and convenience. In a fast-changing industry, Caputo and his team take knowledge and experience from every project, making the company stronger. After all, Caputo stresses the importance of constantly learning, evolving and improving. With every foray into different markets, the Factor staff worked with larger, more experienced companies and learned all they could from them. They then use that knowledge to enhance their own policies and practices. Even after 25 years, Caputo continues to search for new ways to do things in order to create an even better product for clients. In this way, the Factor Group has maintained a smallcompany attitude while delivering big-company results. Regardless of the size of the project, Factor always maintains the highest level of standards.

They foster relationships with clients, trades and other professionals, and many of these relationships have lasted decades. Caputo has made a personal touch part of the culture at the Factor Group. “I tell the staff to build the house or do the project like it’s their own project. Explore all options and make good decisions. If you don’t, I don’t think you’re a true custom homebuilder,” he says. That creates a connection between Factor and its clients. They foster relationships with clients, trades and other professionals, and many of these relationships have lasted decades. Caputo has made a personal touch part of the culture at the Factor Group. Daily conversations with clients and trades are expected but the relationship isn’t over once the project is complete. Caputo follows up with clients to ensure everyone’s happy and that there is nothing he could do to make it better. It’s no surprise that many clients become friends and return to Factor if they are looking to move or renovate. Caputo designs and builds homes that are timeless, enduring and beautifully unique. For the past 25 years, he has created a Factor brand of quality, creativity and service and in the next

CHINOOK UPHOLSTERY DRAPERY and FLOORING LTD. Warmly congratulating The Factor Group on 25 years of constructing outstanding residential and commercial buildings in Calgary. We value very

years Factor will continue delivering some of Calgary’s best custom homes and quality projects. With the support of his wife, Connie, and his children, Emma and Adam, the positive attitude and passion for the future looks bright. “I’m excited for the next 25 years. We love building homes, we love working with people and making their dream home a reality. We also look forward to commercial projects and renovations. I think the coming years are going to be fantastic,” he says.

4008A 16 St SW, Calgary, AB, T2T 4H4 Phone: 403-243-7038 | Fax: 403-243-5978 ww.thefactorgroup.com

In the Calgary building industry Factor is leading again! • industry leading integration of the heating, cooling, ventilation & domestic hot water and it’s all located in the attic space! • remotely monitored through your smart phone • extraordinary comfort • save your money • save the environment


much the relationship that makes up a part of our own company’s quarter-century history as a one stop shop for upholstery, drapery and flooring!

6125 - 1 1 T H S T R EET SE 403 - 25 5 - 06 7 3 conematic.com hybritherm.com

Heat Your Home not the Planet

The Factor Group | 25 Years | 3


DAVID A. JOHNSTON Proud to partner with The Factor Group Congratulations on 25 years! Office : (403) 259-4141 Mobile: (403) 861-0076 www.davidajohnston.com

Congratulations to the Factor Group on 25 Great Years!


Tante Belle Cose


403 256 5102

17 Waters Edge Drive, De Winton, AB, T0L 0X0 P. (403) 829-2770 | E. jacksonmasonry@shaw.ca www.jacksonmasonry.ca


Keeping businesses like the Factor Group on track so they reach 25 years! Congrats Carmine and staff! CONSTRUCTION LAW | FAIR TRADING | BUILDERS’ LIENS COMMERCIAL LITIGATION

(403)541-5611 | thomas.kent@ridoutbarron.com www.ridoutbarron.com

Congratulations to THE FACTOR GROUP ON 25 YEARS! Wishing you many more years of success!



The Factor Group | 25 Years | 4

DYNAMIC VACUUMS Congratulates the Factor Group in celebrating their 25th anniversary! Official Duovac Distributor

Voted #1 for 18 Years

Sales, Service, Repair & Installation

Congratulations to The Factor Group from Woodcraft Kitchen Cabinets www.woodcraftkc.com

Visit our showroom #183-10233 Elbow Drive SW www.dynamicvac.com 403-255-5212

The Ups and Downs of Startups Let’s Ask an EOer

By Melanie Darbyshire


o start a business is no small feat; to transform an idea into a profitable, successful venture is an even greater one. The journey, never predictable or easy, presents the entrepreneur with myriad obstacles and opportunities and it is how these are navigated and seized that determines the startup’s long-term success. So how does one transform their ingenious idea into a profitable business? To get a sense of the ins and outs of startups, we’ve asked some successful entrepreneurs and EO Calgary members for their advice: Casey Kachur, co-founder and CEO of Virtuo; Julie Rubin, executive director of Elevated Learning Academy and president of InnoTech College; and Marvin and April DeJong, principals at DeJong Design Associates Ltd. When starting out, they all agree: a good business plan is invaluable. “First of all, make sure to complete the plan as early as possible and spend a lot of time on it,” advises Kachur. “I found it really helped me gather all of my thoughts and ideas.” Rubin adds that a business plan is crucial when selling your company to others. “If you want to get any funding from the bank they’ll want to see a pretty traditional business plan,” she says. When deciding on a target market, Kachur urges would-be entrepreneurs to stay focused and stick to their gut. “It is very tempting to want to be everything to everyone and not omit any potential markets,” he warns, drawing from his own experience. “We veered away from our defined market but we got back on track when we realized in our meetings that we were deviating from our initial plan, which can be easy to do.”

Test your idea early – before you’ve spent too much time and effort on it. “All our ideas are brilliant in our head, but it’s not until the product or service is out there in the world that you can really know if people want or need it, and how much they are willing to pay for it – if anything at all,” Rubin says. Kachur recommends test runs. “My advice is to do these as early as possible,” he says. “We did this too late. The result was probably the same but our burn was much higher.” Once the business is up and running, Marvin DeJong stresses the importance of understanding the financials. “Cash is king,” he says. “Revenue means nothing if you’re spending it all on expenses. It’s cash flow that keeps you in business.” Rubin adds that in the beginning, when resources are tight, it’s important to avoid spending money on unnecessary things (such as a nice office or flashy marketing materials). “All of that money, energy and resources should be put toward the product or service that you’re hoping to launch,” she says. If you have employees, April DeJong advises leading by example. “When starting a business, you want buy-in from the staff,” she says. “You have to show that you’re the first person on the team willing to do something. I never delegate something I wouldn’t do myself.” Rubin and Marvin DeJong highlight the importance of business and industry relationships. “They can lead to a lot of cost savings and a really great support network,” Rubin explains. DeJong recalls: “When I joined EO, about eight years ago, it helped me better understand the challenges of other businesses and how you are truly not alone in your entrepreneurial journey.”

Contributing Members:

Upcoming Events: Sept 7-11 • EO Global University, London, England Sept 10 • Ales on Rails Excursion Train

Marvin DeJong

Casey Kachur

Julie Rubin

principal at DeJong Design Associates Ltd.

co-founder and CEO at Virtuo.

executive director, Elevated Learning Academy, and president, InnoTech College.

Sept 15 • Gamification & Behavioral Design: The Octalysis Framework Sept 22 • Annual Dine Around

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.



For membership inquiries: membership@eocalgary.com

Food opens the doors to conversations Food, says David Spero, is a necessary part of almost any and every gathering. “It can be comforting and healing as well as inspiring and energizing,” he says. As the executive chef of the Calgary Marriott Downtown, the Calgary TELUS Convention Centre’s exclusive catering partner, Spero oversees menu planning for hundreds of events. He and his staff serve more than 190,000 guests every year. Feeding meeting, convention and conference goers is about more than satisfying hunger. Food opens the doors to conversations, paves the way for learning and can create a collective focus in a crowded room. As well, Spero adds, “food feeds the cognitive side of discussions and helps with participation. At many events, food is celebratory. But at meetings, eating can be a time to network, build a team or discuss future plans to put into motion.” The growing trend to network, interact and connect at meetings is changing how people eat at events of all sizes. Sit-down dinners are giving way to stand-up food stations. “You pick a plate up and walk around with it,” says Spero, who joined the Marriott in March and was previously the executive sous chef at the J.W. Marriott Grande Lakes in Orlando, Florida. “A plated dinner leaves you ‘stuck’ at a table. Moving around allows you to interact with 15 to 20 people.” Part of that interaction can be over the food. A pie buffet can inspire people to ask: “Are you a fruit pie or a cream pie person,” or “I remember the apple and raisin pie my grandmother made.” Breaking a piecrust can be the perfect icebreaker to a more in-depth conversation about how to achieve the next quarter’s performance targets or tips on closing a deal. Meetings and events are all about bringing people together. And food helps do exactly that. For advice and insight on food planning for your next event, contact the Calgary TELUS Convention Centre at 403.261.8500 or sales@calgary-convention.com.


Financial Services a Key Strength for Calgary and Canada BY STEPHEN EWART


he Big Four has a historical connotation in Calgary with cattleman Patrick Burns, George Lane, A.E. Cross and Archibald McLean founding the Calgary Stampede more than a century ago but these days Calgary’s attachment to the Big Four is largely financial. A recently released report from the Conference Board of Canada identifies Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Calgary as “The Big Four” – the internationally recognized financial centres in Canada. They combine to dominate the industry that accounts for seven per cent of all economic activity in the country. The report concludes the skill sets in each of the cities complement each other. The Conference Board states that investment banking, facilitating foreign direct investment, private equity investment, corporate banking and wealth management attributes to Calgary being a global financial centre. The qualities were identified in a report released in July, Stronger Together: The Strengths of Canada’s Four Global Financial Centres, that lays out a path to expand the financial services industry in Canada’s leading cities. Canada is consistently commended by organizations like the World Bank for maintaining one of the soundest financial systems in the world. The report recommends better leveraging of the unique strengths of the four financial centres to enhance their international prominence and elevate Canada’s global reputation. Economic diversification beyond the oil and gas sector – into areas such as financial services – is a main element in Calgary Economic Development’s 10-year economic strategy for Calgary that is Building on our Energy. “Financial services activities act as the lubricant that enables all business activity in the economy to operate smoothly,” the Conference Board said of the sector that employs more than 790,000 people nationally and has been a major contributor to Canada’s economic growth over the last decade.

There were two main recommendations: • Further develop the financial technology sector in all four cities to better employ the disruptive technologies transforming financial activity from banking to payments to wealth management. • Work cooperatively to effectively market Canada’s strengths as a global financial centre. The Global Financial Centres Index ranks all four cities among the top 30 financial centres in the world. Toronto is ranked 10th with the three others all in the 20s – Montreal is 21st, Vancouver is 22nd and Calgary is 28th. In total, 44 per cent of the 42,800 firms providing financial services in Canada operate in those four cities. “Access to capital is critical to the economy and for Calgary it’s been a key driver of our growth over the past decade,” says Mary Moran, president and CEO of Calgary Economic Development. “As we seek to diversify our economy, there is an opportunity for us to leverage Canada’s strong international reputation.” All Canada’s top banks and financial institutions operate in Calgary as do the world’s largest banks and investment banks. Bloomberg Data has calculated that in the five years leading up to 2015, Calgary’s financial services sector handled 12 per cent of all global energy deals. The Conference Board concluded that Calgary’s strengths align with the “unusually large number of firms headquartered in the city … in particular the size and importance of Calgary’s oil and gas sector is a major driver of the financial activity.” The Conference Board listed more than 2,700 head offices in Canada and noted Calgary – with four per cent of the population – is home to eight per cent of all head offices. Most are in energy but firms like Canadian Pacific Railways, WestJet Airlines, Agrium and Shaw Communications contribute to the economic diversity beyond oil and gas. If they have the skill and determination of their namesakes, the new Big Four might just initiate a stampede of global investment. Stephen Ewart is the communications and content manager for Calgary Economic Development.



Mid-Year Report on Tourism in Calgary BY CASSANDRA MCAULEY


hile Calgary’s tourism industry is being impacted by the current economy, the second quarter showed strong signs of improvement. Year-todate, the number of hotel rooms sold in Calgary is still lower than last year, however, there was a lift in the second quarter. In particular, the number of hotel rooms sold in June represented the first year-over-year gain in this measure since July 2015. This lift comes as the available room supply in Calgary is up by 6.4 per cent year-over-year.

“The Year of Music is helping to broaden perceptions of Calgary’s exciting music and culture scene. We have a lot to be proud of.”

It’s important to note that final numbers and analysis of Calgary’s summer travel season will be reported in the fourth quarter.

The Year of Music is supported by a long list of major anniversaries, the opening of Studio Bell (home of the National Music Centre) and the attraction of major events, including the 45th annual Juno Awards and Juno Week, hosted from March 28 to April 3. The Juno Awards were an unparalleled success, with over 32,000 Juno Week event participants, over $10 million in estimated economic impact and 1.8 billion Twitter impressions.

Marketing Our City

New Services for Visitors and Calgarians

Throughout the first half of the year, Tourism Calgary executed multiple robust multiplatform campaigns in strategically-identified markets to attract visitors to our city. A summer campaign supported by a record 24 partners, an ongoing event-focused campaign, a national campaign and a U.S.-specific campaign were all active in key markets in the second quarter alone.

Earlier this year, Tourism Calgary embarked on a new strategy to engage both visitors and Calgarians, with the goal of sharing details about all there is to do and experience in Calgary and the surrounding region. As part of that strategy, Tourism Calgary developed a program to pilot a mobile WiFi-enabled kiosk and summer team that will be out at events and festivals, and in easily-accessible high-traffic areas, offering experience counselling to visitors and Calgarians.

Tourism Calgary’s marketing campaigns are all based on key research findings and executed in collaboration with key partners including local attractions, Travel Alberta and Destination Canada. Year of Music in Calgary On January 8, Mayor Naheed Nenshi joined Calgary’s tourism and music communities to “push play” on the official proclamation of 2016 as the Year of Music in Calgary. Numerous local arts, culture and music-related organizations partnered with Tourism Calgary to coordinate the overarching theme and pushplaycalgary.com – an opensource website featuring event and venue listings. “We are proud of this initiative and the potential it presents for our destination,” says Cindy Ady, CEO, Tourism Calgary.

In addition to serving visitors, the Ask Me YYC team is helping Calgarians discover, or rediscover, all that our great city has to offer. Calgarians are able to use the team and kiosk as a resource to help them plan their own summer excursions within the city and region. After the first few weeks of the pilot program, referrals to tourism industry partners had far surpassed numbers from the same period in previous years. Learn More In 2015, Calgary welcomed more than eight million visitors, who contributed $1.7 billion to the economy. To learn more about Tourism Calgary and the efforts to attract visitors to our city, see visitcalgary.com.



Adopting Mindfulness and Technology for Personalized Mental Health Prevention BY ANDREA MENDIZABAL


ollowing personal loss, the founder and CEO of a Calgary startup is looking to address the pain points in health care using a combination of technology and clinical mindfulness programs.

The company’s approach to solving mental health issues is rooted in mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT), a widely-used, clinically-proven method that has been shown to be just as effective as medications in preventing depressive relapse (as recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association).

Derek Luk, a registered nurse and past instructor at the University of Calgary’s faculty of nursing, founded his company, Mindful Mental Training, after the suicide of a fellow mental health colleague and friend who suffered from depression. “We are so reactive in how mental health is treated that it is more crisis management,” says Luk. “We wait until people get sick and by then it’s usually too late.” Mindful Mental Training is addressing this by providing accessible and affordable mental health assistance through the innovative use of mobile technology and evidencebased mindfulness programs. The company’s focus is on prevention, early intervention and access. Their MMT multichannel platform is currently under development and includes webinar group facilitation, an app to support and track daily mindfulness practice, and the ability to personalize mental health support. The company’s goal is to create a scalable, digital suicide prevention program that is available anywhere, any time. “We want to provide family physicians and primary care networks with a service that complements how they provide care to people with depression and anxiety,” says Luk. Clients can access the program from the comfort of their home using a computer or mobile device, and can choose to take the program anonymously. Using mobile and online technology, Mindful Mental Training is removing barriers such as stigma, cost and difficulty of access.

The University of Oxford’s Mindfulness Centre defines MBCT as an integrative group program that helps people become better observers of their own thoughts and emotions, while learning the skills to change the way they think and feel before thoughts spiral downwards. “Through training, we teach people that thoughts are not facts, and we can relate to thoughts differently by being less reactive and attached to our inner personal narrative,” says Luk. Clinical and neuroscientific studies have shown that mindfulness can reduce the effects of chronic conditions such as depression, substance dependence, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It has the potential to change areas of the brain that are associated with decisionmaking, emotion and attention in people who practice regular mindfulness meditation. “We always compare it to physical exercise,” says Luk. “You can read about running but until you start doing the exercise, you don’t grow stronger. It is similar to what you will find with mindfulness and the brain. Only with daily practice do we create new neural pathways in building resilience to stress.” To learn more about Mindful Mental Training Inc., visit mindfulmentaltraining.ca. To learn more about Innovate Calgary and how it supports new and emerging technology, visit innovatecalgary.com. ABOVE: MINDFUL MENTAL TRAINING’S PLATFORM IS BEING DEVELOPED WITH THE GOAL TO CREATE A SCALABLE, DIGITAL SUICIDE PREVENTION PROGRAM THAT IS AVAILABLE ANYWHERE, ANY TIME. GRAPHIC SOURCE: MINDFUL MENTAL TRAINING




“This is a place where you can SPARK actually SUCCESS AT be a bit of THE CENTRE OF ENERGY a maverick.”




Marketing Matters BY DAVID PARKER


he opportunity to pitch for a new account is an exciting time for an agency’s staff to huddle together, decide if they want to participate, and then knuckle down to make sure their presentation will show how best they deserve to be selected. A choice account has to be the Calgary Zoo. Trigger Communications has done a fine job in serving the remarkable Calgary brand for the past 12 years, but the time has come for the zoo’s Lindsey Galloway, senior director corporate services and customer satisfaction – what a title – to take a look at what other creativity is available. He posted a call for expressions of interest and after selecting a short list, has asked for an assignment to show why they should be invited to partner with the zoo. That should be completed and a new – or it might well be Trigger – agency will be selected by the end of this month. The Calgary Zoo does have a fine brand that is helping it enjoy a good 2016 in the number of people through the turnstiles, but more has to be done to inform people of its international leadership in wildlife conservation.

Craig LePan, managing partner of FLIPP Advertising, reports that he has two new hires, both formerly with Critical Mass. Emily Bontje is the new senior account director working on the Qualico Developments and Walton Development accounts and Emily Lewis is an account manager busy with the Red Stripe digital account. Red Stripe is a popular beer brewed in Kingston, Jamaica and FLIPP has just launched its new website.

And the third Emily, FLIPP partner Emily LaPan, has accepted the chair position for the JDRF (Junior Diabetes Research Foundation) Calgary Hope Gala for 2017.

Karo Group is sharing its attractive space along 10th Avenue SW with Vovia Online Marketing and Redline Interactive Ltd., a move that CEO Chris Bedford says is proving to be beneficial to all three parties. Other space in the building has been leased to media and public relations firm dHz Media, that Karo made a successful joint pitch to supply PR and marketing for the New Horizon Mall in the Balzac area. Bedford also reports that Karo has been named agency of record for Stars Air Ambulance and the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan Campus. While he is still heavily involved in business development, Bedford has handed over the reins of running the company to Marc Whitehead who has transferred from Karo’s Toronto office to accept the role as company president.

Congratulations to Erica Morgan of Brookline Public Relations Inc. who has been named a Top 30 Under 30 by PR In Canada. This is the second year the firm was recognized; Madison Olyniuk was a winner in 2015.

Parker’s Pick Hire Higher advertisements by Chiu School of Business.



Introducing the hiring bonus for employers. Bonuses like productivity, market share, profits, and success. A nice bonus when you hire BVC grads, uniquely prepared to help you succeed from day one. Not only do our instructors have deep industry experience, we also consult hundreds of industry leaders to ensure the education we provide is relevant. You want tomorrow’s leaders? Then hire these people today. Their knowledge, technical ability, and workplace skills are going to help you rise. bowvalleycollege.ca

The World Rises Here.

Profile for Business in Calgary

Bic september 2016 web  

Bic september 2016 web