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December 2008 $3.50

The CEO of Giving Actor and musician Tom Jackson makes the business case for giving in tight economic times as he launches Singing for Supper in December


• Philanthropy • Corporate Aviation • Year in Review


Winter 2008 • Page 85


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Contents PUBLISHERS Tim Ottmann Pat Ottmann

Volume 18 • Number 12

On our cover… Tom Jackson



Derek Sankey

COPY EDITOR Lisa Johnston

The CEO of Giving


Tough Times for Investment Decisions


Helicopter Sector Still Soaring in Calgary Region Despite Downturn


Aviation Directory


Funding Continuing Education: Worthy Investment or Bad Financial Risk?


Charities Feel the Economic Squeeze


Year in Review: A Look Back at the Big Business Stories of a Wild Year


Actor and musician Tom Jackson makes the business case for giving in tight economic times as he launches Singing for Supper in December By Derek Sankey

Art Director

Cher Compton

GRAPHIC DESIGNERS katalist studios & Kenji Doshida

By Shelly Brimble


Lisa Sexsmith Kim Hogan

By Shelly Brimble

REGULAR COLUMNISTS Richard Bronstein Frank Atkins Peter Menzies David Parker Heather Ryan

THIS ISSUE’S CONTRIBUTORS Shelly Brimble Sandra Sweet Saad Bashir


Cover photo courtesy of Mathieson and Hewitt Photographers


By Derek Sankey


Bobbi Joan O’Neil Brent Trimming Carla Wright Evelyn Nykyforuk Nikki Mullett

Company Profile Bantrel Anniversary profile

Leading with Energy for a Quarter Century

Winter 2008 Newsletter

Bernie Cooke


Can Barack Obama Save Calgary?




The Future is All About Rodeo


Real Estate Analysis


By Frank Atkins

Tourism Calgary


Leading Business


Marketing Matters


Current developments for Tourism Calgary, Calgary Economic Development, and Calgary Technologies Inc.

By David Parker



The City Hall Mess

By Heather Ryan

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By Richard Bronstein

By Peter Menzies

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Non-profits turn to online giving amid downturn in philanthropy By Business in Calgary staff

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Can Barack Obama Save Calgary? • Richard [title] •Bronstein [section]

By Richard Bronstein


Can Barack Obama Save Calgary?

ow big is the Barack Obama election victory? I know most people are getting tired of hearing about it, but here is an analysis you may not have read

before. And it says here that after President Obama is installed in the White House in that great nation to the south of us, wonderful things will start happening in Calgary. In fact, President Obama may even save us from Calgary city hall’s disastrous budget, which calls for huge tax increases on homeowners over the next three years. Here is how it all fits together. First of all, you have to know about someone named Saul Alinsky (b. Jan 30, 1909 in Chicago and d. June 12, 1972, Carmel, Ca.). Alinsky is considered the father of community organizing in the United States. Others would call him a radical, a socialist, a communist, an anarchist, maybe even all of the above. Saul Alinsky had a great impact on many of those who grew up in the labour movement and the U.S. civil rights movement. His star pupils are too numerous to mention, but they do include, and this is all that matters here, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. The Clinton’s still have an enormous hold in the Democratic party and in a number of weeks Obama will be sworn in as the 44th president of the U.S. Throw in a “royal family” like the Kennedy’s and you have a pretty firm sense of what the Democrats believe in. If an Obama White House is going to be anything close to what Obama learned in the Chicago school of politics, we are going to see a fundamental change in domestic politics among our neighbours. One of the things we will see is greater community input into shaping all manner of public policy. Stakeholders and professional lobbyists will no longer have a stranglehold on legislation, but will have to share the stage with grassroots organizations and community groups. Rigid free market thinking will begin to lose sway to a more regulated form of capitalism. This is not because of any huge


ideological shift or because of the personal directives of Obama, but because of the reality of the times. Can you imagine taxpayers handing out hundreds of billions of dollars in aid to banks and auto companies and probably others, without these same taxpayers having a big say in how the economy of the future is to be directed? Another major factor in the swing towards a more public and less private form of thinking is that some of our truly major issues cannot be solved by the old left/right dichotomy. World financial panic, environmental crisis and international political instability cannot be solved within the borders of a single country. This requires a form of leadership and participation that is public, collegial and community minded in the broadest sense. If you are a captain of industry, cowboy capitalist, or trailblazing entrepreneur, sorry, we don’t need you as much anymore. We need artists and librarians, people who will host neighbourhood meetings in their kitchen, and those with the technological bent to mobilize the ether for bringing people together for ideas or projects. How will this affect us in Calgary? Well, I did kind of stretch the point a bit. But the fact is that we live in one of the most un-publicly minded cities in all of North America. We don’t have healthy neighbourhoods and we don’t have healthy citizen participation in policies, which affect all of us. I think an Obama presidency will draw new political maps for all of us and we will start to engage again in public dialogue about the health of our city. The civic budget that was recently presented to us is not a product of consultation or consensus – it is the dictate of the development industry, which controls how Calgary grows. And we will keep getting these kinds of budgets until citizens begin to organize and seize political power for the community. You can’t make change until the people are ready. That’s one of the things that Saul Alinsky taught. I bet you his student, Barack Obama, is saying the same thing, and he knows that today, as we hover over perhaps the worst economic catastrophe since the Depression, people will soon be ready for big change. BiC



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The City Hall Mess • Frank Atkins [title] • [section]



hen I moved to Calgary in the summer of 1985 I was immediately struck by two things: the enthusiasm with which the city embraced the Stampede and the enormous size of city hall. I remember saying to myself, how could it take this many people to run this city? Interestingly, the size of the city administration has grown since I first came to Calgary, and city council appears to be oblivious to this continued growth. Now it is 23 years later and we find ourselves in the middle of another budgeting mess. City council is proposing a series of municipal tax increases in an attempt to avoid cutting any expenditure. When council members discovered that the people of Calgary were appalled by these tax increases there were several interesting reactions. The chair of the budget committee threatened that if taxes were not increased, emergency services such as police and fire would have to be cut. The implication of these remarks is that the taxpayers in Calgary are not smart enough to recognize this as a vacuous threat. Several council members suddenly became temporary fiscal conservatives, and suggested some minor spending cuts. These individuals clearly only want to be perceived as fiscal conservatives so suggesting meaningful expenditure cuts would be against their nature. Someone also suggested that the city should stop spending so much money on consultants. Apparently the bureaucrats at city hall already possess the same expertise as consultants, 10 • DECEMBER 2008 BUSINESS IN CALGARY

The City Hall Mess something which has been hidden from the rest of us. I would like to suggest that we are all missing the major point here. City hall is not going to solve its ongoing, seemingly never-ending budget problems until it stops trying to be everything for everyone. Simply put, the city administration has taken on responsibilities that are far beyond anything that are within their roles and responsibilities. For instance, provision of social welfare services is traditionally the responsibility

to pay higher municipal taxes so that the city can pay to provide a service that was once the sole responsibility of the provincial government? I do not see how this makes sense, especially given how this behaviour causes the current city administration to whine at the provincial government that Calgary does not have enough money. The unanswered question here is why did the city take on these responsibilities? It seems to me that the political motive here is drawn directly from the

The unanswered question here is why did the city take on these responsibilities? It seems to me that the political motive here is drawn directly from the Liberal style of governing: bribe taxpayers with their own money. of the provincial government. For reasons that I do not understand, the city has taken over responsibility for these items. Certainly, the city took over these items on a cost-sharing basis with the provincial government. However, this means that the city is now paying part of the cost of providing some service that was formerly the responsibility of another level of government. When the provincial government provided these services, it did not cost anything out of the municipal budget. So should we have

Liberal style of governing: bribe taxpayers with their own money. At election time you can campaign by saying that you have done a great many things for the citizens of Calgary. You do not mention that it took a great deal of taxpayer money to do this. As with any of these soft left ideas, eventually the taxpayers will say that they have had enough, and demand some meaningful change in political direction. I think that we have arrived at this time in Calgary. BiC


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The Future is All About Rodeo •[title] Peter Menzies • [section]

By Peter Menzies


The Future is All About Rodeo

ing at it – and opportunities for young people locally are less hen you think about it, it’s really all about rodeo – robust. This means that every year a certain number of people ridin’, ropin’, hangin’ in there and toughin’ it out. are drawn away by the jobs and excitement of the big cities and Few events better illustrate the challenges evolving also that, due to the relative lack of opportunity, immigrants for our sense of shared culture as we transition into urbanity and their cultural influences are going to be less evident in and away from values based in our rural roots. these communities. Calgary contains 1.1 million people, close to twice as many as The end result is that while 25 years ago cities such as Calgary were living within its boundaries a generation ago. Its bold new were typically informed by the same set of cultural influences Centre City plan calls for a complete overhaul of its planning as were found in the rural and small-town communities that ambitions and for the importation of between 40,000 and 50,000 surrounded it, the same is not the case today and based on curpeople over the next 20 years into its downtown core. The aim rent trends will continue to be more and more disparate in the is environmental, cultural and infrastructure sustainability. To put years ahead. Similar trends can this in perspective, the plan intends be found in Montreal, Toronto, to convert a sprawling, horizontal Edmonton, Vancouver and other city into one that is more vertical …more native-born Canadians cities. and with downtown density levels This need not be a bad thing. that will rival those in Manhattan. are leaving Alberta than are coming But it is a thing. Demographically, its need for This brings us again to rodeo talent and labour has traditionto it. This will have an impact and its efforts to adapt its sport ally drawn people from across the – professional and otherwise – to country. However, as the impact on the city. the emerging sensibilities of urban of the baby boom’s low level of culture and how it views animals. reproduction become more eviCalf roping is now, for instance, dent in society and as other venues termed tie-down roping and, even more significantly, it and such as Saskatchewan and British Columbia become more comsteer wrestling was completely eliminated this past year from petitive in terms of the net income and lifestyle they can offer, the events at the Cloverdale Rodeo in B.C. This followed an this too is changing. Statistics Canada trends in the past year incident the previous year in which a calf was put down after show that while Alberta’s population growth continues to be its leg was broken. robust, it is at the moment entirely dependent upon immigraPeople who live in urban areas tend to view animals through tion for that growth and is beginning to experience something the lens of their experience with them and that is primarily as rarely seen in its past – negative interprovincial migration. In pets. When one dies, it is a tragedy. People from rural cultures other words, more native-born Canadians are leaving Alberta are also fond and sensitive to the humane treatment of animals than are coming to it. This will have an impact on the city. Its but naturally view them through the lens of their experience, look and its feel will evolve in a new direction although prowhich is primarily as livestock and beasts of burden. In the vided the promise it offers to ambitious newcomers is fulfilled rural experience, animals die all the time; the event is neither there’s no reason to think that the essence of its entrepreneurial rare nor does it evoke the same sense of tragedy. Simply, it is energy will change. nature. Suffice to say that is not the case in small town and rural Maintaining a common language that can bridge the gap Alberta or, for instance, large parts of the Maritimes. between urban and rural Canada will be a new and greater chalThere, society looks much as it did 25 years ago. Population lenge than at any time in our past. BiC levels are relatively stable – stagnant is another way of look12 • DECEMBER 2008 BUSINESS IN CALGARY

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Sowing the Seeds of Hope As the bright colours of autumn and the stark white of winter replace summer green, many Calgarians take time to reflect and give thought to those less fortunate. Legions of the city’s finest give what they can, but few do so in such a spirited manner as John Webster of Webster Galleries. What originally started off as a farming experiment to test climate and soil, transformed into a boundless endeavour that has graced the lives of countless individuals. On a small farm in Sicamous, B.C., Webster does what he loves to do – organic vegetable gardening. In 2002, his first trial produced squash, tomatoes, sweet peppers, beans and beetroot. “I’ve been growing vegetables for at least 40 years. It gives me great joy and happiness,” he says. As it turned out, the growth rate on Webster’s little farm was phenomenal. “The first year I had a surplus of 5,000 pounds of green tomatoes and I didn’t

know what to do with them. I called the Mustard Seed Street Ministry and they accepted my offering with open arms.” And he’s been donating thousands of pounds of produce to charities such as Mustard Seed and The Awo Taan Native Women’s Shelter ever since. Right now, Webster’s content to do it all on his own. “When it’s ready to harvest, I pick the veggies straight into buckets, load them into my truck and drive them back to Calgary.” For most, Thanksgiving is a once-a-year occasion, but for 61-year-old Webster it’s a year-long pursuit. “I love to do this. It allows me the opportunity to give thanks and to celebrate my abundance.”

John Webster reveling in his flourishing vegetable garden.

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The government of Alberta is investing nearly $425 million to create 5,400 more places in Calgary for post-secondary students to access a range of certificate, diploma, degree and apprenticeship programs. The investment will enable three postsecondary institutions to expand their campuses. Two post-secondary institutions, SAIT Polytechnic and Bow Valley College, will use their portion of the $425 million to significantly expand their facilities and capacity. The third institution, the University of Calgary, is looking to lease space in downtown Calgary to expand their programming capabilities. The provincial government said its $300 million commitment to SAIT will help build the Trades and Technology Complex adding 3,600 student spaces, which will more than double SAIT’s capacity in certain sectors of trades and technology.

Off the Top • News

Another $119 million to Bow Valley College will add three more floors to the Phase 2 expansion project, creating an additional 1,400 spaces for high demand post-secondary programs. Funding of up to $5 million annually to the U of C will be considered to allow the university to lease space for about 400 students in downtown Calgary, which will create opportunities for additional nursing and business students on campus. “By investing in these three post-secondary projects today, we are creating opportunities long into the future for thousands of Alberta students,” says Premier Ed Stelmach. “We continue to act on government’s priorities and those laid out in our 20-year strategic capital plan.” “This investment is about taking care of Campus Alberta and addressing the demand for post-secondary spaces in the Calgary region,” says Doug Horner, minister of advanced education and technology. “Guided by the Access Planning Framework, we continually work with all our post-secondary institutions. Together, we are working to ensure that program and capital expansions are aligned with the needs of students, taxpayers and the economy.” Jack Hayden, minister of infrastructure says, “Increasing capacity will play an important role in building a strong workforce to improve Alberta’s long-term sustainability.”

Forbes’ List Places Calgary Flames Team Value High The Calgary Flames are experiencing a ranking of 15 out of 30 NHL teams with a current team value of $203 million1, as recently ranked by Forbes’ magazine. Canadian teams take in revenue in Canadian dollars, but pay their players in U.S. currency. Last season the value of the Canadian dollar increased 15 per cent relative to the U.S. dollar. The average team value rose 10 per cent during the past year, to $220 million. Five of the six Canadian teams – Calgary Flames, Montreal Canadiens, Vancouver Canucks, Ottawa Senators and Edmonton Oilers – rose in value more than the league average. •T  he Calgary Flames are owned by Calgary Flames LP, who bought them in 1980 for $16 mil. •W  ins-to-player cost ratio8: 96 • Coach: Mike Keenan Valuation Breakdown


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The eight gentlemen who have owned the Calgary Flames since 2001 have poured a lot of heart and money into the franchise and the Saddledome to keep the small-market team competitive. The Flames had to make a lot of last minute moves (in October defencemen Rhett Warrener and Anders Eriksson and forward Jamie Lundmark were put on waivers) to stay below the league’s $56.7 million salary cap. But the team’s gamble in signing power winger Todd Bertuzzi, the type of player that coach Mike Keenan loves, should hopefully help them advance past the first round of the playoffs. Major corporate sponsors are Coca-Cola, Bank of Montreal, HSBC and Telus. Naming rights sponsor is Pengrowth Energy. Historical Snapshot: • 1-Yr Value Chg.1: 24% •A  nn. Value Chg.2: 10% • Debt/Value3: 15% • Revenue4: $97 mil • Operating Inc.5: $7.4 mil • Player Expenses6: $54 mil • Gate Receipts7: $52 mil Note: Revenues and operating income are for 2007-08 season and are net of revenue sharing. Facility Information: Pengrowth Saddledome • Owner: City of Calgary • Year Opened: 1983 • Capacity: 19,289 • Cost To Build: $135 mil • Concessionaire: In-house • Average Ticket Price: $60 1 -Value of team based on current arena deal (unless new arena is pending) without deduction for debt (other than arena debt). 2-C  urrent team value compared with latest transaction price. 3 - Includes arena debt. 4 - Net of arena revenues used for debt payments. 5-E  arnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. 6 - Includes benefits and bonuses. 7 - Includes club seats. 8-C  ompares the number of wins per player payroll relative to the rest of the NHL. Post-season wins count twice as much as regular season wins. A score of 120 means that the team achieved 20% more victories per dollar of payroll compared with the league average.

VINCI Park Upgrades and Updates Downtown Parking VINCI Park has enjoyed rapid growth in Calgary and across the country by acquiring Ideal Parking. It’s recently gained a major presence in Calgary, where it operates over 10,000 parking spaces, following the acquisition of Ideal Parking last February from parent Central Parking of Nashville, Tenn. VINCI Park’s Calgary operations include Livingston Place, TELUS Tower, Energy Plaza, The Bow (EnCana) and the Sandman Hotel. “We’re trying to increase the customer service experience when parking in a parking facility,” says Rory Woolf, general manager, VINCI Park, Calgary. Friendly faces offer improved service such as the lend-abike program, recharging facilities for electric cars, the use of umbrellas in bad weather, the use of handbags for carry16 • DECEMBER 2008 BUSINESS IN CALGARY

Off the Top • News

high-quality parking facilities and service while taking the environment into consideration, by renovating older parking lots which can increase the value of the area where the facility is located,” says Philippe Princet, vice-president, international operations, VINCI Park. The parking operator has operations in Calgary, Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec City.

Above photos courtesy of VINCI Park

ing shopping items, valet parking, a car wash and minor maintenance area, and parcel pickup points – all geared towards helping the customer. Woolf also says that VINCI Park’s local parking rates will increase five to 10 per cent this year and in some cases, parking rates will decrease in areas near the Beltline and west downtown. In addition, parking lots built or refurbished by VINCI Park feature attractive colours, music, ergonomic design and pay particular attention to public reception facili-

ties and pedestrian circulation to create a reassuring and safe ambience for users. “Bringing VINCI Park’s experience here means we will not just be a parking company, but we will get involved in transportation management,” says Roy McCormick, president, VINCI Park Canada. VINCI Park, one of the leading parking lot operators in the world, consolidated its Canadian operations following several major acquisitions across the country. “When VINCI Park bought out Ideal Parking, it gave us a presence in Calgary, Vancouver, Ottawa and Quebec,” says McCormick. “We became the largest parking management company in Canada overnight.” Recognized globally for being on the cutting edge of issues and trends affecting the parking industry, as well for the quality of its operations, VINCI Park has been active in Canada since 1999, where it is now the second-largest parking operator. “VINCI Park’s objective is to introduce

Calgary Youth Benefit From Science and Energy Partnership The Suncor Energy Foundation is giving a five-year $2 million investment in TELUS World of Science Calgary that will be used to fund a gallery dedicated to teens in the new science centre. The Suncor Energy Foundation Design It! Gallery will create an environment for teens and young adults where unusual combinations of art, science, technology, style and music collide to inspire thinking outside the box. Design It! is about seeing, making and exploiting connections to solve problems. “The mission of TELUS World of Science is exactly what the Suncor Energy Foundation wants to encourage – stimulating interest among youth in science, technology and the arts,” says Margaret Byl, vice president and CIO, Suncor. “That is precisely why we are involving youth in the creation of the gallery. These young Calgarians will come from diverse backgrounds and possess the expertise and insight required to



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develop a gallery that will get their peers excited about scientific and artistic learning.” The two organizations also announced a call for Calgary teens aged 14 – 17 to be part of a 15-member Youth Advisory group that will help shape the New Science Centre 2011 Project. As youth advisors, teens will be involved in brainstorming, engaging other teens and sharing their thoughts with TELUS World of Science staff about what will resonate best with the teen demographic. “We are very grateful to the Suncor Energy Foundation for their commitment to the New Science Centre 2011 Project,” says Jennifer Martin, president and CEO, TELUS World of Science. “It’s clear that our organizations share mutual values when it comes to engaging teens in the fields of science, technology and art. By giving Calgary teens the opportunity to advise us on what they are looking for in a science centre, we are staying true to those values.” The three first youth advisors were introduced – Suncor related teens Mudhuri Sharma and Kathleen Mullrooney and TELUS World of Science associated teen Himmi Cheruvu. All participants have a variety of interests ranging from sports to arts, science to music. TELUS World of Science and the Suncor Energy Foundation thank Child and Youth Friendly Calgary for their input and assistance with the formation and recruitment of the youth advisors. The new TELUS World of Science – Calgary, scheduled to open north of the Calgary Zoo in 2011, will be Canada’s first purpose-built science centre in over 25 years.

Calgary Business Hall of Fame – 2008 November 5, 2008 marked the fifth Calgary Business Hall of Fame Gala Dinner and Induction Ceremony, hosted by Junior Achievement of Southern Alberta (JASA). This year’s event enjoyed record attendance with the Imperial Ballroom of the Hyatt Regency filled to capacity in honour of the 2008 Laureates. National news anchor, Mr. Peter Mansbridge, emceed the night leading the induction of three Calgarians renowned for their outstanding commitment to the organizations they have built and the communities in which they live: Mr. James S. Palmer, Mr. Donald Taylor and Mr. Edward Galvin (posthumously). Scott Hillier, president and CEO of JASA, confirmed that the event sold out well in advance of the evening with overwhelming community and corporate support of the 2008 Laureates and Junior Achievement. He says, “This year, more than ever before, the Calgary community has stepped up to recognize the 18 • DECEMBER 2008 BUSINESS IN CALGARY

Off the Top • News

value of leadership within our city and the need to ensure it is sustained through the development of future leaders. Now more than ever it is so important that society support our youth in gaining the economic knowledge and business acumen Alberta needs to remain competitive in the global economy.” Monica Rauch and Liza Bennet, veteran Calgary teachers, echoed those sentiments confirming the value of JA programs which add critical content and value to the school curriculum through carefully constructed links. Representing the education community they introduced the “Sponsor a School” initiative aimed at raising awareness and funds in support of the delivery of JA programs throughout southern Alberta communities. In the 2007/2008 school year JASA reached over 20,000 students through classroom deliveries led by over 1,300 volunteers from the business community. “Many of our business volunteers and their organizations were represented at the event,” Hillier says. Notable sponsors of the Gala Dinner and Induction Ceremony are: Telus, McLean and Partners, Dow, TransCanada, Deloitte,

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Joining Mr. Peter Mansbridge in the Atrium of the Hyatt Regency Calgary are the 2008 Inductees to the Calgary Business Hall of Fame. L to R: Mr. James Palmer, C.M., A.O.E., Q.C., LL.D, Burnet, Duckworth & Palmer LLP; Elizabeth Peters, granddaughter - Mr. Edward galvin (1913 - 2005), Poco Petroleum; Mr. Peter Mansbridge, Event Emcee - CBC National News Anchor; Mr. Don Taylor, LL.D, P.Eng, Engineered Air. Image by Monique de St. Croix,

Osler, Korn Ferry International, HSBC, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Blakes, First Calgary, Mawer, Scotia Private Client Group, Bow Valley Energy, Precision Drilling, Brookfield Properties, Blitzprint, Indigo Ice and Pyramid Productions. These generous organizations and their dedicated employees’ significant financial and volunteer investment will help Junior Achievement achieve its ambitious goals for 2008/2009. Local Calgary entertainers the Bow Djangos provided their ‘hot swing and gypsy jazz’ sound at the event keeping the evening current and upbeat, along with outstanding floral arrangements courtesy of LaFleur florists and world-class cuisine provided by the talented culinary team at the Hyatt Regency. A memorable night was enjoyed by all. For those interested in receiving additional information on the Calgary Business Hall of Fame sponsorship or volunteer opportunities please visit the Junior Achievement of Southern Alberta website at or contact Ms. Yvette Rasmussen at BiC BUSINESS IN CALGARY DECEMBER 2008 • 19

Tough Times for Investment Decisions • Investing

Tough Times for

Investment Decisions BY SHELLY BRIMBLE




s the end of 2008 draws near, many Calgarians are struggling with decisions about what to do with their investment portfolios while markets continue to perform with unprecedented volatility. Adding to the angst is the fact that annual bonuses are also on the horizon and the tax advantages or RRSP investments to offset this income addition are hard to ignore. For Calgarians that benefited from the market highs, this market instability is providing them with the best of times and the worst of times. Commodities including oil and gas have had very unstable pricing causing serious devaluation in their company stock. Some oilsands employees have seen their corporate stock drop them from their millionaire status overnight. With the future of the markets remaining uncertain and a gloomy 2009 forecast ahead, investors are unsure of what to do next. But even if buying more equities seems like the most risky gamble, remember that the key to investment success is buy low and sell high. The most difficult thing for anybody to predict is the low end of the market otherwise known as the “bottom.” Analysts use various data to determine market bottom. For some, one indicator is the peak of market capitulation. Capitulation refers to a trend of the masses liquidating their investments ... effectively bailing out of the markets. Capitulation has been rising in the United States. In September 2008, there was $56 billion taken out of mutual funds and then in October, another $71 billion was removed. But in the first week of November, $2.2 billion was reinvested, the first time since July. And historically, markets often perform well following a U.S. election so the outlook remains optimistic for the remainder of 2008. It is impossible to predict the bottom of a cycle and this bot-



November | December 2008 •


Tough Times for Investment Decisions • Investing

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tom is often not clear until months after it has been hit. When the bottom is reached, markets have traditionally rebounded within two years. Some of the most successful investors love to buy when there is “blood in the streets.” The current bleeding markets are creating unique buying opportunities that can provide greater rates of return than sitting on cash in a portfolio or in a savings account. But with market volatility remaining high, it also would not be a wise bet to go “all in.” Despite the volatility, Calgarians that are sitting on cash or have a large bonus ahead should consider investing some of it. “Anybody with a five-year or more horizon on their investment horizon should be looking at putting 25 to 50 per cent into the market,” says Kevin Dehod, vice-president, McLean and Partners Wealth Management. Dehod says investors can capitalize on strong buying opportunities in bonds, preferred shares and blue-chip companies that yield dividends. In both Canada and the United States there has been increased activity in government bonds and t-bill investments. In the past six months there has also been an increasing supply of corporate bonds from companies like the Royal Bank and TD Bank. These corporate bonds are providing a five-year, five to 5.5 per cent rate of return as compared to the Government of Canada bond return of 2.8 per cent. Caution is the key when selecting corporate bonds. “The key is to stay with the high-quality corporations when choosing this type of investment,” says Dehod. Preferred shares are also appealing to investors because they provide quarterly dividends with a maximum Canadian taxation rate of 16 per cent. For example, top-rated issuers of preferred shares such as banks are yielding six to seven per cent returns.

[title]• •Investing [section] Tough Times for Investment Decisions

Despite the volatility, Calgarians that are sitting on cash or have a large bonus ahead should consider investing some of it. “Anybody with a five-year or more horizon on their investment horizon should be looking at putting 25 to 50 per cent into the market,” says Kevin Dehod, vice-president, McLean and Partners Wealth Management.

When choosing a preferred share, Dehod cautions investors to read the fine lines in each opportunity because they are not as liquid as many other securities. Some have a five- to 10-year commitment while others have an indefinite investment cycle. The large cap “blue-chip” companies have also been devalued by current market conditions putting buying opportunities within reach of many investors. Dehod adds that when seeking these investment opportunities investors should take a closer look at the corporations that provide dividends. Even if it takes a couple of years for the stock value to climb, the dividends will continue to provide steady returns while markets recover. Investors need to do their homework when looking at dividends. Remember that in recessions, consumer staples remain solid earners. Some examples of these would be milk producers, pet food companies, baby food suppliers, as well as drug and medical equipment supply firms. Look at the balance sheet and make sure the companies do not have high debt. Banks globally are tightening their lending belts so it is becoming more difficult as well as more expensive for firms to get credit. Lastly, look for low pay-out ratios to ensure the companies can continue to pay dividends. According to Dehod, another safer investment opportunity may be found in health care. These types of investments are with U.S. and European firms. Based on his analysis, these types of investments have performed steadily historically throughout the recessions. Before year-end, investors also need to decide if they want to realize losses in their portfolios. If there is enough doubt about a company’s ability to withstand this market fluctuation then


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Tough Times for Investment Decisions • Investing

Another investment consideration may be to top up RESPs for children or grandchildren. With the government’s contribution and the fact that it reduces taxable income, they continue to be an attractive investment. consider liquidating that stock and taking a loss to write off in this fiscal year because a partial loss is better than a full loss. Dehod cautions that taking a loss for taxation doesn’t make sense and that before taking a large loss, professional advice should be sought to see if there is another solution. For example, if an investor was holding Suncor stock at $25 down from the original purchase price of $70 – knowing the sector will eventually rebound, they could sell the Suncor stocks and buy a company that has a high correlation to Suncor like CNRL if they want to retain the exposure for future potential. Remember that balance is even more important to a portfolio in volatile times. The more balanced a portfolio is, the more it is insulated from losses at these times. Less risk also means smaller gains but many prefer that over losing their original investment capital. Many institutions are also responding to current markets by providing securities that protect original investment capital. These products provide

all of the benefit with no risk, but once again the gains are not as high as more risky investment opportunities. Considering the wild markets though, investors may find this type of investment more appealing. Another investment consideration may be to top up RESPs for children or grandchildren. With the government’s contribution, they continue to be an attractive investment. The same investment principals apply for RESPs such as seeking recession-proof opportunities or opportunities with secure dividends. So regardless of how unstable markets continue to be, investors still need to take action soon if they plan to capitalize on the taxation benefits of RRSP investments. What lies ahead for investors continues to be uncertain. “In this environment, all bets are off,” says Dehod. This article includes only some of the buying opportunities that are opening up due to market conditions and readers are encouraged to get professional financial advice in this down cycle. BiC



Helicopter Sector Still Soaring • Corporate Aviation

Helicopter Sector Still Soaring in Calgary Region Despite Downturn

Photo Courtesy of: Bell Helicopter, A Textron Company.



ot long ago, it was rare to see helicopters flying across Calgary’s skyline – but now they are spotted on a regular basis. The rich natural resources found in the mountainous terrains of Alberta and British Columbia combined with a strong economy and rising populations has equated to soaring success for many rotary-wing operators in the region. But recent ripples in the markets and the looming turn in the economy has many questioning what lays ahead for the capital-intense helicopter industry. According to many local operators, the impact has been minimal so far and their outlook for the overall industry remains optimistic due to the diversity. Helicopter operators in the Calgary area are diverse with each one specializing in niches including: forest fire monitoring and supplying crews to fight fires on the front lines, petroleum and mining seismic and remote inspection services, logging,

Photo Courtesy of: Bell Helicopter, A Textron Company.

emergency medical services, police surveillance, pilot training, charters, sightseeing, heli-hiking and even heli-weddings. Their pilots fly in some of the most challenging conditions and have become known worldwide for their unique skills. Helicopters have many advantages over their fixed-wing companions, the most obvious being the fact that they can manoeuvre quickly and land in tight areas. This flexibility combined with high-tech developments in seismic and helicopter-mounted surveillance products have resulted in increasing activity in the oil and gas sector. Oil and gas drilling is also falling compared to historical numbers. The petroleum sector is just coming out of a year-over-year record-breaking run since 2003 usually peaking over 20,000 wells per year (with a small drop in 2007). Producers that were giddy with record high oil prices soon had a harsh dose of reality as commodities and access to investment capital came crashing down in 2008. Combined with the Royalty Review impact the

result will be plummeting drilling activity this year. According to the Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors (CAODC) there will only be 14,325 wells drilled by the end of 2008. ABITIBI Helicopters Ltd. is a company that operates a fleet of 17 aircraft that have worked in mineral and petroleum exploration since 1980. ABITIBI Helicopters president, Bertrand Perron, has seen the highs and lows of commodity cycles and expects that there will be some impact in helicopter seismic activity. “I remember in 2000 when oil was at $12 per barrel, there was less activity but the industry did not stop. Even now, within one to two years, the sector will pick up again,” he says. Perron adds that mining is also slowing but only in some areas. “Some of the junior companies are having trouble getting financing in today’s markets … but many projects already have that in place and are proceeding with their winter plans. We will have to see how this impacts next summer’s activities if the situation continues to decline,” he says. Despite the slowdown, he BUSINESS IN CALGARY DECEMBER 2008 • 25

Helicopter Sector Still Soaring • Corporate Aviation

Photo by Mark Mennie.

does not expect to let go of crew because of the shortage of talent in all sectors. However, a slowdown in the economy will mean there will be no growth for ABITIBI Helicopters next year. Other factors have also impacted operators that are not involved in resource exploration. According to Lynda Murdock, president of Alpine Helicopters Ltd., many operators in the region were impacted by a slow fire season – a major source of seasonal income for many operators. “A lot of operators don’t have winter work so they have felt the impact directly,” she says. Alpine Helicopters has an average fleet of 36 helicopters with over 100 staff in four locations including Calgary, Canmore, Golden and Kelowna. Due to the size of the company and their locations, they are able to offset any summer decline in forest fire activity with heliskiing. “We are already pre-booked over 75 per cent this winter and we will start booking for 2009 next month,” Murdock says. She adds that about 40 per cent of their clients originate from Europe and another 40 per cent come from the United States. Overall, Murdock expects a nominal decline in business of about 10 per cent yet she doesn’t feel this will result in any crew losses. Murdock is also the vice chairman of the Helicopter Association of Canada (HAC). HAC is a national association that unites the helicopter industry. About 60 per cent of current members are located in Alberta or British Columbia and are engaged with resource development in the region. 26 • DECEMBER 2008 BUSINESS IN CALGARY

Just west of Calgary, helicopter operators have been taking over more real estate at the Springbank Airport which is a reliever airport for the Calgary International Airport. It is operated by Calgary Airport Authority under long-term lease from the federal government. In 2007, the Springbank Airport ranked as the sixth busiest airport in Canada as reported by Nav Canada locally on Transport Canada’s website. Larry Stock, Springbank Airport general manager, says, “That year we had over 180,000 movements and helicopters accounted for approximately 4.5 per cent of this traffic.” He adds that helicopter operators have become economically significant due to the number of land leases that they now occupy. “We currently have five helicopter operations leasing six properties at the airfield.” And helicopter operations will remain an important part of future development plans outlined in the Springbank Airport Master Plan 2009-2029. Wherever possible, helicopters will be kept separate from fixed-wing operations to minimize issues such as noise (particularly helicopters), rotor downwash, propeller wash, aircraft parking and different start up, approach and departure procedures have the capacity to cause conflicts. These issues have been addressed by separating the helicopter operating zone. Bighorn Helicopters Flight School operates from the Springbank Airport providing pilot training. Richard Alzetta, vice-president and chief flight instructor, says they run three commercial pilot classes each year. Each student receives a

minimum licence requirement of 100 hours flight time and 80 hours classroom time and demand for graduates has remained high. “In our January to May class, we had 11 students and nine of them got jobs immediately after school,” Alzetta says. Once these pilots graduate they would be assigned easy flight tasks until they accumulate 200-300 hours. After they obtain over 600 hours, they can then qualify for jobs with Alberta forestry to fight fires. Mountain View Helicopters, the charter company affiliated with Bighorn Helicopters Flight School, also provides the helicopter and piloting services for Corus Entertainment’s new aerial traffic watch in both Calgary and Edmonton. Furthermore, they have enhanced Alberta tourism by opening sightseeing tours of Alberta’s badlands in the Horseshoe Canyon. Due to the amount of helicopter activity in the region, Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Limited., a Textron Inc. company, recently opened a major logistics centre at the Calgary International Airport. Bell Helicopter is a leading manufacturer of helicopters and this new location (the fourth one of this kind in the world) will enable them to service the growing customer base of both new and used helicopters in the area. This facility opening is a significant development for local rotary operators. “Now we are better able to serve our clients in the Calgary region where there has been increasing activity,” says Michel Legault, director, business development, Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Limited. This new centre will ensure clients have quick access to aftermarket parts for maintenance. Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Limited manufactures about 600 helicopters globally with 200 completed in their Montreal facility. According to Legault, the order books are already full for 2009 since buyers wait for three to six years for product delivery. Each unit has a 30-40 year lifespan and with highly-regulated maintenance requirements, manufacturers also benefit from strong aftermarket parts demand. Legault says that as a helicopter manufacturer, his company has not felt a reduction in product demand yet. He notes the diversification in product use has provided a more stable manufacturing market

Helicopter Sector Still Soaring • Corporate Aviation

will be operational in Edmonton in early 2009, the second in Calgary in 2010. The twists and turns expected in the economy will be easily navigated by Calgary’s robust helicopter sector. Like many other industries, there will be some companies that will not make it through a significant downturn, but for many it will simply mean a reduction in their growth for 2009. BiC Photo by Mark Mennie.

overall. Although resource exploration may be declining, other demand such as EMS and police surveillance as well as utility service (larger helicopters used to transport people and products for remote projects) is rising throughout the world. “Governments have been responding to major disasters throughout the world (like hurricane Katrina and Indonesia’s Sumatra island tsunami). Every time one of these events happen, these leaders assess whether they have enough rotary wings to respond. Following these types of disasters, demand always goes up,” he says. Population increases throughout Alberta is also increasing the need for rapid emergency response. In Alberta STARS has been providing airborne intensive care for 22 years. STARS now operates out of three bases in Alberta – Calgary, Edmonton and Grande Prairie. This enables them to service a range of 250 kilometres in radius from each base effectively serving more than 94 per cent of Alberta’s population and many communities in eastern British Columbia with a fleet of five helicopters and 33 pilots. Their fleet includes two backups and three operational: one in Grande Prairie, one in Edmonton and one in Calgary. Soon STARS will be adding two new AW139 helicopters to their fleet. The AW139 is capable of flying 25 per cent faster and provide a 300 per cent increase in service area than the current BK117s and has greater patient capacity, patient care technology and a world-leading medical interior. In addition, the aircraft will carry more fuel, creating faster turnaround times between accepting missions. These elements combined will make these helicopters among the most sophisticated rotary-wing air ambulances in the world. The first AW139



Aviation Directory Alberta Aviation Operators ABITIBI HELICOPTERS LTD. Betrand Perron, President/Director of Operations Toll Free: 1-800-247-9591 Aircraft Operated: (4) AS 350 B2, (10) AS 350 FX/2, (1) AS 350 BA+, (1) Bell 205 A1 (1) AS 350 BA, (1) AS 350 B2/D2 ADVENTURE AVIATION INC. Michael Mohr, Ops. Manager (780) 539-6968 Aircraft Operated: (2) C172 AGRIUM INC. Robert Garback, Aviation Manager (403) 216-5090 Aircraft Operated: (1) Citation Sovereign AHLSTROM AIR LTD. Michael Helsch, Chief Pilot & Base Manager 403-721-2203 Aircraft Operated: (1) AS350B1 AIRBORNE ENERGY SOL. LTD. Tony Hunley, President-COO Toll Free: 1-888-496-3222 Aircraft Operated: (5) Robinson RH22, (18) Robinson RH44, (14) Robinson RH44 Raven II (RH44 II), (13) Bell 206 B (B206), (2) Bell 205 A1-17, (1) Bell 212, (1) Bell 214, (4) AS350 BA, (1) AS350 B3, (1) Piper Navajo PA-31, (1) Cessna 208 Caravan, (2) Cessna 172, (1) Cessna 206, (2) Cessna 177

ALBERTA GOVERNMENT AIR TRANSPORTATION SERVICE Rob Madden, Director, Flt Ops Tel: 780-427-7341 Aircraft Operated: (2) KA B200, (1) KA 350, (1) DH 8 ALLISON AIR SERVICE Rick Smith Toll Free: 1-866-359-2762 Aircraft Operated: Cessna 206, Cessna 185, Cessna 180, Seneca II, Cessna 210 ALTA FLIGHTS (CHARTERS) INC David Robertson, President Tel: 780-890-1330 Aircraft Operated: (4) Metro 23, (3) King Air 100, (2) Grand Caravan, (2) Dornier 228, (2) Piper PA31, (4) Cessna 172, (2) Cessna Citation 501, (1) Cessna Citation 550 ARIES AVIATION SERVICE CORP Lloyd Kissack, General Manager Toll Free: 1-877-730-6499 Aircraft Operated: (2) LR36 Lear Jet, (4) PA-31 Navajo, (1) King Air 200, (1) Cessna Caravan

AVMAX GROUP INC Don Parkin, Executive VP Toll Free: 1-888-524-9444 No Aircraft listed BAR XH AIR INC Robert Phillips, General Manager Tel: 403-527-3328 (2) BAe Jetstream, (6) King Air 200, (1) Piper Navajo BLACK SWAN HELICOPTERS LTD Linda Johnson, President Toll Free: 877-475-4774 Aircraft Operated: (1) AS350BA, (1) AS350SD2, (1) B206B, (5) R44 CALGARY FLYING CLUB Scott Wilcox, Manager Tel: 403-288-8831 Aircraft Operated: (7) Cessna 172, (1) PA28 Arrow, (1) PA44 Seminole, (1) Cessna 182, (1) 172S (3) DA-20, (6) 172N CALGARY POLICE SERVICE Brendan McCormick, CP Tel: 403-567-4150 Aircraft Operated: (2) EC120 CAN-WEST CORPORATE AIR CHARTERS Sara MacLeod Tel: 780-849-5353 Aircraft Operated: (4) BE20, (1) PA31, (2) C206, (2) C185, (1) C210, (1) Beech Baron CANADIAN HELICOPTERS LIMITED Don Wall, Senior Executive VP Tel: 780-429-6900 Aircraft Operated: (30) Bell 206B/B3, (13) Bell206L/L1, (13) Bell212 (IFR & VFR), (11) AS350B/D, (25) AS350BA, (15) AS350B2, (2) AS355F1/F2, (5) R22B/B2, (5) R44II, (13) S76A, (1) S61N, (2) EC120B CATHTON HOLDINGS LTD Ernie Poole, Aviation Manager Tel: 780-890-7443 Aircraft Operated: (1) Falcon 900C CORPORATE EXPRESS AIR A division of Corpac Canada Ltd. Alex Boyd, Director, Corporate Operations 403-216-4050 Aircraft Operated: (2) SAAB 340 CORPORATE JET AIR A division of Corpac Canada Ltd. Alex Boyd, Director, Corporate Operations 403-216-4050 Aircraft Operated: (1) SAAB 340


DELTA HELICOPTERS LTD Paul Stubbs, Ops Manager Toll Free: 1-800-665-3564 Aircraft Operated: (9) Bell 206, (3) Bell 206L3, (1) A-Star 350B, (5) A-Star 350BA, (4) Bell 204, (3) AF350-B2 DYNAMIC FLIGHT SERVICES INC. Jeanette Toews Tel: 403-735-3290 Aircraft Operated: Books sub charters EDMONTON INTERNATIONAL SHELL AEROCENTRE Trevor Colbeck, Aerocentre Manager Toll Free: 1-800-668-4766 Aircraft Operated: No Aircraft listed E-Z AIR INC Ezra Bavly, Pres/Ops Mgr/CFI Tel: 780-453-2085 Aircraft Operated: (1) Bell 206, (1) Robinson R44 EDMONTON FLYING CLUB Ralph Henderson, President Tel: 780-454-4531 Aircraft Operated: (3) C-152, (2) C-172, (1) 172SP, (2) DV-20, (1) MFD Simulator, (1) DA40, (1) DA42 EDMONTON POLICE SERVICE S/Sgt Dave Berry, Unit Manager Tel: 780-408-4218 Aircraft Operated: (1) EC120B EXECUTIVE FLIGHT CENTRE FUEL SERVICES LTD Dean Buckland, Vice-President Tel: 780-890-8640 Aircraft Operated: All types except wide bodies. GEMINI HELICOPTERS INC Roch Dallaire, President Tel: 780-402-2444 Aircraft Operated: (3) EC 120, (6) R44, (4) AS350, (1) Bell 205 GUARDIAN HELICOPTERS INC Graydon Kowal, President Tel: 403-730-6333 Aircraft Operated: (2) Bell205, (3) AS350BA, (3) Bell 206B, (1) PA31P, (3) Bell 417, (1) MD 530F

KENN BOREK AIR LTD Tel: 403-291-3300 Aircraft Operated: (9) King Air 100, (35) DHC6 Twin Otter, (4) King Air 200, (3) Beech 99, (1) King Air C90, (1) King Air B90, (1) DC-3S, (1) DC3-T

RILPA ENTERPRISES LTD Ken L. Mizera, President Tel: 403-275-3035 Aircraft Leased: (10) Bell 206B, (1) HU500D, (1) HU500E, (1 ) 204B, (1) 205B, (2) AS350

MILLAR WESTERN INDUSTRIES Brad Whalen, Chief Pilot Tel: 780-451-2588 Aircraft Operated: (1) Hawker 800A

ROTORWORKS INC. Jim Hofl and Tel: 780-778-6600 Aircraft Operated: (2) R22 Robinson, (5) R44 Robinson

MOUNTAIN VIEW HELICOPTERS Paul Bergeron, President/CP Tel: 403-286-7186 Aircraft Operated: (5) R22, (3) R44, (1) Bell 206

WESTJET AIRLINES LTD Toll Free: 1-888-937-8538 Aircraft Operated: (13) Boeing 737-600, (55) Boeing 737-700, (7) Boeing 737-800

NORTHERN AIR CHARTER (P.R.) INC Rob King, President Tel: 780-624-1911 Aircraft Operated: (1) Cessna 185, (1) Aztec, (1) Navajo, (1) King Air 100, (3) King Air 200 OPTIMAIR LTD Dave McKinstry, President Tel: 780-469-7877 Aircraft Operated: (2) Cessna 206, (1) Cessna 182, (1) Chieftan PA 31-350 (1) PA 31-310 PEREGRINE HELICOPTERS Brad Armstrong, President Tel: 780-865-3353 Aircraft Operated: (1) B206B3 PHOENIX HELI-FLIGHT INC Paul Spring, President Toll Free: 1-888-715-9245 Aircraft Operated: (2) Euro 120, (2) AS350B2, (1) EC 130B4, (1) AS355N, (1) 355NP, (1) 350B3 RED DEER COLLEGE AVN DIPLOMA Dennis Cooper, CEO Toll Free: 1-800-315-8097 Aircraft Operated: Cessna 172, Cessna152, Power Senaca I, Piper Navajo, Alsim 200 C

INFINITY FLIGHT SERVICES Don Ste-Croix, Operations Manager Toll Free: 1-877-VIP-7900 Aircraft Operated: (1) King Air B100, (1) BAE 31

REGIONAL 1 AIRLINES LTD William (Bill) Houghton, Director of Operations Toll Free: 1-888-802-1010 Aircraft Operated: (2) Dash 8-100, (1) Dash 8-200, (1) Dash 8-300

INTEGRA AIR INC Brent Gateman Toll Free: 1-877-213-8359 Aircraft Operated: (1) PA31T Cheyenne, (1) Cessna 172 Floatplane, (2) BAC-31

RIDGE ROTORS INC. Hans Nogel, Ops Mgr Toll Free: 877-242-4211 Aircraft Operated: (2) B206B2, (1) A Star 350 B2, (2) R44

Alberta Charter Operators Charter Fixed Wing ADVENTURE AVIATION INC. Michael Mohr, Ops. Manager (780) 539-6968 Aircraft Operated: (2) C172 AIRBORNE ENERGY SOL. LTD. Tony Hunley, President-COO Toll Free: 1-888-496-3222 Aircraft Operated: (5) Robinson RH22, (18) Robinson RH44, (14) Robinson RH44 Raven II (RH44 II), (13) Bell 206 B (B206), (2) Bell 205 A1-17 , (1) Bell 212, (1) Bell 214, (4) AS350 BA, (1) AS350 B3, (1) Piper Navajo PA-31, (1) Cessna 208 Caravan, (2) Cessna 172, (1) Cessna 206, (2) Cessna 177 ALBERTA CITYLINK Les Little, Owner/CEO Toll Free: 1-877-399-1234 Aircraft Operated: (3) BAe Jetstream 32, (2) BAe Jetstream 31 ALLISON AIR SERVICE Rick Smith Toll Free: 1-866-359-2762 Aircraft Operated: Cessna 206, Cessna 185, Cessna 180, Seneca II, Cessna 210 ALTA FLIGHTS (CHARTERS) INC David Robertson, President Tel: 780-890-1330 Aircraft Operated: (4) Metro 23, (3) King Air 100, (2) Grand Caravan, (2) Dornier 228, (2) Piper PA31, (4) Cessna 172, (2) Cessna Citation 501, (1) Cessna Citation 550

ARIES AVIATION SERVICE CORP Lloyd Kissack, General Manager Toll Free: 1-877-730-6499 Aircraft Operated: (2) LR36 Lear Jet, (4) PA-31 Navajo, (1) King Air 200, (1) Cessna Caravan

RED DEER COLLEGE AVN DIPLOMA Dennis Cooper, CEO Toll Free: 1-800-315-8097 Aircraft Operated: Cessna 172, Cessna152, Power Senaca I, Piper Navajo, Alsim 200 C

AVMAX GROUP INC Don Parkin, Executive VP Toll Free: 1-888-524-9444 No Aircraft listed

REGIONAL 1 AIRLINES LTD William (Bill) Houghton, Director of Operations Toll Free: 1-888-802-1010 Aircraft Operated: (2) Dash 8-100, (1) Dash 8-200, (1) Dash 8-300

BAR XH AIR INC Robert Phillips, General Manager Tel: 403-527-3328 (2) BAe Jetstream, (6) King Air 200, (1) Piper Navajo CAN-WEST CORPORATE AIR CHARTERS Sara MacLeod Tel: 780-849-5353 Aircraft Operated: (4) BE20, (1) PA31, (2) C206, (2) C185, (1) C210, (1) Beech Baron CORPORATE EXPRESS AIR A division of Corpac Canada Ltd. Alex Boyd, Director, Corporate Operations 403-216-4050 Aircraft Operated: (2) SAAB 340 DYNAMIC FLIGHT SERVICES INC. Jeanette Toews Tel: 403-735-3290 Aircraft Operated: Books sub charters INFINITY FLIGHT SERVICES Don Ste-Croix, Operations Manager Toll Free: 1-877-VIP-7900 Aircraft Operated: (1) King Air B100, (1) BAE 31 INTEGRA AIR INC Brent Gateman Toll Free: 1-877-213-8359 Aircraft Operated: (1) PA31T Cheyenne, (1) Cessna 172 Floatplane, (2) BAC-31 KENN BOREK AIR LTD Tel: 403-291-3300 Aircraft Operated: (9) King Air 100, (35) DHC6 Twin Otter, (4) King Air 200, (3) Beech 99, (1) King Air C90, (1) King Air B90, (1) DC-3S, (1) DC3-T NORTHERN AIR CHARTER (P.R.) INC

Rob King, President Tel: 780-624-1911 Aircraft Operated: (1) Cessna 185, (1) Aztec, (1) Navajo, (1) King Air 100, (3) King Air 200 OPTIMAIR LTD Dave McKinstry, President Tel: 780-469-7877 Aircraft Operated: (2) Cessna 206, (1) Cessna 182, (1) Chieftan PA 31-350 (1) PA 31-310

SUNWEST AVIATION LTD Richard Hotchkiss, President & CEO Toll Free: 1-888-291-4566 Aircraft Operated: (1) Falcon 900EX, (3) King Air B200, (1) Citation II, (1) Citation V, (2) Lear 35A, (2) Lear 55, (3) Hawker 800, (4) Metro 23, (2) Metro II, (2) Lear 45, (1) Hawker 800 XP, (2) Conquest 441, (1) King Air 350, (4) Beech 1900, (1) Challenger 604, (1) Challenger 300, (4) NavajoChieftain, (3) C208, (1) Boeing Stearman, (1) Cessna Skylane C182Q, (1) Beechcraft Expeditor SWANBERG AIR INC George Cann, General Manager Toll Free: 1-877-637-8977 Aircraft Operated: (4) Jetstream 31, (1) Challenger 601, (1) PA31-350 Navajo Chieftain WETASKIWIN AIR SERVICES LTD. Ron Vanden Dungen, Director of Flight Ops Tel: 780-352-5643 Aircraft Operated: (1) Cessna 150, (2) Cessna 172, (1) PA 30

Alberta Charter Operators Charter Rotary Wing ABITIBI HELICOPTERS LTD. Betrand Perron, President/Director of Operations Toll Free: 1-800-247-9591 Aircraft Operated: (4) AS 350 B2, (10) AS 350 FX/2, (1) AS 350 BA+, (1) Bell 205 A1 (1) AS 350 BA, (1) AS 350 B2/D2 AHLSTROM AIR LTD. Michael Helsch, Chief Pilot & Base Manager 403-721-2203 Aircraft Operated: (1) AS350B1

AIRBORNE ENERGY SOL. LTD. Tony Hunley, President-COO Toll Free: 1-888-496-3222 Aircraft Operated: (5) Robinson RH22, (18) Robinson RH44, (14) Robinson RH44 Raven II (RH44 II), (13) Bell 206 B (B206), (2) Bell 205 A1-17, (1) Bell 212, (1) Bell 214, (4) AS350 BA, (1) AS350 B3, (1) Piper Navajo PA-31, (1) Cessna 208 Caravan, (2) Cessna 172, (1) Cessna 206, (2) Cessna 177 BLACK SWAN HELICOPTERS LTD Linda Johnson, President Toll Free: 877-475-4774 Aircraft Operated: (1) AS350BA, (1) AS350SD2, (1) B206B, (5) R44 CANADIAN HELICOPTERS LIMITED Don Wall, Senior Executive VP Tel: 780-429-6900 Aircraft Operated: (30) Bell 206B/ B3, (13) Bell206L/L1, (13) Bell212 (IFR & VFR), (11) AS350B/D, (25) AS350BA, (15) AS350B2, (2) AS355F1/F2, (5) R22B/B2, (5) R44II, (13) S76A, (1) S61N, (2) EC120B DELTA HELICOPTERS LTD Paul Stubbs, Ops Manager Toll Free: 1-800-665-3564 Aircraft Operated: (9) Bell 206, (3) Bell 206L3, (1) A-Star 350B, (5) A-Star 350BA, (4) Bell 204, (3) AF350-B2 E-Z AIR INC Ezra Bavly, Pres/Ops Mgr/CFI Tel: 780-453-2085 Aircraft Operated: (1) Bell 206, (1) Robinson R44 EDMONTON POLICE SERVICE S/Sgt Dave Berry, Unit Manager Tel: 780-408-4218 Aircraft Operated: (1) EC120B GEMINI HELICOPTERS INC Roch Dallaire, President Tel: 780-402-2444 Aircraft Operated: (3) EC 120, (6) R44, (4) AS350, (1) Bell 205 GUARDIAN HELICOPTERS INC Graydon Kowal, President Tel: 403-730-6333 Aircraft Operated: (2) Bell205, (3) AS350BA, (3) Bell 206B, (1) PA31P, (3) Bell 417, (1) MD 530F HIGH COUNTRY HELICOPTERS Hjalmar Tiesenhausen Toll Free: 1-877-777-4354 Aircraft Operated: Bell 206 HIGHLAND HELICOPTERS LTD. Terry Jones- Ops Manager Tel: 780-459-5661 Aircraft Operated: (24) Bell 206B, (2) Bell 206 L-3, (2) AS350 BA, (15) AS350 B2

MOUNTAIN VIEW HELICOPTERS Paul Bergeron, President/CP Tel: 403-286-7186 Aircraft Operated: (5) R22, (3) R44, (1) Bell 206

WOOD BUFFALO HELICOPTERS Michael Morin, Ops Mgr/CP Tel: 780-743-5588 Aircraft Operated: (3) B206B, (1) B206L1-C30P, (2) AS350 B2

MUSTANG HELICOPTERS INC Jim Freake, Operations Manager Tel: 403-886-5995 Aircraft Operated: (7) MD369D, (9) AS350B2, (2) 206B III, (4) 205-17

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PEREGRINE HELICOPTERS Brad Armstrong, President Tel: 780-865-3353 Aircraft Operated: (1) B206B3 PHOENIX HELI-FLIGHT INC Paul Spring, President Toll Free: 1-888-715-9245 Aircraft Operated: (2) Euro 120, (2) AS350B2, (1) EC 130B4, (1) AS355N, (1) 355NP, (1) 350B3 PRECISION HELICOPTERS INC John Carlton, GM Toll Free: 1-877-545-5455 Aircraft Operated: (1) AS350B, (1) AS350BA, (1) AS350D2 REMOTE HELICOPTERS LTD. Jeff Lukan, President Tel: 780-849-2222 Aircraft Operated: (1) AS350B2, (2) AS350DA, (1) Bell 204 – c model, (2) Bell 206, (2) Bell 212 RIDGE ROTORS INC. Hans Nogel, Ops Mgr Toll Free: 877-242-4211 Aircraft Operated: (2) B206B2, (1) A Star 350 B2, (2) R44 SHUNDA HELICOPTER SERVICE LTD Jochen Rubeling Tel: 403-845-2534 Aircraft Operated: (1) AS350B, (2) R44 Raven II

AIR PARTNERS CORP. Tim Morgan, President Toll Free: 1-877-233-9350 Aircraft Operated: Hawker 800 XP, Citation Encora, Citation Ultra, Citation V, Gulf Stream Twin Commander, Beech Premier HUGHES AIRCORP Partick Hartigan, Ops Man Toll Free: 1-888-291-3966 Aircraft Operated: (1) Cessna Sovereign, (1) Cessna Ultra SKY SERVICE Mark McKay Tel: (403)-250-9756 Aircraft Operated: Citation X, Challenger 601 (2), Learjet 45 (1), Citation XL (2), Falcon 50 (2), CJ3 SWANBERG AIR INC George Cann, General Manager Toll Free: 1-877-637-8977 Aircraft Operated: (4) Jetstream 31, (1) Challenger 601, (1) PA31-350 Navajo Chieftain NORTH CARIBOO Richard Milton, Director of Ops Toll Free: 1-866-359-6222 Aircraft Operated: Citation 2, Dash 8, Beech 1900, King Air 350, King Air 200, King Air 100, King Air 90, Twin Otter, Conquest, Conquest II, Navajo, Cessna 206

SLAVE LAKE HELICOPTERS LTD George Kelham, President Tel: 780-849-6666 Aircraft Operated: (3) AS350 B2, (1) Bell 206B-3, (1) EC 120

Q JETS AVIATION LTD. Ken DeWyn, President Tel: 403-274-JETS (5387) Aircraft Operated: (1) Citation I Stallion, (1) Citation Super 2, (1) Corporate Jetstream 32

SLOAN HELICOPTERS LTD Troy Sloan, President Tel: 780-849-4456 Aircraft Operated: (1) RH44, (1) EC120B

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THEBACHA HELICOPTERS LTD Kim Hornsby, President & DOM Tel: 780-723-4180 Aircraft Operated: (1) AS350BA (1) Bell 206B, (1) AS350B2

AIRSPRINT INC. Judson Macor, CEO Toll Free: 1-877-588-2344 Selling shares in Citation XL/S and Pilatus PC-12s

ULTRA HELICOPTERS LTD Rene Brule, President Toll Free: 1-877-332-2995 Aircraft Operated: (2) Bell 204 C, (1) Bell 205 A-1, (3) Bell 206 B, (2) Bell 206L-3, (1) AStar350BA, (1) AStar350FX2 BUSINESS IN CALGARY DECEMBER 2008 • 29

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Funding Continuing Education: Worthy Investment or Bad Financial Risk? • Continuing Education

Funding Continuing Education:

Worthy Investment or Bad Financial Risk? BY ADRIA LAYCRAFT


n today’s staffing crunch, Calgary corporations are exploring continuing education as a way to keep their employees upto-date and loyal, and enable promotion from within. Funding education for staff can be a win-win situation, although it’s also a calculated risk. Training creates a stronger workforce of more confident employees. Covering tuition costs and encouraging further learning can engender loyalty. But upgrading an employee’s training can also lead them to move on, with the investment lost. Gary Lepine, an educational consultant doing training and seminars for the past five years, says that in the long run continuing education is a sound business investment that looks to the company’s core values. “Despite it being very much a bottom line issue, companies that invest in their employees are making a smart business move, as well as a corporate culture move,” says Lepine. When working with a corporation, Lepine focuses on a company’s principles. “If you invest along the line of your core values and expectations at work, it becomes a dialogue about those expectations.” Lepine agrees, yes, you may lose people you’ve invested in, but he also thinks that employees these days are looking for more than a paycheque. “They want a sense that they are actually buying into the vision of the company. It comes down to hiring the right people. Obviously you want someone qualified for the job, but the


right person is also the person who buys into how the company runs, the vision statement of the company, the core values.” According to Lepine, continuing education is a popular topic in business circles these days, but there is still some hesitation. “In my opinion, companies need to take a larger view. If they’re providing professional development that’s appropriate for their industry, their culture, their workers, then in the large scheme of things it’s a worthwhile investment.” When it comes to filling upper management positions, companies should understand that training and promoting from within can be a profitable and sound business decision. “Who better knows the company than those already online with the core values and how the business is done? An internal strength will come when they look inside and train for advancement within their own ranks,” says Lepine. A perfect example of this is Alberta One-Call Corporation, the not-for-profit organization that encourages everyone to ‘call before you dig.’ This is a company that has a successful track record of promoting entry-level representatives into positions as team leaders and supervisors, and supporting that with further education. “Continuing education allows the employee to develop skill sets that they would not otherwise have had,” says Bob Chisholm, president of Alberta One-Call. “It benefits the employee in terms of personal development, and it has spillover to the corporation in that the employee has a broader base of knowledge


Preparing People for Management is Easy with

Corporate Training from U of C


hen a Calgary company is looking for ways to address a workplace problem, provide a unique learning opportunity for staff, or groom people for management, where can they turn? For many, the solution is University of Calgary Continuing Education – a learning provider that has been meeting Calgary’s corporate training needs for decades. “Recently, we worked with a geological services company in Calgary’s oil sector. They had identified a need for leadership training among their staff. So, together we created a hybrid of Cont Ed’s own Certificate for Emerging Leaders,” says Elizabeth Scott, program director with University of Calgary Continuing Education. “Collaboration was important to this client, and when a company wants to get hands on, we’re happy to oblige. Their people helped us identify and select some of the customizations they wanted. The company has been thrilled with the results and already graduated one group of students, with a second class in progress,” says Scott. Not all organizations want to be as involved in the process. Some want Continuing Education to suggest and organize the

learning solution to meet their needs. Many are simply looking for one seminar that can address a need and at the same time give their staff an interesting break from routine. The Certificate for Emerging Leaders, which can be used as the basis of a customized leadership certification program, requires

“Collaboration was important to this client, and when a company wants to get hands-on, we’re happy to oblige.” ~ Elizabeth Scott 98 hours of learning taught through full-day seminars of one to three days. Five key areas, vital to today’s management competencies are covered: communication, building relationships, personal effectiveness, professional skills, and coaching. To learn more, call 403-220-2988 or go to

Funding Continuing Education: Worthy Investment or Bad Financial Risk? • Continuing Education

that can be brought to the workplace.” Because of the unique nature of this industry, Chisholm points out that promoting from within ensures the background is there. “When you bring someone from outside it takes them a long time to absorb the culture of the corporation,” says Chisholm. Laraine Lawson, operations manager, achieved her general management certificate 25 years ago through Alberta One-Call, and has always believed in funding continuing education for her staff. “When our people grow, we benefit as an organization,” says Lawson. “It doesn’t even have to be something related to our business. The fact that they’re growing as individuals makes them perform every task better, and have a better outlook on life.” Lawson does offer cautionary advice, however. “Before you approve courses, you need to be aware of what they are; what the purpose of the course is. That’s something we’ve learned by trial and error.” Stacey Bews, assistant operations manager, is proof of solid ROI from investing

in continuing education. Over her 15 years with the company she has advanced both her career and her education. “She (Stacey) is a great example of someone who started out as a CSR and worked her way up through the ranks,” says Lawson. “When I retire, because of her education, she’ll be more than ready to take on my position.” Bews gained a certificate at Mount Royal College while working as a team leader, and went on to attend the university’s professional management course. “Laraine feels it’s really important that people are always in a continuous state of learning,” says Bews. “She really promotes constant exercise of the mind. Plus, the end result is that anything we learn is always a benefit to the corporation.” The new office manager of Alberta One-Call, Gary Laycraft, also started with the company at the entry-level position. Within a short time, thanks to his previous experience in retail management, he moved up to call centre team leader, and then to administrative assistant.


Preparing Students to Thrive in University and Beyond

New Vice President Adds Strength and Security to Webber Academy


s. Barbara Webber joins Webber Academy as Vice-President Administration after 27 years of police service. She served 8 years with the Edmonton Police Department primarily as a first response officer in Patrol Division. She also served as an undercover operator for Morality Section and Drug Control Unit. Ms. Webber spent the last 19 years working for the Saanich Police Department in Greater Victoria in a variety of Sections. Some of her most rewarding experiences occurred when she was assigned to investigate complaints of child abuse. She also worked closely with numerous teaching professionals during a 3 year secondment to the School Liaison Section. When Ms. Webber was promoted to the rank of Sergeant she enjoyed supervising a team of talented and committed officers in Uniform Division. Most recently Barbara supervised a group of highly Ms. Barbara Webber skilled and passionate officers within the Child Abuse Team and Youth Section. Barbara Webber has been the recipient of Lieutenant-Governor awards in British Columbia for Valour and for Outstanding SerImportant dates for families vice on Assignment. She has presented to hundreds of students interested in Webber Academy: and a multitude of community groups and partners on topics of substance abuse, child abuse prevention, relationship violence Information Night Dates: Group Admission Test Dates: and legal studies. She has traveled to three provinces within ChiJanuary 15, 2009- 7:00pm Wed, Feb 4th (Grade 1 only) na to present to audiences as part of the Canada-China Women’s February 19, 20097:00pm Thurs, Feb 5th (Grade 2-6 only) Law Project. She is excited about working with the dedicated May 14, 20097:00pm staff of Webber Academy to help students thrive and reach their potential in a safe and supportive school environment. For more information visit our website at


Funding Continuing Education: Worthy Investment or Bad Financial Risk? • Continuing Education

“It shows that you believe in them, that you’re willing to invest in them. They come away from that with a sense of confidence, and some assurance that they’re going to be around for awhile.” ~ Harvey Gamble

“Alberta One-Call has provided me the opportunity to change careers, and train for that new career while still working full time,” says Laycraft. Pursuing a new career while supporting a family was a daunting thing to contemplate, but with help from both his employer and institutions that offer online classes, Laycraft has been able to take it all on. “Working online is very rewarding because you get to do the course at your own pace, and on your own schedule. It gives me a great sense of accomplishment each time I complete a course.” Harvey Gamble, executive director of an office for training in best practices for the real estate industry, also supports continuing education for his staff. “I’m interested in productivity, but I believe the way to get there is by having staff that are confident in their skill set,” says Gamble. Further education for staff is something that Gamble budgets for, and he actively encourages his employees to

take advantage of that funding. When it comes to the worry that funding further education could advance the employee so far that they will move on, those already involved in this practice are in agreement: it’s worth it. “It’s always a risk, but it’s one you have to take,” says Gamble. “It really depends on the individual. Some of the hardest people to get to take courses are the middle-aged group, but once you have them taking them, they are the ones most likely to be loyal and stay with the firm.” Gamble believes getting his staff trained and comfortable with the onset of new technology is key, and quite possibly the best return on the company’s investment. He also believes that offering continuing education has created a better atmosphere within his office. “It shows that you believe in them,” he says, “that you’re willing to invest in them. They come away from that with a sense of confidence, and some assurance that they’re going to be around for awhile.” BiC

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The CEO of Giving • Cover

The CEO of Giving Actor and musician Tom Jackson makes the business case for giving in tight economic times as he launches Singing for Supper in December Alison and Tom Jackson on red carpet during the 2007 Junos. Photo credit CARAS/iphoto



rowing up on the back streets of Winnipeg, actor and musician Tom Jackson learned from the school of hard knocks before finding success in the entertainment industry. Perhaps best known for his role as Chief Peter Kenidi on the television series North of 60 years ago, Jackson also received Juno nominations for two of his 14 country music albums and a steady stream of humanitarian awards for his work supporting food banks, aboriginal communities, solutions to fight homelessness and many other causes over the years. So it should come as no surprise that Jackson is blending his 36 • DECEMBER 2008 BUSINESS IN CALGARY

business background as an entrepreneur with his passion for giving again this year as his Singing for Supper fundraiser rolls into Calgary Dec. 15. Although born on the One Arrow Reserve in Saskatchewan and raised on the mean streets of Winnipeg, he has called Calgary home for many years after realizing his life’s purpose at a relatively young age. The city is just one of 21 stops across Canada this month as part of his Singing for Supper tour from St. John’s, Nfld. to Vancouver Island, B.C. to raise money for food banks at a time of the year when it’s needed most.

The CEO of Giving • Cover

Huron Carole 2003 - cast rehearsal. Photo by Bill Borgwardt.

Tom Jackson at the Huron Carole 2003. Photo credit Bill Borgwardt

“Our job is to feed people and put money in the hands of those who are in the trenches, so that’s what we do,” says Jackson from his studio on the old Currie Barracks, Tomali Studios. It’s a new twist on an old concept that has been raising money for food banks for 15 years, formerly known as the Huron Carole concert series. Eight years ago, Jackson was approached by Canadian Pacific Railway to take part in its annual Holiday Train fundraising initiative as a goodwill ambassador just prior to his annual Huron Carole series. So, when Beverley Mahood agreed to join him, they began putting on mini-shows along the journey from Montreal to Vancouver. But after 15 years, he decided to retire the Huron Carole and instead launched a series of smaller, more intimate shows as part of his new Singing for Supper tour. His goal is not only to raise money for food banks – often in small communities he’s able to raise their entire annual budget in one

concert – but to show those communities some good fundraising skills to help them in the future. “It threw us back into the earlier days of what the Huron Carole started out as,” explains Jackson. “We realized we had so much fun, it was so intimate and it rejuvenated an excitement and reward we’d lost touch with to some degree. Hopefully through this experience, these (small communities) will realize another way to generate money for their needs to feed people after we move on.” Jackson and his wife, Alison, expanded on the concept and launched Swinging for Supper this summer. It’s a barbecueconcert-golf-tournament that took place in July in Moncton, Halifax, Winnipeg, Regina and Calgary. Between the Huron Carole, Singing for Supper and Swinging for Supper, Jackson’s efforts have directly raised more than $4.5 million for food banks and family agencies across Canada. Swinging for Supper matches his wife’s passion for golf – Jackson readily admits he just “chases the little white ball around” – with both of their passions to help those less fortunate than themselves. Jackson, a plain-talking yet visionary and practical man, makes no apologies for supporting what he admits is a BandAid solution. “My passion happens to be a Band-Aid that I support food banks,” he says. “People say it’s a Band-Aid and, well sure, but I don’t have any answers to the bigger questions.” Alison says the pair often butt heads over things, since they both have strong leadership qualities, but they both know to step out of each other’s way when they “inadvertently cross that line,” she says. “Tom is the visionary and I’m the detail minion. The best part is we both love what we do and although the responsibilities seem overwhelming at times, it never feels like work. Every day is a good day.” It’s a sentiment that echoes his entire philanthropic philosophy. Until long-term systemic solutions can be found to combat BUSINESS IN CALGARY DECEMBER 2008 • 37

The CEO of Giving • Cover

Singing for Supper 2006. Photo credit Bill Borgwardt

problems such as substance abuse and homelessness, people still need to eat and find a place to spend the night. He’s using his passion to encourage others to give to causes that mean something to them, personally, and says everybody has to use whatever talents they have to help the less fortunate. The sincerity of what the couple does is obvious at every event they take part in. “Hugging a perfect stranger is a common practice of the Jackson’s,” says Alison. “If the personal connection isn’t made, then we’ve all missed an important reason why we do this work. To think, act, speak and listen with love is my morning mantra.” Many people, she says, just don’t know how to help or where to start. “A lot of people need and want to give, but they don’t have the vehicle,” says Jackson. “I discovered along the way that if you stick to what you know and use that to change your world, you’ll change the whole world. I know the entertainment industry, so that’s my vehicle and others can ride along.” Jackson’s entire career, in fact, has been marked by ongoing efforts to help others. Once he saved a man’s life many years ago and it left him a changed man. “The creator gave me the opportunity to save a life once at a time where I was trying not to save mine,” he says. “I turned on a dime and it changed my life.” He admits his own life journey has been “quite colourful,” but insists it’s one of 38 • DECEMBER 2008 BUSINESS IN CALGARY

Then he heard about a small business the reasons it’s so important for owner in Winnipeg who partnered with the him to give back to his comlocal Mennonite brethren to ship 75,000 munity now and always. educational and children’s books to EthioFor his efforts, he’s been pia and soon garnered support from local widely recognized over the universities in his efforts. It’s just another years. In 2000, he was appointed example of how Jackson’s innate ability an officer of the Order of to tap into other people’s strengths has Canada, received the Queen’s big payoffs for community organizations Jubilee medal in 2002, Centenacross Canada and indeed the world. nial medals from Alberta and He also partnered with Cargill Foods, Saskatchewan in 2005, the preswho sold him beef at cost during the BSE tigious Humanitarian Award at crisis, to raise $600,000 for BSE relief. the 2007 Gemini Awards and the When the Red River flood hit in ManiCanadian Academy of Recordtoba, he raised another $800,000 for the ing Arts and Sciences’ (CARAS) Canadian Red Cross. After Sept. 11, 2001, Humanitarian Award at the 2007 he raised another $100,000 for New York Junos. He’s also had honorCity relief efforts. ary degrees bestowed upon him Now, Jackson is focused on applying from the universities of Alberta, his business skills in a new arena. DreamLaurentian, Winnipeg, Victocatcher Housing is a passion project that ria, Trent, Lakehead, Calgary Jackson has been working to get off the and Lethbridge. After fellow cast memground for the past few years and is now ber Mervin Good Eagle committed suicide gaining momentum, despite some initial while Jackson was working on North of hesitation from the business community 60, he launched the Dreamcatcher Tour and politicians. He’s trying to develop a performing concerts, workshops and other model of affordable housing by partnerevents at 170 urban and reserve locations ing with development companies and across Canada. If there ever was a model of philanthropy worth paying attention to, it’s Jackson’s. “If you change your world with a cheque, that’s great – there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s fuel for the fire,” he says. “But if you can take what you know and say, ‘OK, here’s my vehicle, now where am I going to drive it?’ … then you can do it again and again and again. Sometimes, you just need somebody else’s vehicle to learn that.” Take, for example, the case of Jackson’s longtime friend who owns the popular Crossroads Market in Calgary. After years of running book sales in support of the Raise a Reader program every year, his friend had amassed 50,000 extra books, so Jackson saw an opportunity. He arranged for the books to be shipped to the Regina and Winnipeg food banks which were then distributed in food hamTom with Gemini statue 2007. Photo credit FUJIFILM Canada/Narvali Digital pers at Christmas. Photography. Photo courtesy of the ACCT.

The CEO of Giving • Cover


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ing myself and making good business deals because charity and the core of changing the world has to be a good business deal,” says Jackson. To that end, he points to the fact that for every dollar donated to his food bank causes, it results in $4 in actual deliverables being produced to those in need. “That’s a heck of a business deal,” he says. On that basis, he figures his efforts have generated a total of about $100 million in kind for food and related services over the years beyond just monetary donations. Philanthropy is so ingrained into almost everything the actor and musician undertakes that it’s a lifelong passion and one of his defining characteristics. When he’s not raising funds for food banks, flying used books across the world or building affordable homes for those in need, he still gravitates back to his calling in acting, music and song. He’s planning about 100 shows in 2009 with the support of his wife. But every evening, he finds his place on the couch after a long day and peacefully writes music. Jackson’s ambition, combined with his business acumen, make him a formidable force in the world of philanthropy and one that many busi-

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Swinging for Supper this summer.

contractors and the City of Calgary. “There are so many hard-working people working on houses, making a living, that nobody can afford to build an affordable house,” says Jackson. “For years, I’ve been trying to get people to come to the party to do it but it’s not that easy to break the mould.” Until now. The city has provided Jackson with a full city block of land and he has gained the support of a local businessman to find the contractors necessary to do the work for the project, which Jackson claims can create a 1,200-square-foot affordable bungalow for $79 per square foot. “That’s not crazy,” he says. “You need participants, but you can do it.” If everything goes according to plan, Jackson intends to have broken ground on the first of these affordable houses by Christmas. “Not only is it affordable, but it’s fast,” he says. “Time is money.” He knows that when it comes to giving, everybody – particularly the business community – needs to see value and return on investment for their donations of time or money. “It became very evident to me that I was a very good businessman and I really enjoyed the feeling of empower-




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ness leaders could learn from, especially at a time when economic uncertainty has many people tightening their belts. This year’s Singing for Supper tour ( will arrive in Calgary Dec. 15 before continuing on to the West Coast. Whatever Jackson pursues, it has to have three main ingredients: he has to enjoy it; it must make good business sense; and it has to make a difference in his world. “People who get involved in this kind of work have to see the reward,” he says. “I found out awhile ago that the gift was in the giving.” As for Alison, she knows they’ll continue on their mission because it is about much more than feeling good for helping others. “It’s such a doctrine that I don’t believe he sees it as a label or title or reason for awards and acknowledgments,” she says, “it’s just the way he is and it’s infectious.” BiC

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Working in Style F

unction and esthetics come together in a fresh new way for the office with the arrival of the Artopex showroom in Calgary. An award-winning office furniture company, Artopex manufactures stylish business furniture with a focus on reflecting the personality, spirit and image of their clients. “With all the great elements Calgary has to offer, including a booming economy and fabulous mountain views, Artopex is pleased to become part of the city’s landscape,” says Artopex President and founder, Daniel Pelletier. The Artopex showroom in Calgary, like its Toronto and Montreal showrooms, is a resource centre where industry professionals such as designers, architects, clients and dealers can all come together to view the extensive line of office furniture to create a dynamic Left to right: Maurice Pelletier, Executive Vice President; Joe Ceci, City of Calgary Alderman; Daniel Pelletier, look for their project. President; Benoit Gourdreault, Vice President, Sales - Canada. Now in operation for over 28 years, Artopex is a Canadian manufacturing success story. Family owned “We are very proud of this honour. We are pleased to and operated with Daniel Pelletier at the helm, in collaboration with his brothers, Andre – now retired – and share this award with all the members of the Artopex team Maurice, Executive Vice President, Artopex has experiwho have fundamentally contributed to our success.” enced consistent remarkable growth in North America since its inception. The company is thriving and expand~ Daniel Pelletier, on the naming of Artopex as one of ing with sales throughout North America at a time when Canada’a 50 Best Managed Companies the manufacturing sector is being hit hard in Canada. Its success points to excellent management. Proof of this excellence is Artopex’s recent naming as one of Canacompetitive prices. Artopex’s office furniture easily adapts to every da’s 50 Best Managed Companies for 2007. type of office with various configurations, finishes and colours. “We are very proud of this honour,” says Daniel Pelletier. “We Artopex is proud to be 100% Canadian owned and operated. are pleased to share this award with all the members of the Artopex The company is comprised of five plants totalling over 575,000 team who have fundamentally contributed to our success.” square feet of production capacity, three Canadian showrooms Innovation also plays a part. Artopex has taken the basic and a North American distribution network. As well, Artopex lateral file to new heights with Noki – a unique keyless elecuses state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment that ensures tronic locking system complete with an alarm system – as an high-quality products and short delivery times as well as the option for those who find keeping track of keys and security opportunity to offer “made-to-measure” furniture. an issue. The company has also won design awards for their Care for the environment is also top priority at Artopex where the popular Elasto chair. company is working to minimize or eliminate negative impacts that Artopex is true to its vision of “everything under one roof” may occur due to its manufacturing processes, products and services. by offering a complete and diverse range of high-quality office Artopex has implemented an environmental management system furniture that anticipate and respond to the needs of clients at consistent with ISO 14001 standards that it is extending to all of its factories, some of which are certified ISO 9001:2000, ISO 14001:2004 and C-TPAT accredited (Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism).

The Artopex showroom

The new Artopex showroom is located at 3619 – 8th Street SE. For an appointment to visit and more information call 403.287.0303.

Leading with Energy for a Quarter Century

Executive Vice President Greg Schneider and President Joe Thompson

Cong r at u l ations to Bantrel Co. on you r 2 5 th Anniversa ry!

CASCA Electric

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CASCA Electric is a leader in providing electrical maintenance, instrumentation, construction, commissioning and testing services to the petrochemical industry in Alberta.

CASCA Tech is a specialty electrical services provider with a strong background in providing maintenance and acceptance testing services as well as assemblies of electrical equipment.

- S a f e t y is ou r H ig he st Value -

Table of Contents 25 Years is Just the Beginning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Started Out Small with Big Aspirations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Delivering a Fair Return . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Building the Future with Bantrel Constructors Co . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Committed to Sustainable Development . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Greening Up . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Leading the Quality Revolution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Safety Comes First . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 A Selection of Bantrel’s Projects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Meet the Bantrel Leaders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Anatomy of a Project . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 A Great Place to Work . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Published by: Business in Calgary, 1025, 101 – 6 Ave. SW, Calgary, AB, T2P 3P4 Tel: 403.264.3270 • Fax: 403.264.3276 •

Publisher: OT Communications Director of Custom Publishing: Bernie Cooke Project Coordinator: Guy DeSantis

Writer: Doreen Vanderstoop Art Director: Cher Compton Graphic Designers: katalist studios & Kenji Doshida



few casual clicks around the Bantrel website (www. reveal the company’s operations are anything but ‘business as usual.’ Of course, you don’t become the go-to designer, buyer and builder for multi-billion-dollar facilities in Alberta’s oilsands by being a follower. Bantrel specializes in engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) for the energy sector, and is the largest such Canadian firm. To date, Bantrel has engineered 60 per cent of the synthetic oil production facilities that are in operation across Canada. The company develops complex downstream facilities such as upgraders and refineries, which produce synthetic crudes, synbit product blends and refined products. It also designs and builds world-class upstream facilities that produce heavy oil through steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD). Sustainable operations, the health and safety of their employ-

ees, quality assurance and customer focus are a few of the core values that have permeated Bantrel’s corporate culture of excellence since it was founded in 1983. In some ways, Bantrel resembles other EPC companies specializing in the oil upgrading and refining market in Canada. In more ways, however, Bantrel stands apart from its competition. These distinguishing factors include the company’s position as the leader in the downstream market, its integrated delivery model and its use of Six Sigma, a data-driven approach to improving the efficiency and quality of work processes. As Bantrel celebrates its 25th anniversary, President Joe Thompson says the company will continue to build on the strengths that make it unique. “We deliver technically challenging mega-projects safely that meet or exceed our customers’ expectations,” Thompson asserts.

25 Years is Just the Beginning


antrel has long-term client relationships with many of the biggest names in the industry including Imperial Oil, Shell, Suncor and PetroCanada. The company is well positioned to participate in more of the industry’s most promising projects. As Bantrel approaches its third decade, the company’s vision is clear. Management and staff are focused on extending Bantrel’s leadership by continuing to work on the most chal- Mike Gordon, Vice President and Manager of Business Development lenging projects in the energy sector. “In the years ahead, Bantrel will be well positioned to meet the future marketplace for large project execution for major companies across Canada and around the world,” says Executive Vice President Greg Schneider. As the spotlight on environmental protection and sustainability intensifies, Bantrel fully expects the demand for alternate energy sources such as solar power, bio-fuels, gas hydrates, nuclear and alternative power will increase. Today, many large operators are developing Integrated Combined Cycle Generation projects and gasification projects to

cleanly deal with low hydrocarbon fuels like coal and upgrader residuals such as coke and asphaltenes. “The face of the industry is dynamic, and we’re constantly looking ahead to ensure we’re changing with it,” says Mike Gordon, Vice President and Manager of Business Development. A truly national company, Bantrel is also poised to play an increasingly greater role in Eastern Canada in the coming years. John McVey, Vice President and General Manager of Toronto “We have a diverse resource base of Operations more than six million people in greater Toronto area to staff what we expect will be a resurgence in energy development work across eastern North America after little development in the past 30 years,” says John McVey, Vice President and General Manager of Toronto operations. “We are also looking forward to opportunities to diversify our business into other sectors, taking advantage of the skills and experience that exist in the Toronto marketplace.” “We’re excited about the future,” says Thompson. “Our integrated EPC offering is unrivalled in the energy industry, and that will carry us through the next 25 years.”

“We are looking forward to opportunities to diversify our business into other sectors…” ~ John McVey



Started Out Small with Big Aspirations


antrel is well known and respected for its dedication to excellence. How it earned its stripes is a colourful tale. At first blush, Alberta’s harsh economic reality check of the early 1980s seems a bleak backdrop for establishing a new business. The most successful companies, however, are often born in the most challenging times. And so it was with Bantrel. The company was founded in 1983 by Bechtel Canada, Banister Pipelines, Trimac, BAE Group and Scotia Energy. Armed with a strong set of core values, Bantrel set out with fewer than a dozen employees and a plan to pursue big projects. “From the beginning, Bantrel demonstrated an unwavering commitment Jeff McCaig to the health and safety of our employees, the quality of our product, client satisfaction and environmental stewardship,” says Jeff McCaig, Chairman of Bantrel’s Board of Directors. Throughout the late 1980s and 1990s, the company was awarded many large contracts, and eventually Bechtel and McCaig Investments consolidated ownership in the company. Bechtel is one of the world’s largest EPC firms. Bantrel’s first opportunity to cut its teeth on a major project came in the form of Husky’s Bi-provincial Upgrader in 1989. “It may not be the first project on the books, but it was significant because of its magnitude,” says long-time executive Roger Mapp. Bantrel’s scope included engineering and procurement on hydrotreaters and the utilities and offsites of the plant. Success on this project laid the foundation for further work with Husky, including new project awards in 2008.

A Bantrel designer works on a plastic model of the Husky Bi-Provincial Upgrader project in 1989.

By the turn of the millennium, Bantrel had worked with 90 different clients in nine Canadian provinces, nine American states and eight countries. Meanwhile, the number of employees had grown from five in 1983 to 1,275 in 2002. Today, the company has offices in Calgary, Edmonton and Toronto and employs 6,000 engineering, procurement and construction professionals and tradespeople. Bantrel boasts the largest non-manual EPC workforce in Canada. The company offers multi-office execution of project work and is able to tap into a wide range of human resources in Bantrel offices across Canada as well as Bechtel centres around the world. Employing more than 2,100 engineering personnel across multiple disciplines, Bantrel has the largest and most experienced workforce in the oilsands and refining sector. “Our comprehensive engineering resources provide customers with one-stop shopping — from concept to start-up,” Thompson says.

Delivering a Fair Return


hen it comes to procurement, the combined buying power of Bantrel and Bechtel’s $15-billion annual volume enables buying leverage that is second to none. Bantrel provides a full range of procurement services including management, buying, materials management, shop inspection and expediting as well as logistics planning and management. “We’re the only company or one of the very few companies that can take a job, start very early in conceptual engineering, work with the client through the design, and then take the project all the way through to where it’s handed off,” says Gordon. In today’s challenging project execution environment, Bantrel’s integrated EPC delivery model substantially reduced


interfaces with outside parties. This improves performance for clients, because the company can directly access and control the resources required for projects. Bantrel has the expertise and resources to execute and manage every major EPC activity. “This includes everything from specialized expertise, such as metallurgical analysis and engineering loss management, to the provision of equipment to our direct-hire construction company,” says Gordon. Projects of the size that Bantrel typically undertakes are, by nature, risky. And much of that risk is based in the planning and estimating stages — where good and bad decisions — can have a “lifelong” impact on the project’s success. Thompson says Project Management and Project Controls are

partnership A partnership A

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strengths at Bantrel. “These functions are supported by a top tier roster of seasoned project veterans and line leadership who have experience steering some of the most complex engineering and construction jobs in the energy sector,” he says. “Our personnel are backed by a suite of world-class tools including some of the most sophisticated project management and project control systems available. All of this assures certainty of outcome for our customers.”

“We are very forward-looking in our work,” adds Schneider. “We don’t run into a lot of surprises because we expend a healthy amount of energy on estimating costs and anticipating cost adjustments in a fluctuating market by maintaining close relationships with our suppliers. Our subsidiary, Bantrel Constructors Co., gives us the distinct advantage of being able to tap into a reliable labour pool to help us deploy the right people to do the right work at the right time.”

Building the Future with Bantrel Constructors Co. With one of the largest construction management teams in Canada, Bantrel can coordinate engineering and procurement deliverables, direct hire forces, sub-contractors, suppliers, equipment and material on projects of any size.

Denis Brien of Bantrel Constructors Co. is one of the 4,500 craft who worked on the Petro-Canada Refinery Conversion Project in Edmonton.


antrel has executed millions of hours of large-scale direct-hire construction through its wholly owned subsidiary, Bantrel Constructor’s Co (BCC). Founded in 2003, BCC opened the doors to Bantrel’s first fully integrated EPC project — Petro-Canada’s Edmonton Diesel Desulphurization. The project, initiated in August 2003, was completed on schedule and with phenomenal safety success. Today, BCC executes a wide range of capital-intensive projects including grassroots facilities, project expansions, retrofitting, upgrades and turnarounds. As a self-performing construction company, BCC provides direct control over projects by accessing and managing the many activities along the critical path of construction. BCC can plan and execute most major aboveground activities such as steel erection, mechanical installation, piping installation, module fabrication and installation. This eliminates lengthy sub-contract tendering cycles, and results in work commencing up to 12 weeks sooner on most projects. BCC also provides direct access to the equipment and supplies required for large-scale construction projects through Bantrel Equipment Services. Bantrel Equipment Services provides everything from heavy lift and haul equipment to general construction equipment, scaffold materials, tools and consumables.


Bantrel also has extensive experience in construction management, constructability and modular construction. With one of the largest construction management teams in Canada, Bantrel can coordinate engineering and procurement deliverables, direct hire forces, sub-contractors, suppliers, equipment and material on projects of any size. Bantrel’s modular construction experience spans 20 years. Bantrel has delivered and installed thousands of modules to customers including structural units assembled off-site for cokers, exchangers, furnaces, pipe-racks and process facilities.

Bantrel Constructors Co. craft execute large-scale, capital-intensive projects.


Committed to Sustainable Development


antrel understands it works in an environmentally sensitive industry, and as such it takes steps to ensure its impact on the environment is as minimal as possible. At Bantrel, sustainable development includes a commitment to environmental protection, and social responsibility as the company develops, designs, constructs, operates and/or decommissions a project. This philosophy puts Bantrel at the forefront of the green movement in the EPC industry. The commitment to sustainable development and the ability to develop proactive project approaches is an increasingly important buying factor in the company’s operations. Gordon says Bantrel tackles the balance between economic, social and environmental concerns from a number of fronts. “In remote areas, we work with local and aboriginal communities to get the optimum mix of local and regional content,” he explains.

In fact, the company works hard to identify local capability and develop ways to transfer technology to bolster local involvement. “Smaller local companies receive training and even software downloads from Bantrel to help them participate in and benefit from a given project,” Gordon states. Working with unions and regional business associations such as the Regional Wood Buffalo Construction Association allows Bantrel to find and hire local contractors. “When we need to bring foreign workers in,” the VP says, “we ensure they earn the same wages as local workers and help them become members of the local building trade union.” The company also sets up a system to ensure the earnings of foreign workers are in fact retained by them and do not fall into the hands of their home government. “Ethics and transparency are also important elements of Bantrel’s sustainable business practices,” Gordon affirms.

Greening Up


antrel Vice President Mike Gordon says Bantrel is an environmental leader and actively works to incorporate environmental stewardship into its corporate culture and encourage its own employees to live more sustainable lives: “It isn’t unusual for Bantrel meetings to start off with a discussion about climate change.” “Bantrel has years of experience and a wealth of expertise in environmental projects such as clean fuels, storm water system upgrades, advanced water treatment and fugitive volatile organic compounds emission reduction,” Gordon states. “Bantrel was also one of the first EPC companies to move into the carbon reduction and capture market.” A project-specific health, safety and environment execution plan, usually developed during the postaward phase of a project, is implemented to address a project’s safety and environmental compliance Peter Churchill uses the See-It™ portal to highlight Bantrel’s environmental focus. The software was introduced requirements. The plan varies from project to proj- Bantrel’s on in 2008. ect, depending on project type, location, approvals and permits, and customer commitments. Monitoring day-to-day compliance with the plan is the responsibility of the construction environmental coordinator, a role assigned to an on-site individual during mobilization. Environmental awareness training is also a part of the project’s health and safety new-hire orientation training. Included are at least four hours of training for everyone on the project, as well as ongoing, weekly, small-group meetings to communicate the upcoming week’s activtion is that everyone on the job is responsible for working safely ities and hazards. The project also provides training for job-specific and in an environmentally conscious manner. hazards. The guiding principle in Bantrel’s new-hire safety orientaGordon recently became the executive sponsor of Bantrel’s

The guiding principle in Bantrel’s new-hire safety orientation is that everyone on the job is responsible for working safely and in an environmentally conscious manner.


Leading the past Quarter Century of engineering, procurement and construction within Canada’s energy, chemical and power sectors. Thank you for helping keep the lights on. Congratulations Bantrel.

We are honoured to support Bantrel as a global leader and look forward to being a part of your next 25 successful years.

CFB WEST - 2530 Hochwald Avenue S.W. Calgary, Alberta Canada, T3E 7H5 403.266.2100 fax 403.266.2170

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corporate environmental steering committee: “In my day-to-day activities, I try my best to focus Bantrel’s business development efforts and internal operations in the direction of environmental stewardship.” “As an environmental leader in our industry,” Gordon adds, “we are continuously establishing stretch targets to improve our future environmental performance.” Gordon believes that Bantrel’s Information, Systems and Technology department has done a great job in ensuring company employees have access to state-of-the-art communication tools, thereby minimizing greenhouse gas-intensive air travel. Bantrel has also established a comprehensive set of environmental targets that are displayed in a very transparent manner on the company’s external website ( on the “See-It” portal. “We are constantly expanding the use of this technology,” Gordon notes.

Currently, Bantrel has loaded the portal with metrics related to health and safety, sustainable operations and operational efficiency. As an example, you’ll learn about the company’s goals and performance related to greening its offices, staffing projects with environmental expertise and using hybrid vehicles on construction sites. Finally, Bantrel has set up a new carbon capture technology group that is specifically tasked with developing leading edge technology to assist its clients in the area of CO2 capture. The company is now starting to actively apply this expertise to other environment-related projects. “We want to be proud of our environmental track record, now and in the future,” says Thompson. “This means doing all the right things, from the way we buy material and get it delivered to site to the way we build plants and execute our projects.”

Leading the Quality Revolution


t’s the company’s focus on quality that makes it a leader in the industry. “Quality is an unrelenting passion for improvement, and it pervades everything we do at Bantrel — from the facilities we engineer to the cost effectiveness and timeliness of our services,” says Schneider. In the early years, Bantrel led the way by introducing a Quality Management Department. In 1993, Bantrel became the first EPC company in Canada to earn ISO9001 certification. In 2005, Bantrel achieved another first by becoming, and remaining, the only EPC company in Canada to adopt Six Sigma work practices. Six Sigma uses a rigorous methodology to define, measure, analyze, improve and control business processes in order to reduce errors. The approach incorporates the formation of a

“Quality is an unrelenting passion for improvement, and it pervades everything we do at Bantrel – from the facilities we engineer to the cost effectiveness and timeliness of our services.” ~ Greg Schneider, Executive Vice President multi-functional team whose members are directed by team leaders trained in the methodology. “One of the key drivers for doing this is we want a very consistent delivery model for our projects,” Gordon says. “So far, the company has more than 340 Six Sigma yellow belts, 10 black belts and two master black belts on staff.”

Safety Comes First


s President Joe Thompson iterated, safety is seen as a moral obligation in all of Bantrel’s operations. “We see it as an absolute moral necessity for every employee on every project to end their workday in the same injury-free condition they started it,” Thompson says. “We have a proven track record of executing complex projects safely,” he states. “Our performance is widely recognized by both clients and the industry.” In 2007, Bantrel was part of an owner/contracting team that won the inaugural President’s Award for Safety from Petro-Canada. The recognition was a source of great pride for the entire company. 12

Petro-Canada President and CEO Ron Brenneman, left, presents former Bantrel President and CEO Paul Lovell with the President’s Award for Safety in 2007. Photo Courtesy of Petro-Canada


A Selection of Bantrel’s Projects Syncrude Expansion Study, 1987-1988

Bantrel engineers studied the expansion of hydrotreaters and utilities and offsite plants at Syncrude. More than 150 Bantrel employees contributed to the study. Photo courtesy of Syncrude Canada.

Husky Bi-Provincial Upgrader, 1989-1992 Husky awarded more than $120 million in EPC work to five companies including Bantrel. Bantrel’s scope included engineering and procurement on hydrotreaters and the utilities and offsite plant. Photo courtesy of Husky Energy.

Imperial Oil Strathcona Refinery, 1991-Present On December 3, 1991, Bantrel signed the Imperial Oil Alliance. Over the years, Bantrel has executed more than 600 projects at the Strathcona Refinery. Photo courtesy of Imperial Oil.



on 25 Years

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Kuwait Rebuild, 1991-1992 Bantrel personnel were part of a team that fought oilfield fires after the Gulf War. In addition, more than 85 Bantrel employees supported a major project to rebuild and upgrade Kuwait oilfields and infrastructure.

Newfoundland Transshipment Terminal, 1996-1998 Bantrel led an engineering alliance involved in the EPCM of the Newfoundland Transshipment Terminal. The terminal has handled 1.4 billion barrels of crude oil production from the Hibernia and Terra Nova offshore oilfields since it was commissioned.

Suncor Plant 25, 1995-1998 The Suncor Upgrading Expansion Project, commonly known as Plant 25, was a $250-million expansion. Bantrel was responsible for ensuring the expanded plant was safe and reliable, and that sulphur dioxide emissions were controlled.



Suncor Steepbank Mine, 1996-1998 The Suncor Steepbank Mine was Bantrel’s first oilsands mining project. Bantrel provided engineering, procurement and construction management on facilities at the $320-million Steepbank mine complex near Fort McMurray.

Nova Chemicals Ethylene and Polyethylene Complex, 1997-2000 Bantrel provided engineering, procurement and construction management services for the utilities and offsite portion of Joffre 2000, a $2-billion expansion of the world’s largest ethylene and polyethylene complex. Photo courtesy of NOVA Chemicals.

Suncor Millennium Upgrader, 1997-2001 The $3.6-billion Millennium Project, a joint project venture with Bantrel and other engineering firms including Bechtel, increased Suncor’s synthetic crude production by approximately 100,000 barrels per day.


CONGRATULATIONS to BANTREL for 25 years of success! -from your partners at Bulwark


Hooper Welding has been partnering since 1952 in the design, engineering and fabrication of the most complex projects. Heavy wall, clad, weld overlay and the like, we can build it all! “If it can be shipped, we can build it!” Congratulations to Bantrel on your 25th Anniversary! We wish you many more years of success. Hooper Welding Enterprises Ltd. • 1390 Advance Road, Oakville, ON L6L 6L6 • Toll Free: 1.888.252.6179 • Phone: 905.827.2600 • Fax: 905.827.1600


Athabasca Oilsands Downstream Project, 1999-2002 Bantrel and Bechtel provided engineering, procurement, and construction management of the 160 MW cogeneration plant as well as utilities and offsite facilities, which included wastewater treatment, sewer systems and a rail yard.

Petro-Canada Edmonton Diesel Desulphurization, 2003-2006 Bantrel was the lead EPC contractor on the Petro-Canada Edmonton Diesel Desulphurization project. The project was completed on schedule in 2006, with an incredible safety record. Photo Courtesy of Petro-Canada.

Petro-Canada Edmonton Refinery Conversion Project, 2005-2008 Petro-Canada awarded Bantrel six out of seven silos on the Refinery Conversion Project in January 2005. Bantrel’s scope included the addition of a new crude vacuum unit, delayed coker units as well as utilities and offsites, plant revamps and plant automation.


Congratulations Bantrel on 25 years of innovation and excellence!

7016 - 99 St. N.W. P.O. box 4128, Edmonton, Alberta T6E 4T2 Tel: (780) 439-2051


Athabasca Oilsands Scotford Upgrader Expansion 1, 2005-Present

Bantrel and Bechtel are providing complete EPCM services on all of the major units, including the utilities and offsites, of this large oilsands project in Fort Saskatchewan.

Suncor Voyageur, 2005-Present Suncor selected Bantrel to provide engineering, procurement and technical support to construction for the Utilities silo and complete engineering, procurement, construction and construction management of the Delayed Coking Unit. At an estimated cost of more than $11 billion, Voyageur will bring Suncor’s total production capacity up to 550,000 barrels per day.

Petro-Canada Horizon, 2006-Present Bantrel has EPCM responsibility for the Horizon Project at Petro-Canada’s Montreal Refinery. Bantrel is installing a new 25,000 BPD delayed coker, revamping the process units as well as the utility and offsite facilities. Photo courtesy of Petro-Canada.


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Congratulations Bantrel on your 25th Anniversary We are proud to be a supplier to Bantrel

Congratulations on your 25th Year.

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Victoria 602 John Street Victoria, BC V8T 1T9 Phone: (250) 388-4257 Fax: (250) 383-5774

Burnaby 7885 Venture Street Burnaby, BC V5A 1V1 Phone: (604) 435-6700 Fax: (604) 435-6701

Kamloops 855 Laval Crescent Kamloops, BC V2C 5P2 Phone: (250) 374-6295 Fax: (250) 372-1586

Calgary 3834 - 54th Avenue SE Calgary, AB T2C 2K9 Phone: (403) 279-7089 Fax: (403) 279-4397

Saskatoon 419 - 50th Street East Saskatoon, SK S7K 6K1 Phone: (306) 242-3831 Fax: (306) 242-9644

Toronto 110 Belfield Road Toronto, ON M9W 1G1 Phone: (416) 245-4720 Fax: (416) 242-2727

Montreal 9125 rue Pascal-Gagnon, Suite 208 St-Leonard, QC H1P 1Z4 Phone: (514) 327-9333 Fax: (514) 324-6950

Kelowna 1948 Dayton Street Kelowna, BC V1Y 7W6 Phone: (250) 717-1616 Fax: (250) 717-1617

Edmonton Office: 7545 - 52 Street N.W. Edmonton, Alberta T6B 2G2 e: p: (780) 469 -1351

Red Deer #5, 7803 - 50th Avenue Red Deer, AB T4P 1M8 Phone: (403) 342-0210 Fax: (403) 341-3245

Fort McMurray Office:


200 MacDonald Crescent Fort McMurray, Alberta T9H 4B2 e: p: (780) 790-0990


Meet the Bantrel Leaders

Joe Thompson, President

The Bantrel Board of Directors named Joe Thompson as the company’s fourth president in December 2007. Thompson comes by his interest in engineering honestly. His parents were both teachers — his father taught earth sciences and chemistry and his mother was a math teacher. Thompson graduated from Clarkson University in 1981 with a chemical engineering degree and started with Bechtel two weeks later. As a 27-year veteran of the EPC industry with senior-level project and corporate experience throughout the world, Thompson very much enjoys visiting the Bantrel’s job sites and meeting with customers. He says he’s proud to be serving a company that, through both lean and rich years, managed to lay down a strong legacy of success. “I’ve been very impressed with the leadership of Bantrel over the last 25 years. The diversity among our current executive fosters a healthy energy that creates the right checks and balances in our company. We are well positioned for the opportunities going forward and in an enviable position compared to all others in our industry,” he says.


Darrell Donly, President of Bantrel Constructors Co.

Darrell Donly is passionate about construction. With more than 30 years in the EPC industry, Donly has been involved in construction projects in the power and petroleum industry from Indonesia to South Africa and throughout the United States. In 2003, Donly was appointed the founding President of Bantrel Constructors Co, a wholly owned subsidiary of Bantrel. He knew he was joining a company with a rich history and an even brighter future. “We have grown from a handful of resources to a large construction team employed now on multiple projects, making a major contribution to the Bantrel’s profitability and performance,” Donly says. Donly, whose career includes extensive senior executive-level experience with Bechtel, says his top priority as President of Bantrel Constructors is ensuring the thousands of dedicated men and women who wear the Bantrel blue overalls stay safe on the job. “Safety is clearly the most important thing we do,” he says. “It’s what I personally spend the most amount of my time on. It’s an absolute moral necessity to return every person on every project home at the end of the shift in the same shape they came to work in.”

Greg Schneider, Executive Vice President

Greg Schneider joined Bantrel in 1986 as a new graduate from the University of Calgary with a bachelor’s degree in science, specializing in chemicals and petroleum. Bantrel was a natural fit for Schneider. “I was always interested in things that need to be built,” he says. “Being involved in the mega-projects that Bantrel builds — these multi-faceted facilities — is very exciting.” “Seeing the company grow from 28 employees when I joined to over 6,000 today has been a great ride,” he adds. “I’m proud to have helped develop a company that places such importance on long-term customer relationships and high moral standards.” Schneider’s career has spanned junior, intermediate, middle and senior management positions in many locations, including Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal, Newfoundland, Kuwait and the Philippines. He was appointed Executive Vice President in 2007. “My ongoing goal as Executive Vice President is to promote a one-Bantrel view in project execution across our offices in Calgary, Edmonton and Toronto,” he states. “With our consistent and unwavering commitment to quality and safety, our message is ‘if you want to get the job done right, come to Bantrel.’”

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Congratulations to Bantrel for 25 years of Business Excellence

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CONGRATULATIONS BANTREL Apex Audio Visual Systems Integration (AVSI) Inc. is pleased to congratulate Bantrel Co. on reaching a very successful 25th anniversary milestone. Apex AVSI has enjoyed a solid business partnership with Bantrel, providing effective audio visual solutions for many years. As Apex AVSI announces our merger with Sharp’s Audio Visual this fall, we are excited to offer an enhanced level of service to Bantrel in the years to come.

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Anatomy of a Project

Bantrel’s experienced procurement team review the latest research to source the best equipment and services for clients.

Bantrel’s engineering team transforms conceptual plans into quality design packages.

Few companies have the expertise and resources to execute a mega-project. Bantrel’s been doing it for the better part of 25 years with a world-class team of engineering, procurement and construction personnel. The Project Team

When a project proposal has been accepted and the contract is final, Bantrel’s proposal team hands the project off to the project team. This team includes the project manager and leads from Engineering, Procurement, Construction, Project Controls, and other groups. A staffing plan is created to fill the rest of the project positions. To ensure an efficient transition, handoff sessions are conducted that allow the

contract to be explained in detail. Bantrel’s extensive experience in all major 3D design systems allows the company to use 3D project models to give the project team the clearest possible picture of what the proposal team envisioned. Together, the teams review all of the project details, including: • Cost and schedule • Execution plan • Construction sequence • Any partnership or consortium

Project Control personnel carefully review status and schedule details to ensure the project proceeds according to the client’s specifications.


agreements • Major equipment considerations • Any special conditions of the contract • Details of the material assignment schedule • Strategies for how construction will be implemented (e.g. direct-hire versus subcontracting) • Staffing


The engineering team has to translate concepts into actual systems, including: • Specific equipment and materials— concrete, steel, piping, pumps, tanks • Material-handling facilities • Planning of construction activities, i.e. logistics, equipment planning, procedure development • Job-site facility layout • Environmental design criteria

Bantrel Constructors Co. employs thousands of tradespeople on some of the largest construction projects in Canada.

Bantrel’s Procurement team selects sources for most of the project’s materials and equipment and awards the work, based on suppliers’ pricing and ability to meet Construction’s required delivery dates and specifications. A broad spectrum of goods and services, from consumable supplies to subcontracts, falls into the category of “construction-procured items.” These items are identified depending on the customer, the project execution plan and schedule requirements, financing, logistics, and local capabilities and costs.


For most of the construction phase, the focus will be on coordinated development of each portion of the project — known as the “area buildout.” As an example, a simple building with a foundation requires: • Surveyors to lay out the site • A crew to excavate and haul away waste • Carpenters to erect form work and grade lines • Rodbusters to lay out the reinforcing steel • Mechanical trades to install utilities or structural elements that will be embedded in concrete • A concrete team, including finishers • Ironworkers for structural steel

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Has Moved To historic Inglewood Congratulations Bantrel on your 25th anniversary. We look forward to the next 25 years.

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A Great Place to Work


antrel’s employees are an enthusiastic lot. As the company has grown — from fewer than 10 to more than 6,000 employees — the company has maintained its sense of community. “Bantrel has a real family-oriented culture,” says Cal Pond, Manager of Project IT who has been with Bantrel since 1998. “The company cares about its employees and the communities it operates in. This has been a trait of Bantrel for many, many years.” When deadlines loom, colleagues count on each other to make the best of it, working together to deliver a quality product for clients. There are many stories throughout the company of employees going the extra mile and having fun doing it. The Bantrel Social Club is frequently the mortar that bonds employees together outside of work. Employees participate in events such as curling, cricket, hockey, squash, golf, summer picnics and many other fun, teambuilding activities.

Fostering Community


Bantrel employees are enthusiastic participants in the Calgary Corporate Challenge. In 2008, Bantrel was awarded the ATCO Torch Relay Spirit Award.

The Bantrel Social Club is frequently the mortar that bonds employees together outside of work. Employees participate in events such as curling, cricket, hockey, squash, golf, summer picnics and many other fun, teambuilding activities.

Not only do Bantrel employees enjoy spending time together outside of work, but they also love to get behind causes. Employee volunteerism and corporate philanthropy have been a part of Bantrel throughout its 25-year history. Over the years, employees have rallied behind the company’s annual fall United Way campaign with remarkable vigour. Whether they are dressing up as superheroes,

parading through the streets of downtown or enjoying the aftermath of a pie-throwing contest, employees let their personalities and spirit shine through. Bantrel held its first official United Way campaign in 1993 and raised over

Mayor Dave Bronconnier joins an enthusiastic team from Bantrel during the 2008 United Way of Calgary and Area’s Campaign Kickoff.

Bantrel is a proud supporter of Habitat for Humanity in Calgary. Employees put their time and talent to good use twice a year for this worthy cause.

Bantrel’s Community Investment • The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation • Canadian Blood Services • Canadian Cancer Society • The CURE Foundation • Habitat for Humanity • Heart and Stroke Foundation • Northern Alberta Institute of Technology • Queen’s University

• University of Calgary • United Way • YMCA • AARC Foundation • Spruce Meadows • Honens Piano Competition • Canadian Sports Hall of Fame • Calgary Zoo • Calgary Health Trust • University of Alberta

United Way of Calgary and Area President Ruth Ramsden-Wood joins Bantrel Executive Vice President Greg Schneider and Bantrel Employee Campaign Coordinators Julie Haugen and Michelle Mann to kick off the company’s 2008 campaign.

$11,000. As the company has grown over the years, so have its contributions. “Our cities are so big that it’s easy to lose the sense of community,” says Julie Haugen, who has participated in six United Way campaigns with Bantrel. “Being involved with the United Way reminds me that, in a way, we’re all neighbours and it’s our responsibility to help each other out. It makes me proud to work for a company that encourages its employees to give back to the communities it’s a part of.”

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[title] • [section]

real estate analysis By HeatHer ryan


orries about the volatility in the stock market, the global economy and two national elections were among major reasons for a dramatic slowdown in MLS sales in Calgary’s housing market last month. “There was a combination of many factors that made buyers more cautious last month,” says Bonnie Wegerich, president-elect of the Calgary Real Estate Board. She says while traditionally sales slow in the fourth quarter, the recession news and elections north and south of the border, plus the discontinuation of two helpful mortgage programs had buyers sitting back somewhat waiting to see what was going to happen. “Certainly the loss of the two programs (being able to buy with zero down and obtain a 40-year mortgage) in October had an effect,” she says. “Some people took advantage of these before they disappeared, but for a first-time buyer who now has to come up with five per cent down, it makes things a little tougher.”

According to the latest CREB statistics, sales in the singlefamily and condo housing market fell significantly in October compared to both the previous month and October 2007. Calgary metro sales for single-family homes in October were 820, a 26.3 per cent drop from the 1,113 sales in October 2007, and a decrease of 28.8 per cent from September’s sales of 1,152. Condominium sales for the month of October were 399, a decrease of 20.4 per cent from the 501 condominium sales recorded in October 2007 and a 14.2 per cent drop from September when 465 condominiums changed hands. Although sales slowed, Wegerich says properties “are still moving out there, so that’s encouraging. Certainly in some of the popular communities – where homes for sale are close to schools and amenities – sales are going well. “We’re also seeing an improvement in affordability,” she says. “Fifty per cent of the single-family sales last month were under $400,000; 13 per cent were under $300,000. And that’s in single-

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Real Estate Analysis • Real Estate

family, so there is good opportunity out there for people to buy. “The big message for buyers is there is good pricing available in the housing market and with a slowdown in sales there is more opportunities to negotiate on price. “For sellers, it means that if you don’t have your home priced right it will sit on the market for a long time,” she says. “Sellers have to be competitive with the price, it’s no different than anything else being sold in today’s economy; a home priced competitively will sell.” Wegerich believes some buyers also held off buying last month hoping the prices will go down, but statistics indicate that is not happening. In fact, despite the sales slowdown the average price of a single-family home in October remained stable both in comparison to September and October 2007. The average price of a single-family Calgary metro home in October was $449,100, a slight 0.7 per cent decline from October 2007, when the average price was $452,254, however it marked an increase of 1.1 per cent from September’s average price of $444,048. The median price of a single-family home in October 2008 was $390,000, a bit more of a drop – 5.45 per cent – from October 2007 when it was $412,500, but down just 1.3 per cent from September when the median price was $395,000. The median price is midway between the least and most expensive home sold in an area during a given time period. Calgary metro’s condo market in October showed a different picture as prices have fallen in comparison to the previous year, but risen since September. The average condo price was $289,148 in October, a 12.8 per cent decrease from October 2007 when it was $331,617. However, it was a slight increase of 0.6 per cent over September’s average price of 287,426. The median price for condos in October was $268,000, a 7.27 per cent drop from $289,000 in October 2007, but again a slight jump from September’s $265,000. “There are some good deals out there and good selection,” Wegerich says. But, she emphasizes that even that is changing as the number of new listings added continues to drop. In Calgary metro new listings added for single-family homes in October totalled 2,322, a decrease of 10.2 per cent from the 2,586 listings added in October 2007, and a decline of 11.7 per cent from September, when new listings coming to the market were 2,631. Condo new listings added in October were 1,071, a drop of 11 per cent from the 1,203 added in October 2007 and a decrease of 9.7 per cent from September’s 1,186. “The inventory in Calgary metro has been dropping since May, so that means we’re turning over more inventory, which is a sign of a healthy economy,” Wegerich says. In Airdrie, where Wegerich is a realtor with Century 21 Castlewood, she says the inventory has gone from 577 in June to 410, a drop of 20 per cent and that is huge. So, she says, buyers should not wait to get into the market. “If you see a home you like, in an area you want, don’t wait because it may not be available when you go back.” Wegerich also says the strong house prices, particularly in the single-family area, and the drop in inventory are indicators “that we’re slowly moving towards a balanced market.” BiC BUSINESS IN CALGARY DECEMBER 2008 • 75

Help for Sellers W

ith the current slowdown in sales in Calgary’s resale housing market, what can a seller do to attract a buyer? Wegerich, president-elect of the Calgary Real Estate Board and a realtor with Century 21 Castlewood in Airdrie, says people wanting to sell their home should look around their home objectively with an eye of the buyer. “Go out and walk back into the house and you’ll look at it totally different.” Some recommendations she gives clients to make their home more esthetically pleasing are: 1) Make a good first impression. Weather is unpredictable at this time of year, but make sure walks are cleared, any clutter is removed from the front yard, and any external repairs, like a broken front door, are


done. “If someone is driving by and they don’t have a good feeling from looking at the exterior, they are going to drive on to the next home.”


2) Make sure the home is clean. “If the house isn’t clean, it’s a turn off,” she says. “I talked to some people recently who saw one home and were surprised at the mess, especially in this market where there is so much competition. You can understand an untidy house if the realtor has given the seller only an hour’s notice of a viewing, but when it’s 24-hour’s notice, buyers don’t want to see dirty clothes spread across the laundry room floor.” 3) Get rid of the clutter. “You want to put away things that you don’t need into boxes, but don’t stack them all in the garage; people don’t


want to open the garage and see tons of boxes and have to imagine how their car will fit.” 4) Eliminate odours. Pets, smoking, diapers and cooking can all produce strong odours, so you’ll want to find ways of eliminating them.


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Charities Feel the Economic Squeeze • Philanthropy

Charities Feel the Economic Non-profits turn to online giving amid downturn in philanthropy By Business in Calgary Staff


ith a matter of only days before the stock market crash in October, not to mention the continued economic uncertainty that has followed, the Calgary Stampede Foundation was lucky. At its Pavilion - Western Contemporary Art Auction held at the end of September, the non-profit branch of the Calgary Stampede couldn’t have had better timing. Before Calgarians started to think twice about philanthropy given the current economic environment, the auction was a huge success. “We had a great year, considering a few days after that the markets went sideways,” says Sue Tomney, to Right - Alex Dinning, Joan Moss, Erin Thrall, Laurie Barr, Patricia Glenn, Cassie Campbell, Kimberley Whitley, Jane Snyder, executive director of the Calgary Stam- Left Rhondda Siebens, Sue Tomney pede Foundation. “It also solidified there is a growing community in Calgary that however, there is a growing sense of has to do with western-defined contemporary art.” unease about even reaching last year’s The event raised more than $185,000 by auctioning off goals, let alone trying to set new records. works of contemporary art by 23 Canadian artists, with pro“It’s not easy for the voluntary sector at ceeds benefiting the artists along with the foundation’s youth all,” says Tomney, who also sits on the and educational programs, which include the Young Canadians board of the Calgary Chamber of VolunSchool of Performing Arts, the Stampede School and 4-H on tary Organizations (CCVO). Parade. The foundation spends more than $600,000 annually Calgarians and corporations alike are on community programs to support the next generation of busiholding off plans to donate money due ness and community leaders through its programming. to the economic turmoil, but that hasn’t It’s just one of hundreds of non-profit organizations in Calgary stopped organizations like the Stampede Executive Director, Sue Tomney that rely on this time of year for a boost in donations. This year, Foundation from going after every dol-

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depression - schizophrenia - bi-polar - attention deficit disorder - anxiety disorder - obsessive compulsive disorder - developmental disorder BUSINESS IN CALGARY DECEMBER 2008 • 77

Charities Feel the Economic Squeeze • Philanthropy

Tomney knows many non-profit organizations face an uphill battle trying to raise money when times are undoubtedly tough for many Calgarians. “We are finding this is a fairly saturated market in Calgary in terms of events,” she says. “People are being asked but everybody does (events), so there is always the challenge of making yours unique.” The AM Giddy-Up 9:14 Page 1Gala was a success again this year, thanks in large part to

A.EM.CHEM.118.4C Prints: CMYK docket # SEDU-8014.01 4.75” x 7.5” Business in Calgary This advertisement prepared by: McGILL PRODUCTIONS • October 03, 2008

lar they can in support of the city’s youth. At the end of October, Calgary Stampede Queens’ Alumni, Calgary Stampede Foundation and Maxim Power Corp held the 10th ‘Giddy-Up Gala’ with an Old Hollywood theme to raise money in support of the foundation and children with special needs in Calgary and surrounding area. The annual fundraiser has raised more than $1 million for special needs children A.EM.CHEM.118.4C.BIC.01.qxd 11/3/08 over the past 10 years.

Stampede President George Brookman with artist Shary Boyle at the unveiling of Boyle’s piece “Little Brown Bat”.

the strong Stampede brand associated with the well-known event in partnership with the Stampede Queen’s Alumni group. “It’s a very well-oiled, volunteerdriven machine,” says Tomney. There isn’t much doubt, though, among those in the non-profit sector that times ahead will be difficult when it comes to persuading people to donate money as they watch their retirement savings evaporate. “The irony is that as the number of people willing to donate decreases, the need for the services these organiza# provide is actually going up,” says PROOF tions Owen Charters, executive director of Client Ontario-based – a web______________ site dedicated to collecting donations on Creative Director behalf of charitable organizations across ______________ Canada. “Times are tough,” he says. Art Director Despite that fact, Charters has noticed ______________ one area where donations are surging – Copywriter the online realm. The number of people ______________ donating online this year via his organization’s website ( Account Director has doubled from last year. “People like _____________ donating (online) because then they don’t Account Manager have to worry about people calling them _____________ down the road asking for donations,” he Production ManagerIt offers anonymity, but also consays. _____________ venience as more people trust the online McGillsecurity model of well-established orgadal _____________ nizations, he says. Another new trend in the world of philanthropy is related to the rise of social


Giving students more. Every year thousands of public education students in Calgary need opportunities to enhance their literacy, life skills and leadership potential. You have the power to be the plus for these students and give them a gift they will never lose. 78 • DECEMBER 2008 BUSINESS IN CALGARY


INVESTMENTS THAT BENEFIT EVERY CALGARIAN Named one of Calgary’s “Top 40 Under 40” by CalgaryInc Magazine in 2007, Brian Boulanger explains that he chooses United Way because of its expertise. “United Way’s staff is knowledgeable – they understand the complexity of social issues and invest in programs and agencies that show measurable results.”

“United Way’s analysis shows how the dollars we invest are multiplied into meaningful change in people’s lives. It is amazing to watch people thrive once given opportunities.” Brian Boulanger, Senior Vice President ARC Financial Corporation 2008 United Way Board Chair

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11/3/08 2:55:47 PM

Charities Feel the Economic Squeeze • Philanthropy

The Giddy-Up Gala was a success again this year.

media and social networking sites such as Facebook. “Now people are promoting events they care about to their network of friends online and it’s resulting in more donations as a result of that,” says Charters. People who are passionate about a cause, for example, will start up groups on their social networking sites to attract like-minded individuals. The idea is that they will, in turn, make donations to the same cause.

“We’ve noticed the trend is greatest among younger people, but at the same time the baby boomers are also going onto these sites because of their kids and they have also started to embrace the (trend),” he says. It’s about the only welcome news on the horizon for the non-profit sector. Donations are generally down across the board, he says. Instead of setting new and higher targets, most organizations will be happy just to meet last year’s targets. “It’s not that donations are necessarily going down … but they’re just staying flat,” says Charters. Jo-Anne Ryan, vice president of philanthropic advisory services for TD Bank Financial Group, says people can still develop effective strategies to give in a volatile market. “It just takes a little more planning,” she says. In 2006, the federal government eliminated capital gains tax on donations of publicly-listed securities to registered Canadian charities. It was applauded by charities and donors alike, resulting in an increase of 8.3 per cent in the number of total donations of $8.5 billion in 2006. “Many believe that the added incentive to donate securities with zero capital gains tax is largely responsible for this increase in giving,” says Ryan. But that was then, during the middle of an economic boom, particularly in Calgary. Now, those stocks have sunk and even as they try to claw their way back to profitability, Ryan says many people are putting off stock donations to avoid losses. However, she says

Our community is stronger thanks to We salute these organizations for giving blood Ahmadiyya Muslim Community NE • Ahmadiyya Muslim Community NW • Aker Solutions • Alberta Blue Cross • Alberta Central • Alger & Associates Inc. • Alpine Environmental Ltd. • ALS Laboratory Group • AMEC E&C Services Limited • AMEC Infrastructure • Anderson Energy Ltd. • ATCO Gas • ATCO Midstream • ATCO Structures • Autodesk Development • Bantrel Co. • BDO Dunwoody LLP • Blake Cassels & Graydon LLP • Bridgewater Bank • Caliber Planning • Canadian Federation of Medical Students • Canadian Fertilizers Limited • Canadian Natural Resources Limited • CB Richard Ellis • CEMATRIX Canada Inc. • CGA Alberta • CGGVeritas • Chartwell • Cimarron Engineering Ltd. • Conroy Ross Partners Limited • Contemporary Office Interiors Ltd (C.O.I) • Crape Geomatics Corporation • D.A.Watt Consulting Group Ltd. • EDS Canada • EECOL Electric Corp. • EHS Partnership Ltd. • Emerson Process Management • EnCana Corporation • Enform • Entero Corporation • Filipino Community Group • Focus Corporation • Freedom 55 Financial • Gemini Corporation • Gibbs Gage Architects • GLJ Petroleum Consultants • Golder Associates Ltd. • Hatch Energy • Honeywell Ltd• Hudson LLP • Husky Energy • IBM Canada Ltd. • Intuit Canada • Jacques Whitford-AXYS Ltd. • Ledcor Group of Companies • Lehigh Inland Cement Ltd. • Mancal Corporation • Martin Newby Consulting Ltd. • Matrix Solutions Inc • Meyers Norris Penny • Midwest Surveys • MPE Engineering • Mr. Lube • NAL Resources • Newalta Corporation • Niska Gas Storage • PennWest Energy Trust • PolicyWorks • PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP • Priority Leasing Inc. • Pulse Data Inc. • Ralph McCall School (Rockyview School Div #41) • Robertson and Associates Engineering Ltd• Rogers Insurance Ltd. • Savanna Energy Services Corp • Shell Canada Limited • SNC-Lavalin • Society of Kabalarians • Spartan Controls Ltd. • Stantec Consulting Ltd. • Sulphur Experts Inc. • Suncor Energy Inc. • TAQA North - Northrock Resources Ltd • Telus Mobility - Customer Care • The Forzani Group • Trican Well Service • Tundra Engineering Associates Ltd • U of C Residence • Upside Engineering • Urban Systems Ltd. • Weatherford • WorleyParsons Komex • Zedi Canada Inc.

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Charities Feel the Economic Squeeze • Philanthropy

People who are passionate about a cause, for example, will start up groups on their social networking sites to attract like-minded individuals. there are still advantages to donating securities regardless of whether they are winners or losers. Either way, you still receive a charitable tax receipt resulting in a tax credit, avoid paying capital gains tax on any profits to date and, if you repurchase the stock, you will have increased the adjusted cost base (ACB) of and guest enjoy the viewing reception prior to the auction Blake Senini, Mike Schubert, Joane the investment. “A higher ACB will reduce your capital Artists Cardinal-Schubert, Marcie Senini gains and associated taxation when you sell your investment later on,” says Ryan. thropy strategy is like retirement planning. You need to sit If you’re holding stocks that have lost since their purchase, down with a banking specialist and discuss long-term philantriggering a capital loss will help offset any capital gains in the thropic goals to eliminate the impact of any volatility in the past three years and may be carried forward indefinitely, plus markets. “Since charities identify their number one problem as the usual tax donation receipt. She also points out that a good, difficulty in obtaining long-term stable funding, such an old-fashioned cheque will still result in a 46 per cent tax credit approach would benefit not only donors but also recipients of in most circumstances. The bottom line is that a sound philanappreciated securities,” Ryan says. BiC

The Calgary Elks


Lodge and Golf Club

ince 1967, The Calgary Elks have been stewards of a premier golf course in the center of the city. For an even longer period, since 1928, the Elks Lodge #4 has been a strong supporter of charities in Calgary. Funds generated through member donations and participation at Casino events is given to city food banks and shelters, community recreation facilities, youth sports teams, senior centers, and affordable housing projects. Each year, the Elks support special-needs children in Alberta and across Canada through their national and provincial Elks organizations, and the member-owned golf shop donates golf passes to local charities and youth sports groups for their silent auctions. In December 2007 Calgary Elks families and friends delivered over 100 food and gift hampers to the Women’s Centre of Calgary. This year the Elks are working towards delivering that many again to the Kerby Centre for seniors. On September 8, 2008 the Elks hosted their first Elks Charity Clas- The 2007 Christmas Hampers for the Women’s Center of Calgary sic in support of Habitat for Humanity. Through the hard work of club members, and the generosity of Calgary businesses as event sponsors or teams of golfers, the Elks were able to reach their goal of raising $65,000 for Habitat in 2008 – and plan to partner with Habitat for at least four more years to assist Calgary families to reach their goal of affordable housing.

The Calgary Elks is committed to having ecstatic members, great golf and contributing to a better community.


A Look Back at the Big Business Stories of a Wild Year • Year In Review

year in review: a look Back at the Big Business Stories of a Wild year By Derek Sankey


hen Big Oil released its quarterly results back in October, the cynicism in the air was palpable among the average consumer. Record profits were announced for companies such as EnCana Corp., Imperial Oil Ltd. and its parent Exxon Mobil, Petro-Canada – billions upon billions in profits following record high oil prices over the summer that topped $147 per barrel. But when the next round of quarterly results is released early next year, it likely won’t be such a gush of record profits. Many large oil and gas companies have shelved plans to expand major operations, while others have scaled back growth in the wake of turbulent economic times and oil prices that sunk to $60 per barrel by the end of October. Yes, 2008 was a year of extremes, from one end of the spectrum to the other. The biggest news story won’t soon be forgotten and, indeed, its effects will undoubtedly linger well into 2009 and perhaps beyond. The market meltdown in October, and the wild swings back and forth that followed, had global implications for companies of all sizes and in every industry, despite the fact the root problems came from the financial and housing sectors. “A lot of the weakness (and) turmoil is in the financial sector,” says Craig Alexander, deputy chief economist for TD Bank Financial Group. Governments around the world poured trillions of dollars into the financial system in an attempt to unfreeze the credit market, which was choked off when banks stopped lending to each other around the world. In Alberta, the economy was already slowing down throughout the first half of 2008 coming off “unsustainable” growth of the previous two or three years, says Alexander. It was an overdue return to normal. Then disas-


The ripple effects continue to be felt. Alberta, for example, was the only province in the country in August to register an annual decline in retail sales of 0.4 per cent to $5.083 billion. ter hit as investors watched the gains made over the past few years disappear and RRSP portfolios sunk. The ripple effects continue to be felt. Alberta, for example, was the only province in the country in August to register an annual decline in retail sales of 0.4 per cent to $5.083 billion. Sales were also slightly down in July from a year prior by 0.1 per cent, attributed to trends such as a decline in automotive sales. While the market uncertainty and the increasing reality of a U.S. recession and a global economic downturn presents some tough times ahead, many economists still remain optimistic for Canada. “There’s nothing fundamentally wrong with the Canadian economy,” insists Alexander. Business in Calgary takes a look back at the biggest business news stories of the year from an Alberta perspective and examines how it impacted key sectors vital to our economy.

A Look Back at the Big Business Stories of a Wild Year • Year In Review

E NERGY ’ S U PS AND D OWNS While the big oil and gas companies may have enough cash on hand to see them easily through the next few months of economic uncertainty after a gusher of profits from the summer quarter, many leaders in the sector are now pulling back on any new spending as they prepare to also deal with a new royalty structure in 2009. Those hit hardest by recent economic events in the energy sector are the juniors. “It’s pretty hard to be optimistic right now,” says Gary Leach, executive director of the Small Explorers and Producers Association of Canada (SEPAC). “With everybody fearing a much more severe recession, it’s had a huge knock-on effect on the price of oil.” From $147 to around $60 per barrel, the uncertainty took an immediate toll on crude and natural gas prices. For the juniors, it means a lack of new startups, he says, along with fewer consolidation deals because nobody can seem to accurately place a value on a company whose stock price went swinging up and down in the last half of 2008. “For the juniors, it’s worse because they are much more frequent visitors to the equity market raising capital and when your stock price used to be $4 and now it’s $0.40, you can imagine how many investors are reluctant to put more money in,” says Leach. When juniors are able to raise money in the conditions prevalent in the last half of this year, it became much more expensive since they had to give away much more equity to raise the same amount of money. It was definitely a year of extremes in the oilpatch. “In the first half of the year, there was growing optimism,” says Leach. “The first quarter of 2008 was overshadowed by the very divisive and disappointing outcome of the Alberta royalty policy announcement” in 2007, he says. “It was already going to make a lot of drilling opportunities in Alberta not competitive … meaning it really damaged the business model for a lot of Alberta-based juniors.”

While natural gas prices and crude prices rose throughout the first half of the year, “it all rolled over (and) prices fell off the cliff,” making new investments in Alberta’s energy sector less economically viable. “There’s not a whole lot of new oil production that’s viable and at these natural gas prices, not a lot of new natural gas drilling in Alberta,” Leach says. “This is about the highest cost place in North America to produce both of those commodities. When we layer the new royalty framework on top of it, we’re at some risk of making Alberta even more marginally economic than it is now.” The energy sector was built with guys who know they’re in a risky business, but the level of uncertainty in the industry in 2008 made it a tough year all around, even with record oil prices in the summer that were wiped out in the months that followed. Big or small, it’s difficult not to be pessimistic for energy companies after a roller-coaster of a year.

F INANCIAL W RECKAGE Even amid the carnage from the global financial downturn, Canada’s banks were rated as the most economically sound in the world because financial institutions here did not have nearly the same amount of exposure to the sub-prime mortgages that caused so much of the current economic mess. Still, it’s hard to remember when the finance sector was in such rough shape. “By most people’s benchmarks, it’s been the most destabilizing event for the big financial and banking centres since the 1930s,” says Leach. It’s important to note, as TD’s deputy chief economist, Alexander points out that despite global turmoil, the picture at home in Canada isn’t as bleak as it is elsewhere. “What’s happening in Canada is completely different than what’s happening in the U.S. and Europe,” he explains. “In the Canadian context, the Canadian financial institutions have been hit indirectly by what’s happening and that has increased the cost of doing business.”

Mr. Detail


A Look Back at the Big Business Stories of a Wild Year • Year In Review

“It’s pretty hard to be optimistic right now,” says Gary Leach, executive director of the Small Explorers and Producers Association of Canada (SEPAC). “With everybody fearing a much more severe recession, it’s had a huge knock-on effect on the price of oil.”

It’s often said that when the U.S. gets the sniffles, the rest of the world gets pneumonia and Canadian banks had no immunity. “The interbank lending rates have all increased quite a lot, so while the Bank of Canada has been lowering interest rates on things like prime, the fact of the matter is that the cost of doing business for the banks has gone up and that’s why you’re seeing higher credit pricing,” he says. Unlike other countries, where credit froze up altogether following the October meltdown, you can still find credit in Canada but it’s going to cost you dearly. Politicians around the world immediately stepped up to rescue a drowning financial system in an unprecedented and globally co-ordinated move. “Governments around the world have made enormous investments in trying to rebuild the financial system and I think it’s going to address the root of the problem,” says Alexander. While trillions of dollars were thrown at the problem and various other initiatives announced to help prevent a major global recession, the markets reacted as though political leaders were waving a magic wand that would make it all go away instantly. Of course, the large and almost daily swings up and down on global stock markets proved how intense the level of uncertainty was as investors looked around fervently trying to find a safe place to move their money into while the turmoil played out. “The reality is that it takes time to be implemented,” says Alexander. As the final days of 2008 tick by, the reality of this global financial mess has finally hit most business leaders as they prepare to make budgets for an uncertain year ahead.

R EAL E STATE R EALITY Homeowners happily watched their property values skyrocket in 2006 and 2007, only to have much of those gains evaporate in 2008 thanks to a degree of normalcy coming back into a housing market that was unsustainable, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC). “In 2008, what we’ve seen overall is reduced level of demand for a variety of reasons,” explains CMHC’s senior market analyst, Lai Sing Louie. “We had a lower level of net migration coming here this year and … a rapid run-up in prices, which has affected affordability in terms of people buying.” 84 • DECEMBER 2008 BUSINESS IN CALGARY

The decreasing level of affordability helped push wages up to nation-leading increases, contributed to a reduction in migration to Calgary and helped push inflation up. At the same time, an oversupply of condominiums and single-family homes has led to one of the lowest levels of new housing starts in years. “There’s been a big surge in supply in the marketplace – lots of homes for sale, lots of people who invested money who are trying to close out their positions in terms of realizing their returns from buying in an earlier period of time,” says Louie. But in terms of hard numbers since 2005, property owners have still managed to see a substantial appreciation in the value of their homes and condos. In 2005, the average price of a single-family home in the metropolitan area of Calgary was $281,000 in September. “We had a strong rise in 2006 and those gains are still in place, it’s just the run-up in 2007 has been eroded,” says Louie. That same home was worth $421,481 in September of 2008, down 5.6 per cent from September 2007’s average single-family home price of $446,479. In the condo market, it was a similar story. In 2006, condos went up in value about $100,000 in just six months. “A firsttime buyer coming into the marketplace is looking at $290,000 for an average condo, whereas if you go back to January 2006, it was about $202,000. The number of homes listed on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) surged in the middle of the year as new supply hit the market at a time when the lack of affordability priced many people out of home ownership altogether or made it very expensive. Combine that with stricter lending rules and it helped push prices down to slightly more affordable levels. “Housing prices can’t run up too much faster than wages for too long because it’s hard for people to afford it,” says Louie. “Wages this year are growing at under six per cent, so affordability is improving while housing prices have been eroding.”

U NCERTAIN F UTURE As 2008 draws to a close, there was definitely no shortage of business news in the last half of the year. Now, investors and business owners alike are hoping that some sense of stability returns to the marketplace as we close the book on another chapter in what has been a wild and crazy ride in 2008. BiC


BOMA Calgary The Building Owners and Managers Association of the Greater Calgary Area

Winter 2008

Page 2 - President’s Message | Page 6 - Resources in Your Waste | Page 7 - Who’s Who in the Zoo | Page 8 - Empower the Decision Makers

Simply the Best BY BOMA STAFF


here are many ‘bests’ in the world. The best athletes are celebrated at the Olympics and become our champions and our heroes. But when it comes to the environment, real champions need only have the best tools to achieve Olympic results. The tools needed for taking our environmental efforts from better to best are a set of practices implemented and measured. Best is no longer an end point, but A m em BOM

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an evolution. For buildings, that ‘best’ is the BOMA Building Environmental Standards program (BESt). Based on over three years of real world, field experience the Go Green and Go Green Plus programs have been harmonized to the BOMA BESt program; a non-commercialized, national industrydriven program that requires buildingspecific performance data, independently audited, before it may be environmentally certified. This sets the BOMA program apart and arguably above, all others. The BOMA environmental certification programs have been remarkably successful. Since launching Go Green and Go Green Plus in 2005, BOMA has certified nearly 900 commercial buildings and counts major corporations, federal and provincial government agencies on the list of those who have embraced the BOMA BESt program as the standard for all their existing buildings. Many of the country’s hospitals are also joining the ranks of certified buildings. This is their expression of commitment to improving the built environment. BOMA Go Green and Go Green Plus participants have seen significant and

quantifiable improvement in their environmental management. On average, BOMA certified buildings use 11 per cent less energy and 18 per cent less water than the industry standard. We estimate that the first 200 buildings certified under Go Green Plus now save a combined total of 333 million kilowatt hours (equivalent to 37,000 homes heated by electricity) and one million litres of water, per year. These improvements will better serve Canada’s real estate industry, facilitating performance improvement and helping building owners and managers to reduce their carbon footprint. Very simply, BOMA BESt is an efficient, affordable way to make buildings more ecologically friendly and to cut costs. Making the move towards sustainability and cost-effective business should not be difficult, nor should it be expensive. It should become a part of daily life and a better way of doing business. BOMA BESt is not about laboratory experiments or theoretical savings of scarce resources, it is about results. Real results. BOMA’s experience these past three years has clearly demonstrated the benefits of the BOMA BESt program. It is accessible, affordable and practical. We have found that virtually everyone desires to do their bit to enhance and improve their environment, but they do not always know how. This is why BOMA BESt is a valuable tool: it provides clear and easy to implement, practical tools to get from better to best. For more information on BOMA BESt, please visit BOMA Calgary News


President’s Report

Maintaining a Vision for the Industry

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 Email: Web:

BOMA Calgary 120, 4954 Richard Road SW, Calgary, AB T3E 6L1 Email: • Web: Tel: 403.237-0559 • Fax: 403.266-5876 CHAIR James Harvie, TELUS Convention Centre MEMBERS David Holmes, Measure Masters Calgary/Prairies Blair Carbert, Stones Carbert Waite LLP Michael Kehoe, Fairfield Commercial Paul Gauthier, Fujitec Miles Durrie, Calgary Herald Carol Lewis, Calgary Herald

Officers PRESIDENT Wendy Cardell, The Cadillac Fairview Corp. Ltd. VICE PRESIDENT/PRESIDENT-ELECT Guy Priddle, RPA, Oxford Properties Group SECRETARY TREASURER Tom Sullivan, GWL Realty Advisors Inc. 2ND VICE PRESIDENT Peter MacHardy, GWL Realty Advisors Inc. PAST-PRESIDENT Terry Schmitt, Northwest Healthcare Properties

By Wendy Cardell, CPM, President


have to say – it has been a very fast two-year term as president of BOMA Calgary – time does fly when you’re having fun! With my term ending in January 2009, I must admit that I am torn between the satisfaction of having really enjoyed the “ride” over the past two years and sadness that it is coming to an end. I do look back over the last couple of years and have some satisfaction that I achieved several goals that I set out for myself. One of which was to set in motion a strategic direction for BOMA Calgary, to ensure that our association meets the objectives and expectations of our members and to make certain we are on a purposeful, strategic path. This past September the board of directors spent a half day in a facilitated session to create a framework of strategic initiatives that will guide the board in its direction of the association over the next three to five years. These objectives will be refined and developed over the next few months with an action plan for implementation. As a result we will see a stronger organization that is adaptive to changing business environments and tuned into members’ needs.

I am excited to see our planning session come to fruition in the coming months and years and I am confident that you will also see the fruits of this labour through a strong, constructive association. At BOMEX 2008 this past September, BOMA Canada launched the new BOMA BESt program which combines the best of BOMA Go Green and Go Green Plus into one program. You can check out this new program at Many landlords and building owners are now mandating this program in their buildings as part of their ‘greening’ strategy. Don’t be left behind – it’s becoming very important to our owners, tenants and customers that we are environmentallyresponsible corporate citizens. One of our committees is the Public Safety Committee, co-chaired by Parnell Lea of Brookfield Properties and Josh Caines of EnCana, along with members Daniel Popescu, Cadillac Fairview; Glen Kitteringham, Brookfield Properties; Aaron Coffey, Aspen Properties; Ray McPhee, Brookfield Properties; Sam Quiring, EnCana; Tony Headley, GWL Realty Advisors; James Sanford, Steb-


Directors Randy Burke, Daylight Cleaning Systems Blair Carbert, Stones Carbert Waite LLP Don Fairgrieve-Park, Bentall Real Estate Services Glen Kitteringham, Brookfield Properties Corporation Domenic Mazzocchi, 20 Vic Management Inc. Lee Thiessen, Deloitte Property Tax Services Chris Howard, Aspen Properties Gerry Jobagy, Hopewell Real Estate Services 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. © 2008 by BOMA Calgary. Printed in Canada. 2

BOMA Calgary News

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nicki + Partners; and Jim Uttley, Realex. This group of committed volunteers have been instrumental in many initiatives that make our workplace much safer and secure. Most recently, they have been working on the Security Staff Compensation Survey, collaborating with the fire department to develop protocols and training, working with Calgary Police Service on the issue of 911 hang-ups and creating ongoing partnerships with Police Service’ representatives. BOMA Calgary is fortunate to have a large contingent of volunteers that work behind the scenes making a difference for our members in many different areas that affect our business. Many of our committees are in need of new members and I encourage you to become involved – you meet great people in the industry and all our committees have a positive influence in shaping how we do business in Calgary. Some of the important issues that our committees have recently tackled include increases to hoarding fees, the business tax harmonization issue and

increase to property tax appeal fees. If there is an issue or problem that affects BOMA members, I am proud to say that our committees are “on it” – they have a great deal of dedication and tenacity and BOMA’s voice is well respected at municipal and provincial levels of government. The personal satisfaction in volunteering is second to none and why not be active in the community in which you work! As I close out this article for the last time as president, I must say it has been not only a lot of fun, it has also been a huge personal and professional growth experience for me. It’s hard to encapsulate the thoughts I have about this, but I can tell you that it has been personally rewarding to volunteer for such a great organization that has the benefit of a great, experienced staff. Thank you to Bill Partridge for being who you are and for sharing your knowledge and experience freely with me – you quickly tuned in to my vision and you helped me every step of the way! Thank you to past and present members of the board – the

association is fortunate to have a board of directors whose collective experience, wisdom and dedication is outstanding – I appreciate each of you for your support and encouragement over my term – I could not have done it without you! Last but not least, thank you to Lia Robinson, Liz Krill and Danielle Mead from the BOMA office – you ladies truly rock and we are a stronger association with your skill and efficiency! For me and my family, Christmas time is soon and I am thankful for all the blessings my life has brought me. Whatever you celebrate at this time of year, I wish you a happy, healthy, fun time with those that are special to you. Let’s remember those who are less fortunate and give back – whether it’s your time or a donation, it all makes a difference! Thank you for the honour of representing you, the members, as president of BOMA Calgary – it is an experience I will treasure the rest of my life! Cheers - Wendy

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Executive Vice-President’s Report

A Challenging Assessment By William Partridge, CAE, Executive Vice-President


ity council is under a lot of pressure right now. The economy is in a slump and the city dwells in an environment of ever-increasing costs. Oddly enough, this is just like the rest of us. But the city has one thing working in its favour that is not available to private businesses, many of whom are struggling with the wild dynamics of the marketplace. The city has the force of law behind it to collect taxes. But what protection do taxpayers have against an administration that seems increasingly lacking in fiscal discipline? Very little. BOMA members collectively, as an industry, are the biggest single contributor to city coffers of property tax revenue. When one includes the business tax revenue in the equation, it amounts to about 60 per


BOMA Calgary News

cent of all the property-based revenue. Building owners and managers struggle to keep the operating costs of buildings in line. That is part of the competitive forces that drive businesses to attract and keep customers. Building owners have a vested interest in providing a competitive environment that provides affordable and productive workspace contributing to the success and profitability of each and every one of their tenants. If those tenants cannot survive and thrive, obviously they can’t pay rent! Calgary is growing a reputation as a business-unfriendly city. This does not sit well with folks that may be contemplating investing in this great city. And council seems to be insensitive to this emerging view. The BOMA office hears

daily from members who have new barriers put up in front of them for what might seem fairly routine things. For example, a permit for tenant improvements that used to take, typically, three to five days, can take in some instances several months to obtain. The new Land Use Bylaw, which was supposed to address key issues like “certainty of use” and “predictability” for developers has turned out to be much more demanding and restrictive and increasingly difficult with which to comply. All these things in combination add to the cost of development which in turn adds to the cost of business, and inevitably adds to prices for consumers. Despite having things go a little sideways on the regulatory side of things, it

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WATTS BUILDING MAINTENANCE is also fair to question the collective judgment that seems to be putting legacy matters well in front of pragmatism. It is somewhat ironic, if not disturbing, that council would agree to design and build $25 million in pedestrian bridges that arguably are not high on the priority infrastructure list, especially after the mayor went cap in hand to the province for a similar amount to hire additional police officers. Bridges or cops? Public safety or decorations? It is a question of good judgment. Alderman Ric McIver was absolutely correct in asking his council colleagues to reconsider this highly questionable decision. His initiative failed and the questionable bridges are on. But it is not only taxes that are causing angst throughout the industry. A perfect example is a proposal to hike fees to file property assessment complaints, is considerably more worrisome. If a property owner does not agree with the valuation given on a notice of assessment, that owner has a fundamental democratic right of appeal. The appeals, if heard, are considered by the Assessment Review Board, or ARB. Business operators may likewise appeal their business tax assessments. As of July 16, 2008 a total of 12,067 complaints were received by the ARB. Of this amount, 8,747 proceeded to the hearing stage. According to the information contained in the Annual Report of the ARB, 65.13 per cent of these complaints received a reduction of some kind. So the ARB process did its job which is simply to correct errors. The fees that are currently applied to filing assessment complaints are modest, in the order of $20 - $50 per complaint. If approved by council, the new fees would be considerably higher, if not effectively prohibitive. The fees to file an assessment complaint for a major office building could be as much as $80,000! To be fair, if the appeal is successful, the fees are refunded. A fee for a service should be commensurate with the cost of performing that service, a concept that has been upheld by the Supreme Court of Canada. When one recognizes that the greatest proportion of assessment complaints are filed from residential properties – in fact the greatest growth in complaints has been from the residential condominium sector - then it is apparent that the workload is not created by the business sector. Obviously something is seriously out of whack with this proposal. Is city hall trying to manage its costs by eliminating the assessment errors in the first place? Or, simply eliminating the volume of complaints through abusive fees? Or, is city hall just seeking to deny the rights of the property owner. Clearly, the present city council is giving every property owner something to fear.


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BOMA Calgary News




orporate sustainability. Carbon footprint. Green office. All of these terms have gained attention and momentum in the commercial sector. Awareness of the impact companies have on the environment is at the forefront of people’s minds, from staff and managers to the public and shareholders. So where do you begin? In recent news, Alberta and Calgary have been identified as among the highest contributors to solid waste in Canada. In 2006, Alberta was producing 3.8 million tonnes of waste per capita which was a 24 per cent increase from 2004. Specifically, the non-residential sector is responsible for a 33 per cent increase, compared to the residential sector increase of three per cent (Statistics Canada 2006). Today Albertans generate approximately 1,133 kg per capita. This is a far cry from the provincial target of 500 kg per capita by 2010, or the City of Calgary target of an 80 per cent recycling rate by 2020. So what responsibility do companies have in reducing their impact on the environment associated with waste?

Clean Calgary Association is an environmental non-profit organization that is striving towards zero waste and empowering Calgarians to do the same; at home, school and work. The products, education and services available through Clean Calgary Association offer the tools and resources necessary to achieve this. Clean Calgary Association’s Commercial Environmental Services (formerly the Calgary Materials Exchange program) offers companies solutions for waste reduction initiatives including recycling information, recommendations for program implementation, material exchange referrals and a new system to measure waste generation. The Waste Measurement Toolkit is a system that measures the overall rate of waste diversion and the composition of waste and recycling streams generated by a facility or company. Funded in part by Alberta Environment, this toolkit offers companies the data necessary to strategically approach the issue of waste. Without knowing what is in the garbage, how do you know what approach to take?

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BOMA Calgary News

Top: Sarah Begg and Stacey Schaub-Szabo conducting a waste assessment. Bottom (L-R): Dan Nourse, Wayne Bondville, Stacey Schaub-Sazbo and Sarah Begg at Bentall Real Estate Services (ERCB Building).

Clean Calgary Association conducts waste assessments and provides recommendations to implement waste reduction programs. The assessment is non-intrusive and analyzes a sampling of the waste generated at a facility that provides both quantifiable and qualitative data to create a baseline of the current situation. To date, Clean Calgary Association is working with seven companies conducting waste assessments at 20 different facilities. The average recycling rate for these companies is 50 per cent. This includes office towers, warehouses, and both private and public sector facilities. As a baseline recycling rate for the commercial sector, this is a good start – with room for improvement. Some companies have already taken the initiative to have their building certified through the BOMA BESt (formally the BOMA Go Green) program. The Waste Measurement Toolkit aligns with this program to measure the waste generated at the facility and track improvements. As landfill tipping fees increase in 2009, taking action to reduce waste will not only help save your company money, it will address the overall environmental impact associated with waste. If you are interested in having a waste assessment conducted, or would like more information about Clean Calgary Association, please visit or contact Sarah directly at or 403-230-1443 ext. 226. A m em BOM

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Who’s Who in the Zoo


OMA BESt is the next evolution of BOMA Canada’s Go Green program. BESt stands for Building Environmental Standards, and is representative of the direction of the commercial real estate industry in Canada and BOMA Canada’s role in providing the mechanisms for common practices across the industry. With four possible levels of certification, users can progress through the program and continually use the framework to improve environmental performance and management. For more information please go to The latest to be certified as BOMA BESt/ Go Green are: • Market Mall, Cadillac Fairview (Go Green Plus high score of 92%) • CREB Building, CREB • Tonko Realty Advisors: 999 8 St SW 707 10 Ave SW Centrium Place Eau Claire Place 1 Canada Place • Alberta Infrastructure John Harder of RJC gets a near Cardston Provincial Building ace at the BOMEX Golf TournaMedicine Hat Provincial Building ment at Furry Creek Golf and Country Club, BC. Lethbridge Provincial Building Lethbridge (New) Courthouse Lethbridge Administration Building

The Cadillac Fairview team, Wendy Cardell, John Gardin, Pam Kennedy and Len Farwell accept their Go Green Plus Certificates for 635 8 Ave SW and Encor Place.

President Wendy Cardell, CPM, presents Ross McAlpine of Cadillac Fairview the Go Green Plus Certificate for Market Mall.

BOMEX 2008: Cheryl Grey, BOMA Canada, presenting the certificate for top scoring BOMA BESt (Go Green Plus) building in southern Alberta, 736 6 Ave SW, accepted on behalf of Manulife Financial by William Partridge, BOMA Calgary. Photo courtesy of William Jans /


Phil Marleau of Bentall LP, accepts the Go Green Certificates for Dalhousie Station and North Hill Centre, presented by President Wendy Cardell.

Welcome these new BOMA members: • Suzy Mah, GWL Realty Advisors • Darren Witt, Standard Parking of Canada • Hurley Irwin, Standard Parking of Canada • Jeff Landels, Dundee Realty Management • Andrea Bunz, Dundee Realty Management • Sharlene Nakaska, SNC-Lavalin Nexacor • Allan Okabe, MDC Property Services Ltd. • Helen Lee, MDC Property Services Ltd. • Glyn Jones, EHS Partnerships Ltd.

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President Wendy Cardell, CPM, presents Rob Irwin and Kim Talbot of the Calgary Real Estate board with the Go Green certificate for the Calgary Real Estate Board Building.

BOMA Calgary News


Empower the Decision Makers By David Parker


midst all of the doom-and-gloom bad news I keep looking for the positives. And I found one. In discussing our current council with two fairly senior city employees they told me they were most impressed that when Ald. Joe Connelly stood up to a community meeting where he was going against the grain, two other rookie aldermen stood by his side. Now that may not seem a big deal to some, but they thought it was quite significant in that it showed some solidarity and strength between council members, and it perhaps sent a message that community associations cannot have everything their own way. The city has to come first in some instances. Too bad more elected officials don’t think that way. I’ve been following the saga of the Bowness Hotel since Michael Evans of Atlas Development bought it with the idea of upgrading it from a rundown building complex into something that the community would be proud of. But he’s been hammered every step of the way by the Society of Bowness Residents and the ward alderman who Evans says has, “taken every opportunity possible to resist the initiatives we have taken to improve the property.” I’ve looked at the hotel and must say the façade is much improved, retailers are settled in and 26 furnished suites on the second floor have been completely upgraded even down to a new HVAC system that provides comfortable housing at $650 a month, all-in, for low-income renters.



BOMA Calgary News

Yet Evans was faced with a Stop Work order for normal maintenance on the parking lot, because somebody didn’t like the way the stripes were painted. Remember that the same alderman kicked up a fuss over the proposed condo development on the Crowchild Inn site because his voters in Varsity were concerned about too much traffic on 53rd Street NW. The project fits into the Transit Oriented Development plans to encourage high density at LRT stations – Dalhousie is right across the road – and I doubt if any resident would use the continuous stop-and-go 53rd when Crowchild Trail is just around the corner. But community associations have a lot of power, enough to persuade some aldermen to bow to their self-interests. It happens far too often. It must be more than three years now that Streetside Developments has been trying to build multi-family close to the Sunnyside LRT station. Little wonder that city hall cannot keep staff if they are not allowed to make decisions without fearing that plans will be crushed by council. I don’t understand why, when land use planning and area structure plans are agreed upon, and when developments have the OK from planning, parks and recreation, transportation, fire and the other etc’s, why council has to then approve. Give staff the power to make decisions. Time is money. I know that Centini Restaurant has suffered from a huge waste of it in trying to lease more space in the TELUS Convention Centre. Yet renting empty space means more money in city coffers! Give staff the power to make decisions which would allow council more time to ponder on the important matters that will affect this city’s future. Surely they must hear the same complaints that I do and should be concerned about the amount of negative media attention. I can’t remember when I’ve seen so many Letters to the Editor complaining about the mayor and his aldermen. From iconic footbridges to costly recycling programs to the loss of the Farmers’ Market - the taxpayers are up in arms. By the time this column is published we should be well into the budget process, but feelings are running so high that I doubt if anything will be accepted without a fight. Those on fixed incomes could be slaughtered with increases in garbage fees, recycling fees and water rates. And then there will be a jump in property taxes to pay for LRT expansion, more roads, more police and recreation centres – never mind the Bow bridges. By the way, the footbridges across the Deerfoot Trail at Mayland Heights, across John Laurie at Brisebois Drive, and along Memorial Drive east of Crowchild Trail are quite pretty. But when did you last see anyone walking across them? And businesses are going to get hit hard too. The proposal to increase the filing fees to appeal assessments is daylight robbery, especially when 65 per cent of them get adjusted which means they were wrong in the first place. This council has earned a reputation of being hostile to business, beating up on developers, and wanting to grab as much cash as they can in new revenue-generating schemes despite these rather uncertain times. Hopefully council members will listen to their constituents – and I don’t mean about piddly neighbourhood problems, but those affecting the big picture, and the expected too-big budget. They must take time considering the budget and be prepared to be able to explain it to the citizenry. But if the learned members of the Chamber of Commerce have problems understanding it, I guess there might be councillors who might have a hard time answering questions. But they can bet they are going to be asked. A m em BOM

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Calgary’s Favourite Market


arket manager Matthew McDonald says it’s the variety offered by the Crossroads that makes it Calgary’s favourite marketplace. “Crossroads is home to an antiques and collectors market, a flea market, international food fair, and indoor and outdoor farmers market,” he says. Crossroads’ indoor farmers market features fresh products year round. We offer a large selection of fruits and vegetables, cheeses, breads and pastries, honey, fresh flowers and fresh meats to name a few. Open Friday through Sunday, the indoor farmers market gives consumers the opportunity to speak with the producer of the products as well as their knowledgeable staff who can answer any questions shoppers may have.

“We strive to be a destination where everyone in the family will have a good time.” ~ Matthew McDonald “You can’t find that kind of one-on-one interaction in a supermarket,” says McDonald. “I know our customers really appreciate that.” During the summer months (April through October), the outdoor farmers market comes to life with garden centres in the spring followed by Okanagan fruit growers, Hutterite Colonies and local farmers with fresh produce for the balance of the summer. Shoppers can expect to find the freshest and highest quality produce in the city at reasonable prices. “In addition to all the produce, we have crafters, artisans, colourful entertainment and other activities throughout the summer,” says McDonald. “We strive to be a destination where everyone in the family will have a good time.” Crossroads Market is also home to the Loose Moose Theatre Company which provides improv entertainment from their venue on the second floor. Management is also in the process of building a media centre with office space available for rent. Integral to the market’s success over the years has been its constant support of community organizations. From providing fundraising space for Girl Guides, Scouts and Hull Family Services to hosting the Servants Anonymous Societies annual book drive and sale which, now in its sixth year, has raised more than $1,000,000. “We’re very proud to be a part of this community and love to get involved wherever we can,” says McDonald. BUSINESS IN CALGARY DECEMBER 2008 • 95

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A Cut Above the Rest Bon Ton Meat Market Offers Top-Notch Quality and Service

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uring the rise of the big-box retailer, Bon Ton Meat Market has stayed true to its roots. Serving the Calgary area for over 85 years, Bon Ton still offers the traditional butcher shop fare with top-quality products and friendly, knowledgeable service. “Quality and service is our philosophy,” says manager Greg Keller. “That has always been our philosophy and we will never change it.” Bon Ton opened its doors in Calgary in 1921 and moved to its current location in the Stadium Shopping Centre in 1994. A year later, Fred and Ruby Keller acquired half ownership of the bustling shop. In 1997, the Kellers became sole owners and made it a true family affair when their son Greg joined the business as manager in 2002. “Dad owned a grocery store in Cochrane,” says Keller, who followed in his father’s footsteps to become a butcher. “But it has always been my dad’s dream to own a meat market like this.” Keller explains that Bon Ton offers a different shopping experience than the big-box stores that provide product based on price. In comparison, Bon Ton only stocks top-quality meats. Clients from all over the city come to Bon Ton for a plentiful selection of AAA Alberta Beef, fresh free-range poultry, Alberta pork, Alberta lamb and milk-fed veal, as well as gluten-free sausage, exotic meat and fresh game. A recent renovation to the site has also allowed Bon Ton to expand their frozen foods and deli selection, which includes mouth-watering cheeses, dips and pâtés. In addition, Bon Ton has changed with the times to offer a variety of ready-to-go meals for working families on the run, such as hot and ready-to-go meat pies, barbecued chicken and beef and pork ribs. “There is no doubt this is the way the market is going,” says Keller. “People are busy and looking for healthy alternatives. We will continue to develop high-quality ready-to-go meals to satisfy our clients’ needs. We have recently introduced beef and chicken stew to our lineup of prepared meals as well as homemade beef and chicken chili, pot roast in gravy, turkey in gravy, chicken in gravy, barbecue beef on a bun, all fully cooked ready to serve.” And the Bon Ton staff certainly knows good meat. Combined with the Kellers, the team has 270 years of combined meat-cutting experience. “We are very committed to having a professional, first-class, yet fun environment at Bon Ton. We want our clients to enjoy their experience at Bon Ton and we only hire people with an outgoing personality who are committed to quality, and professional, friendly service. We won’t have any grumps working for us.” Keller adds, “It’s kind of like the TV show Cheers. We know many of our clients by name. We know what they want as soon as they walk through the door.” Although Bon Ton continues to evolve with the growing city, Keller stresses that the service and quality will never change. “We will never open another location,” says Keller, who believes in a hands-on approach to running a business. “We will always stay true to our philosophy of providing top-quality meats and highend service. It’s the Bon Ton tradition.”

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Spotlight on air Canada

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ir Canada is Canada’s largest full-service airline and largest provider of scheduled passenger services in the Canadian market, the Canada-U.S. transborder market and in the international market to and from Canada. In 2007, Air Canada together with its regional affiliate Jazz, operated an average of 1,370 scheduled flights per day and carried over 33 million passengers, providing direct passenger service to over 170 destinations on five continents. Air Canada is a founding member of Star Alliance™, providing the world’s most comprehensive air transportation network. Air Canada’s predecessor, Trans-Canada Air Lines (TCA) inaugurated its first flight on September 1, 1937. The 50-minute flight aboard a Lockheed L-10A carried two passengers and mail between Vancouver and Seattle. By 1964, TCA had grown to become Canada’s national airline; it changed its name to Air Canada. The airline became fully privatized in 1989. In 2000, Air Canada acquired Canadian Airlines International. Today, Air Canada is the 14th largest commercial airline in the world, with approximately 23,900 full-time equivalent employees. Air Canada shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) under the symbol “AC-B.TO”.

the Calgary Connection Air Canada offers up to 15 flights a day every business day from Vancouver to Calgary, while up to 20 flights a day every business day travel from Calgary to Edmonton. In addition, Air Canada offers the most non-stop daily flights between Montreal and Calgary and Calgary and Toronto. And for those traveling south of the border, Air Canada proudly boasts the most nonstop flights per week between Calgary and the U.S.; with service to New York, Texas, Los Angeles, Chicago, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Seattle and San Francisco.

global network Air Canada has an extensive global network, with hubs in four major Canadian cities (Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Calgary), providing scheduled passenger jet service directly to 65 Canadian cities, 55 destinations in the United States and 54 cities in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Australia, the Caribbean, Mexico and South America. Air Canada and its regional affiliate Jazz operate approximately 1,370 scheduled flights each day on average. Through its strategic and commercial arrangements with Star Alliance™ (, Air Canada offers service to 965 airports in 162 countries and provides top tier frequent flyer benefits. A number of new non-stop services were launched in 2007, including Calgary-Seattle, Vancouver-Sacramento, Ottawa-Las Vegas, and Vancouver-Sydney, Australia. In 2008, Air Canada has launched amongst other new routes, Calgary-Newark, Calgary-Chicago, Toronto-Richmond, Toronto-Dayton, Toronto-


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Grand Rapids, Ottawa-Washington National, Ottawa-Frankfurt, Toronto–Madrid and Toronto-Austin non-stop service.

WHAT’S NEW a la carte pricing Air Canada’s redesigned website,, offers innovative a la carte pricing that allows customers on flights within Canada and to or from the United States to customize their travel experience by choosing the options they wish to pay for. A la carte pricing couples Air Canada’s branded fares with optional features, including lounge access, travel assistance, in-flight meal vouchers, checked baggage and Aeroplan miles. Customers build individualized tickets online, paying for perks where desired, and saving on unwanted services. World-wide websites are available in 15 countries, and four languages, offering Air Canada products plus access to localized services in local currencies. In addition, Air Canada continues to expand its growing array of mobile services at, including mobile check in and mobile boarding passes.

Flight passes Air Canada is the only airline that offers customers Flight Passes providing the convenience to self-manage travel online, either in the form of pre-purchased banks of one-way flight credits or fixed monthly subscription rates that provide for unlimited flights within chosen geographical zones.

new fleet and on-board features In 2007, Air Canada began introducing ultra-modern, fuel-efficient Boeing 777 jets on international routes, including the only non-stop service between Vancouver and Sydney, Australia. The carrier will have 18 by early 2009. In 2008, Air Canada will have concluded most of its major fleet-wide refurbishment, consisting of all new seats, seat-back personal entertainment systems with up to 300 hours of video and audio on demand, as well as standard 110V electrical outlets at arm’s reach for all customers.

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Car thieves Beware:

Blackline gPS is tracking you By SanDra SWeet


re you looking for the perfect gift for the tech enthusiast on your Christmas list? Or maybe you have concerns about the security of your vehicles or need to keep tabs on a new driver? Blackline GPS™, a Calgary-based company and a leader in GPS tracking and social interaction, delivers all that and more with GPS Snitch®. A small unit about the size of a mobile phone, GPS Snitch can be moved from vehicle to vehicle, or any other asset you might want to keep tabs on. The location information is available from the users account through an easy to use web interface and from any mobile phone supporting SMS. Blackline GPS President and Founder, Patrick Rousseau, says they first came up with the idea when he and his partner were working for a company with a fleet tracking offering. But the complexity of that product and the multiple service providers involved did not translate well to the consumer market. Rousseau and his partners developed GSP Snitch as an easy and affordable way for the average consumer to track assets like vehicles. “GPS Snitch requires no install and it’s a one stop shop. We made the product as simple as possible and we handle all service delivery,” says Rousseau. “We get to the core of what people really want from a tracking device. We give you instant alerting of break-ins using a motion sensor that detects if someone is trying to break into your car. All of this is accessible in real time through the web or through your BlackBerry®.” Available in major big box stores across Canada, Rousseau says Snitch sales are going well. The company’s biggest challenge has not been getting retailers to see the value of the product, but rather educating consumers about its multiple benefits. Not only is Snitch a theft detection device, but parents of young drivers are also using it to keep tabs on their kids. It also buys users piece of mind if they have to park their car in less desirable areas. “When you are able to locate your vehicle remotely you save time and stress. If you are getting stressed because your daughter was supposed to be home by 9:00 and it’s 9:15 you can find out where she is. Or if you park in more dangerous or high theft areas, you get piece of mind with our product,” says Rousseau, who has also used the device to track his briefcase and other assets. With the success of GPS Snitch, Blackline is coming out with two new offerings that take Snitch one step further in asset security and retrieval. Seeker™ for vehicles and Harpoon™ for watercrafts will be on the market in the first few months of 2009. Unlike GPS Snitch that can be moved from vehicle to vehicle, Seeker and Harpoon are permanently installed and come

The success of Blackline GPS is definitely a good news story for the Calgary tech community ... GPS Snitch®, developed by Blackline GPS™, is a GPS tracking device designed to alert users to the theft of a vehicle. Location information is available from the user's account through an easy to use web interface and from any mobile phone supporting SMS. About the size of a mobile phone, GPS Snitch can be moved from vehicle to vehicle, or any other asset you might want to keep tabs on. GPS Snitch is available at big box electronic stores across Canada.

with a key fob to activate or disarm the device. Much like home security, when the device detects a theft, Blackline follows up with the owner to verify that the vehicle has been stolen, and works with police to try to retrieve the vehicle. “With GPS Snitch we had a lot of questions from customers around what to do if their car gets stolen. With Seeker, we will fulfill every aspect of the vehicle recovery.” Blackline is also working with the insurance industry to educate them on the value of GPS Snitch and Seeker. In the near future Blackline expects people who use these devices to qualify for insurance discounts. The success of Blackline GPS is definitely a good news story for the Calgary tech community, especially when you consider how difficult it can be to successfully launch a consumer product. Rousseau says they have taken advantage of resources in the community whenever possible, like connecting to Calgary Technologies Inc. to seek help with financing. As a client of Alberta Deal Generator, a joint program of Calgary Technologies and TEC Edmonton, they received help developing an effective investor pitch and presented their pitch at an ADG private investor forum. Rousseau says the program was invaluable for making their pitch more effective and building confidence for approaching investors. Blackline’s GPS devices range in price from $299 to $349 with monthly monitoring starting at less than $15. If you’re not sure if GPS tracking is for you, check out their website for a free, no fee download of BlackLine’s Blip application for BlackBerry smartphones, a tracking and social interaction application. For more information on Blackline GPS’ complete product line, visit or Look for more information on Calgary Technologies’ programs and services at BUSINESS IN CALGARY DECEMBER 2008 • 101

the time is right By SaaD BaSHir


iversify. Basic but an important message taught to all business students. Whether it is diversification of stocks in a mutual fund portfolio or having more than one qualified supplier of a key raw material to produce a certain product, it is prudent to spread business risks. Oil and gas services companies, who have operated in Alberta for an extended period of time know all too well of the cyclical nature of Alberta’s energy industry. The price of commodities has shot up and fallen over the course of the last 35 years. As Alberta’s energy sector increasingly gets dominated by the high cost production of crude oil from the oil sands, we are even more susceptible to greater impact of lower oil prices. Generally speaking, whenever the price of oil heads downhill, it is always the more expensive production projects that feel the pain first. We have seen evidence of this in recent days with Suncor and Petro-Canada revising their 2009 expansion plans due to less forecasted demand of crude oil. The Alberta oil sands story has provided extraordinary exposure to the Canadian energy sector on a global scale. Some of this limelight has been mixed, such as the environmental issues. On the other hand, suppliers of oil & gas equipment and services in Alberta are receiving unprecedented positive attention from global energy centres from Dammam to Mexico City. According to the US government global oil reserves estimates, the world is sitting at 1.3 trillion barrels. Out of that, the stateowned companies around the world own more than 70 per cent of the reserves - Canada has 13 per cent. Existing nationalization of energy resources is a trend that needs to be fully understood by the rest of the world but specifically, by the Alberta oil and gas goods and services community. Alberta service companies wishing to develop export markets beyond the United States have a strong likelihood of running into a state-owned National Oil Company (NOC) that works in very different ways then a CNRL or Encana but presents significant revenue opportunities. Out of all the NOCs, Saudi Aramco is the largest, controlling almost 275 billion barrels of oil on behalf of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The CEO of Saudi Aramco, Mr. Abdullah Jum’ah in a recent article this summer shared Saudi Aramco’s projected expenditure budget on goods and services of $90B over the next five years. This is just one example of the magnitude of budgets for some of these NOCs including Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), Kuwait Petroleum Corporation, Pemex (Mexico),


For the Alberta service community, the time is right to engage with these National Oil Companies and explore business opportunities. Petrobras (Brazil), Qatar Petroleum, Sinopec (China) and many others. Calgary Economic Development (CED) has been working with some of these NOCs to highlight Alberta’s expertise. So far in 2008, Calgary has hosted visits by senior officials from Saudi Aramco, ADNOC & Pemex, with each delegation expressing increased respect and appreciation of Alberta service companies. Although there are numerous examples of Alberta companies taking the proactive step of expanding outside Canada, they often stop at the United States. For various reasons including distances, languages, culture differences etc, many Alberta firms are reluctant to move out of their comfort zone and expand to the Middle East, South America etc. Many NOCs understand this apprehension of Alberta companies and have taken the unusual step of visiting Canada to source suppliers. Remember, for them too it is all about diversification of supplier base. For the Alberta service community, the time is right to engage with these NOCs and explore business opportunities. No doubt this intention translates to a lot of paper work, understanding of local business customs, some long distance travel, knocking on a few doors, finding and vetting local partners and most of all patience. But as several Alberta companies have proven, this initial hard work can pave way to profitable and long term contracts. It also provides possibility for the Canadian company to work side by side with other reputable international firms and gain perspectives that otherwise may not be possible. The coming year will present further prospects of meeting some of these NOCs in Calgary, as well as in-country meetings providing an excellent chance to diversify your customer base. I encourage my fellow Albertans who have already made up their mind to expand but do not where to start, as well as the ones for whom this is still a question mark, to seek advice from organizations like Calgary Economic Development and others.


High Occupancy Vehicle Lanes Could Help Alleviate Traffic Woes


nitially a Chamber proposal to reduce traffic congestion, city council is investigating the expansion of High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes beyond Centre Street. HOV lanes are traffic lanes specifically dedicated to vehicles carrying more than one passenger. The Chamber proposed HOV lanes as part of the Renaissance Calgary strategy released during the municipal election last October. “Calgarians want new solutions to our transportation and environmental challenges,” says Geoff Pradella, vice-president of public and government affairs for the Calgary Chamber of Commerce. “Our preliminary research indicates that HOV lanes are widely viewed as a cost-effective transportation demand management tool to reduce congestion and associated tailpipe emissions.” HOV lanes are intended to encourage a shift to multioccupancy vehicles, increasing the capacity of highways or major arterial roads. According to Transport Canada, a typical highway lane can accommodate 1,500 to 2,200 vehicles per hour, whereas an HOV lane can move, on average, 1.5 times more people. After opening HOV lanes on highways in Toronto, former Ontario Transportation Minister Donna Cansfield reported a year later that: “HOV lanes work. Carpoolers and public transit users on the Highway 403 and 404 HOV lanes are saving 14 to 17 minutes per trip compared to their previous travel times. People get to where they’re going faster, and we improve air 1




HOV lanes are usually created through the conversion of an existing lane and separated from other lanes through distinctive markings. quality by getting cars off the road.” The Government of Ontario is currently expanding the network of HOV lanes due to the positive response from commuters. HOV lanes are usually created through the conversion of an existing lane and separated from other lanes through distinctive markings. They can be structured as a dedicated 24-hour lane or reserved during peak travel times only. While generally requiring two occupants, HOV lanes can also mandate three or more. Transit buses are often allowed on HOV lanes, while some configurations allow motorcycles and taxis. “The Calgary Chamber is encouraged by city council’s intent to develop a HOV strategy and implementation plan by January 2009,” says Pradella. “We look forward to more discussion leading up to, and after the City of Calgary’s report.”

2008 Boar d of Dir ector s Executive Brian Hahn, Chair Hal Walker, Past Chair Lois Mitchell, Chair Elect Simon Vincent, Second Vice Chair Betty Thompson, Vice Chair, Finance Heather Douglas, President & CEO



Directors Arlene Flock Eva Friesen Alex Graham Brenda Kenny Leah Lawrence Rob Lennard Joe Lougheed Byrne Luft Peter Menzies Glenn McNamara Kathy Pawluk Paul Polson Dave Sprague Paul Waddell Management Heather Douglas, President & CEO Craig Finn, CFO Ben Brunnen, Manager, Policy and Research Geoffrey Pradella, VP Public and Government Affairs Kim Koss, Vice President and Business Development Ben Brunner Manager, Policy and Resources Elizabeth Leitch, Manager, Communications Tracey Abbott, Manager, Events Leading Business magazine is a co-publication of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce and Business in Calgary The Calgary Chamber of Commerce 100 6th Avenue SW, Calgary, Alberta T2P 0P5 Phone: (403) 750-0400 Fax: (403) 266-3413 Please address editorial enquiries to Elizabeth Leitch, Communications Phone: (403) 750-0424 E-mail:




Beauty Is In The Eye Of The Beholder! hen developing retirement plans for small business owners, one of the largest pieces of the puzzle is the equity they hold in their business. When asked for a figure, they can generally provide one, but when asked how they arrived at this valuation, the response is a little more vague. A typical response is “Well that is the figure I would be prepared to accept for what I have built up over the years.” A more relevant approach would be, what would somebody else be prepared to pay for the future prospects of the business without the active participation of the present owners? Take Fred who has built up a very successful business over the last 25 years, developing strong customer relationships and loyalty, largely due to his efforts. The goodwill that Fred has built up might not be realized by a new owner running the business without Fred. Fred was the magic ingredient in the business’s success. Determining the value of a business is best left to professional valuators, who can make a dispassionate assessment of the value of the business. There may be some strategies for increasing the value of the business to a potential buyer. For example, having a strong management team in place that would continue on, even after a change in ownership, might be quite valuable to a potential new owner. The business may be more valuable to certain potential buyers than others; for example, if the business possesses a particular expertise, specialized equipment or a desirable customer list. This could be quite valuable to another company wanting to branch into that business, expand their capability or cross sell to that customer base if they are targeting a similar clientele with another company, thus creating some synergies. A business owner that is paying themselves and possibly their family members an above market wage or paying themselves large bonuses, will be showing less profit than perhaps a new owner would realize who paid out market wages for the same position. This will need to be considered when positioning the business for a sale to reflect a more


Professional valuation, legal, tax and financial planning expertise should be consulted prior to implementing a sale of the business. realistic level of profitability going forward. Don’t overlook the obvious. The people already working in the business may be the ones in a position to best appreciate its value. This may be key management, other family members or a more broadly based employee ownership plan. The key is to test the waters well in advance of a sale to get a sense of the fair market value of the business, as well as identify what strategies might enhance the value of the business to potential buyers. By doing this, the accuracy of financial plans will be greatly enhanced, planning opportunities can be more fully developed, resulting tax liability on sale may be reduced, and a better sale price may be realized. Professional valuation, legal, tax and financial planning expertise should be consulted prior to implementing a sale of the business.


Chamber Events Calendar December 1 – 17 (excluding weekends) 12 Days of Christmas Join us in the Chamber of Commerce historic ballroom for the 12 Days of Christmas! Bring your staff, clients, family or friends and join us as we countdown to Christmas with the best specialty buffet in the heart of downtown Calgary. Time: 11:45 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Location: Calgary Chamber of Commerce, 4th Floor Reservations can be made by calling 403-750-0400.

Friday, December 5th The Honourable Jack Hayden, Minister of Infrastructure Time: 7:30 a.m. – 9:15 a.m. Location: Calgary Chamber of Commerce, 4th Floor

Tuesday, December 9th Ian Russell, President & CEO, Investment Industry Association of Canada Sponsored by: Investment Industry Association of Canada Time: 7:30 a.m. – 9:15 a.m. Location: Calgary Chamber of Commerce, 4th Floor

Friday, December 12th The Honourable Ron Stevens, Minister of International & Intergovernmental Relations Time: 7:30 a.m. - 9:15 a.m. Location: Calgary Chamber of Commerce, 4th Floor

Monday, December 15th Michael Kirby, Chair of the Mental Health Commission Solving the Issue of Homelessness in Canada The Calgary Chamber of Commerce is pleased to welcome Michael Kirby, chair of the Mental Health Commission. The homeless population all across Canada is growing at an alarming rate. Many Canadians are unaware that up to half of people who are homeless also suffer from a mental illness. In February, the federal government allocated $110 million to the Mental Health Commission for research projects to help people with mental illness who are homeless. The goal is to determine the most effective ways of providing services to the homeless mentally ill, including access to primary health care and to housing – similar to the new Calgary Pathways to Housing program. Senator Michael Kirby, chair of the Mental Health Commission of Canada, will speak to the Calgary Chamber of Commerce about the issues of homelessness and mental illness. He’ll make the economic case for providing those in need with services and a place to live. He’ll also give an update on the commission’s research demonstration projects now underway. Time: 11:30 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. Location: Delta Bow Valley Hotel, 209 - 4th Ave S.E.

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HEALTH & WELLNESS Dunwell Construction Inc., Bodyanchors (A Division of Dunwell)

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INDIVIDUAL Ryan Gill INSURANCE Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Company of Canada IT CONSULTANTS Technologyworks Inc. LAND ACQUISITIONS Synergy Land Services LAWYERS Bomza Law Group Stemp & Company

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TRAVEL SERVICES Expedia CruiseShipCenters - Fish Creek

CONSTRUCTION - COMPANIES MoreSpace Development Corporation

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CONSULTANTS Essential Elements Ventures Inc.

Health & Safety Conference Society of Alberta

CUSTOMS BROKERS Dilas Intl Customs Brokers



EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE Calgary Psychology Group



FINANCIAL SERVICES Taylor & Associates Financial Services





WELLNESS Fusion Human Development and Performance Inc. Inner Sync Systems Inc.

David Parker • MarketingMatters


By DaviD Parker


was pleased with the opportunity to chat with Sheridan McVean at the theatre night sponsored by Karo for its clients and friends. Back in the late 1970s he had the distinction of being the youngest ever employee in the premier’s office, but after five years joined his mother Pat in McVean Advertising. When Pat retired he changed the name and focus to McVean Communications and concentrated on public relations; good experience for his later seven-year stint at Hill and Knowlton. He interrupted his working career to take an MBA at Royal Roads in Victoria and since then has been consulting while enjoying teaching at SAIT Polytechnic, Mount Royal College and the University of Calgary where he wrote and taught a continuing education course on government relations. This summer McVean joined Calgary Homeless Foundation as vice-president of communications and fund development, a position where his government skills and contacts should prove to be of huge benefit. The foundation is the lead agency in implementing the 10-year plan to end homelessness so the communications task with the various other agencies is huge, as is the relationship building with the levels of governments, private sector and public to source necessary funding. •••••••••••••• Many advertising and creative agencies are happy to do pro-bono work for associations and organizations – in fact much of their best creative is for the non-profit sector. William Joseph is one that has offered free services or others at reduced rates. But the number and choice became somewhat hard to control so it has launched an 110 • DECEMBER 2008 BUSINESS IN CALGARY

innovative philanthropic program called Brand-Aid, designed specifically to assist not-for-profit organizations in developing effective marketing and communications. CEO Ryan Townsend says once per year William Joseph will select an organization that requested marketing and communications initiatives including strategic planning, public relations, design, copywriting and web design to be developed at no cost – up to a maximum of $25,000. Applications can be made though the company’s website. •••••••••••••• Karo has hired Neil Christensen as its new technical director. A freelance consultant for the past four years he was previously with Critical Mass. He offers a lot of experience and strategic thinking to the Karo interactive group; Christensen has worked on major accounts such as Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Proctor and Gamble, Samsung and Dell. Karo really does offer full service – the only agency I know with an interior design department. Happy with the work it had done in completing a redesign for Crush Restaurant and Lounge, the owners gave them the task of creating a versatile interior for their new restaurant, Fergus and Bix Restaurant and Beer Market. Located along 85th Street SW in West Springs Village, not only is the food great but a blogger suggests, “atmosphere is very modern looking and awesome.” •••••••••••••• And Karo has said goodbye to a staffer. Communication project account manager AnneMarie Dorland has left to join Alberta College of Art and Design as its new director of communications. She’s going to be busy co-ordinating both internal and external communications strategies plus media relations as president and CEO Lance Carlson is a tireless promoter and newsmaker. •••••••••••••• One of the many environmental challenges we face is motivating people to recycle. The Alberta Beverage Container Recycling Corporation (ABCRC) has cho-

sen Trigger to encourage us to improve our environmental stewardship with a multi-level communications program. Currently we recycle some 70 per cent of our non-alcoholic beverage containers – the target is to improve on this by diverting 79 per cent from landfill sites by next year and 85 per cent by spring of 2010. Trigger feels Albertans can do even better with a 100 per cent rallying cry communicated through advertising, the Internet, community engagement and school programs. Trigger has also partnered with Astral Media to help promote its two Calgary FM radio stations. It is tasked with finding creative ways of growing audiences and building market share for the established brands of iconic rock station CJAY 92 and VIBE 98-5, the number 1 hit music station. •••••••••••••• A good read for agency types is Barbecues, Booms and Blogs, a commemorative book produced as part of the 50th anniversary celebrations of the Calgary chapter of the Canadian Public Relations Society. It features articles on various aspects of the practice of public relations by 18 of this city’s top professionals reflecting on the changes that have occurred in terms of how public relations has been practiced and perceived over the past five decades. •••••••••••••• I’m afraid I blew it in last month’s column with my reference to the awards won by Foundry. I figured AR100 referred to Ad Rodeo but its terrific Immigrant Services Calgary annual report won top 10 in two categories in AR100 – an international competition for the best 100 annuals worldwide – not our local industry’s competition. Parker’s Pick: I’m a print person so I like to see promotional material mailed out in this age of web marketing. Ex-adman Blaine Hogue, who is enjoying his role as executive director of the Lougheed House, publishes a fine newsletter to help raise the profile of this historic Calgary gem.

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