July 2011 Business in Calgary

Page 1

JULY 2011 $3.50


Honouring Calgary’s visionary business leaders

We are Albertans and we are energy. Whether inside municipal offices in Fort Saskatchewan or between neighbours on a farm near Crossfield, an informed discussion about a vibrant and competitive oil and gas industry is important. Recognizing the contribution of oil and gas to Alberta’s communities allows us to address the important relationship between a thriving economy, a healthy environment and a high quality of life. Alberta is Energy showcases the men and women of Alberta, their careers, challenges and accomplishments. These people may be from your community. Read about a student at SAIT, a farmer near Crossfield, and the Mayor of Fort Saskatchewan, and see how the oil and gas industry plays a role in their lives.

Visit www.albertaisenergy.ca Alberta is Energy is supported by several Alberta business associations, many of which are focused on the oil and gas sector.



Tim Ottmann & Pat Ottmann


Derek Sankey

Volume 21 • Number 7

On our cover… The 2011 Leaders of Tomorrow


Lisa Johnston & Nikki Mullett

JULY 2011 $3.50

Cher Compton cher@businessincalgary.com





Nancy Bielecki nancy@businessincalgary.com Kim Hogan kim@businessincalgary.com

REGULAR CONTRIBUTORS Richard Bronstein Frank Atkins David Parker Lonnie Tate Devon Babin Mary Savage

THIS ISSUE’S CONTRIBUTORS Todd Hirsch Gord Hawker T.L. Dudar Stewart McDonough


Cover photos courtesy of Ewan Nicholson Photography Inc. and Alix Broadway


Bobbi Joan O’Neil bobbi@businessincalgary.com Brent Trimming brent@businessincalgary.com Carla Wright carla@businessincalgary.com Evelyn Nykyforuk evelyn@businessincalgary.com Rachel Katerynych rachel@businessincalgary.com

Honouring Calgary’s visionary business leaders


Bernie Cooke bernie@businessincalgary.com



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


Online at www.businessincalgary.com Annual rates: $31.50; $45 USA; $85 International Single Copy $3.50 Business in Calgary is delivered to over 33,500 business people every month including all registered business owners in Calgary, Banff, and Canmore, and the Calgary Chamber of Commerce members. The publisher does not assume any responsibility for the contents of any advertisement, and all representations of warranties made in such advertising are those of the advertiser and not of the publisher. No portion of this publication may be reproduced, in all or in part, without the written permission of the publisher. Canadian publications mail sales product agreement No. 41126516

COVER 35 • 2011 Leaders of Tomorrow By Derek Sankey

THIS MONTH’S FEATURES 18 • Indies thrive on innovation to succeed

Independent store operators, while facing increased competition from big chains, are doing better than ever in Calgary By Derek Sankey

25 • Chuck Wagons By Devon Babin

Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to circulation dept. 1025 101 6th Ave. SW Calgary, AB T2P 3P4 info@businessincalgary.com


View our electronic issue of this month’s magazine online at www.businessincalgary.com

4 • July 2011 BUSINESS IN CALGARY | www.businessincalgary.com



FairWest Energy Corporation


airWest Energy Corporation has embarked on a major oil drilling program in Alberta with three significant oil plays in its sights. It’s part of the company’s aggressive exploration and development plans for 2011 with long-term projections for further increased activity. Oil is the future of FairWest, according to company president and COO Douglas McNichol. Starting from just 70 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d), FairWest’s current production of approximately 400 boe/d is projected to reach 1,000 boe/d by the end of 2011 within its core areas. FairWest is positioned to move forward and investors are knocking at the door. The company’s horizontal oil drilling program will comprise the vast majority of its growth and the company is now poised to take full advantage of its large land base. It is actively drilling its Viking oil resource play and has formed strategic joint ventures, which are expected to increase company reserves and production with relatively modest capital exposure. It has improved its balance sheet and insiders own more than 25 per cent of the company. The focus for FairWest is now firmly on oil.

Viking Oil Resource Play The Viking oil resource play at Provost is on trend with the Redwater-Halkirk Viking light oil development with proven success by other operators in the area. The play holds resource potential of up to 125,000 barrels of recoverable oil per well with the potential of up to eight horizontal wells per section. During 2011, the company plans to drill up to 15 horizontal wells – two with FairWest as operator – and complete four standing wells at Provost. The company intends to fortify its land position with additional acquisitions.

Mannville Oil Resource Play The Mannville oil resource play will include up to two horizontal oil wells drilled in the Berry Creek area once minor acquisitions of producing assets and lands are finalized. The project will include 3-D seismic surveys and the workover of two oil wells.

A Mannville liquids-rich natural gas play in the Berry Creek area will include one vertical natural gas well and the optimization of two natural gas wells with artificial lift.

Dina Oil Play FairWest plans to drill two vertical exploratory wells this year to expand on its already strong Dina oil operations at Neutral Hills. FairWest operates a large oil battery in the area with plans to upgrade it to increase water throughput capacity. This will allow FairWest and its partners to reactivate several existing shut in oil wells and increase oil production rates on the current producing wells.

MEET THE MANAGEMENT TEAM VERN FAUTH, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer DOUG MCNICHOL, President and Chief Operating Officer MARION MACKIE, Chief Financial Officer MIKE LAMBROS, VP Land DARLENE ZECK, VP Administration PHIL RODD, General Manager Exploration CONTACT US: FairWest Energy Corporation #800, 407 – 2 Street SW, Calgary, Alberta T2P 2Y3 Tel: 403.264.4949 | Fax: 403.269.1761 Email info@fairwestenergy.com | www.fairwestenergy.com


Volume 21 • Number 7

(THIS MONTH’S FEATURES CONT’D) 78 • International Investment Sinks into Alberta Oilsands and unconventional resource plays are squarely in the sights of major global investors By Derek Sankey

112 • Golf Series

PGA Championship of Canada By Devon Babin



81 • SNC-Lavalin celebrates 100 years A Century of Building Canada and the World

105 • Calhex Industries Celebrates 10 Years

COMPANY PROFILES 5 • FairWest Energy Corporation


76 • The Beach


Calhex Industries Celebrates 10 Years

Business and Arts Collide in Calgary

By Todd HirscH


What does the economy have to do with ballet?

Answer: Almost everything! Todd Hirsch

L Photo by Ewan Nicholson Photography Inc.

ast week, at the inaugural iF event of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce, the worlds of business and art collided in an amazing display of a city and a province that is starting to “get it.” This was no typical downtown Calgary business event. Sure, there were plenty of suits and ties in the audience (although the gala invitation suggested guests to “be creative” with their attire). But forget the boring business speeches. The artistic director of the Alberta Ballet, Jean Grand-Maître, was the guest speaker. Excerpts of the Alberta Ballet’s current production, Fumbling Towards Ecstasy, were performed. And dozens of aspiring young dancers pirouetted throughout the ballroom of the Hyatt Hotel to deliver the first course.

Alberta is changing . . . in a good way The team at Calhex Industries Ltd.

A Century of Building Canada and the World SNC-Lavalin celebrates 100 years



artin Sojka’s plan in life was to become a pilot – not designing and manufacturing heat exchangers for the oil and gas sector. But then again, life has a funny way of throwing curve balls. He was about 20 hours shy of getting his pilot’s licence and enjoying a love of fastpaced sports – the adrenalin rush that accompanies the ‘need for speed’ – when in an instant, his life changed. After dealing with a bad skiing accident (having his ACL and PCL ligaments replaced in his knee), Sojka had to retool the pace of his life and with a bit of encouragement, he got into drafting – it was a nice desk job with his father’s company. After a few months, he took a real interest in the field – continuously working for the heat exchanger company over the next few years, while attending the University of Calgary

part time in his pursuit of an engineering degree. Ten years later and in the midst of several company changes, Sojka went to work for an engineering procurement company, Titan Projects, which offered a broader skill set and took him outside of the manufacturing sector. By the summer of 2001, Sojka and a longtime colleague and friend, Darren Kladnik (CET), recognized a business opportunity given the industry changes and mergers. “We began planning a company to fill the small- to medium-size markets for shell and tube heat exchangers along with air coolers – no one was servicing that portion of the market. We sought investors, but only raised half of our projected startup capital. We found a location and by mid-November, we were operating,” says Sojka, president and co-founder, Calhex Industries Ltd.


Calhex Industries Ltd. 10th Anniversary Profile | 1

This is yet another example of how Alberta is changing – and changing in a good way. Arts and culture are increasingly seen as an integral part of a growing, dynamic, global city. And while the inaugural event was held in Calgary, it could just as easily have been in downtown Edmonton. (In fact, the capital city is arguably further ahead on the arts and culture scene, with its new Art Gallery of Alberta and its dozens of arts and performance festivals throughout the summer.) But what really made the iF event at the Calgary Chamber of Commerce unique is that it wasn’t a pitch for supporting the arts. It wasn’t a fundraiser for the Alberta Ballet. It wasn’t a lobby effort asking corporate sponsors for more cash. It was an event with a simple message: arts are every bit as vital to a city as is a dynamic economy. In fact, the two go hand-in-hand. In his speech to the Chamber audience, Jean Grand-Maître drew parallels between Calgary and some older cities. 1


J U LY 2 0 1 1


Jean Grand-Maître

Arts and culture, then, have much more in common with business. Both are pursuing excellence. “In Florence, Italy, the people didn’t just build their city. They believed in their city.” Grand-Maître urged those at the dinner to be part of something beyond themselves – part of something bigger. “It adds dimension to your life!” In no small part, this is the role of the arts and culture in our society: helping people connect with others, with their community, and with parts of themselves that they may be discovering for the first time. It is, essentially, being part of something bigger. “Embracing arts will help the city move into a 21st century vision of Calgary in the international community.” At this point, many readers may dismiss the whole event as just another artsy love-in – fine for those who are interested in ballet, but not for them. “Give me hockey and a fridge full of beer!” is not an uncommon sentiment. But the sports fan and the ballet enthusiast have more in common than may first meet the eye. Both are looking for meaning and the pursuit of excellence in a common, community experience (even if the hockey fan may not express it that way). Both are pursuing culture.



8 • Cowboys and Indians By Richard Bronstein

10 • Average Weekly Earnings By Frank Atkins

12 • Buying in the Sunbelt? Take Your Time! By Lonnie Tate

30 • Calgary’s stable summer market First time buyers continue to drive real estate by Devon Babin

116 • Leading Business 121 • The Calgary Report

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

126 • Marketing Matters By David Parker

6 • July 2011 BUSINESS IN CALGARY | www.businessincalgary.com


Cowboys and Indians • Richard Bronstein

Cowboys and Indians By Richard Bronstein


hen Prime Minister Stephen Harper gave his gracious victory speech after obtaining a majority government in the recent federal election, he said one of the things he has learned in politics is that citizens don’t like surprises. I would differ with that a little bit. We don’t like bad surprises. But good surprises are usually welcome. So I think the prime minister, now that he has a solid mandate and doesn’t have to fight electoral skirmishes every waking hour, should plan a pleasant surprise for us. Something big, something meaningful. And for that, I would nominate a bold new initiative to heal the many ills facing native Canadians. Prime Minister Harper is part way there already. He formally apologized in the House of Commons for systemic abuse in the residential school system. He went a step further in establishing a Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Now it is time to go the next step, to collaborate with native leaders on a big multi-year action plan to significantly improve living conditions, health and education, employment opportunities, and governance in Canada’s native communities. I think by his actions to date on this file, the prime minister is already partly convinced of the necessity of doing this. And I am guessing, because I don’t know the man, that there is something in his character that aligns with the underdog. And native Canadians certainly fit that category. There are many critics of native governance who say that pouring vast new resources into such an initiative would be a waste of money. That there is way too much graft, corruption and bad bookkeeping on reserves to justify new investments without first cleaning up issues of accountability. And there is some truth to that. But the bigger truth is that natives are no more criminal or incompetent than anyone else in society, and they demonstrably have greater needs than most other groups. The key for any initiative is consultation. For far too long we have been imposing solutions on indigenous peoples and they haven’t worked. One example is an academic paper I read a few months ago about maternity issues among Inuit. Government planners correctly identified the problem of high infant mortality 8 • July 2011 BUSINESS IN CALGARY | www.businessincalgary.com

at birth. Because it wasn’t feasible to build state-of-the-art health centres in the scarcely populated Arctic, the government decided to fly at-risk pregnant Inuit mothers to urban hospitals in Montreal, Winnipeg and Edmonton. The mothers and babies definitely got better care. But they forgot the impact on the rest of the family. Who looked after the other kids when mom was away? Who did the housework? Who kept the family together? And when the baby was born far away, it denied the grandparents naming rights for the new baby, which is a significant cultural factor among certain Inuit. Yes, we achieved better medical results, but we tore apart the fabric of the family. Inuit women said for years that this system wasn’t working and that they would appreciate help in going back to their old system of midwifery. Finally after 20 years we started to listen and began developing midwife learning centres for the Inuit. So we have to be better at doing this stuff and that means actually listening to what native people have to say. We have a national Parliament to govern affairs of the nation and we have provinces to govern the regions of Confederation. And the two institutions – Ottawa and the provinces – have evolved many ways of engaging with each other for the good of all. It doesn’t appear that we have such an institution to regularize collaboration between “white” society and native society. That might be a good place for Prime Minister Harper to start. To originate a permanent consultative assembly that brings together the federal government, provincial governments and native tribes. Maybe we get rid of the Senate and turn it into a Longhouse. Ceremony is important in solving problems. What is our monarchy, the Speaker’s mace, the robes of the Supreme Court justices if it’s not about ceremony? So let’s not snicker when natives talk about respecting elders and listening to the legends of the past. So when you go to the Calgary Stampede this year, by all means enjoy yourself, but also pause for a moment and think about exactly what kind of western heritage you are celebrating. And remember, the glory of the West was about cowboys and Indians. Not cowboys or Indians. BiC




Meet our distinguished judges We extend our sincere thanks to the Prairies 2011 judges for lending their time and talents to Entrepreneur Of The Year.

National sponsors

Jack C. Donald is a founder and Chairman Emeritus of Parkland Fuel Corporation, a chain of petroleum outlets operating across Canada. Jack’s leadership has extended to companies including TransAlta Corp., Ensign Energy Services Inc., Canadian Western Bank, and provincial tax reform commissions. Jack is a recipient of the Pinnacle Award for Business Excellence and a member of the Canadian Petroleum Hall of Fame. Mike J. Duff is the founder, President and CEO of Design Group Staffing Inc., one of the largest privately held staffing firms in Canada. He has many other business interests and owns several automotive dealerships in Edmonton. Mike is a sponsor of NorQuest College and a cabinet member of the University Hospital Foundation Campaign for a Prostate Health Clinic. Mike is a past Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year award winner.

Gold sponsors

Ernst & Young is a proud supporter of

Tony Franceschini serves as a corporate director and community volunteer, and past president and CEO of global engineering firm Stantec Inc. A very active member of the community, Tony has served on and led several boards and committees, and is the recipient of numerous honours, including being named Canada’s top CEO by Canadian Business magazine and one of Canada’s top-performing CEOs by National Post Business magazine. Kish Kapoor is President of Wellington West Holdings Inc., He has led the company through transformational change. Today, Wellington West ranks in the top 15 of the 50 Best Employers in Canada and has requalified as one of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies. In addition, the company has ranked in the top three firms in the country in the Investment Executive Brokerage Report Card survey.

© 2011 Ernst & Young LLP. All rights reserved.

Kevin Wolfe is a partner of Richmond Equity Management Ltd., a Calgarybased boutique investment management firm. Kevin has held various senior management roles in the investment management business, including president and CEO of Bissett & Associates Investment Management Ltd. He is a director of DirectCash Payments Inc., and a past chairman of the Investment Funds Institute of Canada and the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada.

Founded and produced by

Average Weekly Earnings • Frank Atkins

Average Weekly Earnings By Frank Atkins


or reasons that I cannot quite understand, several groups of individuals now subscribe to the notion that any pay increases that they receive should be tied to the Statistics Canada publication Average Weekly Earnings (AWE). AWE is published once a month as part of the Statistics Canada’s Survey of Earnings Payrolls and Hours, commonly referred to as SEPH. AWE is a massive database, containing wage rates for all of Canada as well as individual provinces, and within each of these categories there is data for individual industrial sectors. The specific category that groups in Alberta have started to use is called the Industrial Aggregate, which is sort of a general catch-all category. So, each month Statistics Canada publishes AWE for Alberta, and someone calculates the annual rate of growth of wages for the Industrial Aggregate. This figure then becomes the minimum wage increase that will be accepted. This is a really odd concept for several reasons. On average, the Industrial Aggregate component of AWE will grow one to 1.5 per cent higher than the growth in the general price level. That is, the AWE growth rate is higher than the inflation rate. This is to be expected, as there will be individuals and groups within AWE who are receiving wage increases beyond inflation because their productiv-

ity has increased, and they are being rewarded for this productivity increase, as it contributes to the bottom line of the company that they work for. Therefore, individuals who demand an increase equal to the AWE growth rate are assuming that they should also be receiving productivity increases. It is not clear that this is true in some of the prominent groups that receive AWE related wage increases. One of these prominent groups is Alberta teachers whose annual wage increase is tied to AWE growth according to the current Collective Bargaining Agreement between the Alberta Teachers’ Association (ATA) and the provincial government. Teachers’ salaries are based on a grid that gives them an automatic wage increase each year based on seniority. It is my understanding that the AWE increase applies to all cells in the grid. Therefore, all teachers are treated as if their productivity has increased. This is odd, as measuring teacher productivity is actively discouraged by the ATA. This is typical union thinking: everyone is equal and, therefore, raises should only be based on how long you have been employed, not by what you contribute. If the ATA is going to continue to demand raises based on growth in AWE, then the government should demand that the teachers implement some measure of teacher effectiveness,

10 • July 2011 BUSINESS IN CALGARY | www.businessincalgary.com

and only those teachers who are productive should receive raises based on the growth in AWE. Someone in the provincial government should rethink this idea next time they negotiate with the ATA. Not only is it incorrect to give teachers a merit increase when there is no system of merit, but it also signals to all other units that bargain with the provincial government that they deserve raises based on AWE as well. Another prominent group that receives raises based on AWE is Calgary city council. Although there appears to be no obvious manner in which to measure the productivity of individual council members, at least the public can vote them out if they feel that their productivity is lacking. However, city council has created a bargaining nightmare by giving themselves raises based on AWE. The various unions that the city deals with will set the AWE standard as their minimum acceptable wage increase. This could ultimately cost the city a lot of money in terms of union wage increases. BiC

Frank Atkins is an associate professor of economics at the University of Calgary and a member of the Advisory Board of the Institute for Public Sector Accountability.

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Leslie Lis Vice President 403.261.1128 leslie.lis@ca.cushwake.com Warren Libert-Scott Associate Vice President 403.261.1121 warren.libert-scott@ca.cushwake.com Dave Mulholland Sales Representative 403.261.1144 dave.mulholland@ca.cushwake.com

www.businessincalgary.com | BUSINESS IN CALGARY July 2011 • 11

Buying in the Sunbelt? Take Your Time! • Lonnie Tate

By Lonnie Tate

Buying in the Sunbelt? Take Your Time!


here is a lot of stuff in the media these days about wealthy Canadians taking over warm destinations in the U.S. and beyond. Or … you can get rich quick by capitalizing on low prices that will never be seen again. Well in my view, we are not taking over anything and it will be very difficult to make a bundle. Consider this: from a Canadian’s perspective, sunbelt housing is far more affordable than it was four years ago. Since the later part of 2007, our dollar has appreciated against the U.S. dollar by about 40 per cent. Housing prices have declined over the same period by an average of 35 per cent (more for high-end property, a little less for more modest properties). So all things being equal, Canadians are far better positioned to buy. But is now the time? The answer is it depends. Sunbelt housing prices are getting back to what might be called normal. There is a glut of properties on the market in every warm state. Older owners are dying off and new purchasers have been slow to respond (except for salivating Canadians). I can speak (with some authority) to the Palm Springs area; the real estate market would be in poor shape were it not for Canadians. Lifestyle expectations are changing. Folks approaching their retirement years have far more options and interests than those of 10 or 20 years ago. I think there is a greater probability that prices expressed in U.S. dollars will go down rather than up. Then there is the dollar. I think the Canadian dollar will be at $1.20 or more (against the U.S. greenback) by 2015. The fundamentals are all in favour of the Canadian dollar and the probable increase would be even higher were we not inextricably tied to the U.S. economy. There is proof in the pudding – our dollar has moved about five per cent a year over the last three years and nothing has changed. Our politicians talk about balancing the budget; U.S. politicians talk about miniscule tinkering with stuff that doesn’t really matter. If you buy today, expect to lose 20 per cent of

12 • July 2011 BUSINESS IN CALGARY | www.businessincalgary.com

whatever the value is (expressed in Canadian dollars) over the next five years. There are other probable, negative factors. State legislators are looking for easy pickings … revenue sources that can produce taxes without directly affecting their electorate. (Remember the most important thing on a U.S. politician’s mind is getting re-elected.) One way is to tax proceeds on the sale of property held by foreign nationals. Another is to tax recreational facilities (think golf courses, tennis facilities and spas) where the impact of voters would be minimal. There are variations on these themes making the rounds in every sunbelt state. Then there is the mindset of current recreational property owners. It has been my experience that current owners think the worst is over and that property values are returning to early 2008 values. That thought is as wide spread as it is irrational. Most Americans just can’t believe that the outlook for their country is anything but up. But most detached observers think the outlook is down when compared to other industrialized countries. So to repeat; is now the time to buy? I’ll change my answer a little – perhaps. If you are planning for long periods of time in a warm place in the very near future, it is all right to buy now. The worst of the decline is likely over, but there will still be modest losses in the near term. Take your time – it is a buyers’ market; shop around. If you have real patience and time, there can be some real savings in the foreclosed and short sale market. If you are thinking a few years down the road … wait. When vacationing in warm climes … rent. In the near to intermediate term, your rental expenditures will be way less than the loss you are likely to take on most real property. Current owners are anxious to get any money to offset their carrying costs; with a little judicious shopping in the rental market, you will be miles ahead. And you will still have your cash! BiC

Deborah Yedlin No other business city in the world is quite like Calgary -an energy capital and a financial centre plugged into the global economic matrix. And no other business columnist gives you the analysis that Deborah Yedlin does. Informed. On top of the all the issues affecting the world’s biggest industry. Analyzing the factors that affect the entrepreneurial and innovative way Calgarians approach the business of energy. Taking care of business, the Calgary way: Read Deborah Yedlin, exclusively in the Calgary Herald.

To subscribe call (403) 235-READ (7323)

Off the Top • News

Ralph Klein receives honorary doctorate The University of Calgary bestowed its highest honour upon former Alberta premier Ralph Klein, who was conferred with an honorary doctor of laws degree at a special luncheon and ceremony with family and close friends on May 17, 2011.

Robin Eldred Focus and hard work are the keys to Robin Eldred’s success. Growing up in Calgary, Robin finished his schooling then quickly moved into the still fledgling web-design industry, soaking up experience and know-how along the way. In 2002 he started his own company, Apis Design, in his basement and hasn’t looked back. Now with offices on 4th Street SW, Robin is excited to continue his success following a unique strategy. “Employees come first,” he says. “This is the best way to treat your employees and also the best way to treat your clients. If you put your employees first, they are happier and more enthusiastic, which shines through in their work, which translates into happier, more enthusiastic clients.” To help his company progress further Robin joined Entrepreneurs’ Organization’s Accelerator program. “The EO Accelerator program seemed to be exactly what I was looking for. It’s a program that focuses on growing a small company into something more by surrounding yourself with smart, like-minded people,” says Robin. “My experiences have been immensely positive. I have learned a huge amount, both through formal education and the constant experience sharing that goes on between group members.”

The EO Calgary - Accelerator program helps budding entrepreneurs break through $1 million USD in sales by providing them with the tools and training to grow profitably. For more information go to www.acceleratorcalgary.com or email accelerator@eocalgary.com.

Proudly supporting Calgary’s Entrepreneurs


14 • July 2011 BUSINESS IN CALGARY | www.businessincalgary.com

University of Calgary president Dr. Elizabeth Cannon, Ralph Klein, Colleen Klein, University of Calgary chancellor Jim Dinning. Photo credit: Dave Brown, University of Calgary.

“Today we honour the much-beloved ‘Ralph’ who served this city and our province for over 25 years,” University of Calgary chancellor Jim Dinning said. “I’m proud that the university is recognizing his public service contribution.” The senate of the university chose Klein for the honour in recognition of his distinguished service as the mayor of Calgary, premier of Alberta, and as a one-of-a-kind leader and champion for Albertans. “Mr. Klein and his family are deeply touched by this honour,” said Rod Love, Klein’s longtime friend and family spokesperson. “In Mr. Klein’s words, ‘to receive a degree from the University of Calgary, the city where I was born, raised and became mayor, is special.’” Klein began his political career when he was elected to city council as Calgary’s 32nd mayor on October 15, 1980. He was re-elected for two additional terms by some of the largest pluralities in the city’s electoral history. His major accomplishments included playing host to the 1988 Olympic Winter Games, leading the development of Calgary’s lightrail transit system and protecting the Bow River. Klein was elected to the Alberta legislative assembly as the MLA for Calgary-Elbow on March 20, 1989. He was elected leader of Alberta’s Progressive Conservative Party on December 5, 1992 and became Alberta’s 12th premier days later. Through his distinguished career as premier of Alberta, Klein left several indisputable legacies, including repaying a $23-billion provincial debt and increasing the province’s savings. Dr. Klein joins the ranks of other distinguished men and women from around the globe to receive an honorary degree from the University of Calgary. BiC

Off the Top • News

Alberta’s top teen entrepreneurs star in new TV series Pyramid Productions and CBC Alberta have joined forces with Junior Achievement to produce The Big Pitch: Calgary and The Big Pitch: Edmonton – a series of television specials highlighting the achievements of young entrepreneurs. Premiering August 6 on CBC Alberta, The Big Pitch specials follow enterprising teens as they present their business plans to a judging panel of top business executives. The participants are part of Junior Achievement’s Company Program, where students ages 15-19 learn vital business skills by creating, manufacturing and selling their own products.

The Most Luxurious Ride on Water

Fishing, Skiing, Wakeboarding, Cruising... Do it all with a High Performance Luxury Pontoon Boat from The Big Pitch specials follow enterprising teens as they present their business plans to a judging panel. Photo courtesy of Pyramid Productions Inc.

“We were amazed by these young people.” ~ Buddy Day, The Big Pitch producer Each year, JA student companies put on tradeshows to sell their wares and, for the first time this year, CBC Radio listeners in Calgary and Edmonton selected five teams from each city to pitch their products live on stage. The judges included Karl Smith, president and chief executive officer of FortisAlberta; Ruth Kelly, president and CEO of Venture Publishing; and Richard Andersen, president and CEO of Northlands. “We were amazed by these young people,” says The Big Pitch producer Buddy Day. “Their products are inventive and their commitment to becoming successful business leaders is inspiring. The competition was tough, but they rose to the challenge.” The winning teams won a special lunch with Calgary business leader and longtime Junior Achievement supporter, Brett Wilson. BiC

martinmotorsports.ca Calgary 11184 42 St. SE (403) 253-6187 1-877-627-8468

www.businessincalgary.com | BUSINESS IN CALGARY July 2011 • 15

Off the Top • News

CanWest Energy Launches Initiative to Rebuild Slave Lake Over 700 workers available on short notice As of Monday, May 30, 2011 CanWest Energy Inc. has over 700 workers available for the immediate assistance of Slave Lake. The president of Canwest Energy, AJ Poulain, has made the restoration and rebuilding of Slave Lake and the surrounding areas a top priority, and is currently working with other companies and organizations across Canada to compile a list of the most qualified trades workers and volunteers who are available from across the country.

The president of Canwest Energy, AJ Poulain, has made the restoration and rebuilding of Slave Lake and the surrounding areas a top priority. Photos courtesy of CanWest Energy.

Poulain says the specialties of CanWest workers range from fire restoration to industrial clean up and oil spills. They have all been trained in the highest level of safety standards available to the industry, and are ready to get started on the restoration of Slave Lake just as soon as they’re called. CanWest also launched its website slavelake.canwestenergy.com to generate awareness for those affected by the fire that destroyed an estimated 30 per cent of the town. The website accepts financial donations through PayPal, provides information on where to send food donations, and includes a sign-up form for volunteers. BiC 16 • July 2011 BUSINESS IN CALGARY | www.businessincalgary.com

Off the Top • News

The Big Dig A little bit of brawn and a lot of brain turned into a thing of beauty at the oilsands recently when personnel from the Suncor Millennium mine worked with the Royal Tyrrell Museum to remove an ancient fossil from the site. Shovel operator Shawn Funk uncovered the rare find – a 110-million-year-old ankylosaur – while digging in the mine. His supervisor, Mike Gratton, along with staff geologist Steve Hill, sent photos to the museum. The next day, scientists boarded a plane to Fort McMurray to examine the site. After museum curator Don Henderson labelled the discovery a “significant find,” Suncor’s Doug Lacey, senior production specialist, mobilized a project team to handle the safe excavation of the fossil. “We kept safety as our top priority through the entire excavation,” says Lacey. “We trained the scientists and the videographers to make sure they had everything they needed to work safely on site.” Once the area surrounding the fossil had been cleared, the team designed a method to lift the fossil out of the mine. “This is where we had to rely on our experts in the mine equipment maintenance department,” says Lacey. “They are the guys with the equipment and the brains to lift these heavy pieces out of the earth and onto a flat bed.” Now that the fossil is safely secured in the back room of the Royal Tyrrell Museum, the next chapter of the fossil recovery story begins. Although teams are ready to get started on the fossil right away, don’t expect to see the fossil polished, and up and ready for show this summer. Henderson predicts it will take two to three years of intricate work before the fossil is ready for display. BiC

Above: Scientists found this large chunk of rock containing fossil material while sifting through the rubble located at the base of the mine wall where the fossil was found. Left: Suncor shovel operator Shawn Funk (left) and project lead Doug Lacey (centre) help the Royal Tyrrell Museum’s Darren Tanke move some of the dirt on top of the fossil before the specimen can be lifted from the ground. Photos courtesy of Suncor Energy Inc.

www.businessincalgary.com | BUSINESS IN CALGARY July 2011 • 17

Indies thrive on innovation to succeed • Retail

Indies thrive on innovation to succeed Independent store operators, while facing increased competition from big chains, are doing better than ever in Calgary by DEREK SANKEy PhotoS CouRtESy of PhoENIx GRIll





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etail sales in Canada are now on par to those in the U.S. on a per capita basis and American retailers are now increasingly looking to Canada for expansion, causing some small, independent store operators to wonder what it could mean for them in Calgary – a city that has seen numerous big American chains invade the retail landscape in recent months. “Canada is particularly attractive to U.S. retailers because of our strong exchange rate, higher sales per square foot and potential room for expansion,” says Sherry Cooper, chief economist for BMO Financial Group. “Domestic retailers must respond quickly and decisively to this threat or risk being shut out of consumer wallets or being swallowed up by acquisitive American behemoths.” That may be true, but in Calgary’s independent store operator segment, owners and their businesses appear to be thriving, even under this threat of increased competition. Take Darrell Achen, who together with his wife, Mandy, owns two independently-run Phoenix Grill restaurants – one opened six years ago in Shawnessy and one two years ago in Westhills. The couple has lived in Edmonton and Vancouver before settling down in Calgary in 1990. “I like Calgary’s environment the best because it seems like Calgary is very growth-orientated with lots of capitalist thinking,” says Achen. “There’s a lot of independent businesses in Calgary. People really appreciate independent business owners here in Calgary.”

Indies thrive on innovation to succeed • Retail

Darrell Achen, who together with his wife, Mandy, owns two independently-run Phoenix Grill restaurants – one opened six years ago in Shawnessy and one two years ago in Westhills. During the height of the recession, he opened his second restaurant in Westhills at a time when many larger retailers were closing shop or laying off staff. “Everybody kind of stopped, so it gave us an opportunity to grab a great location, but we do things a little bit differ differently than the big chains,” he says. Differentiating your independent business from the large

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Indies thrive on innovation to succeed • Retail

Phoenix Grill owner Darrel Achen is the head chef at his Calgary independent restaurant and prides himself on offering fresh fare with a twist that’s made locally.

chains is crucial in this segment of the retail market, whether it’s in the food business, as a clothier or any other business. “Our approach is very, very personal – everything’s done inhouse – where you get to meet the owners, the chef whose recipes you’re eating and you can tell him what you think,” says Achen, who is himself a Red Seal Chef and the head chef at Phoenix Grill. “We find customers really respond to that. That’s our competitive advantage.” He knows he can’t compete with large retail chains on some fronts, so he has to be innovative in his service and product offering at every step. “Right out of the gate, you battle against the advertising dollars that the big chains have,” says Achen. “They can put their name on TV and billboards everywhere and you just don’t have that advertising budget to compete with branding your name.” Shafiq Jamal, vice-president of Western Canada for the Retail Council of Canada (RCC), says despite the threat of increased competition from larger retailers, he’s actually seen his independent store operator membership increase in 20 • July 2011 BUSINESS IN CALGARY | www.businessincalgary.com

recent months. “We’re seeing growth in the number of these independent store operators who are joining our organization on a regional and national basis to the point where RCC now has an independent (store operator) task force,” he says. The RCC has designed programs tailored to this segment because their needs are different – they have smaller purchasing power and volumes, for example – and they have to work harder to stand out in a crowded market. “What we’re definitely seeing is a different value proposition with the consumer,” says Jamal. “In the independent category for sure we’re seeing a lot of innovation. When you look coast to coast, their differentiator is this deepening engagement with the consumer. They’re more connected to more grassroots, community-level projects and those contributions are recognized by the consumer.” Edmonton-based clothier Henry Singer, for example, is a brand that has evolved to become as much a part of Alberta’s heritage as many of its other great accomplishments,

Indies thrive on innovation to succeed • Retail

The RCC has designed programs tailored to this segment because their needs are different – they have smaller purchasing power and volumes, for example – and they have to work harder to stand out in a crowded market.

Last month, we celebrated a role model when Rick George, OC was named 2011 Distinguished Business Leader. that, through the equity that’s built up in the brand, is able to use that to help so many different, wonderful causes in the community,” he says. “In many cases, the independent store operator is part of their neighbourhood or local, local community – it’s more of a relationship-based kind of approach.” When it comes to government regulation, it’s an area where the more simplicity that can be afforded to these retailers only serves to enhance and promote these “indies,” as he calls them. “What would make them even more successful is an easing of the burden of administration – the red tape – and obviously the lowering of taxes is a big benefit to small businesses,” says Jamal. “They are asking


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www.businessincalgary.com | BUSINESS IN CALGARY July 2011 • 21


Business Fore Calgary Kids Fundraising efforts in 2011 exceeded

$240,000!!! Western Materials Handling Business Fore Calgary Kids raised in excess of $240,000 for kids charities in 2011, bringing the accumulated giving to over 1 million dollars. Presenting and accepting are: BFCK 2011 Chair Dan Doherty, Impact Society’s Jack Toth, Kids Cancer Care Foundation’s Christine McIver, YMCA’s Sarah Finn, Foothills Academy Society’s Gordon Bullivant and BFCK co-chair Rob Rakochey.

Thank You to our major sponsors

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Indies thrive on innovation to succeed • Retail

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The atmosphere at Phoenix Grill caters to all tastes, but allows Achen to mix with guests and offer more personalized service than large chains, he says.

for transparency, clarity, simplicity and they look to us to help them.” Achen, meanwhile, knows both sides of the fence intimately well. He helped launch the Joey’s restaurant chain as its executive chef, designing the original kitchens and menus and also spent time with Earls restaurants as it grew from one restaurant to its current presence across Canada. “Once you get past a certain number (of locations) in one city and go to another city, everything changes: you become a big company,” says Achen. “That’s a huge thing. Because we’re on the ground floor, we hear directly from the customers so you know it’s not coming through comment cards – you talk right to the source.” Some people have been talking about the death of the socalled “mom-and-pop” business for years, yet all types of independent store operators continue to thrive in Calgary’s entrepreneurial economy. Businesses of all types will always come and go, but Achen seems to have found a winning formula with his Phoenix Grill restaurants. With his wife Mandy as the “head diva” and Achen as the head chef, the couple has managed to outlive the recession and, in fact, are now enjoying strong growth, although he admits he doesn’t want to get too big. He doesn’t have any plans to become a Western Canada chain, preferring to opt for perhaps a larger presence in Calgary, but intends to stay true to his original intentions. It doesn’t hurt that the couple works off each other’s strengths, either. “It works really well because our strengths are different,” he says. “It’s very easy to see how important each person’s input is and how each person’s strength makes the business successful.” Jamal sees a bright future ahead for independent retailers, no matter which U.S. retailers, or Canadian ones for that matter, target new markets or how much they expand. “(Independent store operators) provide a differentiated value proposition and you definitely need them to coexist alongside the mid to large companies,” he says. “What consumers want is choice and that’s what they get from an independent.” BiC

Chuck Wagons • Calgary Stampede

Chuck Wagons

BY deVon BaBin |

All photos CoUrtEsy oF thE CAlgAry stAmpEdE


f all the events, games, attractions and performances that go on at the Calgary Stampede each year, few grab the attention of the public like the GMC Rangeland Derby. Seen as one of the world’s premier chuckwagon events, the derby consists of 36 drivers and 288 horses competing for more than $1.15 million in prize money. But before the excitement of the derby is to begin, there is a ruckus of another sort – the popular canvas auction. The auction is a chance for companies, associations and groups to sponsor a driver and receive a great amount of publicity in the process. The sponsors have their logos displayed prominently on the chucks’ canvas covers that are in turn seen by spectators and the thousands upon thousands of peowww.businessincalgary.com | BUSINESS IN CALGARY July 2011 • 25


Chuck Wagons • Calgary Stampede

Sponsoring a ‘chuck’ is a one-of-a-kind way for companies to connect with both a concentrated local audience, and the wide range of people watching the Stampede from abroad.

ple who follow the derby online, on television and all sorts of other mediums. Sponsoring a ‘chuck’ is a one-of-a-kind way for companies to connect with both a concentrated local audience, and the wide range of people watching the Stampede from abroad. This year’s canvas auction was a huge success raising $2,840,000. This is a significant $874,000 increase from last year’s $1,966,000. The average bid was nearly $79,000, an impressive total versus last year’s average of $54,611. The canvas auction was a great sign of things to come for this year’s Stampede. “The fact is, it was the third highest bid total of all-time,” says Doug Fraser, communications director for the Calgary Stampede. “We’re pretty pleased.” The highest bid total in the history of the auction came in 2007 at the height of the boom, reaching approximately $4 million that year. The canvas auction has, for years, been an unofficial indicator of how Calgary’s economy is fairing. 28 • July 2011 BUSINESS IN CALGARY | www.businessincalgary.com

“It’s just a mirror image of the percentage change in Calgary’s GDP,” says Fraser. The greeting sent to each sponsor sums up just how important the chucks are to the Stampede and the extensive marketing opportunity that waits. “You have purchased the rights to display your brand (corporate identity) to more than 17,000 spectators nightly, plus exposure to hundreds of thousands more through live and pre-recorded television, radio and print coverage of the GMC Rangeland Derby,” reads the chairman’s greeting. For the 2011 GMC Rangeland Derby there have been some small changes to the format. To better align with the standards of the World Professional Chuckwagon Association and the Canadian Professional Chuckwagon Association, the numbers of outriders during each race is being reduced from four to two. “It also takes eight horses off the track which makes the track even safer,” says Fraser. The track will also be harrowed more often in order to

Chuck Wagons • Calgary Stampede

This year’s canvas auction was a huge success raising $2,840,000. The canvas auction was a great sign of things to come for this year’s Stampede.

ensure optimal conditions for the horses and drivers. At this year’s auction Kelly Sutherland, arguably the most popular driver in the area, received the highest bid from YaYa Calgary.com at $170,000. The bid came just $40,000 shy of tying his and the auction’s record bid of $210,000 in 2008. Born in Grande Prairie, Alta. in 1951, Sutherland has won a record 11 Calgary Stampede GMC Rangeland Derby titles, and 11 World Chuckwagon Championships. He has won a record six Calgary Stampede aggregate titles and has made a record 19 trips to the GMC Rangeland Derby’s sudden-death championship final heat. It was a four-way tie for second as Kirk Sutherland, Troy Dorchester, Chad Harden and Kurt Bensmiller all received $100,000 bids from their sponsors Cam Clark Ford, Country

Club of the Hamptons, the Rug Shop and International Eco Fuel Saver. There is a lot on the line for drivers this year, not the least of which is plenty of prize money, and bragging rights. “GMC would like to take this opportunity to wish the best of luck to all those participating in the 89th annual GMC Rangeland Derby at the Calgary Stampede. This year, we are excited to be rewarding the aggregate chuckwagon champion with a brand-new 2011 GMC Sierra 3500 HD and the coveted Richard Cosgrave Memorial Trophy. Further, we are very excited to be presenting the GMC Rangeland Derby final heat winner an unprecedented $100,000 in prize money,” wrote Peter J. Cornu, national sponsorship, events and auto shows manager, in a letter to sponsors. BiC www.businessincalgary.com | BUSINESS IN CALGARY July 2011 • 29


Calgary’s stable summer market • Real Estate

Calgary’s stable summer market First time buyers continue to drive real estate by Devon babin

“Some housing markets are hotter than others, so buyers and sellers would do well to consult their local realtor to understand how supply, demand and prices are evolving in their housing market.” ~ Eklund 30 • July 2011 BUSINESS IN CALGARY | www.businessincalgary.com


aking sense of Canada’s real estate market is a daunting task, especially when forecasts and predictions change, seemingly, by the week. Most recently the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) came out with revised numbers stating that national activity is now expected to reach 441,100 units in 2011, which is a decline of 1.3 per cent in comparison to 2010. According to CREA, this is a slight improvement from the 1.6 per cent decline forecast in February, which they say is due to stronger-thanexpected activity in British Columbia in the first quarter of 2011. “Homebuyers expect mortgage interest rates to rise and are mindful of their current and future debt levels. They’re doing their homework to better understand how their mortgage payments and family budget might change down the road before they make an offer,” Gary Morse, CREA president, said in a press release to the media. “That said, even though mortgage rates have increased recently, they remain very attractive and are keeping financing within reach for many homebuyers. Some housing markets

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Calgary’s stable summer market • Real Estate

“Some sellers want to shoot for the stars,” she says. “It really depends on motivation.” Tanya Eklund

are hotter than others, so buyers and sellers would do well to consult their local realtor to understand how supply, demand and prices are evolving in their housing market.” But, even according to CREA, there are a few regions that defy national trends, and often Calgary is one of them. In the eyes of many, at least for the summer, Calgary’s real estate market is looking pretty good. “Things have definitely picked up,” says well-known real estate professional Tanya Eklund. “Last year was a recovery year; this year is a stability year.” 32 • July 2011 BUSINESS IN CALGARY | www.businessincalgary.com

Eklund says the market is still considered a buyer’s market, but in comparison to the past couple of years, there are positive signs for the Calgary market. In 2010, the hottest segment of the market was luxury homes in the million-dollar-plus range. What a difference a year makes. Firsttime buyers are the ones making their mark on the real estate market and it has been this way for a few months. “I see a very stable summer market,” says Eklund, adding, “It will probably remain the hottest part of the market.” Average prices for homes continue to fall in

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line with what buyers are looking for, although home prices really depend on a seller’s motivation. If a house has been sitting on the market for a while, or the seller needs to move quickly for one reason or another, the price of a house will likely be more reasonable than a not-as-motivated seller. “Some sellers want to shoot for the stars,” she says. “It really depends on motivation.” To determine if a house is being offered at a decent price or not, realtors look back 90 days at similar properties and compare. And with things still leaning slightly toward the buyer, the remainder of the summer should be quite positive for Calgary’s real estate market. Certain areas of the city are showing more activity than others. Buying near to the downtown core is a popular move,













www.businessincalgary.com | BUSINESS IN CALGARY July 2011 • 33

Calgary’s stable summer market • Real Estate

Buying near to the downtown core is a popular move, but buyers will also see the average price move up as they get closer to the city centre.

but buyers will also see the average price move up as they get closer to the city centre. The northwest sector of Calgary has seen a pick up in activity, and of all areas of the city saw the most increase in value versus 2010, according to Eklund. There are, however, limits to how far some people will move away from the city. Eklund says it can be harder to sell homes in Calgary’s extreme suburbs in comparison to houses closer to the city centre. This is simply due to inventory – there are more houses and thus more houses listed in the suburbs, versus an 34 • July 2011 BUSINESS IN CALGARY | www.businessincalgary.com

area like Killarney that is more inner-city and has less homes. While the rest of the summer looks good for Calgary, the fall could bring about an increase in interest rates that could put some concern in the minds of buyers. Although nothing is for certain, many are predicting interest rates will rise in the early fall. “If they don’t go up a lot we’ll probably be fine,” says Eklund. But she adds if there is an increase of three-quarters of a per cent or more, the market could see more volatility and uncertainty. But, since people are aware of a potential interest rate hike, buyers could be motivated to make a purchase before that happens. CREA predicts the national average home price will rise four per cent in 2011, and ninetenths of a per cent in 2012, to $352,000 and $355,800 respectively. What will happen in Calgary in the near future is dependent on a lot of factors, including how oil and gas prices will change, whether or not the job market improves, and if interest rates, will, in fact, increase. “You could ask five different people and get three different answers,” says Eklund. For the time being, Calgary is seeing sunshine in the real estate market and with any luck that will last into the fall. BiC


Honouring Calgary’s visionary business leaders

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www.businessincalgary.com | BUSINESS IN CALGARY July 2011 • 35

Leaders of Tomorrow 2011 • Cover


Leaders of Tomorrow Honouring Calgary’s visionary business leaders BY DEREK SANKEY


s Calgary’s economy gains momentum, the best of the city’s entrepreneurs are running at full speed and aren’t looking back. That’s obvious from this year’s selection of Leaders of Tomorrow nominees, an annual award celebrating some of the most passionate and successful entrepreneurs who also have unique links back to the community. “I think the bar has been raised,” says Dan Doherty, president of D3 Strategies Inc. and one of the judges on the Leaders of Tomorrow panel. So what does it mean to be a truly successful entrepreneur? “It means you get to work seven days a week,” quips Mike Carlin of BMO Financial Group, another of the judges. “It’s their attitude, desire and the passion of the individual,” he says. This year’s selection of 20 nominees cuts across a wide range of industries, demonstrating Calgary is “not all oil and gas,” says Doherty. “It’s more of an indication of the depth of our economy.” The small business owners who are selected demonstrate more than success as entrepreneurs; they give back to the community in some creative and impressive ways. “Calgary’s richness is not just financial – it is in the ability of (entrepreneurs) to give back to the community and to their industry,”

says Doherty. “There’s a real movement toward social accountability and responsibility. There has to be congruence between your values and morals at home and the ones at work. That’s something that gets missed very often.” The evaluation criteria is straightforward: 10 points are awarded based on business achievement – including past performance and future potential for growth – and five points based on contributions to their respective industries. Five points are awarded for the level of community involvement with charities, arts and cultural groups. The 2011 Leaders of Tomorrow

demonstrate integrity in every aspect of their lives – at home, at work and in the community. “It’s important, especially for small business people, to be recognized for things they’re doing beyond just their business,” says Doherty. Being recognized helps elevate them as role models for the next generation of aspiring entrepreneurs, while reaffirming their efforts. “It gives them more confidence and it’s a recognition of their hard work, drive and ambition,” says Carlin. “It also gives the rest of us an opportunity to look at the community and see how different these types of businesses really are.” BiC


Mike Carlin

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36 • July 2011 BUSINESS IN CALGARY | www.businessincalgary.com

Dan Doherty

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Finding the right answer starts here.

Leaders of Tomorrow 2011 • Cover

Leader of Tomorrow:

Alykhan Velji Company: Alykhan Velji Designs Incorporated: 2003


hen it comes to style and design, Alykhan Velji absorbs his built environment and makes it his own. He has earned his reputation by realizing that good business is about being adaptable. Velji graduated from Bow Valley College in 2003 and continued learning by working in the antique furniture business, while getting his own business off its feet. It was a difficult first year, but a learning curve that tested his resilience. He was up for the challenge of turning his dream of a thriving design business into reality. He looked to mentors in the industry and refined his business model to expand past interior residential and commercial design alone – a niche where he still thrives. Beyond that, he also writes for various publications, does several television segments and has been involved in style or design shows with Citytv, HGTV, Cosmo TV and speaks for the Home and Garden/Design shows in Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary. “It’s all about being versatile with your business,” says Velji. He’s also not letting his success get ahead of him. He’s been part of events or donated to the Kids Help Phone, Bill Brooks Prostate Cancer Benefit, Rethink Breast Cancer Romp and others. To this day, he goes back to his alma mater to mentor other aspiring designers. He faced a lot of adversity early on, teaching himself how to run a business, and began to make those vital connections that ultimately make any business successful. “When it comes to hiring contractors or even working with certain stores, I have built relationships that I hope will last a long time,” says Velji.

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Photo by Alix Broadway. 38 • July 2011 BUSINESS IN CALGARY | www.businessincalgary.com


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Leaders of Tomorrow 2011 • Cover

Leader of Tomorrow:

Lonny Balbi Company: Balbi & Company Legal Centre Incorporated: 1988


here probably isn’t a community in Calgary that Lonny Balbi hasn’t touched in some positive way. Family law is one of the most difficult areas of law, not least because of the involvement of children. Balbi’s focus has been on educating the public about family law, including teaching at the University of Calgary faculty of law and numerous other appearances and articles on the subject. He has been a leader in the community of law and the many communities of diverse citizens in this city. Balbi has built a successful law practice on integrity and demonstrating his ethics at every step of the way, earning the respect of his peers and anybody who meets him. He started his business in 1988 as a sole practitioner, but has built up the practice over the years to include five family lawyers. Balbi has pioneered many new methods to raise the quality of the practice of family law. A collaborator, a mediator, an entrepreneur, an educator – his involvement at every level elevates the field of law. Through pro bono services, taking part in a family law working groups and a spousal support conference, founding the Dispute Resolution Officer pilot project, chairing the Canadian Bar Association Family Law Section in Alberta or just teaching others, his dedication to the practice of family law has changed Calgary and the field of law.

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Photo by Ewan Nicholson Photography Inc. Furniture provided by RGO Office Products. 40 • July 2011 BUSINESS IN CALGARY | www.businessincalgary.com

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Leaders of Tomorrow 2011 • Cover

Leader of Tomorrow:

Matthew Horne Company: DECO Windshield Repair Incorporated: 2005


atthew Horne remembers his first job working for a small family business and being able to try all kinds of jobs and tasks within the business. “The feeling of autonomy and responsibility was a thrill,” he says. One of the unique things about Calgary’s business environment is that it allows individuals to still be mavericks. “I don’t see this or feel it intuitively in other cities in Canada,” says Horne. He used that environment and entrepreneurial instinct to build DECO Windshield Repair from the ground up, starting with two locations in 2005 to its current 110 locations across Canada. Before each season, he asks his employees about their personal goals and Horne aligns these with the company’s goals, keeping them accountable for reaching their targets throughout the season. He leads by example, motivates others and is willing to lend a hand or an ear to anyone, no matter how busy he is that day. In the early days, Horne had to pick up a part-time job serving tables to keep the business afloat, but he persevered. In 2011, his goal is to push his business further to reach 150 locations across the country with the ultimate target to become Canada’s largest windshield repair business. As DECO has grown, so has the man. While he continues to work harder, he also gives his time and resources back to the community in numerous ways. His recipe is simple: “I thrive on the opportunity to create, achieve, control and give back.”

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Photo by Ewan Nicholson Photography Inc. Furniture provided by RGO Office Products. 42 • July 2011 BUSINESS IN CALGARY | www.businessincalgary.com



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Leaders of Tomorrow 2011 • Cover

Leader of Tomorrow:

Jocelyn Flanagan Company: e=mc2 event management inc. Incorporated: 2001


rowing up in school, being an entrepreneur is not one of the “careers” you learn much about – think doctors, lawyers, teachers, engineers – but that’s exactly where Jocelyn Flanagan found her niche. “I have had very few jobs in my life that I didn’t create,” says Flanagan. “That wasn’t by conscious effort. I was just able to create jobs out of opportunities that I saw along the way.” So many entrepreneurial stories start out this way, but then diverge greatly from there. Flanagan found her place in the event management business in 2001, catering to a well-travelled, long list of clients who expect her to “think really far outside the box and get really creative,” she says. As her company, e=mc2 event management inc., celebrates its 10th anniversary this July, she clearly hasn’t lost her passion for the business. “Everyone should know that there are so many opportunities out there that allow you to create your own work by doing what you love to do,” says Flanagan. She takes great pride in blazing new trails: she was the first event planner in Calgary to achieve the certified special event professional (CSEP) designation; the first company of its kind in Alberta to be awarded the Certificate of Recognition (COR) for health and safety; was one of the first instructors in the Mount Royal College event management certificate program; and strives to give back to the community at every step. She donates the equivalent of $40,000 annually in professional services to various charities and hopes to raise the bar for the entire sector. “It was always my goal to raise the service standards and to promote the professionalism of the industry,” says Flanagan.

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Photo by Alix Broadway. 44 • July 2011 BUSINESS IN CALGARY | www.businessincalgary.com

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Leaders of Tomorrow 2011 • Cover

Leader of Tomorrow:

John Fitzsimmons Company: Fitz Flooring Incorporated: 1991


n a family with four generations of entrepreneurs, John Fitzsimmons got his start in a 600-square-foot showroom and office with a friend’s barn serving as the warehouse for Fitz Flooring, which he started 20 years ago. It has steadily grown to include three locations in Calgary, one in Canmore, one in Invermere and another one opening in Cranbrook, B.C. Fitzsimmons knows what he’s good at and never stops trying to build on the success he’s earned for himself, along with a reputation – and clientele – built on trust. Through boom and bust, Fitz Flooring has proven that companies can and do thrive in the toughest of times if they stick to their values. That’s part of the reason he is so involved in the community. Fitzsimmons is actively involved in the Rotary Club, the Young Presidents’ Organization and has donated his time to numerous charitable causes, including being a hockey coach and serving on the Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Citizens’ Advisory Committee. He also believes he has a responsibility to ensure the industry keeps moving forward in the right direction with integrity. He is vice president of the American Flooring Alliance and has served as director of the Building Owners and Managers Association and the Calgary Apartment Association. There’s no escaping the fact that being an entrepreneur is his life’s work. “When I stop being an entrepreneur, you better check my pulse,” jokes Fitzsimmons.

Platinum Partner

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Photo by Alix Broadway. Furniture provided by RGO Office Products. 46 • July 2011 BUSINESS IN CALGARY | www.businessincalgary.com

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Leaders of Tomorrow 2011 • Cover

Leader of Tomorrow:

Paul Rogalski Company: Rouge Restaurant Incorporated: 2001


he culinary talents of Rouge restaurant owners Paul Rogalski and Olivier Reynaud have brought much recognition to Calgary’s dining scene, being named #60 in the World by S. Pellegrino’s World’s Best Restaurant list. Rogalski’s biggest entrepreneurial inspiration, as it turns out, is his business partner Reynaud. “Let me tell you its in his blood and highly contagious,” says Rogalski. Rogalski was bitten by the bug when he owned a restaurant in Andorra with his parents before moving to Canada in 1999. Now, after 10 years of Rouge, he credits the competitive nature of the restaurant industry with having elevated the quality of food and dining options in the city. “I honestly believe our food culture has come of age and Calgary is now competing on a global scale when it comes to offering a great dining experience,” he says. Rather than learning to become an entrepreneur, he believes it’s something that’s in your blood. “I don’t think this is something that you learn, but something you need the spirit to do. Over time, the things you learn give you the confidence that reinforces that spirit.” Rouge began its life at the Cross House Restaurant in May of 2001 before it was re-branded as Rouge in April 2003. What started out as four employees scrubbing, painting and preparing the restaurant for its launch has now grown to 30 employees. During the past 10 years, the standards and values of customer service have stayed true and consistent.

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Gold Partners

Photo by Alix Broadway. 48 • July 2011 BUSINESS IN CALGARY | www.businessincalgary.com




TAKE A BOW CGI applauds Calgary’s Leaders of Tomorrow. On behalf of CGI’s 31,000 IT professionals, your contribution continues to shape our city. Your passion, dedication and innovation inspires the next generation of Calgary’s leaders. Congratulations! Visit cgi.com and experience the commitment ™.

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Leaders of Tomorrow 2011 • Cover

Leader of Tomorrow:

Ryan Gill

Company: Suitcase Interactive Incorporated: 2002


en years ago, Ryan Gill and his business partners walked away from their full-time jobs to do things their own way. They approached the gamble in a measured way. “The real risk isn’t in whether we would be successful or not, but whether we’ve planned for the various threats to our success ahead of time,” says Gill, CEO and partner of Suitcase Interactive – what he describes as “Canada’s first digital engagement agency.” Rather than viewing himself as an entrepreneur, he simply feels he is pursuing his passion, using his inherent skills and trying to build a better business. “I live by the mantra: Chase the respect of others and the money will follow,” says Gill. “I guess that making those connections has always been my natural talent – my instinct.” His goal for the firm is “to be great, not big.” That hasn’t stopped him from growing Suitcase Interactive. He wants to stay small, but plans to open multiple offices in a few cities around Canada staffed by 20-30 employees – essentially duplicating their success and business model in Calgary. Perhaps because of the nature of his business or due to his own personal nature, his links to the industry and to the community are impressive. He’s involved with the United Way, the Sauder School of Business, the Canadian Marketing Association, the Mustard Seed, Ronald McDonald House and many others. He even developed his own unique Project Smile seven years ago to help impoverished kids in Mexico. His employees also give their time to various causes in an effort to link the teambuilding aspect of his business back to the community. He takes the view that you “give where you live.”

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Photo by Ewan Nicholson Photography Inc. 50 • July 2011 BUSINESS IN CALGARY | www.businessincalgary.com








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Leaders of Tomorrow 2011 • Cover

Leader of Tomorrow:

Justin Bobier Company: Crystal Creek Homes Incorporated: 2004


n their family home in 2004, Michelle and Justin Bobier launched Crystal Creek Homes as an estate homebuilder with a staff of two – themselves. The company has since expanded into a full-spectrum builder in all aspects of new home construction, including inner city, show homes, area communities and personal estates. One thing that has remained constant throughout is the encouragement he’s relied upon from his wife. “I have always regarded Michelle to be the brains behind the operation and without her support nothing would be possible,” he says. Entrepreneurs always face a range of obstacles and challenges along the way, not the least of which are the voices of doubt in the background. “Along the way, we are told we can’t do something, so we make the mistake of listening to that advice,” says Bobier. “I make it my personal mission to prove them wrong.” He demonstrates that every day by surrounding himself with a team of experts in their respective fields and by never sacrificing the expectations he has of his team and of himself. He plans to continue to grow the company, which now operates in five communities on the western edge of Calgary, to include up to 10 communities in the city and a presence in Edmonton within the next two to five years. This football father is just as likely to be found helping out as a linesman or score keeper as he is to opening one of his newest homes in support of the Kids Up Front agency.

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Gold Partners

Photo by Alix Broadway. Furniture provided by RGO Office Products. 52 • July 2011 BUSINESS IN CALGARY | www.businessincalgary.com


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Leaders of Tomorrow 2011 • Cover

Leader of Tomorrow:

Al Dadswell Company: A-WIN Insurance Incorporated: 1975


l Dadswell brings a dose of good humour to his lifelong career in the insurance industry. After doing “slave labour” for his father – who owned an insurance brokerage while Dadswell was growing up – he set off to learn some life lessons and gain some other work experience. He returned to the family business and ended up taking out a bank loan – at regular interest rates – to take on ownership in his father’s brokerage at fair market value. “People work harder and more diligently when they have a vested interest in something,” says Dadswell. This concept is now an integral part of A-WIN Insurance, which Dadswell purchased in 2001 with a staff of two, with all branch managers also now being partners. He has never accepted mediocrity during the 30 or so years he’s spent in the insurance business, including building the A-WIN Insurance Network into the success it is today. “If someone says, ‘This is how we have always done it’ the first question should be: ‘Why?’” says Dadswell. “If someone has stopped looking for ways to improve, then it is because somewhere along the way, a somewhat jaded or lazy superior that was worried about being surpassed caused them to believe that being average is normal, to remain status quo is safe, and that if they keep quiet, they will get ahead.” Nothing is status quo about the ongoing innovative products and services A-WIN continues to offer its loyal clientele. A-WIN has evolved greatly from its early roots, but integrity has and always will be a cornerstone of his approach to business and community. “An ethical person never needs to defend his actions or opinions and those demanding they do so may need to question their own sense of morality,” says Dadswell.

Platinum Partner

Gold Partners

Photo by Ewan Nicholson Photography Inc. Furniture provided by RGO Office Products. 54 • July 2011 BUSINESS IN CALGARY | www.businessincalgary.com

Congratulations to Al Dadswell of A-WIN Insurance on being chosen as a Leader of Tomorrow We couldn’t agree more! At Aviva*, we’re proud to partner with insurance brokers like Al, who succeed by serving their community and providing personalized insurance service to their customers. From everyone at Aviva, congratulations on this outstanding achievement.

*Aviva and the Aviva logo are registered trademarks of Aviva plc and used under license.

Leaders of Tomorrow 2011 • Cover

Leader of Tomorrow:

John O’Rourke Company: SIGIT Group Inc. Incorporated: 2004


hen John O’Rourke talks about his business, SIGIT Group Inc., the passion flows from him so vigorously that it’s hard to miss his entrepreneurial spirit. He took a relatively straightforward engineering consultancy and built it into an empire of diversified companies, which includes SIGIT Automation (USA and Canada), SIGIT Products and KEMIK, an oilfield chemical manufacturing and supply company. After watching his father build a successful business, O’Rourke learned how passion, leadership, ethics and a strong family support network are cornerstones of success. Always at the centre of that success are his wife and family. In less than 18 months, O’Rourke took a single-focus company and built it into a multi-division, multifaceted management company with international offices and loads of room for growth. In keeping with his business and life philosophy, community is at the heart of his passion. He has sponsored the Calgary Mustangs Junior Hockey Club, the Airdrie/ Cochrane Avalanche Hockey Team, the Providence Children Schools Charity, the Calgary Royals Hockey Club, the Children’s Cottage Society of Calgary and the Cerebral Palsy Association of Alberta. He’s known as a rising star who has proven his merit time and time again. As for his business, there really is no end in sight. “When a client is approached as a dynamic entity, and our company excels in dynamic solutions, then great innovations are made,” says O’Rourke. “This is how the SIGIT Group will continue to thrive and become a global solutions provider to the petroleum and energy industry.”

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Gold Partners

Photo by Alix Broadway. Furniture provided by RGO Office Products. 56 • July 2011 BUSINESS IN CALGARY | www.businessincalgary.com

family focused business

Congratulations, John! We consider you and your company as one of our family; and we wish you sincere congratulations on being recognized as a “Leader of Tomorrow”! ~ From all of us at HZ Projects Inc.

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Leaders of Tomorrow 2011 • Cover

Leader of Tomorrow:

Bruce Hopkins Company: The Remodelers Ltd. Incorporated: 2003


ruce Hopkins’ life changed in 1997. He sold off his business interests and embarked on a journey of self-reflection. He bought a house in Dalhousie in 2000 and started doing some renovations – his first experience getting his hands dirty in the industry. Then, project after project started coming his way and he had to hire extra help by 2003. He saw an opportunity to redefine the industry. “Once an entrepreneur, always an entrepreneur,” says Hopkins, owner of The Remodelers. When he is faced with a challenge, he is determined to create a solution. When he found the available sunroom installation packages to be subpar, he hired a team to engineer and manufacture his own, which ended up being marketed through a hardware store prior to launching his current company. What began as a home renovation project has morphed into a multi-million dollar group of companies with 23 employees and a 25,000-square-foot corporate facility. He added a production company to the mix, Boom City Productions Ltd., to produce a reality renovation show called Remodel It! Nothing is without the realm of possibility. He also learned that it’s okay to ask for help. As he continues to expand his group of companies, he places a large emphasis on helping others, too. From SAIT Polytechnic’s apprenticeship program to the Fresh Start Recovery Centre and several other charities, his commitment to his business has proven to be an equal commitment to community.

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Gold Partners

Photo by Alix Broadway. Furniture provided by RGO Office Products. 58 • July 2011 BUSINESS IN CALGARY | www.businessincalgary.com

Leaders of Tomorrow 2011 • Cover

Leader of Tomorrow:

Robert & Lorie Legault Company: Jertyne Interior Services Ltd. Incorporated: 1994


obert and Lorie Legault have seen their construction business, Jertyne Interior Services Ltd., through three recessions since it was launched in 1994 and Robert attributes part of that staying power to his motto: “Always do what you say you will,” he says. It is a business built on integrity, accepting responsibility for commitments, accountability and a dedication to quality. As Robert puts it: “Pride in workmanship, being the best you can be and never having to say I’m sorry.” The couple has been able to combine their strengths to build a reputation that’s unsurpassed in the industry – Robert in the field of insulation and drywall; Lorie in office management – as they try to set the industry standard for others. “A good price isn’t a great value unless you’re dealing with a quality product,” says Lorie. Part of setting the industry standard, aside from their pride in workmanship and devotion to quality, is helping to promote best practices. The company has received a Partnership for a Health and Safety Award and is very active in promoting safety for both industry and individuals by educating and training staff and trades continuously, working alongside the Calgary Home Builders’ Association, Occupational Health and Safety and the Better Business Bureau. Giving back to the community has also been a cornerstone of the company since its inception, with the Legaults being involved extensively with organizations such as the Children’s Wish Foundation, Veterans Food Drives and several other charity fundraisers.

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Gold Partners

Photo by Alix Broadway. Furniture provided by RGO Office Products. 60 • July 2011 BUSINESS IN CALGARY | www.businessincalgary.com

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Leaders of Tomorrow 2011 • Cover

Leader of Tomorrow:

Doug Shostak Company: Glenmore Audi Incorporated: 2002


oug Shostak’s success as an entrepreneur is a direct result of his business acumen and personality. When he purchased Fifth Avenue Auto Haus in 1987, it quickly became so successful he decided to open a VW franchise in 1995 – South Centre Fine Cars. Then Audi sales grew so fast it required a stand-alone Audi franchise and Glenmore Audi was launched in 2002, where he is now also the general manager. “I believe if you find something you enjoy you will always try to be entrepreneurial within your business in trying to grow it,” says Shostak. The car industry is a notoriously competitive one, yet Glenmore Audi’s ability to attain impressive growth through any economic cycle has proven its merit as a standout in the business. He challenges his team to innovate and people are naturally drawn to him. At the end of the day, Shostak is the ultimate sales guy who loves to sell vehicles; his enthusiasm rubs off on and reflects upon the rest of his team. He takes an “everything matters” approach to business. His intent for the future is to continue the long-standing growth with record sales over the next few years and plans on achieving the number one spot in the luxury segment. To accommodate the new generation of Audi owners, Shostak opened a new dealership – Royal Oak Audi – in 2007. One of his formulas for winning, whether you’re talking to “Coach Shostak” in the lobby of the ringette arena following a big win, or in the clubhouse after a round of golf, is following the drive to succeed, which has been a critical factor in his achievements.

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Photo by Ewan Nicholson Photography Inc. 62 • July 2011 BUSINESS IN CALGARY | www.businessincalgary.com

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© 2011 Audi Canada. European model is shown. “Audi”, “A7”, “Vorsprung durch Technik”, and the four rings emblem are registered trademarks of AUDI AG. To find out more about Audi, see your dealer, call us at 1-800-FOR-AUDI, or visit us at www.audi.ca

Leaders of Tomorrow 2011 • Cover

Leader of Tomorrow:

Lori Bacon

Company: Swimco for Swimwear Incorporated: 1975


t started out as her mom’s hobby in 1975. Corinne Forseth launched Swimco as a mail-order swimwear business that catered to the needs of swim teams – an effort to help her friends find team swimsuits for their kids. Today, Lori Bacon is president of the company that has since grown to become a diversified, year-round, thriving business based on the same kind of relationships it was founded upon. Her American suppliers are often befuddled at how she can sell so many swimsuits in such a northern, frigid climate. Then again, that’s part of her success. Calgarians flock to warm destinations to escape the cold and that means a nice swimsuit for the beach. There is also a thriving swimming community in the city, albeit mostly indoors, that helps keep her business growing. Quality has always taken precedence over sheer growth or number of stores, though. Her sales team of “fit experts” is trained in her unique style of blending relationships with product knowledge. She learned a great deal from her mother. “She was creative, resourceful, worked very hard and enjoyed what she was doing,” says Bacon. “Although the title of ‘entrepreneur’ was never something she thought about, it was what she exemplified.” Those early roots have stuck with her over the years, which is demonstrated by her ongoing commitment to support the community that allows her business to be successful.

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Gold Partners

Photo by Ewan Nicholson Photography Inc. 64 • July 2011 BUSINESS IN CALGARY | www.businessincalgary.com

Leaders of Tomorrow 2011 • Cover

Leader of Tomorrow:

Jeff Ayotte

Company: International Orthotic Labs Inc. Incorporated: 2001


eff Ayotte spent 10 years slowly building his knowledge and refining his skills – perfecting a mix of medicine and craft – before forging out on his own when he launched International Orthotic Labs in 2001. As a medical device manufacturer, exacting standards are a necessity. Patients that wear the devices rely on his commitment to excellence and their foot health is a direct result of Ayotte and his team’s ability to make the devices precisely according to the prescription their practitioners write. Attention to detail is a must. Leadership was, admittedly, not a top priority while he was making payroll, finding new customers, paying vendors – the usual endless list an entrepreneur faces. At some point, however, Ayotte realized he had to stop working in the business and start focusing on the business. “That was a moment of epiphany for me,” he says. Ayotte read and listened to everything he could about developing leadership. “As the leader of the ship, I knew I would lead the charge with decisive action directed at achieving results, while using the full power of my team,” says Ayotte. He introduced an employee profit-sharing program and led by example, inspiring his team to always go the extra mile, resulting in strong growth based on word of mouth. He plans to grow 30 per cent a year by introducing and innovating new products. With his success came his ability to support charities near his heart. Ayotte and his team have been ardent supporters of the Children’s Make-a-Wish Foundation and the Diabetic Association of Canada – two organizations that dovetail with the core value of his company.

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Gold Partners

Photo by Alix Broadway. 66 • July 2011 BUSINESS IN CALGARY | www.businessincalgary.com


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Leaders of Tomorrow 2011 • Cover

Leader of Tomorrow:

Russ Hebblethwaite Company: Enviro Vault Canada Ltd. Incorporated: 1996


s a boy growing up, Russ Hebblethwaite had very little: patched pants, hand-me-downs and no electricity or running water for four years. “I knew early on what I didn’t want,” he recalls. He wound up in Fort McMurray in the 1970s and applied for a parts-man job at the time and travelled to Peace River to meet his future boss, Gary Rogers. Instead of being given the partsman job, he was thrown directly into the role of parts manager at 19 years old. A couple of years later, he transferred back to Fort McMurray and purchased a steam truck and started his own sideline business washing equipment in the evenings. At 21, he was given his own territory in Grande Prairie, where he ended up breaking sales records despite the 1981 NEP and an energy industry in turmoil. He later went with his truck to work full time in a uranium mine in northern Saskatchewan and has been running his own business ever since. In 1996, he founded Enviro Vault Canada Ltd. because he couldn’t figure out why operators were settling for leaking and freezing equipment. Today, as he always has, his mind thrives on exploring new ways of doing things; new technologies. “My mind is always working, thinking, imagining,” says Hebblethwaite. He credits the relationships he’s built ever since that first opportunity was given to him for his success today and he’s proud to call this city home. “I am so overwhelmingly proud to be part of the Calgary and Alberta business scene,” he says. From a man who grew up with literally nothing came a highly successful above ground storage tank business. “I do have a degree, with honours, though the School of Hard Knocks is not a recognized institution,” says Hebblethwaite.

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Gold Partners

Photo by Alix Broadway. 68 • July 2011 BUSINESS IN CALGARY | www.businessincalgary.com

Congratulations to Russ Hebblethwaite of Enviro Vault Canada Ltd. on becoming a “Leaders of Tomorrow� winner!

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Leaders of Tomorrow 2011 • Cover

Leader of Tomorrow:

Kyle Ratcliffe Company: Dr. Green Services Incorporated: 1986


s the youngest son of six children, Kyle Ratcliffe’s family life undoubtedly contributed to his sense of commitment to others, but also to his drive for competition and success. “It was a necessity, as well as an expectation in my family, that doing your best was the only option,” says Ratcliffe, who took over the family-owned lawn care business, Dr. Green Lawn Care Services, which was originally founded in 1986. “I learned very quickly that hard work and dedication would be recognized and rewarded.” Words to live by. When you wake up to snow in April and you run a lawn care business, it’s a requirement to be innovative and creative. You can either accept defeat or find a way to make it work. That same year, his business grew by 2,500 customers – a trend that would continue under his leadership and a testament to his drive to succeed despite all odds. A good leader, says Ratcliffe, is someone who knows to surround themselves with talented, dedicated people who are aligned with and committed to his vision. “Our business model is simple: work hard and work smart,” he says. There’s also more to life – and business – than working hard. Ratcliffe has a particular passion for supporting youth sports, including hockey, baseball and soccer. He’s also a long-standing member of Landscape Ontario, Landscape Alberta Nursery Trades Association, the professional Landcare Network, Professional Lawn Care Association of America and remains in good standing with the Better Business Bureau for Southern Alberta. Dr. Green is a market leader in Ontario, where the company is headquartered, is expanding through Western Canada and has an office in Chicago.

Platinum Partner

Gold Partners

Photo by Ewan Nicholson Photography Inc. 70 • July 2011 BUSINESS IN CALGARY | www.businessincalgary.com

Visit our website today to see what we’re all about. AERA Creative proudly salutes the 2011 Leaders Of Tomorrow.

Leaders of Tomorrow 2011 • Cover

Leader of Tomorrow:

Troy Ferguson Company: Redrock Camps Inc. Incorporated: 2006


roy Ferguson’s company emerged out of necessity. After operating a reforestation company in remote locations across Canada, tree planters required a camp environment to provide basic services – food and supply lines – which laid the foundation for Redrock Camps Inc. From there, it evolved to helicopter fire camps, emergency fire base camps, catering services for government camps and ultimately high-end camps in the oilpatch, mining, hydroelectric, Parks Canada and Arctic Research areas. Launched in 2006, Ferguson already had 15 years of experience under his belt, but it was his creativity and innovation that led him to find solutions to reliable food supply and delivery in any location, not to mention the construction of these camps in some very difficult regions. He’s a hands-on entrepreneur who holds hard work and accuracy to high standards that are evident in his enormously successful “boutique” service business, which is growing at about 50 per cent annually. Over the past 12 months, Ferguson has also been busy supporting organizations such as the YMCA Calgary Women’s Shelter and Two Wheel View – a group that connects local community members with the surrounding natural environment to encourage healthy and active lifestyles – from the seat of a bike. He’s also an active member of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization in Calgary and recently moderated the Vectra Entrepreneurs’ Forum.

Platinum Partner

Gold Partners

Photo by Alix Broadway. Furniture provided by RGO Office Products. 72 • July 2011 BUSINESS IN CALGARY | www.businessincalgary.com

Congratulations, Troy, on becoming a Leader of Tomorrow! Final Frontiers is the proud IT service provider for Redrock Camps. Through development of a stable and scalable IT network; a business continuity strategy; proactive technical support; and remote camp connectivity; we’ve helped Redrock sail smoothly through explosive company growth. With the introduction of iT2.o, Final Frontiers now offers Calgary businesses the next level of IT Support. The all-inclusive, flat-fee technology program provides all the strategy and support you need to keep your network running smoothly and efficiently. Call us today at 403.234.0160 or visit www.finalfrontiers.net for a free network assessment to see how Final Frontiers can help your company grow.


Congratulations to Troy Ferguson of Redrock Camps Inc. on becoming a 2011 Leader of Tomorrow!

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Leaders of Tomorrow 2011 • Cover

Leader of Tomorrow:

Jeff Popiel

Company: ShowBox Entertainment Corporation Incorporated: 2007


ntertainment and entrepreneurialism are in Jeff Popiel’s blood. He grew up in a musical family, went on to become a performer and in 2001, combined all of his passions for entertaining when he launched ShowBox Entertainment – a concert promotion and production company. It’s a natural fit, despite the inherent risks he took in the beginning. “I think you change as a person when you start your own business venture and play without a net,” says Popiel. “Going back to a place that doesn’t have that risk-return equation built into it, I think would seem less fulfilling.” In the process of becoming an entrepreneur, he also developed extremely close ties to the city’s arts and cultural scene. He is well known around Calgary for his involvement in a variety of concerts and productions, and also for his links to organizations as diverse as the Calgary Stampede, Alberta Lung Association, Canadian Blood Services, One Yellow Rabbit’s ‘Big Rock Eddies,’ the University of Alberta and the Rotary Club of Calgary. The list goes on. Popiel is an innovator in every sense; a creator. From his grandmother Winnie, a seamstress who started a women’s fashion boutique, to his brother Sheldon, who helped found a stock photography company later sold to Bill Gates’ Corbis Images, to his brother-in-law Peter who brought FILA sportswear to Canada, to his first business partner Jeff Parry, he’s had many influences throughout his life. He lives by a simple formula: Know what you do well; know what you don’t do well; know what support you need to make yourself a whole business person; and think about how you adapt to the changes that test those qualities.

Platinum Partner

Gold Partners

Photo by Ewan Nicholson Photography Inc. 74 • July 2011 BUSINESS IN CALGARY | www.businessincalgary.com

Leaders of Tomorrow 2011 • Cover

Leader of Tomorrow:

Dan Eisner

Company: True North Mortgage Incorporated: 2006


fter Dan Eisner graduated from McMaster University with a bachelor of commerce degree, it was clear he was on the right path. His passion for business flourished and after working for several years with Business Development Bank of Canada as a loans officer, he decided to get his masters of business administration from the Richard Ivey School of Business to help propel his career. From his Grade 2 lemonade stand, an entrepreneur was born. While he’s had many influences on his journey – despite a series of unfortunate challenges – the person he looks up to now for entrepreneurial inspiration is Charles Darwin. “I realize Charles Darwin is not a typical entrepreneur, but he did choose the uncharted path much the same way an entrepreneur does today,” says Eisner. “He believed in himself despite the skepticism from people around the world.” Eisner is the founder of True North Mortgage, a brokerage that has become one of Canada’s largest independent mortgage brokerages. He spent his last $40,000 on setting up a unique retail store model of brokerage in busy downtown locations, describing the gamble as walking on the high wire with no safety net. By nature, he’s not a risk-taker, but evidently he takes great pride in forging new territory. He’ll take hard work and measured risk any day over big splashy decisions that usually get you into trouble. As for his advice to parents, his words seem to ring very true. “One of the greatest skills you can teach your children is entrepreneurship,” says Eisner.

Platinum Partner

Gold Partners

Photo by Alix Broadway. Furniture provided by RGO Office Products. www.businessincalgary.com | BUSINESS IN CALGARY July 2011 • 75


Tune In:

World-Class Audio Awaits You at The Beach

Back row, L-R: Steve Dodd, Diana Liptak, Lanny Williamson. Front row, L-R: Derek Sylwestrzak, Natalie Gregory, Paul Schreve and Ryan Koichopolos.


ou hear it every day – throughout the day. From memorable jinLanny Williamson gles and your favourite song to sound effects so perfectly woven into the background, the emotion takes you by surprise. Audio surrounds us every day and when synchronized perfectly with its visual partner, it’s a seamless pairing. “Audio” conjures up a recording studio – likely somewhere in L.A. or Nashville – and amidst the minimal but slick décor sits a large glass wall that separates the “talent” from the

music engineers. Celebrities and musicians are frequent visitors and the indelible sounds Derek Sylwestrzak of professional voices fill the air while engineers work their magic at the helm of an endless array of dials and slides to fine-tune the foreground and background. Closer to home and tucked inside Calgary’s Warehouse District, you will find a world-class recording facility where the likes of Brad Pitt, Ben E. King, Anthony Hopkins and Usher have graced the studios. The Beach, Advanced Audio Pro-

duction Inc., has been providing the entertainment industry, advertising world, corporate sector and musicians alike with top-notch audio tracks for over 20 years. Their work encompasses all-things-audio: from creative seedlings to dubbing the master copy and all points in between. The man behind The Beach is Lanny Williamson – a self-proclaimed music geek from childhood – and when it comes to audio, he knows a thing or two about quality sound production. After working extensively in Europe and North America – from coast to coast – and having owned several studios, Williamson has watched the industry evolve for almost five decades. “The entertainment business is one of the biggest industries in the world and audio has changed drastically – it’s an intricate part of everything because people have more information coming at them than ever before. It’s not just about producing a great jingle or sound effects for film, you’ve got the Internet, social networking and branding now,” says Williamson. The Beach has worked with local, national and international groups and has been involved in every aspect of the industry – from composing music beds to producing CDs. So, one has to wonder how this world-class facility ended up in Calgary. Turns out, Williamson came to the city after a lengthy and successful run in L.A. where he worked with some of the industry’s best talent. The L.A. studio, CanAm Recorders Inc., was the third successful studio he owned and as they say, the rest is history. In an industry that’s highly competitive, The Beach has earned a stellar reputation, but like any business, you have to stay ahead of the game and your competitors. “Technology is what has changed the industry: it disposes of the old technology and it has no conscious. It’s in a constant state of flux – it changes several times a year,” he explains. “When we started, we were the first studio in Calgary to record digitally and I brought that knowledge from the States even though the costs were prohibitive. By having a high-end digital facility in Calgary, it gave advertising agencies and corporate clients less of a reason to go to Vancouver or Toronto because we were on par with any studio in the country.” Inside The Beach, there are three state-of-the-art studios: the largest being an analog and digital suite where they produce everything from a simple voice-over to a 40-piece orchestra. The “B” Suite is a digital workstation with full memory access and the Foley Suite creates sound effects for television and film – enabling them to produce

the entire soundtrack for a movie. “Analog sounds the best, but digital works the best, so it’s a combination of utilizing both,” he adds. Today, the industry travels in different circles and according to Williamson “branding” is the future. “We can’t rest on our laurels and think recording bands and music projects will be enough to sustain us. Many of the top studios in North America have shut down because there wasn’t enough music recording work – they didn’t move into post-production and it left a big gap in the industry,” observes Williamson. “Look around: the music industry has crumbled as there’s more and more information available on the Internet for free. On the other hand, we have increased access to movies, gaming, music downloads, phone apps, YouTube is starting their own channel and the list goes on. Even with the loss of certain segments of the music industry, this new technology is almost like a rebirth – it’s opened up a new world,” he says. “We talk about people and the new media: their whole world is focused on the visual impact, but it needs audio, so you have to create an audio presence that distinguishes it from other products.” When Williamson isn’t working with a client, you’ll find him in school – teaching the next generation. The Beach established the Academy of Production and Recording Arts (APRA) in 1999 and like most things, it evolved out of necessity given the shortage of industry manpower. “We were doing a feature film and I hired a crew, but they all came from Toronto and Vancouver. Calgary didn’t offer a program, so we established APRA,” asserts Williamson. “Our 12-week program is hands-on, cutting edge and our graduates are among the best in the country. The school has been great for not only our business, but it makes the industry stronger – the students expose us to new ideas and we teach them experience.” For Williamson, The Beach’s success is largely attributed to working with the younger generation. “I have surrounded myself with really talented young people – from 22 to 40 years old – and it’s about their ambition, attitude and creativity. It keeps everything really fresh and it’s moving at 1000 miles an hour!” he adds with a hint of excitement. “Turn off sound for a day and imagine what it would be like. We are in a new world and it’s our job to continually push the front edges of our industry.” Call, click or visit The Beach: (403) 237 – 6267 • www.thebeachaudio.com 619 11 Avenue SE, Calgary, AB


International Investment Sinks into Alberta • Oil Sands

International Investment Sinks into Alberta Oilsands and unconventional resource plays are squarely in the sights of major global investors BY DEREK SANKEY

The Caterpillar 797 is the workhorse of Suncor’s oil sands mining operations. The entire fleet hauls 480,000 to 500,000 tonnes of ore every day. © Suncor Energy Inc.


ith predictions of $180 billion being invested into Alberta’s oilsands over the next decade, according to a recent Peters & Co. report, the average investor – and Albertan, for that matter – is getting increasingly used to the fact that the province’s resource is no longer the domain of Canadian or even North American investors. It’s officially a hot global commodity. “The appetite at the moment is very strong for investors to put capital into the oilsands (and) there’s an increasing trend towards international investment in this asset,” says Scott Bolton, national energy leader, consulting and deals, for PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. Where it’s coming from is Asia – obviously China – but also Japan, Korea, Thailand, the United States, the Norwegian state oil company Statoil, Total of France has been a huge investor, India is rumoured to be considering a significant foray – it’s almost pointless to list more. “It’s on the global investment radar screen,” says Bolton. There was in the range of $18 billion in acquisitions of not just oilsands

acquisitions in 2010, but other oil and gas assets in Western Canada by foreign entities. It’s also projected that the resource could contribute $1.1 trillion to Alberta’s coffers by 2044. There is general acknowledgment that the oilsands, at today’s prices, is not only economic but also that its reserve life – the amount of oil in the ground – is second only to Saudi Arabia. There is a stable political regime, it’s close to the largest market in the world and new markets could potentially trigger even more investment – if a pipeline to the West Coast goes ahead. “There’s all sorts of challenges, obviously, but in today’s environment there’s a lot of appeal for this sort of investment and that’s why you’re seeing the global interest that you are seeing in putting significant capital into it,” says Bolton. Among the reasons why global investors are lining up to get a piece of the action, aside from continued rising international demand for oil spurred on by emerging economies, is that while traditional oil and gas investing has carried an exploration risk – looking around for oil or gas

Major Players in Alberta’s Oilsands: Shell Albian Sands ATCO Group of Companies Athabasca Oil Sands Corp. Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. Chevron Canada Resources ConocoPhillips Canada Devon Canada Corporation Enbridge Inc. EnCana Corporation Enerplus Resource Fund EPCOR Husky Oil Operations Limited Imperial Oil Resources Ivanhoe Energy Japan Canada Oil Sands Limited Korea National Oil Corporation MEG Energy Corp. Nexen Inc. Petrobank Energy and Resources Ltd. Petro-Canada Oil and Gas Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo Statoil Hydro Canada Ltd. Suncor Energy Inc. Syncrude Canada Ltd. Total E&P Canada Ltd. UTS Energy Corporation SourCe: oIlSAndS developerS Group

78 • July 2011 BUSINESS IN CALGARY | www.businessincalgary.com


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Oil Sands & Heavy Oil With approximately 1,000 kilometres of oil sands pipeline infrastructure, we currently provide about 40 percent of total take-away capacity from the athabasca oil sands. as well, with the completion of our nipisi heavy oil and mitsue diluent pipeline projects, we will provide much-needed transport capacity to our customers in north central alberta’s heavy oil region.

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International Investment Sinks into Alberta • Oil Sands

SAGD is seen as the future of the oilsands, and the global investment that follows, as the technology evolves to find the most economical and environmentally friendly way to get it out of the ground. One of Suncor’s in situ projects is Firebag, where the steam-assisted gravity drainage method is used to heat, then extract the bitumen. © Suncor Energy Inc.

ing fruit is picked first. Now, however, foreign entities are in the ground – we know the oilsands reserves are there. It’s a not just investing in mining operations, but also SAGD plays matter of how to extract it economically and in an environand shale gas. mentally responsible way. That said, the asset could produce Regardless, there is no shortage of challenges facing the recoverable reserves for 40, 50 or even 60 years, according to oilsands and the entire energy industry. There are plenty of some estimates, so the economics start to become compelling. stakeholders, many voices and endless perspectives. It’s obviIt is still a highly capital intensive, expensive game to play, ously a debate that will unfold in many venues, in all countries. but the players have signed up. The oilsands gets the immediate attention, and for good reaFor the average investor, it’s mostly a matter of picking son. As investment dollars flow into Alberta and calls continue which oilsands developer, or any energy company for that – particularly south of the border – for the province to “clean matter, to invest in. “Not all oilsands companies are created up its act,” as has been said, the simple fact remains that it is equal,” notes Bolton. Some have better land positions than an increasingly global, highly important resource. “The others and some have better technology than others. It’s also a amount of production that can come from these investments matter of deciding which ventures to sink your money into. is already world scale and will continue to grow over the next The traditional approach has been mining operations – a decade or so,” says Bolton. All of Alberta’s energy resources shovel and a truck, essentially – while steam-assisted gravare in the sights of global investors. “You’re seeing a diversiity drainage (SAGD) injects steam to “melt” up the bitumen fication of foreign capital – not just the oilsands – but also to the surface from further beneath the ground. “It’s a much into these unconventional plays. The capital is spreading out different footprint than the mining operation and the subas these technologies develop.” BiC stantial majority of the reserve base is actually in SAGD, so more and more of the percentage of total oilsands production moving forward Facts at a Glance: will come from this SAGD• Canada’s oil reserves are the second largest in the world behind Saudi Arabia. type operation,” Bolton says. • At 170 billion barrels, oilsands represent 97 per cent of Canada’s total oil reserves. The mines aren’t going anywhere. And they’re extremely Economic Contribution significant. Still, SAGD is seen Investments and Jobs as the future of the oilsands, and • Across Canada, more than 456,000 jobs are directly or indirectly linked to the conthe global investment that folstruction and operation of oilsands facilities. lows, as the technology evolves • Oilsands investment will generate $1.7 trillion in economic activity across Canada to find the most economical over the next 25 years. and environmentally friendly • Oilsands development will generate at least $483.5 billion in royalty and tax revway to get it out of the ground. enues for Canada’s federal and provincial governments. “It’s a question of technology, • For each permanent oilsands-related job, nine additional direct, indirect and induced innovation and cost managejobs are created in Canada. ment,” says Bolton. Just like conventional oil Source: Oilsands Developers Group and gas plays, the low-hang80 • July 2011 BUSINESS IN CALGARY | www.businessincalgary.com

Photo by Ewan Nicholson Photography Inc.

A Century of Building Canada and the World SNC-Lavalin celebrates 100 years

A Century of Building Canada and the World SNC-Lavalin celebrates 100 years

“We have a significant presence in Alberta and we are the largest Canadian engineering and construction company,” says Jean Beaudoin, Executive Vice President, Office of the President. “Over the decades, we have diversified into a number of different sectors which has allowed us to effectively manage many industries. Our success is partly attributed to managing different cycles within a global economy. As one cycle slows down, another one picks up and it’s our ability to recognize and manage these cycles.”

Currently, you will find SLI in every corner of the province – managing a multitude of projects.

Currently, you will find SLI in every corner of the province – managing a multitude of projects. As you drive around town, you will find the Transportation Division working on two major

Table of Contents

Published by: Business in Calgary

Expertise from the Ground Up Chemicals and Petroleum. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

First to Arrive & Last to Leave Environment. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

Keeping Our Cities Rolling Transportation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

Flipping the Switch Transmission & Distribution. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

Achieving Structural Longevity Operations & Maintenance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

Fostering Communities at Home and Abroad Vision & Values. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

1025, 101 – 6 Ave. SW, Calgary, AB T2P 3P4 Tel: 403.264.3270 • Fax: 403.264.3276 info@businessincalgary.com www.businessincalgary.com Publisher: OT Communications Director of Custom Publishing: Bernie Cooke Project Coordinator: Shawna Peters Writer: Mary Savage Art Director: Cher Compton Graphic Designer: Jessi Evetts

SNC-Lavalin 100th Anniversary Profile


hat started as a one-man business in Montreal in 1911 has grown to become a global leader in the engineering and construction industry. SNC-Lavalin Inc. (SLI) has offices in North America, Latin America, Europe, Africa, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East and on any given day, it has about 10,000 projects underway – making them active in over 100 countries. They employ over 25,000 people who are recognized as not only leaders, but as experts in their chosen fields. SLI’s standards of excellence and collective knowledge influence every layer of every project – ranking them among the top 10 engineering and construction firms worldwide. Roughly 50 per cent of SLI’s projects are done within the borders of Canada, and closer to home, in Alberta, SLI employs about 2000 people in the design, build and maintenance industry. In Calgary, their five divisions include: Chemicals and Petroleum, Transmission and Distribution, Operations and Maintenance, Transportation, and Environment. All five divisions work together – seamlessly – to execute everything from building power lines to land reclamation. Their breadth and scope of knowledge is endless – making SLI the company of choice across all industries.


Photo by Ewan Nicholson Photography Inc.

SNC-Lavalin 100th Anniversary Profile

A portion of the SLI management team (left to right): Don Chynoweth, Senior Vice President, Operations and Maintenance, Karen Sobel, Vice President, Project Operations, Tim Van Wieren, Senior Vice President, Global Health & Safety, Cindy Andrew, Senior Vice President, Acquisition and Strategic Development, Infrastructure and Environment, Harry Sambells, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Chemicals and Petroleum Business Unit.

projects: the West LRT extension and the Stoney Trail expansion. Less visible, but of equal importance, you will find the Operations and Maintenance Division managing a number of different buildings which includes the new Calgary Courthouse. The Transmission and Distribution group is busy helping to update Alberta’s energy grid while also working to develop thermal power in order to meet increased supply and demand in the future. As well, the Chemicals and Petroleum Division is spearheading work in Fort McMurray for several clients. The Environment group is working on most of these projects as well as assisting numerous local companies with remediating

sites, the permitting of new projects and helping assure the sustainability of each project. Corporately, they are finalizing the purchase of the remaining portion of AltaLink. “From environmental to social infrastructure, we are celebrating 100 years with execution, experience, excellence and evolution. As a global company, we are continually developing our expertise and creating a culture of excellence to benefit industry and mankind around the world,” remarks Beaudoin. And now for a closer look at SLI’s divisions operating in Calgary.



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• Engineering

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• Preconstruction Services • Construction Management

• Special Infrastructure

• Maintenance


Congratulations to SNC Lavalin on 00 Years of Success 03437_CANA_SNC Lavalin Ad.indd 1

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Expertise from the Ground Up Chemicals and Petroleum

SNC-Lavalin 100th Anniversary Profile



erving Alberta clients since the 1950s, SLI established a permanent operation in Calgary in the early 1970s. Since that time, and coupled with Alberta’s resourcerich oil and gas sector, the Chemicals and Petroleum (C&P) Division has developed and expanded their expertise in conventional and heavy oil as well as in bitumen production to assist companies both domestically and internationally – making it a global leader. Its knowledge and experience places them in a league of their own – in the execution of very complex and large-scale projects. “Our scope of work reaches far beyond the oilsands and borders of Canada – it includes clients in Southeast Asia, Russia, the Middle East and Venezuela to name just a few. Over the decades, we have gained expertise in the local market which allows Harry Sambells, Senior Vice President and General Manager Chemicals and Petroleum us to develop similar markets in foreign Business Unit and Jean Beaudoin, Executive Vice President Office of the President countries and that differentiates us from other consultants,” explains Harry Sambells, in all of these areas and can take this homegrown expertise to Senior Vice President and General Manager, C&P Division. foreign countries,” Sambells adds. “Typically in northern Alberta, The division also offers lump-sum engineering, procurement SAGD (steam-assisted gravity drainage) is used to extract the and construction services – meaning it has the capacity to bitumen. Our engineers provide SAGD design services, so our build all aspects of an entire project from start to finish. “Most experience is very beneficial to foreign market clients.” The C&P companies just provide a portion of these services, but our Division has also conducted studies in the bitumen processing involvement begins with the initial planning phase on through to arena as it relates to pilot plants. “In many instances you need construction completion. We provide a comprehensive package pilot plants to confirm the processes – to test a process – and for our clients,” Sambells says. “It requires a different skill set in oilsands mining, there are a number of different processes,” to carry these jobs through to completion. We use high-value remarks Sambells. engineering centres to assist in the execution of the work. We SLI’s C&P Division is currently involved in numerous unique, have centres in Mumbai, Delhi and Romania.” large-scale projects taking its experts to all corners of the world. “In today’s global economy, the oil is getting heavier and more In northern Alberta, they are working on the Grizzly Oil Sands viscous not unlike the bitumen in Alberta – it’s like molasses. It project and you’ll find them assisting the Korea National Oil requires different methods of extracting it from the ground as Corporation in the BlackGold operation. In South America, they well as different processing methodologies. We are well versed

with international work, but it’s been a tough road,” he says. “Retaining staff and attracting new people can be challenging, so we are continually working with our people to help meet their expectations, assisting them with career development, providing international experience and ensuring they have the necessary tools to be successful.”

are working with the Venezuela State Oil Company – PDVSA – as well as with a number of other multinational oil companies developing the heavy oil deposits. “We are consultants and engineers of choice for upstream projects regarding in-situ oilfield development. We are also working on a world scale upgrader and refinery in both the conceptual and front-end engineering phases,” asserts Sambells. “We recently finished a major Front End Engineering Design (FEED) project for a Saudi Aramco gas plant – one of the largest gas plants in the world. Our involvement required about 400 employees and we assisted the client for about a year, during which time, we had 60 people from Saudi Aramco working in our office and living in Calgary,” he says. When it comes to environmental concerns, SLI’s engineers are continually abreast of the latest legislative changes to help clients meet stringent requirements. “We provide the latest application of the guidelines to meet regulations applying to water discharge, air discharge, water recycling, groundwater impacts and all aspects of the environment,” remarks Sambells. “We are always striving to achieve sustainability.” According to Sambells, one of the most challenging layers of their work isn’t found underground, but rather exists in the office: retaining quality manpower. “During recent years, the boombust cycle has had an impact on people. We’ve stayed busy

BelPacific is proud to have been a partner with SNC Lavalin on many of their Construction Projects. Congratulations on reaching your Centennial Celebration. BelPacific Excavating and Shoring Limited Partnership 3183 Norland Avenue, Burnaby, B.C. V5B 3A9 PH 604-205-0002 | FX 604-299-8215 | www.belpacific.com

SNC-Lavalin 100th Anniversary Profile

Husky Tucker Oil Sands Project


Keeping Our Cities Rolling Transportation

SNC-Lavalin 100th Anniversary Profile



or the past two years, commuters travelling along the southwest corridors of 17th Avenue and Bow Trail have watched as the West LRT takes shape. It’s hard not to notice as traffic continues to roll by what amounts to an 8.5-kilometrelong active construction site. Plans for this vital addition to Calgary’s transit system have been in the works since 1978. Construction of the West LRT began in 2009 with SLI’s Transportation Division as a key partner in the signature project. As this year marks the 100th anniversary of SLI, the company has been designing, building and/or maintaining transportation infrastructure, worldwide, going as far back as the 1930s, and it has been present in Alberta for more than 50 years. In short, SLI’s depth of knowledge and international expertise makes it the ideal partner to execute the West LRT, which represents a number of ‘firsts’ for Calgary. “This is the first brand-new LRT line in about 20 years. On previous extensions, the city simply extended the existing lines by adding a few kilometres,” explains Dave Weatherby, SLI’s Project Director. “It’s also the city’s first design-build project for the LRT. The city has done previous design-build projects for bridges and roads but not for mass transit. This is one of the biggest design-build projects in the city’s history. As well, a number of the construction technologies and communications systems are new.” The West LRT extension includes the system’s first elevated passenger station, at Sunalta, and the first underground station at Westbrook Mall. There are two stations that are below grade: the 45th Street station and the 69th Street terminal. The remaining two stations are above grade – modelled after the majority of the existing stations found throughout the city. “From downtown to the 69th Street terminal, there are some very steep grades and part of the alignment choice was battling the elevation changes since the LRT can only handle about a five per cent grade. The underground stations help to minimize the grade changes and to overcome the high-volume traffic corridors, which was a very important consideration” says Weatherby. “You only have two choices if you want to avoid interfering with traffic and level crossings at major intersections: go above ground or go below it.”

SLI has partnered with three local companies on the project, creating separate joint ventures with each one. “We haven’t subcontracted the work; we are involved and embedded throughout the whole process and it gives us a competitive advantage. It injects our core people and expertise into the partnerships. We have a lot of experience in design-build projects and by working with local companies, it provides a huge advantage,” he says. One of the advantages has been the team’s ability to manage the challenges that come with a major infrastructure project. When the project began, the crews started excavation and utility work on the entire stretch – simultaneously opening up all 8.5 kilometres of the future West LRT guideway. “In order to meet our aggressive schedule, we had to begin work at several locations at the same time,” explains Weatherby. “It created issues with traffic management and access into the worksite because it’s a very busy corridor. However, the city has done a very good job communicating to the public, and when people see there’s visible progress, it really helps with the commuters.” The deep excavation work required for the train tunnels and trenches is now substantially complete and Weatherby says most of the underground work will be finished by the end of this construction season. At that point, the project team will begin backfilling and reinstating the roadway. In contrast, the elevated guideway has been relatively easy compared to the challenges of working underground. “The launching truss for the elevated guideway has been up for the last nine months but it will soon be gone making way for the track work to begin.” As Weatherby observes, one of the biggest challenges, so far, has to do with Mother Nature. “The technology, design and construction is not that different from other mass transit projects but the weather has been unpredictable – the snow, sub-zero temperatures and rain. We completed a lot of the work through the winter to recapture schedule time so we can meet the projected completion date at the end of 2012.” SLI is not new to meeting challenges and tight project schedules. The company’s record of success can be traced to transit systems

Photo credit: Sharpeshots

West LRT expansion

SE Stoney Trail project


Congrats on

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9426 192 STREET SURREY, B.C. V4N 3R9 • PHONE 604.888.5221

SNC-Lavalin 100th Anniversary Profile

around the world and the Transportation Division has brought its wealth of knowledge and experience to Calgary’s project. “On the engineering side, we bring engineering solutions to the Calgary LRT system that have been developed through our experience designing and building other systems around the world. In essence, we bring a fresh set of eyes to the project, which is always an added value,” adds Jim Burke, Executive Vice President. “We also bring owner/operator experience in transportation and infrastructure,” says Burke, pointing to the Canada Line in Vancouver as a prime example. “We understand mass transit systems from an owner’s perspective and how what we design and build affects the performance, operability and whole life cycle costs.” In addition to LRT systems, SLI’s Transportation Division has planned and constructed everything from airports to seaports. “Our goal has been to build the Transportation Division into a multi-product group,” says Burke. “We have leading expertise in transportation planning, mass transit systems, heavy haul railway, roads and bridges, airports, and ports and marine. Our building and municipal infrastructure and environment groups are also integrated with and often play a key role on many of our transportation projects.” As the city and the province are still growing, Burke believes transportation infrastructure will be in demand well into the future and he is building the Alberta transportation group to meet that need. “We are very proud of the work we do in building vital transportation infrastructure for future generations and playing a role in the development of great provinces like Alberta,” says Burke. “There are not many jobs in the world where you can show your grandchildren what you helped build. There is great satisfaction in building something that is going to serve people for the next 100 years.” The Calgary West LRT will be a shining example.


Achieving Structural Longevity Operations and Maintenance

SNC-Lavalin 100th Anniversary Profile



hen it comes to engineering firms, most are involved at the front end of a project beginning with the design phase. Once construction is underway, the engineering firm is still integrated in the process, but as the project nears completion, typically, the firm’s involvement concludes. At SLI, its operations are anything but typical as they are woven into every aspect of a project – from the earliest design stages to decades after the construction is complete. Once the structure is ready for occupancy, enter the Operations and Maintenance (O&M) Division. “SLI offers a unique spectrum of services and its scope is very wide when compared ConocoPhillips Surmont II to most engineering companies. Our work spans all industries from oil and gas to food production facilities to mass transit, but what sets us apart is our ability to be involved in every layer of the life cycle of the project: from design and financing to construction, operations, maintenance and ultimately environmental closure,” explains Don Chynoweth, Senior Vice President, O&M Division. “The scope of services we offer is rare, in particular O&M, and it places us within the top 10 engineering companies worldwide.” Inside O&M, there are three distinct units: Facility Management, Transportation and Infrastructure, and Defence and Logistics. Facility Management provides the daily operations and maintenance for the public and private sectors principally in buildings. Transportation and Infrastructure oversees the maintenance of roads and bridges, mass transit systems and related structures including Private Public Partnership (P3) projects. Defence and Logistics, as it relates to Alberta, looks after the business logistics for oil companies in the northern part of the province. All three units are engaged in long-term contracts to maintain assets throughout their life cycle and promote longevity, be it a building, a roadway or business operations.

“We look after client’s assets – multi-billions of dollars worth of assets,” states Chynoweth. “Our clients want their assets to last for many years or decades, so they turn them over to us as professionals for the day-to-day operations. We gauge the lifespan of those assets based on ‘Key Performance Indicators’ (KPIs) which allow both the client and SLI to set better objectives and goals. The client drives the objectives and we work with them to determine the parameters, costs, schedules and safety concerns,” he says. “The KPIs are not only our principles of intent; they provide service level goals and objectives for measuring the performance that our clients are seeking.” O&M works closely with the federal and provincial governments, the private sector and on numerous P3 projects – making it the largest facility and operations management entity in both Alberta and Canada. The projects are obtained through a competitive bidding process and once the contract is secured, SLI integrates its expertise to suit the client’s needs. “There are several factors the O&M Division has to consider:

security requirements, budgets, internal moves, building operations, ongoing maintenance with large inventories of equipment, construction, polices and procedures, and capital improvement for all of the real estate we manage,” asserts Ken Erdman, Regional Director of Facilities Management. “Our business is based on outsourcing real estate facilities and operating and protecting these assets in the best interests of the owners.” In Calgary, one of the buildings on contract with O&M is the Calgary Courts Centre, a state-of-the-art downtown courthouse that presents unique challenges. At just under one million square feet, it’s the largest courthouse in Canada with the largest number of courtrooms in North America, within a single courthouse. “The courthouse requires a highly professional and experienced facility management team to operate it and we came on board in 2005.” “We worked closely with the developer GCK during the construction phase,” adds Erdman. “GCK consisted of GWL Realty Advisors, CANA Construction, and Kasian Architects and was an effective team of developers, general contractor and subcontractors, architects, engineers, interior designers and like-minded consultants. After the Courts Centre opened in 2007, it received numerous architectural awards and two BOMA awards: Government Building of the Year in 2010; and Operations Team of the Year in 2011.” According to Erdman, their work is very hands-on – from janitorial services to perimeter building security. “With the courthouse, we supervise in excess of 45 contracts and it’s a high-security environment. Alberta Infrastructure is the owner, Alberta Justice is the user, and Alberta Solicitor General and Public Safety provides the sheriffs. We work in partnership with all three ministries. In an average day, the courthouse sees 4,000 to 5,000 people come and go, and we want to ensure they all have a positive view – that’s a true test of the project’s success.” Like any business, Facility Management has to work within

SNC-Lavalin 100th Anniversary Profile


certain parameters. “The province of Alberta is under budget restraint, so we have to be accountable with respect to budget and expense controls, energy consumption and finding cost savings without compromising quality,” remarks Erdman. “As well, all of our clients are becoming more engaged with environmental policies and procedures to ‘go green.’ We are continually fine-tuning all our operating procedures to achieve sound environmental practices. We are the employer of choice, in our professional field, so we can acquire the most experienced managers and technicians – our business is completely driven by people,” he adds. “We are always working toward a consistent service delivery model and providing a predictable high level of service,” adds Erdman. “We have shared services, on a national level, that include security, financial, procurement and purchasing services, and project management services.” The O&M Division recently won the operations and maintenance contract for the new Edmonton Remand Centre. It is slated to take over the operations in the fall of 2012, when the facility opens as the largest remand centre in Canada. “We manage these assets better because we bring expertise to both the preventive and corrective side of maintenance. Every day, something is going to happen and it’s our job to make sure that things run at an optimal level which means working with our clients to determine the priorities and fix the problems. We work with our clients for the entire life cycle of these projects,” adds Chynoweth. Another upcoming project for the O&M team will be the operations and maintenance of the Calgary Southeast Stoney Trail – upon completion of the road construction in 2013. SLI O&M views the Calgary marketplace as progressive and financially stable to do business in. Whether it is in providing their services to the oil and gas industry, to municipal, provincial or federal governments or to other industries, operating and maintaining assets is its expertise and the O&M Division continues to prosper with new infrastructure developments throughout the city and region.


First to Arrive and Last to Leave

SNC-Lavalin 100th Anniversary Profile




he business of environmental sustainability – in any industry – is quite simply, front and centre these days. From permitting and reclamation to air modelling and impact studies, it is undeniably just as important as a company’s balance sheet. Businesses hire scores of people and spend millions of dollars to ensure the environment is protected, reclaimed and quite often, improved upon – leaving it in better shape than it was to begin with. SLI’s Environment Division is at the forefront of nearly every project the company touches. In addition to working directly for clients, it is also embedded in each division – from start to finish. The Environment Division is often the first group on-site to assess environmental permit requirements and it is the last group to leave, once an area has been reclaimed.

“When we talk about sustainability, it’s not just solar power; it’s about completing a roadway, a structure, a refinery or any project in a sustainable way,” says Brandon Beierle, Director of Environmental Impact Assessment, Western Canada, Environment Division. In fact, for SLI, sustainability is all encompassing and reaches beyond the environment to include social and economic factors that affect future generations. “We have developed a tool that allows us to assess sustainability on all these levels,” he remarks. “If someone wants to build a pipeline, you can either run it in a straight line or around environmentally sensitive areas. We can then numerically evaluate these options in terms of their respective environmental, economic and social costs and benefits. By partnering with our clients to evaluate


these costs and benefits, it allows us to build better projects – better for the environment, our clients and society as a whole,” adds Beierle. “We have two models of engagement: we work directly with clients in the oil and gas sector, land developers, mining companies and any industry that affects the environment,” he says. “We also work internally with other SLI divisions to provide environmental support for their projects. Currently, we are working closely with our Transportation Division on both the West LRT and Stoney Trail projects.”

On behalf of Westburne Electric and the Rexel International Projects Group, congratulations to SNC-Lavalin on 100 years of excellence

www.bee-clean.com | Locations Across Canada

“As a proud service partner, SNCL for a 100 years of service excellence.”

SNC-Lavalin 100th Anniversary Profile

we congratulate


SNC-LavaLiN 100th aNNiverSary ProfiLe

“We are providing environmental management on the West LRT project to help control environmental impacts along the route arising from clearing the land, construction work, accidental spills and other unforeseen issues that happen,” Beierle says. “It’s also an urban corridor with pre-existing contaminated soil and groundwater; there have been more than 50 years of human occupation along the LRT corridor, including gas stations that leaked hydrocarbons into the soil. We can’t simply reuse the soil; it has to go to a special landfill, and there’s documentation and analysis needed to send it there.” The Stoney Trail project offers different challenges as it affects multiple wetlands and a creek, which require several environmental permits. “We needed to get these permits because numerous wetlands and a creek along the corridor will be affected by the project, and the Alberta Water Act prohibits these from


being disturbed or destroyed without provincial permission,” he explains. “For every hectare of wetland we disturb, we have to cause three hectares of wetland to be built somewhere else. Some of the storm water ponds will serve to compensate for these wetlands and we are also working with Ducks Unlimited Canada to help create wetlands in other areas of the province,” he adds. Given the scale of the construction effort, the Environment group has also developed plans to minimize the overall impacts of the project, while maintaining a tight construction schedule.

Congratulations to SNC Lavalin on your100th anniversary - we wish you 100 years of continued success! Manorrlea Systems Inc. - #6, 3300 14th Avenue NE Phone: (403) 262-8550 • Fax: (403) 272-1521 email: customerservice@manorrlea.com • www.manorrlea.com

From all of us at Integral Energy Services Ltd., we wish to congratulate you on reaching 100 years of service in the industry! Integral Energy Services Office Phone: 403-912-1261 • Fax 403-912-1266 E-mail service@integralenergy.ca Web: www.integralenergy.ca

As a provider of high voltage equipment and pole line hardware for over 40 years, Trydor Industries wishes SNC Lavalin ongoing success after surpassing your centennial milestone. Trydor Locations Calgary, AB - Ph. 403-723-2244 • email salescalgary@trydor.com Edmonton, AB – Ph. 1-800-661-7653 • email salesedmonton@trydor.com Surrey, BC – Ph. 1-800-567-8558 • email sales@trydor.com


SNC-LavaLiN 100th aNNiverSary ProfiLe

Congratulations to SNC Lavalin on your 100th Anniversary.


SLI’s Environment team is involved with every division and the list of functions it performs is a lengthy one – from environmental impact assessments to reclamation and all points in between, so it comes as no surprise it spends as much time working directly with external clients as it does on internal projects. According to Sheri Romick, Business Manager for Site Remediation and Reclamation in southern Alberta, the Environment Division also plays a substantial role in helping clients manage contaminated sites and obtain reclamation certificates. These certificates provide both the client and the government with assurance that sites are cleaned up to legal standards and allow clients to reduce their overall environmental liability. “In the upstream oil and gas world, when we help our clients with reclamation certificates, it’s a process that can take several years,” she says. “Once the client has returned the land to its original state, this allows them to get these sites off of their liabilities sheet – it’s kind of a process of recycling the land after they are done with it.” The SLI Environment team also works with a variety of

This breadth of experience makes SNC-Lavalin Environment a go-to partner in providing sustainable environmental solutions. industries to help them manage their air emissions. “This includes modelling stack emissions and flares, as well as identifying leaks in equipment and auditing greenhouse gas emissions,” says Romick. “This is a key area given the concerns over global warming, and it can help our clients save money while improving their environmental performance. It creates a rare win-win opportunity.” “We work with a variety of oil and gas companies – from juniors to the majors. We also work with all levels of government, First Nations groups, railways, mining and construction companies and the list goes on,” asserts Romick. “We are involved in the full life cycle of a project: from planning and construction, through to operations, decommissioning and reclamation.” This breadth of experience makes SLI Environment a go-to partner for providing sustainable environmental solutions.

Congratulations to snC lavalin on their 100th year!

SNC-LavaLiN 100th aNNiverSary ProfiLe

nardei Fabricators ltd. is proud to have supported snC lavalin for their custom pipe fabrication needs.


Nardei has been fabricating piping and modules in Calgary since1963. Nardei experience operating in the Alberta market ensures our product meets the rigorous Alberta standards expected by our Clients. Our labour pool is outside the high demand zone, yet we are still within the Alberta transportation corridor. Consider Nardei Fabricators Ltd. and the Calgary Advantage.

Nardei Fabricators Ltd. 8915 – 44 St SE Calgary AB T2C 2P5 Phone: 403-279-3301 • Fax: 403-279-5871 www.nardei.com

Supreme Congratulations!

“Our Experience... Your Advantage” 200, 2500 – 107th Avenue SE Calgary, AB T2Z 3R7 Office: (403) 236-2200 | Fax: (403) 236-8834 Email: info@whissell.ca | Web site: www.whissell.ca

To SNC Lavalin on your 100 years of

contributing to a worldwide community.

CongraTulaTions on your 100Th anniversary snC lavalin!

Wishing you all the best on your 100th Anniversary and continued success on the next 100!

The earThworks ConTraCTor for Calgary’s wesT lrT exTension


2333-91 Ave. Edmonton, AB Ph: 780.467.1882 • Fax: 780.449.1377 www.srsindustrial.ca

SNC-LavaLiN 100th aNNiverSary ProfiLe


Congratulations to SNC Lavalin on their 100th Anniversary! We wish you continued success in your future endeavors!


Flipping the Switch Transmission and Distribution

Rigging mats to protect the environment on a southwestern Alberta project

SNC-Lavalin 100th Anniversary Profile



t’s the fuel that makes a hybrid car run, a coffeemaker percolate, a computer connect to the world and a host of daily activities we often take for granted. It’s called “electricity” and whether we like it or not, we still rely heavily on this resource. Much Helicopter installation of transmission tower like the aging railroad tracks that hug the highways, the iconic transmission structures have dotted the landscape for nearly 100 years and without them, “AltaLink is Canada’s first fully independent transmission there would be no switch to flip. company and it is responsible for more than 7000 kilometres of “Alberta is serviced by a modern transmission grid system, but transmission line, 260 sub-stations and transmission for 85 per as with all systems, it becomes tired with age and technology cent of the population in Alberta. Since 2002, SLI’s Transmission creeps up on us. As the population grows, so does the need and Distribution (T&D) Division has been AltaLink’s primary for greater usage and we meet market demand by building provider of turnkey engineering, procurement and construction the transmission systems for our clients,” says Geoffrey Brook, projects for major transmission system upgrades and additions. Director, Risk Management and Project Services. Whilst AltaLink is our primary client in Alberta, we have built a

Part of Genesee Substation

strong client base from coast to coast and around the globe,” Brook says. “When you compare Alberta to other parts of the world, the increase in capacity requirements have been astronomical and as our province continues to grow, the demand for power and the attendant public awareness has increased with it,” he adds. “Everybody expects the lights to come on when they flip the switch, but the average consumer doesn’t realize the complex engineering that’s required to move the power around and while a variety of generation sources exist, the only current method, worldwide, to transport the power for industry and consumers alike is via transmission and distribution lines, and sub-stations,” he explains.

SNC-Lavalin 100th Anniversary Profile

Part of Acheson Substation

As the public demands a greener and more sustainable future, SLI’s T&D Division strives to improve its engineering and construction objectives to meet those needs – from minimizing the environmental impact to researching greener materials. “We design and manage the construction of overhead transmission lines and their associated sub-stations with voltages as high as 800kV AC and 600kV DC on steel, wood and concrete structures, as well as underground lines, and our designs enable us to run them over almost any terrain,” Brook adds. “On one hand, we have an obligation to be ‘green’ however the reality of technology means we are still in the early stages. Although there is a definite move towards ‘greener’ power sources like wind farms, there is still a tremendous need for delivery of bulk transmission from current power sources and while the transmission structures remain a modern icon, there is no technology in the foreseeable future to replace them.” T&D recently completed a large project in southwestern Alberta that required 90 kilometres of new 240kV transmission lines and 25 kilometres of new 138kV transmission lines together with new and expanded sub-stations. As a demonstration of its commitment to preserving the environment, a large number of the transmission structures were flown in by helicopter. “This not only increased the speed of building the line, but it also minimized environmental impact,” he says. “Like a well-oiled machine, this division is an integral part of SLI’s overall operation – from building a hydroelectric plant to the West LRT extension – they are all connected to the grid through a transmission system,” Brook adds.


Fostering Communities at Home and Abroad Vision and Values

SNC-Lavalin 100th Anniversary Profile

The 2010 Science at the Stampede winner with both SNC-Lavalin committee members and Calgary Stampede representatives.



utside of the office, the people behind SLI have a deep-rooted and passionate approach to giving back to communities – both locally and overseas. Their philosophy is steeped in five principles, referred to as “WE CARE,” and they reflect SLI’s core values: health and safety, employee well-being, communities, environment, and quality of work. “We care about our communities and we work with them on many fronts,” says Karen Sobel, Vice President, Project Operations. “Locally, we offer several programs that help our youth find their entrepreneurial side as it relates to the

engineering, procurement and construction business. Overseas, we work with local towns, training the people and giving them new skill sets to build better communities.” In Calgary, SLI helps the youth realize their individual potential through various initiatives that foster creative solutions to “realworld” engineering issues. They focus on students in junior and high schools as well as in universities. “We hold an annual competition, ‘Science at the Stampede,’ and we invite junior and senior high school students to participate,” Sobel says. “Last year, our engineering topic was ‘Envisioning the Calgary of the

C 403.869.5123 T 403.243.7444 F 403.243.2623







Congratulations to snC lavalin Brien onShaun reaching this Construction Supervisor 100 year milestone! 4021 4 Street SE Calgary, Alberta T2G 2W4 4021 4 Street SE Calgary, Alberta T2G 2W4 C 403.703.4422

403.243.7444 TT 403.243.7444 403.243.2623 FF 403.243.2623 www.aiccal.net www.aiccal.net


aiccal@telusplanet.net aiccal@telusplanet.net

Bob Lee Construction Supervisor 4021 4 Street SE

Congratulations to SNC Lavalin Calgary, Alberta T2G 2W4 th on their 100 Anniversary! C 403.829.2772

Construction Managers and General Contractors ALTA INTERIOR CONTRACTING (SERVICES) LTD.

M.V. Pedersen Engineering Inc. Mechanical Consulting Engineers Morten V. Pedersen, P.Eng


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on your 100 Anniversary! www.aiccal.net 608 9 St. S.W., Calgary, AB T2P 2B3 Phone: 403-253-3435 • Fax: 403-259-4940



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Congratulations snC lavalin on 100 years of suCCess! su


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Congratulations to SNC Lavalin on their 100th Anniversary! #8 – 823 41 Avenue N.E., Calgary, Alberta, T2E 6Y3 Tel: 403-276-2201 | Email: info@gasonic.com

SNC-LavaLiN 100th aNNiverSary ProfiLe

#4 Sierra Vista Circle SW, Calgary, AB T3H 3A6 Phone: 403.240.2001 • Fax: 403.240.2633 E-mail: pedersenm@shaw.ca


SNC-Lavalin 100th Anniversary Profile 22

Future.’ The winning student’s idea captured a high-speed train commuting between Edmonton and Calgary,” she adds. For the last four years, SLI has taken the competition one step further: the winning student’s ideas are realized in larger-than-life form when they appear as floats in the Calgary Stampede Parade. Expanding on “WE CARE” and personal growth, Sobel observed the difference they have made in the lives of youth. “The winning student was struggling to make friends in a new school and become part of the school community, but when he won the contest, 42nd Annual Pathway & River Clean Up the school arranged for a field day, following a morning with SLI and the Stampede Breakfast Caravan,” she says. “It totally changed the life with the university for at least a decade and its support includes of that child, it impacted the school and hopefully the kids will financial donations, internships and career days. remember his idea – their ideas are the ones that will change From raising funds for the residents of Slave Lake to serving the world.” lunch in community kitchens, SLI employees are committed to The Calgary Region Immigration Employment Council (CRIEC) giving back. “We are trying to make an impact on Alberta. It’s is another organization supported by SLI. “CRIEC is new to not just about our engineering and construction projects, we Calgary and we provide mentors (our employees) to help new are trying to make the community better for everyone,” adds immigrants learn what it takes to find the right opportunity in our Sobel. “It’s about sustaining ourselves as an organization to city,” Sobel says. “These folks are often underemployed, missing ensure there’s manpower for future generations in a clean and a simple document or connection. We give our employees the connected environment.” opportunity, through CRIEC, to impact the community. We As part of SLI’s centennial celebrations – locally and across the win on both sides: our people have enjoyed the leadership globe – it is engaging in 100 acts of “WE CARE” and challenging opportunities and the mentees have found new jobs because itself to see where the road will lead. “Many of the initiatives of this program.” come from within our organization; one person came up with At the University of Calgary’s Schulich School of Engineering, idea for the Stampede contest. It’s also what we do outside of SLI was the first to sponsor the career development centre. “We our daily business that reflects who we are: a lot of good people help the graduating students get into the workplace – we support with great ideas,” says Sobel with a smile. And as SLI pauses our employees’ participation in mock interviews with the students. from its day-to-day operations to say “thank you,” it extends We also offer 10 minutes of one-on-one, like speed dating, where a note of genuine gratitude to all of its employees, business the students talk to the engineers and extract as much information partners, suppliers and colleagues who have contributed to its as possible in 10 minutes,” asserts Sobel. SLI has been working first 100 years of success. •

Answers for Canada.

Happy 100th Anniversary SNC-Lavalin For 100 years SNC-Lavalin has been providing innovative engineering and construction solutions to its customers across Canada and during this century of service, they have become one of the best at what they do. Siemens Canada is proud to support SNC-Lavalin in their endeavours and wishes them the very best. You are shaping society through your legacy of caring and your efforts towards improving the well-being of communities, reflects your commitment to Canada. Here’s to another 100 years – the best is yet to come.

Congratulations to SNC-Lavalin on 100 years of accomplishment in Canada and around the world. Thomas & Betts is proud to have been a part of some of these projects.

Founded in 1898, Thomas & Betts is a leading designer and manufacturer of electrical components used in industrial, construction, communications and utility markets. With a portfolio of over 400,000 products marketed under more than 40 premium brand names, you’ll find Thomas & Betts products wherever there is electricity. Our engineered steel structures, for example, help bring power to businesses and homes across Calgary. From the initial specification to project completion, we provide customized transmission and distribution solutions. Discover the complete range of Thomas & Betts products at : w w w . t n b . c a

Calhex Industries Celebrates 10 Years

The team at Calhex Industries Ltd.


artin Sojka’s plan in life was to become a pilot – not designing and manufacturing heat exchangers for the oil and gas sector. But then again, life has a funny way of throwing curve balls. He was about 20 hours shy of getting his pilot’s licence and enjoying a love of fastpaced sports – the adrenalin rush that accompanies the ‘need for speed’ – when in an instant, his life changed. After dealing with a bad skiing accident (having his ACL and PCL ligaments replaced in his knee), Sojka had to retool the pace of his life and with a bit of encouragement, he got into drafting – it was a nice desk job with his father’s company. After a few months, he took a real interest in the field – continuously working for the heat exchanger company over the next few years, while attending the University of Calgary

part time in his pursuit of an engineering degree. Ten years later and in the midst of several company changes, Sojka went to work for an engineering procurement company, Titan Projects, which offered a broader skill set and took him outside of the manufacturing sector. By the summer of 2001, Sojka and a longtime colleague and friend, Darren Kladnik (CET), recognized a business opportunity given the industry changes and mergers. “We began planning a company to fill the small- to medium-size markets for shell and tube heat exchangers along with air coolers – no one was servicing that portion of the market. We sought investors, but only raised half of our projected startup capital. We found a location and by mid-November, we were operating,” says Sojka, president and co-founder, Calhex Industries Ltd.

Calhex Industries Ltd. 10th Anniversary Profile | 1

His decade of experience and contacts enabled the company to hit the ground running and maintain solid growth, year after year. Calhex offers premium engineering design and fabrication of industrial heat transfer equipment and air coolers to both domestic and international markets. Their design team brings extensive knowledge relating to the different facets of heat transfer processes for existing and new gas plants, oil batteries and production facilities. “The oil and gas has to be processed before it goes to market, so we design and fabricate the heat exchangers for midstream processing plant units for various sized companies. The units we build are widely used in both natural gas and oil production,” he says. “All of our products are custom engineered and fabricated – the initial process data comes strictly from engineering or packaging companies based on what they require for the production plants.” In 2005, Calhex moved to their current location in the Foothills Industrial Park – doubling their plant capacity. They manufacture shell and tube units in varying sizes – up to 400,000 pounds (200 tons) – and air coolers up to a maximum of 24 feet wide – from atmosphere to over 6000psi in design pressure and in carbon steel and stainless steel of multiple grades. Calhex has sold units around the world: Africa, the Middle East

and Europe to mention a few. “Once we forge relations with these clients, it has tremendous longevity. Our designs and competitive prices carry around the globe,” asserts Sojka. “Our clients get our best lean designs; the engineering aspect is integral because no two jobs are the same. From thermal runs to mechanical designs with pressure and temperature checks, every process is custom and each unit is different.” “All of our products are designed to engineering codes and we have to follow these codes to the letter. We are required to have a registered quality control program with both the Alberta Boilers Safety Association (ABSA) and American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) international. The specifications have to meet certain criteria; we have to verify the paperwork, notify the authorized personnel and then it’s checked at various manufacturing stages,” says Sojka. “Often our clients will hire a third-party inspector, in addition to the ABSA inspectors, so there are a lot of checks and verifications before our units go out the door.” Sojka and Kladnik attribute their success to several things – all of equal importance. “We filled that small to medium niche – there really wasn’t anybody who was servicing it. Our competitors, in both Calgary and Edmonton, were looking after the larger jobs and companies,” Sojka explains. “We have developed great relationships with our customers and

Celebrating 40 Years of suCCess

www.airpacenterprises.com (403) 279 8171

Congratulations to Calhex Industries Ltd.

Congratulations to Calhex Industries Ltd. on your 10th Anniversary.

on their 10th Anniversary! 9525 Endeavor Drive S.E., Calgary, AB T3S 0A1 Phone: 403-236-4040 | Fax: 403-236-3845 Email: info@bodnarsteel.com www.bodnarsteel.com

Wishing you many more years of success. We are very happy to have been your partner during your 10 years of growth.

Congratulations on your First 10 Years!

239 Bracewood Road SW, Calgary, AB, T2W 3C2 ph: (403) 516-1984 | fx: (403) 251-1625

Calhex Industries Ltd. 10th Anniversary Profile | 2

DRIVER DIRECT 3811 90 Avenue SE Calgary, AB T2C 2S5 Phone: 403-279-9006 www.driverdirect.ca Specialized Trucking

Congratulations to Calhex!

Est. 1990

Procoat Coatings Ltd. “An Honest Hours Work”


Application of internal and external protective coatings

Praxair is proud to be Calhex Industries’ industrial gas & welding equipment supplier. Congratulations on your 10th Anniversary! 403-236-6511 1-800-225-8247

Congratulations to Calhex Industries Ltd. on their 10th Anniversary! 6632 - 90 Ave. SE, Calgary, AB Tel: 403.236.0988 | procoatc@telus.net



on your 10th Anniversary!

Congratulations on your Tenth Anniversary! Quality Tube Supply Ltd. appreciates the relationship we have developed over the past decade.

4856 - 35B Street S.E., Calgary, AB T2B 3N1 P: 403.279.7950 • F: 403.279.7959 E: quality@qualitytube.com

Spiral Fin Services Ltd.

appreciates the relationship we have developed over the past decade.

4856 - 35B Street S.E., Calgary, AB T2B 3N1 P: 403.236.5176 • F: 403.279.7959 E: spiralfin@qualitytube.com

Calhex Industries Ltd. 10th Anniversary Profile | 3

our aim has always been to design the best unit and build the best quality product for our customers. Our collective industry knowledge, experience and expertise encompass many decades and has served us well.” It’s no secret that behind every successful business is a group of dedicated employees – they too are integral to the process. “We have been fortunate to find highly skilled and loyal people over the past 10 years. When we first started, we hired two people that are still with us today and they have played a major role in the company’s success,” explains Sojka. They hired Sheldon Alcock (WET) to be quality control manager and who has, over time, become a vital assistant in production on the shop floor. They also hired Krista Petursson as a secretary/bookkeeper. Although Petursson had no industry experience, she learned the business and worked her way up to office manager/senior accounts person. “She keeps Calhex organized for the day-to-day operation. We treat all of our employees like family and we’ve hired a lot of great people,” says Sojka. Sojka started the business alongside Kladnik, vice president, to fill a personal desire to maintain good customer relations as well as running a business from the top down. Kladnik is in charge of the design department as well as assisting with day-to-day production and management. On the shop floor, Calhex prides itself on their team of B-Pressure welders and vessel fitters. “Alberta has some of the best B-Pressure welders in the world. We need quality people because we have very strict specifications with respect to the products fabricated and these guys have helped us through our different phases of growth,” Sojka says. “Welders are tested annually to keep certification current and in our industry these guys are among the best of the best. Likewise, a good vessel fitter is hard to find; our main guys have been with us for almost the full 10 years.” Over the years, Calhex has built solid relations in the small- to mid-sized market, but they have also developed great relationships with some of the larger players in Western Canada and around the globe. “Our track record speaks for itself and it has enabled us to experience consistent growth. We are extremely customer focused and it helps that Canada has very high stan-

dards when it comes to the tradesmen,” adds Sojka. Looking forward, Sojka believes Western Canada has entered another boom cycle: Alberta’s synonymous boombust cycle that he has witnessed for decades. He also believes the price of natural gas will slowly, but steadily climb over the next couple of years. It appears he has a knack for accurate predictions and his original forecast for Calhex is proof positive. “In my original five-year business plan regarding the projected sales figures, we achieved our yearly sales goals to within one to three per cent – even though TD Bank wouldn’t loan us any money at the time of startup, they were quite impressed with our forecasting. At times, I have an uncanny knack for being able to see where business is headed,” he says. “However with current fiscal imbalances across the globe, it is difficult to gauge how long this current upswing will last. Let’s hope commodity prices, especially oil and gas, remain stable or continue to rise gradually. The labour crunch will end up being an issue in the latter half of this year and who knows for how long,” he observes. Outside of the manufacturing world, Calhex has given back to the community through a variety of ways. They have hosted annual golf tournaments to raise funds for the Children’s Hospital and they are avid supporters of the Policemen and Firefighters Associations of Calgary. Echoing back to Sojka’s earlier days and his love for speed, Calhex has given generously to the Red Deer “Electric Garage Auction” Car Show. He never returned to the aviation world, although revisiting his pilot’s licence may not be completely off the radar. Time being an important commodity for both Sojka and Kladnik, they spend most of it with the business or with family, but also can be found on the golf course. As Calhex Industries celebrates their 10th anniversary, they would like to sincerely thank all of their customers, business partners, suppliers, investors and employees for making the first decade such a successful one. Here’s looking forward to the next 10 years in an ever-changing oil and gas manufacturing business. For more information, call, click or visit them: (403) 225 – 4395 | www.calhexindustries.com 9515 – 48 Street SE, Calgary, Alberta •

Calhex Industries Ltd. 10th Anniversary Profile | 4

Best Wishes to Calhex Industries on your 10th Anniversary! Edmonton Exchanger is proud to supply pressure vessel components to Calhex Industries. Wishing you continued success in the years to come!

Learn More Scan the QR Code to view our Pressure Vessel Components brochure on your mobile phone

Visit us at www.edmontonexchanger.com

Calhex would like to thank our initial investors: The Painsi family The Wanner family The Wolfli family for helping us make this venture possible.

Also, “many thanks” to our families (Kladnik’s and Sojka’s), for support and patience.

Calhex respectfully thanks all of our customers and their support - without your trust in our designs and quality products, we would not be where we are today. Martin Sojka (P.Eng) President and Co-founder Darren Kladnik (CET) Vice President and Co-founder


Calhex Industries Ltd. 10th Anniversary Profile | 6


Head CHef:

Rush Restaurant and Bar

andrew stevens


or chef Andrew Stevens, the pursuit of culinary perfection has been a lifetime’s passion. Fuelled by a zeal for cuisine and an unwavering dedication to improving his artistry, Stevens has in a short time successfully ascended to the apex of his craft. Through diligence, focus and a flair for the creative, he has earned countless awards and accolades, namely the highest honour amongst restaurant ratings – Five Diamonds from AAA/ CAA – which he was given at the tender age of 25. Still just 32, Stevens sits atop the culinary world, holding the prestigious position of executive chef at one of the city’s top restaurants – Rush Restaurant and Bar in downtown Calgary. Stevens got a taste for the culinary arts while still in high school. From his humble beginnings in a modest restaurant in Huntsville, Ont., he washed dishes and helped with the basic prep work. From there, he slowly but surely began his ascent through the kitchen ranks in restaurants such as the infamous 360 at Toronto’s CN Tower, and later at Eden at the The Rimrock Resort Hotel in Banff where he held the title of chef de cuisine until 2005. In between, Stevens apprenticed in Invermere, studied culinary arts in Victoria and did a brief stint in the kitchen of a private club back in his native Ontario. It was in July 2010 that Rush Restaurant and Bar sought him out at a restaurant in New Brunswick where he had carved out a name for himself. Moving back West, Stevens came to Calgary and endeavoured upon taking Rush’s menu in a slightly new direction.

From the style of service and the dish descriptions to lowered menu prices, he focused on appealing to a broader demographic. And judging from the 300/400 diners who walk through the doors each day, Stevens has achieved yet another of his goals. Divided into a lounge area and a dining room area, Rush’s menus are designed a little differently to cater to each. The casual and vibrant space of the lounge serves a menu consisting of small plates, sharing plates, entrées and desserts. Lunchtime offers such delectables as the rush burger and oysters. At dinner, the lounge menu features favourites like nachos and calamari. The dining room menu lunch fare includes escargot, togarashi spiced albacore tuna and a braised lamb shank lasagne. Dinner offers lobster bisque, duck confit and foie gras ravioli and an Atlantic lobster. As a whole, Stevens boasts that every single team member in the kitchen at Rush is positive-minded, hard working and driven to provide the best possible experience for each and every guest. With a culinarian motto of “elegant simplicity,” Stevens believes it is all about the execution of each dish and the quality of the ingredients. The team of 15, he says, have all contributed to designing the menu in one way or another. And the end product is nothing short of a masterpiece. Rush Restaurant and Bar | 207 9 Avenue SW 403-271-7874 | www.rushrestaurant.com

Open for lunch and dinner every day

www.businessincalgary.com | BUSINESS IN CALGARY July 2011 • 111

PGA Championship of Canada • Golf Series

Golf Series

PGa Championship of Canada BY DevON BaBiN |



olf fans across the city are celebrating and reminiscing as the PGA Championship of Canada returned to the West on June 14-18. The tournament was held at Cottonwood Golf and Country Club and featured a host of local talent, including Brett Burgeson, Mike Belbred and Scott Allred. According to Tanya Gordon, executive professional at Cottonwood, the CPGA considered a few local courses before deciding on Cottonwood. Speaking a few weeks before the event, Gordon is happy with course conditions and the fact that the event is returning to the West. “It’s the top 64 golfers in Canada, so it’s great golf,” she says. “[The course] is in fantastic shape already.” Along with having a quality course that was lengthened only a few years ago, Cottonwood also has the office space, banquet facilities and other necessities needed for an event of this calibre. “Today is a historical day for the Canadian PGA, our 3,700 members and the Canadian golf industry as a whole,” states Glenn Cundari, president of the Canadian PGA. “Mr. Lube has quickly become one of the greatest partners of the Canadian PGA and Canadian golf. We are thrilled

112 • July 2011 BUSINESS IN CALGARY | www.businessincalgary.com

to be working alongside them with the PGA Championship of Canada and their Tournament for Life Pro-Am.” Thanks in large part to their sponsor, Mr. Lube, the return of the CPGA Championship to the West is a dream come true for many. “We are extremely pleased to be expanding our partnership with the Canadian PGA,” says Stuart Suls, president and COO of Mr. Lube Canada. “Through our shared objectives and commitment to improving men’s health, both organizations will have the opportunity to leverage our networks to create one of the highest profile events in the country to support Prostate Cancer Canada. We realize that our partnership together has been made possible through the mutual desire to be leaders in our communities and the country in the field of golf.” And the feelings are mutual. “We really couldn’t be happier to strengthen our relationship with an incredible partner like Mr. Lube Canada,” says Gary Bernard, executive director of the Canadian PGA. “It was the goal of the Canadian PGA to create an event that would bring our greatest Canadian PGA players from around the country to compete for the P.D. Ross trophy in an exciting format – I would say we’ve accomplished both.”

Inspiration – Motivation and Struggle – Success and Passion


any people are inspired to get better at golf. But are you really inspired? For most of us, golf is about having a great time with people we want to be with. For others it is about competing, challenging oneself, winning the club championship, playing in the company tourney, avoiding embarrassment, getting a scholarship or playing pro. Golf goals can be completely different regardless of ability, but one thing is the same – we all want to be better. If you want to be better, you need to understand that it is a process. It’s like climbing a mountain. There is no helicopter ride to the top. The process begins with inspiration, moves to motivation, followed by struggle, success and then passion. Inspiration Most people skip inspiration and wander around golf improvement … listening to tips from amateur teachers (husbands), viewing tips on TV or the web, reading books, magazines, etc., hoping to find a quick fix like the helicopter ride. If you skip your inspiration, you are limiting yourself. Here is an inspirational picture of me, cameraman Colin and Kevin Stobo (right to left). We are part of the team that creates McKenzie Meadows Golf Tips that appear online at www. mckenziemeadows.com each week. It’s inspirational because we are obviously having fun and fun is our goal. Golf is all about having a good time, but it’s hard to have a good time at golf if you are not playing well. You need know what inspires you. What is your goal? Your inspiration will give you the fuel to start improving your swing.

Voted Calgary’s #1 Public Golf Course 2009, 2010, 2011

Motivation and Struggle Without inspiration you don’t have motivation and without motivation you will never put the time or effort into training yourself to improve your swing. Motivation is simply committing to work – taking lessons, practicing, playing and learning about your body, mind and swing. Do you have the will-power to climb this mountain? Even once you are motivated and working hard, can you continue to put in the immense effort it takes to improve with limited success? Or is it just easier to quit and accept where you are with your game? Don’t quit, fight! Success and Passion Now that you have put in the work, success will come and with success you will become passionate. People are not truly passionate about something they have not had success in. Success ignites passion and when passion shows up your improvement will go to the next level. You will enjoy the beauty of the game in the way you define it. At the End of the Day… You need to know what inspires you about the game that makes you want to improve. Some golfers have already made this journey and are now coasting along. Reignite your passion by defining your inspiration. Your inspiration will motivate you to create a plan or seek a coach who can help you work through the struggle. Success and struggle will coexist as you climb your way to the top of the mountain where passion exists. Passion is at the top of the mountain … make the climb.

PGA Championship of Canada • Golf Series

The beautiful Cottonwood Golf and Country Club is located approximately 15 minutes southeast of Calgary

The event will involve a few aspects, including a Life ProAm, an annual charity event in support of prostate cancer research. The first Pro-Am was held in Toronto in 2010 and has now expanded to Calgary. This one-day tournament will help to increase the profile of the CPGA’s partnership and work with Prostate Cancer Canada. As a partner of both the Canadian PGA and Mr. Lube Canada, Prostate Cancer Canada helps to battle this disease by building awareness and generating funds for research. The opportunity to play at this big of an event, on Canadian soil, is an honour for many, and not just the local talent took part in the matchplay event, but also the number 1 ranked player at the start of the tournament, Bryn Parry. “I thought it was pretty incredible last week when I received the phone call telling me that I was the number 1 ranked player in the Canadian PGA, but to find out that the PGA Championship of Canada is coming back just takes it to a whole new level,” says Parry prior to the tournament. “To have the opportunity to play for this trophy and go into the event as the number one seed will be pretty special and something I’m already excited about.” The beautiful Cottonwood Golf and Country Club is located approximately 15 minutes southeast of Calgary; a short drive for the spectators who came out and enjoyed some quality golf at a quality course. Organizing all aspects of the event over three days was no easy task, but was worth the effort. What’s more, thanks to the way the event was operated, the course didn’t have to close to other golfers. “It came upon us pretty quick,” says Gordon prior to the event. “It’s fantastic that they have an event out West and I love matchplay.” The PGA Championship of Canada was first played in 1912, making it one of the oldest professional golf championships in the entire world. The association’s mandate is to develop, 114 • July 2011 BUSINESS IN CALGARY | www.businessincalgary.com

promote and support their members as experts in the game and business of golf and serve both its members’ needs and those of the golfing public through the association’s varied programs and events. With quality tournaments like this, it’s safe to say they are living up to their mandate. A list of some past champions include Moe Norman, Al Balding, George Knudson, Dan Halldorson, Dave Barr, Bob Panasik, Stan Leonard, Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Lanny Wadkins, Ray Floyd and Steve Stricker. Although it isn’t definite, with the PGA Championship of Canada being such a hit this year, golf fans throughout the city and surrounding area are hoping to see the event return next year. BiC


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2000 Silvertip Trail, Canmore, AB www.silvertipresort.com www.businessincalgary.com | BUSINESS IN CALGARY July 2011 • 115


Business and Arts Collide in Calgary

By Todd HirscH


What does the economy have to do with ballet?

Answer: Almost everything! Todd Hirsch


ast week, at the inaugural iF event of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce, the worlds of business and art collided in an amazing display of a city and a province that is starting to “get it.” This was no typical downtown Calgary business event. Sure, there were plenty of suits and ties in the audience (although the gala invitation suggested guests to “be creative” with their attire). But forget the boring business speeches. The artistic director of the Alberta Ballet, Jean Grand-Maître, was the guest speaker. Excerpts of the Alberta Ballet’s current production, Fumbling Towards Ecstasy, were performed. And dozens of aspiring young dancers pirouetted throughout the ballroom of the Hyatt Hotel to deliver the first course.

Alberta is changing . . . in a good way This is yet another example of how Alberta is changing – and changing in a good way. Arts and culture are increasingly seen as an integral part of a growing, dynamic, global city. And while the inaugural event was held in Calgary, it could just as easily have been in downtown Edmonton. (In fact, the capital city is arguably further ahead on the arts and culture scene, with its new Art Gallery of Alberta and its dozens of arts and performance festivals throughout the summer.) But what really made the iF event at the Calgary Chamber of Commerce unique is that it wasn’t a pitch for supporting the arts. It wasn’t a fundraiser for the Alberta Ballet. It wasn’t a lobby effort asking corporate sponsors for more cash. It was an event with a simple message: arts are every bit as vital to a city as is a dynamic economy. In fact, the two go hand-in-hand. In his speech to the Chamber audience, Jean Grand-Maître drew parallels between Calgary and some older cities. 1


J U LY 2 0 1 1


Jean Grand-Maître

Arts and culture, then, have much more in common with business. Both are pursuing excellence. “In Florence, Italy, the people didn’t just build their city. They believed in their city.” Grand-Maître urged those at the dinner to be part of something beyond themselves – part of something bigger. “It adds dimension to your life!” In no small part, this is the role of the arts and culture in our society: helping people connect with others, with their community, and with parts of themselves that they may be discovering for the first time. It is, essentially, being part of something bigger. “Embracing arts will help the city move into a 21st century vision of Calgary in the international community.” At this point, many readers may dismiss the whole event as just another artsy love-in – fine for those who are interested in ballet, but not for them. “Give me hockey and a fridge full of beer!” is not an uncommon sentiment. But the sports fan and the ballet enthusiast have more in common than may first meet the eye. Both are looking for meaning and the pursuit of excellence in a common, community experience (even if the hockey fan may not express it that way). Both are pursuing culture.

City’s role is to make all things possible Adam Legge, the president of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce, gets it. In his wrap-up words towards the end of the evening, he observed that the role of the city is not to simply provide arts (or sports, or commerce), and certainly not just to pay for it. Rather, the role of a city – a GREAT city – is to provide a setting in which all things are possible. A great city is one in which the pursuit of excellence – in art, sport, health care, transportation, caring for the vulnerable, and YES, in business – is made possible. But it’s up to the citizens of the great city to make them happen. Arts and culture, then, have much more in common with business. Both are pursuing excellence. And both are essential in Alberta if the province is to grow into its potential for the 21st century. This is not about nice-to-haves. It’s not

2011 Board of Executive Glenn McNamara – Chair Simon Vincent– Immediate Past Chair Dave Sprague – Vice Chair (Chair Elect) Joe Lougheed – 2nd Vice Chair Rob Hawley – Vice Chair, Finance Directors Don Chynoweth

Melodie Creegan William Flaig Joe Gysel Chuck Szmurlo Kelly Blackshaw Doug Firby Arlene Flock Guy Huntingford Eva Friesen Leah Lawrence Rob Lennard Dilan Perera Paul Waddell

This is not about nice-to-haves. about special interests. And it’s not a nasty, greedy fight about how tax dollars should (or shouldn’t) be spent. In closing, Grand-Maître asked: “How can each of us use our talents to make the city a better place to live?” The arts and culture are a building block in that pursuit. And regardless of whether it’s in the ballet studio, the sports arena or the downtown boardroom, we’re all asked to participate in building cities and communities of excellence! Todd HirscH is senior economisT wiTH ATB FinAnciAl. cHAnnels: THe didsBury review, THe olds AlBerTAn, June 1, 2011

Directors Management Adam Legge, President + CEO Ben Brunnen, Director of Policy and Government Affairs & Chief Economist Craig Finn, CFO Craig Watt, Director of Programming & Connectivity and Chief Strategy Officer Jackie McAtee, Director of Marketing and Communications.

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 S.W, Calgary, Alberta T2P 0P5 Phone: (403) 750-0400 Fax: (403) 266-3413 www.calgarychamber.com

Kim Koss, Vice President, Business Development

Play with the Presidents is an annual event that gives Calgary Chamber of Commerce members the opportunity to mix with our city’s talented leaders in a casual fun setting. Attracting some of the top business and political leaders, as well as special celebrity guests, this tournament is highlevel networking event at its nest. Previous years have hosted over 220 golfers on a 36-hole shot-gun course and have included prestigious names such as: 2010 Olympic Gold Medalist Denny Morrison, former Flames goaltender Mike Vernon, Alberta Energy Minister Ron Liepert and PGA Golfer Stephen Ames. Join us today, bookings 403 750 0444.

TUESDAY, JULY 5, 2011 PRIDDIS G REENS GOLF & COUN TRY CLUB www.calgarychamber.com 403 750 0444



JUNE 2011



Alexandre Ste-Marie www.alexandrestemarie.com Graham Osborne graosb@hotmail.com FLOOR COVERINGS & INSTALLATION

Deerfoot Carpet and Flooring Inc. www.deerfootcarpet.com FOOD PRODUCTS/SERVICES/EQUIP/ SUPPLIES

Specialty Beverage Solutions www.sbsolutions.ca


Simo Caffe Ltd. www.simocaffe.ca LAWYERS

Vivek Warrier www.bennettjones.com MORTGAGE BROKERS

Jencor Mortgage www.stevencrews.ca


R&R Investment Partners/CIBC Wood Gundy www.rrip.ca SECURITY MANAGEMENT CONSULTANTS

Stanley Convergent Security Solutions www.stanleycss.com LAWYERS

Claudius du Plooy Law Firm www.claudiusduplooy.com NEWSPAPERS/MAGAZINES

Tips 4 GOlf tips4golfdk@gmail.com


Hemmera www.hemmera.com MARKETING


GSI Estate & Financial Planning www.gasis.ca CONSTRUCTION - SERVICES

Epic woodwork Ltd. www.epicwoodwork.vpweb.com HOME INSPECTION

A Buyer’s Choice Home Inspections Calgary www.calgary.abuyerschoice.com BROKERAGE FIRMS

Orion Holdings www.dadenergy.com BANKS

White North Capital www.whitenorthcaptial.com WINDOWS & WINDOW COVERINGS

Window Treatments and Design www.windowtreatmentsanddesign.com

Primal Tribe www.primaltribe.com Watermark www.watermarkadvertising.com


BREAKFAST July 8, 2011 7:00 am

Time to dust off your boots and hats! Join us here at the Calgary Chamber of Commerce for our annual Stampede Breakfast.


Don’t get up at 5:00 a.m. this year and leave the lawn chair at home! Reserve your ticket with us and come by the Chamber for breakfast, then enjoy the parade in comfort in your reserved street-side bleacher seat.

Join us for a traditional Stampede breakfast before and the best reserved bleacher seats on the block for just $55.00 plus GST! Order soon, supplies are limited.

Book your tickets at www.calgarychamber.com or call 403 750 0444 L E A D I N G BU S I N E S S J U N E 2 0 1 1



Meetings, resorts and retreats

Conferences Events and Trade Shows Corporate Retreats

The prime places for your clients to host their next event! Meetings Resorts and Retreats 120 • July 2011 BUSINESS IN CALGARY | www.businessincalgary.com

Attracting international events starts at home By gord Hawker

HostIng globally, ACtIng locally


n most businesses, selling your product or service around Attracting international meetings and conventions to the world means going to your market, wherever it is, Calgary offers many benefits for the city and for the members making your pitch and bringing home the business. of local organizing committees. Kon says that there are a “That’s certainly part of the mix,” says Melissa Kon, good number of international meetings that each attract International Sales Manager for Calgary TELUS Convention approximately 1,000 delegates annually – an ideal event size Centre (CTCC), “but just as important, and maybe even more for Calgary’s current convention facility offering. In addition, important, is the work we do at home to build relationships with a good number of international meetings tend to take place key members of professional, industry and educational groups in late summer, which is seen as “off-season” for regional, that host international conferences and events. International national and North American conventions. conferences require a strong local host organization, so we “The international market is an excellent opportunity for are continually searching for local chapters and members us,” says Kon. “International meetings help us increase the of international organizations and supporting them in their utilization of our facility while also generating additional efforts to bring their international conferences to Calgary.” room nights for our hotel community and industry partners. CTCC’s in-market efforts tend to be focused in the UK, And of course, international visitors are more inclined to Germany and Belgium because these countries have a high extend their stay for a pre- or post-convention vacation. That concentration of association head offices. As the only tourism means more direct and indirect spending, which leads to more entity in Calgary actively pursuing the international meeting economic benefit throughout our community.” Kon is quick to market, the CTCC works closely with the team at Calgary point out that, while Calgary’s current convention offering is Economic Development (CED). CED staff participate in a ideal for certain-sized groups, more capacity would allow the lot of international events and are a great source of qualified CTCC to go after more international conventions of all sizes. conference leads, says Kon. In addition, the CTCC teams up Calgary’s post-secondary education institutions are a prime with the Canadian Tourism Commission to participate in source of leads for international events. Researchers and international shows such as the IMEX show held in Frankfurt each May, and the EIBTM “International conferences require a strong local host organization, show in Barcelona in November. These so we are continually searching for local chapters and members of shows give CTCC direct access to meeting, international organizations and supporting them in their efforts to convention and incentive travel buyers bring their international conferences to Calgary.” from around the world. During in-market presentations, Kon and the CTCC team focus on selling Calgary’s unique strengths as a western Canadian faculty members often belong to international fraternities or destination. Ease of access usually tops the list – Calgary offers professional associations. By helping to attract international excellent air access with direct flights from Europe. A short, conferences and symposia, these local experts can generate 20-minute cab ride from the airport puts delegates downtown awareness for their research among global peers. Successful where they can choose from one of three hotels connected to conventions can also generate significant financial benefit for the CTCC or one of many others that are within easy walking the local chapters of international organizations. distance. Calgary’s economy and our more than 105 corporate If you are a local member of an international association or head offices help demonstrate the city’s business strength. And group interested in hosting your peers from around the world, of course, no Calgary pitch is complete without highlighting contact the CTCC’s international sales team to see how they our proximity to the Canadian Rockies. can help you to act locally and host globally. www.businessincalgary.com | BUSINESS IN CALGARY July 2011 • 121

The Power of

TWO Minds

is Greater Than ONE Two local commercialization providers join forces under the banner of Innovate Calgary By T.L. DuDar


algary Technologies Inc. (CTI) and University Technologies International (UTI) are working together to support and accelerate the commercialization success of local scientific innovation through their technology transfer and business incubator programs and services.

“We are pleased to come together in an effort to increase access to a variety of resources enabling our clients to succeed.” ~ John Master, President, Innovate Calgary

Technologies International (UTI), established in 1989, as the University of Calgary’s technology transfer office, has: supported hundreds of researchers with licensing and company incubation services; evaluated over 1600 discoveries; secured more than 600 patents and concluded over 550 technology commercialization agreements in over 24 countries; and has developed or assisted in the creation of over 40 spinoff companies. “Innovate Calgary offers a broader range and depth of services to support the development, incubation and creation of business opportunities within the local technology community. We are pleased to come together in an effort to increase access to a variety of resources enabling our clients to succeed,” says John Master, President, Innovate Calgary. Innovate Calgary’s team of dedicated technology commercialization professionals deliver a full suite of services and programs such as: coaching and mentoring to start a technology business; technology assessment and intellectual property protection; access to public and private capital sources; skill development; seminars; company incubation; and development services. Connect with the Innovate Calgary team for: • Business and Technical Advice • Workshops • Screening Technologies for Commercial Potential • Sector Resources and Connections

For over 30 years, both organizations have supported the commercialization and development of innovations, research and technology companies within the advanced technology sector. Calgary Technologies Inc., founded in 1981, has offered business development services and programs to thousands of local aspiring entrepreneurs to help accelerate their technology-based business. University 122 • July 2011 BUSINESS IN CALGARY | www.businessincalgary.com

• Licensing and Intellectual Property Protection • Company Creation/Incubation • Office/Lab Space To accelerate the commercialization and growth of an innovation or technology-based company contact Innovate Calgary at: 403.284.6400 or visit: innovatecalgary.com.

Mission China By Stewart MCDonough


hina is expected to produce 100 million outbound travellers by 2020, which will make it the largest tourism market in the world. By 2015, estimates for the increase of Chinese travellers to Calgary range from double to triple the current 13,000 annual visitors to as many as 35,000. These estimates are more art than science. The only clear reality is that massive potential Members of the Calgary team promoting tourism during China mission. Top (left to right): Gisele Danis, Stephane for growth exists as the Chinese traveller Poirier, George Brookman, Francisco Gomez, Michael Hannan, Bruce Okabe, Lancia Wang. Bottom (left to right): expands horizons in the coming years. Alida Visbach, Stephanie Dancause-Cote, Lindsay Jardine, Amie Chang, Maria Yang. Photo credit: Magic Bus Creative And that is why members of the Tourism Calgary leadership team spent eight days in China promoting our city’s tourism offerings and growing relationships with key tour operators, returning on May 31. Tourism Calgary worked closely with Calgary Economic Development to organize and execute Calgary’s most ambitious trip to the world’s fastest growing tourism market. China continues to enjoy an economic boom Calgary has its own unique website Official White Hat Ceremony in Shanghai. – 2010 saw another 10 per cent in economic address (calgary.albertacanada.cn) Photo credit: Magic Bus Creative under the Travel Alberta co-branded growth, though there are indications that the Chinese Internet presence. existing speed of economic expansion may slow in 2011. Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi and Alberta Minister The tourism website is hosted in China to meet government of Finance and Enterprise Lloyd Snelgrove led representatives protocols, maximize speed and capitalize on search engine from Calgary’s tourism and business sectors on a mission optimization. Calgary has its own unique website address intended to raise Calgary’s profile, grow critical relationships (calgary.albertacanada.cn) under the Travel Alberta and strengthen ties between our two economies. co-branded Chinese Internet presence. Website content was The latest Global Tourism Watch summary published by the written for Chinese search engines with the attractions and research department of the Canadian Tourism Commission activities focused around the Calgary Stampede, arts and (CTC) points to an eight-point increase in Chinese travellers culture, shopping and green spaces – all key areas of interest likely to visit Canada over the next two years, 13 per cent of for Chinese travellers. whom (roughly 300,000 Chinese travellers) expressed interest “This is just the beginning of marketing more directly to in visiting Alberta. this emerging tourism market; the more we understand the “Tourism Calgary continues to work closely with Travel Chinese traveller and their motivation, the stronger and Alberta and the Canadian Tourism Commission to strategically more relevant our future marketing programs, website and align our marketing efforts in China to attract and grow investments will be to this unique market,” says Gisele Danis, visitation from this expanding market,” says George Bookman, Tourism Calgary Vice President of Marketing. Tourism Calgary Board of Directors Chair. Chinese travellers have a broad range of interests; high During the mission, Tourism Calgary promoted a new among them is a strong motivation to experience cosmopolitan tourism website developed in partnership with Travel Alberta cities on the edge of nature. Calgary is uniquely situated to exclusively for the China market. With more than 420 million capitalize on this interest with mountains, badlands and western Internet users in China and 92 per cent of users engaged in experiences in such close proximity to our vibrant city. social media, the Internet has become the most influential medium in the powerhouse nation. www.businessincalgary.com | BUSINESS IN CALGARY July 2011 • 123

China, Calgary’s Calling…


his is about who we are and where we are going as a community … Calgary needs to be a great city on the global stage and in order to succeed and be resilient, we need to attract investment and talent from around the world.” Mayor Naheed Nenshi said it best in an op-ed written upon his The leaders of the Calgary-China mission 2011: Bruce Graham, Calgary Economic Development, Minister Snelgrove, return from an investment, trade and Alberta Government, Mayor Nenshi, City of Calgary, George Brookman, Tourism Calgary tourism mission in China in May 2011. In less than a week, the delegation participated in more than Nenshi, with the support of Alberta Finance and Enterprise 50 meetings and events, with one of the highlights being the Minister, Lloyd Snelgrove, led a delegation of more than 70 investment symposium. Four of the six Calgary companies people from 40 Calgary companies to Beijing and Shanghai who presented have already identified real investment interest on what was the largest trade mission ever hosted by Calgary and several of them extended their stay in China to further Economic Development and Tourism Calgary. explore these opportunities. Similarly, several of the Calgary This mission was the first led by Mayor Nenshi since he companies looking to sell their products and services in China entered into office in the fall of 2010. Given the Chinese have been able to identify potential new buyers in China. put great value on government officials, his participation in This kind of immediate interest and response was certainly the mission opened many doors for the Calgary delegation. welcomed and occurred much faster than expected – a strong Mayor Nenshi wanted to make China his first destination sign of China’s immediate interest in the Alberta economy. abroad recognizing the growing importance and linkages This mission is just one part of Calgary Economic between Calgary and China. Calgary is now home to China’s Development’s China initiative, which started in 2011 with three largest national oil companies; the Bank of China hosting an investment workshop at the Asian Financial recently announced opening a branch in Calgary; Calgary Forum in Hong Kong to highlight investment opportunities and the province have benefited from more than $13 billion in Calgary to Asian investors. in investment in the Alberta oilsands and shale gas projects At the same time the China mission was underway, back in in the last 18 months and, Canada was recently granted Calgary, Calgary Economic Development was also supporting Approved Destination Status (ADS) by China. the HKCBA (Hong Kong Canada Business Association) Mayor Nenshi is one of very few Canadian mayors ever national forum, which highlighted business opportunities invited to meet with the mayor of Beijing – a city nearly between Canada, Hong Kong and China. 20 times the size of Calgary. This is not only an indication Calgary Economic Development will be following up Calgary is emerging as a strong global energy and financial on the many opportunities that were identified during the centre, but is also a testament to the collaborative effort put China mission and the organization is already planning forward by the Alberta Government, City of Calgary and another mission for next year. The key to building business Calgary Economic Development prior to the mission. opportunities in China is to build strong relationships, which Calgary Economic Development directed the business can only be achieved through regular face-to-face meetings portion of the mission with a focus on investment, trade and to build trust and respect. business-to-business private meetings. The primary objective China is a country that will play an important role in of the mission was to increase China’s awareness of Calgary Alberta’s future and long-term economic prosperity. The and Alberta’s economic activity and projected growth. The Calgary delegation got a first-hand experience at starting second objective of the mission was to attract investment to build those relationships that will hopefully foster strong from China into Calgary-based energy companies and, in business relationships for the future. turn, to open up opportunities for Calgary companies to sell their products and services to the Chinese energy companies. 124 • July 2011 BUSINESS IN CALGARY | www.businessincalgary.com


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David Parker • MarketingMatters


By David Parker


here is a very positive business feeling in this city and it is certainly reflected in the busyness of the communications and marketing sector that has had its ups and downs over the past couple of years. Applied Communications is one of the firms that has recovered very well, able to boast an increase in work from its regular client base, new clients and new staff. Principal Dan McWilliam is quite excited to be working again in the United States where his creative staff has produced some excellent materials in the past. Thanks to referrals from other clients south of the border, Applied has been invited to work with two prestigious real estate developments in Palm Desert and Colorado Springs. Garden of the Gods Club is across from the Colorado national park bearing the same name that features golf, dining, spa, tennis and a recreation centre plus some distinguished residences ranging from 3,100 to 6,300 square feet. Applied is producing collateral, print and outdoor advertising and all marketing including the design of its sales centre. And the Calgary firm is supplying the same kind of marketing tools for Toscana Country Club in Indian Springs, California, that sports two Jack Nicklaus signature courses against a backdrop of the Santa Rosa Mountains. McWilliam and his team are also delivering great materials for a golf course residential development in Eureka, Montana, for a Calgary company.

Schickedanz West is the developer that Applied is working with in Montana as well as marketing its Elk Park Ranch properties on the north side of Radium, B.C. And the company is pleased to welcome Dave Diebert back to the fold as one of its valued designers. •••••••••••••• Another Calgary-based company that continues to make waves in the U.S. is Mosaic Studios. President/partner Melodie Creegan pursued client Nova Chemicals when it relocated offices to Pittsburgh and through work there she was introduced to members of the Plastic Pipe Institute. Mosaic was recently invited to work with George Fischer Central Plastics based in Oklahoma, one of the suite of companies owned by George Fischer (Switzerland). It is responsible for the $100-million company’s North American communications including brand strategy, marketing/communications planning and a fully-integrated campaign with a heavy digital focus. Creegan was off to Washington, D.C., to supervise Central’s new booth at the American Water Works Association tradeshow when I spoke with her. With the strength of the Canadian dollar, the choice of Mosaic is a great testament to its capabilities and growing expertise in industrial manufacturing. Mosaic is busy too in the Calgary market, picking up new accounts Carbon Digital Copy – new website and brand positioning; CriticalControl – as series of websites for a number of its business areas; and CAPP – partnered with CSR Strategies to plan and create its Responsible Canadian Energy Progress Report. ••••••••••••••

Woodruff Sweitzer has expanded its digital capabilities with the addition of a digital director and developer. Spearheading the new team is Graham Kahl, who came to Woodruff Sweitzer from SDMG where he was general manager and interactive creative director, and he is joined by developer Rizwan Sayani, who recently completed the IT program at SAIT Polytechnic. •••••••••••••• Colleen Killingsworth, who was previously with National PR and now principal of her own company CK Communications, has been awarded a very prestigious first prize in the international Arthur W. Page Society’s 2011 Case Study Competition. Titled “Animal-Welfare Activists vs. The Calgary Stampede: That’s Entertainment,” it analyzed social media coverage of the reputation of the Calgary Stampede after the death of six horses in 2010. Killingsworth was also recently at the national conference of the Canadian Public Relations Society in New Brunswick where she was presented with the Phillip A. Novikoff Memorial Award for her outstanding contributions to the member society, the profession and the community. Currently, as well as working with her own clients at CK, she is filling a position as interim associate vicepresident communications at the University of Calgary. BiC

Parker’s Pick: Fashion Central and Art Central deserve a pat on the back for their consistently good advertising/ promotional campaigns.

126 • July 2011 BUSINESS IN CALGARY | www.businessincalgary.com


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