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PARK MEMORIAL FUNERAL HOME

Celebrates

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75 YEARS OF SERVICE EDMONTON MOTOR SHOW

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Each of Alberta’s over 440,000 entrepreneurs has a story.

Watch one of them at atb.com/amplifybusiness

YFILPMA

.niw taht yojne uoy retfa noos enoz trofmoc ruoy egnellahc ot erus ekam nehT .krow s'efil ruoy trats ot etal oot reven s'tI .krow ...sthgil ruoy ekam ot etal oot reven stI YFILPMA

/scihparg fo rengised a ro rotcartnoc a er'uoy rehtehw .niaga yrt dna ,yrt os eruliaf tuohtiw emoc tnow sseccuS

noitca ruoy no ylelos desab si elohw eht tub noitcarf eht ylno er'uoy taht kniht yam uoY ti ta tseb eht eb od uoy tahw rettam oN

?htiaf fo pael a ekat ot tiaw yhW ?taerg leef uoy sekam taht wonk uoy nwod peed taht gniht eht otni pat ot tiaw yhW .niatpac eht er'uoy ,yllaer nehw noisiced ruoy sseug dnoces yhW

Then make sure to challenge your comfort zone soon after you enjoy that win. It's never too late to start your life's work. Its never too late to make your lights... work. AMPLIFY

whether you're a contractor or a designer of graphics/ Success wont come without failure so try, and try again.

You may think that you're only the fraction but the whole is based solely on your action No matter what you do be the best at it

Why wait to take a leap of faith? Why wait to tap into the thing that deep down you know that makes you feel great? Why second guess your decision when really, you're the captain.

Nothing is promised, Heaven forbid you may not live to see 60 so why wait?

AMPLIFY I mean how much time do you have anyway?

YFILPMA ?yawyna evah uoy od emit hcum woh naem I ,desimorp si gnihtoN ?tiaw yhw os 06 ees ot evil ton yam uoy dibrof nevaeH

in fact its almost part of the method/ battle tested, scarred yet hardly rested/ Its one goal, after the other stay invested (x2)

so every time that I struggle / I find comfort in understanding that theres light at the end of the tunnel/ you know doubt is expected/

the dream doesn't happen over night/ resistance is necessary to flight/

tax filing, every year I'm reminded/ Im on the front line so sacrifice is required/

I've always had this feeling... No task was too small it was all essential to my growth / But That's just scratching the surface/ Barely iterating my intention of how this lifestyle makes me far from nervous/ My DNA laid out basic instructions just like a testament / Hard-wiring me for success integral to early excellence/ My Skills developed from trials and ambition/ Hard work, unstoppable will and intuition/ gut instinct, man Its got me almost wheezin / because The forecast for success has many seasons/ from hot to cold, high tide to dry cash flow/ I know the road can be lonely, but its mine (x2) AMPLIFY you see its, Late nights followed by early mornings/ I chase dreams way too much to start snoring/ gotta beat these, deadlines, so I strategize em/ revise, quality check and finalize em/ satisfaction, happiness from my client/ my confidence grows from every project that I triumph/

AMPLIFY

/dohtem eht fo trap tsomla sti tcaf ni /detser yldrah tey derracs ,detset elttab )2x( detsevni yats rehto eht retfa ,laog eno stI

/ elggurts I taht emit yreve os /lennut eht fo dne eht ta thgil sereht taht gnidnatsrednu ni trofmoc dnfi I /detcepxe si tbuod wonk uoy

/thgin revo neppah t'nseod maerd eht /thgifl ot yrassecen si ecnatsiser

/dednimer m'I raey yreve ,gnilfi xat /deriuqer si ecfiircas os enil tnorf eht no mI

...gnileef siht dah syawla ev'I / htworg ym ot laitnesse lla saw ti llams oot saw ksat oN /ecafrus eht gnihctarcs tsuj s'tahT tuB /suovren morf raf em sekam elytsefil siht woh fo noitnetni ym gnitareti yleraB / tnematset a ekil tsuj snoitcurtsni cisab tuo dial AND yM /ecnellecxe ylrae ot largetni sseccus rof em gniriw-draH /noitibma dna slairt morf depoleved sllikS yM /noitiutni dna lliw elbappotsnu ,krow draH / nizeehw tsomla em tog stI nam ,tcnitsni tug /snosaes ynam sah sseccus rof tsacerof ehT esuaceb /wofl hsac yrd ot edit hgih ,dloc ot toh morf )2x( enim sti tub ,ylenol eb nac daor eht wonk I YFILPMA ,sti ees uoy /sgninrom ylrae yb dewollof sthgin etaL /gnirons trats ot hcum oot yaw smaerd esahc I /me ezigetarts I os ,senildaed ,eseht taeb attog /me ezilanfi dna kcehc ytilauq ,esiver /tneilc ym morf ssenippah ,noitcafsitas /hpmuirt I taht tcejorp yreve morf sworg ecnedfinoc ym


Nominations are now closed; thank you to all who have nominated, and to the nominees who are part of this year’s program. We look forward to assembling another group of influential people from our business community who will be honoured for their contributions towards making Edmonton a great place to live and work! Business in Edmonton will celebrate the 2017 winners at our 5th Annual Awards Gala, and our July issue will feature the Leaders and their companies.

Save the Date Wednesday, June 21st | 6pm To stay informed on details for our event, visit www.businessinedmonton.com/leaders or email nancy@businessinedmonton.com

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Gold Partners

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Supporting the visions of entrepreneurs one story at a time. Volume 5 | Number 4

REGULAR COLUMNS

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 Everyone Wants a Tax Credit These Days By Josh Bilyk

12 49

 Send Governments a Message to Secure a Future Without Further Tax Hikes By Paige MacPherson

 Edmonton Chamber of Commerce

CONTENTS COVER FEATURE

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 ark Memorial Funeral P Home Celebrates 75 Years of Service By Nerissa McNaughton

ON OUR COVER: ABOVE: JERRY SMOLYK AND KIRSTIE SMOLYK. PHOTO SOURCE: EPIC PHOTOGRAPHY INC.

FIND US ONLINE! B US I N E SS I N E DMONTON.COM BUSINESS IN EDMONTON

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@BUSINEDMONTON

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Work big, even if you’re small. SmartVoice is the big business phone for small businesses. Every call gets answered and no business gets turned away.

Direct incoming calls.

Find whoever’s not busy.

Visit shawbusiness.ca/WorkBig or call 1.855.545.1151.

Move calls from mobile to desk phone.


STORY TITLE // SECTION

Supporting the visions of entrepreneurs one story at a time. Volume 5 | Number 4

73 THIS MONTH’S FEATURES

CONTENTS

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It isn’t just about showcasing the hottest cars; the Edmonton Motorshow prides itself in offering an interactive experience for car enthusiasts young and old— and for those just discovering their passion, too. By Laura Bohnert

COMPANY PROFILES

64 66 69 73

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Karlen-Elecom Celebrates 50 Years

Alberta Golf

Rolls out new Membership Program

Burke Interior Systems

Celebrates 10 Years

Keeping it All in the Family Communication and fairness are they key to keeping your succession plan from going awry. By Ramona Korpan

37

Buy, Lease or Sit?

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 rom Vacation Property to F Income Property

Celebrates 50 Years

River City Events

It’s On Your Mark, Get Set, Go for the Edmonton Motorshow

How the real estate market is impacting Edmonton businesses. By Laura Bohnert

Make the most out of your recreational investment. By Ramona Korpan

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Environmental Stewardship: A Shared Responsibility By Nerissa McNaughton

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APRIL 2017 // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM

To A Tee

With another golf season fast approaching, Edmonton’s course managers are bullish in spite of economic uncertainty. By Ben Freeland


PUBLISHER

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EDITOR

Nerissa McNaughton

COPY EDITOR Nikki Gouthro

ART DIRECTOR

Jessi Evetts jessi@businessinedmonton.com

CONTRIBUTING DESIGNER Andrea Espinoza

ADMINISTRATION

FLEXIBLE. AFFORDABLE. CHOICE. Our cost control and plan management expertise means you can offer a group benefit plan that meets the needs of your employees at a price you can afford. Call us today for a confidential no-obligation quote or talk to your plan advisor. 780-498-8500 www.ab.bluecross.ca Prescription Drugs • Dental • Extended Health • Travel Coverage Life and Disability • Vision• Spending Accounts Critical Illness • Employee and Family Assistance Program

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THIS ISSUE’S CONTRIBUTORS Nerissa McNaughton Laura Bohnert Ramona Korpan Ben Freeland

PHOTOGRAPHY

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EVERYONE WANTS A TAX CREDIT THESE DAYS // ECONOMIC FACTORS

Everyone Wants a Tax Credit These Days BY JOSH BILYK

I

read with great interest an article in the Edmonton Sun about how Edmonton video game giant BioWare is calling for a $10 million tax credit for Alberta’s interactive entertainment sector. BioWare general manager Aaryn Flynn says Alberta’s high-tech industry is “ready to explode” with the right level of government support. He points to programs in Quebec and British Columbia, which pay between 17.5 and 37 per cent of their payroll, as models for Alberta to follow. He says he doesn’t want to see smart, creative Alberta-trained professionals chasing tax credits to other provinces. BioWare and others are lobbying the provincial government hard for a program, but they may have to get in line because everyone wants a tax credit these days. However, they have every reason to be optimistic about their chances for eventual success. The provincial government is very open to these suggestions – especially if they fit into the government-favoured mold: supporting high tech, creative and green companies. Recall that small, local breweries called for and received, a government grant program to help them fight it out with out-of-province beer makers. The petrochemical industry received a $500 million royalty tax credit that would incentivize them to process propane from natural gas resources into plastics. Now if we could just get NW Refining Phase II approved… Last year the province rolled out two other programs to boost local businesses. The $90 million Alberta Investor Tax Credit provides a 30 per cent credit to investors who “provide capital to Alberta small businesses doing research, development or commercialization of new technology, new products or new processes.”

The two-year, $70 million Capital Investment Tax Credit program covers 10 per cent of a corporation’s investment in machinery, equipment and buildings. As usual, some (many) restrictions apply, but the government is ready to play ball. I don’t oppose any of these tax credits in isolation. In this environment, businesses need all the help they can get; but let’s not lose sight of the fundamental challenge they all seek to address: competitiveness. Every sector in Alberta is scrambling to find a way to justify their existence in Alberta. After all, manufacturing, video game making and plastic production can basically happen anywhere in the world. We’re all competing for finite investment dollars that flow freely across borders. Let’s also remember government actions that have diminished Alberta’s overall competitiveness – like increasing corporate taxes by 20 per cent, bringing in a carbon levy that will cost businesses billions and hiking the minimum wage to $15 per hour. Dramatically increasing the cost of doing business in the province and then trying to make it all better through boutique tax credits makes for an incoherent policy that enriches tax consultants and potentially makes Albertans poorer. A better approach to growing the economy is to ensure Alberta has globally competitive tax rates, across the board that access economic infrastructure like air, roads and rail transportation; is affordable and high quality; and that Alberta businesses have access to the skilled labour they need. It needn’t be more complicated than that.

ALBERTA ENTERPRISE GROUP IS A MEMBER-BASED, NON-PROFIT BUSINESS ADVOCACY ORGANIZATION. AEG MEMBERS EMPLOY MORE THAN 150,000 CANADIANS IN ALL SECTORS OF THE ECONOMY.

BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // APRIL 2017

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SEND GOVERNMENTS A MESSAGE // PAIGE MACPHERSON

Send Governments a Message to Secure a Future Without Further Tax Hikes BY PAIGE MACPHERSON

W

ith both the provincial government and Edmonton city council ignoring the necessity to meaningfully reduce spending, it’s crucial now for taxpayers and businesses to push back against further tax hikes on the horizon. According to the Alberta government, we’re starting to see “green shoots” in the economy. The province’s recent fiscal update showed 18,000 jobs have been created since July 2016. Most of those jobs come from the province’s oil and gas sector. Though business tax revenues are still $981 million below what was forecast in the last budget, the uptick meant good news for revenues overall, which increased by $1.5 billion from April 2016 forecasts. Given that the government has been repeating to Albertans that its multibillion-dollar deficit is the result of a revenue problem, not a spending problem, you’d think an increase in revenue would mean a decrease in the deficit. Not so. Despite the deficit ($10.8 billion in operational spending alone) contributing to the province’s ballooning debt load, compromising Alberta’s credit rating and costing taxpayers $1 billion per year in debt interest payments, Alberta Finance Minister Joe Ceci did not live up to his assurances that balancing the budget is a priority. Instead, the government chose to spend every nickel of that $1.5 billion. Any further assertions that the government has a revenue problem and not a spending problem should not be taken seriously. If you know any Albertan business owners, you’d know they’ve probably been cutting back for the last year or two. But the government gravy train is chugging forward. In the past fiscal year, the government increased program spending, advanced new government programs and hired 3,458 new government employees.

The government made the symbolic move at the end of February to cut the perks and pay for executives at the province’s agencies, boards and commissions, which will save $16 million when it takes effect two years from now. Unquestionably this was the right thing to do, but $16 million is a drop in the bucket with a $10.8 billion operational hole in the budget. It really can’t be emphasized enough that the government needs to take a tip from families and businesses across the province and get its spending problem under control. Between the debt load and tax hikes impacting Alberta’s competitiveness, the government isn’t doing much to inspire confidence in investors. So what does this mean for Edmonton? As the public gets closer to knowing what city charter tax cocktail our politicians are brewing up behind closed doors, the state of provincial finances matters. If the province grants Edmonton city council with new tax powers, there’s been no indication they’ll reduce taxes at the provincial level to balance it out. With the province’s whopping deficit, these tax cuts aren’t likely. If the province and city agree instead on a revenue-sharing agreement – a guaranteed portion of the province’s revenues directed to Edmonton and Calgary every year, with no stipulations – without provincial surpluses, that means higher taxes for all Albertans. Edmonton may not have been as hard hit as other parts of Alberta, but it’s not as if business owners are hoarding extra cash during the downturn. Despite their endless desire for more revenue, it’s time to make governments at the provincial and city level recognize what Edmontonian business owners have already accepted – that spending control is needed – and fight to ensure a future without further tax hikes. PAIGE MACPHERSON IS ALBERTA DIRECTOR OF THE CANADIAN TAXPAYERS FEDERATION.

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Discover unchartered value in your business Is your tax adviser providing you with just the standard compliance requirements? A KPMG tax adviser can look beyond your financial statements and tax returns to help unlock value in your business and steer you in the right direction. To find out more, speak with an adviser today. David Magdalinski KPMG Enterprise Tax Partner T: 780-429-6035 E: dmagdalinski@kpmg.ca

kpmg.ca/enterprise

© 2017 KPMG LLP, a Canadian limited liability partnership and a member firm of the KPMG network of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”), a Swiss entity. All rights reserved. 16022


Growing Places

We are a land development and home building company that strives, solves and evolves to create better spaces and stronger communities. We are Growing Places.

anthemunited.com


Anthem United

United is building Communities under a New Name 2017 is bringing exciting changes to the landscape in and around Edmonton, and to the company that helps transform those landscapes into vibrant neighbourhoods. United Communities is introducing two new communities this fall, and it’s building under a new name, Anthem United. Anthem United’s new name and new look is the natural progression of a company that understands building great spaces is their most important achievement. Expect the same quality, exceptional planning, and attention to detail. Anthem United is a land development and homebuilding company that strives, solves and evolves to build better spaces and stronger communities. We are Growing Places. Anthem United has deep roots in Alberta. It began more than 80 years ago, in 1934, when a young man named Jack Singer teamed up with Avrum Belzberg to form United Management. The company exploded out of the starting gate, buying up properties across the province, including strip malls in the 1950’s. United’s most famous acquisition was the Hollywood Centre Studios in Los Angeles in the early 1980’s, where Jack Singer reportedly tells the story that he went to get an autograph, and ended up buying a studio. By the 1990’s, United Management began to concentrate almost exclusively on land development. The company rebranded for the first time. United Management became United Communities, and building great communities became its focus. In Edmonton, United’s first major community was Twin Brooks in 1989. McLeod Park neighbourhood and Jackson Heights followed. In the last 28 years, United Communities has built 21 communities in and around Edmonton, sold lots for more than 8,000 homes, and helped tens of thousands of families find a home. In all of Alberta, United has more than 60 communities built or currently under development, and sold lots for more than 19,000 homes.

In 2002, United expanded again, establishing a company in Sacramento, California. A home building company was established a few years later. In 2014, United Communities was acquired by Anthem, owned and founded by Vancouver- based developer Eric Carlson. Carlson’s vision was to increase its exposure in Alberta, secure a strong Alberta talent pool, add residential land development as a core strategic asset, return to its roots as a land developer and gain a foothold in the U.S. market through the Sacramento operation. In order to bring four companies, in four different cities, together under one name, United Communities is now Anthem United. Together with Anthem, it is a team of 300, with 190 projects under its belt,

including more than 10,000 homes, 6.2 million sf of commercial and 5,000 acres of land for future development. Anthem United is investing in Alberta, Northern California and B.C. Anthem United is also expanding in Edmonton. There are five communities under development in the city and surrounding area, with two new communities starting this fall, Kinglet Gardens in North West Edmonton and Glenridding Ravines in the South West. A grand opening of four new show homes in Glenridding is on April 8th, and new show homes are opening this September in Walker Summit and Dansereau Meadows.


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NorQuest Students Pledge $1 Million for College Expansion Those that need NorQuest College the most, the students, are participating in the college’s most ambitious fundraising effort to date. The Students’ Association of NorQuest College (SANQC) recently announced that they will be pledging $1 million to NorQuest’s Maximizing Opportunities campaign. “These funds will help make the student experience at NorQuest more positive and inclusive. Our expanded space in the new building will allow us to better serve and represent students,” says students’ council representative Gordon Holub. “Our Students’ Association is thrilled to make this investment.” “This remarkable donation from the Students’ Association is an outstanding commitment to NorQuest students,” says college president and CEO, Dr. Jodi L. Abbott. “It’s a wonderful demonstration of the close and supportive relationship the Students’ Association has with our college. Knowing that students are passionate about NorQuest, and about investing in the future of the college, is a real source of pride for all of us.” The funds are earmarked for student services and facilities in the new Singhmar Centre for Learning, which will open in NorQuest’s downtown campus later this year. The Singhmar Centre, a 22,500 m², four-storey building, is the college’s first major capital project since 1971. The SANQC pledge includes a previous donation for the retrofitting of the current student activity facilities on the NorQuest Campus, and part of the pledge will be payable over the next 10 years. The Maximizing Opportunities campaign wraps up this fall. It began in 2014 with the goal for raising $20 million. To date, the campaign has raised $14.2 million. The fundraiser includes legacy opportunities, one in which noted Edmonton philanthropist Dr. Prem Singhmar and his family, were happy get involved. “My family’s decision to support

NorQuest College is rooted in a shared vision – a vision of growth and opportunity for all Albertans,” says Dr. Singhmar of his family’s involvement. “Maximizing Opportunities…offers you the opportunity to make a profound difference in the lives of our students and the communities where they live, work, and raise their families,” notes Dr. Abbott about the legacy openings. Those interested in contributing to Maximizing Opportunities, and those that would like to participate in the legacy, should contact the College today. NorQuest College continues to be a transformative education institution in Edmonton. During the 20152016 semesters, 15,850 full-time, part-time, distance learning and regional students were served. More than half of NorQuest’s students are born outside of Canada, and 103 different languages are spoken on campus. Post-secondary diploma and certificate programs prepare students for careers in health, community studies and business industries. The College is also well-known for its proactive stance on diversity; international education; and English-language, employment skills, college preparation and academic upgrading programs. NorQuest strives to ensure all graduates have workforce-relevant training, and the college meets this goal by consistent collaboration with business, industry, government, and communities. Calculated in the 2011-2012 academic year, graduates have added more than $421 million in income to the Edmonton region’s economy.

ABOVE: DR. JODI L. ABBOTT, PRESIDENT & CEO OF NORQUEST COLLEGE. PHOTO SOURCE: NORQUEST COLLEGE

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BDO ALBERTA WELCOMES OUR NEW PARTNERS With the merger between BDO and Etelligent Solutions Inc. (ESI), there is the addition of four new Partners who will help to further strengthen BDO’s IT Solutions practice as the leading Microsoft Solutions partner in Canada. BDO welcomes Jesse Byam and Darcy Quast to the Calgary office and Scott McHale and Fabian Perez Parada to the Edmonton office. In addition, BDO welcomes Partner Mitch LaBuick, who joins BDO as the leader of the Indirect Tax practice in Alberta, working out of the Edmonton office. Our new Partners bring a wealth of experience, skill and expertise in their respective areas and are poised to assist our clients with the ever-changing state of business in Alberta.

Jesse Byam Partner, IT Solutions 403 277 2554 jbyam@bdo.ca

Darcy Quast Partner, IT Solutions 403 697 2924 dquast@bdo.ca

Scott McHale Partner, IT Solutions 780 452 3033 smchale@bdo.ca

Fabian Perez-Parada Partner, IT Solutions 780 452 3033 fperezparada@bdo.ca

Mitch LaBuick Partner, Indirect Tax 780 643 8981 mlabuick@bdo.ca

BDO is one of the leading accounting and advisory firms in Canada, providing value-added assurance, accounting, tax and advisory services to a broad range of clients. People who know, know BDO. SM Assurance | Accounting | Tax | Advisory www.bdo.ca


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Stantec Collaborates with Local Motors on Olli Project Stantec, a global design firm headquartered in Edmonton, has teamed up with Local Motors, an American company that designs, builds and sells innovative vehicles. The collaboration centres on both parties’ desire to further the development of motor vehicle automation. Working together, the companies share resources for Local Motors’ Olli connected automated vehicles (CAV) project, a self-driving, cognitive shuttle for transit, city, private and institution use. Already active in the CAV market, Stantec is currently acting as the program manager for the GoMentum Station

in Concord, a 2,000-acre secure vehicle testing facility, and also acting as the lead civil engineer in the Edmontonbased ACTIVE-AURORA, which is the first connected vehicle testbed in Canada. Both companies will investigate opportunities to test Olli, with the purpose of determining the most ideal uses for the vehicle.

Keeping it Local Sherwood Park 133 Main Blvd 780-449-2453

Spruce Grove 124 1st Ave 780-571-2855

Red Deer 7121-E 50th Ave 403-340-2463

“#MeetOlli,” a Stantec press release introduced the project to its readership. “…Olli can operate on-demand via mobile app or on a pre-planned route. The vehicle’s cognitive software allows it to answer riders’ questions about its capabilities, status and why it made a particular decision. The software is intended to make a new experience — riding in a shared, self-driving vehicle — more pleasant for riders.” “Stantec brings a wealth of understanding and experience in CAV, along with its relationship to the evolving concept of smart cities, including first mile/last mile transit,” says Koorosh Olyai, Stantec senior principal. “The talented designers at Local Motors have demonstrated their international leadership in automated vehicles … this will undoubtedly be an inspiring collaboration.”

mudsweatandgears.ca PHOTO SOURCE: LOCAL MOTORS

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Local Motors is all about innovation and challenging current and outdated industry methods. By combining micro-manufacturing with technology, and by inviting the global community of innovators, problem solvers, makers and technologist to the table, the company creates techprogressive products designed for nurturing humanity. “Our emphasis on micro-manufacturing means that Local Motors can incorporate the most advanced automotive technologies into our vehicle designs. These technologies have new and unprecedented opportunities for CAV,” says Hugh Palmer, vice president of product management at Local Motors. “We see Stantec as a tremendous ally in bringing automated transit solutions to market.” Olli is electronic to reduce emissions in the densely populated urban areas it is targeted to operate in, and it can also act as part of a fleet for larger campuses and municipalities.

The Stantec community unites more than 20,000 employees in more than 400 locations across six continents for projects centred on engineering, architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, surveying, environmental sciences, project management, and project economics. Stantec is involved from each project’s conception and always incorporates the community, creativity and client relationships along the way. Stantec prides itself on connecting with the people, projects and communities they serve on a personal level, and they enjoy building long-term relationships that further the company’s positive ideals.

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IT’S ON YOUR MARK, GET SET, GO FOR THE EDMONTON MOTORSHOW // EDMONTON AUTO & TRUCK SHOW

IT’S ON YOUR MARK, GET SET, GO FOR THE EDMONTON MOTORSHOW IT ISN’T JUST ABOUT SHOWCASING THE HOTTEST CARS; THE EDMONTON MOTORSHOW PRIDES ITSELF IN OFFERING AN INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCE FOR CAR ENTHUSIASTS YOUNG AND OLD—AND FOR THOSE JUST DISCOVERING THEIR PASSION, TOO.

BY LAURA BOHNERT

E

dmonton residents and car enthusiasts are gearing up for the Edmonton Motorshow (April 20-23), and this year is looking to be no exception for an event that prides itself on 41 years of new and exciting show-stopping features. It’s the largest show of its kind in Western Canada and the second largest auto show in Canada. Occupying half a million square feet and housing upwards of 750 vehicles, including the latest from manufacturers, classics, exotics and customs, and featuring simulators, a collector car auction and even a new drift track, the Edmonton Motorshow is the event of the year for those who can’t get enough of all things automotive. “All major manufacturers participate in the Motorshow: Kia, Ford, GM, Lexus—they will all be there,” says Eleasha Naso, executive director of the Edmonton Motor Dealers’ Association and organizer of this year’s Motorshow. “This year’s show will be featuring some very neat things from manufacturers. The Motorshow will be the first time people

get to see the new 2018 models and concepts, like the new Ford GT—a model that has never been to Edmonton, Alberta, or even to Western Canada before this year’s show.” “Having the 2018 models on display gives people a sneak peak they can’t see in dealerships yet,” Naso adds, but that isn’t all; it will also give people a chance to see the new technologies car manufacturers are working to incorporate into their vehicles. “Every year, more and more green technology is being explored and developed by manufacturers. There is a big push right now for electric substitutions, and a lot of brands are expanding to incorporate electric options. Fuel line economy is really important right now, but technology is also growing and changing in the industry—it’s really important, in our area especially, because of how much time we typically spend in our cars.

ABOVE: EDMONTON MOTORSHOW 2016. PHOTO SOURCE: EDMONTON MOTORSHOW.

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APRIL 2017 // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM


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IT’S ON YOUR MARK, GET SET, GO FOR THE EDMONTON MOTORSHOW // EDMONTON AUTO & TRUCK SHOW

“There is talk of a changing landscape of vehicles, and it will be interesting to see, 10 years from now, what those changes to the landscape will be and how different that will be from where we are now.” “The Motorshow also provides people with a chance to take a look at some exotics and collector editions up close,” Naso continues. The Unrivalled Rides contest allows community members from the Edmonton and surrounding area to compete for a showstopper spot. The top 10 vehicles will be displayed at the Unrivalled Rides booth of the Motorshow, and guests will be able to see if their favourite ride wins the showstopper prize. “It really is a piece to engage the community,” Naso says, emphasizing the show’s interactive focus. “There are so many great cars out there that people have created in the community—cars people worked hard on—cars you see almost everyday at a glance as they drive by but never really get to see up close. The Motorshow provides an opportunity

for those cars from within our own community to be recognized and incorporated into the show. “We’ve also expanded our collector car auction this year,” says Naso. “It’s the largest ever held in Alberta, with over 200 cars across the auction block. The economy is actually really good for that right now; for people who want to sell or get a deal buying, the collector car auction is great. Whether they are looking for a new and exciting vehicle, for something different, or even to scoop a great deal on a ’50s or ’60s era model, it’s a great opportunity, although bidding can be intense,” she laughs.

ABOVE: EDMONTON MOTORSHOW 2016. PHOTO SOURCE: EDMONTON MOTORSHOW.

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APRIL 2017 // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM


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“Few people have had the chance to see live drifting like you see in the movies,” Naso says with excitement. “Our Friday to Sunday drift displays will give people a chance to see some live drifting up close. It’s a tremendous new feature that has never been done before.” Of course, the fan favourites of the Edmonton Motorshow will be back and better than ever this year, too.

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Despite the recent economic downturn, the Edmonton Motorshow isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. “Our numbers have not gone down in size,” Naso emphasizes, “but the economy did create a few changes from the way the show usually runs. Some people that have been with the show for a while are taking a break this year, but are keen to participate next year. It’s unfortunate, but it has allowed us a bit of a redirect. We’ve been able to bring in some new and different things as a result.”

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APRIL 2017 // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM

The Precious Metal Gala, for instance, will be returning to allow VIP attendees the opportunity to get a sneak peak at the show in style. The charity event, which raises funds for high school shop programs and post-secondary scholarships for those learning automotive trades, will take place once again on April 19, the day before the show opens. “It’s the best way to see the show,” Naso describes. “It offers


IT’S ON YOUR MARK, GET SET, GO FOR THE EDMONTON MOTORSHOW // EDMONTON AUTO & TRUCK SHOW

a whole new ambiance. All the house lights are off, there are spotlights on all the vehicles, musical acts as entertainment and you won’t leave hungry. All the manufacturing heads attend—it’s really the who’s who of the automotive industry in Edmonton. It’s a great opportunity for networking, but you also get a chance to see the cars better. There aren’t the crowds there, so you can really get to see a vehicle and even get into it. Plus,” she adds smiling, “you get to see your favourite car and put it up on social media before others can see it.” “I’m looking forward to this year’s show,” Naso says enthusiastically. “The buildup every year is exciting, and then you get to open the doors and say ‘this is what I’ve been working all year on—something I love.’

“I love seeing all the vehicles, all the new and hot stuff, but I think what I’m looking forward to the most is all the interactive features we’ve been working to incorporate into the show. The drift track, the expanded auction—I’m excited to see the community actually getting involved in the show instead of just looking around. We try to be a destination event, but we also try to offer good value, and there is a ton of value for the ticket price,” Naso concludes. “It’s a great show for the whole family, whether you spend two to four hours or even the whole day looking around. We wanted to make sure that those who bought a ticket got way more value than they expected,” and by the sounds of the lineup, the Edmonton Motorshow has definitely achieved that goal this year.

ABOVE: EDMONTON MOTORSHOW 2016. PHOTO SOURCE: EDMONTON MOTORSHOW.

BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // APRIL 2017

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KEEPING IT ALL IN THE FAMILY // SUCCESSION PLANNING

Keeping it

All in the Family COMMUNICATION AND FAIRNESS ARE THEY KEY TO KEEPING YOUR SUCCESSION PLAN FROM GOING AWRY

BY RAMONA KORPAN

A

nyone who has managed a business knows that it requires a lot of commitment. You spend the majority of your time there, are involved in every decision—including the difficult ones—and are directly responsible for the business’s success. However, when it comes to owning a business, especially a family business, the personal stakes are even higher. Not only does your family’s welfare and prosperity depend on the decisions you make, but so much of your family’s identity and pride is also intertwined in your business. When generations of a family come together to make their living and their mark, it’s a special thing. The business becomes a point of connection, a

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means of a bonding, a source of contention at times, and a tie that binds. So, when it comes time for ownership of the business to be passed down to the next generation, it can be a tricky thing to navigate. It’s not a transaction, but a process where pride and respect are as important as the numbers involved. Unfortunately, the process doesn’t always go as planned. It can be riddled with disagreements and misunderstandings. How do you ensure your business’ transition is a smooth one? According to Lynne Fisher, a senior manager and succession planning specialist at MNP LLP, some of the biggest reasons


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KEEPING IT ALL IN THE FAMILY // SUCCESSION PLANNING

OF COURSE, TRANSITIONING LEADERSHIP OR OWNERSHIP OF A BUSINESS TO THE NEXT GENERATION DOESN’T ALWAYS GO SMOOTHLY. ANOTHER COMMON TROUBLE AREA IN SUCCESSION PLANNING IS TRYING TO SPLIT SHARES EQUALLY AMONG CHILDREN, EVEN WHEN IT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE. succession goes wrong are lack of planning, dividing shares equally among children even when it doesn’t make sense for the business, and a reluctance on the part of the current owner to relinquish control. “I can think of a few cases I’ve worked on that stand out as being particularly challenging, and one of the things they have in common is that the founder has been reluctant to let go,” says Fisher. “At some point the founder needs to make the decision that they do want to leave the business in good hands and they want to go through the succession planning process.” The need to let go isn’t just about accepting a new season in life. There are practical reasons to hand down the business in a timely manner, one of which is retention. “Sometimes what happens is that the owner doesn’t want to let go of the business, they don’t want to let go of control, and one of the results of that is that they lose good people,” says Fisher. “I’m working with a family right now where we know that the son is about to leave the family business because his dad is still the majority shareholder. He doesn’t want to give up controlling interest of the shares, he continues to be involved in the business and he won’t let his son lead, even though his son is ready and prepared to lead.” It’s only natural that a business owner—especially a founding owner—would have difficulty stepping away from a business that they’ve poured their whole life into. But according to Fisher, stepping aside doesn’t have to mean walking away completely. “In most family business transitions, the best thing for the founder to do is not necessarily leave the business entirely, but their role should

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shift,” she says. “Their role needs to shift from being the person in charge, to now being a mentor to the family members coming in, to being an ambassador for the business. Often family businesses set up boards of directors’ part of the transition planning and they have the founder on the board because the founder’s knowledge and experience needs to be retained in the business. So when a good transition plan is done, it doesn’t necessarily involve kicking mom or dad out of the business. It does involve revisiting their role, shifting their role, realigning it and allowing the next generation to be supported in leadership by the founding generation.” That advice is echoed by Daniel Iaccino. Though he now has a leadership role in his family’s business, Celico Builders, his father maintains oversight as his son grows into his role. “A few years ago we had set up a partnership that ended up falling apart. We ended up in a very difficult position and my father needed a break to recover,” he explains “I took initiative and stepped up to look after things in his absence. Since then I’ve just kept at it. Now the company is mainly run by me but with my father overseeing.” Of course, transitioning leadership or ownership of a business to the next generation doesn’t always go smoothly. Another common trouble area in succession planning is trying to split shares equally among children, even when it doesn’t make sense. “Often one or more children are involved in the business while some are not involved, or they’re at different levels in the business,” says Fisher. “Just because they are family


// SUCCESSION PLANNING

members, it doesn’t mean they should be offered equal portions of the business. If you have a family of three and you have one child who is involved in the business and two who are not, the worst thing you can do is split the shares 33 per cent all around. That’s equal, but it’s not fair to the one child who has been involved in the business.” It’s important for the children of business owners to realize that a share in the business can’t be thought of as a gift or entitlement. You’re not only inheriting the business’s profits; you’re inheriting the work that comes with that. “Don’t let anyone fool you; owning a company doesn’t mean you can do whatever you want whenever you want,” advises Iaccino. “Having your own company really puts a strain on your family, friends, and yourself. In some ways, it’s more restricting than working for someone else. It’s long days, late nights, and very little holidays.” With that being said, denying your child an ownership share of your business can be hard. It’s a very different situation from failing to promote an unrelated employee or deciding not to hire a CEO candidate. It is, of course, much more personal and can affect the family dynamic for years to come. So Fisher recommends compensating in other ways. “What you can do is equalize things through other parts of a family’s estate,” she says. “So some families say ‘well, Joe is going to take over the business because he’s involved, he’s interested, and we’ve asked him. The other two children are not involved or interested in the business, so we’re going to equalize things by leaving the lake lot to child number two and cash to child number three.’ Or they’ll do other things to make it equal among the three and ensure that the business is well taken care of, because the worst thing that can happen is two shareholders who are not involved in the business making decisions about the business.” The risk of a succession disaster shouldn’t deter you from keeping your business in the family. Instead, let it motivate you to create a robust plan built on wise business decisions and good communication with your family. According to Iaccino, there should always be a plan in place for a potential transition. “The best possible advice is to always be prepared, because you never know when life will throw you a curve ball,” he says. “You might be pushed to make a decision that will determine the outcome of your company, so always think ahead. Forethought and planning are an essential part of running a company.” “A good succession plan has to address the soft issues and the technical issues,” says Fisher. “Legal issues, accounting issues and tax issues, what value will be transitioned—those are the technical, hard pieces. But there’s also the soft side of succession planning: making sure there’s rich communication between family members, the right questions are asked, that people are treated fairly, that there’s clarity around timing and expectation and involvement. When all of those pieces are working together, you have a good succession plan.”

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PARK MEMORIAL FUNERAL HOME CELEBRATES 75 YEARS OF SERVICE // COVER

ABOVE: JERRY SMOLYK, MIDGE SMOLYK, KIRSTIE SMOLYK AND NELSON LANCA. PHOTO SOURCE: EPIC PHOTOGRAPHY INC.

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PARK MEMORIAL FUNERAL HOME CELEBRATES 75 YEARS OF SERVICE // COVER

PARK MEMORIAL FUNERAL HOME

Celebrates

75 YEARS OF SERVICE

“WE ARE COMMITTED TO PROVIDING THE MOST COMPASSIONATE, MEANINGFUL AND CARING FUNERAL SERVICES TO FAMILIES OF EVERY FAITH, NATIONALITY AND ECONOMIC LEVEL. OUR VALUES FROM 1941 ARE THE SAME TODAY AND THEY GUIDE OUR BUSINESS: FAMILY, COMMUNITY AND PERSONAL SERVICE. WE KNOW EVERY FAMILY IS DIFFERENT AND EVERY DECEASED INDIVIDUAL IS UNIQUE; THEREFORE, EVERY SERVICE SHOULD BE PERSONAL AND SPECIAL. WHETHER A TRADITIONAL CHURCH SERVICE OR A CONTEMPORARY CELEBRATION OF LIFE, WE ENSURE THAT THE CEREMONY IS EXACTLY THE WAY THE FAMILY WANTS IT.” – JERRY SMOLYK, PRESIDENT; KIRSTIE SMOLYK, VICE PRESIDENT

BY NERISSA MCNAUGHTON

A

fter a loved one passes on, funeral directors play a vital role in the healing process. They come to a family in their hour of greatest need, and even though they may be strangers, they care for the family and the one that has passed with respect and dignity. Funeral directors stand between the family’s past and present. They guide the deceased to their resting place and the family to their new path. This is the role the Smolyk family has served for 75 years. Now, with the third generation at Park Memorial Funeral Home, we get a rare and precious glimpse of the story behind one of Edmonton’s longest running funeral homes. “Dad and mom started the business from scratch and opened it on their wedding day,” says Jerry Smolyk, president. “On November 29, 1941, we had two full-time staff members, dad and mom (Tod and Lucy), and our one location in Edmonton. Grandma Kostynuk, my mom’s mother, and my mom’s brother also quickly became backup part-time employees. Grandma used her own personal car to pick up

the family for a service and return them from the cemetery because she didn’t trust her son-in-law, Tod, to drive her car! “At a time when every funeral home in Edmonton carried the surname of the owner, dad chose ‘Park Memorial’ as his intent was not to connect specifically with any one religious affiliation or ethnic group. His motto was: ‘We will serve every person of any colour, creed or religious belief with equal care and the utmost compassion we are able to provide.’ “I came on board while it was operating successfully and saw my role as helping to increase the number of families served, reviewing all parts of the operation to become more efficient and providing new ideas from ideas gathered from colleagues across North America to offer families the newest trends in funeral service. I was expecting my dad to take a long time in accepting my new ideas and eventually stepping aside, but to my astonishment, he turned over major control of our family operation in just a few months! That showed the faith he had in educating me.”

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PARK MEMORIAL FUNERAL HOME CELEBRATES 75 YEARS OF SERVICE // COVER

“I started working at Park Memorial during my summer breaks from the University of Alberta,” notes Kirstie Smolyk, Jerry’s daughter and the company’s vice president. “I was taking my Bachelor of Commerce and thought I would go into marketing. During my first summer, I deemed myself ‘the photocopy girl’ because I spent a lot of time assisting with many smaller things that needed to be done around the office, but they were still things that needed to be done in order for everyone to do their jobs properly. From there, I progressed to assisting in the front administration office, helping to answer phones, greeting families at the door, and assisting with the paperwork files related to each deceased. I also worked as a funeral attendant, driving the hearse or the family limousine, working on the service in the church or our chapel, and helping in any other way I could while slowly learning more about the business every day.” After graduating and working at Park Memorial for two years full time, Kirstie left to pursue additional career and educational opportunities. “Working outside of the business was something that my parents fully encouraged. They felt I would learn more from others in different roles and companies rather than only working in the family business. They thought the experience would serve me well, and it did,” she smiles. After roles that included public relations and event planning for Klondike Days and a job in communications with the Canadian Red Cross, Kirstie remembers the pivotal moment that set her on a new course. “After five years within the non-profit world, I was looking for a change. My dad asked me to lunch. We arranged to meet at a restaurant and he proposed the idea of me coming back to Park Memorial, as well as going back to school to obtain my funeral director’s license. At this point, and armed with a bit more maturity, work and life experience, I felt that I was ready to tackle a new challenge! So, back to school I went, taking the program through Mount Royal College in Calgary during the evenings and working at the funeral home during the day.” Kirstie loves her role as vice president. “I love that this position combines the best of both worlds. I can contribute to helping people during their darkest times as well as still being involved on the business side, for instance trying to

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find ways to grow the business, investigating new and better ways to provide service to families, and learning more about how the importance of today’s social media and improved technologies can benefit our families and our business.” “Knowing we have served a grieving family so well that they are talking about us makes it all worthwhile; they give us a special thank you at the grave site, or they make a telephone call or send a special note later. I have saved a number of the really outstanding and touching ones and reread them to lift my spirits on days when dealing with death gets me down,” says Jerry. “The most rewarding thing is when a family says, ‘Thank you for helping us. You made this so much easier than we thought it would be.’ I especially love it when a family starts off being a little reserved and hard to pull information from, but by the end of it all, they are laughing with you, sharing stories about their loved one and giving those cherished hugs. That’s when I know I did something good,” notes Kirstie. The world has changed dramatically since Jerry’s parents started Park Memorial in the ’40s, and those changes affect the funeral home and how it operates, too. Jerry points out, “Today one of the biggest challenges isn’t directly within the profession, but results from things that affect the profession, such as divorce, second and third marriages, and a high number of common-law relationships. Decades ago, marriages took place within the same nationality and religion, but in today’s world, it is more readily accepted that love is love, and people will marry who they want to. “Recently we provided a service for someone of Ukrainian heritage who was married to an Asian, which called for a creative and inventive blending of customs and traditions from both cultures. In another arrangement conference, the family showed up with two children from a first marriage, three from a common law relationship, and one more from a second common law relationship. All of these children wanted to be involved in the planning of a meaningful ceremony for their father. How do you plan a service that will meet the needs of six children, a current spouse, and a couple of ex-spouses – some of whom are coming from very different viewpoints and are handling their grief


Suddenly, You Realize The Importance Of A Succession Plan. Because you don’t have one. You don’t always get to choose when or why you leave your business. But you can make sure that whenever that day comes, you’re prepared. MNP’s team of succession professionals work closely with you to develop your ExitSMART™ plan so you’re prepared to responsibly transition your business and take care of your family, finances and stakeholders. To ExitSMART™, contact Ian Meier, CA at 780.453.5355 or ian.meier@mnp.ca


PARK MEMORIAL FUNERAL HOME CELEBRATES 75 YEARS OF SERVICE // COVER

differently because of their family situation? It can be pretty challenging, and so far we are doing quite well, but some days I wish I had a referee’s black and white striped shirt and a whistle to call a time out!” Kirstie says, “There are a couple of things I find challenging. One would be staffing. We are lucky and privileged to have a solid staff base, but we’ve also been through some tight times over the years. There are not a lot of people taking the funeral director courses in school each year, and it’s becoming tougher for funeral homes to find enough great people to fill the gaps created as the current staff either retire or make a change to another career. I would love to see more students taking the programs. “We also need more people in the profession due to a couple other factors: the funeral profession is a 24/7 job because people don’t just die between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Weekends are some of our busiest times because many families like to wait until a Saturday to hold a service so that more people are available to come. Today, the old employee workhorse values of working seven days a week and not seeing your family for days at a time aren’t so desirable. We understand that it’s important for our staff

to have time with their families and to get a break, so we have added extra staff and always work to ensure that we have enough experienced, compassionate and professional staff working every day of the week, while also continuing to provide the all-hours service excellence that our families depend on. “The other challenge would be informing families about the many other unique products and services we can provide to them, such as a planning guide or computer program that can make an executor’s job easier, jewellery created from the thumbprint of your loved one, canvas portraits, travel insurance plans, collecting DNA to avoid fraudulent claims against the estate or for genealogy reasons, making a diamond from cremated remains, and more. Families are often tired after having to make so many decisions while also reeling from their loss and grief. We want our families to know that they can come back to us with questions about anything at any time. We are full of information and will do our best to ensure your idea or desire to honour your loved one comes to fruition.” In the early ’80s, Park Memorial installed a crematorium to handle the rising demand for cremations.

ABOVE: PARK MEMORIAL FUNERAL HOME HAS BEEN WIDELY RECOGNIZED FOR ITS OUTSTANDING SERVICE OVER THE YEARS. PHOTO SOURCE: EPIC PHOTOGRAPHY INC.

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PARK MEMORIAL FUNERAL HOME CELEBRATES 75 YEARS OF SERVICE // COVER

TODAY, PARK MEMORIAL IS PLEASED TO HAVE OVER 60 LONG-TERM STAFF MEMBERS ACROSS THEIR FIVE LOCATIONS (EDMONTON, MAYERTHORPE, LAMONT, SMOKY LAKE AND VEGREVILLE) AND THE FAMILY INVOLVEMENT HAS GROWN. BOTH MIDGE, JERRY’S WIFE, AND NELSON LANCA, KIRSTIE’S HUSBAND ARE ALSO INVOLVED AT PARK MEMORIAL. MIDGE WAS INSTRUMENTAL IN THE EARLIER YEARS BY OVERSEEING THE TRANSFERS OF THE DECEASED, AND IS STILL ACTIVE TODAY THROUGH THE DESIGNING OF EVERY BUILDING RENOVATION AND PLANNING COMPANY EVENTS. “We are also, unfortunately, seeing scenarios where families do not return to the funeral home to pick up their loved ones’ cremated remains,” says Kirstie. “Or five to 10 years after a cremation, we find an urn on our doorstep, or someone returns an urn to us because it was found in the trunk of an old car or a storage unit. Thank goodness it’s still a small percentage, but I find it sad and disheartening that families would treat cremated remains this way. I think it’s easier for people to ‘forget’ about doing something with cremated remains, yet the remains still require some form of final disposition.” There are many positive changes happening within the funeral profession too. “We are seeing more women in funeral service than ever before,” Kirstie points out. “When I started working here during university, 25 years ago, there were only a few female funeral directors and embalmers at Park Memorial. It was traditionally a male-oriented profession, whereas it’s now more balanced. More women, often transitioning to a second career, now want a position that’s focused on caring and giving, helping them to feel fulfilled while truly making a positive difference.” Park Memorial takes serving the communities in which they operate very seriously, and that means going beyond funeral service. “The company stays involved in our local communities by supporting as many non-profit organizations and charities as possible, through monetary donations and donations in kind,” notes Kirstie. “And when families experience early pregnancy loss or a baby loss, we have always provided a casket and most of our services at no charge, along with a

teddy bear for the casket or for the parents to hug. We know these gestures can’t take away the immense pain of losing a baby, but we feel it is a small comfort we can provide to those families experiencing such a tragic loss. We have experienced this type of loss in our own family and know how much support is needed during such a difficult time.” Today, Park Memorial is pleased to have over 60 longterm staff members across their five locations (Edmonton, Mayerthorpe, Lamont, Smoky Lake and Vegreville) and the family involvement has grown. Both Midge, Jerry’s wife, and Nelson Lanca, Kirstie’s husband are also involved at Park Memorial. Midge was instrumental in the earlier years by overseeing the transfers of the deceased, and is still active today through the designing of every building renovation and planning company events. As the facilities manager, Nelson is involved in overseeing all the major technology and building upgrades for all the offices. Kirstie and Jerry express their thanks to the instructors, friends, family, colleagues, clients and mentors that have been on this journey with them for so many years. “For Park Memorial, Kirstie is now steering the ship,” concludes Jerry. “I’m a little off to her side suggesting which direction she might want to steer! Truthfully, I am going to continue my present involvement as I have really enjoyed my career and all the people I have met and/or served… and still do.” “I see us staying on a similar path to that which we have always been on, providing service excellence to families who need us,” concludes Kirstie. “But do I also see us continuing to grow, adapting to change – and celebrating 100 years as a family business? Absolutely!”

BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // APRIL 2017

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2017

LUNCHEON

SHAW CONFERENCE CENTRE | DOORS 11:30 AM | LUNCHEON 12:00 - 2:00 PM | FRIDAY, APRIL 28 CRAIG MACTAVISH

LAURIE BOSHMAN

MIKE KRUSHELNYSKI

DENIS SAVARD

In June of 1990, the Edmonton Oilers won the Stanley Cup. Although this was the Oilers fifth title in seven years, it was the organization’s first Cup in the post Wayne Gretzky era. The Oilers incredible run in the spring of 1990 included wins over the Winnipeg Jets, Los Angeles Kings, Chicago Blackhawks and finally, the Boston Bruins. The Alzheimer Society of Alberta and NWT is proud to commemorate these incredible months in the City of Edmonton. A lively and memorable Hot Stove Lounge will feature players from the 1990 Oilers, as well as the Jets, Kings, Blackhawks and Bruins.

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LUNCHEON TABLES

To purchase a luncheon table, visit the event website at alzheimersfaceoff.ca/luncheon or contact Erin Martyshuk, Community Relations @ 587-520-9581 or via email at emartyshuk@alzheimer.ab.ca

A reserved table of 8 plus an NHL alumni guest (total 9 guests). Receive a charitable tax receipt for $4,000. Option to credit $5,000 towards a player or team’s fundraising efforts.

$5,000

3 out of 4 Canadians know someone with dementia, but 4 out of 4 are impacted. It’s not just their disease. It’s ours too. There is now a good understanding of what goes wrong in the brain in Alzheimer’s. One hundred percent of the net proceeds from the Alzheimer’s Face Off are directed towards research in Alberta’s universities. Proceeds are doubled by a one-to-one match from the Alberta Prion Research Institute.

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BUY, LEASE OR SIT? // COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE

BUY, LEASE OR SIT? HOW THE REAL ESTATE MARKET IS IMPACTING EDMONTON BUSINESSES BY LAURA BOHNERT

“I

t’s no secret that Alberta’s economy has experienced rocky times,” says Adel Hanafi, commercial real estate associate, specialization in investment sales and leasing at Cushman & Wakefield Edmonton. “However, these economic cycles are often catalysts for investment opportunities, acting as stabilizing forces to a market that some previously labelled as ‘over-inflated.’ Commercial property investors see the depressed economic activity as the perfect storm for a series of property acquisitions that would have otherwise been impossible or unavailable to them a few years back. With a revived generalized positive outlook on the economy, Edmonton investors are actively searching for new commercial properties. “We are seeing an influx in out-of-province interest with many investors from Vancouver and the surrounding regions looking to take advantage of Edmonton’s higher rates of return (capitalization rates) on investment class properties. There is a sense of urgency among the investor class that stems from positive projections—and the fact that investors

ABOVE: ADEL HANAFI, COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE ASSOCIATE, SPECIALIZATION IN INVESTMENT SALES & LEASING AT CUSHMAN & WAKEFIELD EDMONTON. BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // APRIL 2017

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BUY, LEASE OR SIT? // COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE

want to take advantage of interest rates that are still relatively low.” Hanafi continues, “Startup companies in Edmonton usually enter into the real estate market as tenants looking to lease. With the rise in office business centres that allow tenants flexible options to rent space for shorter lease terms, and small facilities such as Startup Edmonton that help cultivate and foster innovation in Edmonton’s start-up community, leasing is usually the path of least resistance for a new company with a leaner budget. The availability of affordable office space and increasingly flexible landlords doesn’t hurt either! “Overall, the Edmonton commercial real estate market is active. Transactions are occurring at a healthy rate, and there are numerous opportunities for developers, landlords, tenants, purchasers, and investors.” However, what Robert F. McLeod, associate broker, Re/Max Real Estate Edmonton, McLeod Realty and CEO of McLeod Project Marketing Ltd., has noticed is that for now, many are still taking the “wait and see” approach to the market. “What we have seen,” McLeod says, “especially when we look at the industrial market (our best barometer because it is the first to react when market trends shift upwards or downwards) is an astonishing drop in industrial building permits—close to 50 per cent; but what they always say is that you buy on the rumor, sell on the news. We have enough positive rumors now that are turning into reality, and that means we’ll start to see the build permits pick up. However, offices still continue to oversupply the market. “One of the most interesting parts of the market to watch over the next 10 years will be downtown. Everything new that is being built is expensive, class A; but downtown is significantly class B and class B minor. Developers will need to decide whether to completely renovate to compete with class A builds, or to perform minor renovations to provide competitive pricing. That will create a lot of interesting re-development opportunities downtown for 30- to 35-year-old buildings—and we are already starting to see that take place. “For businesses, the opportunity to own space is probably the biggest challenge. Overall, it works out to be double the

cost to rent than to own. Owning your own building means owning your own tangible asset—you can finance it, refinance it, improve it, invest in it; it can become the golden goose of your business for the long term.” However, he notes, “That isn’t to say that all businesses should push to buy their own buildings right now. My purpose is not to dissuade from leasing. In fact, most businesses don’t buy their own buildings because they are busy using their operating capital to run the business. That 20 per cent down gets invested into payroll and inventory instead. The first goal is to have a successful business, and that depends on where you can put your operating capital to generate a high return, whether that means buying a building or investing in marketing or staff. “Alberta, good market or bad market, leads Canadian growth year over year over year,” McLeod emphasizes. “Despite the challenges of an oil-dependent market with political uncertainty, it is still a great place to do business. The important thing to note is that the fear is gone. There is more confidence in the market, but everyone is looking

ABOVE: ROBERT F. MCLEOD, ASSOCIATE BROKER, RE/MAX REAL ESTATE EDMONTON MCLEOD REALTY AND CEO OF MCLEOD PROJECT MARKETING LTD.

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RETAIL

OFFICE

For the most up-to-date information on all of our properties, please visit our new website;

QualicoCommercial.com INDUSTRIAL

QUALICO COMMERCIAL | 1300 EPCOR Tower | 10423 101 Street NW | 780.424.7474


BUY, LEASE OR SIT? // COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE

around right now, waiting for someone else to jump first. Then another one will jump, and another, and another.” “The Edmonton commercial real estate market in 2017 is already showing signs of a call for action,” agrees Cory D. Wosnack, principal and managing director at Avison Young. “We are seeing velocity on transactions pick up and a higher volume of deals in the past 60 days than we saw in this same period one year ago. “As to whether it is better to buy or lease, the market is highly attractive for both scenarios right now. For owners, the financing options are, for the most part, as attractive as ever. For those considering leasing, rental rates are the lowest they have been in over a decade, and many landlords are offering large incentives to attract new tenants. “The leasing market will slowly improve for owners over the next 18-24 months, so for tenants, today’s market is ideal. Choosing which path is better for business owners comes down to how a company’s capital is best used, but based on today’s real estate market and economic climate, the value of real estate is poised to improve. “One investor group we are watching is non-Alberta based investors. During the past two years, the interest in Alberta from those located outside of the province has been scarce, but this is changing quickly. Investors located outside of Alberta are showing interest because they believe the market has hit a low point. “For small business owners, there has been an increase in the number of purchase options because many developers have catered to the business condo market. There continues to be many ownership opportunities for small businesses to own their space within a larger project, with most of the opportunities in new developments. We expect this trend to continue for years to come. “One observation that I have been fascinated with is the demand for quality. During a typical depressed market, the trend is for deals to be in the lowest-priced real estate category; however, in today’s market, business owners in Edmonton have been taking a pass on low priced options if the quality is also low. “One has to look no further than the success of the new office buildings in the core and Legends condos

above the JW Marriott at ICE District to see how starved people have been for new developments. New developments require top-of-market pricing to justify the cost to build, and their success in a depressed market has been a great lesson. Business owners in Edmonton recognize the value of locating in quality real estate for the dividends it provides in talent retention and securing business.” Wosnack smiles as he concludes, “A lot of people come to our office in Bell Tower, which is next to ICE District, and ask how we feel about our view changing with the new towers blocking our unimpeded view to the west. The answer is, we couldn’t be happier. Seeing half a dozen cranes spinning outside our windows to construct Edmonton’s two tallest buildings is exciting—that’s city building. It sure beats overlooking pothole-filled gravel parking lots for as long as any of us can remember. This city has many high-quality developments underway in all sectors of commercial real estate, and fortunately, those risk-taking developers are being rewarded by a market that is demanding quality over just affordability.”

ABOVE: CORY D. WOSNACK, PRINCIPAL AND MANAGING DIRECTOR AT AVISON YOUNG.

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Condominiums: An Affordable Option for Real Estate Ownership in Edmonton

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s the weather starts to heat up, so does the real estate market for Edmonton. Whether looking to downsize or picking a starter home, condominiums offer something appealing to many different audiences. There is such a variety of condominium types, from affordable one bedrooms to multi-million dollar condos, but each type has some common characteristics. To start, condominium is an ownership style, not a building style. You can own a condo that is apartment style, townhouse, duplex, even a free standing single family style. In most condos, you own the contents or inside of the building. With a bareland condo, you own the land that the condo sits on, so you are responsible for the exterior of your home and sometimes even landscaping. Condominium ownership certainly comes with benefits. On top of handling the outside maintenance work like shoveling snow or cutting the grass, some condos offer perks you won’t see in the average home or apartment building — like a rooftop deck, gym, swimming pool or party room. Buying a condo may get you into specific neighbourhoods where you may not be able to afford a house or places like downtown where a condo may be your only option. Your monthly condo fees go into a reserve fund, which is used to manage the entire property so many of your major costs are shared. When the property is well managed, a reserve fund may cover additional costs like replacing windows or your roof. There can be drawbacks to condo living as well. Low maintenance and extra amenities come at cost. Like most expenses, condo fees can increase over time. At times, there may be special assessments for major

No more roommates.

James Mabey, Chair, REALTORS® Association of Edmonton

building repairs that aren’t covered by the condo reserve funds. Condominium ownership also comes with less control than if you owned a detached house. Exterior paint colours, noise restrictions, parking, pets, garbage disposal and outdoor fixture rules or bylaws may be established by the condo corporation. You may require approval from a board to make major renovations to your unit. If you want a say in what happens in your building, consider participating in your condo association’s board of directors. It’s a good way to keep up with what’s going on and bring any concerns you might have to the board’s attention. No matter what kind of condominium you’re looking for, a REALTOR® can help you navigate the complexities of the buying and selling process.

Moving up in the world.

Trademarks and their associated logos are owned and controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professional who are members of CREA (REALTOR®) and/or the quality of services they provide (MLS®).


FROM VACATION PROPERTY TO INCOME PROPERTY // RECREATION & INVESTMENT REAL ESTATE

FROM VACATION PROPERTY

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FROM VACATION PROPERTY TO INCOME PROPERTY // RECREATION & INVESTMENT REAL ESTATE

TO INCOME PROPERTY MAKE THE MOST OUT OF YOUR RECREATIONAL INVESTMENT BY RAMONA KORPAN

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he decision to invest in a vacation or recreational property—a cottage, a summer home or a condo in a resort community—isn’t an easy one to make. As much as you might be dreaming of spending your summers out at a beautiful lakefront cottage, you may worry about the logistics of maintaining a property that is miles away from you most of the time, and of course the costs can be significant for something you don’t use most of the year. For many families looking for a more practical approach to purchasing the vacation home of their dreams, as well as families who are starting to feel the financial weight of vacation properties that they already own, turning their piece of paradise into an income property is the perfect solution. Many Canadians have begun renting out their vacation homes, either part-time while not in use by the owner, or year-round as a full-time income source. Heather Bayer is the CEO and co-founder of CottageLINK Rental Management, a vacation property rental agency. She has been working in the vacation rental industry for almost 20 years, and has seen a spike in business in the past couple of years. “We’ve been getting a lot more people

who are buying properties simply to invest,” she says. “They just want to rent them out 100 per cent of the time if they possibly can.” According to Bayer, even those who maintain a vacation property for personal use are more keen to get into the rental business “We also have owners that have had their property in the family for years and they’re now wanting to release the potential income that’s in the property rather than leave it sit empty for part of the year,” she says. “The vacation rental industry has changed so dramatically in the past 10 years. It’s more mainstream than it was back when I started.” Bayer attributes the boom to one thing: “It’s the advent of the big renting websites,” she says. “It started with HomeAway and VRBO, and then more recently when Airbnb came on the scene, that dramatically adjusted travellers’ thinking. It’s encouraged more travellers to take vacations in vacation rentals instead of hotels, so that’s been the driving force that’s brought the industry out of infancy to where we currently are.” As a central-Alberta based realtor, much of Kevin Lapp’s business comes from Sylvan Lake and other surrounding

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Built Right and Built to Last: The Residences at Bighorn Meadows Resort

B

ighorn Meadows Resort is privately located between the 9th and 10th fairways of the prestigious Springs Golf Course in Radium Hot Springs, B.C., just 2.5 hours west of Calgary through Banff and Kootenay National Parks in the heart of the B.C. Rockies. The resort is now selling its final phases of the Residence townhomes. These professionally managed vacation homes offer flexible ownership options that make it easy for you to own a magnificent mountain-contemporary style vacation home in this exclusive resort community. Another appealing component is that you won’t have to worry about maintaining your residence at Bighorn. Our professional on-site management company takes care of all the work for you to free up your valuable time for vacationing. All PLAY, no work! Make the most of your time together: Comfort, convenience, open and inviting best describe the floor plans in our newly built Residences. The kitchen/dining area is open to the living room that flows seamlessly onto your covered patio. Providing a free flowing space without the usual optical impedance and barriers that separate these areas for gathering gives your home a special warm and inviting feel. Your time with friends and family should be about enjoying each other’s company. Spaces like these allow you to make the most of your time together.

Built right, built to last: The Residences are constructed with high quality, low-maintenance exterior finishes that will last and keep your home looking good for years to come. Hardie® board siding, poured concrete aggregate patios and high quality roofing materials ensure your vacation home will perform and look great. These homes are built right and built to last. Your peace of mind is important: We are a licensed residential builder and are proud to be members in good standing with the Homeowner Protection Office of the province of B.C.. Your peace of mind is important to us; as a result, we are pleased to include new home warranty with all of our Residences at Bighorn Meadows. Two, five and 10-year coverage now comes standard with every residence we build. We understand: With an onsite management company and 24hour security, your vacation home is more than just a building; it’s a part of you and your family. It will be a relationship that can last for years to come. Like any relationship, it is something

you value immensely and our onsite management company understands this. We offer maintenance, housekeeping and repair services, vacation rental services, concierge, and 24-hour security. Leave the worries to us; we understand. After all, you’re a part of our family too. Opportunity: Less than 50 families will have the opportunity to own a Residence at Bighorn Meadows; the rest will have to pay you rent. Contact us at 1-888-766-9637, visit bighornmeadows.ca, or email info@bighornmeadows.ca to learn more.


All Play, No Work! The Columbia Valley’s only full-service resort community of Vacation Homes in Radium Hot Springs, BC.

Now Selling! Phase 11 along The Springs Golf Course

Visit www.bighornmeadows.ca Or call 1-888-766-9637 today


FROM VACATION PROPERTY TO INCOME PROPERTY // RECREATION & INVESTMENT REAL ESTATE

“I THINK WITH CHANGES WE’VE GONE THROUGH IN THE ECONOMY IN ALBERTA OVER THE LAST 24 MONTHS, PEOPLE HAVE TAKEN THEIR VACATION PROPERTIES AND ARE USING THEM AS RENTALS TO GENERATE SOME INCOME TO THE PROPERTY.” ~ KEVIN LAPP

vacation hot spots. Though he says the Airbnb boom has yet to hit the Alberta vacation property industry with the same force Bayer sees in Ontario, Lapp says recent economic challenges might have created a bit of an uptick. “I think with changes we’ve gone through in the economy in Alberta over the last 24 months, people have taken their vacation properties and are using them as rentals to generate some income to the property,” he says. “But we’ve also always had an investor pool that would buy property and rent it out either full-time, use it themselves during specific times and then supplement rental weeks in between and generate some cash flow.” However you find yourself interested in renting out your vacation home, Bayer warns not to overlook a couple of basic things before you list your property. “Before you even start there are two things you must do,” she says. “Number one is to see if there are any short-term rental ordinances

in the area that prevent you from renting. The second one is approach your insurance company to make sure that you can get insurance for short-term rentals. Since it’s a short-term vacation rental, it’s very different from residential rental. So whereas the insurance company might allow you to do a residential rental because it’s likely to be covered under landlord-tenant legislation, in most cases vacation rentals aren’t legislated at all, so insurance companies are really wary of allowing that to happen, and if they do, they can often charge quite a lot to allow it.” Once you’ve done your homework on legal and insurancerelated matters, it’s time to put your business hat on. If you are buying a property for the purpose of earning an income on it, Lapp says it is imperative that you do a fair amount of market research before putting an offer in. “You want to look for properties that are going to meet the market and provide a reasonable rate of return,” he says. “You need

ABOVE: KEVIN LAPP, LAPP REALTY. PHOTO SOURCE: LAPP REALTY

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Golfer’s Paradise Resort Property Lot 6, Wilderness Club golf course 2,082 sq ft | Three bedroom New construction This home is located within the gates of Wilderness Club, Montana’s number one rated golf course. Constructed of Montana wood and stone, it’s a part of the natural landscape. Enjoy quiet evenings on your private patio with views of the mountains, golf course, pond and forest. There is no better place to relax with your loved ones, maintenance-free and surrounded by endless recreation.

For More Information

Please Call: 403-837-9092


FROM VACATION PROPERTY TO INCOME PROPERTY // RECREATION & INVESTMENT REAL ESTATE

to ensure that the average rental rates in the market will provide sustainable cash flow on the property. You need to determine how many months that you are going to rent the property and whether or not you are going to use it yourself for specific months.” Bayer suggests starting by researching the competition online. “It’s very easy to research competition on sites like Airbnb,” she says. “Everything is there. You can do all the research on availability, what the seasonality is like, what pricing is like and what guests are looking for. Start there. Find out who’s already doing it, what their guests want and like, and whether they’re getting the occupancy.” She also suggests checking with your local tourism bureau to determine where potential guests might be coming from and how long they’ll be staying. “Talk to the tourist department and find out where people are coming from,” she says. “They will have all the information on incoming tourists. That’s important because it’s no good investing in a vacation property and then finding out later that nobody’s coming or they’re only coming six weeks out of the year.” Once you have the market figured out and a property to rent, the final step is putting a plan in place for managing the property to ensure it’s well taken care of and desirable to potential guests. “You have to consider the ongoing maintenance of the property,” says Lapp. “Are you going to work with a property management company that is going to qualify your renters? Are they going to make sure the property is maintained, and do regular check-ins on the property? All of those things need to be taken into consideration when looking at any type of investment or recreational property that’s intended for income.” Though the sudden popularity of online rental sites has created improved market conditions for vacation property

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THOUGH THE SUDDEN POPULARITY OF ONLINE RENTAL SITES HAS CREATED IMPROVED MARKET CONDITIONS FOR VACATION PROPERTY RENTALS, BAYER WARNS THAT IT HAS ALSO RAISED THE EXPECTATIONS OF POTENTIAL RENTERS, AS THEY NOW HAVE MORE OPTIONS THAN EVER. rentals, Bayer warns that it has also raised the expectations of potential renters, as they now have more options than ever. “You must understand that we’re dealing with a public with very high expectations, so there’s a lot to do before you open the door and start charging money,” she advises. “You’ve got to respect the fact that you’ve now become a provider to the travel industry and the travel industry is very fickle, very demanding, and guests have high expectations and high standards,” she continues. “So you need to critically look at what you have, right down to your mattresses, your bedding, the smallest appliance you have in the kitchen. It’s far more than just doing it on a whim. It really is hard work if you’re going to do it yourself.” Despite the challenges involved, both Lapp and Bayer agree: with proper research and preparation, a vacation property can be a wise and rewarding investment, especially if you bear in mind the most valuable aspect of any piece of real estate: location, location, location. “Wherever tourist demand is then vacation rentals are going to start popping up,” says Bayer. “Short-term rentals are the accommodation of choice for many people now, so the rental business can be viable in any tourist area.”


2017 Board of Directors

Legal Cannabis: What are Employers’ Rights?

Executive

Chair: James Merkosky Partner, Tax Services, Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLP Vice Chair: Len Rhodes President & CEO, Edmonton Eskimo Football Club Treasurer: Bryan DeNeve Senior Vice President Finance & CFO, Capital Power Past Chair: Bill Blais President and CEO Maclab Development Group

Directors

Dr. Glenn Feltham President & CEO, Northern Alberta Institute of Technology Crystal Graham Partner & Licensed Interior Designer, Kasian Architecture Interior Design & Planning Ltd. Dawn Harsch President & CEO, Exquisicare Inc. Alyson Hodson President & CEO, zag creative Elan MacDonald President, Impact Consulting Scott McEachern Vice President, Engineering & Projects, Enbridge Pipelines Inc. Dennis Schmidt Partner, Dentons Canada LLP Craig Thorkelsson Manager, Corporate Taxation PCL Constructors Inc. Liza Wold Partner, Miller Thomson LLP

Chamber Executive

Janet Riopel President & CEO Edmonton Chamber of Commerce Max Frank Vice President, Membership & Operations Edmonton Chamber of Commerce Ian Morris Vice President, Finance Edmonton Chamber of Commerce Danuta Woronowicz Vice President, Policy & Outreach Edmonton Chamber of Commerce

Contact

Edmonton Chamber of Commerce #600 – 9990 Jasper Avenue Edmonton, AB T5J 1P7 T: 780.426.4620 • F: 780.424.7946

By Janet M. Riopel, President & CEO

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eady or not, legal recreational cannabis is coming to Canada. Federal legislation is expected to be introduced as soon as this spring.

All businesses—large and small—must prepare for the consequences in the workplace. This shift in policy will create business opportunities for those entering the new, legal marketplace but will also introduce risks for employers. Employers have both a legal and moral obligation to provide safe working conditions. Many businesses and industry groups tell us that marijuana use is completely incompatible with safety-sensitive workplaces. Medical use of cannabis in Canada is already legal. The difference between medical and legal recreational cannabis is that while employers have a duty to accommodate an employee’s legitimate medical need, employers don’t have a duty to accommodate employees using it in the workplace for fun. But whether it’s medical or recreational, the concerns around workplace safety are the same. Washington and Colorado, which both legalized cannabis in 2012, have experienced increased total consumption and increased frequency of consumption. We can expect the same results in Canada. That means that people who have never used before are more likely to try it, and people who are users are more likely to use more often. There are serious limitations in regards to current drug testing. Random alcohol testing for safety-sensitive positions is allowed by the Canadian Human Rights Commission because a breathalyzer can prove impairment. Random drug testing is not allowed because the tests may prove a substance was used at some point, but can’t prove if this impairment is at the time the test is administered. That’s because while the effects of alcohol are well-understood, that’s not the case with cannabis. THC, the ingredient that gives a cannabis user a buzz, can remain in the blood stream for days or weeks after the high has worn off. There is no equivalent of a breathalyzer or “.08” limit for marijuana. How do employers balance safety and productivity at work with the rights and privacy of individual employees to use legal substances when they aren’t at work? This is the overarching question; however, the fact remains that the rights of individuals to use cannabis cannot outweigh the rights of employers to maintain a safe work environment. Our message to employers? Get ahead of this issue. Educate yourselves now on your rights and responsibilities. If you haven’t already done so, develop a drug policy that will both ensure a safe workplace and respect the rights of your employees. Ensure that it is communicated to all employees, and applied and enforced consistently. We all have a high degree of interest in a safe workplace. Continued on the next page... BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // APRIL 2017

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While there are concerns about the consequences of legalization on workplace safety, legalization also presents economic opportunity - a new industry that will create jobs and foster innovation. In an upcoming issue of BIE, the Edmonton Chamber will consider the economic upside of cannabis legalization.

Our message to legislators? Don’t rush to legalize cannabis. Our message to legislators? Don’t rush to legalize cannabis. Develop appropriate tests that will assist employers to ensure that their workplaces are safe. Public education campaigns will be essential to ensure that the risks of marijuana in the workplace are well understood. The results will be beneficial to employees and employers alike.

The Edmonton Chamber wants to hear from you. Do you have a policy in place regarding medical cannabis and workplace safety? Do you have concerns about legal recreational cannabis and workplace safety? Please email us at policy@edmontonchamber.com.

Our message to employers? Get ahead of this issue. Educate yourselves now on your rights and responsibilities.

Members in this Issue Cushman & Wakefield, Re/Max and Avison Young in Buy, Lease, or Sit? on page 37 MNP LLP and Celico Builders Inc in Keeping it All in the Family on page 26 Mammoet in Environmental Stewardship: A Shared Responsibility on page 57

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AMVIC Licensed


Leading vs. Telling:

Leading Your Mentees Through Challenges

M

ore than likely, at some point in our lives, we all experience a great, and not so great leader. This could be a manager at work, a teacher, or a professional mentor that provides guidance on making big decisions or solving problems. However, when we analyze what makes the great leaders notable, we recognize that it was how they coached and guided us through the highs and lows of our career path.   When guiding a young entrepreneur in the early stages of their business, it can be tempting to want to ‘tell’ or ‘direct’ them on what to do. If you have faced similar challenges as your mentee, you will have some good ideas to share on the consequences and potential outcomes of their decisions.   The best mentors are the ones that can lead their mentees to making the right decisions, instead of telling them what to do. Leading mentees successfully involves:

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Empowering “Mentoring is a unique relationship. You’re not the person’s manager, you’re not the person’s coach, you can’t tell them what to do. You just have to provide them with information, and share your own personal experiences and expertise, and help them come to a decision themselves. If I had to define Mentoring I would say it’s helping to empower someone to make their own decisions,” – Jarrod Pettipas, Futurpreneur Canada Mentor and Account Manager at TD Commercial Banking. Empowering your mentee will help them build confidence in taking control of their circumstances to help achieve their goals in both their personal and working life. A mentor is meant to act as a guide to help the mentee make better decisions on their own, and become more aware of themselves and their skillset to make these decisions. To help your mentee build confidence, the resources at futurpreneur.ca/resources.


Facilitating goal-setting and visioning Sometimes all a mentee needs is for someone to help them dive deep into understanding their vision for their business, and how to set appropriate goals to help them get to where they want to be. By helping entrepreneurs set their goals and objectives, and slowly increase their risk level, you’ll be supporting them in designing a strategy that fits their strengths and areas of growth. Stimulating creative thinking and problem-solving “They [good mentors] are role models and have a knack for mirroring back what they’re hearing and observing. It’s all about supporting your mentees in learning, rather than trying to give them the ‘answers’. Good mentors teach you how to fish and forage.” – Devon Brooks, Advisor & Co-Founder of Blo Blow Dry Bar, Futurpreneur Canada Mentor & Board Member, devsdevelopment.com. Put things on your mentees’ radar and help them identify and work through different scenarios that they could encounter, and may have not accounted for. This will help mentees not only explore different outcomes and pathways but also think creatively and problem solve. As an entrepreneur, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day business processes. Mentors offer that invaluable third

party objective perspective that is much needed in those early start-up days. Connecting entrepreneurs to others that can support their achievements “I also get a lot of personal satisfaction being able to make connections with others. I definitely don’t know everything and finding the people who can answer questions, provide better advice than me or just take entrepreneurs to the next level gives me a lot of satisfaction,” – Tom Cooper, Futurpreneur Canada Mentor, Associate Professor in Strategy at the Faculty of Business Administration at Memorial University, Consultant & Investor. It’s impossible for a mentor to know everything, so encouraging entrepreneurs to seek other mentoring relationships, advisors and coaches for a diverse perspective can really help mentees grow their professional development skills and become a well-rounded entrepreneur. The next time you sit down to meet with your mentee, ask yourself how you are supporting them in building confidence, setting goals, problem solving and networking. Guest Blog Post by: Lauren Marinigh, Social Media & Content Creation Coordinator, Futurpreneur Canada, in conjunction with Kristle Calisto-Tavares, Mentor-in-Residence, Futurpreneur Canada.

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Connecting Business Luncheon with The Hon. Brian Mason, Minister of Infrastructure and Transportation

Chamber members and the Edmonton business community took the opportunity to connect and network prior to Minister Mason’s address.

Minister Mason discusses how the Alberta Government is working to support the economy through infrastructure development to the engaged group of luncheon guests.

An engaging Q&A session followed Minister Manson’s address, with guests discussing some of the talking points post event.

Minister Mason fields questions from the media in the media scrum.

Connecting Business Speed Leads

Speed Leads was humming with the sounds of some fast paced networking in February, when members took part in the ever popular ‘Speed Leads’ event at the Chamber.

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Business cards were being exchanged every 45 seconds as members networked their way around the table showcasing their business to other members.


Connecting Business Taste of the Chamber - Presented by Jaguar Land Rover Edmonton

The boys from The Bothy Wine & Whisky Bar showcasing their authentic fare and traditional flair.

Guests discussing how great a road trip to the mountains would be in a new Land Rover, on display at Taste of the Chamber courtesy of presenting sponsor Jaguar Land Rover Edmonton.

Accepting the award for ‘Best Beverage Category’ Fantasyland Hotel delighted guests with salted apple Accepting the award for ’Best Food Category’ as voted by guests, was Chateau Lacombe Hotel, for and caramel panna cotta and a Negroni punch. was Jenessa MacInnis from Alley Kat Brewery, their winning escargot. winning over the taste buds of guests with their Amber Ale, Emerald Dragon Double IPA, and Scona Gold Kolsch.

Bent Stick Brewing teamed up with Otto Cafe to provide guests with some refreshing brew to enjoy with the delicious sausage samples on offer.

The guys from The Greenhouse Salad had fun mixing up some satisfying salads and sumptuous dips to tantalize guest’s palettes.

Thank you to our Taste of the Chamber sponsors:

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2016 Mayor’s State of the City Address

My Chamber

keeps me involved on current issues impacting Edmonton businesses.

2016 Mayor’s State of the City Address

My Chamber

keeps me informed on emerging policies in both the public AND private sectors.

2016 Mayor’s State of the City Address

My Chamber

keeps me connected to other business leaders.

Join your fellow Edmonton business leaders at our annual Mayor’s State of the City Luncheon, May 24, 2017. Tickets on-sale now at Edmontonchamber.com

EdmontonChamber.com

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Advocate. Educate. Connect.


ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP: A SHARED RESPONSIBILITY // ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP

Environmental Stewardship: A SHARED RESPONSIBILITY BY NERISSA MCNAUGHTON

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lbertans are proud of their province and work hard to maintain its beauty and sustainability. Companies, institutions and individuals are pleased to take the initiative on eco-friendly projects, and large entities have the ability to make changes from an industry level that positively affect generations of future Albertans. Mammoet, Shell and the City of Edmonton are three such organizations that have not only taken this step, but have also become finalists and/or winners of Emerald Awards. The Alberta Emerald Foundation’s Emerald Awards recognize and celebrate outstanding environmental achievements in all sectors in Alberta.

Mammoet Mammoet operates within the oil and gas, petrochemical, mining, power and civil/infrastructure market sectors providing engineered heavy lift and heavy haul services. “Mammoet is committed to the responsible management of resources through a balanced people, planet and profit perspective,” says Klaas Rodenburg, quality advisor for Mammoet Canada Western Ltd. “To achieve this, we have created an initiative termed ‘Sustainovation’ that integrates the concepts of sustainability and innovation.

ABOVE: MAMMOET LIFTING THE PROPELLERS OF A WIND TURBINE. PHOTO SOURCE: MAMMOET

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ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP: A SHARED RESPONSIBILITY // ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP

“In the case of reducing the footprint generated by our large equipment, we have invested in auxiliary power packs, a technology that allows the large diesel engines to be turned off when not in use while keeping the fluids warm and operators comfortable. This is very important in the harsh northern Alberta climate. Not only did this technology reduce our idling time and associated fuel costs significantly, but maintenance costs were also reduced by more than 20 per cent. Our light vehicle fleet is now equipped with GPS devices that track unnecessary idling and provide a report to each driver indicating their performance each month.” Mammoet didn’t stop there. “This year our Sustainovation team introduced EnviroMatTM, a new cement-like product that replaces timber crane mats in supporting the weight of our largest cranes on soft soils. When the project is completed, Enviro-MatTM can be safely crushed back into the native soil without harming the environment. One of its many uses is temporary roads for installing wind turbines in remote locations, and we are exploring its use to stabilize contaminated soil.” The company also opened a facility that operates with 50 per cent less energy and 80 per cent less water than comparable facilities. “Like our equipment, our buildings have an environmental footprint that we continually try to reduce. The Edmonton facility (opened in 2008) includes, among other sustainable features, a geo-exchange field that helps heat and cool the building and reduces the amount of natural gas consumed. Lessons learned from this building were applied to our new building, which opened in 2015 in Fort McKay, featuring a high performance building envelope, LED lighting complete with sensors and a large cistern that captures rainwater from the roof, which is then used up to five times in our vehicle wash bay.” Mammoet was a finalist in the 24th Emerald Awards’ large business category. “Mammoet was extremely honoured to have been an Emerald Award finalist, recognizing the efforts of all of our employees in creating a culture of sustainability commitment,” says Rodenburg. “In leading by example, we

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hope to show Alberta companies that sustainability does not have to be an expensive add-on to their business, but rather an opportunity to grow profits by investing in people and continually improving environmental performance.”

Shell Canada Globally recognized as a leading energy company, Shell aims to meet the world’s growing demand for energy in ways that are economically, environmentally and socially responsible. Shell Canada Energy’s Quest Carbon Capture and Storage program earned a finalist nod in the 25th Emerald challenge: innovation category. “Quest was built to capture more than one million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) each year from our Scotford upgrader – that’s equal to the emissions from about 250,000 cars!” informs Shell’s spokesperson, Cameron Yost. “The CO2 is then transported through a 65 kilometre pipeline, injected and safely stored more than two kilometres underground, below multiple layers of impermeable rock formations. “Quest was built on behalf of the Athabasca Oil Sands Project joint-venture (Shell Canada Energy 60 per cent, Chevron Canada Limited 20 per cent and Marathon Oil Canada Corporation 20 per cent), and was made possible through strong support from the governments of Alberta and Canada, who provided C$865 million in funding.” Yost is happy to note that, “Since starting up in late 2015, Quest has captured and stored more than one million tonnes of CO2, and has achieved this milestone ahead of schedule and at a reduced cost.” “The success we are seeing in Quest demonstrates that Canadians are at the forefront of carbon capture and storage technology, showing the world that we can develop real solutions to address climate change,” Yost continues. “Not only is Quest currently capturing and safely storing over a million tonnes of CO2 per year, but its technology can also be applied to other industries around the world to significantly reduce their CO2 emissions. More than 50 delegations [from around the world] have come to visit Quest to learn about the project.


Alberta's Electronics Recycling Program is ready to serve you. Old computers (including keyboards, mice, cables and speakers), monitors, printers, copiers, servers and TVs can take up a lot of valuable office and storage space. Find out below how you can take advantage of Alberta's Electronics Recycling Program. Dropping off your old electronics?

How are electronics recycled?

Across Alberta, 375 municipal electronics recycling depots are ready to accept your old electronics. Just go to www.albertarecycling.ca to search for a location near you.

Electronics are taken apart at the registered recycler’s facilities and separated into glass, metal and plastic. These materials are then sent back into the manufacturing supply chain to be made into new products.

No time to drop them off? Seven registered electronics recyclers provide pick-up service. Contact them directly to make arrangements. Their information can be found at www.albertarecycling.ca, or call Alberta Recycling at 1-888-999-8762 for details.

If you would like more information visit www.albertarecycling.ca

Worried about information still on your hard drive? The Electronics Program requires the registered recyclers to destroy all hard drives as part of the recycling process. They can also provide you with a Certificate of Destruction.


ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP: A SHARED RESPONSIBILITY // ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP

“From the outset, any intellectual property or data generated by Quest has been publicly available, in collaboration with the governments of Alberta and Canada, to help bring down future costs of CCS and encourage wider use of the technology around the world. This means that others can take the detailed engineering plans, valued at C$100 million, to help build future CCS facilities.

to supporting reuse of everyday small household items,” notes Aurea Siemens, waste reduction programs supervisor with City of Edmonton’s Waste Services. “The Reuse Centre is an excellent example of how community spirit, dedication and enthusiasm can transform a simple idea into a successful facility that benefits the Edmonton region and the environment.”

“Our success at Quest is a testament to the entrepreneurial spirit of Albertans, and it shows how working together can deliver incredible results.”

She continues, “The City of Edmonton has an ambitious goal to keep 90 per cent of household waste out of landfills. The Reuse Centre is responsible for diverting over 250 different kinds of reusable items, many of which cannot be recycled or accepted elsewhere. In 2016, the Centre received 308 tonnes of donations, 97 per cent of which were diverted for reuse and recycling. Accepting these donations resulted in saving 5,769 km in travel from garbage trucks, and in diverting 295 tonnes of waste from landfills. Considering the light weight of many of the donated items (pens, CDs, ribbon, tissue paper and holiday decorations), it’s incredible to think how much material is needed to get one tonne’s worth, let alone the 308 tonnes the Centre received last year.”

The Reuse Centre The City of Edmonton’s Waste Services branch took first place in the 25th Emerald Award’s government institution category for the Reuse Centre facility and programs. “We were thrilled!” says Connie Boyce, director of community relations with City of Edmonton’s Waste Services, about the win. “The Reuse Centre has grown so much since it was established in 2007, all through the hard work and dedication of our many volunteers, city staff and with support from residents of Edmonton.” The Centre is supported by more than 300 volunteers and sees over 30,000 customers annually. The Centre also offers educational programs, workshops and grants for community organizations who want to host reuse fairs. The program in is in its tenth year. “Edmonton is the only Alberta municipality to currently offer residents a permanent, year-round facility dedicated

We Can All Play a Part From large multi-national corporations to grassroots movements, we all play a part in environmental sustainability. Alberta is one of the best places in the world to live, and when we work together to preserve its natural resources, it will remain a clean and sustainable home far into the foreseeable future.

ABOVE: THE REUSE CENTRE IN ACTION. PHOTO SOURCE: CITY OF EDMONTON

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Nelson Environmental Remediation Ltd.

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rothers Darryl and Warren Nelson know that you can’t sweep a problem under a rug as that problem leaves a bump that will trip you up sooner or later, but that is exactly what too many companies around the world are doing with contaminated soil. Rather than investing in the time and procedures needed to reclaim contaminated soil, most opt to dump it in a landfill. The Nelsons aren’t having that. Year after year they tirelessly promote their Nelson Environmental Remediation Ltd. (NER) solutions and finally, the victory scales are tipping in their favour – or, as the men know, in the favour of current and future generations. “We deliver on our promise of ‘Clean Dirt, No Doubt!’” says Darryl. Our robust technology achieves remediation of nearly any type of soil with almost any type of contaminant. We guarantee remediation while providing certainty that the client’s goals are achieved in the most eco-friendly, best business practice manner, and with the most advanced technology in the world.” NER projects include large scale clean-ups of sites with organic contamination like petroleum hydrocarbons, pesticides, soil sterilant, wood preservatives, PCB’s, etc. One of the driving factors of NER’s success is its ability to work in any weather condition, from humid and tropical heat to the blistering cold winds of Canada’s far north. For example, NER has deployed equipment over ice roads to process drilling mud near Tuktoyaktuk, then later used a barge to transport equipment to Hawaii to clean up a 90-year old fuel storage facility in the middle of an urban centre. Distance and project conditions never deter NER from making the world a cleaner place. What can NER do for you? No matter where you are or how contaminated the soil, NER will take on your project. For oil and chemical spills, don’t think “landfill”. Think “remediation”. The problem of contaminated soil doesn’t stop if you hide it away. It stops by doing the right thing and calling in the experts to make dirty dirt clean.

Learn more about NER by visiting www.NERglobal.com.


TO A TEE // GOLF

To A Tee

WITH ANOTHER GOLF SEASON FAST APPROACHING, EDMONTON’S COURSE MANAGERS ARE BULLISH IN SPITE OF ECONOMIC UNCERTAINTY. BY BEN FREELAND

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f Edmonton has indeed outgrown its old moniker, City of Champions, it might want to consider City of Links as an alternative. While it may or may not be true that the city has, as is sometimes claimed, the largest number of golf courses of any North American city (a boast made by Phoenix and a number of other cities that is all but impossible to verify when including private courses), there is no disputing the fact that Edmonton is a golfer’s paradise, with an astonishing 84 courses within an hour’s drive from downtown. Whereas Toronto has only a small handful of courses within easy reach of downtown, Edmonton’s relatively low population density coupled with its mostly flat landscape means that one is never very far from somewhere to swing a club. Moreover, while golf is a costly pastime in most urban centres, in Edmonton it is well within reach of most budgets. A handful of private clubs exist, with membership running anywhere from $4,000 to the five-figure region, but the vast majority of Edmonton region’s golf courses are public and very affordable. Rundle Park Golf Club, a beginner-friendly course tucked into a gorgeous southwestern corner of the river valley, is a bargain, with a round of 18 holes running anywhere from $20 to $34. Victoria Golf Club, Canada’s oldest city-run course (with a history dating back to 1896), is an Edmonton icon—and one of the busiest courses, but still a bargain at between $47 and $58 for an 18-hole round in the heart of the city’s green core. While Alberta may not have the profile of, say, Arizona, the Okanagan, or the Scottish Highlands when it comes to golf, Albertans are unsurpassed in their love for the game, with an estimated more golfers per capita than anywhere else in North America. Recent years have seen something of a golf boom in Alberta, with golf-related revenues totalling $2.4 billion in 2014, nearly on par with British Columbia’s $2.8 billion. While B.C. has seen recent declines in golfing, a trend blamed in large part on overdevelopment of upscale courses, the veritable galaxy of accessible and affordable courses within the Edmonton and

Calgary regions have made the game more popular than ever in Wild Rose Country. For Edmonton’s golf veterans, there’s no question the city is a mecca for the sport. “There’s no question that golf is huge here in Edmonton,” says Tyler Rumpel, head golf pro and food and beverage manager at Jägare Ridge Golf Club, a mid-to-high-range course nestled in the Whitemud Creek Valley in Edmonton’s southwest. “I’ve been in the Edmonton golf scene for 25 years now and we’ve definitely seen a boom over the last decade or so. The sheer number of courses we have here is testimony to how many people play. It doesn’t seem to matter how many courses you build—they’re always busy.” Rumpel asserts that while Edmonton’s climate might not seem ideal for the sport, the region has distinctive advantages. “It’s true that we have a relatively short season here, but the days are long and that’s a big advantage. Also, in places like Phoenix and Palm Springs you often have the opposite problem, where it’s too hot to play, which is rarely an issue here.” Edmonton may still have a ways to go before it becomes a bona-fide golf destination on par with Phoenix or Palm Springs, but some of the region’s clubs are clearly trying to change that. South of the city adjacent to Edmonton International Airport, the semi-private RedTail Landing Golf Club has, in recent years, benefitted from EIA’s passenger growth and facilities expansion, and is looking to further that trend as the airport continues to expand its commercial presence with the opening of the Premium Outlet Collection late this year. “We are seeing a lot of people coming over from the airport to play,” says Josh Davison, head pro at RedTail Landing. “We’ve definitely benefitted from all the construction in the area and passenger growth, as well as continued population growth in Leduc and its environs.” ABOVE: JAGARE RIDGE HOLES 9 & 18. PHOTO SOURCE: JAGARE RIDGE GOLF CLUB

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TO A TEE // GOLF

While RedTail Landing represents the higher end of the golf spectrum in the Edmonton region with a small private membership and non-member green fees running at between $105 and $110 for an 18-hole round, Davison says the club aims to be as inclusive as possible. “We’re one of the few link-style courses in the region, with great facilities. We host a lot of tournaments here, including the Alberta Players Championship, but our aim is always to get as many people out as possible.” With so many courses operating in the Edmonton region, however, success means finding one’s niche within the golf ecosystem. While RedTail draws largely on high-income professionals and business travellers, other courses such as Eagle Rock Golf Club, located east of Beaumont and south of Sherwood Park, appeal largely to senior citizens and younger players. With low rates ranging from $45 to $55 for adults and as low as $39 for seniors and youths, Eagle Rock aims squarely at players outside the ambit of high-end courses like RedTail Landing. “If you want to succeed in this business you have to keep growing the game, and that means bringing in the next generation,” says Eagle Rock head pro Chad Rumpel. “That’s

Edmonton’s Premier Public Golf Facility!

why we’re working hard to grow our junior program. We offer lessons for the kids during the summer months at $160 for 12 hours of instruction. Of course, once you get the kids involved in the game, the parents tend to get involved as well.” Rumpel concedes that while golf continues to be as popular as ever in the region, the recent economic downturn has taken its toll, especially in terms of corporate business. “We used to get more corporate and charity tournaments, but the recession hit that side of our business hard. As a result we’ve really had to focus our business on offering special deals and growing our junior programming, as well as our offerings for seniors.” Looking ahead to the 2017 golf season, most course managers are confident that business will continue to thrive despite lingering economic uncertainty. “We’ve definitely seen the downturn affect our business over the past couple of years with people counting their pennies a bit more closely, but we’re not overly worried,” concludes Davison. “People here love to golf, and at the end of the day they’re still going to find a way to come out and play—even if it’s not as frequently as they might otherwise like.”

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highlandsgolfclub.com | t. 780.474.4211 ext 4 | membership@highlandsgolfclub.com BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // APRIL 2017

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Karlen-Elecom Celebrates 50 Years By Nerissa McNaughton

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hat does it take to be in business for 50 years, especially when it is a business that sees constant change and innovation? It takes a team of dedicated entrepreneurs with vision, passion and focus. This is why Karlen-Elecom is celebrating half a century this year.

However, the company was far from resting on its successful laurels. Mickie wanted to provide more for the company’s clients and, therefore, expanded the range of services. Since 2006, a construction group offering general contracting, building envelope and design-build was added to Karlen-Elecom.

It all began in 1967, when Al Karlen opened a business that focused on supplying electronics, sound and communication systems for Edmonton’s schools, churches and halls. The community responded well to Al’s ethics, honesty and products, and that served to expedite the growth of Karlen Electronics.

Diversifying the company proved to be the right choice. With Alberta ramping up to the 2008 recession, which was followed by the recent economic downturn, Karlen-Elecom was able to meet the challenging and ever-changing CEO of Karlen-Elecom, Mickie Poon economy head-on, and it continues to move forward, grow rapidly and exceed its sales goals regardless of the outside Fourteen years later, Al retired and the business was conditions. In fact, the company has grown eight times the purchased by Ken Kenton. These days, you’ll find Ken at the sales volume from 2008-2017, while many other companies helm of the international sales team. Ken also introduced were downsizing. new commercial audio, video and phone systems to the product lines. What has 50 years produced for the company? What started out as an electronic supply shop has now morphed into a leader The company never stopped evolving. Things took another in construction, electrical and mechanical services in Alberta. upward turn in 2003, when the then CEO of Elecom, Mickie Poon, and his investment group saw the potential • Construction services that focus on commercial work and in Karlen Electronics. Mickie and his group purchased and multi-family residences. expanded the company, and modified the name to what it • Electrical services that include 24-hour emergency is known as today: Karlen-Elecom. Karlen-Elecom became assistance for power and lighting systems, fire alarm systems, one of the region’s largest commercial and industrial sound systems, intercoms, card access and video surveillance. service companies.

www.elecom.ca


• Mechanical services, which includes sprinkler design and installations. The company has also created the Karlen-Elecom Training Centre, which provides an entertaining space (outstanding coffee, virtual golf, and a billiards table) for its staff, while also being a top-notch facility for internal and external training. So how does a company stay in business for 50 years in a world that is intent on changing faster and faster with each successive month? Karlen-Elecom’s marketing manager, Robert Logue, has the answer to that question: “It’s because we care.” For me, the greatest joy is living the passage ‘it is better to give than to receive,’” adds the company’s CEO Mickie. “It’s not all about the profit. It’s about seeing our own staff develop their skills and abilities and it’s about being in a position to help our clients become successful. What has made us successful is seeing and addressing the needs of our clients, and seeing how happy they are with our services.” Karlen-Elecom cared from the start of its humble beginnings, and it built upon the foundation of integrity that was set 50 years ago by Al. By always keeping an eye on future trends and never being afraid to take a chance in new and exciting markets, Karlen-Elecom has forged its own path and walks boldly upon it. 14620 118 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB T5L 2M8 Main Office: 780-453-1362 Email: inquiries@elecom.ca

We supply sound, not equipment.

CONGRATULATIONS KARLEN-ELECOM ON 50 YEARS IN BUSINESS! TOA Canada Corporation is a proud partner of Karlen Elecom. Together; we supply you with high-quality commercial audio equipment delivering rst-class sound. Whether in schools, hospitals, corporate environments, or correctional facilities our sound and security systems make millions of people’s lives safer and more enjoyable. www.TOAcanada.com • 1-800-263-7639

www.elecom.ca


By Rennay Craats

Alberta Golf Rolls out new Membership Program Since the first Scotsman swung a club in the 1400s, golf has become a worldwide phenomenon enjoyed by millions. And for more than 100 years, Alberta Golf has helped golfers of all ages and ability levels on this side of the pond to grow the game. With a membership of 50,000, it may represent a large number of golfers but with a pool of 300,000 Alberta golfers, it’s looking at new ways to reach even more. “We’re trying to take a big step forward in Alberta this year,” says Phil Berube, Executive Director and CEO of Alberta Golf. “We’re introducing a new membership program that will appeal to all golfers.” Alberta Golf has been best known for its handicap and rating system and membership traditionally appealed to golfers who belonged to one of the 175 courses the association supported.

Alberta Golf| Page 1

These golfers played or competed regularly, diligently entering their scores and keeping an active handicap. The new membership program being rolled out this spring appeals to individual golfers and provides them with great benefits while inviting them to help grow the game further. This will attract golfers without memberships along with members from the 125 golf courses not currently involved with the association. The new membership model still accommodates a golfer’s desire to keep score, track progress, and support the association’s mandate to be stewards of the game but it offers other tangible benefits as well. For a low annual fee, golfers receive custom labels displaying their membership number that they can stick on their clubs. Should a club get misplaced or left behind, golf courses can easily find out to whom it belongs and return it to its owner.


LEFT BEHIND: HERITAGE POINTE GOLF CLUB LEFT FRONT: THE NEW ALBERTA GOLF CUSTOM LABELS. CENTER: INGLEWOOD G&CC RIGHT: ALBERTA GOLF MEMBERS.

Membership also includes an insurance package that covers golfers in the event of an errant tee shot that breaks a window or a wicked slice that damages someone’s property.

“Our sport pyramid extends to our high performance athletes, and we supply some of our more elite players with coaching and sport science expertise throughout the year,” Berube says.

“If a golfer hits a house, golf courses have traditionally paid the homeowners out of being a good neighbour but now they can say it’s up to the member to pay it out of their insurance,” he says.

Alberta Golf is investing a lot of resources into developing these players as well as in encouraging the young players coming up to strive for that level of excellence. At the same time it supports weekend golfers in their efforts, whether that is improving their score in the handful of rounds they might play each year or working toward qualifying for championship play. Alberta Golf is a great resource for all golfers and the organization is involved in the majority of the sport’s events across the province.

Membership also covers inadvertent damage to golf carts as well as up to $2500 in equipment coverage for lost or stolen clubs. On top of these benefits, members receive a Rules of Golf book, Golf Canada magazine delivered to the door, membership to Golf Canada and, where eligible, participation in national and provincial championships. The value is incredible, and the goal is simple: to get more people playing the game. Alberta Golf was originally established to declare a men’s and women’s amateur provincial champion each year. Now it has evolved to include around 125 programs and events, all funded by membership revenues, that help promote golf in the province. The association helps organize 13 championship tournaments each year that attract top players in all categories—men’s, ladies’, juniors and seniors. It also helps introduce the game to Alberta youth through various junior programs. The association is even organizing a junior golf summit that gives program operators a chance to share their success stories and strategies with other course owners, operators and managers.

To accomplish this, Alberta Golf relies heavily on its stable of volunteers. At any time, around 200 golf enthusiasts are on hand to fulfill a variety of functions, from manning stations at events to educating people about rules at tournaments to completing course ratings. As Alberta Golf moves forward, it is looking to be more strategic about how volunteers are utilized as a means to broaden the volunteer base and keep the programs running smoothly. Alberta Golf’s new membership program is sure to be the talk of the tee boxes this season as word spreads and more courses and players jump on board. From duffers to champions, everyone can benefit from joining Alberta Golf.

“We want to contribute more in the future to best practice sharing,” he says. Today’s youth programs are wide reaching. Alberta Golf sets up booths at girls’ hockey and ringette tournaments in an effort to cross-promote the sports as part of the She Swings She Scores program. Future Links and Golf in School programs also help get clubs into the hands of kids who have never played before. The association supports more experienced players looking to develop their skills and earn a spot on Team Alberta or acquire scholarships as well.

albertagolf.org Page 2 |Alberta Golf


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Burke Interior Systems’ projects include high profile buildings such as Edmonton Tower, the Kaye Clinic and Scotia Place. Photos courtesy of Burke Interior Systems.

With Burke Interior Systems, You Can (Clearly) Hear the Sound of Success

R SYSTEMS LTD. R

BURKE INTERIOR SYSTEMS LTD. The acoustical tile company sounds off on why 50 years is just the start of their journey. By Nerissa McNaughton

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eorge Burke, the founder of Burke Interior Systems, had the unique ability to see past the current trends and anticipate what was going to work for his company in the future. He never once subscribed to the “tried and true so let’s never change it” formula. He loved to push the envelope, trying new things, taking chances and expanding into different markets. It’s a strategy that served him well. Burke Interior Systems turns 50 this year, and while George has since retired, he continues to witness the company thrive in the hands of his son-in-law and current company owner, Kevin Cassidy, who joined the company in 1977. Burke Interior Systems Ltd. | 50 69


Founders George & Doreen Burke (seated) and the staff at Burke Interior Systems.

Like most entrepreneurs, George started the company with a vision, some borrowed cash and the use of his garage as a warehouse. “George had a service man that would pick up materials from his garage and send it to the sites,” laughs Kevin. “This man could not believe the amount of business they were doing from that garage! Soon George had to lease a warehouse.” In addition to acoustic ceilings, which is still the company’s main focus half a century later, Burke Interior Systems also, in the past, sold office furniture, demountable partitions and access flooring for mainframe computers. This is a company that was never afraid to flex with the times, see what was needed, and provide it.

Also an artist (and marathon runner) in his spare time, Kevin Cassidy stands before one of his creations.

“That was just George’s nature,” says Kevin. “He couldn’t be happy doing just one thing. When I joined in 1977, we were actually doing more partitions than ceilings because the industry was ripe for that kind of thing at the time. Now it’s all about the drywall, but in the ’70s and early ’80s, we did miles and miles of partitions. We even stocked five or six different colours of vinyl board. We got into computer and access flooring when large mainframes were emerging in offices. There are still new things coming up that I know are going to be big in the future, and I want to be a part of that. “People may be surprised to know that not only do we install, we also stock an extensive range of products that are available for sale to the public. When you come to our office and warehouse, you will be helped by someone who has a great deal of knowledge about our products, whether it is helping to find a Burke Interior Systems Ltd. | 50 | 2


BURKE INTERIOR SYSTEMS LTD. When you come to our office and warehouse, you will be helped by someone who has a great deal of knowledge about our products, whether it is helping to find a match for an existing ceiling or giving advice on the best tile to fit your specific job and budget. match for an existing ceiling or giving advice on the best tile to fit your specific job and budget. We not only offer our services for commercial, institutional and industrial applications, but we also offer our services to smaller contractors.” One of the products that is quickly sweeping new commercial construction is beautifully designed wood acoustic panelling, a trend in which Armstrong® Ceilings, one of the companies that Burke Interior Systems buys directly from, is leading the way. “We work with innovative products and have been pleased to deal with Armstrong for 38 years. Years ago, only T bar and acoustic ceiling tile were being offered. Not only do we now offer a wide range of architectural specialities, such as wood panels, curved infusions panels, metal linear and fabric panels and all sorts of other great new products, but we also have experienced tradespeople who have the expertise to install these exciting new products!” says Kevin with enthusiasm. Armstrong is just one of the manufacturers that Burke purchases directly from. Kevin points out that the company’s longevity, reputation and diverse business interests puts them in the enviable position to purchase directly from a number

of large manufacturers, and being able to skip the distributor channels benefits both the company and its clients. This also allows Burke to sell its products for distribution to various building supply stores, as well as directly to other contractors. While the company is well known for its beautiful work in impressive buildings like Manulife Place, Scotia Place and 50th Street Twin Atria, as well as newer projects such as Edmonton Tower, Burke Interior System’s agility was what helped the company earn an important role in supplying and being trusted with the daunting task of rushing 5.5 tractor trailers full of ceiling tiles to Fort McMurray after the “Beast” fire to help with the hospital restoration. “That should have been an impossible task with the time limit that we were given. Not only did we special order the tile, we managed to have it out there within three weeks from submitting the order,” remembers Kevin. Kevin’s sense of humour and unwavering commitment to the job ensures that Burke remains a trusted, efficient competitor in the industry. “Burke is not an interior designer, but when people come to us with a particular problem, we can design a space that will work for them,” Kevin notes. “When they come to me, I can provide them with answers to a dilemma they may have, because I am primarily a contractor.” One of the things Kevin is very passionate about is creating better office, commercial and institutional environments through proper acoustical design. “Acoustics – one of the least understood things on the planet!” Kevin exclaims. “It’s so important! When I think of providing people with a comfortable environment, I think of acoustics.” He lists, as an example, a bad acoustical design is having to shout in a restaurant to be heard over the other diners and the music.

R SYSTEMS LTD. Armstrong® Ceiling Solutions congratulates

BURKE INTERIOR SYSTEMS LTD. on their 50th year in business!

Burke Interior Systems Ltd. | 50 | 3


“Acoustics are hard to fix after the fact, so do it at the forefront when designing the space. Noise needs to be absorbed, whether it is by the flooring, walls, or most importantly, by the ceilings. With the great new products and designs being offered now, not only can your space be acoustically sound, but also a beautiful space to spend time in. Come to me with any acoustical problem and, thanks to 40 years in the industry, I will solve it! When we do a particular job where I’ve had a hand in the design and helped to make a difference to a problem, the satisfaction we get from that is a great feeling,” smiles Kevin, but he’s the first to admit that everything is a team effort. In addition to leading the company in providing outstanding products and services, it’s his mission to help builders understand the importance of acoustical design. For Kevin, Burke is more than a job. It’s his life. “Having to run the ship has forced me to step up, and being an entrepreneur can be very tough. It’s not for the faint of heart. You find out that, as much as you want to, you cannot do everything yourself. You have to rely on others and the team, which brings everything together. This includes the men out in the field. Some have been here for as long, or even longer, than I. One of our guys apprenticed with us in 1968. When I talked to him about retirement, I told him he can’t retire until I do. What I didn’t tell him, was that I had no plans to retire! We have a really good team here.” That team includes Kevin’s two brothers, Mike and Tim. “The three of us work so well together

Congratulations to BURKE INTERIOR SYSTEMS LTD. on your 50th anniversary!

and have been working together for 35+ years; 25 years from now, the three of us will still be here!” Innovation, foresight and hard work have given Burke Interior Systems a place in Alberta’s marketplace for 50 years, and the same ethical values, outstanding products and constant willingness to flow with the times will keep the company relevant for years to come. “Our clients should know that we will always be here for them,” confirms Kevin. “I will never retire. I don’t want to! I really love my work.” On behalf of the team, Kevin says a very heartfelt thank you to their clients, vendors, supporters and suppliers, as well as to Armstrong Ceilings for their innovative products and for standing behind Burke for so many years. “What’s next for us?” Kevin grins with excitement. “We will keep doing what we do best, and we’ll see you on our 75th anniversary!

BURKE INTERIOR SYSTEMS LTD. 10809 182 St NW Edmonton, AB, T5S 1J5 Tel: 780-483-1454 • Fax: 780 484-9515 www.burkeinterior.ca

Congratulations Burke Interior Systems Ltd. on 50 years of beautiful spaces

INDEPENDENT BROKERS, SINCE 1913

Founded on Principle • Built with Purpose www.fbmsales.com

Burke Interior Systems Ltd. | 50 | 4


Photo by Joyful Emotion Photography.

A division of River City Events

Alberta Summer Games VIP Reception.

River City Events Puts the “Extra” in Extraordinary In just 10 short years, River City Events has dazzled Edmonton with exceptional service, outstanding products and memorable events. By Nerissa McNaughton

J

oe Ammar, president and CEO of River City Events and Big Top Tent Rentals, has worked in the events industry since 1987. In 2007, he felt there were not enough options for event rentals, so, fuelled by a desire to “create unique and memorable event experiences that build brands and relationships, and celebrate special milestones,” he pursued his vision and launched River City Events. Ten years on, the business is the talk of the town when it comes to rentals, planning and design, and now tents! “We started as a small company of three in Sherwood Park” Ammar reminisces. “The company grew, the service portfolio expanded and our strategic focus changed, which called for a

brand transformation in 2012. We changed our name from River City Event Rentals to River City Events and we moved to downtown Edmonton to be closer to be more centrally situated.” Within five years, the company tripled its sales revenue and experienced major growth. Today, the company employs over 50 staff. In 2016, River City Events acquired one of their biggest competitors – Big Top Tent Rentals, a major rental supplier of party and festival tents. “The acquisition was an important step to move forward in addressing the company’s growth,” says Ammar. “This was a joining of two extraordinary companies River City Events 10th Anniversary | 1

73


Photo by Joyful Emotion Photography.

Photo by Moments in Digital Photography.

The team of River City Events and Big Top Tent Rentals.

that were very similar in size and culture and had common values. As a result of the business combination, our customers and partners now have access to an extended portfolio of rental products and services.” Ammar describes River City Events as, “A full service company that provides clients with a broad spectrum of services, including event logistics, strategic event consultancy, and creative event production. In conjunction as a rental company, we can also provide all event rentals required to fully support any special event.”

Joe Ammar, president and CEO of River City Events and Big Top Tent Rentals.

Their 30,000 square foot facility downtown stores a great range of quality products and equipment – from basic rentals like tables, chairs, dinnerware and cutlery to linen, lounge furniture, games, elegant drapes and themed props.

Experience • Knowledge • Service • Flexibility

At Canadian Linen, Clean is in the Details

Congratulations to River City Events on your 10th Anniversary!

Congratulations

to River City Events on 10 Years! Contact Us 1-855-326-0940 www.canadianlinen.com 2 | River City Events 10th Anniversary

• Retractable Screen Doors • Security Screens • Motorized Awnings • Screen Repair

780-910-6688 • screen-savers-plus.com


Photo by Laughing Dog Photography.

A division of River City Events

Ammar considers himself fortunate to have been a part of many successful events in Edmonton and beyond, including major sporting occasions like the Grey Cup, Alberta Summer Games, Pan American Junior Athletics Championships, Track Town Canada, Grand Slam of Curling Champions Cup; numerous festivals; big fundraisers like the Edmonton Opera Valentine’s Gala, the Lois Hole Hospital’s Harvest Gala, CapitalCare Foundation’s Feast on the Field, and the Edmonton Consular Ball; award galas such as IABC Capital Awards, City Manager’s Awards, and many more. He points out that it is really hard to pick favourites, but acknowledges that there are events that stand out and hold a special place in his heart, like the Eagle River Casino Grand Opening, Track Town Canada, the Enbridge Centre Grand Opening, all Edmonton Oilers and Eskimos events along with the Lois Hole Hospital’s Harvest Gala.”

City Managers Awards.

The company’s hard work has not gone unnoticed. Three of River City Events’ projects were shortlisted (a wedding, a trade show and a charity fundraiser) for an Edmonton Events award, and Ammar was nominated as Edmonton’s Best Industry Professional along with other prominent industry professionals.

Congratulations to River City Events on 10 years of success!

Congratulations! CBM is proud to provide office equipment and service to River City Events. • Multifunction Printers • Laser Printers • Workflow Solutions • IT Services

P rop a n e | Ga s ol i n e | C a r W a s h | www.a p ol l op rop a n e.c om

Congratulations to River City Events, for 10 years of business. We are proud to be part of your success!

9411 63 Ave NW T: 780.486.6006 • www.cbm.ab.ca

www.crowemackay.ca | 780.420.0626

River City Events 10th Anniversary | 3


Photo by Joyful Emotion Photography.

Edmonton Opera Valentine’s Gala.

Rolling up our sleeves to help Edmonton businesses since 1894.

Interactive Security • Video Monitoring • Energy Management

Congratulations to River City Events on 10 Years!

Congratulations River City Events on 10 years!

Security Solutions For Your Business 780-431-1125 • info@ammarinternational.com #1585, Main P.O., Edmonton, AB T5J 2N9 www.ammarinternational.com

4 | River City Events 10th Anniversary

2800 Scotia Place 10060 Jasper Ave Phone: (780) 428-6036 • www.dcllp.com


Photo by Joyful Emotion Photography.

CapitalCare Foundation’s Feast on the Field.

“Our company has been recognized by numerous local organizations and associations,” says Ammar with pride. “River City Events has won a Consumer Choice Award and Best Designed Booth for five consecutive years at Edmonton Bridal Fair and Bridal Fantasy. In addition, we have won a National Philanthropy Award from the Canadian Cancer Society in recognition of our leadership and support. I am the former president of the Canadian Rental Association, Alberta Chapter,

A division of River City Events

and former honourary chair for Canadian Cancer Society’s Strathcona County Relay For Life. In addition, we serve on various organizing committees and boards, including the North Edge Business Association and Synergy Network. We’re also active members of the Edmonton Executive Association and the International Live Events Association.” Giving back is very important to Ammar and his team. “I am a strong believer in giving back to the community. We support numerous non-profit and charity organizations in our city, including the Canadian Cancer Society (which is close to my heart), MS Society, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation, the Parkinson Society, the Canadian Transplant Association, Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation and many more. Philanthropy is the foundation of who we are as a company. Investing in our community is a small way to give back to those who have helped support our business since 2007. We’re involved in various community programs, and we contribute $250,000 annually in sponsorships and donations to charities and non-profit organizations.”

Wanted

Western Rentals For all your Western Prop & Display Needs

Congratulations River City Events on 10 Years! We are proud to be a part of your success. Tel: 780-915-0084 ldmccullough@xplornet.com • www.wantedwesternrentals.com

CONGRATULATIONS River City Events on 10 Years of Success! bridgescatering.ca | 780 425 0173

Congratulations to Joe at River City Events on your 10th anniversary!

HINO Central appreciates our long standing relationship and your confidence in HINO trucks.

Full line of Class 4 to 7 units rigged and ready for delivery! Visit our website at

www.hinocentral.com

River City Events 10th Anniversary | 5


Photo by Joyful Emotion Photography.

Ammar expresses optimism, but acknowledges the economy is in tough times. “Helping and giving back even more is one of our main priorities. We do everything we can to support community endeavours and I wish we had the resources to support more non-profit groups and initiatives in our city!” River City Events has enjoyed great success, but Ammar humbly points his finger to the people, life lessons and circumstances that brought him to where he is today. “Some of the best business lessons I’ve learned were from watching (and sometimes working with) my father while growing up in the grocery store he owned for nearly two decades,” says Ammar. “My dad had a profound influence on my life. From my dad, I learned about the importance of relationships in business. People choose to do business with people that they know, like and trust, so you have to get to know your customers as individuals and treat them with respect. I also learned that success doesn’t come easy. Patience, hard work, dedication and resilience are key ingredients to success.” The company owner is also profoundly thankful for his team. “I have always believed that good teamwork starts with a shared understanding of how important it is. Working together is essential in the event planning business, and I am proud to say that teamwork is built into our organization’s culture. It is a part of ‘the way we do things around here.’ I am blessed to work with an incredible group of people who are passionate about what they do.” He notes that he also learned to, “Never underestimate another opinion. You have to give people an opportunity to be engaged, contribute and be heard. As a leader, it is important to me to recognize potential, ignite enthusiasm and award their contributions.” Of course, creating River City Events and growing it to the place it is today has kept Ammar very busy, but he’s okay with that. “Balancing life and work is a constant battle at times, but in order to have a productive, healthy, and happy life and career, you need to be self-aware and understand the value of

Enbridge Service Awards Dinner.

pacing. I work hard, but I play hard as well. You need to enjoy the journey as much as the destination.” On behalf of everyone at River City Events and Big Top Tent Rentals, Ammar says to their current, past and future clients, “Thank you for believing in us and for supporting us. We work in one of the most culturally diverse and vibrant cities in Canada, so it’s a privilege to raise the profile of our city by creating worldclass event experiences and making our city richer, more fun and exciting, beautiful and fascinating. We are extremely excited about the future. I hope the company will continue to grow and evolve and perhaps expand to other markets.” To learn more about River City Events and Big Top Tent Rentals, and to see photos of the company’s award-winning work, please visit www.rivercityevents.ca.

A division of River City Events

10560 107 Street Northwest Edmonton, AB, Canada T5H 2Y6 Phone: 780-424-6001 • www.rivercityevents.ca

CONGRATULATIONS

RIVER CITY EVENTS on your 10th Anniversary! Nova Hotels wishes you many more years of continued success.

1.866.401.6682 | NOVAHOTELS.CA ACHESON • EDMONTON • EDSON • INUVIK • KINDERSLEY • MANNING • PEACE RIVER • YELLOWKNIFE 6 | River City Events 10th Anniversary


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