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December 2013 $3.50


Irv and Dianne Kipnes: A Foundation for Giving Investing

Stock Market Factors

Year in Review Where do we go now?

The New Face of Continuing Education

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DECEMBER 2013 | VOL. 02 #12

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Regulars Each and every month

Business in Edmonton reflects on a great year and highlights a couple whose business can help you ring in 2014 in style.




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Irv and Dianne Kipnes: A Foundation for Giving

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Where do we go now?


December 2013 | Business In Edmonton Magazine |

IT’S BEGINNING TO LOOK A LOT LIKE CHRISTMAS. Everywhere you go, you’ll be seeing the new Rocky Mountain Equipment brand. We hope you’ll join Canada’s largest Case IH agriculture and construction dealership group in celebrating the close of another wonderful year. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from your friends at Rocky Mountain Equipment! DEPENDABLE IS WHAT WE DO.

Rocky Mountain Equipment trades on the TSX under the symbol RME.TO.







Business in Edmonton reflects on a great year and highlights a couple whose business can help you ring in 2014 in style.

EDITOR Mark Kandborg



Nerissa McNaughton



Nerissa McNaughton Nikki Mullett

Continuing education flexes to meet the needs of an ever-changing workforce.






THIS ISSUE’S CONTRIBUTORS Mark Kandborg Benjamin Freeland Colleen Wallace

Nerissa McNaughton Debra Ward James Cumming

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We are fortunate and more bullish in Alberta than in the rest of Canada.

December 2013 | Business In Edmonton Magazine |


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here may be topics in Canadian business that have had more exposure than innovation (which for purposes of this article includes productivity and R&D) but if so, I would be hard pressed to name them. The fact is, innovation and related issues have literally been done to death over the past 20 years and the audience is tuning out. The problem is that policy makers have not been able to put the whole issue in a context that resonates with the business community. I expect the average Canadian businessperson spends most of their time running their business – not worrying about where his business model fits in the innovation ecosystem compared to a competitor in Sweden. But the times, as Dylan said, are a-changing; and it is worth taking one more shot at innovation in Canada. That is what the Council of Canadian Academies did when it recently released “Paradox Lost: Explaining Canada’s Research Strength and Innovation Weakness.” Paradox Lost draws on an abundance of previous research to express our innovation dilemma. The document notes that a special senate committee on science policy reported in 1970: “Almost every decade since the 1920s has witnessed renewed attempts by successive governments to achieve technological innovation by industry, but on the whole they have failed.” Apparently, failure to innovate is as much a part of our national identity as hockey and curling. The question is: “if governments have made it a priority for so long, why has it not happened?” What are we doing wrong?


The problem is that policy makers have not been able to put the whole issue in a context that resonates with the business community. One thing we are not doing wrong is putting money into public R&D. In 2011, Canada spent over $11 billion on higher education R&D. The study shows, by using novel quantitative and qualitative analysis that many areas of Canadian academic research are now considered to be world-class, with clinical medicine, historical studies, information and communications technology, physics and astronomy, and psychological and cognitive sciences designated as fields in which Canada excels. This is not to suggest business is not spending on R&D. In 2011, business spending on R&D in Canada was over $15 billion. The problem is, business spending on R&D as a share of GDP is declining compared to major competitors. Compared to Canada’s 0.9 per cent, the U.S. share is 1.9 per cent and Sweden is at 2.3 per cent. Digging a little deeper, it appears that Canadian R&D in manufacturing, where the majority has historically taken place, has declined since the financial crash. Sectors such as services and oil and gas extraction have actually increased their shares, but not enough to offset the manufacturing decline. The issue is that if firms are not spending on R&D and are slow to adopt R&D from public sector sources, they cannot innovate and cannot increase productivity – which is essential as labour markets experience the exit of the baby boomers. As Nobel laureate Paul

December 2013 | Business In Edmonton Magazine |

Krugman said (in 1990), “Productivity isn’t everything, but in the long run it’s almost everything.” Labour productivity compared to the U.S. has been on a constant decline from over 90 per cent in the early 1980s to just over 75 per cent today. The paradox of why Canada’s academic research excellence has not yielded comparable business innovation results can be resolved by accepting two points. The first is that there are many factors affecting how businesses use research to innovate and that a ‘linear model’ is not how most innovation works. The second is that business strategy in Canada is influenced by many factors besides those that motivate innovation such as: Canada’s comparative advantage in the North American marketplace, the profitability of traditional business models, and a much more conservative attitude toward risk compared to other countries. As one member of an expert panel on business innovation put it, “Most Canadian businessmen would rather behave like an income trust than a venture capitalist.” In conclusion, the innovation paradox is a well-worn conundrum, but we have to address it in order to keep Canada competitive. Reading Paradox Lost is not a bad place to start. It can be found at BIE Jason Brisbois is an economist and Managing Director of the Alberta Water Initiative.

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Over 500 guests attended the annual Harvest Gala in support of school and community-based programs aimed at improving rural and farm safety and creating enriched understanding of the positive contribution of agriculture in Alberta. The gala was held on Saturday, November 2, 2013 at the Northlands Expo Centre in Edmonton. The second-annual gala included keynote speaker, the Honourable Verlyn Olson, QC, minister of agriculture and rural development, speaking about the significance of Alberta agriculture and the importance of Ag for Life’s work in supporting agriculture. Gala guests enjoyed an Alberta homegrown dinner, a stroll through the Artists’ Gallery and Farmers’ Market, and performances by the Keister Family Fiddlers, Tony Michael, cowboy poet Don Wudel, Blake Reid and Wildflower. Special guests included: Thomas Lukaszuk, deputy premier and minister of enterprise and advanced education; Diana McQueen, minister of environment and sustainable resource development; David Dorward, MLA; Ken Lemke, MLA; and David Xiao, MLA. Ag for Life credits like-minded partners and sponsors from various sectors including agri-services, energy, financial and not-for-profit along with farmers, ranchers and community leaders for working together to make the gala such a success. “I’m delighted to be seeing such an incredible outpouring of support for Alberta agriculture. So many individuals, groups and organizations have come forward to acknowledge and celebrate our vital agricultural industry and I want to thank them all for helping to realize the Ag for Life vision,” says Ag for Life CEO, David Sprague. “Their donated time, money



and/or gifts have helped the organization meet its many goals over the past year.” Through collaboration, Ag for Life brings diverse industry and stakeholder groups together to deliver educational programming designed to improve rural and farm safety and build a genuine understanding and appreciation of the impact agriculture has on our lives. Funds raised at the gala contribute to this mission. Ag for Life is made possible through the funding and commitment of companies that employ almost 20,000 people in more than 350 Alberta communities. Founding members include Agrium Inc., ATB Financial, ATCO Group, Penn West Exploration, Rocky Mountain Equipment, TransCanada Corporation and UFA Co-operative Limited. Contributing members include AdFarm, Glacier Farm Media and Mosaic Studios. Find out more at BIE ENERGY


As far back as he can remember, Chad Mielke wanted to own his own company and promised himself

December 2013 | Business In Edmonton Magazine |

he would follow up on the first viable opportunity he came across. That opportunity came when he realized there was a void in the electricity marketplace that was not being filled by the major industry players, EPCOR, Direct Energy and Enmax. To fill this void, Mielke created Peace Power. Peace Power provides service to all areas of Alberta except the City of Calgary, Red Deer and Lethbridge. “Peace Power aims to provide our customers with the cheapest price possible for power,” explains the entrepreneur. Peace Power also offers “exceptional Alberta-based customer service, as well as education, awareness and timely market updates via our monthly newsletter. We aim to empower the local communities we serve by giving back 10 per cent of our annual profits. Other things that make us different are our unique product offerings. We have a special senior’s rate on right now that provides major savings for those aged 65 and over. We also have a special rate for non-profit organizations and churches.” So far, Peace Power has been wellreceived by both clients and the electrical industry. “We exceeded our first year growth predictions by a long shot and are exceeding second year growth projections to date,” says Mielke. “Since we started accepting customers, we’ve seen five customers leave us and all were either because they moved out of province or the property changed hands. Industry has welcomed us with open arms. We routinely negotiate power purchases with the generators.” At one point Peace Power had a campaign called Light Up Alberta, in which Albertans were paid a premium to use green power (solar panels, small wind turbines) and export their excess power back to the grid. The Alberta Electric System Operator, however, cancelled the program. Regardless, Peace Power continues to look for new and innovative ways to inspire and reward Albertans for using green energy. Peace Power is proud to be different. “We are Alberta-based and

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support local through our 10 per cent donations of profit to local communities. We are also fully staffed here in Alberta and haven’t outsourced our call centre and data processing outside the country. We are truly an accessible provider and will do whatever it takes to make our customers happy. Our reputation is everything. As a small and growing business we will work hard to exceed expectations and prove ourselves to be the electricity provider of choice. We also go out of our way to educate our customers. Through education and awareness of the market, all Albertans will benefit.” This new company is happy to provide service to all types of residential, commercial and industrial properties in Alberta. To learn more about Peace Power, visit, email, or call 1-877-244-7294. BIE

their launch ceremony, which was attended by the Honourable Michelle Rempel, minister of Western Economic Diversification; the Honourable Verlyn Olson, minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, and the chancellor of the University of Alberta (U of A), Ralph Young. Forge Hydrocarbons Inc. came together following nine years of research conducted by Dr. David Bressler and his team along with an investment of $4.9 million from various funding agencies. The result? A company capable of turning waste oils and animal fat into gasoline, natural gas, jet fuel and diesel. “We thank TEC Edmonton for this wonderful award. We are absolutely delighted to launch a company today that will bring to market a remarkable technology that converts renewable feed stocks, such as animal fat, including tallow from the beef industry, vegetable oils, oil from plant algae and even restaurant grease, into diesel, gasoline, jet fuel, solvents and diluents,” says Tim Haig, president and CEO of Forge Hydrocarbons, Inc. When compared to the traditional method of producing petroleumbased hydrocarbons, these new dropin fuels can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 90 per cent. It is anticipated that these cheaper, more readily available and highly marketable drop-in fuels are the future of the renewable fuel industry.

Following the success of a small pilot plant that was used to perfect the company’s patented conversion process, a pre-commercial plant is being commissioned in Agri-Food Discovery Place. This larger plant will be capable of producing up to 200,000 litres of fuel per year. A full-scale commercial plant is expected to follow as phase III of this project. “Our Government understands that the competitiveness of our businesses and industries is key to strengthening our country’s economic performance,” says minister Rempel. “[The launch of Forge Hydrocarbons Inc.] is an example of our commitment to ensuring that companies have access to the necessary resources, bridging organizations and innovation service providers to take their ideas to the next level and bring new products to market.” “Research is the foundation for innovation,” says Young. “We’re very proud of the role we play in our province and country, and of the research conducted here. This company is a shining example of how University of Alberta research can uncover answers and evidence to create opportunities that may be brought to market to benefit Albertans, Canadians and people around the world.” The award presenter, TEC Edmonton, is a joint venture launched in 2006 between Edmonton Economic Development Corporation



In October 2013, Forge Hydrocarbons Inc. received TEC Edmonton’s University of Alberta Spinoff Achievement Award. The honour was given to the new company at



December 2013 | Business In Edmonton Magazine |

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and the University of Alberta. TEC Edmonton is a business accelerator that offers expert advice, resources, and networking for innovators. Their business incubator functions as first-stage base of operations for emerging businesses. TEC Edmonton is comprised of three main teams: the business development team that provides support and management experience, the technology transfer team that helps protect intellectual property and assists with commercial opportunities, and the entrepreneur development team that prepares entrepreneurs for leadership. With the resources of TEC Edmonton and the forward-thinking innovations of companies such as Forge Hydrocarbons Inc., we can all look forward to a bright, sustainable future. BIE RURAL LIFE


“Why do we need dairy farms when we can get our milk at Safeway?” City Slickers participant. Do you know where milk comes from? Did you know that potatoes grow in the ground? The surprising fact is, many school-aged children in Edmonton do not know the answer to those questions, and that is something City Slickers aims to change. City Slickers is a program that brings urban children to the country for a day where they meet farm animals, enjoy short training sessions, visit local farms and watch a harvest in action. The program launched in Airdrie as a joint initiative between Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development and Dow Agro¬Sciences in 1996; and that is where Judy Kesanko and Judy Unterschultz from the Stony Plain Multicultural Heritage Centre first saw the program in action. Inspired by what they witnessed, Kesanko and Unterschultz looked at each other and said, “We could do that!” And



do that they did. The Multicultural Heritage Centre launched their first City Slickers program in 1999. Fifteen years and over 15,000 children later, the program is still going strong. The day starts long before the children arrive. The first to show up are the volunteers – all 200 of them. The volunteers include numerous team leaders, locals that spend the day with each class to answer questions to help facilitate the event. When the 1,200 (varies slightly by year) children arrive, they are divided into two groups. One group goes on farm visits while the other tours the educational stations that are set up indoors and out. At one station, 4-H members teach each class about farm life and cattle. This year, 4-H members Johanna Livingstone, Cole Seidel and Isaac Schafers were on hand with a cow and calf. “It’s shocked me how much they didn’t know,” says Livingstone who has been with 4-H for 10 years and has participated in other City Slickers events. Schafers grins as he recounts what he tells the city slickers about the cows. “It’s fun to tell the kids this is your hamburger. This is your Big Mac from McDonald’s.” Other stations included Alberta Canola, where the children got to crush seeds to make oil. A few stations away, Audrey Jones used a spinning wheel and loom to demonstrate ways to work with real wool. Outdoors, a blacksmith showed off his skills and Bill Soder showed old and new ways

December 2013 | Business In Edmonton Magazine |

of cutting and threshing barely. Just before noon, the farm visitors returned and everyone went to the harvest site to see Rocky Mountain Equipment’s large combine in action. Following lunch, the farm visitors enjoyed the stations while the next group went to the farms. Ag for Life is a major funder of City Slickers and is in their third year of being the program’s main financial supporter. “We see this as an important program to expose kids to what agriculture is all about as they become consumers,” says David Sprauge, Ag for Life CEO. Kesanko agrees. “There are so many jobs in agriculture that children need to know about – from crop scientist to advertising. You don’t need to be a farmer to be in agriculture.” The day was greatly enjoyed by all. “I’ve never heard [my class] so quiet,” smiles a teacher from Tipaskan School as she watched her children taste barley and sample fresh produce. “It’s fantastic,” exclaims a Millgrove School teacher. “It’s so well organized. So well planned. The kids are enjoying it.” She notes that the free program enabled inner-city schoolchildren to attend since for some schools, field trips are not in the budget. September 20 closed with another successful City Slickers program where over 1,000 children left with a greater knowledge of rural life, possible career aspirations and an appreciation for where their food comes from. BIE

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WHERE DO WE GO NOW? With the Mandel era at a close, Edmontonians look to 2014 with a mix of optimism and uncertainty. BY BENJAMIN FREELAND


t was supposed to be an exciting, drama-filled election. Instead, the municipal contest that saw Don Iveson coast to an easy landslide was arguably Edmonton’s most boring ‘big event’ of the year. In stark contrast to the stomach-in-your-throat affair of 2012 that saw the provincial PC Party snatch its four-decade-old dynasty from the jaws of defeat, Edmonton’s 2013 municipal election was a laughably civilized contest over who could best sustain the momentum set in place by the outgoing mayor. However, from hardwon closure on major issues and completion of various


December 2013 | Business In Edmonton Magazine |

megaprojects, to spats with neighbouring municipalities and major airlines and a return to runaway economic growth, it’s hardly surprising the election felt like a bit of an afterthought. The final chapter of Stephen Mandel’s nine-year tenure as mayor of Edmonton bore a certain likeness to the critically acclaimed final season of the AMC drama Breaking Bad, with the outgoing mayor tending to one loose thread after another before bowing out. Within his final year in office, Mandel laid several major civic issues to rest, most notably the downtown arena, with


the first construction signs appearing in mid-July – a mere two months after the passing of the final deal by City Council. He also succeeded in putting to bed the Wagnerian drama of Edmonton City Centre Airport for what would appear to be the last time, while cutting the ribbon for the city’s bold new aeronautical icon, EIA’s Central Tower. In keeping with his longstanding promise of better design, he oversaw the final stages of construction of the Metro LRT line between Churchill Station and NAIT and the new mix-use high-rise development in Windermere. While the 2013 municipal election may have been relatively drama-free, the year as a whole most certainly wasn’t. In his last year in office, Mandel provided more than his fair share of pyrotechnics, jousting publicly with Oilers owner Daryl Katz over arena funding and blasting mayoral hopeful Kerry Diotte for unprofessionalism and lack of vision even before Diotte had formally announced his candidacy. The city also had to contend with a final resurgence of the City Centre Airport drama, with Lac La Biche MLA Shayne Saskiw leading the charge on behalf of continued Medevac operations out of the venerable aerodrome.

The year also saw city leaders cross swords with the provincial government over proposed cuts to postsecondary education, as well as the mayor whip up a frenzy over a widely misinterpreted caption in the Calgary Herald that jokingly referred to Edmontonians as “twitchy-eyed, machete-wielding savages,” leading popular blogger Mac Male to coin the Twitter hashtag #machetesomethingyeg. And the drama didn’t stop with Mandel’s exit. On the same week that Iveson and his council were elected, a leaked letter from Air Canada’s vice-president of corporate strategy, Derek Vanstone, to EIA president & CEO, Reg Milley, revealed that the national carrier’s decision to downgrade its Edmonton-London non-stop service to a seasonal flight was at least in part a punitive measure in response to EIA’s courting of transatlantic rival Icelandair. A boring year it was not, but behind the public dramatics was a year of solid, undisputed economic growth and solid business fundamentals. The midpoint of 2013 saw something of a pause in major projects, which coincided with provincial budget worries, but most industry leaders in the city credit this pause to the completion of several major projects and an echo effect from the 2009 recession. | Business In Edmonton Magazine | December 2013



A boring year it was not, but behind the public dramatics was a year of solid, undisputed economic growth and solid business fundamentals.


Commercial real estate prices in Edmonton reached an equilibrium that would be the envy of most urban centres in 2013, while the city’s population growth continued at a rate of over 20,000 people a year, helping keep the city’s continuing labour shortage worries at bay. “From a business and economic perspective, I’d have to say it’s been a very solid year with respectable growth,” says James Cumming, president and CEO of the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce since April of 2013. “Obviously the arena has been the most public issue in the city, but I think a lot has been accomplished

this year. You hear about ‘growing pains’ in the city, but personally I’d far rather deal with this than with the opposite.” For Cumming, one of the most positive developments of 2013 was the new mixed-use urban-style development in the southern bedroom community of Windermere, a development heralded as a departure from the suburban ‘sprawl’ that has characterized much of the city’s spread in the past. Originally conceived in 2006, the Windermere Neighbourhood Structure Plan was officially consolidated in June of 2013, with commercial and residen-

tial tenants continuing to funnel into the new district. “People need choice, and we need an urban development strategy based around choice,” says Cumming. “We have thousands of people coming into this city every year. Some of these people are going to want to live in a suburban house with a yard, and others are going to want to be in an urban-style subdivision. Both need to be accommodated. What we’re seeing now in this city is a grown-up conversation about our future direction.” With 2013 nearly at an end and the heady Mandel era now behind us, where is the city of Edmonton to go from here? Cummings asserts that the civic administration needs to keep doing what it has been doing, while being mindful that the needs of the city’s small business people aren’t overlooked in the pursuit of ‘revolutionary’ change. He also argues that aside from the everpresent threat of labour shortages in Alberta, the primary concern for business in Edmonton – and the province as a whole – is access to markets. “We’re still overly dependent on the US, and on heavy oil,” he argues. “We’ve got transportation bottlenecks and four different pipeline alternatives being discussed – and closure on none of them.”

“Better market access means better non-stop air access to global markets, and we need to work together with industry and regulators to make that happen. This includes better policy from the federal government on open skies. We’re one of the most robust economies in Canada, so what’s good for us is good for the country as a whole.” ~ James Cumming 18

December 2013 | Business In Edmonton Magazine |


He also adds that the recent uproar in Edmonton over Air Canada’s reduction of its Edmonton-London service highlights this need. “Better market access means better non-stop air access to global markets, and we need to work together with industry and regulators to make that happen. This includes better policy from the federal government on open skies. We’re one of the most robust economies in Canada, so what’s good for us is good for the country as a whole.” Such issues aside, Cumming is optimistic about 2014, and about Edmonton’s new council – albeit with a caveat. “Each of the candidates came up with their own vision for Edmonton, and in the end it was Iveson who

had the vision and the delivery that resonated with the city. He also represents a generational change; at 34 he’s almost exactly the city’s median age, and that’s a good thing. My hope is that the new council will recognize the potential of the marketplace in this city and include all players – not just the large businesses – in the discussion moving forward. We have a big, vibrant business sector in Edmonton and all these voices need to be heard.” Happy New Year, Edmonton! It’s been a wild ride, and while uncertainty remains, there is plenty of cause for celebration! BIE

Don’t Delay, Know Your Risks Today When it comes to managing your health, knowing sooner is always better


or many of us, the most important action we can take this year is to have a comprehensive health assessment. Ironically, the physical tune-up that might keep us moving along for many years to come is the one priority that many put off until next year. But experts warn procrastination is risky business - particularly if you are male. “Women visit their physician more often than men and participate in screening programs with greater frequency,” says Dr. Beth Donaldson, Family Physician at Copeman Healthcare. “In some cases they see their care provider three to four times more often than their male counterparts.” Frequent visits means greater familiarity with screening regimens and, on average, community-based programs have been more successful in recruiting women. “Many cancers are very treatable if caught early - cervical cancer, prostate cancer, breast cancer and colorectal cancer all have five-year survival rates in excess of 90 per cent - if caught early. But those numbers can drop to eight per cent or less if caught in the later stages,” notes Dr. Donaldson. But cancer is not the only disease that results in many years of lost life as a result of late detection. Many common health concerns like high blood pressure, elevated blood glucose and metabolic disorders can be effectively treated or managed if caught early. Asked why patients often delay screening even if it means

it could save their life, Don Copeman, Founder and Chairman of Copeman Healthcare, offers insight from his many years of experience. “One of our biggest challenges is just getting people to stop delaying their decision to come in. People often know what they need to do, and out of pride they would rather quit smoking, lose weight or lower their blood pressure before joining us. They just don’t understand how much we can help them.” Copeman Healthcare, a private medical centre with facilities in Edmonton, Calgary Vancouver and West Vancouver, has set up clinical pathways to stratify risk and manage the earliest signs of disease. Programs have been developed for high blood pressure, metabolic syndrome, cancer, women’s health, men’s health, cardiac risk reduction and diabetes management. For an annual fee of $3,200 ($4,200 in the first year), Copeman Healthcare integrates the care of a physician with an interdisciplinary team of dietitians, exercise medicine specialists, family health nurses, nurse practitioners and health coaches. Working together the team develops a personalized prevention and early detection plan that puts clients on the path to lasting wellness. More information on Copeman Healthcare can be found on the company’s website at | Business In Edmonton Magazine | December 2013





Irv and Dianne Kipnes: A Foundation for Giving BY MARK KANDBORG


little over a month ago I found myself standing in the middle of St. Peter’s Basilica on a rainy Roman afternoon, struck uncharacteristically silent by the beauty surrounding me. It was impossible for me to wrap my head around it. A single question gnawed at my 21st-century brain: how? How could so much creativity be brought to bear to create such an astounding work? Inspiration can’t account for it. Artists are inspired all the time without ever achieving anything approaching this. Sheer numbers? Focus? Time? That much seems certain, but serves only to push back and capitalize the original question: How? | Business In Edmonton Magazine | December 2013




The answer is not be found in the people involved, nor in the time or even the place, but in the system that allowed it. The artists, artisans, craftsman and designers were supported in their quest and neither money nor resources would admit its impediment. No one had a day job to pull them away. There were no “starving artists” here. Everything they needed was brought forth from the deep purses of the papacy. Unfettered, their genius flowed onto the walls and ceilings around me, even to the floors beneath my feet. How much would there be to admire, to be astounded by, if today’s artistic souls were similarly set free from the surly bonds of the mundane? We’d have far fewer super hero movies, I’ll tell you that. One could similarly ponder the strides which medical researchers could take, given the resources they require. Where, after all, would we be without university research hospitals and the miracle of privately funded facilities? How much better would our lives and our world be if there were more? Would words like cancer, Parkinson’s, muscular dystrophy and AIDS join plague and smallpox in the dust heap of forgotten nightmares? It’s a question well worth considering. Closer to home, more within the scope of this magazine and more to the point, where would Edmontonians be? Without Shirley and Dr. Bob Stollery? Without Harriet and


December 2013 | Business In Edmonton Magazine |

Francis Winspear? This city has a proud tradition of giving. Of caring. Of doing what’s right and thereby making all of our lives that much safer, that much richer. I have come to believe it defines us as a community. We make an honest living and we give back. Thankfully, this tradition not only continues, it thrives. Although many individuals, and many corporations, are a part of this, we at Business in Edmonton have been moved during this traditional month of giving to spotlight two of the most active and influential leaders of this city’s philanthropic vanguard, Irv and Dianne Kipnes. It is an overwhelming temptation for me to refer to the Kipnes’ as a philanthropic Dream Team. I will try to restrain myself, however, as neither of them is particularly comfortable with dramatic sobriquets. Nor will I call them philanthropy’s Dynamic Duo. Don’t even think I can get away with Power Couple, which is too bad because all three of these monikers describe Dianne and Irv perfectly. They are true catalysts for positive change in this city. As the years fall away and the great town we live in becomes an even more desirable place to be, we will have gotten there in large part due to the Kipnes’ foresight, tenacity and above all, love for the city and its citizens. That love was first expressed in a big way a little over a decade ago with a $1 million gift for the building of the

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It may come as a surprise that the Kipnes’ are so open about how much they give and where the money goes, but this is a key aspect of their philosophy.

Dianne and Irving Kipnes Centre for Veterans. “Now it doesn’t seem like much, but we thought it was a great deal of money at the time,” Dianne says. “In philanthropic circles that’s kind of entry level. It wasn’t a very popular thing to do at the time. A lot of people thought it’s the government’s responsibility, why should we do it? But we felt if the government’s not doing it, why shouldn’t we? I’m so happy we did. There’s a daycare in the centre. The integration between the veterans and the kids is marvellous. There are innovations for patients with dementia. We have the Edmonton Opera go there to work with the veterans and sing. It brings tears to your eyes, it really does.” It may come as a surprise that the Kipnes’ are so open about how much they give and where the money goes, but this is a key aspect of their philosophy. “We’re public about it so other people can see what can be done,” Dianne explains. “Money is one of the things in our community we don’t talk about. It’s kind of a taboo topic. If you go public, people can say, ‘this is what they give. I can’t give that much, maybe I can give more.’ It doesn’t really matter, but they have some sort of yardstick of what can be done and what kind of impact you can make.” Irv agrees, although the limelight is something this charming, soft spoken giant of business has had to get used to. “We set up the [Dianne and Irving Kipnes] Foundation as a vehicle for giving, but also as a way of being open about it. But it was never my intent to be too well known. I sometimes laugh because my late partner, Larry Rollingher, was very much at the forefront of a lot of philanthropic things as well, and I used to tell him to keep a low profile. ‘You don’t need your picture in the paper all the time.’ The next thing I know I wake up and I’m thinking ‘why didn’t you take your own advice?’ It’s long past that now.” Irv developed his penchant for developing others early on. “I really started seeing philanthropy after the war when there were all kinds of meetings to try to help the refugees coming out of the Holocaust, and then helping the State of Israel to be born,” he says. “There was always some form of philanthropy going on. That was the basis, seeing that while I was growing up.” His first kick at the can, or the box, came when he was just 12 years old. “In most Jewish households there was this little blue box, a Jewish National Fund box, that you’d put coins in. So I used to go around and collect them.” It evolved from there to taking different roles in fundraising, whether it was for an auction or a draw. “It sort of becomes part of your life.” There was another part to his life however and, being a business magazine, we’d be remiss if we didn’t take a moment to recognize it.


December 2013 | Business In Edmonton Magazine |

Irv Kipnes graduated with a chemical engineering degree in 1959 and immediately set off to work for Imperial Oil. At that time, he points out while grinning slightly, he was the highest paid member of his graduating class. “I was making $415 a month. Everybody else was making $400.” Despite this impressive influx of riches (a mortgage payment at that time was $100), it wasn’t long before his entrepreneurial curiosity got the better of him. “I got involved with another engineer out there and we started, without really knowing what we were doing, developing a couple of small warehouses and a couple of small apartments. Pretty soon we woke up and decided that doing that kind of thing was going to provide a better income than working for Imperial Oil. Since then, I’ve always been involved in the real estate development business.” That right there is an example of what one might call classic Irv Kipnes underplay. He has indeed continued in development, but he expanded his business horizons considerably with a lateral move of prescient brilliance, in the late ‘80s. “It was a very bad time for developers,” Dianne says. “No one was opening anything, and that was his motivation for doing it. That’s one of the things about Irv. He’s always thinking about how he can make things work.” True to his nature, he demurred a bit, taking a special interest in the wood grain in the table in front of us. “You do think outside the box, Irv, and you’re very good about thinking of what you can do when it doesn’t appear that there’s anything to be done. That, and you’re tenacious.” “That word does not mean stubbornness,” he assures me, with a slightly broader grin this time, “because I lose all the time.” Irv’s brilliant lateral move came about when the Alberta government made the controversial decision to privatize liquor. “Twenty years ago in September, we got what was probably the first private liquor licence issued,” he says, simply. This simple but by no means certain toe-dip into unknown waters soon “blossomed into a huge enterprise,” as Dianne puts it. His Liquor Depot Corporation eventually merged with Liquor World, went public and grew from 48 stores in 2005 to the current total of 240 in Alaska, Kentucky, B.C. and Alberta with a current market capitalization of $650 million. The man has a head for business. “Irv has a little chip in his brain that just works that way,” Dianne says. “He can put anything together and know whether it will work. I’m not capable of those kinds of things.”




Dianne Kipnes is very capable of other kinds of things, however, and countless people have benefited thereby. “I’ve always been involved with people’s lives. Not to the extent that I am now with the philanthropy that we do, but ever since I was a little kid I was interested in helping other people. I grew up to be a social worker, a kids’ aid; I worked the whole gamut of social concerns. I worked in Toronto in Regent Park, became a psychologist, worked in mental health. This has always been an overwhelming interest for me,” she says. “To be able to do it at this level and in such a way is just an amazing opportunity. I can’t tell you what it is to be able to look at a problem and think, you know, I can help with that. Or I can change that.” Help and change they have. You’ll be reminded of that often over the coming years as their dream of an Edmonton Arts District in the downtown core comes to its $1 billion, city-changing, culture-invigorating life. The best news is that they have no plans to stop any time soon. “You know, I tried to get Irv to have a hobby,” Dianne says, “but he just kind of looked at me. It’s a lost cause and it probably is for me, too. We could look at other things, maybe we could do A, B or C, but it doesn’t interest us very much. This interests us both. A lot.” “I like to say that for Dianne and I, out of about 150 per cent, it’s become 100 per cent of what we do.” “This has become the passion of our later years, really,” Dianne continues. “The thing about it is you’re surrounded by other like-minded people who want to do something, and that’s totally innervating. Because as you get older you sort of... well, I don’t know how to get older any way oth-

er than how I’m doing it. But we’re not waiting for lunch. There’s always someone who has an idea. It’s a creative process about making life better and I think that’s a really positive thing when you get older, because you feel that there’s something you can do. You feel valued, you feel like you have something to give. Sometimes it’s just money. Let’s face it. I’m not being unrealistic about that, but there is a part for you to still play in society.” This article began with a question: How? It will end with another: Why? “After we got involved with funding lymphedema research, I got an email from a woman in New York and she has a little girl, Emma, who’s five years old and has lymphedema. They didn’t know what it was. They didn’t know how to get treatment. She had serious illnesses and there is just not enough information to help somebody like this. A darling little girl with these lymphatic legs and they were struggling. Where do you go? How can you help her? That’s why I do it, and I know that’s why Irv does it, too.” As we part ways, it occurs to me that l might be able to convince Irv and Dianne to let me call them The Dream Team after all, but not for the reasons I’d originally intended. The way I see it, they’ve earned the title, not only because they together make up the perfect philanthropic team. They are that, but there’s a much more appropriate reason I hadn’t considered before. Irv and Dianne Kipnes are a team that helps to make dreams a reality, and for that, I hope it’s a name they can accept. Because they’ve earned it. And because it’s going on the cover. BIE | Business In Edmonton Magazine | December 2013




The New Face

of Continuing Education Continuing education flexes to meet the needs of an ever-changing workforce. BY NERISSA MCNAUGHTON


eorge Washington Carver is credited with saying, “Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom.” It’s true. Those that pursue education unlock a brighter future, career choices, and increased job and life satisfaction. The face of education, however, is rapidly changing. In the past, it was natural to consider a two - to seven - year stint in university or college right after high school; but with the cost of living going up, the sandwich generation balancing their financial needs along with the needs of their aging parents and with the staggering cost of tuition, the pathway to continuing education was forced to adapt. “[In the past three to five years] student enrolment has remained consistent with close to 37,000 students enrolling in the 600-plus credit and non-credit courses offered evenings, weekends and online through NAIT’s continuing education department,” says Eleanor Frandsen, dean, Continuing Education. “Students today are typically looking for different learning options for accessing post-secondary education,” Frandsen continues. “This includes day, evenings, weekends and online course offerings. NAIT’s Continuing Education department offers flexible learning pathways that best fit the student’s lifestyle, schedule, and goals. Flexible learning options include credit and non-credit pro-


December 2013 | Business In Edmonton Magazine |

gramming along with Open Studies that allow students to try out credit courses without being admitted as a full-time student. These flexible learning options provide a unique learning pathway with a defined career path.” It is not just Edmonton’s renowned Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) flexing to meet the demands of today’s students. NorQuest College, which has 8,500 full- and part-time, and distance learning students in the region, has also offered Open Studies as a new and flexible way to learn. “Open Studies, which NorQuest College offered for the first time in 2012–2013, once again proved to be a major success in fall 2013,” comments Norma Schneider, vice president, teaching & learning. “This option is available for learners who wish to take post-secondary credit courses but are not registered in a specific certificate or diploma. When the Open Studies program was initiated, the college had a modest goal for student enrolment. However, by the end of the 2012–2013 year, enrolment had greatly surpassed the original estimates. The same trend held true at the start of the 2013 fall term, with a total of 168 learners enrolled in both classroom and distance learning options.

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partnership between NorQuest College and the Landmark Group of Builders aims to improve workplace processes and increase the bottom line for Alberta business and industry. “The Landmark Group Centre for Value Improvement delivers the training, tools and methods that empower Alberta businesses to maximize productivity and profitability,” says NorQuest College president and CEO Dr. Jodi L. Abbott. “This is critical to help Alberta organizations build the skills needed to be successful in an increasingly competitive global marketplace.” The centre provides organizations the benefit of applied, practical experience based on the process improvement strategies that both NorQuest College and the Landmark Group of Builders have successfully integrated into their own operations. “We have seen first-hand the benefits of process improvement programs,” says Landmark president and CEO Reza Nasseri. “Building on established lean manufacturing principles, the centre can and will deliver proven, practical solutions for the workplace.”

In 2012, the Landmark Group of Builders contributed $500,000 to create and support the centre’s operations over five years. “Combining Landmark’s practical experience with NorQuest’s hands-on training will help us create workplace productivity solutions for Alberta and beyond,” says Abbott.

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Today’s students are not just high school graduates. There is an upward trend in upgrading as well. Frandsen attributes this in part to the growing need for skilled labour. Today’s students are not just high school graduates. There is an upward trend in upgrading as well. Frandsen attributes this in part to the growing need for skilled labour. “Due to strong economic growth in Alberta’s labour market, particularly in the area of trades, many high school students see the unique opportunities to work in this fast paced environment. With the demand for skilled labour, the need for upgrading courses is necessary,” she points out. Schneider agrees. “The current and potential NorQuest College student – who ranges from recent high school graduate to degree-carrying grandparent – understands that the provincial workforce is facing a shortage.

Government estimates indicate that Alberta could experience a labour shortage of approximately 114,000 workers over the next decade. With this in mind, it is likely that learners from all social and economic categories (this includes new Canadians who often have to re-train) are returning to school and learning relevant trades and practices so they can take advantage of Alberta’s growing economy.” There is another, and perhaps an alarming, trend that Frandsen sees contributing to the surge in upgrading. “Another reason for the recent increased interest in upgrading is that the numbers of applicants for postsecondary programs in Alberta have

Let school come to you. 28

December 2013 | Business In Edmonton Magazine |

significantly increased, but the number of seats available for post-secondary programs have not increased at the same rate. Consequently, the competitive entrance requirements have increased for many programs, meaning applicants for many programs must upgrade [to meet] the entrance requirements.” NAIT and NorQuest are determined to offer the best possible learning experience for students from all walks of life. NorQuest’s Edmonton stewardship region incorporates more than 1,350,000 people in 23 communities: 55 per cent of the student body were born outside of Canada, nine per cent are self-identified as Aboriginal, Metis or Inuit, 34 per cent are under the age of 25, 66 per cent are over the age of 24 and 80 per cent are female. Its post-secondary diploma and certificate programs offer career paths in health, community studies and business, and their health care aide certificate program is the largest in Canada. “With 95 per cent of NorQuest College graduates employed or enrolled in further education, we contribute significantly to Alberta’s growing economy,” Schneider says with pride. As for NAIT, they make a promise to each and every student. That promise is to provide a positive student experience that encompasses students’ mental, emotional and physical wellbeing. “We prepare students to succeed in meaningful careers, find employment in their chosen field and have the skills necessary to have an immediate impact,” Frandsen states. It’s not just students taking notice of the flexible education paths offered by today’s higher-learning institutes. Companies are using them to their advantage as well.




Kristen Carter is the human resources lead at Capital Engineering, a firm that offers project management, engineering and design services, 3D modeling, procurement and construction management. Under certain circumstances, Capital Engineering covers the cost of education for their engineers and administrative staff. “Continuous learning is extremely important,” says Carter of the company’s decision to invest in their employee’s continuing education. “It allows our people to stay current and it keeps them engaged.” In keeping with the flexible nature of today’s educational options, Capital Engineering has paid for courses from NAIT, the University of Alberta’s faculty of extension, The Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA) and other institutions. The initiative for continuing education runs both ways for the firm. Employees are free to request training they feel will benefit their position and the management team assesses areas that require additional training for their staff. Their focus on continuing education is one of the reasons Capital Engineering won a Great Place to Work® award in both 2012 and 2013. Education is indeed a golden opportunity and one that we in the developed nations are privileged to enjoy. Today’s flexible options and student assistance programs make continuing education widely accessible and an attainable goal. That leaves just one variable – the individual. The options are there, but the student must make the first step; that is a lesson Debby Sanders* learned the hard way. She took continuing education to a whole new level when she went back to high school – at age 26. “I left school when I was 16,” reflects Sanders. My family moved from a small northern Alberta town to a smaller

town in the North West Territories and I didn’t want to go with them. Boyfriend stuff!” she chuckles. “So I talked them into letting me stay. Actually, if you can imagine, by the time I whined and cried and made their lives miserable, they finally gave in. I found a family to room and board with and worked part time while I finished grade 11. By this time I thought I was all grown up and I didn’t return to grade 12, but continued working and was married when I turned 17.” It was a decision Sanders would come to regret. Not having a high school diploma severely limited her options. But there was no NAIT with its flexible courses, no NorQuest College with Open Studies and no other facilities offering academic upgrading; so she did the only thing possible to continue her education. She went back to school. “The only option available was to attend the local high school. At that time there were three adults mixed in with the regular grade 12 class and we were included in the class graduation preparation and ceremonies.” How did the pursuit of continuing education work out for Sanders? “It put me in a better position for choices during my work career and also improved my own confidence going through life,” she states. “It is true what they say about immaturity. I was too young, stubborn and too headstrong to listen, but it all worked out in the end.” Then she sums up the main reason for continuing education. The reason to walk through the “golden door of freedom.” “If I am asked by a younger person, I always encourage them to complete their education so that they have the tools to pursue their dreams.” With today’s many options for continuing education, those are dreams that will come true for the proactive student. BIE

*NAME HAS BEEN CHANGED | Business In Edmonton Magazine | December 2013





We are fortunate and more bullish in Alberta than in the rest of Canada.



hen it comes to the stock market, the view from Edmonton is cautiously bullish, but also anxious. There’s a slightly nervous consensus among reluctant Alberta stock market number crunchers (and positive Edmonton boosters) that the market outlook is stable and strong, but Alberta has some serious and time-sensitive challenges to deal with before (and if ) the situation gets stronger. Aside from the conventional roller coaster flux for which markets are traditionally notorious, there are some quirky new isJOHN OLDRING sues the markets must eventually grapple with: recent investor trauma, once-bitten anxieties and even the subtle shift in generational attitudes. Seasoned Edmonton brokers and investors don’t usually get very excited and tend to shrug off the constantly fluctuating nature of the markets. They acknowledge the possibility of cycles, they are focused and sometimes nervous about Canada’s and especially Alberta’s energy climate. They are aware, but don’t fret ALISON M. KEENE much about whims. They craft long-term market strategies with the wise and popular cliché: plus ça change, plus c’est la meme (the more things change, the more they stay the same).


December 2013 | Business In Edmonton Magazine |

“By the standard definition, the stock market is not fantastic, but it is definitely more bullish than bearish,” says Alison M. Keene, portfolio manager, senior vice president and managing director of BMO Nesbitt Burns. “Whether you believe in trends or not, the numbers show that the market went up 30.69 per cent in 2009, up 14 per cent in 2010, down 11 percent in 2011 and so on. “Of course, some retail clients are still dealing with the psychological impact of 2008,” she admits. “But most investors are cautiously optimistic. The economy and the stock market have recovered. Some say the economy is ‘expansionary’ or still in recovery mode, but the Canadian economy is grinding along and there are encouraging guesstimates for GDP growth from the current 1.6 per cent to perhaps 2.4 per cent in 2014.” Most (especially Alberta) economists, brokers and private investors still reflect and agree that 2008 was traumatic. Today, when it comes to huddling with their clients, the portfolio sessions invariably touch on the fact that it has been almost six years since the meltdown. Some are confident that the impact is forgettable history, while others suspect that it took its toll and still resonates in investor mindset, approach and outlook.



Several Alberta financial planners concede that a lot of the nervousness about 2008 has dissipated, but made some people touchy and still affected by media and headlines. Even though it has been a stable five or so years and Alberta has definitely recovered, they caution that the emotional factor is still important to consider. “We are in a bull cycle and it seems like it is going to last quite a while,” says John Oldring, vice-president, managing director and portfolio manager, Oldring Armstrong Wealth Management in Edmonton. “The U.S. is still the largest economy in the world and certainly Canada’s biggest trading partner. There is, and will always be, a close correlation between what’s happening in the U.S. and Canada. “There is strength and improvement in the U.S. We must look cautiously, but there is improving American construction and housing confidence. And we are also still recovering. Our energy sector is still hurting and we need better access to global markets. We would really like to see a pipeline – and soon!” Oldring says with blunt positivity. Many experts in the West are more bullish in Alberta than in the rest of Canada, mostly because, according to some trending indicators, we’re in pretty good shape. They cite Alberta’s fall 2013 figures of 4.5 per cent unemployment along with strong net migration numbers and an abundant, educated talent pool.

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Financial planners and brokers agree. Both generations must plan and determine what role the stock market can play in helping them achieve their goals. “The Edmonton perspective is positive,” Oldring points out. “Overall, Albertans are more entrepreneurial and gave a very healthy attitude to open markets.” Particularly for Alberta investors (and their planners and advisors), 2008 was a valuable lesson and a potent reminder about risk, risk management and risk tolerance. “We have sure learned a lot more about flash trading and volatility,” Keene reflects, but doesn’t dwell, on the crunch. “For many boomers and their peers, 2008 was the first big investment shock. In my office we still have regular discussions about risk tolerance. Knee-jerk decisions are no longer a good idea. ‘Buy and hold’ used to be a good, passive approach, but the strategy doesn’t work as well in volatile markets. Today a more active, fee-based approach is necessary. To have stable success, investors really need to rely on professional advice and a good, solid plan,” she advises. In 2008 and 2009, many investors suffered significant setbacks and were harshly reminded that unexpected events can happen, and re-defined for themselves what their risk tolerance could be. Experts caution that 2008 should not be considered an isolated example. There is still volatility, in and out of the headlines. Some industry people call the effects of headlines a ‘volatility index.’ For example, six years ago there were Eurozone issues in Greece and other European areas. This created a high degree of sensitivity for the investor. Keene underscores the market positivity that the recovery is stable, despite the post-October U.S. shutdown and near-default. “The markets have done well. In the U.S. they are outperforming Canada and the trend will continue as the U.S. economy grows faster than ours. Globally, investors are feeling more confident about the market and the growth rate should be steady in China, East Asia and the Pacific zone.” Despite an encouraging and stable market outlook, various external factors are or may soon impact the stock market in Canada. The relevant and current bottom line was well defined in the recent edition of North American Outlook, a newsletter published by BMO Capital Markets Economic Research. “Canadian economic growth downshifted from 2.2 per cent in Q1 to 1.7 per cent in Q2. Alberta’s flood and Quebec’s construction strike led the slowdown, but broader weakness outside these regions suggests the economy lacks firepower. The fiscal drag on U.S. consumers indirectly undercut Canadian exports while business investment pulled back amid economic uncertainty. “Surprisingly,” the BMO newsletter continues, “consumer spending posted the best quarter in more than two years with auto sales tracking a record annual performance. In addition, housing markets bounced back in the quarter with residential construction rising for the first time in a year.


December 2013 | Business In Edmonton Magazine |

The BMO economists also warn that with elevated debt and higher mortgage rates expected to restrain consumers and housing activity and moderate-sized deficits corralling governments, Canada will need firmer U.S. demand to achieve stronger growth in 2014. “A pickup in business investment will also help,” according to the newsletter, “as low office vacancy rates should support commercial construction.” Various energy sector speed bumps are still causing cautious and jittery market attitudes. “Alberta has been suffering from not only depressed natural gas prices and tight oil pipeline capacity,” Keene says, “but the negative impact of increased anti-oil and gas activism and the media coverage it gets has an effect on capital markets.” Alberta-based planners and analysts are boosters of the province’s big energy companies, which have had a tough 18 months to two years. Additionally, there is expert consensus for urgency about new ways of getting the Alberta product to market. Nationally, the BMO newsletter’s perspective is focused on the oil sector, which seems to bode well for the 2014 stock market. “High oil prices (and a much smaller discount on Canadian Western Select) should drive energy production and national income,” the BMO newsletters forecasts. “New technologies are also driving a resurgence of conventional oil drilling.” A relatively new and quirky factor impacting the long term future and dynamics of the stock market is the alreadybegun shift in demographics and generational attitudes. To paraphrase the possible transformation: this may not be your grandfather’s (or even father’s) stock market. “Boomers are still the key market players, but we are now doing planning to determine what boomers and the older gen-Xers want things to look like in the long term future. What are the most tax-effective ways to maximize income? We need to know their thoughts about the stock market, especially since retirement planning is being so quickly redefined by boomers and gen-Xers. Their retirement outlook and the options will likely be dramatically different than it was for their parents. “Gen-Xers are picking up where the boomers are leaving off,” Oldring suggests. “When they look ahead, they are not seeing the conventional benefit plans and pension options. It makes them look harder at the markets.” Financial planners and brokers agree. Both generations must plan and determine what role the stock market can play in helping them achieve their goals. Some things never change, even with the stock market. It’s a statistical fact: the market is dynamic, but it has always been driven by emotion: greed. “Buy when it’s high and sell when it’s low.” BIE






f you think that private business flights are for rap stars and the “one-percenters,” think again. Business aviation flights account for 20 per cent of all flights in Canada. That’s one in five – proportionally, the number of people who will log onto a social network at least once a month. The numbers are equally impressive for international flights – 14 per cent of U.S.-bound and six per cent of international flights that originate in Canada are business aviation. No more than three per cent of corporate flying comes even close to the stereotype of luxurious jets and high end travel. Ninety-seven per cent of all business aviation is far more ordinary and used by thousands of Canadian managers and workers every day. Business aviation users are the same as any other businessperson, except they make use of the convenience, efficiency and competitive advantage that business aviation provides. “A lot of people still think of business aviation as an indulgence for mega-corporations,” says Rudy Toering, president and CEO of the Canadian Business Aviation Association (CBAA). “The reality – and the numbers – prove the exact opposite.” Business aviation is a factor in the success of business as well. Recent U.S. studies, which examined enterprise value, demonstrated that companies that use business aviation have, as a group, better financial performances, were better able to weather the financial downturn and have superior customer access. “These findings don’t come as a surprise,” says Toering. “Competitive, forward-thinking companies understand that business aviation gives them a significant advantage over their competitors to visit multiple locations in a single day, to deal with customers face to face and to deliver personnel and equipment. The trip is seamless and productive. People are able to work productively in the privacy of the

private aircraft terminal (also known as FBOs) and on the aircraft. Unlike the scheduled airline environment with its lineups and delays, there is no wasted time. Albertan companies are some of the heaviest users of corporate aviation in the country. That is no surprise given that Alberta boasts the second largest concentration of head offices in Canada and is a major player in the global energy sector. However, Toering believes there is more to it than the oil sands. “Albertan companies have incredible entrepreneurial drive and spirit,” he says. “They know what it takes to get the job done, and they do it. Business aviation is one of the key tools that puts Alberta head and shoulders above the competition.” “Many of our strongest and most influential members are located here,” Toeing continues. “That’s one of the reasons why we’ve selected Edmonton as the site of CBAA’s annual convention in June 2014.” The CBAA’s convention is Canada’s most important business aviation event. The event includes the largest static display of corporate and private aircraft in Canada. Many of those aircraft will be proudly Canadian. Canadian business aircraft manufacturers are on their way to a global market share forecasted to reach close to 25 per cent by value in 2021, representing tens of thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue and investment. “Canadian business aviation operators have a very close relationship with our aircraft manufacturers. Our operators not only purchase hundreds of Canadianmade aircraft, they are a flying endorsement of the quality of aircraft we build in this country.” Business aviation also supports another key Canadian export – flight simulators. “Very few people remember that CAE started out as Canadian Aviation Electronics back in 1947,” says Toering. “Today, Canadian companies like CAE are the gold standard for aviation training worldwide.” | Business In Edmonton Magazine | December 2013





It is not only Canadian companies that benefit from business aviation. “There are literally hundreds of companies whose Canadian operations serve our sector,” Toering explained. “They supply parts, equipment, electronics/ technology, training and more. With 20 per cent of all Canadian flights, business aviation represents a significant part of their activities and revenue.” Business aviation does more than build Canada’s place in the world as an export nation. It supports communities here at home. “We have a number of members who are located in, and economically support, smaller Canadian communities,” says Toering. “There are dozens of small and medium sized manufacturing and service companies that use their own aircraft so they do not have to be near a major airport. They are free locate their operations in smaller communities, which offer lower costs, a ready labour pool and quality of life.” Given the positive impact of business aviation on virtually every facet of the Canadian economy and its social wellbeing, it is almost surprising that the stereotypes still persist. “It’s an ongoing battle to get the truth out,” Toering admits. “A big part of the job of the CBAA is to educate governments and the public about what business aviation really is and how it works.” “One of our challenges is to ensure governments understand that business aviation doesn’t need the same regulatory oversight as commercial, scheduled service,” he explains. “There is no comparison – business aviation is safer and more secure. Every passenger is already known, and the safety standards we follow are some of the highest


December 2013 | Business In Edmonton Magazine |

in the business aviation sector. Our environmental footprint is very small and getting smaller by the year. If you were to apply the same regulations on our operators as imposed on scheduled commercial airlines, it could be the beginning of the end of Canadian business aviation as we know it.” Yet for all the challenges, business aviation is still making a valuable contribution to Canadians every day. “While we fight misperceptions, we have reality on our side,” Toeing says. “The truth is a powerful tool. No matter what people may think they know about business aviation, the fact is that it is a net contributor to our economy – and the bottom line is worth a thousand stereotypes.” Business aviation may not be for everyone, but you would be surprised at what a difference it could make to your company. To see if business aviation makes economic sense for you, start tracking your travel costs. Do not forget to include the costs of layovers, delays and downtime that can waste thousands of dollars and hours of executive time. Consider your most important routes and destinations. If you frequently travel to locations that have minimal air service, limit your cargo capacity, or force you to take cumbersome and time-wasting connecting flights, pointto-point business aviation may be the solution. “You don’t have to buy a plane to start accessing the business aviation advantage,” Toering concludes. “It’s a flexible tool. You can charter individual flights, share fractional ownership, or lease. The important thing is to realize that business aviation is within your reach and once you’re used it, you’ll never want to go back.” BIE

73 Years of Tradition A

fter being a stay at home mom for many years Carla suddenly became a single mother struggling to find suitable work to provide for her two children and worried about how she would continue the family’s Chri stmas traditions that year. A friend adv ised her to apply to the Christmas Bureau for assistance. They only used the Christmas Bureau services that one year, but are forever thankful to the don ors and volunteers for their supp ort of the Bureau’s mission. She continues on her quest for providing for her family by upgrading her education and skill s and working in the not-for-profi t world. Carla appreciates what the Christm as Bureau provided her and her child ren that Christmas and in turn, now gives back to the community as she can. Since 1940, the Christmas Bureau of Edmonton has maintained one tradition for families like Carla’s - to provide a festive meal to Edmontonians in need at Christmas time through the promotion of the spirit of Christmas caring and sharing in the city of Edmonton. The Christmas Bureau has kept paced with the changing face of Edmonton to ensure that our service is culturally inclusive encompassing all religions and traditions. At the Christmas Bureau we are a connector of over 100 social service agencies providing those in need a one stop application process for Christmas services. The client information is compiled by the Christmas Bureau into a centralized client database and used to deliver food hampers or food certificates. The client list is also used by CHED Santas Anonymous for the delivery of toys to children up to 12 years old and to provide gift cards for teens aged 13 to 17 through the Edmonton Sun Adopt-A-Teen program.

supporting herself, her son and s a single Mother of a baby boy and she will never forget. Her mother as stm Chri mother, Shawna faced a e of and times were rough for the thre was diagnosed with breast cancer t tigh a left that but r hou an for $10 them. Shawna was working a job e alon let t it was hard to make ends mee budget for the three of them and gen the was it , wna the family. For Sha have the traditional Christmas for ive fest a ther toge put but her ing about erosity of strangers who knew noth as e packages that made their Christm thes d vere deli and toys and hamper we as stm Chri the states: “no, it wasn’t extra special that year. As Shawna er.” were hoping for... it was even bett


The Hamper Sponsorship program allows organizations, families and individuals to embrace the meaning of Christmas by sponsoring a Christmas Bureau family like Shawna’s. In 2012, 410 organizations, families or individuals purchased and delivered food hampers to 1,350 Christmas Bureau families. Each year all of Edmonton comes together to ensure that Edmontonians in need receive a festive meal at Christmas time. Our goal for 2013 is to provide a festive meal for 62,000 Edmontonians in need. This year we need to raise $1.8 million.

For more information on our campaign visit or call Darlene Kowalchuk, Campaign Director at 780.414.7681


ALBERTA AVIATION OPERATORS ABITIBI HELICOPTERS LTD. Bertrand Perron, President/Director of Operations Toll Free: 1.800.247.9591 Aircraft Operated: (10) AS-350FX2, (1) AS-350BA +

ADVENTURE AVIATION INC. Michael Mohr, Ops Manager Tel: 780.539.6968 Aircraft Operated: (1) Cessna Skyhawk C172, (1) Piper Twin Comanche PA30, (1) Cessna Centurion P210N

AGRIUM INC. Robert Garback, Aviation Manager Tel: 403.216.5090 Aircraft Operated: (1) Citation Sovereign, CE680

AHLSTROM AIR LTD Kyle Wadden, Operations Manager / Chief Pilot Tel: 403.721.2203 Cell: 403.844.0978 Aircraft Operated: (1) AS350SD2

AIR PARTNERS CORP. Tim Morgan, President / Founder Toll Free: 1.877.233.9350 Alternate Number 403.291.3644 Aircraft Operated: Citation V, King Air 200, Learjet45, C-GAXX, C-FKBC, C-FTIL, C-GTGO

AIRBORNE ENERGY SOLUTIONS LTD Roch Dallaire, President/CEO Toll Free: 1.888.496.3222 Aircraft Operated: (6) Robinson RH44, (16) Robinson RH44 Raven II (RH44 II), (6) Bell 206 B (B206),(1) Bell 206 L3, (4)(2) AS350 BA, (2) AS350 B2 (3) Piper Navajo A-31, (1) Cessna 208 Caravan, (4) Cessna 172, (2) Cessna 206, (1) King Air 200, (1) King Air 350, (1) Bell 205 A1-17, (1) Bell 212, (1) M1-26

ALBATROS CHARTERS Kevin Bolton, Pilot - Sales - Charters Tel: 403.478.5994 Aircraft Operated: (1) Beechcraft King Air B200, (1) Cessna Citation CJ4. (1) Agusta Westland 109




Don Parkin, Executive VP Toll Free: 1.888.524.9444 Aircraft Operated: CRJ -8, King Air 350, Dash 8

Roch Dallaire, President Tel: 780.402.2444 Aircraft Operated: (2) EC 120, (14) R44, (4) AS350, (2) Bell 205

CALGARY POLICE SERVICE Tel: 403.567.4150 Aircraft Operated: (2) EC120

CAN-WEST CORPORATE AIR CHARTERS Natalie Hanczak, Flight Coordinator Tel: 780.849.5353 Aircraft Operated: Citation 560, King Air 200, Piper Navajo, Cessna 210, 206, 185

CANADIAN HELICOPTERS LIMITED Don Wall, President/CEO Tel: 780.429.6900 Aircraft Operated: (28) AS350B2, (2) AS350B3, (1) AS350B3e, (18) AS350BA, (2) AS355F2, (5) AS355N, (2) BH206B, (7) BH206B3, (3) BH206L, (1) BH206L1, (8) BH206LR, (3) BH212, (7) BH212HP, (1) BH407, (1) BH412, (1) BH412SP, (4) EC120B, (4) R22B, (1) R22B2, (3) R44 II, (3) S61N, (1) S76A, (1) S76A++, Grand Total: 107


GUARDIAN HELICOPTERS INC. Graydon Kowal, President/CEO Tel: 403.730.6333 24 Hr: 403.862.1234 Aircraft Operated: (2) Bell 205, (1) AS350 B3, (1) AS350 B2, (1) AS350 SuperD, (1) AS350 BA, (1) Bell206L, (1) Bell 206

INFINITY FLIGHT SERVICES William Vasquez, Ops Manager Toll Free: 1.877.VIP.7900 Aircraft Operated: (1) King Air B100, (1) Citation V

INTEGRA AIR INC. Brent Gateman, President/CEO Toll Free: 1.877.213.8359 Aircraft Operated: (3) BAE Jetstream – 31, (4) King Air 200, (1) SAAB 340B


Wayne Wetterberg, Aviation Manager Tel: 780.890.7443 Aircraft Operated: (1) Falcon 900C

Brian Crocker, VP Operations Tel: 403.291.3300 Aircraft Operated: (4) Beech 200, Twin Otter DHC6, (2) DC3-T, (2) EMB-110



Paul Stubbs, Ops Manager Toll Free: 1.800.665.3564 Aircraft Operated: (9) Bell 206B, (4) A-Star 350BA, (4) Bell 204b, (4) AF350-B2

EDMONTON INTERNATIONAL SHELL AEROCENTRE Sarah Gratton, Aerocentre Manager Tel: 780.890.1337 Toll Free: 1.800.668.4766 Aircraft Operated: No aircraft listed

E-Z AIR INC. Ezra Bavly, Pres/Ops Mgr/CFI Tel: 780.453.2085 Aircraft Operated: (1) Bell 206, (1) Robinson R44


Paul Bergeron, President/CP Tel: 403.286.7186 Aircraft Operated: (3) R22, (2) R44, (1) Bell 206

NORTH CARIBOO AIR Hart Mailandt Toll Free: 1.866.359.6222 Aircraft Operated: BAe146, Dash 8, Beech 1900, King Air 200, Challenger, Citation

PEREGRINE HELICOPTERS Glen Hansen, President Tel: 780.865.3353 Aircraft Operated: (1) B206B3, (1) Bell 206 L3

Ralph Henderson, President Tel: 780.454.4531 Aircraft Operated: (3) C-152, (2) C-172, (1) 172SP, (2) DV20, (1) MFD Simulator, (1) DA40, (2) DA42, (1) Eclipse 500 Simulator


Rob Madden, Director of Flt Ops Tel: 780.427.7341 Aircraft Operated: (2) KA B200, (1) KA 350, (1) DH 8, DHC8, B3350, BE20




Bob Lamoureux, President Tel: 587.400.9789 Aircraft Operated: CE208B, PA31-350, SW227


Tel: 780.408.4218 Aircraft Operated: (1) EC120

ENERJET Dave Lancelot, President/CEO Tel: 403.648.2848 Aircraft Operated: (2) Boeing 737-700NG

December 2013 | Business In Edmonton Magazine |

Paul Spring, President Tel: 780.799.0141 Aircraft Operated: (2) Euro 120, (3) AS350B2, (1) EC 130B4, (1) AS355N, (1) 355NP, (1) 350B3, (1) EC135

Luc Picard, Director of Operations Toll Free: 1.888.802.1010 Aircraft Operated: (1) Dash 8-100, (2) Dash 8-200, (1) Dash 8-300, (2) CRJ200


RIDGE ROTORS INC. Hans Nogel, Ops Mgr Toll Free: 1.877.242.4211 Aircraft Operated: (2) B206B2, (1) A Star 350 B2, (2) R44

ROTORWORKS INC. Adam Sloan, Office Manager Ryan Cluff, Comm Pilot/David Buckland, Comm Pilot Tel: 780.778.6600 Aircraft Operated: (2) R22 Robinson, (2) R44 Robinson, (1) Robinson r66



Toll Free: 1.888.937.8538 Aircraft Operated: (13) Boeing 737-600, (65) Boeing 737700, (13) Boeing 737-800

Steve Hankirk Tel: 403.705.3118 Aircraft Operated: (4) Dash 8, (9) 737-200 Combi, (2) 737-300


Dennis Cooper, CEO Toll Free: 1.800.315.8097 Aircraft Operated: Cessna 172, Piper Senaca I, Piper Navajo, Alsim 200 C Locations in Red Deer and Okotoks



ADVENTURE AVIATION INC. Michael Mohr, Ops Manager Tel: 780.539.6968 Aircraft Operated: (3) C172, (1) Twin Comanche PA30 (1) Cessna Centurion p210N, (1) Precision Flight Controls “Cirrus II” Simulator

Natalie Hanczak, Flight Coordinator Tel: 780.849.5353 Aircraft Operated: Citation 560, King Air 200, Piper Navajo, Cessna 210, 206, 185




Luc Picard, Director of Operations Toll Free: 1.888.802.1010 Aircraft Operated: (1) Dash 8-300, (2) CRJ200

Tim Morgan, President / Founder Toll Free: 1.877.233.9350 Aircraft Operated: Citation V, Citation Ultra, Citation Encore, Challenger 604, Citation X, Citation XL, King Air 200

INFINITY FLIGHT SERVICES William Vasquez, Ops Manager Toll Free: 1.877.VIP.7900 Aircraft Operated: (1) King Air B100, (1) Citation V

Richard Hotchkiss, President/CEO Toll Free: 1.888.291.4566 Aircraft Operated: (1) Falcon 900EX, (2) Challenger 604, (3) Cessna Citation Sovereign, (2) Gulfstream G150, (2) Hawker 800, (2) Lear 55, (3) Lear 45, (1) Lear 35A, (7) Beech 1900D, (4) Metro liner 23, (4) King Air 350, (4) King Air B200, (1) Challenger 300, (2) Dash 8-300, (1) Dash 8-200




Brent Gateman, President/CEO Toll Free: 1.877.213.8359 Aircraft Operated: (3) BAE Jetstream – 31, (4) King Air 200, (1) SAAB 340B

Ron VandenDungen, Director of Flight Ops Tel: 780.352.5643 Aircraft Operated: (1) Cessna 150, (2) Cessna 172, (1) Piper Twin Comanche




Roch Dallaire, President/CEO Toll Free: 1.888.496.3222 Aircraft Operated: (6) Robinson RH44, (16) Robinson RH44 Raven II (RH44 II), (6) Bell 206 B (B206),(1) Bell 206 L1, (4)(2) AS350 BA, (2) AS350 B2 (3) Piper Navajo A-31, (1) Cessna 208 Caravan, (4) Cessna 172.

ALTA FLIGHTS LTD. Bob Lamoureux, President Tel: 587.400.9789 Aircraft Operated: (4) Metro 23, (3) King Air 100, (2) Grand Caravan, (2) Dornier 228, (2) Piper PA31, (4) Cessna 172, (2) Cessna Citation 501, (1) Cessna Citation 550

ARIES AVIATION SERVICE CORP Marvin Keyser, President Toll Free: 1.877.730.6499 Aircraft Operated: (2) LR36 Lear Jet, (4) PA-31 Navajo, (1) Cessna Caravan

AVMAX GROUP INC. Don Parkin, Executive VP Tel: 403.291.2464 Toll Free: 1.888.524.9444 Aircraft Operated: CRJ -8, King Air 350, Dash 8

Dave Lancelot, President/CEO Tel: 403.648.2824 Aircraft Operated: (2) Boeing 737-700NG

Brian Crocker, VP Operations Tel: 403.291.3300 Aircraft Operated: (3) Beech 99, (8) Beech 100, (4) Beech 200, (41) Twin Otter, (2) DC3-T, (2) EMB-110, Twin Otter DHC6

NORTH CARIBOO AIR Hart Mailandt Toll Free: 1.866.359.6222 Aircraft Operated: BAe146, Dash 8, Beech 1900, King Air 200, Challenger, Citation

NORTHERN AIR CHARTER (P.R.) INC. Rob King, President Tel: 780.624.1911 Aircraft Operated: (1) Piper Aztec, (1) Piper Navajo, (1) King Air 100, (5) King Air 200, (1) Beech 1900

ABITIBI HELICOPTERS LTD. Bertrand Perron, President/Director of Operations Toll Free: 1.800.247.9591 Aircraft Operated: (10) AS-350FX2, (1) AS-350BA +

AHLSTROM AIR LTD. Kyle Wadden, Operations Manager / Chief Pilot Tel: 403.721.2203 Cell: 403.844.0978 Aircraft Operated: (1) AS350SD2

AIRBORNE ENERGY SOLUTIONS LTD. Roch Dallaire, Director Toll Free: 1.888.496.3222 Aircraft Operated: (6) Robinson RH44, (16) Robinson RH44 Raven II (RH44 II), (6) Bell 206 B (B206), (1) Bell 206 L1, (4)(2) AS350 BA, (2) AS350 B2, (3) Piper Navajo A-31, (1) Cessna 208 Caravan, (4) Cessna 172, (2) Cessna 206, (1) King Air 200, (1) King Air 350 | Business In Edmonton Magazine | December 2013






Brent Knight Tel: 403.219.2770 Aircraft Operated: Bell 212, Bell 206, Astar 350, Robinson 44

Terry Jones, Ops Manager Tel: 604.273.6161 Aircraft Operated: (24) Bell 206B, (2) Bell 206 L-3, (2) AS350 BA, (15) AS350 B2

Michael Morin, President & Operations Manager Tel: 780.743.5588 Toll Free: 1.866.743.5588 Aircraft Operated: (4) AS350 B2, (1) EC120B, (3) B206B



Linda Johnson, President Toll Free: 1.877.475.4774 Aircraft Operated: (1) FX 2, (1) B206B, (2) R44, (1) B204C

Paul Bergeron, President/CP Tel: 403.286.7186 Aircraft Operated: (3) R22, (2) R44, (1) Bell 206



Don Wall, President/CEO Tel: 780.429.6900 Aircraft Operated: (28) AS350B2, (2) AS350B3, (1) AS350B3e, (18) AS350BA, (2) AS355F2, (5) AS355N, (2) BH206B, (7) BH206B3, (3) BH206L, (1) BH206L1, (8) BH206LR, (3) BH212, (7) BH212HP, (1) BH407, (1) BH412, (1) BH412SP, (4) EC120B, (4) R22B, (1) R22B2, (3) R44 II, (3) S61N, (1) S76A, (1) S76A++, Grand Total: 107

Tim Boyle, Ops Manager Tel: 403.885.5220 Aircraft Operated: (11) AS350B2, Bell 212, A5350 B3E, Bell 205, MD 500 D

DELTA HELICOPTERS LTD. Paul Stubbs, Ops Manager Toll Free: 1.800.665.3564 Aircraft Operated: (9) Bell 206, (4) A-Star 350BA, (4) Bell 204, (4) AF350-B2

E-Z AIR INC. Ezra Bavly, Pres/Ops Mgr/CFI Tel: 780.453.2085 Aircraft Operated: (1) Bell 206, (1) Robinson R44


PEREGRINE HELICOPTERS Glen Hansen, President Steve Wotton, Chief Pilot, Ops Manager Tel: 780.865.3353 Aircraft Operated: (1) B206B3

PHOENIX HELI-FLIGHT INC. Paul Spring, President Tel: 780.799.0141 Aircraft Operated: (2) Euro 120, (3) AS350B2, (1) EC 130B4, (1) AS355N, (1) 355NP, (1) 350B3, (1) EC135


Tel: 780.408.4218 Aircraft Operated: (1) EC120B

John Carlton, GM Toll Free: 1.877.545.5455 Aircraft Operated: (1) AS350BA, (1) AS350D2



Roch Dallaire, President Tel: 780.402.2444 Aircraft Operated: (2) EC 120, (14) R44, (4) AS350, (2) Bell 205

GREAT SLAVE HELICOPTERS INC. Jeff Denomme, President Todd Johnson, VP of Sales and Marketing Tel: 780.232.2589 Springbank Base Facility, Tel: 403.286.2040 Aircraft Operated: Bell 206B Jet Ranger, Bell 206 Long Ranger, Bell 206L1, Bell 206L3, Bell 206L4, Bell 205, Bell 212, Bell212S, Aster 350 BA, 350B2, 350B3, EC 130B4, BK 117B2, Bell 412EP, Bell 407 & 405

GUARDIAN HELICOPTERS INC Graydon Kowal, President/CEO Tel: 403.730.6333 24 Hr: 403.862.1234 Aircraft Operated: (2) Bell 205, (1) AS350 B3, (1) AS350 B2, (1) AS350 SuperD, (1) AS350 BA, (1) Bell206L, (1) Bell 206

HIGH COUNTRY HELICOPTERS Hjalmar Tiesenhausen Toll Free: 1.877.777.4354 Aircraft Operated: Bell 206, 206 Long Ranger


Jeff Lukan, President Tel: 780.849.2222 Aircraft Operated: (1) AS350B2, (2) AS350BA, (1) Bell 204 窶田 model, (2) Bell 206, (2) Bell 212, (2) BA, (1) B2, (2) FD2

RIDGE ROTORS INC. Hans Nogel, Ops Mgr Toll Free: 1.877.242.4211 Aircraft Operated: (2) B206B2, (1) A Star 350 B2, (2) R44

SLAVE LAKE HELICOPTERS LTD. George Kelham, President Debbie Kelham, Owner Tel: 780.849.6666 Aircraft Operated: (4) AS350 B3, (1) Bell 206B-3

SLOAN HELICOPTERS LTD. Troy Sloan, President Tel: 780.849.4456 Toll Free: 1-888-756-2610 or 1-888-SLOAN10 Aircraft Operated: (2) RH44, (1) EC120B, AS350B2

THEBACHA HELICOPTERS LTD. Kim Hornsby, President/DOM Tel: 780.723.4180 Aircraft Operated: (1) AS350B2 (1) Bell 206B, (1) AS350B2

December 2013 | Business In Edmonton Magazine |

JET CHARTERS AIR PARTNERS CORP. Tim Morgan, President / Founder Tel: 403.291.3644 Aircraft Operated: Citation V, Citation Ultra, Citation Encore, Challenger 604, Citation X, Citation XL, King Air 200, Citation 501 550

AIRSPRINT INC. Chris Richer, President Toll Free: 1.877.588.2344 Selling interests in Citation XL/S and CJ2+

ALBATROS CHARTERS Kevin Bolton, Pilot - Sales - Charters Tel: 403.478.5994 Aircraft Operated: (1) Beechcraft King Air B200, (1) Cessna Citation CJ4. (1) Agusta Westland 109

AURORA JET PARTNERS Toll Free: 1.888.797.5387 Fax: 780.453.6057

CANADIAN NORTH Steve Hankirk, Senior Manager Charters Tel: 403.705.3118 Aircraft Operated: (4) Dash 8, (9) 737-200 Combi, (2) 737-300

ENERJET Dave Lancelot, President/CEO Tel: 403.648.2848 Aircraft Operated: (2) Boeing 737-700NG

AIRCRAFT BROKERAGE JOHN HOPKINSON & ASSOCIATES Andrew Hopkinson Tel: 403.291.9027 Fax: 403.250.2459 Aircraft: Specializing in commercial and corporate aircraft

AIRCRAFT SALES PRAIRIE AIRCRAFT SALES LTD. Andrew Fletcher, President Blair Douglas, Sales Associate Tel: 403.286.4277 Aircraft Operated: (1) Caravan

An Iron Will: Empire Iron Works Ltd. Stands Strong for Over 50 Years By Nerissa McNaughton


he Art Gallery of Alberta in downtown Edmonton houses some of Canada’s most intriguing works of art, but it is the building itself that is the true showpiece. The structure’s unusual shape and curved walls get as much attention as the treasures housed within. Appearing to defy the laws of physics, it is clear the structure required a great deal of creativity, precision, and expertise to create – but thankfully Empire Iron Works Ltd. has creativity, precision and expertise in abundance; and they are the masterminds behind the iron framework of the Art Gallery. Although Empire Iron Works Ltd. has worked on some of Edmonton’s most iconic structures, their story starts two provinces to the east in Winnipeg. Four German gentlemen, Erich Rode, Konrad Messer, Bill Rolke, and Arno Swirijuk, opened Empire Iron in 1958 as an ornamental iron company. While the head office remains in Winnipeg, the Edmonton office (and Wabamun fabrication shop) opened in the late ‘70s. Today the company is no longer a partnership, but owned by a publically traded company.

Empire Iron Works Ltd. | 50 Years | 1

These days Empire Iron operates as a structural and miscellaneous steel fabrication company providing services for the commercial, industrial and institutional sectors, but they are not far from their ornamental roots.

2 | Empire Iron Works Ltd. | 50 Years

These days Empire Iron operates as a structural and miscellaneous steel fabrication company providing services for the commercial, industrial and institutional sectors, but they are not far from their ornamental roots. “We have tended over the years to focus on specialized projects; things others don’t take on,” explains Andy Boelee, general manager. “Like the Art Gallery of Alberta,” says Jeremy Spelsberg, production manager, continuing the thread of his co-worker’s train of thought. “You don’t get to see the steel, but we did the structure.” To create the look, special equipment and techniques were used. Checks and cross checks were relentless as positions had to be exact. “All the structure had to be matched up with the glazing etc.,” says Boelee. The gallery is just one of Empire Iron’s impressive projects. They have also worked on the Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute at the University of Alberta, the Edmonton International Airport, Vancouver Airport’s international terminal, Meadows Community Recreation Center, modules for the Mildred Lake mine replacement project in Fort McMurray, Calgary’s Bankers Hall, Target’s regional distribution center in Balzac, and the teepee structure at Blackfoot Crossing. It’s not all work and no play for Empire Iron, however. This year marked the 25th anniversary of their golf tournament – a tournament where they show their customer and vendor appreciation. The tournament also doubles as a charity event. While many charities have benefitted from Empire Iron’s generosity, the Firefighters Burn Treatment Society has been the sponsored charity for the past three years. Vendors donate items that are sold in a silent auction or raffled off as prizes. Staff, along with their friends, family and previous employees volunteer their time. The company covers the cost of golf and

Guenter Nissen


mpire Iron’s longest running employee is Guenter Nissen, who has been with the company for 48 years. Nissen, who started and has retained his position as a fitter, started with the company in Winnipeg and relocated to Edmonton as the company branched out. “It will be a huge loss when he decides to retire,” says Boelee. Other long-running employees include sales and engineering manager Winner Wu with 12 years of service, shop superintendent Keith Black with 14 years and detailing manager Trevor Hobbs with an impressive 30 years. Empire Iron Works Ltd. extends their deep appreciation to all of their staff, contractors and clients.

the meal for all the participants so that 100 percent of the proceeds and donations can go the charity. “The golf has actually become secondary,” chuckles Spelsberg as he noted the $20,000 the tournament raised this year. The funds are earmarked for the Society’s burn camp. The camp costs approximately $65,000 a year to operate. The money recently raised by Empire Iron will cover nearly a third of the operating costs for one year. Demonstrating an ability to be impressive both inside and outside of the organization, Empire Iron is renowned for attracting and retaining top talent. Spelsberg has been with Empire for 14 years, having started as part of a co-op program. “I came here because I wanted to be involved in building things,” says Spelsberg. I saw a posting at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) and I chased it. It was one of the few postings I was very interested in. By hard work and a lot of fun, I’m still here.” Boelee is a relative newcomer at 10 months, but he could not resist the draw of the company’s reputation and challenge of the work. “What really excited me was the chance to be involved in the overall job,” says the personable manager who previously ran his own business as a detailer in the steel industry. “This gives me the opportunity to be immersed in the entire steel project.” The dedicated staff has access to some amazing technology that they use to get the job done right each and every time. For example, Tekla Structures. Tekla Structures is a software program that allows Empire Iron to offer in-house 3D modeling. The program builds an

Demonstrating an ability to be impressive both inside and outside of the organization, Empire Iron is renowned for attracting and retaining top talent.

The dedicated staff has access to some amazing technology that they use to get the job done right each and every time. For example, Tekla Structures. Empire Iron Works Ltd. | 50 Years | 3

What sets them apart is their expert project management, accuracy of fabrication, accuracy of shop drawings, timely delivery, problem solving skills, qualified field personnel and the ability to handle complex projects with confidence.

accurate model of a project in 3D, then proceeds to create fabrication and erection drawings from the model. It also provides information for the shop machinery to cut, cope and drill. “It virtually eliminates the mathematical errors seen in old style detailing,” explains Boelee. “It’s a very accurate detailing system,” Spelsberg agrees. “It allows the user to see the finished product and identify any design errors, clashes or dimensional discrepancies.” The benefit to the client is that most, if not all, the problems are solved in the model prior to the steel ever getting to site, so the time frame to complete the project is greatly reduced.

In the end, that’s what it’s really all about for Empire Iron Works Ltd. – pleasing the customers. What sets them apart is their expert project management, accuracy of fabrication, accuracy of shop drawings, timely delivery, problem solving skills, qualified field personnel and the ability to handle complex projects with confidence. Add to this excellent quality assurance and safety programs that “gives customers confidence that our document processing is highly accurate and our work will be completed in a safe manner,” along with Empire Iron’s numerous industry awards, and it is easy to see why companies that need expertise in the field of creative steel readily turn to Empire Iron. Empire Iron Works Ltd. has been standing strong for over 50 years on a foundation of excellence in the steel fabrication industry. The next 50 years look to be just as promising for this unique company.

(780) 447-4650 • 21104 - 107 AVENUE, EDMONTON, ALBERTA T5S 1X2 4 | Empire Iron Works Ltd. | 50 Years



o f f i c e

Vac a n c y 2013 - Q3


downtown-Vacancy: 6.6%



he many benefits of a green building will not last unless the building’s management and performance receives ongoing attention and care. The Business Case for Green Buildings1, published by the World Green Building Council, clearly outlines the enhanced value proposition associated with managing and operating a green building. Owners, managers and tenants will save money thanks to reductions in energy and water consumption along with lower long-term operations and maintenance costs. Thanks to the public commitment to sustainability, demonstrated through a green building certification such as BOMA BESt, the building will benefit from an enhanced reputation and improved marketability. These buildings more easily attract tenants and command higher rents and sale prices. A superior indoor environment, a key characteristic of green buildings and one of the core principles of the BOMA BESt certification program, can lead to better worker productivity and occupant health and well-being. Investing in your employees is good business – they are, after all, any organisation’s greatest, and most expensive, asset. Finally, a green building may have better resiliency against future regulatory demands, extreme weather event impacts and be better equipped to handle changing tenant preferences, thereby improving the in-

surability of the asset. However, these benefits will only be realized if the building itself is continuously managed for optimal performance. So what does this mean? First, it is important to understand that a building must be managed in a holistic manner, where each aspect of the building’s performance (be it water consumption, waste reduction, etc.) is understood and integrated into the overall management process. Second, building operations are influenced by many variables, with management, operations and tenants being the three primary drivers of performance. Communication, engagement and education across these three groups are essential to ensure that the value of enhanced building operations are understood and supported by all. BOMA BESt, Canada’s leading green building certification program for existing buildings, is managed by BOMA Canada and delivered by the eleven BOMA Local Associations. The program provides users with an accessible framework for assessing and certifying building performance and management. It is a tool that continues to evolve to reflect industry best practices. BOMA BESt certified buildings engage in ongoing improvement, thereby maintaining and even increasing their score at certification. That said, achieving better building performance need not mean purchasing



Financial Vacancy: AA: A: B: C:

6.1% 8.0% 4.2% 7.0% 4.4%

Government Vacancy: A: B: C:

7.7% 10.0% 8.1% 1.7%

Suburban Vacancy: A: B: C:

9.2% 9.0% 8.5% 12.9%

office Space Absorption 2013 Q3 Citywide: 204,259-sf Downtown: 86,736-sf Suburban: 117,523-sf

Avison Young is the North American real estate partner businesses trust for intelligent, integrated solutions. We deliver results that are aligned with your strategic business objectives, supporting real estate initiatives that add value and build competitive advantages for your organization | BOMA Edmonton Newsletter | December 2013


expensive new technologies, rather simply establishing an ongoing commissioning schedule to ensure all controls are working optimally may in fact yield large cost savings. Similarly, owners and managers of BOMA BESt certified buildings could invest in the education of operations staff to ensure they are up to date with the Building Automation System operations and its nuances. Such ongoing review of operations and its associated benefits is comparable to maintaining a car to original manufacturer specifications. A fuel efficient car will only maintain its efficiency if the car is properly maintained – in terms of building technologies, even the most high performing air filter will get clogged or dirty over time. As requirements for efficiency continue to rise, building performance must also improve over time. Catching up to regulation is usually more time consuming and costly than planning for it ahead of time. Moving forward on your sustainability journey requires

fostering a culture of continuous improvement within a building’s management and operations team as well as with occupants. When building management practices evolve to represent best industry standards the organisation will ultimately reap the benefits and value associated with these efforts. In short, your building will remain valuable for you, your tenants and future buyers for years to come.

Hazel M. Sutton is the Manager of Environmental Standards at BOMA Canada. She is committed to the development, continuous improvement and delivery of the BOMA BESt program – an environmental management and performance benchmarking certification program for existing buildings in Canada. She is currently working on developing the new BOMA BESt Healthcare module.



ecently, my wife and I returned from a trip to Europe. During our travels we had the opportunity to visit Westminster Abbey in London, the Coliseum in Rome, the Hagia Sofia in Istanbul and Parthenon in Athens. Each of these magnificent monuments was conceived with a function in mind. Westminster Abbey, Hagia Sophia and the Parthenon were established as places of worship. The Coliseum, on the other hand, was a venue for public entertainment. Aesthetically, each of the four structures modeled design features that required the hands of skilled artisans. Sculptures of metal, wood and stone, breathtaking glasswork, as well as columns of marble were readily found. Entire rooms were decorated mosaics. Even the Coliseum, the most utilitarian structure of the group, had archways and marble columns that portrayed the value of style in the mind of the architect. One of the additional intrigues of all four structures, that draws millions of tourist annually, is purely the longevity of them. The Parthenon is the oldest having been completed in 438 BC (2,451 years old) while Westminster Abbey, completed in 970 AD, is the baby of the four at 1,043 years old. Throughout their years of existence the structures have endured war, pillage, storms, earthquakes in addition to normal, everyday, wear and tear. Today we have ongoing discussions about sustainability in our world and a tremendous amount of emphasis is placed on “reduce, reuse and recycle.” It strikes me that durability might be one of the most responsible, sustainable approaches that few seem to be talking about. Would we know of Westminster Abbey had it been constructed with drywall and OSB? As a supplier of floor matting products, Edgewood Matting


December 2013 | BOMA Edmonton Newsletter |


daily encounters the challenges of sustainability and environmental responsibility. Marketplace demands for products that are functional, durable, style-sensitive, cost-effective and sustainable abound on every front. Edgewood Matting has partnered with leading manufacturers from around the world to bring environmentally responsible products to the Canadian marketplace. For example, the world class 3M Nomad 8850 carpet matting has been made available through our partnership with 3M Canada. The Supreme Knob product line has an

international reputation for durability, performance and color selection. Waterhog Eco Elite provides a rugged wiper/ scraper alternative with 100 per cent of the carpeted surface being manufactured from recycled drink bottles. Each of these products, if maintained faithfully and appropriately, should provide at least five years of effective floor surface protection in high traffic contexts. The artisans and architects of old demonstrated that with imagination, skill and effort you can turn a piece of rock into exquisite art and build an enduring monument from bricks and mortar. At Edgewood Matting, we believe that we have the skills, products and energy necessary to meet the challenges in the floor matting world with regards to function, design, sustainability and durability. Share with us your dreams and watch us transform your building monumentally.

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he past two years have seen Edmonton International Airport in the news quite a bit. In 2012 the airport opened its new US and Domestic-International Departures lounges with considerable fanfare, and at capped the year by landing its first ever non-stop service to New York City with United Airlines. Airport Fever persisted through 2013 in Edmonton, with the surprise announcement of EIA’s second transatlantic non-stop to Reykjavik, the long-awaited closure of Edmonton City Centre Airport and a well publicized spat with Air Canada over the frequency of its London route, which further galvanized public support for the airport. Amid all this, arguably the biggest recent aviation story in the Capital Region has been that of EIA’s unglamourous but economically vital cargo division. While Edmonton air cargo footprint is small compared to global logistics hubs like Frankfurt, Dubai or Seoul-Incheon, EIA is thinking big – and has invested $35 million on the cargo side, most notably in the development of the

airport’s ‘Cargo Village.’ This new development includes facilities for customs, freight forwarders, air carriers, logistics and warehousing. Already the facilities have attracted considerable attention within the cargo and logistics community, with Purolator Courier doubling its operations at EIA and Cargojet Airways and DHL also increasing their operations. The opening of the Cargo Village in late-2012 also coincided with FedEx’s upgrading of its daily Edmonton-Memphis service to a widebody Airbus A310 cargo plane. The first full year of operation for EIA’s Cargo Village proved to be a big one for the airport’s air cargo division. With global air cargo facing difficult economic conditions in much of the world and struggling with flat growth, EIA achieved six per cent growth in its cargo business between January and August of 2013, while attracting a steady procession of new tenants into the new facilities into its Cargo Village. The airport also put itself firmly on the continental cargo map by hosting the “Roads Rails Run-

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December 2013 | BOMA Edmonton Newsletter |

ways” Cargo Conference in September 25 and 26, in partnership with the Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association (CIFFA) – on the occasion of the latter’s 65th anniversary. This national conference, the association’s first ever in western Canada, attracted over 260 cargo and logistics professionals and policymakers from across Canada and overseas. For Norm Richard, EIA’s director of air service development (cargo), the conference served to underline the airport’s commitment to sustained growth in a cargo business line that currently ships some 40,000 tonnes of goods out of the Edmonton region every year. “By holding the Roads Rails Runways conference here in Edmonton, we were able to show the world that we’re serious about cargo here,” asserts Richard. “We’re ideally positioned for global cargo and logistics, from our location adjacent to North America’s second-largest energy park and excellent road and rail connections, to our global position along the Great Polar Route. We’re also home to a rapidly diversifying economy, for which access to markets is paramount.” Edmonton’s evolution into a global cargo powerhouse may still be in its infancy, but already the world appears to be taking notice. Noted American aviation industry expert Dr. John D. Kasarda, the man who famously coined the term ‘Aerotropolis’, has identified Edmonton as among the world’s emerging ‘Airport Cities’ – making only one of two such centres in Cana-


da (the other being Vancouver International Airport). Adding further credence to the ‘aerotropolis’ label is the September announcement of a new partnership with California-based commercial real estate company Panattoni Development to market EIA’s Cargo Village to the world. In addition, work has begun on redeveloping the airport land on the southwest corner of Airport Road and the Queen Elizabeth 2 Highway for a mixed-use commercial zone. “Our reason for being is to serve as a catalyst for the economic prosperity of the region we’re responsible for,” says Norm Richard.

Canada’s Top Security Company | | BOMA Edmonton Newsletter | December 2013



THE NEXT STEPS It is time to make choices that will help define our future




dmonton has elected a new council along with a new mayor. First and foremost, thank you to those who have served and have retired. You are to be commended for your commitment to public service and you deserve our gratitude. Of particular note is the work and dedication to our community by outgoing mayor, Stephen Mandel. The Edmonton Chamber of Commerce recognized Mayor Mandel’s efforts with a tribute dinner and evening of entertainment and accolades. Congratulations to those who were successful in the election and our thanks to all that participated in our democratic process. The Edmonton Chamber was actively involved during the election on your behalf – questioning the candidates for mayor about the issues members said were important to them and their businesses. In the upcoming months we will be meeting with the new city council and will ensure they are fully aware of the issues that impact business in Edmonton. This includes issues such as the City’s The Way We Green strategic plan. The City lays out a vision that is forward thinking, with many positions and ideas related to the future state of the city. It is important to have strategy and longer-term plans and vision. As all business people know, good strategy requires excellence in execution. This ensures that priorities are set respecting the needs of the community. Industry needs solid transportation infrastructure, access to skilled and unskilled labour, competitive tax structure, availability of industrial land and policy that supports and encourages business growth and a healthy community. Businesses themselves may have not voted, but they do make their investment choices considering many of the above issues. Edmonton has a great history of creating opportunities for entrepreneurs to grow and prosper. This has been and will continue to be the land of opportunity. How the new mayor and council shape Edmonton’s future through policy will have a profound impact on our economy. The Edmonton Chamber plans to focus its efforts working on and advocating for policies at a municipal level during the upcoming year. We will be working with the


December 2013 | Business In Edmonton Magazine |

The Edmonton Chamber is also advocating to other levels of government and regional partners to create the best environment for business. mayor and council to ensure that the priorities and policies they develop are aligned with the needs of our members. A strong and vibrant business community supports the broader community through jobs for individuals and through the tax base. The Edmonton Chamber is also advocating to other levels of government and regional partners to create the best environment for business. Collaborative efforts through the Greater Edmonton Regional Chambers of Commerce have shown great promise. Our regional neighbours play an important role in our economy; by working together towards common goals, we will all benefit. Along with those efforts, the Edmonton Chamber is a strategic advocate to the provincial and federal government on a variety of other issues. Access to market, labour availability and training are core objectives. Further afield, the Edmonton Chamber is continuing to support and develop our relationships with the North and have been aligning those efforts with both Edmonton Economic Development Corporation and the City of Edmonton to provide more opportunities for our business community. Along with those efforts, we have been surveying chamber members, community leaders, and policy makers about our role in the marketplace and how we can better serve. We believe passionately in the importance of the role of business in our community. By reaching out to stakeholders, the Edmonton Chamber can better fulfill its mission to create the best environment for business. Thank you to those who have supported us in this mission to date. For those who have not been a member or engaged call us, together we can all help build our great northern city.

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EVENTS 125 Years of Creating the Best Environment for Business

January After Business

Mixer & Tradeshow Tuesday, January 28, 2014 Chateau Lacombe Hotel 10111 Bellamy Hill 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Members – $15.00 + GST Non-Members – $25.00 + GST

Exhibitor Display Table: Members – $150.00 + GST Non-Members – $275.00 + GST Table-top exhibitor includes: 10 event tickets, 6’ table & linen




Sponsored by


Join us at the Chateau Lacombe Hotel for our first Mixer of 2014. Enjoy this premier networking event that helps small businesses gain insight, build relationships and keep informed of emerging trends. Visit exhibit tables and learn what it’s like to be part of Edmonton’s Business pipeline. Located in the heart of downtown Edmonton, the Chateau Lacombe Hotel is an iconic landmark hotel offering spectacular panoramic views of the North Saskatchewan River valley. A preferred choice for business travellers and a favourite destination for visitors from around the world. Whether it be business or leisure, simply relax and enjoy the view!





Outgoing Chair

Incoming Chair

Northern Lights Award Winner

Lindsay Dodd

Simon O’Byrne

Tim Melton

CEO Savvia Inc.

Vice-President, Practice Leader Stantec

Melton Family Melcor Group

Presented by

The 2014 Friday, January 31, 2014 Shaw Conference Centre 9797 Jasper Avenue Doors: 6:00 p.m. Program: 7:00 p.m. Dress: Black Tie or Business Formal Tickets Members: $225.00 per person + GST Non-Members: $300.00 per person + GST Tables of 10 Members: $2,250.00 + GST Non-Members: $3,000.00 + GST Gold Sponsor

Silver Sponsor

Bronze Sponsor

In Kind Sponsors



December 2013 | Business In Edmonton Magazine |





ver 100 face-to-face meetings took place with great results between 13 Alberta companies and over 100 Chinese investors during Edmonton Economic Development Corporation’s (EEDC) oil and gas-focussed trade mission to China this September. Representatives from EEDC along with five companies from the Edmonton region travelled over 20 hours with two other Albertan economic development organizations, the Alberta Ministry of International and Intergovernmental Relations and Alberta’s premier, to take part in the weeklong mission. EEDC has been a part of several trade missions to China over the last three years, but this particular mission was the first focused on the energy industry—a direct result of EEDC’s China strategy, and according to Dean Darwent, EEDC manager of energy and investment attraction and trade mission leader, it was an opportunity for the mission’s companies to access a powerful platform for their seven minute pitches. “It’s hard to build an audience of 100 investors for one company,” explains Darwent. “The companies get logistical support, access to a broader audience base, greater fanfare and attention and the added benefit of support from the political leaders of the regions.” According to Darwent, China has a great interest in doing business with foreign

countries as it works to build its market in response to its growing level of wealth and influence. As the recent trade mission indicates, companies in Alberta are ready to help China meet its needs. “In Alberta, we put a lot of money into research and development,” says EEDC analyst and trade mission leader, Michael Lam. “However, we don’t necessarily have a big enough population base to utilize all of the innovations.” Since simply relying on the American economy is no longer a sustainable business plan, the mission reflects the Edmonton region’s need to diversify its target markets by looking for opportunities elsewhere, especially in China and India— two of the world’s most densely populated countries. The goals of a trade mission are simple. “This is a good opportunity for us to (A) go over there to sell a product and commercialize it, and (B) to attract more investment to Edmonton, do more research and development and go back,” states Lam. This trade mission found immediate success for one local delegate, and helped start conversations for others. Dale Gregg, president of Handle-Tech Limited, was communicating by email with Chinese contacts he had met at a trade show in Calgary earlier in 2013 and saw the mission as a great opportunity to visit China for the first time with | Business In Edmonton Magazine | December 2013



the support and energy of the trade mission organizers and his fellow delegates behind him. “The culture shock was reduced significantly for me,” says Gregg of his experience, referring to the organizers’ duties of talking to delegates about customs, arranging meetings and handling logistics such as transportation and translators. Sharing his innovative Handle-Tech Handle—a handheld device he designed to safely carry around hoses and pipes—with investors, Gregg left China with deals to distribute his product in three provinces. “I’m very excited about the opportunities presented around the world—not just China,” adds Gregg. He already has plans to visit China again on his own to expand the reach of the Handle-Tech Handle and is attending a trade show in Abu Dhabi in November in hopes of connecting with European distributors. “Normally a business deal takes about a year from beginning to end, but depending on how hot that technology is, and how hot that company is, it could be a lot faster,” shares Lam, emphasizing the uniqueness of Gregg’s product. Other delegates are currently in discussions with Chinese investors, and feedback from delegates on their trade mission experience has been excellent. On a fundamental level, Darwent says there is no substitute for face-to-face business. “With most organizations, once you get to a certain point and you’re serious about


doing business, it’s about the people. Not about the geography or how good the fit is. Really, it’s if there a click between people.” With that in mind, EEDC is preparing an investment portfolio for the Asia Financial Forum set to take place in China in January 2014 in order to maintain contact with Chinese clients and start building new relationships. Watch this space for more exciting developments resulting from EEDC’s China strategy.



he second annual Edmonton Film Prize was awarded to Kyle Armstrong of Dropper59 Productions for his film “Magnetic Reconnection” during the 27th Edmonton International Film Festival in September. Armstrong received $10,000 from the Edmonton Arts Council and is the third winner of the prize, as the inaugural prize was split between two filmmakers in 2012. Eleven films were nominated for the film prize this year, and Armstrong’s submission, which he describes as, “a short documentary contrasting the Northern Lights with decaying manmade debris surrounding the northern town of Churchill, Manitoba,” impressed the film prize jury with its innovative technical approach and compelling themes of the futility of human effort and the irresistible power of nature. The Edmonton Arts Council introduced the prize in partnership with the Edmonton Film Commission in 2012 following a recommendation from the City of Edmontonapproved Art of Living implementation plan calling for an increase in the range and value of city prizes recognizing excellence in the arts. The prize recognizes an Edmontonbased filmmaker who demonstrates artistic and technical excellence as a filmmaker. An independent jury of filmmakers, broadcasters, presenters and members of the film community judges the entries. “The role of the prize is to acknowledge the work and the creativity and the level of talent that exists in Edmonton,”


December 2013 | Business In Edmonton Magazine |

Edmonton’s film industry is experiencing a regrowth, helped in part by the Edmonton Filmed Entertainment Fund, an investment fund the Edmonton Film Commission launched with a private US investor in 2012. says Edmonton film commissioner, Brad Stromberg. “Our hope with the prize is that it’s viewed by the winners and by others in the industry as a symbol of achievement and something about which the winners can be proud.” Edmonton’s film industry is experiencing a regrowth, helped in part by the Edmonton Filmed Entertainment Fund, an investment fund the Edmonton Film Commission launched with a private US investor in 2012. Two feature films have been filmed in Edmonton since the fund’s introduction, accomplishing the fund’s goal of creating ongoing work for Edmonton’s film industry. The effect on independent filmmakers is that they do not have to look outside the city when they need someone for their camera, lighting or wardrobe crew. “There is a different sort of energy,” shares Stromberg of Edmonton’s resurging film industry, “and the Edmonton Film Prize will continue to recognize its achievements.”

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December 2013 Business in Edmonton  
December 2013 Business in Edmonton