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DECEMBER 2018 | $3.50 BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM

THE MAKING

OF A MASTER TAILOR PM42455512

Sam Abouhassan talks about doing what he loves and giving back



B OMA EDMONTON NEWS WINTER 2018 PAGE

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STORY TITLE // SECTION

Supporting the visions of entrepreneurs one story at a time. Volume 6 | Number 12

REGULAR COLUMNS

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 Returning to Our Roots: Agriculture in Alberta By Terry O’Flynn

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 Survey Says: Labour Shortages and Competitiveness are the Top Manufacturers’ Challenges By David MacLean

CONTENTS COVER FEATURE

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 he Making of a T Master Tailor Sam Abouhassan talks about doing what he loves and giving back By Nerissa McNaughton

ON OUR COVER: ABOVE: SAM ABOUHASSAN, CUSTOM CLOTHIER. PHOTO SOURCE: EPIC PHOTOGRAPHY INC.

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

@BUSINEDMONTON

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 Alberta’s $15 Minimum Wage Puts a Hefty Price Tag on Creating EntryLevel Jobs By Amber Ruddy

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 dmonton Chamber E Of Commerce  OMA Edmonton News B Winter 2018

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The Not-for-Profit Program, jointly developed by ICD and the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, is an intensive program focused on key accountabilities and responsibilities for NFP leaders through extensive use of team-based learning. Offered nationally, the NFP Program is taught by top faculty from Canada’s leading business schools and some of Canada’s most accomplished and highly respected directors-in-residence.

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STORY TITLE // SECTION

Supporting the visions of entrepreneurs one story at a time. Volume 6 | Number 12

70 THIS MONTH’S FEATURES

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CONTENTS COMPANY PROFILES

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 C Custom Metal G Fabrication Ltd.

Celebrating Business Excellence

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S2 Architecture Celebrates 25 Years

How Businesses are Drumming Up Capital in 2018 Four experts weigh in on what works, and what doesn’t, for small businesses looking for cash By Zachary Edwards

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Business Aviation Means Big Returns for All Albertans By Debra Ward, Canadian Business Aviation Association

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The Benefits of Continuing Education By Jamelie Bachaalani

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Philanthropic Pursuits Edmonton has endless ways to give back. Here are a few of them. By Nerissa McNaughton

Building a Business-Centric Economy Prioritizing businesses in Parkland County By Laura Bohnert

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Business As We Know It USMCA changes trade in Alberta By Zachary Edwards


When it comes to a relationship with your banker, don’t settle. Dr. Alan Ulsifer, FYidoctors CEO Grew from a single location in Calgary, to the largest eye care provider in Canada.

Get connected at

atb.com/corporate


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REGULAR CONTRIBUTORS Amber Ruddy Terry O’Flynn David MacLean

THIS ISSUE’S CONTRIBUTORS Nerissa McNaughton Laura Bohnert Debra Ward Jamelie Bachaalani Zachary Edwards

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RETURNING TO OUR ROOTS: AGRICULTURE IN ALBERTA // TERRY O’FLYNN

Returning to Our Roots: Agriculture in Alberta BY TERRY O’FLYNN, CHAIRMAN, ALBERTA ENTERPRISE GROUP

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ong before there was oil and gas, Albertans worked the land providing for their families and communities. Although it seems most consumers today hardly think about where their food comes from, the agriculture industry continues to be the backbone of our provincial economy. According to a report from Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, while the majority of Alberta’s major industries had lower output (as measured by GDP) in 2016, agriculture reported positive economic growth, increasing 7.8 per cent to a record $6.6 billion. With almost every piece of news stemming from the province somehow related to oil, gas, power and pipelines, it is hard to find even a small media item on agriculture. While most of us were reading about the latest pipeline delay or bickering between interest groups, farmers were literally hanging by a vine in their fields with an early snowfall disrupting harvesting across the province. For a while things looked bleak: the snow could remain for months or the entire winter putting a whole season of growing literally down the drain. Luckily the snow began to melt, and through a true entrepreneurial spirit and no-holdsbarred attitude, Alberta farmers were once again able to get the job done. In a matter of a week, farms went from having almost all the crops on the field to having almost all the crops off to harvest. Farmers and ranchers have learned how to fight through adversity, putting food on our tables not only in Alberta but around the world. Without the glamour of other industries, agriculture is becoming Alberta’s forgotten resource. As long as food is on the table, most of us are happy and give it little more thought. I refer to a quote from Brenda Schoepp, “My

AS A PORTION OF GDP, AGRICULTURE CAN TAKE SOME WILD SWINGS BASED ON THE YEAR BUT IT HAS ALWAYS BEEN STABLE ENOUGH TO FEED OUR POPULACE. grandfather used to say, ‘Once in your life you need a doctor, a lawyer, a policeman and a preacher, but every day – three times a day – you need a farmer.’” As a portion of GDP, agriculture can take some wild swings based on the year but it has always been stable enough to feed our populace. After all, where would we be without Alberta beef? What would be filling our root cellars and grain elevators without our summer crops? One of our most important resources may not be in the ground but instead working it from the top. While the media continues to focus on the oil industry and as we continue to dig ourselves out of this recession, it is important to plan for the future and put the right implements in place to survive the next one. Farmers and ranchers have overcome a lot in recent years with changes to labour legislation laws, a carbon tax and getting their product to market based on rail constraints, not to mention the proverbial problem of weather which came into play this fall. As we sit down to enjoy our next meal and a drink – produced right here in our own backyard – let us all tip our hats to the farmers and ranchers who will continue to be this province’s backbone moving forward.

BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // DECEMBER 2018

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SURVEY SAYS // DAVID MACLEAN

Survey Says: Labour Shortages and Competitiveness are the Top Manufacturers’ Challenges BY DAVID MACLEAN

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ME’s biannual Management Issues Survey (MIS) shows that Canadian manufacturers are struggling to find workers with the right skills and are deeply concerned about Canada’s eroding competitiveness. MIS results show that a full 69 per cent of respondents face immediate labour and/or skills shortages, and three quarters expect shortages within the next five years. In both cases, shortages are most acute in skilled production fields. Manufacturers identify a lack of students choosing careers in manufacturing-related fields and skillsets of workers not keeping up with new technologies as the reasons behind the shortages. Additionally, more than half of the respondents felt that the federal government is not investing enough to help grow and build a strong manufacturing sector in Canada. Manufacturers are calling for a more competitive business tax regime and for enhanced supports for investing in machinery, equipment and technologies. The 2018 MIS received 540 responses representing all regions of Canada. Many survey respondents – about 30 per cent of the total – run companies with facilities in more than one province. The MIS provides valuable insight into the mindset and concerns of manufacturers – both in terms of their day-to-day struggles as well as their longer-term strategic goals. Because MIS was in the field through the summer and into the early fall, a third major was theme was clear in the survey results: businesses were deeply concerned about Canada-US trade uncertainty and the outcome of NAFTA renegotiations.

With the new USMCA deal signed – and provided it comes into effect – Canadian manufacturers and policy-makers can scratch one item off their to-do list. With that done, attention must turn to addressing the other issues identified in this survey, beginning with labour and skills shortages, and improving the business tax environment. Labour shortages are a tough nut to crack for manufacturers and policy makers as it takes a long time to turn the ship around. First off, manufacturers need to improve their own image with young Canadians. Modern manufacturing is clean, dynamic and high-tech. It’s on us as business leaders to make sure young people know that. We also need to do more to attract under-represented groups like women and Aboriginals. That’s why Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters has launched our Women in Manufacturing initiative that includes $4,000 scholarships for young women pursuing careers in trades. On competitiveness, Alberta manufacturers need some relief. CME is calling on federal and provincial governments to immediately lower combined tax rates to below 20 per cent, if only to keep pace with US tax reforms. The Trudeau government should also match the accelerated capital cost allowance provisions currently in place in the US, giving businesses an immediate 100 per cent tax write-off on qualifying capital asset purchases. The Alberta government should follow suit. The 2018 MIS flags some areas of concern for the manufacturing sector. Policy makers and manufacturers alike have work to do to address them.

CANADIAN MANUFACTURERS & EXPORTERS (CME) IS THE VOICE OF CANADIAN MANUFACTURING. CME REPRESENTS MORE THAN 2,500 COMPANIES WHO ACCOUNT FOR AN ESTIMATED 82 PER CENT OF MANUFACTURING OUTPUT AND 90 PER CENT OF CANADA’S EXPORTS.

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SHARING YOUR VISION. BUILDING SUCCESS.

MS Bike National Sponsor Heart & Stroke Big Bike

United Way of the Alberta Capital Region

At PCL, we believe in making a difference in the communities where our employees live and work. Social responsibility is one of PCL’s guiding principles, and community giving is at its core. At PCL, we not only build great structures, but we also build hope for individuals and families in the communities we serve.


ALBERTA’S $15 MINIMUM WAGE PUTS A HEFTY PRICE TAG // AMBER RUDDY

Alberta’s $15 Minimum Wage Puts a Hefty Price Tag on Creating Entry-Level Jobs BY AMBER RUDDY

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t’s just an extra couple bucks. Employers will barely notice the added cost. For those businesses that offer entry-level positions, nothing could be further from the truth.

According to analysis from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), provincial employers are facing a $10,739 increase annually per entry-level, minimum wage job compared to 2015. This is due to added wage costs and the higher payroll taxes (i.e. CPP, EI, WCB) that go along with it. That means a small business with 10 minimum wage employees will see their annual costs skyrocket by more than $107,000 as a result of the government’s policy. Across the province, the rapid rise in the minimum wage to $15 an hour is costing private sector employers an additional $284 million each year. For decades, Alberta’ job market experienced a massive net influx of young people who were ready to work hard for the opportunity to get their foot in the door. Alberta was a place where a young person could make a start, learn a trade or a skill, and feel secure about their first steps into the working world. Young people didn’t come for the minimum wage – they came for the opportunity to begin a career. Since the move to $15 began, the minimum wage has increased 47 per cent in just a few short years. Ultimately, the rapid increase in Alberta’s minimum wage has unintended consequences. Who is hurt by higher minimum wages? It’s young workers with limited skills. It’s small business owners who have to trim back plans for growth. It’s employees who face a reduction in hours or losing their jobs altogether.

When business owners were asked, “what are the barriers to hiring more youth in your business?,” 65 per cent of Alberta businesses responded that minimum wage increases have been the biggest obstacle, ahead of general motivation and attitude of youth in the workforce (57 per cent) and the cost of training (56 per cent). However, it’s not too late for the Alberta government to modify minimum wage policy to help jobseekers and small business owners. For example, a training wage could be introduced for new employees as a way to facilitate job creation for low-skilled youth and recognize the big investment small businesses make in entry-level jobs. Alberta could also freeze the minimum wage for the next term of the government to grant some predictability and reprieve to business owners who have been scrambling to keep up with such a big jump in the minimum wage during a recessionary economy that is struggling to turn the corner. If the Alberta government decides to remain firm in this punitive approach, they should immediately act to help employers in other ways. For example, the province could increase education and training opportunities to help employees upgrade their skills to obtain better-paying positions, or offer additional tax relief to low-income earners so they may keep more of their hard-earned dollars. No matter what the minimum wage is, small business owners won’t create jobs if they can’t afford the employees. At a time when small business optimism levels in Alberta remain subdued, the last thing the provincial government should be pursuing are policies that add big new costs for job creators.

AMBER RUDDY IS THE DIRECTOR OF PROVINCIAL AFFAIRS FOR THE CANADIAN FEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT BUSINESS. SHE CAN BE REACHED AT AMBER.RUDDY@CFIB.CA. FOLLOW HER ON TWITTER @ARUDDY.

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DECEMBER 2018 // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM


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PCL Construction Gives Back and Goes Greener PCL Construction is the largest group of independent construction contracting companies in Canada with an annual construction volume of $8 billion. United Way of the Alberta Capital Region envisions a poverty-free community where children and youth achieve their full potential, individuals and families attain finanical stability, and everyone feels connected and safe in their community. The non-profit organization manages this by delivering over 100 programs that lift people out of poverty and prevent at-risk families from slipping below the poverty line. PCL’s Edmonton campus (and company headquarters) is pleased to announce successfully fundraising $2,354,514 for the United Way of the Alberta Capital Region. This year also marks 50 years of a partnership between PCL and United Way (Alberta). The funds were raised over three weeks and through a variety of events, such as personal donations, corporate matching, a first-time-pie-in-the-face fundraiser, a ping pong ball drop, an online auction and more. PCL’s 2018 United Way campaign chair, Brent Sharpe, says “We really wanted to celebrate our milestone partnership with the United Way. United Way plays a large part in PCL’s vision to give back to the communities in which we live and work for the past 50 years. Our PCL family always comes together to donate time and money and make a difference for our community’s less fortunate. PCL continues to be the biggest donor to the Edmonton-Area United Way campaign, giving close to 10 per cent of the Edmonton-Area United Way’s total donation dollars each year.” While PCL gives back to communities, it also gives back to the planet on a very large scale. Recently, PCL Construction was rated #17 on Engineering News-Record’s (ENR) 2018 Top Green Contractor list. PCL has been recognized on this list for 11 consecutive years. One of the reasons for the ranking was PCL’s collective generation of approximately $1 billion in green building revenue.

Scott Beckman, PCL’s director of sustainability, said, “The ranking is an important milestone that reflects our dedication to delivering measurable benefits for our clients, the communities where we work, and the environment.” One of the PCL projects that contributed to this year’s ENR ranking was Punahou School in Hawaii, which received a Kukulu Hale Sustainability Development Award. Earlier this year PCL was also recognized in ENR with six of the construction company’s projects being listed in the publication’s Best Projects list. Criteria for recognition was judged on: safety, innovation, construction quality/ craftsmanship, overcoming challenges/teamwork, and functionality/design. Deron Brown, PCL’s executive vice president, stated, “As a general contractor, PCL has a variety of diverse projects happening across the country at any given time. To have a project in nearly every region and several different category types recognized is testimony to the hard work and dedication of PCL employees and our ability to connect with a wide variety of clients.” To learn more about PCL Construction, it’s charitable initiatives, projects across the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Australia, visit www.PCL.com.

ABOVE: PCL’S PIE FOR PIE FUNDRAISER FOR UNITED WAY. PHOTO SOURCE: PCL

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TEC Centre Labs Opens TEC Centre Labs, a $2.3 million, 8,000 square foot wet lab and collaboration space is now open. The facility, which is part of TEC Edmonton, is an accelerator for health technology companies and entrepreneurs, and houses the UAlberta Health Accelerator (focuses on research at the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry) and the Merck Invention Accelerator (focuses on advancing emerging health technologies). “With a world-class laboratory and access to targeted programming, TEC Centre Labs is the place for innovation and entrepreneurship to thrive,” says Chris Lumb, CEO, TEC Edmonton. “Its connection to UAlberta and industry through Edmonton’s innovation corridor will be a great asset for researchers.” Richard Fedorak, dean of U of A’s Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry said in Folio, “As our scientists and learners make discoveries that have value in the healthcare system, we have to move those out of the laboratories and into human use. Rather than taking researchers who have made a fabulous discovery, celebrating them and sending them back to their lab, we want to move their intellectual property and their spin-out companies into an area where they can blossom and grow. The UAlberta Health Accelerator within TEC Centre Labs is the landscape for that opportunity. “Each year, our faculty invests $300 million in research and discovery. The health accelerator marks that investment going full circle. So not only do the people of Alberta and Canada invest in our research, but we are giving back by taking that research, publishing on it and then moving it into the health-care system. It’s advancing an academic healthcare centre into an academic healthcare system that pulls and pushes ideas and innovations forward.” Thirteen U of A spinoffs will occupy UAlberta Health Accelerator during the facility’s first intake.

The Merck Invention Accelerator aims to advance emerging technology with the ultimate goal of saving lives globally. Merck and TEC Edmonton will provide personalized input to the health sciences, early stage pharmaceutical, and health technology companies utilizing the space. The Merck Invention Accelerator is accepting applications for the first-year cohort. Interested applicants can learn more at tecedmonton.com/merckinventionaccelerator-2. Deborah James, executive director of innovation for the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, noted in Folio, “I think our researchers and trainees are going to love being downtown in this vibrant collision space to connect with other likeminded people. It’s a piece to a bigger picture of instilling a culture of innovation within the faculty.” In addition to outstanding laboratory space and opportunities to collaborate with industry professionals, users of TEC Centre Labs will be able to share ideas, network, and gain invaluable insights from each other. TEC Centre Labs is supported by the Government of Canada’s investment through Western Economic Diversification Canada and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, the University of Alberta, the Government of Alberta, Edmonton Economic Development and the University Hospital Foundation. During its 2017/2018 year, TEC Edmonton has raised $60 million, created 306 jobs in 50 organizations, generated $109 million in client revenue, boasts a 97 percent one-year survival rate for its spin-off companies and has launched 104 unique products and services. To learn more about TEC Edmonton and TEC Centre Labs, visit www.tecedmonton. com and www.tecedmonton.com/tec-centre-labs.

ABOVE: CHRIS LUMB, CEO, TEC EDMONTON.

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Congratulations to the class of 2018 When life happens, it’s good to know there are more than 18,000 Chartered Insurance Professionals (CIPs) working in the property and casualty insurance industry throughout the country.

Chartered Insurance Professional (CIP) Charity Akinseloyin Intact Insurance Co.

Cynthia Gonzalez Peace Hills General Insurance Co.

Kay Liang Lloyd Sadd Insurance Ltd.

Renay Samuels Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Co.

Embah Ambe Allstate Insurance Co. of Canada

Emily Gray Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Co.

Sixian Lu Alberta Motor Association Ins. Co.

Bryan Arsenault Alberta Motor Association Ins. Co.

Mohit Halkare RiskTech Insurance Services Inc.

Jan McCarthy Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Co.

Robyn Scheer The Portage la Prairie Mutual Ins. Co.

Kenneth Blois Colas Canada Inc.

Abdul Hameed Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Co.

Kelly Merchant Audatex

Nicole Boucher Aon Reed Stenhouse Inc.

Celeste Hand Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Co.

Katherine Miller Proline Claims Services

Madison Boulter Lloyd Sadd Insurance Ltd.

Leslie Hartman The Portage la Prairie Mutual Ins. Co.

Cody Miller Lloyd Sadd Insurance Ltd.

Monica Bramley Crawford & Co. (Canada) Inc. Sheldon Buxton RiskTech Insurance Services Inc. Richmon Catigan Millennium Insurance Corp. Hoi Yin (Oliver) Chan Pratt Lambert & Brown Ins. Melysa Chen Intact Insurance Co. Bohdahna Cherwick Aon Reed Stenhouse Inc. Caleb Cook Mobile Comm. Ins. Brokers Inc. Taylor Delorme Aon Reed Stenhouse Inc. Noah Drisdell Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Co. Carine Forbes Economical Insurance Edith Fuentes Foster Park Brokers Inc.

Alex Hawkins Federated Insurance Amanda Hedden Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Co. Daniel Howarth City of Spruce Grove Ryan Huolt RiskTech Insurance Services Inc. Pamela Kinga CMB Insurance Brokers Christina Kolisniak Intact Insurance Co. Daniel Kulak Diverse Claims Adjusters Ltd. Rachel Lee Alberta Motor Association Ins. Co. Gabrielle Legere Alberta Motor Association Ins. Co. Dana Letourneau Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Co. Michael Lewis Intact Insurance Co.

Kristin Nagpaton-Era A.M.A. Insurance Agency Ltd. Anne Ndungu Intact Insurance Co. Debby Nickerson SGI Canada Lindsey Oliver Intact Insurance Co. Funmi Omole Aon Reed Stenhouse Inc. Derek Pacheco Michelle Phosavanh Cornerstone Insurance Brokers Ltd. Amrinder Purewal Peace Hills Gen. Ins. Co. Cristian Ramirez Aviva Canada Inc. Kehrl Meeno Reyes Intact Insurance Co. Terence Sakwe Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Co.

Tiffany Schindle RiskTech Insurance Services Inc. Crystal Single Intact Insurance Co. Jason Smith The Co-operators Erik Soderstrom Marsh Canada Ltd. Monica St. Hilaire Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Co. Colette Szpytma Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Co. Nikolas Tinelli Mobile Comm. Ins. Brokers Inc. Melissa Townsend Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Co. Susan Vaillant Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Co. Fan Wang Iridium Risk Services Inc. Waiyee Lisa Wong Peace Hills Gen. Ins. Co. Crystal Woolridge Peace Hills Gen. Ins. Co. Lindsay Young Intact Insurance Co.


General Insurance Essentials Lennea Blanchard Progressive Home Warranty Solutions Inc.

Omer Pasalic Gov’t of Nunavut

Guinevere Lanuza Intact Insurance Co.

Kerry Reid Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Co.

Risk Management Certificate Jasper Almario Economical Insurance

Ethan Pierce Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Co.

Jenny Goltz Intact Insurance Co.

Prakriti Thapliyal Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Co.

Aileen McCormack Intact Insurance Co.

Kristin Tucker Intact Insurance Co.

Brendan Wood Peace Hills General Insurance Co.

Advanced Chartered Insurance Professional (ACIP) Sandra Couturier CJ Campbell Insurance

Jordan Mattern MBS Insurance Brokers Ltd

Shelora Lopez The Co-operators

Sherry Nelson Belairdirect Agency Inc.

Krista Stephenson Aon Reed Stenhouse Inc.

Fellow Chartered Insurance Professional (FCIP) Elizabeth Cook Alberta Urban Municipalities Ass’n

Roxanne Leskie Economical Insurance

Chris Leahey

Heather Patterson Alpine Insurance & Financial Inc.

Craig Pettigrew Jubilee Insurance Agencies

Instructor Certification Program Thomas Hammell, CIP Epcor

Karolina Ugljesic, FCIP Superintendent of Insurance

Why does the CIP designation matter to you? When disaster strikes, you want an educated, knowledgeable insurance professional with up-to-date information. Chartered Insurance Professionals help maintain the high standards of the industry, and can be found in many industry roles including brokers, underwriters and claims adjusters. They work to provide a better insurance experience for Canadians—like you—who depend on quality insurance service. www.preparedformore.ca


The Joys of the Holiday Season Coping with Holiday Stress

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s Christmas approaches, we look forward to spending time with family and loved ones, giving and receiving gifts, having some “holiday cheer” and enjoying the plentiful amount of food and beverages. Unfortunately, not all of these activities are enjoyable for everyone, especially if you have some unhealthy family members, family conflict, misbehaving children or that “interesting” uncle/aunt everyone wants to avoid. Coping with holiday stress becomes an important skill, as it may be the buffer between surviving these few months versus having to clean up the physical, social or emotional messes. The American Psychological Association did a poll in 2015 that found 8 out of every 10 people anticipate stress during the holiday season. Many of these stressors include overeating, drinking to excess, holiday crowds, dealing with family members and financial concerns. Here are a few things you may consider to survive this adventure. 1. Beware of overindulgence. More is not always better. Although good food and drink may be overflowing (and that release of dopamine is very pleasurable), moderation becomes an important skill, especially if you become concerned about weight gain, alcohol consumption and stress. This may also lead to the bringing out “issues” that are buried. Increases in alcohol and food can also increase the likelihood of impulse buying as you want to get in that “extra holiday cheer” while you can. This can set the stage for later guilt, overspending on presents and family conflict. 2. Reevaluate your holiday traditions. Since many traditions are a family affair, make sure you are sharing – not only the cheer – but the responsibilities. Are you doing all of the cooking and cleaning or shopping for the family or group of families? Ask others to chip in and be a part of the team. You might even delegate responsibility and reinforce with your family to make sure they are following through … maybe consider rotating locations or sharing a potluck. 3. Unrealistic expectations. You may want to recreate or avoid the past. Holidays are not meant to be perfect. Everyone has their own pattern, styles and preferences, including religious beliefs. Everyone needs to be

Dr. Cory Hrushka, C.S. D.S.T. NCPC, NCCE

able to celebrate in their own way (as long as it is not being disrespectful or disruptive). The “perfect present” may be a good connection. 4. Many people may also not have family near them. This may be a time to reach out and share our common human bond or to connect with individuals you might not normally connect with, especially if they also do not have anyone. Help create that support system as it may be a lifeline to some. 5. Watch out for the extra intensity that may occur with large groups of people (and alcohol). Take care and time for yourself as it can be quite overwhelming, especially with the crowds, people in large groups in tight or small spaces. It’s OK to get stressed about this. Just make sure you are taking breathers or timeouts, and honestly express and acknowledge your feelings when you need that space. 6. Finally, remind yourself of what the true meaning of the holiday spirit is. This is a time to celebrate, reconnect, focus on the positives or resolve some of those emotional issues from your past.

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THE MAKING OF A MASTER TAILOR // COVER

THE MAKING OF A MASTER TAILOR Sam Abouhassan talks about doing what he loves and giving back BY NERISSA MCNAUGHTON

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he saying is, “clothes make the man,” but Sam Abouhassan, custom clothier, begs to differ. A custom suit may make a man stand taller and walk prouder, but for the master tailor, it’s the man inside the suit where the inspiration starts. Abouhassan, owner of a shop that bears his name, has been crafting custom suits and shirts for men since 1978. He has never lost his passion for creating the perfect suit for each customer. Abouhassan is known for his attention to detail, his emphasis on the value of labour and fabrics, and his refusal to make a made-to-measure suit. All of his suits are made from scratch, starting with the fabric selection and ending with hand-sewn details. The suits are designed to last for decades with only a small alteration if the client’s weight changes. Each suit is timeless and Abouhassan’s skill as a master tailor is renowned in the Capital City.

How did he achieve all this? His experience started in a small tailor shop in Lebanon – when he was in grade six. “In grade six, my cousin was one of my teachers. One day he pulled me to the side and in a very nice way he told me that I should try to learn a trade,” Abouhassan smiles mischievously. “It was his nice way of saying that I was not doing well at school.” Abouhassan was young and not a huge fan of school, but there was one thing he did like: good quality, stylish clothing. He admits, though, that as a young boy he couldn’t afford the fashionable clothes he craved. “I went to a local tailor shop in the city next to our town to ask if I could get a job,” Abouhassan continues. “I was hired that day and I have been in the tailoring trade since.”

ABOVE: SAM ABOUHASSAN, CUSTOM CLOTHIER. PHOTO SOURCE: EPIC PHOTOGRAPHY INC.

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THE MAKING OF A MASTER TAILOR // COVER

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THE MAKING OF A MASTER TAILOR // COVER

ALTHOUGH HE DIDN’T REALIZE IT He started as a helper on the pressing table, but soon progressed to hand finishing garments. Next, he was promoted to the sewing machine. “By the time you learn measuring and cutting, you could get the title of ‘tailor.’”

AT THE TIME, HIS BUSINESS STARTED

“Years down the road I was working for the same Armenian brothers as a tailor,” continues Abouhassan. “I was able to run the shop. But time went on, the civil war started, and the future was looking bleak.”

WHO WOULD LATER GO ON TO BOOST

The Lebanese Civil War took place from 1975 to 1990 and resulted in thousands of fatalities. The war caused nearly a million people to flee the region, and more than 75,000 remained displaced as of 2012.

ABOUHASSAN RECOGNIZED ONE, HIS BRAND AFTER BECOMING A VERY SATISFIED CUSTOMER.

“Edmonton was the only place in the world that I had relatives outside of Lebanon,” Abouhassan explains. “With my relatives’ help I was able to emigrate to this city that I have proudly called home for the past 42 years.”

you grow up with no safety net and no family nearby, you end up being more careful with everything you do, from your work life to your social life; but, the harder I worked the luckier I got. My client list became very impressive even though I had no idea who my clients were. I started finding out about them later on after getting to know how to spell their names properly when my English improved.”

When he arrived in Edmonton, Abouhassan was just 20 years old and didn’t speak a word of English. However, that didn’t stop him from getting a job just three days later, working for a tailor at 100 Street and 101 Ave.

Although he didn’t realize it at the time, his business started attracting local celebrities. Abouhassan recognized one, who would later go on to boost his brand after becoming a very satisfied customer.

“About two years after I arrived in Edmonton I wanted to open my own tailor shop. Around the corner I found space in the basement of the old King Edward Hotel on 101 Street and 101 Ave. That is the address I have been on for 40 years, with the same phone number. I have moved few times, but no more than half a block away.”

The master tailor explains, “In the country I grew up in, we knew of ice as what you put in your drink to make it cold. Here, you skate on it and play hockey. So, when Mr. Glen Sather came into my store looking for a custom suit, I recognized him as the guy on television behind the player’s bench, but I didn’t know his name. I had to ask him so I could embroider the name inside the suit we were making for him.

It wasn’t easy. “I was 22 years old, learning how to sign a lease, dealing with customers, and doing the measuring, sewing and pressing. It was tough to get going not knowing how to get customers into the store. The only thing that kept me going was that I knew my trade and there were not many tailor shops in Edmonton. I thought, ‘If I could get the customers, I will do the best job. Then I can get them to come back and see me again.’ That still holds true for me today.” When he first arrived in the city his only thought was survival. Now, years and a very successful business later, he takes time to reflect. “Looking back, I never thought long-term. My focus was on making a living and the fear of failure kept me going. When

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ATTRACTING LOCAL CELEBRITIES.

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“Glen became my best advertisement. He went on to introduce me to Kevin Lowe and other hockey players. Glen, Kevin and I are still friends to this day. In a few short years we were making suits and shirts for customers in Fort McMurray, Los Angeles and New York, to name just a few places.” From there the business grew rapidly. In October, Sam Abouhassan Custom Clothiers celebrated 40 years. “Looking back, I could not have imagined that I would be here today doing what I love best,” Abouhassan reflects. “I am proud to say we have established a name in the custom suit business, a name based on quality fabrics and the finest


THE TORCH HAS ARRIVED

As a made in Canada firm, we are proud to cheer for amateur athletics in our country as the presenting sponsor of the 2019 MNP Canada Games Torch Relay. We hope you’ll join us in celebrating when it makes its way through Edmonton on January 8, 2019. Follow the flame as it travels from coast to coast – stopping at 48 different communities along the way. Visit MNP.ca to keep track of its journey.


THE MAKING OF A MASTER TAILOR // COVER

in hand-making suits and shirts. In the last 40 years we have never changed our way of making our product and we never compromise on quality or workmanship. We only change the style to meet today’s looks. “The great challenge our business faces now is finding the next generation of qualified tailors that could keep the

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trade going. [It’s important not to confuse] salespeople with tradespeople. “We always try to make the next suit better than the one we made the day before. Men’s fashions have changed with time, but quality and great service will always be our first priority.”


THE MAKING OF A MASTER TAILOR // COVER

TODAY ABOUHASSAN IS FAR FROM THE COUNTRY OF HIS BIRTH, BUT HE’S RIGHT AT HOME IN THE CAPITAL CITY. IN ADDITION TO BEING AMONG THE TOP CUSTOM SUIT MAKERS IN THE PROVINCE AND HAVING OUTFITTED SOME OF THE MOST FAMOUS MEN IN NORTH AMERICA, THE TAILOR’S FOCUS REMAINS HUMBLE.

a big part of my life,” says Abouhassan. “There are so many ways to give back. If you don’t have the money, then give your time. What I’ve gotten back from doing so is 10 times more than what I give.”” Today Abouhassan is far from the country of his birth, but he’s right at home in the Capital City. In addition to being among the top custom suit makers in the province and having outfitted some of the most famous men in North America, the tailor remains humble. He’s content to get up every day, give something back to the city he loves, and make men look and feel their best through his undeniable talent for tailoring.

With his unique life experiences, relentless drive, talent for tailoring, and ultimate success in the city that he now calls home, Abouhassan has a very balanced look on life, and he enjoys giving back to the place that helped him achieve his dreams. “Giving back to the community has been and will always be

“I have been blessed to work and live in this great city,” Abouhassan smiles. “Some people measure their success by accomplishments or monetary gain. I measure my success by the number of good people I call friends.” So, do clothes make the man? In Abouhassan’s case, the answer is a resounding ‘no.’ Hard work, grit, determination, a relentless drive to succeed, taking huge risks, and being community minded made this man, and because of that, he makes the clothes that make other men stand out.

ABOVE: SAM ABOUHASSAN, CUSTOM CLOTHIER. PHOTO SOURCE: EPIC PHOTOGRAPHY INC.

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HOW BUSINESSES ARE DRUMMING UP CAPITAL IN 2018 // BANKING

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HOW BUSINESSES ARE DRUMMING UP CAPITAL IN 2018 // BANKING

HOW BUSINESSES

ARE DRUMMING UP CAPITAL IN 2018 FOUR EXPERTS WEIGH IN ON WHAT WORKS, AND WHAT DOESN’T, FOR SMALL BUSINESSES LOOKING FOR CASH

BY ZACHARY EDWARDS

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t’s no secret Edmonton has become a sleeper success in the world of tech. The city, once known for its proximity to Alberta’s oilsands, is now world renowned for many groundbreaking innovations that have led to the creation of some incredible businesses. But no matter the tech, these businesses all started out the same: a fantastic idea that needed some development and, most importantly, funding to get it started. Most technological advances in funding and financing come down to access. Not that long ago, paper mail and in-person interviews were the norms. Today, everything is at our fingertips and, in some cases, grants and loans can be applied for straight from a smartphone. “Finding funding has gotten easier because of technology,” says David Bayda, senior business advisor for Business Link. “You can apply for grants on your phone today.” That access is not just for applications, either. It means information on funding options are available wherever you are. James Keirstead, president of Levven and contributing member of the Edmonton Entrepreneurs’ Organization, recommends heading online to find the right programs. “Get on to the government sites and start looking,” he says. “Most funding is available to technology companies or exporters, but there is funding specifically to help womenowned businesses and help businesses become more efficient and competitive.”

“FINDING FUNDING HAS GOTTEN EASIER BECAUSE OF TECHNOLOGY, YOU CAN APPLY FOR GRANTS ON YOUR PHONE TODAY.” ~ DAVID BAYDA

ABOVE: DAVID BAYDA, SENIOR BUSINESS ADVISOR AT BUSINESS LINK.

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HOW BUSINESSES ARE DRUMMING UP CAPITAL IN 2018 // BANKING

Traditional grants and loans are key to any growing business but technological advances, and how people use those advances, have opened up new ways to fund a business. Chief among these is crowdfunding: getting funding from a large group of people instead of one organization or investor. It also has the added benefit of extra exposure. “[Crowdfunding] is a method to establish customer demand for new products and ideas,” says Keirstead. “So it can validate your entrepreneurial idea.” While there are thousands of successful crowdsourcing examples out there, Edmonton is home to one in particular: Sugared & Spiced. The bakery started as a cookie stall in the Highlands farmers’ market before expanding to a Cake Club the following year. When owner Amy Nachtigall decided to grow, she used crowdfunding. Within two weeks, she had raised $32,000 and eventually surpassed her goal of $50,000. “They were able to take their customer base and leverage it into the next phase of their business,” says Bayda. “They had loyalty programs already in place so this actually helped their customers feel more connected.” Sugared & Spiced used ATB’s BoostR program to get started, a unique platform that combines crowdfunding with the resources of a bank. The program has helped hundreds of businesses across the province raise money and awareness all at the same time. It is just one way ATB is using technology to help businesses. Another is artificial intelligence.

“WE SEE A LOT OF BUSINESSES CARRYING SIGNIFICANT CASH BALANCES MONTH-TO-MONTH. ENTREPRENEURS KNOW THEY’LL NEED THAT CASH EVENTUALLY. IN THE MEANTIME, THEY SHOULD EXPLORE PUTTING THAT MONEY TO WORK TO IMPROVE THEIR BOTTOM LINES.” ~ TERESA CLOUSTON “We believe that making banking processes faster is critical for the province’s small businesses. As supportive as we are of businesses, even our processes are longer and more complex than entrepreneurs desire,” says Teresa Clouston, executive vice president of business and agriculture. “One thing that is really important to us is to speed up those processes with the help of artificial intelligence and ABOVE: TERESA CLOUSTON, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, BUSINESS AND AGRICULTURE FOR ATB.

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HOW BUSINESSES ARE DRUMMING UP CAPITAL IN 2018 // BANKING

automation. We intend to shorten the wait to hours, or even minutes.”

says Clouston. “In the meantime, they should explore putting that money to work to improve their bottom lines.”

Another innovation for ATB is their recent Amplify GIC, designed to help businesses make their cash work for them. Businesses can withdraw their cash at any time but the returns increase the longer it stays in. “We see a lot of businesses carrying significant cash balances month-tomonth. Entrepreneurs know they’ll need that cash eventually,”

Over at BDC, Canada’s only bank dedicated exclusively to entrepreneurs, programs are available to not only help companies use technology to raise money but to incorporate digital solutions into their businesses. “The challenge for many entrepreneurs is figuring out how to adopt digital solutions in their business to make sure they remain

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HOW BUSINESSES ARE DRUMMING UP CAPITAL IN 2018 // BANKING

relevant, competitive and on solid ground now and in the future. That’s why we built a brand-new digital program for SMEs,” says Todd Tougas, vice president, financing and consulting. “With this program, we help entrepreneurs determine how they can leverage digital technologies, prioritize and maximize their investments and leverage their company’s data and insights, which is key in today’s world.” BDC also offers programs exclusive to helping businesses grow the digital side of operations. “We see every day how businesses are accelerating their performance by harnessing digital technologies. However, getting external financing for software and integration costs is still difficult to obtain for many entrepreneurs in Alberta and across the country,” Tougas says. “We wanted to help. This is why we made available a new $250-million lending envelope in October to provide the money entrepreneurs need for projects that are key to their productivity and growth.” It should be said, however, that no matter where you go for funding, whether it’s grants, banks or alternative revenue streams, it’s almost impossible to acquire money, no matter who you are, without investing yourself. “Banks are still looking for 25 per cent to 50 per cent of personal investment in any project,” Bayda says. “It is still critical to most funding sources that you demonstrate that you personally have skin in the game.” Besides making sure you use your own personal resources in your business, both Keirstead and Bayda agree that turning a good idea into a solid plan is the first step to success. “One of the biggest pieces of advice I always give is to make sure you have a plan, not just an idea,” says Bayda. “I have people come into my office with really great ideas but they haven’t thought about their target markets, their revenue streams and all the things that go into making that solid business plan.” Keirstead agrees. He points to many of the programs available to companies, from the Canada-Alberta Job Grant for training employees to CanExport and the Alberta Export Support Fund for exporting businesses. “All these programs require building out a good plan for how you will launch, scale and sustain your idea, which only makes [you] better,” he says. Technology and access are changing how businesses find the capital to grow, expand or start out, and the sources of

“THE CHALLENGE FOR MANY ENTREPRENEURS IS FIGURING OUT HOW TO ADOPT DIGITAL SOLUTIONS IN THEIR BUSINESS TO MAKE SURE THEY REMAIN RELEVANT, COMPETITIVE AND ON SOLID GROUND NOW AND IN THE FUTURE. THAT’S WHY WE BUILT A BRAND-NEW DIGITAL PROGRAM FOR SMES.” ~ TODD TOUGAS funding are making it easier for companies to find that money. It all comes down to having a great idea, a solid plan and the willingness to get creative in how you raise capital. If you are stuck, the best first step is to do what Keirstead did and start researching. “I think it has gotten easier for me since I spent time learning what was available and actively applying for several opportunities.”

ABOVE: TODD TOUGAS, VICE PRESIDENT, FINANCING AND CONSULTING FOR THE BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT BANK OF CANADA.

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2018 Board of Directors

2018 Year in Review

Board Executive

Chair: Len Rhodes President & CEO, Edmonton Eskimo Football Club Vice Chair: Dawn Harsch President & CEO, ExquisiCare Senior Living and Care at Home Treasurer: Bryan DeNeve Senior Vice President Finance & CFO, Capital Power Past Chair: James Merkosky Partner, Tax Services Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLP

Board Directors

Dr. Glenn Feltham President & CEO, Northern Alberta Institute of Technology Crystal Graham Partner & Licensed Interior Designer, Kasian Architecture Interior Design & Planning Ltd. Elan MacDonald Senior Vice President, National Client Development Global Public Affairs Scott McEachern Vice President, Engineering & Projects, Enbridge Pipelines Inc. Dennis Schmidt Legal Counsel and Associate Development Manager Alldritt Land Corporation LP Craig Thorkelsson Head of Tax PCL Constructors Inc. Dr. Jenelle Trenchuk-Saik President & CEO, Parker Ford and MacKay

Chamber Executive

Janet Riopel President & CEO Edmonton Chamber of Commerce Tim Ferris Director, Member Services Edmonton Chamber of Commerce Brent Francis Director, Advocacy and Outreach Edmonton Chamber of Commerce Ian Morris Director, Organizational Excellence Edmonton Chamber of Commerce

Contact

Edmonton Chamber of Commerce #600 – 9990 Jasper Avenue Edmonton, AB T5J 1P7

By Janet Riopel, President and CEO Edmonton Chamber of Commerce

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018 was another challenging year for the Edmonton business community. The renegotiation of NAFTA, continued uncertainty around pipelines to new markets and the ever-increasing cost burden on business continued to slow muchneeded economic growth in Edmonton and throughout Alberta. In the face of these challenges, the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce continued to champion your voice — the voice of business — in a strong, straight-forward and thoughtful way. Trans Mountain Expansion Project For years, we have waited in vain for good news on badly-needed pipelines. In late 2017, TransCanada announced the cancellation of Energy East. The disappointment was tangible, but hope prevailed for the Trans Mountain expansion — after all, this project received Federal approval back in November 2016. However, the project proved to be burdened with challenge — opposition from the BC Government and other groups ultimately led to its purchase by the Canadian government. The Edmonton Chamber added our voice to call for the completion of the Trans Mountain pipeline, and we helped organize Federation Flight in May — a strong showing of support by business, political and community leaders from BC and Alberta. Due to continued challenges with pipeline development, Canadian oil is selling for $50 less per barrel than world prices dictate — this alarming discount on Canadian oil is costing our economy an estimated $40 million per day. Imagine the positive change that could be made if we had that money to allocate to new schools, hospitals, housing the homeless … we absolutely need to get the best price possible for our resources in order to meet our challenges head on. Goodbye NAFTA … Hello USMCA A major source of uncertainty for the business community in 2018 was tied to year-long trade talks leading to the negotiation of the United States-MexicoCanada-Agreement (USMCA), which was formally agreed to on October 1st. I was proud to gather with Chambers and Boards of Trade from across Canada, the United States and Mexico early this year to identify issues and obstacles for the new trade agreement and to send a clear message to governments about the importance of renewing NAFTA. Now, at the end of negotiations, business leaders are cautiously optimistic and are waiting for the details to see exactly how trade will change in 2019. Looking ahead to 2019, the Edmonton Chamber will continue to work with our partners throughout North America to champion removal of these tariffs and maintain opposition to any future policies that would be detrimental to the ability of business to lead and succeed.

T: 780.426.4620 • F: 780.424.7946

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Cannabis Legalization Back in October, Canada became the second country in the world to legalize recreational cannabis. The Edmonton Chamber advocated for a private retail model for sales, similar to Alberta’s liquor industry, because we have a proven track record. We were pleased that the provincial government adopted the model we proposed. As a result, business can do what it does best: create new jobs and add greater diversity to Alberta’s strong private sector. Cannabis legalization isn’t just an economic opportunity, though. It comes with many risks for employers. We have encouraged all businesses to update their workplace drug and alcohol policies in order to ensure that employees are well informed about the rules surrounding cannabis use in the workplace. We will also continue to advocate for better testing tools to detect impaired drivers and impaired workers. City Budget This year, the Edmonton Chamber has made a concerted effort to impress upon City Council and Administration the importance of finding ways to make it easier to succeed in these challenging times — not harder — as City Council deliberates on Edmonton’s first fouryear budget. Put simply, it has been an extremely difficult four years for businesses in our City. The energy downturn was a major initial cause, but rather than responding with relief for businesses, all orders of government have instead layered on taxes, fees and new regulatory burdens, including: • • • • • • • •

Property tax increases Massive minimum wage hikes Carbon tax Employment Standards Code changes Labour Relations Code changes New WCB and OHS rules Federal tax changes Higher CPP premiums

Above all in this budget cycle, City Council should be focused on holding the line on the property taxes that businesses and homeowners pay, as well as streamlining regulatory processes to help restore confidence that Edmonton is an attractive destination for job-creating investment.

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Competitiveness needs to be this city’s top priority. Every day we hear calls for new spending. We understand legitimate emerging priorities need to be funded, but we need to fund them from savings within the existing budget instead of continuing to rely on higher property taxes. That is why we struck a Municipal Budget Task Force to work with the City, to represent the interests of job creators — to find areas where the City can achieve savings and to avoid further property tax increases as we advocate for conditions that keep businesses competitive. Our powerful collective voice is already having impact, but we need you to lend your voice to add momentum to this important issue. Please take five minutes today to tell the Mayor and your Councillor that you want them to restore confidence in Edmonton by holding the line on property taxes. Our partners at Prosperity Edmonton have developed a handy portal to easily send a message to Council. You can find it at www.ProsperityEdmonton.com. Looking Ahead to 2019 Soon Albertans will head back to the polls … twice, in fact. A provincial election will likely occur this spring, followed by a federal election in October. Our advocacy messaging won’t be much different from that of the municipal budget. Now more than ever, we need our governments laser-focused on competitiveness and economic growth. The Edmonton Chamber values the advice and guidance of our members, our Board and our volunteer policy committees to help us interpret and amplify the issues that matter most to the business community. Our commitment for 2019 is to continue to propose constructive alternatives and creative policies, and advocate for better conditions so that job creators and sustainers can thrive. To our valued members, partners and friends, I want to sincerely thank you for your thoughtful advice and strong support. On behalf of the Board of Directors and team at the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and increasing prosperity in the new year. Questions? Contact us at policy@edmontonchamber.com.


Rick (right) discussing Leadership Wellbeing as a Risk Mitigation Strategy.

Copeman Healthcare Centre Member profile Rick Tiedemann, Sr. Director, Business Development www.copemanhealthcare.com What’s your story? Copeman Healthcare provides team-based care that is focused on prevention and early detection. We help our clients get healthy and keep them that way. This approach can often prevent regrettable health scenarios and resolve them in a manner that allows our clients to enjoy optimal health. Individuals, families and business leaders enroll with us as they fully accept that health is our most precious asset. I left a 30-year career to set up the Copeman Centre in Edmonton after enrolling myself and enjoying what I believe is a unique approach to wellness. What are three things people are surprised to learn about your business or don’t know about your business? People are pleased to learn how we blend thoroughness with a focus on the client experience. This makes it easy for individuals to re-engage in and own their health. They are also thrilled with how a business can deliver such a

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great client experience and run appointments on time. Lastly, people enjoy learning how supportive we are of the public system and that our collaborative approach involves rallying anyone who can help our clients to enjoy the best of health. What has surprised you in the last 12 months? I am surprised that we have energized conversations around economic diversification but miss opportunities to explore new care models and technologies. Positive disruption of healthcare delivery has the potential to improve health outcomes, create a provincial centre for innovation and attract top talent to this sector. As a province, we have the opportunity to become known as a leader in technology adoption with first-mover advantage attracting patients to Alberta as a global wellness destination. This would create new jobs, a vibrant and growing sector and a depth of expertise that would ensure Albertans enjoy best-in-class care.


What has been your biggest challenge in the last 12 months? We were recently acquired by TELUS. This is incredibly exciting and will give us access to innovative new care technologies. As with any acquisition, there is always an adjustment phase during the initial integration. What do you think is the biggest issue impacting Edmonton’s small businesses at this time? In my mind it would be a lack of a clear vision from the various levels of government with respect to how to achieve an appropriate balance between creating an attractive business environment and our collective social responsibility. Ballooning business taxes, convoluted and inefficient regulatory or approval processes and a growing comfort with ever-increasing debt only passes the buck to someone else who will ultimately have to make some unpopular decisions. What’s your secret to keeping your employees engaged? Clarify their responsibilities, coach and resource them to be successful, hold them accountable and show your appreciation for their results. Try your best to hire people so that they are the right fit for the role versus trying to get them to fit in. One final thought is to adjust your leadership and coaching style based on your employee’s personality and level of readiness to take on new tasks or projects. Do you have a personal mantra? I have shared with my employees for years that I do not work for Copeman Healthcare, I work for the Tiedemann Corporation and the five shareholders that I care the most about are my

wife, my three kids and myself. Our partnership with Copeman Healthcare is very important because this partnership allows our personal corporation to thrive in a manner that we enjoy. James Lawrence, who is known as the Iron Cowboy, said it best, “There is no success outside of the home that can compensate for failure inside the home.” What do you enjoy most about being a Chamber member? It gives me the opportunity to connect with other members of the business community. These interactions highlight the incredible diversity of businesses in Edmonton and the enormously talented people that run them every day. Our Chamber mandate is to create the best environment for business in Edmonton. If you could make one substantial improvement to Edmonton’s business environment, what would it be? Lower the taxes and simplify approval and regulatory processes. The business community is being asked to pay for so many “free” programs, and there is a limit to what tax burden the businesses can absorb and still remain viable. What is your favorite thing to do in Edmonton? Ride my bike in the river valley. Apple or android? Apple. Your most favorite place in the world? Wherever my wife is. Coffee or tea? Neither, just give me a rum and root beer.

Members in this Issue Business Link, ATB and BDC in How Businesses are Drumming Up Capital in 2018 on page 28 University of Alberta in The Benefits of Continuing Education on page 45 Edmonton’s Food Bank, Youth Empowerment & Support Services (YESS) and Edmonton Community Foundation in Philanthropic Pursuits on page 49 BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // DECEMBER 2018

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Connecting Business Provincial Leaders Series: A Conversation with Stephen Mandel Presented by EPCOR In 2019, Albertans will vote to set the direction of our province for the next four years. On October 2, 2018, leader of the Alberta Party and former Mayor of Edmonton, Stephen Mandel, joined the Edmonton Chamber to give members and guests an opportunity to hear his, and the Alberta Party’s, vision for Alberta going into the spring election.

Stephen Mandel delivers his keynote address to a room of business leaders, providing Chamber members and guests with the opportunity to participate in a post-keynote Q&A session.

Professionals and students alike were keen to hear from Stephen Mandel on his priorities for Alberta ahead of the 2019 election.

Competition, Innovation, Collaboration: Empowering Canadians to Succeed in Tomorrow’s Economy with Hon. Navdeep Bains Presented by Intuit On October 11, 2018, Federal Cabinet Minister Hon. Navdeep Bains joined us for a discussion about the Federal government’s collaboration with industry to develop a long-term plan to improve Canada’s competitiveness globally and the government’s role in supporting Canadian businesses’ ability to innovate and compete.

Hon. Navdeep Bains sat down with Len Rhodes, Edmonton Chamber Board Chair, to talk about how Canada and Canadian businesses can stay competitive in the changing global economy.

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Chamber members and guests enjoyed the Minister’s engaging fireside chat and the opportunity to create new business connections over lunch.


Speed Leads On October 3, 2018, Speed Leads brought together a group of entrepreneurs and professionals eager to make authentic, meaningful connections and generate leads, fast. Attendees gained dozens of new business contacts after just 90 minutes of speed networking!

Confident connection builders and novice networkers alike used Speed Leads as an opportunity to practice their elevator pitch as they met other attendees.

Business cards at the ready! Speed Leads allows Chamber members and guests to generate dozens of authentic leads in just 90 minutes.

BDC Small Business Week™ An annual national celebration of small business, BDC Small Business Week™ recognizes the risk takers, the entrepreneurs and the leaders who put their business vision into action. With a theme of “Digitize Now,” we saw close to 800 attendees join us across seven unique events throughout the week of October 16–19, 2018.

Janet Riopel, Edmonton Chamber President & CEO, led a panel discussion on empowering women in business featuring Hon. A. Anne McLellan, former Deputy Prime Minister and Senior Advisor, Bennett Jones; Laura Didyk, VP of Alberta South and National Sponsor for Women Entrepreneur Strategy, BDC; and Dawn Harsch, President & CEO, ExquisiCare Senior Living and Care at Home.

This year’s BDC Small Business Week™ Showcase & Social was one of our biggest and best yet — welcoming more than 30 Edmonton businesses as exhibitors and hundreds of attendees keen to learn more about their products and services.

BDC Small Business Week™ offered a variety educational workshops, including: cybersecurity with Microsoft Canada, social media with ATB Financial (pictured), e-commerce with PayPal Canada and exporting internationally with Edmonton Economic Development Corporation.

Chamber members got creative and tried out the “art” of networking at Creative Connections: Paint Night. Each attendee had the opportunity to paint and take home their own masterpiece.

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Celebrating Business Success! THE 2019

Presented by

Presentation of the 2018 Northern Lights Award honouring

Brent Hesje CEO, Fountain Tire Ltd.

Saturday, February 2, 2019 Shaw Conference Centre

• Edmonton’s premier business gala Tickets on sale now at EdmontonChamber.com • Exclusive VIP guest experience • Black tie and cocktail formal • Fine dining, dancing and live musical entertainment Visit our website to learn more about our sensational lineup of all-Canadian performers!

VIP Lounge Sponsor

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Bronze Sponsors

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BUSINESS AVIATION MEANS BIG RETURNS FOR ALL ALBERTANS // CORPORATE AVIATION

Business Aviation Means Big Returns for All Albertans BY DEBRA WARD, CANADIAN BUSINESS AVIATION ASSOCIATION

E

ver thought of buying your own time machine? Perhaps you’re not aware of how powerful business aircraft are at connecting you with your customers, clients and future business potential.

ABOVE: THE 7,700 NAUTICAL MILE RANGE BOMBARDIER GLOBAL 7500 AIRCRAFT PHOTO SOURCE: BOMBARDIER

BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // DECEMBER 2018

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BUSINESS AVIATION MEANS BIG RETURNS FOR ALL ALBERTANS // CORPORATE AVIATION

ON THE FACE OF IT, A BUSINESS FLIGHT COSTS MORE THAN AN AIRLINE TICKET, BUT IN REALITY, IT GENERATES FAR MORE THAN IT COSTS, AND HELPS DELIVER ROCK-SOLID FINANCIAL RETURNS. RESEARCH SHOWS THAT S&P/TSX 60 COMPANIES THAT USE BUSINESS AVIATION OUTPERFORM NON-USERS BY 43 PER CENT IN “TOP LINE” REVENUE GROWTH.

The Canadian Business Aviation Association’s (CBAA) CEO, Anthony Norejko, believes that how you measure its impact makes all the difference. “Commercial aviation is a lot more visible – more planes, more passengers, more activity, more noise,” he says. “In contrast, business aviation is almost stealthy – we are a consistent but low-key presence at hundreds of airports and aerodromes, moving people and high-value, time sensitive freight safely and efficiently across the province and around the world.” Norejko posed this question: “What adds more to Alberta’s economy – an airline taking passengers to Las Vegas to spend money or a business aircraft taking employees to a worksite to earn money? The answer is ‘both have value in their own ways and should be treated equally.’” On the face of it, a business flight costs more than an airline ticket, but in reality, it generates far more than it costs, and helps deliver rock-solid financial returns. Research shows that S&P/TSX 60 companies that use business aviation outperform non-users by 43 per cent in “top line” revenue growth. The rewards don’t stop at TSX boardrooms. Small companies benefit even more than large ones. “With a private aircraft, a small business can locate where it is most advantageous without worrying about how far they are from a large commercial airport,” Norejko notes. Not only is business aviation a spark plug for the economy, it has a significant economic footprint in its own right. The 420-some business aircraft based in Alberta generate over $670 billion dollars annually and employ more than 2,500 people with an annual average wage of $96,000 (almost twice the national average).

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Norejko points out that the vast majority of business aviation flights are the opposite of glamourous – they are routine: ferrying employees into remote locations, supporting Northern communities and reducing the time needed for multiple sales and service calls from days to hours. “Canadian companies don’t make a big deal about having or using business aircraft, they just get on with it and get the job done.” Dispelling the notion that business aircraft are toys is only one of the CBAA’s responsibilities. “Bottom line, our job is to simplify business aviation operations and ensure that any company or community that wants to use this incredible asset can.” Options run the gamut from hiring a charter for a onetime flight to running a multiple aircraft corporate flight department. Between these extremes, there are options for every budget and need, many of them here in Alberta. Calgary’s AirSprint is a Canadian leader in fractional ownership, a kind of time-share for aircraft. Another option is to work with a management and charter company like Sunwest Aviation, headquartered in Calgary, or Aurora Jet Partners, based in Edmonton. With a business aviation fleet second only to Ontario in size, Norejko has a theory about why this type of aviation took off in Alberta. “An Albertan company may need to attend a meeting in Houston one day, promote a trade opportunity in Beijing the next and deliver tonnes of parts and equipment to a remote work site the day after. Business aviation features dozens of different aircraft designed to serve their specific needs – from a short-range single engine turbo-prop


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BUSINESS AVIATION MEANS BIG RETURNS FOR ALL ALBERTANS // CORPORATE AVIATION

Pilatus PC-12 to a world-spanning Bombardier Global 7500 that can fly non-stop between Calgary and non-stop points across the globe. In contrast, commercial airlines flying out of YYC only offer 10 per cent of international traffic beyond transborder USA.” Canadian business aircraft are required to be federally certified and regulated, but when the regulations are too onerous, the CBAA works with its members and with Transport Canada to find ways to reduce red tape and support safe, responsible and efficient operations. “CBAA’s job is to make it simpler for business aviation to do its job, providing hands-on tools, expert advice and by lobbying the federal government for change and improvements,” says Merlin Preuss, CBAA’s vice president of government and regulatory affairs. Preuss, who previously served as Transport Canada’s director general of civil aviation, is familiar with the regulations affecting this sector and what is needed to satisfy safety and other regulatory needs, without going overboard with unnecessary complexity. One area where Transport Canada followed business aviation’s lead was in carbon emissions legislation. “Business aviation’s contribution to global aviation emission is not significant – it’s only 2 per cent, but its almostinvisible carbon footprint is not its only contribution to sustainability. New business aircraft feature cutting edge technologies and procedures that reduce their carbon footprint even further,” Preuss explains. “As well, in 2009 the international business aviation community committed to a comprehensive plan to improve fuel efficiencies, achieve carbon neutral growth and reduce CO2 emissions.” Because of business aviation’s proactive approach on climate change, the federal government incorporated existing international aviation emission standards into its carbon emissions backstop legislation, with only the largest and most heavily flown business aircraft subject to cap-andtrade. “It was a win for everyone who uses private business aircraft,” says Preuss. The CBAA also helps business aircraft owners and operators with thorny, and potentially costly issues ranging from

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regulatory compliance to inspections to tax liabilities. One recent example is Canada Revenue Agency’s new policy on the personal use of business aircraft. “Not knowing the rules could result in a tax assessment of literally hundreds of thousands of dollars,” explains Norejko. “The CBAA can provide both the guidance and professional connections needed to avoid a nightmare scenario.” The association is also working to help ensure science flight and duty rules for on-demand flights as well as other operational issues. “Not all issues are national,” says Norejko. “Alberta’s business aviation community is very engaged with CBAA chapters operating out of both Calgary and Edmonton. The CBAA staff works with them on local issues with the same attention and commitment to their success as anything we do out of Ottawa. “For example, with the closure of the Edmonton Municipal airport we’re focused on ensuring Edmonton International costs are competitive and recognize the economic benefit business aviation brings to the area. In addition, we need to support our smaller airports like the Villeneuve Airport, which may offer a competitive alternative for the right company and their base of operations.” Alberta’s corporate executives who would like to experience the power of business aviation will have their chance when the CBAA holds its annual convention and exhibit at the Sunwest Aviation facilities at the Calgary International Airport, July 9 to 11, featuring Canada’s largest static display of corporate aircraft. “We are tremendously excited to hold our convention in Alberta,” says Norejko. “During the Stampede, Calgary is a huge attraction for aviation leaders from across Canada, but most importantly, the CBAA convention is an occasion for the Alberta corporate and business aviation communities to come together and celebrate our vibrant sector with us.” The convention will offer exclusive programming aimed at business aviation and corporate leaders, owners, managers and pilots. More information about business aviation and the CBAA 2019 convention can be found at www.cbaa-acaa.ca.


THE BENEFITS OF CONTINUING EDUCATION // CONTINUING EDUCATION

The Benefits

OF CONTINUING EDUCATION BY JAMELIE BACHAALANI

M

ost of us associate secondary education with images of young, fresh-faced and wide-eyed high school graduates. We often think of the college experience as messy dorm rooms, the freshman 15, homesickness, and the beginning of a bright and fruitful career. While this is definitely an accurate depiction of the college experience, it is not the only college or postsecondary experience. According to Universities Canada, there were an estimated 400,000 continuing education students across Canadian universities in 2017. “We full-heartedly believe in the benefits of lifelong learning. Just because you have graduated, settled into a career, or retired, that doesn’t mean you should stop growing, discovering and improving. Continuing education is an opportunity to fine-tune existing skills, explore new passions, and expand your knowledge. It allows individuals to easily adapt to new situations, to better communicate to coworkers in different disciplines, and more easily take on new tasks,” says Dave Jones, the director of Metro Continuing Education. The University of Alberta (UAlberta) also offers continuing education programs and courses. Christie Schultz,

assistant dean (Academic) at UAlberta’s Faculty of Extension, says that the majority of students choosing to continue their education are in their early- to mid-career phase, and are seeking to develop and enhance skills or build a new career entirely. In a typical year, approximately 60 per cent of UAlberta’s Faculty of Extension students are women, and 40 per cent are men. Since 2010, the faculty has noticed a steady increase in enrolments of people in their 30s.

ABOVE: CHRISTIE SCHULTZ, ASSISTANT DEAN (ACADEMIC), FACULTY OF EXTENSION, UNIVERSITY OF ALBERTA. BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // DECEMBER 2018

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THE BENEFITS OF CONTINUING EDUCATION // CONTINUING EDUCATION

“There are three main reasons people choose continuing education at UAlberta’s Faculty of Extension. First, students come here to advance their skills through a wide range of unique career development courses that can be taken alone or as part of a certificate or diploma program. Second, our continuing education courses and programs are flexible as they are designed to meet the needs of busy working people. Third, the reputation of our instructors is a key factor in enrolment. They are professionals with real-world experience and contacts, and are committed to creating high-quality learning experiences,” she explains. According to Schultz, students at UAlberta are gravitating towards courses in areas such as project management, change management, business analysis, supervisory development, information access and privacy, occupational health and safety, and leadership. “These courses are popular because they help individuals achieve specific professional development goals in their current occupations, or because they are part of a path to a new career,” Schultz concludes. Elk Island Public School’s Next Step Continuing Education sees a very different trend in popular continuing educations courses. “Our most popular courses are cooking and baking classes, life balance courses which cover different health topics, mindfulness classes such as meditation, craft and skill classes like woodworking, chalk art and painting – and our unique offerings such as Women and Wine (a topic of interest is presented in a relaxed setting with wine). Another class garnering a lot of attention is our heART Paint Café, with 30 per cent of the registration fees going to

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ACCORDING TO SCHULTZ, STUDENTS AT UALBERTA ARE GRAVITATING TOWARDS COURSES IN AREAS SUCH AS PROJECT MANAGEMENT, CHANGE MANAGEMENT, BUSINESS ANALYSIS, SUPERVISORY DEVELOPMENT, INFORMATION ACCESS AND PRIVACY, OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY, AND LEADERSHIP. support various local non-profit organizations such as The Strathcona Christmas Bureau and A Safe Place Women’s Shelter. Our courses appeal to our customers because they meet a need in the community for lifelong learning, acquiring a skill, solving a problem – and the instructors are exceptional; they develop a following of students who will take other classes from them,” notes assistant principal, Denise Charbonneau. Thanks to ongoing infrastructure construction, getting to classes in Elk Island is easier than ever. “With the completion of the Anthony Henday ring road, Sherwood Park is now a very short drive for most residents of Edmonton and St. Albert,” she adds. Charbonneau says that the type of classes that students attend at Next Step is greatly influenced by their age.


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THE BENEFITS OF CONTINUING EDUCATION // CONTINUING EDUCATION

CONTINUING EDUCATION DOESN’T NECESSARILY HAVE TO TAKE PLACE IN AN ACADEMIC SETTING. PEOPLE LOOKING TO EXPAND THEIR SKILL SET OR GAIN NEW KNOWLEDGE CAN ALSO ENROLL IN A VARIETY OF WORKSHOPS, SEMINARS, OR CONFERENCES. “We offer Grade 12 courses at night during the school year and a full roster of high school classes in summer school for students entering grade 10. Although we do have students well unto their 40’s taking academic upgrading classes, the majority of students attending these types of continuing education courses are between 18 and 21 years old. Our career development and professional learning programs are the most popular among those 30 to 55 years old. We purposely developed a number of certificates for people who are underemployed, unemployed, re-entering the workforce after they have spent time raising their children, or people who are underpaid because they don’t have a certificate for the job they are currently doing. These can be stand-alone courses either in class or online, as well as full online certificates at very affordable cost-recovery prices. The topics range from supporting struggling students (aimed at educators and childcare providers), computer courses such as Excel training, and full certificates in Office Administration and Professional Life Coaching,” she explains. “Our cooking, languages, photography, art, and life balance courses are usually attended by people looking to acquire a skill, explore an interest or develop a hobby. We see students between 30 to 60 years old attending these programs. Some use the courses as a date night or a way to connect with an adult child or friend.” More and more businesses are also investing in their employees’ professional development with custom corporate training. NorQuest College’s Colbourne Institute for Inclusive Leadership seeks to become a leader in consultation services, applied research, education resource development, and customized training solutions that encourage and support organizations in developing and sustaining inclusive cultures. “We have to keep moving forward positively, despite the historical, political, and economic forces that sometimes make us feel that our actions are not having the impact we’d

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like them to. Eventually we all, within our community, come to a point where we need to develop the capacity to work with people that are different than we are and to see that as a strength of relationships. It is just a fact of our lives, and the sooner we can get people to think about that from a leadership standpoint, the better the organization will become,” says Lori Campbell, principal. “We want to be prepared to equip people with expertise, knowledge, and support to take on a more inclusive leadership role. I once heard a speaker say ‘inspire before you require’ about diversity and inclusion training, and I think that makes great sense. Mandatory training is sometimes not as effective,” she concludes. Continuing education doesn’t necessarily have to take place in an academic setting. People looking to expand their skill set or gain new knowledge can also enroll in a variety of workshops, seminars, or conferences. Janis Galloway, agency director for Publicity Room, recently led a course on public relations and social media at PARKFORUM. The course was a two-day seminar for entrepreneurs from all levels of experience and was hosted by PARK, a non-profit organization. “Continual education is especially crucial for business owners. Hearing from other entrepreneurs about their successes and failures is really helpful! Business owners can feel alone, especially since Instagram makes it look like everyone else has it all figured out. Attending an event, especially in person, really helps remind people that they are not alone in their challenges,” says Galloway. “Workshops and seminars are often much more affordable and take place at more convenient times for those with busy schedules. You are usually hearing from people who work in a similar field, and because the business sector moves so fast, it is really beneficial to learn from people who are in the thick of it and understand modern opportunities and challenges.”


PHILANTHROPIC PURSUITS // PHILANTHROPY

Philanthropic Pursuits EDMONTON HAS ENDLESS WAYS TO GIVE BACK. HERE ARE A FEW OF THEM. BY NERISSA MCNAUGHTON

ABOVE: YESS YOUTH. PHOTO SOURCE: YESS

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D

uring the holidays our thoughts are turned to giving back, but the need to give isn’t limited to the Christmas season. Today we will see how four organizations keep that spirit of giving going all year long, and how you can get involved.

BASICALLY BABIES HAS AN ANNUAL MOTHER’S DAY BRUNCH AND SILENT AUCTION FUNDRAISER, AND THIS YEAR ALSO DEBUTED A CHRISTMAS

Basically Babies When Shannon Stewart and several of her good friends had young children, they were overwhelmed with the plethora of baby items they received. They wanted to share the clothing, toys and supplies with young parents in need. “We collected about six boxes of items in my basement,” says Stewart. “Working with a few different offices (pediatricians, obstetricians, etc.), we made layettes for babies that were in extreme situations.” That was 25 years ago. Now, Stewart is the president and founder of Basically Babies, overseeing a massive warehouse in Edmonton’s west side where 460 volunteers prepare and distribute between 800-1,000 layettes each year – a far cry from the 12 layettes Basically Babies made in year one! “We have seen substantial increases in need year to year,” says Stewart, citing a variety of influencing factors from economic fluctuations to lack of affordable housing. Basically Babies has an annual Mother’s Day brunch and silent auction fundraiser, and this year also debuted a Christmas market. There is a lot of oversight and due diligence with the fundraising. “We are very careful,” says Stewart. “We know people are trusting us with their funds. We have a sound budget every year. We have a strategic plan. We have a dedicated and careful board. We are mindful of those things.” Stewart continues, “Other than funds, our biggest need all the time is sleepers in sizes 6-12 months. We need 18,000 sleepers for the next year. About 15 go into each layette because they are such a key item. Another need is 1,500 snow suits for the next year. A snow suit goes into each layette, but our winter layettes get two snow suits to accommodate growth for the next winter.”

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MARKET. THERE IS A LOT OF OVERSIGHT AND DUE DILIGENCE WITH THE FUNDRAISING. Stewart, says “There is no way we could do any of this work without our volunteers. Most of the management, including myself, are volunteers. Inventory, making outfits, equipment, hanging things, washing things, making layettes, mending, going out and receiving donations, community events – pretty much anything and everything that can be done by volunteers it is done by volunteers.” Basically Babies has now launched a pilot project in Calgary and continues to help support disenfranchised parents in Edmonton. Visit them online (www.basicallybabies.org) and on Facebook (@BasicallyBabies).

Edmonton Food Bank “Every month the Edmonton Food Bank serves an average of 22,000 people through our hamper programs alone, of whom approximately 40 per cent are children under the age of 18,” says Samantha Potkins, special events & communications coordinator. “In addition, Edmonton’s Food Bank is a central warehouse and referral centre for more than 250 agencies, churches, schools and food depots. We also provide nearly 500,000 meals and snacks to programs and schools around the city. Throughout the year we provide food support to agencies, such as Hope Mission and Bissell Centre, so these agencies can provide food services directly to their clients. Over Thanksgiving we provided 28 agencies with food for Thanksgiving meals, which includes over 950 turkeys and hundreds of hams.”


Taking the Time to Decide F

red & Sally MacDonald* spent years growing a successful family business. When they were ready to retire, they set about selling the company and building their dream home. What a stressful time! Early in the process, Fred and Sally had decided to give the money from the sale of their business to charity. However, when they finally received the money, they were completely exhausted. The pressure of a looming tax deadline pressed down on them. This was a very large gift and they wanted to take the time to make a wise decision, but they felt overwhelmed by the details of giving. Then, a friend suggested they get in touch with Abundance Canada.

Today, Fred and Sally are enjoying their new home and the freedom of retirement. They love the fun of disbursing their donation to charity. Working within their flexible gifting account, their stress has turned to excitement because they have the time to reflect, research, and give from their hearts.

The MacDonalds were surprised to discover they could make their donation into a donor-advised flexible gifting account. They would get their charitable receipt in keeping with the income tax timing, but could still take as long as they needed to decide how they wanted to distribute the money to charity. They were so relieved!

For more than 40 years, Abundance Canada has helped Canadians connect their resources and values with their philanthropy goals, by providing customizable solutions to support the causes and charities they are passionate about, in their lifetime and through their estate. Visit abundance.ca to learn more.

*Names and details have been changed to protect the privacy of the individuals.

Giving to Charity? Help your favourite charity achieve their year-end financial goals this Christmas with a Flexible Gifting Account. Â Add funds when you wish and select how much, when and where to give. Abundance Canada will facilitate the donations on your behalf. You will get one tax receipt and can choose to give anonymously. Learn more by visiting abundance.ca or call 1.800.772.3257 to start giving today! Generosity changes everything Established in 1974, Abundance Canada is a public foundation registered with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). Abundance Canada is authorized to receive charitable donations, issue official donation receipts and distribute funds to registered charities in Canada through a donor-advised model we administer. Charity Registration No: 12925-3308-RR0001.


PHILANTHROPIC PURSUITS // PHILANTHROPY

The need for food bank services soared during the recession, and despite the economy bouncing back, food insecurity is on the rise. Potkins admits, “In 2016, there was a considerable increase in the number of people accessing our hamper programs; any decrease has been minor and not sustained. The number of clients we serve is considerably higher than it was in 2015.” There are many ways to support the food bank. Potkins explains, “Two of our biggest fundraisers during the festive season include the CBC Turkey Drive and ETS Stuff a Bus. On December 11, a performance by Canadian entertainer Tom Jackson, alongside a plated meal and silent auction, will make for a fun and festive night out at our Magical Christmas Music Gala. Also, non-perishable donations are always accepted at grocery stores and fire halls, and monetary donations can be made online at www.edmontonsfoodbank.com. “Monetary donations are very important to our work – $1 equals three meals, so when we need to make bulk purchases to supplement the food donated to us, every dollar goes a long way. Monetary donations are also used to keep our vehicles on the road, the lights on and the coolers cool.” You can also support the food bank by volunteering. “The contribution our volunteers make to Edmonton’s Food Bank is critical to our operation. In 2017 volunteers donated more than 85,000 hours,” says Potkins.

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PHILANTHROPIC PURSUITS // PHILANTHROPY

THE NEED FOR FOOD BANK SERVICES SOARED DURING THE RECESSION, AND DESPITE THE ECONOMY BOUNCING BACK, FOOD INSECURITY IS ON THE RISE. POTKINS ADMITS, “IN 2016, THERE WAS A CONSIDERABLE INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE ACCESSING OUR HAMPER PROGRAMS; ANY DECREASE HAS BEEN MINOR AND NOT SUSTAINED. THE NUMBER OF CLIENTS WE SERVE IS CONSIDERABLY HIGHER THAN IT WAS IN 2015.”

Youth Empowerment Support Services (YESS) YESS provides immediate and low-barrier shelter, temporary housing and support for youth ages 15-24. “Our daytime resource centre is home to a variety of programs including medical care, addictions, trauma, and mental health counselling, help with continuing education and employment, art therapy and programming, recreational activities, life skills and employment readiness, and help with housing resources,” says Margo Long, executive director. “Our 24-bed overnight shelter is the first step to preventing youth homelessness and helping youth heal. During their time at the shelter, youth are supported in identifying and working on the goals they set for themselves, identifying new resources and services based on their needs, and starting the process of building trust and healthy relationships.” March presents a unique challenge for at-risk youth, due to a little-known “event” called gang tax season. Long explains, “The gang tax is a term used to describe when gangs follow up with potential gang members who are misbehaving or not responding well to direction. They will ‘collect’ personal items or physically threaten or do physical harm to keep potential gang members in line. This can be a result of rogue drug deals (on the side business), bad or lazy deals, failure to follow through on directions (to attack, to deal, to kill, to steal, etc.) and more. This is the time when youth feel the

LEFT: PREPARING LAYETTES AT BASICALLY BABIES. PHOTO SOURCE: BASICALLY BABIES

most fear and are faced with the harsh and scary reality of gangs. At this time, they are the most vulnerable and chaotic with their problem solving and decision making, and exist in a state of panic.” Long notes that it’s not just gang activity bringing disenfranchised youth to YESS. “Our vision focuses on one of the root causes of homelessness, addiction, abuse and mental illness in our society: trauma. Trauma affects the connections and healthy functioning of the brain and can also have a lasting impact on the ability to develop relationships. All of the youth we see are dealing with varying degrees of trauma and we aim to walk beside youth as they heal through healthy relationships.” The need for YESS services is on the rise. “The number of youth who access our overnight shelter has stayed relatively steady over the past few years, but the number of youth who access our daytime resources has gone up dramatically. The age range for our resource centre (1524) is larger than that for our shelter (15-21), so we see youth at our daytime programs who might not be able to access YESS otherwise.” Donations are important for YESS’ operations. “Our operating budget this year is $4.2 million, and $3 million must be fundraised every year. Every December we run an annual campaign with a goal of raising a good portion of the $3 million we must fundraise to meet our budget and continue to run our programs. In April we host the YESS


PHILANTHROPIC PURSUITS // PHILANTHROPY

CHARITIES RECEIVED ECF FUNDS Gala for Youth at the Shaw Conference Centre. Monetary and in-kind donations can be made all year round. We count on donations to stock our kitchen and our donation room of clothing, shoes, and toiletries.”

BY APPLYING FOR A GRANT;

For information about donating and items needed, visit www.YESS.org.

THAT HAVE EXPERIENCE AND

SUCCESSFUL GRANTS ARE SELECTED BY VOLUNTEERS IN THE COMMUNITY EXPERTISE IN THE SECTORS OF THE PROJECTS REQUESTING FUNDING.

The Edmonton Community Foundation

THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS VET THE

The Edmonton Community Foundation (ECF) works with donors to support charities and causes by establishing endowment funds.

JURY-SELECTED GRANTS.

“The endowment model means that donors aren’t only supporting organizations now, but they are building a lasting legacy of giving that will support their community in perpetuity. That’s the power of endowment — it’s forever,” says Andrew Paul, communications advisor. ECF was established in 1989 with a combined investment of $15 million by John and Barbara Poole, George and Rae Poole, and Robert and Shirley Stollery on behalf of their families. “Today we steward more than 1,000 funds totalling $562.5 million (as of December 31, 2017) and have granted more than $170 million to charitable causes since we formed. In 2017 alone, we granted $24.6 million,” says Paul. Charities received ECF funds by applying for a grant; successful grants are selected by volunteers in the community that have experience and expertise in the sectors of the projects requesting funding. The board of directors vet the jury-selected grants. “ECF grants more than $20 million/year and works with hundreds of charities. This gives us a unique perspective and the ability to identify emerging needs within the community. We will provide discretionary funding based on this community knowledge as needed. This typically happens through our Foundation Directed Initiatives,” Paul notes. “We also follow the wishes of our donors through our donor-advised funds. When a donor establishes an endowment fund with ECF, they get to choose how much

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involvement they have in the granting process. Some donors want to choose where their grants go. Others rely on ECF’s expertise to allocate funding through our various granting programs.” Anyone can start an endowment fund. “There is a big misconception that endowments are for the rich. This is false. ECF can establish an endowment fund for as little as $10,000 and donors can take up to 10 years to reach that threshold. Once a fund reaches $10,000 it can begin granting.” Why is giving back a passion for ECF? “There are myriad reasons,” Paul concludes. “Each donor has their own reason for why giving back to their community is important. In the big picture, ECF’s endowment model ensures that organizations aren’t entirely at the mercy of changing political climates. We are able to offer flexible, sustainable funding to help charities achieve their mandates.” Learn more at www.ecfoundation.org.

Get Involved These are just a few of the many organizations in Edmonton working hard to make sure everyone gets the support and opportunities they need. These initiatives are largely supported by donations and volunteers. For your New Year resolution, why not pledge to get involved and provide funds or volunteer hours? As one wise person once said, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”


BUILDING A BUSINESS-CENTRIC ECONOMY // PARKLAND COUNTY

BUILDING A BUSINESSCENTRIC ECONOMY Prioritizing businesses in Parkland County BY LAURA BOHNERT

W

And the County’s efforts haven’t come unrewarded. “Through responsive, accountable and responsible leadership,” Edwards adds, “the County has experienced growth in both business expansion and new development.

There is no question that Parkland County makes supporting its businesses a priority. As Mark Edwards, Director, Economic Diversification, explains, “At Parkland County, providing exceptional support and continuous outreach services are the most important aspects in supporting our business community.”

“Parkland County continues to evolve with the everchanging business community, as proven by the solutionbased changes to our land use bylaw. While looking through the lens of innovation and open-mindedness, we address challenges and opportunities we face while staying focused on increasing the well-being of Parkland County economically, socially and environmentally. In doing so, we

hat does a business-centric community look like? Parkland County is quickly shaping up to be a strong model for counties that may be looking to prioritize the same commitment to business growth and diversity.

ABOVE: EXTERIOR VIEW OF UNITED CONSTRUCTION COMPANY’S HEAD OFFICE IN ACHESON, ALBERTA, WITH HIGHWAY 16A EXPOSURE.

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BUILDING A BUSINESS-CENTRIC ECONOMY // PARKLAND COUNTY

have become very business-centric in our approach to how we work with all businesses and community partners.” In its efforts to become business-centric, the County has implemented a number of programs to help support business growth and development. As one example, Edwards points to the County’s flexible land use. “The County has developed a new district to help grow with industry needs: BIR - Regional Business Industrial District. This land use accommodates a range of industrial and industrial support services that typically provide logistics, manufacturing/processing, professional office, or research and development functions. Developments within this land use typically require larger parcels adjacent to regional transportation routes. “Parkland County also offers a Major Business Attraction Program to support large, complex industry projects,” Edwards notes. “Through the program, a dedicated team aids businesses that are in the process of either building a new operation or relocating an existing one to Parkland County.” Parkland County also “engages with external stakeholders, such as NAIOP (previously the National Association for Industrial and Office Parks and now the Commercial Real Estate Development Association), to gain perspective from the business community.” Edwards also stresses that the County prioritizes a “customer service focus [by providing] quick response times and access to pre-application meetings in order to save time and provide certainty when necessary.” “Maintaining a focus on being business-centric has become one of our competitive advantages in a time when new growth to the region has become exceptionally competitive,” Edwards observes. It’s also a leading edge that has allowed the County to celebrate its new growth and diversity by attracting a number of new businesses to the area. Some of the new businesses that have opened in Parkland County in 2018 include Pinnacle Renewable Energy Inc., North American Construction Group, Freedom Cannabis, Frac Shack International Inc., Western Archives and Shredding, Fraser Bros Roofing Ltd., Finning Used Equipment Supercentre, and Streamline Fire Protection Ltd. “A diversified economy is robust and provides long-term

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stability for the County,” says Edwards. “Business diversity is important for Parkland County and also our business community. It is how we all continue to maintain and grow business.” The County’s business-centric focus has also helped pave the way for a number of success stories, including United Construction Company (UCC). Originally established in 2005, the company moved to Acheson in October 2014 and within two years had won the area’s Business of the Year Award. “We are a group of construction professionals that bring together diverse experiences while sharing common goals and values – our workplace culture is integral to our continued growth,” says Frank Santoro, Vice President of Operations with UCC. “Specifically to Acheson, the highway exposure, value to land and ease of access throughout the city makes employment attractive while at the same time simplifying operations.” A commercial general contractor, UCC is a ContractorCheck accredited member and won the top project under $50 million in Alberta Construction Magazine. Accolades are not new to the company – they received an ABA Bricks and Mortar Award in both 2015 (Head Office) and 2016 (Techmation) as well as were named one of Alberta’s Best Workplaces in 2016. “Diversifying our business across four sectors of construction – commercial/retail, light industrial, institutional and multifamily residential has allowed us to weather industry and market-specific conditions while at the same time, transfer best practices across build types,” says Santoro. He also credits the company’s location in Parkland County as a reason for the success. “Parkland County is open for business. County administration and support teams are always willing to promote UCC whenever possible. A diverse group of businesses well situated goes a long way towards building a thriving business. Many organizations look locally for services, which is an added benefit.” Another long-standing business calling Parkland County home is Hayworth Equipment Sales. As Cathy Dool, business development, Hayworth, points out, “Hayworth Equipment Sales has been doing business in Parkland County since


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// PARKLAND COUNTY

WE CHOSE PARKLAND COUNTY AS THE LOCATION FOR OUR NEW KITCHEN BECAUSE OF THEIR BUSINESS-FRIENDLY FOCUS AND STRONG AGRICULTURAL COMMUNITY.” - FRANK BURDZY CEO, Champion Petfoods

Acheson is a great location for your business to call home. In choosing Parkland County, your business can enjoy the benefits of being located near a major centre while having easier and less congested access to major transportation routes. At Parkland County, we pride ourselves on our customer-centric approach to business and community.

For more information on making Acheson your home, visit: www.parklandcounty.com/dobusiness 58

DECEMBER 2018 // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM

1986, and as the Acheson area grows, it offers employment opportunities, cross marketing and services with other businesses in the area. “An entrepreneur at heart, our founder, Elmer Schmidek, packed up his family of seven, moved from Hinton to Edmonton, purchased an old gas station, converted it into a small office and started operating as Edmonton’s first truck and trailer consignment centre,” Dool notes of the business’s history. “When we opened our doors in 1975, we were based out of West Edmonton, on the corner of Stony Plain Road and 178th Street. “In the 43 years we’ve been in business,” Dool adds, “we’ve seen and done a lot. The business was passed from parents to children, we’ve moved a few times, survived a couple of economic recessions, expanded our services and product offering, and continued to put emphasis on providing our customers with unique solutions built for their exact applications.” However, as Dool points out, it isn’t just because of Parkland County’s support that its businesses are thriving; the relationship between the County and its businesses is an inter-reliant one. Parkland County’s growing businesses “are an economic driver that assists the whole County with services and taxes.” So, in short, how do you create a strong community that is supported by an equally strong, diverse and growing economy? You invest in the areas of your county that help to foster business growth and encourage new business investments. It’s a strong community and business model, the success of which Parkland County is proud to be clear proof.

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A TOP 20 WORLD-CHANGING IDEA: PACE Financing is Coming to Alberta New Construction Office Project, Milwaukee, WI - 2017. First ground-up Offie Development to use PACE.

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ommercial PACE (property assessed clean energy) or C-PACE is an innovative financing tool designed to help commercial building owners and real estate developers fund energy-efficiency and renewable energy projects. While new to Alberta, C-PACE financing has been available in the U.S. since 2009 and has funded nearly 1,700 projects to the tune of $715 million with another $250 million projected for 2019. (http://pacenation.us/ pace-market-data/) While the enabling Alberta legislation for PACE financing was only passed on June 11 and with regulation only expected by November 2018, building owners and developers will nevertheless be well served by understanding the fundamentals of how this soon-tobe-available tool can help their bottom line.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

C-PACE is a voluntary program that enables commercial building owners to finance up to 100 per cent of eligible energy-efficiency and renewable-energy improvements. The non-recourse, fixed-rate financing is secured by an assessment, or lien, that is recorded on the property by the participating municipality,

similar to a local improvement charge assessment, except that it’s voluntary. The loan is repaid through the local property tax collection process. Finance terms are driven by the useful life of the equipment and, based on current best practices, can be expected to extend up to 30 years. Because the financing is tied to the property, it is the operation’s financial health, not the property owner’s creditworthiness, that is the main consideration in underwriting these deals. While financing has typically been provided by private specialty capital companies, the Alberta legislation has been structured such that the participating municipality will be providing the capital. As such, while private capital may still play a part in the future, it is currently anticipated that many municipalities will turn to sources such as the Alberta Capital Finance Authority for the PACE financing capital. Most C-PACE projects are designed such that the savings from reduced energy cost exceed the payments, thus enabling a cash flow-positive project from day one. Even when the annual energy cost savings are lower than the servicing costs, many other savings or values will tip the decision to proceed, including reductions in maintenance, extended lifewww.bomaedmonton.org | BOMA Edmonton Newsletter | December 2018

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Multi-tenant Office retrofit Denver, CO.

expectancy savings and, in the case of commercial rental properties, reduced vacancy losses driven by enhancements to the building’s green and healthy image. C-PACE financing is thus a win-win scenario that seems too good to be true, but which has long since proven its value. With 100 per cent financing, no upfront costs and no personal guarantees, C-PACE is ideal for funding capital-intensive improvements. Once a C-PACE project is completed, the building owner has a lower utility bill and, assuming the project has been designed to be cash-flow positive, a healthier net operating income. The building, which serves as collateral, is typically more efficient, more comfortable and more valuable. If and when the building is sold, the buyer has the option of retaining the assessment repayment obligation or negotiating with the seller for it to be paid off at closing. Multiple property types are eligible for C-PACE financing, including commercial, industrial, agricultural and multi-family buildings (Alberta has a few exceptions such as “designated industrial” and mobile homes). C-PACE will also be available to developers of new construction projects and will likely base the eligible funding by comparing how much more energy efficient the proposed building will be compared to one built to the current energy code. In the U.S., this amount varies by program, but is typically around 15 to 20 per cent, with the PACE financing percentage of the total capital cost equal to the performance increase. Eligible improvements for C-PACE financing include almost anything that will lower utility bills that is permanently affixed to the building. Likely items include high-efficiency lighting; boilers; heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) units; solar and geothermal systems; and may even include new roofs to support solar panels. Owners of older buildings know that aging boilers and leaky windows drive up their utility bills and

2 December 2018 |

BOMA Edmonton Newsletter | www.bomaedmonton.org

reduce their net operating income. Nevertheless, owners often continue to defer maintenance in order to preserve surplus cash for core operations. The alternatives – a traditional bank loan or self-funding – are seen as expensive. As a result, a third option – do whatever it takes to keep the equipment running – is often viewed as the least costly choice. C-PACE financing completely changes that calculation. In new construction, the C-PACE value proposition may be even greater. It can reduce or replace the typical 20 per cent owner-equity contribution required by lenders or reduce other, more costly financing sources in the capital stack. There is also another collateral benefit that can prove to be an advantage if the upgrades are one of solar PV, solar hot water or geothermal exchange. Depreciation expense under class 43.2 of the Income Tax Act would allow these upgrades to be written off at 50 per cent if they are capitalized on the balance sheet. PACE upgrades can be treated either as a straight tax expense or the asset and liability can be recorded with the benefit of the tax writeoff under class 43.2. In a C-PACE project, the assessment lien that secures the financing, while junior to all general property tax liens, is senior to all commercial liens, including mortgages and deeds of trust. As such, C-PACE programs typically require that property owners receive the written consent of mortgage holders prior to securing financing. As with many other jurisdictions, it is likely the Alberta PACE program will require an independently-prepared review of the project’s technical and financial projections so that all stakeholders can determine whether cost-savings projections are likely to materialize. While relatively new to the Canadian market – there are only a handful of PACE programs across the country with most targeted to the residential market – the U.S. experience has shown that well-designed C-PACE projects provide many benefits for mortgage holders. They include the following: • An increase in a borrower’s ability to repay the mortgage, due to the savings exceeding the loan payments, driving up their net operating income; • A reduced risk of loan default because of enhanced cash flow and profitability; and, • An increase in the value of the collateral. C-PACE financing is coming to Alberta, and based on the U.S. experience, is poised to help transform the economy. The opportunity this proven tool presents to existing building owners as well as developers is clear. Will you be ready? For more information, visit http://paceab.green and https://www.alberta.ca/ PACE.aspx.


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ENERGY EFFICIENCY IN ALBERTA

lberta has long been known as an energy province. We can find energy resources, mine them, process them and transport them. Alberta is a leader in oil and gas, but also in renewables such as solar PV (with our 300-plus days of sun) and wind power (with our undeniably windy region). Still, until recently, Alberta has overlooked a crucial resource in its resource-based economy: energy efficiency. In fact, as late as 2014, Alberta was the only jurisdiction in Canada and the United States without centralized, energy-efficiency programming. However, over the last two years, that has changed dramatically. After in-depth stakeholder engagement led by industry experts, Energy Efficiency Alberta was cre-

4 December 2018 |

BOMA Edmonton Newsletter | www.bomaedmonton.org

ated by the provincial government at the end of 2016. In the spring of 2017, their initial programs were launched and their first employee, CEO Monica Curtis, was hired. The organization has mandates to: 1) raise awareness about energy use and the associated economic and environmental consequences; 2) promote, design and deliver programs related to energy efficiency, energy conservation and the development of micro-generation and small-scale renewable energy systems; and, 3) promote the development of an energy-efficiency services industry in Alberta. Since inception, Energy Efficiency Alberta has launched several residential and commercial programs aimed at reducing energy use while not sacrificing quality of life.


EFFICIENCY, NOT CONSERVATION

There’s a stark difference between the typical conservation programs of the past, and the efficiency programs today. In the past, conservation programs often meant a sacrifice of comfort and/or luxury in the name of using less. Early adopters of CFL bulbs (with the curly fluorescent tubes) will remember an unappealing white light that took a number of minutes to “warm up,” especially on cool days. Not only that, these bulbs weren’t bright, couldn’t be dimmed, contained mercury and were hazardous if they broke. Furthermore, the early versions of low-flush toilets and shower heads left much to be desired! Efficiency today, however, enables us to do the same or more, with less. Highly-efficient LED lighting technology, for example, provides much greater comfort, turning on instantly, dimming as needed without the flicker of fluorescent bulbs and without creating hot spots in their environment. Efficient heating and cooling technology provides more evenly distributed heat, minimizing hot and cold spots in buildings. The end goal of conservation and efficiency remains the same – saving energy and money. Today, energy efficiency accomplishes these savings without any sacrifice to comfort or quality of living, and oftentimes enhancing it. Your competitors are becoming more efficient. Join them! The reason efficiency programs exist in every jurisdiction in North America regardless of location, political leanings, strength of the economy, etc., is simply because they make good business sense. Helping businesses reduce their operating costs enables them to be more competitive by improving profitability, freeing up resources to reinvest in the organization and creating a competitive advantage. Energy Efficiency Alberta’s Business Energy Savings program is a prescriptive rebate program that has offered rebates on more than 50 products for the last 18 months. More than 2,800 businesses have already received rebates to help finance efficiency improvements. Those businesses have received an estimated $17 million in rebates to assist with their projects, and they’re expected to cumulatively save more than 265,000 GJ of energy each year for at least the next 10 years. This is the equivalent of taking 10,000 Alberta homes off the grid every year for the next 10 years. More than 250 office buildings have participated in the program. To date, that amounts to almost $1.5 million in rebates, averaging $5,800 in rebates per project, and savings of an average of 120 GJ per building per year.

What are you waiting for? Don’t let your competitors get the upper hand. Each of those 2,800 participating businesses are now operating at a higher level of efficiency and saving money annually in energy and maintenance costs. Perhaps they can produce more widgets per dollar, or offer increasingly better service as a result. It’s easy. And it’s your turn. Don’t fall behind. You too can improve your operations.

PROGRAM OFFERINGS

Energy Efficiency Alberta’s programs are continually changing and evolving in order to meet industry demand. Business Energy Savings now offers rebates on heating and hot-water systems, lighting controls, commercial kitchen appliances and many other products. In addition to prescriptive rebates, Custom Energy Solutions offers end-to-end support and incentives to identify enhancements that deliver the best results for your industrial, institutional and commercial facilities. To find out more about Energy Efficiency Alberta and their programs, please visit www.efficiencyalberta.ca.

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www.bomaedmonton.org | BOMA Edmonton Newsletter | December 2018

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EXCITING DEVELOPMENTS AT AIRPORT CITY

f you have been up the QEII south in the last year, you’ve likely noticed the new Premium Outlet Collection EIA that makes up part of the new Airport City complex. The EIA and its team have been hard at work creating a destination experience for locals and tourists alike. With excellent visibility, the impressive 589,833-square-foot Premium Outlet Collection EIA opened as Edmonton’s only fully-enclosed outlet shopping centre and offers a carefully curated mix of stores and fashion brands. After celebrating its grand opening in May with anchor tenants such as DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse, Forever 21, Nike Factory Store, Old Navy Outlet, H&M and Marshalls, the list of available retailers has grown steadily. Since the opening in the spring, stores such as Calvin

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December 2018 | BOMA Edmonton Newsletter | www.bomaedmonton.org

Klein, Kate Spade New York Outlet, Adidas and more have joined the ranks. Upon completion, 100 retailers will call Premium Outlet Collection EIA home, creating over 1,000 full- and part-time retail job positions, in addition to the over 200 construction-related jobs already established. While specific retailers are always a draw for consumers, it’s the extra details that will make this a destination for consumers to return time and time again. Abigail Alfonso, the marketing and tourism manager for Premium Outlet Collection EIA, describes how “featuring natural finishes, ample daylight, combined with bold graphic patterns and materials, all work together to create a unique and exciting shopping experience.” Travellers are going to hope they have time for a layover at EIA when they learn about services such as


the on-airport shuttle, luggage storage, boarding pass printing, flight arrivals and departures screens, free Wi-Fi, and the comfort lounge area. To enhance the shopping experience, guest services also include “Deliver Ease,” a signature direct-to-home parcel shipping service allowing travellers to shop without worry, knowing they can ship their purchases directly to their door. Local residents will appreciate visiting Share (the local’s market), that is sure to appeal to those looking for something different than the usual big-box stores. In support of Alberta’s Makers Community, Share is “a welcoming space that fits seamlessly with the warm industrial chic design of Premium Outlet Collection EIA,” explains Alfonso. “It is a place where you can enjoy a craft-brewed coffee, sample locally-produced delicious foods and browse the makers market.” With Etsy businesses flourishing and #SupportLocal campaigns blanketing social media, it only makes sense that part

www.bomaedmonton.org | BOMA Edmonton Newsletter | December 2018

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Staying at the airport hotel will not be a dreaded experience at Airport City. The Renaissance Edmonton Airport will be the only four-diamond Renaissance-branded hotel in the world directly connected to an airport, with a heated indoor pedway and amazing luxury accommodations and cuisine. of Share is The Curated.Shop – all handmade, all local – supporting makers from within the community. Every quarter, at least 50 per cent of the makers are changed to provide opportunities to other makers, while keeping the offerings fresh for guests. In the creation of Premium Outlet Collection EIA, owners and developers Ivanhoé Cambridge and Simon Property Group have worked hard to incorporate several sustainable development features, and have successfully achieved LEED pre-certification. Included amongst the features are white roofing materials, aimed to reduce the heat island effect at Airport City, water-efficient fixtures and low-emission CO2 materials used throughout the development. To round out the shopping experience, Costco Wholesale joined Premium Outlet Collection EIA in the summer of 2018. More exciting features are coming to the area, including Castrol Raceway, a 320-acre

motorsports entertainment facility, and Century Mile Racetrack and Casino, set to open in the spring of 2019. Century Mile will replace the services previously provided at Northlands Park Racetrack & Casino, which held its last race day on October 27, 2018. Staying at the airport hotel will not be a dreaded experience at Airport City. The Renaissance Edmonton Airport will be the only four-diamond Renaissance-branded hotel in the world directly connected to an airport, with a heated indoor pedway and amazing luxury accommodations and cuisine. If that wasn’t enough, visitors can go to the Red Cup Distillery and try authentic Albertan moonshine, with a tour and tasting in an old aircraft hangar. Premium Outlet Collection EIA provides muchneeded job opportunities, enticing amenities to draw in tourists and complements the surrounding attractions to appeal to residents, making Airport City a destination experience.

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December 2018 | BOMA Edmonton Newsletter | www.bomaedmonton.org


BUSINESS AS WE KNOW IT // EXPORTING

BUSINESS AS WE KNOW IT USMCA CHANGES TRADE IN ALBERTA

BY ZACHARY EDWARDS

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t the beginning of October, a landmark trade deal was announced between the nations that made up NAFTA: Canada, the United States and Mexico. The free trade agreement came after months of intense, sometimes fiery, negotiations between the three countries, particularly concerning Canada and the U.S. As the details emerged, there were some clear wins for Canada and Alberta, in particular, that could change how we do business in the future. USMCA will replace the decades-old NAFTA once it is ratified by the three nations. While some small changes are likely to be made during that time, much of the document is all but set and Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chrystia Freeland, is happy with the end result. “We hung together. We stayed strong. And we succeeded,” she said in a recent statement, and largely this seems to be the case. “We went into the new NAFTA renegotiations with the idea of doing no harm and I think we emerged out of that mostly unscathed,” says Daryl Hanak, executive director of international trade policy at Alberta’s Ministry of Economic

Development and Trade. “In terms of the big changes, for the most part, it’s going to be business as we are familiar with, especially with the U.S.” While representatives from Alberta were not directly involved in the negotiations, the early hopes of largescale changes eventually gave way to preserving what was already in place with NAFTA. “There were hopes for some improvements as negotiations went along, but the idea that we preserve what we have became the main objective,” says Hanak. “Things like the tariff levels that faced Canadian goods are essentially unchanged [and] big chunks of it are ensuring that we have continued market access.” That said, some new passages in USMCA are good for Alberta in multiple ways, with some cleanup of rules that were bureaucratically causing small problems. The oil and gas industry, in particular, will see changes for shipping bitumen that makes it cheaper. In NAFTA, a small fee was charged on diluent, a product that helps bitumen flow more freely in pipelines. The fee no longer exists under USMCA, saving roughly $60 million per year.

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BUSINESS AS WE KNOW IT // EXPORTING

That said, there was initial worry a new provision could interfere with Alberta selling oil to China. USMCA now states that all three nations must approve new free trade negotiations between one of the participants and “nonmarket economies” like China. Hanak, however, says the new rule is unlikely to cause issues. “That provision is in there to give notice of entering negotiations for a free trade agreement, which are extremely complicated documents,” he explains. “There are plenty of other ways to enter trade agreements between nations that are not to that degree. No one in Canada or the U.S. thinks this new provision will stop ongoing trade between us and China.”

KOOTSTRA WAS QUICK TO POINT OUT USMCA IS ALREADY CAUSING PROBLEMS IN ALBERTA’S DAIRY INDUSTRY. A POTENTIAL DEAL FOR DAIRY PROCESSING IN ALBERTA WAS PUT ON HOLD JUST DAYS AFTER THE ANNOUNCEMENT.

More than likely, the anxiety surrounding that clause is less about a potential and unprecedented exclusive free trade agreement between Canada and China and more about a potential impact on the Trans Mountain pipeline. The oil going through the troubled pipeline is theoretically bound for China but Hanak insists USMCA cannot impact domestic projects like the pipeline or the destination of its products. “The USMCA doesn’t change anything with the pipeline or domestic projects like that,” he says. Not all industries – especially dairy – are excited by USMCA, however. Canada’s supply management system has given domestic dairy farmers a stable, predictable economy for decades. While the proposed 3.59 per cent access to the Canadian market by American farmers seems like a small amount, it can actually mean a large difference for Canadian farmers. Canada’s dairy system is regulated differently from most other industries, where farmers are given quotas for production based on market estimates. They cannot, like their fellow farmers south of the border, overproduce with the hopes of exporting. Instead, they make their quota and can produce more if the market estimates allow. It makes for a stable income for the farmers while causing little impact on the actual cost of milk and milk products at the grocery store. The Canadian average price for milk is $1.22 per litre. In the States, it is almost identical at $1.21, and most estimates say Canadians won’t see a change in price at the till. The 3.59 per cent access for American dairy farmers, who have a glut of product that needs to be exported due to overproduction, is yet another instance of trade agreements

ABOVE: ALBERTA MILK CHAIRMAN TOM KOOTSTRA.

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BUSINESS AS WE KNOW IT // EXPORTING

slowly chipping away at dairy farmer quotas over the years. According to Alberta Milk chairman Tom Kootstra, the amount taken up by foreign interest in Canadian dairy is a “death by a thousand cuts” with over 10 per cent in the past few years. “We need to recognize that this is the third trade impact on the dairy industry. Under CETA, we granted some three per cent. With the CPTPP, an additional 3.25 per cent was given away and now, under this USMCA, another 3.59 per cent,” says Kootstra. “Cumulatively, Canadian producers have lost the opportunity to at least 10 per cent of the Canadian market. When we lose the potential to produce for the Canadian market, that harms our business.” Kootstra was quick to point out USMCA is already causing problems in Alberta’s dairy industry. A potential deal for dairy processing in Alberta was put on hold just days after the announcement. “The dairy industry in Canada is about more than just us farmers, it impacts everyone who works in the industry,” he says. “We were really close to getting processors to invest in Alberta and then the USMCA came up and the parties became hesitant to invest. This agreement is potentially already putting a stall in economic development in Alberta.”

Kootstra also worries about the next generation of dairy farmers, who are seeing the changes and wondering if the industry can offer a viable long-term career. “The USMCA means more uncertainty and that the growth in the market won’t be there,” he says. “These types of changes make it a less secure investment and it may mean people like my sons, who work on our farm, may have to look elsewhere to make their living.” By contrast, grain farmers in Alberta are happy with the new agreement, saying the deal promises continued access, another instance of managing to mitigate potential damage to the Canadian economy by a new deal. “The renewed agreement is excellent news for Canada’s barley farmers,” says Jason Lenz, Alberta Barley chair. “We are extremely appreciative to both Minister Freeland and [Minister Lawrence] MacAulay for recognizing the needs of farmers who rely on exports.” While the new NAFTA still has some wrinkles to iron out, the deal means some wins for Albertans and Edmontonians, and some losses. As Hanak mentions, it will largely be business as usual for many industries, while some Canadians could feel major changes to their livelihoods.

ABOVE: THE KEY NEGOTIATORS FOR MEXICO, CANADA AND THE U.S. ANNOUNCE DETAILS OF THE USMCA.

BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // DECEMBER 2018

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GC Custom Metal Fabrication Ltd.: Growing and Always Ready to Meet Customers’ Needs By Nerissa McNaughton

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C Custom Metal Fabrication Ltd., a family owned and operated company, specializes in rapid prototyping and production runs in custom fabrication and machining. “My father, George, founded the company in 1982,” says Darren Schmidt, who now runs the business with his brother Steve. “It started as a one-man operation and a couple of machines. We had leased one bay of a building.” The company grew quickly, and George started looking for a larger space. When the building he was operating out of went up for sale, he purchased it and steadily expanded into all four bays. It wasn’t just the company expanding, it was the range of services too. GC Custom Metal brought in CNC equipment and purchased another location for powder painting. Next, water jet and laser cutting machines were added. “We had to rent another bay for welding,” says Darren. “This brought us to three locations. In 2016 we

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Steve, George and Darren Schmidt. Photo by Kirsten Buyer Photography.

acquisitioned into machining in Leduc. Now we had four buildings.” Earlier this year GC Custom Metal consolidated the four locations by purchasing and renovating their 2503 – 84 Ave facility, and the family couldn’t be happier to see how the company has grown and developed over the past. “We build custom parts and components for our customer’s products and projects. If our customers require a metal component, and it doesn’t exist as an off the shelf item, we make it for them,” says Darren. “In the past we did a lot more custom fabrication for projects and one offs. We are now moving towards larger volume production of product lines and parts for OEM’s. Our expertise in fabrication and machining allows us to

GC Custom Metal Fabrication Ltd.


With their processes in place and the move to the new building behind them, Darren and Steve are focused on the next phase of GC Custom Metal’s evolution: internal organizational excellence and supporting the team with leadership, training, and opportunities. GC Custom Metal started as a one-bay operation and now has a 32,000 square foot shop, a 3,000 square foot office, and completes orders for customers around the world. The management thanks George for setting the foundation, their clients for helping to grow the company, and the team for their hard work. Darren concludes, “This year we celebrate our history, our consolidation, and everything and everyone that makes us who we are today.” build parts using a myriad of different processes. Our diversification enables our success. We are able to work for a wide range of customers.” GC Custom Metal has created everything from stunning exterior metal bar panels to hidden internal components. Their work stretches across Western Canada and around the world in everything from signage to foundational building components.

2503 – 84 Ave NW Phone: (780) 440-1845 Email: info@gccustommetal.com

www.gccustommetal.com

Darren explains, “The parts are support items – hidden, while integral to the project. GC’s work is in the Royal Alberta Museum, Roger’s Place, Telus World of Science, and the Remand Centre, to name a few. We don’t have a GC product or brand. We support our customers and their products. We have a lot of processes, so we can do a lot of things in-house without having to send it out to different vendors. We have always been responsive in getting the work and getting the work done.” It was this responsiveness that earned the company a project to quickly fabricate an integral part of the Keystone Pipeline – a part that was critical to commissioning the pipeline.

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S2 Architecture Celebrates

a Quarter-Century of Success F ive years ago, S2 Architecture arrived in Edmonton. Born from the growing workload the Calgarybased firm was obtaining in Alberta’s capital, today the Edmonton office has one resident partner and 17 employees. It is as busy as ever.

S2’s Edmonton story echoes the firm’s own 25-year Calgary story. Founded as a single-man operation in 1993, S2 is today an 88-person full-service architectural and interior design firm. It has designed a multitude of projects in an array of sectors in Alberta and beyond. Throughout all the growth and change, S2 has maintained its foundation. “Our core is design, both architectural and interiors,” says Robert Spaetgens, founding partner and Principal. “We believe in the continuity of design. It’s not just the building, it’s the experience that you have in the building. The continuity of a comprehensive experience.” It’s this approach that has guided S2 since inception. Twenty-five years since inception, the firm has completed over 1,600 projects in a variety of sectors including commercial, education, emergency services, health care, hospitality, mixed-use, public works, religious, residential, retail, seniors, and sports and recreation. Clients range from public bodies to private developers. No matter the type of project, design is always based on what the client wants. “As a firm we don’t have a signature type of building,” David Symons, Principal explains. “We really respond to the client in terms of what their needs are. That flexibility and collaboration is one of the key reasons that we have seen a lot of success.” Together, Spaetgens and Symons have led the firm through all of that success. Both from Calgary, the young men met in the 1970s on the first day of classes at the University of Manitoba. They were both obtaining their masters in architecture.

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David Symons and Robert Spaetgens

“He was the only other guy from Calgary,” Symons reveals with a chuckle, “so we became roommates and went on to work together at another firm in Calgary. Bob then went on his own and the following year I joined him. It’s been steady growth ever since.” Originally Robert Spaetgens Architect Ltd. in the beginning, transformed to Spaetgens Symons Evans in 1994 and in 2003 the firm name was changed to S2 Architecture. Today, there are five partners in addition to Spaetgens and Symons: Linus Murphy, Brian Corkum, Genevieve Giguere, Peter Streith, who joined as the Edmonton partner in September 2018 and Robert Lange, who joined as the Vancouver partner in November 2018. Opened in 2013, S2’s Edmonton studio was its first outside Calgary and a major milestone for the firm. “Much of the work we were doing in Calgary got us clients in Edmonton,” Symons explains, “and then we had enough work up there that we could open an office.” “But we needed a resident partner in Edmonton,” adds Spaetgens. “Linus [Murphy], who established the Edmonton office, put a lot of effort into it and was on the road a lot. So we really did need someone in Edmonton with boots on the ground.” Streith, an accomplished architect from the Edmonton area, joined S2 from another firm and now leads the Edmonton studio.

PARTNER. PERFECT. COLLABORATION IS THE LEDCOR WAY. We are proud of our 25-year partnership with S2 Architecture. Working together to construct better buildings. And building stronger communities. Congratulations!

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RJC Engineers extends sincere congratulations to our friends at S2 Architecture on 25 years of design excellence!

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It has been an honour to transform spaces into extraordinary places with you over the last two and half decades

Congratulations!

Congratulations S2 Architecture on celebrating 25 years of success!

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S2’s other partners joined in different ways. Giguere has been with the firm for 18 years, beginning as a junior architect and became a partner in 2016. Corkum and Murphy both came from other firms and have been partners at S2 for five and 10 years respectively. S2 is all about the people. “The success of the firm over the last 25 years has been largely attributed to the people,” Spaetgens says. “We’ve got a lot of exceptional projects, a great reputation for our design and our technology, but really, the key has been attracting the right people.” S2’s culture, which is one of inclusion, respect and collaboration, helps attract potential recruits. So does the fact that S2 is a legacy firm. “We’re a firm that lasts longer than the two founding partners,” says Spaetgens. “When people join they know that after the old farts leave, a strong firm will remain. Getting in on the ground floor of a growing, sustainable firm is very attractive.” Of its 88 employees, many are core people who have been with S2 for many years. “We promote from within where possible and as often as possible,” Symons says. Attracting and maintains the right people, in turn, has led to growth in various sectors. “We’ve been able to bring on high-end people who have attracted the clients,” Spaetgens explains. “It’s a bit of a risk and a bit of an investment to bring on these high-end people before the projects are there, but it’s worked.” “Our partners have brought strengths in market sectors that we didn’t necessarily have,” Symons adds. “And since they’ve become partners, those sectors have grown.” One growing sector is emergency services. To date, the firm has designed 39 projects including fire stations, EMS response centres, and emergency vehicle and equipment maintenance facilities in Alberta and B.C. One of these is the Leduc Fire Station, a two-bay fire station completed in 2015 for the City of Leduc. Twenty-five years is a good chunk of time, and S2 has seen its share of ups and downs. “The economy has really influenced how we’ve grown over the years,” Symons explains. “We’ve managed to plow our way through some bad economic times by foreseeing the problem before it became a problem. We’ve always been fairly proactive, watching for signs in the economy.” As the senior partners, Symons and Spaetgens believe their role includes anticipating where future work may lie. “It varies,” Spaetgens explains. “There were times when retail was strong, and then mixed-use residential, and now the seniors sector is strong. In fact, we have eight projects related to seniors in the office right now.” One of these is Cambridge Manor, a 240-unit state-of-the-art senior living facility within Calgary’s University District. The thoughtfully designed, innovative complex will provide a lively community for residents and seniors. The project just broke ground this year and is set to open in 2020. In addition to architectural and interior design, S2 provides master-planning services, as it has with the West District – a master-planned project comprised of 95 acres within an established community in west Calgary. “We started with the master-planning stage and now there’s actually two buildings under construction and four in the process of development permit or working drawings,” Symons says. “We’ve been part of that vision from the beginning and are now working with the developer [Truman] to realize that vision. That’s a project that will probably be on the books for another 10 years.” West District is a mixed-use project, one of several designed by S2. These projects blend commercial, office, retail, hospitality and residential. Vogue, a 35-storey mixed-use residential development located in the west end of downtown Calgary, is a notable example. Completed in 2017, the concept design is based upon developing a symmetrical contemporary art deco esthetic. In addition to designing from the ground up, S2 undertakes many improvement projects as well. One such project is an approximately 2,300-square-foot tenant improvement project for

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The way S2 embraces creativity and innovation, this isn’t a milestone, it’s a stepping stone. DIRTT is thrilled to be a part of your journey.

Congratulations S2 Architecture on your 25th Anniversary!

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Windermere Fire Station

CivicWorks Planning + Design. S2’s interior design solution involved an open floor plan that utilized demountable partitions to designate private offices and meeting rooms, and a custom millwork ‘work wall’ running the length of the space was created to provide essential storage and office functions. For all projects, the firm uses leading technology and sustainable building practices, including LEED rating systems. “But our greatest differentiator is our people and our culture,” Spaetgens confirms. “You go to another architectural firm and they offer what we offer and we ask the same questions. But we ask the client what they are looking for. We try to be empathetic to the client as opposed to selling us. Part of us getting the work is us understanding the client and what it is that they do.” Accordingly, S2 enjoys an approximately 85 per cent client-return rate. “We’re not out looking for clients on every job; they’re coming back to us,” Spaetgens says. “That’s the beauty of having your market spread over the private and public as much as you can,” Spaetgens smiles. “You’re not putting all your eggs in one industry or one type of client. Because when one is busy the other one probably is not.” “Geographically too, S2 has diversified. “We’ve worked in Russia, Europe and down in California [the firm designed the Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego],” says Symons. “Today our focus is Western Canada and we have a lot of work in B.C. Our new Vancouver office is anticipated to be very busy.” The partners will continue to grow both the Edmonton and Vancouver offices now having resident principals in those cities . “And then world domination,” Symons grins. “But that’s a few years down the road”. Neither partner articulates plans for retirement though. “We love doing what we’re doing,” Symons says. “Our profession is very fortunate. Once we’ve completed a project it’s there, we can see it. We help build your city and that’s a fulfilling thing to be able to do.” Spaetgens offers a seasoned perspective, “With age comes a bit of wisdom perhaps. We’ve been through the ups and downs in the economy so many times before so we’re more relaxed about it. We can sit amongst the partnership and calm everyone down: don’t worry we’ve been through this many times before, we’ll go through it again, here’s what we have to do. But relax and enjoy yourselves.” With 130 projects (in all stages from initial concept to warranty) on the books right now, S2 will no doubt continue to build Edmonton, in addition to other locales, for many years to come. The entire S2 team has as much to be proud of as to look forward to.

2nd floor, 10835-124 Street NW Edmonton, Alberta T5M 0H4 T. 780.784.7100 || F. 403.670.7051

www.s2architecture.com 6 || S2 Architecture || 25 Years


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Business in Edmonton - December 2018  
Business in Edmonton - December 2018  
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