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JAMES MERKOSKY GETS READY TO

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THE NEW CHAMBER CHAIR IS EXCITED ABOUT THE YEAR AHEAD.



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Supporting the visions of entrepreneurs one story at a time. Volume 5 | Number 2

REGULAR COLUMNS

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 rump Presidency Brings T Business Uncertainty By Josh Bilyk

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CONTENTS COVER FEATURE

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J ames Merkosky Gets Ready to Make an Impact The new Chamber Chair is excited about the year ahead. By Nerissa McNaughton

ON OUR COVER: ABOVE: JAMES MERKOSKY, NEW CHAMBER CHAIR PHOTO SOURCE: EPIC PHOTOGRAPHY INC.

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 overnment New Year’s G Resolution: Focus on Honesty, not Fantasy By Paige MacPherson

  Edmonton Chamber of Commerce

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Supporting the visions of entrepreneurs one story at a time. Volume 5 | Number 2

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CONTENTS

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COMPANY PROFILES

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P  aradise Carpets

THIS MONTH’S FEATURES

Celebrates 35 Years

Chateau Lacombe Hotel Celebrates 50 Years

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P  rovincial Electrical

Online, Offline: Understanding the Relationship Between Social Media & Corporate Events In an increasingly digitized world, the power of the corporate event has actually increased, but to discount its relationship to social media is to miss out on corporate events’ true power and purpose. By Zachary Edwards

Celebrates 15 Years

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Retirement and the Grim Tax Reaper: Plan for These in Advance By Nerissa McNaughton

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Study Abroad Programs Are Helping to Build a Better Future for Edmonton By Laura Bohnert

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TRUMP PRESIDENCY BRINGS BUSINESS UNCERTAINTY // ECONOMIC FACTORS

Trump Presidency Brings Business Uncertainty BY JOSH BILYK

I

t’s anyone’s guess how U.S. President Donald Trump will govern, and that’s a serious challenge for Canadian businesses.

set the stage for imposition of preliminary duties. Expect these negotiations and disputes to get a lot tougher under the Trump administration.

While much of Trump’s controversial campaign focused on issues not relevant to most Canadians, the single biggest theme in President Trump’s quest to “make America great again” focused on trade policy.

Canadian livestock exports to the U.S. are also on Trump’s radar. After a hard-fought battle by Mexico and Canada to remove requirements for country-of-origin labels on imported livestock and meat products, those protectionist rules may be re-visited.

Trump drew support from a vast swath of Americans who have seen their lives, or the lives of friends and loved ones, disrupted by changes in the global supply chain. Candidate Trump told voters that the significant loss of manufacturing jobs to Asia and Mexico was the result of lopsided international trade agreements negotiated by corrupt, incompetent elites. Of all of Trump’s campaign bluster, it’s his promise to make better trade deals for the United States that stands out the most. Trump opposes the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) – a deal with Canada and 10 other Asia-Pacific countries that would dramatically reduce damaging trade tariffs on Canadian exports to some of the world’s most important markets. More importantly for Canadians is the status of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The U.S. is Canada’s biggest market for exports and NAFTA has been good to Canadian industries. Canada’s lumber sector has long been fighting U.S. tariffs and accusations of subsidization and dumping. A recent U.S. Trade Commission finding that Canadian lumber products “materially injured” by Canadian imports sold at “less than fair value” has already

If you think his protectionist rhetoric was all talk, Trump’s key trade appointments clearly show he means business. Trump chose Robert Lighthizer as U.S. trade representative – a former Reagan-era deputy trade representative renowned for promoting protectionist trade policies. Of interest to all Canadian exporters to the U.S. is the possibility of the Trump administration imposing a socalled “border adjustment tax plan” that would slap a tax on products imported into the United States. The border tax has been discussed by Trump and some of his advisors to address what they see as unfair tax disadvantages confronting U.S.-based companies. While Trump’s views on trade are a serious concern for several Canadian sectors, it’s important to remember that Canada isn’t Trump’s target. President Trump sees China and, to a lesser extent, Mexico as the real threats to U.S. interests. Regardless, Canadian trade negotiators face a much different opponent in the Trump administration than they have seen since Ronald Reagan. They better be ready to negotiate hard for Canadian interests against a U.S. government determined to make better trade deals for American firms.

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GOVERNMENT NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION: FOCUS ON HONESTY, NOT FANTASY // GUEST COLUMNIST

Government New Year’s Resolution: Focus on Honesty, not Fantasy BY PAIGE MACPHERSON

I

t’s a new year: a time when people commit to stop dreaming, and start doing, adopting an air of clarity and honesty about their goals, their failures and how they’ll improve.

Can we send that message to our governments? In 2015, Alberta’s NDP government raised business taxes, and still business tax revenue flowing to government coffers declined. In 2017, perhaps it’s time to recognize the economy has worsened since then, and the tax hike doesn’t seem to be improving anything. Remarkably, the provincial government spent the latter months of 2016 pushing the idea it was improving the employment situation for Albertans. A $9-million ad campaign focusing on the carbon tax pushed the message the government has created oodles of glorious new green jobs. Been there, done that. The NDP is simply going down the same path as former PC governments, taking billions of dollars out of the hands of actual job creators and throwing it into various forms of corporate welfare. Unemployment is at its highest in over two decades. Sixty thousand Albertans have now been jobless for half a year or more. Why not be honest about that and turn over a new leaf? In the new year, the provincial government can no longer reasonably blame all job losses on the price of oil. Not when the government is imposing policy decisions that are increasing the cost of doing business. It’s time to be honest about the carbon tax, too. Trucking companies are sending notices informing their customers their rates are increasing thanks to the carbon tax. Grimshaw and Hi-Way 9 are both introducing surcharges.

These companies didn’t make the decision to increase the cost of groceries and clothing. Good on them for being transparent. Other service providers are doing the same. The YMCA let parents know in a letter that the cost of childcare will go up. The carbon tax isn’t all that transparent, by design. It’s a hidden consumption tax. While Premier Notley is feeding Albertans the lines that gas price increases won’t matter since gas prices fluctuate anyway, and that they won’t notice the carbon tax on the price of consumer goods, businesses are making it clearer. And so they should. But shouldn’t government officials be clear about that too? Here in Edmonton, city council is hardly being honest about its ability to reduce property taxes. Homeowners will pay for a 2.85 per cent increase in property taxes in 2017. At the very least, Edmonton city council could have frozen property taxes like Calgary’s council did (despite drawing from the reserve funds to do so). That’s a tough pill to swallow for the 15,000 Edmontonians who’ve lost their jobs. To deliver genuine tax relief, Edmonton city council should be honest about its own spending, which has increased more than twice the combined rate of inflation and population growth over the last decade, and that could be curbed. Ultimately governments should focus on honesty, not fantasy. Municipally, it’s fantasy that the government can’t do anything to control tax increases. Provincially, it’s fantasy that the government is creating jobs and not costing them. Business owners are being honest. In 2017, let’s send a message to our governments to be honest and transparent about the cost of their policies, too.

PAIGE MACPHERSON IS ALBERTA DIRECTOR OF THE CANADIAN TAXPAYERS FEDERATION.

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OFF

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The Grand Villa and Kids & Company Make ICE District a Place for All Ages

Grand Villa Casino, Edmonton’s new 60,000 square foot and $32 million gaming destination, opened late last year in ICE District. Within a very short period of time, the casino proved to be a worthy addition to Edmonton’s hottest entertainment centre, and to the community. The Grand Villa has replaced Edmonton’s aging Baccarat Casino. Between opening day and the close of 2016, Grand Villa was visited by over 250,000 patrons and more than $100,000 was given in away in cash and prizes through the gaming facility’s kiosk promotions. The Grand Villa’s restaurants have also been very busy. Atlas Steak & Fish was pleased to host several celebrities: local and visiting NHL players. These famous personalities enjoyed some of the 500 steaks that were cooked up between September and December 2016. More than 80 diners also had a go at Atlas’ whopping 48 ounce Tomahawk steak. Not to be outdone, the casual Match Eatery and Public House flipped over 12,000 burgers to go alongside more than 48,000 pints of beer. The Grand Villa has also been very active in the community. By the close of 2016, the casino had awarded two bursaries in partnership with the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) for students pursuing careers in hospitality or culinary arts, donated $5,000 to the Royal Alex Hospital Foundation, sponsored The Kids Up Front Denim & Dice Fundraiser, volunteered hours at Meals on Wheels and the MS Golf for a Cure Tournament and signed a threeyear partnership and title sponsorship for the SkirtsAFire Art Festival. ABOVE: CASINO GAMING FLOOR AND BACCHUS BAR AND THE ATLAS STEAK + FISH MAIN DINING ROOM. PHOTO SOURCE: GRAND VILLA CASINO

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THIRTY YEARS OF DISTINCTION

PRESCHOOL KINDERGARTEN Services for a much younger demographic were also launched late last year. In November, ONE Properties and Katz Group, Oilers Entertainment Group (OEG) and the City of Edmonton gathered in the newly opened Edmonton Tower for the grand opening of Kids & Company, an early learning and child care centre. “Kids & Company is an important addition to ICE District, providing parents who will come to work in the District with a nurturing and safe childcare facility,” says Glen Scott, senior vice president real estate, Katz Group said in a press release. “To have a top-quality child care centre within a top-quality building like Edmonton Tower is the perfect combination. We’re proud to officially welcome Kids & Company to ICE District.” Victoria Sopik, co-founder and CEO of Kids & Company, said in a media statement, “What’s important for us is to help families balance their lives. So of course being a part of this ‘live, work, play’ project [identified by ICE District] is a perfect fit for us.” The opening of Kids & Company is part of ICE District’s plan to create “a city built for all ages.” From the adult entertainment of gambling to being a company focused on the wellbeing and development of children, ICE District proves, once again, that it is Edmonton’s destination of choice for everyone.

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TELUS World of Science helped Discovery Agents Launch Its New App

TELUS World of Science (TWOSE) was the site for the Alberta-based Discovery Agents company to launch their app in Edmonton. Edmonton Valley Zoo, Alberta Innovates and the Legislative Assembly of Alberta also partnered with Discovery Agents for the launch. Previously, the app launched successfully in Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and California. Modeled after the augmented reality style seen in Pokémon Go, the app helps children and youth learn about plants and animals at specific mission sites, such as at TWOSE and the Edmonton Valley Zoo. The game states that there is a “secret network of animal agents” waiting to help the user discover the world around them. Unfortunately their Robot Queen has been kidnapped and the animals need the user’s help to save her. While it “won’t be easy,” the child is encouraged to get off the couch and go outside to start solving the mystery, which will unfold in public spaces such as parks and museums. There is also a “build a mission” feature for users to create location-based missions where they are, and to link them with a growing network of mission sites in North America and Europe. Missions can be played without Wi-Fi and can be adapted to use QR codes in museums and historical sites. “We’re excited to host the Edmonton launch and we’re happy we can be a part of this innovative mobile game,” says Jennifer Bawden, director of science at TWOSE. “Discovery

Agents is the perfect integration of science and technology, and a great way to get kids physically active and engaged in their learning.” Mary Clark, CEO of Discovery Agents, says, “In today’s society, 97 per cent of Grade 4 students play video games. Fifty-six per cent own a mobile phone. Only seven per cent get their daily recommended physical exercise. Discovery Agents uses the technology kids love to encourage outdoor fun and learning.” Elena Londeau, supervisor of Arts, Nature and History Experiences at the City of Edmonton is also in favour of the app, noting, “We are thrilled to be launching Discovery Agents at the Edmonton Valley Zoo. This is a unique opportunity for visitors to learn more about the zoo in a fun and interactive way. We hope this will encourage more

ABOVE: ALAN NURSALL, PRESIDENT AND CEO OF TELUS WORLD OF SCIENCE – EDMONTON, SPEAKING TO VISITORS AND ATTENDING MEDIA. PHOTO SOURCE: TELUS WORLD OF SCIENCE

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“DISCOVERY AGENTS IS THE PERFECT INTEGRATION OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY, AND A GREAT WAY TO GET KIDS PHYSICALLY ACTIVE AND ENGAGED IN THEIR LEARNING.” ~ JENNIFER BAWDEN people to get closer to the animals and find out about some of the zoo’s other initiatives.” Bill Teeple, senior business advisor at Alberta Innovates, says, “Discovery Agents is one of our new Alberta corporations. For over two years, we have assisted this digital education company to expand across the U.S. It is now poised for the Canadian market. Both Calgary

and Edmonton have become first adopters of Discovery Agents in Canada, as a key learning experience for our young people. We are grateful to TELUS World of Science, Edmonton and the Edmonton Valley Zoo for leading the way in Edmonton.” Looks like there is plenty of educational, active fun ahead for Edmonton’s youth.

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

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JAMES MERKOSKY GETS READY TO MAKE AN IMPACT // COVER

JAMES MERKOSKY GETS READY TO

Make an ABOVE: JAMES MERKOSKY, NEW CHAMBER CHAIR PHOTO SOURCE: EPIC PHOTOGRAPHY INC.

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JAMES MERKOSKY GETS READY TO MAKE AN IMPACT // COVER

Impact

BY NERISSA MCNAUGHTON

THE NEW CHAMBER CHAIR IS EXCITED ABOUT THE YEAR AHEAD.

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

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JAMES MERKOSKY GETS READY TO MAKE AN IMPACT // COVER

A

lberta’s Capital City has always been a place of commerce. In 1976, a campsite was discovered overlooking the River Valley. The site, which dates back to 3000 – 500 BCE, contained stone tools and other indicators that pointed to a regular meeting place for semi-nomadic Aboriginals. In 1795, Hudson Bay Company established the first of the regions’ trading posts (near Fort Saskatchewan), and by 1921 Fort Edmonton became the centre of the province’s western fur trade. Edmonton’s population boomed through the early 1900s as the city entered a period of prosperity based on strong agricultural trade. In the 1940s, the economy’s growth shifted to include the trade of wholesale goods, and the processing of agricultural and meat products. Transport also entered the market as the new air centre made trans-Canada flights, and flights up North from Edmonton, a reality. After a brief stint as a base for northern military operations during the Second World War, Edmonton settled into its most prevailing role to date – a major centre for Canada’s oil and gas industry. All this economic prosperity and growth meant the men and women running Edmonton’s businesses needed a way to meet, plan, network, strategize and keep the city’s economy moving forward, while also advocating for its products and services to enter new markets and policies designed to encourage growth. “In my experience, the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce is one of the few that has the ability to impact the business world in a positive way for both city and province,” says the new Chamber chair, James Merkosky. “The Chamber relies on committees that have a wealth of knowledge, and the ability of the Chamber to have meaningful impact in the business and social work in our city and province is vitally important.” Merkosky himself began his work with the Chamber through a committee, even though his early career aspirations had him flying in a completely different direction. “As a kid, I wanted to be pilot,” he laughs. But he went to university to study commerce, accounting and taxation. “Being

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a fighter pilot and a tax guy is not the same, but it’s been an interesting ride,” he admits with his wry sense of humour. Instead of fighting the bad guys in the sky, Merkosky stays grounded by performing superhero feats of a different sort – cross border and American taxes in his role as partner, tax services, at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. “It’s interesting work I ended up doing. I love it.” Merkosky, after moving from Saskatchewan, wanted to get involved in the Edmonton community. When an opportunity came up with the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce to sit on the tax committee, he was happy to step up to the challenge. This led to a seat on the board, and as of 2017, the board chair. “The Chamber of Commerce has been outstanding to work with,” Merkosky says happily. “Joining the board and becoming the chair is a real career highlight. It’s one of the higher profile organizations in the city and it’s very well-respected. To have that kind of impact is a good career highlight in and of itself.” He’s ready for the challenges that come with the positon, both in balancing the time commitment that comes along with a family that includes five children, and the current state of the economy that sees Edmonton’s business community struggling with the recession.

“JOINING THE BOARD AND BECOMING THE CHAIR IS A REAL CAREER HIGHLIGHT. IT’S ONE OF THE HIGHER PROFILE ORGANIZATIONS IN THE CITY AND IT’S VERY WELLRESPECTED. TO HAVE THAT KIND OF IMPACT IS A GOOD CAREER HIGHLIGHT IN AND OF ITSELF.” ~ JAMES MERKOSKY


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JAMES MERKOSKY GETS READY TO MAKE AN IMPACT // COVER

“The business environment in Alberta is big right now. There are major issues on the table and working through them will be interesting; we certainly need to get it right. The Alberta economy needs a turnaround, to say the least.” Regardless, he’s excited about what can be done. “The Chamber is full of interesting people and interesting opportunities that go along with it. When you are the board chair of an organization, you get to have an impact on all the things that are happening. It will be an interesting and fun year.”

To the business community, he says, “We all live in Edmonton and can sit on our hands and do nothing, but if you get involved, you can make an impact. Why not get involved? Be engaged in a big way in everything you are doing. The Chamber has an excellent board, excellent committees, outstanding staff and a really strong team that keeps the organization running smoothly. The Chamber has lots of luncheons and activities, and we have the opportunity to bring in key speakers and more. It’s an excellent group to work with. [You can join and] make a difference in the community.

ABOVE: JAMES MERKOSKY, NEW CHAMBER CHAIR PHOTO SOURCE: EPIC PHOTOGRAPHY INC.

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JAMES MERKOSKY GETS READY TO MAKE AN IMPACT // COVER

HIS COMMITMENTS TO WORK AND FAMILY NEVER HOLD HIM BACK FROM INVESTING IN THE COMMUNITY, BOTH ON A PERSONAL AND FAMILY LEVEL, AND THROUGH PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS’S CHARITABLE INITIATIVES. HE’S ALSO BEEN PART OF THE OLD STRATHCONA YOUTH SOCIETY FOR YEARS, AFTER BEING INTRODUCED TO THE SOCIETY THROUGH HIS WIFE AND BROTHER-IN-LAW, WHO ARE BOTH SOCIAL WORKERS. “The Chamber is going to be extremely relevant in the upcoming years. Alberta and Edmonton have challenges in terms of economy. Being focused, being the voice of business and taking into account the impact on the city in the provincial and national levels is important. We will be making decisions that impact the long-term view for the province. These are interesting times, to say the least.” His commitments to work and family never hold him back from investing in the community, both on a personal and family level, and through PricewaterhouseCoopers’s charitable initiatives. He’s also been part of the Old Strathcona Youth Society for years, after being introduced to the Society through his wife and brother-in-law, who are both social workers. “It’s different from the business world and has a big impact on people that need assistance,” Merkosky says of why he enjoys working with the Society. He’s very involved in his church and his hobbies of music and hockey – hobbies he balances around time with his family. “Chasing our five kids around is pretty much a full time job,” he admits with a smile. “The kids are in dance, hockey, band, rugby, etc. Also, as a family, we love to travel and go on camping trips.” How does he balance it all? “Work/life balance: that’s a tough one!” Merkosky muses. “At the end of the day, you just have to be flexible. My wife has a calendar at home. If it’s not in the calendar, it doesn’t happen. The key is being flexible and making choices as to where you spend your time. In a career in public accounting, there are some deadlines to work around. It really just comes

down to being organized, flexible and knowing how to prioritize your time.” Merkosky is extremely grateful for his wife and her role in supporting him, his career and their family. “She looks after a lot and keeps the family running. Without her doing that, we wouldn’t survive on a day- to-day basis.” He’s not above a little mischief, though! “I have an identical twin brother and he’s in the city as well. We get into a lot of fun. He’s a good sounding board. We talk about a lot of things.” The business and family man has a lot going on, but he doesn’t seek out recognition for his hard work. “It’s more or less, for me, just being a successful dad, being able to be a good professional for our clients and working well as the chair.” Merkosky is more than ready for his year as Chamber Chair, and as he looks forward to making a positive impact on the city, the Chamber, the business community and the province, he speaks to the near future: “In terms of work, I look forward to just continuing on. In terms of home, our kids are going through various stages. I now have four teenagers! In terms of volunteering, I will continue to be involved in the Chamber after my tenure as chair by sitting on other boards. I will also continue to volunteer with other organizations. It’s key to be engaged in the community you are living in.” He closes with his signature grin, “For me, it’s going to be an exciting year. I’ve got the backing of the PricewaterhouseCoopers partners, and wife and family. I’m really looking forward to it.”

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

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ONLINE, OFFLINE: // EVENT PLANNING & CATERING

Online, Offline:

UNDERSTANDING THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SOCIAL MEDIA & CORPORATE EVENTS IN AN INCREASINGLY DIGITIZED WORLD, THE POWER OF THE CORPORATE EVENT HAS ACTUALLY INCREASED, BUT TO DISCOUNT ITS RELATIONSHIP TO SOCIAL MEDIA IS TO MISS OUT ON CORPORATE EVENTS’ TRUE POWER AND PURPOSE.

BY ZACHARY EDWARDS

A

recent panel by the federal government on youth entering the workforce discovered something that many people are already familiar with: sending hundreds of applications out into the online ether rarely gets results. It is the face-to-face connections that lead to jobs. “We are deluding ourselves if we think that by digitizing the job application process, we are making it more democratic,” panel chairwoman Vass Bednar says of the discovery. “Network effects are as strong as ever, and this hurts young people with less social capital.” For many young people entering the job market, the ineffectiveness of social media for networking can come as a surprise. After all, social media attempts to digitize traditional

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networking by fostering communities and connecting likeminded individuals together. Plus, social media has become a top priority for businesses around the world. Social media is an essential element of nearly every business and industry operating today. An estimated 93 per cent of businesses in North America use social media for marketing. According to online content amplification company Shareaholic, social media has eclipsed traditional search engines as the top driver of referral traffic to content on the web. Social media, in many ways, has become the word-ofmouth of the modern world and, by making the exchange of information as easy as possible, it can create more organic interactions that lead to better sales and higher exposure.


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ONLINE, OFFLINE: // EVENT PLANNING & CATERING

However, the corporate event remains an important aspect of modern networking and an excellent resource for companies as well. Shandra Ballard, communications specialist at Edmonton’s PCL Construction, says her company’s corporate events are used for “business development, employee engagement, or community engagement.” With the exception of employee engagement, the reasons look similar to the reasons for using social media. Andrew Cook, a locomotive engineer for CN, has participated at events put on by CN, including community outreach programs that educate the public about the railway while feeding them free barbeque. The programs connect businesses that act more behind the scenes with regular people who may not understand what they do. “The barbeques that CN hosts are a lot of fun and a chance for families and residents to come enjoy some great food” he says. “Plus, it’s a great way to raise awareness about railroad safety and educate people on what we do in their communities. Plus, the kids are always excited to talk to a train conductor!” While it has its place in today’s business world, social media can’t replace the corporate event. It’s tempting to consider corporate events as either the precursor or end goal of social media precisely because they share so much in common with social media. In fact, many businesses attempted to make a switch to social media over corporate events not long after Facebook and Twitter began to dominate the Internet. According to research published by Special Events magazine, businesses have generally increased their budgets for corporate events steadily for the past 10 years, except during 2008 and 2009. For both those years, more businesses reported that they planned to hold fewer events and spend less money on those events than in any other year. In 2009, 38 per cent of businesses said they would stage less events, compared to 11 per cent the year before, and over a quarter said they would decrease their event budgets. By 2016, those statistics had each lowered to just 10 per cent. The corporate event, ignored for a moment, bounced back. While 2008’s recession may be the most obvious explanation for those statistics, social media may have had a large impact as well. A tweet, after all, comes with a wide array of instantly measurable stats, including likes, retweets, link

clicks, and bio clicks, all at a significantly lower cost than a Christmas party or networking event. But, just like corporate events, measuring the move from liking a tweet to spending money at the cash register can be tricky and abstract. Fortunately, there are ways for modern businesses to track the success of their events. Ballard says one of the ways to do this is to outline the relevant statistics and consider them at every stage of an event, from the planning to the morning after. “Companies need to think about what the goals and objectives are for the event,” she says. “For example, PCL hosts an annual Christmas party to show appreciation for all of our Edmontonarea employees. After the event, we send out a survey so we can measure guests’ satisfaction with the event year over year.” Mark Ryan, student events coordinator with the Students’ Union (SU), helps organize some of University of Alberta’s largest events, including orientation week. For the SU, hard numbers help to back up their post-event surveys. “Across all of our events, we look to increase student attendance year-by-year, and [ensure] that the students who attend are having a great time,” he says. “This year, we ran the biggest new student orientation ever with over 5,000 new students, and they were led around campus by 800 of our volunteers.” By gathering data, even by something as simple as counting heads or a survey, businesses and organizations can

ABOVE: SHANDRA BALLARD, COMMUNICATIONS SPECIALIST AT EDMONTON’S PCL CONSTRUCTION.

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ONLINE, OFFLINE: // EVENT PLANNING & CATERING

adapt and change to become more effective. Plus, it can concretize that often ethereal gap between the event and the result. Probably the most dangerous assumption about corporate events and social media, besides considering them to be the same thing, is ignoring how the event can actually lead to an increased presence online long past the event itself. Events naturally lead to a surge in online activity, especially if it is incorporating community activism or the company uses a hashtag; but to optimize this surge, strategizing before and after the event critical.

PCL, for example, use their Twitter feed predominantly to highlight their community engagement, and such events help them bridge the gap between everyday people and the work they do in Edmonton. They also raise awareness for events that they put on. CN, too, enjoys an immediate boost through other people posting about their events. Pushing this idea one step further: advertising events before and after they take place has a demonstrable effect on search engine results, since much of a webpage’s ranking is dependent on its links, even in the modern age of Google’s algorithm. Businesses that create pages on their site for

ABOVE: PCL’S CHRISTMAS PARTIES HELP INCREASE EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT AND PROVIDE A “THANK YOU” FOR THEIR WORK OVER THE YEAR..

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// EVENT PLANNING & CATERING

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events and include their address in event listings help to boost their profile. Getting those event listings elsewhere online, and including a link to the event page on the main site, will drive those results up even further. To consider the two separate is to ignore the potential they hold together. The power of the modern corporate event lies precisely in what it has done for decades: help people network in a face-to-face environment. But to truly understand corporate events in the world of Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat, one has to understand that they are symbiotic. One does not lead to the other, and one is not a means to the other’s end. For the corporate event and social media, they are both important tools for modern businesses, especially when it comes to client interaction, employee engagement and community building.

Discover Alberta Ballet’s 50th Anniversary Season albertaballet50.com Learn about our group benefits at albertaballet.com/group-sales

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

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RETIREMENT AND THE GRIM TAX REAPER: PLAN FOR THESE IN ADVANCE // RRSP, TFSA & TAX PLANNING

Retirement

AND THE GRIM TAX REAPER:

PLAN FOR TH E S E I N ADVANCE

BY NERISSA MCNAUGHTON

T

hose golden years are coming, and like it or not, the tax man is going to pay your estate one final visit after you die; but there’s no need to stress about your retirement or final tax bill. Just be proactive and prepare in advance. To help you with that, Spencer Bennett, financial advisor, Edwards Jones; and Angie Gurney, CFP, financial planner and insurance specialist, LSM Insurance & PPI Solutions, explain how to prepare today for peace of mind later. First, Bennett explains that socking money into your registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) is a good thing, but you have to be aware of the all source maximum if you also have RRSP contributions at work. He notes it’s a good idea to max out your RRSP plan from work first to take advantage of any money matching offered by your employer. “We’ll try to grow your money, but we won’t match what you put in,” he chuckles. Often, work RRSPs will match up to a given percentage or dollar amount. “When you contribute to your company RRSP plan or pension, it decreases how much you can contribute to your personal plan. Work plans are great, but depending on how it is structured and how much you contribute, they may not provide you with enough money to retire comfortably,” counsels Bennett. Canadians can contribute the lesser of 18 per cent of their earned income from the previous year, or the maximum dollar limit established for the year to their RRSP. Earned income is not just what you make on the job. It includes salary, bonuses, alimony, rental and business income. Therefore, if you have

several income streams and set aside a part of the profit from, for example, your rental property and your wages for RRSP contributions, and your employer is also contributing on your behalf, you have to be careful not to exceed your maximum limit. Your limit could also be further reduced by a pension adjustment or spousal contribution. That being said, there is a little wiggle room. If you did not make the maximum contribution in the previous years, you can carry that contribution room

ABOVE: SPENCER BENNETT, FINANCIAL ADVISOR, EDWARDS JONES PHOTO SOURCE: EDWARDS JONES

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

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RETIREMENT AND THE GRIM TAX REAPER: PLAN FOR THESE IN ADVANCE // RRSP, TFSA & TAX PLANNING

There are two basic types of insurance: term and permanent. Term is used to address risks with a defined timeframe, such as a mortgage. Permanent insurance is used to mitigate risks associated with an unknown time frame, typically the unpredictability of death. Permanent insurance is further broken down into two categories: whole life and universal life (UL). Both build up cash value that, as you will soon see, can be very beneficial during the policyholder’s life and after they pass away, but both have some very distinct differences.

forward. You also get a one-time $2,000 over-contribution limit that is not penalized with extra tax. An RRSP is not the only long-term savings vehicle. The tax free savings account (TFSA) continues to evolve and help Canadians reach their financial goals. “The tax free saving account (TFSA) was introduced in 2009. It started with just $5,000 contribution room and has increased since then. If you have never contributed to a TFSA, you may be eligible to contribute up to $46,500,” Bennett points out. “The advantage of a TFSA is the ability for tax-free growth. Any gains on stocks or mutual funds purchased within a TFSA are not taxable, whereas registered saving plan (RSP) contributions can reduce the taxes you pay, but are fully taxable at withdrawal. TFSAs and RRSPs both have advantages and disadvantages. I recommend talking to a financial advisor to see what makes the most sense for you and your retirement plans.” Bennett notes that each person’s situation is unique, and that means their retirement goals, and how to reach them, should be unique, too. “Business owners and individuals should meet with a professional accountant and a financial advisor to make sure they are making decisions that are in their best interest – one who can get to know your needs and help you come up with a personalized strategy.” Another way Canadians are long-range planning is by taking advantage of the cash surrender value (CSV) that builds up in permanent insurance policies.

“The biggest differences are the guarantees that whole life offers over UL,” Gurney explains, noting that “guaranteed cash values, reduced paid-up amounts and level coverage [can help create a] simple, solid plan for individuals needing a permanent solution for estate and tax planning.” As a retirement tool, “UL is great choice for sophisticated individuals with a large net worth,” she continues; “if you have the ability to take on risk with investments and are looking for additional tax shelter, UL offers choices and allows individuals to choose a plan that works specifically for their individual needs. All types of insurance, from term to permanent plans, from investment portfolios to guaranteed market index funds to mutual funds, are designed to fit UL standards and have maximizers to take full advantage of tax deferred growth within the plan.” Since CSV in a UL is calculated and available when the policy is surrendered, if the life insured is still alive, it can be used as a collateral for a loan. If the loan is not paid as promised, the policy can be surrendered by the owner to pay down the outstanding loan. There is another reason to choose permanent insurance – it can help keep the value of an estate intact after death, if the investor has secondary real estate properties. From a tax perspective, Canada Revenue Agency treats your secondary property (or properties) as though you disposed of them for fair market value in the year of your death. That means, while taxes are not due on your primary residence, they most certainly are due on that vacation home or cottage by the lake. Capital gains of this nature are taxed at 50 per cent. If you bought a cottage for $250,000, and it is worth $350,000 in ABOVE: ANGIE GURNEY, CFP, FINANCIAL PLANNER & INSURANCE SPECIALIST, LSM INSURANCE & PPI SOLUTIONS PHOTO SOURCE: LSM INSURANCE

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Caplink’s Investment in Relationships Fuels 20 Years of Growth

C

aplink is a private lender that procures, underwrites and funds residential and commercial first and second mortgages.

Brian Menges, president and CEO, was one of Caplink’s co-founders in 1997, and Gay Andrews, executive vice president and COO, co-owner, was Caplink’s first employee. Together, they bring over five decades of banking and finance expertise to Caplink, along with a working philosophy and commitment to clients that has seen the firm grow steadily over the past 20 years. “When we started in 1997, we did not have a business plan,” Menges admits. “We just knew we wanted to do mortgage financing. By leveraging personal relationships with some investors, we were able to quickly procure, fund and administer residential mortgages on a regular basis. We funded mortgages exclusively through investors until 2002. In 2003, we obtained our first two mortgage investment corporations, Cedar Mortgage Corporation and Cedar II Mortgage Corporation. Shortly thereafter, we created our third mortgage investment corporation, Caplink Mortgage Investors Corporation.” Later Cedar Mortgage Corporation and Cedar II Mortgage Corporation were amalgamated, leaving Caplink with two investment corporations. On November 30, 2016, Caplink assumed management of Crossroads-DMD Mortgage Investment Corporation. “It’s a fund that complements the two we have, because of its different lending parameters,” says Menges. “Through our three mortgage investment corporations, we are able to provide mortgage brokers and

their clients with a diversified suite of private mortgage products. It also enables Caplink to employ more staff, which allows us to increase the services we provide mortgage brokers, the investment community and everyone we are fortunate to work with.” He continues, “Through our mortgage investment corporations, we provide registered and non-registered investments. An investor can take their income in cash or in-kind [i.e. buy more shares]. This is a level of flexibility that clients appreciate. The benefit of investing in a mortgage investment corporation rather than in direct mortgage is that risk is potentially reduced by investors participating in pools of mortgages rather than in just one mortgage. Nobody can eliminate risk, but we certainly mitigate it by spreading it out.” “Almost all of our mortgage origination business is by way of referrals from mortgage brokers. Building relationships is important,” notes Andrews. “Caplink is very much a relationship-driven environment.” She also points out that the firm has mainly grown by positive referrals. “We’ve grown from word of mouth and from people speaking so highly of us. We appreciate that so much.” “We have always put our investors’ needs before our own,” Menges confirms, “and we have never lost that value in all of our growth. Our clients remain our first and foremost concern. By operating that way, everything else falls into place. We have the ability to navigate and move the company in ways that serve our investors and our team. We have the opportunity to seek out things that are new, exciting and rewarding to the company. We have a strong vision and a plan to get us to our next level.”

Suite 1000 - College Plaza 8215 112 Street Edmonton T6G 2C8 Phone: (780) 429–0114 • Toll Free: (888) 429–0114 • www.caplink.ca


RETIREMENT AND THE GRIM TAX REAPER: PLAN FOR THESE IN ADVANCE // RRSP, TFSA & TAX PLANNING

the year of your death, your gain is $100,000 and your tax on that is $50,000 (at your personal marginal tax rate). Let’s say you are in a 35 per cent tax bracket: you would need $17,500 to satisfy the tax requirement for the cottage upon your death. With a whole life policy, CSV can be used to buy extra insurance that will be paid up in full with the guaranteed cash value (it’s called a paid up addition). When it comes to claim time, the death benefit of the UL policy will pay the face value plus what has accumulated in the account, and the whole life policy will pay the face value, which could include paid up additions. Both create the potential for a more generous death benefit that can leave money left over for beneficiaries after capital gains taxes are addressed. Gurney summarizes the many ways permanent insurance helps individuals and business owners with their long-term

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financial planning. “Permanent plans are for individuals facing high tax bills at the time of death, philanthropists wanting to plan their donations after their passing, estate planning needs for disabled family members and trusts. Individuals who like to take care of their families, business and estate as well as have control over their wealth after they are gone find permanent life policies to be a great tool for cash-needed solutions without triggering a fire sale of their holdings. “Whole life is a great option, and if chosen at a younger age, it costs pennies on a dollar. Business owners, investors and wealthy individuals with a high percentage of non-liquid investments and real estate holdings love this option as they know that their estate will need quick cash at the time of their death. UL is great for utilizing permanent/temporary life insurance needs with tax deferred investment vehicles that can serve as both long and short term solutions and needs for sophisticated and wealthy individuals and business owners; and let’s not forget about using the CSV as collateral for loans, to fund retirement or for business needs without having taking cash out of the business, selling assets or triggering unnecessary taxes.” Saving for the future, and the tax man’s final visit, is not as straightforward as putting your money under a mattress or in a savings account at the bank; but it is also far less complicated than you may think. The time you spend with a financial and insurance advisor today can make your tomorrow, and your hereafter, much more comfortable for everyone involved. The tools are there. You just need to pick them up and use them.


STUDY ABROAD PROGRAMS // EDUCATION MBA

STUDY ABROAD PROGRAMS ARE HELPING

to Build a Better Future FOR EDMONTON BY LAURA BOHNERT

E

ducation has always worked towards building better and stronger economies, but our economy has experienced an undeniable shift. Now, more than ever, Alberta’s economy is becoming more global. How are educational institutions working to create a better and stronger Edmonton within the parameters of that shift? They are becoming more global, too. Campuses across Alberta—and the rest of Canada—are getting on board the study abroad program, a program that allows students to earn an MBA while studying part time, and earning credits towards their program, in another country. Of course, the program works in reverse, too. Students from other countries are able to come to Alberta to study. It’s a positive experience for the students, and it creates a positive impact on the Edmonton economy as well. “At the Alberta School of Business,” explains Christopher Lynch, senior director, recruitment, admissions & marketing at University of Alberta School of Business, “we have exchange partnerships with universities in 20 plus countries.” “Study abroad exchanges are typically for one or two terms (4-8 months) and allow participating students the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in a foreign culture while studying and completing courses that will count towards their degree,” Lynch says. “Within the MBA program, we also offer shorter opportunities for students to travel abroad during their studies with two-week long study tours (where we take a group of students to a foreign county and combine academic lectures, company visits, and cultural activities). With our exchange partnerships, we both send our students abroad to study and accept students from our partner schools to study with us. There are many benefits.”

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

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STUDY ABROAD PROGRAMS // EDUCATION MBA

“CANADA’S POST-GRADUATION WORK PERMIT PROGRAM ALLOWS STUDENTS WHO HAVE STUDIED IN CANADA FOR TWO OR MORE YEARS TO WORK IN CANADA FOR THREE YEARS POSTGRADUATION. STUDENTS WOULD HAVE HAD TWO OR MORE YEARS TO ACCLIMATIZE TO CANADA AND CANADIAN CULTURE AND WOULD BE BETTER EQUIPPED TO FIT INTO A BUSINESS THAN SOMEONE NEW TO CANADA.” ~ CHRISTOPHER LYNCH

Lynch continues, “Foreign students bring in a very different perspective and approach to business than Canadian students. The economy has grown ever more connected and global – your company’s competitor is no longer the business down the street; it can be someone thousands of miles away. Having the opportunity to study and learn alongside students from across the globe allows Canadian students to gain some insight and understanding into how business works in other parts of the world. What works in Canada won’t necessarily work in China, India, or even the United States. Giving students the opportunity to learn about different cultures from those who have lived and done business outside of Canada takes some of mystery out of international business, and it will hopefully encourage students to look beyond our borders in the future. “For foreign students studying in Edmonton, there are also benefits for the city. A large number of students choose to stay and work in Edmonton post-graduation and adding bright and well-educated students to the labour market (especially individuals who have been able to adjust and adapt to Canadian culture while completing their studies) only helps Edmonton. For those students who return home, they are able to tell Edmonton’s story and help to grow our image on the world stage.” “A large number of international students do elect to stay in Edmonton after completing their studies,” Lynch emphasizes.

“Canada’s Post-Graduation Work Permit Program allows students who have studied in Canada for two or more years to work in Canada for three years post-graduation. Students would have had two or more years to acclimatize to Canada and Canadian culture and would be better equipped to fit into a business than someone new to Canada. While graduates are unlikely to be starting a new business and bringing in new jobs shortly after graduation, having bright and well-educated individuals building their careers in Edmonton is likely to help bring in jobs down the line.” “For domestic students studying abroad,” Lynch suggests, “bringing new ideas and perspectives back to Edmonton can only help our city and businesses move forward, whether that is bringing new ideas back to the city or giving students and businesses the confidence and knowledge to break into new international markets. “Employers do appreciate students that have studied abroad. Studying abroad tells employers that students are adaptable and willing to step outside of their comfort zone – which is one way that students with international experience can stand out from their peers. Competition is global. Being able to understand different cultures and being able to adopt business practices from around the globe makes local companies more competitive.” “Studying abroad (or studying alongside foreign students) helps to expand a student’s perspectives and opens them up

ABOVE: CHRISTOPHER LYNCH, SENIOR DIRECTOR, RECRUITMENT, ADMISSIONS & MARKETING, UNIVERSITY OF ALBERTA SCHOOL OF BUSINESS

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STUDY ABROAD PROGRAMS // EDUCATION MBA

to new ways of looking at and approaching problems,” Lynch concludes. “Studying abroad also helps students gain a new understanding of the struggles you can face entering a new culture – students come to appreciate diversity and be more tolerant of differences. For some students, studying abroad is also the first time they are truly independent, and being forced to manage on their own helps them grow.” “There are a number of benefits,” agrees Kimberley Howard, executive director of MacEwan International. “Education abroad programs create diversity. International students with different global perspectives, if they choose to stay, become part of building Canada and Alberta’s future. Domestic students come back with larger, more global perspectives that they can apply to their lives and their work. Lots of companies are interested in that perspective. The students who participate in the program become better problem solvers and critical thinkers, and they are more able to come up with new ways and strategies to make things work in different situations.” MacEwan University offers Education Abroad, a program that allows students currently enrolled at MacEwan to participate in international internships, study tours, summer programs, exchange programs, and more. “We also host inbound exchange students from partner institutions around world,” Howard explains. “Students come to stay for a term or so, and we also have international student recruitment, which allows students from anywhere in the world to come to Edmonton with a study permit. We are hopeful that students will be attracted to MacEwan because of the education abroad programs we offer. The program appeals to a certain type of student—someone who is adventurous and interested in trying to expand their horizons.” But there are more benefits to be gained than a mere opportunity for adventure, Howard explains: a lot of employers find the program, and the benefits it offers its students, to have clear benefits for their businesses, too. “A lot of business owners want their employees to have that international perspective, particularly if they are invested in international business.”

“We always remind students to feature their education abroad program on their CVs,” adds Howard. “It’s a good way to set them apart from other candidates, making them seem more attractive to employers who participate in international business.” “International students from the education abroad program who choose to stay and live and work can bring a lot of contacts to Edmonton,” says Howard. “A lot of companies are interested in doing business in an international market— one-third being in China and another third in India. They are huge markets, and international students who choose to stay can be very beneficial to companies who need someone who can speak the language, know the culture, and provide contacts and connections.” “A lot of the students we see intend to stay and work in Alberta,” Howard concludes. “Canada is a nation of immigrants and newcomers, and it is in our best interest to know how to work with people who are different, people who don’t share the same language, culture, work habits, and lifestyle. It’s important to be able to get along and work well and collaborate with others who don’t think like you, and learning how to do those things is a big part of what education abroad programs offer.”

ABOVE: KIMBERLEY HOWARD, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, MACEWAN INTERNATIONAL

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


Official Nomination Form

Go Online to www.businessinedmonton.com/leaders Submissions Directions: Please complete the application in its entirety. Send the form via email to leaders@businessinedmonton.com; fax to 587.520.5701; or mail to us at: Suite 1780, 10020 - 101 A Ave. NW, Edmonton, AB T5J 3G2. For further information on the Leaders program please contact 1-800-465-0322.

Eligibility: All nominees must own, be a partner, CEO, or President of a private or public company, and be a primary stakeholder responsible for the recent performance of the company. In addition, the nominee’s company must be Edmonton-based and have been in existence for a minimum of three years. Judging Panel and Criteria: The independent panel of judges will consist of a selection of successful business leaders from the community. The judges will analyze an extensive list of criteria that will include finances, strategic direction, product or service innovation, company leadership (including personal integrity, values and key employee initiatives), community involvement and philanthropic activities.

Nominee

Nominee’s Name:

Print or Type Only Please

Business Address:

Title: Company Name: General Company Phone:

City:

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Company Website: Nature of Business:

Nominee’s Phone:

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Has Nominee previously been nominated for Consideration? Yes / No Year(s): For any questions or follow up related to this information; please designate a contact, or confirm nominee or assistant as primary contact.

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Edmonton’s Real Estate Market Stays the Course

T

he REALTORS® Housing Forecast seminar, January 4, 2017, brought together close to 550 REALTORS®, business leaders, economists and city officials. REALTORS® Association of Edmonton chair, James Mabey, started the morning with the MLS® System Forecast. Despite the economic downturn, the Edmonton market has fared quite well over the year and we do not expect any dramatic changes for 2017. Obviously there are many factors that play into our economy and the housing market, but overall Edmonton remains in a stable position. Inventory is the big story in our current market. Strong inventory will provide buyers with the ability to consider their options longer before making a final purchase decision. The healthy inventory is also good for buyers looking to take advantage of low interest rates. Potential buyers who are already on the fence about purchasing will probably stay on the fence a little longer. With increasing inventory comes a more competitive selling market. Properties will likely take longer to sell in 2017, and sellers will need to set appropriate expectations and evaluate their motivation and urgency. Continued strength in prices, however, means that sellers can still expect to get a good price for their property. The real estate market is local. We have seen other rural and outlying areas where our REALTORS® work that are

No more roommates.

James Mabey

not weathering the storm as well as Edmonton and its surrounding communities. We will likely see a positive turnaround in the housing market, but not until later in the year. Because housing prices in Edmonton are well below other big cities and the national average, Edmonton is still one of the best places in Canada to trade in real estate. Overall, we remain in a stable housing market and we don’t expect that to change much over 2017.

Moving up in the world.

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


2017 Board of Directors

A View to Municipal Matters

Executive

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

Directors

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

Chamber Executive

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

Contact

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

By Janet M. Riopel, President & CEO

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he Edmonton Chamber of Commerce has enjoyed a strong, constructive relationship with the City of Edmonton for over a century. We’re a proud civic partner and proponent of initiatives that enhance our city’s position as a provincial and national economic engine. The Chamber is attentive to major shifts in municipal affairs that loom large on the horizon for 2017: • The adoption of the new Municipal Government Act (MGA). A third round of amendments and regulations are expected to be tabled this spring by the Province. • A new City Charter being negotiated between the City and the Province; a Charter that will give the City greater decision-making powers, but potentially greater powers of taxation as well. • The municipal election occurring in October 2017, with a number of issues shaping civic affairs as candidates move into campaign mode. We are always mindful of our members’ concerns. We hear everyday from businesses that are struggling in this economy. That’s why, when we brought our budget position to City Council in December 2016, we encouraged Council to make the same tough, cost-cutting decisions that businesses are having to make right now. Until the economy improves, we called on the city to “strive for zero” and not raise property taxes in 2017. Council passed a budget with a 2.9 per cent increase, which was slightly lower than originally planned. Over the coming two years, the City will undertake a full review of all programs and services with the intention to assess each for their relevance, effectiveness, and efficiency. The Chamber is a strong supporter of this in-depth process and we are hopeful that this review will result in savings that will contribute to lowering future budgets. Once complete, the process will become part of the City’s standard operating procedure so that the City’s budget will be informed by the review every year. The Chamber has encouraged the City to implement cost savings and program improvements immediately as they are identified, just as a business would do. There is no time to waste. The recently announced changes to the Capital Region Board (CRB) are another ideal opportunity to potentially identify efficiencies. As part of its changes to the MGA, the Province announced plans to reduce the CRB from 24 members to 13. Edmonton, Beaumont, Devon, Fort Saskatchewan, Leduc, Morinville, St. Albert, Spruce Grove, Stony Plain and the counties of Parkland, Sturgeon, Strathcona and Leduc will remain members of the CRB, while towns and villages with fewer than 5,000 people will no longer be members. Continued on the next page... BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // FEBRUARY 2017

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The reorganized CRB provides an opportunity to explore and promote regional service delivery, which could help realize long-term savings in areas such as transit. The Chamber is a long-time advocate for better regional cooperation and collaboration, so we will be monitoring this closely and participating in the discussion whenever possible. With all the municipal changes on the horizon, you can be assured that the Edmonton Chamber will be engaged, and informed. We will create opportunities for you to provide feedback to us and to the government. In that regard, stay tuned for a mayoral candidates’ forum in the Fall where you can hear directly from our City’s prospective leaders. Whatever the issue, we will continue to raise our voices in unison and help create the best environment for business in Edmonton. The Edmonton Chamber would like to hear from you. What municipal issue is top-of-mind for your business in 2017: property taxes, the new City Charter, or some other issue? You can contact us by email: policy@edmontonchamber.com.

Connecting Business On Monday December 19, the Edmonton Chamber Board of Directors hosted their annual volunteer appreciation event to recognize and celebrate the talented business and community leaders who give so generously of their time and expertise throughout the year to support the mission of the Chamber. The dedication and commitment of our Board of Directors, Policy Committee members, and Member Advisory Council members, allows the Edmonton Chamber to continue to create the best environment for business in Edmonton.

Key note speaker and President of Kinder Morgan, Ian Anderson, talks about industry’s role in providing decision-makers the ability to “get to yes” by embracing changing public values and expectations.

Board members L to R: Len Rhodes, Liza Wold, Jerri Cairns, Craig Thorkelsson, Dawn Harsch, Janet Riopel, James Merkosky, Scott McEachern, and Bill Blais.

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


2016 Mayor’s State of the City Address

My Chamber

keeps me involved on current issues impacting Edmonton businesses.

2016 Mayor’s State of the City Address

My Chamber

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

2016 Mayor’s State of the City Address

My Chamber

keeps me connected to other business leaders.

Mark the date in your calendar today to join your fellow Edmonton business leaders at our annual Mayor’s State of the City Luncheon on May 24, 2017.

EdmontonChamber.com

Advocate. Educate. Connect.

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The Organic Box Member profile The Organic Box President and CEO: Danny Turner Theorganicbox.ca

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anny’s idea to create an opportunity for the local community to experience a ‘farmers market delivered to their door’ has grown and flourished like, well, one of the delicious, plump, organic strawberries they sell. As a local Edmonton farming family with a passion for sharing the benefits of nutritious and sustainable food, Danny and his team, are connecting the community with farmfresh, organic food whilst supporting local, hardworking farmers. Read on to find out how this innovative Chamber member is continuing to ‘grow’ his business. What’s your story? The Organic Box is a local food hub that started in 2010. We have experienced rapid growth over the last 6 years and now service almost the entire province of Alberta with 40 employees in Edmonton and 150 primary producers in our network. What are three things people are surprised to learn about your business, or don’t know about your business? • We do processing of agricultural products for sale through food service and grocery. • We are operated by farmers. • We sell over 4,000 products, from produce to proteins, to pastries. What has surprised you in the last 12 months? 12 months ago we were a food company that used technology to deliver our products. We have transformed into a technology company that is doing R&D to deliver better quality food more efficiently than ever. What has been your biggest challenge in the last 12 months? Looking for markets outside of Alberta to sell our products, while working very hard to keep our home market strong.

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Danny Turner, President and CEO, The Organic Box

What do you think is the biggest issue impacting Edmonton’s small businesses at this time? The amount of investment that has left the economy in Alberta is translating into a challenging business environment for small business. Albertans should support each other through this by supporting local businesses. What’s your secret to keeping your employees engaged? • Pay a living wage • Communicate why we do things • Find time to have fun at work Do you have a personal mantra? Change one thing every day to push my boundaries and make something better. What do you enjoy most about being a chamber member? Events and connecting with other businesses.


AMVIC Licensed

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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? Normalize/harmonize municipal taxes and fees across the entire Capital Region to reduce the disparity in taxes and competition between the city and suburbs. What is your favorite thing to do in Edmonton? Going to Edmonton Prospects games. Apple or android? Apple for play. Android for work.

Coffee or tea? Coffee but only before noon.

Your most favorite place in the world? My fruit orchard in BC.

To discover more about The Organic Box and how to benefit from farm fresh, organic food, check out theorganicbox.ca.

Boost Fundraising Results With This One Simple Action Editorial courtesy of Chamber Member: Bluetrain Inc.

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efore beginning freelance writing, I worked as a fundraiser for the University of Oxford, so when asked to write a post that would help Canadian nonprofits maximize their online success, I jumped at the chance. It helps organizations stand out from the crowd (almost half of charities don’t do it), boosts email opening rates (by 152%), and has the power to transform donor retention. Oh, and if you aren’t doing it, your fundraising campaign will probably take twice as long. Saying Thank You The humble ‘thank you’ email holds an epic amount of potential. Now before you say “oh, my organization already sends thank you emails” and stop reading, ask yourself this: do you really send thank you emails? Or, do you: • Send automated donation receipts (definitely not the same thing) • Only send ‘thank you’ follow ups for donations over a certain amount • Send a generic automated thank you message from “no-reply”

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Nothing makes me feel warm, fuzzy, and valued as a donor like a thank you message from the payment processor! Because Donor Retention Forgetting to say thank you is one of the reasons that charities sometimes struggle with donor retention. Here is a seriously eye-opening stat from the 2016 Fundraising Effectiveness Survey Report: For every 100 new donors gained across the nonprofit sector in 2015, 96 donors were lost through attrition. That’s a net gain of just 4 donors per year. Crazy, right? Not only are charities losing funds they would have received from a repeat donation, but they have to pour time and energy into recruiting new donors just to replace the ones they already had. Getting Better at Donor Retention A thank you email is the first step towards a building a long term relationship with a donor. According to the 2014 Burk Donor Survey, donors will give again and give more generously if a charity acknowledges their first gift promptly and in a meaningful way.


Does a thank you email guarantee a repeat gift? No. But it gives your organization an easy, authentic space in which to connect with a donor and get creative about next steps and secondary conversion opportunities. What Makes a Good Thank You Email? A 2016 Donor Loyalty Study conducted by Abila showed that donors want short, easily consumable, and personalized content. Basically, this means that short emails are just as good as handwritten notes, and even better than longer form letters or videos. A prompt reply is by far the most effective. Triggered emails (sent in direct response to something you donor has done) have a 152% higher clickthrough rate. If you’ve never sent out thank you emails—it’s not too late! The data shows that the word ‘thank’ achieves an email opening rate of 52.7% above average. Chances are, email is already part of your digital marketing strategy. Now all you have to do is

incorporate every opportunity you can to say thank you. Don’t Leave Money on the Table The Burk Donor Survey showed that Canadian donors could have given more last year, but many were “testing” charities to see if their donation was not only put to good use, but appropriately stewarded. Do you think those donors would increase the value of their gifts if they didn’t receive a thank you note? Me neither. There is a huge opportunity here. It’s a great time for fundraisers, especially if we get smart about donor retention. Thank you emails are a great place to start. About the Author Lucy Erickson is a freelance writer and blogger with a background in science communication and fundraising. This is an excerpt from the original charity fundraising blog post that appeared on Bluetrain’s blog on September 8, 2016.

Members in this Issue University of Alberta and MacEwan University in Study Abroad Programs Are Helping to Build a Better Future for Edmonton on page 33 PCL and CN in Online, Offline: Understanding the Relationship Between Social Media & Corporate Events on page 22

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Presented by

We would like to thank all our generous sponsors for truly making Chamber Ball 2017 ‘An Evening of Brilliance’

HOTELS

D I G I T A L

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V I D E O


Ernie and Marilyn McColman, Laine McColman, Vail McColman, Megan Smyth and Carrie Deacon.

35 YEARS OF PARADISE Ernie McColman and his family reflect on how working together has made them a stronger family By Nerissa McNaughton n 1982, Ernie McColman decided to become self-employed. “I wanted to create a business for myself and my wife,” says Ernie. “Previously, I managed two other flooring companies and by that point, I already had 10-12 years of flooring experience.”

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holiday destination, Maui. Ernie and Marilyn could have predicted the company’s success, but at the time they had no idea this entrepreneurial journey would turn into a family business that would grow to include their sons, daughters and grandchildren.

Opening a flooring company was the next logical step. He and his wife, Marilyn, named it Paradise in honour of their favourite

“Paradise Carpets is a very well-established, family-run floor covering business. We have a whole team of dedicated installers

Paradise Carpets | 35 Years 47


Congratulations

Paradise Carpets on 35 Years! Looking forward to many more successful years in business together.

Large samples are prominently displayed in the showroom.

that have been with us for many years and a very experienced service team. We service the Edmonton region, but we also go where our clients need us, such as Sylvan Lake and Peace River,” says Ernie. “I started Paradise Carpets in my home and worked out of there for a year. By then I needed to rent a commercial space, so I found a spot on 103 Street and 61 Avenue. That worked out for a year, but then we needed a larger location!” The company kept growing – fast. After another move to a larger location, Paradise settled into its current home on 36 Avenue and 99 Street, where a large showroom, extensive mezzanine, beautiful offices and plenty of parking serve the needs of the company and its clients. As the company grew, Paradise developed lasting relationships with home builders, renovators and insurance adjustors; the well-run and successful company also piqued the interest of Ernie’s family. Marilyn joined Paradise in 1987, and even though their children (Megan Smyth, E. Vail McColman, Laine McColman and Carrie Deacon) had initially pursued other interests, they all gravitated to Paradise – and they couldn’t be happier about it. “As a family business, everyone is working towards a common goal, and we all take pride in the outcome of our work,” says Carrie. “I was sad when I went on maternity leave because I didn’t get to see everyone every day. We rely on each other and we all have each other’s backs.” “It makes for a great team,” admits Vail, “All for one and one for all! Having the opportunity to work with people that you have grown up with your whole life – we are a well-oiled machine, and that allowed our parents to hand over the reins and semi-retire.” “We work very well together. It’s fun,” agrees Laine.

9004-51 Avenue Ph: 780.450.9898 F: 780.450.9868 www.calibermasterbuilder.ca Paradise Carpets | 35 Years | 2

“As a family business, everyone is working towards a common goal, and we all take pride in the outcome of our work.” ~ Carrie Deacon


From our team to your team. Congratulations on 35 years of excellence! 5746 Burleigh Cres. S.E. • 1-800-661-1208 www.tierrasol.ca

Giving families a place to put

Giving place to down rootsfamilies in Albertaa for 57 years. put down roots in Alberta Congratulations to Paradise Carpets on for years.years of Success! their57 continued

Wishing Paradise Carpets Many More Years Of Success And Happiness

livebrookfield.com

Carpet • Engineered Luxury Vinyl • Luxury Vinyl • Engineered Hardwood • Laminate

HAPPY BIRTHDAY PARADISE CARPETS

Beaulieu Canada would like to congratulate Paradise Carpets for their 35 years of continued success and wish them many more to come!

Paradise Carpets | 35 Years | 3


The owners pride themseleves on their outstanding showroom.

“We try very hard to buy and use Canadian products and support Canadian companies.� ~ Marilyn McColman The showroom is exceptionally organized.

Congratulations Paradise Carpets on 35 years! We wish you many more years of continued success. Email: info@lauzonltd.com Phone: 1-800-665-6765 Fax: 1-877-427-6531

Paradise Carpets | 35 Years | 4

205, 10240 124 Street Edmonton, AB T5N 3W6 Ph.(780) 466-4099 Fax.(780) 466-4069 www.royalwesthomes.com

Congratulations Paradise Carpets on 35 Years! We are proud to be a part of your success.


35 Years! “We take all the factors into consideration,” informs Megan. “We ask our customers about their lifestyle – do they have children, dogs, high traffic areas in the home – so we can determine which flooring products meet their needs and budget. Our customer service really sets us apart. Our clients feel comfortable with the family business. Some say, ‘I’ve been to other stores but I always come back to Paradise’. The way we treat people is beneficial to us. We don’t do much advertising; it’s all word of mouth and referrals. That says a lot when you are not a big box store. That says that we are successful because of our happy and satisfied customers.”

Hundreds of samples help customers get the look they want.

Megan, too enjoys the family dynamic. “I couldn’t imagine working with people that aren’t family!” But being a strong and hardworking family is not the only thing that makes Paradise Carpets so successful. As each sibling will attest, they all bring a unique blend of skills, education and experience that enables them to offer every client and every project the benefit of 360 degrees of customer service. “We try very hard to buy and use Canadian products and support Canadian companies,” notes Marilyn. “We always research the products available to us by going to carpet shows, and we make sure we have the latest products available,” adds Ernie.

Laine and Vail agree, “We are with our customers from start to finish. We greet them personally the first time they walk through the door, and we are there to make sure they are satisfied with the end result of their project.” The flooring industry has evolved over the last three decades, and Paradise Carpets was happy to evolve along with it. As flooring trends gave way to hardwood, laminate, luxury vinyl plank and ceramic tile, these items were added to the showroom. “I’m very proud of our showroom,” beams Ernie. “It’s one of the most organized and cleanest ones you’ll ever see.” Before his semi-retirement, he would walk through the showroom at the start of each week and give it an intensive inspection. “I made sure it was clean, neat and that every sample was where it belonged so people could quickly see what was available.” His children are happy to carry on this tradition, and the difference is evident at first glance. There are hundreds of samples, all neatly organized, easy to find and beautifully displayed.

Congratulations Paradise Carpets on your 35th Anniversary! We look forward to continuing our work and achievements together in the future.

www.krausflooring.com Paradise Carpets | 35 Years | 5


Ernie and his family also made sure the company was diversified enough to deal with the ups and downs of Alberta’s resource-based economy.

Bureau of Edmonton, STARS®, Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation, among many other charitable initiatives in the Capital City.

“We have a range of price points and areas,” Vail explains. “When things slow down in one area, another, such as new construction, picks up the slack.” “We also deal in retail, for renovations, etc.,” adds Laine.

Thirty-five years have passed since Ernie opened up a flooring shop in his home, and as he looks at his family happily working together and the repeat and new customers they see year after year, he is rightly proud of the legacy he created.

Knowing that a successful business takes more than expertise and customer service, Paradise ensures that its staff are treated well, and it has been rewarded with a loyal, dedicated team as a result.

“I’m going to predict that our grandchildren will work here too,” laughs Marilyn. “Vail’s sons have worked here part time already.”

“There is one woman that has worked with us for 30 years,” reminisces Marilyn. “Her name is Jackie Orr. She started as a ‘Jill-of-all-trades.’ She looked after the customers and now is our interior decorator. She is well known within our customer base and is very much depended upon for her knowledge and skills. If it hadn’t been for Jackie in the beginning, we would not be where we are today. She is instrumental in our success. To Jackie and all of the staff, installers and trades, the management team say a great big thank you.” Paradise also says thank you to its clients and the community that supports them, and is happy to give back with their involvement in Habitat for Humanity®, Christmas

Now the patriarch can rest easy, knowing that his company couldn’t be in better hands. As he and Marilyn get ready to spend the winter months in Maui, he knows where paradise is. It’s the place where his life’s work and his happy family live, work and play.

3651-99 St Edmonton, AB T6E 6K5 Tel: 780-437-1957 • Fax: 780-436-6402 www.paradisecarpets.ca

Timeless Wood Floors Congratulates Paradise Carpets on their 35th Anniversary! timelesswoodfloors.ca Paradise Carpets | 35 Years | 6


Chateau Lacombe

Turns 50

By Nerissa McNaughton

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ith its famous revolving top (La Ronde restaurant) and iconic tower structure, Chateau Lacombe has been quietly and elegantly watching Edmonton grow for 50 years.

Named for Father Lacombe, who was instrumental in Alberta’s growth and development, the towering hotel was built to rival competitor Hotel MacDonald – which is ironic since the hotel’s unique look was designed by architect John MacDonald. It wasn’t easy getting the project off the ground. It was unclear if a 1933 law that set aside riverbank land as a park would be crossed, but it turned out that the grounds for the Chateau were not part of the riverbank. The Edmonton Journal cautioned in a 1963 editorial that the site was “one of the last open viewpoints in the whole of the downtown area,” and J.E. Dodds, the then secretary of the McDougall United church board, wrote a scathing letter to city council in which he cited, “Should a high-rise building…be located in the area, a grave injustice to the people of Edmonton would ensue.” Though some Edmontonians were for the project and some were against it, the majority prevailed. Construction started in 1964 with an estimated two-year completion date and a budget of $9 million. The hotel opened, to great fanfare, on December 28, 1966 as part of the Canadian Pacific Hotels group.

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Above: The newly renovated Bellamys Lounge Left: Café Lacombe

“When opened, we were the most modern property in town, built in the grand hotel style with an impressive lobby, larger rooms and, to this day, the best views of Edmonton,” says Chateau Lacombe’s general manager, Ike Janacek, whose long career in hotel management makes him the perfect candidate to usher the hotel towards its centennial. After CP Hotels’ exit, the property ran under several major Hotel Chain flags and in 2013, the property was purchased by Nova Hotels, an Alberta based and owned company whose portfolio includes several other Hotels in Alberta, NWT and Saskatchewan. The new owners saw the tremendous potential of the Hotel and were quick to start restoring the Chateau to its former glory. Chateau Lacombe has 24 floors, 307 rooms and suites, the second largest column-free hotel grand ballroom in downtown, and is topped by one of Edmonton’s most beloved restaurants, the revolving La Ronde. “La Ronde is the only rooftop revolving restaurant in the city. It takes 88 minutes for the restaurant to go around once. On a clear day, you can see the West Edmonton Mall to the west, almost to the airport to the south, and at night, the lights to the east look like Gotham City! To the north, of course, is downtown, Rogers Place and the surrounding Ice District.” The history and look of the hotel are huge draws, but it’s the service guests receive that truly sets the Chateau apart. “Our motto is be friendly, not familiar, and create memorable moments for our guests,” says Janacek. “People are people, not a room number. We smile, make eye contact and ask our guests how they are. Happily, the feedback we get from our clientele is ‘the staff, and the service, was wonderful.’ I give our staff a lot of credit. They are the most important asset of the hotel. They are the people who deliver the service and make sure the rooms are comfortable and clean. It’s very much appreciated by our guests, myself and the ownership.” The staff enjoy their jobs, which results in very low turnover. In fact, one recent retiree had worked at Chateau Lacombe for 47 years. A large portion of the team have 20+ years of service. As Janacek is happy to admit, “It’s fun to work here.” To date, more than 60 rooms have been completely renovated along with the iconic Bellamy’s Lounge and Café Lacombe on the Hotel’s main floor. The distinctive exterior of the property is also

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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE FIRST FIVE YEARS: • December 28, 1966: The hotel’s grand opening was attended by ladies in ball gowns and men in tuxedos. Four hundred guests received exclusive invitations and famed Journal editor Ruth Bowen was assigned to cover the event. • Chateau Lacombe’s first registered guests were the aptly name Mr. and Mrs. Hill. Robert Hill was being transferred to The Bay in Montreal, and the couple, who had watched the Chateau rise, did not want to leave the city without first staying in the hotel. They paid $17 for their room. • January 21, 1967: The Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire are the first group to hold a ball in the new Chateau Lacombe. Five hundred guests, representing the city’s top society, attended and each took home a slice of the four-tier cake created for the event by head chef Patrick Carberry. • February 25, 1967: Jacob and Diana Huibers have the honour of hosting the hotel’s first wedding reception. The informal affair cost $300 back then. Today, the same reception would be $7,200. • 1968: La Ronde’s premium menu reflects premium prices. In the late 60s, frog legs in garlic butter cost $4.75 and the elegant chateaubriand was a special purchase at $15. The most expensive shot of rye was $1.45. • October 24, 1971: Premier Alexei Kosygin of the former USSR booked a room so he could change his clothes and relax before heading to the airport. His stay lasted 50 minutes.

Fitness Equipment | Playgrounds | Healthcare Products

Flaman Fitness would like to congratulate Chateau Lacombe on 50 years of success.

Here’s to many more! Edmonton (Yellowhead Trail) 780-474-2222

Nisku 780-955-3400

West Edmonton Mall 780-484-1296

w w w.flamanfitness.com

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Chateau Lacombe lobby

being freshened up with modern panels and energy efficient windows. However, the old charm and appeal of the hotel is retained. Wood paneling, gold elevator doors, lavish crown moulding and impressive chandeliers – all the things that make the Chateau special – are still there. “Within the next five years, we will have the rest of the hotel renovated. Then we’ll do it again!” says Janacek. “It’s important to keep up with the latest upgrades and conveniences for our guests.” The grand hotel is not just focused inward. The name Chateau Lacombe is, in its quiet and stately way, popular in the community as well. “The ownership believes that, if you want the support of the community, you have to support the community,” informs Janacek. “What’s the best part of being involved? You meet other people in the city, establish relationships and give back to a community which has allowed us to be successful.” The hotel enjoys giving back in a variety of ways to non-profit and charitable organizations by donating time, resources, funds and hosting events in the ballrooms and even in such non-traditional venues such as its outdoor courtyard entrance – another exclusive architectural feature. Anytime Janacek wishes, he can look out the window at the sprawling Capital City, and that makes him nostalgic. Like the Chateau, he’s been in a prime position to watch Edmonton grow for many years. “The city is expanding,” he notes. “One thing people don’t realize is just how great our cultural diversity is. You have a travelling Broadway show? They stop in this town. Look at Garth Brooks. Nine shows? Wow! Maybe that’s common in Las Vegas, but in Edmonton?” He shakes his head in amazement at the changes to the old City Centre airport site, ICE District, and more. Yet he knows that no matter how big or progressive Edmonton gets, there is always room for the charm and elegance of his hotel. “Thank you and enjoy your stay,” he says to the hotel’s patrons. “We will do everything and anything we can to make sure you are comfortable. When you leave here, you will tell your friends, who will tell their friends, and so on, and we’ll all be happy! If there is anything that is not right, please tell us. We’ll make it right.” The property where Chateau Lacombe watches over the city is considered to be one of Edmonton’s “oldest corners,” and as the hotel watches the city sprawl further and further in every direction, its calm presence will keep the city anchored to the grace and history of yesteryear while providing all the amenities that will keep the hotel popular and modernized for another 50 years – and beyond.

10111 Bellamy Hill, Edmonton, Alberta T5J 1N7 Tel 780.428.6611 • Fax 780.425.6564 • www.chateaulacombe.com

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Terry Emmerson, Derek Hawkeswood, Leiann Kucher, Ed Kalwajtys, David Hughes, Ryan Leonard and Dan Maxwell.

Provincial Electrical

Shines

on its 15th Anniversary

“We are a full service electrical contractor that listens to and understands what the customer needs, and provides the services required to ensure their project is successful, on budget and on time.” ~ Terry Emmerson By Nerissa McNaughton

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n 2002, Terry Emmerson wanted to expand his horizons, and the thought of owning his own electrical contracting business really excited him.

“I understood the challenges ahead of me and I was willing to take the risk,” Emmerson explains. “My wife was fully supportive. I talked to her about it and said the house would have to go on the line. Jennifer said, ‘it’s only a house’. I knew then that I had my wife’s full support.” Like most entrepreneurial ventures, he started out small. “We started Provincial Electrical Services in a second floor office space, thinking that’s all I would need,” Emmerson confirms. He was wrong. “Within two years we had outgrown the space and had to move into an office with a warehouse.” Emmerson’s success is due, in part, to doing things right from

day one. When he left the company he had been working with, he didn’t ask any of his former coworkers to come with him; but that didn’t stop some from joining him of their own free will as they recognized his leadership and vision. “We started fresh with our own attitude and ideas. Our driving passion was quality. We wanted to raise people’s expectations of what an electrical installation should be, inspiring and training our employees to be the best they can be, in their professional and personal lives,” reminisces Emmerson. “We’ve had steady growth from day one. We all know that it takes a lifetime to build a name and only a moment to tear it down, so we strived to commit to our clients, especially for our word and quality of our work.” He credits the growth to several factors, some of which include: the ability to take on the challenges of the construction industry through strategic company positioning, developing relationships, delivering on promises and remembering that on a project, it is always a team effort. “Our growth came naturally as the projects came in,” Emmerson continues. “We had to add more field staff, we also hired Darlene.” Emmerson praises office manager Darlene Young for

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creating and implementing office procedures that drove up the company’s efficiency, motivated employees and attracted an ever-growing clientele. “When I started, the office was the size of this boardroom,” Darlene smiles and laughs. “There was no phone system. I remember getting a timecard on a cigarette wrapper. I sat, back observed, and began putting procedures in place. It was exciting to see transition and growth taking place before our eyes. The field staff embraced the changes and the procedures. Everyone shared the same vision. Provincial is a family. It is a team and everyone had a goal to grow the company. In two years we grew to 28 field staff.” The growth didn’t slow down, and three years ago, Provincial Electrical moved into a piece of Edmonton’s history. The current location on 7429 -72A Street was the Capital City’s second McDonalds. Emmerson completely overhauled the space, adding specialty lighting in each room and allowing each staff member to pick an inspirational saying for the wall of their spacious office. He outfitted the offices with the technology they needed to work efficiently. The warehouse is clean, organized and spotless. In the back, just above the staircase, he preserved a section of the original McDonald’s flooring, showing that no matter how far Emmerson or Provincial Electrical goes, they never forget their roots or those that helped paved their path forward.

Have Faith in people... Believe in them, Trust them & you will draw out the Best in them.

They will rise High to your expectations. Since 2002, Provincial Electrical has been a member of the Edmonton Electrical Contractors Association. Emmerson has sat as the president of the Edmonton chapter for two years, and has sat on the provincial board for four years. “These years on the board helped me understand the business and also the legislative side of our industry” he says. Provincial Electrical also maintains several security clearances and all applicable safety accreditations. “This shows the type of people we have and the type of organization we are,” notes the founder. “We are able to attain the security clearances and safety accreditations required to work in specialty areas based on the needs of the client and the quality of staff we have retained.

Congratulations Provincial Electrical on your 15th Anniversary Providing innovative solutions for residential, commercial, and industrial applications

www.schneider-electric.com/ca

Provincial Electrical Services | 15 Years | 2


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“Provincial Electrical’s focus is on commercial and light industrial projects, working as a team with the client to provide design-build projects that fit the client’s budget and schedule. We are fortunate that we are positioned and have the expertise in the office to take on and target whatever projects we decide, confident we will deliver the service our clients expect,” says Emmerson. “We operate as a family and a team. We discuss matters, keeping what is best for the clients and for Provincial Electrical in mind. We are in a position to say no – and we do – if a project is not the right fit, in terms of not being able to provide the level of service for our clients. We have very low turnover, and all of our key personnel Congratulations to Provincial Electrical on your Milestone 15th Anniversary. Always professional, Always Fair. Looking forward to many more years of our association.

www.guillevin.com

in the field or office are long-term employees that fit in with our culture and understand our team concept.” A quick survey of the staff more than confirms how happy they are to be working with Emmerson and for Provincial Electrical. “There are no politics here. We respect the person we work for,” smiles Darlene as the others chime in with praises for the family atmosphere, rapid growth, professional opportunities, flexibility, integrity, support—and for it just being a really fun place to work.

Congrats on your 15th Anniversary, we are proud to be part of your team! From your friends at Hub International.

5227 55 Ave NW #201, Edmonton, AB T6B 3V1 Phone: (780) 435-4862

Provincial Electrical Services | 15 Years | 4


www.ewel.ca

CONGRATULATIONS

Prolux Lighting would like to congratulate Provincial Electrical on 15 years of business excellence! 11214 – 178 Street Edmonton, AB T5S 1P2 780.701.4112 • www.prolux.com

on an amazing 15 years and all the best in the future!

North West Edmonton 14830 - 124 Ave. Edmonton, AB, Canada Phone: 780-451-2311 Fax: 780-455-1504

Provincial Electrical Services | 15 Years | 5

South Side Edmonton 4248 - 99 St. Edmonton, AB, Canada Phone: 780-432-2400 Fax: 780-432-4674

Sherwood Park #104, 2833 Broadmoor Blvd. Sherwood Park, AB, Canada Phone: 780-417-9770 Fax: 780-417-9783


Today, as Emmerson looks back on 15 years and remembers broaching the subject of putting the house up as collateral for his business with his wife, he can’t help but chuckle in his modest, quiet way. “The house was never in jeopardy,” he says happily. It looks like things worked out just fine. He thanks his family, Jennifer and his son Sean, for their unwavering support. He’s also incredibly grateful to his team for their dedication, commitment and willingness to always learn and grow, personally and professionally. Emmerson and his team say a big thank you to their past, present and future clients. “We are fully engaged as a team on each project, and we keep up with technology in this ever- changing world to provide the best service we can possibly provide.

“There is succession planning going on. Key individuals are transitioning into partnerships. It’s important for people to understand that we are solid, growing, and that it’s our long-term employees who believe in Provincial Electrical that make the company so solid. They believe in us and we believe in them. It has been a solid organization of believing in each other, and this enables us to go out and take on projects. “It is amazing how fast the first 15 years has gone by. With our team, we are excited to see where the future will take us.”

7429 - 72A Street, Edmonton, Alberta T6B 1Z3 Office: 780-490-1183 • Fax: 780-490-1184 www.provincialelectrical.com

Group of Companies Congratulations to Provincial Electrical Services Inc. The KPC Group have worked with Provincial Electrical Services for over ten years. We have enjoyed dealing with their professional and friendly staff and look forward to continue working with them. We wish them great success as they move forward in the future.

Ph: 403-253-8686 • Suite 1017-7620 Elbow Dr. S.W.

Congratulations to Provincial Electrical and their team on 15 years of outstanding service and client satisfaction. 5035 99 Street, Edmonton, T6E 4Y1 • Phone: 780-435-4641 • integratire.com

Congratulations to Provincial Electrical on 15 years! #4 , 9426 - 51 Avenue NW Edmonton, Alberta T6E 5A6 Phone (780) 426-3943 • Fax (780) 424-1875

409 - 10 Street Wainwright, Alberta T9W 1N9 Phone (780) 842-3501 • Fax (780) 842-6217

Provincial Electrical Services | 15 Years | 6

Box 367, 5012 - 50 Avenue Breton, Alberta T0C 0P0 Phone (780) 696-2511 • Fax (780) 696-2017


Success Adds Up

Success is the result of perseverance, hard work and the ability to capitalize on opportunities. MNP proudly congratulates our Edmonton and Leduc candidates on successfully completing the 2016 Common Final Exam (CFE). As one of Canada’s largest national accounting and business consulting firms, here are 10 more ways we can help your business succeed. Contact Dustin Sundby, Managing Partner, Edmonton Region at dustin.sundby@mnp.ca Our successful candidates (left to right): Jenna Bartz, Julie Nelson, Jeremy Irwin, Nicole Hanson (Leduc), Madison Frank, Rebecca Thomas (Leduc), Douglas Feltham, Megan Karlowsky, Tyler Goebel, Alan Hu

MNP.ca


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