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SECTION CONTENTS

Supporting the visions of entrepreneurs one story at a time

TITLE

JULY 2015 | VOL. 04 #07

View our elect ronic issue of this mon th’s mag azin e onlin e at www .busi nessi nedm onto n.com

Regulars Each and every month

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ECONOMIC FACTORS

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OFF THE TOP

Features

Once again we celebrate the men and women that lead Edmonton’s entrepreneurial business scene. Their enthusiasm inspires us all.

Josh Bilyk

Cover

Fresh News Across all Sectors.

2015 LEADERS AWARDS

BY BUSINESS IN EDMONTON STAFF

Join MNP in Honouring Edmonton’s Visionary Business Leaders

14 U RBANOMICS July 2015 $3.50 businessinedmonton.com

John Hardy

67 EDMONTON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

Company Profiles 75 YELLOW CAB BY NERISSA MCNAUGHTON

Yellow Cab Drives Through 70 Years of Great Service

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HIGH MARK CRANE & RIGGING

BY NERISSA MCNAUGHTON

Celebrates 10 Years

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July 2015 | Business In Edmonton Magazine | www.businessinedmonton.com

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Is your business capitalizing on this changing marketplace? At KPMG, successful financial advising starts with the business not with the balance sheet. Our advisers take the time to understand your entire operation before executing an approach that can help to maximize the value of your company and position it for the future. Whether you need to buy or sell a business, refinance, raise capital or manage through turbulent times, our team can assist. To learn how KPMG can assist you, please contact:

Robert Borrelli Office Managing Partner T: 780.429.6081 E: rborrelli@kpmg.ca

Jon Edgett Vice President, Corporate Finance T: 780.429.6076 E: jedgett@kpmg.ca

kpmg.ca

© 2015 KPMG LLP, a Canadian limited liability partnership and a member firm of the KPMG network of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”), a Swiss entity. All rights reserved. 9222


OFF THE TOP

NEWS FROM THE MONTH

Supporting the visions of entrepreneurs one story at a time

Features

continued

PUBLISHER BUSINESS IN EDMONTON INC.

ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Brent Trimming

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brent@businessinedmonton.com

EDITOR Nerissa McNaughton

COPY EDITOR Nikki Mullett

ART DIRECTOR Jessi Evetts

jessi@businessinedmonton.com

CONTRIBUTING DESIGNERS

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Cher Compton

ADMINISTRATION Nancy Bielecki info@businessinedmonton.com

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REGULAR CONTRIBUTORS Josh Bilyk

THIS ISSUE’S CONTRIBUTORS Nerissa McNaughton Ben Freeland Rechell McDonald John Hardy

PHOTOGRAPHY Cover photo by Epic Photography Inc.

ADVERTISING SALES Evelyn Dehner Renee Neil

17 L ET’S GO MALLING

| BY NERISSA MCNAUGHTON

Edmonton is home to a diverse array of malls and shopping centres, each with their own unique identity and brand. When’s the last time you went malling?

evelyn@businessinedmonton.com renee@businessinedmonton.com

DIRECTORS OF CUSTOM PUBLISHING Mark McDonald Joanne Boelee

mark@businessinedmonton.com joanne@businessinedmonton.com

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| BY BEN FREELAND

Three years after Capital Ex’s reversion to its old name, K-Days is cashing in on Edmonton’s rising global stature.

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July 2015 | Business In Edmonton Magazine | www.businessinedmonton.com

| BY BENJAMIN FREELAND

EIA Scales New Heights with Amsterdam Flight


ECONOMIC FACTORS JOSH BILYK

LNG COULD BE THE NEXT BIG THING FOR EDMONTON AREA BUSINESSES BY AEG PRESIDENT JOSH BILYK

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ith the energy industry in a slump and investment uncertainty on the rise, some Capital Region businesses are looking at the British Columbia liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry as the “next big thing.” The British Columbia (B.C.) Government estimates that if just five of the 19 or so proposed LNG projects proceed, it would mean $175 billion in direct and indirect investment, adding a trillion dollars to the province’s GDP and $1 billion in tax revenues over the next 30 years. A recent KPMG study estimates that, if the industry takes off, peak employment demand could range between 26,000 and 32,000 FTEs during construction and start-up. The study says this level of activity could be sustained for nearly a decade as projects extend into their second stage investments. We can’t be certain whether that kind of investment is attainable, but these potential investment and spinoff numbers approach those of the oil sands in recent years, and we all know how economic benefits of oil sands investment are felt in every region of the country. It just might be that a British Columbia LNG boom could do for Alberta companies what extraordinary growth in our province has done for the rest of Canada; and Capital Region businesses, if they play their cards right, have the inside track on a lot of potential business. The Capital Region is already the manufacturing, service and supply headquarters for the Canadian energy industry – and that includes Northeastern B.C. Alberta companies have established relationships with many of the major

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Don’t forget that Alberta companies have been working on massive and complex mega projects for decades. They have the benefit of hindsight – having learned from mistakes and successful innovations. LNG players, such as Shell, Chevron and ExxonMobil. They are accustomed to building and operating in Canadian weather and Canadian health, safety and environmental standards. Don’t forget that Alberta companies have been working on massive and complex mega projects for decades. They have the benefit of hindsight – having learned from mistakes and successful innovations. If it gets off the ground, the B.C. LNG industry may not look like ‘oil sands 2.0’. The B.C. Government and major LNG players have already set up a framework for procurement that is different from Alberta’s. First and foremost, First Nations communities and businesses will get the first crack at a lot of LNG business. There already a number of agreements in place between major LNG players and their First Nations stakeholders. That doesn’t mean non-aboriginal businesses will be frozen out, but it will affect how they enter the supply chain. Many First Nations businesses are already actively looking for partners to provide that level of experience with mega projects. Capital Region manufacturers, suppliers and service

July 2015 | Business In Edmonton Magazine | www.businessinedmonton.com

providers are starting to explore those opportunities now and there are some resources available to facilitate these relationships. The Northern Development Initiative Trust, an arm of the B.C. Government, works with communities, First Nations and business to facilitate businesses in central and Northern B.C. Local economic development agencies in Kitimat and Prince Rupert are also plugged in to their local business scenes and are a good place to start. Given that much of the proposed LNG activity is coastal, there are potential overseas competitors who could provide manufacturing and supply services by barge – something that wasn’t that easy to do in the oil sands. That simply means Alberta companies will have to keep their pencils sharp. The B.C. LNG industry could be great for business in the Capital Region and we’re uniquely positioned to capitalize. All that’s needed is for developers, governments and First Nations to find a way forward – in partnership – to make it a reality. BIE Alberta Enterprise Group is a member-driven, non-profit business advocacy organization. AEG members employ more than 150,000 Canadians in all sectors of the economy. Visit www.albertaenterprise.ca to inquire about membership in the AEG movement.


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OFF THE TOP

NEWS FROM THE MONTH

DEVELOPMENT

NORTHLANDS BOARD ACCEPTS NASC’S RECOMMENDATIONS FOR REXALL PLACE

The Northlands Arena Strategic Committee (NASC), tasked with determining the best way to repurpose Rexall Place, released a report earlier this year that detailed their recommendations. On May 7, 2015, Northlands’ board of directors discussed NASC’s Northlands Arena Strategy Committee Report and accepted the recommendations. The main recommendation is to work with partners for the repurposing, and if that is not viable, to demolish the building and develop the land. “I’d like to commend the Northlands Arena Strategy Committee for their work and for delivering a solid report complete with recommenda-

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tions,” says Laura Gadowsky, chair of the Northlands Board of Directors. “While a significant amount of work has been completed, we still have several deliverables over the next few months. We’ll be tabling a strategic plan in the fall, which will include specific details on the repurposing of the Northlands arena.” NASC’s recommendations are based on findings from an exploration committee, who looked at cities that had repurposed large arenas; an engagement committee, who spoke with the community about their ideas for the facility; and a finance committee, who looked into the financial viability of the options. In their report, NASC states “Competing with the downtown arena (Rogers Place) would be a losing scenario for all parties. It is a possible option and would, in fact, generate income for Northlands over the short term but ultimately all major stakeholders (i.e. Northlands, the City of Edmonton and the Oilers Entertainment Group) will lose as competition will result in a reduction to overall net economic and community benefit. This competitive approach has been taken in other North American cities with limited (or no) success.”

July 2015 | Business In Edmonton Magazine | www.businessinedmonton.com

NASC strongly advises against the idea of “going dark,” which is to basically turn off the lights and close the facility for all but a few select events each year. “This approach would serve to attract undesirable activity to the site and will likely create safety concerns,” the report reads. “The neighbouring community has been working hard in its revitalization efforts and this option could set back those efforts. This option is potentially the worst option for the community and our city.” The report cites activating the site to achieve the best possible outcome. “Through site activation, positive cash flow can continue to be generated… The building still has reasonable useful life remaining and the citizens of Edmonton are passionate about maintaining the building.” Proposed scenarios include supporting the development of recreational facilities or an agricultural education centre, or using the facility as part of Edmonton’s conference and convention venues. “The Northlands executive management team will now start working on alternative uses for the existing structure,” says Tim Reid, president & CEO of Northlands. “We need a


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OFF THE TOP

NEWS FROM THE MONTH

plan in place prior to the opening of Rogers Place in September 2016. What is clear is that whatever the outcome is, it must be based on a solid financial model and community benefit.” BIE

EDUCATION

In response to the Edmonton region’s child care worker shortage, NorQuest College is launching their Early Learning & Child Care (ELCC) program this fall. “The Early Learning & Child Care certificate program is yet another example of NorQuest College’s commitment to developing workforce-relevant programs to help build

PHOTO COURTESY OF NORQUEST COLLEGE

NORQUEST COLLEGE LAUNCHES ELCC AND CELEBRATES THE SUCCESS OF AACCC

AACCC MANAGER RUBY LITTLECHILD AT THE PROGRAM’S LAUNCH EARLIER THIS YEAR

stronger communities and meet the economic needs of Alberta,” says NorQuest College president and CEO

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July 2015 | Business In Edmonton Magazine | www.businessinedmonton.com

Dr. Jodi L. Abbott. “This program will change the lives of many Albertans, from the students themselves


OFF THE TOP

NEWS FROM THE MONTH

to working parents in communities across the province.” The eight month program is available full time, part time, evenings and weekends on the main campus, and via hybrid (video conferencing) delivery in Drayton Valley and Wetaskiwin. Graduates are expected to find placement quickly since Alberta’s rapid population growth is fuelling the child care worker shortage. NorQuest considers this field to be an “above-average growth profession with increasing annual demand for employees.” “NorQuest is well-positioned to be a leader in early learning and child care workforce training,” states a release from the College. “The College has extensive partnerships with child care facilities across central Alberta through the existing Day Home Provider (DHP) program, and is a leader in combining intercultural best practices with workforce-relevant curricula. In addition, the opening of the Singhmar Centre for Learning in the fall of 2017 will

provide ELCC learners with access to a multi-purpose lab facility, as well as practicum opportunities through the 1000 Women Child Care Centre. This child care facility will also provide students with daycare facilities for their own children.” The ELCC program is not the only new one at NorQuest. Their Alberta Aboriginal Construction Career Centre (AACCC) launched in March and the pilot program has, so far, been a great success. Designed to match Aboriginal workers with construction employers, AACCC is delivered through a partnership with the College, Bow Valley College, the Government of Alberta, industry partners and Aboriginal communities throughout Alberta. Calvin Beaverbone was one of the first students, contacting the College the day after AACCC launched. He is now a drill site sampler for JV Driver, who is one of the program’s key sponsors. “Calvin was a great

find for us,” says Vawn Jeddry, vice president of health, safety, and environment at JV Driver. “He already had a great mechanical background and was familiar with the process. It was simply a matter of connecting him with the right people.” Ruby Littlechild, who manages the AACCC program, says they aim to place more than 300 Aboriginal workers in construction jobs over the next two years. “Many Aboriginal men have a hard time acknowledging their strengths,” says Littlechild. “Our job is not only to connect people with jobs but also to help them overcome stereotyping and marginalization, and to start believing in themselves.” As always, NorQuest is responding to the demands of Alberta’s labour force with insight and agility. As NorQuest celebrates their 50th anniversary, the College looks forward to many more years, and programs, to come. BIE

www.businessinedmonton.com | Business In Edmonton Magazine | July 2015

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SECTION URBANOMICS TITLE COSTS AND DELAYS

COSTS AN W

hen it comes to urban planning and “Edmonton developers worry about the building processes, the wants and bureaucracy and the costs of application needs of Edmonton builders and developapproval delays,” warns high-energy Bard ers and the City’s priorities and policies, Golightly, UDI-ER member and COO of the Edmonton is both similar and uniqueChristenson Group of Companies. “Hopely different from most other Canadian fully there will some changes, soon, but municipalities. bureaucracy refuses to consider that for Of course the process goes according to builders or developers, delays mean time municipal strategies and guidelines. Develand time is money. opers build and sell the variety and value “Suggested timeframes are spelled out in of homes the market wants. Ultimately, the the Municipal Act, but builders are still left BARD GOLIGHTLY, COO OF THE CHRISTENSON GROUP OF COMPANIES municipality and local developers are on to thump the desk at City Hall because there parallel tracks heading in the same direcis no way a standard application should take tion – building the Edmonton community. a year or more. But it does!” The unique Edmonton difference is communication Respected and knowledgeable developer Russell Dauk, and rapport. past president UDI Alberta and vice president, Land and City officials and the Edmonton Region chapter of Commercial with Edmonton’s Rohit Group of CompaUrban Development Institute (UDI-ER), representing area nies, is encouraged by the rapport with City officials but builders and developers, meet regularly for discussions. shares concerns about approval and permit delays. “I give Often agreeing to disagree, it’s never a lovefest but they Edmonton credit for their initiative and willingness to reusually empathize with each other’s issues and challengview and for trying to streamline the process. Because, if es, problems often (not always) find solutions and they all anything, it is more bogged down and complicated than work with the goal of building the Edmonton community. ever. About 10 years ago, we could submit for approvals in Not unique to the Edmonton region, and always a conOctober and start construction by mid-April. tentious topic between developers and municipalities “I realize that there are growing pains. Edmonton used where there is robust home building activity and growth, to build 8,000 homes a year. Now it’s more like 14,000. Of are the timing delays of approvals and permits, the varicourse that means a lot more approval applications, but it ous levies and charges to developers, and when it comes to has become so dragged out and complicated. Sometimes necessary infrastructure – who should pay for what? we get hung up on the third decimal point on a drawing,”

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July 2015 | Business In Edmonton Magazine | www.businessinedmonton.com


SECTION URBANOMICS TITLE

COSTS AND DELAYS

D DELAYS

BY JOHN HARDY

he scoffs. “C’mon! Nobody pours concrete “There is a constant struggle and standoff to the millimetre. in Edmonton and other areas that growth “Whatever the reason, there seems to be should pay for growth; but growth should a less collaborative culture and a needlessly not be paying for everything.” drawn out circulation system with way too From the business perspectives of demany departments required to review and velopment and home building, he explains have input. I have worked in the public secthat the construction costs in the Edmontor. I know how these things can get out of ton area have gone up about 3.5 per cent. control,” he notes. “After all, are we building Conversely, the cost of a new house in the a community or a file?” Edmonton area has gone up an average of Most developers reluctantly admit, 58 per cent. RUSSELL DAUK, VICE PRESIDENT, LAND AND COMMERCIAL WITH EDMONTON’S ROHIT GROUP whether it’s the stifling costs of delays, var“The predominant increase in the cost of OF COMPANIES ious levies and skyrocketing infrastructure new housing not only reflects the hidden costs, the UDI concerns are not so much costs of approval and permit delays and varabout the impact of the profit margin builders as much ious levies but heavy infrastructure costs like interchanges, as the critical affordability (and unaffordability) of the overpasses and community rec centres. Every time a land Edmonton market. developer pays for an interchange or an overpass, it costs Many consumers and some business people are unaware more to build the house. And it’s no secret that, in the end, that it’s never, ever, as simple as a developer buying land, it’s the home buyer that ends up paying.” getting plans approved and then marketing, selling and When it comes to the goal of building Edmonton, change building new homes. is happening. Developers do pay up front for things like the planning Seasoned professionals like Dauk are plugged-in, at times and engineering of the community, the design of efficient concerned, frustrated and anxious but also encouraged. and safe traffic flows, deep utilities like water, sanitary, “Edmonton is one of the most open administrations, understorm and service connections, the placement of other standing the situation of developers and looking for ways to utilities (electric, gas, cable, telephone) and the construcmake the approval process more time-sensitive and efficient tion of surface improvements like parks open space areas, about levies and perhaps sharing the costs of infrastructure. roads, curbs and gutters. “There is much openness and co-operation. In Edmonton “Growth is a good thing,” Golightly says with positivity. it’s much more of a dialogue than just demands.” BIE www.businessinedmonton.com | Business In Edmonton Magazine | July 2015

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CITY MALLS

LET’S GO MALLING

GALAXYLAND AT WEM

PHOTO COURTESY OF WEST EDMONTON MALL

LET’S GO MALLING BY NERISSA MCNAUGHTON

Edmonton is home to a diverse array of malls and shopping centres, each with their own unique identity and brand. When’s the last time you went malling? Hopefully this article inspires you to rediscover the fun of browsing through a mall.

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here are endless quotes about shopping, all of which ring true for the shopping aficionado. “I could give up shopping, but I’m not a quitter.” “Shopping is my cardio.” “I am not a shopaholic – I am helping the economy.” Yes, for many, shopping is as much of a pleasure as fine wine or imported chocolate. Thankfully, Edmonton caters directly to the store-loving crowd by offering a wide variety of malls and retail complexes.

Whether you prefer a traditional enclosed mall or a sprawling shopping centre, having a choice of retailers in one convenient location spells utopia for the savvy consumer. Edmonton’s larger centres include Commerce Place, Southgate Centre, Londonderry Mall, Edmonton City Centre, Capilano Mall, Manulife Place, Northgate Centre, Kingsway Mall, Mill Woods Town Centre, Westmount Centre and West Edmonton Mall. www.businessinedmonton.com | Business In Edmonton Magazine | July 2015

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CITY MALLS

LET’S GO MALLING

While the malls are diverse in their location, layout and retailers, one mall consistently draws locals and tourists alike. Once the largest shopping centre in the world and still the largest in North America, West Edmonton Mall (WEM) has delighted consumers since 1981. “West Edmonton Mall is unique in that it is not just a shopping centre, it is an entertainment centre as well,” says Sheri Clegg, manager of media & public relations at WEM. “You can shop, you can play, and you can stay in two hotels. There truly is something for everyone here. We have nine attractions – in addition to entertainment venues such as a cinema and the IMAX 3D theatre, casino, dinner theatre, bingo hall, comedy club, piano bar and numerous restaurants. WEM is a true destination and a gathering place; we host major events that bring in not only local people, but visitors to Edmonton as well. The mall provides experiences and becomes part of the stories of people’s lives.” The numbers are impressive. WEM boasts 5.3 million square feet, including more than 3.7 million of gross leasable area. Galaxyland is 400,000 square feet and the World Waterpark is a stunning five acres of indoor beach and water. There are more water wonders in Deep Sea Adventure which reaches a depth of 20 feet and is 400 metres long. There’s frozen water too – the Ice Palace is NHL regulation size at 61 x 26 metres.

“West Edmonton Mall is a Canada’s Accredited Zoos and Aquariums (CAZA) facility,” Clegg informs about this little-known fact. “Sea Life Caverns is home to more than 100 species of fish, in addition to sharks, sea turtles, penguins, reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates. Sea Lions’ Rock is home to four California sea lions.” WEM shoppers from the ’80s fondly remember a whale sculpture, whose open mouth was an ideal spot for photos. The brass figure was created for the shopping centre by Canadian sculptor Robin Bell. “The whale was removed from the area now known as Rose Court (Level One, in Phase III) when the area was being renovated/redeveloped in June 2010. It was stored onsite. It was always the intention to bring the whale back, it was just a matter of where to put it. The whale was an attraction in its own right and visiting the whale was always an interactive experience, so it needed to be in a fairly open, large area. An area on Level One, in Phase I, is developed for the whale. People will be able to take pictures with it. They will, again, be able to create memories with it.” Creating memories and excellent customers service is the focus of the giant mall. “WEM is constantly looking for new features we can add to our attractions that will provide guests with unique and entertaining experiences,” Clegg confirms. “Recently, we’ve taken our efforts to the next level with the introduction of a texting service. This

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July 2015 | Business In Edmonton Magazine | www.businessinedmonton.com


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CITY MALLS

LET’S GO MALLING

PHOTO COURTESY OF ELONDONDERRY MALL

THIS ENTRY TOOK SECOND PLACE IN THE 2015 VISUAL VICTORIES AWARDS FOR BEST RETAIL DISPLAY.

texting service allows us to communicate in real time with our guests – to answer their questions, provide directions and information about retailers, brands, events and more.” Moving from the west end to the north, we find another beloved Edmonton treasure: Londonderry Mall. When Lieutenant Governor Grant MacEwan cut the ribbon at Londonderry’s grand opening in 1972, the mall was the largest retail centre west of Toronto and the only two-level mall in Western Canada. Today, Londonderry is undergoing a massive renovation. “The completion of the Anthony Henday will provide quick and easy access to an expanded community of shoppers who don’t really have any other convenient options for their everyday fashion needs,” explains Jordon Adams, retail manager. “The most exciting aspect of the new Londonderry is the opportunity to connect our customers with the brands they’re asking for, fulfilling a real void in north Edmonton.” Adams says so far the project is on schedule with no major changes from the original plans. In April of this year, the International Council of Shopping Centres’ (ICSC) Specialty Retail Report announced the 2015 Visual Victories Award winners. These awards recognize outstanding visual merchandising. Out of more than 500 entries, a retailer in Londonderry Mall took second place for Best Retail Display, making this the first Canadian winning entry in the 18 years of the event. With online shopping and big box retail on the rise, is

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July 2015 | Business In Edmonton Magazine | www.businessinedmonton.com

Adams concerned about the popularity of malls? Absolutely not. “People go to the mall to work, to conduct business, to meet friends, to shop, to eat and to be entertained,” he says. “Malls and big box retail both serve different needs of shoppers and ultimately, it’s the brands and retail mix that drive traffic.” Closer to downtown, Kingsway Mall opened in 1976 and currently has 180 retailers. The mall underwent a reinvention in 2009. “Kingsway had over 200,000 square feet of commercial retail unit space roll over in the two-year renovation period,” says Jelena Bojic, marketing director. “This, coupled with aesthetic, operational and service improvements, helped grow our sales by roughly $100 spf. It also allowed us to remain competitive in a marketplace where other centres were reinvesting in their assets.” Kingsway is walking distance to the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology’s main campus, but that is not all that makes this destination unique. “We are centrally located, easily accessed, and offer a pleasant and comfortable shopping experience,” says Bojic. “Aside from many great retailers and a newly renovated space, we support the Edmonton Public School Foundation (EPSF) and do some great fundraising events for them throughout the year.” She points to their gift wrap service, where all proceeds go to the EPSF, along with Ready to Shine. “[This] is an event that we put together every year featuring student designers, and it raises over $20,000 for EPSF annually.


CITY MALLS

LET’S GO MALLING

PHOTO COURTESY OF WEST EDMONTON MALL

WATERPARK AT WEM

We also work with EPSF on a Wee Read program, where our staff goes to read to kindergarteners, supporting their early literacy development. We love being a supporter of our community, and our partnership with EPSF has grown into a wonderful relationship over the years.” Kingsway is on the cusp of another evolution. “The mall is just finalizing a master planning process for the entire site,” Bojic informs. “The first piece we’ll be addressing is the Target box that we’ll be redeveloping – an exciting opportunity to make way for great new retailers.”

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July 2015 | Business In Edmonton Magazine | www.businessinedmonton.com

No matter where you are in Edmonton, there is a mall or shopping centre ready and willing to serve your retail needs, and they are all unique in their own ways. Our malls are part of Edmonton’s identity, they help dollars flow into the economy, and they provide a place of fun, entertainment and convenience. Malls are where memories are made and isn’t that what Edmonton is all about? Be part of the experience and visit a mall in your area, or drop in on a mall you have yet to peruse. You won’t be disappointed. BIE


OIL SANDS

RIDING THE WAVE: EDMONTON INDUSTRY UNDER OIL PRESSURE

INTERMODAL FREIGHT CARS

Riding the Wave: Edmonton Industry Under Oil Pressure What’s the real impact of oil pricing on Edmonton so far? Discover what the city is seeing and how the real estate and transport sectors are being impacted. BY RECHELL MCDONALD www.businessinedmonton.com | Business In Edmonton Magazine | July 2015

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OIL SANDS

RIDING THE WAVE: EDMONTON INDUSTRY UNDER OIL PRESSURE

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ithout a doubt people in pick up again starting in April with Edmonton, and Alberta, have oil prices climbing back up to the $61 been affected by the sudden change mark from $44.” in oil prices. Some businesses have Real estate took a huge blow, had to let go of employees and othcomparatively speaking, in the beers have had to scramble to find new ginning but there seems to be some revenue streams, but for the most steam building up again. Single fampart it hasn’t been the destructive ily homes have continued to sell well, force that many news media outlets while the condo market has been in a had predicted. To be fair, we are still bit of a steady depression. Ghatehora in the early stages of the aftermath, also mentions the currently low interand the longer oil prices remain the est rates, which have helped first time low, the more businesses will be afbuyers take advantage of the situafected, but for now Edmonton is still tion and get into the market. It’s been going strong. the banks, during this time, that have Local economists pointed out some provided both incentive and tools for important facts in the beginning when buyers to help maintain a slower, but GURPREET GHATEHORA, REALTY EXECUTIVES POLARIS oil prices first tanked, particularsteady pace for real estate. ly where real estate was concerned. Despite all of this, Ghatehora adThose remarks were along the line that Edmonton, for mits that he has seen a clear stoppage of sorts, with his years, has been functioning at such a high level with job opclientele remaining cautious. “There are a lot of buyers portunities and wages, that it has fueled an incredibly hot and sellers, but they want to hold off on buying and selling real estate market. With this drop in oil, we’ve simply been until markets become stable.” So in reality, the market has pulled back to a market that is more average. The shock slowed, not because people aren’t making enough money of this change of pace has made things seem like they are to buy, but because they are waiting in the wings for things crawling, but really we are just getting a taste of the rest of to settle. The average Edmontonian likely didn’t see this the country’s reality; and it’s not the end of the world. ‘crash’ coming, and it’s left a lot of people feeling uncer“The first three months of 2015 were slow,” admits tain, to say the least. But this situation sort of skews the Gurpreet Ghatehora of Realty Executives Polaris. “Peopicture the public has. The assumption that things have ple were thinking oil prices might go down to as low as $25 grinded to a halt (by Edmonton standards) due to job loss or $35 a barrel, and that there might be more layoffs which is exacerbating the severity of the situation and breeding might reduce the housing prices.” Which speaks to the overmore caution. all caution everyone has had since prices first dropped, but John Rose, chief economist with the City of Edmonton, the predictions of the trends haven’t all been correct. “Acexplains that the job loss situation hasn’t been as drastic cording to the real estate statistics, sales were down but as some might think – so far. “What we’ve seen is some housing prices went up 1.5 per cent. The market started to slowdown in employment and job losses in manufacturing

Construction your way – from start to finish.

“Serving Edmonton & Area Since 2004” Rencon Industries 112 6202 - 29 Avenue Beaumont AB T4X 0H5 780-986-2160 • info@renconindustries.ca www.renconindustries.ca

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July 2015 | Business In Edmonton Magazine | www.businessinedmonton.com

COMMERCIAL RESIDENTIAL


OIL SANDS

RIDING THE WAVE: EDMONTON INDUSTRY UNDER OIL PRESSURE

and transportation, but in profesLuckily for the city, its 2015 budsional services, the numbers haven’t get is already finalized and its changed much.” primary revenue stream of property Rose also explains that there is a taxes is reliable. As Rose points out, trend developing. “Companies seem the bigger issue is with the provinto be choosing to shift from full time cial government and the gaping hole jobs and hours to part time, rathin their budget. However, there has er than letting employees go.” And been some unexpected benefits of the why would this be? Given the naoil fallout for the city too. ture of Edmonton, and what the city “The only clear impact [for the city] and its many businesses have learned is that the city has saved money on based on recent history (think back to fuel costs – not hundreds of millions 2008) is that these situations can and or anything like that, but some.” There will change, eventually. Edmonton is, however, a point where the provinhas been in a position, historically, cial budget issues will intersect with where there is a clear lack of skilled Edmonton’s agenda and it will be felt labour and the right people for the by all. “Our reliance on the provincial JOHN ROSE, CHIEF ECONOMIST CITY OF EDMONTON job. This is a major reason why the government, and to a lesser extent the province has been a hub for migrant federal government, for funding and workers, and why the population of the city has grown grants could affect our ability to continue with important year after year. If businesses turn around and simply cut all infrastructure plans, like the LRT expansion.” their employees loose, when the ship rights itself it is going It all boils down to duration. How long will oil prices reto find itself lacking in some serious manpower. main low?

Luckily for the city, its 2015 budget is already finalized and its primary revenue stream of property taxes is reliable. As Rose points out, the bigger issue is with the provincial government and the gaping hole in their budget. However, there has been some unexpected benefits of the oil fallout for the city too.

p o h C p o h C ! e l z z Si Reservations: 780.422.6083 Steak & Seafood prepared before your eyes Sushi & Sashimi

South Side / Downtown / Northgate Centre

www.businessinedmonton.com | Business In Edmonton Magazine | July 2015

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OIL SANDS

RIDING THE WAVE: EDMONTON INDUSTRY UNDER OIL PRESSURE

There is no avoiding the fact that there has been an impact on Edmonton and Alberta as a whole, due to the drop in oil prices. It can be argued that while the economic issues of the 2008 era were more universally felt across the country (and continent), this oil depression is more of a focused problem with a particular impact on Albertans, and while the industries, like transportation, where many companies focused wholly on providing services to the oilfields have suffered the most, not all areas of transport have been so greatly affected. CP Rail, which provides transportation for various goods and industries, has felt only the smallest of pinches from the oil depression and contributing transportation factors like pipeline availability. CP says that only about 7 per cent of their business is made up of crude transport, so they have a lot of other product movement to fall back on. During the Wolfe Research Global Transportation conference, Keith Creel, president and chief operating officer for CP Rail, had some initial predictions of how much crude they would be moving this year, but it doesn’t look like things will be meeting their expectations. “I’ll just be honest about it. We thought we were being conservative when we went from 200,000 carloads to 140,000 carloads. The world has changed around all of a sudden. I really don’t think any of us know exactly what the number is.” Creel later went on to say that he didn’t believe they’d be moving less than 100,000 carloads, but the initial assessments were a bit too generous. Even still, the company has been able to fall back on the business it does shipping grain and potash, products which have remained steady or grown in demand, and while they suspect that a dip in pipeline capacity later in the year may

result in a pickup in crude transport demand, they certainly aren’t counting on it. The good news is that the oil situation hasn’t resulted in job losses at CP, and it likely won’t in the future either. There is no doubt about it, as Creel said, the world has changed around all of a sudden, but that’s not to say we won’t see another change around, perhaps sooner rather than later. Although we aren’t fortune tellers and cannot guarantee any sort of time frame for an oil revival, we can see that despite impacts in various industries, Edmonton is managing itself well enough. There are interesting questions regarding all of this though; ones that beg further analysis and are necessary to answer in order to determine the reality of the situation Alberta finds itself in. Statistics abound. There is information and theories about the oil depression everywhere in the media, but the real question that needs to be answered is: how big is the reality gap between what is really happening in Alberta due to the oil depression, and the picture the mass media is painting? How much fear mongering is going on, and how much of an impact is that having on the statistics we are seeing in areas like real estate? There is no avoiding the fact that there has been an impact on Edmonton and Alberta as a whole, due to the drop in oil prices. What people need to remember, and keep in mind as we continue through 2015, is that Edmonton is a robust and well-managed city that contains many businesses whom have been in similar situations before. This may be a storm we didn’t see coming, but it’s certainly one that we can weather together. BIE

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July 2015 | Business In Edmonton Magazine | www.businessinedmonton.com


2015 honouring Edmonton’s Visionary Business Leaders

www.businessinedmonton.com | Business In Edmonton Magazine | July 2015

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YOUR VISION GOT YOU THIS FAR.

Where do you go from here? The mark of a true leader is the ability to embrace today’s challenges head on while uncovering opportunities to shape a successful tomorrow. The mark of a visionary, however, is defined by a leader’s ability to capitalize on those opportunities while effectively using their available resources to do so. Our national scope and local focus positions leading organizations – and the visionaries behind them – for success, no matter where business takes you. MNP proudly congratulates the 2015 Leaders. We celebrate your achievements and anticipate the positive impact you’ll have on our business community. Contact James Gillespie, CA at 780.453.5380 or james.gillespie@mnp.ca


COVER

LEADERS AWARDS

The 2015 Leaders: Leading by Example BY NERISSA MCNAUGHTON

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hat defines a leader? The standard definition is: the person that leads or commands a group, organization, or country; but that only tells one small part of the story. A true leader is so much more. Over the years, many great minds have tried to determine what makes a great leader. Forbes says it is honesty, the willingness to delegate, communication, humour, confidence, commitment, a positive attitude, creativity, intuition and the ability to inspire. Entrepreneur magazine points out that leaders are generous, have humility, are selfaware, live the Golden Rule (not “he who has the gold makes the rules” – the other one) has passion, and is approachable and authentic. The lists could go on and on. Is it truly possible to have all those wonderful characteristics in one single person? Yes it is, and the Leaders prove it. These Leaders come from all walks of life, faced unique and individual challenges, and work in different industry sectors, but they all embody the spirit of leadership. It’s not easy being a leader. Not only are you responsible for the corporate culture and wellbeing of an entire company, you have a diverse group of people constantly looking to you for guidance. When you add in the many unexpected curveballs (gaining or suddenly losing a major client, production issues, international trade laws, litigation, shareholder meetings) you wonder how these Leaders manage to show up to work every day with a smile and an attitude that gets them, the company, and the staff

The Judges

JAMES GILLESPIE

ELSIE ELFORD

WAYNE KRYZALKA

Platinum Partner

Gold Partners

smoothly through the work week. Undaunted by what each day, month and quarter throws at them, they excel. The judging panel for the 2015 Leaders included Wayne Kryzalka, managing director, business and agriculture, ATB Financial; Elsie Elford, dean, School of Business, MacEwan University and James Gillespie, FCA Partner, MNP LLP . With so many worthy candidates to assess, the judges had their work cut out for them. The nomination and selection criteria was based on the candidates’ contribution to their own businesses, the community and the industry at large. A true leader seeks to make his or her community stronger, and ensure they and their team provide financial support and/or volunteer hours in this regard. It was also very important that the candidates lead by example, and that meant not simply building up the company and then letting the employees manage all the duties. These Leaders are on the front lines and in the trenches with their employees, providing input, encouragement and support for all departments. Their effect on the industry is also important because without great thinkers, industry does not grow, evolve or change. It wasn’t easy for the judges to narrow down the candidates to the ones presented in this issue, but after careful consideration, time and thorough evaluation, they are pleased to present the 2015 Leaders. Please join us in celebrating the men and women that show us what qualities truly define the word: leader. BIE


45 Years in Business

100 employees

COLOR: CMYK

Company snapshot

oil & gas

Industry Sector

PUB: N/A

CLIENT: SERV

AD: MPJ

LIVE AREA: 6.875" X 9.75"

Photo by Epic Photography Inc.

BLEED: 8.375” X 11.25”

dvance Coating Solutions provides industrial coating solutions for the oil and gas industry, pulp and paper industry, chemical processing Advance Coating plants, power and utilities sector, environmental services and institutional industries. Operating throughout Western Canada, the Yukon and Northwest Territories, they provide the latest advanced technology in the areas of abrasive blasting, industrial linings and coating systems, including secondary containment systems and modular concrete berms. “Growing up in the family business, it was not a really conscious decision to become an entrepreneur, rather than being one from the start. My father always instilled in us to work for yourself, not someone else.” – Mark Repchinsky, VP Operations, Advance Coating Solutions

JOB NUMBER: SERV0671 JOB NAME: CANADIAN AD REVISION

A

TRIM: 7.875” X 10.75”

Company: Advance Coating Solutions

DATE PRODUCED: 5/28/15

Chris Repchinsky Mark Repchinsky

Platinum Partner

Gold Partners


The fire and water, cleanup and restoration specialists of SERVPRO 速 of Edmonton Southside are proud to call Canada home. So when the things that matter most are on the line, make sure we are too by calling 780-784-7777 or visiting servproedmonton.com. Services in Canada provided by Independently Owned and Operated Franchises of Servpro International, LLC.

780-784-7777


Jeff Lloyd Company: Almita Piling

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lmita Piling is the leading provider of screw piles in Canada. They design, manufacture and install unique foundation solutions for the oil and gas, power transmission and distribution and commercial conAlmita Piling edit struction sectors. Located in Edmonton, Calgary and Saskatoon – with a manufacturing facility in Ponoka – Almita provides foundation solutions for any infrastructure, large or small. “Leaders can only lead if others choose to follow. As a leader it is my responsibility to create and foster an environment where our employees come together with a common purpose to achieve our corporate goals.” - Jeff Lloyd, President, Almita Piling

Company snapshot

24 Years in Business

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CM

MY

200 employees

oil & gas Construction Mining Telecomm

Industry Sector Photo by Epic Photography Inc.

Platinum Partner

Gold Partners

CY

CMY

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Beyond building great companies, the best leaders build great teams. HRIA celebrates this year’s winners and nominees of Business in Edmonton’s Leaders Awards.

The Human Resources Institute of Alberta (HRIA) is the professional association dedicated to strengthening the human resources profession and upholding the highest standards of practice - it is the source for HR leadership and expertise in Alberta.

Members have access to: Industry tools and resources Best practices Research Support your team with membership today. Visit HRIA.ca to join.


Jeanette DeBruin Bert DeBruin Company: AltaPro Electric Ltd. Alto Pro Edit

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ltaPro provides the commercial industry in the Edmonton area with design-build and electrical services. With a focus on mentorships, training and careers in a safe environment, the business model was created to implement hard work, innovation and employee involvement through the process. “Our greatest inspirations cannot really be directed to a single person but rather through life lessons. These experiences have taught us how to overcome what looks like the impossible [and] adapt to an ever-changing market while maintaining a servant attitude, leading boldly and driving change with optimism.� - Bert and Jeanette DeBruin, Presidents, AltaPro Electric Ltd.

Company snapshot

28 Years in Business

103 employees

Electrical Services Industry Sector Photo by Epic Photography Inc.

Platinum Partner

Gold Partners


Let us take you to Amsterdam Just one of the many destinations KLM and its partners connect you to. We’ll take you there in comfort departing from Edmonton, up to 4 times a week. Starting May 19. Visit klm.ca for more information.


Desmond Ross Company: Auto-Details Inc.

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uto-Details Inc. was founded in 1993 by Desmond Ross, an entrepreneur and journeyman auto body refinishing technician. With over 20 years of refinishing experience, Ross has turned Auto-Details from a few vehicles per week “out of his garage” type of business into the success story it is today. “My defining Auto Details Edit moment was during the beginning stages of coming up with the idea for Auto-Details. The odds were against us. Even my brother-in-law questioned what I wanted to do. He said, “You want to make a business out of soap and water!?” This gave me the drive to keep going and be true to my idea.” - Desmond Ross, Hands on CEO, Auto-Details Inc.

Company snapshot

22 Years in Business

10

employees

Automotive Industry Sector Photo by Epic Photography Inc.

Platinum Partner

Gold Partners


Thank you Edmonton for your continued support and

CONGRATULATIONS to this year’s Leaders Awards Winners!

11505 - 105th Avenue • 587-410-6771 www.auto-details.com


Cameron Naqvi Tina Naqvi-Rota Company: Cameron Development Corporation

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ameron Development Corporation is an Edmonton based real estate development company specializing in commercial retail developments; with divisions in residential, home building and multi-family operations. Cameron Development edit Corporation has participated in transactions totalling Cameron Development in excess of eight million square feet, with the most well-known being the 320-acre South Edmonton Common development. “Knowing that my family supports me gives me the confidence to persevere. Many people and experiences have inspired me to embrace strong family values and a desire to help others. To always work hard is definitely something I learned from my father.” - Cameron Naqvi, Executive Vice President, Cameron Development Corporation “Working in a family business is the best because you get to work with people whose upbringing, morals, values and goals are the same. While it can be hard because you are always with family at the end of the day, you know there’s someone there who has your back.” - Tina Naqvi-Rota, President, Cameron Development Corporation

Company snapshot

36 Years in Business

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MY

65

Real Estate Industry Sector Photo by Epic Photography Inc.

Gold Partners

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CM

employees

Platinum Partner

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The Edmonton Chamber of Commerce is proud to congratulate the 2015 Leaders on their efforts and achievements.

T 780.426.4620 | F 780.424.7946 | edmontonchamber.com/events


Frank Burdzy Company: Champion Petfoods Champion Pet foods Edit

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hampion Petfoods is an Alberta-based specialty pet food maker with 30 years of tradition. Built on a reputation for innovation and leadership, Champion Petfoods serves pet lovers and pet specialty retailers in over 70 countries. “My defining moment in my leadership journey occurred early in my career. I was working as a junior business analyst in a large global company and a significant regulatory change was announced that would fundamentally change our business. The CEO of our company asked me to develop the strategy to reposition the company for success. When I asked ‘why me?’ he said ‘because I believe in you!’” – Frank Burdzy, President & CEO, Champion Petfoods

Company snapshot

30 Years in Business

260+ employees

Pet Care Industry Sector Photo by Epic Photography Inc.

Platinum Partner

Gold Partners


C o m p l e t e Fa m i l y D e n t a l C a r e •• General General Dentists Dentists •• Dental Dental Laboratory Laboratory && Registered Registered Dental Dental Technician Technician on on site site •• Prosthodontists (Specialists in Dentures, Implants & Crowns) Prosthodontists (Specialists in Dentures, Implants & Crowns) •• Emergency Emergency Dental Dental Care Care && Denture Denture Repairs Repairs •• TMJ TMJ Treatment Treatment •• Motor Motor Vehicle Vehicle Jaw Jaw Injury Injury Assessments Assessments && Reports Reports •• Functional Functional Rehabilitation Rehabilitation “As “As aa photographer, photographer, big big smiles smiles are are important important to to me. me. For For years years II was was self-concious self-concious about about my my own own smile smile and and would would try try to to hide hide it. it. II debated debated about about getting getting my my teeth teeth done done but but finally finally decided decided to to discuss discuss my my options options with with my my dentist. dentist. II love love my my new new teeth. teeth. II never never try try to to hide hide my my smile smile anymore. anymore. The The procedure procedure was was aa lot lot less less expensive expensive than than II thought thought itit would would be, be, and and only only took took two two hours. hours. Thank Thank you you Dr. Dr. Yacyshyn!” Yacyshyn!” ~~ Rebecca Rebecca Lippiatt, Lippiatt, Dragonfly Dragonfly photography photography (www.dragonflyphotography.ca) (www.dragonflyphotography.ca)

Open Open 88 A.M. A.M. Monday Monday to to Friday Friday Evenings Evenings Monday Monday to to Thursday Thursday && Saturdays Saturdays by by Appointment Appointment

Complimentary Complimentary parking: parking: 10126-118 10126-118 Street Street

780-482-4000 | empiredentists.com


Harry Sunner Company: Durabuilt Windows & Doors

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urabuilt Windows & Doors manufactures windows and exterior entry doors for the residential, semi-commercial and retail markets across Western Canada. Harry and his father, Joe, became sole owners of Durabuilt Windows & Doors in 1998, when construction was in decline and larger national and international competitors dominated the market. It took vision and fortitude to invest into an uncertain industry, but the investment paid off, increasing revenues up to 40 per cent annually. “I can recall a defining moment when all odds were against me, trying to find my way through a dark tunnel with only the hand and voice of my father. Our liabilities and risks, personally and financially, were all at stake. Passing this test of time with a resilient and diehard attitude are moments never to be forgotten and have become the most memorable and respected.� - Harry Sunner, President, Durabuilt Windows & Doors

Company snapshot

27 Years in Business

400 employees

Manufacturing Industry Sector Photo by Epic Photography Inc.

Platinum Partner

Gold Partners


As your your building building partner partner we’ll we’ll integrate integrate ourselves ourselves into into any any As New Home, Home, Replacement Replacement or or Commercial Commercial project project to to deliver... deliver... New

Defining Products Products Defining Dependable Supply Supply & & Delivery Delivery Dependable Dynamic Service Service Dynamic It’s what what aa great great partner partner does. does. It’s Visit durabuiltwindows.com durabuiltwindows.com to to learn learn more. more. Visit

all about you.


Alvin Pyke Company: Helical Pier Systems Ltd.

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elical Pier Systems provides turnkey engineering, manufacturing, supply and installation of helical and driven pipe pile deep foundations for oil Edit and gas, utility and heavy industrial applications. The Helical business model was a vision developed by Alvin Pyke to create the proverbial “one-stop shop” for industrial foundations. “As a teenager I was fearless, always going my own way, always working hard to get what I wanted. In closing my first business deal, I looked back to see what led me to this defining moment. It was my determination and my family who always supported my ideas. My parents truly gave me the greatest inspiration, teaching me many of life’s most important lessons.” - Alvin Pyke, President & CEO, Helical Pier Systems Ltd.

Company snapshot

38 Years in Business

265 employees

oil & gas Power & Utilities Mining Telecomm

Industry Sector Photo by Epic Photography Inc.

Platinum Partner

Gold Partners


Shawn Turcotte Company: Home Instead Senior Care

HHome instead edit

ome Instead Senior Care provides a premier brand of quality, reliable and compassionate senior care in Edmonton and surrounding areas. Home Instead’s trained caregivers help seniors and their families restore balance, provide independence and improve the quality of life of a senior wherever they call home. “My role model was my dad who always quietly taught us about persistence, being fierce and to live with a sense of urgency in order to care for one’s family. With this said, my wife and kids are my greatest inspirations – without question or reservation, my greatest achievement in life.” - Shawn Turcotte, Owner & Managing Director, Home Instead Senior Care

Company snapshot

4

Years in Business

114 employees

Health Industry Sector Photo by Epic Photography Inc.

Platinum Partner

Gold Partners


Jacqueline Jacek Company: JACEK Chocolate Couture Jacek edit

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ACEK Chocolate Couture is an artisan chocolatier business operating on a fashion business model. Jacqueline Jacek had a clear vision not only to handcraft a premium product, but more importantly, to create a business model that would serve a greater purpose – to spread joy. Spreading joy continues to be the core purpose at JACEK. “[My defining moment was] when I received a call from Dessert Professional magazine (New York) telling me that I had been chosen as one of the Top Ten Chocolatiers in North America (2011). It was an amazing feeling to have my work recognized while I was still working from my basement.” - Jacqueline Jacek, Cocanista/Founder, JACEK Chocolate Couture

Company snapshot

5

Years in Business

10

employees

Confectionary Industry Sector Photo by Epic Photography Inc.

Platinum Partner

Gold Partners


Thank you Edmonton for helping us spread joy through fine chocolate.

Artisan Truffles & Chocolate Bars • Corporate Gifts • Chocolate Tastings

10140-104th Street, Edmonton, AB • 780.705.9927 or 406 Kaska Road, Sherwood Park, AB • 780.464.5200

www.jacekchocolate.com


Darin Rayburn Melcor Edit

Company: Melcor REIT

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elcor REIT owns over 2.74 million square feet of retail, office and industrial properties in Western Canada and has achieved significant growth since its initial public offering in 2013. It is backed by Melcor Developments Ltd., a diversified real estate development and asset management company that has helped to shape much of Alberta’s urban landscape since 1923. “My greatest inspiration is my wife, daughters and the mentors I’ve been fortunate to work with. After my daughters were born, the passion and commitment to make the community a better place for them was planted deep in my core. My mentors, including my wife, are passionate and driven individuals, entrepreneurs and community champions whom I admire and have shaped the person I am today.” - Darin Rayburn, CEO, Melcor REIT

Company snapshot

2

Years in Business

40

employees

Real Estate Industry Sector Photo by Epic Photography Inc.

Platinum Partner

Gold Partners


Angela Zawada Company: Moksha Yoga Edmonton Moksha edit

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ince Moksha Yoga’s first Edmonton studio opened in 2007, Angela Zawada has built a green standard yoga studio, developed more than 100 Moksha instructors, aided eight teachers with successful studio ownership around the world and is a regular educator with Moksha Yoga Inc. development training. “My greatest inspiration has been my family. Born and raised in a farming family, the constant hard work shown by example by my parents definitely built my entrepreneurial spirit and work ethic. Carrying on the ingrained entrepreneurial spirit from the farm, my sister – as well – opened up her own business right out of school and owns her own naturopathic clinic in Ontario.” - Angela Zawada, Owner, Moksha Yoga Edmonton

Company snapshot

8

Years in Business

45

employees

Health & Wellness Industry Sector Photo by by Epic Epic Photography Photography Inc. Inc. Photo

Platinum Partner

Gold Partners Partners Gold


David Kent Company: Nearctic Property Group 

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earctic Property Group develops, leases and manages commercial, residential and industrial Nearctic edit property. They build quality buildings that contribute to their customers’ bottom line while performing three key activities: property management; design, construction and leasing of commercial buildings; and the design and construction of infill housing for sale and rent. “Perhaps a cliché but I have to give credit to my parents as they were the bedrock of my life’s inspiration. My father’s equanimity, common sense and rational perspective to this day continues to be my touchstone. As to my mother her words continue to resonate in my ears: ‘There is no such word in the English language as can’t.’ Her drive, persistence and never quit attitude became the fundamental axiom of my business life.” - David Kent, President & CEO, Nearctic Property Group

Company snapshot

36 Years in Business

20

employees

Real Estate Industry Sector Photo by by Epic Epic Photography Photography Inc. Inc. Photo

Platinum Partner

Gold Partners Partners Gold


Cheryl Schneider Company: Company: No No More More Excuses Excuses Inc. Inc.

N no More Excuses Edit

oo More More Excuses Excuses Inc. Inc. isis aa successful successful fitness fitness company company that that isis making making aa difference difference by by creating creating quality quality fitness fitness programming programming that that isis fun fun and and accessible, accessible, not not only only to to members members of of the the No No More More Excuses Excuses community, community, but but to to the the Edmonton Edmonton community community at at large. large. Cheryl Cheryl Schneider Schneider has has transtranslated lated her her passion passion into into aa thriving thriving company, company, with with aa focus focus on on instilling instilling knowledge knowledge and and passion passion for for balanced balanced healthy healthy living living in in clients clients of of all all ages, ages, through through positive, positive, supportive supportive and and fun fun experiences. experiences. “When “When you you create create aa culture culture where where people people feel feel like like they they are are aa part part of of aa community community and and they they have have aa voice voice –– they they become become engaged. engaged. When When they they feel feel accepted, accepted, cared cared for, for, find find joy joy and and are are entertained entertained –– they they thrive. thrive. When When they they are are engaged engaged and and thriving, thriving, they they begin begin to to take take better better care care of of themthemselves selves and and find find balance, balance, looking looking for for ways ways to to pay pay itit forward forward and and make make aa difference.” difference.” -- Cheryl Cheryl Schneider, Schneider, Owner, Owner, No No More More Excuses Excuses Inc. Inc.

Company Company snapshot snapshot

7

Years Years in in Business Business

15

employees employees

Health Health & & Wellness Wellness Industry Industry Sector Sector Photo Photoby byEpic EpicPhotography PhotographyInc. Inc.

Platinum Platinum Partner Partner

Gold Gold Partners Partners


Corey Smith Company: Company: Noralta Noralta Lodge Lodge

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oralta oralta Lodge Lodge offers offers remote remote workforce workforce accommodation accommodation services services with with aa focus focus on on wellness wellness through through premium premium open open lodging lodging facilities, facilities, management management services services and and turnkey turnkey solutions solutions for for clients clients across across Northern Northern Alberta. Alberta. The The Noralta Noralta Lodge’s Lodge’s unique unique “home “home away away from from home” home” experience experience helps helps their their customers customers ensure ensure the the workforce workforce isis comfortable, comfortable, well well rested rested and and well well fed. fed. Noralta Lodge edit “I in journey to “I find find inspiration inspiration in the the journey to success success more more than than the the accomaccomplishment plishment itself; itself; in in the the alignment alignment of of people people towards towards aa shared shared vision. vision. When When itit all all starts starts to to come come together together and and momentum momentum starts starts to to build, build, there there isis aa real real magic magic to to itit and and aa sense sense of of unison unison and and possibility. possibility. II crave crave that that feeling.” feeling.” –– Corey Corey Smith, Smith, President President && CEO, CEO, Noralta Noralta Lodge Lodge

Company Company snapshot snapshot

18 Years Years in in Business Business

500 employees employees

Oil Oil & & Gas Gas Hospitality Hospitality Industry Industry Sector Sector Photo Photoby byEpic EpicPhotography PhotographyInc. Inc.

Platinum Platinum Partner Partner

Gold Gold Partners Partners


Dennis Cuku Christy Benoit Company: Oil Country Engineering

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il Country Engineering is an employee-owned engineering design firm,oil serving the international oil and gas industry. The company country Edit draws from a diverse range of backgrounds and expertise to give their customers knowledgeable and creative perspectives on every project. “Early in my career, I was tasked with managing disengaged employees in a company that offered little opportunity for workers to thrive. I pushed back and challenged the organizational culture, and I came to understand that business can be the greatest conduit for human potential.” - Dennis Cuku, Co-Founder, Oil Country Engineering “My turning point was facing the truth that misery in my job was poisoning the rest of my life. I knew I had to try and demonstrate that free enterprise need not come at the expense of human values, personal happiness or the natural environment.” - Christy Benoit, CoFounder, Oil Country Engineering

Company snapshot

8

Years in Business

34

employees

Oil & Gas Industry Sector Photo by Epic Photography Inc.

Platinum Partner

Gold Partners


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Arash Vahdaty Company: SAS Group of Companies

SAS Edit

S

AS Group of Companies includes Tristate Signature Homes Ltd., Modern Kitchens and Closets (2010) Inc., and most recently NAVA Cabinet Solutions Inc. Tristate is projected to gross over 30 million in revenue; Modern Kitchens and Closets is one of the top kitchen and renovation suppliers in Edmonton; and NAVA Cabinet Solutions is a state-of-the-art cabinet manufacturing facility. “For me, the defining moment was when I realized success is a journey rather than a destination. There is a balance in understanding how to build a business and how to help others along the way. Success is about having positive impact on others, not only in business. I was only able to understand this through the birth of my son. My father has been my biggest inspiration and role model.� - Arash Vahdaty, President, SAS Group of Companies

Company snapshot

5

Years in Business

120 employees

Real Estate Manufacturing

Industry Sector Photo by Epic Photography Inc.

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John Leder Company: Supreme Group of Companies

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ased in Edmonton, Supreme Group is a privately-owned steel fabricator and construction company, with operational companies across Canada Supreme group and editthe Pacific Northwest of the United States. Supreme Group has the combined steel and contracting experience of well over a century. “If asked to name one person who most inspired me in my business careers, I would choose a person who probably had very little, if any, business acumen at all — my mother. She is the one who mentored, encouraged and supported me when things were going well, but also during times of trial and frustration. It is her example of mentoring, encouragement and support that I have tried to convey to our employees. I believe that maintaining this human touch and contact contributes immeasurably to business success.” - John Leder, President & CEO, Supreme Group of Companies

Company snapshot

43 Years in Business

1000+ employees

Construction Industry Sector Photo by Epic Photography Inc.

Platinum Partner

Gold Partners


Angela Santiago Company: The Little Potato Company Little potato company edit

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he Little Potato Company is North America’s leader in the breeding, growing and marketing of proprietary creamer potatoes. The Little Potato Company’s leadership market position was achieved through innovation that changed the potato game. “[My defining moment was] the moment when I recognized that I use challenges to grow; taking ownership, accountability and responsibility rather than blaming, using excuses, or denying my reality. It’s a choice I make, not what happens to me.” - Angela Santiago, CEO & Co-Founder, The Little Potato Company

Company snapshot

19 Years in Business

45

employees

Produce Industry Sector Photo Photo by by Epic Epic Photography Photography Inc. Inc.

Platinum Platinum Partner Partner

Gold Gold Partners Partners


Danny Turner Company: The Organic Box

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he Organic Box is a locally owned, organic food hub and distribution company serving thousands of farms, families and businesses in Edmonton and Northern Alberta. This unique food hub offers a complete range of Alberta-sourced certified organic grocery products including produce, baked goods, meats, dairy and over a thousand pantry items. “The journey began almost six years ago when I sat down at our kitchen table and sketched out our logo for the first time. Coming up with that initial design marked the point where an idea became a company, and made it real for me and my family.� - Danny Turner, Owner, The Organic Box

Company snapshot

5

Years in Business

52

employees

Agri Business Industry Sector Photo by Epic Photography Inc.

Platinum Partner

Gold Partners


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K DAYS

EUREKA!

EUREKA!

Three years after Capital Ex’s reversion to its old name, K-Days is cashing in on Edmonton’s rising global stature. BY BEN FREELAND WITH PHOTOS COURTESY OF NORTHLANDS

I

n May of this year, National Geographic writer Maryellen Kennedy Duckett stunned the city of Edmonton by including it in her list of the world’s best summer trips, on a top 11 list that also included Athens, Philadelphia, Machu Picchu, and South Korea’s sublime subtropical island of Jeju. In her article, Duckett cites Edmonton’s sunny climate, long summer days, abundant green space (the River Valley park system specifically), and seemingly endless parade of summer festivals as the main reasons for choosing the city as a summer destination. “Edmonton is welcoming the world this summer,” writes Duckett. “The Festival City is hosting a series of international events, including the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015 (June 6-July 4) and the Edmonton Folk Music Festival (August 6-9). Multicultural artworks, crafts,

performances, and foods representing more than 85 nations will be featured at the Edmonton Heritage Festival (August 1-3).” While the National Geographic article did not mention K-Days specifically, Edmonton’s oldest summer festival is also gearing up for a big year. With attendance ranging between 740,000 and 780,000 in recent years, up from 688,369 in 2006 (the year the festival adopted the shortlived Capital Ex name), festival organizers are hoping to ride the city’s current boom and break the 800,000 mark for the first time since 2005 (Edmonton’s centennial year). While K-Days faces stiff competition amidst the city’s increasingly crowded summer festival scene, this year’s K-Days offerings, coupled by the city’s recent tourism ascendancy, bode well for visitor numbers. www.businessinedmonton.com | Business In Edmonton Magazine | July 2015

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K DAYS EUREKA!

Edmonton’s oldest festival dates back to the year 1879, a full 26 years before Edmonton gained city status. Initial-

ly a low-key agricultural exhibition organized by the nascent Edmonton Agricultural Society, the fair was origi-

THIRTY YEARS OF DISTINCTION

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nally held at the site currently occupied by Fort Edmonton Park before relocating to its current home at Northlands in 1910. Even at this time the festival was a huge hit, drawing as many as 20,000 attendees in 1904 – more than twice the city’s entire population at the time. The fair officially adopted the name Klondike Days in 1962 in recognition of the city’s vital role as a transportation hub for the Klondike Gold Rush in the 1890s. While last year’s attendance of 740,840 was down slightly from the 780,000 that attended in 2013, today’s K-Days continues to enjoy renewed interest both locally and regionally; and this year’s fair promises to be particularly good. The 2015 musical lineup features veteran Canadian rock outfits Trooper, Headstones, and Theory of a Deadman, young Canadian country up-and-comer Brett Kissel, and Seattle alt-punk legends The Presidents of the United States of America, among others. But this year’s most hotly anticipated K-Days attraction promises to be the President’s Choice SuperDogs, a once-popular dog show returning this year by demand. “We’re thrilled to have SuperDogs back this year in Hall D of the Edmonton Expo Centre,” says Northlands public relations manager Jennifer


K DAYS

EUREKA!

While the Edmonton media made much of the fair’s brief (and controversial) rebranding as Capital Ex in the mid-2000s and its subsequent re-rebranding as K-Days in 2012, the fair’s organizers are quick to downplay the importance of the naming issue.

Sheehan. “This year the dogs will be performing under the “Hollywoof” theme as they run and jump to iconic movie tunes with bright and glitzy costumes. Spectators will also get to meet the stars of the show at our interactive Pat and Chat sessions. With daily performances from July 17 to 26 at 2 p.m., 5 p.m. and 8 p.m., we’re be giving you 30 chances to get your fill of this much-loved program.” In addition to this old favourite, this year’s K-Days will also introduce a new feature, Adrenaline Rush, a collection of attractions in Hall B designed to get visitors’ hearts racing. These include a zip line, a ropes course, a ski simulator, a live interactive menagerie of Australian wildlife ranging from the cute to the creepy-crawly, an acrobat show (with an interactive portion), and a paint/Nerf ball course courtesy of Stormin’ Norman’s Paintball Adventure. As usual, children will enjoy the fair rides and the Kids Town pavilion (featuring a working farm and a Lego construction zone), while adults can partake in the Molson Boardwalk Beach and Beer Garden. “As always we try to strike a balance between new and

exciting attractions and traditional elements that fairgoers have come to expect,” explains Sheehan. “We’ve got the rides, the food, and the shopping that our visitors come back for year after year, while our musical headliners and new attractions will help attract first-time visitors.” While the Edmonton media made much of the fair’s brief (and controversial) rebranding as Capital Ex in the mid-2000s and its subsequent re-rebranding as K-Days in 2012, the fair’s organizers are quick to downplay the importance of the naming issue. “K-Days has remained Edmonton’s largest summer festival, regardless of what its name has been,” Sheehan asserts. “While we do know that many Edmontonians connected more with the Klondike Days name and were happy to see it restored, the fair itself has consistently been bringing some of the best entertainment and attractions to the city and to northern Alberta. Guests come for the experience, they come to enjoy the grounds with their family and friends, and we hope they continue to come and enjoy everything K-Days has to offer.”

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www.businessinedmonton.com | Business In Edmonton Magazine | July 2015

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K DAYS EUREKA!

While competition for visitors has never been fiercer amid Edmonton’s ever-growing array of summer festivals, Edmonton’s growing stature as a bona-fide tourism destination bodes well for the city’s venerable summer fair, as does the city’s revitalized downtown and fast-growing airport, and a low Canadian dollar. Sheehan dismisses the notion of Edmonton’s crowded festival buffet as a detriment to K-Days’ continued growth, arguing that the city’s “Festival City” moniker benefits all. “Northlands is proud to be a part of this great ‘Festival City’,” she asserts. “It really is a hidden gem, and we’re absolutely thrilled about the recent National Geographic listing, as are our partners at Edmonton Tourism. With so many fantastic events in our region, we hope this brings even more positive attention to our city as we know lot of leisure travellers are in the process of making summer vacation plans. We hope they will chose Edmonton, and K-Days, as a summer destination. We know tourism is an important industry, and we hope visitors have an amazing time this summer, and then go home and tell their family and friends about everything we’ve got going on here.”

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July 2015 | Business In Edmonton Magazine | www.businessinedmonton.com

From dancing dogs and paintball to kangaroos and classic rock acts, this year’s K-Days looks to have something for everyone.

From dancing dogs and paintball to kangaroos and classic rock acts, this year’s K-Days looks to have something for everyone. At a full week in length at peak tourism season, the 136-year-old agricultural fair is bound to draw a large crowd, particularly given its host city’s surprise plug this year from the people at National Geographic. K-Days 2015 runs from July 17 to 26. For more information visit www.k-days.com. BIE


Advocate. Educate. Connect.

A Time of New Beginnings By Janet M. Riopel, President & CEO

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seismic political shift occurred on May 5, bringing change and opportunity. For the first time since 1971, Albertans elected a new party to lead their provincial government. This change will bring a new direction for our province’s future on important issues, including health-care, education, the environment and finances. Albertans also gave this government an opportunity to rekindle our economic momentum. I think that we’re at a pivotal moment where we have a real opportunity to affect positive change for our business environment – in our city and our province. To do that, we have to work together. As a life-time Albertan, and part of the business community for many years, one constant in my life has been change – something our province seems to be in a continual state of. We’ve seen our province grow at unprecedented rates, with more than 1.5 million new people calling Alberta home over the past two decades. Why? Alberta is a great place to live, to work and to invest in. We’ve seen huge investments in our province from border to border in all directions. Stateof-the-art infrastructure investment, large scale energy-related projects and health, education, agriculture, forestry, research and technology industries have all grown considerably – sometimes in fits and starts, sometimes in aggressive surges, but all have grown, leading us to have enjoyed a robust economy and a bright horizon. The question is how do we ensure that we continue to move forward? We’ve seen global market forces shift our economy up, down and in every direction imaginable. Through bad times and good, we have always found a way to remain positive, work hard and keep our focus on the future. The election on May 5 did nothing to alter that.

The Edmonton Chamber of Commerce is pleased to hear Premier Notley’s recent comments recognizing the need to maintain a competitive investment environment for our province. The new government’s commitment to keeping taxation low for small business and to supporting economic diversification will be positive for our region. However, we have many questions. There is a lot of concern, particularly relating to corporate taxes, minimum wage and a royalty review. The Edmonton business community is part of a large and diverse global marketplace, and we need to retain our competitive position within Canada and beyond. We need to continue to break down barriers and further build upon our internal partnerships. We need safe, responsible, efficient methods to move our goods to market in a timely way. Current market forces have resulted in fragility and uncertainty for Alberta businesses – we need help to remain strong and competitive. Because of that, we have urged the new government to employ a cautious, measured approach as it starts work to diversify and stabilize the economy. I’m sure that the Premier’s early meetings with representatives of industry will go a long way towards opening a productive dialogue. Your Edmonton Chamber has extended an invitation to Premier Notley to make a keynote address at an event of her choice as quickly as possible. Early indications are that she is open to this. Working together, we have a tremendous opportunity to embrace change and create the best possible environment for business, here and globally. We are the economic engine of the country and we need to ensure we stay that way. The message we’ve left with our Premier and her newly elected caucus colleagues is: Come and talk to us — we are industry leaders, entrepreneurs, community builders and drivers of the economy. We know we’re part of the solution. www.businessinedmonton.com | Business In Edmonton Magazine | July 2015

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Reducing Barriers to Edmonton’s Success By Warren Singh, Director of Policy

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ur city has unique geographic advantages conducive to expanding your business. To fully leverage these advantages, we’re asking decision makers to focus on removing barriers to inter-provincial trade, formalize local partnership arrangements and better connect Edmonton to inter- and intra-regional markets. Work has already started on developing a northern circumpolar initiative. We need to build on that momentum. We were pleased to have the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Industry, speak to nearly 100 of our members in April. Among the many things Minister Moore spoke to was his passion to reduce internal regulatory barriers to trade in our country. The Edmonton Chamber of Commerce shares that passion. Intra- and inter-provincial regulations on skilled labour, alcohol sales, annual reporting requirements and refinement of oil are just a few examples of where barriers exist. Each province can play a key role to further reduce impediments to our economic success. Considering recent international agreements, we should be in the best possible position to compete for global investment and capital. A reduction in internal regulatory barriers will further strengthen our competitive advantage with those countries and jurisdictions. Regulatory barriers are only one piece of the puzzle that require modernization. Physical barriers that restrict economic momentum also exist. Our region has natural assets and we are tremendous at extracting those resources in an efficient and safe manner. But we are hindered in our ability to move products to market in a timely, safe and responsible manner. The Edmonton Chamber proposes the development of transportation/utility corridors that coordinate the movement of goods and services within designated passageways lessening the impact on our landscape. With this idea, we could implement a proactive plan by securing transportation/utility corridor rights of way throughout Alberta with the potential for transit, freight networks, telecommunications, regional municipal utilities, transmission lines and pipelines. This approach could further

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integrate urban centres and regions under a comprehensive transportation system. To accomplish these goals, businesses and governments will need to strengthen their understanding of common goals and further develop partnerships. The Edmonton Chamber is focusing our efforts north to Canada’s northern/circumpolar region. This region encompasses all communities in Canada’s North that circumnavigate the North Pole. Due to Edmonton’s geographic position, it has developed a unique relationship with this vibrant region, linked by common challenges and opportunities. To capitalize on this potential, partner organizations (the City of Edmonton, Edmonton Economic Development, the University of Alberta and the Edmonton Chamber) have developed a proposal for the Northern Circumpolar Secretariat (NCS). The objective of the NCS is to facilitate relationships between Edmonton and the northern circumpolar region that will promote viable economic opportunities and address common barriers for economic success. Stay tuned as this initiative unfolds.

To accomplish these goals, businesses and governments will need to strengthen their understanding of common goals and further develop partnerships. As we begin to advocate for these policies and build stronger relationships with partners, we welcome your thoughts and opinions. You are always welcome to comment and engage on any Edmonton Chamber policy, and let me know how specific issues impact your business. Feel free to reach me at wsingh@edmontonchamber.com and connect with the Edmonton Chamber on Twitter @edmontonchamber or on LinkedIn.


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Managing Employee Vacations By Bobbi Menard

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he idea of summer vacation is embedded into our culture. From childhood days off in school, to days spent at the lake as an adult, there are few experiences that are as universally shared as summer vacation. For a business, summer vacation is an investment in employee wellbeing. But vacation time can be a challenge for a small team to manage. There are solutions to ensuring that your entire team has the opportunity to take their vacation days. Two Edmonton Chamber members share their approaches to creating a vacation policy that works for employees. It is important to realize that what works in one industry, may be entirely unreasonable in another industry. John Neelin, general manager with Diversified Staffing (member since 2002), has seen both sides of the vacation coin, both as a recruiter for diverse industries and as the manager of a team of about 40 people. For many industries, all but the most junior of staff positions start with a minimum of three weeks of vacation per year. Exceptions to this growing norm include certain industrial and blue-collar jobs, as well as the service industry. Very junior staff should expect to start at the two-week mark. In Neelin’s experience, fewer and fewer companies are able to get away with offering less than three weeks. “In many cases, if a business cannot meet the salary expectations of a talented

prospect, the gap can be closed with extra vacation days,” says Neelin. “There is definitely an expectation in certain industries that the vacation days will be provided.” Rob Jennings, president of Starburst Creative (member since 2010), agrees that to attract top talent a company is going to have to compete on vacation days. Starburst has taken an approach that values vacation days, with generous time off for employees matched to their seniority and experience. “This is a competitive issue. For the best talent you need those perks,” says Jennings. Those days off don’t just attract top talent – they enhance it and support it. Research in the last 10 years has been steadily showing the benefits of using vacation time to be true. In Project Time Off, a 2014 study by Oxford Economics, nearly three-quarters of employees who take paid time off (PTO) report, “returning to work refreshed and recharged, and more than 40 percent are more focused after taking PTO.” In a creative agency, everyone has a different role to play, but creativity on a deadline is common throughout the firm. Vacation days are a necessary investment to keep high quality creative solutions flowing says Jennings. “People need time to recharge, free up the mind to think of things differently, they need time off. Work can suffer without a chance to recharge.”

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Neelin echoes the sentiment and actively promotes consecutive days off with his team. “I think people are less efficient at work if they are not taking vacations. I actively discourage single and double day vacations… I don’t think people are mentally leaving the work place with just a day or two away.” Walking the talk on vacation days and effectively implementing a robust and fair system for employees requires several key elements. The first step is to build a corporate culture and expectation around vacation days. “Our culture is an expectation that people will take vacation days and that there needs to be planning around it,” says Neelin. Ensuring that there is a person who can cover for an employee while on vacation is the second step. This approach to duplication builds diversity within the team. It also enables team members to negotiate directly with one another about when to book time off. “Ours is a functional approach to managing summer vacations. Usually, the team has talks amongst themselves, which is a good sign of a solid culture,” says Neelin. Due to the project-centric nature of the work at Starburst, Jennings lays out the companywide vacation calendar into two annual segments and expects employees to book time off (to the best of their ability) prior to the start of each six-month segment. “What we see happen is people take a couple of week-long breaks throughout the year and reserve some days for long weekends or personal events like weddings,” explains Jennings.

Embedding vacation days into the corporate culture is not a 100 per cent guarantee that there will be no conflict. Instead, it minimizes inter-personal disagreements while relying on clear guidelines that everyone on the team must adhere to. For Neelin, it comes down to ensuring that the outcomes of who gets the extra day before the long weekend off are seen to be fair throughout the company. “You need to be fair and consistent. Every year I get asked to bend the rules, but that doesn’t happen. In the end that means that everybody comes around.” Unused vacation time can also be a challenge for a company. It is a fiscal liability and team members who don’t take time off can see their productivity erode, along with a toll on interpersonal office relationships. “It can be a recurring issue,” says Jennings. “Some people need to be pushed to take their vacation. At our office, it is a requirement that you take your vacation by the end of the fiscal year.” The halcyon days of summer have arrived in Edmonton, but it is not too late to ensure your employees make the most of it. Leadership in small and medium size organizations can sit down with their company vacation calendars in front of them and start working on solutions that help employees make the most of their days off – when they aren’t thinking about work at all. The benefits will be seen when they return.

MEETINGS MADE EASY Perfect for up to 100 people, our Business Day package includes: Continental breakfast, buffet lunch, all day beverages, two snacks, audio visual equipment, wireless & hardwired connections, free parking and a single point of contact during your meeting. Then, wrap up your event with your choice of: • Outdoor BBQ • Dinner at Colours Restaurant • Dinner at Playbook Lounge Reserve your date today via 780.471.7364 or salesinfo@northlands.com.

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www.businessinedmonton.com | Business In Edmonton Magazine | July 2015

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Connecting Business Lunch With Preston Manning On Wednesday, May 20, 2015, Edmonton Chamber members and guests welcomed Preston Manning to our great northern city. Manning discussed the political and economic landscape of our province and our country. He spoke to the opportunities and challenges facing Alberta’s new NDP government; how conservative parties should proceed postprovincial election; and shared his thoughts on how businesses need to “step their game up” to support the economy during a downturn in oil prices.

Preston Manning addresses the Edmonton business community.

Janet M. Riopel welcomes Preston Manning and Edmonton Chamber guests to an insightful luncheon.

Guests connect during an engaging luncheon with Preston Manning.

Members in this Issue Kingsway Mall and West Edmonton Mall, in Let’s Go Malling on page 17 Northlands, in Eureka! on page 63

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CHAMBER

www.businessinedmonton.com | Business In Edmonton Magazine | July 2015

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Employees are members too!

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With your business membership, your employees have access to exclusive member

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benefits and reward programs. Increase retention and improve corporate culture by

K

introducing your employees to Edmonton Chamber member benefits. Some of our benefit partners:

Make the most of your membership. Visit edmontonchamber.com or contact our membership team at 780.426.4620 to learn more.

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Yellow Cab Drives Through 70 Years of Great Service By Nerissa McNaughton

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axi! It only takes a few moments to summon a Yellow Cab, and long before that cab escorts you to your destination, the car and the driver have been primed to give you the safest and most courteous service. This has been their mandate for 70 years. In 1945, Walter Miller and Joe Ferraro purchased McNeil’s Taxi from John McNeil. The men rebranded the company to Yellow Cab and operated 16 units from a Quonset hut in front of the Fairmont MacDonald Hotel. In 1958 Val Taylor joined the company and operated it with Ferraro until 1974, when it was acquired by Grey Goose Bus Lines and Laidlaw. In 1999, Laidlaw purchased Barrel Taxi and Checker Cab, of which Phil Strong was a co-owner. In 2006, Strong spearheaded the purchase of the entire operation. “That’s when we consolidated to Greater Edmonton Taxi Service (GETS),” says CEO Strong. Today, comprised of Yellow Cab, Barrel Taxi, Checker and Prestige Cabs, GETS provides 24-hour service. Strong, who drove taxi while attending university, was always an entrepreneur with a sense of what would make a good investment; and under his leadership, the brand is flourishing on and off the streets. “Now, we are a lot more than taxis,” smiles Strong. For example, their hot shot/delivery service brings documents, packages and parts to where they need to go without the wait time seen by regular courier services. “We do quite a lot of parcel delivery,” he informs. “Lots are out of town. If a service rig needs a part, we’ll take it out to them. For products that are needed quickly, we can deliver faster than a courier company and we don’t charge a hot shot fee.”

CEO Phil Strong

Yellow Cab • 70 Years 75


GETS and public vehicles are repaired on site

Inside the paint room at GETS

John Palmowski mixes paint for GETS vehicles

Phil Strong with one of GETS hybrid vehicles

Page 2 •Yellow Cab • 70 Years

Yellow Cab also works closely with Edmonton’s Transit System (ETS) and Disabled Adult Transit Service (DATS). Strong explains, “We are trying to focus on seniors because of the demographics of our city. The Baby Boomers are getting to that age. We are educating seniors on the benefits of public transit and taxis. We work closely with ETS and DATS in this regard.” In addition to cabs, GETS provides shuttles, limousines and black cars. In late 2014, rival company Uber announced plans to operate in Edmonton and many residents were split on whether or not this was a good idea. “Uber is not a transportation provider,” says the fine print on their website, and it’s true. They are not – and this greatly concerns Strong. He is not concerned about competition as seventy years of service speaks for itself. He is, however, greatly troubled for the Uber drivers and the passengers they pick up. “Uber is definitely not as safe from a liability point of view,” he points out. “Customers are exposed to a lot more risks; there is no doubt about it. Uber does not have commercial insurance, and regular insurance will be declined if anything happens. This has been proven in different places where there have been accidents. Insurance is our highest cost of operating. The recordkeeping when accidents occur is very substantial and Uber wants no part of that. You need to have big reserves of funds to pay for accidents, but for Uber, it’s not in the model.” Edmontonians say our rapidly growing city needs more taxis, and Strong, who is currently the chairman of the City’s Industry Advisory Group, agrees. “There is no doubt that we need more taxis. We have voiced that to the City but the City has been a little slow to react. There is a process and it is a little cumbersome at this point.” Strong continues to work with the City to get more cabs on the roads, and while the process is slow, he has not been hesitant in giving Edmonton the service it wants. “I think Uber has done a couple things to the industry,” he says. “It disturbed us, obviously, but on the positive side it has made us react and improve our technology and service parameters. Right now the Yellow Cab app is just as good as Uber’s. You get all the same features with the exception of knowing the identity of the driver. Our next app upgrade for the winter will have that. You can know the cost of the trip and watch your car coming for you. Additionally, our taxis offer different ways to pay, such as cash and debit. Uber does not offer this convenience.” Both Yellow Cab and Barrel Taxi have apps that you can download from Google Play or the App Store. You can also book a taxi online at edmtaxi.com or simply give them a call. The in-house dispatch department responds promptly. The app is not the only way GETS has been progressive. They were one of the first to use a digital dispatch system in Canada and their cars had GPS in 1995 – just six months after GPS was introduced for vehicle use. Several cabs in the fleet are hybrids and the company is always looking for ways to improve service through technology. Much has changed since the first Yellow Cabs were seen in Edmonton, but the constant factor is the never-ending commitment to safety. “Passenger and driver safety are important,” confirms Strong. “We have an in-house defensive driving course and we don’t allow people to take it elsewhere as it is geared towards the industry here in Edmonton. We constantly review our driver’s habits, monitor them, and let them go if they are underperform-


In addition to cabs, GETS provides shuttles, limousines and black cars. ing. We probably do more of that than any other fleet in town. This fact is proven in our reduced accident claims. We have a comprehensive checklist of things we monitor on drivers.” He continues, “We have the shields mandated by the City and we instruct our drivers on how to handle the more troublesome clients.” The service doesn’t stop when the cabs are off the road. GETS has their own body shop and garage on site that is open to the public. The company also has their own paint bay and mixing facility where the iconic colour specific to Yellow Cab is created. Yellow Cab has always focused on safety, great service, customer comfort and affordable rates. With cabs suited for every need from a trip to a club to a business engagement downtown, a shuttle to the airport or an accessible van for seniors or disability transportation, this company keeps Edmonton moving. Strong looks forward to continuing to implement technologies that benefit both drivers and riders, and is equally excited about the plans to expand into Edmonton’s bedroom communities. Strong thanks all the loyal customers that have used Yellow Cab over the years. It is the company’s pleasure to safely transport Edmonton’s residents and visitors. Strong also says a very big thank you to the hardworking drivers that strive to make every call a positive experience. Seventy years is a long time but for Yellow Cab, it’s just the beginning of the ride.

Congratulations to Yellow Cab on celebrating 70 years! We value our 28-year relationship and look forward to many more! w w w.cmbinsurance.ca

Congratulations to Yellow Cab on 70 great years of service and commitment to our community!

780.438.0808 • Toll Free: 1.800.569.4856 www.carlsonbodyshopsupply.com

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Congratulations Yellow Cab on 70 great years! We wish you many years of continued success!

10303-Jasper Ave, Suite 1590 • 780.445.9900

WSI would like to congratulate Yellow Cab for 70 years of service to their many valued clients. Edmonton South Edmonton North Calgary North Calgary South

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Yellow Cab • 70 Years • Page 3


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High Mark Crane & Rigging Celebrates 10 Years

L

By Nerissa McNaughton

ike most entrepreneurs, Scott Dodds wanted to run his own company, so he created one that would metaphorically and physically reach for the sky. “I wanted to own my own company and I was in the crane business,” smiles the company’s president and founder. “I didn’t struggle with the thought of whether or not to start the business. It just seemed like natural progression.” That natural progression came into fruition 10 years ago as H&H Crane Edmonton Ltd. “We wanted more,” explains Dodds of how the name went from H&H Crane to High Mark two years ago. The “more” being a name that truly represented the brand, their commitment to their customers, and their niche specialty of working with powerlines. The words “high mark” could not be more apt in summing up the goals, drive and experience of the company. “It started out with just me and one other operator,” he remembers. “We went from two cranes lifting residential trusses and we progressed to three cranes. That is when I did my first powerline job. We moved on to our fourth and fifth cranes primarily working in the city doing trusses, commercial work and powerline jobs. In 2008 we started working more and more with the powerline industry and moved away from focusing on city work.” It may sound like smooth sailing from the get go, but like many companies, the economic downturn in the early 2000s affected the young company. “In 2007 I was basically going broke,” the Dodds grimaces. “Residential development was crashing and powerline was just starting to increase.” In what seemed like the perfect timing to many, Dodds had an acquisition offer on the table. “They were going to buy us out but I knew it was going to be a bad deal. I called off the deal I was about to make.” To many outsiders, backing away from a sure deal when the future of the company was at stake seemed risky at best and foolhardy at worst, but Dodds knew it wasn’t the right move for High Mark. With the utmost concern for his customers and staff in mind, he believed in himself, his company, and his product. “I listened to my gut. I took a huge risk, called off the deal and decided to proceed ahead [on our own] but I didn’t know, at that time, that I was going to do a job for ATCO four months later. His instincts were right. The ATCO job turned out to be a large venture with ATCO Energy and AAEBGL in Red Earth, Alberta. “We supplied all the cranes for that project and when we completed it, I knew then that we would be able to succeed. That was our first really big success,” he smiles. Despite making an agile – and correct – move, those moments of uncertainly left a lasting impression. “I listened to my gut. I took a huge risk and High Mark Crane & Rigging • 10 Years • Page 1 79


10

th

Anniversary

called off the deal and decided to proceed ahead [on our own] but I didn’t know that I was going to do a job for ATCO four months later. When we completed the job, I knew we would make it. That was our first really big success.” Dodds never looked back. Once established in the crane business, he expanded into hauling and logistics. “It goes with the crane work,” he explains. “We want to give the customers a complete service package.” Two years ago High Mark added, once again, to that package with the addition of hydrovac services. Built by Rebel and Tornado, High Mark’s tri-axle hydrovac trucks have nine cubes of water storage and a six cube water tank. The trucks are used to daylight pipes, electrical lines, water lines and other utilities. “Our hydrovac service has contracts with Dale mines in Manitoba,” says Dodds. In Manitoba, they also work with the community, airport, university and the City. Today, High Mark is proud to boast a 40-unit fleet. “We primarily have boom trucks and are expanding into mobile cranes. We have done this without acquisitions, just amazing organic growth,” says Dodds. Yet, no matter how large or fast High Mark grows, the company will always adhere to its slogan: We are big enough to do the job and small enough to care. Dodds explains, “We are big enough to do the job through rental or subletting out and our cranes are big enough to do the project; but then we are small enough to want to make that great impression on the client. You want to be the can-do person. We’ve said yes to almost every single job.” Saying yes has helped High Mark expand beyond Alberta, into Manitoba and Newfoundland. Here at home in Alberta, they have partnered with many high-profile clients such as Valard Construction and R.S. Line Contr. Co. Dodds describes High Mark as an “energized” business, an apt play on words since they have focused on the powerline industry since 2006. He explains that while most people looked to the oil industry, he knew the powerline sector would soon be busy with rebuilds. He focused on the niche market and, as always, his intuition was right on tract. “We do backflips for our clients,” he laughs. “It’s that ‘small enough to care’ attitude. We get what our clients need even if it’s on

Scott Dodds

short notice. We don’t go for the biggest cranes on the site. We go for the cranes that are going to be used the most.” Even more important to Dodds than his impressive inventory is his people. High Mark’s staff is approximately 40 in the field and office. “The equipment itself can be acquired. You need to have the expertise, the salesmanship, the personality and the likeability that keeps that piece of equipment working,” he points out. “Likeability, personality, a team player, someone that has a can-do and will-do attitude is the ideal type of High Mark employee.”

HAPPY

1 0 TH A N N I V E R S A R Y ! We at Heavy Hauler and DRM Recovery Ltd. are proud to be a part of High Mark Crane & Rigging’s Success!

Page 2 • High Mark Crane & Rigging • 10 Years

7320 67 Street Northwest, Edmonton, AB T6B 3E7 780.463.9228 www.heavyhauler.ca

7320 67 Street Northwest, Edmonton, AB T6B 3E7 780.719.8875 www.drmrecoveryltd.com


Dodds describes High Mark as an “energized” business, an apt play on words since they have focused on the powerline industry since 2006.

HSBC congratulates Highmark Crane and Rigging on their 10th Anniversary. Contact your local team now: Mike McIvor,

Sr. International Relationship Manager Tel: 780.409.7229 Email: Mike.x.Mcivor@hsbc.ca

High Mark Crane & Rigging • 10 Years • Page 3


Despite coming into ownership of the business with experience and skills, Dodds finds he never stops learning and growing, on and off the job site. “The one thing is to never give up and to make decisions quickly,” he counsels. “Not making a decision is worse than making a poor decision. It’s not easy, but it is rewarding. It’s taught me that integrity and honesty are the key ingredients. It pays to follow those guidelines even if it bears a cost.” How is High Mark celebrating 10 years of business? By continuing to grow. The future plan of the company is to emerge into the American market. In fact, Dodds has already been to Houston to start setting things up. Not all of those 10 years have been easy ones, but they have been ones of consistent growth, and all the decisions Dodds has made so far have been the right ones for his clients, his company and his staff.

“My wife has given me good support and sound advice,” he says gratefully. “My father-in-law gave me my first opportunity in helping me get started. I also want to thank every employee for their skills and their efforts. To the clients, I say thank you for every opportunity and for your support. Without the clients, we would have nothing.

1320 77 Ave NW, Edmonton AB Ph. 780-450-2188 Fax: 866-805-8155 www.highmarkcrane.com

Red Associates Engineering would like to congratulate High Mark Crane for 10 years of service. We would like to also thank Scott, Earl and all the staff for their great working relationship between our two companies and looking forward to a long lasting relationship in the years to come. (Cheers!)

780-466-9494 • www.redengineering.com

Congratulations! MNP proudly congratulates our client, High Mark Crane & Rigging on 10 years of success. Contact Brian Farrell, CA at 780.453.5385 or brian.farrell@mnp.ca

NEW MILLENIUM TIRE CENTRE Congratulations to High Mark Crane & Rigging for their 10 year anniversary and also for all their hard work and perseverance. 7320 18 Street NW, Edmonton, AB T6P 1N8 Phone: (780) 485-0026 • Fax: (780) 485-0018 www.newmilleniumtire.com

Lloyd Sadd Insurance Brokers is proud to work with High Mark Crane & Rigging!

10 Congrats on

Years of Success!

808 Wildwood Crest. Edmonton, AB • Ph: (780) 440-4988

Congratulations to Highmark Crane and Rigging on your 10th Anniversary. Page 4 • High Mark Crane & Rigging • 10 Years

www.lloydsadd.com


Team Ford is a light duty Fleet and Commercial maintenance center featuring: • Dedicated commercial building • Dedicated service representatives, direct phone and email contact to your representative • State of the art facility meeting the latest environmental standards • Environmentally friendly chassis wash and demudding facility • No charge pickup and delivery • Maintenance programs designed for each individual client • Accept all major fleet cards • Two year unlimited mileage warranty on all FORD installed parts • CVIP and Out of province inspection facility

Congratulations to Scott and High Mark Crane! Thanks for many years of loyal support.

3304 91 Street, Edmonton AB 780.462.8300 • 1.866.326.6105

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High Mark Crane & Rigging • 10 Years • Page 5


AIRPORT DEVELOPMENT - PART 1II WE’LL GROOVE YOU!

WE’LL GROOVE YOU! EIA Scales New Heights with Amsterdam Flight BY BEN FREELAND

W

hat a difference 18 months make! A year and a half ago, Edmonton International Airport’s (EIA) nonstop route map featured one solitary line spanning the Atlantic Ocean from Edmonton to London’s Heathrow Airport. Today, EIA enjoys three such routes thanks to KLM’s inauguration of non-stop service from Edmonton to Amsterdam’s Schiphol International Airport. While the 2014 launch of the non-stop EIA-Reykjavik service by Icelandair was a big deal, providing Edmonton travellers with easy connections to over 20 European destinations, the new KLM service dwarfs the former in scale by linking Edmonton with a vast array of destinations across Europe, Africa, and the Middle East covered by the KLMAir France partnership. With a passenger tally of over eight million in 2014 and a steadily expanding non-stop route network, Edmonton International Airport has slowly but surely muscled its way into the big leagues. Passenger numbers have doubled those of a decade ago, and the airport now handles passenger traffic comparable to important mid-sized international hubs like Glasgow, Venice, Birmingham, and San Jose (California); and has long laid to rest its onetime im-

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July 2015 | Business In Edmonton Magazine | www.businessinedmonton.com

age as a domestic feeder airport for Calgary and Vancouver. With the surprise inclusion of Edmonton in National Geographic’s Top 11 Summer Destinations list this year, the city itself appears to be enjoying an international “moment” – a fact that bodes well for the airport’s future. “The timing of the National Geographic feature couldn’t have been better,” asserts EIA vice president of passenger market development Traci Bednard. “This feature will encourage potential new travellers to consider our region, and as they start researching travel options they will also discover that we are easy to get to.” Bednard adds that while economic uncertainty has had a recent dampening effect on the airport’s meteoric growth, she expects this trend to be short-lived and for EIA to continue flourishing. “While passenger growth has slowed for 2015, we don’t expect this to be a long term concern,” she says. “We are also very excited at the strong international growth we are seeing. Not only does this help Edmontonians gets where they want to go, it helps us to attract travellers and business from around the world.” A further trend that bodes well for EIA’s continued passenger market growth is WestJet’s recent expansion into


AIRPORT DEVELOPMENT - PART 1II

WE’LL GROOVE YOU!

INDUSTRIAL LOTS AVAILABLE Build To Suit, Sale & Lease

PHOTO COURTESY OF EIA

FORT MCMURRAY, ALBERTA

ACHESON, ALBERTA ARIAL VIEW OF EIA

the intercontinental market. In May of this year, Canada’s second-largest carrier launched European flights between Toronto and Glasgow (via Halifax), following the 2014 launch of its Toronto - St. John’s - Dublin route. In addition, WestJet is scheduled to accept delivery this summer of four long-range widebody Boeing 767-300 jets with a seating capacity of 262. The airline has immediate plans to employ these large jets on flight from Edmonton to Hawaii, and may also put them to use on future European routes. “WestJet has been a considerable driving force in developing great air service in Edmonton,” says Bednard. “In addition to connecting business and leisure travellers to all of the key regional cities, they have consistently offered great getaway destinations for Edmonton, be it to Las Vegas, Hawaii, or elsewhere. They are allocating one of their widebodies to their Hawaii service, which is a great show of support for us, and I hope that as they continue to look at their longer haul markets, Edmonton will be high on their list.” With a steady parade of newly introduced air services now under EIA’s belt, Bednard is hesitant to comment on what destinations might be next. “A key focus will be ensuring that the significant number of new routes at EIA are successful,” she notes. “We have enjoyed a lot of new air service additions, perhaps most notably into international European hubs. We need to stay focused on these routes and ensure they succeed. We are also looking at new routes over the medium and long term, but because air service routes take a long time to establish, we need to be laying the groundwork now for other international flights, be they to Asia, South America or elsewhere.” What is undeniable, however, is that after a decade of steady growth unmatched by any other airport in Canada, EIA is now a global force to be reckoned with, as is the city it serves. “EIA and its air services are a reflection of what’s going on in our city,” she says. “Our provincial economy may be facing uncertain times, but here in Edmonton business is good, our international profile continues to build, and we are proud to be a member of a community that has really found its groove.” BIE

EDMONTON INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

Panattoni Development Company is the developer of Fort McMurray’s newest 90 acre industrial park, it’s second 120 acre development in Acheson and an 80 acre partnership at the Edmonton International Airport. All projects have a variety of industrial lot sizes which are serviced, zoned and permit ready for construction. With an expansive international platform, Panattoni specializes in industrial, office and build-to-suit development. Our 24 offices in the United States, Canada and Europe are responsible for development of over 200 million square feet.

FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT

BRAD HOFFMAN AT (780) 409-1152

bhoffman@panattoni.com www.panattonicanada.com • www.panattoni.com

www.businessinedmonton.com | Business In Edmonton Magazine | July 2015

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