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JULY 2021 | $3.50 BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM

THE BRAND BUILDER PM42455512

MOSAIC HOME SERVICES PROVIDES A UNIQUE SOLUTION FOR ENTREPRENEURS

FLAT BUT RECOVERING

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EDMONTON CHAMBER SECTION

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STORY TITLE // SECTION

Supporting the visions of entrepreneurs one story at a time. Volume 9 | Number 7

REGULAR COLUMNS

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Alberta, Our Hospitality Industry Needs Our Help By John Liston

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Supply Chain Bottlenecks are Getting Expensive By David MacLean

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Edmonton Chamber of Commerce

CONTENTS COVER FEATURE

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The Brand Builder Mosaic Home Services provides a unique solution for entrepreneurs By Nerissa McNaughton

ON OUR COVER: ABOVE: STEVEN KNIGHT., PARTNER – CREATOR OF SOLUTIONS AND OPPORTUNITIES, MOSAIC HOME SERVICES LTD. PHOTO SOURCE: EPIC PHOTOGRAPHY INC.

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STORY TITLE // SECTION

Supporting the visions of entrepreneurs one story at a time. Volume 9 | Number 7

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THIS MONTH’S FEATURES

CONTENTS COMPANY PROFILES

37 45 51 57 60

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Flat but Recovering The downtown core is the key By John Hardy

The Recreation Real Estate Market is on the Rise By Will Porter

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G  lenora Lumber Celebrates 60 Years

A  RCA

Investment Properties Is now the right time to invest? By Bethany Neufeld

Celebrates 60 Years

R  iver City Events

Celebrates Business Excellence

A  rctic Chiller

Celebrates 25 Years

AltraCare

Celebrates 20 Years

51 6

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ALBERTA, OUR HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY NEEDS OUR HELP // JOHN LISTON

Alberta, Our Hospitality Industry Needs Our Help BY JOHN LISTON, VICE PRESIDENT, ALBERTA ENTERPRISE GROUP

W

e Albertans are known for our hospitality. We love to host our friends and neighbours for a meal or visit. As we open up our province and businesses, it is time we got out for dinner or travelled to a destination across this great province to enjoy an Alberta vacation.

Alberta’s Restaurant & Food Service Industry Prior to COVID-19, Alberta’s $12 billion restaurant industry represented 3.4 per cent of the province’s GDP and was already a highly competitive, labour-intensive, low margin industry with average pre-tax profitability of less than five per cent. In 2019 the industry was the third largest private sector employer and largest youth employer directly employing a peak of more than 150,000 Albertans just before COVID (including 60,000 young people under the age of 25) representing 6.5 per cent of the province’s workforce. Before COVID-19 the industry included more than 11,000 small businesses in every Alberta community. The restaurant and food service industry brings jobs, investment, innovation and tourism to every community in the province while creating a focal point for people to gather. Restaurants, cafeterias, coffee shops and bars are gathering spots for people from all walks of life and operators are proud to serve as a social club for seniors, the sponsor of the local hockey or sports team, the boardroom of small business, or a meeting place for community groups. As a result of COVID-19 all segments of Alberta restaurants experienced significant sales losses resulting in a 24.4 per cent decline in commercial restaurant sales compared to 2019. Of the four segments of the industry (full service restaurants, quick service restaurants, caterers and drinking

establishments) full service restaurants and drinking establishments experienced the steepest loss in monthly sales. As a result, over the past year more than 1,000 Alberta restaurants have closed permanently. Restaurants Canada predicts that Alberta’s restaurant industry will not generate sales equivalent to 2019 sales until 2023.

Alberta’s Hotel Industry The hotel industry suffered similar challenges through the same period. Prior to COVID-19 the economic impact analysis for Alberta’s hotel industry showed industry revenue at $3.4 billion with $3.1 billion value added revenue and employing 36,000 people. In the first month of COVID-19 approximately 60 per cent of hotel rooms in Alberta were closed and 90 per cent of staff were temporarily laid off. Occupancy fell 55 per cent year over year and the average daily rate dropped close to 20 per cent. Alberta’s hotel sector is currently on life support dependent on several of the government subsidy programs. This will not be a quick fix and the industry is telling us that they will need to have extended liquidity support well beyond the current wind down of federal support programs. The industry also needs the removal of interprovincial and international travel restrictions to attract travelers beyond our borders. CBRE hotels estimates the Canadian hotel sector will not return to 2019 revenue levels until 2025. Restaurants and hotels need our help. They have been huge contributors to both the economic and cultural diversity of Alberta and we owe it to them to get back out and enjoy our communities across the province. Not to mention, after 16 months I suspect we’re all sick of our own beds and cooking.

BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // JULY 2021

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INNOVATIVE BUSINESS TO YOU BY CANADIAN

Anthea Sargeaunt Co-founder and CEO of 2S Water

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nthea Sargeaunt co-founded 2S Water with Tony Nelson in 2017 to address the issue of metal contamination in municipal and industrial water. Following the research and development phase, Sargeaunt is thrilled to see the 2S Water monitors hit the market this year. The single and multielement sensors provide real-time data in the detection and quantification of metals in water supplies, enabling a rapid response for the industries and municipalities affected. “We hear so much about E. coli, and other bacteria, but as a society we are not paying as much attention to the metals that build up over time and cause problems,” says Sargeaunt. “The importance of real-time water detection sounds simple, but it is complex and addresses a range of impactful issues such as the health of the population, the environmental, industry, healthcare and more.” Currently the 2S sensors can detect 31 out of 78 metals, and developments are ongoing to increase the capacity of detection and locations of deployment. “With environmental sensors in streams and rivers we also gain a better understanding of seasonal changes and the impacts of climate change,” adds Sargeaunt. For Sargeaunt, being innovative means identifying a problem then figuring out how to solve it.

“We were able to crack the water problem by coming at it as outsiders with a different perspective,” she says when talking about her approach to innovation. “We started with identifying the problem first. Then we talked to municipalities about the issues they had with metals in water. Next, we found someone in a lab using technology we could develop and commercialize. Our mission has impacted our approach to innovation. We are focused on effluent monitoring because the tech is there and aligns with our drive. Our mission guides our innovation.” Sargeaunt, who is a three-time entrepreneur, tech innovator and has a MBA, always knew she wanted to leave a positive environmental legacy. “I always wanted to have a beautiful and positive environmental impact on the world. This is the opportunity to do that. Water is so important to every part of our health and communities. I’m excited to do my part for safe water for Canada and the world.” Sargeaunt’s advice for female entrepreneurs is, “Look at the competition in the room and know that you can achieve and exceed this. Women who do get funded perform better – but women only get three per cent of venture funding. It can be done. It takes more tenacity but every time one of us succeeds we make the path easier for those behind us. Even though it’s difficult there is lots of support. Other women entrepreneurs and lots of men are strong champions of women in business. Find the people willing to support you. They are there.” Anthea and 2S have been recognized with several awards including Clean50 2021, Startup Alberta’s Most Promising Startup Entrepreneur 2019, Famae’s Top 100 Best Water Innovations Worldwide, and the Covergx Precommercialization Award for Best New Technology with Applications in Industry and Defense. Learn more at www.2swater.com or email Anthea at asargeaunt@2swater.com.


LEADERS MONTHLY SPOTLIGHT BROUGHT WESTERN BANK AND PRIME CAPITAL GROUP Listen to our podcast here: primeforgrowthpodcast.buzzsprout.com

Kristina Milke Managing Partner, Sprout Fund LP

S

prout Fund LP invests in seed and early-stage companies with Series-A funding potential.

“My partners and I were angel investors,” says managing partner Kristina Milke. “We were all interested in fund management and a pilot fund would help us gain experience and get a stronger sense of the deal flow in the region. We believe there are great opportunities in tech and we really want to try and help convert traditional investors to looking at early stage tech investing as an additional asset class to their own portfolios. We want more money into the tech space in Alberta.” Milke and her partners launched Sprout in 2018 and took to the process thoughtfully and diligently. Approximately 500 companies came their way and some level of due diligence was performed with 100 companies. Ultimately, 10 received investment. The pilot fund is showing great promise. Half the companies have subsequently raised additional rounds of capital and two to four times valuations from the initial Sprout investment. She is excited about the next steps. “We are raising capital right now and interested in discussions with accredited investors looking to invest in a tech fund,” she says. Milke, who is also the president of K-GAR Consulting Inc., has a wealth of experience in finance, including work with Ernst & Young, Intuit Canada, Investopedia, co-founding Valhalla Private Capital and more.

What sets Sprout apart is that it is local. “When we launched there wasn’t a tech fund whose office was local to Edmonton. This was one of our dreams,” says Milke. “We enjoyed fund one so much, we wanted to go to fund two. When we finish fund two, we will be the first fund of this size and kind in Edmonton. This is important to our mission of putting Edmonton on the map for tech. The diversity of our team helps bring diversity of thought in pursuit of this goal.” For Milke, diversity is the innovation that helps Sprout thrive. “We truly believe that diversity and the way we support it equals better outcomes. This means investing in diversified teams as well, which provides more opportunity for a lot of different people. In our first fund, 20 per cent of the companies we invested in were female founded, but our ratios go beyond gender. We also care about the level of diversity in their teams.” While Sprout loves to help tech companies in Alberta and western Canada grow, Milke notes that some aspects of the process are challenging for the applicants, saying, “There is frustration from founders when they get turned down. It doesn’t mean their business isn’t good, it just may not fit our criteria requirements. Entrepreneurs really need to understand the problem they are solving for. Make sure the problem exists or the customers won’t pay. Do the customer market research first.” Milke who is also the chair of the Threshold Impact Venture Mentoring Services Advisory Board, was recently was acknowledged by the YEG Startup community as mentor of the year. For women in business Milke advises, “Be fearless. Find great mentors. Edmonton is a great community and people are generous with their time.” On behalf of Sprout, Milke invites accredited investors looking for a tech fund, and anyone looking to learn more, to visit www.sprout.vc or email kristina@sprout.vc.


SUPPLY CHAIN BOTTLENECKS ARE GETTING EXPENSIVE // DAVID MACLEAN

Supply Chain Bottlenecks are Getting Expensive BY DAVID MACLEAN

I

t feels like only yesterday we were lousy with shipping containers. We had so many shipping containers strewn across our great country that we didn’t know what to do with them. Inventors were figuring out ways to make buildings out of them. Someone thought it was a good idea to make swimming pools, saunas and food stands out of them. These days they are in extremely high demand for their intended purpose – moving goods overseas and back again. The scarcity of shipping containers is having a real impact on our economy, and consumers will wind up paying for it. The shipping container shortage was initially caused by pandemic related lockdowns. Shippers around the world stopped shipping stuff in the first half of 2020. Then in the second half of 2020, U.S. and European demand for Asianmade goods started to surge. With too few containers in Asia, the cost of acquiring them spiked, resulting in record high shipping prices between Asia and Europe last fall. The Suez Canal blockage made it significantly worst, with thousands of containers stranded at sea for days or weeks. It’s a tired cliché but we’re really seeing a perfect storm hitting global supply chains, and it’s starting to cost real money. Just as global demand for goods is rebounding as we come out of the pandemic (knock on wood), we’re seeing a global shortage of microchips and semiconductors. A fire at Japanese automotive chip maker’s plant and a drought in Taiwan (it takes a lot of water to make microchips) are primary culprits. Trade tension between the US and China

has caused Chinese manufacturers to stockpile chips, making matters worse. Demand is going to keep increasing, and logistical bottlenecks are going to continue to limit supply. According to a TD Economics study released in May, this could all lead to inflation. The U.S. Producer Price Index came in at 4.2 per cent year over year in March, the largest increase in almost 10 years. The study points out that, historically, consumer prices go together with producer prices. Manufacturers may resist the urge to pass along increased costs to consumers in an attempt to maintain demand, but the longer the price surge continues, the more likely we are to see price increases. Free markets are good at solving problems like supply chain bottlenecks. The TD study points out that orders for newly built container ships recently hit a five-year high and shipping containers are being built at a staggering pace. But it takes years to build ships and the new containers are increasingly expensive, costing $3,500 each in 2021 – a dramatic increase from $1,600 in 2019. The best course of action is for manufacturers to shorten their supply chains and many already are. While this would reduce their exposure to future supply chain disruptions, it will also mean higher prices in the short term. Hopefully the long-term gain is worth the short-term pain.

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

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PROJECT PROTECTION Our vision, values and purpose are the cornerstone that guide us through the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, they keep our people safe and healthy and provide business continuity for our valued partners.

PCL.COM


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Costco Wholesale Business Centre Opens Fourth Location – In West Edmonton Costco Wholesale opened its fourth Canadian Business Centre earlier this year. It is located at 10310 – 186 Street NW in Edmonton. The 127,000-square-foot facility has created 140 local jobs and unprecedented convenience for local businesses. This new Business Centre is the fourth of its kind in Canada and follows the success of the Business Centres launched in Scarborough, Ontario in March 2017, Saint-Hubert, Quebec in September 2020, and Ottawa, Ontario last month. It is part of a Costco national expansion plan, with additional Costco Business Centre locations planned to open across Canada. Open to all Costco members, the Business Centre concept is vastly different from the traditional Costco warehouse, with more than 70 per cent of the product offerings unique to the Business Centre and targeted to meet the needs of businesses of all sizes. The new Edmonton Costco Business Centre offers more than 3,200 high-quality items, targeted at restaurants, convenience/grocery stores and offices – from bulk food items to commercial kitchen wares and cleaning supplies, to office furniture, coffee needs and everything in between. Examples include 16-litre canola oil, a variety of large format flours and sugars (up to 25 kilograms), full size 36-kilogram Parmigiano wheels, 10-kilogram jars of peanut butter and 18.9-litre maple syrup. Other exclusive items range from commercial meat slicers, mixers and food processors. Business owners will find the same items available both in store and online by visiting Costcobusinesscentre.ca. With business-friendly hours of Monday to Saturday from 7 a.m. to 6 pm, and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., business owners can shop at their convenience. With its own fleet of trucks, the Costco Business Centre offers next-business-day delivery to addresses inside of a delivery zone extending across the Edmonton area. “We are thrilled to open our doors and offer this new service, which will better respond to the needs of local

business owners,” said Marc-André Bally, vice president of Business Centres and Ancillary Businesses, Costco Wholesale Canada. “The Costco Business Centre concept is already a success in Ontario and Quebec, and we look forward to offering the same benefits to businesses in Alberta. We hope many new consumers will discover the benefits of a Costco membership.” “Congratulations to the Costco Wholesale Canada team on the opening of their fourth Canadian Business Centre in Canada – the first in Edmonton,” said Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson. “Not only will the new centre create 140 local jobs, but it will also, importantly, help meet the needs of residents and local business owners who are looking for the convenience this ‘one-stop shop’ provides.” “Costco members will find our product offering to be unique, while always offering great value,” said Tom Benko, warehouse manager of the new location. “This convenient and spacious location will present a vastly different selection of business merchandise – at prices that only Costco Wholesale can offer and with the added bonus of whiteglove, next-business day delivery service.”

SOURCE: SUBMITTED BY COSTCO WHOLESALE CANADA LTD. C/O GAIL BERGMAN PR

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Stantec To Provide Design Services for Three Healthcare Projects in Canada Leading global design firm Stantec is making an impact on the healthcare system across Canada, having recently been awarded three significant healthcare projects. The company will provide design services for the Cariboo Memorial Hospital in British Columbia, Prince Albert Victoria Hospital in northern Saskatchewan, and Weeneebayko Area Health Authority in northern Ontario. These projects include inpatient and emergency care, helping to expand access to vital services to better meet the health needs of their respective communities. The collaboration of Stantec and Graham Construction is providing design and construction services for the Cariboo Memorial Hospital Redevelopment Project in Williams Lake, British Columbia. The CAD$217.75 million expansion will be delivered via a progressive design-build model. New clinical and support spaces will include an emergency department, medical/surgical inpatient units, maternal care and women’s health, and pharmacy services. Stantec’s integrated design team is providing architecture, interiors, structural, mechanical, electrical, information management/information technology, civil, landscape, acoustics, heliport, geomatics, and sustainability consulting services for the project, which is expected to complete construction in 2025. Stantec will be responsible for technical advisory work and lead the design of the Prince Albert Victoria Hospital expansion and renewal in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. The project value exceeds CAD$300 million and will include a new acute care tower, the replacement of the existing mental health space and renovations to the current facility. Upon completion, the total number of beds available is expected to increase by approximately 40 per cent, with space to expand further as needed. The Stantec team is providing architecture, structural, civil, mechanical, electrical, information management/

information technology, landscape, heliport, signage, wayfinding sustainability and energy modeling, clinical planning, community engagement, and commissioning for the project which is expected to open in 2025. A project will involve the construction of a new hospital in Moosonee, Ontario to replace the existing Weeneebayko General Hospital on Moose Factory Island. The new hospital will include inpatient beds in private rooms, an expanded 24/7 emergency department, modern surgical suites, dialysis treatments and diagnostic imaging, and expanded mental health and addictions programming – improving access and quality care to Ontario’s Indigenous communities. The Moosonee hospital campus will also include a new lodge, allowing local Elders to remain in the community while receiving care. The existing hospital on Moose Factory Island will be redeveloped as a new healthcare centre to continue delivering services to patients on the island, including emergency health services, access to primary healthcare, diagnostic imaging capabilities, physiotherapy treatments, and increased health promotion. Stantec is providing architecture, clinical planning, interior design, buildings engineering, landscape architecture, civil and transportation engineering, sustainable design, commissioning, and PDC (planning, design and compliance) services for the project. “Expanding access to care services is a top priority for hospitals and health systems nationwide and we are proud to support these initiatives,” said Tariq Amlani, senior principal and health sector leader for Canada at Stantec. “Our integrated team is focused on designing to optimize clinical workflow while improving patient and care team experiences.”

SOURCE: STANTEC

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THE BRAND BUILDER // COVER

THE BRAND BUILDER MOSAIC HOME SERVICES PROVIDES A UNIQUE SOLUTION FOR ENTREPRENEURS BY NERISSA MCNAUGHTON

T

he Knights, one of Edmonton’s most recognized philanthropic and entrepreneurial families, took their years of running successful businesses, mentorship, and community support and combined those attributes into an enterprise unlike any other in the city – Mosaic Home Services Ltd. “My family and I founded Mosaic in 2016,” says Steven Knight. His title, Partner – Creator of Solutions and Opportunities, reflects what he brings to the brand. “We selected titles based on what we like to do,” Knight smiles. Mosaic Home Services aims to be Canada’s largest home improvement franchise network by bringing passionate entrepreneurs under the umbrella and providing them with mentorship, investment and capital. Mosaic works diligently to refine businesses in the home service industry into a simple, scalable “businesses-in-a-box” which provides each entrepreneur with a proven process, system and structure for rapid, sustainable growth. Knight explains, “Currently there are eight brands under the Mosaic umbrella. When homeowners choose any of these services, they can trust that their home will be well cared for, and that their service will be completed by trained professionals. Today, we are Edmonton’s one-stop-shop for homeowners’ needs; soon, we aim to be Canada’s largest home improvement provider. We are actively seeking brands and looking to grow into new markets by empowering entrepreneurs with our business-in-a-box franchise solutions.”

The brands currently under the umbrella are: Five Star Holiday Decor, Screen Savers, Everlast Vinyl Fencing, Colour Envy Painting, Shine Above Window and Gutter Cleaning, Yard Hero, Miraculous Maids and Downright Demolition. “When we opened in 2016, we had three home improvement brands in our portfolio,” says Knight. “For the first year we operated out of a 1,000-square-foot storage shed with no plumbing! By 2017 we started adding more brands.” From there, things took off. Fast. “At some point you have to accept that the business is growing, ready or not,” reflects Knight. “I remember on a beautiful afternoon my girlfriend (now wife) and I went to meet our new landlord. We were moving the company into a 2,000 square foot space office and I said, ‘What are we going to do with all this space? How will we pay the rent?’ But when we moved in every inch was filled. That move was in 2017. By 2019 we were over capacity and had cubicles in the hallways, So, we expanded into a new location on January 1, 2020.” Shortly after that move, the event happened that Knight calls, “My worst day in business. Lockdown.” The onset of the global pandemic hit Edmonton hard, closing businesses and forcing a rapid transition from office life to work-from-home. Mosaic was not spared, but agility, some hard decisions and tenacity kept the company moving forward. RIGHT: STEVEN KNIGHT., PARTNER – CREATOR OF SOLUTIONS AND OPPORTUNITIES, MOSAIC HOME SERVICES LTD. PHOTO SOURCE: EPIC PHOTOGRAPHY INC.

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THE BRAND BUILDER // COVER

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THE BRAND BUILDER // COVER

“We went from a team of 60 down to five,” says Knight. “We had to make some very difficult decisions, but it worked out in the end. In time we were able to bring our people back and now Mosaic is larger and stronger than ever.” “We were fortunate,” he continues, “that we were not ordered to close as was the case with many other businesses. The thing that really impacted us the most was the inability to forecast. It felt like a game where the rules kept changing and that has continued. Things are busy. Homeowners want services but we have to balance services with being careful about safety and supply chain issues.” A common misconception about Mosaic stems from its different business model. The team at Mosaic is incubating the brands under their umbrella and growing them by selling franchises into new markets. The business-in-a-box concept is sometimes confused with multi-level marketing. Knight assures that the two models couldn’t be more different. “We are not a group you can just sign onto. We look for companies that fit a very specific mold and invest in them and help them grow. There is a lot of criteria to meet and

it’s a long process. Ultimately the most important thing is the entrepreneur. We want to work with the right kind of person in the environment we provide. It’s a no-nonsense, entrepreneurial, fast-paced environment. We are not a list or directory. We are a curated service.” One of Mosaic’s brands, Five Star Holiday Decor, was the first to franchise. “That was a big day in November 2020,” says Knight. The excitement is evident in his voice. “It was the first realization of our long-term goal. The pandemic inadvertently helped to grow Five Star because it provided a safe way for homeowners, municipalities and outdoor festivals to have Christmas delivered during such a dark year.” However, Knight admits that being on the cusp of a dream come true was equally as terrifying as it was exciting. “To have a franchise opportunity for Five Star come up so late in the year was intense,” he admits. Since Five Star supplies, installs, takes down, stores and maintains Christmas lighting, launching a new franchisee during the busiest time of the year ABOVE: AN EXTERIOR PAINTING PROJECT AT THE CTV NEWS BUILDING COMPLETED BY THE TEAM AT COLOUR ENVY PAINTING LTD., A DIVISION OF MOSAIC.

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Are you paying more than your fair share of taxes?

Alberta’s dynamic market makes it difficult for municipal assessors to accurately estimate the market value of your property. Make sure you’re only paying your fair share of taxes with a proper evaluation of the value placed on your property. Walid Melhem, Senior Manager, Property Tax Recovery 780.969.1476 | walid.melhem@mnp.ca

MNP.ca


THE BRAND BUILDER // COVER

for the brand was daunting. “Not only were we busy as a corporate location, we had to provide all the support needed to ensure our first franchisee was happy and making money. To stumble right out of the gate is not good for anyone involved. It was such an exciting moment, but I also had a huge knot in my throat for weeks! But once we made sure he was ready and we onboarded, he had a great first year and is looking forward to an even better second season. In the end, it was a great experience.” For Knight, great experiences all around is the goal. “What differentiates us is the simple fact that every brand under the Mosaic umbrella is reputable, customerfocused, insured and providing quality service. The employees, the call centre, headquarters – all call Edmonton home. There are some big franchises out there, but Mosaic is local and affordable. We are grassroots, driven, hungry and we built this model with our own two hands to ensure the business model we are selling is profitable from day one. The entrepreneurs we bring in work directly with me. When you join, you can trust you will be successful.” Helping entrepreneurs, and others, succeed has always been a priority for the Knight family. “Speaking on behalf of myself,” says Knight, “I know I’m fortunate. I have lived a life of privilege, worked in the family business, received a great education, and worked hard to start my own business. I was able to follow my dreams. I 100 per cent recognize that not everyone gets that opportunity. Therefore, it’s important to me to make investments and be giving of my time in my local community in recognition of the advantages I have enjoyed.” When Knight was part of a demolition company with his parents, Bill and Grace, the company gave back millions into the community, supporting a variety of entrepreneurial, educational and non-profit interests. Knight continues the tradition of service by giving back five per cent of sales on

Mosaic’s monthly charity day, the last Thursday of every month. Mosaic has also been proud to present major events like The Sorrentino’s Garlic Stomp and The Edmonton Singing Christmas Tree. “Charities have reached out to us about being included in our journey,” says Knight. “We are open to supporting everyone. We are non-denominational, inclusive and enthusiastic about supporting our community.” Knight is grateful for the success of Mosaic and now that the first franchise is in place with more planned, he is thrilled that the vision of the brand is coming true. Yet he’s humble and thankful that despite his advantages, he also had the opportunity to learn from the ground up. “My first job was pouring coffee at Tim Hortons at 5:00 a.m. on Sundays. I had a lot of odd jobs and great experiences before and during university and working in the family business. Through that journey I realized I wanted to do something with my life that kept me on my toes. Mosaic’s structure fits this. No two days are the same. What is really exciting for me is taking an industry – home improvement services – that has not changed substantially for decades – and shaking it up. Our model is about helping entrepreneurs across this country achieve their dreams. ABOVE: BILL, GRACE & STEVEN KNIGHT WITH A CHEQUE FOR THEIR LATEST CHARITY OF THE MONTH DRIVE, A CAMPAIGN THAT HAS RAISED OVER $10,000 FOR EDMONTON-BASED CHARITIES IN 2021.

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THE BRAND BUILDER // COVER

I’ve learned that sometimes you have to have those uncomfortable conversations. Sometimes you need to put your cards on the table and say that is how it is.” He’s also thrilled that he gets to do all this in his hometown. “Edmonton is the biggest small town you’ll ever find. You can walk into a room and know someone. That is what I love about it. Entrepreneurs in Edmonton want to help each other grow and develop something that can help others. I want businesses in Edmonton to think about who they know across Canada in markets outside of Edmonton that have potential to grow a business. Maybe they worked their whole career and now want to be their own boss and build their own community. I want to talk to those people.” Mosaic’s brands are earning recognitions and awards including a Consumer Choice Award (Screen Savers Plus, 2021) and widespread praise across a variety of different publications for Five Star Holiday’s Decor’s “rescue” of Christmas 2020. Knight is grateful to the many people that have been a part of his and Mosaic’s success.

We saw we could bring together companies with passion, proven systems, and profitable business models and use that to help entrepreneurs become their own boss, control their own destiny and build in their own local communities. I love that Mosaic experiences growth through helping others grow.” “Starting and growing this business has taken a lot of blood, sweat and tears. We are not perfect. We make mistakes. That is okay. It hasn’t been easy to grow, keep people employed and develop the franchise model in a pandemic. I haven’t always been the best leader during this, but what is important is that I’m honest with my team about that, and we make it right, we learn, we fix our mistakes. I’ve learned that being vulnerable is the quickest route to solutions.

“I am unconditionally, undoubtedly grateful for my parents,” says Knight. “I’ve learned so much from them. They are my mentors and supporters of our growth. Both are partners in Mosaic. Mom is the glue that holds us all together, dad is the mentor who is always fearlessly charging forward. I’m also incredibly grateful to our clients, our team and the brands under the Mosaic umbrella who have trusted us to work on their homes and to build their careers.” Knight concludes, “Our mission moving into the future is a very serious one – to become the largest franchise network of this kind in Canada. My goal is to get to the size where I can go to any entrepreneur in the country with a businessin-a-box solution they can open and be profitable with from day one. We will help entrepreneurs across the country build the company of their dreams and build a global community while empowering them to be their own boss and control their own destiny.”

ABOVE: THE OLD STRATHCONA FARMERS MARKET DECORATED FOR THE HOLIDAY SEASON BY FIVE STAR HOLIDAY DECOR INC., A DIVISION OF MOSAIC. BELOW: A CUSTOM AWNING & SCREEN WALL ENCLOSURE DESIGNED, SUPPLIED & INSTALLED BY SCREEN SAVERS INC., A DIVISION OF MOSAIC.

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FLAT BUT RECOVERING // COMMERCIAL LEASING

FLAT BUT RECOVERING THE DOWNTOWN CORE IS THE KEY

BY JOHN HARDY

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or Edmonton’s unique commercial real estate and office leasing sector, accustomed to the ever-changing ups and downs of the real estate and the economy, there are some changes happening. While business, schools and Edmonton communities are already adjusting to new normals in most aspects of Edmonton life, there is post-pandemic, post-lockdown and post-work-from-home light at the end of the 18-month tunnel, and Edmonton’s commercial real estate sector is dealing with significant new normals. While the biggest hit, of course, came from concerns about public health and COVID lockdowns and restrictions, there were other business broadsides. Edmonton (and all of Alberta) is more than six years into a severe commodity price-induced downturn, which has significantly affected Edmonton businesses, the Edmonton economy, migration, employment, consumer confidence and the demand for commercial real estate.

“The downtown Edmonton office market saw a halt in activity as soon as restrictions were put in place,” explains Fahad Shaikh, senior vice president with Colliers International in Edmonton. “It led to very limited activity in the downtown market until only recently. Over the past month or so, we have seen a drastic uptick in activity as restrictions were slowly reduced and people made their way back downtown, again. “Other space (suburban space) had slowed down considerably as well, but not to the extent of downtown. Currently, suburban markets have seen steady activity as some businesses have opted to relocate from the downtown core to a suburban location. “Overall, the entire (combined downtown and suburban) Edmonton office vacancy has climbed from 15.7 per cent in 2019 to 18.6 per cent in 2021. This has been largely attributed to more sublease space coming to the market and

ABOVE: EDMONTON’S DOWNTOWN CORE IS STILL PRIME OFFICE SPACE.

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FLAT BUT RECOVERING // COMMERCIAL LEASING

certain companies reducing their overall footprint as they embraced a remote working strategy.” He details that during the same time range, there were increases in the prime downtown office market vacancy rates. Class AA spiked from 13.8 per cent to 17.2 per cent, Class A from 17.1 to 18, Class B from 10.7 to 14 and Class C from 20.6 to 26.4. Edmonton’s commercial real estate market is dealing with more than just the stereotypical office spaces where traditional nine-to-fivers work on computer screens in offices and cubicles and run from meeting to meeting. “As in other markets across Canada, the hospitality sector has been impacted the most during the pandemic,” says CBRE’s Edmonton managing director Dave Young. “Needs based retail (food and drug anchored assets) have performed well but the unanchored strip centres have witnessed some decline. “As vaccinations continue to occur and the economy opens, we anticipate the retail sector of our market will recover. The industrial market, after a slow second and third quarter of 2020, has seen increased activity in both leasing and investment sales, and the Edmonton market continues to evolve as a distribution centre with many national and international tenants taking positions in the region.”

“THERE HAVE BEEN MANY EFFECTS

When it comes to conventional office space, Young notes that vacancy rates in the core remained fairly flat from 2019 to present and only the B market showing any upward pressure. “We attribute this to a ‘flight to quality’ as tenants take advantage of better quality assets (AA and A) at more attractive rental rates. Landlords that are re-investing in their assets are seeing leasing velocity pick up. The B and C markets will continue to experience challenges as tenants demand more from their office premises.”

EDMONTON BUSINESSES TO BECOME

With all the unexpected disruptions and uncertainties, Edmonton’s commercial real estate has actually turned out to be a bit of a good news/bad news story. “There have been many effects felt due to the pandemic, both in a positive and negative manner,” Shaikh points out. “On a positive note, the lockdown has forced Edmonton businesses to become more creative and agile in their day-today operations. Many organizations are taking drastic steps

FELT DUE TO THE PANDEMIC, BOTH IN A POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE MANNER,” SHAIKH POINTS OUT. “ON A POSITIVE NOTE, THE LOCKDOWN HAS FORCED MORE CREATIVE AND AGILE IN THEIR DAY-TO-DAY OPERATIONS.” forward on the technology front as businesses were forced to find creative ways to enable employees to work from home.” “On a more negative note,” he adds, “the lockdown has impacted many small and medium sized organizations that, due to lockdown measures, were not able to operate their business at the level they required to be successful and, unfortunately, have since gone out of business.” There is much concern – and speculation – about the longterm impact of mandatory work-from-home trends and routines. Buzzing office environments have, for now, been replaced by Zoom meetings and employees doing their work

ABOVE: FAHAD SHAIKH, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT WITH COLLIERS INTERNATIONAL IN EDMONTON.

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FLAT BUT RECOVERING // COMMERCIAL LEASING

“I AM A BELIEVER IN THE IMPORTANCE OF THE OFFICE AS IT RELATES TO BUILDING CULTURE AND GROWING A COMPANY,” YOUNG SAYS. “THE WORK-FROM-HOME EXPERIENCE HAS SHOWN THAT THERE WILL BE MORE FLEXIBILITY IN THE WORK WEEK, BUT THE COMPLETE ELIMINATION OF THE OFFICE WILL NOT OCCUR.

between chasing after the kids, raiding the fridge and feeding the dog. Is virtual work here to stay or was it employers and employees doing whatever they had to do to get the job done? “I am a believer in the importance of the office as it relates to building culture and growing a company,” Young says. “The work-from-home experience has shown that there will be more flexibility in the work week, but the complete elimination of the office will not occur. People need interaction with other people and it’s very difficult to collaborate over Zoom calls every hour on the hour. A company’s culture is what attracts and retains its most important assets – employees. Communication, collaboration and culture are the keys to why the return to office will occur.” As companies strategize about the space they need (and maybe no longer need) and allowing for the business interest in a hybrid system of working part of the week in-office and another part from-home, it may be turbulent times for Edmonton’s commercial real estate, as the workplace new normals settlein. “Downtown Edmonton certainly has a long way to go,” Shaikh says, weighing several factors. “It has lost a lot of the momentum it was building towards in early 2020 when the addition of new office towers, multi-family projects, retail

shops, ICE District, and many other amenities were giving the downtown core a sense of vibrancy and peaking people’s interest beyond the 9-5 hours. This had to take a step backwards due to the pandemic, and the reduced number of people spending time downtown. It’s just a guess but, we expect it may take two to three years to recover.” Young is positive but also, from much Edmonton experience, realistic. “It’s still early days as it relates to ‘what’s next?’ We are working with a number of users about what their premises looks like in the near term. What is for sure is that companies are reviewing their real estate requirements in order to position their companies for the anticipated ramp up of the economy.” As with so many post-pandemic facts of life, there is a consensus about light at the end of the very long and challenging tunnel. “The Edmonton real estate market has been extremely resilient and is trending in a positive direction,” Shaikh says enthusiastically. “The outlook for the remaining year and moving into 2022 is positive as we are seeing a resurgence of activity in the marketplace. As more vaccines are distributed and government restrictions are loosened, we expect this trend to continue and hopefully we will be back to the state the market was in prior to the pandemic.”

ABOVE: DAVE YOUNG, CBRE EDMONTON MANAGING DIRECTOR.

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THE RECREATION REAL ESTATE MARKET IS ON THE RISE // RECREATIONAL REAL ESTATE

THE RECREATION REAL ESTATE MARKET IS ON THE RISE BY WILL PORTER

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his last year has taught a lot of us about our true priorities, and for many that means getting closer to family, friends, good times and the openness of nature and farther away from that which harms our mental wellness or crowds our landscape. For those who have the new option of remote working, decided to retire earlier, or to reinvest their savings into something more meaningful to themselves and their families, recreation homes ended up being that outlet. To give us insight into the warmth of the recreational real estate market, Wayne William Heine a RE/MAX Real Estate broker from Edmonton Lake Property informs us about the current conditions.

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“Considering it is winter in lake country, statistically, only about five per cent- eight per cent of our market sells in the period between November 1 and April 1. This winter we’ve had 38 sales, where last year in the same period there were only 15 sales.” Delving deeper into the overall numbers, “If you look at the period between April 1, 2020 to February 20, 2021, there have been 182 sales and $59 million dollars of value; if you look at the same period from April 1, 2019 to Feb 2020, there were only 121 sales and $35 million dollars in value. The dollar sales year over year have almost doubled, and this winter, sales are up 150 per cent. I’ve been involved with


THE RECREATION REAL ESTATE MARKET IS ON THE RISE // RECREATIONAL REAL ESTATE

lake access, meaning that you can get a spot to hoist your boat for the season.” Speaking with Ben Loates, a Realtor® with The GOOD Real Estate Company, we learn more about the process of how one can go about selling their family home at the right time. “The first and most important thing to note is the temperature of the market. If you’re selling the family home, you’ve probably paid your mortgage down and have some significant equity stocked up in there. Be connected to a spectacular agent that knows the ebbs and flows of the market and can give you a heads up in real time when the best time to capitalize on that nest egg is. The right pivot in the market can give you an extra $10K if you’re on the pulse!”

“CONSIDERING IT IS WINTER IN LAKE COUNTRY, STATISTICALLY, ONLY ABOUT 5 PER CENT- 8 PER CENT OF OUR MARKET SELLS IN THE PERIOD BETWEEN NOVEMBER 1 AND APRIL 1. THIS WINTER WE’VE HAD 38 SALES,

Researching about the community you are moving to, and understanding the increased distance from family is key, says Loates. “For your new recreation property, research: community, amenities, lake quality, Facebook community chat message boards, etc. Even just ask a question on “Parkland County chat” about the quality of the lake you’re considering. Trust me, you’ll hear it all on Facebook and for sure be able to make your own very, very informed decision.

over $18 million sales in the last year, or 30 per cent of the market. Looking forward to 2021, our phones and requests for business have never been this busy.”

“Really lock in on location, this is so important; consider your distance from the larger cities, distance from your children and grandchildren. Remember any home can be reno’d but you can’t change where you live. Inevitably things will come up in life and you’ll find yourself driving in and out to Edmonton. Make sure you’re good with that distance. It can, and does, become an issue for those that take the plunge fulltime. Don’t let a beautiful home make you compromise on location. I’ve seen couples sell that amazing lake home later on because their kids were just too far at the end of the day.”

Regarding their most popular requests, Heine says, “Lakefront property continues to be our most requested purchase. With prices reaching over $600,000 just for a small lakefront lot without a house, many buyers look to one of our many lake communities where you can still get a great four-season home from the low $200,000s. The excellent news for these buyers is, most lake communities offer full

Loates continues, “Know what type of market you’re in. Is it going to be easier to sell? Harder to buy? Vice versa? If there’s a massive lack of inventory in rec properties and you’re looking for that forever property and you find the one, perhaps you hold the two properties and then sell your family home in due time because the market is hot on the selling side.”

WHERE LAST YEAR IN THE SAME PERIOD THERE WERE ONLY 15 SALES,” SAYS HEINE.

ABOVE: WAYNE WILLIAM HEINE, RE/MAX REAL ESTATE BROKER FROM EDMONTON LAKE PROPERTY. BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // JULY 2021

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THE RECREATION REAL ESTATE MARKET IS ON THE RISE // RECREATIONAL REAL ESTATE

LOATES REINFORCES IN-PERSON VISITS, “GO AND SEE A FEW IN PERSON, GET A FEEL. THERE IS NOTHING WORSE THAN LOOKING ONLINE AT THOSE PHOTOS AND THEN SHOWING UP AND FEELING COMPLETELY DEFLATED BECAUSE IT SUCKS IN PERSON. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE SOMEONE YOU TRUST WHO HAS GREAT KNOWLEDGE AND YOUR BEST INTENTIONS AT HEART THAT CAN GUIDE YOU THROUGH ALL THESE QUESTIONS.”

Loates reinforces in-person visits, “Go and see a few in person, get a feel. There is nothing worse than looking online at those photos and then showing up and feeling completely deflated because it sucks in person. Make sure you have someone you trust who has great knowledge and your best intentions at heart that can guide you through all these questions. If that’s all locked in? Pull the trigger.” To get insight on the builder side of the market, we spoke with Alana Comartin, vice president of Knotty Pines, about how the decision process has evolved for many in regards to building their dream cabin. “We always say that it’s something inherent in us as Canadians to want to have a cabin to escape to. Given that travel is currently quite restricted, people are looking for a safe place to relax and retreat to in their own backyard. Many of our clients are moving their goal posts for future plans and deciding to go ahead and build sooner with all of the unknowns regarding the current global situation. We also have a lot of clients that are looking to downsize or move to a more rural location. The underlying reasons for the move to a simplified lifestyle are quite different from what we have seen in the last 14 years.” Comartin mentions changes in trends, “Over the years, there definitely has been a trend towards a more simplified

lifestyle but nothing like the last year, which has taught us more about what is important in life. Family, health and the basic necessities are the highest on everyone’s list.” Comartin’s advice for those interested in building is, “If you’re looking to create your own retreat, the best advice that we can give you is to start planning early! Some of our clients have property they have been wanting to build on for years and others are on the hunt to find the perfect location to put one of our homes or cabins. Certain areas may have certain square footage requirements or other guidelines to follow. Make sure you have a budget in place for the land and the home or cabin. At Knotty Pine Cabins, we work with great financial advisors that can help you get financing for both.” In regards to the future of the market, Heine has this to say: “The most recognizable component driving our market had been people with cash and a more mature buyer. Today we are seeing young families taking advantage of the low-interest rates. Buying a four-season lake house has become quite affordable. With five per cent down, a $200,000 mortgage can be as low as $800 a month. Today’s lake consumers are finding our services cost less; housing at this point is less at the lake. All signs point to an outstanding year in 2021.” If you have found yourself considering a move to a more rural setting, today may be the best time to start planning and get your hands on the recreational property of your dreams. ABOVE: BEN LOATES, REALTOR® WITH THE GOOD REAL ESTATE COMPANY.

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INVESTMENT PROPERTIES // INVESTMENT REAL ESTATE

Investment Properties: IS NOW THE RIGHT TIME TO INVEST? BY BETHANY NEUFELD

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eading in to the second year of a COVID-influenced market, real estate in Alberta has seen its fair share of highs and lows. What began as a sluggish spring in 2020 bloomed into a busy summer, wrapping up with one of the strongest finishes to the year to date. With sales volumes and prices increasing modestly year over year, more and more investors are braving the turbulent economic climate in search of opportunity. As Edmonton-based home and condo specialist Alison Murray, Realtor®, notes, the forecast for the region’s real estate market is not “doom and gloom” as one might think. “Edmonton is seeing signs of life in all housing segments, especially single-family homes. Sales were up 31 per cent

year over year for the month of December, and inventory down 31 per cent,” she says. “With low interest rates, competitive prices, and a growing population, I think that investors will see solid growth over the next 10 years.” Whether a family of newcomers to the area, a young person new to the real estate market, or a rural student moving closer to post-secondary, rental properties continue to be the focus for many. As Edmonton continues to expand its network of rental properties, more renters will be drawn to the area in search of affordable accommodation. Murray shares, “Edmonton is a growing city and a solid place to invest in real estate with a rich culture and young, educated people.”

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INVESTMENT PROPERTIES // INVESTMENT REAL ESTATE

For Keith Reading, director of research at Morguard, the steady performance of rental properties comes as no surprise. “Rentals have a long history of performing well during turbulent economic periods. With the pandemic, the economy has taken a hit and the one constant is people need a place to live, so rental apartments are a necessity. The government has supported families through the CERB program and as a result, those government payments have ensured families and individuals can still pay their rent. Not surprisingly, the apartment sector has performed relatively well. Investors have looked to the sector as a source of safety and fairly attractive returns through the pandemic.” Rental properties aren’t the only investments drawing attraction. With many retail businesses transitioning to online shopping, industrial properties such as warehouses have outperformed their real estate counterparts as more and more stores find themselves in need of storage space to fulfill online shopping demands. Reading identifies industrial as the “shining star” for commercial investment properties. On the other end of the spectrum, the short-term outlook for retail and office investments are, generally, not enticing. “We have record high vacancy in Edmonton, rents that are lower than they have ever been, and you have a lot of empty space. For offices, you’re looking to take on a lot of risk and we’ve seen most investors staying away. In the case of Alberta, it could be several years until we see improvement in the Alberta office market,” he says. “If you were an investor looking to take on a lot of risk, retail is what you would look at, but we really haven’t seen a lot of investment there because people don’t want to take on that risk and they’re not sure what that risk looks like going forward.” Though office and retail continue to struggle with high vacancy rates and weak demand, other investment properties are drawing attention and encouraging competition. Reading explains.

“EDMONTON IS SEEING SIGNS OF LIFE IN ALL HOUSING SEGMENTS, ESPECIALLY SINGLE-FAMILY HOMES. SALES WERE UP 31 PERCENT YEAR OVER YEAR FOR THE MONTH OF DECEMBER, AND INVENTORY DOWN 31 PERCENT,” SAYS MURRAY. “WITH LOW INTEREST RATES, COMPETITIVE PRICES, AND A GROWING POPULATION, I THINK THAT INVESTORS WILL SEE SOLID GROWTH OVER THE NEXT 10 YEARS.” “What’s interesting is that there is a lot of capital looking at real estate and it’s not just the big corporations – it’s private groups. There’s lots of competition for industrial and rental, while there’s not so much for retail and office. At Morguard, we see that as we come out of this rough economic period, investors will start taking on more risk.” The economic disruption caused by the pandemic paired with competitive pricing has sparked greater interest in real estate. In the residential scene, house flipping and buying to rent are becoming increasingly popular as Albertans look ABOVE: EDMONTON-BASED HOME AND CONDO SPECIALIST ALISON MURRAY, REALTOR®.

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INVESTMENT PROPERTIES // INVESTMENT REAL ESTATE

for alternative ways to increase their household income. Though there is money to be made flipping houses, Reading notes that turning a profit is not as straightforward as some might believe.

money eventually,” Shearer explains. “While this may sound cliché, always choose to invest in a property that is in a desirable area. You know what they say – location, location, location! Buyers will overlook possible deficiencies in a property to be in a neighbourhood they want to live in.”

“The issue with fixer uppers and flips is you’re taking on a longer-term view. You have to put work into the property. If you think you’re going to make a six to seven per cent return, that can quickly turn into a two to three per cent return if repairs cost more or you can’t get the price you expected,” he says. “Investors should carry out an extensive financial analysis of the property. That is, what rent can they charge, what will the property cost to carry, and what can the investor achieve in terms of a return. If you do all that homework, it can be really quite lucrative.”

With its sturdy foundation, real estate has a history of maintaining healthy markets despite economic turbulence. As we have seen from the strong 2020 finish, the market is ripe with opportunity. Despite the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, investors remain active in the investment property scene, albeit not every property type is enjoying the flow of capital. Those looking to generate revenue through investment properties can take advantage of low interest rates and competitive pricing, but as Murray, Reading and Shearer express, getting the best bang for your investment buck demands careful planning and plenty of research.

Reading is not alone in his cautious approach to residential investment properties. As Tom Shearer, chair of the board of directors for the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton, explains, turning a profit is not as simple as snatching up low-priced properties in the city. i

“Investing in real estate is a long-term game. For investors looking for quick appreciation, Edmonton may not be the right market right now,” he notes. “With that said, compared to many other major market areas across the country, Edmonton has reasonable prices and the opportunity for upside. Overall, our pricing has remained very stable through challenging years and real estate in Edmonton is relatively liquid. Low-rise and high-rise apartments are becoming reasonably priced again, and while values have come down, the rental rates have not dropped at the same rate.” Flipping houses and investing in rental properties can be a lucrative source of income for investors if they know what to look for in a property. While houses in need of repairs may come at lower upfront costs, the investment can quickly go south if maintenance gets out of hand. “When you must do substantial renovations such as moving walls or adding rooms, it eats into your turn around time and profit. You do not always have to go after a distressed sale to get a good deal. Choose an investment property that will require as few inputs as possible. Fixer uppers can be affordable, but you will have to spend

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2021 Board of Directors

The Next Chapter of the Edmonton Chamber

Board Executive

Chair: Elan MacDonald Vice President (External Relations), University of Alberta

Jeffrey Sundquist, President & CEO

Vice Chair: Dennis R. Schmidt Principal, ALTURA Legal Advisory Secretary-Treasurer: Craig Thorkelsson Head of Tax, PCL Constructors Inc. Past Chair: Bryan DeNeve Senior Vice President, Operations, Capital Power Jeffrey Sundquist President & CEO, Edmonton Chamber of Commerce

Board Directors

Haydar Al Dahhan President and CEO, Design Works Engineering Aziz Bootwala Managing Principal, Edmonton, Vice President, Business Development, Kasian Architecture Interior Design and Planning Ltd. Nathan Carter Vice President, Operations Audit, ATCO Jonathan Gallo Managing Partner, Gallo LLP Chartered Professional Accountants Sandy Jacobson Vice President, Richardson Executive Search Annemarie Petrov President and CEO, Francis Winspear Centre for Music Jason Pincock CEO, DynaLIFE Medical Labs

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hen I was approached about taking on the position of President & CEO of the Edmonton Chamber, I was honoured. It’s not every day you’re asked to lead an organization that has been a pillar of our community for over 130 years with such strong national relevance. Having served on the Board of Directors for the past three years, most recently as Vice-Chair, I’ve had a front-row seat to the evolution of this esteemed organization. My predecessor, Janet Riopel, has brought together a remarkable team, focused on creating a modern, relevant and effective Chamber of Commerce to better support Edmonton’s job creators. It has been particularly inspiring to watch this team band together throughout the pandemic in support of businesses who continue to face unprecedented challenges. I hope to build on the creativity and innovation the Chamber team has demonstrated to catapult our organization to new heights—and prepare for the challenges ahead. While the past year has been marked by efforts to support the strength of our business community, we will in the coming years continue to represent the interests of our members through advocacy, education, and building connections, while helping Edmonton businesses leverage new areas of economic strength. That’s why I’m so excited to be leading the next stage of the Edmonton Chamber’s evolution. For many businesses, the pandemic has changed their operations permanently. While the majority of workers will eventually return to their offices, work-fromhome arrangements will continue to be the norm for many businesses. Just as the Chamber did at the onset of the pandemic, we will continue to adapt our offerings to ensure we match the evolving business landscape. We will develop new and innovative offerings, ensuring we’re serving your business—regardless of how your operations have changed. We’re all eager to get back to live events, and the Edmonton Chamber will be ready to meet this pent-up demand—all while ensuring we have ample virtual opportunities for those working remotely.

Edmonton Chamber Executive

Scott Channon Director, Marketing and Communications Brent Francis Director, Advocacy and Outreach Christen Rumbles Director, Finance Amin Samji Director, Member Services

Contact

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

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The Chamber has shown strong advocacy whether municipally, provincially or federally, helping to ensure governments are enhancing our competitive advantages. I believe the next step is to look beyond our borders, and take our advocacy efforts to international audiences. My experience as Alberta’s senior diplomat to the High Commission of Canada in the United Kingdom, my international business expertise and work on the Board of Edmonton Global will help to bring a new global lens to our work—focused on making our Region the destination of choice for investors across the globe. We will work closely with Edmonton Global and the City to grow the businesses that call Edmonton home, and bring new projects to our city. The Edmonton International Airport has become a cargo powerhouse, and our Region must maintain strong connections to global markets through air, rail and road ties. I firmly believe our strong organization can help build on these advantages to provide greater investor confidence to those looking at Edmonton Metropolitan Region as a potential home for their next facility or office. Strong Chambers help to create strong communities, and we will build on our existing strengths to make Edmonton the strongest, most attractive, and competitive city in North America.

JULY 2021 // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM


EXPAND YOUR BUSINESS HORIZONS. GO GLOBAL. The Trade Accelerator Program connects your business with top export advisors, mentoring and coaching you to develop and execute a personalized market-entry export plan so you can grow globally.

REALIZE THE EXPORT POTENTIAL OF YOUR BUSINESS. Learn more & apply at edmontonchamber.com/TAP

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As a member of one of the largest chambers in Canada, you have access to a wide range of contacts, resources, discounts, events, and brand exposure. You’re also part of our strong collective voice to government that will help give your business the support it needs. Call us today at 780.426.4620 and start leveraging your membership.

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SureHire Inc. Member Profile Mona Wajahat, CPHR., Manager, People and Culture www.surehire.com What’s your story? The need for accurate, proactive, and efficient screening spurred Kyle Powell and John Hawes’ development of SureHire in 2003. Since then, SureHire has revolutionized the occupational testing industry across Canada and into the United States by offering a host of testing services that promote worker safety. Our client experience is distinguished by accuracy, efficiency, and simplicity. We work with our clients to build foundations for safe, healthy, and productive workforces and communities through customized solutions, innovative technology, and a team of dedicated, knowledgeable professionals that give employers peace of mind knowing they’ve got the right hire for the job. SureHire calls south Edmonton “home”, but our extensive network spans North America. We believe that having a large network of partners allows us to adapt to our clients’ everchanging needs. What do you enjoy most about being a member of the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce? Being a member of the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce offers a unique opportunity to connect with other business professionals to share knowledge and expertise. What is one thing people are surprised to learn about your business? SureHire has a range of occupational testing services beyond drug and alcohol testing and can support testing needs in Canada and the U.S. Who is your ideal client? SureHire services clients in a wide range of industries, including: • • • • • • •

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Agriculture & Forestry Mining & Petroleum Development Manufacturing, Processing & Packaging Construction & Construction Trade Services Transportation, Communication & Utilities Wholesale & Retail Municipal Government, Education & Health Services

JULY 2021 // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM

• Provincial Government • Business, Personal & Professional Services What has been your biggest challenge in business, and how did you overcome it? The ongoing need to adapt (… and quickly) has by far presented the biggest challenge to SureHire over the years. From getting supplies to remote locations to finding innovative technology solutions to meet our clients’ needs to exploring new ways to support our clients through economic hardship, SureHire has risen to the occasion. How? Our team. We look for positive individuals who are relentless in providing exceptional customer service, passionate about teamwork, and meticulous in their attention to detail. We know that the services we provide resonate far beyond our facilities. At SureHire, we help raise the quality of life in our communities, and our collective passion, innovation, and accountability ensure that hardworking individuals arrive home safe and sound to their family and friends no matter what obstacles present themselves. What is your favourite thing to do in Edmonton? Connect, engage, educate. SureHire has always been actively involved in the community, taking part in key initiatives to support diversity, inclusion, education, and of course, health and safety. COVID-19 has certainly presented many challenges in terms of traditional methods for connecting and engaging with our communities; however, that has not kept us from sharing our knowledge and industry experience. At SureHire, we believe that building foundations for safe, healthy, and productive workforces begins with sharing information and educating others. If you could make one substantial improvement to Edmonton’s business environment, what would it be? Build a diverse team! Everyone brings something different to the table and having a diverse team means getting a mix of skillsets, experience levels, industry backgrounds, and of course, a fresh new pool of ideas to drive business growth and development.


BUILT ON A LEGACY: Generational Business Glenora Lumber Celebrates 60 Years

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lenora Lumber, the location for complete lumber solutions in the Edmonton area, is celebrating 60 years.

Alberta’s relationship with lumber runs deep. Although known for oil and gas, more than 60 per cent of the province is covered in another valuable

By Nerissa McNaughton

resource – trees. Sustainable, natural, and with deep ties to the province’s history and settlement, lumber is essential to Alberta. Kerry Connelly and Jamie Emin are proud to be part of this history. The sibling’s grandparents, Dugald and Dorthy MacDougall, started Glenora Lumber in 1960 and it has remained a family business ever since.

Glenora Lumber • 60 years

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As the successful founder of D. MacDougall Construction Ltd., where he specialized in commercial work and counted Safeway Inc. among the high-profile clients, Dugald was frustrated with the inconsistent service and products he received when sourcing lumber. He, along with Dorthy, decided to start a company that focused on the customer experience. What started in a home basement has grown to two facilities, a yard, a pre-fab manufacturing shop for stairs, a dedicated space for residential doors, and areas of production for millwork and custom cutting. Over time the MacDougall’s children joined the team. Now run by the second and third generations, Glenora Lumber continues to uphold its reputation as “the building supply company you can always count on,” even as the industry enters a period of unprecedented demand among equally unprecedented pandemic conditions. With roots that go deep and an entire team dedicated to the city it serves, Glenora Lumber adapts with agility to keep providing the products and services for which it is best known. The business’ founders instilled the importance of relationships, dedicated staff, loyal customers, reliable suppliers and respecting its diligent competitors. From its humble origins 60 years ago, these founding principles continue to guide

With roots that go deep and an entire team dedicated to the city it serves, Glenora Lumber adapts with agility to keep providing the products and services for which it is best known. operations today. Now, Connelly and Emin help guide the four divisions: sales, administration, shipping/receiving and remanufacturing, to support the product lines of lumber, hardware, mouldings, doors, stairs and wood vents. “To be a part of something like this is impactful; to see from where it started to where we are today,” says Connelly. “People believed in my grandparents and in the company. We are so fortunate in this regard that our core staff have been with us for 35 years. The team is an extension of our family – a family that will see the fourth generation working here starting this summer. After 60 years we are still growing despite the changing, challenging times in the market.” Connelly credits the deep roots, along with the team, as giving Glenora Lumber an advantage.

Glenora Lumber • 60 years • 2


Congratulations Glenora Lumber on your 60th anniversary!

Hear about our story at

1.800.665.9209 Learn about our story at

sextongroup.com

Our Promise to You. Our strength as a buying group is built on four major advantages: We’re a dedicated team of industry professionals focused on your success. We negotiate competitive programs and leverage our strong relationships with vendors to resolve any issues quickly for you. We have a first-class accounting team that promptly delivers accurate rebate payments as promised.

Well connected.

We are proud to work with Kerry, Jamie and the team at Glenora Lumber. We have enjoyed supporting the growth of their business over the years. Congratulations and well done! —Eric Palmer, Vice President and General Manager, Sexton Group


“As a family business, I do feel that our history and our staff set us apart. Our staff are proud to wear the Glenora badge. All have played an integral role in our success. We have maintained somewhat of a flat organizational structure, so our team is competent in many areas. This allows us to be agile, resilient and pivot/alter course when necessary. She continues, “We are relationship-driven. Glenora Lumber may not be the largest or

cheapest company of its kind, but the extra miles we go and the value we instill in each order shines through in everything we do. We are responsive and at the end of each day we know we have accomplished something. My Glenora experience means a unity in our purpose and shared pride in our history, along with gratitude for the efforts and sacrifices before us. We are committed and driven to be the building supply company you can always count on.”

Congratulations Glenora Lumber on 60 years! wsidoors.com

14425-118 Avenue, Edmonton Alberta T5L 2M7 Phone: 780.454.1455 | Fax: 780.454.1611 | Toll Free: 1.800.661.9639 Email: sales@wsidoors.com

Glenora Lumber • 60 years • 4


The Glenora Yard - 1989.

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected business across Alberta in many different ways. Those in the lumber industry have seen an incredible jump in demand – and price. Record high prices trend while demand continues to outpace supply. How is Glenora Lumber addressing this challenge? The company is working through it the way it addresses any other challenge: intentionally, thoughtfully, and being proactive instead of reactive.

The company is working through it the way it addresses any other challenge: intentionally, thoughtfully, and being proactive instead of reactive.

Thank you for entrusting us with your business! We greatly appreciate our long-standing partnership and value your hard work and success in delivering millwork products to the Edmonton area. From our family business to yours – Happy 60th Anniversary!

CONGRATULATIONS TO GLENORA LUMBER ON YOUR MILESTONE ACHIEVEMENT Glenora Lumber • 60 years • 5


Kerry Connelly, Jamie Emin with their parents Barb and Jim Galbraith. Kerry is holding their 2012 General Member of the Year Builders Choice Award, Canadian Home Builders’ Association - Edmonton Region.

The Glenora Lumber team members are long-term employees; factors like retirement leave very big shoes to fill. Experience combined with ongoing training means each core team member has a wealth of knowledge in their role. “Everyone in the industry is impacted,” Connelly admits. “The struggle is real and relevant. Raw materials are not shipping as fast, mills are closing, backlogs are seen in treating lumber – but we are on it! We have a deep history and long relationships with our suppliers, along with sound business practices and customer-facing service that are getting us through this time.” A goal of Glenora Lumber has been to remain resilient and reliable no matter what – and this latest challenge has not altered its ability to fulfill this guiding principle. While the brand continues to rely on its network and suppliers to meet growing demand, it remains tuned into other challenges that would otherwise affect customer service. “One of our biggest challenges is replacing core staff,” says Connelly.

Proudly manufacturing in Alberta www.createwithabi.ca

Congratulations GLENORA LUMBER on their 60th Anniversary!

The Glenora Lumber team members are long-term employees; factors like retirement leave very big shoes to fill. Experience combined with ongoing training means each core team member has a wealth of knowledge in their role. Glenora Lumber supports cross-training and industry education programs to ensure the skill level remains consistent as team members move to the next phase of their career or retirement.

Glenora Lumber • 60 years • 6


“Another challenge is the world of information overload,” Connelly continues. “Pinterest, lifestyle shows and more promote trends that play out differently in real life.” Glenora Lumber keeps informed of the trends while never compromising on quality, durability and longterm customer satisfaction. To overcome challenges, Connelly says it’s all about collaboration. “We have opportunities to work with and collaborate with people we know, trust, and care about. Our clients and vendors have supported us for decades. This is how we succeed – by working together. Edmonton’s business community is very loyal and our clients are generational. We have grown together alongside our partners and supporters.”

www.formationswood.com

Congratulations Glenora Lumber on 60 years!

Glenora Lumber does more than build up Edmonton and area with high-quality products. It builds up the community too. Just some of the charitable and non-profit interests the company supports includes the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada - Alberta Division, Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation, Edmonton Down Syndrome Society, the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer, and many more. The family business is humble but that hasn’t stopped the industry from recognizing it several times over. Glenora Lumber has earned a well deserved spot on Home Improvement Retailing’s Canada’s Top Retailers list, and has five consecutive years of finalist nominations and four wins in the Awards of Excellence in Housing. Further, Glenora Lumber is pleased to be associated with industry partners such as BuiltGreen, the Western Retail Lumber Association, COR, and the Canadian Home Builders’ Association – Edmonton Region. On behalf of the family and team, Connelly says a very big thank you to her grandparents and parents. “We also express our sincere thanks to

Just some of the charitable and non-profit interests the company supports includes the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada - Alberta Division, Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation, Edmonton Down Syndrome Society, the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer, and many more.

“I worked with other ERP providers in the past. And by far, Vision33 has the best team I’ve ever worked with.”

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Glenora Lumber • 60 years • 7

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“We also express our sincere thanks to those behind the scenes cheering and supporting us everyday, namely, our spouses and kids. Further we gratefully acknowledge the other family members, past and present, that have contributed to Glenora Lumber’s success.” those behind the scenes cheering and supporting us everyday, namely, our spouses and kids. Further we gratefully acknowledge the other family members, past and present, that have contributed to Glenora Lumber’s success. “The inspiration and idea came from our grandparents,” she says. “During the course of the business, my father took ill. My brother and I came to the forefront of the business with our mother, before what would have been the anticipated time of succession. The efforts, vision and values of those that came before us set the foundation of where we are today.” The past sets and builds the stage for Glenora Lumber’s future. “We will continue to train and invest in our people as well as the organization as a whole so we can remain relevant, efficient and provide the ultimate Jamie Emin and Kerry Connelly

From the Staff of CanWel Edmonton Congratulations to Glenora Lumber on 60 Years in Business!

Thank you for making us part of your success!

Glenora Experience. From humble beginnings we have been fortunate to sustain and evolve through both turbulent and good times. Each have presented numerous challenges along the way; many in the industry have become extended family throughout this journey. We are proud of our history and our founders who worked relentlessly to ensure that Glenora would have a strong foundation and provide the resources to grow and thrive. We are excited to be a part of the Glenora legacy and hope that our contributions will continue to grow the company while giving customers the reliable experience they deserve.”

canwel.com

ALL TEC AUTO CARE

Connelly concludes, “There is value in what Glenora Lumber does, and we do it all for you.”

“Your complete Auto Repair Specialists”

Congratulations GLENORA LUMBER on their 60th Anniversary!

11803 154 St. NW, Edmonton, AB T5V 1G6 Phone: 780-453-2582 | Email: alltecautocare@shaw.ca alltecauto.ca

14505-116 Avenue, Edmonton, AB T5M 3E8 Tel: (780) 453-5691 • Fax: (780) 454-4022 @glenoralumberest1960 on Facebook and @glenoralumber on Instagram

Glenora Lumber • 60 years • 8

www.glenoralumber.ca


Pat Murphy, Freeze Maxwell Roofing

ARCA

Bob James, Tru-Craft Roofing

Leads the Way for Alberta Roofers by Rennay Craats with Photos by Riverwood Photography Inc.

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onstruction is a competitive market, and there can be fierce competition between trade contractors to get projects. Roofing is no different. But 60 years ago, a visionary group of Edmonton and Calgary roofing contractors put that all aside and came together with the goal of improving their industry. With the establishment of the Alberta Roofing Contractors Association (ARCA) in 1961, these contractors sought to support and advance the roofing industry in Alberta through a system of high standards and education.

this mandate. All too often, when people think of roofing, they envision truck-and-ladder storm chasers that flock to town after a disastrous weather event to slap up roofs. The 32 members of the ARCA are professional contractors dedicated to elevating the public’s image of roofing to better reflect the sophistication that these contractors apply to their operations. Membership in an association that promotes professionalism and high-quality standards helps differentiate the elite roofers from all the rest.

“The strength of the ARCA is that the foundation that the original members set, the vision they had, is held to this day,” says Bob James, ARCA Association president and owner of Tru-Craft Roofing (2005) Ltd. “The foundation of our standards, our training, our acceptance process for contractors, materials and inspectors hasn’t changed very much in 60 years.”

“A benefit of membership is it elevates us above other roofing contractors because we are vetted to join. It’s not easy to become a member but once you are, the public knows that they are getting a quality contractor,” says Pat Murphy, ARCA Warranty Ltd. president and owner of Freeze Maxwell Roofing (Calgary). “Because we have to meet a certain standard, the quality of our company is that much better because we are members.”

The goal of the Association, both then and now, was to improve the image and quality of roofing in the province, and every decision the 12-person board makes refers to

ARCA members are leaders in their fields, and while some may accommodate residential roofing requests, members focus predominantly on low slope and

Alberta Roofing Contractors Association | Celebrating 60 Years

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Bev Jewan, Doug Rossum, Christine Kitchen and Hina Atif.

architectural standing seam metal for commercial clientele. Each year, ARCA’s members perform about 80 per cent of Alberta’s industrial and commercial roofing projects, both new and re-roofing, and large contracts like schools, hospitals and downtown projects are almost entirely won by member contractors.

PATH TO MEMBERSHIP

Applying for membership is a complex, often yearlong process that ensures only those contractors that mirror ARCA’s dedication to advancing the industry are accepted. The board reviews each application to ensure all requirements are in order before turning it over for site evaluations and peer review. ARCA performs a comprehensive audit of the prospective member, looking into its safety program and record, quality of roofing, and its strength of communication for policy implementation. The team inspects past roofing projects and shadows the roofer onsite for current projects. The committee looks at approximately 10 roofing projects to give a thorough picture of the contractor’s capabilities. “Once you are in, it doesn’t mean you’ll stay. You still must qualify. It’s like a reapplication for your membership every three years,” says Murphy. The Association members agreed to regular reviews and must maintain a passing mark. The process is referred to as Contractor Gauge. All members must participate in an independent third-party review every three years to ensure they meet and maintain the high service and quality levels to remain with the Association. If a member falls below a score of 80 per cent, the Association identifies where problems lie and provides courses that the contractor can take to fill a knowledge gap. Contractors with a poor showing have 90 days to get back on track or they will not be invited to renew their membership. Members unanimously approved this review process several years ago as a way to protect the reputation, professionalism and high standards that drew them to ARCA in the first place.

MEMBERSHIP HAS ITS BENEFITS Members are among the best in the business across the province. The rigorous application process all but ensures it. Once they are accepted, members have access to the incredible knowledge base of the board and other members, technical resources, related industry professionals and share in ARCA’s stellar reputation for quality. Member contractors are highly respected in the design community, within government agencies that bid out work, and with its business owner clients. ARCA creates an environment that facilitates this level of professionalism, and with it comes access to jobs that other roofing companies would not enjoy. Many building owners and organizations, including Alberta Infrastructure, use ARCA as a pre-qualification tool for specific projects. They know that to become ARCA members the contractors were vetted and already meet or exceed industry benchmarks for safety, education, and training requirements. This saves clients the trouble of vetting their roofing contractors – and knowing the reputation of the Association and its members, business owners enjoy peace of mind that the job will be done right. That peace of mind is also backed by a best-in-class warranty that protects building owners with extended coverage. Members can offer clients five-,10- or 15year ARCA warranties which are often paired with manufacturer material warranties. The ARCA warranty program allows contractors to offer extended warranty coverage secured with a funded warranty program, allowing them to allocate resources to other areas of their company. Building owners can rest assured that their asset is protected with an industry-leading workmanship warranty provided through the Association. “We stand behind our members. We vetted them carefully so we should be able to pay out any mistakes as it should not be very often if we keep the standards high. And we do,” says Karen Rutherford, ARCA executive director. “At any point in time we have over $500-million worth of roofs under warranty with money in the bank to pay for a mistake if it happens.”

Alberta Roofing Contractors Association | Celebrating 60 Years | 2


Kevin Kramers and Karen Rutherford.

ARCA proudly represents members who go above and beyond to provide great service to clients. They strive to guarantee that their clients are satisfied that they received a quality roof, and ARCA is there to assist them. While ARCA members are all topend, skilled roofers, they are still human and can make mistakes. The Association has a system of checks and balances in place to catch errors which includes the contractors’ foreman, superintendent and project manager overseeing the installation as well as an independent inspector to ensure approved products are installed in accordance with established application standards. The Association also sends an ARCA-accepted inspector to the building at the two-year anniversary at no cost to the client to make sure there aren’t any application issues that need to be addressed. After two weather cycles in Alberta’s harsh climate, any problems would show up by this point and any deficiencies can be resolved to ensure the roof meets the client’s expectations. “This gives that building owner 20 or 30 years of confidence in their roof,” says Kevin Kramers, ARCA technical officer. Clients can be confident that ARCA members are up on the latest building codes and regulations, too. After all, it has members sitting on and chairing various construction and government boards in Alberta. In addition to provincial involvement, the ARCA is also represented at the CRCA National Technical Committee and sits on several National Research Council and CSA committees. The Association has a solid relationship with government agencies and organizations that impacts the roofing industry as well as playing an important advocacy role.

TOP GRADES IN EDUCATION

One main benefit of ARCA membership is access to the Association’s extensive educational and training offerings. It is important for the Association to keep the quality high so it does all it can to support members in maintaining the standards set at admission. For that reason, unlike many associations that use training and education to generate revenue, ARCA training is free for members. The Association works closely with the apprenticeship programs at NAIT and SAIT, and ARCA covers members’ tuition costs for apprenticeship training and offers cash awards for top-performing students to further incentivize professional development. “It ties into the idea of making sure we’re promoting roofing to be more professional in the province, and you can’t do that without training,” says Bob James. ARCA hosts onsite training in the Association office’s classrooms and shop. There, members can train in any or all of ARCA’s three modules: safety training, technical and management. Module One includes critical safety training including torch safety, fall protection, fire extinguisher training, leadership for safety excellence and first aid. ARCA also recognized that some roofers may want to transition from the roof to another area of the industry, so it created a career path and training courses that facilitates that move. The program, Accredited Roofer of Alberta (ARA), teaches members about understanding blueprints and specifications, ARCA standards, sustainability and leak detection, basic estimating and Alberta’s construction codes and Acts. Taking it a step further, Module 3 introduces members to management areas including elements of human resources, communication and conflict resolution, financial literacy, contract law and risk management, and basic project management. Students successfully

Alberta Roofing Contractors Association | Celebrating 60 Years | 4


completing all classes in Module 2 and Module 3 earn the designation of Certified Roofing Professional (CRP).

to find or get, and we get really positive feedback from people,” says Rutherford.

“If you went through this you could go work for a manufacturer, you could become an inspector, you could work for the City helping them manage their projects. There are a lot of non-labour-intensive outcomes if you have avenues available in addition to the apprenticeship program,” says Karen Rutherford.

Education is a critical element of ARCA’s mandate to elevate the industry, and the Association has gotten creative with how best to reach members, especially the next generation of roofing leaders.

In addition to the ever-evolving education programs, ARCA also offers their centre to manufacturers free of charge, allowing them to introduce or showcase their products to the building community. Manufacturers can invite non-member contractors and professionals as well, extending the knowledge and expertise across the sector. ARCA further elevates the industry through its biannual Rooferama and Advanced Education Day. With Rooferama, ARCA creates interdisciplinary groups consisting of an architect, engineer, building owner, inspector and contractor, and the group moves as a unit through various manufacturer presentations. This introduces diverse perspectives into the discussions and makes for a richer learning experience for all participants. The Advanced Education Day events are geared to senior professionals across the membership. These events showcase ARCA’s desire to be progressive and ahead of the curve as it helps elevate and grow the industry; the Association identifies trends and products that are on the cusp and invites renowned speakers to present about them to ARCA’s diverse audience of architects, engineers, business owners and partners. Such topics of interest have included artificial intelligence, exoskeleton, block chain technology and the trend to build modularly. “We are always thinking about what we can give members that they don’t have the time or resources

SAME INFORMATION, NEW DELIVERY

Younger members are not interested in reading tomes of standards and codes, so ARCA set out to present massive amounts of information in a more appealing way. The new building codes forced commercial buildings to adopt more resilient roofing options. One requirement is that some roof systems now must meet stringent wind uplift standards to withstand Alberta’s everchanging weather patterns. Each manufacturer tested their products and produced a mammoth number of reports with the results. Instead of having each member reading through thousands of pages of data, ARCA built a specialized content management system. This allows members and non-members alike to go onto the ARCA website and choose the wind pressure, product manufacturer, and method of affixing the roofing material and click submit; the system tells contractors if their chosen system will meet the required specifications. ARCA also presents their application standards manual in a different, more engaging way. To keep current, the Association hired an animator and bought the technology required to bring the manual to life for today’s visual, technology-based contractors. Now members can click on a topic, from scuppers to control joints to fall arrest anchors and everything in between and watch while the animation demonstrates the content. This fully animated resource helps ARCA reach members and get information where it is needed.

Beacon is the largest publicly traded roofing distributor with over 500 branches in North America. Founded in 1928, we are among the oldest and most established distributors in the industry.

Congratulations to the ARCA on reaching another Milestone. Edmonton 9610-54 Ave 780-437-7003

Calgary South 2845 – 107 Ave 403-720-0600

Calgary North 2719-5 Ave NE 403-263-0608

www.beacon-canada.com

Alberta Roofing Contractors Association | Celebrating 60 Years | 5


“It gives people an option to see how a roof is installed without physically standing on the roof for days to see the different levels as it’s being assembled,” says Kevin Kramers.

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MFG. Since 1983

* Work Wear * FR Work Wear * Aluminized Apparel * Hi-Vis Apparel * Welding

* ARC Flash Apparel * CarbonX Products * Rainwear * FR Rainwear * Protective Eyewear

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Cell: 905-321-5573 Office: 905-374-3600

building envelope consultants | t: +1.780.435.3662 | exp com

We appreciate 60 years of promoting the roofing industry, the trade, the technical standards, and the value of independent third party quality assurance.

Munro Williams, Arch.Tech, RRO ARCA Accepted Roofing Inspector mwilliams@dalwing.com

Congratulations to the ARCA on 60 years! Regional Roof Inspections & Consulting Ltd. (Since 1979) 40, 4004 - 97 Street, Edmonton, AB T6E 6N1 T: 780.438.4747 • F: 780.437.7834

The Association has also upped its technology game for virtual meetings and education sessions. In addition to the use of ZOOM and Teams, ARCA also established a television studio onsite to ensure the highest production quality for meetings and classes. This helps keep people engaged and connected virtually.

PRODUCT VETTING

ARCA provides members with the most comprehensive information they need to succeed. This includes vetting roofing products that can improve contractors’ performance. As is the case with membership application, product approval takes time. To be considered, a product must be installed for at least two years in Alberta to ensure it can stand up to the winds, chinooks and cold conditions found throughout the province. The Technical Committee does a physical assessment of the installed product after two years and is present when it is installed so they can ask the installers what they think about the product and if there are any concerns or negative feedback. Vetting a product requires a thorough review, and the rigorous process explains why the Association has a strong reputation for only accepting quality materials, something the design community acknowledges by only specifying ARCA-accepted materials. “The Association has made a huge effort in approving products and systems that are not only quality products but that will work here in Alberta, too,” says Pat Murphy. “We make sure they fit into what we as an association feel is the best we can provide our customers.” For 60 years, ARCA has supported roofing professionals in the province through education, training and technical expertise. It is proud to be a leading force in North America, offering the best reference sources for specifiers, designers and building owners. “There really is what I would consider to be the best roofing minds sitting around this table,” Bob James says of ARCA membership. And those minds will continue to raise the bar for ARCA members and the industry at large.

2380 Pegasus Road N.E. Calgary, AB T2E 8G8 Toll Free: 1-800-382-8515 Tel: 403-250-7055 Fax: 403-250-1702 E-mail: info@arcaonline.ca www.arcaonline.ca

Alberta Roofing Contractors Association | Celebrating 60 Years | 6


Photo by Rebecca Lippiatt

River City Events

The Past, Present & The Optimistic Future

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resident and CEO of River City Events, Joe Ammar, proudly oversees all strategic and business operations of the company, which provides personalized services of event rentals including planning, design and tents, from the beginning to the end of each and every event. Ammar’s experience within the events industry spans 30+ years, during which he has managed and directed some of the most successful and original events in the industry for Edmonton and the surrounding area. He is a self-driven individual, leading today with a successful company that was

founded in 2007. Ammar is one who continuously builds and leads the events industry, which in turn empowers a talented team to achieve and develop to the next higher level. Through perseverance, Ammar has created a locally owned business on the southside of Edmonton, which plays a key role in creating economic growth, employment, and development for new business. His mindset for a successful and evolving organization instills energy in people for their events, allowing them to be creative and in turn, inspiring others to be able to benefit. River City Events | Celebrating Business Excellence | 1

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It is a one-stop solution for clients to rent everything from tables and chairs to games and themed props. The in-house design team creates an unforgettable experience, which can manage an entire event from conception to completion and provide tents that can easily accommodate a variety of events.

drastically scaled down and restrictions come and go, making long-term planning very difficult. How does one of the most popular event rental and planning companies in the city continue to thrive? For Ammar, it’s all about relationships, agility and the will to keep powering through.

A distinguishing feature of River City Events is the commitment to having what clients need when they need it. There is always available rental stock within an impressive 66,000 square foot warehouse that stages two levels of showroom and a rooftop patio that houses more than 20,000 rentable and sales items. Inventory includes an impressive selection of tents, catering equipment, dinnerware, décor and a collection of linens.

As Ammar entered the workforce through grit, determination and learning, he wasn’t going to give up when everything shut down in March of 2020. River City Events dug deep into resilience and tenacity to shift the company to a model that would survive these challenging times. He admits it wasn’t easy.

River City Events has been recognized by numerous local organizations and associations. Ammar has been acknowledged by Business in Edmonton Leaders as well as one of Edmonton’s Best Industry Professionals with the Edmonton Event Awards. The company has earned a Best Designed Exhibit nod for five consecutive years at the Edmonton Bridal Fair. In addition, Ammar has been awarded a national philanthropy award from the Canadian Cancer Society. But now it’s 2021. The pandemic has raged on for well over a year. Events are cancelled or 2 | Celebrating Business Excellence | River City Events

“We were decimated when it came to operations,” says Ammar. “I had a strong realization that we had to figure out what was going to be important for our clients and team, our business and our community.” Ammar and his team reached out to clients and talked with them about how to best provide the safety and support that was needed. “One solution we invested in for our clients was the Ultra Mist Sanitizing Fogger. It disinfects, sanitizes, and deodorizes spaces. In the early days of COVID, rented items had to sit for three days after use, but the Ultra Fogger sanitized items instantly,” he says.


Photo by Rebecca Lippiatt

Next, they looked at their inventory for rental items they could leverage. “We had a lot of social distancing products thanks to our crowd control rentals. This assisted clients that needed strategic line control such as retail stores. We also had rentable, portable sanitizing stations and hand sinks, which proved to be popular items.” The move to small, outdoor gatherings also meant that tent rentals were in increased demand. “The pandemic created a fight or flight type of peril,” admits Ammar. “Companies in the event

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“We were delighted with the dedication and genuine interest shown by the team at X5 Management when they worked with us to provide business coaching support, along with customer service training.” ~ Joe Ammar, President & CEO, River City Events River City Events | Celebrating Business Excellence | 3


Congratulations River City Events on over 14 years of excellence from your friends at Crowe MacKay LLP Audit / Tax / Advisory

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Congratulations to River City for their dedication to the community!

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and hospitality space needed to change their business model in any way they could.” Proudly Serving Western Canada for 100 years! HESCO Calgary: 6023 4th St. SE (P): 403-475-3300 | (TF): 1-844-475-3300

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It’s not only the shift in operations that helped River City Events succeed during trying times. Ammar credits his team for their hard work and resilience before and during the pandemic. Even though some temporary layoffs were unavoidable, the team has always been the most crucial part of the brand.” He continues, “We are nothing without our people. Our team is number one. To have satisfied clients you need qualified, enthusiastic people to make your company operate. The right team in place makes coming to work more meaningful and worth the commitment. I thrive on surrounding myself with great people and accomplishing our goals together. I am dedicated to building a company where everyone is proud to come to work.” The success of River City Events is achieved through determination, creativity, and resourcefulness. The company continues to establish new ventures and lead existing ones into renewed growth.

4 | Celebrating Business Excellence | River City Events


ai162195542717_Cowan 1_8th Standard Ad.pdf

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Congratulations to River City Events on your years of commitment to the community and your new location!

All the best to you in the future. Chris Sieben Partner, Industrial Sales & Leasing Suite 2700, 10088 102 Ave NW (780) 420-1177 | cwedm.com

Ammar is a strong believer in giving back to the community. He supports many organizations and not-for-profit associations. Currently, he is a board member of the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce Member Advisory Council and a member of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization, Edmonton Executive Association, and Synergy Network. Ammar is the former president of the Canadian Rental Association - Alberta Chapter and the honorary chair of Canadian Cancer Society’s (Strathcona County) Relay For Life. River City also proudly supports its clients with their events by giving back in sponsorship endeavors and fundraising events and donating thousands of dollars to many organizations.

Congratulations to River City Events on your years of Commitment to the Community!

“In Edmonton, the business community is compassionate and loyal. There is a closeness and a generosity, and each is philanthropic in their own way,” Ammar praises. “With hopes of the pandemic nearing a close, there is a bright light ahead! Edmonton continues to be a supportive and resilient environment where people of all backgrounds can succeed.

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River City Events | Celebrating Business Excellence | 5

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I truly believe Edmonton is the best place to build and create, or to make something of yourself. I am also so thankful, grateful and blessed for our dedicated team.

CDR’s team wishes River City Events the best as they continue to serve the Edmonton area.

“We are all excited to see what the future holds for its upcoming events,” says Ammar. “After 14 years, life is like a river, it is always flowing, it can change course, but nothing can stop it. The bar is set high to remain and come back stronger for further development, continued employment, enhanced safety, outstanding service and upholding charity work and community involvement selflessly.”

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1215 95 St SW, Edmonton, AB Phone: 780-424-6001 www.rivercityevents.ca

6 | Celebrating Business Excellence | River City Events


More than Bottled Water: Arctic Chiller Innovates While Boosting Brands

By Nerissa McNaughton

S

ince 1996 Arctic Chiller has been a Canadian leader in providing both high-quality water and being a premier supplier of private label water, enabling brands to creatively boost their business. Whether you are enjoying a bottle of Arctic Chiller water off the shelf or as a branded product, you can feel good about your choice. All bottles contain r-PET (recycled plastic) and can be returned to a bottle depot to keep them

out of landfills. In addition to environmental responsibility, Arctic Chiller is community minded. The Partnership Program, alongside many of Arctic Chiller’s own charitable pursuits, empowers its clients to give back to charities of their choice with each bottle purchase. That’s not all. Recognizing the need for trusted products during the pandemic, Arctic Chiller added approved hand sanitizer to the product line in 2020, both under their brand and for private labels.

Arctic Chiller | Celebrating 25 Years

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CONGRATULATIONS TO ARCTIC CHILLER ON 25 YEARS OF EXCELLENCE Wishing you many more years of success www.dominiongrimm.ca PACKAGING PRODUCTS

Congratulations to you on achieving 25 years in business! Wishing you continued success in the years ahead. A Partner in Excel Insurance Group #400, 14727 - 87 Avenue NW, Edmonton, Alberta, T5R 4E5 Ph: 1-780-452-4405 | Web: ExcelRisk.ca/Treasures

“Dave Hygaard, my father, had seen the emerging market for bottled water unfolding,” says Tom Hygaard, president. “After divesting of his interests in Hygaard Fine Foods he was determined to make a substantial investment in building a high speed bottling plant to cover the demands for western Canada and beyond. Working together with myself in the sales leadership position, we determinedly went out to earn market share, secure supply contracts and grow the business.” Hygaard continues, “After taking a run at the retail market, we quickly determined the private label segment was underrepresented and we poured our focus on the co-branded side of the business. In 2001, we ceased our 18.9 litre jug business to focus solely on small pack/single serving bottled water. In 2008 we introduced the first biodegradable water bottle in Canada. In 2012 we introduced our Partnership Program. We have seen a lot of growth in our export segment and continue to sell our products globally; we’ve had success with China and the Middle East, and we are presently working on supply contracts in the UK, Western Europe, South Africa, Korea and Japan.” Arctic Chiller never stops evolving and innovating. In 2020 they added Can Water and BLK Water to the lineup.

Arctic Chiller | Celebrating 25 Years | 2


Hygaard explains, “Our Can Water is a perfect solution for consumers wanting to go with an alternative package to traditional bottled water. BLK Water is more than just eye-catching. BLK stands for Balance Love Kindness. It contains inky black fulvic volcanic minerals that lends the product it’s distinctive colour. The mineral solution provides alkaline pH and natural electrolytes that support your active healthy lifestyle.” He continues, “Next year we are adding equipment so we can add carbonated water as well as increase the custom packaging options that we offer. We are also adding a mini bottle production line to handle 60 mL, 100 mL multifill applications.” Arctic Chiller is pleased to have won awards as a best new bottling plant and for its diamond bottle design, while achieving NSF Certification, CBWA Excellence in Manufacturing, Kosher certification, and (soon) GFSI certification.

He concludes, “The constant growth over the years is evidence that our product is well received by the public and companies get good value from advertising on our bottles. With our main source of new business coming from client referrals, we know we’re doing things right.” Arctic Chiller can handle any order, from one case of custom branded water to large export contracts for multiple container load shipments.

PET BOTTLES • PREFORMS • HDPE BOTTLES • DEODORANT STICKS • JARS • CLOSURES • CUSTOM MOLDING

Congratulations to Arctic Chiller on your 25th Anniversary! IntraPac is proud to be part of your success.

Hygaard is grateful to the company’s clients and team, including his spouse and executive administrator, Tara.

100 Cree Rd Sherwood Park, Alberta T8A 3X8 Phone: (780) 449-0459 Toll Free: 1 (866) 417-2666 Fax: (780) 449-0404

www.arcticchiller.com

IntraPac Calgary Office 403-248-1513 www.intrapacinternational.com

Arctic Chiller | Celebrating 25 Years | 3


Photo by Rebecca Lippiatt

ALTRACARE:

Eddie (supervisor), Tara (human resources), Wally (operations manager), Mark (general manager & CEO), SK (controller) and David (supervisor).

A SPOTLESS REPUTATION

The commercial cleaning and maintenance company celebrates 20 years By Nerissa McNaughton

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or the past two decades, countless commercial businesses in Edmonton and area have benefited from AltraCare’s over 150 employees that clean more than two million square feet of retail, professional, industrial and office space daily. It’s an impressive feat, but for founder, president and CEO Mark Ferrara, it’s all about ensuring better health through spotless, detailed cleaning while empowering people. “I founded the company for a couples of reasons,” says Ferrara. “One was to create a company focused on cleaning for health, and that principle guides us through everything from the type of cleaning agents to the vacuums we use. The second factor was to support, employ and empower people. AltraCare is a company dedicated to our employees. We work hard to train and motivate our people. We form strong, lasting relationships with our customers by giving them value. Also, our proactiveness to our customers is very important. If there are any issues, we fix them right away.” One of AltraCare’s solutions is the development and deployment of its protection program, EnviroCare. “When you work in an office you are usually in a closed environment,” explains Ferrara. “You cannot open the windows. Harsh chemicals can build up, irritate the lungs, and spike allergies. Most of the products we were already using were low-scent and certified green.”

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AltraCare decided to take things a step further with EnviroCare, bringing together the cleanliness expected by clients with eco-friendly cleaners and high filtration equipment, all certified by third parties such as Green Seal and The Carpet and Rug Institute. All products and procedures also meet or exceed ISO 9001 quality standards – in fact, AltraCare was the first janitorial company of its kind in Alberta to achieve ISO 9001 certification. Ferrara says, “I wanted to become registered because I wanted consistency in our cleaning operations. We document the deficiencies and correct them right away before the customer does. A lot of companies have a quality program but with ISO, there’s a third party that comes to our office and audits us to make sure we do what we say. It’s a very expensive process, but worth it.” Part of AltraCare’s commitment to quality is a focus on the technology that keeps spaces cleaner, especially during the pandemic. “We use fogging to clean commercial areas that have experienced outbreaks,” says Ferrara. “We bring in our atomizer machine that distributes the sanitizing chemicals in nanoparticles. The fog goes into every crevice including


outstanding reviews are proof of AltraCare’s first-class customer service. The growing company is poised to purchase a larger home base soon and plans on managing growth while never losing sight of its objective of clean, healthy workplaces and empowering people.

18008 – 107 Avenue, Edmonton, AB T 780.456.1387 • altracare.com

between the keys on a keyboard. It kills viruses and is effective for up to 10 days. In addition to our customers loving this, we’ve signed up new customers because our fogging is so effective.” Ferrara is passionate about keeping indoor spaces clean through AltraCare, but he’s equally passionate about supporting another clean cause – our oceans. To this end, he’s a firm supporter of 4ocean, the non-profit organization that pulls pollution from the ocean full time while providing education about the dangers of plastic pollution for marine life.

Congratulations on 20 years!

#209, 16504 – 118 Ave. Edmonton, Alberta T5V 1C8 587.805.3335 | rmllp.ca

“I love this program! I love the ocean!” praises Ferrara. “The ocean affects every part of our ecosystem. AltraCare’s support has removed 500 pounds of plastic from our oceans. We clean interiors, but this is how we help clean nature.” AltraCare also supports local initiatives such as Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation. Whether he’s supporting oceans miles away or helping to keep spaces cleaner and healthier, Ferrara is proud to call Edmonton home.

Congratulations on 20 years in business! Here’s to 20 more!!

“Since moving here from the east in 2001 I have always felt that people are respectful and willing to work together. It’s a big city but a small community. We couldn’t be prouder to provide our phenomenal customer service to our great clients and we appreciate them all so much.” Ferrara also greatly appreciates the company controller, SK Cheah, who he calls integral to the company. Cheah, the former CEO of Warner Music Malaysia, moved to Edmonton in 2012. Ferrara met him in 2014 when he did some work on Cheah’s property. The two talked and Ferrara asked for mentorship, one businessman to another. “He helped us get from red to black and helped set the direction for the company,” says Ferrara. “As a leader, you want smart people to help you grow. I admire and respect him and his knowledge.” AltraCare has the products, the technology, and the fogging equipment needed to help create greener, cleaner workspaces. Testimonials from happy customers and

11450 – 149th Street, Edmonton, AB T5M 1W7

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AltraCare • Celebrating 20 years


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Profile for Business in Edmonton Magazine

Business in Edmonton - July 2021  

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