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JUNE 2018 | $3.50 BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM

Being the Difference PM42455512

CATHERINE VU’S “YES” LIFE IS FULL OF JOY, PASSION, DEDICATION, AND ENERGY



PARKLAND COUNTY FEATURE: PART III

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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 6 | Number 6

REGULAR COLUMNS

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 Why it’s Time to get out of Canada’s Economic Straightjacket By Brock Harrison

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CONTENTS COVER FEATURE

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Being the Difference Catherine Vu’s “Yes” life is full of joy, passion, dedication, and energy By Nerissa McNaughto

ON OUR COVER: ABOVE: CATHERINE VU IS THE OWNER AND CUO (CHIEF UPTIME OFFICER) OF PRO-ACTIVE IT MANAGEMENT INC. PHOTO SOURCE: REBECCA LIPPIATT PHOTOGRAPHY

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

@BUSINEDMONTON

BUSINESSINEDMONTON

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14 45 53

 Property Tax Hike? Cities have alternatives By Colin Craig

 Small Businesses Brace for More Changes to Employment Rules By Amber Ruddy

 The Power of Print William Joseph Communications

Edmonton Chamber of Commerce  OMA Edmonton News: B Summer 2018

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DIRECTORS EDUCATION PROGRAM

CANADA’S LEADING PROGRAM FOR DIRECTORS APPLY BEFORE OCTOBER 5, 2018 FOR THE NEXT EDMONTON OFFERING OF CANADA’S LEADING PROGRAM FOR DIRECTORS. “The ICD-Rotman Directors Education Program is truly exceptional and provides tremendous insights for both new and experienced directors. Each three-day session was engaging from start to finish. The curriculum was well-structured and the content was invaluable. On top of the excellent academic portion of the program, I was equally impressed with the caliber of my classmates. I’m proud of the network we are building to help serve our community for years to come.” LINDSAY DODD, MBA, ICD.D CHAIR, STOLLERY CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL FOUNDATION DIRECTOR, DODDCOR LTD., EDMONTON ESKIMOS FOOTBALL CLUB, TONIT MEDIA INC.

The Directors Education Program (DEP), jointly developed by the Institute of Corporate Directors and the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, is offered nationally at Canada’s top business schools. Since the launch of the DEP, over 5,000 directors have completed the program, taking the first step towards acquiring their ICD.D designation. ATTAIN YOUR ICD.D AND BE MORE EFFECTIVE AS A DIRECTOR.

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MODULE I: December 10 -12, 2018 MODULE II: February 22-24, 2019 MODULE III: April 8-10, 2019 MODULE IV: May 24- 26, 2019 APPLICATION DEADLINE: OCTOBER 5, 2018 In collaboration with:

Jointly developed by:


STORY TITLE // SECTION

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

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THIS MONTH’S FEATURES

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 ill Legalization of W Cannabis Pose a Threat to Your Business? By Laura Bohnert

CONTENTS  cKinley Heating & M Air Conditioning Celebrates 50 Years

71 81

Celebrates 35 Years

61

Celebrates 50 Years

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Your Career Starts Here By Debra Ward

 annabis Legalization & C Safety: How Companies are Adapting & What to Expect With cannabis legalization on the horizon, safetysensitive workplaces need to properly prepare, and understand the rights of their workers in relation to their own responsibilities. By Zachary Edwards

Delnor Construction Ltd.

B  irkholz Homes

 arkland County Feature: P Part III Growing with its Tourism Industry By Laura Bohnert

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COMPANY PROFILES

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Waiting to Exhale Behind the soap opera-esque headlines, Alberta’s oil and gas executives wait with bated breath for political action on the pipeline front. By Ben Freeland

Below the Surface

Performance enhancers are not just for the gym. They can also boost soil potential. By Nerissa McNaughton


PCL Construction Management Inc. is proud to welcome Ian, Alan, and Ben to our team.

Ian McKinnon, Manager, Civil Operations Ian is responsible for overall direction and leadership of PCL’s Civil department and will focus on growth of the civil portfolio. He brings more than 25 years’ experience in commercial and civil construction and has been exposed to a wide-variety of roles including on-site field engineering, estimating, project coordination, and project management on civil infrastructure, major commercial, and industrial projects. For the last 15 years, Ian has lead civil infrastructure groups in Northern Alberta. Ian graduated from the University of Saskatchewan with a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering and holds professional engineering and Gold Seal certifications.

Alan McHugh, Chief Estimator Alan manages PCL’s estimating team, provides pursuit support and is involved in the preparation and development of bids, estimates, and proposals. He has over 21 years’ estimating experience with budget expertise encompassing everything from tower construction and interior fit-outs to complex healthcare facilities to sports and entertainment centres. Alan develops initial base budgets for complex projects and is involved in schematic design, design development, and working drawings stages through to subtrade contract tenders and awards. Alan holds a diploma in construction technology and a bachelor of science degree in construction economics from The Dublin Institute of Technology. He is a Chartered Construction Manager through the Chartered Institute of Building.

Ben Wagemakers, Manager, Special Projects Ben provides guidance, leadership, and technical expertise to PCL’s Special Projects Division and manages projects with a cumulative construction value of over $100 million. He has more than 20 years’ construction experience and is responsible for business development, estimating, proposal preparation, planning, and scheduling for the Special Projects Division which delivers a variety of projects including large or small-scale renovations, fit-outs, restorations, specialized buildings, or new builds. Ben graduated from the University of Saskatchewan with a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering and is a registered professional engineer.

SHARING YOUR VISION. BUILDING SUCCESS. Watch us build at PCL.com


Professional Development IT PAYS TO KNOW

Mark your calendar for payroll education! Teresa S., PCP - Member Prairie Region

PUBLISHER

Business in Edmonton Inc.

ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER

Brent Trimming brent@businessinedmonton.com

EDITOR

Nerissa McNaughton

COPY EDITOR

With more than 200 federal and provincial regulations and changes each year, staying payroll compliant is one of the biggest challenges employers face. Improve compliance and reduce the risk of audits and penalties with help from Professional Development seminars from Canadian Payroll Association (CPA). The CPA offers seminars for all levels, from beginner to advanced. On a variety of topics covering Learning Payroll, Taxable Benefits & Allowances, Employment Standards, Pensions and more.

Learn more at payroll.ca.

Nikki Gouthro

ART DIRECTOR

Jessi Evetts jessi@businessinedmonton.com

ADMINISTRATION

Nancy Bielecki info@businessinedmonton.com

REGULAR CONTRIBUTORS Colin Craig Brock Harrison Amber Ruddy

THIS ISSUE’S CONTRIBUTORS Nerissa McNaughton Laura Bohnert Debra Ward Zachary Edwards Ben Freeland

PHOTOGRAPHY

Cover photo by Rebecca Lippiatt

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Chris MIller chris@businessinedmonton.com Evelyn Dehner evelyn@businessinedmonton.com Bobbi Joan O’Neil bobbi@businessinedmonton.com Sarah Jones sarah@businessinedmonton.com

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WHY IT’S TIME TO GET OUT OF CANADA’S ECONOMIC STRAIGHTJACKET // BROCK HARRISON

Why it’s Time to get out of Canada’s Economic Straightjacket BY BROCK HARRISON

I

f in 10 years or so we begin taking stock of where it all went wrong for our beloved country, we should note the gentle exhortations of people like Jean Charest.

Charest, the former federal cabinet minister and Quebec premier and now corporate law firm partner, has taken up a new cause of late: raising the alarm over Canada’s rapid descent into international irrelevance. He recently told a national television audience, during a conversation about the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, “For Canada there is a bigger message here that isn’t just about this pipeline. The general impression it has left, not just in the United States but elsewhere in the world, is that Canada is a country that can’t get its big projects done.” This may not sound like a dire warning – Charest is, after all, an elder statesman in the party currently in power in Ottawa, so his tone is in keeping with his stature – but the subtext is clear: Canada is risking its future by driving away growth today. Charest knows what he’s talking about. In the last 18 months alone, three major energy infrastructure projects – Pacific Northwest LNG, the Northern Gateway pipeline, and the Energy East pipeline – totaling more than $60 billion in private investment, have been crushed under the weight of overregulation and political uncertainty. A third, the aforementioned Trans Mountain pipeline, is on the brink of suffering similar fate. According to statistics Canada, foreign direct investment is also at its lowest levels in eight years, down 26 per cent from 2017 and, astonishingly, by more than half from

2015, due almost entirely to paralyzed growth in the energy sector. Charest is also not alone. Politicians, CEOs and financial institutions from around the world have all found serious fault with how Canada conducts its business. A 2017 World Bank report ranked Canada 34 out of 35 OECD countries in the time required to obtain a permit for a new construction project. John Chambers, president of energy investment bank GMP FirstEnergy, sardonically summarized Canada’s predicament like this: “Canada remains locked in its own straitjacket, like Houdini locked in a box underwater with the time running out.” Now, there are two problems with that predicament. Number one, the voting public isn’t likely to be moved by the plight of who they perceive as the political and economic elite; number two, the real-life impacts of Canada’s capital strike haven’t yet fully trickled down from the country’s boardroom tables to its kitchen tables. But they will. When they do – when Canada’s middle class becomes so wracked with economic anxiety because our leaders failed to secure our collective future – we will look back at this time with regret. Indeed, the most important issue we face today is whether Canada will choose to compete for prosperity and opportunity in an ever more challenging global market, or if we will slowly wither away and get left behind by the serious nations of the world. For Canadians’ sake, we need to make the right choice. Perhaps it’s time to stop being gentle about it.

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

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PROPERTY TAX HIKE? CITIES HAVE ALTERNATIVES // COLIN CRAIG

Property Tax Hike? Cities Have Alternatives BY COLIN CRAIG

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oo often municipal politicians ponder the amount to raise property taxes each year.

Large cities are typically inefficient organizations with plenty of room for improvement. There are multiple ways to trim spending and avoid a tax increase without reducing service delivery. All we have to do is convince our city council members to roll up their sleeves and make some hard decisions to reduce spending instead of taking the easy way out by raising taxes. We’re not suggesting cities like Edmonton and Calgary never trim spending. They do … here and there. But total spending increases every year – it’s as predictable as the sun rising in the east or the Maple Leafs fizzling out and not bringing home the Stanley Cup. One way to reduce costs would be to scale back city salaries and benefits. It’s common knowledge government compensation packages tend to be more generous than similar positions in the private sector. Thus, there’s plenty of justification for restraint. While politicians are generally loathe to actually reduce pay for current employees, it would be less politically challenging for them to grandfather in more reasonable compensation packages for new employees. For example, instead of putting new hires in golden city pension plans, they could receive a more modest benefit, such as a matched contribution to their RRSPs. Alternatively, instead of paying a new admin assistant, say, $55,000 per year, new hires could start at $45,000 or whatever level is offered in the private sector. Considering salaries and benefits tend to make up over half of the city’s budget, the opportunity for savings in this area is enormous and should not be overlooked.

While reducing compensation levels is one way to cut spending, it doesn’t address situations where employees are unproductive. Unlike in the private sector, where businesses have to stay competitive in order to survive, if a government is wasteful, it simply passes unnecessary expenses on to taxpayers. Unfortunately, it’s not so easy for taxpayers to shop around for a different government. (Doing so requires a more onerous task – packing up and leaving.) One way to address inefficient service delivery is to contract out more government services to the private sector – pothole repair, park maintenance or other services. When looking at tendering out such services, existing city employees should be encouraged to put in bids as they often know where the savings can be found. This approach helps inject competitive forces, keep costs under control and drive up productivity. Another option worth considering is an asset and services review. Back in the mid-2000s, reformists in Winnipeg began examining city land and assets and discovered the city owned river-front property outside of city limits. They also began urging the city to sell off some land – in the middle of a booming retail area in the city – that was being used as a snow dump. Cities could also re-examine some of the services they’re providing. Should they really be running money-losing golf courses and fitness centres? There are many ways city governments could operate more efficiently. It’s time for taxpayers to demand politicians spend more time investigating such options.

COLIN CRAIG IS THE INTERIM ALBERTA DIRECTOR FOR THE CANADIAN TAXPAYERS FEDERATION.

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Nominations are now closed; thank you to all who have nominated, and to the nominees who are part of this year’s program. We look forward to assembling another group of influential people from our business community who will be honoured for their contributions towards making Edmonton a great place to live and work! Business in Edmonton will celebrate the 2018 winners at our 6th Annual Awards Gala, and our July issue will feature the Leaders and their companies.

Save the Date Thursday, June 21st | 6pm To stay informed on details for our event, visit www.businessinedmonton.com/leaders or email leaders@businessinedmonton.com

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SMALL BUSINESSES BRACE FOR MORE CHANGES TO EMPLOYMENT RULES // AMBER RUDDY

Small Businesses Brace for More Changes to Employment Rules BY AMBER RUDDY

T

hought the Alberta government’s drastic overhaul of employment standards and the Labour Relations Code was burdensome? Changes to statutory holiday pay, overtime provisions and removing the secret ballot vote to unionize left business owners reeling. Well brace yourself; the Alberta government is far from done stacking the deck against small business owners. New Occupational Health and Safety rules are now in effect, as of June 1. The enabling legislation focuses on processes rather than outcomes and creates a series of mandatory workplace safety initiatives for businesses. The new act may require a significant investment of resources to simply be compliant. In the past, workplace safety was treated as the joint responsibility of employers and employees. Employees used to have a duty to refuse work that posed an imminent danger to their health and safety. That duty now becomes a discretionary right. The removal of this shared obligation is a step backwards and promotes the abdication of individual responsibility necessary at every worksite in Alberta. What other onerous new policies are now in effect? Businesses with five to 19 employees must appoint a health and safety representative. That representative is required to take additional employee training on workplace safety for a minimum of 16 hours (or two shifts worth, whichever is greater) per year. If your business employs 20 or more people, you now must establish a joint worksite health and safety committee. This committee must have at least four members, half of which must represent workers and must meet at least quarterly.

The joint worksite health and safety committee either has to meet during regular work hours or will have to be paid for additional time spent on their duties in this role. Thought you got into business to sell your unique products and services? Well, don’t neglect your job as an expert in employment legislation. Ensuring workers are not subject to nor participate in workplace harassment or violence is a given. But did you know your obligations now include advising workers of treatment options if harmed by violence or harassment and providing workers with wage and benefit entitlements while attending treatment programs? Small business owners care about the health and wellness of their employees; in fact in many cases friends and family members are employed in the business. What the Alberta government fails to understand is that more rules don’t necessarily mean safer workplaces. No matter how hard they try, governments can’t legislate common sense. In a recent survey of 800 business owners in Alberta conducted by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), 94 per cent said employment laws should be more flexible for small employers to better support small businesses. Small business owners are well placed to understand the unique needs in their workplace and act accordingly. Keeping track of all requirements can be completely overwhelming. It’s time for the Alberta government to put themselves in the shoes of small business owners and attempt to understand the realities of running a small firm.

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

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WILLIAM JOSEPH // THE POWER OF PRINT

William Joseph: The Power of Print I n the age of digital everything, it’s easy to assume that print is a dying medium. As a research-based strategic marketing and communications agency, we know nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, to create lasting and favourable impressions with your target market, the decision to include printed materials in your marketing strategy is probably more important than ever. The name of the game in good marketing is differentiation, and print provides opportunities to stand out in a big way. A word every marketer should know is haptic. Haptics relate to physiological phenomena – actual physical and neurological changes that occur in a person when they hold something tangible in their hands. Printed material has a way of making people take mental ownership of whatever it is they’re looking at in a way they don’t when they see things online. We’re not just talking about print ads (although those can be highly effective). Postcards, banners, sidewalk signs, brochures, sales folders – these are all print materials, and each of them, in the hands of a great designer, can be a highlyengaging and interactive experience for your customer. We at WJ have our own magazine that’s printed biannually and distributed to customers – both current and potential. WJ Magazine is an invaluable tool that gets us into customers’ minds and places of business without actually being there. (If you’d like to receive a copy, shoot us an email via our website at www.williamjoseph.com.) Statistically speaking, print is very powerful. Research shows that brand recall is an astonishing 70 per cent higher with print than with digital executions, and that more than half of people believe printed materials are more trustworthy than information sourced online. Above and beyond all this, print communication is a far more personal way to speak to your audience. There’s an intimacy to print that you simply don’t get through digital marketing,

and fewer restrictions in terms of content. You can design a printed piece any way you like and customize the amount of space you dedicate to copy. Websites and digital ads are extremely tight in this regard – you’re forced to keep the message short, giving print a distinct edge when it comes to brand development. If you want to design a print campaign that resonates, call the team at William Joseph. We’d love to get creative with you.

Likelihood to  No=ce  or  Read  Print  Adver=sements  

Likelihood to Notice or Likelihood to  No=ce  or  Read Read Print Advertisements

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8% Always/Oien   35%  

Always Oien  

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82 Rarely

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47%

16%

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OF READERS NOTICE OR READ Never 3%   PRINT ADVERTISMENTS Rarely  

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Learn more at cdlhomes.com BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // JUNE 2018

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EMSI Study Shows the Strength of Alberta’s Colleges Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI) recently completed a province-wide study into the impact of Alberta’s colleges on taxpayers, students, and society. Eleven colleges took part in the study, including Edmonton’s NorQuest College. EMSI’s report was very positive, showing a $4.8 billion impact (which translates to 43,520 jobs) made by the colleges over the 2015-2016 season. Albertans with a college diploma earn, on average $49,500/year by the midpoint of their careers, which is $17,300 more than Albertans whose education stopped with a high school diploma. The benefits are not all monetary, either. Communities across the province with post-secondary grads in the workplace benefit from lower crime rates, lower need

for income assistance, and greater physical and mental wellbeing. These societal benefits translate into $7.30 for every $1 invested in college. One of the reasons for the great societal benefits is that a college diploma changes the graduate’s mindset. EMSI reports that the students felt “enriched” and that their education “helped them realize their potential.” The increased cash flow graduates experience from being able to secure good paying jobs means more spending in the community. The spending stimulates the economy and further raises the wellbeing of the families that can

ABOVE: THE HONOURABLE RACHEL NOTLEY, PREMIER OF ALBERTA, ANNOUNCES THE EXPANSION OF THE $25-A-DAY CHILD CARE PILOT PROGRAM AT NORQUEST’S SINGHMAR CENTRE FOR LEARNING. PREMIER NOTLEY IS JOINED BY THE HONOURABLE DANIELLE LARIVEE, MINISTER OF CHILDREN’S SERVICES, AND OTHERS INCLUDING DAVID SHEPHERD, MLA FOR EDMONTON-CENTRE, AND DR. S. ANN COLBOURNE, CHAIR OF THE NORQUEST COLLEGE BOARD OF GOVERNORS (FAR RIGHT). PHOTO SOURCE: NORQUEST COLLEGE

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ALBERTA COLLEGES’ INDIVIDUAL INITIATIVES FURTHER BENEFIT THE COMMUNITIES THEY SERVE. HERE IN EDMONTON, THE 1000 WOMEN CHILD CARE CENTRE, LOCATED ON THE NORQUEST COLLEGE CAMPUS, IS THRILLED TO BE ONE OF THE SPACES OFFERING $25/DAY CHILD CARE. enjoy a more secure lifestyle. Local industries with ready access to college graduates benefit from a flow of qualified, trained workers. The colleges themselves are a source of employment, with on-site new construction contributing $24.3 million in income for the province.

offset the childcare expenses. The Centre helps parents achieve their goal of higher education, thanks to an on-site, safe, affordable childcare solution, and it also functions as a hands-on learning venue for students in NorQuest College’s Early Learning and Child Care program.

According to the EMSI report, “The enhanced skills of welltrained college students make the businesses that hire them more productive. The top industries impacted by Alberta colleges are health care and social assistance (~$1.2 billion), public administration (~$771 million), utilities (~$437 million), real estate and rental and leasing (~$239 million), and professional scientific and technical services (~$226 million).”

Alberta’s colleges have a very positive impact on their communities, students, workforce, and the province. To learn more about the EMSI study, visit bit.ly/2w6drIa (infographic) and bit.ly/2jmpl7m. To learn more about NorQuest College’s 1000 Women Child Care Centre, visit bit. ly/2xgomOm.

Alberta colleges’ individual initiatives further benefit the communities they serve. Here in Edmonton, the 1000 Women Child Care Centre, located on the NorQuest College campus, is thrilled to be one of the spaces offering $25/day child care. “We are extremely thankful to join other early learning and child care centres in our city in providing this service,” says Dr. S. Ann Colbourne, chair, NorQuest College board of governors. “We extend our appreciation to the provincial government for recognizing the need and supporting early learning child care centres in Alberta.” The 1000 Women Child Care Centre offers 56 spaces for children aged 12 months to five years. The Centre benefits the children of NorQuest College students and is also open to the community. Students with children in the Centre may qualify for up to a $500 bursary to help

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Edmonton’s Newest Mall and Tourist Attraction is Open for Business Premium Outlet Collection Edmonton International Airport (POC-EIA) opened in early May, drawing a massive crowd that started arriving the night before to be in line for the grand opening. POC-EIA is the only fully enclosed outlet shopping centre in the Edmonton Metropolitan Region. The mall is also LEED® pre-certified, ensuring that it aims for a very high standard of sustainability and eco-responsibility. Opening week saw plenty of giveaways and contests, including $50 POC-EIA cards for the first 1,000 people in line at Entrance 4, VIP tickets to 2018 Grey Cup, and 15 per cent discounts for Air Canada flights from Edmonton to San Francisco. Opening day also included a charitable aspect. Jason Bos, general manager, Premium Outlet Collection EIA, announced that up to $10,000 would be donated to United Way of the Alberta Capital Region, thanks to customdesigned canvas shopping totes. The totes were designed by celebrities, such as Paul Brandt, Kevin Lowe, and Cassie Sharp. Mall patrons voted for their favourite tote, with POC-EIA donating $1 for each vote, up to a maximum of $10,000. Dignitaries at the opening included the Honourable Shaye Anderson, Alberta Minister of Municipal Affairs; Tom Ruth, president and CEO of EIA; Bob Young, mayor of the City of Leduc; Tanni Doblanko, mayor of Leduc County; and representatives from Ivanhoé Cambridge, Simon, and United Way of the Alberta Capital Region.

ABOVE: SHOPPERS LINED UP WAITING FOR THE GRAND OPENING OF PREMIUM OUTLET COLLECTION EDMONTON INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT BELOW: PREMIUM OUTLET COLLECTION EDMONTON INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT’S GRAND OPENING CEREMONY. FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: STEPHEN YALOF, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF PREMIUM OUTLETS, SIMON; CLAUDE SIROIS, PRESIDENT, RETAIL, IVANHOÉ CAMBRIDGE; JASON BOS, GENERAL MANAGER, PREMIUM OUTLET COLLECTION EIA; TANNI DOBLANKO, MAYOR OF LEDUC COUNTY; HONOURABLE SHAYE ANDERSON, ALBERTA MINISTER OF MUNICIPAL AFFAIRS; TOM RUTH, PRESIDENT AND CEO EIA; AND BOB YOUNG, MAYOR OF THE CITY OF LEDUC PHOTO SOURCE: IVANHOÉ CAMBRIDGE

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“We are thrilled to bring our premium shopping experience to the Edmonton International Airport and surrounding community,” says Claude Sirois, president, retail, Ivanhoé Cambridge. “Premium Outlet Collection EIA will be a unique shopping destination for Alberta, guaranteed to draw visitors from within and beyond the province. The combination of value-focused retailers, all under one roof, and our signature array of guest services and amenities is sure to please valueseeking and fashion-conscious shoppers.”

also hosts a locally-focused concept called SHARE, which brings Edmonton producers, artists, and a specialty coffee shop to the heart of the retail space. “Premium Outlet Collection EIA brings together travel, shopping, and service for the people of our region and visitors, helping EIA fulfil its mandate to drive regional prosperity,” says Tom Ruth, EIA president and CEO. Following the success of its grand opening, POC-EIA is expected to continue to be a huge draw for both locals and tourists, with it’s six anchor tenants (DSW – Designer Shoe Warehouse, Forever 21, H&M, Nike Factory Store, Old Navy Outlet, and Marshalls, which will open during the summer opening), local and national stores, DeliverEASE to ship purchases directly to shoppers’ homes, and a refresh facility for shoppers on a flight layover.

“We are so delighted to team up with Ivanhoé Cambridge in Edmonton,” says Stephen Yalof, CEO of Premium Outlets, Simon. “This is Premium Outlets’ fourth opening in Canada, and I have no doubt that our commitment in delivering sought-after brands and value will continue to resonate with our Canadian customers.”

Visit www.premiumoutletcollectioneia.com to learn more.

In addition to nationally recognized chain retailers, POC-EIA

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

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BEING THE DIFFERENCE // COVER

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BEING THE DIFFERENCE // COVER

Being the Difference CATHERINE VU’S “YES” LIFE IS FULL OF JOY, PASSION, DEDICATION, AND ENERGY

BY NERISSA MCNAUGHTON

C

atherine Vu is the owner and CUO (chief uptime officer) of Pro-Active IT Management Inc. – but leading a first-class IT firm is the last thing she ever thought she would be doing with her life.

She learned how to cold call, which she says is “the best skill I was ever taught. A lot of our clients were from cold calls. That’s where I learned to build relationships with people; it’s a critical business skill.”

“I graduated from the University of Alberta (U of A) in 1994 as an accountant,” starts Catherine, “but I wasn’t a very good accountant! I was very shy. There weren’t many jobs available, so I ended up doing marketing for an IT firm. I knew nothing of computers. In U of A, I paid people to type my papers because I always crashed my computer!”

Although the career change was something completely unexpected for Catherine, she fell naturally into the role. “I have a logical mind, and I.T. is very logical. Sometimes, the solution is on the 20th step. Sometimes it’s on the first. I started when computers ran on DOS. Now it’s Windows, where you can just look everything up.”

Catherine stuck it out at that company for three years, observing their practices and procedures. “Then they hired a salesman,” Catherine continues. “He said I could do I.T. I thought, ‘no, I can’t,’ but when I asked my employers for a bonus and they said no, we left and started Pro-Active Computer Solutions and ran it as a partnership until 2003, when the partnership was dissolved.” On August 4, 2003, Catherine launched Pro-Active IT Management.

Still, the impact of how far she had come didn’t hit Catherine until 2012, when she was invited to go to Silicon Valley as the only Alberta representative out of 11 women in tech from across Canada. As she rubbed shoulders at the conference with the likes of Google and other world-famous IT companies and tech professionals, she thought, “I AM a geek! Yup. I’m pretty geeky and I own it.” Resilient, open to change, an entrepreneurial mind, hustle, and grit – Catherine embodies all these qualities, but when you learn something about her that very few people know, it becomes very clear how her past shaped her future.

ABOVE: CATHERINE VU IS THE OWNER AND CUO (CHIEF UPTIME OFFICER) OF PRO-ACTIVE IT MANAGEMENT INC. PHOTO SOURCE: REBECCA LIPPIATT PHOTOGRAPHY

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

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BEING THE DIFFERENCE // COVER

Catherine was born in Vietnam. Her father escaped to Canada in 1975. “He tried to sponsor us over, but it’s a very long process. After waiting for years, we tried to escape and buy our passage to Canada. My mother, two sisters, and I were put on a boat. We were packed like sardines. We were debarked on an island and were supposed to be there for three days when another ship would pick us up to continue the journey. That ship never came.” Instead of three days, Catherine, her family, and the other shipmates were on the island for weeks, and it was time none of them had planned for. When their provisions ran out, they lived off the land as best they could. “We caught crabs on the beach and made rice with salt water.” Then a ship sailed over the horizon, and things went from bad to worse. “It was a communist ship,” Catherine cringes at the memory. “Some young men were able to escape by running up into the mountains, but most of the men and women and families were captured, including my family. We were taken to a camp

and left there for four days. My sister contracted an illness and nearly died. After four long days, the women and children were released – they couldn’t be useful to our captors as labourers. We had nothing to return to. We what we did have was taken from us. We had no money. We had nothing. We begged and talked and bartered our way back to Saigon. My mother sold meals at a food stand to make ends meet.” And then we see a flash of the spirit that fuels Catherine’s happy, passionate, yes-filled life. “It was,” she says thinking of those hard times, “an adventure.” The sponsorship came through in 1981 and they made it to Canada, but Catherine learned a hard lesson during those lean years. “There were a lot of rich people on that boat, and they were not good at sharing. I watched poor people feeding each other and taking care of each other. The poor reached out so others could get to the next place.” This is one of the things that sparked in Catherine a lifelong passion for giving back. She also has another very important reason for her lifelong dedication to being community-minded.

ABOVE: CATHERINE ENJOYS SPENDING TIME HER FAMILY AND IN LAWS. PHOTO SOURCE: JAVIER SALAZAR

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


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BEING THE DIFFERENCE // COVER

“The main reason that I’m so involved in charitable initiatives is actually because of my brother, who was born with Down syndrome. He is the reason I started volunteering, so I can get the scoop on the best way to raise him with my mother – we are his co-guardians. His name is Daniel Vu and I’m so proud of all his accomplishments. He’s amazing and so loving! He has a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and graduated from U of A in 2015. He now works in the U of A fitness centre.” Easter Seals, Alberta Cancer Foundation, Sorrentino’s Compassion House, Norquest 1000 Women, a member of the Stollery Women’s Network committee, active on the board member of Winnifred Stewart Association: these are just a very few of the charitable initiatives in which Catherine is happily immersed. In fact, as much as she loves what she does, Catherine sees Pro-Active Management IT as a tool that helps her build others up through employment and giving back to the community, and as a tool to help herself continue to learn, grow, and give. “Pro-Active IT Management is an on-demand, outsource I.T. service provider that helps small businesses make technology work for them. Our difference is that we introduce our clients to the non-profits and charities we work with, so our clients have opportunities to give back,” says Catherine. In addition to Office 365 migrations, Pro-Active offers: • Network design, implementation, and maintenance • Internet and web solutions • On-premise and Cloud data backup • Software procurement and training • Virus and security protection • Hardware sourcing, installation, and service • CRM system setup and training Her approach to I.T. is very different. “Don’t be afraid to dream and dream big for your company, but share that with your I.T. service provider so they can help

you get there. When I talk to a company, they think, why would I tell you that? You’re I.T., not a business coach! But if I know what you want to do, I can be on the lookout for the trends and technology to help make things easier for you.” “Most companies don’t prioritize their I.T. or realize its importance until something breaks,” cautions Catherine. “Data is such a big part of our lives, but we don’t realize this until something happens to it. So many things can happen. A server gets stolen, a fire in the office, ransomware – most companies cannot continue if they lose their data. Do at least two different backups: one on site, one offsite (Cloud). Pro-Active IT does everything it can to protect, maintain, and keep that data going for its clients. It’s not unusual for her consultants to work overnight in a client’s workplace to ensure things are running when the doors open for business in the morning. Catherine’s outlook on everything is upbeat, sunny, and very positive, and that includes her life in Edmonton, even when it’s -35C and the cold northern winds are howling.

ABOVE: CATHERINE IS A HOBBY PHOTOGRAPHER AND ENJOYS CAPTURING SCENES IN THE RIVER VALLEY, WHICH IS ONE OF HER FAVOURITE PLACES IN EDMONTON. PHOTO SOURCE: CATHERINE VU

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BEING THE DIFFERENCE // COVER

“I love Edmonton,” she exclaims. “I landed in Edmonton, and I’ve traveled all over the world, but what I love about my home is that we are a city of a million people, but we are still a small town in our willingness to connect with each other. People here are very open. It’s a very inclusive community and not at all cliquey. We are welcoming to people that come here. The city is collaborative, open, friendly, and all heart. And the River Valley? It’s frickin’ awesome! “I love Edmonton for every season. You will not hear me complain about the weather. You can dress up or dress down for the weather, but you can’t change the people. It’s the people that make the city.” Clearly, the city loves her back. In addition to a Top 40 under 40 award, Catherine has been widely recognized for her charitable work, and she holds a Business in Edmonton Leaders award, which she says is “Absolutely amazing. It feels like validation. I’ve been there [at the Leaders awards] when others have won over the years. To win means that I have a reputable business worth mentioning. To be a part of it is huge. I’ve even gotten more business thanks to the award.” The “accidental entrepreneur” has sage advice for others that take the plunge into their own businesses. “Work hard, play hard. Lead by example. I do things, and then I inspire people to follow me because it’s fun! Don’t just sit there and tell people what to do. Be willing to do it first. “Teamwork is critical. You can’t do it all yourself. You can’t grow without letting go. Teamwork makes things more fun, and I’m all for anything that make things more fun. If you’re not willing to share, how can you collaborate? “Take chances. Due to my background, I like security. I like comfortable things. But you can’t grow as a person or business owner if you don’t take chances. So, I go out and do things that make me scared. I’m scared of heights, so I rappelled down a building for Easter Seals. I’m afraid of water slides and mud, so I did Mud Hero. I do things to deliberately challenge my fear. It’s the only way to get out of my little box. Taking chances is critical for people. You go by gut. Not taking chances held me back in the early years. You can sit there forever and take time to get things perfect, but now I know the fallout of perfection. It’s inaction.”

Catherine is also happy to achieve something that most entrepreneurs constantly strive for. “I have work/life balance! That’s why I call my business my lifestyle. When I went on my own in 2003, I didn’t take a vacation until 2008. It was just work, work, work, work, work. Now I take regular vacations because that is part of the balance. When I work, I’m working. When I play, I’m playing. Having a great team enables this. If you don’t take care of yourself, your business is going to suffer, so selfcare is critical.” Much ado is made of Catherine being a female in a traditionally male-dominated industry, but to her, it’s no big deal. “I just do my thing,” she says with a shrug and a smile. “I always do my thing and never really worry about being compared to others. I run my company in my way, using contactors, putting myself in my client’s shoes, never overselling, taking things one day – one hour – at a time, and building trust. I don’t spend a lot on building a flashy company image, and I guess that could be a ‘female’ trait. I do know that women are very big on collaboration. Maybe men take on more risk. Maybe men do things bigger, showier and faster, than me, but honestly, I don’t think just being male or female is ultimately what makes a company successful.” Catherine expresses thanks to her Fab 5 group, a team of female business owners that act as each other’s advisory boards. She is also grateful to the Entrepreneurs’ Organization, her contractors, clients, charitable initiatives, friends, family, supporters, husband, and everyone and everything that enriches her life and her business every day. Going forward, Catherine sees a future where Pro-Active IT is run with less of her direct involvement, but still carries the essence of her life’s work. She plans to get even more involved in her charity work and to create a foundation to help men, women, and children with disabilities. The foundation is the legacy she would like to leave when her adventures on this earth come to an end. Catherine concludes, “I believe that all of us have the ability to make a difference. We need to start within ourselves and then have so much fun with it that it inspires people. We can all make a difference or an impact; all it takes is wanting to.”

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

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WILL LEGALIZATION OF CANNABIS POSE A THREAT TO YOUR BUSINESS? // CANNABIS

WILL LEGALIZATION OF CANNABIS POSE A THREAT TO YOUR BUSINESS? BY LAURA BOHNERT

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

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WILL LEGALIZATION OF CANNABIS POSE A THREAT TO YOUR BUSINESS? // CANNABIS

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t started over a year ago, in April of 2017 when the Government of Canada implemented new legislation to legalize access to cannabis. Now, with legalization at the door, many businesses are wondering what the impacts will be within the workplace. Legalization, expected to come into place this summer, will allow adults over 18 (although certain provinces may increase the minimum age limit) to possess up to 30 grams of legallyproduced cannabis, and to grow up to four cannabis plants per household. It’s a change that carries promise for the growth of businesses that cater to the cannabis industry—and for the potential of regulation to improve the quality and safety of the drug. Positive attributes aside, however, the new legislation still awakens concern. Legalization carries potential risks for the workplace, and while Alberta’s plan for action prioritizes the promotion of safety on roads, in workplaces, and in public spaces, according to the Government of Alberta website, many are curious about how that promotion of safety is going to shape Edmonton’s businesses, its streets, and its economy. The Government of Alberta lists one of its primary strategies for maintaining safety in the workplace (as well

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

THE GOVERNMENT OF ALBERTA LISTS ONE OF ITS PRIMARY STRATEGIES FOR MAINTAINING SAFETY IN THE WORKPLACE (AS WELL AS ON THE ROADS AND IN PUBLIC SPACES) AS REVIEWING THE SYSTEM THAT IS ALREADY IN PLACE TO ENSURE IT IS EQUIPPED TO DEAL WITH CANNABIS IMPAIRMENT AMONG OTHER TYPES OF IMPAIRMENT. as on the roads and in public spaces) as reviewing the system that is already in place to ensure it is equipped to deal with cannabis impairment among other types of impairment. That means “working with the transportation sector, law enforcement, and the justice system” to make


WILL LEGALIZATION OF CANNABIS POSE A THREAT TO YOUR BUSINESS? // CANNABIS

any necessary changes; “undertaking public education and awareness” initiatives; and “working with industry and labour to assess current workplace rules to address impairment at work.”

permit and business licensing areas to be able to review the applications that we are expecting to receive. We are also adding staff to our bylaw enforcement teams and fire and rescue services to help conduct safety reviews.”

“All Albertans deserve a safe and healthy work environment,” says Michelle Newlands, spokesperson for Minister of Labour Christina Gray. “When it comes to safety, we need to ensure that we’re balancing the rights of workers and the rights of employers.”

“We think that cannabis will create opportunities for business and the economy,” says Anderson. “This includes new industry, from growers to processors and retailers.”

“We are currently consulting with employers and workers on potential policies and best practices to ensure that all workplaces have the tools they need in place for the legalization of cannabis,” she adds. That could mean big changes, but those changes aren’t limited to Edmonton’s workplaces. As Niki Anderson, branch manager, Integrated Strategic Development, City of Edmonton, explains, “Legalization will impact virtually all areas of the City. Considering zoning for new cannabis businesses (retailers, processors, and growers), business licensing, public consumption, public safety, and our own internal employees, there is a lot of work that we, and our partners, need to do to help ensure that we are ready for legalization. The City of Edmonton continues to prepare for the legalization of cannabis through the amendment of bylaws, public education, and engagement with citizens.” “Three City of Edmonton Bylaws will be amended to reflect legalization: Public Places, Business Licensing, and Zoning,” Anderson explains. “We are specifically amending bylaws relating to zoning (where cannabis stores can be located), business licensing, operating hours, store fixtures and improvements, and also public consumption (where people will be allowed to smoke or vape),” Anderson elaborates. “As a City, we are adding resources in our development

“As mentioned previously,” Anderson adds, “our goal is to provide a legislative framework to allow the market to progress in an open and transparent process. We want to ensure that our core principles are reflected in what we bring forward: 1) public health and safety 2) drug, alcohol, and tobacco-free youth 3) being business friendly and 4) balancing community livability.” Mark Barron Wilbert, partner/realtor, Coldwell Banker Venture Realty, is also quick to point to the positive potential legalization holds for Edmonton. “The reality is that legalized cannabis could potentially turn into a $100 million-dollar industry, so there is a mad rush of those that want to be part of the ‘action’. There are so many questions still to be answered,” Wilbert continues; however, “I believe many industries and businesses that are not directly involved with cannabis retail or production will benefit from the legalization indirectly. In addition to the taxes being collected from this industry, there are other benefits: existing commercial spaces will be revitalized, vacant spaces will be filled, and a new market will be born.” The idea that legalization could physically re-shape the city is an interesting one. “Many of the clients we are working with have been looking for two types of locations” he adds: “1) high exposure and traffic; busy areas where people will already be. These areas are sought-after, and lease terms may not be reasonable or in favor of the tenant. 2) Destination locations, or locations

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

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WILL LEGALIZATION OF CANNABIS POSE A THREAT // CANNABIS IN THE WORKPLACE

“I BELIEVE THE STEPS BEING TAKEN TO LEGALIZE CANNABIS WILL RESOLVE SOME CURRENT COMMUNITY ISSUES, BUT MORE IMPORTANT IS HOW THE NEW REGULATIONS WILL BE ENFORCED TO MINIMIZE THE POTENTIAL NEGATIVE EFFECTS GOING FORWARD.” ~ MARK BARRON

that are close to residential communities—this location would be the convenient alternative to the busy areas. These spaces have more options and can potentially be more creative. Ideally, the perfect space has a combination of both exposure and convenience.” But the challenges extend beyond new businesses seeking profitable spaces for their cannabis-based businesses, and part of that comes down to this new industry’s pre-existing stigma. “It is very interesting seeing the difference between landlords. There are three that I have come across in my discussions: 1) the landlord that wants nothing to do with cannabis and has no interest in leasing to a retail location, 2) the landlord that is on the fence and patiently waiting until the dust settles in order to see what the true outcome will be, and 3) the landlord that is open to cannabis retail stores as a tenant and is willing to be part of the frenzy.

More businesses are realizing that many of these shops will be more like a boutique with modern designs rather than the traditional paraphernalia smoke shop.” “It is unlikely that all back alleys will now be clean and safe after the legalization goes through,” Wilbert notes. “I believe the steps being taken to legalize cannabis will resolve some current community issues, but more important is how the new regulations will be enforced to minimize the potential negative effects going forward.” “If we learn from our neighbours that have already approved the legalization of retail cannabis, we can potentially avoid many of their mistakes,” Wilbert concludes. “By focusing on the positive impacts and minimizing the negative, legalization can definitely turn into a win-win situation for the community and industry.”

ABOVE: MARK BARRON WILBERT, PARTNER/REALTOR, COLDWELL BANKER VENTURE REALTY.

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


Clearing the Smoke on

Weed at Work As a responsible Alberta-based employer, are you ready for the legalization of cannabis and its effect on the workplace? Have you: Reviewed and updated your drug and alcohol policies? Clearly defined “impairment” in those policies? Properly considered and accounted for your occupational health and safety obligations in the context of legal cannabis?

Included in your policies a plan to manage medicinal cannabis, employees with addictions and recreational users? Revisited your drug testing policies to ensure they reflect the current law? Specified when an employee may expect to be drug tested and what the process will be if an employee tests positive? If not, Field Law can provide advice, customized workshops and policy reviews to ensure you are ready when the legal landscape changes. Contact: Christin Elawny, Lawyer 403-260-8583 celawny@fieldlaw.com Geoff Hope, Partner 780-423-9585 ghope@fieldlaw.com fieldlaw.com

“Field Law” is a trademark and trade name of Field LLP.


PART III // PARKLAND COUNTY FEATURE

PARKLAND COUNTY Part III: GROWING WITH ITS TOURISM INDUSTRY

BY LAURA BOHNERT

P

arkland County is well-known for its agriculture and farming industry, but the features that make its farming and agriculture sector so abundant also carry a lot of potential for other areas of economic growth and development. That “rural charm” setting creates a lot of space for outdoor recreation and leisure—and that means it’s a high time for tourism to step out onto the scenic route. As Candace Charron, Tourism Business Development Officer, Parkland County, explains, “The tourism industry has been a proven contributor to national, provincial, and local economic growth. In Alberta as a whole, the direct tourism expenditures in 2015 were approximately $8.1 billion. Of this total, the Edmonton and Area region accounted for $1.8 billion. These statistics are provided by the Government of Alberta.” “In addition to direct spending,” Charron continues, “there are many positive impacts of tourism in Parkland County, including job creation, tax benefits, attraction of new businesses to the region, and spin-off economic impacts for surrounding hamlets, businesses and accommodations.” Tourism, Charron notes, also provides a means of combatting some of the challenges the area faces. “In Parkland County, tourism has allowed for many residents to start businesses from their own homes. This has allowed families and their neighbours to stay in rural locations without having to commute to major centres for employment opportunities — in turn increasing their quality of life. In many cases, tourism is done on farms to diversify their income and entice newer generations to stay longer.” “A large issue facing rural communities is out-migration of people. I believe the tourism industry can help slow this process.”

The tourism industry may be able to help Parkland County face some of its challenges, but tourism wouldn’t be able to create these opportunities if Parkland County wasn’t so wellequipped for the industry’s demands. “Due to Parkland County’s location between Edmonton and Jasper, its beautiful natural amenities, strong entrepreneurial spirit, and its proximity to the Edmonton International Airport, tourism has been on the rise in our region. A few highlights for the upcoming 2018 summer season include the grand opening of the Aga Khan Garden at the U of A Botanic Gardens, the Edmonton Corn Maze building a public market onsite that will retail locally produced food, Putting Horse Ranch quickly selling out their weekends for the newly expanded wedding venue, and Alberta Open Farm Days growing their participation throughout the region in a big way!” ABOVE: CANDACE CHARRON, TOURISM BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT OFFICER, PARKLAND COUNTY.

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


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PART III // PARKLAND COUNTY FEATURE

Who are some of the businesses who are powering Parkland County’s tourism industry? “The U of A Botanic Gardens sees 75,000 visitors annually, and 2018 will be no exception,” Charron predicts. “Once the newly developed Aga Khan Gardens open up, they are expecting to double their visitation, which will include many international travelers. Each summer, many locals are hired to put on large events, to host weddings, to and provide school programming. They continue to be one of Parkland County’s strongest tourism ambassadors.” “The Edmonton Corn Maze attracts thousands of visitors throughout the summer and fall season,” Charron continues. “This year, they are expanding their offerings by building a public market that will retail locally sourced products. Jesse and Dan continue to give a great representation of agritourism in Parkland County.” Edmonton Canoe and Pembina River Tubing also take advantage of the tourism opportunities the areas natural features provide. “Drawing people out from Edmonton for family trips, corporate team building or an outing with friends, Edmonton Canoe provides guided canoe trips down the North Saskatchewan River,” Charron describes, and “Pembina River Tubing is one of the larger tourist attractions out west. They provide tubing and transportation, allowing people to safely float down the Pembina River. You’ll see their name popping up in Edmonton blogs throughout the summer as one of the top activities in the region.”

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city of Edmonton and the municipalities in the Capital Region,” says Brock Friesen, owner, Creekside Home and Garden. “People will travel fairly far in the spring to get their ‘plant fix,’ so we have customers driving from Strathcona, St. Albert, Leduc County and city, and further (including Drayton Valley and Barrhead).” “Tourism increases the dollars spent within our local economy that are coming from outside, which directly benefits us and indirectly benefits us by bringing dollars to neighbouring businesses, thereby improving the whole local economy,” Friesen points out. Charron also points to Get Hooked Fishing Adventures and Lunkers Fishing Adventures for their tourism contributions: “Both fishing companies offer guided fishing tours all summer. As well, Get Hooked offers ice fishing and Lunkers is starting to get into it.” “Young Guns Paintball is a world-class facility, featuring 18 playing fields,” Charron adds. “We get a lot of tourists from Edmonton, but our major events also raise levels of tourism to the area. People come from as far as Eastern Canada, Western Canada, and the United States. That draw definitely supports local business revenues and brings new money into the community,” says Brandon Frick, one of the original four owners of Young Guns Paintball.

“This gentle river gives you a relaxing float down the Pembina River Gorge and a glimpse at 10,000 years of history,” describes Cheryl Harris of Pembina River Tubing. “You can see the many layers of life that went into making the gorge. As you float the river, you can see wildlife, such as deer, moose, cliff swallows, palanquin falcons and many others.”

Charron also adds Putting Horse Ranch to the list of businesses that are making big contributions to the growing tourism industry. “The area is great for tourists to visit,” observes Liz Poburan, co-owner of Putting Horse Ranch. “From the farms and ranches to the beautiful golf courses and eco-tourism, Putting Horse Ranch offers just that: a family-friendly atmosphere with golf activities as well as horse encounters. Weddings with golf for the entire family and guests is a big hit and attracts those looking for a private setting.”

Happy Acres U-Pick is “an environmentally conscious u-pick, providing chemical-free fruits and vegetables,” Charron notes, and Creekside Home and Garden is a year-round, family owned, independent garden centre, greenhouse, tree nursery, and home décor and fashion shop: “We receive a lot of visitors from outside Parkland County, such as the

“Parkland County is known for its beautiful natural amenities and the opportunity to participate in outdoor adventure,” Charron observes, acknowledging the areas three Provincial Parks River Provincial Park, Wabamun Provincial Park, and Lois Hole Provincial Park—and multiple other campgrounds. “In order to increase the

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


PART III // PARKLAND COUNTY FEATURE

length of visitation, it’s vital that we have multiple campgrounds and bed and breakfasts that fit within that theme. We are lucky to be home to 15 campgrounds and four bed and breakfasts, including the Pembina River Provincial Park, Wabamun Provincial Park, Lois Hole Provincial Park, the Entwistle RV Campground, Trestle Creek Golf Resort, Pineridge Golf Resort, Deer Meadows Golf Course & RV Park, Hubbles Lake RV Resort, Kokanee Springs RV Park, Mike Lake & RV Campground, Allan Beach Resort, Wabamun Marina and RV Park, Sunset Shoes RV Park, Shadybrook Campground, Glowing Embers RV Park, Spring Lake RV Resort, Royalty Retreat Bed, Breakfast & Spa, Misty Meadows Bed & Breakfast, Greystone Gardens Bed & Breakfast, and Whitewood Sands Bed & Breakfast. You’ll also see many locations on Air bnb,” she adds.

And of course, as reported in Business in Edmonton magazine’s last Parkland County feature, the area’s 12 golf courses provide strong contributions to the growth of Parkland County’s tourism industry, too. “On the doorstep of the City of Edmonton, Parkland County has exciting activities for individuals of all ages and families,” Charron concludes. “Whether you are seeking outdoor activities, like hunting, fishing, boating, or golfing, or whether you prefer visiting farmers’ markets, experiencing arts and culture, or love shopping, Parkland County has unique experiences that you will keep you coming back.” If you want to learn more about tourism opportunities in Parkland County, contact Candace Charron, Tourism Business Development Officer, Parkland County: candace.charron@ parklandcounty.com, or visit www.parklandcounty.com.

May 18 marks the start of the #TravelLocal Passport! Every summer has a story, so grab a passport, #ExploreParkland and create your own! Tour like a local on your ‘staycation’ this summer to see what the County has to offer, and collect as many stamps as you can to be eligible to win 1 of 3 prizes over the course of the summer! Get your passport today online or at one of the participating locations. Passport valid from May 18 until August 31, 2018.

For more details, visit www.parklandcounty.com/passport BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // JUNE 2018

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YOUR CAREER STARTS HERE // AVIATION

YOUR CAREER BY DEBRA WARD, CANADIAN BUSINESS AVIATION ASSOCIATION

Starts Here

W

hat do you see when you picture a business jet? No matter what you conjure up in your mind’s eye – exclusivity, efficiency or privacy – I bet you didn’t imagine a help wanted sign. Yet, business aviation is one of the dozens of critical industries that are greying, and we are all on the hunt to replenish our staff with the “NextGen” of keen, passionate, and dedicated employees. Business aviation has a compelling story. The world of business aviation is large enough to offer all kinds of career advancement opportunities, but small enough that you will never be treated as an interchangeable cog in the wheel. Want a hefty paycheque? Business aviation’s average salary is almost twice the Canadian average wage at $95,900, compared to $49,700. Love mighty machines? Business aircraft are some of the most modern and high-functioning aircraft in the world, decades ahead of many planes in an average airline fleet. Do you want a meaningful career where you can both achieve your personal goals and make a difference? Business aviation offers you this, and more. James Elian, president and chief operating officer of Calgarybased AirSprint, the first fractional aircraft ownership company in Canada, believes that business aviation is the hidden gem of the industry. “Not only are the people involved amongst the most qualified and capable in the industry, but the aircraft

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technology is often right at the leading edge,” he says. “The safety record in business aviation is second to none, and the variability in operations provides for new experiences on a regular basis. For those who love working with aircraft, business aviation satisfies that need while also allowing for a contribution to the greater mission of the company using the aircraft. It really is the best of both worlds.” Business aviation offers great opportunities, but the challenge is getting the word out. Commercial pilot and Canadian attorney Ehsan Monfared of YYZ Law explains, “When I was training as a commercial pilot, before becoming an aviation lawyer, there was little information out there about pursuing a career track leading into business aviation. Although pilots are in a unique situation due to minimum hour requirements, there is a general lack of awareness about this awesome industry across the board.” Mark Van Berkel, the founder TrueNorth Avionics, and now president of Satcom Direct, believes that part of the problem is that business aviation isn’t an obvious choice. “Everybody knows about business aircraft, but it’s understated. When you realize the top companies in Canada all use business aviation, it means that you can be part of something great.” The Canadian Business Aviation Association (CBAA) has been working to increase that awareness in many different ways, to make a difference to people’s lives and to expose them to different career paths.


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The Association, in collaboration with 10 sponsoring organizations, offers a $10,000 scholarship to Canadian schedulers and dispatchers. Shelby Schulte, manager, flight coordination at AirSprint, one of the first recipients, is proof that the right educational opportunity at the right time can make all the difference in a young person’s life. “I look forward to taking away business insight and management skills to expand my knowledge and further develop the role I am in today,” she says. “I know the education I receive will allow me to have more opportunities in the future.” An aspiring young pilot, Alex Lebrun, got his start in aviation thanks to the Air Cadet scholarship offered by CBAA in 2009. Lebrun says the CBAA scholarship made all the difference to him, opening the door to an entire group of business aviation professionals. “Commercial aviation is so large. The CBAA introduced me to a whole new side of aviation I hadn’t seen before, which intrigued me as a potential career path.” Now a pilot flying an Embraer 190 aircraft for Air Canada, Lebrun is very familiar with the factors that pull people away from business aviation.

“Pilots are in strong demand as more people are travelling than ever before and airlines are making more money now than ever before. There are hundreds of pilot vacancies at the major airlines today and the experience requirements have dropped significantly. Attracting talented pilots into business aviation careers will be more competitive as options for these pilots increase.” He’s right, and in response, the CBAA is working to reverse that trend with a group spearheaded by young business aviation professionals Kate Latis, Gray Norman and Donald Wheaton. All three share a similar story: finding themselves working in business aviation almost by chance, but once they were in, they quickly developed a passion for it and a drive to share their passion with others. “We approached the CBAA to create a group within the Association to attract young professionals because we felt there was a need to promote this side of the industry,” Latis explains. “Gray and I graduated together from an aviation management program and throughout our four years of university, business aviation never came up as a possible

ABOVE: YOUNG BUSINESS AVIATION PROFESSIONALS DONALD A. WHEATON, KATE LATIS AND GRAY NORMAN.

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YOUR CAREER STARTS HERE // AVIATION

career choice, although we were exposed to a multitude of jobs in commercial aviation and even military careers.” The team of young professionals hopes to change all of that. “We plan to reach out to flight schools and post-secondary institutions, organizing presentations that explain what business aviation is and what career paths are available in the industry,” Latis says. She emphasizes that it’s not only about pilots. “We want students to know that we also need marketing teams, dispatchers, customer service reps, accountants, engineers, and lawyers. We also want young pilots to know that there seems to be a misconception around age and business jets – yes, you can be under 30 and fly a private jet!”

with the group; van Berkel explains why. “I literally stumbled into a career that turned out to be very rewarding. When I heard about Kate, Gray and Don’s initiative and its mission to help Canada’s youth find business aviation, I thought ‘I wish that was available to me when I was trying to find my career’.” Monafared adds, “Young people can add new perspective and vigor. The CBAA is placing itself at the leading edge of Canadian business aviation by exposing these career opportunities to young professionals.” CBAA’s work in this area continues at its national convention, June 12 – 14 in Waterloo, Ontario, with a special panel discussion on finding ways to deal with labour shortages in business aviation.

Given Alberta’s entrepreneurial and forward-thinking spirit, it is no surprise that the trio are based in Calgary and Edmonton, and will start the initiative in their home province later this year before a Canada-wide roll out. James Elian, Mark van Berkel, and Ehsan Monfared who, as well as being leaders in business aviation, are on the CBAA board, are committed to the success of this initiative. Elian’s company, AirSprint, one of the sponsors of the schedulers and dispatchers’ scholarship, is also sponsoring the initiative. “This is an excellent initiative. It helps educate young people about business aviation in order to attract top talent to our rewarding sector, and also to increase the number of people entering aviation overall.” Monfared and van Berkel have volunteered to work hand-in-hand

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

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CANNABIS LEGALIZATION & SAFETY // WORKPLACE HEALTH & SAFETY

CANNABIS LEGALIZATION & SAFETY: HOW COMPANIES ARE ADAPTING & WHAT TO EXPECT

WITH CANNABIS LEGALIZATION ON THE HORIZON, SAFETY-SENSITIVE WORKPLACES NEED TO PROPERLY PREPARE, AND UNDERSTAND THE RIGHTS OF THEIR WORKERS IN RELATION TO THEIR OWN RESPONSIBILITIES BY ZACHARY EDWARDS

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n April of this year, the Federal Government introduced legislation to legalize the use of cannabis. With legalization comes a number of issues that directly impact Edmonton’s workforce, especially companies and employees involved in safety-sensitive work. With issues arising from increased usage, or at least more commonplace usage, and job site safety, many employers are looking anxiously towards the future.

The Alberta Government is committed to protecting Albertan workers as cannabis use becomes more open. On top of banning cannabis use in vehicles, the government is also “developing promotional materials and undertaking public education and awareness about drug-impaired driving” and “working with industry and labour to assess current workplace rules to address impairment at work.”

Much of that anxiety is based on impairment and workplace safety. “Cannabis legalization presents a risk to workplace safety,” says Andrew Wallace, acting general counsel for PCL Construction. “Increased usage in society leading to increased health and safety risks, both in the workplace and outside the workplace, in areas such as highways.”

Many employers already have policies in place and do not anticipate much change come legalization. This is in part because of similar restrictions and policies regarding alcohol consumption and workplace safety, and in part because cannabis use is already widespread. A survey released earlier this year estimates that 14 per cent of Canadians over 15

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


CANNABIS LEGALIZATION & SAFETY // WORKPLACE HEALTH & SAFETY

“CANNABIS LEGALIZATION PRESENTS A RISK TO WORKPLACE SAFETY. INCREASED USAGE IN SOCIETY LEADING TO INCREASED HEALTH AND SAFETY RISKS, BOTH IN THE WORKPLACE AND OUTSIDE THE WORKPLACE, IN AREAS SUCH AS HIGHWAYS.” ~ ANDREW WALLACE

years of age have used cannabis in the past three months. Of them, 56 per cent said they are using it daily or weekly. “Not much is going to be changing. At least not in the beginning,” Terry Parker, executive director of Building Trades of Alberta, says. “We follow the COAA [Construction Owners Association of Alberta] drug and alcohol policy and on our job sites. Legalization is very similar to alcohol; you can’t come to work drunk and you can’t come to work high on drugs. Even with the legalization of marijuana, those policies will still be in place.” PCL uses these same policies on their job sites. “We do not currently anticipate any changes to the policy with the legalization of cannabis,” Wallace says. “Whether the substance is illegal or legalized, our focus remains on reducing the risk to our workers and the public related to potential intoxication of workers on our sites.” The real challenge, and the concern of many employers and employees, comes with more open use impacting their workers while on the job. Stats Canada released a report this

year in which 79 per cent of Canadians said their habits will not change post-legalization, and less than seven per cent of non-users said they would try it after legalization. Twentyfour per cent of current users, however, said they will use cannabis more once it is legal. Since Albertans will be able to light up in specific public places, cannabis use is going to be part of a regular experience. That can impact workplace safety and the rights of employees and employers alike. Legalization will have to sort out some issues in the courts, namely around a worker’s right to privacy and an employer’s right to maintaining a safe work environment. According to Dan Bokenfohr, an employment and labour attorney at McLennan Ross LLP, “The big clash in terms of legalization and the law is the right of employers to keep everyone safe, employees arguing the need to accommodate medical use, and, from a privacy perspective, employees saying, ‘This is a legal product and what I do on my own time is my business.’” It is important to note that cannabis use is not a human right and so employees can only claim discrimination under

ABOVE: ANDREW WALLACE, ACTING GENERAL COUNSEL FOR PCL CONSTRUCTION.

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CANNABIS LEGALIZATION & SAFETY // WORKPLACE HEALTH & SAFETY

SINCE MEDICAL CANNABIS HAS BEEN LEGAL IN CANADA SINCE 1999, MANY OF THE ISSUES SURROUNDING ITS USE HAVE ALREADY BEEN ADDRESSED. MANY COMPANIES HAVE POLICIES THAT HELP EMPLOYEES FIND A SUITABLE POSITION THAT DOES NOT COMPROMISE WORKPLACE SAFETY. SIMILARLY, CUT-AND-DRY CASES, LIKE A CREW SMOKING UP BEFORE WALKING ONTO A JOB SITE, ARE ALREADY ADDRESSED IN MANY SAFETY POLICIES.

specific circumstances, namely in its use to treat a disability, mental or physical, and addiction issues. “There may be a myth out there that now that it’s legal everyone is entitled to human rights protection. Cannabis use is not subject to blanket human rights protection,” Bokenfohr confirms. “Everyone is entitled to a reasonable expectation of privacy but not every cannabis user is equal under the rule of law. Employers can’t discriminate on the basis of disability, but this does not apply to recreational use unless it involves addiction, which is a recognized mental illness, in which case they will need to look at possible accommodations.” Since medical cannabis has been legal in Canada since 1999, many of the issues surrounding its use have already been addressed. Many companies have policies that help employees find a suitable position that does not compromise workplace safety. Similarly, cut-and-dry cases, like a crew smoking up before walking onto a job site, are already addressed in many safety policies.

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Things get murkier with individuals’ dependence on cannabis. “There is a potential tension between drug and alcohol testing programs aimed at improving worker safety… and an employer’s obligation to accommodate persons with a drug and alcohol addiction,” says Wallace. When a person does test positive for THC on a job site, they can be sent for an assessment. From there, a treatment plan is determined if one is necessary, and the employee gets resources to help them through their plan. “We are not about punishing the individual, we are trying to get the individual help,” says Parker. For those who do not have an addiction but are simply habitual users, there is a major concern on the horizon. “Right now, when you are testing, it’s what’s in your system. Not intoxication, not impairment, but what’s in your system. This is what will come into question at a later date” says Parker. “Because you will have an individual saying, ‘Cannabis is legal. I smoked it two days ago. I’m not intoxicated at the current time. However, it is still in my


system.’ An individual can say they are a habitual user, but they are not impaired on-site.” A lack of an agreed-upon intoxication or impairment test is one of the most significant hurdles facing safety-sensitive workplaces as legalization looms, one that Bokenfohr argues will be a large part of the postlegalization debate. “We’ve got this complex drug that is not as well-researched as other legal drugs. The testing science and technology is not quite there yet,” he says. “Given that it is such a complex drug, you can’t measure impairment in the same way [as alcohol]. What you’re getting at best is an indication of recent use, but what that tells you about impairment is still unclear.” “This is an area that’s going to get a lot more attention in the courts. When you get someone who says, ‘I wasn’t impaired, you can’t prove I was, and I didn’t do anything illegal,’” says Bokenfohr, “what will happen is you will have to take an individualized approach and really dig into the facts of the particular employee, the workplace, and the nature of the job.” What can companies do to prepare for cannabis legalization before the court cases start? “Where employers do not have drug and alcohol policies and testing programs, they should consider implementing some, especially where employees are working in safetysensitive positions,” says Wallace. “Some proponents of the legalization of cannabis have suggested that many of the potential risks of legalization can be addressed through appropriate education and awareness programs… I remain hopeful that governments will invest in this effort. If governments fail to do so, employers may need to engage in those efforts themselves.”

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Discovering Our Economic Future

2018 Board of Directors Board Executive

Chair: Len Rhodes President & CEO, Edmonton Eskimo Football Club Vice Chair: Dawn Harsch President & CEO, Exquisicare Inc. Treasurer: Bryan DeNeve Senior Vice President Finance & CFO, Capital Power Past Chair: James Merkosky Partner, Tax Services Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLP

Board Directors

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

Chamber Executive

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

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

By Janet Riopel, President and CEO, Edmonton Chamber of Commerce

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spoke at the Conference Board of Canada’s Western Business Outlook in March, where I was asked whether or not the economic recovery was real. I said there were some who say that the difficult times are behind us, but that’s not what I hear. Our members tell us that the situation on the ground remains as much of a struggle as ever—bottom-line impact simply isn’t there for most of our businesses. I said that those who know me know that my cup is usually half-full, so this is an increasingly difficult conversation for me to be having, but it’s the truth. My comments received a lot of attention. We heard an outpouring from members who confirmed that they are still very much feeling the effects of the worst economic downturn in a generation. But there is another side to this coin. We also heard from business owners who see this as a time of great opportunity. And that caused me to pause and reflect. Perhaps what we are now experiencing is not a traditional recovery. It can more accurately be described as a state of discovery. The economic downturn has underscored the fundamental importance of discovering ways to diversify our economy by reaching new markets and creating new products and services. There are opportunities in so many emerging areas including artificial intelligence, health and biotechnology, advanced manufacturing, agri-food processing, and petrochemicals. Let me highlight some of the exciting ways our business community is hard at work, making Edmonton’s new economy a reality. Artificial Intelligence Edmonton is known worldwide as a leader in artificial intelligence (AI) research. That’s why Google’s Deep Mind opened its first-ever international research office in Edmonton last year. Deep Mind is developing AI programs that can learn to solve complex problems independently, without being taught how. University of Alberta computer science professor Richard Sutton told the Edmonton Journal he thinks Edmonton could become known for more than research. “Why can’t we be a player in AI applications?” he asked, likening AI to the next great industrial revolution. The potential commercial value from AI and related products and businesses is vast—by 2025, they are predicted to generate at least $50 trillion in global economic growth. With Edmonton’s strengths in the sector, we are in a good position to capture a significant piece of that market. Cannabis It’s not every day a brand-new, multibillion-dollar industry emerges onto the Canadian marketplace. With legalized recreational cannabis, the opportunities are significant, even unprecedented. By some estimates, there’s a base retail market for legal cannabis of $5 to 9 billion dollars. BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // JUNE 2018

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By mid-April, the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC) had received 94 applications for retail cannabis locations in the Edmonton region, indicating the business community is eager to capitalize on the market’s potential. With major players such as Aurora Cannabis, along with the more than dozen other companies setting up production in the region, Edmonton is in line to become an important hub for legal cannabis. According to City of Edmonton estimates, this new local industry could be worth up to $100 million. Petrochemicals Alberta’s Industrial Heartland, located northeast of Edmonton and pre-zoned for heavy industrial development, has significant advantages for attracting petrochemical facilities, including an abundance of low-cost feedstock. The Heartland is a prime location for petrochemical investment in Alberta and Canada. Interpipeline is expected to begin construction on a facility this year that will convert propane to polypropylene, used to make an abundance of products, including car parts and Canadian currency. This facility will be the first of its kind in Canada—right now we currently import nearly 100 per cent of our polypropylene, mostly from the U.S. The facility will ultimately produce 1.2 billion pounds of polypropylene per year, worth seven to 10 times more than the propane used to produce it. Alberta’s Industrial Heartland Association (AIHA) estimates there is the potential to attract $30 billion in new capital investments to Alberta’s Industrial Heartland by 2030. With most facilities having a projected minimum 25-year lifespan, the potential for jobs, taxes, and spin-off opportunities for the entire region are enormous and will last for decades. Agri-Food Processing The Edmonton region has a long track record of supporting and nurturing companies so they can achieve large-scale commercialization. A perfect example is Siwin Foods. When the company began in 2005, it had just three employees. In 2007, they were the first tenant of the Agrivalue Processing Business Incubator (APBI), a facility run by Alberta’s Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry that helps start-up food processing companies to establish a market presence.

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Today, Siwin Foods employs more than 80 full-time staff and exports its products, which include dumplings, potstickers, and other Asian and western foods, across Canada and to Japan. Siwin’s Vice-President, Gord DeJong, says their growth rate is strong—92 per cent in 2017—and they have plans to begin exporting to China, the Philippines, U.S, and Mexico. He credits the support APBI offered to all parts of Siwin’s business as a key reason they chose to locate in Alberta, instead of another province or country. The potential for this sector in Alberta is huge. Alberta is the third largest exporter of agri-food products in Canada, after Saskatchewan and Ontario, with exports already worth over $56 billion annually. By 2050, the world’s population will increase by two billion people. All of them will need access to safe, secure, and healthy food. With our strong infrastructure, abundant arable land, and stable political environment, Alberta is poised to be a global leader in agribusiness. Attitude Counts Our economy is at the beginning of a transformative stage. I fervently believe that changing our attitudes is half the battle in solution-building – I call it ‘hopeful optimism’ and I know our business community has it. Our business community demonstrates determination, drive and resilience each and every day. It is their hard work that will ensure we achieve a healthy, thriving economy. The Chamber will champion our region’s economic transformation, work to address any barriers to growth that emerging industries face, and celebrate the successes of our new economy. It is our unstoppable entrepreneurial spirit that will ensure the Edmonton Metropolitan Region works together to discover new innovations. We will build on our strengths to make Alberta’s economy stronger and more resilient than before. The Edmonton Chamber would like to hear from you. Is your business working in an emerging sector? What would help your business grow? You can contact us by email: policy@edmontonchamber.com.


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Midnight Integrated Financial Inc. Member profile Ray Hupfer, VP Business Development

www.midnightfinancial.com What’s your story? Midnight was foundedon October 1, 2016 by John Burghardt and Richard Kirby. The business now has three offices, Edmonton, Calgary and Toronto with 14 employees, nine of whom are in Edmonton. We are a private equity business offering innovative financial solutions to business people. We will selectively purchase real estate as part of our portfolio. We also consider all private equity investments in small businesses. Our services and programs include foreign exchange trading strategies, commercial lending and tax dispute funding. What are people often surprised to learn about your business? People are initially surprised that we are not practicing income tax law even though a number of us have a tax background. As well, generally the public is not aware of the innovative and leading edge business financing solutions we offer. What has been your biggest challenge in the last 12 months? Our biggest challenge as a new business has been raising our profile in the business community in Edmonton and elsewhere. What do you think is the biggest issue impacting Edmonton’s small businesses at this time? The economic challenge and political uncertainty in our city and province. We live and work in a challenging time. What’s your secret to keeping your employees engaged? We believe the key to keeping employees engaged is to develop a strong team environment where everyone is valued and appreciated for their contribution. It is also important for the team to interact socially.

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Ray Hupfer, VP Business Development, Midnight Integrated Financial Inc.

Do you have a personal mantra? Wake up every morning and be the best you can be! As a new Chamber Member, what have your first impressions been? The Chamber is a great organization. It offers valuable networking opportunities and social events to meet new business people. Our Chamber mandate is to create the best environment for business in Edmonton. If you could make one substantial improvement to Edmonton’s business environment, what would it be? It would be great to see continued support for new businesses in the city. What is your favorite thing to do in Edmonton? Walking, running or biking in the river valley. Apple or android? Apple Your most favorite place in the world? Other than Edmonton, Barbados. Coffee or tea? Both!


Connecting Business Taste of the Chamber

A crowd of hungry business professionals and foodies gathered at the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium to sip, sample and savour food and drinks from local businesses on April 10, 2018.

Edmonton Chamber President & CEO, Janet Riopel, presents Janet Riopel, Edmonton Chamber of Commerce President & CEO, presents Alley Kat Brewing Company with the 2018 People’s Choice Bridges Catering with the 2018 People’s Choice Award for their boxed breakfast poutine. Award for their delicious craft brews and beers.

Canada Cannabis Forums #CannabisCON Edmonton Chamber Luncheon

Guests keen to learn about the business of cannabis filled the Shaw Conference Centre on April 13, 2018, for the Edmonton Chamber Luncheon at #CannabisCON.

Janet Riopel welcomed guests to the #CannabisCON Chamber Luncheon before attendees heard opening remarks from Minister Deron Bilous and watched a moderated panel discussion featuring six leaders in the cannabis industry. BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // JUNE 2018

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Edmonton Chamber of Commerce Annual General Meeting

Len Rhodes, President & CEO of the Edmonton Eskimo Football Club & Board Chair of the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce, welcomes Chamber members to the AGM held April 19, 2018.

Speed Leads

Speed Leads was the perfect opportunity for busy business professionals to quickly generate leads, make referrals, exchange business cards and create new connections amongst a like-minded crowd.

Members in this Issue City of Edmonton in Will Legalization of Cannabis Pose a Threat to Your Business? on page 27 PCL Construction, Building Trades of Alberta, McLennan Ross and LLP in Cannabis Legalization & Safety: How Companies are Adapting & What to Expect on page 40

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June 1

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BOMA EDMONTON MEMBERS RECOGNIZED AS LEADERS IN ENERGY EFFICIENCY I n March 2018, the City of Edmonton recognized the city’s energy-efficient buildings by celebrating the winners of its first Building Energy Benchmarking Program, and BOMA Edmonton members were a prominent presence in both the program and the list of award winners. “We’re very proud of all our members who participated in the first year of this program and we had some amazing entrants,” says Percy Woods, president of BOMA Edmonton. “It’s always great to see building owners be recognized for their hard work to ensure our city’s buildings are continuing to improve their energy-efficiency and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.” Launched as a three-year pilot program in June of 2017, the Building Energy Benchmarking Program is the first municipally-led benchmarking initiative of its kind in Canada. Meant to help large buildings (over 20,000 sq. ft.) in the city track their energy efficiency and reduce their energy use, building owners voluntarily provide the City with details on their building’s energy efficiency, and in exchange they are offered financial and non-financial incentives such as tailored reports, awards recognition, energy audit rebates and more. A total of 83 properties participated in the inaugural program, and most of the entrants were BOMA Edmonton members and BOMA awards nominees or winners, says Lisa Dockman, senior environmental project manager with the city. “BOMA Edmonton has been very supportive of this program for some time now, and their involvement has really highlighted some of the excellent practices and performance when it comes to energy efficient buildings in the city.” Awards were presented for building performance, program participation and program leadership in commercial, institutional, not-for-profit, and multifamily categories. Many participants were judged based on their ENERGY STAR score, which is a metric for comparing a property to other similar properties, normalized for climate and operational characteristics. Scores are given on a 1-100 scale, with 1 being the lowest performer in a peer comparison group, 50 being the median performer, and a score of 100 being the bestin-class performer.

Bentall Kennedy Commerce South Office Park.

Humford management Alberta Municipal Place. Some of the BOMA Edmonton award winners included Bentall Kennedy’s Commerce South Office Park, which received the highest ENERGY STAR scores in commercial buildings (100, 100, and 95) for three of the six buildings it submitted. Triovest Realty’s ATCO Centre received a score of 99, Humford Management’s Alberta Municipal Place received a score of 97, and Melcor Developments’ Royal Bank Building received a score of 92. Aspen Properties, Oxford Properties, McEwan University and the Northern Alberta Institute www.bomaedmonton.org | BOMA Edmonton Newsletter | June 2018

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Many participants were judged based on their ENERGY STAR score, which is a metric for comparing a property to other similar properties, normalized for climate and operational characteristics. Scores are given on a 1-100 scale, with 1 being the lowest performer in a peer comparison group, 50 being the median performer, and a score of 100 being the best-in-class performer.

Triovest Realty ATCO Centre. of Technology (NAIT) were also recognized during the awards. Percy Woods also received an award as a leader and active member of the Building Energy Benchmarking Industry Advisory Group. Dockman says some of the most common and easyto-implement energy savings strategies accomplished by the winners included upgrading to LED lights, setting up building and lighting automation systems, switching out the boilers and water heaters for highefficiency versions, and repairing building envelopes. Specifically, Bentall Kennedy’s high score for Commerce South Office Park resulted from a number of upgrades, including high-efficiency condensing boilers, variable frequency drive (VFD) ventilation fans, and new exterior walls and window glazing. Online registration is now open to building owners interested in participating in year two of the program, says Dockman. “We’re very excited to keep this program going and build on our momentum from year one. We will be accepting registrations from now until September 30, with information sessions hosted in April and June.” Anyone can register, however the building owner must consent to participation. Once again participants will benefit from technical support, customized building benchmarking reports, tenant education workshops,

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

Percy Woods, president of BOMA Edmonton. and access to up to $5,000 from Energy Efficiency Alberta to help offset the cost of an energy audit. For more information on year two of the program or to register, visit the City of Edmonton’s information page on the Building Energy Benchmarking Program.


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PALADIN SECURES SUCCESS IN ALBERTA’S CAPITAL CITY

aladin Security specializes in all aspects of security, including security guards, systems technologies such as alarms and CCTV cameras, investigations, and more. Since opening in Edmonton in 1998, the company has also secured business success here in Alberta’s Capital City, becoming the largest, full-service security company in both the province and across Canada. “Paladin started in 1976 in Vancouver. The head office is still located in Burnaby,” says Greg Swecera, executive vice president of Paladin, and also originally part of the Vancouver branch. “When we came to the city we started small with about 60 officers, but we grew fast. By 2005 we had 250 security officers working here in Edmonton.” Paladin also moved up to Fort McMurray in 2005. “That was our first time doing security for the oil and

gas industry,” says Swecera. Paladin is now one of the biggest providers of oil and gas security in that city. Today, Paladin’s Edmonton branch employees 750 security officers, with a major footprint in the city’s commercial properties, such as malls and office buildings. “That’s how we became BOMA Edmonton members,” says Swecera. “We’re very proud to be a BOMA partner, and proud of the great relationship we’ve built over the years.” It seems the feeling is mutual. Over the years Paladin has won more than a dozen awards, not just from BOMA Edmonton, but from other BOMA chapters and at the national level. Notably, in 2016 Paladin received the Pinnacle Award for Customer Service Excellence from BOMA Edmonton and BOMA Canada for going above and beyond in their customer service. After a lady acci-

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dentally locked her keys and baby inside her vehicle, a Paladin security officer not only helped her get back into the vehicle and get her baby out, but he also retrieved her keys from her trunk. “We are very proud of the officer who did that,” says Swecera. Just last year, Paladin took home the customer service award in Winnipeg too – just another testament to the company’s culture of going above and beyond and helping people. “I think it speaks to the good work that our frontline officers are doing,” says Swecera. “They’re out there engaging with people and helping them. They run into people from all walks of life and they treat people equally and with respect.” However, Paladin’s customer service doesn’t stop at dealing with those in need on the front lines. It’s a vision that extends to their clients and the various departments the company works with, such as 211 and the Edmonton Police Service. “Whether it’s working with those other departments or our clients, we’re always working with our partners’ or clients’ vision in mind and what they want to accomplish,” says Swecera, adding the true heart of their

company lies with their employees, and it’s a sentiment that is proven with multiple workplace awards. In 2017, Paladin was named one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies for the sixth year in a row. In 2016, they were named one of Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work. In 2015, they received Waterstone Canada’s Most Admired Corporate Cultures award, and the list goes on. “We measure ourselves on how well we service our employees, not just our clients,” Swecera admits. “The real success comes from the great work our employees do on our front lines – their job is definitely not easy and a lot of the time it’s thankless, but they do it with pride and a smile, and that drives our senior managers to work harder – to honour them and the work they do.” In fact, Paladin has become a place where people come to start their careers and live their passions. Many security guards and other staff have started a career in the company and either moved up within the company, or moved on to related areas, such as corrections or police service, which Swecera says he’s proud of. “We enjoy being able to help people get started on their career path and ultimately succeed in reaching their goals and dreams.” www.bomaedmonton.org | BOMA Edmonton Newsletter | June 2018

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f you’ve ever frequented the Strathcona area, and in particular the corner of Gateway Boulevard and Saskatchewan Drive, you are likely familiar with the Ritchie Mill building, even if it’s just at a passing glance. The iconic stamp of Ritchie Mill sits on top of the unique grey and red brick building with varying segments ranging from two to four storeys, and it certainly stands out beside the high-rise condos on its one side, and the historic End of the Steel park on the other. The Ritchie Mill building doesn’t just look like an historic landmark in the area, it is one. Constructed in 1892 in what was then the separate city of Strathcona, the building is actually the oldest surviving flour mill in the province, and was where the first steam-powered rollers were used, significantly increasing wheat production and transforming the community into a major industrial and agricultural development centre. Over time the building was home to many local politicians, including the mayor of Strathcona in 1906. Today, the building is designated a municipal and provincial historic resource, becoming a staple in what is now a hub of Edmonton’s arts and entertainment facilities, as well as a shopping district for residents and students at the nearby University of Alberta. When the opportunity came up to purchase Edmonton’s oldest iconic office landmark building last year, Scott Hughes, broker/owner of RE/MAX Commercial® Capital, was aware of the value and potential of the location. “Having our commercial real estate office located on the bank of the river valley overlooking the downtown was an idea worth exploring,” says Hughes. “Coming inside and seeing the historical nature of an office building originally built in 1892 with restored timber, stone and brick elements combined with abundant natural light was very impressive. When the opportunity arose to purchase it I definitely jumped.” Hughes quickly began executing his vision for the four-storey structure. “This building was already utilized for offices, but we’re renovating pretty much the entire interior and upgrading a number of exterior finishes.” While Hughes is keeping the historic feel of the building, he’s upgrading it with an eye for what tenants need in today’s market. “We have completely upgraded the lobbies and common areas with new LED lighting, paint, flooring, and live décor, along with new directories highlighted by the artistic placement

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The second, third and fourth floors have open work areas, as well as private offices and boardrooms, a mezzanine and loft areas.

of reclaimed wood features,” Hughes says. “We have also installed secure WiFi throughout all four floors, including fibre optic into every workspace. We have worked hard to stay true to the nature of the building while providing the latest technology.” The building totals more than 22,000 square feet, and is unique in its mixed single, multiple, or full floor office space layouts, as well as its flexible lease agreements for both short- and long-term tenants. Each

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floor has its own unique natural elements, which adds to the warmth and character of the building. “The first floor holds a high-quality business meeting and lounge area, along with space that can take advantage of the beautiful original brick, stone and timbers and the large patio overlooking the River Valley and downtown,” says Hughes. “We want to do something special for the tenants and the community in terms of a café/restaurant, which we hope to be announcing soon.” The second, third and fourth floors have open work areas, as well as private offices and boardrooms, a mezzanine and loft areas. Meanwhile, the fourth floor’s 6,500 square feet has been transformed by restoring the floor-to-ceiling timbers, which accents the existing cathedral ceilings, skylights and newly-created collaborative areas. On the outside, a new cedar shake roof has already been added and new building lighting and asphalt resurfacing will be complete by the summer of 2018. “Tenants have an abundance of parking,” says Hughes. “We have 60 surface stalls, plus another 30 in street parking, which is hard to find in this area of the city.” The building’s location is hard to beat, with its unencumbered view of Edmonton’s downtown and its convenient location. “From this part of the city you’re not only five minutes from downtown, but you can get anywhere in the city pretty quickly,” Hughes says. It’s important to Hughes that Ritchie Mills remains close knit with the community. Certain amenities of the building (to be announced soon) will help bring the community together, and in February it was the half-way stop for the Mustard Seed’s Coldest Walk of the Year, and annual event to raise money and awareness for local charities serving hungry, homeless, and hurting families and youth in Canada. With all these attractions, it’s easy to see why, even with the building renovations currently underway, the available spaces are going fast. “We’ve already seen a strong interest in new leasing with several recent deals completed,” says Hughes, adding that the current mix includes start-ups, software companies, law firms, accounting firms, environmental consultants, mortgage services, and heath care professionals. “Right now we have the opportunity to lease the entire top floor. The third is fully occupied with about a third of the second floor available, so there are still some opportunities to get in, but they won’t last long.”


WAITING TO EXHALE // OIL & GAS

WAITING TO

Exhale

BEHIND THE SOAP OPERA-ESQUE HEADLINES, ALBERTA’S OIL AND GAS EXECUTIVES WAIT WITH BATED BREATH FOR POLITICAL ACTION ON THE PIPELINE FRONT. BY BEN FREELAND

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he first months of 2018 have been truly stranger than fiction for Alberta’s oil and gas industry. The year began with two NDP premiers going nose to nose like Ali and Frazier over expansion of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline System, with the Alberta government attempting to strong-arm its neighbour to the west with a temporary ban on BC wine and threats to turn off the tap on the province’s oil supply. In mid-April, Rick Orman, former Alberta PC cabinet minister and current senior counsel for the Canadian Strategy Group, raised eyebrows when he argued that Prime Minister Trudeau ought to deploy the military to prevent protesters from blocking the project’s completion. If that wasn’t enough drama for everybody, mid-April also saw a furore erupt over the University of Alberta’s nomination of the Alberta oil sands’ fiercest critic, David Suzuki, for an

honorary PhD, a move that Premier Notley characterized as “tone-deaf” and which the provincial media widely decried as a slap in the face to Albertans. All the while, rising global oil prices, rail bottlenecks in Chicago, and delayed refinery maintenance caused by unusually cold temperatures across North America in March conspired to produce some of the highest gas prices seen by Albertans in a long time. Such is life these days in Alberta’s beleaguered oil and gas industry. “Canada’s oil and gas industry is really falling behind at present,” says Ben Brunnen, vice president oil sands at the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP). “We’ve seen a 50 per cent drop in capital investment in oil and gas since 2014. In the oil sands sector we’ve seen

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WAITING TO EXHALE // OIL & GAS

a decline by nearly two thirds in investment, but even conventional oil investments are down. Meanwhile we’re expecting global demand to continue to increase until 2040 while the United States, Brazil, Iran and African countries continue to expand their global market share.” It is easy to understand the prevailing frustration among Alberta’s oil and gas industry leaders. With the world’s population expected to reach 9.2 billion by 2040, global demand for all forms of energy – from oil and gas to renewables and nuclear – is expected to grow in leaps and bounds in the coming decades, especially in emerging markets in Asia and elsewhere. While renewable energy sources will continue to grow in importance, oil is expected to remain the dominant source of energy at least until 2040, with experts expecting global consumption to reach 105 million barrels per day, up from 94 million in 2016. Meanwhile, natural gas consumption is expected to climb commensurately to 199 trillion cubic feet by 2040, up from 129 in 2016. Given the expected rises in demand across the globe for the coming decades, the perceived lack of cohesive vision for Canada’s energy future among the country’s political leaders is a major source of frustration for the industry. “Canada has an opportunity to ensure growing energy demand will be met by the most responsibly produced fuels possible,” says Tim McMillan, CAPP president and CEO. “However, government costs and regulatory barriers are on the rise – making it harder to grow our industry and support employment for Canadians. Investment in Canada’s energy industry, and jobs for Canadians, will continue to leave for other countries unless there are changes to regulatory policies to enable growth industry can build on. We operate in one of the world’s most stringent regulatory environments. It’s important we have a robust regulatory

framework that meets environmental goals, but we must pay attention to added costs, delays and inefficiencies so we do not risk falling behind.” Aside from declining government investment, the main problem bedeviling Alberta’s oil and gas industry remains access to market. The proposed doubling of the Trans Mountain Pipeline (TMPL) system, which has led to interprovincial acrimony which Calgary Herald columnist Don Braid likened to negotiations between North and South Korea, would be the first expansion of this kind to the only oil pipeline between B.C. and Alberta since its inauguration in 1956. The system, which connects the oil refineries in Sherwood Park with Vancouver’s Westridge Marine Terminal, in turn moves Alberta crude to marketing terminals and refineries in central B.C., the Greater Vancouver area and the Puget Sound area in Washington state, as well as to other markets such as California, the U.S. Gulf Coast, and overseas. Experts assert that the system’s current capacity of 48,000 cubic metres per day represents a major bottleneck. “The TMPL project is critical to Canada and the future of its oil and gas industry, which contributes billions of dollars to the national economy each year and is one of the

ABOVE: BEN BRUNNEN, VICE PRESIDENT OIL SANDS, CANADIAN ASSOCIATION OF PETROLEUM PRODUCERS.

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WAITING TO EXHALE // OIL & GAS

HARRIS ALSO COMMENDS THE TRUDEAU GOVERNMENT FOR ITS WILLINGNESS TO INTERVENE ON BEHALF OF THE PROJECT AMID THE ONGOING INTERPROVINCIAL DISPUTE. country’s largest job creators,” says Brett Harris, external communications manager at Cenovus Energy in Calgary. “Kinder Morgan’s decision to suspend all non-essential work on Trans Mountain and set a deadline of May 31 to find a reasonable pathway forward should concern all Canadians. Trans Mountain was approved by the federal government following more than two years of exhaustive review and the attachment of nearly 200 environmental and legal conditions. Harris also commends the Trudeau government for its willingness to intervene on behalf of the project amid the ongoing interprovincial dispute. “We’re pleased that the Prime Minister has committed the federal government to taking the necessary legal and legislative actions to ensure Trans Mountain is built. Immediate, clear and decisive action must be taken to ensure that this vital project proceeds without further delay. If the rule of law is not upheld and this project is allowed to fail, it will have a chilling effect on investment not just in British Columbia, but across the entire country.” CAPP’s Brunnen concurs, but also expresses frustration over the lack of a coherent vision for the industry’s future on the part of the federal government.

“We would really like the feds to explicitly acknowledge the future of oil and gas and articulate a clear policy structure around investment. We’re the most responsibly developed oil and gas jurisdiction in the world, and a viable one in the long term. Oil sands oil is competitive at between $47 and $52 a barrel and is more than capable of competing at current market prices, but it’s a long-term investment that requires stable investment over time as well as better market access,” he says. Brunnen adds that other jurisdictions are taking decisive action on this front, and are by consequence leaving Canada in the dust. “The U.S. has reformed its tax code in a way that supports long-term growth in oil and gas, and this is putting Canada at a disadvantage. For now we’re hearing a lot of good messages from the federal government, particularly vis-à-vis Trans Mountain, and a willingness to listen. Now we would like to see more concrete action to shore up investment.” For the time being, however, the interprovincial pipeline soap opera continues while Alberta’s oil and gas executives – together with the many thousands of Albertans whose livelihood depends on the province’s single largest industry – wait with bated breath to see whether fortune will once again smile on their beleaguered sector.

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BELOW THE SURFACE // AGRICULTURE

BELOW

THE SURFACE PERFORMANCE ENHANCERS ARE NOT JUST FOR THE GYM. THEY CAN ALSO BOOST SOIL POTENTIAL.

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griculture in Alberta is big business. In 2016, Alberta’s real gross domestic product for the agrifoods industry was the highest on record at $6.6 billion (a 7.8 per cent jump over 2015). When measured in production tonnes, all kinds of wheat, along with oats, barley, fall rye, mixed grains, dry beans, peas, mustard seeds, triticale, hay, corn, and sugar beets all showed a significant increase in production tonnage. The average value of canola seed crusher jumped from $435.01/tonne over the 2014/2015 season to $466.35/tonne during 2015/2016. These are great numbers that represent some very robust growing years, but don’t forget: farming may be big business, but it is also a very tricky business. Too much or too little rainfall, one good hailstorm, a crop blight, or a wildfire can devastate an entire crop in a matter of days. With such high risk and fierce competition, farmers look for an edge, and that is where performance enhancers come in. Performance enhancers for soil mostly fall into the category of fertilizers and soil supplements, and there is no shortage of them on the market. With a plethora of organic and

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BY NERISSA MCNAUGHTON

inorganic products to choose from, how does a farmer separate the wheat from the chaff, so to speak? To distinguish what is accepted as safe or not for Alberta’s soil, farmers should look for a Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s (CFIA) registered number on the packaging. “As a science-based regulator, the CFIA is dedicated to safeguarding food, animals, and plants, thereby enhancing the health and well-being of Canada’s people, environment and economy. The CFIA’s Fertilizer Program, with its focus on safety, is an example of how the Agency works to benefit Canadian consumers and farmers,” informs a CFIA spokesperson. “The Fertilizers Act and Regulations require that all regulated fertilizer and supplement products imported into or sold in Canada be safe for humans, plants, animals, and the environment. They must also be properly labelled to enable safe and appropriate use. The CFIA monitors all fertilizer and supplement products found in the Canadian marketplace to verify their compliance with prescribed standards,” the Agency continues.


BELOW THE SURFACE // AGRICULTURE

THE PROCESS OF USING WORMS TO BREAK DOWN AND ENHANCE SOIL IS NOT NEW, BUT ROLLINGSON ISN’T OFFERING WORMS. HE MASS PRODUCES WORM CASINGS. THE ALBERTA-BASED COMPANY LAUNCHED IN 2008, AND IT BARELY MADE IT OUT OF THE GARDEN GATE.

“Some fertilizers and most supplements are subject to registration and undergo a comprehensive pre-market assessment before their import or sale in Canada. Fertilizers and supplements that are exempt from registration are still regulated and must meet all the prescribed standards at the time of sale or import. “The labels of all products registered under the Fertilizers Act display a registration number. The labels of products that are exempt from registration do not bear an identifier.” The CFIA ensures compliance by monitoring both imported and local products that are new or that already exist in the market. Inspectors visit facilities, review labels, sample products and conduct tests to ensure fertilizers and supplements meet the requirements deemed necessary for safe use and application. Products that are non-compliant are addressed with regulatory action, and if necessary, prosecution. Although some fertilizers are exempt from registration, they must still meet CFIA’s safety, labelling, and standards requirements. For example, liming products (mainly used to correct soil acidity) do not need to be registered, but the CFIA strongly encourages producers of liming products to obtain a “letter of no objection” that proves the product meets the CFIA’s standards, and the Agency tests liming products to ensure they do not exceed heavy metal additive allotments.

While fertilizers and supplements are one way to boost soil vitality and increase crop yield, there are other ways to maximize what soil can do. Hobby and backyard gardeners know some tricks for natural additives that require no regulation at all, such as coffee grounds and egg shells. Is there a similar application that can be used on a commercial farm scale? Yes, there is. Meet Dan Rollingson of Earthly Matters. Officially, he’s a vermatechonologist, but the company president prefers to be called “chief worm farmer.” The process of using worms to break down and enhance soil is not new, but Rollingson isn’t offering worms. He mass produces worm castings. The Alberta-based company launched in 2008, and it barely made it out of the garden gate. “My stepfather was hauling worm castings from British Columbia to the States,” says Rollingson, “so I started researching the topic. Then I saw a documentary about an accidental revolution: food shortage mitigated with vermiculture. I decided that was it. I should get into this! From there I looked for different systems on how to raise worms and found a system I liked. I dove into it and started raising worms. It wasn’t that easy in the beginning. I had lots of worms and killed most of them within six months. Soon, I had about 50 worms left. I brought the pail of 50 worms into

ABOVE: EARTHWORM PHOTO SOURCE: LUIS SÁNCHEZ

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BELOW THE SURFACE // AGRICULTURE

WITH ALBERTA (AND THE OTHER PRAIRIE PROVINCES) ECLIPSING EASTERN CANADA IN RAPID POPULATION GROWTH, AND WITH THE PUSH ON ALBERTA FOR ECONOMIC DIVERSIFICATION, CROP AGRICULTURE CONTINUES TO GROW IN DEMAND AND POPULARITY. HAVING THE MOST FERTILE SOIL IS A MUST FOR A SUCCESSFUL CROP, AND WITH TODAY’S TECHNOLOGY AND FARMING PRACTICES, GOOD SOIL DOES NOT HAVE TO BE LEFT TO CHANCE.

my spare room and sat down to figure out what went wrong.” After a less-than-ideal start, things turned around fast. Within a year, the farm had over 100,000 worms and went from selling out of the family’s home garage to selling at Farmers Markets. Business continued to grow swiftly, and today, Earthly Matters operates out of a 3,200 square foot facility, produces 10 tons of castings a month (with a goal to hit 40 tons per month) and services every farming enterprise, from green houses and market gardens to large scale commercial farms. “Castings,” says Rollingson, “are pure, natural, and completely organic. Our vermiculture system is very different from compost. We feed our worms a certified organic grain mixture.” (EcoCert® certifies the grain mixture as purely organic.) “Here’s how it works,” Rollingson continues. “Worms are important in the soil. They are decomposers and shredders. Worms have an amazing gut system. They are eating microbes in the soil and their system breaks it down, so their manure is fertilizer-ready. We have so many worms, and the way we screen it out, when a customer buys our worm castings, they are getting the benefit of millions of worms without having to buy them. They are getting the benefit

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of the worms without having the worms in the soil. Worm castings also encourage more worms to naturally come to the farm because they are making the area more fertile. “Some soils that are depleted of nutrients or that don’t have a lot of biological activity due to over-tilling or salt-based chemicals might deter the natural presence of worms. If you’re trying to improve that soil and bring life back to it by adding beneficial microbes, you’re going to get an increase of activity in that ecosystem because worm castings are a food source for other anthropoids and worms to eat.” With Alberta (and the other prairie provinces) eclipsing Eastern Canada in rapid population growth, and with the push on Alberta for economic diversification, crop agriculture continues to grow in demand and popularity. Having the most fertile soil is a must for a successful crop, and with today’s technology and farming practices, good soil does not have to be left to chance. With the CFIA overseeing what goes into the soil, and with plenty of completely organic choices, such as vermiculture, it looks like Alberta’s soil will be producing healthy, top-notch yields for many years to come.


McKinley:

THE SERVICE EXPERTS YOU CAN COUNT ON McKinley, quietly and with great dedication, keeps the heat on By Nerissa McNaughton

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he old saying is true. Not all heroes wear capes. Sometimes they wear coveralls. When the temperature drops below -25C, the furnace is out, and a pipe bursts in your wall, Iron Man isn’t going to save you. McKinley is.

McKinley Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing, a Service Experts Company, can’t say no to a service call, and not just because that’s a company rule (it’s not), they just don’t want to. They don’t want you to be cold, uncomfortable, suffering from no hot water, breathing improperly filtered air, or roasting in your home with a broken air conditioner. Even when the phone rings off the hook with frantic calls for service when the weather turns, they don’t say “we’re too busy,” they say “yes” and they dash off to save the day. The company ownership group, management team, staff, installers, service technicians, residential sales consultants and the administrative assistants all feel the same sense of urgency to give the city the McKinley experience it deserves.

McKinley Heating & Air Conditioning • 50 Years 67


Numerous awards and recognitions are in the main office. This selection sits atop one of McKinely’s products in the show room.

To understand why the McKinley team cares about you so much, we have to go back in time to the late 1940s. World War II is over. Like many men his age, Tom McKinley is looking to make his way in a post-war world. There’s not a lot of work out there, so he does the next best thing: he starts his own business selling sheet metal. Every day he takes his phone and stretches the cord clean across from his house to the nice lady’s window next door, who answers the phone as his receptionist. Conducting business from his garage, Tom McKinley was innovative and persistent from the very start. The company grew and branched out into other ventures, include servicing. In the late 60s, the company is divided and sold. The sheet metal division sold to a gentleman named Marco and the service division sold to Roly Baron, father of current general manager Brian Baron. Brian would join the company in 1973.

Congratulations to McKinley Heating & Air Conditioning on 50 years! 15618 -111th AVE Phone: 780-483-2266 Fax: 780-487-6220 autorepairsedmonton.ca

McKinley Heating & Air Conditioning • 50 Years • 2

General manager Brian Baron holds a nostalgic ad. His father is in the photo.

“We were a Lennox dealer at that time,” reminisces Brian. “Then Lennox started a Planned Service (PS) dealership and we became the first PS dealership in Western Canada. With that, we started doing more commercial work, including mines, industrial plants, institutions, and malls. It wasn’t until the ’80s that we started to do more residential work.” “During the early days, Henry van Ziegler, the head of Lilydale, was instrumental in helping my father get a lot of contract work,” continues Brian. “For years, we serviced all the Lilydale poultry barns in Edmonton. I remember cleaning the burners in the chicken barns. It was not a clean or pleasant job and I would stink like a chicken! But


A clean and professional fleet ready to spring into action when a customer calls. that contract meant we were able to keep people working and grow the company. It also grew our work ethic. If their HVAC systems went down, it would have affected 30,000 chickens and turkeys.”

expand their market share. Lennox decided to purchase a set amount of companies in each province. Within two months, they bought 62 private dealerships and formed Service Experts.”

When his father entered semi retirement, Brian and his brother purchased the company and expanded its residential division. Then along came 2001 and everything changed.

McKinley would be owned under this banner for the next 10 years, until Lennox expanded again to become North American Service Experts to accommodate both the Canadian and American markets.

“Deregulation of the energy market,” smiles Brian. “Before then, gas companies could not sell furnaces. Suddenly, larger companies were buying up smaller high-end companies so they could

No stranger to change, McKinley continues to roll with the times. “The biggest change in the last year is the switch from conventional hot water tanks to high efficiency instant tanks,” confirms Brian.

www.lennox.com Congratulations to McKinley Heating Service Experts! We wish you many more years of success.

Congratulations McKinley Heating on your 50th!

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McKinley Heating & Air Conditioning • 50 Years • 3


to new ideas and learning that your ideas and thoughts are only 40 per cent correct. When I was younger, I thought it was closer to 90 per cent!” Brian laughs. “I use the jet fighter analogy. A young hot shot thinks they are immortal. As they get older, they understand they can get shot down and they start to approach life with more knowledge, patience, and understanding. Right now, I feel like an ‘old pilot’.” The ‘old pilot’ is not without his moments of whimsy. When he’s not making sure McKinley clients are safe, warm, and comfortable in their homes and workplaces, he’s working on his collection of vintage Bombardier snowmobiles. At one point, he had the largest collection of vintage racing snowmobiles in Canada.

Taking customers calls in the main office. “And now, more people are renting our equipment and having us own and maintain it instead of owning it themselves.” No matter how many times the company evolves, whether it’s a garage and a landline with a cord through a neighbour’s window or part of a thriving multi-national firm, the McKinley way holds fast to one important principle: do the job right, and if you don’t, keep at it until you make it right. Baron says, “If something goes wrong, if something is not right, I will personally do my best to make sure that, in the end, it is correct. We don’t walk away from pain. Our outstanding consumer reviews and many industry awards reflect the level of service we provide.” Like founder Tom McKinley, Brian continues to approach the business with an entrepreneurial mindset. “When you are an entrepreneur, it’s 24/7, because the company is always on your mind. Employees can go home and not think about work until the next morning. Being an entrepreneur means sacrifice, but it’s sacrifice that makes the world a better, or more comfortable, place. It also means being a leader and developing trust among the team. It’s being open

He and the team also enjoy supporting the community in charitable ways. Brian explains, “For a long time we focused on giving back to smaller initiatives throughout the year. Now, we have made a long-term commitment through Service Experts to the Make-A-Wish® Foundation. We look forward to making individual moments in time even more special.” This year marks an important milestone for the company; 1968 was when Baron Sr. bought McKinley. With 50 years on the clock, the company is evolving under its recent acquisition by a 100 per cent Canadian-owned corporation that has a drive to increase HVAC services across North America. Growth is on the horizon – again. But, as Brian points out, the size and success of the company is not what drives them. The focus will continue to be on each individual customer, and on giving those customers the service they deserve. Brian, the management team, and the ownership group say a very big thank you to founder Tom McKinley and his tenacity in launching a company during those lean post-war years, to Henry van Ziegler and the other company owners that provided steady work for the McKinley team during the company’s early days, to Baron Sr. and the family members that bought and grew the company, to the hardworking staff, and most of all, to the customers the team loves to get up and work with every day. “This trade is not glamorous,” concludes Brian as he and his team suit up in their capes – ah… workwear – for yet another day of furnaces, filters, hot water tanks, and pipes. The smiles on their faces betray that glamour is not what drives them, it’s customer service, and at that they always excel.

Congratulations to

McKinley Heating Service Experts!

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Donald R. Getty School

Delnor Construction Ltd.:

THE LEGACY LIVES ON

Alberta based and serving the province for 35 years By Nerissa McNaughton his year marks the 35th year of Delnor providing expert commercial construction services across Alberta. What started as a company launched by two high school friends is now a company executing more than $200 million over 300+ projects annually, while consistently ranking in Canada’s Top 40 Contractors.

T

that all other companies were offering nothing but low pay and excessive expectations!

“Ed Cyrankiewicz and I founded the company in 1983,” explains Ron Hinz, Founder and member of the Board of Governors. The company where they were employed went into receivership and they faced a crossroad – take employment into their own hands or join the large group of the unemployed. It was an easy choice, considering

The first 10 years was about grit, building a reputation and brand. “After that time, we were considered to have a solid reputation. Next came having our feet on the pavement, looking for work and taking on the tough and highly specialized jobs that no one else would touch” explains Ron.

Ed and Ron reached out to the network they built from their years in the industry and made it a mandate that Delnor would be company that was easy to do business with.

Delnor | 35 71


35TH ANNIVERSARY

Field Law, coporate offices

While they built the brand, they also built the company. Phil Miller, Delnor’s first superintendent, was hired when the company was about a year old. That same year, Delnor secured their first big project, valued at nearly $1 million, at the Edmonton International Airport. This set the stage for larger and more complex projects. “Some of the largest projects at this time came from clients that we still have relationships with today; for example, the University of Alberta Hospital’s rooftop heliport project,” Ron reflects.

The TELUS Workplace Integration project in 1997 marked a huge turning point as Delnor’s workforce tripled in a six-month period. In the proposal submission, Delnor was set apart and competitive due to Ed’s dedication to the project. He collocated his office to the TELUS project site for nearly two years, which demonstrates the commitment that Delnor strives for. In 1998, another milestone was achieved as the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) Food Services Redevelopment was Delnor’s first

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Delnor | 35 | 2

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35TH ANNIVERSARY $2 million+ project. At this time, Delnor was also one of the front-line founders of the Construction Management delivery methodology in the Edmonton marketplace and one of the earlier contractors with the opportunity on these types of projects (at both the NAIT project and Edmonton Public School Board with the McNally School modernization). They were easy to do business with and collaborative before those were buzz words. As the century turned over into the 2000s, Delnor continued to grow rapidly, securing multimillion dollar projects with some of the largest names in Alberta’s commercial, health, technical, educational and business landscape. “June 2005 – The Capital Health Food Services Redevelopment project, valued at $5.5 million, was one of our largest healthcare projects at the time. This was a confirmation that our relationship with Alberta Health Services was allowing us to move toward becoming experts in healthcare projects,” notes Glenn Cyrankiewicz, Delnor’s CEO and Principal. The Ardrossan Recreational Complex project valued at $17 million followed in 2010, and at 30

Complete Electrical Services & Design Since 1975

years, Delnor branched out of the city and entered the Calgary marketplace. After opening up the Calgary branch, Delnor completed the first phase of the ATB consolidation projects in Calgary, valued at $10.5 million. This was important as the contract continued to also award the Edmonton consolidation project valued at over $30 million. Following this award, Delnor further renegotiated the ATB Eighth Avenue Place floors 4-7 for $7.5 million. This made the ATB consolidation projects Delnor’s biggest collective project of all time at almost $50 million. Today, at 35 years old, Delnor continues to leave an impressive legacy in Alberta, even though its age is gracefully showing in positive ways. “Last year, Delnor had our first hired employee retire – a superintendent that worked with us for 33 years. It was also the year we had a third renewal of our Construction Management standing order contract at the University of Alberta, making us the first of Alberta’s general contractors to achieve this opportunity. We were also awarded

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Congratulations to Delnor on their 25th year in Business!

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Delnor | 35 | 4


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Delnor | 35 | 5


35TH ANNIVERSARY

University of Alberta Agriculture Forestry Atrium

our first Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) contract of two new schools in Edmonton – yet again being pioneers in the Edmonton marketplace to be awarded a project utilizing a collaborative construction methodology,” Glenn says proudly. There’s a reason for Delnor’s success, and it’s rooted in the original founder’s vigor. They were willing to take a risk to start Delnor, and in turn, Delnor is never afraid to tackle complex jobs that others turn down. The University of Alberta’s Brain Institute Gamma Knife suite, Slowpoke Nuclear Reactor decommissioning, numerous Cross Cancer Institute equipment and treatment projects, and

the Northern Alberta Urology Centre are just a few examples of these types of projects. When Delnor opened its doors 35 years ago, Ed and Ron filled every role. They booked the jobs, went to site, did the accounting and marketing – everything it took to get the Delnor name out into the industry. Today, the company boasts 220 employees across the province and will continue to grow with Alberta. “We are very fortunate to have solid employees that contribute to and are invested in the success of our company,” says Glenn. “They are willing

Congratulations to Delnor Construction on 35 Years!

CONGRATULATIONS Delnor Construction

on celebrating your 35th business anniversary!

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Delnor | 35 | 6


to work hard and are the basis of the culture we are collectively trying to achieve. Having skilled, motivated, and empowered employees is key; however, it is our retention of successful employees, which has created stability, trust, and confidence with our clients and servicing sectors for decades, that makes us stand out. “We want to ensure that our employees see their jobs as careers, and to have a successful career means work-life balance. We also take time to laugh collectively and celebrate our corporate and personal successes. We offer great benefits and robust vacation time to balance out the hard work.” Delnor’s mission is to create a strong and safe culture where all workers return home safely at the end of each day. Safety and training are key aspects to Delnor’s business, using their ‘Work. Safe. Home.’ motto as a guide. Given that Delnor oversees over 300 projects annually, they are responsible for the health and welfare of a significant workforce. Glenn says, “This is why Delnor has a goal of zero incidents, and we are committed to making

this outcome a reality. We believe in consistently measuring and improving safety performance, and due to this philosophy, we have been successful in achieving a Certificate of Recognition (COR) for many years. “We are also happy to support a Behavior Based Safety (BBS) program, and through a combination of training, observation, reward, and discipline, we are working towards eliminating all at-risk behaviour in the workplace. This program is a points system where workers are awarded points quarterly that can be redeemed at the end of the year for various incentives.” With these policies and a strong corporate culture, from management to field staff, Delnor has some of the lowest turnover in the industry. This creates a confidence in their clients that they can work with people and teams at Delnor that they know and trust. As the brand grew, so did Alberta. Competition in the building industry was (and remains) fierce, but the Delnor business model keeps the company ahead of the competition. Glenn explains, “Delnor is a full-service contractor, and we look after all our clients’ construction needs for any sized

Delnor | 35 | 7


35TH ANNIVERSARY Westlock Meditation Centre- Lotus Pagoda

project. Our model is based on assigning a project manager at the start of the project who remains to the final completion of the project. This provides them total accountability of completing the project and empowers them to oversee its success. “Because of our unique cradle-to-grave approach of having the project manager take full accountability from start to finish on a project, our project managers and teams take a lot of pride in their work. This instills a hands-on approach right down to every aspect of the team coming together to make each project a success,” adds Glenn. Delnor Construction was the dream of two men, and the vision has grown into a reality that benefits all Albertans. The management team acknowledges that every person in the company plays a role in the company’s rapid growth and ongoing success. “Today, Delnor’s success extends beyond any one person,” says Glenn. “Leadership is not a title; it must be an attitude throughout our culture. We require a total team engagement to be sustainably successful. It starts with our ownership group

Congratulations Delnor Construction. We are happy to have had a long standing relationship with such a great company!

modelling the necessary behavior and being held accountable to the same standards. “Although our experience has gotten us on clients’ shortlists, we continue to actively strategize how we can earn the privilege of Delnor being selected first. We also pride ourselves on being a collaborative company that is very businessfriendly with our client partners and trade partners. We call them partnerships because they go beyond relationships and require teamwork.” Delnor’s focus on constantly innovating internal processes and going far beyond client expectations is not limited to the workplace. In accordance with the philosophy of the company founders, Delnor feels giving back to the community is a very important part of the operations.

Congratulations to Delnor. We appreciate working with you over the many years. Looking forward to the future. Neil Munn / Terry Major

10751-181 street • 1-780-444-2604 profileelectrical.ca

Neil’s Electric Ltd | Phone: (780) 493-5061 Delnor | 35 | 8


(where we gather). Delnor meets all of these needs and more in the diverse marketplace of Alberta.

Delnor helps many charitable organizations as part of their culture. They give back to clients that support them, which is especially true of healthcare organizations and not-for-profit initiatives. Health services affects all Albertans; it is fundamental to Delnor’s business to support many not-for-profit foundations that further research and provide healthcare to the community that they help to build. Delnor was also a major donor of products and services to the Cross Cancer Institute’s Healing Garden.

Delnor prospers on the strength of client relationships because they help the business grow and continue to exceed expectations. “We have been privileged to serve many clients and consultants throughout the life of our company, and this repeat business has become the backbone of our operations. Alberta Health Services, Telus Communications, and ATB Financial are just a few examples of the long-term relationships that we continue to build upon today, across Alberta” Glenn says appreciatively.

As Glenn and the Principal Ownership Group reflect over their decades in the business, they express a sense of gratitude that they and the company are able to enhance the lives of so many Albertans through the projects they undertake. Delnor has been growing with Alberta for 35 years and continues to serve its people through all aspects of their life cycle. From healthcare (where we are born), through to specialty care and seniors housing, schools and post-secondary (where we learn), corporate spaces (where we work), recreation (where we play), and worship facilities

The company’s commitment to excellence has been robustly recognized in the industry, and Delnor counts a Canada’s Top 40 General Contractors award and an Alberta Ventures 2016 Contractor of the Year award among their many recognitions. It is important for Delnor’s founders, Ed and Ron, to see the legacy of the company continue, and the recent succession plan has seen a successful transition to propel Delnor into a profitable future.

35 Years is a true statement that Delnor Construction is an exemplary leader in the construction industry. Priority Mechanical Ltd. congratulates Delnor Construction on their continued success. We are proud to be part of their team. 9259 -35 Avenue Edmonton, Alberta T6E 5Y1 Phone: 780-435-3636 • Fax: 780-450-3550 www.prioritymechanical.com

Delnor | 35 | 9


35TH ANNIVERSARY The new ownership group has adopted the model led by the example of the founders and will continue down the path that has proven to be effective and successful. For this new ownership group, the future is to continue to focus on having Delnor first in the minds of clients and employees across Alberta. Soon, Ed and Ron will be overseeing a transition in their positions as they join the Board of Governors. As such, Delnor Construction would like to formally introduce the new Principal Ownership Group: • Glenn Cyrankiewicz: Chief Executive Officer • Jeff Sterling: Chief Operating Officer • Dave Lamash: Senior Project Manager • John Vandenberg: Senior Project Manager • Kaylan Austring: Senior Project Manager

Glenn concludes, “We want to say a very big thank you to our clients, staff, vendors, founders – everyone that has and continues to make Delnor the success that it is today. Our goal is to have clients for life and make Delnor first, and we understand that we need to repeatedly earn that business partnership. This means being their construction partner; from looking after the smallest projects to the most complex projects, we are committed to overseeing our client’s total construction needs. “The most rewarding aspect of Delnor is both watching the depth and skills of our workforce increase to facilitate growth and maintain profitability, as well as seeing each project we execute come to life. Our repeat business attests to ongoing client satisfaction.” The successful execution of a new ownership transition plan for the company ensures that Delnor’s legacy lives forward.

3609 – 74 Avenue Edmonton, AB T6B 2T7 Telephone (780) 469-1304 • Fax (780) 466-0798 www.delnor.ca

12727-St Albert Trail Edmonton, Alberta T5L 4H5 Tel: (780) 452-9151 • Fax: (780) 452-1785 • TF: 1-800-349-6806 www.nlc.ca

Congratulations to the team at Delnor Construction Ltd. on 35 years! Proud to be a part of your success.

Delnor | 35 | 10


BIRKHOLZ HOMES: Helping to Build Edmonton from the Ground up By Nerissa McNaughton

THE BUILDER THAT MAKES DREAM HOMES COME TO LIFE CELEBRATES 50 YEARS

B

irkholz Homes asks a lot of questions. You’d expect to be shown a portfolio of beautiful homes, the salesperson brimming with pride as they flip glossy pages of unique custom builds, but that comes later. One of the first things buyers of Birkholz homes notice is the 100 per cent focus on the needs of the home owner. What are your dreams? How will you use the space? For entertaining? For relaxing? Do you need flex space that will grow with your family? Are you aging in place so that you may require accessibility modifications down the road? From the initial meeting with the Birkholz team to watching the home take shape before your eyes, to the follow-up after you are enjoying your one-of-a-kind home, the Birkholz experience is unlike any other homebuying adventure. The term “Built by Birkholz” means something special in the industry. To Realtors, it means having a competitive edge for selling the home. For prospective buyers, it means unrivaled quality and futuristic touches that are ahead of their time. For Edmonton, it means a distinguishing mark in the landscape of custom home builders. For homeowners, it means home in the purest sense of the word. There is a lot of history, passion, and hard work behind those three little words – Built by Birkholz – and it all started 50 years ago when Horst and Doris Birkholz came to Edmonton. BIRKHOLZ HOMES | 50

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“My father is of German descent, starts Kevin Birkholz,” company president and son of the original founders. “After they moved to Edmonton, my father started building houses with some German millworkers, cabinet makers, and tradespeople. This was the humble beginning of Birkholz Construction. Horst’s talent for homebuilding was clear from the onset. He had the rare and special kind of talent for building, and an aptitude to learn quickly, that is seldom seen in the construction industry. In 1968, Horst incorporated and started to build his first home from the ground up – in the literal sense. Framing? He did that. Cabinets? He built them on site. Millwork? All Horst. It wasn’t long before the Birkholz name started to become a buzzword among homebuyers. His first homes sold quickly; Horst and his wife Doris, who ran the administrative side of the business, became very busy. Soon, he was hiring contractors and carpenters to keep up with the demand, but he still insisted that every home had his special custom Birkholz touch. “He was such a hands-on kind of guy,” smiles Kevin. “Most of his first homes were built on Edmonton’s north side. Then he branched out to develop and build a couple cul de sacs in St. Albert. In the ’70s, he was building up to 100 houses a year.” When the decade turned from the ’70s to the bright and colourful ’80s, Birkholz evolved again by taking an interest in Edmonton’s south side. In addition to entering the south side family home market, Horst and Doris moved their base of operations, and the company has been run from the city’s south side ever since. “The goal,” Kevin explains, “has always been to build lasting projects that fulfill clients’ dreams through relationships.” You see, Birkholz isn’t just about building beautiful homes.

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KEVIN BIRKHOLZ. PHOTO BY EPIC PHOTOGRAPHY INC.

It’s about building spaces where families can grow, laugh, love and live in rooms that have been created specifically for them. It’s not about resale; it’s about the life the clients are living now and hope to live in the future. It’s about expert craftsmanship that is built to last. It’s about dreams coming to the surface and the capture of those dreams recorded in the soul of the home. It’s about the client turning to Birkholz to partner with them not for a house, but for a home that will stand for generations. In 1968, Birkholz Homes had just two employees: Horst and Doris. Today, a core staff of 12 and more than 50 contractors build clients’ dream homes. “I grew up in the business, loving to spend days with my dad touring the job site and watching him interact with people, clients, and the trades,” reminisces Kevin. “I grew up in construction, shovelling sand, cleaning up sites, then graduating to building decks and framing basements. I got my construction engineering diploma from the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) and formally joined the family business full time in 1995. I became president in 1997. A lot of the staff and the trades we work with have watched me grow up, and a lot of trades are transitioning into their second generation as well. The longevity, closeness, and family aspect of our, and their, business certainly plays a role in Birkholz’s success. We have very strong relationships with our subtrades.”

Congratulations on your 50th Anniversary! Thank you Birkholz Homes.

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“Another key to Birkholz Home’s success is our reputation,” Kevin continues. “My father developed an excellent reputation in the city, and we are happy to maintain that.” Decades, trends, and ownership has changed the company, but the time-honoured process remains. It starts with dreaming and discovery when the home owner sits down with Birkholz and has a conversation. There are no limits at this stage. Here is where the dream home is described and what the home owner wants and needs from the space is discovered. Next comes the location selection. It could be an estate home on a sprawling acreage or a sleek infill in a mature or historic neighbourhood. For Birkholz, the location is just as important as the home itself. Then it’s down to the nitty gritty. The dream gets translated into reality during the design and drafting phase. The client is present and engaged in every detail: material selection, colours, finishes. Birkholz guides the process to ensure the client is not overwhelmed by the many decisions that come with this phase. Construction comes next, and this is where the 50 years of experience really shine. The project manager welcomes the homeowners’ input, site visits, and involvement as they watch the physical manifestation of their dream come to life. Questions are answered in a timely manner. Concerns are addressed promptly, and the team is adept at keeping the project on time and on budget. The next stage is the most exciting for everyone. The client is introduced to their new home with a 2 - 3 hour walk-through that familiarizes them with not only the beautiful finishes and features, BIRKHOLZ HOMES | 50 | 4


Congratulations to Birkholz Homes on your 50th Anniversary!

Congrats Birkholz Homes on 50 years!

We are proud to be part of your success.

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but also the functions behind the walls that keep the home running at peak efficiency and comfort. Appliance manuals, warranties and product information are handed over with the keys in one convenient package so the homeowners have everything they need within reach at all times. The final stage lasts for years – Birkholz continues to be there for its clients to answer questions, refresh spaces as needs or trends change, and to simply be there for anything their clients require. What starts with a dream ends in the most beautiful and satisfying reality for everyone involved. “We work very hard to give customers a great experience from top to bottom, from the office staff to the designers, to the field staff. We strive to work very closely with our clients to allow them to make the selections and changes they need along the way to realizing their dream,” says Kevin. With the changing times also comes more competition in the industry. “One of our challenges today is the very competitive marketplace,” admits Kevin. “We address this head on by showing prospective clients our value adds and our warranty. We are proud to stand 100 per cent behind our product, and we know that efficient communication is key among clients, staff, and the trades every step of the way.” Birkholz incorporated in 1968, so this year, the company celebrates its 50th anniversary. The family business has witnessed many changes to the rapidly growing Capital City over the years. The young city matured and the new neighbourhoods became established older ones, giving Birkholz yet another opportunity to shine. BIRKHOLZ HOMES | 50 | 6


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“Personally, I love infills!” Kevin laughs. “I love being able to go into a community and help clients design a product that is respectful of the environment and the maturity of the community. I think it’s wonderful to see new homes being built closer to the core of Edmonton, where there is such great access to the River Valley and to so many amenities. To sustain those communities and bring families back into them, you must build infills. It’s interesting because, today, a lot of our business is infill product.” Fifty years later, Birkholz homes continues to move seamlessly with the trends and to listen closely to what their clients want and need. For example, “Kitchens have become more than places to come in and make dinner,” explains Kevin. “Kitchens have become complete entertaining spaces. Today, this is a space where families interact. Parents are making dinner while their children are doing homework on a laptop. Everyone witnesses the appetizers coming together at the party as they hang out by the kitchen island having a drink instead of having stilted conversation over an Old Fashioned in the ‘drawing room.’ With this complete change over the years, the size and flow of the kitchen has been increased.” Examples of a modern kitchen in the signature Birkholz Home style can be seen in the company’s Jagare Ridge showhome at 705 Howatt Drive. In addition to the large, open, airy, and multi-purpose kitchen, Gaggenau appliances are on display, bringing the heritage of Birkholz full circle. BIRKHOLZ HOMES | 50 | 8


Congratulations

Birkholz Homes on your 50th! We wish you many more years of continued success.

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Congratulations Birkholz Homes on your 50th Anniversary! We are proud of our 20 year relationship with one of Edmonton’s finest builders.

What separates a simply stunning kitchen from those that are simply nice? At Peachwood it has always included a generous helping of innovative design, impeccable craftsmanship and the absolute finest materials. This is our promise to our discriminating clientele, and the warmth, precision and sophistication of our craft is the reason they consistently choose Peachwood to deliver magic, along with a little neighbour envy, to their new custom kitchens.

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BIRKHOLZ HOMES | 50 | 9


Like the company’s founders, Gaggenau originated in Germany. Gaggenau appliances are incredibly sleek and futuristic, delivering on a promise of craftsmanship and functionality at the highest possible level. Gaggenau came to life in Germany’s Black Forest over 300 years ago, when its founder, Margrave Ludwig Wilhelm von Baden, took a hammer to a mill to refine the ore deposits from the Murgtal Valley into stylish and lasting household goods. In doing so, he also opened up jobs and income for the region’s impoverished farmers and set in motion a brand that would stand the test of time. Today, Gaggenau’s proprietary enamel ovens and triple glazed thermal coatings are among the most soughtafter features for discerning home owners, and Birkholz Homes could not be happier to be one of the very few elite builders to include this historic brand in select custom homes. “We work in a dynamic business,” says Kevin. “You get out of the business everything you put in. Our team is everything. It’s all about people. You have to have strong people to be successful. “The time out of the office is just as important as the time in the office. Work/life balance is very important for success on the personal and professional fronts. Some people would say I’m very good at work/life balance, but I know I can achieve it because of the people working for Birkholz Homes, the long-term employees, and the trust I have in the staff. You can’t do something like this alone. The team is all part of the greater Birkholz family.” Edmonton has supported the Birkholz brand for more than half a century, and Birkholz Homes is happy to respond in kind. In addition to supporting multiple non-profit and charitable initiatives, BIRKHOLZ HOMES | 50 | 10


From all of us at PERFORMANCE EXCAVATING LTD., We want to congratulate Birkholz Homes on 50 Years of exquisite home building.

Congratulations to Birkholz on 50 Years of excellence.

We are proud to have been a part of your business adventure for over 20 years. Wishing you many more years of success. For more info please call

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BIRKHOLZ HOMES | 50 | 11


Birkholz is proud to have built three homes for the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation’s dream home lotteries. Kevin couldn’t be happier to be part of the longstanding Birkholz legacy, and with children of his own now, he enjoys being able to say, “your grandfather built that home 30 years ago. This is one of ours.” “Seeing Realtors adding ‘Birkholz-built home’ to their listing shows that we are a proven brand in the business,” says Kevin with pride. BusinessInEdmonton_Birkholz_V3_Layout 1 4/19/18 10:55 AM Page 1

Congratulations to Birkholz Homes on your 50th Golden Anniversary. It’s been an honour to be chosen as one of your supply and trade partners these past 10 years.

Congratulations on 50 Years! We are proud to have been partnered with Birkholz Homes since 1975. Looking forward to the next 50 years!

BIRKHOLZ HOMES | 50 | 12

www.all-fab.com

10345 - 283 St., Acheson, AB T7X 6A7 P. (780) 962-4484 TF. 1 (800) 379-4784


Federated Insurance congratulates Birkholz Homes on their 50th Anniversary!

Greg Ung, BSc, CRM - Commercial Insurance Specialist #1165, 5555 Calgary Trail NW, Edmonton, AB, T6H5P9 | Tel: 780-435-3064

Congratulations to Birkholz Homes on your 50th Anniversary. What an achievement. Here’s to many more. 12820 55 St NW, Edmonton, AB 780.476. 9195

www.lenbeth.com

Congratulations

Birkholz Homes on your 50 years!

M o r e

t h a n

5 0

y e a r s

i n

t h e

d o o r

i n d u s t r y

14820 Yellowhead Trail NW, Edmonton, Alberta, T5L 3C5

780-452-7140 • www.barcol.com BIRKHOLZ HOMES | 50 | 13


“The excitement of what’s next for us is in knowing that we will continue to bring something different and unique to the Edmonton marketplace. Birkholz stands for great products that come with great experience.” Kevin and the Birkholz team wish to thank all their clients, staff, vendors, and the community for the opportunity to provide decades of outstanding service, and for the chance to continue to do so for many more years. Kevin is especially grateful for the support of his family, and for the Entrepreneurs’ Organization, of which he’s been a part of for 14 years. He is also very grateful to the duo that started it all and put his life’s work and passion in motion – Horst and Doris Birkholz. To everyone that has brought Birkholz Homes to where it is today, Kevin says, “Thank you for the opportunity, trust, and privilege to be part of something so personal.” He concludes, “The excitement of what’s next for us is in knowing that we will continue to bring something different and unique to the Edmonton marketplace. Birkholz stands for great products that come with great experience.” To learn more about what sets this custom home building company apart in the Capital City, visit birkholzhomes.com.

8872 48 Avenue Edmonton, AB PH: 780-430-6918 | E: info@birkholzhomes.com www.birkholzhomes.com

Congratulations to the Birkholz team on your 50th Anniversary!!

14505 116 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB T5M 3E8 Tel: (780) 453-5691 | Fax: (780) 454-4022

www.glenoralumber.ca

BIRKHOLZ HOMES | 50 | 14

A testament to your continued hard work, passion and dedication to industry. Proud to be your supplier of Choice.


We’re not done when the deal is. Curious?

atb.com/corporate


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