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OCTOBER 2017 | $3.50 BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM

IS 3D

Off the Charts PM42455512

DARCY WEISS, OWNER OF JOBSITE WORKWEAR, THINKS OUTSIDE OF THE BOX AND OFF THE CHARTS TO MANAGE SIX LOCATIONS AND AN INVENTORY OF MORE THAN 30,000 ITEMS.



WHEN THE BUSINESS GROWS UP PAGE

TECHNOLOGY THE NEXT MAJOR INDUSTRY FOR EDMONTON?

RULING OUT FUN?

ARE THE NEW MORTGAGE RULES HINDERING INVESTMENT IN RECREATIONAL REAL ESTATE?

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Amplify : Reinvention

Deb Kaumeyer is innovating through tradition at 7K Ranch. See her story at atb.com/7kranch


STORY TITLE // SECTION

Supporting the visions of entrepreneurs one story at a time. Volume 5 | Number 10

REGULAR COLUMNS

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 Why Attack Private Enterprise? By Brock Harrison

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 Grill Candidates Who Knock on Your Door By Colin Craig

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CONTENTS COVER FEATURE

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Off the Charts Darcy Weiss, owner of JobSite Workwear, thinks outside of the box and off the charts to manage six locations and an inventory of more than 30,000 items. By Nerissa McNaughton

ON OUR COVER: ABOVE: DARCY WEISS, OWNER OF JOBSITE WORKWEAR. PHOTO SOURCE: EPIC PHOTOGRAPHY INC

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STORY TITLE // SECTION

Supporting the visions of entrepreneurs one story at a time. Volume 5 | Number 10

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THIS MONTH’S FEATURES

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Is 3D Technology the Next Major Industry for Edmonton? By Laura Bohnert

CONTENTS COMPANY PROFILES

53 59

H  abitat Studio Celebrates 25 Years

A  lberta Real Estate Association Celebrates 70 Years

65 71 75

6

C  arlson Construction Celebrates 90 Years

M  aple Reinders Celebrates 50 Years

A  & H Steel

Celebrates 47+ Years

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

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When the Business Grows Up

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Small Business Week: Looking Forward, Acting Now

A look at corporate business’ real estate needs as it grows from an idea to a fully matured corporation By Nerissa McNaughton

This year’s small business week looks to the future but still provides plenty of opportunity now. By Zachary Edwards

44 48

More than Just a Meal Edmonton event companies cater to changing tastes. By Ramona Korpan

Ruling Out Fun?

Are the new mortgage rules hindering investment in recreational real estate? By Laura Bohnert

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WHY ATTACK PRIVATE ENTERPRISE? // BROCK HARRISON

Why Attack Private Enterprise? BY BROCK HARRISON

B

efore Finance Minister Bill Morneau launched his broadside assault on Canadian entrepreneurialism this summer, he probably should have brushed up on his Sun Tzu. The great ancient Chinese military strategist and philosopher believed you must “know your enemy” if you are to defeat them in conflict. Whether Morneau meant to declare war or not, he certainly did so when he announced sweeping reforms to how Canadian private corporations are taxed back in July. Morneau wants to crack down on business owners paying wages or salaries to immediate family members in lower tax brackets, restrict how businesses can invest their retained income, and prevent businesses from converting earned income into lower-taxed capital gains. These exceedingly complicated reforms have ignited a firestorm that has united Canada’s business community against its government. Moodys Ganter Tax Law, for example, is fanning out across the country, hosting free information sessions about the issue. One calculation from a Toronto tax firm concluded the trio of tax changes could result in a total tax rate of 93 per cent. According to Morneau, the changes are all about “fairness” and closing “tax loopholes” for corporate citizens who aren’t “paying their fair share.” During the 2015 federal election campaign, Liberal leader, and now Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau told the CBC that most Canadian small businesses are “just ways for wealthy Canadians to save on their taxes.” This kind of tax-the-rich class warfare isn’t anything new, though its champions are usually not well-heeled urban centrists like Morneau and Trudeau, but if you’re going to go after the wealthy people, you better know who the wealthy people are.

The problem with government’s portrayal of small business owners as greedy, cuff-linked tax cheats gaming the system to squeeze out another yacht payment is that Canadians, almost intuitively, know it’s bogus. Everybody knows a small business owner. Their kids play hockey with ours. They volunteer with us. They prepare our morning coffees and fix our toilets. Some of them even sign our paychecks. With the usual exceptions, they’re decent and generous people who still sweat over the same things the rest of us ordinary employees do: mortgage payments, retirement savings, and university fees, to name a few. Yes, some of them are wealthy, but so what? Should it be government policy to punish law-abiding, job-creating entrepreneurs for the single reason that they’re financially successful? The government’s position seems to be that there’s an awful lot of money being made out there, they’re just not getting their hands on enough of it. That is what’s most appalling about this whole thing. Forget the government’s villainous characterization of ordinary entrepreneurs, it’s the fundamental worldview from which it was conceived; that hard work, ambition, personal risk, and profit are merely another revenue stream for spendhappy politicians. Morneau’s tax reforms are headed for a showdown in Parliament this fall. Conservative leader Andrew Scheer told an Alberta Enterprise Group audience in Edmonton on August 28 he would “take the fight” to the Liberals when the House reconvenes on September 18. It’s certainly a fight worth having.

BROCK HARRISON IS THE VICE PRESIDENT OF OPERATIONS FOR THE ALBERTA ENTERPRISE GROUP.

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GRILL CANDIDATES WHO KNOCK ON YOUR DOOR // COLIN CRAIG

Grill Candidates Who Knock on Your Door BY COLIN CRAIG

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s we get closer to Edmonton’s municipal election, don’t be surprised if a candidate asks your business to make a donation to their campaign or pops by your house to ask for your vote. With that in mind, have you thought about what you might ask a candidate if they seek your support? Here are a few questions you might want to consider. Let’s start with everyone’s favourite subject: property taxes. Since the recession took hold in 2015, many businesses and families in Edmonton have felt the pinch; through job losses, a drop in sales and other challenges. Edmonton hasn’t been impacted as hard as Calgary, but some observers fear Alberta’s capital could feel additional pain in the near future as construction activity slows down. If an incumbent councillor asks for your support, why not ask about their track record when it comes to voting on tax increases over the past few years? Have they voted for tax increases above the rate of inflation? Or have they been fighting to curtail spending to keep tax increases to a minimum? For both incumbents and new candidates, you could ask if they would commit to keeping any future property tax increases at or below the rate of inflation. You could also probe their thoughts on the city’s finances overall. Do they think the city needs more taxing powers? Or do they understand city hall still has lots of room for improvement? Speaking of the expenditure side of the ledger, a good question to ask candidates is: would you vote to reduce city salaries by five or 10 per cent? If he or she balks at the idea that’s a good indication they’re just not ready to make difficult decisions.

Since the recession gripped Alberta, lots of people in the city’s business sector have been laid off or received pay reductions. So far, city employees have been immune from such difficult decisions. Taxpayers would be wise to elect a council that has the fortitude to require city employees to tighten their belts as well. Another problem that needs to be addressed are the city’s golden pension plans. In short, the city’s defined benefit pension plans are hardly fair for taxpayers; they’re costly, they put tremendous risk on taxpayers and the plans are far too generous. Will the candidate you come into contact with commit to putting new employees into a far less costly pension plan (defined contribution)? To understand why tackling this is a crucial activity, note that labour costs represented 54 per cent of the city’s expenses in 2016. Thus, it’s a spending category that’s too large to ignore. Perhaps you might also consider asking local candidates if they would contract out city services to local businesses in order to reduce costs. For example, if a lawn-care company could cut the grass in your local park for a lower cost, why not hire them to do the work? Finally, you could also ask local candidates about priority setting. Do they consider funding activities like public art a priority? Or would they behave like most households and halt such spending, instead focusing on true priorities while times are tough? Those are just a few questions to consider asking local candidates this fall. Let the grilling begin!

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

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The Singhmar Centre for Learning Opens Since site preparation began in 2015, the Capital region has eagerly been awaiting the completion of NorQuest’s Singhmar Centre for Learning. As of August, the Centre opened and students began to enjoy the new space and its many amenities. The Singhmar Centre for Learning houses a learner centre that spans majority of the second floor. It includes a testing and assessment space, library, disability services, an underground parkade and more. The Centre also features 24 classrooms and 26 laboratories, an Indigenous student centre, Centre for Growth and Harmony, a cafeteria, and bookstore. Food services, scheduled to open during fall, include Subway, Tim Hortons and Pizza 73. Also expected to open later this year is the 1000 Women Child Care Centre. The facility has plans to become LEED Silver Certified. The Centre received its official name back in 2014, when it received a very generous donation from Dr. Prem Singhmar and Dr. Saroj Singhmar. ”This generous gift from one of the community’s most prominent and influential families will leave a lasting legacy for students, our city, and our province,” said Dr. Jodi Abbott, NorQuest College’s president and CEO. “Today is a very special day for me, my wife Saroj, and the Singhmar family,” Dr. Prem Singhmar said at the gift announcement. “My family’s decision to support NorQuest College is rooted in a shared vision—a vision of growth and opportunity for all Albertans.” Doctors Prem and Saroj Singhmar arrived in Alberta from India in 1985. After purchasing a chicken farm, they soon branched out and diversified their interests among a daycare, gas stations, residential home construction and more. The Singhmars have several successful commercial and hotel properties, and they ABOVE: LEARNER CENTRE AT THE SINGHMAR CENTRE FOR LEARNING AND THE ATRIUM ENTRANCE AT THE SINGHMAR CENTRE FOR LEARNING. PHOTO SOURCE: NORQUEST COLLEGE

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are well known in Edmonton as philanthropists who have made generous contributions to many of the city’s learning, arts and youth-focused institutions. Dr. Prem Singhmar is a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal in recognition of his community-building work. The Government of Alberta had also committed to a $170 million grant for the Centre, and additional funds were raised by NorQuest College through Maximizing Opportunities: The NorQuest Campaign. Led by Dr. Jodi Abbott, who works tirelessly to ensure students have the access and the facilities they need to receive the leadingedge education that will prepare them for the many challenges of the workforce, NorQuest College services approximately 15,850 part-time, full-time and continuing education students per year. The post-secondary institution is known for its diversity – 50 per cent of the students are born outside of Canada, and 70 first languages are spoken on campus. To learn more about the Singhmar Centre for Learning, or for more information about NorQuest College, visit norquest.ca/ singhmarcentre.aspx and norquest. ca. An onsite gallery provides renderings of the new facility. You can also receive updates about the Centre and the school on Facebook by following @NorquestCollege.

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OFF

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Keller Construction Ltd. Partners with Gray Construction Canada Company for Champion Petfoods’ new NorthStar® Kitchens Champion Petfoods’ new state-of-theart NorthStar® Kitchens is the pet food company’s latest (under construction) facility in Acheson Industrial Park. It will be designed and built under a partnership between Gray Construction Canada Company and Keller Construction Ltd. Keller Construction Ltd. launched in Calgary, Alberta in 1962. An Edmonton office followed in 1967, and by 1968, all operations were moved to the Capital City to provide a central office for all of Keller’s Western Canadian operations. An office was re-established in Calgary in 1996 to accommodate the growing demands of the Southern Alberta market. “To be associated with such a great building partner in Gray Construction Canada Company is very exciting for me and for our entire team at Keller. We are a better company because of this association,” said John Cameron, president and CEO of Keller. “From day one it was clear that our companies’ values aligned, most importantly, on safety.” Gray Construction Canada Company is part of Gray Construction. For nearly 60 years, Gray has provided engineering, architecture and construction services for the manufacturing, food and beverage facility design, and construction sectors. “Keller’s president and CEO said it well when he pointed out how both our companies align in values with Champion, and together, we have a strong team dedicated toward a successful project,” said Stephen Gray, president and CEO of Gray Construction Canada. Champion Petfoods is an independent Canadian pet food maker that has been dedicated to innovation and

leadership in the pet food market for more than three decades. According to Champion, its brands follow the natural evolutionary diets of felines and canines; Champion believes these pets should be “nourished according to their evolutionary adaptation and thrive on diets that contain fresh and diverse meat ingredients.” As such, the ingredients for the “ACANA and ORIJEN diets are packed with highquality animal protein, a nutritionally balanced fatty acid profile, minimal (and low-glycemic) carbohydrates, and naturally sourced vitamins and minerals that will nourish your dog and cat just as nature intended.” The pet foods are prepared in the company’s own high-tech kitchens. The new 400,000 square foot NorthStar Kitchens facility is expected to open in 2019, and it will continue to advance Champion Petfoods’ global commitment to its Biologically Appropriate™ and award-winning pet foods. The facility will also serve as an export hub, distribution centre and logistics facility for Champion as it continues to provide its ACANA and ORIJEN brands to more than 80 countries. Champion Petfoods is proud of its commitment to building strong communities, and as such, the company will continue to build local partnerships. More than 95 per cent of the construction workforce for the Acheson facility will be from Alberta. Upon completion, and when at full capacity, the Kitchens are expected to create about 200 local jobs. To learn more about Champion Petfoods, Keller Construction Ltd. and Gray Construction Canada Company, visit: www. championpetfoods.com, keller.ab.ca and www.gray.com.

ABOVE: FRANK BURDZY, CEO OF CHAMPION PETFOODS. PHOTO SOURCE: EPIC PHOTOGRAPHY INC.

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IS 3D TECHNOLOGY THE NEXT MAJOR INDUSTRY FOR EDMONTON? // BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY

IS 3D TECHNOLOGY THE NEXT MAJOR INDUSTRY FOR EDMONTON? BY LAURA BOHNERT

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t’s no secret that energy is Alberta’s economy-driving industry, but as the dust settles on the latest recession and the energy industry begins to build itself back up, another industry is showing its economy-building potential in Edmonton: 3D technology. “The applications are endless, explains Kevin McTavish, VP of manufacturing, Drader Manufacturing Industries, Ltd. “3D printing allows a design concept to be realized in a very short period of time. Companies can look at their idea in a solid form without committing capital into production molds and equipment. We have produced parts in dozens of different industries for many companies across the country. We use 3D technology to quickly assure our customers

that a design is robust and worthy of the risk for product development and production. We use 3D printing in-house to create parts and components that are not readily available off the shelf, saving resources and time.” “It really depends on the end goal of the product or part one is looking to make,” continues McTavish. “If you want to mass produce a part and use 3D tech to prove a concept, then several factors must be considered. If you want to create a ‘one-off,’ then design, print, and go. Either way, 3D tech is a fantastic tool to meet these goals. The technology is open source, so it can be very inexpensive to get started.” It is innovative technology that enables manufacturing processes to operate more efficiently for companies,

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

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IS 3D TECHNOLOGY THE NEXT MAJOR INDUSTRY FOR EDMONTON? // BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY

“WE DEVELOPED A PRODUCT TO REDUCE THE RISK OF MEDICAL LINE ENTANGLEMENT IN RESPONSE TO THE 2001 DEATH OF A 10-MONTH-OLD INFANT IN AN EDMONTON HOSPITAL. WE HAVE REDESIGNED THE PRODUCT IN CONJUNCTION WITH FRONT LINE PEDIATRIC NURSES TO BETTER ACCOMMODATE TODAY’S NEEDS.” ~ FRED ESTLIN

and that, McTavish explains, carries benefits, including “improved resource allocation, time and money savings in product development, and business diversification.” “Whether you are outsourcing the technology or buying equipment for DIY, do your due diligence,” McTavish stresses. “You get what you pay for. You can use 3D technology at the local library for free, or you can approach a company, such as Drader, that has plastic part designers and engineers. The results will be drastically different.” Bryce Borgel, principal and lead designer, Titan Innovative Designs, agrees that 3D technology has numerous benefits, but he is also noticing a big difference when it comes to the way 3D technologies are interacting with the design industry. “The world of 3D is completely changing the way we can design, manufacture, and develop products,” Borgel explains. “A 3D object now holds so much information. As a designer, if you design a 3D product on your computer, you will reference that one object in a multitude of scenarios. A simple 3D object contains: physical dimensions, material specifications, shape, and profile. That information can be used for 3D printing and prototyping; 3D analysis (engineering and stress analysis, applying gravity and weight loads, and analyzing reactions); manufacturing purposes with machine shops, fabricators, sheet metal, etc.; and it can be used for marketing, applying finishes, colours, materials, reflections, backgrounds, and scenes (perfect parts)—all of this from a ‘simple’ 3D file that you spent some hours creating.” Borgel observes, “In our current economy, 3D tech is helping companies diversify and pivot a lot easier, whether you find your niche in 3D scanning, printing, or design. This helps

shape an ever-growing culture of people pushing the limits of the tech beyond its capabilities.” “High school students are now doing what we could have only dreamed of 20 years ago,” he laughs. 3D technology is already being used in a multitude of industries in Edmonton. Fred Estlin is the general manager of Ivy Devices Inc., one Grande Prairie-based company that has benefited from the 3D technology offered by Titan Innovative Designs. “We developed a product to reduce the risk of medical line entanglement in response to the 2001 death of a 10-monthold infant in an Edmonton hospital,” Estlin explains. “We have redesigned the product in conjunction with front line pediatric nurses to better accommodate today’s needs.” “I contacted Bryce after a web search for 3D printing,” he continues. “I won the lotto on that one. Not only did I get 3D, but I also got a highly creative guy on the design side.” The team-up was a successful one. Six prototypes later, Estlin was looking at a new product that could meet today’s demands—without blowing the budget. “Six evolving prototypes done by 3D have saved us many, many thousands of dollars, and the months of trial and error that would have been involved if we had to build plastic injection molds to test the product,” Estlin says. “For prototyping, you can’t beat 3D technologies, and the day is coming when waiting for parts to come will be a thing of the past”—and that will apply to numerous industries, Estlin predicts.

ABOVE: FRED ESTLIN, THE GENERAL MANAGER OF IVY DEVICES INC.

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// BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY

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Kelly John Rose, CEO of Panda Rose Consulting Studios, Inc., agrees on the potential of 3D technology—but with one distinct difference: “The technology is not coming; it is here.” “All we need is for people to take the time to invest and use it,” says Rose. “This will change how we all do business in the next 20 years.” Rose explains, “3D technology, both virtual reality and 3D printing, will become society changing technologies as they mature. Whereas 2D technologies, like computer displays and the printing press, changed how we interacted with information, 3D technology changes how we will see and interact with the world. “We can create complex worlds to immerse ourselves with no concern for cost or safety. With VR (virtual reality), I can experience my day in a café in Paris with a laptop. After work, I can sit down with a friend and defuse a virtual bomb for fun. I can train my staff on a dangerous task by having them practice first in a virtual world before real lives and assets are at risk. “This is where the opportunities really lie. Right now, the Oculus and other VR stores are in their infancy, like the App Store was in 2008 and 2009. There are so many new users onboarding, and there is so much virgin territory in which companies can build new and useful apps—the companies that get it together now will have a ground floor position in a strong upcoming economy,” Rose predicts. “With 3D printing it is similar,” he continues. “The tech is getting cheaper and cheaper, and the opportunity to provide services that simply did not exist before in history is opening full new markets. An oil well with a 3D printer can print any part it needs rather than having to pay for a hot shot delivery. A small 3D printing company in a more rural community can provide custom parts for the locals, saving them money and time on their projects. “While 3D printing has been around since the ’80s, until recently the machines were expensive, big, slow, and printed plastic only. Now, 3D printers are affordable, they print in a variety of materials, like wood, plastic, and metal; and they are getting faster every year. Everything from cookie cutters to jet engines are printed with 3D printers. “Full manufacturing facilities are being set up worldwide, which print pretty much anything on demand. Even the space station has an active 3D printer they use to create the custom parts they need as they need them.” Rose concludes, “Edmonton has a unique possibility to take strong advantage of this technology. We are a working, industrious city. We don’t want to work with new technology if it doesn’t push us forward; we want to work with it if it makes our jobs and lives easier. I believe that, with the proper training, we could become a hub for manufacturing around 3D printing, and a center for virtual reality development.

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

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OFF THE CHARTS // COVER

Off the Charts

DARCY WEISS, OWNER OF JOBSITE WORKWEAR, THINKS OUTSIDE OF THE BOX AND OFF THE CHARTS TO MANAGE SIX LOCATIONS AND AN INVENTORY OF MORE THAN 30,000 ITEMS.

BY NERISSA MCNAUGHTON

I

n his late teens and early 20s, Darcy Weiss wasn’t imagining himself as the owner of a prestigious workwear company with six locations in Alberta. He was thinking about how to pay his bills.

The expansion took place very quickly. The chain expanded to six stores between 2004 – 2006, and although Weiss had business partners at the outset, by 2007, he was the company’s sole owner.

“I lived on my own since I was 18, when my parents moved away for a job,” he reminisces. “I started working for PCL Construction as an apprentice carpenter, but in the ’80s, there wasn’t an abundance of work. One was lucky to find work six months out of the year.”

“If you had asked me if I would be running a chain of workwear stores 15 years ago, I would have told you that you were crazy!” laughs Weiss, “But when you look at the direction of my career, it rounded out my resume to give me the tools to run this company successfully. It’s like it was meant to be. JobSite Workwear was built around assisting Alberta’s workers by providing tough, durable, comfortable, and safe workwear products. We are known for carrying quality, brand name products and providing knowledgeable service that makes our customer’s lives more comfortable and safe while on the job.”

This lack of steady work factored in his decision to go back to school. Weiss chose business courses at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) and from there, he re-entered the working world as a bank employee. “I worked my way up, became a bank manager, and spent 10 years with Canada Trust,” Weiss says. “After that I worked for an HVAC rep agency for five years, but left to follow what I felt was my true calling: owning my own business.” The entrepreneur started small, with the procurement and retail of fire retardant coveralls, but he soon caught the attention of workwear giant Carhartt, and the relationship evolved into the launch of his first store in 2004. The rest, as they say, is history.

It’s not easy. From growing and dissolving partnerships, to managing staff, to overseeing an inventory of 30,000+ items across multiple stores servicing multiple regions, Weiss and his team work hard every hour of every day. However, he has the determination and drive to succeed, and he credits a unique feature: his passion for hard work. When asked what most people don’t know about him, Weiss responds with “Probably that I’ve been blind in my

ABOVE: DARCY WEISS, OWNER OF JOBSITE WORKWEAR. PHOTO SOURCE: EPIC PHOTOGRAPHY INC

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OFF THE CHARTS // COVER

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OFF THE CHARTS // COVER

left eye since birth. Due to a rare birth defect, my eye was removed and I have an artificial one. I think naturally at first, I felt sorry for myself, but I’m not a fan of the ‘poor me’ space people tend to live in. So, I decided to do what I want, when I want. I was active in my youth and I continue to play hockey and golf while also continuing to do all kinds of sports and activities. With a lack of depth perception, I have to work a lot harder to be good at some things, but that’s okay. Maybe having one eye and having to work hard in life is why working so hard on my business is not a problem for me.” He likens his work to being the conductor of an orchestra. “It takes all these interesting people to make the business successful,” Weiss points out, thinking of his sales teams, staff, clients, and vendors. “I’m the conductor, but the orchestra isn’t any good without all the people playing their parts. The foundation of a good business is to surround yourself with people that have better skills than you in certain areas, and it takes confidence to hire people with better skills than yours!” “One thing we are really good at is reviewing and analyzing data. We have an excellent computer system that tracks everything. I can tell you on any given day what we sold in a specific product and in what colour or size. “ “We use history as part of the process, and we use an economic analysis of where the economy is going, what we think the weather is going to do, and what is going to happen based on a barrel of oil. All those things come into play to determine whether we are going to sell more or less of something in a year. Quite often in our analysis we are right, but sometimes we are wrong! After 13 years, though, we have a good handle on it.” Weiss and his team don’t just look to the past to inform their choices of what to sell; they look to the future too, regularly working with their suppliers on products one or two years away from production. “Today we are seeing technology-based products taking over the industry,” he says. “There is a younger demographic working in the field that demands the same features, benefits, and performance they can get in their outdoor gear and

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sportswear. For our industry, that’s been a slow transition. After all, workwear has not changed much in a long time. A coverall has been a coverall since my father and grandfather were working, but things are changing. Timberland Pro has been the biggest leader in work boot technology in the last 10 years, and Carhartt has added the new Force Extremes™ 37.5 system, which is all about temperature regulation; it creates a microclimate that can warm or cool you, and it dries five times faster than normal fabric. “The technology crossing over to workwear means our customers can have high-end performance in the gear they spend the majority of their time in. When we’re choosing products for the store or working with a supplier on a new line, we’re always conscious about how customers spend time in their work gear.” Born and raised in the Capital City, Weiss is happy to headquarter in Edmonton and provide top quality workwear in Alberta. “Personally, I love Edmonton and Alberta. I’m proud of this place. It’s given me everything: my best friends, my life, my company – I owe everything to this city and its people. I’m very fortunate to be supported by everyone here on all kinds of levels, from customers shopping in my store to the help I receive from other entrepreneurs and mentors. This community is, overall, pretty amazing. It’s hard to sum it up. I think you have to live here to get it, but,” he pauses to laugh, “You do have to get used to the weather. I think that’s what makes us who we are, too. The weather.” Weiss reflects on what it’s like to be an entrepreneur in Edmonton. “I liken it to that old analogy: ‘being an entrepreneur is like jumping off a cliff and building a plane on the way down.’ For me, it was like jumping off a cliff, but I like to think I had the parts for the plane in my hands before I jumped! “I’ve learned not to get too high in the highs and too low in the lows. It will kick your butt mentally if you run up and down all the time. Successful entrepreneurs have the ability to float in the middle. “As for leadership, that comes in many forms, such as leading by example in direct tasks, from helping a customer,


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OFF THE CHARTS // COVER

to mopping the floor, to cleaning the bathroom. As entrepreneurs, you have to wear many hats. Sometimes I’m the courier. Sometimes I’m in clean up. Sometimes I’m the shipper and receiver.

the analysis and risks time, energy, money, and reputation. Again it’s like playing poker. A real entrepreneur knows when to go all in…for the most part. Maybe we are all just adrenaline junkies!”

“Entrepreneurs have to be confident. You have a lot of decisions to make. The buck stops at you all the time and you have to be prepared to make hard decisions. Like a poker game, but your chips are always all in on every hand. You need good gut instincts, confidence, and intuition.

Of course, there is always a fine line that divides the work/ life balance that must be considered, too, but Weiss is on it.

“Taking chances is what separates an entrepreneur from a dreamer. Lots of people have great ideas and dreams. The entrepreneur writes the cheque. A true entrepreneur does

“I have a very good mentor named Roger who would talk to me a lot about work/life balance. As a very successful businessman with four children, he showed me the way on that. I’m a big believer in work/life balance. You can’t be effective working all the time. You need breaks, mentally, physically, and spiritually. Take yourself away from the office.

ABOVE: DARCY WEISS, OWNER OF JOBSITE WORKWEAR. PHOTO SOURCE: EPIC PHOTOGRAPHY INC

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OFF THE CHARTS // COVER

Getting away and spending real time out of the office makes you better when you return.

career, Liam wants, and plans, to continue working alongside his father.

“I’ve been a single dad for most of the life of my company; two thumbs up to all the hard working parents out there! You have no choice but to find balance between work and family. I instill that in my staff. Family is incredibly important.”

“I look forward to him working here,” smiles Weiss.

Giving back is also important for Weiss and for JobSite Workwear. In addition to supporting numerous charities and non-profit organizations over the years, the team has recently been involved with Wellspring Edmonton, and the company supports the causes that have meaning to the staff. “My staff,” Weiss is fast to point to them when asked about the success of JobSite Workwear. “Without them, we wouldn’t have a company. “This company is run by three people in the head office. Marc is my right hand man and I’m very fortunate to have him here. Marnie makes sure everything and everyone is paid and up to date. Every successful company needs a good accounting department. “I also believe every business owner needs a very good lawyer, and I have the best in Mark Keohane, who is the smartest and coolest lawyer around. There is also my friend and mentor Rodger Ayotte. Surrounding yourself and the business with the right people is so important. Without these people, I may not own my company today. I owe them an incredible debt of gratitude for everything they have done for me, my company, and my family.” He’s also incredibly thankful for the presence, and support, of his son Liam. “Thank you, Liam, for putting up with me,” he smiles softly. “For allowing me to make mistakes and for reminding me every day why I do what I do.” Liam works at JobSite Workwear part time while following in his father’s footsteps by taking the business program at NAIT, and although Weiss made it clear that his son did not have to enter the business if he had designs on a different

Together, father, son, and an incredible team of administrators and staff will take JobSite Workwear into the future. “The future,” muses Weiss. “There are a lot variables that go into thinking about that. Do we have the strength and ability to last? Do we grow? How do we grow? Is that a profitable decision? Do we have the right people? We want to grow and be successful and be here for the long haul. In today’s changing world of retail, from bricks and mortar stores to online sales, what does that look like? We’ve seen an incredible change in consumers’ ability to find products outside of walking into a store. We are learning, adapting, and changing all the time to be successful. We are growing, but maybe in today’s world, our growth won’t be defined by the number of locations we have.” With 13 years, six stores, a great team, the next generation on board, and manufactures calling because they want to place their products with one of the most successful workwear retailers in Alberta, Weiss looks back with no regrets. “You have an idea and you build it,” he concludes. “People come and they accept it, and it’s successful but it started as an idea and a dream. A lot of people don’t get past the dream part. I’m fortunate I did, and this far down the line it’s all turning out. “It’s certainly humbling to think about all the people that are out there working every day that are our customers, and that trust us for their work and safety apparel needs. That’s a big driver for us. We strive for every hardworking Albertan that needs our products, and we know we’ve done our best to put them in the products that will help to keep them comfortable and safe. “To our current and future customers, our supporters, the city, and the province, it’s my pleasure to say, welcome to JobSite Workwear.”

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WHEN THE BUSINESS GROWS UP // REAL ESTATE

WHEN THE BUSINESS

Grows Up

A LOOK AT CORPORATE BUSINESS’ REAL ESTATE NEEDS AS IT GROWS FROM AN IDEA TO A FULLY MATURED CORPORATION

BY NERISSA MCNAUGHTON

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aking a business from an idea to a thriving corporation is exciting and rewarding, but not easy. In addition to the issues that must be balanced every day, the company’s home evolves as well. Today, a commercial real estate expert, an insurance professional and a very successful local company weigh in on what happens in the real estate world as your business grows up. NAI Commercial is a full service commercial real estate brokerage in Edmonton, and a member office of NAI Global with more the 400 offices worldwide. Chad Snow, president and broker, says, “When an entrepreneur is ready to step into a commercial lease, their budget and the length of commitment is top of mind. Going from a mobile office or home to a fixed commercial space is typically based on growing needs, such as employees collaborating together, or client meetings. “For an office-based business, the location can vary from strictly function and budget focused, or it can

include marketing-based decisions, such as projecting professionalism or attracting staff. “The type of staff you employ or the clients you have coming to the location can play a big role, too. Is access to mass transit important? Is ease of parking or access to elevators a must? A discussion of your business needs with a commercial broker will quickly clear up what type of property you should consider.” A choice must also be made between owing and leasing. “There are many benefits to both leasing and buying, dependant on the business circumstance,” Snow notes. “Once a business is stable and not likely to grow erratically for the foreseeable future, buying can typically provide the most benefit. However, sometimes the right location is not available for sale and the right decision is lease-based. Alternatively, a newer business may use too much of its capital buying and improving a building rather than keeping that capital invested in the business itself.

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A Second Life for Edmonton Communities

Some of Edmonton’s mature neighbourhoods are going through a rebirth in popularity As Edmonton continues to grow in virtually every direction, there is a focus on repurposing space in existing older neighbourhoods. While some independent infill projects seem out of place or ill conceived, one developer is promoting a logical, sustainable plan with a focus on the individual community and the bigger picture. “Neighbourhoods like Westmount and Hazeldean were built about 60 years ago,” says Greg Christenson, owner and President of Christenson Developments. “Now, the people who built these communities and made them what they are today are retiring. It’s no surprise they want to retire in the area they’ve lived in all their lives.” Today’s generation of retirees is different from generations that preceded them. They’ve truly embraced the benefits of exercise, eating well and staying active, both mentally and physically. As they leave the family home, they’re looking for a social community with lots of opportunity to engage new friends, explore walking trails, shop or try a new restaurant.

“These people have really embraced the urban village concept which we pioneered here in Edmonton with Railtown,” adds Christenson. “The urban village promotes the idea of walkability in communities, and has become popular with adults of all ages. It’s not just exercise; it’s a chance to meet your neighbours, connect and rebuild that spirit of community.” An active urban village will often be the impetus that starts the rebirth of a mature neighbourhood. A concentration of people, such as a luxury retirement living complex, provides support for local amenities. Flourishing amenities make the neighbourhood more attractive to young families who move in and support shops and schools.

With experience, comes innovation Southwoods Court North is the first of five buildings that will reside in the heart of Southwoods Village, a family friendly, affordable living project. The nursing and support staff who work in the retirement community can find affordable housing in the surrounding village, and this benefits everyone involved. Living close to their job, workers have virtually no commute time. Staff members enjoy affordable living in a popular community close to schools, shops and emerging restaurants and evening spots. Contented workers mean low turnover, which is beneficial for seniors who are not comfortable with change.

The key to the success of an urban village is that it promotes a sense of community. People become invested in the area they live in and they support the local merchants who share the community with them. With Southwoods, Christenson Developments has added a new component to the urban village by taking an energy management approach. The first building in the luxury retirement complex is outfitted with a geothermal heating system and cogeneration unit, which allows the facility to create their own power off grid. This investment is a pilot project on alternative energy and energy management.

“Affordability is more than just a housing cost,” explains Christenson. “Increasingly, three of the major costs of affordability are housing, utilities and transportation. By incorporating Southwoods Court North within the existing Southwoods Village, we have created an urban village that addresses all of those issues.” Most of the surrounding community of Hazeldean is comprised of single-family homes, and the Christenson Group of Companies believes that the selective integration of seniors’ housing is a creative and effective way to protect and renovate the existing stock of infill housing. It helps keep schools open and gives seniors the option of staying in the neighborhood they love. With the Village At Westmount tower, currently under construction, Christenson believes it will positively impact Westmount, and the surrounding communities of Woodcroft, Dovercourt and Sherbrooke. The bold, modern tower will make a statement that the popular west end communities are active and prosperous.

The urban village of tomorrow “The idea is to advance the science of urban villages and do feasibility studies in brown- and greenfield markets,” says Christenson. Through his charitable foundation, Greg Christenson is creating an endowment professorship - The Christenson Professorship For Sustainable Healthy Communities. This initiative, undertaken with the University of Alberta Faculty of Engineering, will be dedicated to the research of this kind of community development. “This is the time for our industry to move from doing transactional work to doing transformative work,” says Christenson. “I believe our models for urban villages, with the simple concepts of walkability and building communities, will continue to rejuvenate neighborhoods in our city for decades to come”


Help people connect and great things happen At Christenson Developments, we’re building active, socially connected, luxury retirement communities. Our innovative urban villages provide space for people of all ages to walk or visit with neighbours near local shops & services. Buildings feature bold ideas to reduce your future costs, onsite supportive services, including Life Lease and optional meals, all designed to attract people and business - infusing new life back into mature neighbourhoods.

Visit our Sales Centres or attend our weekly Information Seminars.

Open Now

VILLAGE AT HAZELDEAN

Southwoods Court North in Edmonton Ph: (780) 975-2509 | 9430-67 Avenue NW, Edmonton, AB

Opening in 2018 The Village at Westmount in Edmonton Ph: (780) 452-2030 | Sales Office in Westmount Shopping Centre, next to Smitty’s, Edmonton, AB

Learn more at cdlhomes.com


WHEN THE BUSINESS GROWS UP // REAL ESTATE

“AN ESTABLISHED BUSINESS CAN START CONSIDERING LONG-TERM DECISIONS AND THE EFFECT ON THE VALUE OF THEIR REAL ESTATE. WHAT IS THE TREND IN RATES? SHOULD I BE LOCKING IN LONG-TERM NOW AND TAKE ADVANTAGE OF LOWER RATES OVER A LONGER PERIOD OF TIME, SIMILAR TO LOCKING IN A MORTGAGE RATE?” ~ CHAD SNOW

“Rental rates vary greatly from property to property, given their features and the total supply in the market. Rents can range currently from second floor walk-up office buildings in semi-industrial areas in the $14-$16/square foot allinclusive range, to a brand new office with grand views in the downtown core, underground heated parking and high speed elevators with rates in the $40-$50/square foot all-inclusive range. What rate is reasonable is based on the perspective of what the space provides for that business.” Once a company has been successful in business for a number of years, it’s time to start thinking long-term, in terms of real estate. “An established business can start considering longterm decisions and the effect on the value of their real estate,” says Snow. “What is the trend in rates? Should I be locking in long-term now and take advantage of lower rates over a longer period of time, similar to locking in a mortgage rate? Should I make the move to owning as I now have the ability to buy the right sized property? Many business owners do well in their retirement from the real estate assets they built through their businesses’ operations. Ultimately, the discussion with a commercial broker can unlock these long-term goals and how best to maximize the value of their real estate.” With each move, a growing business must consider how to protect the company’s home, as Rob George, vice president commercial sales, Drayden Insurance Ltd., explains. “The biggest difference from leased space versus owned space is the requirement to insure the physical building you occupy, but general liability is always required, regardless of the size,

location or operations of the business; it provides bodily injury and property damage coverage to a third party in the event you are deemed to be negligent from an insured peril.” Are property and contents insurance policies mandatory? “No,” answers George. “Typically, a lease agreement or contract will require a certain level of general liability coverage, but will not have a property requirement. The property coverage may depend on your own risk tolerance and your exposures.” Regardless of the company’s size, some key coverages should be in place. “Liability insurance, property coverage (includes building, equipment, stock and tenant’s improvements if leased), business interruption and crime coverage are the components you should have on your commercial insurance policy,” notes George. “Other coverages, such as sewer backup and flooding, are also increasingly important. “One of the biggest areas of concern is often the limits of insurance that a company carries. For example, $20,000 in property coverage may have been adequate when the business first started, but since then, the business has expanded, bought new equipment, increased stock, etc., but it hasn’t reviewed the property limit to ensure they are adequately covered. “As businesses grow, our brokers do on-site visits to review the growing company’s needs to educate and ensure we are reviewing all possible exposures. It is very rewarding to see some of our clients grow from a start-up business to a large scale operation.”

ABOVE: CHAD SNOW, NAI COMMERCIAL, PRESIDENT AND BROKER.

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Buying and Selling: Why a REALTOR is Your Best Bet

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hether you’re buying or selling a house, the final step in the process always comes down to negotiating. There’s always give and take, and each side wants to feel like they got the best deal, which means it’s often a complex matter to navigate. One important factor to consider is the market. There are three kinds of markets: a buyers’ market, sellers’ market or a balanced market. That, combined with whether you are buying or selling, will determine your strategy and power in the negotiation. Currently, Edmonton is in a fairly-balanced market, with lots of inventory for buyers to choose from and stable prices, so sellers get strong market value for their properties. When it comes to negotiating, there is a fine balance of compromise. Buying and selling a home is a very personal and emotional experience for many reasons. It can be off-putting to sellers if buyers start with a low-ball offer, especially if it doesn’t also align with the market, the value of the home, how long the property has been on the market, etc. As much as buyers should have reasonable expectations, the sellers must also try to be open minded when they receive an offer. You are more likely to emerge from the process with a signed deal if you compromise on the aspects of the offer that aren’t that important to you, and instead focus on your deal breakers. Trust in your REALTOR®, who will help remind you of the big picture and keep you on track. The deal isn’t done until the day the property changes hands. Once an offer has been accepted, there is typically a

A special place together.

James Mabey, Chair, REALTORS® Association of Edmonton

period where the buyers have to be able to meet their conditions. If unknown issues come up in an inspection, condo document review, or something complicates the buyers’ financing, sometimes you end up back at the negotiating table. If all goes well and the conditions are removed, you can expect to see that red SOLD sign going up on the front lawn. Now it’s time to pack! Ultimately, your REALTOR® is your confidential advisor through this entire process. Ask lots of questions and take their advice in to consideration. After all, this is their job and area of expertise. It’s their responsibility to represent your best interests every step of the way. Your success is their success.

An exciting new addition.

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


WHEN THE BUSINESS GROWS UP // REAL ESTATE

“IT DEPENDS ON YOUR SUSTAINABILITY PLAN AND CONTINUED BUSINESS GOALS. PERFECT TIMING IS IF THE PROPOSED AND PLANNED SALES PAIRED WITH PROFIT IS ON TRACK. WHAT WE CAN SAY IN HINDSIGHT IS THAT YOU CANNOT PREDICT THE FUTURE; HOWEVER, YOU CAN MAKE THE BEST DECISIONS WORKING THE MATH AND EVALUATING YOUR CURRENT SPACE TO SEE IF IT MEETS YOUR NEEDS.” ~ JEANETTE AND BERT DEBRUIN

AltaPro, an Edmonton success story and a leader in the electrical design-build industry, has experienced every stage of growth, from a home-run business to a large, thriving corporation. “We started with renting a unit to store materials and an office at home,” say company co-founders Bert and Jeanette DeBruin. “Then when we outgrew that and signed our first lease in the west end, which was 950 square feet.” From there, growth was steady. AltaPro grew from 950 square feet and a handful of staff and contractors to their fourth (and current) 12,500 square foot location that includes a yard, houses a staff of 118 and up to 20 general contractors – all within 15 years. “What drove the need for larger spaces was more office space as we added estimators and a project manager,” say the DeBruins. “As we moved to bulk buying materials to save on costs, we also needed more storage. The changes included larger overhead costs that were directly related to growing the business, but the increased sales easily handled these extra costs. “There was also a need for indoor warehouse space to assemble project materials and keep the materials secure and away from the extreme winter temperatures. As we grew, we also needed more yard space to park and store lifts, larger tools, small equipment, excavation equipment and extra vehicles. “Our maintenance department was growing fast, which created additional office positions, requiring more and more

desk space. As sales continued to rise, so did the need for a project manager and additional estimators.” For Alta Pro, knowing when to make a move was always part of the management strategy. “It depends on your sustainability plan and continued business goals,” say the DeBruins. “Perfect timing is if the proposed and planned sales paired with profit is on track. What we can say in hindsight is that you cannot predict the future; however, you can make the best decisions working the math and evaluating your current space to see if it meets your needs. Your relationship with your landlord is important, as it with other tenants.” What is DeBruins’ advice for other entrepreneurs wondering if now is the right time to make a move? “Produce a spread sheet of the pros and cons and assign dollar values. Be very realistic. Realize there are many costs to moving, from changing stationary to new phone systems, to new office furniture, to all the other obvious costs. It is a big deal to move, so really make sure you ask yourself: ‘Can I afford this or will I scrape by? Can my current landlord make any changes so I can be more content within my current space? Is it a need or a want?’ Make sure you know what the estimated property tax bill has been for the last couple of years and ask about typical occupancy costs in the area.” They close with advice that is prudent for all aspects of business ownership, especially when it comes to commercial real estate: “Be prepared for the risk.”

ABOVE: JEANETTE AND BERT DEBRUIN OF ALTAPRO. PHOTO SOURCE: EPIC PHOTOGRAPHY INC.

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2017 Board of Directors Executive

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

Directors

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

Chamber Executive

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

Contact

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

Aurora Cannabis forges ahead in emerging legal cannabis industry: Q&A with Aurora President & Founder, Terry Booth In this second of a series of articles on innovation and economic diversification in the Edmonton region, we spoke to Terry Booth, President & Founder of Aurora Cannabis Inc., about the opportunities and key challenges that lie ahead for this emerging industry, both for Aurora and the many entrepreneurs across Canada poised to enter this enormous growth market.

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ith recreational cannabis usage set to be legalized in Canada as of July 2018, the opportunities are immense in both the recreational and medical cannabis markets, and Alberta-based Aurora is already well positioned to dominate the marketplace. The driving force behind both Aurora Cannabis and Aurora Sky, the world class, 800,000 square foot (75,000 square metre) production and processing plant adjacent to the Edmonton International Airport, is Aurora President & Founder Terry Booth. Here are the highlights of our conversation with Booth, held in advance of his keynote speech at the Opportunities North conference in September 2017. According to a national survey/report by Deloitte titled: Recreational Marijuana: Insights and Opportunities, Canada’s legal marijuana sector is projected to grow into a $22.6 billion industry, with the base retail market alone worth between $4.9 billion and $8.7 billion annually. Given the magnitude of this forecast, we asked Booth about the huge market potential for legal cannabis including the vast potential for Albertan entrepreneurs considering as yet unexploited verticals in the sector. “As far as our particular province, we’re fairly confident, they’re going to have a retail component of this, much like we have with alcohol in the province. So, there alone are numerous opportunities to dispense. The spin-off businesses in Canada are all nascent. This is going to be a brand new industry that’s going to generate billions of dollars. I don’t know that I would recommend anyone going into production at this stage, unless you go big, but certainly post production, right from logistics to packaging, to dispensing, to security: there’s a number of business opportunities that haven’t been touched because they’re not legal yet.” One of the impressive strengths fueling Aurora’s rapid growth is the company’s ability to enter new markets and work quickly and effectively with government stakeholders in these jurisdictions to meet stringent regulatory requirements. We asked Booth for his thoughts on market opportunities and the potential for working with local Indigenous communities. “We want to work with Indigenous communities in a big way. I think there’s an opportunity to eventually get into the outdoor growth of hemp. The hemp industry Continued on the next page... BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // OCTOBER 2017

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This is going to be a brand new industry that’s going to generate billions of dollars. markets. Aurora has taken a 19.9% stake in Australia’s first licensed medical cannabis company, and also acquired Germany’s largest medical cannabis distributor. How does Canada’s emerging regulatory framework compare to the rest of the world? “These other countries that we’re going into— they’re using Canada’s model, so we’re the leaders and we have to make sure we’re doing a good job leading. Even though we’ve got competitors here in Canada, when we cross that border, we consider ourselves ‘Team Canada’ in changing the landscape globally.”

Aurora President & Founder, Terry Booth

alone, I think it’s going to be massive. It will probably surpass cannabis because there’s a food component in it. It’s very high in protein. It’s considered ‘super food,’ but it also has a stigma to it based on how it’s grown and the regulations around that. We expect that to change. So, that’s a brand new industry that’s going to have regulatory change coming soon and lots of opportunity for production, processing, retail, packaging, food products, etc.” In addition to expanding rapidly in Canada, Aurora is also expanding internationally, bringing their Canadian experience, expertise and capital into emerging medical cannabis

So, what’s next for Aurora? “We’ve grown from 20 employees last February to 270. We expect to employ approximately another 500 people in the next 12 months. That’s a lot of work to do!” It’s a significant facility we’re building. It’s going to be the best in the world.”

Our discussion with Edmonton’s own Terry Booth was truly fascinating. A trailblazer in an industry where the rules are still being written, Booth revealed the acumen that has rapidly established Aurora as a global expert in this complex and competitive sector. Upcoming articles in our series on innovation and economic diversification will feature business leaders who are commercializing innovations in the health, artificial intelligence, robotics, and advanced manufacturing sectors.

Members in this Issue Drader Manufacturing Industries Ltd and Titan Innovative Designs Inc. in Is 3D Technology the Next Major Industry for Edmonton? on page 15 NAI Commercial Real Estate Inc., AltaPro Electric Ltd. and Drayden Insurance Ltd. in When the Business Grows Up on page 25 Business Development Bank of Canada and ATB Financial in Small Business Week: Looking Forward, Acting Now on page 39 Elizabethan Catering Services Ltd. in More than Just a Meal on page 44 Dominion Lending Centres, ATB Financial and RE/MAX Real Estate Edmonton in Ruling Out Fun? on page 48

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AMVIC Licensed


Small business, big innovation Jules Ham, Marketing & Communications Coordinator

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he month of October is a big month for small business in Canada, as the business community unites to celebrate BDC Small Business WeekTM, and the valuable contributions small businesses make to the community and our economy. With close to 166,000 small businesses operating in Alberta, our province has the highest number of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the country. The Edmonton business community continues to contribute to this success by looking for more innovative ways to support and meet the evolving requirements of entrepreneurs and small businesses. One organization committed to delivering on this commitment, is the team working in NAIT’s Innovation Services. Whether it’s product innovation, a new way of working, a new level of productivity, or a new way of thinking, the team at NAIT’s new Innovation Services group is committed to providing entrepreneurs and businesses of all sizes with access to NAIT’s one-stop-shop for industry. “Over the past couple of years, one gap that has been identified by our partners and funders is the lack of available services to SME and enterprise level clients around business and product advisory services, as well as access to equipment for prototyping and testing,” says Stacey Ohlmann, Director of Innovation and Technology Priorities at NAIT. “In response to this demand, NAIT has developed and now offers a full suite of services to help entrepreneurs and companies make that leap.” Often, organizations can face challenges moving forward with innovative development ideas due to limited access to financial or human capital, and large manufacturing and consulting firms can be reluctant to take on small scale projects and clients. This is where NAIT’s Innovation Services are uniquely positioned to bridge the gap. “Our portfolio of Acceleration Services and TechGym has been uniquely structured to support two key challenge areas for industry clients: the soft skills, such as strategic

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Image provided by NAIT.

planning and visioning; and the hard lines of industrial customer businesses, such as prototype design, development, and testing.” These types of services create a valuable opportunity for firms that may already have a product or service offering identified, but don’t have the necessary soft skills or expensive technical equipment and expertise to move to the next stage. “Our team can support a business by helping to determine their needs, and map out the best pathway for the company to develop solutions to their specific challenges,” says Ohlmann. “If the business needs are outside our scope of services, our team continues to work with the business to help identify a more appropriate service provider within our network, and connects them to that provider. It’s never just a handoff. We work with our partners to ensure the company finds the help they need.” NAIT’s TechGym is particularly of value to those requiring access to specialized equipment to transition their idea to the development and testing phase. Clients can access unique pieces of equipment that may be cost-prohibitive for them to purchase outright for the purpose of developing, refining or testing a prototype. Clients also receive access to specialists and technologists to provide design coaching and instruction on machine operation. “Our TechGym has supported the development of a number of different


products. At this stage, most projects have concentrated on the use of the water-jet cutter and the Renishaw 3D metal printer. The water-jet has been used to cut complex and intricate geometries in various plastics and metals for a number of local companies, while the use of the Renishaw 3D metal printer has been a little more extensive.” Some examples of products that have been developed in the TechGym with the Renishaw 3D metal printer include:

• Impeller components for a fluid pump for installation within a pipeline for the oil industry • A mounting bracket for a high precision optical instrument. By building quality relationships with industry clients and continuing to stay attuned to the needs of the business community, NAIT continues to develop their suite of services.

• Compact camping kettle

“We continue to respond to the needs of the Edmonton business community, whether it’s the development of new technology products, refining business models or product lines, NAIT is committed to optimizing the potential growth of small business in Edmonton and across Alberta,” says Ohlmann.

• Components for a high altitude aero engine heat exchanger

For more information on NAIT’s Innovation Services, visit nait.ca/innovate.

• Veterinary implants • Surgical instruments for use in pediatric medicine

Connecting Business Meet the Makers: Cakes, Confections and Connections

The Edmonton Chamber team ready to welcome members and guests to an evening of conversation, connection and cake.

Guests enjoyed the opportunity to network with other business professionals in the ambient surroundings of ‘The Art of Cake.’

Gloria, owner of ‘The Art of Cake’ provided guests with a skillful demonstration on how to create one of their stunning cakes.

Sharing stories and a laugh, guests enjoyed the welcoming atmosphere of ’The Art of Cake.’

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Join us this October for BDC Small Business Week™ 2017 as we recognize and celebrate the valuable contribution small businesses make to our city and community.

BDC Small Business ™ Week 2017 Presenting Sponsor

Meet the Makers: Taste of Italy

Presented by

Networking event • Wednesday, October 18, 2017 • 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm • Italian Centre Shop 5028 104A St NW Edmonton

BDC Small Business Week™ Presented by Mixer and Trade Show HOTELS

• Thursday, October 19, 2017 • 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm • The Sutton Place Hotel 10235 101 Street, Edmonton

Purchase your tickets today at edmontonchamber.com

Discover the full series of engaging, inspiring, and educational events planned for BDC Small Business Week™ at www.edmontonchamber.com


Enerkem Alberta Biofuels Plant.

Enerkem Member profile Brian Mills, Plant Manager, Enerkem Alberta Biofuels Plant www.enerkem.com What’s your story? Enerkem is setting a new standard in smart waste management. We convert non-recyclable municipal solid waste (i.e. garbage) into clean fuels and renewable chemicals. By using municipal solid waste as a feedstock instead of fossil or crop based products, and recycling the carbon contained in trash to produce renewable chemicals and transportation biofuels, our proprietary technology provides a costeffective, sustainable alternative to the challenges associated with waste disposal for Edmontonians. What are three things people are surprised to learn about your business? 1. Enerkem’s exclusive technology can transform household waste in less than five minutes to produce a synthetic gas, and convert that clean gas into advanced low-carbon transportation biofuel – enough to fuel over 400,000 cars per annum on a 5% ethanol blend. 2. The City of Edmonton is currently diverting more than half of its residential waste from landfill primarily through recycling and composting. Enerkem’s facility will help the City increase that diversion rate to 90%.

Brian Mills, Plant Manager, Enerkem, Alberta Biofuels Plant.

3. Advanced Biofuels also help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 60% when compared to fossil fuel production and landfilling. What has been your biggest challenge in the last 12 months? Launching the world’s first commercial biorefinery designed to transform municipal solid waste into biomethanol and cellulosic ethanol that meets low-carbon fuel standards. It is a model BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // OCTOBER 2017

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for communities around the world wanting to implement a sustainable and economical alternative to landfilling and incineration. What’s your secret to keeping your employees engaged? As we build a one-of-a-kind, world-changing greentech biofuels facility, we continue to reinforce the larger purpose of what it is we are trying to achieve – the diversion of waste from landfill by the conversion to value-added biofuel. I believe an enthusiastic, optimistic, energetic, engaged leader equals a motivated, engaged workforce, and I encourage a culture of innovation, excellence and passion within my team. Do you have a personal mantra? Don’t bemoan what has gone before or why we are where we are – focus on how we’ll get to where we need to go. What do you enjoy most about being a Chamber member? Access to people and events that allow for personal and professional growth.

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? Continue to promote the new and rapidgrowing cleantech industry in Edmonton. What is your favorite thing to do in Edmonton? Mountain bike throughout the many trails crisscrossing the entire city. Apple or android? Apple Your most favorite place in the world? Home Coffee or tea? Triple tall cappuccino coffee To learn more about this project and the outcomes for our City, please visit enerkem.com.

Thank You Sponsors!

We would like to thank all our generous sponsors for supporting Opportunities North 2017. We appreciate your valuable contribution towards supporting 'Economic Exploration and Exchange' between Edmonton and Canada’s North. Gold Sponsor

Platinum Sponsors

Silver Sponsors

Bronze Sponsors

Partners

Contributing Sponsors

Presented by:


LOOKING FORWARD, ACTING NOW // SMALL BUSINESS WEEK

Small Business Week: LOOKING FORWARD, ACTING NOW

THIS YEAR’S SMALL BUSINESS WEEK LOOKS TO THE FUTURE BUT STILL PROVIDES PLENTY OF OPPORTUNITY NOW. BY ZACHARY EDWARDS

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very year in October, Canada celebrates the major driving factor of its economy: the small and medium local businesses that employ the most people, drive the most innovation and provides many of the goods and services Canadians rely on every day. The celebration is called Small Business Week and this year’s events will prove to be an excellent opportunity for entrepreneurs to learn about the present, and future, of business in Canada.

For the uninitiated, Small Business Week is a nation-wide set of events that focus on small businesses – their struggles, their successes and their connections. Started in 1979 in the Fraser Valley by the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), it quickly went national and has enjoyed lasting success since it was officially coined “Small Business Week” in 1981. Todd Tougas, vice president of Northern Alberta for BDC, says Small Business Week is an amazing opportunity

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LOOKING FORWARD, ACTING NOW // SMALL BUSINESS WEEK

“IN EDMONTON AND ALBERTA, SMALL BUSINESS WEEK IS REALLY ABOUT MAKING CONNECTIONS, AND HAVING A CHANCE TO COMMUNICATE WITH AND EDUCATE EACH OTHER. IT ALLOWS FOR PARTNERSHIPS AND PROVIDES A GREAT EXCUSE TO COME TOGETHER AND INTERACT. ~ TERESA CLOUSTON

for individual small business owners and the businesses themselves. “The mission of Small Business Week is to bring entrepreneurs together at conferences, trade shows, and awards celebrations,” he explains. “[It gives] small business a chance to network, to learn from each other, to recognize each other and just to enjoy each other’s company.” A long-time supporter and planner involved in Edmonton’s Small Business Week, Teresa Clouston looks forward to its events every year. As the executive vice president of business & agriculture at ATB Financial, one of the biggest supporters of Alberta’s Small Business Week, she says the week is an opportunity for entrepreneurs of all levels and experience to learn from each other. “In Edmonton and Alberta, Small Business Week is really about making connections, and having a chance to communicate with and educate each other,” she says. “It allows for partnerships and provides a great excuse to come together and interact. People can share stories, pain points and talk solutions, and that’s one of the main values that it brings.” Tougas and Clouston agree that running a business can often be lonely work and getting out to Small Business Week events can be a social event just as much as a professional one, especially as the world continues to head more online

and away from face-to-face, person-to-person interaction. Networking, however, remains most effective when it happens in real life. Networking is extremely effective for finding talent, developing important business relationships and simply finding more clientele. Networking still accounts for an estimated 85 per cent of jobs, meaning you could meet your next great employee or client at a Small Business Week Event. Moreover, 95 per cent of business people surveyed for one study said face-to-face meetings are still essential. In fact, face-to-face meetings are still so important that travel expenses, on average, still see an extremely high return on investment at an estimated $12.50 for every dollar spent.

A Small Business Week for the Future For 2017’s Small Business Week, BDC decided to look towards the future while considering changes to technology and demographics that are happening in Canada, something that directly relates to the many networking events that happen at Small Business Week events. This ABOVE: TERESA CLOUSTON, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT OF BUSINESS & AGRICULTURE, ATB FINANCIAL.

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LOOKING FORWARD, ACTING NOW // SMALL BUSINESS WEEK

year, the topic is: Future-Proof Your Business: Adapting to Technology and Demographic Trends. It promises to look at how small businesses can change, adapt and take advantage of the many changes that Canada will face in the not-too-distant future. “We recognize that Canadian businesses need to look to the future to cover emerging trends that will shape the world of business in the years to come,” Tougas explains. “Such things as using digital technologies and robotics to redefine the relationships between businesses, or demographic trends… and our increasingly diversified skilled workforce. Canadians are amongst the highest educated people in the world and we want businesses to be able to take advantage of that. The landscape is changing a lot in profound ways, and businesses need to be ready to adapt.”

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Such a theme could not come at a better time. The Bank of Canada’s quarterly Business Outlook Survey revealed that most business owners and leaders are increasingly optimistic about the future of business, and are already planning changes to keep their companies competitive as the world, and Canada, changes. “Plans to increase spending remain widespread and have become more focused on expanding capacity to accommodate stronger demand,” the report says. “Service firms most often cited spending on technology and software. The indicator of hiring intentions, in turn, reached a record high.” The drive to increase capacity through hiring, training and technology, according to Tougas, can take full advantage of Canada’s advantage. “Canadian businesses need to look to the future to cover emerging trends that will shape the world


LOOKING FORWARD, ACTING NOW // SMALL BUSINESS WEEK

“I WOULD SUGGEST THAT YOU ENGAGE IN DISCUSSION WITH ALL THE ENTREPRENEURS WITH BUSINESSES THAT CAPTURE YOUR INTEREST. YOU WILL BE SURPRISED JUST HOW HAPPY THEY ARE TO TALK TO YOU ABOUT WHAT THEY’VE DONE AND ARE DOING.” ~ TODD TOUGAS

of business in the years to come,” he explains. “Canadians are amongst the highest educated people in the world, and we want business to be able to take advantage of that.”

supported year round, not just for one week a year. “Business supports business,” she says. “We see stories of how, through Small Business Week events, a company comes with a pitch or problem and just by being connected to other companies, they can have a dramatic lift in their success.”

A Chance to Celebrate Work Done Year-Round

After Small Business Week is over, do not forget that help for your business is still available. Edmonton’s Chamber of Commerce hosts networking events and programs for small business all year, and if you are in need of advice and assistance, ATB’s Entrepreneur Centre offers advice, financial services and an entrepreneur strategist who is available whether you bank with ATB or not. BDC’s singular entrepreneur-focus has enabled many small businesses to launch, continue and thrive.

Whether you are thinking about starting a business, own one, or simply want to rub shoulders with Edmonton’s business community, Tougas and Clouston encourage you to get out there and take part in events. “I would suggest that you engage in discussion with all the entrepreneurs with businesses that capture your interest,” Tougas suggests. “Entrepreneurs love to talk about their business. They work very hard at it and there’s a real attachment to what they’re doing. Engage in those discussions, ask them how they got started and what motivated them to strike out on their own. You will be surprised just how happy they are to talk to you about what they’ve done and are doing.” Clouston agrees and adds that small business needs to be

This year’s Small Business Week will help business leaders and entrepreneurs connect and continue to build Alberta’s economy. According to Clouston, it’s a chance to take advantage of Alberta’s wonderful entrepreneurial culture. “I think what comes of our entrepreneurial spirit is that the community really helps each other,” she says. “There are so many like-minded groups that are committed to supporting business owners in the province.”

ABOVE: TODD TOUGAS, VICE PRESIDENT, NORTHERN ALBERTA,BDC.

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MORE THAN JUST A MEAL // EVENT PLANNING & CATERING

More than Just ABOVE: SHAW CONFERENCE CENTRE FOCUSES ON SUSTAINABILITY AND INCLUSIVENESS WITH ALL ITS EVENTS. INSET: CHEFS’ MENUS AT SHAW CONFERENCE CENTRE INCLUDE LOCAL MEATS AND PRODUCE, WHERE POSSIBLE. PHOTO SOURCE: SHAW CONFERENCE CENTRE

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MORE THAN JUST A MEAL // EVENT PLANNING & CATERING

BY RAMONA KORPAN

a Meal EDMONTON EVENT COMPANIES CATER TO CHANGING TASTES

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ccording to some of the best Edmonton event professionals, their service is all about providing a personalized experience. This isn’t always an easy task—catering to a growing, diverse city means that tastes change fast, and the only way to keep up is to listen carefully.

An Unrestricted Menu For some people, walking in to an event, sitting down and helping themselves without a second thought just isn’t possible. Dealing with a dietary restriction is a challenge anywhere, but it can be especially difficult at a catered event. You don’t want to embarrass the host or go hungry, but sometimes what’s on the menu simply isn’t an option. As Edmonton becomes more diverse, cultural dietary restrictions have become more common. Health- and lifestylebased dietary restrictions are on the rise too, as more people opt to go vegan and gluten-free. Of course this is all in addition to the many people who live with severe allergies, celiac disease and other medical conditions that limit their diet. Over the past few years, Steven Marsh, owner of Elizabethan Catering, has seen dietary restrictions become the rule rather than the exception at events, leaving chefs no choice but to be prepared.

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MORE THAN JUST A MEAL // EVENT PLANNING & CATERING

“Certainly dietary issues have come up in a huge way,” he says. “That is way more than it was even five years ago. Every single event we have now, we have special dietary needs to accommodate. It can be tricky, but it’s something we have to do.”

Setting the Scene When it comes to making an event memorable, venue and setting are just as important as what is on the menu. If an amazing meal is hard to forget, then an amazing meal served out of a neon orange food truck will forever be a vivid memory. Wendy and Dean Gossen are co-owners of Bully Food Truck Inc. Though many Edmontonians are familiar with the truck as a curbside mainstay of outdoor festivals and the downtown lunch hour scene, they also offer full-service catering at trade shows, weddings, parties and any other event where there’s room to park. With such a unique setup, food operations that would normally be hidden behind the closed doors of a kitchen often become a part of the event. “People see this bright orange truck, and if you have the right music playing, they’ll come out and just mingle by the truck,” says Dean. “People come up and they ask how the truck runs. We’ve even had people at events say ‘can we come on and have a look, just to see how this works?’” “The bride and groom will sometimes want to take pictures inside the food truck,” adds Wendy. “They like that kind of stuff.” Even a venue that appears to be a little more conventional can find ways to stand out. For the Shaw Conference Centre, this means appealing to guests’ desire to connect and engage with each other. “Over the past few years there has been a large focus on integrating technology into events,” says Imran Gill, manager of marketing and communications at the Shaw. “From live streaming to social media walls, event apps and electronic delegate bags/ conference kits, events have become digitized. It’s a major reason why we’ve focused on providing strong connectivity and WiFi to our clients.”

History and Heritage Often the best way to recreate the feel of an intimate family meal at a large, catered event is to bring family history and heritage into it. This goes over especially well at weddings, anniversaries, birthdays and other celebrations that revolve around family. In a city as diverse as Edmonton, this means that caterers must be prepared to provide fare from almost anywhere in the world. “Ethnic food has come into our menus a lot,” says Steven. “If we’re catering a wedding for example, the bride and

ABOVE: BULLY FOOD TRUCK HAS SERVED EDMONTON SINCE 2012. PHOTO SOURCE: BULLY FOOD TRUCK

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MORE THAN JUST A MEAL // EVENT PLANNING & CATERING

groom might bring in dishes from their heritage—Denmark, India, wherever they’re from. So that has certainly become a popular trend.” He has seen firsthand the impact that familiar dishes can have on guests. “We had a South African groom who was marrying a Canadian girl,” he recalls. “He was absolutely obsessed with these South African sausages they serve over there. I’ve been to South Africa, so I said ‘do you mean these sausages?’ He was absolutely floored that I knew what he was talking about.” Then Steven took it one step further. “We actually have some sausage making equipment here,” he explains. “So I said ‘I’ll tell you what, I’ll make them for you for your wedding.’ The groom said, ‘That’s absolutely incredible!’ It’s the little things, like that, that make events special.” Steven does caution that requests for ethnic food should be handled in an authentic way. “Basically we do it very, very honestly,” he says. “The Internet is loaded up with every single recipe ever made, but we prefer to find an ethnic chef who specializes in that cuisine and get them in. That’s how we handle it so that we end up with a very authentic presentation.”

Serious about Sustainability Respecting your guests’ taste in food is important. Respecting their values is even better. From locally sourced meat to organic produce, event venues are facing more requests than ever to satisfy the taste for sustainability. “One of the ways our convention centre aligns with the City of Edmonton’s priorities is by being a leader in sustainability,” says Imran. “Some highlights of our industryleading sustainability program include our very own urban beehive that produces nearly 90 pounds of honey for our

kitchen; 204,952 pounds of food waste composted in 2016; 43 per cent of food purchased from local suppliers; and an on-site garden that produces a variety of tomatoes, peppers, herbs, lettuce, tomatillos, strawberries, raspberries, currants, edible flowers, onions, garlic, carrots, radish, beans, peas, celery, corn, cucumbers, zucchini and squash.” The Shaw’s dedication to sustainability doesn’t end when an event is over. According to Imran, “3,421 pounds of leftover food [were] donated to the Edmonton Food Bank through the Second Helping Program, a partnership between the Shaw Conference Centre, Alberta Health Services and the Food Bank.” Whether they’re talking about food, venue, or any other aspect of an event, the best in the business all agree: the key to creating a special and memorable event is to personalize it as much as possible. According to Imrarn, the Shaw Conference Centre isn’t afraid to take a request and run with it. “Hosting over 600 events per year, we’ve seen event planners do some amazing things,” he says. “From bringing in helicopters onto our show floor to having acrobats hanging from the ceiling and pouring drinks, the possibilities are limitless at Edmonton’s convention centre.” Personalizing an event doesn’t even have to go that far. According to the Gossens, just providing flexible options lets clients know their experience is important. “We have hundreds of menu choices,” says Wendy. “We have pages and pages of all the kinds of foods that we do.” Perhaps the biggest key to creating a memorable event is the very thing that makes a home-cooked family meal the foundation of so many fond memories: it’s all about the love. “If we have the time and availability, we don’t turn anyone down, and we try to do whatever we can to make each event special, says Wendy. “We really love our job.”

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RULING OUT FUN? // RECREATION INVESTMENTS

RULING OUT FUN? ARE THE NEW MORTGAGE RULES HINDERING INVESTMENT IN RECREATIONAL REAL ESTATE?

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RULING OUT FUN? // RECREATION INVESTMENTS

BY LAURA BOHNERT

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he new mortgage rules have been in effect since last October. Now, one year in, Edmonton is monitoring the potential impact on local and foreign investments on Lake Country’s recreational properties. “The new mortgage rules that came out in October were intended to ensure Canadians can get into a home that fits their budget,” explains Stacey Shepherd, mortgage associate, Dominion Lending Mortgage Mentors. “They have also come around to help cool the housing market in certain areas, like Vancouver and Toronto. It was called the stress test. In order to qualify for a mortgage with Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) insurance (when you have less than 20 per cent for a down payment) the rate you have to qualify at now is 4.84 per cent—even if your mortgage payment is at 2.99 per cent. “The next wave of changes affected the conventional mortgages, where you have more than 20 per cent for a down payment. Banks used to be able get CMHC insurance on these mortgages. The new rules state that the banks raise the insurance premiums the banks pay on these mortgages, which is why the rates are higher.” Shepherd continues, “The impact to Edmonton and the surrounding market has been felt in the amount clients can purchase. Clients were pre-approved last year for $440K— and now they can only be approved for $380K.” Douglas Lim, partner at Mortgage Alliance Lending Advisors, agrees that the mortgage changes create some challenges for Edmonton’s real estate market. “The new mortgage rules,” Lim explains, “apply to residential mortgages (one-to four-unit dwellings), home equity line of credit (HELOC), and any loans that are secured by residential properties.” Lim goes into more detail on what the mortgage changes entail: “Using the Bank of Canada’s benchmark rate for total debt service ratio (TDSR)/gross debt service ratio (GDSR) calculations instead of the discounted rate, stronger

“THE IMPACT TO EDMONTON AND THE SURROUNDING MARKET HAS BEEN FELT IN THE AMOUNT CLIENTS CAN PURCHASE. CLIENTS WERE PRE-APPROVED LAST YEAR FOR $440K—AND NOW THEY CAN ONLY BE APPROVED FOR $380K.” ~ STACEY SHEPHERD income is needed to qualify through the stress test. For instance, using discounted rates (2.89 per cent) on a $100k mortgage, a $467.62 payment would be used in TDSR/ GDSR. Now, with the stress test (4.64 per cent), that same $100k mortgage results in a $561.28 payment to be used in TDSR/GDSR,” he explains.

ABOVE: STACEY SHEPHERD, MORTGAGE ASSOCIATE, DOMINION LENDING MORTGAGE MENTORS.

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RULING OUT FUN? // RECREATION INVESTMENTS

“THE INTENTION FOR THE RULE CHANGE IS TO IMPROVE THE STRENGTH OF THE BANKS AND LENDER’S MORTGAGE PORTFOLIO SO THAT INVESTORS WILL KEEP THEIR CONFIDENCE LEVELS UP IN OUR CANADIAN MORTGAGE INVESTMENTS. ~ DOUGLAS LIM

“The mortgage changes affect all properties regardless of use,” says Lim, who adds that there is now “a tougher qualification process for self-employed individuals who used to declare higher income than what can be supported through their documentations. The higher the income needed to qualify, the less opportunity there is to draw equity from HELOC due to lower readvanceable limits.” Property selling is impacted as a result. “With tougher guidelines, it decreases the number of qualified buyers,” says Lim. “The intention for the rule change is to improve the strength of the banks and lender’s mortgage portfolio so that

investors will keep their confidence levels up in our Canadian mortgage investments. It will also ensure the mortgagor’s affordability in the event of interest rate hikes, which can result in higher mortgage payments. It also enables first time homebuyers to force save higher down payment amounts in order to qualify.” While there are some advantages to the mortgage changes, one of the biggest impacts, Lim explains, is that there will be “fewer qualified buyers, which will result in slower housing market activities.” In addition, he notes, “Self-employed property investors will not have the flexibility to buy and sell

ABOVE: DOUGLAS LIM, PARTNER AT MORTGAGE ALLIANCE LENDING ADVISORS.

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LUXUS CELEBRATES A DECADE OF CHANGING LIVES

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he Luxus Group is celebrating a milestone anniversary. For 10 years, Luxus has provided its clients the opportunity to relax in exclusive vacation properties across the globe, enjoy extraordinary once-in-a-lifetime events, invest in the development of unique projects worldwide, and enjoy the luxuries of Podere Paníco, an authentically restored 16th century Tuscan Villa. “I am both humbled and excited to celebrate our company’s 10 year anniversary! So much has happened in 10 years, from growing the portfolio, to creating memorable vacation experiences, to weathering unforeseen challenges, to building life-long friendships,” says Stephen Petasky, president and founder. “Ten years later,” Petasky continues, “we have the opportunity to reflect on a journey that started with just 18 founding partners who believed in our concept and gave us their trust, and capital. As a result of that initial support, our LVP division now consists

of three partnerships, over 400 partners and nearly 10,000 outstanding vacations taken to date! It is incredible to look back on how far we have come together. We are grateful to each of those founders, and all the Luxus owners.” Luxus admits that like other companies, two recessions have challenged the company’s original vision; however, the strength and support of its team, clients and investors kept operations strong and momentum positive. In 2010, post the “great recession,” the company entered a period of rapid growth and has since placed more than $60 million in capital into the luxury recreation market. Luxus thanks its team, partners, clients and many supporters that have enabled the company to help change lives for 10 years, and looks forward to creating many more exciting experiences and investment opportunities over the next decade of growth.

ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION

#208, 134 Pembina Road, Sherwood Park, AB 780-467-5521 • www.luxusgroup.com


RULING OUT FUN? // RECREATION INVESTMENTS

properties that they use to have before rule change, but the positive outcome is that home prices have decreased, and that has helped affordability for new home buyers that are not affected by the rule changes.” Denise Wareham, mortgage specialist at ATB, hasn’t noticed a significant impact on foreign investment in Edmonton’s Lake Country recreational properties as a result of the mortgage changes, but it admits it depends on the marketability of that area. “The biggest impact would be for the new home buyer. I have run into problems where first time home buyers who qualify under the new government rules have had to lower the purchase price they may be seeking,” Wareham notes. “However, I do not always run into this with established clients who are looking for recreational properties, since they are typically older clients with little debt.” “There definitely has been a decrease in the number of recreational properties being sold,” observes Mark Barron Wilbert, partner at Coldwell Banker Venture Realty. The decrease, however, may not be solely tied to the new mortgage rules, as Wilbert explains. “It is partially due to the mortgage guideline changes, but it is also important to note that the amount of interest has also decreased, depending on the location. There are definitely some hot spots across Alberta, though, that continue to outperform previous years. This may be due to the low loonie and tourists visiting, along with the fact that locals are going to the lake for the weekend instead of travelling to Mexico for the week.” What does this mean for Edmonton’s Lake Country recreational properties in particular? Wayne William Heine, REALTOR® with Re/Max Excellence agrees that the popularity and nature of Edmonton’s Lake Country recreational properties may be saving that particular real estate market in the midst of the new mortgage rules. Heine became a lake specialist when he decided to cater his real estate business 100 per cent to Edmonton’s Lake Country. In 2013, Heine was presented an inaugural marketing award for the job he did out at the lake. Today, the Edmonton Lake Property team works with Lake Wabamun, Lake Isle, and Lac St. Anne, along with all the

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communities and recreational properties within a couple miles of the lake. “Recreational property is typically purchased as secondary homes for most people,” Heine explains. “We usually don’t find financing to be a problem in our sales. We also see a lot of first time home buyers choosing Lake Country as their primary home and commuting into the city. This affords them more choices (and more home) for less money then a city home would normally cost.” He jokes. “Locally, we don’t now or ever see much foreign investment—unless you want to include Calgary! “As for foreigners buying lake property, it isn’t very common. We do get people from Calgary or Fort McMurray; however, this is generally the extent of our non-local buyers. “We have actually seen a positive increase in values, specifically at Lake Wabamun and Lac Ste Anne. More buyers are zoning in on the fact that these are the places they want to live. We have also seen a good upward trend at Lake Isle. Each lake offers a different lifestyle, and we zone in on what people need to help them in buying the right lake property for their individual needs. “Anytime you make it harder to purchase a home, you do see a drop off. We are lucky, though. Since Lake Country tends to be more of a luxury market, we tend to be less affected. This is largely due to scarcity. Within a 50-mile radius of Edmonton, there is a limited supply of good lake front or lake communities to live in. Every year out here, more and more people are discovering us. It’s like ‘musical chairs’,” he laughs. “There are only so many—get one while you can because prices are going up!” Other factors in the continuing success of the real estate market in Lake Country include the fact that, “Lake living is less than an hour away, with options for everyone,” Heine points out. “As well, local on-call medical professionals like being at the lake as it is only 45 minutes away, should an emergency occur.” Heine concludes, “Lake Country has always had a built in following, and now with more publicity finding us, plus a reputation for having excellent water quality for all summer activities, we are only going up.”


Truly Custom H a b i t a t S t u d i o N e v e r B u i l d s t h e S a m e H o u s e Tw i c e By Nerissa McNaughton

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n 1992, Bruce Watt was a home designer and Vince Campbell was a carpenter. Both men had one thing in common: a passion for client-specific, unique, custom homes. This dream, and their compatibility in working together, led them to found Habitat Studio.

There are many custom home builders in Edmonton. What makes Habitat Studio different? “A lot of companies say they are custom builders, but then they invite you to pick a plan that they “customize.” Habitat Studio designs from scratch. We build from a blank piece of paper. We don’t have specs. We choose everything together with the client, and you won’t find anyone that can build a more energy efficient home in Canada,” says Trevor Hoover, president, director and senior designer. Hoover joined the company shortly after the two founders retired, and he wakes up every day eager to go to a job where creativity, customer service and environmental responsibly are so highly valued. “When you go to another builder, they will show you their products. We don’t have a product. We don’t build a house. We build a home and provide a service while doing so. That’s what makes us stand out. We provide true designs, true builds, and are truly transparent. Our clients see where every penny they spend goes. There is no guessing. Everything is transparent month to month and week to week.” He pauses to smile about another advantage Habitat clients enjoy. “The energy efficiency aspect really pushes us over the top.” When Peter Amerongen joined the company in the mid-90s, he knew that energy efficiency in homes would become increasingly important, and he spearheaded the initiative for Habitat Studio to incorporate as many green elements into their designs as possible. Habitat’s green building leadership has earned it many awards from the Net-Zero Energy Home Coalition, along with environmental awards from the Canadian Home Builders’ Association, for more than five consecutive years.

Habitat Studio | 25 53


Hoover explains how net zero homes work: “In a single calendar year, a net zero home will have produced as much energy as it uses. On a sunny day, the home’s solar panels and electrical metres are spinning backwards. They are making money. In the dead of winter, when the home needs to use energy from the grid, it uses up the credits it ‘earned’ in the summer. When you add it up year after year, the energy consumed versus the energy produced come to zero. (This does not include service charges from the utility company.) Our first net zero home needed just 1,500 watts to heat the house in the dead of winter – that’s like the energy output of a hair dryer! If the power went out, the home would remain heated for up to five days. In our climate, that’s amazing.” A net zero home isn’t desired by every client, but each home built by Habitat Studio incorporates the fundamentals of outstanding energy efficiency and leaves the option open for more eco-conversions down the road. “If you make a tight, well insulated house, you are 80 per cent of the way,” confirms Hoover. “Our homes are extremely well insulated. They are airtight. There is no leakage of air or heat. We also try to use as many local products as possible so we can be as carbon neutral as possible.” The clients are thrilled with their beautifully crafted, custom, energy efficient homes, but they aren’t the only ones happy with the way Habitat Studio operates. The employees also enjoy a corporate culture that keeps their wellbeing in mind. “Our company culture is very important, and we have spent a lot of time building and refining it,” Hoover points out. He counts communication as their most important tool, in the office, on the jobsite, and among the staff. “Communication is a big deal. Even when you screw up, and we do screw up! We are human. We will make mistakes, especially since each house is different. It’s how we deal with the mistakes that counts. We will be the first to say if something doesn’t look good, and we’ll make it right. For example, 10

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Wall units, kitchen cabinets, vanities, desks, refacing, custom cabinets, anything to do with cabinets and hardware — it’s what we do.

Congratulations to Habitat Studio on 25 years! We are proud to be a part of your success! 780-467-4864 • 8912 18 Street Edmonton, AB www.florkowskys.com


years ago, a project didn’t go well. It happens. It was a case of a client insisting on one way and us, from a design build perspective, wanting to go another way. I am constantly surprised how many times that same person has referred us despite the job not going smoothly, like most of our other projects. The fact that we could disagree with a client and still have them happily recommend us speaks to our communication, transparency and service.” Habitat Studio sheds some light on an issue that has strong options on both sides – infills. “Ninety-five per cent of our projects are infills, and we have been working with the City on the nature of infills for 25 years. There have been a lot of positive changes, but the negatives, sadly, outweigh the positives. When the City developed the mature neighbourhood overlay, they didn’t take into consideration the unique characteristics of individual communities. Now it’s changes after changes, mandate after mandate, rather than doing it right. The City needs to look at each community separately and what its infrastructure can handle. Right now, it takes me up to six months to get a permit for an infill. In suburbia, that permit takes just 4-6 weeks! It’s frustrating!” However, the frustration is offset by what he loves about his work. “We do so many great projects and work with so many great people. Most of our staff and clients come from referrals. In 25 years, we have never designed or built the same house twice. Never! We have designed homes all across the country – in fact, all across the world! The furthest I’ve designed is in Argentina. Habitat has also designed homes in Vancouver and on some of the islands out there. We’ve designed a home for Peggy’s Cove.” When the company is not busy helping to save the world one eco-friendly home at a time, and amazing clients with one-of-a-kind builds, they turn their attention to the community. Habitat Studio

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Congratulations Habitat Studio on 25 Years of excellence and innovation!

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is a strong supporter of The Mustard Seed, a non-profit humanitarian organization. The company also supports local initiatives that help the homeless and hungry, locally and abroad. “For eight years, we flew to Central America to build a house in five days,” smiles Hoover. “Each house has two bedrooms, a bathroom, a kitchen, plumbing and electricity. What we did in five days would take a local crew up to a year.” The houses went to deserving families in the region. It’s not all work and no play for Hoover. He’s relishing his new role of grandpa, and he loves spending time with his family, at the curling rink, riding his motorcycle, travelling and adoring his beautiful wife. “She’s awesome!” he sighs with contentment about his wife, Michelle. “Back when I first started here, and for many, many years, I worked 12-hour days. She looked after our children, our life and me. She never pressured me to stop moving forward with the company. They say behind every man stands a great woman, and in my case, that is absolutely true.” This year, Habitat Studio added two Tomato Kitchen Design Awards to its list of recognitions, a good complement for the company’s plan to move forward with constant, projected, steady and controlled growth. “Our decades of success are not to be credited to any one person,” Hoover concludes. “It’s our culture. It’s our team. We all work hard and we all work together. It’s a beautiful thing to watch.”

11130 – 105 Avenue NW Edmonton AB, Canada, T5H 0L5 Te l : 7 8 0 . 4 3 3 . 1 1 0 7 • Fa x : 7 8 0 . 4 3 2 . 0 8 9 4 h a b i t a t - s t u d i o. c o m

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Edmonton REALTORS® and AREA volunteers: Director Doug Singleton, Vice-President Charlie Ponde, Provincial Government Relations Committee Chair Jennifer Lucas with AREA CEO Ian Burns. Photo by Memories by ME Photography.

Harnessing the Power of a REALTOR®

AREA celebrates 70 years of helping Realtors guide consumers by Mario Toneguzzi

B

uying or selling a home is one of the biggest financial transactions anyone can undertake in their lifetime and REALTORS® are a critical and valuable part of the process.

Their knowledge and expertise along every step of the decisionmaking journey is important in ensuring the real estate experience is a good one for people. The Alberta Real Estate Association, which is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year and represents 10,600 Realtors across the province, is helping Realtors remain at a top level of professionalism by continuing to raise the bar for them and advocating at a provincial level. “We know that the public thinks it’s important (to have a Realtor) because it’s the largest financial transaction that most people will ever undertake in their entire lives. But you’re also making an emotional decision. So, when you’re dealing with a massive financial decision and there’s emotion attached it’s important that you use a trusted professional,” says Ian Burns, AREA’s chief executive officer for the past three years. “Realtors have very specific expertise and knowledge. There’s a saying that real estate is local. I think that’s very true. If you want to know what’s going on in the market, you want to talk to a

CEO Ian Burns with 2017 AREA President Bob Jablonski in AREA offices. Photo by Tammy Hanratty Photography.

Realtor in your local area. They’re absolutely experts in what they do and they have the ability to help you through that transaction to save you money, to protect yourself.” And Albertans clearly believe it’s important to use a Realtor. AREA information shows that more than 90 per cent of Albertans surveyed say that if they are going to buy or sell a home they’re going to use a Realtor. If you ask, people have mixed views of Realtors on the whole, but they are overwhelmingly positive if you inquire about their most recent Realtor experience. Those numbers are stunning with

ALBERTA REAL ESTATE ASSOCIATION • 70 YEARS

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satisfaction levels in the 80-plus per cent range, based on AREA market surveying from earlier this year. Burns says some people doubt the value of Realtors but those feelings typically come from a lack of understanding of what Realtors provide and their role in the real estate industry. In 2016, there were 52,169 MLS transactions in Alberta. Total dollar volume was $20.6 billion with the average sale price at $394,576. About 70 per cent of Albertans own their homes, according to Statistics Canada 2015 data. Burns says one of the key functions of a Realtor is to protect both buyers and sellers by providing them sound advice. It is a licensed and regulated profession, therefore giving both sellers and buyers confidence in the advice they are receiving. Realtors have a regulatory obligation to fulfil their fiduciary duties of loyalty, confidentiality and of full disclosure of all conflicts of interest that may arise between the seller’s interests and those of the Realtor or buyers. Rules and regulations are changing. Market conditions are changing. But Realtors – by the nature of what they do every day and enhanced by requirements they have through professional affiliations at the local, provincial and national level – are uniquely positioned to be up to date in the advice they relay to consumers.

CHOOSING A REALTOR® IS A PERSONAL DECISION. You may interview several REALTORS® before finding the perfect fit for your personality and specific needs. Some of the best ways to find a REALTOR® are: • Talk to family and friends. REALTORS® build their business through referrals, so asking others about their experiences and recommendations is a great way to find a REALTOR® who suits you; • Look at REALTOR® names on property listings in your desired neighbourhood, as these REALTORS® may have a good understanding of that neighbourhood; and • Search for a REALTOR® on realtor.ca, by name, office, city or language spoken. When interviewing a REALTOR®, there are several questions you may want to ask before entering into an agreement to buy or sell through that REALTOR®.

Here is a list of questions to consider asking: • How long have you been in real estate? • What is your average list-to-sales price ratio? • How will your marketing plan meet my needs?

Whether the market is heated or struggling the sound advice of a Realtor is crucial.

• How will you ensure I find a place I love?

AREA represents about 3,400 Realtors in Edmonton, who are served on local matters by the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton. In 2016, Edmonton experienced 17,428 MLS transactions for a total dollar volume of $6.4 billion with an average sale price of $367,104.

• May I review documents I will be asked to sign?

• Do you have any references? • What sort of referrals will you make? • How much do you charge? • What sort of guarantee do you offer? • What haven’t I asked you that I need to know?

Charlie Ponde, vice-president of AREA and a practicing Edmonton Realtor, says the value of a Realtor is vast.

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ALBERTA REAL ESTATE ASSOCIATION • 70 YEARS • 2


Not all real estate agents are REALTORS®. With the support of a 120,000-member network, a Code of Ethics to follow, and exclusive access to Boards’ MLS® Systems, REALTORS® have more to offer. Look for the REALTOR® “R”.

The MLS® trademarks and the associated logos are owned by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by CREA and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA.


“We all have our Realtor code of conduct and professional association at the local, provincial and national level,” says Ponde. “So, we have the most up-to-date real estate market stats. We have up-to-date information at our fingertips any time of year or night, 24-7…. It helps create a level of trust between the Realtors and clients who are consumers.

development. Those are really the three pillars of what AREA does for our members,” explains Burns. Advocating for members is done in different ways but the primary one is protecting Realtors’ interests with the government. That work ultimately benefits consumers. AREA’s advocacy comes through direct lobbying and consultation.

“Then we have our regulator and this is only available to a licensed (professional). They have strict guidelines which oversee all professionals in Alberta hence protection for consumers again.”

“We have significant consultation with government on matters related to real estate,” says Burns.

Ponde says one of the major benefits of using a Realtor – whether as a buyer or a seller – is their knowledge about the market and the latest data about MLS sales and prices. And most importantly it’s accurate, trusted and reliable information.

Examples include the provincial Condo Act legislation as AREA has worked closely with Service Alberta on the development of condo regulations with its main position being a reduction in fees for condo documents.

“People may want to save money; the fees. That is the main reason for people not using a Realtor but the pitfalls are bad. They are much greater than the benefit,” says Ponde.

AREA participated in consultations and the announcement of new legislation introduced in May – the New Home Buyer Protection Amendment Act – which will establish a builder licensing program that will help consumers distinguish good builders from bad builders. AREA supported builders’ licensing and an online registry of builders to protect consumers and encourage safer building practices.

Burns says rules and regulations in the real estate industry are an essential part of maintaining the base level of what is required to be a licensed professional but AREA’s role as an association is to elevate a member’s ability so they are achieving professional excellence and giving clients the best service and being the best Realtor they can be. “Really our goal is to foster and promote professional excellence through member-centric services, advocacy and professional

A major initiative for members is ensuring there is no land transfer tax in Alberta and AREA has successfully lobbied for it to remain at zero in the province – once again another major benefit to consumers.

Serving AlbertA’S reAl eStAte induStry with experience And prActicAl Advice miller thomson has a team whose knowledge spans all areas of real estate including residential real estate, property development, condominium law, retail and hospitality law, commercial transactions, leasing and syndications. our lawyers have the depth and breadth of experience to handle any and all real estate matters and depending on the scope of your needs, can also provide specialized financing, tax, environmental and other advice. it is part of the multidisciplinary approach that our group takes to ensure that you have all of the angles covered. For more information on our services, please contact: calgary Telephone: 403.298.2400 Toll Free: 1.888.298.2400 Fax: 403.262.0007 Email: calgary@millerthomson.com

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ALBERTA REAL ESTATE ASSOCIATION • 70 YEARS • 4


AREA is also very focused on the professional development of its members. “Our goal is really to improve the level of professionalism for Realtors to make sure that they’re up to date on the latest information and that we are giving them the skills and tools that they need to do their job well,” says Burns. “We have required mandatory education on an annual basis to make sure that Realtors are kept up to date on important things.”

Alberta Real Estate Association, 1st Annual convention. Palliser Hotel, Calgary, October 3rd, 1947. Photo courtesy of Glenbow Archives NA-4049-5.

Last year, AREA offered a course on FINTRAC, the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada, to make sure Realtors understood what was required of them. The centre is Canada’s financial intelligence unit assisting in the detection, prevention and deterrence of money laundering and the financing of terrorist activities.

language, containing the necessary legal and regulatory terms to protect their legal integrity. And Realtors receive information and training sessions to keep them current on their use of the forms.

Other professional development is voluntary but geared to train Realtors in various ways of improving their skills.

“We want our Realtor members to be able to focus on providing their clients with the best possible experience,” says Burns. “By providing value to our members they can, in turn, provide the best value to the Albertans they serve.”

AREA’s third pillar is member-centric services. It is responsible for all the forms that are used in real estate contracts within the residential world. It ensures they are constantly updated for consumer protection.

AREA also continues to look at ways of supporting Realtors by offering them services to help them do their job better.

“We’re evolving and creating the best document we can so that real estate transactions can happen smoothly,” says Burns. AREA’s focus on forms allows Realtors to work with consistency throughout the province. They are written in easy-to-understand

Rogers is proud of our partnership with the Alberta Real Estate Association

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ALBERTA REAL ESTATE ASSOCIATION • 70 YEARS • 5


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Carlson Construction Celebrates 90 Years

U of A Students Union Building.

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Stan Colville, CEO. Jayson Barclay, VP Project Development. Bruce Foster, President.

Today, Stan Colville, CEO; Bruce Foster, President; and Jayson Barclay, VP of project development tell our readers why every experience with Carlson continues to be a truly memorable one. “Our mantra is ‘hire to retire.’ Creating an environment where our employees feel like they’re part of the big picture is important to us. We are based in Edmonton, but we consider ourselves an Alberta company, servicing clients throughout the province. We are now expanding our offices to Calgary, with intentions to grow and expand into B.C. and Saskatchewan in the future. “The relationships that we have with our industry partners (clients, consultants, and subtrades) are invaluable to us. We only consider ourselves successful if our clients are happy, and we make it our mission to exceed expectations. We have an

““

C

arlson Construction has an incredible 90-year legacy in achieving exceptional results through remarkable construction experiences. The company was founded in 1927 by father and son, Arthur and Victor Carlson, shortly after their arrival in Canada. They each had experience in construction, architecture, and engineering, and they decided to combine their skills to form one company that could offer more to its clients than what was commonplace in the Edmonton construction industry at that time. Today, the company continues to offer construction management and design build services for the commercial, industrial, and institutional sectors. Carlson maintains its family values today; many long term employees have watched their children and grandchildren join the company, bringing with them new ideas and innovative methods.

Photo by Curtis Trent.

We are proud to work together to provide Carlson Construction with unique and proactive solutions for their risk program. We are management proud to work together to provide Carlson

Congratulations on 90 Years of Success! BEHLEN Industries LP wants to wish our trusted dealer Carlson Construction on 90 years of steel buildings! To get started on your own BEHLEN solution, call BEHLEN Industries LP at 1-888-315-1035 or visit online at www.behlen.ca

Carlson Construction || 90 years || 2

.”

Construction with unique and proactive solutions for their riskon management Congratulations 90 yearsprogram. of Excellence! Congratulations on 90 years of Excellence!


incredible staff who support each other and place just as much importance on client satisfaction as the leadership team does.” Some of Carlson Construction’s most impressive projects include upgrades to Edmonton’s Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Stantec Tower III, the Edmonton Journal Building, and the Citadel Theatre. “The recently completed Ritchie Market was a very exciting project for us because it’s brought a fresh, new atmosphere to the mature Ritchie neighborhood,” the management team adds. “It was a very unique project, and one we foresee having a lasting, positive effect on the community. We also recently completed the Sherwood Park Volkswagen dealership, and upon completion, Volkswagen’s headquarters deemed it the new standard of construction quality for Volkswagen. That was a huge accomplishment for the whole team here at Carlson, and one we are so proud of.”

As with most companies of this nature, the recent recession posed some challenges, but Carlson is proactive about changing market conditions. “The uncertainty of the construction market is a constant challenge,” the team admits. “It’s crucial for us to be prepared for drastic changes in the economy, and also to focus on growing our client relationships in the midst of downturns in the market.” With nine decades in business, Carlson has plenty of reasons to be proud of its reputation, team, and its contribution to the Capital City’s landscape. “We have many staff members who joined us straight out of post-secondary and have advanced their careers within Carlson, and it’s great to be a part of that. Over the past 10 years, we have retired staff members with excess of 40 years working with the

Congratulations

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Suite 1500, 9888 Jasper Avenue | Edmonton AB | T5J 5C6 P | 780 424 3000 F | 780 429 4817 W | www.krpgroup.com E | info@krpgroup.com

AltaPro Congratulates Carlson Construction on 90 years of “Achieving exceptional results with your team and customers”

Carlson ConstruCtion ltd. on 90 years of success!

We are proud to be associated with a business that shares our philosophy of: having partner led teams dedicated to quality & efficiency; fostering excellent industry & client relationships; & being dedicated to our clients’ success. We look forward to continuing our association with Carlson Construction & wish them continued success for the next 90 years!

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Carlson Construction || 90 years || 3


Dialog Edmonton office.

company. These people contribute so much to our legacy, and it’s truly rewarding to be a part of their journey. We work hard to provide a solid foundation for our staff to succeed, and in turn, we all benefit from it.

also find people are surprised to learn how many significant Edmonton buildings we’ve constructed, such as the Citadel, Alberta Research Council, South Edmonton Common, and the Student’s Union Building at the U of A, to name a few.”

“As a result of celebrating our 90th year, we often discuss the story of Carlson, which people are always surprised to learn is 90 years old. That’s rare to find these days, and we strive to keep our business current, so it seems younger than it is. We

One of the ways the company stays current is by seeking out and maximizing opportunities. The management team explains, “In 2015, we merged CPI Construction with Carlson Construction. That was a significant change, and one that has

90 Years is a true statement that Carlson Construction is an exemplary leader in the construction industry. Priority Mechanical Ltd. congratulates Carlson 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 Carlson Construction || 90 years || 4


Ritchie Market.

been a great success for us. Our business and our team are thriving, and we’ve been able to take the best from both worlds and elevate the business to new heights.” What is the secret to 90 great years in business? “We truly care! Not only about the projects we have built, but also about the success of our clients. We fully understand the impact we have on adding value to businesses through thoughtful design and quality construction, while being respectful of budgets and timelines. Our idea of project success does not stop at the structure; it carries through the overall success of our clients’ day-to-day business and the relationships we establish through this process.” Management also cites looking out for their team and the community as crucial factors in the company’s success.

Midwest Caissons would like to congratulate the whole team at Carlson Contruction on 90 years of leadership and excellence in the Construction industry.

“The culture at Carlson is one that promotes entrepreneurship. There’s a high degree of accountability, and we encourage and support independence and key decision making from staff at all levels. Placing trust in the team and allowing them to feel empowered to make decisions is essential to growth, as is maintaining a healthy lifestyle outside of work – that is crucial to performance and mental sharpness. There is importance in being aware of your limitations and recognizing when you need a break to recharge. Communication and engagement amongst the team is key. We need to be confident enough to provide constructive feedback, and we also need to be open to receiving it and utilizing it in effective ways. “Carlson is very involved in the Edmonton community, and we have partnered with a number of local causes and supported them in a variety of ways. YESS (Youth Empowerment Support Services), the Glenrose Foundation, Autism Edmonton, Boys and

Congratulations on your milestone!

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Girls Clubs, CMHA (Canadian Mental Health Association), and The GRIT Program (Getting Ready for Inclusion Today) are some of the organizations we’ve supported, and continue to support.”

and learn from people in construction organizations who have different backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences has allowed us to become better leaders, and a better business.”

The management team are thankful for the support that the company has received, too.

For Carlson, 90 years is just the beginning. As they approach their 100th anniversary, the company shows no signs of slowing down.

“Organizations such as the Edmonton Construction Association (ECA) have helped shape what this company is today. Having been one of the ECA’s founding members, we’ve experienced years of market changes, and we’ve had their support in developing our business accordingly. Through the years, many of Carlson’s principals have served, and continue to serve, on the board of directors for the ECA. Being able to connect with

“With our current focus being growth, we’ve recently added resources in Calgary to support our existing and future clients in the southern Alberta market,” the management team concludes. “We intend to expand our services to other provinces in the near future, as well as to continually find new and innovative ways we may better serve our clients and communities.”

Congratulations to Carlson Construction on celebrating 90 years of business excellence!

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Congratulations on your 90th Anniversary! We are proud to be part of your success.

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MAPLE REINDERS:

Half a Century of Innovation in Building, Civil and Environmental Construction By Nerissa McNaughton

M

aple Reinders is a full-service builder with offices across Canada and a portfolio of over 2,600 completed projects from coast to coast. Now, in its 50th year of operations, the company that specializes in building, civil and environmental construction, has grown to be one of the most respected firms of its kind in Canada.

Lawrence Seaway. Over time, Mr. Reinders came to notice what he perceived to be a lack of synergy between the disciplines of engineering and construction, and so he founded the company as a way to marry those two concepts. His vision from the start was to apply sound engineering principles to the design and construction of all the projects the company undertook.”

“The company was founded in 1967 by Fred J. Reinders, who still serves as the company’s chairman and CEO,” says Jeremy Olthuis, the company’s national vice president of buildings. “Mr. Reinders was exposed to engineering from an early age, as his father played a prominent role as a marine engineer in the Netherlands. He graduated as a civil engineer and came to Canada, first cutting his teeth with various marine projects, including along the St.

Reinders was an immigrant from Holland and was proud to become Canadian. He launched his company during Canada’s centennial year. The unique name was developed to denote the Canadian roots of the company, with the maple leaf itself being an important part of the company logo and Reinders, naturally, being the family name. The colours behind the logo are also important: blue to symbolize Mr. Reinders’ roots in marine engineering and

MAPLE REINDERS | 50 YEARS | 1 71


Calgary Compost Facility. construction, and orange to honour the Dutch roots of his home country.

in the areas of environmental projects and water/wastewater management.

It didn’t take long for the Maple Reinders name to become synonymous in the industry with quality, dependability, outstanding customer service, and a company that could take a project from start to finish in an efficient, safe and ecologically responsible manner. Diverse industries, from transportation and manufacturing, and to commercial and academic, sought the company’s expertise. Maple Reinders also quickly became a leader

Two of Maple Reinders’ latest high-profile projects include the City of Calgary’s composting facility, a 356,860 square foot mastery of engineering that is the largest indoor composting facility in North America. With the ability to process 100,000 wet tonnes per year of source separated organics, leaf and yard material, as well as approximately 40,000 wet tonnes per year of biosolids, this facility will help the city reach its goal of diverting 80 per cent of its waste from landfills by 2020.

The Vector Group would like to congratulate Maple Reinders on 50 Years of growth with excellence!

5344 – 36 Street ph: 780-469-7900 • fax: 780-469-2122 www.thevectorgroup.com

Secondly, Maple Reinders’ work on the Sechelt Water Resource Centre in B.C. has been the recipient of numerous industry awards including the CCA Environmental Achievement Award and the Canadian Design Build Institute’s Award of Excellence. “We created a way to treat wastewater by utilizing the technology of a greenhouse on top of the plant to clean and treat the wastewater while also growing fruitful and lush plants,” Olthuis describes of the botanical water resource center, which is as beautiful as it is functional. Maple Reinders looks inwards, too, to ensure excellence in employee and human resource management, and that kind of reflection has earned the company platinum status in the Best Managed Companies program.

MAPLE REINDERS | 50 YEARS | 2


“The Best Managed Companies designation is not an easy one to attain,” Olthuis admits. “The Best Managed program recognizes best-in-class Canadian-owned and managed businesses that show strategy, capability and commitment to achieving sustainable growth; and by consistently demonstrating excellence in these fields, Maple Reinders has passed the rigorous evaluation procedures. This year, Maple Reinders was honoured with becoming a platinum member with Best Managed Companies, meaning we have retained our Best Managed designation for seven consecutive years. This serves as a testament to the company’s management skills and practices, but also as a testament to Maple’s employees, who all contribute to making the company as successful as it is.” That success is earned every day as the company constantly adapts to meet the needs of a changing market. “The company is growing rapidly, and the economy is everchanging,” confirms Olthuis. “We are adapting and trying to be frontrunners in the markets in which we see opportunity, as well as value. We have restructured to handle our growth, and to have more efficiencies within the company.” It’s a crucial time for the company’s evolution, Olthuis notes. Over the past 50 years of Maple Reinders’ operations, “Projects have become more complex. The contracts have become more complex. Project sizes have grown, and we went from

being a company of 50 people to 450. All of this has pushed us to develop innovative building and design solutions that address the ever increasing complexity of both the industry and our clients’ needs. Examples of this innovation can be found in the value engineering and scheduling work that we did to shave eight weeks off of an already aggressive 28-week concrete formwork schedule on the Allendale 5 Office Building in Edmonton; and with the Distribution Centre that we built for Gordon Food Services in Calgary, where we installed two water recycling systems to exceed municipal standards and address the outflow water quality and quantity requirements of the project.” Social responsibility is a very big part of Maple Reinders. In fact, the company donates 10 per cent of its profit to charity through its Reinders Family Foundation, along with supporting initiatives such as: the Hockey 4 SickKids tournament, the Ride to Conquer Cancer, Relay for Life, Run for Wells and many more. Olthuis, who has been with the company for 20 years, says 100 in business is the next milestone. He looks forward to seeing the company through the next generation of leadership and ownership, and to Maple Reinders continuing to be a leader in the industry. “We don’t want to be the biggest. We want to remain the trusted partner that provides exceptional value, and we want to uphold our reputation of being very good at what we do.”

MAPLE REINDERS | 50 YEARS | 3


Sechelt Water Resource Centre.

On behalf of Maple Reinders, Olthuis is pleased to thank the company’s past and present staff, clients, vendors, supporters and community partners for 50 great years. “I also want to acknowledge our executive team, who are a big part of everything we do. It would have been a very different company today without their leadership.” Maple Reinders looks forward to continuing to make a measurable impact and difference in the communities it works in by offering complete solutions for the many varied needs of the industries it serves.

32 Royal Vista Dr NW #205, Calgary, AB T3R 1R8 T 403-216-1455 • F 403-216-1459 www.maple.ca

Congratulations

MAPLE REINDERS THERMO DESIGN INSULATION LTD.

on a fantastic 50 years in business! We look forward to many, many more years of great building projects and collaborations!

Congratulations Maple Reinders on celebrating 50 years of excellent business. HEAD OFFICE BRANCHES WEB

3520 56th Avenue, Edmonton, AB T6B 3S7 • Phone: 780.468.2077 • Fax: 780.465.2683 Vancouver, Kelowna, Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Vaughan www.thermo-design.com

architecture | interior design | 3d visualization fire & building code | accessibility design

visit us online at riddell.ca

MAPLE REINDERS | 50 YEARS | 4


The Silent Partner

A&H Steel’s reinforcing steel’s supply, fabrication and installation services keep our most iconic buildings standing. By Nerissa McNaughton

S

ometimes what you can’t see is the one thing that is supporting everything. A&H Steel is proof of this because, as company principal Glenise Harvey notes, “Reinforcing steel is seldom seen by the average person. It is put in place as the skeletal structure of something that is built in concrete. After the reinforcing steel is put in place, the concrete covers it and it is never seen. A lot of people don’t know that it even exists or why it is used.” The company itself was founded in, and built on, passion and purpose. None of its success today is by accident or luck. Hidden in its core is a story unlike any other, and it is this story that grounded and grew the company for nearly half a century. It’s time to look below the layers and see the company’s heart. A&H Steel was founded in 1970 by brothers Andrew and Hank Kotun. From the start, things weren’t exactly smooth sailing. Hank left A&H Steel in 1971 to start his own company, so Andrew asked draftswoman Olga Chebuk to join the company

as a partner. The small firm had just a handful of employees, with Andy working in the office, yard and field, and Olga doing the drafting. They made administrative decisions together. The duo brought a general manager on board, but he passed away unexpectedly that same year, leaving a crucial gap in the team. So, management asked 28-year old Nestor Puchalski, Olga’s nephew, to be mentored into the role of general manager. He had some reservations, but he rose to, and excelled in, the challenge. In 1973 a steel shortage rocked the company, and clients were threatening lawsuits when steel was not available for their jobs. Andrew and Olga took this very personally. So personally, in fact, that they flew to the States to speak with their steel suppliers in person. Both had used their personal assets as collateral to buy the steel they needed to start the company, so they were not going to let this challenge take them down! The gutsy move saved the company…just in time for the recession of the ’80s.

A & H Steel • 47+ Years

75


CONGRATULATIONS

A & H STEEL

FOR 47 YEARS OF BUSINESS! WE ARE PROUD TO BE A PART OF YOUR SUCCESS

NATIONALLY RECOGNIZED FOR EXCELLENCE, OUTSTANDING SERVICE AND INNOVATION

The new Roger’s Place indoor arena in Edmonton.

Again, the company was threatened, but the dynamic duo was far from finished. Rather than lay off their valuable staff, they kept everyone on board. There wasn’t much work to do, and the staff had agreed to a pay cut, but the strategy was successful. A&H came out of the recession with their staff, and their reputation, intact. The company quickly became well known in Western Canada for its dependability and quality work, which lead to the opportunity to work with Shell North America on the Muskeg River Mine project in 2000. It was, at the time, the largest project for A&H to date, and their success on this job opened the doors to many more of this caliber. Things changed again for the company in 2006, when Andy and Olga survived a serious car accident. Realizing the need for succession planning, Andy’s son, Craig Kotun, and Olga’s daughter, Glenise Harvey, were made shareholders in the company. In 2007, Marvin Olansky stepped into the general manager role, following Nestor’s tragic passing from cancer. A long-time employee who had worked in several different position since joining A&H in 1976, Marvin helped the company secure projects with Rogers Place, the Kaye Clinic and North LRT in Edmonton; Suncor Voyageur and the Fort Hills projects in Fort McMurray; and Eighth Avenue Place and Eau Claire in Calgary. Marvin retired in 2015 and was replaced by Rahim Adatia, an engineer with an MBA and a former leader with ATCO Electric. Rahim was the perfect fit to move the company forward with fresh ideas and different perspectives.

7 8 0 . 428.0501 w i tte nlaw.com

A year after Rahim joined, A&H Steel moved into a new three-story building, which was built on the site of where the company’s story began. The move ushered in a new era for A&H Steel. “I have been the champion of a shift in culture in our organization,” says Glenise. “One thing I have learned is that shifting culture in an organization is not a project, it is a process that is ongoing and intentional...and challenging. A&H had a good culture; however, it was also reflective of the overall culture of the construction industry. My vision was of a culture that honoured authenticity, integrity, people being responsible for their own actions instead of blaming and shaming, and one where we were up to making a difference for each other and in the community--while having fun, too. I connected with Vik Maraj of Unstoppable Conversations to work with leadership first, and eventually with all of our employees, on making my vision a reality. I also connected with Bea Bohm-Meyer of Bohm-Meyer Group, who helped us to measure how we are leading the culture and to align our culture with strategy.” Craig was an employee of A&H Steel before moving into ownership.

A & H Steel • 47+ Years • 2


Tanks at Fort Hills Secondary Extraction.

“I understand the challenges our people face every day, and I just want to jump in and take care of the situation for them, but one thing I have learned about being a good leader is to let them find a solution on their own,” he says. “The most rewarding thing is when I walk through or drive by one of the projects we had a major role in constructing. Knowing the hard work and dedication demonstrated by our employees to get that done gives me the same feeling of pride that a father may feel when one of his children has done something amazing.” Glenise agrees, “All that we are today, and all that we have accomplished, has been because of the amazing people that have worked for us over these 47 years. We stand on the shoulders of many others who worked hard in the office, the shop and the field.” Being the children of the company founders has had a profound effect on both of their lives, and the principals are

happy to channel this effect into the goodwill of the company and community. Glenise notes, “A&H has been a part of my life since I was a child. I saw what my mother and Andy lived in the early years: the sacrifices they had to make, the tough decisions, as well as the successes they got to celebrate and the pride they had in their people and accomplishments. Others would sometimes comment on how wonderful it must be for them to own a business, but those people didn’t seem to understand the huge risks and everpresent worry that came with the honour and privilege. Since stepping into leadership, I am constantly aware of the fact that I am responsible for the safety, well-being, security and happiness of a large number of people. Not me alone, as I have a business partner and a team of people working with me to make important decisions; however,

CONGRATULATIONS!

The whole Team from Nordic is very proud to congratulate their friends over at A & H Steel on 47+ years of excellence and innovation!

4143 – 78 Avenue • T: 780.469.7799 • F: 780.469.1568 www.nordicsystems.ca

PROUDLY SERVING A&H STEEL

MAPLE LEAF METALS (a Partnership)

BUYERS OF ALL TYPES OF SCRAP METAL, BATTERIES AND BRASS

4510 68 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB | (780) 468-3951

Congratulations A & H Steel! We wish you many more years of continued success! BarSplice Products, Inc. offers customers’ a broad range of engineered mechanical splice systems for the benefit of the reinforced concrete construction industry.

A & H Steel • 47+ Years • 3

www.barsplice.com


entrepreneurship is about taking that responsibility personally, and to heart.” “What I have learned is that the decisions I make not only affect myself and my family, but they also affect everyone in the A&H family,” adds Craig. “What A&H has taught me about leadership is: (1) Lead by example. Whether it be by living our core values every day, or by being helpful in any way I can. (2) Empower our people to be the best that they can be. A&H supports the community with involvement in the United Way, and by donating rebar for projects by organizations such as iHuman Youth Society and Amiskwaciy Academy.

C O N G R AT U L AT I O N S A & H STEEL W E A R E P R O U D T O B E A PA R T OF YOUR SUCCESS!

“What’s next?” muses Glenise. “I have a deep desire for A&H to be the company that everyone wants to work for, and the one everyone wants to work with.” For Craig, the future involves, “First, growth in this existing economy. Second is to keep finding strong people to help us with that growth and to carry the torch that the great people before us have passed on.” Andrew passed away earlier this year. Glenise and Craig express their deep gratitude to Andrew (Andy) and Olga for laying the foundation for the company’s success, and for never giving up, no matter what the economy, or life, brought their way. Andy is missed every day; the principals are thankful that the value this founder brought to the company is now an enduring legacy that will last for generations. Glenise and Craig also wish to thank their staff, the clients, vendors and all those that have been with them on this journey that has been nearly 50 years in the making so far. Like the reinforcing steel they supply, fabricate and install, the legacy of A&H Steel isn’t readily apparent, but it is the core of the company, the silent structure that has enabled its past, current and future success. 4710 – 82nd Avenue Edmonton AB. T6B 0E4 P: 780-465-6425 • F: 780-466-4943 ah-steel.com

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REINFORCING ALBERTA’S CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY FOR MORE THAN

45 YEARS.

Congratulations to A & H Steel! We are proud to be a part of your success!

Specializing in SRL Stud Rails for reinforcing of concrete slabs. ah-steel.com

604.575-3855 • info@srlindustries.ca www.srlindustries.ca

A & H Steel • 47+ Years • 4


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