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 he Business Council of T Alberta Prominent business leaders join forces to make life better for all Albertans By Malanie Darbyshire

ON OUR COVER: ABOVE: BCA MEMBERS (LEFT TO RIGHT): AROON SEQUEIRA, CHAIRMAN OF SEQUEIRA PARTNERS; RUSS GIRLING, PRESIDENT AND CEO OF TC ENERGY; DAVE FILIPCHUK, PRESIDENT AND CEO OF PCL CONSTRUCTORS INC.; JUDY FAIRBURN, CORPORATE DIRECTOR AND FOUNDER OF THE51. PHOTO SOURCE: REBECCA HARDCASTLE

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Federally Fed Up By Terry O’Flynn

 Manufacturers Face Labour Shortage By David MacLean

 Edmonton Chamber of Commerce


TOGETHER WE BUILD SUCCESS. Technology is always changing, and at PCL we are always adapting and leading the way when it comes to applying the latest innovations to our projects. Our Job Site Insights™ application monitors all aspects of construction helping us increase efficiency, safety, and productivity, while at the same time giving our partners the results they want with smart building, and added value.

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STORY TITLE // SECTION

Supporting the visions of entrepreneurs one story at a time. Volume 7 | Number 1

54

THIS MONTH’S FEATURES

22

It’s Optimism Amid Uncertainty for Edmonton’s Real Estate Market By Laura Bohnert

CONTENTS

28

Small Business Week™ Returns this Fall for a WeekLong Celebration of Local Entrepreneurs By Jamelie Bachaalani

COMPANY PROFILES

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6

C  BM Office Automation Celebrates 45 Years

H  IBCO

Celebrates 10 Years

C  opperblock Capital Celebrates 25 Years

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Behind the Stage Enjoy a great conference or event lately? A lot goes on behind the scenes to create memorable events. By Fay Fletcher

Investing in Recreational Real Estate—the Right Way By Laura Bohnert

51

Will Your #picoftheday Make Your Company Famous? By Nerissa McNaughton

R  ite-Way Packaging Celebrates 25 Years

OCTOBER 2019 // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM

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Green Your Next Meeting: Sustainability at the Edmonton Convention Centre


“Being able to step back and watch the business continue to be successful and thrive is an overwhelming feeling of gratefulness.” Kristina’s vision for casual conscious eats is inspiring. Along her life’s journey as a mom, wife and comfort-food-turned-healthy foodie, Kristina decided to add entrepreneur to the mix. That’s why she reached out to ATB. We’re sold on Kristina’s dedication to her craft and her true entrepreneurial spirit. (And her vegan chili nachos!) See her story at atb.com/kristina

Kristina Botelo, Kb&co


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THE WOMAN FOR THE JOB

ALBERTA’S ENERGY MINISTER SONYA SAVAGE ON HER NEW ROLE AND THE CHALLENGES AHEAD


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Another Group Loses the Plot

by Cody Battershill

Federal Elections, Climate Change and Single-Issue Politics by David Yager

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Cody Battershill | Another Group loses the Plot

ANOTHER GROUP LOSES THE PLOT by Cody Battershill

T

here are few NGOs more famous than Amnesty International. The group has earned the world’s respect predominately for decades of advocacy for unjustly-held political prisoners around the planet. That’s why an open letter from Amnesty’s Canadian head recently sent to the Alberta premier raised more than a few eyebrows around Edmonton and across the country. It seemed to show Amnesty isn’t above politicizing a difficult, pressing economic issue that Albertans grapple with daily – the landlocking (the activists’ words) within the province of Alberta oil exports, and the loss of thousands of potential jobs for indigenous and nonindigenous Canadians. With genuine respect for the good works Amnesty has carried out for prisoners of conscience over nearly six decades, it’s weird that Amnesty’s Canadian head, Alex Neve, would claim in the letter that Albertans are threatening the human rights of various Canadians simply because we want to set the record straight. U.S. energy interests have watched their production double to the point they’re the world’s largest oil producer. But we’re forced to sell our product to the U.S. at a huge discount as a result of the non-Canadian funded

“landlocking” of Alberta oil, in which Canada’s pipeline proposals are stalled through the coordinated efforts of well-funded activists. A majority of Canadians know Canada’s innovative energy industry is among the most scrutinized and regulated of any on the globe. It’s nonsensical that a reputable brand like Amnesty would claim Albertans’ commitment to truth in campaigning somehow threatens the freedoms of association and expression. And while I admire the fact Amnesty’s track record for bringing to light injustices around the world continues to be valuable, it’s surprising to me Neve would claim that Albertans’ enthusiasm for pushing back on misinformation fails to commit “to urgently address the human rights impacts of the mounting global climate crisis.” Neve might consider that the recent push of environmental groups for a prohibition on oilsands activities – and their fight againt all pipelines too – force Canadians to use 700,000 barrels per day of imported product from countries with generally inferior records of environmental and human rights standards, and curtailments of freedoms of the press, of religion, of women’s rights and of fair labour practices.

4 • Business of Energy • October 2019


| Cody Battershill

If the planet adopted world-leading Canadian standards for oil and gas production, emissions per barrel of global production would drop by 23 per cent. But for Neve and Amnesty to claim Alberta’s pushback strategy “fails to recognize (this) province’s vital obligation to advance reconciliation and safeguard the rights of indigenous peoples” is truly bizarre. Indigenous organizations like the National Coalition of Chiefs, the Indian Resource Council, Project Reconciliation, the Western Indigenous Pipeline Group and others are actively supporting Trans Mountain’s sale to indigenous interests and energy development overall. Many see this as a constructive way forward. Alberta is one of the only top-10 oil-exporting jurisdictions with carbon-pricing initiatives that have been in place since 2007. If the planet adopted world-leading Canadian standards for oil and gas production, emissions per barrel of global production would drop by 23 per cent. Even Amnesty International could support that, B couldn’t they? OE

Cody Battershill is a Calgary realtor and founder/spokesperson for CanadaAction.ca, a volunteer-built organization that supports Canadian energy development and the environmental, social and economic benefits that come with it.

5 • Business of Energy • October 2019

ALBERTA OWNED AND OPERATED


David Yager | Federal Elections, Climate Change and Single-Issue Politics

FEDERAL ELECTIONS, CLIMATE CHANGE AND SINGLE-ISSUE POLITICS

N

by David Yager

obody involved in oil and gas or reading this magazine is not closely watching October’s federal election.

The choices have never been clearer. The stakes are high. Because every time oil becomes a federal election issue, regional single-issue politics ensure the West gets clobbered when the wrong people win. Single-issue politics dominates 21st century elections. Using modern polling techniques and social media tools to identify supporters, political parties deliver highly-targeted messages, promise what people will vote for and, when elected, deliver the goods. Nowadays the economy is not always a key election issue unless voters are directly affected. Like Albertans. Today’s politics is highly polarized, pure us versus them. The technical terms are “cleavage” or “partisan sorting” by which voters deliver their support based on their peer group, region, gender or social values. They then reject or even attack those who don’t agree. For oil, the first and worst example was 1980 when Pierre Trudeau’s Liberals won a majority government then delivered the national energy program, the most economically disastrous and

divisive policy in modern history. The issue was a shortage of oil and it cost too much. This election will be about climate change and the future of fossil fuels. Today, there is too much oil that doesn’t cost enough. The Green party and NDP are in a contest to see which can sacrifice the most Canadian oil jobs. This is the first time two of the options on the ballot promise to reduce employment, not increase it. They claim Canada’s energy future is in renewables and replacement jobs will come from massive government investment in mass transit and insulating homes and buildings. This will be financed by increased taxes on high-income earners, corporations and ending investment tax deductions for oil and gas developers. This was renamed fossil fuel subsidies by the anti-carbon movement. The Conservative Party of Canada is the exact opposite. The CPC will tackle climate change through technology, not taxes, and encourage low-carbon energy advancements for worldwide markets where 98.4 per cent of emissions are created. Conservatives are concerned about the exodus of foreign investment from the oilpatch, will undo bills C-48 and C-69, and ensure the Trans Mountain pipeline is completed.

6 • Business of Energy • October 2019


Federal Elections, Climate Change and Single-Issue Politics | David Yager

Somewhere in the middle is Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party which must run on its record. This includes pipeline cancellations, C-48 and C-69, climate change, carbon taxes, social issues, big spending, big deficits and no admission they have ever committed an egregious blunder. However awful Trudeau’s SNC-Lavalin fiasco looks to the rest of the country, the native son of Quebec has proven he will do whatever it takes to protect that province’s interests. Unless the Liberals do something really stupid, Quebec will deliver almost one-third of the seats required for another Trudeau majority. Climate change will be a major campaign platform outside of the Prairies. Neither the Green party, NDP or Liberals are likely to win a single seat in Alberta. September polls indicated all three might elect only four MPs from 62 seats in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. This means the Liberals, Greens and NDP can campaign aggressively against the oil and gas industry without jeopardizing success. Their battlegrounds for supporters will be the Lower Mainland of B.C. and urban residents of Ontario and Quebec. These voters can support aggressive climate policies at the expense of oil without losing their own jobs or risking shortterm financial cost. The Green party platform is a collection of classic socialist doctrine including social justice, diversity and world peace, cemented together by the menace of climate change. The Greens reinforce the recent Liberal national climate emergency declaration stating, “Accept, at every level of government, that climate is not an environmental issue. It is the gravest security threat the world has ever seen.” If this makes oil workers uncomfortable, it should. The Greens admit they won’t form government, but if they hold the balance of power, they will push their anti-fossil fuel agenda. This would end unrefined oil exports (effectively shutting in 2.5 million barrels per day), ban fracking, Trans Mountain and LNG Canada, make every new car on the road electric by 2030 and prohibit internal combustion engines 10 years later. The only use for oilsands will be plastics and petrochemicals. This would eliminate over half of Canada’s oil jobs. The NDP isn’t far behind. This party pledges to exceed Canada’s 2030 Paris commitments by slashing fossil fuel emissions. Leader Jagmeet Singh puts social justice and climate change in the same sentence stating, “It becomes more clear each day that the time for talk on climate change and economic inequality is over … it’s time to act like our future depends on it, because it does.” This will be accomplished by billions in government spending on green transportation infrastructure and assistance for provinces and cities to make public transport free. There would be $5,000 subsidies for electric vehicles, free charging stations at federal buildings and $600 for households to install EV chargers. The NDP formerly supported LNG exports but backed off after losing a byelection on Vancouver Island to the Green party. Led by the relentless high profile of federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna, since 2015 the Liberals have been assuring Canadians their policies will deliver climate salvation. McKenna regularly uses every bad weather event as proof that immediate action is essential while claiming Liberal programs will solve the problem. 7 • Business of Energy • October 2019

Federal Elections, Climate Change and Single-issue Politics

It is well understood by CPC supporters that a new government would send a clear and powerful message to domestic and international investors that Canada is again open for business.


David Yager | Federal Elections, Climate Change and Single-Issue Politics

Pursuing regional, single-issue policies to chase votes may be bad for the West and the country, but it works. In politics, nothing else matters. Regionally, many Canadians are relatively comfortable financially. From 2014 to July of 2019, the national unemployment rate fell from 6.9 per cent to 5.7 per cent. Quebec is on a roll. Its unemployment rate dropped from 7.7 per cent in 2014 to 4.9 per cent in July. Ontario is enjoying similar results, from 7.3 per cent down to 5.7 per cent. Since 2014, the B.C. unemployment rate declined from 6.1 per cent to 4.4 per cent this summer. Alberta and Saskatchewan have gone in the opposite direction. Unemployment in Alberta in 2014 was at 4.7 per cent. In July, it was 7.0 per cent, down from a peak of 8.1 per cent in 2016. In 2014, Saskatchewan’s unemployment rate was 3.8 per cent, the lowest in the country. With its potash, oil and agriculture facing headwinds, that figure this July was 5.4 per cent. Saskatchewan peaked at 6.3 per cent in 2018. Last May, Calgary, once the booming envy of the nation, had the highest unemployment rate of any major city in the country at 7.6 per cent. Based on where the economy is strongest, unemployment figures in the summer of 2019 were going in the right direction for all three political parties prepared to trade oil’s future for votes. Political isolation of Alberta and the rest of the Prairies. Again. Canada’s agricultural and carbon resources warehouse versus the rest of the nation. A significant contributor to single-issue climate politics is urbanization. In 2016, 65 per cent of the nation’s 35 million people lived in 100 urban centres with a population of 50,000 or more. Thirty-five per cent of the population lived in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver alone, hardly hotbeds of support for oil and gas. When Canada was created, 84 per cent of the population lived in rural areas. By 2011, that was down to 18.9 per cent. Canada’s economy

remains heavily driven by resources with oil and gas the largest by any measure. But with over 80 per cent of voters not living where resources are produced, it is easy to understand why people increasingly don’t grasp or care where their food, energy and other products come from. And why political parties target urban voters. But by area, the 100 cities that house nearly two-thirds of Canadians occupy only one per cent of the nation’s land mass. Offsetting all this bad news are several positive realities. As this column is written, the CPC is polling slightly ahead of the Liberals in committed public support and more than all the other parties combined. A CPC minority government is possible and majority not impossible. Justin Trudeau is no longer well liked. During the campaign, voters will be reminded of his many mistakes. Carbon taxes are proven vote killers. Even the Liberals know this which is why they advertise rebates for most households every time they mention it. The Liberals tell us we must pay for pollution yet claim to be putting more money in our pockets. Disingenuous? Absolutely! Climate change is a global challenge requiring global solutions. Many more people understand this than will say so publicly because they are terrified of being branded climate change deniers. And no matter what campaigning politicians may claim, the world still runs on oil and gas and will for the foreseeable future. Canada is a large cold country. Interruptible renewables will not work for most energy needs. Mass transit and even electric vehicles are impractical for 99 per cent of the country by area. But now you know why everyone is paying close B attention to this election. OE

Living in Calgary, David Yager is an oil and gas writer, energy policy analyst and author of From Miracle to Menace – Alberta, A Carbon Story.

8 • Business of Energy • October 2019


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Melanie Darbyshire | The Woman for the Job

THE WOMAN FOR THE JOB

ALBERTA’S ENERGY MINISTER SONYA SAVAGE ON HER NEW ROLE AND THE CHALLENGES AHEAD by Melanie Darbyshire

I

f one is fortunate in life he or she will, at some point, have a job perfectly suited to them. Work that requires a blend of the person’s skills, talents and interests while also providing meaningful opportunity for growth and challenges along the way. A job seemingly made for the person, or vice versa.

As minister of energy for Alberta, Sonya Savage has landed that job. Officially sworn into the new role on April 30 of this year, Savage brings with her a background steeped in the business and politics of Alberta and Canadian energy. A lawyer by profession, she worked in the oil and gas industry for the 13 years prior to being

10 • Business of Energy • October 2019


The Woman for the Job | Melanie Darbyshire

elected. Her experience and knowledge are oneof-a-kind, a perfect match for the job of minister. The timing for Alberta couldn’t be any better. With an economy trudging through its fifth year of struggle – the result of damagingly low prices for Canadian energy – and a federal government overtly anti-Alberta energy, the province’s industry desperately needs strong, intelligent political leadership. Savage is it. “I was thrilled to be appointed minister of energy,” says Savage, who also represents the riding of Calgary-North West, with a humble smile. “But also certainly cognizant of the challenges ahead. I was not naive at all to what needed to be fixed.” Born and raised on a farm near Standard, Alberta, Savage got into politics while attending the University of Calgary. After earning a master of laws in environment and energy, she practiced law for 13 years before taking a job at Enbridge Inc. in 2006. “I worked on some of the biggest projects the country’s ever had,” she reminisces. “Northern

Gateway, Alberta Clipper, Line 9. I did policy and government relations and worked collaboratively with the teams that were doing indigenous affairs and regulatory, getting those applications through.” Much of this work was with the National Energy Board, now the Canadian Energy Regulator. “I saw the challenges, knew the landscape, knew the industry,” she says. She moved to the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA) in 2015, taking on the role of senior director of policy and regulatory affairs. “I had the regulatory affairs file plus indigenous affairs and government relations,” she says. “A much larger gambit which included responsibility over the climate change file, regulatory reform and bills C-69 and C-48. I had a front-seat view to what the federal government was doing. “And I can tell you that when Justin Trudeau said he wanted to phase out the oilsands, he meant it,” she says, referring to comments made by Trudeau in January 2017.

11 • Business of Energy • October 2019


Melanie Darbyshire | The Woman for the Job

Given her experience, Savage assumed office with many priorities, most of which lead back to one thing: “Market access,” she says. “Almost all of the challenging issues in one way or another lead back to the fundamental problem that we don’t have enough pipeline capacity, rail capacity, ways to get our product to market.” The Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, in various stages of pre-construction and still subject to litigation (the most recent development being the grant of leave to appeal by the Federal Court of Appeal to six First Nations groups in September) must be built, Savage says. “It’s in the national interest; it’s needed. I can’t conceive of any circumstance that it won’t be built because it has to be built. It’s an abrogation of the rule of law if the federal government doesn’t see it through.” She’s less unequivocal on Keystone XL, which is slowly making its way through court challenges. “They face political risk in the United States; there’s no risk here in Canada.” Energy East, she explains, was abandoned by TransCanada because of the federal government’s Bill C-69, which adds climate change as a factor to be weighed in any pipeline assessment. “TransCanada very clearly said don’t make us responsible for upstream and downstream GHG impacts; we can’t possibly get through a regulatory process with that much uncertainty and with having to meet tests that are out of our control,” she laments. “But the government put it in and TransCanada walked.” Proclaimed into law in August, Bill C-69 has been a contentious piece of legislation for Alberta. “We’re challenging it,” Savage says bluntly. “No question. Definitely constitutionally challenging it. The project list, the factors to consider, the scope of the assessment. They’ve really clearly intruded into provincial jurisdiction.” She expects most other provinces, including Ontario and Quebec, to do the same, though some for different purposes. “I would think we’ll have a pretty strong coalition. Nine out of 10 provinces opposed it. I’m not sure how many will step in to litigate, but I would expect a good chunk.” A similar strategy will be employed for Bill C-48, the so-called tanker ban bill. “It’s not a tanker

ban, it’s an Alberta oil ban,” Savage clarifies. “It only applies to one product coming from one province. We’re exploring the options and the process for a constitutional challenge.” Litigation is already underway regarding the federal carbon tax, another policy the Alberta government vehemently opposes. Saskatchewan and Ontario are also challenging it. “It’s winding its way to the Supreme Court,” Savage says. “But hopefully it all becomes moot on October 21 [the date of the federal election].” Indeed, Savage holds no bars when it comes to what she thinks about Justin Trudeau, his government and her desire to see them replaced with this month’s federal election. “He’s filled the prime minister’s office, all the key ministers’ offices, with environmental activists,” she says. “Some of them came from Tides, one was the head of Pembina. Gerry Butts was from World Wildlife Fund. And a number of these groups were there in New York City in 2008 when they launched the Tar Sands Campaign. And we’ve seen that strategy play out of the last 10 years. I think there’s a deep story there on what they’re intending.” Part of Premier Jason Kenney’s “fight back” strategy to deal with environmental activists and the Tar Sands Campaign is the highly-publicized war room, which, Savage says, has attracted thousands of emails from Albertans offering to help. “We’ve hired [oil and gas reporter] Claudia Cattaneo to give us some vision on what it should be doing,” she explains. “It’s going to be a nimble, rapid response way of dealing with things. Like a media room that operates quickly. It will be responding to, and creating content on the narrative of how Alberta really is a leader.” The war room is partially funded by industry through the tier levy for heavy emitters. Similarly, a $10-million litigation fund has been set up for use by pro-resource indigenous groups. In addition, the Alberta Indigenous Opportunities Corporation has been created to help indigenous groups, whether through acquiring equity or their own business projects, become involved in major resource projects. In August, Savage made the decision to extend oil curtailment (a policy originally implemented by the previous NDP government to correct an oversupply of oil in the province) for another

12 • Business of Energy • October 2019


The Woman for the Job | Melanie Darbyshire

“We expect it to create 55,000 jobs and really stimulate the economy. The response from the business community has been overwhelming. Some of them, only a year ago, were ready to pull out of Alberta, out of Canada. But now they’re staying.” year. She increased the limit from 10,000 to 20,000 barrels per producer per day. “We want a gradual, orderly exit off curtailment,” Savage confirms. “It’s not ideal, but it was necessary to keep the differential from blowing up again to $43 per barrel. By lifting the base exemption to 20,000 barrels, we got 13 companies off.” Sixteen companies, out of over 300, remain on curtailment. Savage is also exploring the options to get out of the $3.7-billion crude-by-rail deal entered into by then-Premier Rachel Notley on the eve of the April election. “That was a terrible deal,” Savage says incensed. “It was going to cost $3.7 billion to run the program and all they expected to make out of it was $2.2 billion. That’s a $1.5 billion loss. By anybody’s standards it was a terrible deal.” The deal is now with CIBC Capital Markets in divestment, and various options are being sorted out. Beyond issues related to access to market for Alberta’s oil and gas resources, Savage has been busy with other files. The corporate tax rate was lowered to 11 per cent from 12 per cent on July 1, with the plan to get to eight per cent. “It will make us the most competitive jurisdiction in Canada,” Savage says proudly.

“We expect it to create 55,000 jobs and really stimulate the economy. The response from the business community has been overwhelming. Some of them, only a year ago, were ready to pull out of Alberta, out of Canada. But now they’re staying.” In September, she announced the review of the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER), which is

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Melanie Darbyshire | The Woman for the Job

responsible for overseeing Alberta’s energy sector and for ensuring the industry operates in an environmentally-responsible way. “It takes too long to get anything done and in place,” she laments. “There’s too much red tape. We’re doing a thorough comprehensive review of the AER to see if there’s some structural pieces that need to be fixed in order to achieve speedier time frames.” Her decision to scrap the NDP’s plan to overhaul the electricity system to a capacity market was one of the easiest she’s made. “We did a 90-day review right at the outset because we knew we needed to give some certainty on which direction we were going,” she explains. “We held broad consultations with all the affected groups. And it was just overwhelming, from everyone, to stick with the energy-only market. Everyone from the renewable folks to the generators to the distributors to the consumer groups wanted to stick with the energy-only market.” Though it’s been a mere five months, Savage,

with husband of 23 years Eric by her side, has taken on her new role with gusto, inspired by an energy industry she describes as resilient. “They’re down, and they’re being kicked when they’re down,” she says frankly. “Prices are down, they don’t have market access, they don’t have a federal government supportive of their industry. They’re down, but they’re resilient and innovative.” Full of praise for Premier Kenney, whom she says moves at the speed of lightning, she’s confident in the UCP caucus of which she is a part. “We hit the ground running,” she says proudly. “We have an enormous mandate of things that need to be fixed, and we’re just getting started. A lot of the issues we’re working on are very much frontend loaded because they’re critical to getting Albertans back to work.” Evidently made for the job, Savage is the energy minister Alberta needs right now. All Albertans should be grateful for her leadership B and service. OE

14 • Business of Energy • October 2019


Let’s Talk Sales | Chuck Bean

LET’S TALK SALES by Chuck Bean

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he best marketing any company can do walks around on two legs. It is, of course, your salespeople. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the oilpatch. Whether you are an E&P, service company, trader, investor or financer, what attracts and keeps your clients, vendors and investors with your firm is how your people communicate, relate and represent your corporation.

salespeople take the focus off their offering to how they can help clients with anything. This is how relationship are built.

Ask anyone in the executive suite and they will tell you the same thing, “We have seen the rear end of that 10-year run.” Times have changed – and they’ve really changed when it comes to customer relations.

Pat Shouldice – the industry icon who built Nowsco into an industry giant – once told me the secret to success was being the first and the fastest to solve a client problem (expletives removed). He added you will be judged not by the work you do, but by how well you stayed ahead of the client. Keeping them in the loop was the trust builder. Going the extra mile was the trust sustainer. Reciprocity is the king of relationship building and doing things for others, above and beyond, is transcendent.

Companies like Amazon and Netflix have conditioned buyers to expect real-time, ondemand services. Immediacy is no longer an exception, it’s a given. If you are building (or rebuilding) a business, you’d better get used to this. You’re not being compared to your energy competitor; you’re being compared to the “FAANG” of high-performance technology companies (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google). They’re your new competition. Can you imagine a hardened oilfield salesperson who learned the ropes turning pipes on the rigs being compared to a chatbot? Believe me, it’s happening right now! A common problem I hear from executives is they worry their salespeople aren’t engaging enough with clients. It is a genuine issue and it stems from being so focused on our current challenges that we are losing the art of communicating and relating with our clients. If you want to future-proof your business, it starts with face-to-face conversations that keep sales professionals connected to their clients. Operating 24-7, salespeople who work quickly to solve problems gain customer trust. Great

If you are in sales or direct your corporate sales, ask yourself these questions. What have you done for your client lately? What have you done to help them? Are you telling them or teaching them?

Every single interaction a client has with a sales representative, or anyone in your organization, is a reflection of your brand. Every contact, be it tiny or bold, will determine the longterm relationship and resulting loyalty. Your salespeople are representative slices of your company. If they are shining, smart, empathic and pragmatic people, your clients will believe that your entire organization is the same. If they communicate and build relationships, your clients will do the same with you. In this age of email we are losing our connection. With the insurgence of AI, professional salespeople are going to have to work faster, harder and smarter. Those salespeople who make the decision that face to face is where it is at – communicating and building relationships with clients – will be B the winners. OE

15 • Business of Energy • October 2019


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FEDERALLY FED UP // TERRY O’FLYNN

Federally Fed Up BY TERRY O’FLYNN, CHAIRMAN, ALBERTA ENTERPRISE GROUP

W

ith just days left before the federal election, our politicians are becoming extra attentive to everyone’s desires, carefully sculpting their campaign platforms and promises to accommodate as many voter demographics as strategically possible... which amounts to buying votes in their own ridings. Again, with big issues dividing our provinces, the election stage has turned into a boxing ring – and I couldn’t be more disappointed. As tensions over the complex dynamics of intergovernmental disputes create deeper divisions, an increasing number of Canadians are becoming skeptical of our ability to resolve internal differences, and many are even beginning to question the benefits of confederation. This divisiveness will continue to aggravate tensions as we approach what could be the most negative, mud-slinging Canadian election of all time. But it’s not the divisiveness that is the problem. In a country this size, there are going to be polarizing issues on all sides. It’s the complete unwillingness of our leaders to deal with those issues that is the big frustration. The lack of leadership coming from Ottawa is utterly appalling. Incumbents are yelling about the hot button topics (Climate change! Saving jobs!) but are not backing their cries for reform with any discernable long-term action. Sure, it’s sexy to peacock in front of the camera while slapping down sanctions and frowning in the general direction of China when they refuse to accept our crops, but how about actually finding markets for the products our manufacturers can no longer sell in other countries? What a concept! Canada is a team. The provinces are the players. Each is unique, as they should be because that means each province

has something to bring to the field. The Prime Minister is the coach. Globally, nations are watching our inter-squad game. The coach and team members must appreciate the individual strengths with one goal in mind: to make the team as successful as possible. Leadership is exhibited by strategizing and utilizing the strengths within the team, prioritizing, and leveraging all these skills together. A good coach is hands on, actively handling issues, standing up for the team, and fostering respect amongst the players – getting everyone to pull in the same direction despite differences in the locker room. The players may not always like the plays, but they should respect the coach and overall game plan. Other nations see the strength of the team and say, “yeah I want a part of that action.” A bad coach only pays attention to the players that support his or her bid for a second season of coaching. This coach is more concerned about their image and the angle of the press’ cameras. Complicated issues are met with catchy jargon and complete inaction. The only strategy to make the team look good is to bash any opposition from the other coaches, leading to division amongst the players. Other nations see this weakness and invest their interests elsewhere. Who wants to buy a ticket to watch a hot mess? I have a strong message for our “leaders,” (a term I’m using very loosely). That message is: put on your big boy pants and do your job. Lead; put your team – Canada! – first. It’s not all about you. We’re embarrassed on the world stage right now and we’re sick of it. This election, my vote is going to the leader that will actually work for the interests of a strong and united Canada. Too bad it’s painfully unclear which party that is going to be.

BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // OCTOBER 2019

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MANUFACTURERS FACE LABOUR SHORTAGE // DAVID MACLEAN

Manufacturers Face Labour Shortage BY DAVID MACLEAN

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iven everything Alberta businesses have endured since 2014, it’s counterintuitive, yet nonetheless true: manufacturers in Alberta, especially SMEs, are having more and more trouble finding the workers they need. Two thirds of manufacturers are reporting labour shortages today and, three quarter believe the situation will get worst in the next five years. The last of the baby boomers are retiring, and the new generation is not there to pick up the torch. As a result, the manufacturing sector is on the verge of a crisis. To be sure, this is not an Alberta problem – it’s true across Canada. Nationally there are more than 50,000 unfilled jobs in manufacturing – a startling statistic that threatens the competitiveness of Canadian industry. It’s not unusual for successful manufacturers to put off growth plans because they don’t have the people they need to support the expansion. Many forego investing in new machinery and equipment that would make their production cycle quicker and more efficient because of the lack of skilled workers to operate new equipment. Some even have to turn down contracts because they just don’t have the bandwidth. Throughout the month of October, Manufacturing Month, we organize field trips and invite students to tour manufacturing plants and take a peek inside the doors of a manufacturing operation. Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters’ (CME) Women in Manufacturing program is designed specifically to encourage more women and girls, a sadly under-represented demographic, to consider careers in the sector. These efforts will move the needle over time, but more must be done.

We, as parents, hammer in our children with the idea that a university degree is the only sure path to career success and that is simply not true. Manufacturing offers a widerange and rewarding well-paid and safe trade jobs, from CNC machinists to woodworkers. The vast majority of Canadians who work in the manufacturing sector are satisfied with their careers and an astonishing 90 per cent would recommend to a friend. We also need to make sure that newcomers to the industry have the skills to hit the ground running. With advances in industry 4.0, artificial intelligence, and 3D printing, manufacturing is innovating at rapid pace. School curriculums and apprenticeship programs have yet to catch-up. On this front there is a bit of hope to be found in the McKinnon Report on Alberta’s Finances. The report’s authors bluntly note that the province does not link funding of post-secondary institutions to the achievement of specific goals or even meeting skills requirements for the current and future labour market. They recommend that government work with post-secondary stakeholders like CME to set an overall direction and labour market goals for the system. We will be at the table for that discussion. Despite the oil and gas downturn in recent years, attraction and retention of skilled labour remains a key challenge for Edmonton’s manufacturing community. There’s no silver bullet to address the labour challenge. Governments, postsecondary institutions and industry must be at the table and work together toward lasting solutions.

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

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OCTOBER 2019 // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM


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DynaLIFE and AltaML Partner to Further the Presence of AI and ML in Healthcare A partnership between DynaLIFE and AltaML will increase the prevalence of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) in pathology thanks to applications within diagnostics for colon polyp identification and analysis.

DynaLIFE focuses on augmenting pathologists and making better decisions. ML is about reducing the cost and time to make predictions, allowing the pathologists to focus on more critical tasks.”

“The pathology lab is the foundation of healthcare in understanding and diagnosing diseases, but its methodologies have largely remained unchanged for the last 150 years,” says Jason Pincock, CEO of DynaLIFE. “At DynaLIFE, our focus has always been providing leading-edge patient care by ensuring our people and facilities are world-class in our knowledge, lab equipment and infrastructure. Partnering with AltaML where it allows both organizations to learn, grow and adapt together is crucial as we recognize that technology and the transformative power of digitization in the health and life sciences sector is ever increasing at a rapid rate.”

For DynaLIFE, AltaML will develop ML algorithms to compile data sets and uncover predictions and patterns to solve questions that physicians are asking of patients. The method aims to increase efficiencies and lessen the load of pathologists.

AltaML’s CEO Cory Janssen said, “We are thrilled to be part of the project at the ground-level. In order to apply AI to any sector, we have to have a clear understanding of the problem. Working directly with the physicians and the other partners on this project means that we can develop a better and more robust solution.”

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“With machine learning and artificial intelligence systems, we can significantly improve on the existing process, enhance accuracy and speed diagnosis,” added Pincock. “Not only will we have a reliable predictive tool at our fingertips, we will have access to enhanced digital storage as well as better information sharing capacity and retrieval within our networks.”

Recently launched in January 2018 in Edmonton, AltaML’s growing portfolio is bringing ML and software solutions to a variety of industries.

From its headquarters in Edmonton, DynaLIFE Medical Labs offers a complete range of diagnostic testing services. DynaLIFE has nearly 1,000 employees working from 30+ sites, that include hospital labs, patient care centres and a central facility. More than 2,000 physicians and 1 million patients are helped by DynaLIFE’s 175+ million tests annually (18 million of which are performed here in Edmonton).

“We help organizations leverage their data to uncover powerful insights,” noted Janssen. “Our initial work with

Learn more about AltaML at www.altaml.com and DynaLIFE at www.dynalife.ca.

OCTOBER 2019 // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM


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BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // OCTOBER 2019

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Servus Credit Union Launches a Digital Account Opening Product with thirdstream Clients of Servus Credit Union can now enjoy enhanced account opening capabilities thanks to a successful deployment of technology and solutions from thirdstream, a company that supports financial institutions with digital innovations. Called Retail Online Account Opening by thirdstream, Servus Credit Union account openings are now backed by thirdstream’s Identity Verification Platform. This enables clients to open or set up accounts remotely from any device, from any location, and during any time of day. The process is secure, which is a concern in this age of rampant identity and data theft. “Our goal is to continually provide advanced solutions to better serve our members and meet the expectations for added options for potential Servus Credit Union members,” said Cory Brunsel, vice president of digital services. “thirdstream has given us the confidence to move into a space we know consumers expect us to be, and that will provide great value to our members.” “Servus and thirdstream are mapping out plans to adopt the company’s in-branch and commercial account opening solutions in the coming months. “As our strategy evolves, we need fintech depth to support our initiatives,” Brunsel continued. “Partnering with an Alberta-based company with roots in credit unions, banks and trust companies was important to us. thirdstream has provided both depth with fintech and a solid understanding of our business and what it needs.” “We are especially proud of our deep roots in Alberta where we serve a number of leading financial institutions,” said Keith Ginter, thirdstream’s CEO.

ADDITIONAL THIRDSTREAM-BASED SOLUTIONS ARE FORTHCOMING, INCLUDING AUTOMATING TRADITIONALLY PAPER-BASED PROCESSES AND A NEW RANGE OF FUNDING OPTIONS, INCLUDING REAL-TIME INTEGRATION WITH THE OVATION CORE BANKING SYSTEM. THE GOAL IS TO ELEVATE THE CLIENT EXPERIENCE WHILE IMPROVING INTERNAL PROCESSES. “The opportunity to take a leadership role with Servus has created a very fruitful partnership. We bring contemporary solutions, backed by a dynamic product management approach. Our solutions are designed to give consumers the online and on-location experiences they expect, and give financial institutions the robust tools they need to continually improve the customer experience while holding down administrative overhead.” Additional thirdstream-based solutions are forthcoming, including automating traditionally paper-based processes and a new range of funding options, including real-time integration with the Ovation core banking system. The

ABOVE: KEITH GINTER, THIRDSTREAM’S CEO

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OCTOBER 2019 // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM


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goal is to elevate the client experience while improving internal processes. Servus Credit Union is committed to building a better world and has been engaged with Alberta customers for 80 years. The financial institution is proud of its lineup of secure financial services and products and has evolved to help members manage their money from any location thanks to 100 branches in 59 communities, as well as online, mobile and phone banking, and no-fee ATMs. “We re-invest our profits in our members and the communities we serve,” cites the bank. thirdstream is headquartered in Lethbridge, Alberta, and is a leading provider of in-branch and online onboarding and lending solutions for consumers and business transactions. thirdstream is happy to serve over 30 Canadian financial institutions and represent more than $330 billion in assets. The agile company is continually evolving its product line.

Learn more about Servus Credit Union at www.servus.ca/ life, and thirdstream at www.thirdstream.ca.

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BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // OCTOBER 2019

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THE BUSINESS COUNCIL OF ALBERTA // COVER

THE BUSINESS COUNCIL OF ALBERTA PROMINENT BUSINESS LEADERS JOIN FORCES TO MAKE LIFE BETTER FOR ALL ALBERTANS BY MELANIE DARBYSHIRE

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iven its name, one might reasonably assume the newly-formed Business Council of Alberta (BCA) has a singular focus on business: an organization made up of, advocating on behalf of, Alberta businesses. That assumption, however, would be wrong. For while BCA is comprised of notable businesses and entrepreneurs, its purpose is far broader than that sole sphere; it encompasses the well-being of all Albertans, the province’s economy and the environment. Put simply, BCA is about shared prosperity. Conceived in late 2018 by business titans Ron Mannix, chairman emeritus, Coril Holdings Ltd.; Hal Kvisle, board chair, Finning International; Mac Van Wielingen, president and founder, Viewpoint Group; Nancy Southern, chair and CEO, ATCO Group; and Dawn Farrell, president and CEO, TransAlta Corporation; BCA is a non-partisan policy and advocacy organization focused on making life better for Albertans. By harnessing the experience and talent of business leaders and entrepreneurs, the goal is to build a better Alberta.

“We look at prosperity in a broad sense for Albertans,” explains Kvisle, one of the five founders. “Not just looking at the well-being or the success of big corporations or any individual business, but rather how well is Alberta working for the broad base of Albertans in both economic and social terms?” This focus, in addition to the impressive list of founders and members, sets BCA – an organization arguably long overdue in Alberta – apart. It also gives it a uniquely influential position. “One of our core beliefs is that when the province is economically strong, we have the capability and flexibility to do a number of other things,” Kvisle explains. “We can deliver better education and better opportunities for people. We can have better investments in infrastructure and can fund social programs. When the economy is weak or when we’re operating under unusual burdens imposed upon us, all of those things become a whole lot more difficult.” ABOVE: BCA MEMBERS (LEFT TO RIGHT): AROON SEQUEIRA, CHAIRMAN OF SEQUEIRA PARTNERS; RUSS GIRLING, PRESIDENT AND CEO OF TC ENERGY; DAVE FILIPCHUK, PRESIDENT AND CEO OF PCL CONSTRUCTORS INC.; JUDY FAIRBURN, CORPORATE DIRECTOR AND FOUNDER OF THE51. PHOTO SOURCE: REBECCA HARDCASTLE

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OCTOBER 2019 // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM


THE BUSINESS COUNCIL OF ALBERTA // COVER

BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // OCTOBER 2019

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THE BUSINESS COUNCIL OF ALBERTA // COVER

Indeed, things in this province have been much more difficult over the last five years. Far beyond the energy industry, the economic malaise has gripped everyone. It’s these challenges, and the solutions to them, that have inspired 44 BCA members to join to date. “It’s a pivotal time in Alberta right now,” says BCA member Dave Filipchuk, president and CEO of PCL Constructors Inc. in Edmonton. “The economic prosperity enjoyed in the past is no more. I see it as a critical time for doing the right things to set us up for a bright future. We can deal with current realities as best we can, but we also want to set ourselves up for generations to come.” “We want it to go beyond the traditional framing of a think tank or lobby organization and be more of what we call a ‘dotank,’” explains Adam Legge, BCA’s founding president. “We need to do our best, in a public policy way, to increase the prosperity of Albertans using business as the critical vehicle to achieve that prosperity.” The 44 BCA members are from Edmonton and Calgary, though the goal is to have approximately 150 members, from diverse sectors and geographies across the province. “I see BCA as an opportunity to bring the ‘and,’” says member Judy Fairburn, corporate director and founder of The51. “We have at the table large firms, startups, younger and older generations. We have the core group from the traditional sectors but increasingly membership from the tech world. This bringing together to find solutions and enable our province to be successful on all fronts: economically, socially and environmentally.” In just a short time, BCA has launched two projects. The first is the creation of an Alberta Shared Prosperity Index to measure the shared prosperity for Albertans over time and compared to other jurisdictions to see where work should be done. The second is the Task Force on Future Skills and Training. “This will help us to make sure we have an ecosystem of both business and post-secondary institutions such that people are continually adapting and evolving their skill sets to be prepared for the changing workplace,” Legge explains. For Fairburn, a focus on digital skills and adoption is imperative. “It’s key to maintaining competitiveness, as

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OCTOBER 2019 // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM

IN JUST A SHORT TIME, BCA HAS LAUNCHED TWO PROJECTS. THE FIRST IS THE CREATION OF AN ALBERTA SHARED PROSPERITY INDEX TO MEASURE THE SHARED PROSPERITY FOR ALBERTANS OVER TIME AND COMPARED TO OTHER JURISDICTIONS TO SEE WHERE WORK SHOULD BE DONE. THE SECOND IS THE TASK FORCE ON FUTURE SKILLS AND TRAINING. we’ve seen in many sectors around the world. Having the skills and training to be able to adapt and to know that we are going to be well positioned, rather than poorly positioned, to evolve as the world keeps changing.” Beyond the two projects, a major focus of BCA will be identifying what steps are needed to help get Alberta’s economy and prosperity back on track. “It’s a really frightening world out there right now,” says Southern. “When we see inverted yield curves, slowing of demand, global trade uncertainty, geopolitical uncertainty, we need to have all the best thinking brought together in order to continue to ensure that Alberta is prosperous. That it has its best foot forward and remains competitive in a highly-competitive environment. We need to maintain advantages, work on our strengths and mitigate our weaknesses. That’s the role of BCA.” Southern highlights the vilification of the oil and gas industry as one issue at the forefront. “That has to be one of our priorities,” she says. “We need a measured, well-thoughtout approach to improving our oil and gas image.” The issue is top-of-mind for member Russ Girling, president and CEO of TC Energy, and fourth-generation Albertan. Having spent 35 years in Alberta’s energy industry, he’s experienced many ups and downs but is more concerned today than he’s ever been about the future.


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THE BUSINESS COUNCIL OF ALBERTA // COVER

“This is a great place to work, live, raise families and invest,” he says. “Never have I seen the opportunity so great. But at the same time, never have the challenges been so daunting. Misinformation and activist movements have been focused on a keeping-it-in-the-ground strategy, while we have failed to ensure that the facts are out there for people to make informed decisions.” Those facts, he continues, include that Alberta and Canada have one of the largest resources bases in the world. “Our environmental standards, employment standards and the way we conduct our business is the most responsible on earth,” he says proudly. “That message has been drowned out by those with a clear objective of shutting down our business here. It’s been a huge challenge in terms of public policy and ensuring we have a sound foundation for future growth.” Access to markets, within and outside Canada, is another key issue. “We need to have open borders within this

country,” says Filipchuk. “We need access to tidewater for Alberta’s resources.” “Access to market is a problem for the energy sector, and also for the forestry sector and the agricultural sector,” Kvisle adds. “It has been the single-biggest challenge Western Canada has faced for 400 years, going back to the fur traders. It’s a big deal in agriculture and certainly in the pipeline space today.” Member Aroon Sequeira, chairman of Sequeira Partners in Edmonton, echoes his support for the province’s energy sector while encouraging the promotion of a diverse province. “We must attract businesses of all types to Alberta and create a generally good business climate, emphasizing that we are a diverse economy beyond energy,” he says. “We have some of North America’s largest and most respected engineering and construction firms, one of the two major Canadian airlines and one of the two major railroads based here. We have some

PHOTO SOURCE: REBECCA HARDCASTLE

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THE BUSINESS COUNCIL OF ALBERTA // COVER

WITH SIGHTS SET ON SIGNIFICANT GOALS AND THE BEST POSSIBLE PEOPLE WORKING TO ACHIEVE THEM, BCA PLANS TO HAVE A MAJOR IMPACT, IN ALBERTA, CANADA AND THE WORLD. of the best health care in the country. We top the charts for philanthropic giving. We’re a beautiful part of the country. I would like to see that message – of what Alberta really is – get out to the rest of Canada and the world.” “Alberta can and should be known for our depth beyond the energy industry,” agrees Filipchuk. “Our company, PCL, is the largest general contractor in Canada, headquartered here in Edmonton. That’s something that locals know and are proud of, but I’m not sure that’s broadly known in the rest of Canada. Frankly, it’s been a wonderful place to be headquartered.” Another area Southern hopes BCA will make headway on is the streamlining of policy and standards across provincial boundaries. “It’s so inefficient in Canada to have a regulatory body in each and every province that act in different ways,” she says. “That in itself creates protectionism for each of the provinces, and we can’t be that insular. We have to think about how we make Canada better, not just each province. What we can do from each province that brings strength and allow the country to capitalize on the strengths of each province.” Tax policy is another area BCA aims to make progress in. “Specific high taxes that have been introduced are a real disincentive to people,” Kvisle laments. “And we’ve already seen the tax reductions implemented in Alberta have stimulated economic activity. The federal government needs to give some serious thought as to whether their tax policies have been going in the right direction.”

For all BCA founders and members, recapturing the public trust and improving public sentiment towards businesses in general is a priority. “There’s a conversation happening, across North America, about the role of business,” Girling says. “About the role of free enterprise and markets. They are the cornerstones of this prosperous society that we have, that provides opportunities for education, investment, job creation and meaningful work for people. We need to be in the conversation.” A focus on attracting and retaining younger Albertans in the province is also needed. “We need to ensure that our younger generation is choosing Alberta as a place of opportunity,” Fairburn says. “Let’s make sure we’re taking the steps to enable our province to be future-relevant, offering meaningful work, a digital and sustainable foundation, diverse sectors with diverse leadership. Look at it through their eyes, because talent is so mobile.” With sights set on significant goals and the best possible people working to achieve them, BCA plans to have a major impact, in Alberta, Canada and the world. “I have not, in all my career, seen an initiative like this with so many influential, passionate people coming together in a non-partisan fashion,” Sequeira marvels. “It’s very ambitious goals with an anythingis-possible attitude. That excites me. Will there be frustration along the way? Probably. Will there be diverse points of view and lots of arm-wrestling on things? Absolutely. But I believe ultimately, we will see results.”

BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // OCTOBER 2019

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IT’S OPTIMISM AMID UNCERTAINTY FOR EDMONTON’S REAL ESTATE MARKET // REAL ESTATE

IT’S OPTIMISM AMID UNCERTAINTY FOR EDMONTON’S REAL ESTATE MARKET BY LAURA BOHNERT

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nother year has gone by since Alberta’s latest recession came to its end, but it wasn’t just the recession that impacted Edmonton’s real estate market. The qualities of the economic recovery also played a part, especially given the particularly slow recovery pace that left many waiting in anticipation for the signs of a once-again stable economy. Add to that the instability of a provincial and now federal election and you have the perfect storm for real estate market disruption. How has Edmonton’s real estate market been faring? Mark Barron Wilbert, Partner at Coldwell Banker Venture Realty, gives a snapshot of the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton’s figures: “As of July 2019, the average selling price of residential homes was down 1.7 per cent year over year; new listings were down 10.01 per cent, and residential inventory was down 13.58 per cent. Residential sales for the month were up 11.49 per cent; however, for the year to date, all residential sales were down by 1.5 per cent year over year.

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OCTOBER 2019 // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM


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Understanding the Numbers – REALTOR® Tools That Change the Game

N

ot all real estate professionals are equal. REALTORS® have been the gold standard of the real estate community for some time, but it’s often underappreciated what a good REALTOR® can bring to the table. REALTORS® have access to the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®). Most members of the public use REALTOR.ca to search for properties, and it is an effective tool to develop an overview of the market. However, the back-end functionality of MLS® provides REALTORS® with a wealth of information and insight otherwise unavailable. REALTORS® can paint a complete picture of the market, and ensure their clients are getting fair value for their property and/or paying a fair price for a new home.

micro-markets which may be overperforming or under-performing. With the MLS® Home Price Index, REALTORS® can now corroborate which micro-markets are hot – or are not – and in turn present our clients with easyto-understand graphs illustrating which communities hold value, and how value has changed over time. The MLS® Home Price Index uses 18 different factors – such as style of home, bedrooms, bathrooms, and specific attributes like gas fireplaces – to develop a benchmark home in an area. This allows for a more apples-to-apples comparison than previously available.

Combining this with other proprietary tools provided by the Association Michael Brodrick, Chair, REALTORS® ensures your Edmonton REALTOR® Association of Edmonton has all he or she needs to explain why a certain house is at a certain price-point, and help their client receive a fair deal. Here, at the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton, we’ve used MLS® data to develop further tools to enable our REALTORS® Technology, combined with the industry experience and to assist their clients. One such tool is the MLS® Home Price training undertaken by all REALTORS®, provides clients with Index, which processes up to 10 years of data to drill down to the peace of mind and service they’ve come to expect from a micro-market (generally, a specific community or location). members of our Association. While prices in a city or region may rise or fall, this ignores

Moving Life Forward. Your next phase of life starts with a REALTOR®


IT’S OPTIMISM AMID UNCERTAINTY FOR EDMONTON’S REAL ESTATE MARKET // REAL ESTATE

AS WILBERT POINTS OUT, “LAST YEAR WAS A RECORD YEAR FOR COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE, AND THERE WERE SOME VERY LARGE DEALS THAT TOOK PLACE.” Those are the stats—but what does all of this mean for the state of Edmonton’s real estate market? Do the decreases in real estate across the board paint a negative picture of the Edmonton market? Not necessarily.

“The commercial side does not have a clear picture just yet, but we do have information on the starts (new builds) in both residential and commercial. Single-detached starts in the Edmonton area decreased in May by 34 per cent (to 335 units) from a year prior. This was the weakest performance in May since the 2016 Alberta recession. Year to date, singlefamily starts in Metro Edmonton have decreased by 32 per cent (to 1,350 units) from January to May 2018.” He adds, “2019 is shaping up to be the slowest year for single-family starts across the region since 2009. CMHC tallied 1,842 completed and unoccupied single and semi-detached units (including show homes) in the Edmonton CMA in May, down from 1,912 units in the preceding month. “In terms of new multifamily builds, multi-family housing starts in greater Edmonton decreased in May by 42.5 per cent (to 260 units) from one-year-ago levels. All three types of multi-family units (semi, row, and apartment) were down from May of last year, with apartments seeing the biggest reduction. However, so far this year to date, multi-family starts across Metro Edmonton were up by almost 1 per cent (to 2,028 units). Weaker numbers for semi-detached and townhouse (row) starts to the end of May were offset by stronger new apartment activity.”

As Wilbert points out, “Last year was a record year for commercial real estate, and there were some very large deals that took place.” This year, the numbers are down, but that isn’t necessarily a negative thing, as, “2019 was slower and steadier from the prior year, but I believe that was partially due to factors that created uncertainty in the minds of the consumers, such as the recent and upcoming elections. “There are also positive signs, like the increased monthly sales year over year, the fact that total net migration increased to 10,474 people, and the fact that average weekly earnings, as well as the number of people working, has increased year over year. All of these improvements will positively impact Edmonton, as long as they continue,” stresses Wilbert. He also points out that the signs of optimism are emerging through the shroud of uncertainty that has been clouding Edmonton’s real estate market since it was forced to navigate some pretty impactful changes. “Consumers are still impacted by the drastic changes that were imposed on the real estate market over the last several years,” he notes “but now, slowly, attempts are being made to backpedal and introduce new, beneficial programs, like the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive.”

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

BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // OCTOBER 2019

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IT’S OPTIMISM AMID UNCERTAINTY FOR EDMONTON’S REAL ESTATE MARKET // REAL ESTATE

THE IMPACT ON HOMEBUYERS IS A SIGNIFICANT ONE. AS BRODRICK POINTS OUT, REAL ESTATE HAS A LARGER IMPACT ON THE EDMONTON ECONOMY THAN MIGHT BE EXPECTED.

However, it isn’t just about backpedaling; the struggles Edmonton’s real estate market faced over the past few years could also have the potential to become a teaching point. “It became apparent that Canada has several different real estate markets, and that policies will impact each of them differently.” Michael Brodrick, 2019 Chair, REALTORS® Association of Edmonton, agrees, pointing to the recently established stress test as a prime example. “The residential real estate market has been significantly impacted by federal lending policies. For instance, the mortgage stress test was designed to cool the markets in Toronto and Vancouver but was implemented as a national policy with total disregard for regional differences.” That isn’t something, Brodrick emphasizes, that went over lightly either. “The federal policy has had a significant downward impact on the price point at which buyers can qualify for and purchase real estate, and this has lowered prices and negatively impacted home equity – a substantial asset for many homeowners. This equity will not be easily or quickly rebuilt.” The impact on homebuyers is a significant one. As Brodrick points out, real estate has a larger impact on the Edmonton economy than might be expected.

“Home ownership stimulates the economy,” Brodrick says, “from the direct support of REALTORS®, home inspectors, and mortgage brokers to the retailers of furnishings, electronics, and maintenance provisions, to the municipalities that derive significant revenue from property taxes. The role of home ownership in creating economic diversity cannot be overlooked.” “Based on RAE sales statistics,” he adds, “we estimate ancillary spending directly related to home ownership to be in excess of $1 billion over a three-year period.” That’s a significant benefit to any economy, but especially to one that is still coping with the fallout of a recession and its uncharacteristically slow post-recession recovery. Despite the challenges the Edmonton real estate market has been facing, though, the forecast isn’t just showing bad news. In fact, that there are still a few optimistic prognostications. “The market is currently in a stable position, with a lot of the excess inventory from 2018 having been absorbed,” Brodrick points out. But at the same time, while “properties are still being bought and sold, they are taking longer to sell, and prices are down.” In other words, there is optimism… with a grain of salt. Just like its recovery from the recession, Edmonton’s real estate market is steady, but slow. But hey, slow and steady wins the race, right?

ABOVE: MICHAEL BRODRICK, 2019 CHAIR, REALTORS® ASSOCIATION OF EDMONTON.

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OCTOBER 2019 // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM


WEEK-LONG CELEBRATION OF LOCAL ENTREPRENEURS // SMALL BUSINESS WEEK

SMALL BUSINESS WEEK™ RETURNS THIS FALL FOR A WEEK-LONG CELEBRATION OF LOCAL ENTREPRENEURS

BY JAMELIE BACHAALANI

S

ave the date, Edmonton! Small Business Week™ returns on October 21 for a week-long city-wide celebration of local business owners and entrepreneurs.

Initiated in 1979 by the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) as a means of recognizing entrepreneurs and the important role they play in our communities, Small Business Week first began in British Columbia’s Lower Fraser Valley. The event was so successful that it continued again the following year, and in 1981 the BDC officially launched Small Business Week across Canada. “As the only bank devoted exclusively to entrepreneurs, our mandate is to help businesses grow and diversify. Our partnership with the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce (ECC) is one way to do just that. ECC helps us reach out to the local business community and address current challenges such as diversification and international expansion,” explains Rob Lajoie, vice president of financing.

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OCTOBER 2019 // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM


WEEK-LONG CELEBRATION OF LOCAL ENTREPRENEURS // SMALL BUSINESS WEEK

After 40 years, BDC continues to be the presenting sponsor for Small Business Week, partnering with local chambers and associations to plan thousands of events coast to coast for entrepreneurs. This year’s theme, Canada: A Nation of Entrepreneurs, focuses on showcasing the people behind the businesses and examining what it takes to succeed as an entrepreneur. “Expanding outside borders is always a challenge for small business owners, so it is very important that the BDC encourages and supports them in looking beyond Edmonton, Alberta and even Canada’s borders,” says Lajoie. The support is much needed. While small businesses may not be big in size, collectively they play a large and vital role in our local economy. “There are close to 48,000 businesses in Edmonton. Almost 95 per cent are small to mid-sized enterprises,” says Janet Riopel, president and CEO of the ECC. “They are at the core of everything we do at the Chamber and it is our mission to create an environment where they are able to succeed and thrive.” This year’s BDC’s Small Business Week will feature a networking event at the new JW Marriott and a panel discussion on Growth Expansion and Trade at the Sutton Hotel. Lajoie will moderate and members will hear opinions from Keenan Pascal, CEO of Token Naturals Ltd; Kathy Leskow, owner of Confetti Sweets; and Judd Kruger, director of Finance for SureHire Inc. Michael Denham, president and CEO of BDC, and Pierre Cléroux, chief economist, will also be giving presentations across the country as they celebrate the BDC’s 75th anniversary. ECC’s lineup for the week includes an exciting e-commerce seminar featuring Shopify. “It is a fascinating business model,” says Riopel. “Understanding social media is critical to the success of a business, and no one knows how to navigate it better than Shopify.” “Growing a business online creates opportunities for higher revenue, direct communication with customers, and easier access to global markets,” adds Lajoie. “In our most recent study, we found that although being online fuels growth, only 4 out of 10 small- to medium-sized enterprises in Canada with an online presence sell, receive and take orders online! Consequently, 60 per cent of Canadian SMEs are missing huge growth opportunities.” “It was, and continues to be, intimidating to grow my business,” confesses Brooke Riopel, owner and operator of 35ltd, a graphic design studio and shop featuring handmade and laser cut designs. “Learning how to keep up with the industry is an ongoing challenge but Small Business Week provides resources to help business owners, including networking opportunities, which builds a more supportive business community.” With 10 years of experience as a graphic designer, Brooke Riopel opened her business in 2016 as a way to spend time with her children while still developing her skills, maintaining her creativity, and generating income.

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WEEK-LONG CELEBRATION OF LOCAL ENTREPRENEURS // SMALL BUSINESS WEEK

“There is this illusion that when you start a business, everyone will flock to you, but the reality is, it can take years to build up to being a fully operating business,” says Coreina Hubert, team leader at CorePro8, a business management consulting firm, launched at the beginning of this year and completely designed for the new entrepreneurs to get through those critical moments when starting up a business. “A lot of new entrepreneurs struggle to increase their client base without spending much money. Small Business Week is a great starting point for them to expand their network and learn the best practices to grow in the first year.” “As a small business owner, the chance to network and have conversations with like-minded folks is really important,” says Todd Rutter, founder and co-owner of A Cappella Catering. “It’s also quite inspiring to hear local success stories and learn how second or third generation family business owners are evolving mom ‘n pop shops and growing in a digital space.” Rutter definitely knows a thing or two about evolving a business. He began his entrepreneurial journey in Edmonton 32 years ago and has successfully adapted to the city’s changing landscape. After gaining valuable kitchen experience working at Earls original location on Jasper Avenue, Rutter opened a pizza stand in Room At the Top (RATT), a beloved bar and grill in the University of Alberta’s (U of A) students’

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OCTOBER 2019 // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM


WEEK-LONG CELEBRATION OF LOCAL ENTREPRENEURS // SMALL BUSINESS WEEK

“SMALL BUSINESS WEEK IS A GREAT OPPORTUNITY FOR A SMALL BUSINESS OWNER TO INTERACT AND CONNECT WITH AMAZING ENTREPRENEURS,” SAYS MAGGIE BARTON BAIRD, OWNER OF MB&COMPANY. union building, in the spring of 1987. He had actually worked at RATT as a server and bartender while he was a student at the U of A six years prior. It was where Rutter first fell in love with the with the fast-paced, friendly and fun atmosphere of the hospitality industry. Shortly after A Capella Pizza grew into a restaurant – A Cappella Café. While Rutter became completely enamored by the whole process of running a kitchen, it was also very difficult. “The first 5 to 10 years of operations consisted of 18-hour days and continual financial stress,” says Rutter. “I began taking catering orders to supplement restaurant sales and made the decision to close the café and transition to A Cappella Catering full-time in 1991.” Rutter now shares ownership with his two long-time key employees, Kim Mahoney, COO; and Mich De Laive, executive chef. The trio has diversified their revenue streams by creating hotel food service programs, cafeteria operations and CURBSIDE food truck in addition to catering local events. Stay tuned for A Cappella Catering’s new look, coming soon! “Small Business Week is a great opportunity for a small business owner to interact and connect with amazing entrepreneurs,” says Maggie Barton Baird, owner of MB&COMPANY. Barton Baird definitely faced her fair share of challenges when she launched her own full service event planning firm in 2013. The hardest piece to overcome was balancing the back end of the business with the influx of clients. “I’m not a serial entrepreneur. I went to school for fine arts, and I was too busy planning events to research how to run a business well. That’s why I love Small Business Week. It allows entrepreneurs to build supportive circles, both personally and professionally. People in Edmonton want to see small businesses succeed so they are willing to help you out and lend a hand. All you have to do is ask.” For more information and the full event lineup for BDC Small Business Week, go to BDC.ca. You can also learn about ECC’s Trade Accelerator Program for entrepreneurs at www.edmontonchamber.com.

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PRESENTED BY THE HALINA FAMILY FOUNDATION

Monday, December 9 | Edmonton Convention Centre Edmontonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s premier family-friendly, black-tie gala is back in support of Stollery kids from backyards across Alberta. Connect with other business and community leaders for a night of fine dining, interactive activities and spectacular auction items.

stollerykids.com/snowflake Buy your tickets early â&#x20AC;&#x201C; this event sells out. Corporate tables available.

Photos by Rob Hislop Photography


2019 Board of Directors Board Executive

Chair: Dawn Harsch President & CEO, ExquisiCare Senior Living and Care at Home

Chambers Collaborate on Key Federal Election Priorities

Vice Chair: Bryan DeNeve Senior Vice President Finance & CFO, Capital Power Secretary-Treasurer: Craig Thorkelsson Head of Tax, PCL Constructors Inc.

Board Directors

Dr. Glenn Feltham President & CEO, Northern Alberta Institute of Technology Sandy Jacobson Vice President, Richardson Executive Search Elan MacDonald Senior Vice President, National Client Development, Global Public Affairs

By Janet M. Riopel, President & CEO, Edmonton Chamber of Commerce and Dr. Sandip Lalli, President & CEO, Calgary Chamber of Commerce

Scott McEachern Vice President, Pipeline Control, Enbridge Pipelines Inc.

W

Dennis Schmidt Legal Counsel and Associate Development Manager, Alldritt Land Corporation LP Annemarie Petrov President & CEO, Francis Winspear Centre for Music Jeffrey Sundquist Chief Executive Officer, EDC Environmental Group of Companies Inc. Dr. Jenelle Trenchuk-Saik President & CEO, Parker Ford and MacKay Specialty Opticians

Edmonton Chamber Executive Janet M. Riopel President & CEO

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

Contact

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

ith the federal election approaching, Canadians face an important choice. In a rapidly changing global economy, Canada needs strong leadership to navigate the way forward in a way that will boost our competitiveness, strengthen our trade relationships, harness the power of technology and equip our workforce with the skills to thrive. If we fail to do this, we’ll be forced to watch from the sidelines as other nations compete and win. That’s why the Calgary and Edmonton Chambers of Commerce have united to speak with one voice about how Albertans, and all Canadians, can secure a competitive and prosperous future. We’ve outlined five key election priorities that will allow Canada to lead the global fight against climate change, increase trade within and beyond our borders, modernize our tax system, close the skills gap, and address our fiscal imbalance. Through these priorities, we’re urging the next federal government to create business-forward policies that allow us to seize the opportunities before us to be a world leader in energy, innovation and talent. Developing Environment and Climate Policies that Stimulate Competition Fighting climate change is a critical global issue, and it’s one that we are prepared to lead. It begins with investing in infrastructure that gets Canada’s responsibly produced energy products – such as liquefied natural gas – to global markets, where they can displace higher emission fuel sources in other countries and address climate change on a much larger scale. Since Canada is a leader in environmental stewardship among energy-producing countries, we have the ability to export emissions-reducing technologies and the knowledge that experts in the field have gained over years of development and implementation. Exporting to global markets while developing technologies and infrastructure that supports and helps meet domestic demand for energy will have greater positive impact on the environment and stimulate competition across the country. Continued on next page... BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // OCTOBER 2019

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Canada is in a unique position to be a global leader in responsibly produced energy products, while meeting energy demands through energy innovation. The products and technologies we produce are in demand worldwide, and this demand is projected to increase. By adopting environment and climate change policies that increase competition and support innovative technologies that help lower emissions – within and outside our borders – we can grow our economy, invest in infrastructure and social programs, and lead the fight against climate change.

EXPANDING MARKET ACCESS AND TRADE

Barriers to domestic and international markets are slowing growth for Canadian businesses. For Canada’s energy sector, a lack of access to global markets means we’re forced to accept deep discounts on our high-quality products. At the same time, small and medium-sized enterprises are severely limited in how much they can grow by barriers that restrict their access to trade opportunities. To expand market access and trade for Canadian businesses, we need to reduce red tape and trade barriers that slow economic growth and diversification. Streamlining Canada’s complex regulatory system and reducing red tape would expand investment opportunities, facilitate the development of innovative technology, and increase business efficiency, creating a competitive advantage for Canadian businesses. Similarly, inconsistent regulations and standards between jurisdictions are thwarting efforts to boost interprovincial trade, placing the equivalent of a 6.9% tariff on goods flowing between provinces according to Statistics Canada. Securing access to markets from coast to coast requires that we establish dedicated rights-of-way for major infrastructure projects across the country, like pipelines and power lines. What’s more, establishing these corridors and tearing down internal trade barriers would have more than just economic benefits – they could help stitch together the social fabric of our country by connecting us through trade.

CREATING A GLOBALLY COMPETITIVE TAX SYSTEM

Internationally, Canada’s tax system presents another trade barrier. The strength of our economy largely relies on international trade, yet our complex and outdated tax system hinders Canada’s attractiveness to foreign investors. Canadian businesses spend more on tax compliance than many of their counterparts in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and ongoing increases to Canada’s top personal income tax rate puts us at a disadvantage when it comes to attracting and retaining skilled labour. We believe that Canada should establish a Royal Commission to comprehensively review and update the tax system to reward risktaking, encourage competition and make Canada a destination of choice for investors. With defined outcomes and strict timelines, a Royal Commission would offer certainty for businesses and investors for years to come. Best of all, it would provide a long overdue opportunity to reshape the Canadian economy in a way that encourages growth for our country.

CLOSING THE TALENT AND SKILLS GAP As technology and automation play increasingly important roles in our economy, equipping Canada’s labour force with the skills to thrive is essential to creating a competitive and prosperous future. The skills gap in Canada is widening, with 68% of businesses across the country experiencing a shortage of skilled workers. This problem is compounded by the lack of alternative education and development programs available mid and late career, which is preventing Canadian workers from acquiring valuable workplace training. Addressing the skills gap requires a comprehensive approach, with governments, industry and post-secondary institutions all working together. It requires improving the collection of market information and skills forecasting across industries, expanding training opportunities, and developing consistent and harmonized recognition for professional certifications between provinces. Above all, it involves prioritizing continuous learning by eliminating barriers to job-training programs like the Canada-Alberta Job Grant. If we take these steps to close the talent gap, we can increase our productivity and drive growth, while ensuring that all Canadians benefit from greater economic prosperity, including groups currently underrepresented in the workforce. Continued on next page...

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OCTOBER 2019 // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM


PLANNING FOR OUR FISCAL FUTURE

When we look to the future, we see a precarious fiscal situation. Years of running deficits and accumulating debts have contributed to economic uncertainty and increased the risk of doing business in Canada. Meanwhile, sharp demographic changes are set to place a serious strain on government resources that are already stretched thin. Unless all orders of government find ways to deliver services in a more cost-effective manner, Canadians can expect ballooning debt, major tax increases, and significant cuts to the services we rely on. There is much more we should be doing to plan for our fiscal future. To begin, Canada should publish regular fiscal plans to reassure both Canadians and international investors and demonstrate responsible budgeting. Most importantly, Canada must take steps to balance service delivery with a reduction in operational spending. Keeping spending increases to below the rate of inflation and population growth will force departments to find efficiencies, while keeping taxes and fees low so that we can continue to attract and retain businesses in Canada. We know that when businesses are successful, they create jobs, grow our economy, and give back to our communities in countless ways. At the Edmonton and Calgary Chambers, we’re using our powerful voice to urge all federal parties seeking election to adopt the above business-forward priorities. We believe they offer a clear way forward to restoring Canada’s competitiveness and securing a more prosperous future for all Canadians.

The Calgary and Edmonton Chambers are grateful to our business community members for their feedback and assistance in developing these priorities for the 2019 federal election. Please lend your perspective and voice to these priorities as you speak with local candidates, as you discuss the election with your colleagues and friends, and when you head to the polls. Regardless of which party succeeds in the 2019 election, we’ll work to advocate for policies that support the individual businesses and job creators who work tirelessly every day to grow our economy and keep Alberta strong and flourishing.

The Calgary Chamber is an independent nonprofit, non-partisan business organization. For 128 years the Chamber has worked to build a business community that nourishes, powers and inspires the world. To reach the Calgary Chamber, please contact Geraldine Anderson, Director, Policy and Communications, at ganderson@ calgarychamber.com or at 403.750.0437. The Edmonton Chamber is the respected voice of business in the Edmonton Metropolitan Region. We are a non-partisan organization and we do not endorse any political party or any candidate seeking elected office. To reach the Edmonton Chamber, please contact Brent Francis, Director, Advocacy and Outreach, at bfrancis@edmontonchamber.com or at 780.902.4551.

Members in this Issue REALTORS Association of Edmonton in It’s Optimism Amid Uncertainty for Edmonton’s Real Estate Market on page 22 BDC, A Cappella Catering and MB&Company in Small Business Week™ Returns this Fall for a Week-Long Celebration of Local Entrepreneurs on page 28 RE/MAX in Investing in Recreational Real Estate—the Right Way on page 47

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Legacy Place Board Directors with MP Lawrence MacAuley

Legacy Place Society Member Profile Diana Festejo, Executive Director legacyplacesociety.com What’s your story? As a not-for-profit registered charity, Legacy Place Society provides empathetic and confidential support that builds resiliency to individuals and to First Responder and Military families. The issues of Post-Traumatic Stress (PTSD), Operational Stress Injury (OSI), and the psychological and physiological impact on First Responder and Military Personnel lives can create emotional and physical havoc. Legacy Place Society encourages our men and women in uniform and their families to steer through everyday adversity and reframe the difficult realities of their profession to encourage daily behaviors that re-engage with themselves, their families and workplace. We offer support by supplying a confidential crisis response phone line, safe transitional housing, access to professional support and hosting mental health awareness conferences to increase knowledge and reduce stigma.

interest with the health and economic well-being of Edmonton citizens.

What do you enjoy most about being a member of the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce? The diversity of those who have a vested

What is your favourite thing to do in Edmonton? Great small businesses tucked away in unexpected places!

What is one thing people are surprised to learn about your business? People often say, “Wow – I hadn’t thought of the accumulative impact that our first responders experience due to trauma.” Also, they are surprised by the impact it has on the family supports at home. Who is your ideal client? Those who are collaborative and are respectful to the sensitivity around mental wellness of our first responders. What has been your biggest challenge in business, and how did you overcome it? What’s in it for me. It’s in us to give – it does not need to be flashy or full of media photo opportunities.

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BDC SMALL BUSINESS WEEK

TM

OCTOBER 21–25 Presented by:

Preparing for Change with CPA Alberta

Celebrating Entrepreneurship: A Panel Discussion on Growth, Expansion and Trade

Tuesday, October 22, 7:30 – 9:30 am Join an interactive conversation on the five drivers of change that can impact your business: economic, geopolitical, technological, environmental, and societal. Learn how your company can successfully adapt to change!

Table Talks

Wednesday, October 23, 11:30 am – 1:30 pm Share, learn and inspire at Table Talks! You will connect with thought leaders and fellow business owners to build on your expertise and learn from one another through engaging round table discussions.

Showcase and Social

Thursday, October 24, 5 - 7 pm

Thursday, October 24, 11:30 am – 1:30 pm

From tax and legal to sales and marketing, where does the export process begin? This panel discussion features three local entrepreneurs who have recently completed Canada’s Trade Accelerator Program (TAP) – hear their insights, challenges and lessons learned!

Intro to E-Commerce with Shopify Friday, October 25, 7:30 – 9:30 am

E-commerce isn’t easy. How do you get your products online? How will you build an online brand? Lead by Shopify, this workshop will teach you about content marketing, selling online and steps to get your first online sale!

Hosted at the new JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District, enjoy an evening of networking and celebrating the achievements of the YEG small business community. Connect with potential partners as you tour the exhibitor showcase featuring fellow entrepreneurs’ businesses.

Visit edmontonchamber.com for schedule updates and tickets.

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Matco Moving Solutions Member Profile Faye Elford, Office & Commercial Sales Consultant www.matco.ca What’s your story? With my background in marketing, business administration and accounting, I have run my own business, managed a retail store and excelled in office and commercial sales with I-Care Office Solutions and Matco Moving Solutions. In 2016, my transition to the Office and Commercial Relocation Industry was an exciting time in my professional career. With the new development in the downtown core, the Relocation industry was booming. At the time, our company was supporting the City of Edmonton as they relocated to the new Edmonton Tower. Since joining Matco Moving Solutions, I have expanded our local clientele and we now perform services all across Western Canada! What do you enjoy most about being a member of the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce? I enjoy attending the Edmonton Chamber functions and networking. By exhibiting at Chamber Trade shows, partnering at the annual Golf Tournament and attending the Chamber Ball, I have been able to connect and engage with other members. I have been an active member for over 3 years and after seeing how the Edmonton Chamber has helped promote our business and other businesses, I became inspired to join their Workforce Policy Committee, where I’ve served for the last 2 years. What is one thing people are surprised to learn about your business? What surprises people is that we truly care about our clients. We take the time to fully understand the needs and requirements of their relocation. From the first on-site visit to the logistics of the relocation, Matco is there every step of the way. I want my clients to understand every part of their relocation so they feel more confident and secure which results in a successful move.

Faye Elford, Office & Commercial Sales Consultant, Matco Moving Solutions

Who is your ideal client? Our ideal client is someone that my team and I can create a long term business-tobusiness relationship with. Matco Moving Solutions performs more than relocations; we also offer furniture installation and ongoing maintenance services. What has been your biggest challenge in business, and how did you overcome it? Being one of the few females in my position within the Office and Commercial Relocation industry has been one of my biggest challenges. While this continues to be a challenge, I believe in my strong abilities and skill set. As a successful woman, this motivates me to work harder and achieve my business goals. What is your favourite thing to do in Edmonton? While I am originally from Calgary, it has been wonderful to fully experience Edmonton as the Festival City! I love having the opportunity to participate in the festivals – nothing beats the Symphony under the Sky in Hawrelak Park! If you could make one substantial improvement to Edmonton’s business environment, what would it be? For more people to turn their voices into action! I believe we all need to be active participants to be part of the solution. Everyone wants their ideas heard, but we must work together to create solutions for our communities to thrive.

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Memberships that grow your business. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s what we do.

As a member of one of the largest chambers in Canada, you have access to a wide range of contacts, resources, policy representation, events, networking opportunities, discounts, and brand exposure that will help grow your business. Call us today at 780.426.4620 and start leveraging your membership.

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BEHIND THE STAGE // EVENT PLANNING & CATERING

Behind the Stage ENJOY A GREAT CONFERENCE OR EVENT LATELY? A LOT GOES ON BEHIND THE SCENES TO CREATE MEMORABLE EVENTS.

BY FAY FLETCHER

C

orporate events are all about making a great impression and that impression starts the minute the doors open and guests walk into the room. While the keynote speakers and catering are often hailed as the star of the show, it takes a combination of lights, décor, flowers, AV, technology, bartending and more to create a truly successful occasion. Let’s take a peek behind the curtain at some of the vendors that are crucial to corporate events. Quantum Productions provides DJ, lighting, design and production for events in and around Edmonton, Calgary and Okanagan. As the largest uplighter in Alberta, Quantum works over 150 events per year, including fashion shows, conferences, trade shows, weddings, special events, private parties and galas.

PHOTO SOURCE: FABLOOMOSITY

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BEHIND THE STAGE // EVENT PLANNING & CATERING

amazing venues, culinary partners and strategic partnerships,” she notes. Boutique Events is a full service event planning company that produces events from start to finish, including all aspects of event branding, strategy and execution.

“One of the main advantages of hiring a lighting design company is that we can make your vision a reality. Anything from custom entrances, which combine video walls, lighting and effects that will wow your clients and impress your guests, to creating adventures using lighting and GOBOS to create the feeling of walking through a forest,” says Quantum’s owner, Jason Simituk. “We have worked with clients to develop sunrises on blank walls using LED strips or surprising guests with shadow dancers appearing out of nowhere.” He advises, “When working with a designer, ensure you have a theme in mind.” Those themes are always perfectly represented when Quantum is on site as their work includes predesign and early test runs of their lighting and special effects. “I love the diversity of clients we have in Edmonton,” says Simituk. “Everything from the million-dollar wedding clients to Art Gallery of Alberta that allow us to test our creativity. I feel we have a great mix of venues, suppliers, budgets and amazing clients.” Olivia Weaver Pilip, owner of Boutique Events Edmonton, agrees. “Edmonton is a vibrant city, full of so many creative entrepreneurs and thinkers that allow for

“We build the event brand and bring it to life. What this means is that we will work within their corporate brand guidelines to create an event that is an extension of those standards, but with a twist. We work with a team of trusted graphic designers, web experts, visual designers and suppliers to execute an effective strategy that offers continuity and consistency from start to finish,” says Pilip. “We approach all events through the aspect of its application of an extension of each client’s marketing.” Boutique Events applies this strategy to 20-35 corporate events per year, including grand openings, product launches and client appreciation parties. Pilip points out the benefits of working with an event planner. “The main advantage is that it allows each company to focus on their business and have someone else focus on making their business shine. It allows the employees and staff at the company the ability to interact with guests and network at events instead of worrying about the event’s execution.” Her best tip for corporations planning events is, “always plan with your audience in mind.” When it comes to floral styling, you’ll find FaBLOOMosity working up to 200 events a year. “FaBLOOMosity is one of Edmonton’s top award-winning florists that specializes in unique and innovative flower arrangements and designs for all occasions,” says the FAB team, who opted to be interviewed and quoted as a group. “Locally-owned and generally whacky, FaBLOOMosity offers

ABOVE: OLIVIA WEAVER PILIP, OWNER OF BOUTIQUE EVENTS EDMONTON.

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BEHIND THE STAGE // EVENT PLANNING & CATERING

personable customer service, punchy one-liners, and customized experiences with designs to fit your theme, personality, occasion, and venue. We also do everyday arrangements with fresh flowers, succulents, and plants for same day delivery in Edmonton and the surrounding areas. The team loves being included in the events that are important to people’s lives, and vital to corporations’ success.

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“We have hoofed it up mountainsides, suspended from chandeliers, and trekked through kilometers of secret tunnels underneath hotels to ensure that our brides, grooms, and corporate clients get the weddings and events of their dreams. We’ve travelled all over Alberta from Banff to

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BEHIND THE STAGE // EVENT PLANNING & CATERING

THE FAB TEAM’S AGILITY IS POSSIBLE BECAUSE EVERY ORDER THEY PRODUCE IS COMPLETELY CUSTOMIZED FOR THE CLIENT’S BUDGET AND THEME. THEY ADVISE, “IF THE FLOWERS ARE BEING REPURPOSED FOLLOWING THE EVENT OR BEING USED FOR SEVERAL DAYS, THIS IS SOMETHING WE NEED TO KNOW IN ADVANCE.” Calgary to Jasper to Lake Louise (sometimes even in the same weekend because we’re gluttons for punishment and adrenaline) and we can also be seen zipping around in Delilah, the FAB van, all over Edmonton on any given weekend!” You may have seen FaBLOOMosity’s corporate work at events hosted by Oilers Entertainment Group, Rogers Place, BioWare and Stantec, to name a few. “We balance our designs between what’s trendy and what’s innovative because, although it’s nice to sing the same tune as everyone, it’s even more satisfying to write your own song. We like to create new products and refresh our work constantly so we don’t get tied down to the same old designs — not only because we want to stay relevant and exciting, but also because we might have commitment issues. Always the florist, never the bride, right?” laughs the FAB team. They cite the advantage of using professional florists for corporate events, saying, “With social media making images so readily available, clients fall in love with a vision and sometimes what is fallen in love with isn’t something that is accessible in Alberta, is out of season, or just frankly will not last as some of those images are designed specifically for that particular snap shot. A professional will be able to decipher these images to get a design that is aesthetically similar, but more available and functional for the client.

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“The smaller the budget, the more you should think of hiring a professional florist as they will be able to come up with the biggest bang for your buck, something that will maximize the value that we have to work with. Allow your floral designer to be creative. A cocktail reception doesn’t necessarily need a small arrangement on every table. Sometimes doing a few larger statement pieces for around the room will garner much better reactions. Be open and think outside the box!” They continue, “Hiring a professional also means there is an entire team that is available for the set up and installation of florals, which always takes more time than clients may realize. Sometimes on site floral emergencies happen so having professionals there to help facilitate changes to table layouts, deal with any blooms or vessels that were damaged, redesign in the event that measurements or weight restrictions provided were incorrect etc. is invaluable to the success of the event. The FAB team’s agility is possible because every order they produce is completely customized for the client’s budget and theme. They advise, “If the flowers are being repurposed following the event or being used for several days, this is something we need to know in advance.” As Edmonton diversifies and takes on new adventures, initiatives and events, the people behind those events will continue to support the scene and evolve as well.


INVESTING IN RECREATIONAL REAL ESTATE // RECREATION & INVESTMENT REAL ESTATE

INVESTING IN RECREATIONAL REAL ESTATE—

the Right Way BY LAURA BOHNERT

I

s it the right time for you to be investing in recreational real estate? With Edmonton’s current real estate economy, it’s a good time to buy—but how do you know when you are making the best investment decision? Karen Stanko, Realtor® at Realty Executives, explains that single-family homes are still the properties of choice for recreational investors.

“Single-family homes and lakefront properties are typically the top choice for those who can afford it,” says Stanko, “although the number of condos being built in the Edmonton area right now could affect trends. More seniors could decide to move out of big homes and downsize into recreational condos, or just live in condos part of the year with a wintertime recreational property on the side.”

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INVESTING IN RECREATIONAL REAL ESTATE // RECREATION & INVESTMENT REAL ESTATE

YOU ALSO LOSE YARD AND GARDEN SPACE, WHICH IS A DETERRENT FOR FAMILIES WITH CHILDREN, WILBERT OBSERVES, BUT WHILE YOU DON’T HAVE TO PAY CONDO FEES IN A SINGLE-FAMILY HOME, YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE MAINTENANCE OF EVERYTHING, INSIDE AND OUT.

Stanko also points out that the large number of baby boomers could cause us to see more of that trend. However, the benefits of a single-family home still typically outweigh the draws of the condo. “The resale on recreational single-family homes is higher than condos, and they give more independence. They also become legacy properties, vacation homes where all the memories are made and that can be kept in the family as inheritances,” Stanko points out. Stanko also notes, it isn’t unheard of for people to downsize into recreational properties year-round. “Recreational properties are the first ones to be sold when the economy shifts, so now is a good time to pick one up because the prices are low. When economies change, people unload what is costing them the most, and boats, RVs, and recreational properties top that list. You can get a smoking deal, right now, and lakefront properties tend to keep value.” That means you can get what you want if you are looking to buy, but making the right choice is more about your lifestyle than it is about market trends, Stanko cautions.

“It depends on what you want in a recreational property. If you don’t mind driving and value skiing, somewhere like Revelstoke is good call—or Kelowna if you prefer wine tours. A lot of working professionals choose Wabamun, since it’s only a 45-minute drive from Edmonton.” Stanko also warns that recreational properties aren’t for the faint of heart—or wallet. “Some people buy recreational properties forgetting that it means home upkeep times two: you need to maintain both roofs, furnaces, lawns, and deal with snow removal and freezing pipes. That’s where the appeal of condos in places like Canmore come in, but there are still high costs associated with condo fees.” Mark Barron Wilbert, Partner/Realtor® at Coldwell Banker Venture Realty, points out that those condo fees are a deterrent. “Currently, there are almost two times as many singlefamily homes for sale, compared to condos,” Wilbert notes, adding that, “in the current market, it is more difficult to sell a condo due to factors that include condo fees, risk of assessments (levies), and stricter financing.” Further, while ABOVE: MARK BARRON WILBERT, PARTNER/REALTOR® AT COLDWELL BANKER VENTURE REALTY

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INVESTING IN RECREATIONAL REAL ESTATE // RECREATION & INVESTMENT REAL ESTATE

ADEL HANAFI, REAL ESTATE BROKER, RE/MAX EXCELLENCE, COMMERCIAL DIVISION, AGREES THAT WHILE RECREATIONAL CONDOS DO SHOW POTENTIAL, “IN THE EDMONTON MARKETPLACE, SINGLE-FAMILY HOMES SEEM TO BE A MORE POPULAR OPTION.”

“there are several downtown condo projects underway, some have turned into strictly rental complex properties (The Hendrix, The Mayfair, and The McLaren). This increasing supply has made it more difficult for those buyers that hope to rent out the condo they purchased downtown.”

electricity) are included in the condo fees, and you might have amenities like a gym or pool, which could save you from buying that membership at the gym.”

You also lose yard and garden space, which is a deterrent for families with children, Wilbert observes, but while you don’t have to pay condo fees in a single-family home, you are responsible for the maintenance of everything, inside and out.

When it comes to making the best decision, “Asking yourself the right questions is key, as is reaching out to an industry professional that can help walk you through the different aspects and potential consequences,” says Wilbert. “At the end of the day, it comes down to what stage you are in life and your personal preferences.”

However, that doesn’t mean you should discount condominiums if that is what suits your lifestyle best— especially since, as Wilbert points out, ICE District could be making the shift to recreational condos even more enticing.

Adel Hanafi, Real estate broker, RE/MAX Excellence, commercial division, agrees that while recreational condos do show potential, “in the Edmonton marketplace, singlefamily homes seem to be a more popular option.”

“ICE District has revitalized Edmonton’s downtown, and many new buyers want to be in the heart of downtown. The premium you might pay in a new condo might be saved by no longer needing a vehicle and paying for parking and gas. Also, you do not have to worry about maintenance, snow shovelling, lawn care, etc. And if you are going on vacation, you just lock up and go. Often utilities (other than

“It’s no secret that our residential real estate economy has been depressed in recent times,” Hanafi notes. “Albeit, we are seeing some signs of it picking up. That being said, with developers like Carlisle Group, Carrington, and others having built so many residential condos, an oversupply of condos in the market has put downward pressure on pricing. There have been more single-family homes for sale in the

ABOVE: ADEL HANAFI, COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE BROKER, RE/MAX EXCELLENCE

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INVESTING IN RECREATIONAL REAL ESTATE // RECREATION & INVESTMENT REAL ESTATE

market, which has also led to downward pressure on pricing. However, many analysts are starting to see this stabilize a bit more because, overall, there is more demand for singlefamily homes.” Despite the conveniences of condo life, “Single-family homes give you autonomy over your piece of land and what sort of repairs and maintenance you do on your actual home. They are typically more spacious as well, with no involvement from a condominium board. You own the land outright without having to share with other unit owners. Factoring all of this in, looking at the price differential, it makes sense to own the single-family home, excluding the anomalies of very specific scarce locations (such as the downtown core).”

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“That said, there are many factors involved in determining what is best for you and your family,” Hanafi notes, listing “lifestyle, budget, amenities, and community values. Doing a proper needs analysis to determine your household requirements will help refine your household vision. One of the biggest factors on if the home is right for you is location – does it suits your needs? Then consider if it is affordable.” “The most significant portion is the resale value,” Hanafi concludes. “If you need to sell it afterwards, would you be able to? What is the liquidity of said property?” Keeping all of these factors in mind should prevent you from making the wrong investment decision when it comes to your recreational real estate purchase.


WILL YOUR #PICOFTHEDAY MAKE YOUR COMPANY FAMOUS? // BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY

WILL YOUR #PICOFTHEDAY

MAKE YOUR COMPANY FAMOUS? BY NERISSA MCNAUGHTON

I

n the good old days, entrepreneurs would call up the Yellow Pages and place an ad. As the company grew, they would buy an ad on the radio or in newspapers or, if they were a really big player, a billboard. Today, a company run from a home office can use the same platform as a multi-million dollar corporation: social media. It’s free, accessible to all and it really levels the advertising playing field… Or does it? Sarah Kirkpatrick, lead matriarch and founder of Jumping Elephant (@jesocialmedia), specializes in digital marketing strategies, social media management, and content writing. She says any company can expect a measure of success from advertising on social media, but it’s not as simple as putting up a photo, adding a hashtag, and waiting for the business to come rolling in. As with any other marketing strategy, it takes work. “You can certainly put up a post a day with relevant hashtags and wait for the likes to come in, but it will be a very slow process and you better hope to have a lot of content and

a big timeline before you need the ROI to show itself,” Kirkpatrick says. “A really easy step up from this is to do outreach. This means following hashtags and commenting on other pages and liking content that is relevant to your industry. This means getting your name up in people’s notifications and asking questions or making insightful statements so that they come back and check out your page (and follow it). If it is likes or followers you are looking for, this is easy. If it is revenue you want, then you need to have a solid strategy behind who you are reaching out to and the types of comments you are leaving.” Many small companies try to save money by doing their own social media. Kirkpatrick informs on what they can expect. “If you are doing social media posts amongst running your business, getting the kids to school, making time for date night, and making time for yourself, then you are a superstar. For this, I would say you can expect to build a decent tribe slowly over a couple of years. You will get your name out there, you will make personal connections, and you will start getting followers and likes to your page, on average 10 Facebook likes and 20 Instagram followers a month.

ABOVE: SOME OF BEN’S MOST POPULAR PICTURES FROM HIS INSTAGRAM PAGE AND PHOTOS FROM NORTHERN CHICKEN’S INSTAGRAM PAGE BRING PATRONS FLOCKING TO THE RESTAURANT. BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // OCTOBER 2019

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WILL YOUR #PICOFTHEDAY MAKE YOUR COMPANY FAMOUS? // BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY

“If you have hired a social media company, you are often getting quite a bit more time spent on your channels than you would have time for. This alone will allow you to spread the influence further, connect with those who are not in your immediate circle, and plant seeds in the minds of potential customers. It is also rare for a social media manager to just manage social media. We frequently are doing content creation, community management, blog writing, and newsletters, so you are covering more bases. With a full marketing initiative, you can get well over 200 followers a month on Instagram without an ad budget (but that can skyrocket with a decent budget), hundreds of connections on LinkedIn, and very real ROI on Facebook and all platforms. On top of that, you are building a list in your database for warm and qualified leads through subscriptions, as well as getting new fresh organic eyes and traffic on your website from blogs.”

stand out with great content because social media is not as commonly utilized in their industries. Things like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook are great platforms to really make a mark for yourself. These service-based companies have to work a bit harder to come up with great content but if they are willing to be a little bit vulnerable, they can really stand out, connect with major players, and start legitimate and important conversations online.”

Is social media truly a strategy for every type of business?

When asked if he considered social media to be the best form of advertising for restaurants, he says, “I don’t know about better, just different. [Different strategies reach] different people, and different segments of the community. I prefer social media advertising, as the ROI seems to be tremendously higher for us, and it seems like our target customer is more plugged in than looking at billboards or listening to the radio.

“There is no industry that should do without social media,” Kirkpatrick explains, “But there are certainly some who would struggle more (service based) and could use extra support. Small clothing companies, for example, can hand our digital marketing strategy to their part-time staff and have it managed from within, in most cases. But those who are, say, home development companies, event producers, lawyers, or physio clinics, don’t necessarily have easy content or time on their side, and that is where we come in. “The Jumping Elephant team works with entrepreneurs to create social media strategies that enable them to talk to their ideal clients and gain leads. In many cases, we are hired as social media managers to set them up for marketing success. We are also a team of content writers, social media managers, and bloggers who create messages that are engaging and remain true to our client’s brand, allowing them to focus on what they do best – running their business.” She continues, “Different industries need different strategies and even different platforms to focus their marketing on. For restaurants and clothing retailers it is very easy to utilize Instagram and Facebook to showcase their #foodporn and #OOTD (outfit of the day). However, this type of content can also easily become lost in the clutter. For manufacturers or energy suppliers, there are a lot more opportunities to

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There are some Edmonton entrepreneurs that have definitely figured out how to excel on social media, and Northern Chicken (@northchickyeg) is one of them. “Instagram has always been a great way of doing food advertising, as it allows us to show off the food we are creating, the beer we’re bringing in, and the brands we are supporting. It also fosters a sense of community with the people who chose to follow you,” says owner Matthew Phillips.

For Northern Chicken, the proof is in the pudding, or in their case, in their photos of chicken. “Some of our biggest and busiest days have been a result of social media posts that have brought a bunch of people down to try our new sandwich or tenders.” Phillips is blunt about how he feels about entrepreneurs that don’t leverage social media. “Making the choice to not communicate or go after a huge section of the population who now live on social media is absolutely stupid. In some industries and cases, I think the influence of social media can be overblown, but it is still a very important way of getting your name out there.” There is one man that has truly mastered the art of making Instagram his own, not with a planned strategy, but by being his unapologetic self. Sporting a flower crown in his


WILL YOUR #PICOFTHEDAY MAKE YOUR COMPANY FAMOUS? // BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY

Instagram profile picture and known for his goofy and fun photos and stories, Benjamin Robert Loates, real estate agent, The GOOD Real Estate company, is known to his followers as @thatrealestateguy.

If you’re fake, you lose. Conversely, like cat nip though, our culture can sense the authentic, yearns for it, and flocks. Be smart. Realize what parts about your business make it unique and showcase those things in a fun and real way! The balance of professional and authentic is a hard one to find.”

He’s about 2.5 years into slaying it on Instagram, and his posts are popular, but by design, not “typical.” “Typical real estate posts are boring, all look the same, and make me want to take a long nap. I’m just not built that way! When I started, I didn’t know what I would do, but it was very clear to me what I wasn’t gonna do. Why spend your time, money and effort creating stuff that looks like everything else? I know how I personally felt as a consumer looking at the traditional way it was done, and it meant nothing to me. I don’t like to waste time doing things that don’t matter,” says Loates.

Importantly, he adds, “Post stuff, but understand, no one cares when you’re not on. It only matters what you post, when you do. Nobody is thinking ‘Hey! Ben hasn’t posted anything in four days, I wonder if he’s okay?’ Just keep it all in perspective.” He summarizes why so many entrepreneurs are turning to social media to promote their brands. “It’s fun, it increases your business, and connects you with others in a cool way.”

Did is strategy paid off? “That’s the crazy part... yes! My whole paradigm when I started @ thatrealestateguy was this: I don’t need 5,000 followers from around the insta-globe fake-liking my posts and giving me a page that ‘looked’ popular. In real estate, all you ever need is just one person to actually call you, and it’s worth it! So, my goal was always to have quality followers from my actual geographic area that would find value in what I put out so that just one would actually call me.” Needless to say, he got more than one call. For small business owners posting on social media, he cautions, “Be real. We have an entire culture that’s able to see fake without even trying.

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BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // OCTOBER 2019

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CBM Office Automation Celebrates 45 Years CBM sets the pace for moving with the technological times By Nerissa McNaughton

C

BM Office Automation has been helping businesses of all sizes integrate print and IT solutions since the early 70s.

It started as a partnership between Marshal Mudryk and Jack Mitchell in 1974. The men had been working at Universal Typewriter but when the company went out of

business, they joined forces to launch Custom Business Machines (CBM). They ran their new company from the basement of Marshal’s home along with Val Mudryk, who took care of the administration. Later the Mudryks bought Jack’s shares and ran the business as partners until 1988, when Al and Glenn Mudryk purchased the company. In 1990 Glenn became the sole owner and CEO of CBM Automation. “We began helping companies communicate on paper by selling and maintaining typewriters, adding machines, bursters and decollators. Today we offer a full suite of services and printers that help with workflow, archiving, retrieval and administrative processes,” says Glenn. “Six years ago, we launched a full service IT division, adding digital communication to our list of expertise. In short, we help companies communicate both digitally and on paper.”

Congratulations CBM Office Automation on 45 years! At APP & Associates LLP, our objective is to provide value added business advisory services including: Accounting and Assurance • Tax and Estate Planning A wide range of other services

212, 1524 - 91 Street SW Edmonton, Alberta T6X 1M5 T (780) 489-4424 • F (780) 489-4420 info@appllp.ca • www.appllp.ca

CBM has grown rapidly over the years. “We are a people-first company,” Glenn explains. “It starts internally in how we treat our people and transfers to our clients. We are authentic, responsive, strategic, and knowledgeable and invested. We enjoy the strong relationships we have in the Edmonton community and are known for being easy to deal with and having complete accountability.” Clients of CBM greatly appreciate the company’s unique approach to customer service, which starts with CBM asking a lot of questions so they can design customized solutions. This is one of the reasons why CBM has the largest share of business-to-business commercial office equipment in the city. It’s a city Glenn is proud to call home.

CBM Office Automation || 45 Years 54


“I love Edmonton! I love our seasons, I love our festivals, I love our businesses and almost all the people running them,” he laughs. “I support local business every way I can, spending my money in small stores and with any company with their head office here. I love our arts community and I will retire and die in this city.”

Glenn Mudryk, owner and CEO. Photo by Rebecca Lippiatt.

Retirement is a long way off, however, for the man that loves what he does. “We have become the standard in copier and printer service for Edmonton,” he admits with a smile. “Our customers tell us our response and proactive service is faster and more precise than that of our competitors. We believe that the true paperless office is not that far away, so we must be able to lead our customers and partners to true digital solutions. CBM is one of a few companies in Canada that truly integrates print and IT under one company and direction.”

“These are exciting times,” Glenn concludes. Technology is rapidly changing. We have reinvented ourselves several times in the last 45 years, from the disappearance of typewriters to fax machines. Now I can’t remember when I last sent a fax! I am excited for what the next generation and iteration of CBM can be.” Learn more by visiting cbm.ab.ca online.

CBM is proud to give back to the community and supports the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation, Hope Mission, Youth Empowerment Support Services (YESS), Santas Anonymous, various amateur sports teams, and many more.

CBM Office Automation || 45 Years

CBM Office Automation 9411 63 Ave NW Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6E 0G2 T: 780.486.6006 | cbm.ab.ca


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By Nerissa McNaughton

Photos by Rebecca Lippiatt

H

ibco Construction is a general contractor providing complete residential and commercial solutions including improvements, millwork, drywall, painting, construction and demolition. Hibco is best known for its work with restoration contracting on the rebuild portion of insurance claims and losses; for it’s community work; and for its outstanding design, builds and renovations of homes and businesses. The company was founded in 2009 by local carpenter Hani Barzagar. With the aim to provide the highest standard of quality service and outstanding craftsmanship for clients, Barzagar used his backyard as a shop and to store his materials. It wasn’t long, however, until Hibco’s reputation and client list grew, enabling Barzagar to lease a shop in Edmonton’s south end. Yet, a fast-growing business can pose its own challenges. With a long list of projects and limited funds, Barzagar had to take action. He called his brother Matti, who left Halifax to join Hibco. “We then focused on finding like-minded individuals that shared our vision,” says Barzagar. Hibco also found a strategic niche. HIBCO CELEBRATES 10 YEARS

“With a growing team, we were able to tackle larger disasters from flooded basements that needed to be repaired, to houses that needed to be rebuilt after fires. We found ourselves grateful to have the opportunity to not only do what we love, but also help restore order in people’s lives who needed it the most.” 1 57


HIBCO CELEBRATES 10 YEARS

10531 170 street, Edmonton, AB Phone: 780-444-1036 | affinityflooringedmonton.com

CONGRATULATIONS HIBCO on 10 Years of Business Excellence!

We wish you many more years of continued success.

He continues, “With vast experience in commercial and residential restoration we were able to team up with other restoration companies and help rebuild after major losses to businesses, government buildings and health care facilities. With the continued growth, a culture of support and assisting others in the construction industry, we began teaming up with other contractors on their projects in order to help their success and also help small businesses and entrepreneurs go to the next level by renovating or building out their spaces.” In fact, Barzagar describes Hibco Construction as a community helping communities. It’s not the outstanding reviews on Google, Facebook and Glassdoor that Hibco counts as a measure of success. It’s the company’s ability to help and uplift people through their work, helping to rebuild their lives (such as after the Fort McMurray fire), and helping them reach their goals and dreams with functional residential or efficient workspaces. With this community spirit, diverse team, passion, professionalism and drive, Hibco has gone from one contractor working out of his home to a robust, highly-rated success story with up to 250 staff during the busy construction season. Each project has significant meaning to the Hibco team, including renovating the annex building at Edmonton’s Food Bank.

Congratulations Hibco Construction on their 10th year in business. Carpetlayers Supplies Ltd. Phone: 780-454-2483 • Fax: 780-447-2823 11605 156 St NW, Edmonton, AB T5M 3T8

“This one was special because we were able to work alongside an organization that is dear to us, as our family relied on them growing up. We were able to renovate the building to house events and also provide other services to the community other than food,” says Barzagar. Another memorable project was restoring the local Ronald McDonald house after a flood. “This project brought us closer to an organization that truly goes over and beyond to accommodate families with sick children.” On the residential side, Hibco will always remember rebuilding a house for a military family in rural Alberta that had lost everything.

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Congratulations

HIBCO on 10 Years!

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Barzagar says, “We were able to rebuild the home and have it ready in time for them to celebrate Christmas together.” He notes, “We are currently working on building a house for one of our supervisors. Randy has bought a property in an area that needs revitalization and wants to live in the


HIBCO CELEBRATES 10 YEARS

area to support the community. We have also partnered with investors to develop affordable, creative, diverse housing in Edmonton’s mature neighborhoods, not only to make them more vibrant and meet more families’ needs, but also to help save taxpayers’ money by utilizing the existing infrastructure rather than constantly building new. It’s not just on the job that Hibco engages in the community.

“We are supportive of many organizations that put people first and the dearest to us are the food bank for putting food on people’s plates, Ronald McDonald House for taking care of sick children, and BTB Soccer Academy for helping kids that cannot afford a way to play soccer.” Barzagar and his team may be community builders, but they also find Edmonton’s business community to be very supportive and welcoming, noting,

3


HIBCO CELEBRATES 10 YEARS

Congratulations HIBCO on your 10th Anniversary!

6810 50th Street NW Edmonton, AB, T6B 3B7 Russell Borden: 780-468-4118 • www.actionflooring.ca

“Edmonton is full of hard workers and striving businesses that will always stop to lend a hand and support one another.” In 2017, on National Philanthropy Day, Hibco Construction’s stewardship was recognized by Edmonton’s Food Bank and in 2018, Hibco was awarded a Star Metro community choice award. Hibco Construction has accomplished much in 10 years, and Barzagar and his team continue to look for ways to serve the community far into the future. From implementing technology for clients to remotely access progress reports to partnering with other organizations with a service-oriented mandate, you’ll find Hibco working around Alberta, improving lives, homes, businesses, and communities wherever they go. “We’re excited about our new division building infills in the core communities of Edmonton to help evolving neighborhoods and improving social wellbeing,” says Barzagar.

Congratulations HIBCO on 10 Years! Points West Mechanical LTD Office:780-484-1086 • Fax: 780-484-1087 www.PointsWestMechanical.ca

He concludes, “I would like to thank the Hibco family for working so hard towards our clients’ success and our dear clients that put their trust in us. Ten years from when we started, we are a company made of friends and family focusing on projects that mean the most to the community.

Congratulations HIBCO on 10 Years of business excellence!

ROCKER MASONRY LTD. 15847-116 Ave Edmonton Alberta T5M 3W1 Office: 780-756-6101 | Fax: 780-756-6102 e-mail: info@rocker.ca

Congratulations HIBCO on 10 years We wish you many more years of continued success

HIBCO CONSTRUCTION 15851 116 Avenue Edmonton, AB T5M 3W1 Tel: 780.463.7787 Fax: 780.490.7723 Email: info@hibco.ca Learn More at hibco.ca Connect With Us!

BURKE INTERIOR SYSTEMS LTD. 10809 182 St NW Edmonton, AB, T5S 1J5 Tel: 780-483-1454 • Fax: 780 484-9515 www.burkeinterior.ca 4


Copperblock Capital Corporation Builds a Sustainable Future

By Nerissa McNaughton

C

G L E W Oopperblock OD Capital Corporation isA an E example of how a business can evolve and be profitable while taking L O also OK ING to heart the true meaning of building a sustainable future. “Copperblock was founded two years ago, but the origins of the corporation go back much further,” explains CEO Adam Morris. COPPERBLOCK CAPITAL CORPORATION • 25

RIA “MyLparents launched the first iteration of the company. Mom was an interior designer. Dad

N was O Ra dentist. T H They E Awere S Tlooking for ways to put 1 8 1 their money to work and develop investment projects across Alberta. I took over in 2014 and at that time, we shifted the focus to real estate development in Edmonton. I founded Copperblock shortly thereafter as our rebranded development entity.”

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Copperblock, who mostly builds multi-family apartment buildings, is at the forefront of a unique industry. As Morris explains, “We are an Edmonton-based real estate development firm focused on socially responsible and environmentally friendly multi-family and commercial development. We strive to be the industry leader in sustainable real estate projects, such as purpose-built apartment rentals, through the use of innovative materials and practices like building with shipping containers, sourcing our wood from sustainably grown forests, utilizing solar panels, providing car-share parking in all of our buildings, rainwater collection, and recycling and utility management.” While he stresses that Copperblock focuses on providing high returns for investors, Morris is adamant that outstanding earnings can be achieved without sacrifice to the environment. He passionately cares about the planet and uses oftenoverlooked materials, like shipping containers, to build high-quality, lasting, beautiful homes. He manages this while also managing Copperblock’s rapid growth. When Morris took over in 2014, the firm had a staff of two. In just a few short years that number jumped to 30. That growth was realized as the result of an aggressive strategic vision. COPPERBLOCK CAPITAL CORPORATION • 25


“The plan was to move beyond a mom-and-pop real estate development shop to an industryleading real estate development firm, with millions of dollars under management and dozens of projects on the ground at any one time,” Morris explains.

stand with a camera and when the guy couldn’t get into the house, he stole the light and camera! We couldn’t wait for the project to end… and when the project ended the market had crashed.”

While the rapid growth is impressive, it has not come without setbacks. Morris and his team come to work each day more than prepared to greet both the challenges and the successes along the way.

“Within two days of hitting the market we had three offers, one below asking price, one at asking price, and one above.” He smiles, “Had we not persevered we would not have seen the upside at the end.” He points out that this project was not the norm and many others have gone quite smoothly, but projects like this show the corporation’s unshakeable spirit and unyielding determination.

“We can attribute our success to being persistent, to being relentless,” he says. “For me, I bring resiliency to the table every day. These traits are what allow us to keep going and growing. We face setbacks all the time like cost overruns and zoning that doesn’t go our way. It’s being able to say ‘okay, that happened today but I will persevere through this and tomorrow things will be better.’ We have that kind of dedication.” That tenacity was seen in a recent project that seemed to go sideways at an alarming rate – at first. “We recently completed a single family infill in Bonnie Doon,” Morris says. “The project took longer than anticipated and we had a number of setbacks. As we neared completion, we turned the water on and had a 50 foot geyser in the yard! The line was ruptured. We had to excavate and replace the line from the city water to the property.” But that was the least of the problems. “The house had been broken into 20+ times!” Morris continues. “We had tools stolen. We had fixtures and furniture stolen. We put up a light

CONGRATULATIONS COPPERBLOCK CAPITAL ON OVER 25 YEARS OF BUSINESS EXCELLENCE! We wish you many more years of continued success.

It seemed hopeless, but along came a plot twist.

With a focus on sustainable building, Copperblock is very excited to share good news: the recent completion of Edmonton’s first shipping container spec home. Morris is elated. “We believe in shipping containers as a viable method for residential construction. We are so committed to this that we bought a facility with the intention of creating a mass production process for shipping container homes. There is a misconception that a shipping container home is small, narrow, and obvious; but, if you didn’t know we used shipping containers in the spec home, you would never realize it.” For Copperblock, using materials like shipping containers is just the beginning. “Sustainability includes building with shipping containers, with structurally insulated panels (SIPs), and lumber harvested from sustainably grown forests. It includes features like solar panels, living roofs, and rainwater collection. Our apartments

Congratulations to Adam and the Copperblock Team! 12328 104 Ave, Edmonton, Alberta, T5N 0V3 780-249-2223

gardnerarch.ca

Providing acquisition and construction financing Shaune Impey | Mortgage Broker #409 - 9945 50th Street, Edmonton, AB, T6A 0L4 C 780-887-9513 | shauneimpey.com COPPERBLOCK CAPITAL CORPORATION • 25


have a utility monitoring app so tenants know how much energy they are using and how they can cut back. We are including charging stations for electric cars and car sharing spaces.” Copperblock is helping to save the planet for future generations, all while creating profit and returns for investors – not bad for a man that had planned on being a banker, not a real estate developer. However, when he saw how he could combine his expertise in finance with the chance to build sustainable dwellings, Morris knew he found his calling. “We can build sustainably while being profitable,” Morris smiles confidently. Copperblock is pleased to not only be disrupting the real estate development process, but to be doing it from the home base of Edmonton. “City council and the Mayor have done a fantastic job of building a progressive building community,” Morris praises. “I feel Edmonton is a beacon for Western Canada.” He also praises his support system, notably, his wife Jammey. “Growing a business is very difficult,” he reflects. “Even though my parents started it, it wasn’t like I was handed a cheque. We really had to scrape and claw our way to becoming an established firm. With growth from a staff of 2 to 30 in the short time it took, there had to be some sacrifices both emotionally and financially. My wife supported me through all of that. She stood beside me when I had to spend every penny of our savings to get the business going and when I remortgaged the house. She believed in me.”

Congratulations Copperblock Capital on over 25 Years!

PROFESSIONAL LAND SURVEYORS

101 18134 105 AVE. EDMONTON, AB T5S 2T4 | (780) 455 5121 WWW.MARKERGEOMATICSINC.COM COPPERBLOCK CAPITAL CORPORATION • 25

That belief was not misplaced. Today Morris and his team are proud of the inroads they’ve made in sustainable real estate development, and the returns Copperblock has provided for investors. Morris has been recognized with a Leaders award, which further proves his business acumen. “Being awarded by Leaders recognizes our efforts in growing the business. When I think of the fellow recipients, it’s a fantastic class of businesspeople. It’s the who’s who of leaders. Being mentioned in the same breath as them is humbling and important. What an honour.” Morris is heavily invested in the community with both corporate and philanthropic causes. In 2015, he founded a charity called the Canadian Family Foundation (CanFam). “CanFam was founded to help Syrian refugees with resettlement,” Morris explains. “As the need for that cause eased, we broadened the efforts of CanFam into geriatric care. One of the causes I am very passionate about is ensuring our senior population continues to have access to a community as their own natural community fades away. A large selection of the senior population is left to themselves. Nobody should be alone, especially at Christmas.” One of CanFam’s initiatives is a Christmas supper that brings seniors from all walks of life together to celebrate and make new connections. Going forward, Morris plans to continue Copperblock’s growth, continue providing exceptional returns for investors, and continue proving that sustainable construction can be very profitable. “We plan to expand to other cities,” he concludes. I see a few regions, such as Waterloo and Kitimat, being primed for explosive growth.” Learn more about Copperblock Capital Corporation by visiting copperblock.ca online, @copperblockcapital on Facebook and Instagram, and @copperblock on Twitter.


Laminated Composite Plastic bag for Pet Food designed by Rite-Way including new hand drawn logo and icons. This bag became a template for the client’s complete line of pet food.

Good Things Come in All Sorts of Packages BY NERISSA MCNAUGHTON

R

ite-Way Packaging has been a part of Alberta’s growth for 25 years. Initially established to service the agriculture sector, the company has constantly evolved to meet the needs of the province’s diverse industries. Today Rite-Way’s products are used across North America and in every industry including food and beverage, chemical and hazardous goods, pet care, construction, medical and pharmaceutical, and more. However, it’s not just about quality packaging. Rite-Way is also a one-stop shop where clients can have customized designs brought to life, and where owners and brothers Craig Rosenberg, general manager and James Rosenberg, business development manager, innovate and invest in sustainable packaging materials and equipment. “Our slogan is Complete Packaging Solutions,” says RITE-WAY PACKAGING CELEBRATES 25 YEARS

James. We sell and distribute industrial packaging materials, bulk bags, bagging equipment, bottling machinery, pallet wrapping systems, case packing equipment…” Craig smiles as he interjects, “Really, the sky is the limit. We offer a one-stop solution for packaging and equipment for any kind of bulk product. Lots of people have great ideas for their products but don’t know how to get them on the market. We consult with our clients from the idea’s conception to long after the product is on the shelf.” The brothers joined the company shortly after it was purchased by their father, Ed Rosenberg. Ed’s 30+ years in the animal nutrition industry gave him invaluable insight into the needs of the agriculture sector when it came to packaging RITE-WAY 1 65


RITE-WAY PACKAGING CELEBRATES 25 YEARS

solutions. Craig and James, who had successful careers and international work experience, saw a chance to expand on the brand by branching out into other industries and refining the sustainability of the products. Together they took the already very successful brand to new heights.

Warmest wishes to

Rite-Way Packaging Supplies & Services Inc.

on your milestone achievement Thank you for counting on Sadler Insurance!

“I wanted to provide clients with an educational and transparent resource in order to encourage the use of innovative technologies, materials, and packaging solutions, which can help to reduce cost, waste, environmental impact and risk, and to inevitably improve our client’s bottom lines. I believe that a well-informed client leads to retained and repeat business,” says James. “We strive to take the confusion, risk and headaches out of custom packaging procurement and provide assurances of quality, cost control and delivery to our clients.”

Congratulations on of business leadersh

Just some of the many clients locally and abroad that have benefited from Rite-Way’s products and services include: A mining company based in Kazakhstan where Rite-Way supplied and commissioned a duplex bagging scale system for producing 55 pound bags of sulphur.

Congratulations Rite-Way Packaging on their 25th year in business.

Otter Co-op received a fully automatic robotic bag palletizing system and fully automatic pallet wrapping system. Wetaskiwin Co-Op was supplied with a fully automated bagging scale system and bag closing (sewing) machinery. Andrew Peller Ltd., a leader in Canada’s wine industry, received a customized ABC Model 101 pick and place case packer. Arctic Chiller was supplied an ABC Model 108 low level bulk bottle depalletizer, as well as an ABC Model 72A fully automatic case palletizer. Leading Brands, a producer of beverages (juice, sports drinks, etc.), received an ABC Model 300 case erector. From the start Craig and James were intent on making their packaging and processes as sustainable as possible, and they continue to refine this value every day.

4 Donald St, Winnipeg, MB R3L 2T7 Toll Free: 1-866-943-0723 • www.gfg.ca RITE-WAY 2

“Sustainable packaging is a buzzword, but we certainly don’t want to just use it to be part of a trend,” the brothers point out. “It is something we are concerned about in terms of the environment, our business, and how the packaging industry


RITE-WAY PACKAGING CELEBRATES 25 YEARS

hip! 3-ply multiwall kraft paper PBOM (pinch bottom open mouth) bag with a blue HDPE liner for food grade applications.

needs to evolve. We need to evolve with it or lead it. We do that by researching and sourcing new and innovative packing materials and equipment from leading suppliers in the industry and we take that approach through all of our business in terms of how we book our freight, find efficiencies, and minimize our impact.” Sustainability, customization and a wide range of products and services (including sewing twines and tapes, stretch wrap, equipment parts and pallet cover sheets) for many industries are some of the reasons why Rite-Way has been successful for over 20 years, but there is another aspect that truly sets the company apart. “We are easy to work with, approachable, and we strive to show appreciation to our clients and provide

Photo by Rebecca Lippiatt

them with the best service possible,” says Craig of their customer service. James agrees, “If you are going to go buy 30,000 industrial bags, you will have a different experience with Rite-Way. We go over the top with service and help clients get the best products for their price point. We offer flexible payment terms. We source from a large number of manufacturers from all over the world so that we can offer our clients reduced lead times, value for money, complimentary warehousing services, inventory control, along with an efficient ordering process and a personal touch.” Both agree that while globalization and multinational businesses have massive purchasing power and sometimes offer cheaper products, Rite-Way can remain confident in the ethical sourcing of its high-

Congratulations from all the staff at Real Solutions Plus!

12034 – 28 Street NE, Edmonton, Alberta T6S 1H4 780-478-5417 | realsolutionsplus.ca RITE-WAY 3


RITE-WAY PACKAGING CELEBRATES 25 YEARS

on smarter, lower-cost, lower material use, and more sustainable child-proof bags that actually work. We have completely unique child-proof bags on hand currently for this purpose, the likes of which Canadian consumers have not yet seen.”

Photo by Rebecca Lippiatt

quality products and its mandate to never sacrifice value, quality and service. For this, and many other reasons, clients continue to choose Rite-Way. Rite-Way has come a long way in 25 years and continues to evolve. With the new cannabis sector and quickly-growing craft beer market, not to mention the rise of local wine and farm-to-table fare in the food and beverage industry, Rite-Way has plans to include tamper-proof, single-serve, and other forward-thinking solutions. James says, “We are poised for procuring and distributing flexible packaging and packaging equipment for the cannabis industry, with a focus

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Congratulations Rite-Way Packaging on 25 Years!

“Proudly assisting Rite-Way Packaging and the Rosenberg family” Becker Dalton Wong - Lawyers 780-637-8180 | www.bdwlaw.ca RITE-WAY 4

Rite-Way is also introducing more high-barrier bags for pet food and is strongly encouraging a shift towards the eco-friendlier and more recyclable mono-material or BOPP (biaxially oriented polypropylene) /polywoven designs over composite plastic laminated bags. BOPP film is strong, durable, water-resistant and provides a great alternative over paper-based bags that provide less protection for the contents and can be easily damaged, or the popular composite plastic laminated bags, which can be difficult to recycle. Rite-Way provides both BOPP and traditional multiwall paper bags, using as many compostable and recyclable materials as possible in all of the options they offer. Rite-Way is also planning their own line of compostable pet care bags, eating utensils, straws and paper-based, compostable shopping tote bags. The company is also pleased to join a pilot project that aims to recycle water bottles into FDA approved, fully recyclable bags. If you thought the first 25 years of Rite-Way were exciting, just watch what they do next! In an increasingly globalized world where products are shipped daily locally and abroad, Rite-Way knows a big difference can be made through expertly designed and manufactured, sustainable, efficient packaging and equipment – and they plan to lead the way. “We are very thankful to our father for purchasing the business in 2007 and sparking our interest in packaging solutions,” conclude Craig and James. “We also thank our many long-term clients in Western Canada, our support team (material and equipment manufacturers, freight providers like Steele’s Transfer, our accountants at Grant Thornton and our legal advisors at Becker Dalton and Wong) and we wouldn’t be here without the patronage and support of clients such as Wetaskiwin Co-op (aka County Junction Feeds), Otter Co-Op, Canada Malting Co., Real Solutions, Newly Weds Foods, Trouw Nutrition, and Arctic Chiller.” Rite-Way Packaging Supplies and Services Inc. 3814 51 Avenue NW Edmonton, AB Canada T6B 3T5 Phone: 780.468.7114 E-mail: info@ritewaypackagin.com www.ritewaypackaging.ca


GREEN YOUR NEXT MEETING: SUSTAINABILITY AT THE EDMONTON CONVENTION CENTRE // EEDC

GREEN YOUR NEXT MEETING: SUSTAINABILITY AT THE EDMONTON CONVENTION CENTRE

F

rom October 28 to 30, the Edmonton Convention Centre will welcome the first large-scale convention with a goal of carbon neutrality to be hosted in the city of Edmonton. SPARK 2019: Carbon Positive, is about doing more with less impact on what matters most. The conference attracts 700 of the world’s best clean-technology inventors and innovators to explore how we can reimagine carbon. Through carbon reducing and offsetting, the team at the Edmonton Convention Centre will work closely with SPARK 2019 to make sure their goal of a net-zero conference becomes a reality. Planning and executing an event of this calibre takes innovation and collaboration, but the venue is no stranger to sustainability. In fact, architect B. James Wensley originally designed the building in the 1970s to act as a natural heat sink that traps heat and increases energy efficiency. Today, the Edmonton Convention Centre stands as a beacon of sustainability within Edmonton’s river valley and it has the chops to prove it—the venue was the first convention centre in Canada to receive the Green Key level five certification, and it is one of only five venues in Canada to have received the prestigious ASTM International Certification.

Planning an event? Seven sustainable questions to ask your host venue There’s a growing demand by event planners, attendees and venues to create more responsible solutions in our

industry. That’s why the Edmonton Convention Centre recently launched its Responsible Meetings Program. With the goal of integrating sustainability into every planning conversation, the Responsible Meetings Program provides incentives for sustainable undertakings like plant-based menus, eliminating single-use items and carbon offsetting. Asking the right questions during the planning process will help you and your host venue make responsible decisions that will leave a positive impact on your host city and the world. How much carbon will our event generate? Knowing your carbon footprint will help you implement carbon reducing measures like encouraging public transportation and carpooling among event attendees and even choosing a plant-based menu. Your host venue may be able to help calculate the approximate carbon footprint produced by your event or help offset emissions generated by your event. In fact, the Edmonton Convention Centre will match your carbon offsetting contribution up to 20 tonnes of CO2e. Where is the food being sourced? Sixty per cent of the Edmonton Convention Centre’s food suppliers are local producers and growers—injecting more than $550,000 back into our local economy every year. Featuring local, seasonal and sustainable food items not only tastes

BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // OCTOBER 2019

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GREEN YOUR NEXT MEETING: SUSTAINABILITY AT THE EDMONTON CONVENTION CENTRE // EEDC

delicious, it supports local producers and reduces the environmental impact of food transportation. By asking your event venue to source food from community growers, you can feel good about supporting your host city’s local economy. What happens to leftover food? The United Nations estimates 30 per cent of globally produced food is wasted without ever going to feed our world’s population. Events and meetings can generate immense amounts of food waste, but not all venues can facilitate leftover food donation programs because of health regulations and food donation policies in their cities. In 2009, the Edmonton Convention Centre was the first organization in Edmonton to participate in Alberta Health Services’ and Edmonton’s Food Bank’s Second Helping Program. In 2018, approximately 5,288 meals were safely donated to those in need. Following your event, the Edmonton Convention Centre will report the number of meals donated through the Second Helping Program so you can shout your impact from the rooftops. What can be done with single-use event signage and décor? In most Canadian communities, foam-core, plastic and vinyl event signage is almost impossible to recycle and sadly ends up in landfill. Beyond reducing your single-use event signage, ask your venue if they have any programs in place to reuse or repurpose these materials. The Edmonton Convention Centre partners with local community organizations, including iHuman, who repurpose old event signage into materials for youth art projects. Don’t be afraid to ask—your venue should gladly find a solution for repurposing lanyards, nametags, floral arrangements and swag you no longer have use for. How can our event reduce single-use plastics? Send out email communications telling your attendees your event will be plastic bag and water bottle free. Ask for condiments and beverages to be served in bulk dispensers, create signage that can be reused year-after-year, inquire about compostable corn plastic alternatives or encourage your sponsors to limit swag. In 2018, the Edmonton Convention Centre eliminated plastic straws and stir sticks, diverting an estimated 253,000

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OCTOBER 2019 // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM

straws from landfill each year. Most single-use beverage and food containers found at the Edmonton Convention Centre concessions are biodegradable and can be tossed in the organic sorting bins after use. What does your venue do on an ongoing basis to reduce its environmental impact? Most sustainable venues should hold at least one sustainability certification that upholds them to strict industry-wide standards. Do your research—ask to see information about your host venue’s accreditations, waste management policy, environmental purchasing policy or electricity use. Ask about accessibility to recycling bins, the type of cleaning products used and even the building’s light fixtures. A truly sustainable venue will provide this information with transparency and happily share their sustainability initiatives with you. In as early as 2020, the Edmonton Convention Centre will begin producing its own renewable energy when the atrium roof is outfitted with the largest building-integrated solar cell installation in the country. All 696 glass panels will be replaced, with photovoltaic panels covering approximately 50 per cent of the existing glass. Once complete, the centre will be producing nearly 300,000 kWh of renewable energy every year—that’s enough electricity to power 32 Alberta homes for one year. What impact did we have on the community where our event was hosted? You’ll want to know how you made a positive impact on your host venue and community after your hard work pulling off a successful and sustainable event. Your host venue may be able to provide you with data around carbon emissions, food donations, waste and more. Along with providing carbon and food donation insights, the Edmonton Convention Centre offers clients complimentary waste audits to determine what percentage of event waste was diverted from landfill. Are you interested in hosting a responsible meeting at the Edmonton Convention Centre? Learn more at edmontonconventioncentre.com/sustainablemeetings


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