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VANTA GROUP BRINGS A MODERN WISDOM, A FRESH OUTLOOK, A NEW WAY OF DOING BUSINESS, AND A TON OF YOUTHFUL ENERGY TO AN INDUSTRY STEEPED IN TRADITION AND TIME.



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“We just want to get good beer to the good people.” Hans has five kids if you count his business, Blindman Brewing—an idea sparked between friends and self-professed beer nerds. They brought their idea to ATB and we helped them get it off the ground. Three years later, Blindman is considered a veteran of Alberta’s brewing industry. We raise a frosty pint of River Session Ale to their continued success! See his story at atb.com/hans

Hans, Blindman Brewing


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

REGULAR COLUMNS

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 Government Budgeting – Trying to BALANCE the Balance Sheet By Terry O’Flynn

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CONTENTS COVER FEATURE

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Ad-VANTA-ge Vanta Group brings a modern wisdom, a fresh outlook, a new way of doing business, and a ton of youthful energy to an industry steeped in tradition and time. By Nerissa McNaughton

ON OUR COVER: ABOVE: JOHN HUOT, RICH GROOM, NOAH JONES AND ROSS LANGFORD PHOTO SOURCE: EPIC PHOTOGRAPHY INC

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 Federal Political Hopefuls Need an Advanced Manufacturing Strategy By David MacLean

 Edmonton Chamber of Commerce


Meet your challenges when they’re still opportunities.

RSM and our global network of consultants specialize in working with dynamic, growing companies. This focus leads to custom insights designed to meet your specific challenges. Our experience, combined with yours, helps you move forward with confidence to reach even higher goals. rsm canada.com

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

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THIS MONTH’S FEATURES

CONTENTS COMPANY PROFILES

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T  he Derrick Golf and Winter Club

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T  ELUS World of Science Edmonton Celebrates 35 Years

67 71 75 6

R  oyal Pizza

Celebrates 50 Years

S  heppard Insurance Celebrates 40 Years

J obSite Workwear Celebrates 15 Years

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

Does Lowering the Mortgage Rate Bring Hope for First-Time Buyers? By Jamelie Bachaalani

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Celebrates 60 Years

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Business Aviation – The Secret to Corporate Success

B OMA Edmonton News Fall 2019 Are Your Employees Taking Advantage of their Mental Health Support? By Laura Bohnert

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Parkland County Part III – The Growth of a New Industry Opportunities abound for the growth of the cannabis and hemp industry in Parkland County

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Suit Yourself! By Fay Fletcher


L

iftboss Inc. was established in May 2006 by four partners John and Andre Gagnon, Dale Beatty and Marc Tougas to be a one stop shop dealership for all material handling needs. Having worked in the industry before, the four partners, pooled all there resources, previous experience together and designed a new business model to fill the much needed niche that the industry needed. Liftboss Inc. is an Alberta owned and operated dealership, offering new and used equipment sales, a total parts department, forklift rentals, forklift training, trained and certified mechanics to perform repairs in shop and service vehicles to handle on site repairs. Liftboss Inc. prides it’s self on quick response time to customer’s breakdowns. Customer service was the reason the company was born, and has captured an impressive share of business for Liftboss. In the past 3 years, the downturn in the Alberta economy has definitely affected the sales activity, but comparatively the service and parts business has noticed substantial growth. The sales team builds portfolios for each client’s needs and service preferences; this way, they can have a conversation with a client instead of simply walking them around the showroom. Their clients appreciate the attention and reward them with repeat business and referrals.

adding JCB construction equipment in 2017 has been a great addition, and has made Liftboss Inc. even more visible in the heavy equipment industry in Alberta. They will always stay true to their material handling roots, but having an established and well respected construction line has solidified the fact that Liftboss Inc. is here for the long haul and ready to compete. Whether you are looking for a new machine, a rental, service or parts on an existing unit, or simply want a second option on something, give them a call and they will be happy to point you in the right direction. As a group, Liftboss Inc. do what they do based on four core values: do what you say you will in a timely manner; be open and honest; do whatever it takes; and service the customer above all else. As each department grows, each team member is held accountable to those principles, their focus is to be a quality company that people are proud to work for.

Material handling and forklifts were and continue to be a huge part of what Liftboss Inc. has grown from, but

Introducing the future of construction equipment. The new JCB Hydradig is the world’s first wheeled excavator and tool carrier designed for purpose and built without compromise. Travel to—and around—work sites faster than ever, maneuver into tight spaces with greater safety, and apply the right attachments where they’re needed. Contact Liftboss JCB for more information.

LiftbossJCB.com EDMONTON BRANCH 7912 Yellowhead Trail Edmonton, AB (780) 474-9900

CALGARY BRANCH 8010 40 Street SE Calgary, AB (403) 301-0041


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GOVERNMENT BUDGETING – TRYING TO BALANCE THE BALANCE SHEET // TERRY O’FLYNN

Government Budgeting – Trying to BALANCE the Balance Sheet BY TERRY O’FLYNN, CHAIRMAN, ALBERTA ENTERPRISE GROUP

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t’s a topic everyone likes to comment on: the budget. But have you ever wondered why it seems so hard for governments to get it right?

The fact of the matter is that government budgets are very different to manage than business or personal budgets. In part, this is because households and businesses have fewer moving parts to mitigate; however, they also have structurally different agendas, and that means they aren’t really going to intersect in the ways we might expect. For instance, personal and business budgets are based on fiscal goals and results. A properly functioning personal or commercial budget will aim at a specific target, like saving to buy a house or to accommodate a new business capital expenditure. In each of those examples, compensations can be made in order to allocate enough funds towards the desired goal. The future homeowner can cut costs and potentially pick up more shifts to accumulate the necessary excess funds to come up with a down payment, and a projection of future earnings can be leveraged to secure a loan, factoring in some collateral. Similarly, a company can make projections based on revenue patterns. A government budget doesn’t have the same linear trajectory to it, and that’s because a government budget is about more than managing profit. A government budget is expenditurebased. It is designed to match the spending that is necessary to support public assets and services and to offset future major infrastructure expenditures. Further, its objective is about satisfying politicians, bureaucrats, businesses, and the general public with the fulfillment of those services.

In order to generate more revenue to accommodate the desired public services and assets, the government can decide either to increase taxes or to cut other services. Since the revenue is also generated by the people who are directly impacted by any tax hikes or service cuts, the precarity of that decision is paramount. For instance, increasing the tax impact on businesses may force businesses to cut back to maintain profits and achieve their fiscal goals, impacting employees and new business acquisitions and investments. The resulting layoffs may mean taxpayers are forced to save more than they spend, and this in combination with fewer business investments in the economy could negatively impact government revenue, causing more deficit despite the increased potential for revenue from higher taxes. So, government budgets are a bit like elaborate games of Jenga: a well-planned cut or re-allocation of funds can allow for growth, but the more thinly stretched it becomes, the more likely it is for the next cut to topple the entire budget into a heap of deficit. The solution to the problem lies in allowing for growth without cutting the components that can support that growth, and that means politicians must prioritize to take care of both families and companies. Tough decisions will have to be made—and it’s impossible to keep everyone happy—but with the right strategy, and by keeping government supports in the right places, it is possible for economic growth to overcome budget deficit… it’s all about the BALANCE.

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FEDERAL POLITICAL HOPEFULS NEED AN ADVANCED MANUFACTURING STRATEGY // DAVID MACLEAN

Federal Political Hopefuls Need an Advanced Manufacturing Strategy BY DAVID MACLEAN

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f you’re like me, the thought of another election campaign is exhausting. After several years of non-stop political wrangling in Alberta, everyone is in need of a break. However, there are a few pieces of unfinished business, when it comes to driving Canadian manufacturing growth, that should be addressed in the upcoming federal campaign. Edmonton manufacturers will be watching closely because, as you’ve likely read in this space in the past, the sector faces some significant challenges. As a general rule, and Alberta is certainly no exception, Canadian manufacturers are undercapitalized relative to their global competitors. Local manufacturers don’t invest as much as their global counterparts; perhaps because they face a generally high cost of doing business and low labour productivity – and face labour shortages in the long-term. In the Edmonton region, the big economic prize is petrochemical development. With a few significant Industrial Heartland projects waiting in the wings, the stakes couldn’t be higher. We compete with jurisdictions around the world for those investment dollars, so the policy mix from all levels of government has to be just right. So, what are manufacturers looking for from Trudeau, Scheer and Singh? We need to reduce the cost of doing business in Canada. Manufacturers need comprehensive tax reform to modernize the tax regime to boost investment, exports and productivity. The federal government should work with provinces to streamline regulatory processes and reduce red tape. And, once and for all, we need a government that

is serious about eliminating the internal trade barriers that cost the economy $86 billion every year. A healthy, efficient internal market will drive exports. Premier Kenney showed impressive leadership in unilaterally dropping many Alberta government exemptions to the Agreement on Internal Trade that allowed it to prevent outof-province competition on procurement. The federal government should use the tax system, without risking public dollars, to encourage technology adoption and scaling up. It can help address labour productivity by expanding and simplifying the Canada Job Grant. Immigration rules should be reviewed and reformed where necessary in order to increase the entry of both entry level and highly skilled workers into Canada. Finally, manufacturers need the United States-MexicoCanada Agreement (USMCA) ratified and implemented. The modernized trade deal has some significant wins for manufacturers, so the sooner we can make it operational, the better. These suggestions, when pieced together, form the backbone of a Canadian advanced manufacturing strategy – the kind of plan all federal leaders should be presenting to voters at election time. Canadians need a clearly articulated plan to grow the economy, improve our competitiveness relative to other jurisdictions in the world, and drive investment in innovation and technology.

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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NorQuest College Nursing Students are Enhancing Training with AI The nursing students at NorQuest College have a new training and development tool, and it’s a tool that looks to the future of healthcare. Thanks to Dynacor, a tech-forward solution provider with offices in Edmonton and Victoria, the students are now using virtual reality (VR) to simulate some of the situations they will encounter while on the job. The VR allows the students to see, hear, and engage in medical situations, and even practice administering insulin. “We worked with Dynacor to inform them of what we needed, and they delivered,” says NorQuest instructor Dustin Chan. “We wanted something that is engaging in a way that is familiar to today’s technology-driven students. With this, we are able to bring the motivation from the world of gaming into learning. Students are coming back to ‘play’ the VR scenario over and over again until they master the game/skill.” Last year, in recognition of its work with the NorQuest PN Insulin Administration scenario, Dynacor received two Ember Awards: one for Best Industry Training and one for Best Virtual or Augmented Reality). “Virtual reality is changing the way we train,” says Terri Dorn, who is the managing partner at Dynacor. “Once you experience VR, you instantly understand how engaging and productive an experience it is.” Reg Joseph, CEO of Health City, an initiative to accelerate technology and innovation and to globally promote the Edmonton region’s healthcare industry, explains, “Augmented and virtual realities are disrupting the health sector. We are excited to see this kind of collaboration in our health ecosystem, where technology companies and health providers co-develop solutions to enhance care delivery and improve patients’ lives.” The students have been using the AI program since early 2019, and they have plenty of good things to say about it.

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“I like how it is different from the lab environment, and the ways it makes me think about what I have to do next,” says student Brandi Caskenette. “It feels like you are actually there with a real patient,” says another student, Jayme Stadnyk. Dynacor’s team lead of emerging technologies, Chris Mackney, has enjoyed the collaboration with NorQuest. “It was very exciting to be able to combine innovative and immersive technology, such as virtual reality, with a potentially risky medication administration scenario,” says Mackney. “Allowing students to practice the proper steps in a safe environment was key.” This technology is being hailed as an incredible tool to help students carry out important step-by-step procedures in a safe environment, and then repeat those procedures as they learn to perfect them before transferring those skills to a real-world patient. The confidence this instills in the nursing students is vital for when they graduate and enter the job force. With this technology active at NorQuest College, it is clear that Edmonton is ready and willing to embrace and lead in the AI that helps to produce a strong, skilled workforce. Learn more about NorQuest College at www.norquest.ca, Dynacor at www.dynacormedia.com, and Health City at www.edmontonhealthcity.ca.


SHARING YOUR VISION. BUILDING SUCCESS.

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BUSINESS AVIATION – THE SECRET TO CORPORATE SUCCESS // AVIATION

Business Aviation – THE SECRET TO CORPORATE SUCCESS

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ccording to studies conducted by NEXA Advisors LLC, companies that use business aviation consistently outperform those that do not, whether publicly-traded major corporations or small or medium-sized businesses. These companies use business aviation strategically, as a corporate asset to drive higher revenues, greater profitability and improve efficiency. Most importantly for the future success of any company, users of business aviation are overwhelming seen as the cream of the crop – the most admired brands, the best places to work. These statistics are very familiar to Rudy Toering, president and CEO of the Canadian Business Aviation Association (CBAA). Representing Canada’s $10.7 billion business aviation sector, the CBAA works to inform elected officials, regulators and Canadian business leaders that the use of

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business aviation is something that should be encouraged, not hindered or hidden. “Since companies that use business aviation outperform those that don’t, it stands to reason that the government should create an environment that allows Canadian companies to take full advantage of the opportunities that business aviation provides. I know that many Canadian companies downplay how they use business aviation, but there is such a thing as too much modesty, in my view,” Toering says. “The realty is that using business aviation as a corporate asset is no more indulgent than investing in technology to give your company an edge. It is the price of doing business, and doing it well. Our members don’t use business aviation as a glamourous perk. It’s far simpler. They use it to move


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BUSINESS AVIATION – THE SECRET TO CORPORATE SUCCESS // AVIATION

people and equipment from point A to point B more efficiently and securely than their competitors.” Economists call this the “catalytic effect” – using an asset like business aviation to facilitate success in other sectors, but, Toering is quick to point out that there is more to business aviation than its catalytic effects. “Business aviation has a double halo. Not only does it have a direct impact on corporate success, it is also a major contributor to the economy in its own right. The province of Alberta is a beneficiary of a strong business aviation sector. There are 419 business aircraft based here – second only to Ontario. Our economic impact study shows that operating those Alberta-based aircraft results in 5,200 jobs, $3.44 million in wages, $586 million in GDP and $1.22 billion in economic output every year in total (direct and indirect) impacts. It’s a significant contribution to Alberta’s economy, over and above how these aircraft help Albertan businesses succeed.” Toering added that it’s not just about corporate use. Business aircraft are uniquely suited to providing a first response to natural disasters and other crises because they can operate on short notice into outlying airports with small and sometimes unpaved runways, or even onto roads, that are inaccessible to airliners or automobiles. This was clearly evident in business aviation operators’ responses to the recent northern Alberta wildfires. Despite everything that business aviation contributes to this country, and how much more it could contribute, there are still significant and unnecessary barriers to its growth. The CBAA is working with its members in Alberta and other parts of the country to push back on issues that range from inappropriate crew fatigue rules for ad-hoc charters, incorrect interpretations and applications of the federal tax code, airport access, taxes on aviation fuel, the cost of carbon schemes and more. Toering believes a solution is educating political and business leaders. “We are constantly lobbying for a better environment

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MORE THAN JUST A PRETTY PLANE:

THE CATALYTIC IMPACTS OF BUSINESS AVIATION

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atalytic impacts refer to business aviation’s role in facilitating the effective business of other sectors of the economy. The impacts can include: Trade. Business aviation connects businesses to a wide range of global markets, providing a significantly larger customer base for their products than would be accessible otherwise. Investment. A key factor many companies take into account when making decisions about the location of offices, manufacturing plants or warehouses is proximity to an airport. Productivity. Business aviation helps companies get their employees to multiple destinations in a single day and still get home at night, preserving some work-life balance while increasing productivity. Sustaining Small Communities and Regional Economies. This not only enhances businesses’ overall supply chain productivity, but also enables and sustains economic activity at small and remote communities.

for business aviation, and I think that our economic impact study will help to open doors and increase understanding. It’s been widely distributed to MPs and senators, federal, provincial and territorial governments, and to the business community, and we are getting a strong response. It’s a step at a time, but working with our members and colleagues in Alberta and across Canada, I strongly believe that we can achieve a great deal more for business aviation.”


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Solve important problems that make a difference in business, with families, and in the community

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Whether it’s insurance and estate planning, employee benefits, or retirement – contact us today and find out how we can join your team.

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AD-VANTA-GE // COVER

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AD-VANTA-GE // COVER

AD-VANTA-GE VANTA GROUP BRINGS A MODERN WISDOM, A FRESH OUTLOOK, A NEW WAY OF DOING BUSINESS, AND A TON OF YOUTHFUL ENERGY TO AN INDUSTRY STEEPED IN TRADITION AND TIME. BY NERISSA MCNAUGHTON

V

anta Group provides insurance, group benefits, pension, and risk management services, but they are anything but a typical insurance firm. At the helm are four partners with a singular mindset: giving business owners financial peace of mind. Rich Groom, Ross Langford, Noah Jones, and John Huot have known each other for decades. Their complementary skill sets (Langford and Huot started their careers in accounting, while Groom and Jones were business competitors) meant they were always in each other’s orbits, collaborating, advising mutual clients, and providing professional support. “I think the reason we all came together is to collaborate amongst like-minded individuals and create a best-in-class option in the marketplace,” Jones explains. “A number of us worked together in the past, but at different firms. Instead of working against each other, we decided to come together and create something better.” “The next 25 years of working will be better with friends and we have a chance to have a lot of fun,” Groom adds. Huot agrees, “I see this as an opportunity to do meaningful work with great people and have a good laugh.” Wait… fun? Laughter? In an insurance and risk management firm?

It’s true. The vibe in the office, from the reception lobby to the board room, is one of utmost professionalism, but there is a relaxed feeling that permeates the atmosphere – and, dare I say, there is also a feeling of joy. It’s because despite the demands of their profession, the four partners wake up looking forward to coming to the office, working with their team, and helping business owners succeed. They love what they do, and it really shows. Despite their different skill sets and professional backgrounds, all four have one overarching goal – helping business owners succeed. They realize the best way to do this is through providing customized insurance and risk management solutions and services. “When I started my career as a tax accountant, I had no idea what insurance could do. Since then, I found out how powerful it can be for attracting employees and really protecting families,” says Huot. “All of us were attracted to insurance because of what it can do for the people we work with.” Vanta Group’s mantras of “sophisticated planning made simple,” and “world-class advice in your own backyard” are best realized by business owners helping other business owners. Vanta Group’s partners all know what it’s like to be in their clients’ shoes: sweating through the startup phase, seeking out and retaining talent, growing their brand, and planning for succession.

LEFT: JOHN HUOT, RICH GROOM, NOAH JONES AND ROSS LANGFORD PHOTO SOURCE: EPIC PHOTOGRAPHY INC

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AD-VANTA-GE // COVER

They explain, “Most people think insurance and risk management is complicated and expensive, but it can be a real financial asset. More enlightened employers see the benefit of our solutions for their employees and see tools they can use to substantially build their asset base. A lot of what we do is providing that advantage to not just the employer’s business, but also to their employees and their families. Frankly, having the right structures in place improves lives.” Being entrepreneurs themselves, the partners know how challenging it can be to balance a demanding career with family life and downtime. Because of this, they create as much balance and flexibility for their own employees as possible. “We are lucky to have an incredible team of people who are great at what they do and that allow us to spend time with our families,” Jones says of the partnership and the members of the Vanta team. “Personally, I have never been less stressed. It feels good to know the people around us have our backs,” Groom agrees. Huot adds, “In our line of business, there are a lot of lone wolves and sole proprietors, but we have come to learn that just because you can do it alone, doesn’t mean you should. It’s one of the big reasons we came together to form Vanta. When you work as a team, you get balance and synergy and that flows to your clients.” They also have a lot of energy. “In an industry where many advisors are well past retirement age, we are comparatively young, but very experienced,” says Jones. “That opens up great opportunities for acquisitions and growth as older advisors move on to the next phase of their lives.” “Ours is a completely fresh look at an old industry,” says Langford. “The two ends of the spectrum seem to be the independent insurance advisor at one end and the large financial institutions at the other. In between, typically, there was a lack of a personalized approach to planning. The old model is to always be pushing products. We choose to offer tailor-made solutions to problems instead of just a listing of products for sale.”

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Groom concurs, “Vanta is about interacting with our clients as one business owner to another. This marketplace is made up of highly competitive entrepreneurs, and we’ve learned that entrepreneurs want to deal with other entrepreneurs. We walk in their shoes and experience their challenges. This gives us a clear advantage.” “Vanta Group loves to roll up our sleeves and work directly with the business owner and their entire team. This team usually includes internal HR and finance people, as well as external accountants, lawyers and bankers. It’s total collaboration,” Jones summarizes. Collaboration is not just on the human front. The partners are very much aware of how technology is changing their industry as well – and they embrace it. “We are investing heavily in AI,” Langford confirms. “The industry is definitely moving in that direction. We are a leader in this area and embrace the fact that AI will not replace the human touch of what we do. We simply need the technology now that will make us even more effective in the future.” Jones agrees, noting, “We are not burying our heads in the sand about where the industry is going. We are, instead, trying to be thoughtful in meeting those challenges.” Langford gives an example, “In dealing with a robo advisor, you are not going to learn whether the person that needs insurance has a sick colleague, a family member in need of help or a business in need of succession planning. Technology is a great tool, but our business will always be about interaction with people.” Vanta Group’s interaction with people goes way beyond the client sphere and extends deeply into the community as well. The partners sit on the boards of various non-profit organizations and support a variety of causes through sponsorships and hands-on participation. They also encourage philanthropy with their clients through mentorship and education, focusing on the impact in the community, and how to maximize the effectiveness of those donations. Supporting the business community through the services they offer and the community work they provide is a source for pride for each partner.


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.ai

(Portable Network Graphics)

(Adobe Illustrator)

• same as JPG but supports transparency • use in Word, Powerpoint or web when you want a transparent background (example - placing your logo over a dark or patterned background)

• layered working le that is editable in Adobe Illustrator • share with designer/printer if changes necessary

MNP Corporate Finance Inc. acted as exclusive financial advisor to Clareview Drug Mart in structuring and negotiating this transaction.

has acquired

Fournier Drugs Ltd. MNP Corporate Finance Inc. acted as exclusive financial advisor to Fournier Drugs Ltd. in structuring and negotiating this transaction.

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AD-VANTA-GE // COVER

“I love everything about the Edmonton business community,” says Jones, and the rest nod in agreement. “In a world where a lot of our competitors have sold to public companies or amalgamators, we have invested heavily in our community for the long term. This shows what we think of this city and this country. We are betting on it and we know it’s a safe bet. In particular, Edmonton is a small city but feels very big. It’s a community that is supportive, positive, and has a wonderful entrepreneurial spirit. Edmonton has a big heart; its citizens are always looking out for each other.”

and the impact that causes on the culture of a company is devastating. Without leadership, the team disintegrates and the fun quickly leaves the building. We’ve all lived through that in various places, which is why we are keen on being good leaders to support our team.”

Yet, as much as the partners have helped other businesses, the community, and their own team grow, they know Vanta Group is helping them personally as well. Their roles are making them stronger, better, and more agile leaders.

Jones says, “I feel that on some level, work should be fun. As leaders, we try to create an environment where everyone feels that way.”

“It’s nice when someone cultivates leadership,” Huot muses. “We’ve all worked in places where the leaders were absent

They know leadership is not always easy. “You must have the courage to stand up for your convictions and do what is right, even when it’s hard and costs you financially,” Langford says firmly.

“I’m excited by Vanta Group, the team, and the future!” Groom exclaims. “I don’t feel like it’s work. We’ve all

PHOTO SOURCE: EPIC PHOTOGRAPHY INC

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AD-VANTA-GE // COVER

concluded that we really don’t care if the team is punching the clock as long as the work is getting done. If a team member has to be home with a sick child, we understand.” As family men, they know what that is like. “We all have children. We understand how hard it is to juggle work and home life, so we don’t ask our employees to do anything we wouldn’t do ourselves. We listen to and respect the needs of the team. It all works towards Vanta being successful.” Wise, agile, full of energy, technology-driven, client-focused, community-minded, team-oriented and having fun – the partners have a lot going on, but each still finds endless inspiration in their workplace. “I love entrepreneurship, collaboration, and building a business,” says Groom. “We have a great team around us, and it’s fun to have younger advisors coming on board and to be able to provide them with mentorship. There is an art to problem identification and problem solving. We study it and have fun with it.”

right direction. We find that incredibly rewarding. It’s very challenging for any business to juggle banks, taxes, and day-to-day operations. When we come in, we are swift and succinct, and that comes with years of experience.” With their well-honed expertise and fresh approach to leadership, team-building, and the future, Vanta Group is poised to continue breaking new ground. “We need to take advantage of chances and say yes to opportunities, but we will never sacrifice the quality of our advice or service. There is currently a gap in how businesses access advisory services regarding insurance planning and risk management. We will continue to fill that void and have fun while we’re doing it.”

35 Years of Distinction JR. KINDERGARTEN TO GRADE 12

“I like educating our clients and knowing we are making a difference for them,” says Langford. “We have done planning that has literally saved entire businesses from going under. That actually happens on a regular basis. It’s nice to see that what we do makes a difference,” says Jones. “One thing that inspires us all,” notes Huot, “is that we get to go help a busy entrepreneur that has a million balls in the air. We go in, help, provide education, and get them moving in the

“Outstanding students, outstanding results.” proacad.ca

PERFORMING ARTS, VISUAL ARTS & TECHNOLOGY We are committed to maintaining a caring and creative environment that fosters the natural curiosity to learn.

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

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MOUNT ROYAL UNIVERSITY CON FER EN C E

CALGARY • OCTOBER 19, 2019

ENERGY MARKET RECOVERY COMING SOON TARGETS: Josef Schachter

CEO Schachter Energy Research Services

Veteran Analyst Josef Schachter is so confident that we are in the early stages of a new Energy Bull Market, and that WTI Oil Prices could recover to over US$100, that he is telling his Black Gold Subscribers to start investing now while energy stocks are at all time lows. “I have only seen two real Energy Bull markets in my 40 plus year career,” says Schachter, “and now I’m clearly looking at number three!” He says the market is finishing the early bumpy-bottom transition from the bear market into the bull market. “People are gun shy at this point due to turbulent markets, negative media coverage, egress issues, and decimated energy and energy service stocks. Currently out of favour with brokers and institutional investors who need to show positive quarterly results on a regular basis, coverage on these amazing long-term investment opportunities is virtually non-existent.” Individual investors have nowhere to find information. Enter Josef Schachter.

US$75/B EXPECTED 2020 US$100/B EXPECTED 2022+

Schachter publishes a twice monthly newsletter covering over 30 energy and energy service stocks that he believes have made the difficult decisions necessary to survive this nasty downturn, and more importantly, thrive in the new Energy Bull Market. “When we get back to $100+ Crude Oil prices these particular stocks could produce extraordinary returns in the next three to five years,” he explains. He also organizes the annual Schachter ‘Catch the Energy’ Conference where attendees have unprecedented access to 26 CEOs of the presenting companies. All in one place. All for one day. If you are at all interested in the energy sector, this conference is for you. Companies have 30 minutes to present their stories followed by a 15 minute moderated Q&A session. VIP ticket holders will be seated with one of the presenting company’s CEO or senior management during lunch for a more relaxed and in-depth discussion about the company or the sector.

R E G IST ER TODAY

SCHACHTERENERGYREPORT.CA/CONFERENCE


THANKS TO OUR SPONSORS AND PARTNERS:

PRESENTERS & EXHIBITORS INCLUDE:

FEARLESS FORECASTS • JOSEF SCHACHTER LOOKS AHEAD The New Energy Bull Market actually began with its long, turbulent transition phase, when WTI bottomed at US$26/b in February 2016 The current Skepticism Phase around the energy sector should morph into a solid market in the first half of 2020 WTI Crude at US$75/b by second half of 2020, and a sustainable US$100/b or more after 2022 S&P/TSX Energy Index should more than double over the next three years from 127 to 300+ Most companies presenting at the ‘Catch the Energy’ Conference should out-perform the S&P/TSX Energy Index

S U B S C R I BE FOR MORE

SCHACHTERENERGYREPORT.CA


DOES LOWERING THE MORTGAGE RATE BRING HOPE FOR FIRST-TIME BUYERS? // REAL ESTATE

DOES LOWERING THE MORTGAGE RATE BRING HOPE FOR FIRST-TIME BUYERS? BY JAMELIE BACHAALANI

A

lthough the Bank of Canada’s five-year benchmark rate recently dropped for the first time since 2016, down from 5.34 per cent to 5.19 per cent, it isn’t enough of a reduction to make a difference on whether or not buyers can pass the mortgage stress test. Implemented nation-wide on January 1, 2018, the mortgage stress test is a financial bar designed to simmer down the sky-high real estate markets in cities like Vancouver and Toronto, but it is impacting all markets across the country. Regardless of what deals have been offered by a lender, prospective buyers must be tested as though their mortgage rate is at a higher level. This ensures they are able to afford their mortgage payments should interest rates rise, and to protect them from taking on more debt than they can feasibly manage. However, it is negatively impacting provinces and cities where real estate markets were already somewhat steady. One of those cities is Edmonton.

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Life Lease: A Cost Saving Investment for the Active Senior

W

hen an active senior is looking to downsize into accommodations where they can live independently, there are several options.

One is to purchase a condo, with market fluctuations, condo fees, special assessments, and few social areas. Another is a rental apartment, which can have future rent increases, also is less social, and has few services. You can rent a luxury retirement home, owned by a national investment firm, and pay rent over $3,000 per month. Or choose an affordable subsidized seniors lodge with small studio or one bedroom suites, but no kitchen – not ideal for couples. Lodges often have waiting lists that give priority to those with the lowest incomes. However, therefore is a better option: moving into a condominium quality life lease community. What is a life lease? A life lease community can be perfect for those with equity in their present home. Residents sign a lease, which fixes their net rent for a minimum of five years. The life lease resident is given the option to make a loan to the project to reduce their monthly rent by $2,000 to $3,000 per month. They pay only a monthly operating cost, covering utilities, property taxes, maintenance, and management. This fee is usually under $1,000 per month, within the incomes of most seniors in Alberta. This loan is secured by a blanket second mortgage on the property. Under a trust agreement, the total loans can not exceed the value of the property. This lease, and optional loan, with optional services such as meals, and housekeeping, is much more affordable for the retiree. It costs a fraction per month than in luxury retirement rentals – rentals that typically have small units, no kitchen, and mandatory meals (even if your travel). Life lease properties are often located in quality locations, near coffee shops and grocery stores, and provide social and wellness supports, making them ideal for the independent, active senior planning for their future. How is a life lease different from a rental? Your life lease gives you the right to live in your unit and enjoy the common areas for as long as you wish. You can move out at any time by giving 90 day written notice. Unlike in a rental, your beneficiaries will inherit your original

loan, less an 8 per cent fee to cover normal refurbishing and releasing costs. You do not have the headache of selling your unit; your loan balance is returned, less the release fee and a 6 per cent queuing condition (which prevents all the units from going vacant at any one time). Basically, a life lease loan reduces your monthly living costs and protects your equity, by means of a loan on the property, without having the responsibilities of ownership. Life leases in Edmonton Christenson Developments, an Edmonton firm, has been a life lease leader in Alberta for over 30 years, with award winning, fully integrated urban villages like Devonshire Village, Citadel Village, the Village at Westmount, Glastonbury Village, Bedford Village and Southwoods Village in the Edmonton area. Located in the southwest, Devonshire Village, with beautiful units now available, is a flagship property of Christenson Developments. Built for active seniors, residents here enjoy social events, a family party room, movies, craft workshops, a game room, two dining rooms, an exercise and wellness centre, bus service and much more. Suites include one and two-bedroom units with full kitchens and balconies, many facing a landscaped courtyard. Assisted living, including AHS funded 24-hour home care, housekeeping, and meals can be arranged. In St. Albert, Citadel Village’s 10 new large upgraded units won’t be on the market for long! This active senior community is walking distance to dining, shopping, banking and healthcare. Underground parking, a sunroom, movie room and hair salon are just some of the amenities on site. Optional services include meals, housekeeping, laundry and on-site care. In September, the 33 of the 80 independent living units remaining in The Village at Westmount became available. The Village fits right into the revitalization of the mature Westmount neighbourhood, providing the choice of one bedroom plus den, or two bedroom units with full kitchens, in-suite laundry, balconies, 24-hour AHS funded home care, and the beautiful amenities and assisted living options you expect from a Christenson Community. It’s all about choice! Active retirees want choice when it comes to their lifestyle. More are choosing the cost-saving investment in a life lease community. Visit www.cdlhomes.com to learn more.


TIME • CHOICE • FREEDOM

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Life Lease Ask how you can reduce your monthly costs with our optional Life Lease program.

• Recreation Rooms • Hair Salon • Beautiful Courtyard • Underground Parking

Visit Us Today 1728 Rabbit Hill Rd, Edmonton, AB; or phone 780-934-6636.

ChristensonGroup.ca


DOES LOWERING THE MORTGAGE RATE BRING HOPE FOR FIRST-TIME BUYERS? // REAL ESTATE

“THE EQUITY HOMEOWNERS BUILD AS THEY PAY OFF A MORTGAGE IS IMPORTANT. IT IS A WAY OF BUILDING WEALTH OVER TIME, AND IT IS ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT IF YOU ARE LEAVING THE HOUSING MARKET. YOU CAN PUT IT TOWARDS YOUR RETIREMENT,” SAYS BRODRICK.

“The mortgage stress test is essentially a safety net for the banking system — to prevent a housing crash in case rates go significantly higher. With the way property values were rising in Ontario and British Columbia, it started a herd mentality where people began taking on properties they couldn’t afford. But Alberta’s economy, and subsequent housing market, was already cooling down so the very people it is designed to protect are the people it is actually hindering the most,” says Nathan Mol, a Realtor for Liv Real Estate. The new policy requires all buyers, even those with more than 20 per cent down, to prove they can pay a mortgage on whichever is higher — for an uninsured mortgage it is either the Bank of Canada’s five-year benchmark rate or the contract rate plus 2 per cent, and on an insured mortgage it is either the benchmark rate or the contract rate, without the 2 per cent increase. “It’s just a number that the federal government picked. It is completely arbitrary, and while most buyers aren’t benefiting

from it, it is disproportionately impacting first-time buyers from entering the market,” adds Mol. “There is about a $60,000 difference between what a new buyer would have been approved for pre-stress test and what they qualify for now,” says Michael Brodrick, chair of the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton, an organization dedicated to promoting professional trade in real estate and enabling REALTORS® to provide superior services to the general public. “A buyer who would have been approved for a $350,000 mortgage is now only eligible for a $290,000 mortgage under the stress test,” Brodrick explains. Lowering the price at which people can enter the market has also put downward pressure on sellers to lower prices. According to Mol, there are really no benefits for sellers. The stress test has decreased the supply of buyers and even with prices going down, many buyers still can’t qualify. People

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

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DOES LOWERING THE MORTGAGE RATE BRING HOPE FOR FIRST-TIME BUYERS? // REAL ESTATE

who want to exit the market right now will end up losing precious equity on their homes.

told CBC. “But worse, it’s really unfair to those people who have bought in the past two to three years.”

“The equity homeowners build as they pay off a mortgage is important. It is a way of building wealth over time, and it is especially important if you are leaving the housing market. You can put it towards your retirement,” says Brodrick.

However, Nolan Matthias, co-founder of Mortgage360, Canada’s first B-Corp certified mortgage company, doesn’t believe the stress test is to blame for the decline in Edmonton’s real estate market.

“When you have a government intervention in the marketplace that impacts the market fairly dramatically in a short period of time, it’s unfair to people who have invested all of their income into their homes,” Paul Sullivan, a senior partner at a leading commercial real estate and property tax appraisal firm, recently

“When you look at markets like Toronto and Vancouver, home prices are down around 8 per cent off of their highs. Vancouver’s benchmark price is down 7.8 per cent from the highs of May 2018, while Edmonton’s is only down 4.2 per cent. Is the 4.2 per cent decline the stress test or

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1-866-305-6565 / BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // SEPTEMBER 2019

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DOES LOWERING THE MORTGAGE RATE BRING HOPE FOR FIRST-TIME BUYERS? // REAL ESTATE

HOME SALES FROM LAST MONTH IN JUNE WERE ACTUALLY UP FROM THE YEAR BEFORE WITH 935 SINGLE-DETACHED FAMILY HOMES SELLING VERSUS 889. HOWEVER, THE MEDIAN PRICE WAS DOWN FROM $397,000 TO $380,000.

the suffering energy industry?” Matthias asks. “I would be inclined to suggest that it is more the energy market than the stress test. There are, of course, a few who have been affected but they are in the very small minority. In a worst case scenario, the stress test reduced the maximum amount someone can be approved for by about 20 per cent. However, in our experience most homeowners in Alberta don’t push up against the maximum amount that they qualify for anyways, so that 20 per cent reduction in qualification doesn’t affect most people.” Home sales from last month in June were actually up from the year before with 935 single-detached family homes selling versus 889. However, the median price was down from $397,000 to $380,000. Homes also sat on the market in June of this year for longer than they did in 2018. It took an average of 55 days for a home to sell rather than 36, but Mol adds that there are many that aren’t selling at all. “The effect of the mortgage stress test is so much more complicated than most people really understand. Its impact is dependent on the area of the city, the style of the home, the quality of the property — there are many factors that impact these statistics and despite a slower market, we are still seeing multiple offers put down on great homes. I guess one benefit to all of this would be that it allows buyers the opportunity to make good decisions and not be rushed into unnecessary bidding wars for average or sub-par properties,” he explains.

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Jason Kenney, Alberta’s Premier, promised to fight Ontario’s “unfair” mortgage stress test rules during his opposition against Rachel Notley. He promised to create a ministry to reduce the number of regulations and other procedural hurdles that stand in the way of first-time buyers by one-third. This is part of Kenney’s larger plan to galvanize the Alberta economy, but does this initiative stand a chance? “While I think the stress test will eventually need to go when and if Toronto and Vancouver markets return to normal, I think there are better things for our provincial government to be focused on. In a market where an average homebuyer can still buy an average home, I think our provincial government would be better off working on areas where they do have the ability to move the needle, rather than focusing on hot button issues that they can’t really change,” says Matthias. “Kenney has no authority to cancel it, but the plan is to continue speaking against it. It will be challenging because the federal government finds it is working well and controlling debt levels,” concludes Brodrick, who believes the UCP should focus on changes to the stress test such as regionalization or a lower test rate rather than attempting to completely remove the stress test. Until such alternatives are up for discussion, Albertan’s will have to be content with the lowering of the Bank of Canada’s mortgage rates.


ROUNDHOUSE: CHAMPIONS OF SOCIAL INNOVATION IN EDMONTON

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group sits around the kitchen table talking about how to keep microbeads out of the water supply. A woman is dialed into her laptop while she pedals on an exercise bike to generate power. 80’s music blares from the event space speaker. These scenes take place at Roundhouse, a social innovation coworking space located inside Edmonton’s MacEwan University. Roundhouse was built with biophilic design in mind and features 17-foot high ceilings, a moss wall, and Ficus Benjamina and Fiddle Leaf Fig trees. The space is also outfitted with desks, an event area, meeting rooms, mini golf and a variety of resources aimed at fostering a work environment that is creative, collaborative and impactful. But more important than the physical space, Roundhouse is a community of entrepreneurs, researchers, changemakers and social innovators who challenge

the status quo, tackle social issues with ideas, and have a positive impact on society. Roundhouse in itself is a unique concept — a collaboration between MacEwan’s ancillary services and academic side. In 2016 when Allard Hall was built, Kris Bruckmann, Executive Director of Campus Services was looking at ideas for the 12,000 square foot space allocated for retail. At the same time, Leo Wong, an assistant professor in MacEwan’s School of Business, was spearheading the development of the brand-new Social Innovation Institute (SII). While several departments across MacEwan were engaging in research and collaborations with local organizations in Edmonton like Boyle Street and iHuman, Leo realized that greater impact could be made if these areas were working together to further their community goals instead of the siloed approach that was currently being taken. www.bomaedmonton.org | BOMA Edmonton Newsletter | September 2019

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The idea for what would eventually be named Roundhouse was to create a community that would bridge entrepreneurs, community members, academics and students around the theme of social change. As a physical space, it would be a social innovation hub: a place where anyone who wants to make the world a better place can make use of desk space and common areas and forge new connections with like-minded people. Two years later, on May 31, 2018, Roundhouse pulled up its garage door and welcomed its first visitors into the space. One year onwards, it’s now not only home to MacEwan’s Social Innovation Institute, but also to 94 members across a wide breadth of sectors, from the Solar Energy Society of Alberta, a nonprofit that educates the public about solar technology; to Spontivly, a tech startup that aims to curb social isolation with an app that curates local experiences. Roundhouse’s downtown location, and collaboration with the Social Innovation Institute, gives Roundhouse a unique opportunity to be part of social change initiatives to make an impact right in our community. Of these initiatives, the biggest is easily SII’s partnership with RECOVER: Edmonton’s Urban Wellness Plan. Centered around six Edmonton neighbourhoods (Boyle Street, Central McDougall, Downtown, McCauley, Strathcona, and Queen Mary Park), the City of Edmonton initiative is using a social innovation approach to engage diverse stakeholders — residents, business owners, property managers, community groups, social agencies, and others — to gain the community’s perspective on wellness in each inner city neighbourhood. To gain this perspective, the City worked with InWithForward to undertake qualitative, on the ground, research. They talked to individuals and communities who were experiencing first-hand barriers and challenges to wellness and then identified the needs, challenges and opportunities in each of the six neighbourhoods. Their primary ethnographic research details people’s everyday lives, their needs, what drives them and their aspirations and thereby gave RECOVER solid direction in identifying opportunities to improve urban wellness. Leo Wong, Founding Director of the SII; and Taisa Ballantyne, SII’s Engagement Strategist are taking the lead on supporting the RECOVER initiative. Taisa, who is concurrently pursuing her Master of Studies in Social Innovation at The Cambridge Judge Business School, finds it particularly fulfilling to apply the latest insights in social innovation research to her role with

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September 2019 | BOMA Edmonton Newsletter | www.bomaedmonton.org

Edmonton’s Urban Wellness Plan. “Social innovation is becoming increasingly embedded into the ambitions of both the corporate and public sectors as well as the NGO/social sector,” Taisa shares. “In order to develop and deploy effective solutions to challenging and systemic issues here in Edmonton, collaboration across sectors, organizations and industries is essential.” The SII, Taisa explains, is providing strategic leadership and supporting a team of social innovation coaches. These coaches support teams of social innovators tasked with creating prototypes that address social issues in Edmonton. These social innovation teams attract a wide range of people, but each is led by one community member and one City of Edmonton staff member. As part of supporting these coaches, the SII co-hosts design jams. Working in teams with a social innovation coach, participants are led through a design process to explore problems, generate potential solutions and pitch their ideas to get feedback and support. Over the summer, these teams will be field testing these ideas. By the end of September, the SII, alongside the City of Edmonton, citizens and partners from all sectors will identify which prototypes are feasible to implement and scale, which ones need further iteration and which ones should go back to the drawing board altogether. All of these findings will be presented at a public showcase on October 3, 2019. For the prototypes that are ready, the SII will be instrumental in finding the correct partners, networks and resources to advance them. “Edmonton hosts a vibrant community of people and organizations invested in social impact efforts,” Taisa says. “Whether they bring shared value, resources or legitimacy to our prototype groups, our communities ultimately reap the benefits.” The SII’s involvement in RECOVER, often overflows into the orbit of Roundhouse members — many of whom are part of a prototype team. For these members, engaging in RECOVER is an opportunity to learn about human-centred design and community engagement and adapt these principles to their own businesses or ideas. Real social change starts with collaboration, and as Edmonton’s social innovation coworking space, Roundhouses furthers positive social change locally, regionally and globally by connecting its members and MacEwan University with the broader community. Beyond the opportunity to be involved with unique social innovation initiatives like RECOVER, being a Roundhouse member means having access to mentorship, peer support, new ideas, conversations and solutions—all key ingredients in their individual quests to change the world.


DRIVING THE CONVERSATION AND MOVING TOWARD SOCIAL CHANGE U

rban centres, such as Edmonton’s downtown core are bustling with people from all walks of life. Everyone with different needs, views and perspectives, coexisting in the dance of everyday life. There are aspects to the downtown that people have come to expect, such as concrete high-rises, people in business attire, busy traffic, and a large portion of the city’s homeless population, which may or may not make some visitors, workers and vendors uncomfortable. In an effort to bring on social change, the City of Edmonton launched the Recover program in 2017 working with residents, businesses, agencies, and government staff to study the core and its inhabitants through the joint creation of what they call an Urban Wellness Plan. The City of Edmonton explains that urban wellness includes, “economic vitality, social capacity, physical and mental health, built and natural environment.” Recover was not created to replace previous strategies used to provide a welcoming and safe downtown core, but it is believed that it is “important to acknowledge conflicts and work through them together” alongside those most affected. The plan was to implement a cycle of action and learning based activities on specific places, people and situations in order to create ripples of change that will enhance the community in the core. Oxford Properties is excited to be the first corporate entity involved with the project, working closely with the organizers of the Recover program to learn how they can work with the community, vendors, customers, staff and partners to contribute to urban wellness at Edmonton City Centre and the adjoining property. Pam Brown, a long-time employee and current Safety and Securities Manager at Oxford Property Group in Edmonton, has been working closely with the organizers of the Recover Program. Prior to her work with the Recover Program, Brown had already begun to shift Oxford’s security management strategy from enforcement to a community style of security management. She admits until that point the property did need more of an enforcement management style, and that her team worked closely with the Edmonton Police services to remove some of the more unsavory characters and clean the area up for the comfort of those that worked at, lived in the

4 September 2019 |

BOMA Edmonton Newsletter | www.bomaedmonton.org

area, and for those that visited the Edmonton City Centre. “We recognized that the community didn’t need more enforcement, it needed navigation, and guidance. This can be done in small ways,” she says, adding she recognizes that enforcement will only take the area so far, but working with the community to start a dialogue and make social changes will lead to long lasting results that are better for everyone involved. Brown expanded beyond her corporate network when she started on the Committee for Suicide Prevention with the City of Edmonton, which further


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lead to an invitation to sit on the Committee for the Community Mental Health Action Plan through the United Way. “I learned from my work in the public sector that the corporate world was seen as a big black hole that was impenetrable and more of an obstacle than an ally to work with,” she says. At a DBA meeting aimed at the discussion of the challenges businesses and downtown residents face with the street involved citizens, Brown initiated a meeting with Sam Juru, a Strategic Planner and Project Manager with the City of Edmonton, and an integral part of the Recover Program. At this meeting it was evident that most attendees felt that police enforcement was not always the right answer and each shared ideas for resolving the situation. Representatives from both the City and the Province were in attendance, however, it was the businesses and residents who spoke about empathy and finding solutions that included dignity and respect. Oxford’s involvement with Recover has put them at the front lines. “My involvement included talking about what we could do with City Centre,” she says. “Ethnographers came in and talked to people from all walks of life – customers, vendors, people who are street involved, even people with illegitimate businesses on the street – and without any judgement, came up with a lot of background and stories from these people that we in the security industry never hear because they don’t want to tell us. This helped us understand even more, and with more heart, what we are dealing with because it’s not just statistics, it’s the actual people involved.” Brown has worked for Oxford Properties for over 37 years, and while she says Oxford has always been a great company to work for, she credits this career change to a personal change too. “I think this is the best feeling I’ve ever had. The shift to this type of culture just kind of fulfills me,” she says. Through the Community Mental Health Action Plan, Brown’s team developed a training course for their security staff called Compassion to Action in conjunction with the United Way, that is currently being looked at by other groups of people as the framework for their own initiatives. “We developed it for our security staff and found that it had a profound effect,” says Brown. “People opened up about traumas in their lives that they probably never would have opened up about before, but they found that the room was safe and so they shared parts of their lives and trusted that no one would think less of them.” Brown continued to build on this initiative with her work with the Recover Program. “A lot of times people feel unsafe – including our staff – because they don’t understand how some of the community members got to the situation they’re in,” she says.

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September 2019 | BOMA Edmonton Newsletter | www.bomaedmonton.org


“But when they recognize some of the traumas they went through in their own childhood could have led them to the same state, they start thinking with more compassion and feel safer to build a relationship, even if it’s just to learn each other’s names, and open the lines of communication.” On top of the work with Recover, Oxford Security partner Paladin Security has been an indispensable contributor to the social change initiative. In combination with the Oxford frontline staff, the Paladin team collect shoes, jackets, socks, hats, gloves, whatever they can throughout the year, and have it on hand in case they see someone who is in need of one or more of these items, they are quick to offer help. Oxford has a “Make it Right” company-wide policy, that gives every staff member and contractor access to $500 each and the power to “be a human being and act with compassion.” The funds intended use is to make it right for Oxford customers. “Street involved people are our customers too,” Brown says. “They may come in for a cup of coffee and use our shopping centre. So our team is allowed to make those decisions on behalf of our community and those customers to buy them a coffee, or some shoes, or a meal for them, and they do it.”

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www.bomaedmonton.org | BOMA Edmonton Newsletter | September 2019

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5

O

BIG PLANS FOR EXHIBITIONS LANDS

nce the hub of all things entertainment, the Exhibition Lands have gone through many iterations over the past 120 years. The aging Coliseum has been replaced by the renowned Roger’s Place, and the Century Mile Racetrack and Casino at Airport City on the south edge of Edmonton has taken the place of the Northlands Racetrack and Casino. Now there are big decisions to be made about how the 200-acre area can best serve the people of Edmonton for the next 50 or more years. “We’ve spent about a year and a half working with Edmontonians and researching various options for the future of the Exhibition Lands, and we’re now very close to having a plan to redevelop the land completed,” says Lyall Brenneis, Manager of the Edmonton Exhibition Lands Transformation Project for the City of Edmonton. The project includes the land where the Coliseum, racetrack, and the Edmonton Expo Centre are,

The current proposed plan for the Exhibition Lands project includes approx. 3,500 new homes and Commercial, Retail and Education Anchors creating approximately 4,000 new jobs.

but it also includes Borden Park and parts of the surrounding neighbourhoods. Bordered by Wayne Gretzky Avenue, 112 Avenue, Fort Road and the Capital LRT line (Edmonton’s first LRT line), the area is easily accessible by public transit or major arterial roads, and is close to “Enterprise-based solutions for your growing business” the river valley and downtown. isn’t just a catch phrase, it’s been our reason for existing since 2001. The City hopes to honour the history of the area and a stable and continue the legacy the previous Ranchlands offers reliable developments gave to the computing your business area. For instance, Northlands environment Racetrack was first opened in 1900 and went through many a managed, iterations before it was closed in 2018. Nearby Borden Park out-sourced IT PARTNER was established in 1906 and was provides value to your company with originally home to one of the adaptive and responsive IT support first three pools in the city, the original Edmonton City Zoo, and attractions such as a popular tea to provide an affordable, more house and carnival-style rides like reliable, and proactive approach a carousel, roller coaster and a tunnel of love known as “Old Mill.” optimizes security of your network “The historical use of the area for attracting big crowds has resulted in a prime location ensuring your systems are available for redevelopment,” says to you when you need them Brennaeis. “The busy attractions have resulted in an existing managing access and backups of your infrastructure that will greatly aid data in the development.” Phone: 780.809.2999 service@ranchlandsgroup.com The current proposed plan includes approximately 3,500 new structured cabling equipment sales & installs Managed Services

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September 2019 | BOMA Edmonton Newsletter | www.bomaedmonton.org


Future-Flexible Workspaces

homes for 8,500+ residents, and commercial and retail spaces that can employ estimated 4,000 people. Village 1 anTransit Both the racetrack and the Coliseum are slated for demolition to make way for new developments, while other areas such as Borden Park and the Expo Centre will be incorporated and enhanced by their 2 Transit Village Urban Plaza new surroundings. The concept plan also includes a possible revitalization of the Capital LRT line with two LRT stops that are surrounded by transit villages + Expanded Bordenresidential Park forms that that will contain a variety of ground-oriented 3 willReconfigured creatively use the space. “The plan is to focus on how the space will be best used, not to fill it up with massive multi family condominium projects, but instead Civic concrete / Education Anchor focus4on what I like to call the ‘missing middle,’” Brenneis says. “This includes new homes such as duplexes and row style townhomes, with the tallest structures expected not to exceed a maximum of 12 stories.” Linkthe City has developed a “modified ARP” 5 suchGreenway With a long timeline, that allows for a plan that evolves or flexes as the economy or needs change, says Brenneis. “Right now, we plan to set the stage, but not write every6line of the play, if youInternal will. We’re going to try leave some room for Fine-grained Network of to Local creativity and ideas to come.” Streets + Alleys But Brenneis ensures this is not a free-for-all when it comes to development. “There is a plan and a vision, and whoever partners with the City to redevelop the Exhibition Lands project will align with the 7 Re-Linked Wayne Gretzky Drive vision that we’re preparing with the community.”

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The City began consultation in 2017, talking to the community, 8 Employment Anchor stakeholders, and the general public through four phases of the planning process: 1. Idea generation 2. Looking at feasibility, market assessment, economic forecasting associated with those ideas EDMONTON EXHIBITION LANDS Planning Framework 3. Crafting a selection of those concepts to get further feedback from the community

4. Finalizing the consultation around a preferred concept Northlands has a 5-year agreement with the City to host K-Days on the site, and will continue to host Farmfair in the Edmonton Expo Centre. In addition, the Edmonton Expo Centre will continue to operate under the Edmonton Economic Development Corporation, says Brenneis. “There is still lots of economic interest and trade show interest in that facility, so as we try to rethink this area, we will try to support both of these organizations and the work that they do.” Chances are good the plan will go through many changes and growing pains before it is finalized and brought to life, especially with a 20-30 year projected timeline. However, the initial plans and possibilities for what the area could become is an excellent reason for excitement.

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www.bomaedmonton.org | BOMA Edmonton Newsletter | September 2019

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ARE YOUR EMPLOYEES TAKING ADVANTAGE? // CORPORATE HEALTH & WELLNESS

ARE YOUR EMPLOYEES TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THEIR MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT? BY LAURA BOHNERT

T

he general principle is that, if employees are the backbone of your company, healthy employees can mean better business success—but how can employers know when the supports they are offering are providing the desired benefits or when they are being abused? According to O’Ryan Hughes, M.B.A., managing partner, Stoppler Hughes Ltd., that dilemma doesn’t involve looking at the employee as much as the workplace. “It’s not uncommon for a strong or healthy organization to not see abuse at all,” Hughes explains. “Often, when companies have employees that are abusing the rules, it’s because there are underlying issues. Employers shouldn’t have to be policing policy. The culture of leadership should allow that to look after itself. Abuse of days off is a symptom

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of a problem that won’t be fixed by increasing rules. It’s resolved by creating a forward-looking culture and an environment where you can have an open dialog with understanding of who your employees are and the external factors that influence their mental health, rather than just viewing them as a number. Taking a more human-centric approach to HR can often prevent those underlying issues.” He continues, “The most effective approach is to try to foster an environment where employees can be open to talking about issues they are having. If they are scared to talk, it doesn’t matter what team building you do, it’s not really getting at the source of the problem. Being aware and compassionate of what’s going on outside of work and being open about yourself as leader can help.”


FOCUS ON EMPLOYEE WELLBEING

WITH A CORPORATE WELLNESS RETREAT You rely on your employees to work hard for you, but health problems and burnout can cause retention issues and wreak havoc on your bottom line. More employers are recognizing the benefit of focusing on employee health and wellbeing. Your employees are realizing it too, as they pursue a more balanced and healthy lifestyle. Hosting your next retreat at Sparkling Hill Resort makes it easy to stand apart from the competition. Our 10,000 sq. ft. of business facilities offer teams an impressive venue for productive meetings, while our 40,000 sq. ft. KurSpa provides a peaceful space for your employees to recharge and focus on their personal renewal. Corporate retreats are designed around your organization’s specific goals and schedule to leave your attendees feeling revitalized and ready to return to work with new perspectives and healthier habits.

Working with our wellness lead, Dr. Strauss, our 3-day workplace communication retreat can be run as a stand-alone program or incorporated into your scheduled meetings at the Resort. On-site team building options such as yoga, meditation and guided hikes are available to help your group come together as a team, while nearby off-site activities including skiing, wine tours, helicopter tours, water sports, and 36 holes of the best golf in Canada can be arranged to give your group a taste of the best BC’s Okanagan Valley has to offer. Give your team a boost and start planning your corporate wellness retreat today.

Contact our Corporate Sales Specialist by telephone 250.541.2175 or email sales@sparklinghill.com to get started.

www.sparklinghill.com/corporate-retreats


ARE YOUR EMPLOYEES TAKING ADVANTAGE? // CORPORATE HEALTH & WELLNESS

However, Hughes is also quick to caution employers not to take on too much. “A lot can fall on employers when they are trying to help out team members, but it’s important to remember that most business and HR people are not mental health professionals. The best thing to do is to encourage employees to access resources (i.e. through benefits programs or health spending accounts) and make it as easy as possible for your employees to access the information they need.” Considering the number of employees who are in need of support, Dr. Cory Hrushka, CCS, DST, NCPC, NCCE, CEO and senior psychologist; and Dr. Hendriatta Wong, DBA, MBA, CPHR and managing partner at Insight Psychological offer some information: “According to the Mental Health Commission of Canada, over 21 per cent of the working population in Canada currently experience mental health problems and illnesses, which can affect their productivity. Mental health problems and illnesses, which account for approximately 30 per cent of short and long-term disability claims, have been rated by 80 per cent of Canadian employers as one of their top three drivers of disability claims.” “In spite of such data for mental health absences and claims,” continue Hrushka and Wong, “there is, in fact, no sufficient evidence thus far to indicate that there is any system abuse. On the contrary, there is an indication that presenteeism, which has been defined as time spent at the workplace while not productively engaged due to mental health and other medical conditions, equates to 7.5 times the number of days absent, thus possibly costing Canadian businesses over $25 billion per year.”

and are coming to work even when their performance is impaired, the quality of their work is rapidly declining, or they are making more mistakes and missing more deadlines.” A picture of the return on investment that supporting employee mental health creates is becoming clearer.

Hrushka and Wong add, “A 2017 Sun Life Financial national survey on mental health found that while nearly half of all Canadians (49 per cent) have experienced a mental health issue that has impacted their lives, only 28 per cent of working Canadians living with a mental health issue have spoken to their employer about it. A 2014 study by Morneau Shepell involving over 1,000 employees across different industries found that over 80 per cent of respondents have gone into work when they were not able to perform as well as they would have liked.

“A study led by World Health Organization,” Hrushka and Wong inform, “estimated that, for every USD $1 put into scaled up intervention and support for common mental issues, there is a return of USD $4 in improved health and productivity. A critical meta-analysis of the literature completed by Health Affairs on costs and savings associated with employee wellness programs also concluded that ‘medical costs fall by about $3.27 for every dollar spent on [appropriate] wellness programs, and absenteeism costs fall by about $2.73 for every dollar spent.’ At present, the urgency is less on system abuse mitigation and more on destigmatizing mental health conditions and ensuring that mental health support is readily available for those that are in need or may be at risk.”

“Hence, the bigger concern is not with system abuse but rather with the higher likelihood that many employees with mental health issues are not getting the help they may need

It’s also important to point out that what looks like abuse of the system can also stem from an employer failing to recognize the signs of an employee’s distress.

ABOVE: O’RYAN HUGHES, STOPPLER HUGHES LTD.

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// CORPORATE HEALTH & WELLNESS

HOWEVER, HUGHES IS ALSO QUICK TO CAUTION EMPLOYERS NOT TO TAKE ON TOO MUCH. “A LOT CAN

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FALL ON EMPLOYERS WHEN THEY ARE TRYING TO HELP OUT TEAM MEMBERS, BUT IT’S IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER THAT MOST BUSINESS AND HR PEOPLE ARE NOT MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONALS. THE BEST THING TO DO IS TO ENCOURAGE EMPLOYEES TO ACCESS RESOURCES (I.E. THROUGH BENEFITS PROGRAMS OR HEALTH SPENDING ACCOUNTS) AND MAKE IT AS EASY AS POSSIBLE FOR YOUR EMPLOYEES TO ACCESS THE INFORMATION THEY NEED.” According to Kim Silverthorn, BA, RPC, MPCC, and a therapist with Tacit Knowledge, there are some general rules you can follow when it comes to identifying an employee who might need help.

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“A regular life issue becomes a mental health problem when it starts to have a negative impact on a person’s ability to function—cognitively, behaviourally, emotionally and socially—on a daily basis,” Silverthorn explains. “The best way to know if an employee is starting to develop a mental health problem is if the rest of the team has a positive connection with that employee in a previous context. This allows a supervisor or a manager to see negative changes developing before they become a full-blown concern.” Indicative changes, says Silverthorn, can be seen in “eating or sleeping patterns, unkempt hygiene or appearance, or shifts in personality (more angry or negative than usual, short tempered, low patience, lack of energy or motivation) and behaviour (being less ethical, becoming more rigid, unable to complete expected tasks).” Further, “if an employee is taking frequent days off, leaving early or arriving late, taking extra long breaks or disappearing at times, etc., it is often a sign of a bigger issue.” Silverthorn continues, “When employees are happy, well adjusted, and feeling appreciated at work, they tend to give back equally – they go beyond the basic expectations, they work harder, they have a better attitude. When a worker is struggling emotionally or mentally in some way, they often feel embarrassed or unsupported, and they tend to isolate themselves. They pull away from the team, they avoid situations in which their issues might be noticed and work itself becomes a drain on their already overwhelmed and overtaxed self.”

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

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ARE YOUR EMPLOYEES TAKING ADVANTAGE? // CORPORATE HEALTH & WELLNESS

That’s where mental health days come into play, says Silverthorn, who explains that they are a lot more than a preventative treatment strategy. “Mental health days are essential for an employee’s wellness. They allow the worker to take a short break from or to focus on issues outside of the workplace that might be causing distress before those issues become problems.” However, “Mental health days also show staff that they are trusted and cared for, that their autonomy is respected and honoured, and that they are considered capable and valued.” Time off doesn’t have to be the only answer (nor should it be, since, as both Hughes and Hrushka note, the benefits of taking time off before returning into the same condition are limited). There are things employers can do within the workplace that can help create a more supportive environment, too. Silverthorn lists things like promoting healthy breaks, keeping healthy and favourite food and

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“When we talk about workplace wellness,” Silverthorn notes, “we can no longer just evaluate physical health. Human beings are wholistic creatures – our physical, emotional, mental and social health are all interconnected.” Within that interconnectedness lies the answer. Something as simple as asking an employee what is happening and expressing a desire to understand and help can make all the difference. “It is through connection that we can truly be a support to someone who is dealing with any kind of mental health issue,” Silverthorn concludes.

ON TIME

It’s time to recognize health as a business asset



drinks in the lunchroom, having relaxation stations, allowing flexible work hours, providing free lunchtime health activities like yoga, organizing office events like laser tag and cooking classes, and even normalizing recognition moments like employee high fives.

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

PERSONALIZED


2019 Board of Directors

The Edmonton Chamber is a powerful voice that achieves real results

Board Executive

Chair: Dawn Harsch President & CEO, ExquisiCare Senior Living and Care at Home 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 Scott McEachern Vice President, Pipeline Control, Enbridge Pipelines Inc. 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 Amin Samji Director, Member Services Brent Francis Director, Advocacy and Outreach Christen Rumbles Director, Finance

Contact

Edmonton Chamber of Commerce #600 – 9990 Jasper Avenue Edmonton, AB T5J 1P7

By Janet M. Riopel, President & CEO

A

dvocacy is at the centre of everything we do and, in a challenging economic climate, speaking in a united voice is increasingly important. The past five years have been characterized by uncertainty for the Edmonton business community, and during this time we’ve redoubled our efforts to amplify the concerns of our member companies in order to positively influence government decisions. In the past few months, we’ve seen signs of progress, with decisions made by leaders in municipal, provincial and federal governments that aim to drive economic growth in our region. As these wins add up, they’re helping to restore our city’s competitive edge and proving that advocacy is one of the most effective ways to achieve real results. Trans Mountain gets the green light After years of delays and legal challenges, approval for work to resume on Trans Mountain couldn’t come soon enough for Albertans. We’ve been tirelessly advocating for new pipelines to tidewater as a way to ensure our high-quality energy products reach global markets. This isn’t just a win for our province – Trans Mountain will help alleviate Canada’s reliance on a single customer for our oil, and its success means greater economic prosperity for the entire country. With assurances that shovels will break ground this construction season, this is positive step toward restoring investor confidence in Canada. That being said, we’re holding off our celebrations until the project is complete and our resources begin flowing to new markets. Edmonton takes steps towards Priority-Based Budgeting Some of the most positive signs of progress are taking place right here in Edmonton. Ahead of last year’s municipal budget, we intensified our advocacy efforts and released six City Budget Bulletins, urging Council to hold the line on property tax increases and recommending the use of Priority-Based Budgeting. Together, these measures underscored the importance of fiscal restraint to prevent businesses from shouldering a higher tax burden. As a result of our tenacious advocacy on this issue, Edmonton’s City Council has taken the first steps towards adopting Priority-Based Budgeting, a comprehensive review process that forces a municipality to establish a matrix of ranked priorities. Through Priority-Based Budgeting, the City would identify every program offered, determine the costs of these programs, and evaluate their relevance based on the community’s core priorities. By better aligning its spending to priorities, the City can increase Edmonton’s competitiveness while still funding essential services, making it a win for businesses and Edmontonians alike.

T: 780.426.4620 780.424.7946

Continued on next page... BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // SEPTEMBER 2019

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Alberta is open for business As lower taxes and streamlined regulations help create a healthy business environment, we continually push governments to consider the cumulative burden of taxes, fees and levies on businesses. We’re pleased that, under the leadership of Premier Jason Kenney, the Government of Alberta is taking decisive action to address these issues and encourage new investment in the province. With the Job Creation Tax Cut, the Alberta government is reducing the corporate tax rate by a third over four years, while the Municipal Government Act empowers municipalities to offer tax incentives for up to 15 years to encourage economic development in commercial and industrial areas. What’s more, An Act to Make Alberta Open for Business reduces costs to job creators by strengthening provisions to the Labour Relations Code and reversing changes linked to holiday pay and banked hours. Finally, with the Red Tape Reduction Act and the launch of the Cut Red Tape website, the Alberta government isn’t just reducing red tape in the province by one third – it’s also showing how serious it is about addressing overregulation and speeding up regulatory approval.

With these four pieces of legislation, the government has made restoring Alberta’s competitiveness a key priority, which is good news for our region’s ability to attract job creators and new investments. Finally, one of the most promising signs on the horizon is the recent effort to unleash free trade in Canada. We’ve persistently advocated for the removal of interprovincial trade barriers, which cost Canada’s economy up to $130 billion each and every year. In July, the Alberta government announced it was eliminating half of the exceptions to the Canadian Free Trade Agreement and undertaking a review of the remaining exceptions. With these actions, the Alberta government is leading the way forward on free trade in Canada and, with a little luck, other provinces may be inspired to follow suit. These are just a few of the latest government initiatives with a direct link to our advocacy efforts. Together, they suggest that after years of economic struggles, the tide may finally be turning, and business conditions in our region may soon show signs of improvement. We’re proud to be part of this progress, and we’ll continue to use our powerful voice to advocate for conditions that help businesses in the Edmonton Metropolitan Region - like yours – grow and thrive.

Members in this Issue REALTORS® Association of Edmonton in Does Lowering the Mortgage Rate Bring Hope for First-Time Buyers? on page 26 Insight Psychological in Are Your Employees Taking Advantage of their Mental Health Support? on page 42

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JACEK Chocolate Couture Member Profile Jacqueline Jacek, Owner www.jacekchocolate.com What’s your story? JACEK Chocolate Couture was started as a one woman show in late 2009 in a basement in Sherwood Park, and now includes a production facility, three retail boutiques (Sherwood Park, downtown Edmonton and Canmore), an online store and a talented team of dynamo’s! In addition, JACEK has partnered with leading retailers who sell their line of chocolate bars and confections.

Jacqueline Jacek, Owner, JACEK Chocolate Couture

SAVE THE DATE:

SMALL BUSINESS WEEK.

OCTOBER 21–25

Visit edmontonchamber.com for schedule updates.

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SAVE THE DATE:

SMALL BUSINESS WEEK.

JACEK Chocolate Couture Continued... Although we are committed to innovation, artistry and sustainability, our quest is to spread joy through fine, fashionable chocolate.

OCTOBER 21–25

What do you enjoy most about being a member of the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce? As a new member, we look forward to meeting other business leaders, introducing our brand, and being a part of the vibrant business community.

Visit

What is your favourite thing to do in Edmonton? Visiting the local Farmers Markets, biking and edmontonchamber.com hiking the river valley and enjoying amazing for schedule meals at oneupdates. of the incredible restaurants the city is home too.

Stay connected. Follow us and be up-to-date with events, policies, member news and more.

What is one thing people are surprised to learn about your business? Our new guests are always surprised to hear that our chocolate bonbons and accessories are all handmade and packaged at our Studio in Sherwood Park. Preservatives and fillers are not used in our products, rather fresh ingredients found locally whenever possible.

October 15 – 17, 2019 Yellowknife, NT This immersive and informative conference will bring together dynamic business, government, and community leaders from across Northern Canada, Alberta, British Columbia, and elsewhere in Canada to discuss trade networking, cultural experiences and exchanges. The theme of #GROWUPHERE will present responses to economic, environmental, social, geo-political, and technological disruptions through a dynamic roster of knowledgeable speakers and panelists. Many Alberta companies will be in attendance— some because they own a northern business; some because they want to do business in Canada’s North. The Edmonton Northern Partnership—which is a coalition of the Edmonton Chamber, the City of Edmonton, the University of Alberta, Edmonton Global, and Edmonton Airports—will be in attendance and actively participating in programming and events. NORTHWEST TERRITORIES

@EdmontonChamber edmontonchamber.com

Register today at opportunitiesnorth.com BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // SEPTEMBER 2019

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Memberships that grow your business. It’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.

edmontonchamber.com


River City Recruiting & HR Member Profile Allie Knull, President www.rivercityhr.ca What’s your story? I started River City Recruiting & HR when I noticed that my network were primarily entrepreneurs that, even though they were experts in their respective fields, needed help in scaling their businesses with the right people in the right roles at the right time. I was always answering one off questions about recruitment and HR and so the opportunity came to make the leap into entrepreneurship myself. Since incorporating in February 2017, River City Recruiting & HR is now made up of eight employees and contractors and counting! What do you enjoy most about being a member of the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce? I love that we get to have free advertising when we submit our blog to the Edmonton Chamber. The Chamber membership is our target audience and our blog is a great way to give out information that can support small businesses in the Edmonton area. During the provincial election, the information they presented in the newsletter was enlightening as well as they focused on issues that I face as a business owner. What is one thing people are surprised to learn about your business? That we do HR and recruitment differently than most agencies! We offer technologybased recruitment that significantly reduces time and financial costs (in the thousands) and we support small businesses by building HR framework to be scalable. All the work we do is charged by the hour and we enable our clients to become self-sufficient with the tools, templates, and processes we help them establish based on their specific needs and industry. Who is your ideal client? Our ideal client is one that says, “okay, I need help!”. They know they need help growing sustainably and want to ensure that they are legally compliant. They recognize that the right people are important to growing their business but don’t necessarily have the time or expertise to go through the process and policy development that helps build their team up.

Allie Knull, President, River City Recruiting & HR

What has been your biggest challenge in business, and how did you overcome it? My biggest challenge was (and still is) finding balance between working on my business and working in my business. I love supporting my clients, but I have a great team that does too. Just last year it was only myself and one other contractor that did work and now I have assembled a Rockstar team that are highly qualified individuals. Working on my business means that now I focus on team support initiatives such as a group RSP and benefits, paid volunteer days, and unlimited vacation time to retain my top talent. What is your favourite thing to do in Edmonton? I enjoy hitting up the craft breweries with my husband. There are a lot of great locations that have just opened up and the craft beer scene is booming. Summertime is especially amazing in Edmonton due to all the events that happen so we try to go to as many festivals as we can. My kids are looking forward to this summer when our family will be trying out as many playgrounds around our home as possible. If you could make one substantial improvement to Edmonton’s business environment, what would it be? I think the best improvement that could happen in the Edmonton business environment would be to allow larger organizations and smaller organizations to find collaboration in doing business. There are some great startup and entrepreneur accelerators that exist that are very beneficial for small business owners however there are very few events that have representation from the larger corporations. I think there is a lot that us smaller folks can learn from in hearing their organizational struggles and how we as smaller businesses can learn from those struggles. The Chamber does host some of these events and it would be great to see more participation and opportunity created from these events. BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // SEPTEMBER 2019

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We’ve got room for you and up to 119 guests. It’s what we do.

Situated in the heart of downtown Edmonton, the World Trade Centre offers comfortable and convenient meeting rooms, conference spaces and temporary offices, in a beautiful historical building. Whether it’s a small or large board meeting, a presentation or luncheon, or a temporary workspace, we’ve got you covered. Book today at 780.426.4620 or booking@edmontonchamber.com

edmontonchamber.com


THE GROWTH OF A NEW INDUSTRY // PARKLAND COUNTY PART III

THE GROWTH OF A NEW INDUSTRY OPPORTUNITIES ABOUND FOR THE GROWTH OF THE CANNABIS AND HEMP INDUSTRY IN PARKLAND COUNTY

T

he best way to face the future is to prepare for it, and that is something Parkland County has taken to heart. From infrastructure upgrades across the County to supports to attract new business, from plans to grow the public transit system across the tri-municipal area to having a structure in place to ease the consequences of the coal phase-out, Parkland County has always been agile, responsive, and many steps ahead of the curve. This is why, when cannabis became legal in 2018, the County was ready with its signature optimism and its eye on the future.

areas,” say Robynn Holstein, Parkland County’s business development officer, industrial & commercial. “We understand the role of municipalities in the growth of these businesses and are committed to a business-centric approach to the industry. We have created room for major and micro cultivation, processing, and retailers in many zones throughout the County.”

On the day cannabis retailers could legally open their stores, patrons lined up around the block. To the observer, it seems so easy: get a supplier, open a store, reap the rewards. The reality is, however, that cannabis is now a thriving industry, and industries need multiple layers of support – support Parkland County is ready, willing, and able to provide.

With the local cannabis stores struggling in the past to meet demand with supply, it’s clear there is plenty of room in Parkland County for everyone in the production and retail chain. Currently, the County has two cannabis facilities and has seen a recent increase in minor cultivation permits since the last land use bylaw update. With three approved minor cultivation permits and one pending, Parkland County is clearly set up to attract and support major and minor (micro) cultivation, processing, and retail of both cannabis and hemp.

“The County is open for the cannabis and hemp industries within its industrial, commercial, and agricultural

“Cannabis processing is clearly defined and allowable in most industrial zones within the County,” Holstein informs, “and

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

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• Full municipal services • Unparalleled access to Highway 60, Highway 16A and Whitemud Drive

780-409-8047 | www.panattonicanada.com


THE GROWTH OF A NEW INDUSTRY // PARKLAND COUNTY PART III

Cannabis retail sales are discretionary in commercial and industrial districts as well as the rural centre district.” Unlike cannabis, hemp cultivation does not require a development permit; Parkland County treats it like any other agriculture crop, and it can be processed in most of the County’s industrial zones. However, the County’s advantage for entrepreneurs in the cannabis and hemp industry goes far beyond infrastructure and facility supports. “Acheson Industrial Area has multiple land options available,” Holstein points out. “There are currently over 600 acres of shovel-ready land and an additional 1,400 acres of ready-to-develop land.” Land costs are incredibly competitive. She continues, “When locating within agriculture districts, land costs decrease substantially. This, coupled with no business taxes and one of the lowest non-residential tax bases in the region, makes Parkland County the place to build your cultivation business.” Cultivation is an approved use in the general agricultural district, and Parkland County offers over 340,000 acres of agriculture land. In addition to having prime, cost-competitive land available, the accessibility of power, water, and rural internet are also big attractions for cannabis and hemp growers – and so is the young, skilled, and energetic workforce. “Drawing from the regional population base of nearly 1.2 million, Acheson has access to a diversified labour pool,” says Holstein. Almost 62 per cent of the local labour force has post-secondary education or apprenticeship training, and another 23 per cent are high school graduates. Transit is available to Acheson from Edmonton and Spruce Grove.” With all those supports in place, cannabis and hemp producers and retailers just need one more thing: access to the market – and that’s not a problem, either. Parkland County is situated along several major transport routes, including five major and several secondary highways. The TransCanada Yellowhead Highway stretches both east and west, enabling transport trucks to reach ports on the coast and cargo villages at several major airports. Easy access

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

TITAN GROWERS INC.

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t Titan Growers Inc., our goals are to operate our 22,000 square foot, highly secure steel building at optimal efficiency, exercise strong regulatory due diligence and bringing an exemplary product to market. Our plants will be grown in certified organic, nutrient dense soil, which will generate a powerful flavor profile and heightened medicinal benefits within our cannabis products. Our facility will sit on a beautiful piece of agriculture land, all thanks to Parkland County for allotting cannabis production on agriculture land within their land use by laws under discretionary uses. Our location close to the highway allots for easy, nondisruptive access to and from our facility. We are a short distance to the AGLC (Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis) warehouse, creating great potential for sales and distribution within Alberta. We are grateful Parkland County has taken a progressive attitude and chosen to be involved in this new industry. With their abundance of resources, from beautiful water sources for our plants to nearby gravel pits for land development, we have everything we need. ~ Emily S Lueck, CEO LueckMercer Industries/ Titan Growers Inc.

to Highway 60 and Highway 2 means a quick trip to the nearby Edmonton International Airport and a clear line of overland transport all the way to the border. But the lineups seen on the first day cannabis was legally available prove that there is also a robust market right here in town. There were a lot of questions and concerns from citizens when legalization was on the way, but when the smoke cleared, it became apparent that not only was this an important step in crime reduction, but it’s also an important step in bringing a new industry and opportunities to places like Parkland County.


SUIT YOURSELF! // DRESS FOR SUCCESS

SUIT YOURSELF! BY FAY FLETCHER

I

n a world where casual wear is the preferred choice of clothing, does the suit still have a role to play?

“Absolutely!” says Dean Handspiker, VP Design at INDOCHINO. ”Whilst dress codes are relaxing, the suit remains a staple in many offices. The saying goes ‘dress for the job you want’ and wearing a well-made suit that looks and fits great not only demonstrates to others that you mean business, it gives you added confidence in the boardroom.” INDOCHINO has more than 40 retail locations in North America, including one in West Edmonton Mall. “We’ve taken tailored clothing, a world that has changed little in decades, and reimagined it for today’s generation,” informs Handspiker. “Our clients choose from hundreds of fabrics and take on the role of designer, picking out all sorts of details of their suits, blazers, shirts and chinos to make them truly one-of-a-kind. Anyone can get great fitting, personalized clothing delivered in just two weeks for a price comparable to the ready-to-wear alternative.” He explains the options when it comes to men’s suits. “Offthe-rack suits are mass produced in a limited range of sizes. Unless you happen to fit the size, you will need alterations, often at extra cost, and more importantly, you don’t get to personalise the style. At the other end of the spectrum, a bespoke suit uses a pattern created from scratch with multiple fittings for the perfect fit. This kind of tailoring is labour intensive and comes with a high price tag.

“A made-to-measure suit is cut from a base pattern that has been adjusted to the client’s measurements. At INDOCHINO, we choose from three silhouettes that best matches a client’s body type before making adjustments. We then work with the client to select from an extensive range of customizations such as lapels, linings, buttons, and monograms and so on. The order is then produced and delivered in two weeks.” Handspiker has advice on how to pick a made-to-measure suit. “It’s important that you match your suit to your body type. Tall lean guys look best in a double-breasted suit with peak lapels, shorter stockier guys will benefit from a two-button silhouette and notch lapels that lengthens. Muscular guys should opt for unstructured suits with less shoulder padding. “There are lots of ways to wear your suit beyond the classic shirt and tie combo. Wear your suit jackets with a t-shirt and a crisp pair of chinos. Consider adding the vest to wear with your suit, a contrasting suit or casually wearing the jacket with jeans. Mix and match separates, and you can create many looks out of a reasonable investment.” Made-to-measure suits are a great option for the young professional starting his career, but for those looking for the bespoke experience, the place to be is Sam Abouhassan Custom Clothiers. From his shop in downtown Edmonton, Sam Abouhassan has been hand-tailoring suits from the finest quality fabric imported from the best mills in Europe for 41 years.

PHOTO SOURCE: INDOCHINO

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

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SUIT YOURSELF! // DRESS FOR SUCCESS

“Some of our client have introduced their sons to my store and now we are making suits for their grandsons!” he confers. “We went from the 1980’s boxy look to today’s slim fitting look; fashion will constantly change and we always adapt to it. The only thing that does not change is the quality of the garments we make.” Abouhassan has advice for men seeking a bespoke suit. “When I am asked by my clients about the trends and if they should be wearing them, I say to dress for your size and shape. A good quality suit will last a lot longer than any trend, but if they want the latest in fashion, we will certainly make it.” He’s seen many trends come and go but knows the classics will always have a place. “For the next season, in my window display I have a black pinstripe three-piece suit. I always recommend a classic suit for special occasions. Classics will always be in style, especially for men that do not need to wear suits for work every day. “When looking for a new suit, jacket and pant, ask yourself: what do you need the garment for; what price you are willing to spend; and your desired colour, fabric, and style. The most important part is the fit. If the suit does not fit properly, you will not look forward to wearing it. The most expensive suit in your closet is the one you do not wear!” Suits are not just for men. Women have been suiting up for decades, too. Tracey Bartholomew, owner/operator of Village Fashions in Stony Plain, has made it her mission to help women feel good about themselves. “There are not many women who are perfectly comfortable with their bodies. We feel it’s important for women to make the most of what they have,” she says of her and her team’s philosophy. Women come from far and wide to shop at Village Fashions, often making the trek from Edmonton and beyond to shop the mix of high quality casual and formal wear from noted Canadian brands like Sympli, Joseph Ribkoff, Tribal, FDJ and Frank Lynman.

“Today’s suit is fresh and modern,” Bartholomew counsels about suits for women. “It’s no longer a matching pant/skirt/ jacket, but coordinating pieces that are much more versatile for everyday living. Unless you are working in a corporate environment, a cardigan or vest can take the place of a jacket.” She continues, “When you buy multiple pieces that work together, not only does this give you many options, it also allows you to dress up or down. The same colour jacket and skirt will always be dressier, which works well for a wedding or formal event. Mix a solid with a print for something a bit more casual. Remember that accessories, like a scarf or jewellery, can also change a look.” Bartholomew describes how women can get the most out of their corporate wardrobe. “Always buy the best quality you can afford and spend the money on basic pieces you’ll wear for years. Add the pop of colour or trendy print in the accessories or less expensive items that may change from season to season. Often shortening the length of a dress or picking up a top at the shoulder creates a better silhouette without costing a lot – small adjustments can make a big impact. Remember, it doesn’t matter how much the salesperson or friend likes your outfit – you need to feel great in it.” Feeling great in a suit can have a lifelong impact on one’s confidence and even employability. This is something Jason

PHOTO SOURCE: INDOCHINO

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


// DRESS FOR SUCCESS

Gregor helps many young men in our city experience firsthand. Gregor is known for his company Just A Game Productions and as the host of The Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260. He’s also the founder of Gregor’s Grads which, through The Gregor Foundation, provides suits for graduates who cannot afford a suit. Thanks to generous donations from his listeners and partnerships with Mr. Derk and Oilersnation.com, hundreds of young grads are able to attend the ceremony in new suit with a new shirt, tie and shoes. “The suit is really about confidence,” says Gregor. “Grad is a big deal. It’s a 12-year commitment. Someone should not have to miss grad because they can’t afford a suit. I got an email from a boy last month who had received a suit from us a few years ago. He wore the suit to a recent interview and got the job. He said the suit got him the job. The suit didn’t get him the job; a suit can’t make you smarter, but it helped give him the confidence he needed to land that job.” The confidence is apparent the moment they see themselves in a suit for the first time. “When you see those boys come out of the fitting room and look in the mirror, you see their pride and they stand taller. That confidence gives them the ability to do anything,” smiles Gregor. “The suit also teaches them that people care about people. The recipients see a community caring for people they don’t personally know. They learn that someone they have never met is willing to help them.”

World’s finest fabric for suits and shirts custom made at Sam Abouhassan.

The Gregor Foundation does not have administration fees. All the money raised goes directly to the purchase of suits. Gregor’s Grads numbered 36 when he launched the program in 2013. This year he suited up 109 young grads. To learn more or to support a grad with a suit, visit jasongregor.com/the-gregor-foundation. So, does the suit still have a place in our increasingly causal world? It sure does. From made-to-measure to bespoke, from co-ordinated to donated, when you put on a suit you are not just getting dressed – you are showing your best self to the world, and to the person in the mirror. A suit is confidence personified. Wear it with pride.

Established 1978

samabouhassan.com • 780-429-7998 BUSINESSINEDMONTON.COM // BUSINESS IN EDMONTON // SEPTEMBER 2019

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WELCOME to the Club

The Derrick Golf and Winter Club has been serving families for over 60 years.

By Nerissa McNaughton

W

hile it’s been a very wet summer for golfers, there is a club in Edmonton that has plenty to offer no matter what the weather has going on. It is a place where members can bring the whole family, where there is plenty of parking and a variety of activities for everyone while having all the luxury and member care you expect from a private facility. It’s the Derrick Golf and Winter Club – a year-round family favourite destination since 1959.

It turned out that the club was exactly what Edmonton needed and wanted. The Derrick Club was incorporated in 1957 and between 1957 and April of 1958, 100 shares were sold. By June of 1959, that number rose to 1,000 shares. The club also quickly became a favourite destination for hosting sporting galas like the Telus Edmonton Open along with a variety of private functions including weddings, celebrations of life, birthdays and corporate events.

“The Derrick Golf and Winter Club was opened by a group of oilmen who wanted a multipurpose facility,” explains general manager Jim Hope. “When the club opened it had tennis, curling, golf, badminton and an outdoor swimming pool. Edmonton had other golf clubs, but none with any other family activities.”

“We are very proud of how current and relevant we are and with the services we provide to our families,” says Hope. This relevancy is maintained with constant evolution. In March 2000 the grand opening of indoor aquatics, fitness and the administration expansion took place. In 2014 the new golf course, redesigned by Jeff Mingay, was unveiled along with the new badminton courts, the multipurpose gymnasium and the lounge facilities expansion. In 2017 the locker rooms were expanded. The club staff are dedicated to providing some of the finest facilities in Canada as well as excellent services to all club members.

Congratulations to The Derrick Golf and Winter Club on celebrating 60 Years! LLOYD SADD Elevating Insurance and Risk Management

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The Derrick Golf and Winter Club | 60 years 62

The Derrick Golf and Winter Club has many longterm members and is constantly attracting new ones. “There is a balance to maintain between traditions and the wants of our newer members in terms of what the facility offers in technology, features, and activities. We achieve this balance by listening to our members’ needs, communicating, and being innovative. All our members understand and embrace this,” says Hope.


Jim Hope

A great deal of the club’s success is owed to the fact that it really is welcoming to all. “Private clubs have a reputation for being stuffy and closed,” admits Hope, “people are really surprised how casual and relaxed it is here. We are very open and friendly to everyone who walks through our doors. We are the only family-oriented private club in Edmonton that offers an 18-hole championship golf course, a social environment, and comprehensive athletics that every member of the family can enjoy. The staff truly care about being your partner and helping you succeed with your golf game, your fitness goals, or by helping you host a memorable event.” Today the game of golf is less about corporate executives looking to make deals on the course and more of a family and social activity – and the Derrick is perfectly suited for that. “We certainly have our share of competitive golfers, but people really enjoy the social aspect of golf and want to have fun, laugh with their friends, and not take all day to do it. We pride ourselves on playing golf here in 3.5 hours,” Hope says.

“Congratulations to the Derrick Golf & Winter Club on 60 incredible years!” CARL H. SHIELDS & GRAHAM H. SHIELDS CHS BENEFITS CONSULTING GROUP INC.

The club is also pleased to give back to the community by hosting charity-focused golf tournaments, providing meeting and event space at reduced costs for non-profit organizations, and issuing donations to charitable causes. Whether you are looking to practice your golf game or learn how to golf, wanting to swim and work out in a modern gym, are looking to host an event or belong to a club where your health is the focus, you’ll find all you need – and more – at the Derrick Golf and Winter Club. Hope concludes, “Time is very precious for families. Spending time at a club – any club, it doesn’t have to be us – will allow families to have quality, active time together. At the Derrick we continue to grow and offer services and facilities that are relevant to our current and future members. We will continue to be good neighbours and supporters of the community.” Learn more by visiting www.derrickclub.com online, @derrickclub on Facebook, the_derrick_club on Instagram and @TheDerrickClub on Twitter. 3500 119 St NW, Edmonton, AB T6J 5P5 (780) 437-1833 • www.derrickclub.com

CHS BENEFITS CONSULTING GROUP INC. 3175 Manulife Place 10180 – 101 Street Edmonton AB T5J 3S4 www.chsbenefitsconsulting.com CARL H. SHIELDS

p: 780-415-5759 f: 780-415-5764 c: 780-497-1332

GRAHAM H. SHIELDS

p: 780-415-5754 f: 780-415-5764 c: 780-722-2728


TELUS World of Science Edmonton -

Turns 35

The beloved destination continues to evolve as a place of science and entertainment By Nerissa McNaughton

O

n July 1, 1984, the Edmonton skyline changed forever with the opening of the Edmonton Space Sciences Centre. It was shaped like a spaceship and filled to the brim with education, entertainment, and technology. Rebranded as the TELUS World of Science - Edmonton in 2005, the landmark destination is now celebrating 35 years. “TELUS World of Science was the direct result of the success of the Queen Elizabeth Planetarium (QEP), which opened in 1960,” says Alan Nursall, president and CEO. “It was Canada’s first public planetarium.” The Edmonton Space & Science Foundation was formed in 1978 to build a successor to the QEP. The Foundation raised millions of dollars to build the facility. QEP quietly closed its doors in 1983, leaving a shuttered building in Coronation Park that sits in the shadow of TELUS World of Science, which is just steps away. “When the science centre opened, its signature experience was the Margaret Zeidler Star Theatre (MZST),” says Nursall. “Inside a 23-metre hemispheric dome, incredibly detailed images of the night sky were created by the most advanced star projector in the world, built by Zeiss-Jena in the former East Germany.” In 2017, the MZST was completely overhauled and now features 12 4K Sony laser projectors that project 50 million active pixels. “The new Zeidler Dome is the first dome in the world with full 10K projection,” says Nursall. The IMAX theatre has also been upgraded. In 2013, it was converted to a 3D laser projection system and was the third institutional theatre of this kind in the world. But those aren’t the only changes.

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Alan Nursall, president and CEO

“In March of this year, we opened CuriousCITY, our early childhood space designed for toddlers and younger children. It has been a huge hit,” informs Nursall. “The giant climber space is based on Edmonton’s landmarks, from the airport tower to the High Level Bridge. It has tunnels, waterplay, building spaces, and so much more. The most recent addition to our collection of science galleries is The Nature Exchange, a space where visitors get rewarded for knowledge. Children and adults can collect specimens from nature, like pinecones or minerals, or even photos of animals.” Some of the exhibitions are temporary – and legendary. Following hits like the BODY WORLDS exhibitions, The Science Behind of Pixar Exhibition, and Harry Potter: The Exhibition, the newest incoming attraction, Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes, is expected to be a massive success. The exhibition spans 80 years of the MARVEL universe.

TELUS World of Science Edmonton - Turns 35


TELUS World of Science is a favourite destination for locals and tourists and is very active in the community. “We are a centre of inspiration and education,” notes Nursall. “Each year, we do about 500,000 admissions. That’s second in Alberta, trailing only the Calgary Zoo. We see about 80,000 school students annually who take part in science-based, curriculum-supporting school programs. We are a huge asset to the formal education system; a fun, safe destination for families and groups; and an important part of Edmonton’s tourism sector.” Nursall continues, “Building relationships with local Indigenous communities means a lot to me. We are committed to working with Indigenous communities to create content and spaces that are meaningful and useful. Our first in-house production in the Zeidler Dome is Legends of the Northern Sky, a show about First Nations interpretations of the night sky. Created in collaboration with First Nations elders in Manitoba and Alberta, the show has been extremely well received by all audiences.” Currently TELUS World of Science is halfway through the Aurora Project, a $40 million renovation and expansion designed to upgrade everything from the structure of the building to the guest experience. “We are building a science centre that will serve this growing city for the next 30 years,” concludes Nursall; and there is one very special announcement as well: “We are working with the City of Edmonton on the refurbishment of the Queen Elizabeth Planetarium in Coronation Park.”

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Celebrating

50 YEARS OF EXCELLENCE! FOR 50 YEARS EDMONTONIANS HAVE BEEN LOVING THE AUTHENTICITY OF ROYAL PIZZA By Nerissa McNaughton with photos by Rebecca Lippiatt

Mike Hanley

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ne cannot hear the words “Royal Pizza” without immediately remembering that catchy jingle, “still making it great!” But how many of us know the story behind the brand? Royal was one of the early purveyors of pizza in Edmonton and 50 years on, we still can’t get enough. Here’s how it all began. In 1969 Gus Pappas and John Pontikes opened the first Royal Pizza in old Strathcona. One of just a handful of pizza restaurants in the city at that time, the gentlemen quickly distinguished their restaurant by piling their pies with plenty of cheese and toppings. The restaurant quickly became an Edmonton favourite, especially by the University of Alberta and the Park Hotel. By the time Mike and Cynthia Hanley bought the brand in 1995, it had a loyal and dedicated following – but Gus and John weren’t willing to sell to just anyone. Before the deal was complete, Mike had to prove he was committed to the same quality, traditions and customer service as the founders.

ROYAL PIZZA • 50 YEARS

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Bringing you closer to your happy place. With pizza. Congratulations to Royal Pizza on 50 years in business.

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“I had a background in sales and marketing but no restaurant experience,” explains Mike. “I had to prove myself before they would consider selling to me. They worked with me for three months before being confident enough to hand the business over. I have kept the same recipes and traditions that were started in 1969 and to this day, customers know they are getting the same quality product. We now have generations of families coming to Royal Pizza and they enjoy the same great quality of food they have come to expect.” That is how the jingle, “still making it great,” came about. Mike wanted customers to know that the ownership had changed, but the pizza had not. Some things, however, did change. Mike and Cynthia started home and office delivery, and as they were quick to learn, “it was really well received!” The advertising campaign and the delivery option boosted the brand tremendously, enabling the first franchise in 1998. This was followed by 14 more franchises in Edmonton and area. The number of employees has grown from 12 to over 200.

Congratulations on 50 years of Service! We are proud to be in partnership with Royal Pizza.

“Royal Pizza’s goal has been to create a friendly, family dining experience that has our customers saying, ‘I’ll be back.’ Fourth generation customers are still coming today, looking forward to favorites they have been enjoying with their families over the last 50 years,” says Mike. He continues, “the most significant contributor to our success is the fact that we continue to serve the same quality of food people have been enjoying for 50 years. We stand out from our competitors because we create our own crust at our commissary, we have a custom blended cheese and we do not skimp on the cheese and toppings on our pizzas – that has become a trademark of Royal Pizza. We are very conscientious about our product and service and want to provide the best possible experience for our customers. “Another very important factor to our success are our franchisees. They are very diligent in providing the same quality of service and product and have contributed greatly to the growth and success of Royal Pizza. The 14 franchises have been successful in providing the same dining experience our customers have come to expect regardless of which location they visit.”

ROYAL PIZZA • 50 YEARS


Over the past 50 years Royal Pizza has won a Consumer Choice award, the Golden Fork Award, has been named the best pizza in Edmonton several times over and has earned first place in many pizza contests despite constant and growing competition. “Our greatest challenge has been to remain competitive with the numerous pizza companies that have opened in Edmonton over the years,” Mike acknowledges. “We must provide the same quality product and at the same time remain competitive price wise. The advantage we have is that we never cut back on quality or service. We stay ahead of the curve by providing the product our customers have come to expect and by opening locations to make visiting our restaurants and take outs convenient for our customers. We also provide easy access and an ordering app for those customers that choose delivery or pickup.” What are those customers ordering? The fan favourites are the Royal special, the Royal vegetarian, the ham and pineapple and Mike’s personal favourite, the meat lovers. Special mention goes to another favourite, Fred’s special. It was named after a customer who came in every Friday night without fail, and when he passed away the owners named his favourite pizza after him. It is still on the menu today.

Always keeping their customers’ best interests in mind, Royal Pizza also offers a gluten free crust and continues to source as many local ingredients as possible. Royal Pizza is also very community minded with regular contributions to the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation, Edmonton Food Bank, breast cancer research and more. Fifty years of making great pizza have come and gone, and Royal keeps evolving while maintaining the delicious traditions for which it is known. Mike states, “We are currently in negotiations for two more franchises in Edmonton, one north and one southwest. We have a franchise opening in Calgary in the fall of 2019 and discussions underway for additional franchise locations. We are also in discussions

Serving the foodservice industry for more than 35 years! 12165-154 ST Edmonton, Alberta T5V-1J3 Phone: 780.454.8331 | Fax: 780.454.9001 | www.eberhardtfoods.com

Congratulations Royal Pizza “Absolutely still making it great!” Eberhardt Foods

ROYAL PIZZA • 50 YEARS


with investors and prospective franchisees to expand into other cities in western Canada.” Mike reflects, “The most rewarding thing is to have built, from one restaurant, a franchise of 14 locations and still provide the same quality product our customers have come to know and appreciate. We also find it rewarding to have been able to provide an amazing business opportunity to our franchisees. “We want our customers to know how much we have appreciated their support and business over the years and thank them for their patronage. They are the reason Royal Pizza is the success it is today. We are proud of the recognition we receive from our loyal customers. “People are instrumental in the growth of Royal Pizza. I would like to acknowledge our franchisees and our long-term employees, such as my executive assistant, and all the employees at our commissary and franchises who give us their best every day.”

Royal Pizza is still making it great and will continue to make it great for another 50 years and beyond. If you are in the mood for pizza tonight and you crave a hand-made crispy crust piled high with a special blend of cheese and sauce and all of your favourite toppings, you know who to call. Visit one of their locations, or call or tap that app (royalpizza.ca/royal-app) to see why Royal Pizza has been delighting Edmontonians’ taste buds for half a century. They have always been, and will continue to be, one of Edmonton’s favourite pizza restaurants.

“We also appreciate being voted ‘best pizza’ by the people who matter most – our customers.”

Learn more at Royalpizza.ca online, and @RoyalPizza on Facebook Twitter, and Instagram.

Congratulations on

10265 97 Street Edmonton, AB T5J 0L9 602 Manitou Road SE, Calgary, AB T2G 4C5

50 Years

780.421.8555 403.571.8555

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Sheppard Insurance 40th Anniversary

SHEPPARD INSURANCE CELEBRATES 40 YEARS By Nerissa McNaughton

I

nsurance is a support system that goes back to 4000-3000 BCE. Although Grant Sheppard’s family hasn’t been around quite that long, the Sheppards have been a prominent family in Edmonton for many years. In fact, the family history stretches back to the 1800s and incudes members that were instrumental in building and running the Strathcona Hotel, the incline railway, and the first local brewery. What you may know the Sheppard name for, however, is their longstanding position as insurance providers in the city. Both Anthony (Tony) and Emily Sheppard were insurance professionals. They opened Sheppard Insurance in 1979 after Tony realized how much more effective he could be under his own banner instead of as an employee of the Chicago-headquartered company he was working for. His work ethic was so well known that, when he thought about starting his own business, several loyal long-term clients fronted the start up costs. A noncompetition clause meant that Tony couldn’t start his own branch – but that was no problem. Emily opened the business in her name and took her husband Tony

on as an employee, and the Sheppard Insurance family business was born. “They fought above their weight class. As a small brokerage they had the technical expertise to handle large commercial risks,” says Tony and Emily’s son, Grant. “During the first 20 years, they didn’t even advertise. All the work came from referrals and through word-of-mouth from happy clients.”

Grant grew up seeing his parents help individuals, families, and businesses understand the value of insurance, and he was happy to follow in their footsteps. When it came time for him to helm the company on his own, he showed the same ambition, drive, charisma, and adventuring spirit for which his parents were known.

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Sheppard Insurance 40th Anniversary

Sheppard Insurance grew from the start, necessitating four moves over the four decades they have been in business. Under Grant’s leadership, Sheppard continued to expand.

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He explains, “In 2009, we did our first major acquisition by buying Way Insurance. Then, in 2018, we bought Alberta First Insurance, which gave us a much larger presence in professional liability for the pharmacy sector. This is when we began specializing in allied medical products.” It’s not their only speciality. In addition to the traditional lines of personal and life insurance, Sheppard has provided aviation insurance for 25 years; and, under the commercial banner, has products for long haul truckers, bonding, mariners, pollution liability, special events (like festivals), small businesses, nonprofits, and more. Recently, Sheppard Insurance had an incredible opportunity to align with a brand whose vision and mission were an ideal match with the family business. “Under the vision of Doug Morrow, four local brokers and I created the Excel Insurance Group,” says Grant. It was our effort to make the Grant Sheppard independent brokerage channel more sustainable. Excel provides the back-end administration and has services to support independent brokers. This model also gave us access to the Assurex Global network for international contracts.” The Excel Group started with five offices and quickly grew to 15 – and the growth continues. “This year, we also went through a sale and merger with Storm Insurance while staying within the Excel Group. Now we have a local, national, and international presence. If we can’t place your business, nobody can!” While Grant is pleased to see the firm work with clients on an international basis, there is one thing he will never change; it’s the core reason his parents started Sheppard Insurance and why the brand has been so incredibly successful: customer care.

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“Our clients are second to none,” Grant says firmly. “It’s because of our clients that I enjoy the business. I feel like my role is to be an intermediary between a client and an insurer, and to ensure the underwriters do the right thing, even when it’s difficult. This is why we have very long-term, loyal clients. We have clients that go back to my dad’s career before he even started the company. That is the secret to our success – great clients that are loyal, appreciate our services, and realize we bring value to the process.”


Sheppard Insurance 40th Anniversary

With the recent mergers and sales, Grant’s role went from ownership to executive, but he doesn’t mind. “We still have that family flavour, but with the ability and technology to compete at a much higher level,” he smiles. “Now our firm is international with low risk to the head office.”

Creative is not a word normally said alongside “insurance company,” but Sheppard Insurance can proudly claim the title as one of the most creative firms in Edmonton. Do you remember the shocking ad campaign in 1997 where a well-known jewelry store would refund purchase prices if it snowed 7.5 inches on January 1st? Sheppard Insurance was the firm backing the process – and they paid out when 7.5 inches of snow inexplicably fell, right on time. “That gave us worldwide press and created a new line of business!” laughs Grant. “The snowfall newspaper ad had a hidden message that could only be read under black light – people had to go into the store to decipher it. Because of that, one man won twice! He got his money back and won the prize from the flyer. He got $10,000.” Grant smiles at the memory. “The jewellery store owner was looking to make a big splash, and we like to do things in a unique way. We like to be problem solvers.” While he admits that Sheppard is “all over the map” in terms of product lines (do you know any other brokerage that specialized in farm and equestrian

insurance while operating downtown? Tony got into that because he loved horses), Grant also places a high value on consistency, especially when it comes to the team. He makes a point to acknowledge every employee, every morning. That’s seven more “good mornings” and seven more office pop-ins for him since the sale and merger brought the staff up from 20 to 27 in the head office. He can’t say enough good things about each staff member, and he’s proud to have such a wonderful team, even if growing that team is proving to be a challenge. “Attracting and keeping good, talented employees is problematic at the moment because the general insurance licensing exam has changed and is now extremely hard to pass.” However, that signature optimism and problem solving is always at the forefront. “We are going to hire and train people internally; create our own training program,” he informs. In addition to a well-rounded team, a clear mission, and unshakeable values, Grant also cites the local community as a reason for Sheppard’s success. The firm fully embraces opportunities to give back and supports the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation; Kids with Cancer Society; Make-A-Wish® Foundation; Hope Mission; Valour Place and the McMan Youth, Family and Community Services Association, among other causes. “Giving back is very important. It’s in our core. It’s part of who we are,” Grant says. Sheppard Insurance is proud to be recognized as a top 10 broker by Insurance Business Canada. Grant is also pleased to display a humble certificate of appreciation from his son’s school. They made it

BRAVO!

SHEPPARD INSURANCE ON CELEBRATING 40 YEARS OF INDUSTRY SUCCESS.

WYNWARD IS HERE. wynward.com 3


Sheppard Insurance 40th Anniversary

for him when Sheppard Insurance supported their Leader In Me program. The list of people Grant would like to thank for helping Sheppard Insurance become a success is long, and includes his parents for starting the company; the long-term, previous, and new employees; his former business partner Scott Zurfluh; and his right-

hand support Laurie McDonald (who he refers to as supreme commander in acknowledgment of her ability to manage him and so many aspects of the business simultaneously). “I am also very grateful for the insurance companies that have supported us through thick and thin; the community for its ongoing support and its opportunities to give back; and to our many past, present, and future clients.” It’s been 40 years since Sheppard Insurance opened its doors, and Grant is proud to continue the tradition of service that the company provides.

Congratulations Sheppard Insurance on 40 Years! #300, 10709 Jasper Avenue Phone: 780-424-3986 | Toll-Free: 1-800-272-5614 Fax: 780-424-0396

www.peacehillsinsurance.com

“In my current role as vice president of Western Canada, I will look for further acquisitions for growth to expand our influence. The Excel Group will also continue to expand.” He concludes with a smile, “I like it when each day is full of little successes, whether it’s renewing or embarking on a piece of business or getting a client a better price – there are constantly little bits of success.” Learn more about Sheppard Insurance and the Excel Group by visiting www.sheppardinsurance.com.

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TEL: 780 421-1515 TOLL FREE: 1-800-663-2242

Congratulations to Sheppard Insurance on 40 years!

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JobSite Workwear

By Nerissa McNaughton with photos by Rebecca Lippiatt

is a Leader in Providing Tough Gear that Works The Edmonton-born company has been keeping Alberta’s work force safe and comfortable for 15 years.

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D

arcy Weiss knows what it’s like to work in Alberta. It’s a province with a big heart and soul, but also a province with four very distinct seasons. From bone chilling winters to rainy springs, searing hot summers to windy autumns, the hearty people of Alberta know what it’s like to experience a 20-degree swing in only a matter of days. Alberta is also a hardworking province. According to the Alberta Government’s Alberta Labour Market Highlights 2017, the participation rate in the labour force is the highest among all of the Canadian provinces and has remained above 70 per cent since 1980. Where is the majority of the labour force employed? The servicingproducing sector (construction, mining, oil and gas, agriculture, utilities, etc.), which employs nearly threefourths of Albertans. Edmonton born and raised, Weiss knows that Alberta’s hardworking men and women need work wear that performs as hard as they do on the job. In 2004, he JobSite Workwear Celebrates 15 years

opened JobSite Workwear’s first location. Now, 15 years later, the chain consists of six stores and is proud to have outfitted thousands of workers in tough gear for tough jobs. With an inventory of over 30,000 products and the ability to source specialty work gear, JobSite Workwear is the only contact you need to find the most advanced, comfortable clothing that keeps you safe and visible on site. Today, Weiss and his operations manager, Marc Poirier, are reflecting on the journey. “Tenacity, hard work, great staff,” says Weiss of what has made the brand successful and how they stand out from the competition. “The foundation of our success comes from that perspective.” “We are always trying to understand what our customers need,” Poirier adds. “We strive to stay ahead of the changing industry needs and show our customers new products that will make their time on the job even better.”


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Despite a massive inventory and constant foot traffic, JobSite Workwear proved its efficiency with a recent move when they relocated the south end store, basically, overnight.

“If you look at the last decade and all the trials and tribulations due to adverse economic conditions, we are still here. We are still open with all six of our locations,” says Weiss.

“We sold our last product at 2 p.m. in the old location, moved, and opened at 9 a.m. the next day in our new space” Poirier says. “We weren’t completely set up or fully merchandised, but we did it!”

In addition to the men and women in the stores and in the head office, the massive selection of inventory is a major part of the brand’s success. Weiss and Poirier devote a great deal of time finding, sourcing, testing, and promoting the gear that Albertans need on the job. “Our suppliers are more focused than ever on comfort and making clothing safer without sacrificing quality,” Poirier says. “For example, Timberland Pro® is coming out with new internal met guard boots. They feel like a normal boot but offer more protection over your forefoot. You get something you didn’t know you needed until you drop something on your foot and are still able to go to work the next day!”

“You have to do what you have to do,” Weiss shrugs. “It was November. It was cold.” JobSite had no intention of letting down the customers that needed work wear to go earn their living the next day. The move is indicative of the tenacity and commitment to its customers that JobSite has shown over the years. “Since we are a small business, our greatest challenge is that we have to do it all,” says Poirier, noting that just 30 staff run the stores and the administration. “There isn’t one marketing person or one HR person. There isn’t one expert in the store. You must be good at everything. You have to be willing to do everything. Every team member needs to pull together, whether they are in management or on the sales floor. Everyone needs to know about socks, work boots, hivis gear and coveralls. I need to know about leases, human resources, signage, social media, business licenses, toilets, websites, and SEO.” He smiles, “It’s a challenge.” It’s a challenge and test the entire team has embraced, and their willingness to do so has seen JobSite Workwear through some difficult times.

He continues, “Timberland Pro, Carhartt and Helly Hansen® are just some of the suppliers modernizing their lines by looking at what people are wearing outside of work and combining fabrics for functionality, no longer focusing only on durability. Timberland Pro makes wearing boots easier by giving you options on how to pull the boot on or off and options for how to lace it. They have built-in anti-fatigue technology (A.F.T.), so you’re actually standing on an anti-fatigue mat all day. It’s integrated into your boot. Even though you may have to climb or do strenuous work, the A.F.T. is with you all day making it easier to work in [in your boots] without sacrificing durability. Timberland Pro is putting this level of detail into a full line of head-to-toe products now.”

CONGRATULATIONS to JobSite Workwear on 15 years of excellence.

www.carhartt.com JobSite Workwear Celebrates 15 years


Poirier goes on to explain that the top brands are taking inspiration from the action sports industry (like mountain climbing and snowboarding) to see how clothing works and is integrating four-way stretch, gussets, panels, and

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better articulation into their work wear. “The principal factor is that we are always striving to provide our customers with the best options available, whether that is protection, innovation, design, function, or reliability.”

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Congratulations to JobSite Workwear as they celebrate their 15th anniversary providing quality products for hardworking Albertans!

We’re proud of our partnership and friendship with JobSite Workwear.

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JobSite Workwear Celebrates 15 years

“What we’d like our clients to understand,” he continues, “is the thought process of how we choose the products for our stores. We only carry items that we would be comfortable putting our own families in. This is vital for safety because you think an accident will never happen to you – but accidents do happen, and if you knew it was going to happen, you would absolutely hedge your bets with the safest and best gear. We carry that gear, and we educate people on how and why to maximize our products so they can make an informed decision on what’s best for them.” Even though JobSite Workwear has been servicing Albertans for 15 years, many locals don’t realize that this is a homegrown, Edmonton-based business and that it is not owned or operated by a large corporation or a company from Eastern Canada or the States. “We live here and work here,” Weiss confirms, which is part of the reason why he knows what Albertans need for tough gear on the job. He loves Edmonton and has no plans to relocate the head office. “Edmonton is tight, close, supportive and understanding. The city is an exceptional resource. It offers encouragement and advice, and I appreciate what it can


Congratulations JobSite Workwear on your 15th year anniversary! We look forward to many more years together!

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do for entrepreneurs. I’m grateful for the opportunity to run a business in Alberta , and thankful to be born and raised here because this province is full of wonderful hard working people.” Some of those great people include the men and women behind Firefighter Aid Ukraine, a non-profit organization that JobSite Workwear is proud to support. Firefighter Aid Ukraine collects PPE, life rescue equipment, medical supplies, gear, and funds; and it transports these important resources to first responders in Ukraine who are desperately underserved and undersupplied. “We collect warranty returns and safety products from venders and customers and get them into the hands of Firefighter Aid,” explains Weiss. “The organization then goes to the Ukraine on aid missions to train and facilitate getting these items to the first responders. One of the neatest things is the feedback. When you see the photos of the missions, it’s like Christmas day. The emotion on [the first responders’] faces when they open the containers, see all the gear, and get to use it and try it on – they are so appreciative for everything they receive. They send photos and thank you notes. It’s very rewarding to see how the donations are going to help keep them safer on the job.”

HUB International Insurance Brokers #201 - 5227 55 Avenue Edmonton, AB T6B 3V1 www.hubinternational.com For a second opinion on your Commercial Insurance program, please contact Doug Davis 1-800-563-5325 / 780-453-8410

CONGRATULATIONS TO J O B S I T E WO R KW E A R

ON YOUR 15TH ANNIVERSARY

JobSite Workwear Celebrates 15 years


Weiss has been recognized as a business Leader and as an EY Entrepreneur of the Year®. “With 15 years in business, I’d like to acknowledge the staff, past and present,” he says. “Without great staff, the business is just an idea, not a working environment.”

Proud partner of JobSite Workwear

CONGRATULATIONS JOBSITE WORKWEAR - DAN N E RYO UR BL ACK B OOT SP E CI AL I ST

www.danner.com | randal@wildwestsales.ca

Congratulations JobSite Workwear on 15 incredible years!

What comes next is a move of the flagship store, but this change won’t be as arduous as the quick turnaround on the south end. JobSite’s first store in west Edmonton is moving 125 feet to the left to relocate into a more efficient space. The near future also sees the first line of succession take place. Plans are underway for Liam, Weiss’ son, to take a larger role in the management operations and to work closely with Poirier as the transition unfolds. “Brick and mortar retail is constantly evolving, and there are challenges every day, every week, and every month,” concludes Poirier. We just have to adapt to those challenges. I firmly believe there is still the space and a requirement for exceptional retailers. The people who are not surviving in retail are losing sight of what their customers need. We are always working to anticipate and find out what our customers need. We are going to continue to focus on understanding our business and on understanding our customers so we are here for another 15 years, and beyond.” Learn more about JobSite Workwear online at Jobsiteworkwear.ca, search JobSite Workwear on Facebook and Twitter, or connect via Instagram @jobsite_workwear.

We’re proud to help you outfit Alberta’s workers with the best workwear in Canada

toughduck.com JobSite Workwear Celebrates 15 years

West: 16320-111 Ave | (780) 481.3710 North: 13723 Manning Dr | (780) 473.7575 South: 3805 99 Street | (780) 461.8005 jobsiteworkwear.ca


RSM Canada –

New Beginnings for the People-Focused Firm

R

SM Canada is a professional services firm that provides audit, tax and consulting services to businesses in the middle-market. They focus on understanding what’s important to their clients’ business and share in their success. As a part of RSM International, a global network of independent professional service firms, RSM Canada is the most recent to join and has a local office located right here in Edmonton. Douglas Kroetsch, Edmonton office managing partner, explains, “RSM launched in Toronto on December 1, 2017. After discussions with our partners in Toronto and the Alberta corridor, we (Edmonton) joined RSM on November 1, 2018.” The decision to become part of the RSM family was guided by a thoughtful and intentional process that had the team and its clients top of mind. “We based our decision on two key factors,” says Kroetsch. “Those factors were: what is the opportunity for our people, and how could we better service our clients? Any time we approach and evaluate a decision based on those two criteria, we are successful. The decision was also helped by the fact that RSM’s values aligned perfectly with that of our predecessor firm.” “Very early on in our discussions, we realized we had a very similar vision that included unwavering commitment to the middle market,” he says. “When we realized we had the same strategy, values and vision, and what competitive advantages we could achieve, we knew it was an ideal match. One major advantage is that we now have integrated operations in the United States that allows us to supply unmatched services to our clients cross border.” Kroetsch says emphatically, “The alignment of the shared vision was of vital importance. Vision is so much more than words on paper.” RSM’s values are: respect – treat others how we would like to be treated; integrity – do the right thing; teamwork – work together effectively; excellence – be the best in everything we do; and stewardship – better our firm and develop our people. “We were excited by RSM’s overall vision because we are a people-focused firm. We are very intentional about developing our talent, and we focus on people over metrics. That is what sets us apart in the marketplace.” “Edmonton has an exciting business community,” said Kroetsch, an Edmonton native. “We find the city to be entrepreneurial and collaborative in that many businesses are looking for ways to work together. We also find that Edmonton is a mid-market community, which fits with our vision and partners. Between

Douglas Kroetsch, Edmonton office managing partner

the previous iteration of the firm, and now with RSM, we are pleased to be operating in Edmonton for over 50 years.” As a result of the company’s commitment to stewardship, RSM is active in the communities in which it operates. In Edmonton, this includes supporting Youth Empowerment & Support Services (YESS). Firm-wide RSM encourages its employees to get involved in local activities through Volunteer Day and the Birdies Fore Love program tied to the RSM Classic, RSM’s PGA TOUR golf tournament held each year. RSM’s Calgary location was recently selected by Mediacorp Canada Inc. as one of Alberta’s top employers. “As a peoplefocused organization, that is the best award we can get,” says Kroetsch with pride. From client-focused solutions to community support, RSM is intentional and purposeful in everything it does. The firm seeks to improve the lives of the people it serves, be they clients or team members, through an unwavering set of values that are never compromised. “By joining RSM, we have exceeded our expectations,” says Kroetsch. “The future plan is to continue to integrate and deliver on the RSM brand promise of being a professional service leader in the middle market. We are just getting started in Canada and have plans to expand our footprint across the country. We have had great success during our recruitment campaigns and know there are a lot of really exciting things to come. Everything we accomplish comes back to our team, clients, and the people we enjoy working with.” Learn more by visiting rsmcanada.com online, @RSM_Canada on Twitter, RSM Canada on LinkedIN, and @RSMCanada1 on Facebook. rsm canada.com


CELEBRATE A DECADE OF PRODUCT LAUNCHES AT EDMONTON STARTUP WEEK // EEDC

CELEBRATE A DECADE OF PRODUCT LAUNCHES AT EDMONTON STARTUP WEEK OCTOBER 21 - 25, 2019

A

s Edmonton Startup Week’s flagship event, Launch Party gives you the opportunity to meet our city’s brightest entrepreneurs, try their products, and celebrate everything that our startup community has to offer, and this year, the event is going to be even bigger and better to celebrate its 10th edition. “My ultimate favourite event of anything that we do is Launch Party,” says Startup Edmonton CEO Tiffany LinkeBoyko. “I like it because it’s about the community and what amazing founders are building and doing. Celebrating our 10th anniversary is a special milestone for Startup Edmonton and the community. It’s a chance to reflect on how far we have come and how many incredible companies and teams we have congratulated over the years.” Launch Party offers a chance to meet some of Edmonton’s brightest entrepreneurs, to try their products and learn how their ideas could change the world. But Launch Party isn’t your typical networking event or trade show; a decade ago, Edmonton’s startup scene was beginning to pick up steam, but there were few venues for the growing community of companies to come together, celebrate and collaborate.

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

Startup Edmonton, then just a small group committed to pulling the community together, embarked on creating Launch Party, not just a celebration of the companies involved, but as a statement to the city and the world that Edmonton was a place that technology companies could thrive. That was 10 years ago, and just like how the Edmonton tech community has gotten bigger, so too has launch party. Since 2010, more than 85 technology companies have launched products at the event, including rapidly growing teams like Zept, Jobber, Drivewyze, Poppy Barley, and Showbie. Hosting a large and diverse crowd, the first Launch Party hosted 250 people for a showcase of then up-and-coming tech companies including Yardstick and Beamdog. Offering a laid-back atmosphere and elevator pitches from all of the companies involved, the night was deemed a huge success for the presenters and the budding tech community. As the years passed, Launch Party returned year after year, growing each time along with Edmonton’s vibrant, and collaborative tech scene.


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Whether it’s a meeting, a concert, a sporting event or an exclusive special occasion, the Edmonton EXPO Centre creates memorable experiences that deliver Contact us to find out how we can make your event a reality.

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CELEBRATE A DECADE OF PRODUCT LAUNCHES AT EDMONTON STARTUP WEEK // EEDC

SOME HIGHLIGHTS OF PAST LAUNCH PARTIES INCLUDE: • Launch Party 3 in 2012 introduced the world to Jobber, which now has 100+ employees and is aiming to grow at a pace like Ottawa’s Shopify. Launch Party 3 also introduced Poppy Barley, a fashion startup that has revolutionized the way consumers buy footwear and in just a few short years. • Launch Party 4 hosted DriveWyze, whose weigh station skipping solution is now employed across Canada and the United States, and Scope AR, which is currently working with NASA. • Launch Party 5 introduced Pogo CarShare, whose vehicles now dot Edmonton streets. • Launch Party 6 showed the world Varafy, a leader in online education solutions. • Launch Party 7 introduced Run-WithIT Inc., a company that helps other companies predict their future through advanced AI modelling and dealcloser™ Inc., which makes the process of closing a legal deal much easier and safer. • Launch Party 8 hosted Testfire Labs, creating a revolutionary AI meeting assistant and Ironsight, a company that strengthens the link between our technology sector with our oil and gas sector.

This year, another 10 companies will be highlighted at launch party. Drinks, DJs, and great companies all await you at Launch Party!

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• Last year at Launch Party 9, the world met MEDO.AI, a company working to revolutionize and democratize the use of ultrasounds, making them easier to apply and more readily available to all communities across the world.

“The founders we have in our community work hard, and any chance that we get to celebrate them and help bring more awareness excites me,” Linke-Boyko says. “I can’t wait to introduce even more Edmontonians to the startup community at this year’s event.”

events, socials and more – all anchored in technology and entrepreneurship.

Launch Party is just one of more than 50 events planned for Edmonton Startup Week. In partnership with Techstars, the community comes together for workshops, networking

For more information, to purchase Launch Party tickets and to build your Edmonton Startup Week schedule, visit http:// www.edmontonstartupweek.com

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


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Profile for Business in Edmonton Magazine

Business in Edmonton - September 2019  

Business in Edmonton - September 2019  

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