May 2021 Volume 3 Issue 9

Page 1

Volume 3 Issue 9 • May 2021

published by ZX Media Corporation

SHIFTING PERSPECTIVES Now more than ever, innovation plays a critical role in defining Alberta’s future. Alberta Innovates leads the way by bringing people and resources together to help Alberta businesses grow, create new opportunities and jobs, and solve challenges. Through our world-class expertise, leadingedge facilities and strategic investments, we’re charting the course of innovation that will help renew and sustain Alberta’s prosperity

today, and for generations to come.

Learn how

Clean Resources

Agriculture, Forestry & Food

Emerging Technologies

Health Innovation

How do you define the word innovation? “To me, innovation is when you do something in a new way that has not been done before.” - Al Del Degan

“The ability to adapt to a changing environment “ – Jade Alberts

“Like a lot of perfectly fine words, like 'consensus', ‘innovation’ is so loosely defined and overused that it is now a meaningless buzzword. To innovate does not mean to create something new. That word is 'invention', as in the first telephone was an invention. Whereas the first cell phone was an innovation.

“From of all of the dictionary definitions of 'innovation', my favorite is the simplest. 'A better way of doing things'.

Innovation is generally accepted as improving a thing to gain efficiency, effectiveness or competitive advantage.

I love this definition because it implies some very wholesome attributes...

In an organization, that usually means, disruptive change, upsetting reorganization, and often job loss.

... There is a means to make improvements on everything we do through learning.

To me, ‘technology is a tool or scientific process that may have 'invention' and 'innovation' as part of the process.” - Steve Armstrong

... Come about intentionally or accidently. ... Are observed incrementally or through paradigm shifts.” -Stacy Richter

INNOVATORS Calgary is a city built by innovators. It’s in our DNA. Pushing the envelope and thinking outside the box are just another day at the office. It’s with this pedigree that bright minds and future-thinking problem solvers are tackling some of the world’s greatest challenges. Calgary’s innovators are investing big with a capital ‘B’, into technology like AI, Robotics and Machine Learning. In fact, Calgary businesses will lead the $20 billion spend on digital transformation across the province from 2021 – 2024. Calgary is a city of disruptors, not the disrupted. Learn why at Calgary: Canada’s most adventurous tech city.


INNOVATION AND COMMUNITY COLLIDE CONTENT CONTRIBUTORS VOLUME 3 ISSUE 9 Deborah Nichol Al Del Degan Jade Alberts Robert Manolson Steve Armstrong Blaise Hunter Crystal Phillips Jennifer Hadley Sophia Fairweather Jill Quirk Nikki Robinson Stacy Richter

Krista Malden Kenzie Webber

Subscribe for your free issue of Community Now! at Copyright 2019 ZX Media Corporation, Calgary Alberta Canada Community Now! Magazine Copyright 2018, published by ZX Media Corporation. Volume 3 Issue 9 | May 2021

This grassroots magazine is a platform for, about and by the community.

All rights reserved. This magazine or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher and writer.

How to Bolster Innovation with Community: Insights from Pixeltree Nikki Robinson

Innovation rarely surfaces in a silo. More often than not, it culminates from teams, people, and/or organizations with similar goals that bring varied experiences, educations, knowledge, and perspectives. Communities, as they are often called, have proven time and time again to be amazing incubators for innovation.

What are entrepreneurial ecosystems? Much like biological ecosystems, entrepreneurial ecosystems require energy to exist. The community interactions and connections that occur as a result of member operations are what serve to bolster opportunities to innovate via help from the ecosystem structure. The more committed we are to strengthening and bolstering our entrepreneurial ecosystems, the greater chance we have of heightening innovation within our communities.

6 // Community Now!

So what actions can we take within our ecosystems to bolster a greater sense of community?

Senior members possess the industry knowledge and experience that community structures require to grow and thrive.

Actively participate in your local community

They have access to the connections, institutions, and capital that, younger generations are working to establish, but may not yet have within reach.

Organize meetups, table talks, discussions, and demonstrations for your community Human capital has become one of the most valuable currencies for information age organizations. This is especially true in the way of start-ups, where qualified employees play an essential role in product development and launch. However, because human capital has become so valuable, it is more often than not treated as a finite resource to be hidden away from competitors. In community-focused ecosystems though, individual entities tend to prosper independently when the sum thrives. Pick one or two skills that you, your team, or a few select members from your organization excel in. It could be something as universal as project management or an area as niche as Ruby on Rails. Brainstorm avenues that could help you transfer some of that knowledge into your ecosystem. It could be a workshop, a virtual webinar, or even the sponsoring of a seminar for an industry leader you admire. Whatever your organization can create feasibly is a great first step to innovation optimization. Mentor young professionals in your community

It is the responsibility of senior community members then, to extend a helping hand to the younger generation, provide them with the opportunities they need to learn and grow and help them begin to flourish in their profession. Mentorship while a long-term and skill-testing commitment, is a sustainable and effective way of extending that helping hand. The one-to-one knowledge transfer that occurs during a mentorship serves to develop the niche set of relationship building, networking, and industry-specific skills needed to launch an ecosystem into a base-state of innovation. In turn, younger generations bring energized perspectives, an understanding and connection to new technology, and an unbridled hunger to change the that has been behind some of the most novel ideas of our time. While mentorship is not a born skill, it’s something you have to work and develop, don’t let that discourage you from getting started. Mentors often learn just as much as they teach, and it’s a skill you can learn “on the job”. The first step is the best step in the right direction.

Senior community members hold a unique responsibility within their startup ecosystems.

(continued on next page) Community \\ 7

(continued from page 8...) Attend the meetups, table talks, discussions, and/or demonstrations of your peers Innovation is an inherently risky endeavour. It takes a great deal of courage to try something new because the possibility of failing at it is that much higher. However, when a community’s social understanding of risk is one of support, the fear associated with failure intrinsically melts away. A fundamental way that we can show our support is by simply showing up. Show up to that networking event across town on a Thursday night. Show up to that meetup that has been scheduled for, god forbid, a Saturday morning. It’s not enough to just trailblaze for your community on your own. Supporting your fellow community members in their endeavours will help them trailblaze their own innovations and build a community of mutual support.

Bolster your community with the actions you take as a business Your support can go beyond the actions you take “after hours” to keep innovation flowing through your community. This is especially true in the way of founders, as founders quite literally have the power to shape the values and actions of their business on a day-to-day basis. Here are some actions you can take that will support your entrepreneurial ecosystem during your workday. Pick projects that make revenue and give back Being mindful of how a project can support or advance your community at large, even in small ways, can make a big impact on its institutional capabilities for innovation. After making the business case for a prospective project i.e. comparing the added benefits vs the essential costs, sit down and brainstorm some answers to the following questions: 1. What company values does this project elevate?

8 // Community Now!

2. How can we enrich our community with this project?

Make connections ecosystem

3. How can we help fellow community members with the work we do on this project?

Word-of-mouth marketing is easily one of the most impactful ways that we can bolster innovation. It supports the supply and demand of opportunity creation and is fundamental to the growth and expansion of entrepreneurial ecosystems. All it takes is some knowledge of the events, companies, and individuals within your ecosystem to enact this effectively.

4. Are there any community members, in particular, that would benefit from our success in this project? The answers to these questions may seem small in terms of impact initially i.e. if we succeed, our community will garner attention for our innovation. However, the small supports, if conducted in a consistent and frequent manner, can lead to larger and more impactful support in the long run. Additionally, even taking the time to answer these questions will start building neural pathways that will better assist you in recognizing future projects that could satisfy both goals in a more concrete way i.e. sourcing a project with a charitable component that you could feedback into your community.





For freelancers, contractors and consultants, word-of-mouth marketing and referrals can be their lifeblood. While often tasked with their marketing responsibilities, these kinds of business entities don’t generally have access to the knowledge, resources, or the time to market themselves effectively. By referring them to individuals or organizations seeking their skillset, we can lighten the load associated with opportunity-seeking and open their time up to the work that helps them innovate.

(continued on next page) Community \\ 9

(continued from page 9...) The same can be said for fully-fledged organizations. Startups don’t generally have access to large (or even medium-scale) marketing budgets. A referral could be the opportunity that launches them into the spotlight, simultaneously creating more opportunities for your community at large. Word of mouth marketing can also be impactful for the events, meetups, and groups that occur within your entrepreneurial ecosystem. When you meet someone you think would find a meetup, group, or event you know of interesting, simply let them know about it. Not only is this an extremely easy thing to do, but it also continues the necessary knowledge transfer for growing ecosystems while helping establish trust via connection building. When people think beyond their goals in isolation and consider how their actions as an individual can also benefit the sum, innovation thrives.

Make community a core tenet in your company culture When your company culture reflects community values, your company inherently showcases the value that can be found in furthering the goals of the ecosystem in a way that extends beyond your individual goals as a business. The whole can be greater than the sum of its parts. Eventually, a spill-over effect will start to occur and your industry peers may begin to do the same, working for the benefit of the sum as well as the individual. Create diverse and pluralistic work cultures Visibility is essential for any company looking to create a sense of community within their 10 // Community Now!

workplace. That being said, having greater numbers of women, people of colour and LGBTQ people as employees is only the first, in many, steps for developing a sense of community at work. Pluralism can assist with this. Pluralism, as a construct, explains that inclusion, equality, and respect must not only be showcased by organizational institutions but **demonstrated and assessed on the quality of support they provide their constituents by the constituents themselves. A leadership team revising the diversity and inclusion statements for their company based on survey feedback from employees is an example of pluralism. Pluralistic cultures tend to help companies develop a deeper sense of community as they inherently demand inclusion, equality, and respect be implemented rather than expecting these qualities to manifest simply from having a diverse team. Company mandates or codes of conduct penned with a pluralistic mindset can then help to build workplace cultures where employees feel supported and embraced for who they are, holistically, and not just for the representation they provide a company to the outside world. In doing so, an advanced level of trust is developed that allows a company culture to evolve into a community-focused organizational structure.





Use empathetic leadership to develop an environment of trust and support





Leaders at their core set a direction, provide a vision, and remove obstacles for their people. Empathetic leaders, however, also work to consider the needs, feelings, and thoughts of

their people while fulfilling their leadership duties in tandem. Empathetic leaders know that people perform better, are more interested in innovation, and are just generally happier overall when they can trust that the institutions they work for respect their needs as human beings and proactively try to accommodate them. Leading with empathy is one of these needs. Much like the trust that is established when community members show up, make connections, transfer knowledge, and actively support members within their ecosystem, employees that are able to trust their companies are more motivated to try and even suggest new things.

As we’ve learnt by now, innovation can be a risky business. It’s not an act that can be taken on lightly nor is it something that can just happen on its own. However, if we can take it upon ourselves to commit to energizing our entrepreneurial ecosystems through the continued support of our community members, the creation of connections, leading with empathy, embracing inclusivity, and transferring knowledge we can further our communities’ capabilities for innovation further than we ever thought possible.

At Pixeltree, we believe that founders, of any and all professions, should feel confident developing digital products. Our incremental, iterative, and empathetic approach to product development supports founders and helps them produce products that not only satisfy their core business goals, but provide them with a stronger technical understanding of their ideas. Pixeltree also commits ourselves to hiring and mentoring local talent and actively participating in our start-up community. This helps us extend the work we do as a software consultancy further than products we develop, helping us truly really embody the notion of Tech with heart.




3:29 PM

Community \\ 11

When working from home takes you to the job site, choose Budget. Celebrating 47 years of being locally owned and operated. Support local, and stay safe.

12 // Community Now!

Intro to Cryptocurrency Al Del Degan

Cryptocurrencies and Blockchains? Cryptocurrencies really got their initial start in 2009 with Bitcoin. In simplest terms, Bitcoin is the very first version of “digital money”. What makes it so special is the blockchain technology (software) that makes it possible to have an incredibly secure and reliable way of keeping track of who has Bitcoin, and how much. A blockchain is a distributed ledger where information is stored (or referenced) in a block of data. Each block includes the cryptographic hash of the prior block in the blockchain, linking the two, and the linked blocks form a chain. This iterative process confirms the integrity of the previous block, all the way back to the initial block, which is known as the genesis block. Due to this clever structure, a transaction stored on a blockchain is

immutable and inherently secure. If you want more information on blockchain technology, check out this video:

Why should you care? On February 9th, 2011 Bitcoin had reached an all-time high value of $1.00 USD. Today, as I write this, the price of Bitcoin is at an all-timehigh of $63,768 USD. There is no question, it is possible to achieve incredible, mind boggling gains… but you can lose too. If you want to learn how you can play safely, read on.

(continued on next page) Community \\ 13

Fractional Value

(continued from page 13...)

What are Alt-coins? Any cryptocurrency other than Bitcoin itself is usually referred to as an alt-coin. There are currently 9,216 cryptocurrencies on the market, including Bitcoin, so the options for what you can invest in are plentiful. Thankfully though, if you don’t want to take the majority of your time investigating every cryptocurrency available, a website called CoinMarketCap allows you to list cryptocurrencies by various criteria - defaulting to market capitalization. The “top 10” at the time of writing this article are: Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Binance Coin (BNB), XRP (XRP), Cardano (ADA), Polkadot (DOT), Uniswap (UNI), Litecoin (TC), Dogecoin (DOGE), and Chainlink (LINK). You may see Tether (USDT) listed as well, however it is a digital representation of the US Dollar and does not change value. One USDT is always worth One US Dollar, so it is largely ignored when comparing cryptocurrencies. You can view and monitor the current price of all the cryptocurrencies at https://coinmarketcap. com

One of the common misunderstandings that people have is, with the price of one Bitcoin being so high how can the average person afford to buy it. Cryptos are actually bought and sold at a fraction of a whole. Bitcoin is fractionally divided into eight decimal places. So you can purchase 0.00000001 of a Bitcoin. On most cryptocurrency exchanges, where you buy and sell cryptocurrencies, you can just punch in how much Canadian dollars you want to spend, and they will calculate the amount of cryptocurrency you receive. Of course there is often a cost when you buy or sell a cryptocurrency, so keep that in mind.

Bitcoin the new gold? Some experts in the finance industry say that “Bitcoin is the new gold”. That is because over time it has established itself as a store of wealth that continuously increases in value over time. Diversification of your investments is important because if one avenue of investing turns poor, other avenues can remain strong. If your investment portfolio


Helping you find the perfect community. 518 9 Ave SE Calgary T2G 0S1 phone: 403.815.0429 email:

Call today and let us find your dream home in the perfect community.

14 // Community Now!

contains mutual funds, precious metals, and Bitcoin, you are set up well for anything that might happen in the financial markets.

Simple or complex - your choice Buying and selling cryptocurrencies can be as simple, or as complex as you want to make it. It also depends on what country you live in. The rest of this article is going to be written from the perspective of a Calgarian living here in Canada. The most important term you will hear and learn to live by, if you wish to keep things simple, is HODL which stands for “Hold On for Dear Life”. Unless you have a lot of time to monitor the market, literally on an hourly basis, you want to look at things from a longterm perspective. The best way to explain this concept is the fact that although the price of Bitcoin has been a yo-yo for years, overall it has increased in value by roughly 200% per year for the last 10 years. That means that if last year you bought $100 in Bitcoin then it would be worth $300 today. Now, that is just an average example because in actual fact, in the last year Bitcoin went from $9,468.91 USD to $63,454.42 USD. Your $100 investment would now be worth $570.13, which is a pretty good return, but previous years have not been that dramatic, so the average is around 200%. If at any point during that 12 month period you sold your Bitcoin, you could have lost potential value.

Buying crypto in Calgary Calgary has more than one success story of businesses that have been created to help people with their purchase and sale of cryptocurrencies. One that I will highlight in this article is Backed by a Canadian bank, Bitvo makes buying and selling cryptocurrencies quite simple. Once you open an account on you can send money

to that account various ways, including via Interac e-transfers. Once your account has funds in it, you can proceed to purchase from their list of cryptocurrencies including: Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), XRP (XRP), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Litecoin (LTC), and DASH (DASH). They also list QCAD (QCAD) on their platform, however it is a stable coin similar to the USDT mentioned above and QCAD does not change from one QCAD being worth $1 Canadian Dollar. One of the greatest features of is that you don’t get charged for anything other than withdrawing your money or cryptocurrency. You can add Canadian dollars, purchase cryptos, and trade between cryptos to your heart’s content, all for free. Only if you pull your Canadian Dollars, or Cryptocurrency, out of your Bitvo account will you be charged 1%. How does that work? Bitvo has their own crypto wallets that hold all the crypto their customers purchase. Your account with Bitvo is recorded separately from the actual blockchain ledgers. Basically it works the exact same way that your bank manages your accounts at the branch. There is one giant pool of money, and the bank’s transaction records maintain how much money you have in your account. Why would you ever remove your crypto from Bitvo? One example is that if you wanted to store your cryptocurrency in an offline hardware wallet for safe keeping, or move it to another exchange so that you could buy and sell other exotic alt-coins. Either way you would need to take it off the platform. Also, if you want to realize your gains and maybe go buy a new car, you have

(continued on next page) Community \\ 15

Chart image via

(continued from page 15...) to convert your crypto back to Canadian Dollars and then move it back to your daily bank account. Do be aware that gains from any financial investment have tax implications.

Playing in the “Crypto Casino” So maybe you dipped your toes into cryptocurrencies with and now you want to have some fun playing in the world market. There are an estimated 504 cryptocurrency exchanges currently in the market and they are all over the world. Using the exchange score on CoinMarketCap, the top exchanges in North America are Binance and Coinbase Pro, with Binance dwarfing Coinbase Pro’s 24hour volume $47,000,000,000 USD to $3,000,000,000 USD. Ya, that is Billion with a “B”. Cryptocurrencies are not a joke, there is serious money involved, and there are a lot of people making incredible gains - but a lot of other people losing too.

16 // Community Now!

Getting your crypto onto Binance Buying cryptocurrency on Binance with Canadian dollars can be difficult. To save yourself a lot of headaches, purchase Bitcoin or Ether from and then withdraw it (after the required 5-day hold period) to the Bitcoin or Ether wallet you created on Binance. Once the crypto makes it over to Binance, you can then use it to purchase other alt-coins on the Binance platform. The neat thing about buying and selling on Binance, is you don’t necessarily have to pay the price that the altcoin is currently sitting at. You can initiate a trade request at whatever price you choose. If the price of that alt-coin hits the price you are willing to pay, and someone out there is willing to sell it at that price (usually the case), the trade will take place. Sounds simple, but it is a bit involved. Here is a video on using Binance if you are interested: https://youtu. be/YzJ6xkJpeUk

Chart image via

Market cycles and playing safely Some terms you may hear a lot in the crypto circles are FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt) and FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). The cryptocurrency market is driven by nothing other than people and their feelings. Sure, there are some cryptocurrencies that have promises of great utility, and 20 years from now, they may have proven that fact and still be around. Today though, of the thousands of cryptocurrencies on the market, not all of them will be huge money makers. There are actually market cycles that you will want to pay attention to. These are “Bear Market”, “Bull Market”, and “Alt-coin Market”. Due to the relatively short existence of cryptocurrencies, out of the historical data we can view, we can see that we are currently in the third “Bull Market” (see Bitcoin price history chart on page 16).

Bull Runs v.s. Bear Markets The timeframes in the chart above where the price shuffled along more or less horizontally

before “breaking out” to new highs is what is known as a Bear Market. When the price shoots up in an obvious dramatic run before crashing back down is called a Bull Market, or Bull Run. There has been an interesting correlation between Bitcoin and the Alt-coins, and it is pretty easy to understand. When Bitcoin goes into a bull market, comes back down a bit (called a retracement) and then goes back up to a higher high, that is typically the start of the Alt-coin market. The reason this happens is because people made a lot of money on the Bitcoin bull run and they take their “winnings” out of Bitcoin and invest them into the much cheaper alt-coins which causes them to make a bull run. You can see this interesting trend when you overlay some of the top alt-coins over the Bitcoin chart (see chart above). The red vertical line shows the top of the Bitcoin run and then the blue line shows the top of the XRP run with the orange line showing the top of the ETH run. (see chart above).

(continued on next page) Community \\ 17

(continued from page 17...)

Market Patterns

Unfortunately there is no such thing, other than being very lucky and timing the market bull runs perfectly.

This has a lot to do with human psychology. People hear about cryptocurrency and then start to buy Bitcoin because they saw it in a magazine, or heard about it on the news. The price starts to go up, and more people hear about it and want to get in on the action. As the price gets higher and higher, people experience FOMO (fear of missing out) and jump in to buy at the high prices. The people that

have been holding Bitcoin for a long time sell some of their coins and purchase a variety of alt-coins which causes the market to crash. The FOMO people experience FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) and quickly sell their coins at a loss as it continues to go down with the fear that Bitcoin is going to zero, and they are going to lose everything. Soon after the alt-coin bull run starts and the same process happens again. This time the people who know what they are doing sell their now very high valued alt-coins and purchase Bitcoin again because it is now at much lower prices. There is so much more to all this than what is described above, and if you want to learn more, there are some great resources on the Internet. Two of the “crypto experts” that you can follow on Youtube are the Blockchain Backer and Coin Bureau.

Buy Low, Sell High In simple terms, you want to buy low and sell high. If your favorite cryptocurrency is at an all-time-high, then this is not the best time to buy. If your investment plan is to HODL (hold on for dear life) for a few years, then the current price of the token doesn’t matter as much because a few years from now it will likely be considerably higher. Patience is the key, and not playing with money that you can’t afford to lose is the number one principal. Although it looks like cryptocurrencies are going up year after year and, in general, they appear to be here to stay, there are no guarantees. Just like a casino, there are a lot more people that lose than those who win. Be smart and have fun. Always up for a crypto chat. If you want more information, please feel free to reach out. This article is for informational purposes only, do not take anything in this article as financial advice. Please do your own research before you take any action. Al Del Degan

Be Smart Be Aware Just like any fancy new technology, there are a lot of jerks out there creating scams to take advantage of unsuspecting people. Again, if you want to play safe and simple, focus on staying in Out in the market, it is valid to say that the old adage of “If it sounds too good to be true, it is” stands up. It can be very alluring when you hear about a new program or investment tool that can make you very rich in just a matter of a few months. 18 // Community Now!

Building Purposeful, Engaged & High-Performing Organizations!

DIGITAL CURRENCIES. REAL PEOPLE. This is Bitvo We are on a mission to become Canada’s premier cryptocurrency exchange. With a focus on customer service, security, and transparency, we make cryptocurrency trading accessible for all Canadians. Bitvo ( is a cryptocurrency exchange that facilitates buying, selling and trading cryptocurrencies through its best-in-class website and mobile applications. Bitvo differentiates itself by making transacting in cryptocurrencies easier than anyone else and offering proprietary features such as the Bitvo Same Day Guarantee, the Bitvo Cash Card and technical analysis tools. Additionally, Bitvo is managed and owned by a group of competent, transparent and qualified individuals comprised of seasoned financial markets and payment processing professionals (read more about the team here). Finally, Bitvo makes security a top priority. The company has never lost customer funds. Fiat funds are stored at major Canadian banks and CDIC insured. Cryptocurrencies are stored in cold storage that is located in an offsite, third party financial institution and only accessible via multiple signatures.

Innovating to Make an

Impact in Health

Meet Crystal Phillips; Health Lead at Thin Air Labs, Former National Level Speed Skater, multiple sclerosis patient advocate, public speaker and Co-founder of the Branch Out Neurological Foundation. The Branch Out Neurological Foundation is a charity Crystal co-founded in 2010 to accelerate innovative technologies and non pharmaceutical approaches for neurological disorders. The Branch Out Foundation has raised over 2 Million dollars and funds top neuroscientists across Western Canada. Branch Out has become a catalyst for change in neuro health care and is on track to be a global hub for non-pharmaceutical neuroscience.

Crystal was recently named one of 18 Canadian change makers by CBC Canada, Top 30 Under 30 by Explore Magazine in 2012 and Top 40 Under 40 by Avenue Magazine in 2016. Along with being a change maker for the Branch Out Foundation and the world of Neuroscience, Crystal is now ‘Building What’s Next’ as Health Lead at Thin Air Labs. Thin Air Labs is ‘Building What’s Next’ by creating an ecosystem studio that partners with founders to build innovation ecosystems of ventures that generate meaningful impact as well as investment return. (continued on page 22)

20 // Community Now!


“I was a jock with a - Crystal Phillips

Community \\ 21

Q & A with

Crystal Phillips ing in circles and I had no experience in starting a charity or neuroscience research and academia. I was simply a jock with a dream. The consistent challenge was maintaining confidence to accomplish my dream while tossing my ego aside where I needed help, and I needed a lot of help! For Branch Out Foundation you have moved from Founder to sitting on the Board of Directors, How did you go about making the decision to bring on new leaders?

(continued from page 20...) Why did you start the Branch Out Foundation? Following a shocking diagnosis with multiple sclerosis as a top junior speed skater in Canada, I dove into the worlds of conventional and unconventional medicine. Opportunities and gaps we’re highlighted along the way, and filing these gaps became a bigger dream than the Olympics themselves! So I “Branched Out” to start a charity that would increase funding, scientific validity and awareness for new tech and non pharmaceutical solutions for neurological disorders, like MS, parkinsons, post-concussion disorders, depression etc. (there are 600+ neurological disorders affecting a third of the global population). What was the most challenging part about starting a not-for-profit I didn’t have deep pockets and didn’t have a network who did. My background was skat22 // Community Now!

I am a competitive and mission driven person, so it only took reading a couple of articles on “founderitis” to understand that I was vulnerable to getting in the way of Branch Out’s growth and after 9 years, it was time to amplify Branch Out with new ideas, people and talent at the top. I am excited to play a new role as a board member and continue to work on my mission for a healthier future through my new role at Thin Air Labs as their Health Lead. How has technology played a role in the Branch Out Foundation? It’s been inspiring to see how technology can help validate and accelerate the impact of an unconventional treatment. With big data, we can better recognize the many differences between patients, and therefore treatment requirements, despite having the same diagnosis. How did covid impact Branch Out Founda-

(continued on page 24)

(continued from page 22...) tion?

Labs, what is your role with them?

Like many industries, COVID-19 has devastated the non-profit and charitable sector. Branch Out is not immune to the negative impacts that COVID brought and will continue to affect charities like Branch Out going forward. Our new CEO Laureen Jensen, our resilient and passionate team of employees, scientists, donors and volunteers are showing a generosity that brings me to happy tears. Thanks to them, we’ve been able to continue funding new research, and host new virtual events.

I lead the Health sector, helping transform the incredible research from the science labs into new health ventures that improve the health of people and create a new economic driver in Alberta.

What role does Thin Air Labs play in Branch Out foundation? A big one! Our team members have volunteered, raised money for, advised, donated to, provided office and event space for and sponsored Branch Out events. Talk about a cool community driven company :) You now play an active role in Thin Air

24 // Community Now!

3 fun facts about Crystal Phillips 1. I have a large rubbermaid full of outfits and accessories dedicated solely to the 2 weeks of the Calgary Stampede. 2. I am Metis and related to Louis Real. His grandmother and my great (x5) grandmother, Marie Ann Lagimodier, inspires me when times get tough. 3. Top two activities and places on earth: 1. Hiking to East Kootenay mountain tops with my husband John, Wild ice speed skating in the Alberta Rockies.




Dr. Elizabeth Cannon

Melinda Park



Denise Man

Alice Reimer



Salima Stanley-Bhanji

Jim Davidson


Axis Connects and it’s 2021 Awards Selection Committee are pleased to announce the

honourees of the 2021 Calgary Influential Women in Business (CIWB) Awards. Shining a spotlight on influential business leaders in Calgary, these recipients will be recognized and celebrated at a live streamed CIWB Awards Gala on Thursday, June 16, 2021.

Honourees were chosen based on their professional accomplishments, advocating for advanc-

ing women, influence, and business community involvement. Nominations were reviewed and

selected by a committee of esteemed business executives whom are listed on our website,

Thank you to the Calgary business community for stepping up and supporting this year’s CIWB Awards, including Presenting Sponsors: National Bank and TransAlta; Award Spon-

CONGRATULATIONS THE sors: CIBC, Export Development Canada (EDC), Nutrien, PwC Canada, TO RBC, and TD Bank; Vir2021 CIWB AWARDAkira WINNERS! tual Connectivity Sponsor: Shaw Communications; Gold Sponsors: Impact, BMO Capital

Markets, CP Rail, Crescent Point Energy, Enbridge, Enmax, Gibson Energy, Hugessen, KPMG, Mawer, McCarthy Tetrault, Morgan Stanley and TC Energy; and VIP Sponsors: Enerplus, Norton

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT PROFESSIONAL SERVICES Rose Fulbright, Colliers, Brookfield Residential, Fasken, Stikeman Elliott, Tory’s LLP, and Tudor,

Pickering Holt Dr. & Co. Elizabeth


Melinda Park

The Awards Ceremony will be held on Thursday June 16 2021. For more information about the LARGE ENTERPRISE SMALL & MEDIUM ENTERPRISE

Calgary Influential Women in Business Awards, and to find out how to view the Awards Gala,

Denise Man

Alice Reimer



Salima Stanley-Bhanji

Jim Davidson

please visit:


The Superpower Project Connect and Construct NOT Divide and Conquer Blaise Hunter | Human Rights Consultant | Heroine

Divide and Conquer! This famous saying is a common strategy used in battle and to solve math problems. It is a successful tactic but what about in the equation of life? Humanity has just two choices— to unite or divide. Which one are you committed to? The Superpower Project column is about highlighting various challenges or “kryptonites” facing people and helping us neutralize their effect on us. I have observed a powerful kryptonite during this season—division. Instead of the Divide and Conquer approach, humankind needs to evolve and aim to Connect and Construct. There is a palpable division in our opinions, our politics, our communities, our schools, our homes, our faith, our relationships, and even amongst ourselves. Some would say we are in a war, so the divide and conquer strategy applies. I would disagree. When deciding on how to proceed in life we always look at what we have done before to determine future steps. Either we learn from our mistakes or we apply triedand-true methods. The question I always pose when facing a dissenting opinion is, “How’s that working for us?” The entire world seems 26 // Community Now!

to be at war with one another. Are we moving towards a resolve or are we moving further away from one? Divide and Conquer isn’t winning any battles but rather it’s creating a conflict epidemic. People have allowed the division variant to infect themselves but the only antidote that will cure it is connection. People need to connect back to themselves so they can unite back to humanity. Agreeing to disagree isn’t even a thing anymore. That phrase seems like an oxymoron but it’s not. Respect links those two notions together. Respect is the linchpin in the division war. How do you define respect? Simply put, it is connection. If I commit to respecting myself, I immediately establish an internal connection. Once that happens, it becomes a ripple effect. With respect leading the way, connection bridges gaps. Connection causes empathy. This creates co-operation. We don’t need to agree with everyone to have respect. We don’t need to conquer opposing views. We just need to agree to co-exist with a mutual regard. Unfortunately, we have allowed the pursuit of being right to overthrow the quest of respect. When is the last time you asked yourself why you get charged when someone disagrees

with you? How often do you take time in the day to connect to your core? Have you ever made a mission statement for your life? What would it be? Mine is Peacemaker. Everything I do is with the mandate to build peace. That is something I am willing to fight for. I don’t fight people but rather I stand to admire diverse perspectives. I work to connect hearts so I can construct peace. I cannot accomplish my mission statement if I take the division approach. What are we fighting for if we don’t contend for perpetual peace? I can’t see harmony on the horizon if we don’t adapt to new methods. I don’t see our governing bodies collaborating with its citizens if we allow the division variant to run rampant. Division has never boded well for humanity. Let us learn from our past and adjust our course so peace is possible. Spanish philosopher George Santayana once said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” I would rather try a different tactic in the hopes for a better outcome than be chained to familiar failure. I recently visited a beach during low tide and to my astonishment, numerous violet starfish were all gathered around the shore. I was mesmerized by these exotic creatures. They were swimming in groups and nestled in between the cracks of the ocean rock. My curiosity was peaked, and I wanted to learn more about the ochre star species. I went home and lost myself in the google search. What I discovered was pure inspiration. I found a correlation between them and this article. Starfish have five legs all facing different directions, but they all connect to the main body. One leg doesn’t try to overpower the other but instead it moves as one. Another interesting fact I uncovered is when a leg does get severed, the starfish has the capability to regenerate another one. It will not go on being incomplete. The starfish realizes it needs all

its parts to fully exist. It rejects division. Did you know the severed part of the sea star doesn’t die? Any fragment that contains the part of the core central disc will in fact revive itself and morph into another whole starfish. If that’s not inspiring, I don’t know what is. Even amongst total separation it knows connection and construction are the key to survival. As if that wasn’t astounding enough, I also learned how incredibly resilient these creatures really are. In 2013, a mysterious virus wiped out over 80 percent of this species. The outbreak is referred to as one of the largest marine mass mortality events on record. Just five years after this deadly epidemic, scientists discovered the starfish was starting to make a comeback and is reproducing at a rapid rate. There isn’t a definite reason as to why these creatures defeated the odds, but I think their internal desire to connect had something to do with it. It is not by accident I stumbled over these miraculous starfish amid our own pandemic. I can’t help but see many parallels between our current situation and sea stars. Maybe we can learn something from these remarkable organisms. Maybe the starfish can be the very thing that helps connect humanness back with humanity. Let us put down our swords today and reach out our hands. Let us heal the dis-connect within our own souls and unite hearts. Let us regenerate a humanity that fights for peace. Be like a starfish today. Commit to the Connect and Construct approach.

For more information about the Heroine Movement visit Community \\ 27

We are a community instilling hope and connection in the lives of young people aged 17 to 24, exiting street life.

Change is Possible. - CRA 13140 1226 RR0001 W O R D S






The more you know about something, the easier it is to face it, thus the easier it is to believe in your potential, so study up.




In the future I’m putting away my cheque on the 15th so I have rent taken care of.

When you are feeling like the world is against you, ask for a hug.

When you have no fixed address it is very difficult to find full time work so I started off working through temp agencies and getting paid daily.

Our temporary room had no kitchen so I went out and got a small fridge and I borrowed an electric fryer from my neighbor.

I found a job with a different company. I get paid the same wage but I have more hours. Now I can afford my rent. B A Y

1 0 ,

2 8 0 8

4 0 3 - 2 6 9 - 6 6 5 8

O G D E N -


S E ,


F R I E N D S @ T H E D O O R W A Y . C A

Coloured-pencils, Nail-polish & How You Can Get Dedicated Employees Steve Armstrong

A pencil is a little wonder-wand: a stick of wood that traces the tiniest motions of your hand as it moves across a surface … As a tool, it is admirably sensitive. The lines it makes can be fat or thin, screams or whispers, blocks of concrete or blades of grass, all depending on changes of pressure so subtle that we would hardly notice them in any other context – Sam Anderson, New York Times 12 Jan 2018 For 130 year, the General Pencil Company of New Jersey has been making pencils. Pencils so wonderfully simple they inspired Sam Anderson’s prose.

The General Pencil Company has a mission statement that reads that they believe in quality, tradition, value, and the fun of creating. It is a company who has employees who have worked there for 47 years and one, Maria, who matches the color of her shirt and nail polish to the shade of the pastel cores being manufactured each week. I challenge you to think about your mission and vision statement(s) for a moment, does it sound loftier and grander than making the best pencil we can. Now look around your organization can you imagine that level of dedication and commitment. (continued on next page) Community \\ 29

(continued from page 29...) I expect that you believe that your work is more important than mixing pastels for colouring pencils, but would you colour coordinate your fashion to match your most important work? I do know one thing, hardly anyone is motivated by mission and vision statements. The things that motivate people at work are based fundamentally on the very same needs they have in every other aspect of life – Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs:

Employees must also feel that their jobs are secure. If a company lays off a lot of employees or doesn’t communicate with employees about layoffs, employees may feel frightened of losing their jobs — which would mean no longer being able to meet their basic needs — and be unmotivated to work. Belonging and Love – Once basic needs and security needs have been met, employees seek to meet their needs by feeling comfortable with their coworkers and their supervisors. Even if they don’t like or get along with everybody, they need to feel like they belong to the group they work with. If an employee feels alienated from the company, she may not do her best work. This is doubly important when it comes to employer/ employee relationships. If employees don’t feel their bosses value them or their contributions, they won’t want to do their jobs. Self-Esteem and Self-Actualization – The highest levels of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs related to how employees feel about themselves, how the employee likes and values himself.

Basic Needs – The lowest level of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is basic needs such as the need for food and rest. When it comes to the workplace, this translates into money. If a job pays employees enough that they can pay their rent and utilities and buy food and clothing, then the job satisfies the employees’ basic needs. Safety and Security – Employees must have safety and security if they are to succeed in the workplace. Employers should help employees feel physically safe by taking sexual harassment and threats seriously and by having policies in place to deal with potential violence. 30 // Community Now!

Employees who feel like they are productive and doing something worthwhile with their time tend to have higher self-esteem than those who don’t. An employee needs to feel like he is living up to his potential in life and is using his creativity & passion and may look elsewhere to meet these needs. I certainly do not know all there is to know about the General Pencil Company, but reading about them I can almost 100% assure you that they work hard – every day – to meet the needs of their employees. Otherwise how on earth can you motivate a person to shovel and mill graphite for 47 years?


There is a gap between your skill ‘what you do’ and the skill of taking what you do and being successful. No one teaches you that… to take your skill out into the day to day world and create success. That’s how I help people, by helping them build the solid foundation of worthiness first, worthiness is your beliefs, overcoming fear, self doubt and having the confidence to get started. Knowing you are good enough. Then I fill the gap showing them how to take their skill and create big success. Worthy & Wealthy

DO YOU KNOW WHY YOU NEED IT? Cyber SC is committed

to securing the future of your company through

consultation, education, and implementation of the best defenses available in cyber security.

Contact us today

May Deborah Nichol

Spring is here!!! Yay!!!! Let’s connect with nature and each other. This month we are encouraging you to increase your mindfulness with an outdoor scavenger hunt. Mindfulness is taking an extra moment in our day to raise our awareness of our surroundings. We get distracted by life, and we forget to notice the small and beautiful things surrounding us. This is what keeps us connected. You can take this list with you when you’re walking around your neighbourhood, town or city. Here are just a few ideas of things to look for; Three different kinds of birds nests A cool birdhouse or feeder Heart-shaped rocks or any fun shape you find. A squirrel Count how many people you see biking, on scooters, rollerblades, or any other fun things. Smile & Say “hello, hi, hey” to as many people as you can How many dogs can you find? Can you find a bumblebee? A basketball hoop A yard decoration

A blue doorTake a break, look up at the sky, what do you see? Do you see any clouds that look like animals? A welcome sign For sale or sold sign A car with a license plate number with C A stroller A kite A bobcat or coyote Add your fun things to find ______________________________ ______________________________ ______________________________

We’ve been hunkering down the past year. We feel out of touch with life and each other. We all just want to live our life, do the things we want to do. We can start with some small steps like getting outdoors with family and friends. 32 // Community Now!

Community \\ 33

Telling It Like It Is Featuring

Savana Radley

Founder of Radley Robots You have been making some great news with your Robots. Please share the Radley Robots story? Our robots provide communications, concierge and engagement services to different types of facilities – independent and assisted living, plus primary care and even regular businesses – and to consumers in their own homes. The types of services we offer vary and depend on the work setting. In facilities, we provide companionship, help to facilitate video calls between residents and their contacts and deliver small items within the building. In homes we’re more engaged directly with a single individual, with the capabilities noted above but with the added ability for families to assist in checking in on their loved ones at regular intervals. We are running a pilot right now with Silvera for Seniors – the best pilot client in the world – and are just getting ready to go into our second independent and assisted-living facility. Please share what your robots do and how Seniors interact with them? Seniors interact with us through a screen on the robot, where we have a real human

34 // Community Now!

operator who speaks directly to them. In our pilot, our robots are primarily facilitating contactless video calls for facility residents and their contacts. These can be one-to-one or group calls that the resident can take wherever is convenient for them, usually in their suite. We work with all parties to find a convenient time, and then when it’s time for the call, we drive our robot to the resident. The incoming caller clicks on a link we’ve sent them and comes directly onto the robot’s screen. There’s no need for anyone to learn a new technology and lower infection risk, as they don’t need to touch anything. Some of our robots now have a small tray attached as well, so we can deliver small items within the building and we’re looking forward to helping with reminders about facility activities. What was the aha moment that drove you to help Seniors with robot-assisted care? In March of 2019 I had surgery on my spine that inhibited my mobility for several weeks. When I looked around for help, I was surprised to find that the most common option was a $20 trash grabber

that really wasn’t that effective. As I talked to other people about this challenge and what was available, I saw a gap between our current state of support and the ambitions of the hardware and robotics firms in market. There’s a great desire to build very advanced robots to assist people in a variety of ways, but most are very expensive and will remain out of reach for average consumers for many years. I realized there was an opportunity to create a point solution that could be both useful and affordable, and this – plus the many stories I heard from others about how such a solution could help – was what drove me to pursue the business.

As a company we’re still only in Canada for now, but we plan to expand out to specific markets in the US and then the UK over the next 3 years, so count on seeing us somewhere near you soon!

What is next for Radley Robots?

Surround yourself with people who believe in you.

Since realizing that most local organizations now have online programs, we’ve been working on expanding our list of programming partners so that we can aggregate and deliver video and interactive content on a wide variety of topics. We’re also in talks with a Canadian robotics manufacturer to explore the viability of adding a remote-operated arm to these types of robots. In general, robotics is expanding at a fast pace and in our market dealing with the ageing population, the growth since the pandemic started has been tremendous. No one wants people to get sick but with everyone’s attention focused on dealing with these kinds of unexpected events in new ways, we’re confident that we have a bright future.

If you had one piece of advice for small businesses or start-ups, what would it be? Be persistent. Lots of people drop out but the name of this game is staying in it. Trust yourself and trust the people you work with. It’s way less effort to start from a position of trust and a lot more motivating for your team.

Don’t apologize for having a big vision. There are enough small-minded people in the world – you can be bigger. Sorry, that’s four pieces of advice but the most important is persistence.

Jade Alberts Peer Guidance - Jade Alberts Consulting 403-771-1301 •

Community \\ 35

Episode 3:

My Mental Health Journey One Year Into The Lockdown

“WHY I CARE!” Robert Manolson BA, CCDP Certified Career Development Professional Creator & Facilitator Powerful Play Experiences Positive Workplace Mental Health...For Teams Team Engagement Expert l Mental Health Champion 780.297.4103

“WHY I CARE!” • WHY I CARE? It’s an action that demonstrates my desire to reach out and understand people and get to know their situations. • I CARE delivers the message that I try to put myself in someone else’s shoes ( even though the shoes don’t fit ) and feel what they are feeling. • WHY I CARE? My intention is to see other’s points of view and authentically consider what is important to them. I don’t have to 100% agree all of the time but there’s great value in seeing their perspectives.

36 // Community Now!

• Since I cannot fully appreciate the toll that Covid-19 has taken on my friends, family and colleagues, minimally, I can start all of my interactions with people by demonstrating that I CARE. • Life has taught me that when I show I CARE, the likelihood of having happier relationships with people increases. • WHY I CARE? Life isn’t always straight forward but I can help uncomplicate complicated matters by showing that I CARE. • When I go to a place of showing that I CARE, it’s just good for my overall mental health, mental well being and mental wellness. • The easiest way to give love and receive love is to CARE for friends, family and colleagues. • Attention All Workplace Leaders!! I challenge you to build a culture on the foundation that “I CARE” and then, start documenting all the positive changes that you see happening. And after that, celebrate this with everyone. • I’ve come to realize that when I add I CARE to my daily list of rituals in all of my interactions with friends, family and colleagues, this increases the quality of my relationships with people. • And when the quality of my relationships with people increases, my social and emotional stamina also increases. All of this ‘cuz I add I CARE to my daily list of rituals in all of my interactions with friends, family and colleagues. • It’s simply UnKind to ignore and brush aside people’s emotions. Acknowledging the emotions of others is very simple and

a wonderful demonstration of I CARE. • WHY I CARE? It’s just something that I can do. No fussing around. No Playing Games. No Ego. Just I CARE. Just that simple. • Many times I give people the space they need...for whatever the reason...whatever the situation. And I feel great about doing so. Afterall, I CARE. • It seems like a lot of people never really thought about their mental health prior to the pandemic. Living through the pandemic changes our perspectives on a whole bunch of things directly related to our lives. WHY I CARE? In my last article “Episode 2: My Mental Health Journey One Year Into The Lockdown. Why I Seek Help From A Psychologist? And What Actually Takes Place During My Online Scheduled Conversations?”, I referenced a Canadian Mental Health Association Study. The study concluded that 62% of Entrepreneurs feel depressed at least once a week. • I can say with confidence that I fall into that 62% of Entrepreneurs. But I can also say with confidence that I am always available for a phone call or an email if any one reading this article needs to reach out for a good old fashioned “Pump-Me-Up”! • WHY I CARE? My “spidey senses” are telling me that addressing workplace mental health continues to NOT BE a priority for leaders in today’s world of work. Why is this so? Can anyone enlighten me here?

(continued on next page) Community \\ 37

(continued from page 37...) • WHY I CARE? Why Powerful Play Experiences Online Services? Plenty of happy, smiles, laughter and kindness to go around. Feel totally re-energized. That’s WHY I CARE. • WHY I CARE? Barbara Sher, bestselling author and Career Counselor, was once overheard saying, “…helping each other is creative and it makes us feel good. We’re just beginning to realize that sharing skills and resources is a deep human pleasure and need, one that’s wired into our survival just as much as hunger…”. • WHY I CARE? The world of work still has a lot of catching up to do incorporating FUN AT WORK/TEAM BUILDING into their everyday Best Practices. Now over one year into the pandemic, there’s no denying the fact that I have had to adapt.

The pandemic completely changed my 14 year business journey. As a Workshop Facilitator, everything that I was doing “in person” came to a grinding halt. Any and all forward momentum was snuffed out, just like that!! Re-inventing one’s business is a big task. It is! It really is! And even much more challenging with our current pandemic economy. Through it all, I’ve held on tight to one of my most powerful WHY I CARE Beliefs - It is my personal belief that no one is immune to the many mental health challenges that all of us face during this time of the global pandemic, and this includes myself. And I believe that all of us need a happy mental space to go to in order to feel well and stay well, mentally, especially during these crazy times! POWERFUL PLAY EXPERIENCES ONLINE SERVICES Help Is Still Here During Covid-19 is born out of this WHY I CARE Belief. And with it, I’m announcing exciting changes to better serve YOU!!

PHASE ONE: What Are The Online Services? Exciting changes are already in motion. It has taken months of practice and slogging away to actually find my way. I couldn’t have done it with the amazing support of so many friends and colleagues and experts who have stepped up to help me replace the loss of my “in person” business with something that I could re-create online. Thank YOU does not fully express how appreciative I am to be surrounded by awesome people. So, What Are The Online Services? Everything is colorfully laid our for you in a one page brochure on the next page here.

PHASE TWO: MAJOR Construction Underway As We Speak!! Robert Manolson


and other covid buzz words that are shaping our new normal

Jennifer Hadley –


swear, if I hear one more person say that these are “unprecedented” times, I may lose my marbles – as if I haven’t already. For the past year and a half, we’ve heard these buzz words that are now becoming synonymous with coping and might become trauma triggers for us in the future. This “New Normal” generation is really struggling to find balance in a world that is constantly changing - often overnight! How do we cope? How do we plan? How do we get excited for what’s coming if we don’t know what tomorrow is going to bring? Living in Calgary, we know a few things for sure – We are a community of hard working,

40 // Community Now!

community-loving, heart-centred people. We wear layers, and if we don’t like the weather, we wait 10 minutes. We are a perfect mix of old school values mixed with high tech energy and innovation. Those are pretty agreeable statements you’ll hear about most native Calgarians for sure. But what about everything else these days? Not being able to plan a dinner, or something as simple as a visit to your grandma’s house, or knowing whether or not to buy the new sports gear for

This is where step 3 in my 4-step goal setting plan comes in… The Obstacle Coping Strategy. In this step of the process, we look into the potential downfalls of our goal setting plan and come up with ways to manage the inevitable issues that will pop up. If you’re not expecting things to go wrong, you’re not doing it right. The obstacles aren’t always going to be catastrophic, but they will create some challenges for you. The better prepared you are, the less stressful the process will be

your child who may or may not be starting soccer or baseball or spring hockey… these are all real uncertainties and obstacles that we all are managing - and I am just as lost as you are.

because you’re already comfortable with the idea that there may be a change required and you may already have a plan for it. You’re not always going to know what’s coming, or when, but giving yourself a safety net is highly recommended.

So how do we cope with the consistent inconsistency? What do we do when we don’t know what we’re doing? Without getting political about it, whatever your personal beliefs are, we’re all in this really strange limbo when it comes to daily life. And for me, as a person who thrives on being organized, and lives by her calendar, and coaches people to do the same – this is a real challenge!

Here are a couple of real-life examples of what I mean… Your goal is to get healthier this year. The government shuts down the gyms, all group fitness classes and personal training opportunities. We all know that exercise is extremely important for our mental and physical health, and this being taken away from us (even temporarily) will derail our progress. What do we do? Well, there are options, maybe not our first-choice options, but they are options nonetheless. We have the great outdoors and are lucky to have many paths, parks and mountains nearby. But another obstacle here is that it SNOWS IN MAY! If you’re already struggling to get active, how likely are you to want to go for a run in the snow? Not ideal, but still - an option. There are online fitness classes available in every form you can imagine. From aerobics to yoga to kickboxing and plyometrics. It’s almost impossible not to find something that you can do at home. Free weights and other (continued on next page) Community \\ 41

(continued from page 41...) fitness equipment are available for purchase online and will be delivered to your door. So, if you’re looking for excuses, you have none. I know it’s not the same as joining your group in person or working out at a gym, but if our goal is driving us, these coping plans will help us get there even if we prefer another method. Another obstacle we are facing right now is our kids being home because schools are shut down. Luckily this last year, almost all of us have become pro’s at working remotely. Not always ideal, but I know a lot of people who actually like working from home. No one would have ever expected to not be allowed to go to work, but we did it, and we’re all ok. We found ways to stay productive and get things done despite our obstacles. And we managed to do it with a collared shirt and pyjama pants! I think we’re winning in this situation! But add on the stress of having our kids at home, needing to log on, needing to do their work, needing to stay motivated and focused. All while they are struggling with their personal needs for social interaction, not understanding the lessons or the technology. And do I even need to mention the fact that they are always hungry, and never at the same time, and never for the same thing?!? How is it possible that they bring back full lunches from school because they weren’t hungry, but then they require insane amounts of food as they study in front of our computers that they’ve taken over? Coping with this huge shift is not easy but we can find our groove. Depending of course on the age of your kids and how much hand-holding they need. The biggest lesson I’ve learned from this situation is to let go of the things

(continued on next page) 42 // Community Now!

Community \\ 43

(continued from page 42...) that aren’t that important. If they happen to be on facetime with their classmates while they’re doing their work and the teacher is explaining, it’s ok. If they want to log in, get the lesson and then work independently, it’s ok. Making them sit through every class may not be ideal, plan to tackle each day with them to adjust to their needs. And while they’re in class, you can get those emails out, build your presentations and have your meetings, it all just takes planning, and a really good Wi-Fi connection! Also, pre-plan your meals the night before so you’re not scrambling last minute for the inevitable starvation they’re claiming. It’s all possible, it just takes some pre-planning and a lot of patience.

The point is that when we set our intention to achieve a goal, we must commit to reaching them no matter what. We must find whatever our “why” is and execute the plan as best we can so that when things derail us, we can pivot quickly and move on. Knowing that change is inevitable, things won’t always go as planned, and being flexible enough to get through the stumbling blocks, will give us an advantage as we go. And the main part is that the commitment to getting there is strong enough that when this ‘new normal’ becomes normal, it won’t feel so unprecedented. For more information on my 4 step goal setting plan, please go to

USEFULBAGS AND MASKS People, Planet, and Worms. Really.

We source salvage, misprinted, roll end, and remnant textiles that would otherwise end up in the landfill. The fabric is perfect, just not enough for a store to categorize and sell, so we luck out.

We sew GREAT unique reusable products and remove plastic from the retail stream. We also sew masks and so many other things too.

We pay a living wage to farm women that typically don’t work outside of the home. They all sew well, but we still QA

The small amount of waste we get from sewing is fed to worms. These worms turn that waste into garden gold.

Email us today and ask about branded masks/bags & fundraisers 44 // Community Now!

Meet the Mayoral Candidates with Sophia Fairweather Sophia Fairweather decided to start interviewing Mayoral Candidates, because the pandemic has been rough for many!! The next person that takes control, and helps to revive our cities, is very important. Also Community! Now is all about community and innovation. One of these Mayoral Candidates will become part of the community, and help grow the innovation\life in our cities!! A happy plus from these interviews, is that she has grown her skills, and has learned about some really interesting, different people!! Hopefully you learn from, and enjoy the interviews too!! Click HERE to see the interviews.

WIN A BOOK… FROM A LOCAL AUTHOR Watch our social media for your chance to win a book from a local Author….. Books will be featured in the June Issue of CN! Magazine.

Community \\ 45

Banbury Crossroads Banbury Crossroads School


Seeking a school like home?

Seeking a school like For 40 years, Banbury has home? offered an atmosphere

where children feel safe, and relaxed. For 40 years, Banbury hascomfortable, offered an atmosphere We offer full Pre-K to Grade 12. To learnand more, where children feel safe, comfortable, relaxed. please with us today We offerschedule full Pre-Kantoappointment Grade 12. To learn more,or call Anne in the an office at (403) 270-7787. please schedule appointment with us today or call Anne in the office at (403) 270-7787.

Building B1, #201, 2451 Dieppe Ave SW, Calgary, AB T3E 7K1

Building B1, #201, 2451 Dieppe Ave SW, Calgary, AB T3E 7K1

Building B1, #201, 2451 Dieppe Ave SW, Calgary, AB T3E 7K1 46 // Community Now!

What did you MAKE in school today? Written by STEAM teacher Jill Quirk

I love when my son comes home and says, “mom, look what I made today!”. My heart is full. Something happens when we create something or watch someone create something unique. This makes me wonder...Why do we want to CREATE? What happens in our brains when we create something? There is a famous TED talk where educationalist Sir Ken Robinson claimed that “schools kill creativity”, arguing that “we don’t grow into creativity, we grow out of it. Or rather we get educated out of it”. Robinson stated that, “creativity is as important as literacy and we should afford the same status”. (TED Talk March 2014). We need EUREKA moments in the classroom! Where students feel joy from creating some-

thing unique. These moments are what can lead us to new scientific discoveries and innovation. When exploring how to foster creativity in education, there is a lot of research that states, if education is too focused on achievement and assessment, there will be negative consequences for creative development in children. And this is what a lot of teachers are criticising about the new proposed curriculum in Alberta, many state that the new curriculum, “has a serious lack of attention to critical thinking and higher-level skills” (CBC News, April 2021). In a classroom when there is constant criticism, limitation of choices, pressure to conform and high competition, it can allow for an Community \\ 47

Explorer Group Canada LTD Connecting your business to Diverse Communities WHAT WE DO We specialize in translating news, events, discounts, sales, and more with marketing through social media conglomerates. We use well-known platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, but also penetrate the Asian market by using Chinese social media channels. These channels are lesser known by western marketing firms, but this is where we give you an advantage. Reaching top buyers in the Asian market can drastically increase the revenue of established companies, but without proper media outlets and persuasive translation, attempts


often fall short. Explorer Group bridges the communication gap and uses digital marketing to ensure our clients have sales that reach the highest potential. A partnership with Explorer Group is a partnership with success.

Phone: 780-340-8643

SCHOOL OF ROCK | CALGARY 2707-17TH AVE SW 587-353-7625

increase in repeated stress for students. This kind of environment does not help students envision a future they desire. As Leonardo de Vinci states, “There are three classes of people: those who see, those who see when they are shown, those who do not see”. Let’s be people who see. In this quote, Leonardo de Vinci indicates, some people are visionaries. Others need to be shown in order to be able to visualise, and others refuse to see what they are shown unless it connects with what they want to see. Shouldn’t we, as educators try to inspire students to dream and become visionaries?

Creating an online environment for CREATIVE THINKING Creating a place for online students to SEE. Creating an online environment that allows for creativity and innovation can be a difficult task. There are obstacles to providing a place to “play, dream and tinker” because most of our creativity usually comes from tinkering together in a physical space. However, we online grade 5 teachers from Rocky View schools were determined to find unique ways to make it happen! We wanted to bring the community together by using a design thinking model and challenge the student to become ENGINEERS! Which brings us to The ENGINEERING CHALLENGE! We started with a campaign called #STOKEDFORSTEAM, where students did a variety of activities to stretch their thinking and learn new skills needed for the upcoming challenge. (STEAM is an acronym standing for a method of teaching that integrates most of the core subjects together: science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics).

Some of the activities in this campaign were to understand What is an engineer? What are the challenges they face? How do they overcome these challenges? We had guest engineers on our Zoom meetings to help explain to the students first hand what kind of things an engineer is responsible for and how they overcome issues and persevere. As we explored what an engineer is, we were so thankful that there is an online program to help teach students about science in our world. Skype a Scientist was a great resource to connect scientists with classrooms across the globe. Through Skype a Scientist we are able to see how Science can change the world. We met two scientists Alex Grey and Andy Hamilton from Skype a Scientist who helped encourage students to take risks and explore the world of ENGINEERING. Alex Grey - MATERIALS ENGINEER - is from Seattle Washington. He helped us learn about what engineers do when they chose materials for a project. It was a great insight into why engineers used different types of materials based on the different properties. This insight helped us explain to students about all the choices engineers have to make. Students used this knowledge to help them consider what materials they should use when designing and completing a project. Andy Hamilton - US NAVY ENGINEER currently resides in Ohio - taught the students about how engineers have to work under pressure. (continued on next page) Community \\ 49


(continued from page 49...) We were also lucky to also find women engineers to inspire (especially the girls) how to believe in themselves and pursue careers in engineering. Candy Lam -PROJECT ENGINEER - Is an Albertan and talked about how much collaboration is needed when you are an engineer. She explained to the students how important it is to build strong relationships and work as a cohesive team when completing projects.


Rachna Madhavan - SOFTWARE ENGINEER - is a mom of an online student and was so helpful in teaching the students about how engineers need to look at problems from many different perspectives. Once students understood what an engineer was, it was then their turn to become an engineer!

Engineering Steps: Andy Hamilton - US NAVY ENGINEER

Can you… Choose a client and create something for them to make their lives BETTER. STEP 1: The grade 5 students had a lot of choices to make, which is similar to what engineers experience, making decisions. The first big decision was - which client should they represent? This allowed for students to find clients that they could relate to.


Rachna Madhavan - SOFTWARE ENGINEER 50 // Community Now!

Students had to choose a client. We used eight profiles provided by The Extraordinaires Design Studio (https://www.extraordinaires. com/). STEP 2: Category. Then students had to choose a category. Students choose one of the categories to create something for the client: Clothing, Buildings, Gadgets, Vehicles or Inventions.

STEP 3: Create a Company Students then could think about - what kind of company would represent the client and the chosen category best? Students were asked to create logos and slogans for their new companies using a variety of different tools for digital design. STEP 4: Design/Create Students were then asked to create sketches and/or designs of their ideas. Many of the stu-

Wyatt Boyko’s drawings

dents created online designs on TinkerCad, a free online 3D design software tool. Wyatt Boyko’s drawings shows how a student may approach the design process for a vehicle he made for the astronaut. With the drawings the students construct, there is evidence that there is a lot of real math and real life problems they need to solve. “The Engineering Challenge gave my students the opportunity to take risks, think outside the box and create with a purpose in mind. We really stressed the process and perseverance over the final product. After collaborating with critical friends, the students felt empowered and invested in making their engineering design the best that it could be. It really was a rich experience for all involved. Thank you Community Now and Mrs. Quirk for making this happen for our students.” Christina Cooper. What I love about this project is that every student attacks the challenge differently. This process of creating/designing is where we get to know students in such an authentic way. For example, here is a parent perspective of the design/create process while watching her daughter:

Christina Cooper

I just have to share with you how hard Lexi is working on her project. She’s been working on it for 2 days so far, hours on end, all alone closed off on the floor in the mud room so that our dog doesn’t touch the glue gun and scissors. I noticed today that she was making pillows for her couch, and she crumbled up a styrofoam craft ball into tiny crumb size pieces. Then she meticulously put one tiny piece at a time into her fabric to craft her pillow. This is Lexi... she puts her whole heart into everything she does. She’s making mistakes all over the place, telling me she should have done “this” first, or “this didn’t turn out the way I wanted it.” But she just keeps going, determined and accepting imperfection. It’s truly amazing to watch. (continued on next page) Community \\ 51

(continued from page 51...)

helped us to choose a winner (or two) per

STEP 5: Critical Friends check in with PROTOTYPES

category. Here are the results (provided by the grade 8 RVS online class) announced on a ZOOM call Thursday April 22nd 2021.

When coaching students about real life engineering problems, we are trying to explain how engineers do not work alone. The big lesson in all of this is that an engineering project sometimes is never fully “finished” and without the help from “critical friends” the design will not be as great without an engineering COMMUNITY. Critical friends provide the different perspectives that we need to complete a project. To help with this for our online challenge, we asked an RVS grade 8 online teacher, Mr. Brent Moreau-Tucker, to help us provide some grade 8 students to provide feedback to the online students about their designs. These grade 8 students were also crucial in helping choose unbiased Engineering Challenge winners. STEP 6: Showcase the FINAL PRODUCT Once students made changes to their designs, and learned how to improve their designs from their critical friends, these students were then asked to present their final products to their classmates in a unique way. Students created websites and youtube videos to engage their audiences. After over 200 students participated in this Engineering Challenge, the grade 8 students 52 // Community Now!

Best Building Design: Lunden Dupont Lunden created a full colony on Mars for the Astronaut client so that he had space to live and grow vegetables while living on Mars. Lunden thought about how the buildings would work - even down to the solar panels on the roof. Lunden provided many different perspectives for his idea: a design on TinkerCad showing the outside and a 3D perspective, a full LEGO model explaining what was in each room, and a real working model to explain his 3D Tinkercad design idea. Lunden really blew the competition away with his building design. Best Clothing Design: Scarlett Liboiron Scarlett created a SNEAKY SUITCASE that wowed the judges! She created a suitcase for the NINJA just in case there was a surprise attack. Scarlett had a variety of homemade weapons that she thought would help a ninja in case of any emergency. The hardest part of the project was creating the real hinges that would work so the suitcase could easily open and close. Scarlett really sold her design idea in a YOUTUBE video that captured the audience. (continued on page 50)

Online Winners

Best Building Design: Lunden Dupont

Best Clothing Design: Scarlett Liboiron

Best Gadget Design: Brendan Ully

Best Invention Design: Nolan De Kirk

Best Invention Design: Ronara Kulasooriya

Best Vehicle Design: Ava Newton

Best Vehicle Design: Wyatt Boyko

(continued from page 52...) Best Gadget Design: Brendan Ully Brendan created a moveable arm for the NINJA so the NINJA could accomplish more with his new hands. The prototype worked with a string connecting to each of the fingers. It was a truly impressive way to think outside the box. I love how Brendan had to try different materials to get his moveable hand to actually work which shows his skills in perseverance. “The hardest part of this project was making the fingers actually work, I used nerf bullets and rubber elastics because they looked really cool but they didn't work so I had to keep changing the supplies until the finally moved with the string and straws.” (Brendan Ully) Best Invention Design: Nolan De Kirk Nolan created a robot invention to help the astronaut client not worry about his son (who is left on earth). Nolan thought that the astronaut may worry a lot about being away from his son for so long so he invented a robot buddy. The robot buddy had everything a kid would need to feel happy! It was equipped with fun lights and snacks in his robot belly! Best Invention Design: Ronara Kulasooriya Ronara thought that the astronaut actually needed a robot to help with all the jobs an astronaut would need to do on MARS. She created a ROBO DOG. The robot dog not only would be a friend for the astronaut but also have a drill to help collect rock samples, a tracking device in case either get lost in space, a storage compartment for tools he may need and head lights to help the astronaut see in space while on missions. In her reflection of the process, Ronara has said that she realizes that due dates are tricky to 54 // Community Now!

accomplish, which I think a lot of engineers would relate to her. Ronara kept adding more details to her project every time I talked to her and I think this leads to the feeling that an engineering project can always be improved upon. When I asked what she learned about herself after completing the project she said, “I learned how to design something and I learned that I can build something really GOOD.” Ronara Best Vehicle Design: Ava Newton Ava created a van that can turn into an ACROBATIC GYM for the acrobat client. The acrobat client is always on the road so she needed something to help her train at all the different locations she goes to. Ava’s design was a marvel. She got all the equipment to fit together and “pop up” when needed. All the parts had to work together perfectly to fit. It was a truly innovative project! Where it not only met the needs to be accessible, it also seemed like a very sustainable design. (IKEA may be calling her to ask about her innovative design idea!) Best Vehicle Design: Wyatt Boyko With the red planet having such uncharted topography, Wyatt created his version of a multi-purpose vehicle for living on Mars, created for the astronaut. He thought that the astronaut would need a better vehicle to go over all the rough terrain that he experiences on Mars. The new improved Mars rover prototype worked perfectly - with a motor and live circuits to help it move on it’s own. When asking Wyatt about the experience and how he liked the Engineering Challenge, he stated: “The hardest part of this project was choosing what design I wanted to work with.”

“One of my obstacles was getting power to my lights. I overcame that obstacle by using a battery pack and figuring out how to wire everything together.” Honourable Mentions These students won honourable mentions due to their cool ideas: Holden Dipert - Protective Clothing for the Future Boy

Honourable Mentions

Neel Madhavan - ROBO DOG - to help astronaut in space Devi Vandenberg - jewelry for the Time Traveler to keep all her secrets in. Jordy Tonin - Covid Cube - a cube so a rap artist can do a rap concert even in covid times! “When I found out about our engineering challenge I got a bit nervous. I started thinking like a mad man and finally after a couple days I thought of Music artists not being able to have concerts. I thought of the COVID CUBE. It's a cube that each person or family can sit in, to be able to watch concerts without being contaminated from the disease, that is not pleasant to our lives. I enjoyed thinking of a topic and actually being able to make a prototype.” Jordy Tonin (continued on next page)

Holden Dipert Protective Clothing for the Future Boy

Neel Madhavan ROBO DOG - to help astronaut in space

Jordy Tonin - Covid Cube - a cube so a rap artist

Devi Vandenberg - jewelry for the Time Traveler

can do a rap concert even in covid times!

to keep all her secrets in

(continued from page 55...) Gage Carson - Spy Glasses - to help spy see what’s behind him. Here is what Gage Carson had to say about Engineering, "I did not know anything about engineering when we started the unit but I found it was really interesting and I had a lot of fun completing the challenge." The whole process of teaching students to think like an engineer, allows for students to see what they can accomplish with their own two hands. It also helps students to see how their inventions have the power to help people have a better life.

These students are the future, so wouldn’t it be wise to give them the tools to help them see that they have the power to change the world? Leonardo de Vinci more than 500 years ago visualized how technology could change the world. Let’s inspire our children to use technology to change the world for the better. "I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death." Leonardo de Vinci


56 // Community Now!


Learn more about how to be the best leader possible click HERE

Our Mission: Promoting curiosity, communication and engagement in making Alberta a stronger and better place to live, to be educated, do business, promote innovation and community celebration. Facebook: @communitynowmagazine Twitter: @communitynowma1