Volume 6 Issue 8 April 2024

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VOLUME 6 ISSUE 8 Xalynn Malden


The Fundamentals Have Not Changed –or Have They?

- Scott Pickard

ThePowerofYou - Jeff Sturgeon

Telling It Like It Is: Recap - Jade Alberts & Guests

Superpower Project - Blaise Hunter

Leading with Heart: - Sharyl Madigan

Neuroscience Behing Recovery - Ty McKinney

Featuring: Board Ready Women AXIS Connects

Startup Canada

Recovery Capital Conference EUREKA!

Resources in the Community


In the spirit of respect and truth, we acknowledge the traditional territories of the people of the Treaty 7 region in Southern Alberta, which includes the Blackfoot Confederacy (comprising the Siksika, Piikani, and Kainai First Nations), as well as the Tsuut’ina First Nation, and the Stoney Nakoda (including the Chiniki, Bearspaw, and Wesley First Nations). The city of Calgary is also home to Metis Nation of Alberta, Region III.

Copyright 2024 ZX Media Corporation, Calgary Alberta Canada Community Now! Magazine. Volume 6 Issue 7 – March 2024 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, writer, artist, or photographer.



The Fundamentals Have Not Changed –or Have They?

Are you distracted? Are you caught up in the hype of Artificial Intelligence? Are you confused about what the focus of your business really is? There is a lot of interest in new engagement tools for business including digital marketing, artificial intelligence, software enablement and social media to name a few. There is also a lot of distractions by the same tools. It is easy to get caught up in the hype of trendy things, but the fundamentals of sustainable businesshavenotchangedinalong time. Business still needs to solve problems that people will pay for, business needs people for engagement,andbusinessneedsto generate more revenue than expenses. Simple, but sometimes focus veers off target.

I have worked with several hundred companies over the past decade in varying capacities. Many products have come and gone, many companies have come and gone, and many tools have come and gone. Thesurvivorsarethebusinessesthat have strong fundamentals that make them sustainable. The long game is usually the goal and there are no ‘secrets’ to success. It is work, and lots of it. There’s one way. The hard way. Businesses should focus on the fundamentals and do boring better. Leveraging tools is required BUT tools are not the business.

Strong business fundamentals include reputable people, products and/or services that solve problems, repeatable revenues and, in today’s market, engaging story telling.

People are foundational. People are not going away in business. I strongly believe that no matter what business you are in, you are in the people business. If you successfully sell a product, your business deals with people. If you successfully sell a service, your business deals with people. People either like and trust the business and its’ people, or they don’t. This won’t likely change even with tools like Artificial Intelligence (AI), at least not in the near term. Many people stand strong on the belief that AI will have significant impact in daily life, and Iagree. However,anydiscussionIhave had with a ‘real’ human is that they do not ‘trust’ AI totally, yet. Trust is a fundamental pillar in business. Things will go wrong in business but if there is trust in a person, company, or brand, the consumer will often overlook errors. Without trust, business usually goes elsewhere, and most times in silence.

Therightperson,intherightrole,atthe right time. One of the pillars of leadership is understanding the human aspect of business and whether the business has the right people, focused on the right priorities. Busy is not always productive. A full calendar does not mean positive results. Having the right focus on the right solutions for the customer is what drives success. Every person in business has an expiry date. Playingthelonggamemeansconstantly evaluating the people in the business and ensuring priorities are clear, customer focused, and people are working on impact items.

Solve problems. Solving problems for customers is another pillar of business. It sounds like a daft statement but whether a consumer emotionally buys a product on Tik Tok, continually pays for a software subscription service (or streaming service at home) or purchase something for home, a problem is being solved, however big or small. Businesses that struggle with sales and revenue usually have a challenge finding the right message for their product, finding the right customer or have simply don’t solve a problem for enough people. Solving problems is what business is aboutandifthereisnotaclearvalue proposition in a product or service, it is danger of becoming obsolete.

Generate revenue. The urgency behind generating revenue and earning revenue quickly in earlystage companies and building repeatable revenue is another pillar of business. Ideally, there are multiple streams of revenue per customer. Often in start-ups and early-stage companies, the focus is on raising capital from investors rather than generating revenue. This is the incorrect approach for two reasons. First, raising capital without revenue is difficult in most cases, and secondly, investors like to

See revenue before they invest. We often celebrate companies that raise capital, but what about the one’s that generate revenue and are self sufficient? This dichotomy is confusing. Capital is required in all business but at the right time and deployed in the right way. Raising capital is not difficult if the right fundamentals in place. Generating revenue should always be the focus.

The new age of story telling.

Another fundamental pillar of business is great storytelling with the long game in mind. Businesses need tobeengaging and theirproductsand services need to tell a relatable story to their customers. The ability to tell a great story about a product or service and how it helped solve a customer’s problem is required. Social proof and testimonials are the new marketing brochure.

Clear, concise, and compelling story telling is required in a world with a short attention span. A confused customer does not usually buy. Do you think your product or service offeringorcontentiscompellingorconfusing?

There will always be factors that are beyond thecontrolofbusiness.Thelastfouryearsare a great example of this. COVID, high interest rates, inflation, geo-political uncertainty, immigration, and global political elections are just a few examples. Businesses with the long game in mind that can generate repeatable revenue driven by strong people leadershipwillsurvive. Businessishard. The fundamentalsarenotgoingtochangeintothe near future. No one is coming to save your business if there are missing pieces. Create a great story around the products and services offered and the future looks very bright.

“People are foundational.”
This issue of Telling It Like It Is feature’s “advice to entrepreneurs.” (*recap)

If you had one piece of advice for an athlete or entrepreneur thinking of asking for help, what would that be?

Entrepreneurs exist in a culture very similar to athletes. One that expects us to figure things out on our own, show no weakness, and push through when we are feeling like we need to slow down. Despite the short-term advantages of this approach,it'snotsustainableandis detrimental to both our health and businesses.

So, perhaps it could be more advantageous to consider “what can the culture of sport or entrepreneurship do to help…”

Ifyouhadonepieceofadvicefor a student startup or entrepreneur, what would that be?

Don’t be afraid to share your ideas with others and ask for feedback. Tons of business fail because they don’t listen to their users. Speaking with others and discussing your idea will allow you to get valuable feedback to insure you are investing intherightaspectsofyourbusiness.


“My biggest challenge in business is juggling my many different responsibilities and commitments. When I start to get overwhelmed by this, it is helpful to re-centre around key priorities and to create a plan to get back on track and execute this plan. It is also helpful to find support from people I am working with and others who I trust can help me get back on track.” –

“My biggest challenge in business is learning after the fact and helping entrepreneurs after they did not ask for help. No matter how often we talk about this, we come across this to many times.” – Jade Alberts


Telling It Like It Is YouTube: Peer Guidance / Telling It like It Is - YouTube
Peter Lafontaine, Jade Alberts, Mo Aladin, Kyle Kanovsky


In today's fast-paced world, beingpresentisfundamentalfor maintaining physical and mental health. Herearefivetipstohelpyou be more present in your day-to-day lifeandboostyouroverallwell-being:

1.Practice Mindfulness: Take time each day to engage in mindfulness practices, such as meditation or deep breathing exercises. Mindfulness helps you stay focused on the presentmomentandincreases your awareness of your thoughts and emotions. By cultivating mindfulness, you canreducestressandanxiety, and improve your overall mentalclarity.

2. Limit Distractions: Identify and minimize sources of distraction in your environment, such as electronic devices, notifications,andmultitasking. Set boundaries around technology use and create designated periods of uninterrupted time for focused workorrelaxation.Byreducing distractions, you can enhance your ability to be fully present inwhateveryouaredoing.

3.Engage Your Senses: Pay attention to your surroundings and engage your senses to anchor yourself in the present moment. Notice the sights, sounds, smells, and textures around you. Fully immerse yourselfintheexperienceofthe present moment, whether you are enjoying a meal, taking a walk,orhavingaconversation. Engaging your senses can deepen your connection to the present and increase your appreciation for life's simple joys.

4.Practice Active Listening: When interacting with others, practice active listening to be fully present in conversations. Focusonwhattheotherperson issayingwithoutthinkingabout yourresponseorplanningwhat to say next. Show genuine interest and empathy towards the speaker and avoid distractions like checking your phone or interrupting. By listening attentively, you can enhancemutualunderstanding, strengthen relationships, and cultivateasenseofpresencein communication.

5. ScheduleMindfulBreaks:

Incorporate short mindful breaksintoyourdailyroutineto pause and reset. Take a few minutes to breathe deeply, stretch, or simply observe your surroundingswithoutjudgment. Use these breaks to re-center yourself, release tension, and reenergize your mind. Mindful breaks can help you stay grounded throughout the day and prevent feelings of overwhelm or burnout.

Embrace the practice of being present as a powerful tool for nurturing your mental health and living a morefulfillinglife.

The Superpower Project

Navigating the Underbelly of Business

“If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.”
Henry Ford

In the grand narrative of business success, the gloss of achievement often obscures the shadows lurking beneath the surface. Behind the polished façade of profit, meetings, and team building exercises lies a world rife with toxicity. From the lack of camaraderie to gender disparities, from cutthroat competitiveness to communication breakdowns, these toxic elements poison the well of productivity, potential, and partnerships. It's time to pull back the curtain and address these issues head-on.

The Superpower Project is about highlighting various challenges or “kryptonites” facing people and helping us neutralize their effect on us. A deadly kyrptonite facing us these days is we crave

supportandconnection,yettoooften we seize the chance to annihilate our competition, forsaking collaboration for the thrill of the kill shot. In our relentless pursuit of individual success, we've unleashed a piranhalike frenzy in the business world, where each person fights tooth and nail for their slice of the pie, regardless of who gets devoured in the process. Behind the mask of community culture lies a landscape more reminiscent of a jungle, where cunning and cutthroat tactics reign supreme, revealing a harsh truth: in today'sbusinessworld,survivaloften means sacrificing the very ideals of cooperation and collaboration we claim to hold dear. We must slay the tactic, not each other.

As a disruptor, I embrace the power of shaking things up, for it leads to inclusion and growth. Yet, with disruptioncomes thestarkrevelation offesteringissueshidingbeneaththe surface. By addressing the elephant in the room, we expose stagnant mindsets and trigger responses, hindering progress. My mission is clear: to disrupt the catty culture poisoning our businesses, the very culture impeding our advancement.

Despite being more connected and resource-rich than ever before, we find ourselves isolated and devoid of support.

Why? Because instead of building bridges for collective betterment, we choose to detonate our own potential. In my six years as a business owner, every success has been met with a barrage of attempts to tear me down. When will we understand? My success is our success. Our reluctance to celebrate and support the achievements of others stems from ourownfeelingsofinadequacy.Wefall prey to the misguided belief that by critiquing and withholding support, we somehow enhance our own prospects for triumph. In doing so, we sacrifice the essence of our humanity in our interactions. This flawed approach not only damages individuals but also corrodes our collective soul and undermines the very essence of business advancement. I'm not alone in feeling this way, am I? Aren't we exhaustedfromthecycleoftakingone step forward only to drag everyone two steps back? This isn't a novel issue, but let's be honest, is it serving us well? Clearly not. So, what's the solution? It starts with acknowledging the hostile energy in our interactions and asking why it exists. We must call it out and establish safe spaces where we canengagein dialoguesabout how to coexist and even collaborate effectively. It's time to reroute this negative energy into something truly constructive.

Combating the catty culture in business requires a shift in mindset –fromcompetitiontocollaboration,fromconflicttocommunication,and from individual success to collective advancement. Let's heed the wisdom of the above quote and embody it. Here are some key points to consider in achieving this:

1. Fostering Collaboration Over Competition

Picture this: Instead of viewing success as a zero-sum game, imagine a world where we lift each other up, where one person's achievement is celebrated as a win for the entire team. In many workplaces, camaraderie is a scarce commodity, particularly among women who often find themselves pitted against each other in a male-dominated environment. The culture of competition and comparison breeds resentment rather than collaboration, hindering progress and perpetuating stereotypes. It's crucial to cultivate a culture of support and solidarity, where women lift each other up rather than tearing each other down. Together, we can create opportunities for collaboration,partnership,andmutualencouragement.Whenwemoveforward together, success becomes a unified journey, and the catty culture loses its grip.

Conflict Resolution

Now,let'stalkabout communication –the lifeblood of any healthy workplace. Imagine if we approached conflicts not as battles to be won but as opportunities for growth and understanding. By honing our communication skills and embracing conflict resolution techniques, we can diffuse tensions before they escalate, fashioning a more harmonious and productive environment. Let's commit to open dialogue, active listening, and empathy – the antidotes to cattiness and discord.

3. Investing in Holistic Development and Mentoring

Lastly, let's address the lack of mind, body, and soul development in the workplace. Success isn't just about climbing the corporate ladder; it's about nurturing our holistic wellbeing. By investing in professional development, mentoring, and emotional intelligence training, we empower ourselves and each other to thrive not only in our careers but in our lives as a whole. Let's create spaces where personal growth is as valued as professional achievement, where mentorship is abundant, selfreflection is our first response, and whereemotionalintelligenceisprized.

When we prioritize holistic development, we build resilient, empoweredindividualswhoarebetter equipped to combat the toxic culture of cattiness.


Navigating both the corporate landscape and the entrepreneurial realm, I've been stunned by the persisting venomous behaviors exhibited by colleagues and management alike. With each passing year,itfeelsas thoughwe drift further from safeguarding the human spirit and closer to a realm of callous transactionsandsterileprocessesthat erode connection, shared understanding, and empathy. In this relentless pursuit of being right, we often overlook the fact that we are all human, grappling with genuine emotions, challenges, traumas, and triggers.

A recent conversation with a friend shed light on the transformative power of acknowledging our shared humanity. Amidst a heated debate, tensions reached a boiling point until a simple realization dawned: beneath the professional facades, they were both human beings. With this recognition came a profound shift in perspective; instead of escalating conflict with words as weapons, they chose to embrace their common humanitywith ahug.In that moment, tensions dissolved, and they moved forward, enriched by a newfound sense of empathy and connection. This anecdote serves as a poignant reminder that in a world increasingly devoid of warmth and understanding, it's often the simplest gestures of humanitythathavethemostprofound impact.

In a world where spitefulness pervades the corridors of power and the boardrooms of influence, it'stimeforacollectiveawakening. We must shatter the illusion of separateness and embrace our shared humanity. Let's replace hostility with humility, competition with collaboration, and callousness with compassion. Together, let's rewrite the narrative of business, infusing it with empathy, understanding, and a genuine appreciation for the human spirit. It starts with each of us, committing to be the change we wish to see, and together, we'll shape a future where success isn't measured by the depth of our pockets but by the richness of our connections. For more information visit www.blaisehunter.com

creating HOPE out
Overly Curious
Pride Escape

Leading with Heart: Nurturing Your Team's Growth and Happiness

Have you noticed how leadership ischanging? It'snolongerjustabout calling the shots from the top down. Nowadays, it's all about putting your people first. We're witnessing a shift towards what we like to call peoplecentric leadership. It's about understanding that your employees aren't just faces in the crowd—they're the heartbeat of your organization. Andifyouwanttokeepthatheartbeat strong, you've got to tune in to what they need and how they feel. Let’s dive into this exciting evolution, exploring how getting to know your team and motivating them in meaningful ways can boost resilience, foster well-being, and skyrocket productivity—all while leading with compassion and heart.

Let's Talk Empathy:

Picture this: you're having a rough day at work, feeling overwhelmed and underappreciated. Suddenly, your boss swings by, takes a moment to listen to your concerns, and offers a supportive ear. How wouldthatmakeyoufeel?That'sthe power of empathy in action. When leaders take the time to truly understand what their team members are going through, it creates a sense of trust, connection, and belonging. So, next time you're chatting with your team, try to put yourself in their shoes. Show them that you care that you're there for them and watch how it transforms the workplace vibe.

Keeping the Lines of Communication Wide Open:

Communication is the glue that holds teams together. But here's the thing it's not just about talking; it's about really listening. Encourage your team to speak up, share their ideas, and voice their concerns. And when they do, make sure you're all ears. Create a safe space where everyone feels valued and respected, where no idea is too small, and no problem is too big.

By fostering open communication, you'll not only strengthen bonds within your team but also gain invaluable insights that can drive innovation and growth.

A Little Recognition Goes a Long Way:

We all crave a pat on the back every now and then, don't we? Whether it's a shout-out in a team meeting or a simple "thank you" for a job well done, recognition is like fuel for motivation. So, don't be shy - let your team know when they're knocking it out of the park. Celebrate their wins, no matter how small, and watch as their confidence soars. By showing appreciation for their hard work and dedication, you'll not only boost morale but also foster a culture of positivity and teamwork.


Because Who Doesn't Love a Little Freedom? Imagine having the freedom to takethereinsandrunwithyourideas. That'swhatempowermentisallabout. Give your team the autonomy to make decisions, take risks, and learn from their mistakes. Trust me, they'll rise to the occasion. When people feel empowered, they're more engaged, more innovative, and more motivated to succeed. So, loosen the reins a little, and watch as your team's creativity and passion shine through.

Be a Mentor, Not Just a Boss:

Sure, you're the boss but that doesn't mean you can't also be a mentor, a coach, a cheerleader. Take the time to get to know your team on a personal level. Learn about their goals, their aspirations, their dreams. And then, do everything in your power to help them reach those goals. Offer guidance, provide feedback, and be their biggest cheerleader every step of the way. When you invest in your team's growth and development, you're not just building a stronger team—you're building a brighter future for everyone involved.

Intoday'sdynamicandcompetitivelandscape,compassionateleadershipisn't just a nicety it's a strategic imperative for sustainable success.

In a nutshell, leading with heart means putting your people first. It's about showing empathy, fostering open communication, giving recognition, empowering your team, and being a mentor, not just a boss. When you lead with compassion and authenticity, you create a workplace where people feel valued,supported,andinspiredtodotheirbestwork.So,goahead—leadwith heart, and watch as your team thrives and your organization flourishes.

- Helen Keller

Board Ready Women

Over the past five years, women's representation on boards has increased significantly. On Alberta-based companies, the percentage of seats held by women has risen from 12% to 25%; in Canada it has increased from 17% to 27%!

Since its inception in 2018, Board Ready Women has achieved significant milestones and made a lasting impact in advancing gender diversity on Boards.

In the last 5 years, Board Ready Women has:

- Promoted 710 board positions on our website: including 43% Notfor-profit, 45% Crown and 12% For-profit organizations.

- Assisted 127 companies with searches for 257 positions and shortlisted 1,182 Board Ready Women members, where over 60% of those organizations choose a Board Ready Women member to become a director.

- Successfully hosted 26 educational and networking events, attracting over 2,500 attendees.

- Mentored over 100 Board Ready Women members – a big shout out to our BRW mentors.

“Creating opportunities for women on boards.”


Board Ready Women

Q & A With Jennifer Koury, Director of Board Ready Women.

Jennifer Koury has more than 35 years of professional experience including CSuite leadership roles and international experience, with the worlds largest mining company, BHP Biliton, as well she has worked as a senior executive for more then one company.

Jennifer has experience and skills in humanresources,businessleadership, governance both locally and globally.

Currently she sits on the Board of Directors for Crescent Point Energy, chairing their HRC and member of the Governance, Board Director & Chair of HR Governance Committee for Bird Construction,TorontoOntario,Chairof the Board, Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo and CO-Founder of the Board Ready Women.

Why is it important for women to get involved in Boards?

The facts/reference is in: Those Companies with “diverse Boards” perform better…. Period. Having diverse opinions on the Boards helps Management teams think about their business differently and thus perform better. A group of diverse people can/should respectfully and professionallydebatethechallengesof the Company such that the outcomes /results are pressure tested from a variety of perspectives.

What challenges do board members face?

There are many challenges coming at Board members today. ESG (Environment, Social, Governance) are all areas that stakeholders of Companiesare interestedinhearing about. For example, “What is the environmental footprint of the Company? Do they have emissions targets? Water targets?” For social, “Does the Company have a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion policy?” Regardless of whether the Company is a For Profit, Not for Profit, Crown Corporation, all Boards are dealing with these types of challenges.

What is the most important thing people should consider when joining a Board?

The most important thing is to ask yourself if you feel like you can contribute, given your skills and abilities and, as important, do you have time and passion to commit to the work. Before joining any Board, you should do your due diligence regarding the amount of time and effort it will take.

Questions you can ask to make sure it’s a good fit for both you and the Board:

- What is it about my skill set that you think will be valuable to the Board?

- How often does the Board meet?

- What materials are provided?

- Are all meetings in person or is there a virtual option?

- How does the Board function operationally?

- Are there clear agendas?

- Are there committees I’m expected to be on?

- Is the Board a true “governance” Board or do the directors become involved in operations?

- If there is operational involvement, can you provide examples of this?

Board Ready Women PURPOSE:

Our core mission is to connect highly accomplished individuals with extensive professional backgrounds,diverseexperiences, and notable achievements to recruiters and various board opportunities. We firmly believe that these individuals are exceptionally suited for numerous board positions, and BRW is committed to facilitating the essential connections that empowerthesewomentoassume roles where they can make a substantial impact, drawing upon their wealth of experience, skills, andcharacter.

Advancing Diversity in Calgary’s Business Community

Axis Connects is changing leadership. From the csuite to the boardroom, Axis Connects supports and accelerates the advancement and recognition of gender diversity throughout Calgary's business community.

ThroughAxisConnects'programmingandevents,weaim to provide skills, resources, and networking opportunities forwomen,creatingaclearpathforcareeradvancement.


What does Axis Connects offer year-round?

Since its inception in 2019, Axis Connects has grown its network to over 4,000 and has a broad reach throughout corporate Calgary and beyond.

AXIS Connects has accomplished:

Creating a network of over 4,000 business and community leaders. (and growing)

Empowered over 1,350 women on their professional journey through dedicated programs and workshops. Pioneered innovative and captivating programs including, "Career Development Dialogues" and "Lunch with a Leader."

Launched two, highly successful, allday Leadership Forums to provide women (and men) with professional skills and tools to advance their professional journeys.

Spearheaded thought leadership initiatives including leading research on women in the workplace and public policy engagement on women’s economic participation.

Why is it important to provide opportunities for women to connect, learn, and be elevated within business?

It has long been evident that a more equitable and prosperous society relies on the full economic participation of women across the entire labour market, and that there are great economic benefits to everyone’s participation.

From higher wages to betterperforming companies and improved living standards, gender equity — or lack thereof can be the difference between a thriving and lagging economy. Nonetheless, forty five percent of employees at Canada’s largest firms are women, but female representation diminishes considerablyuptheleadershipladder. There is a tremendous need for improvement to bring more women into c-suite and leadership roles.

Who can get involved in Axis Connects And how?

Axis Connects' programming is targeted to mid to senior level female professionals and male allies. Membership is free and becoming a member provides individuals with access to our calendar of events including partner events, programming, research/analysis, curated content, surveys and focus groups among other exciting initiatives.

Q & A with Amber Griffith

“Axis Connects is committed to creating a foundation of support for women to come together, be inspired and gain insights into new skill sets, opportunities, and networks. states Heather Culbert, Board Chair of Axis Connects and CIWB Awards. "The advancement of women into key decision-making roles has been slow, therefore our primary objective is to accelerate progress, break down barriers and create opportunities for women to take on leadership positions."

How can the community support you in your mission?

Consider becoming a sponsor - email: hello@axisconnects.com. Sponsorship fuels Axis Connects programming throughout the year, which includes a suite of curated professional development opportunities and resources for women advancing into leadership positions. Sign up for free tobecomeanAxisConnectsmembers(www.axisconnects.com)andattend the events and programming we host throughout the year!



A night of celebration, to honor the remarkable work of the leaders in Calgary.

The CIWB Awards started as an opportunity to recognize and celebrate those advancing gender diversity in the business community, has quickly become one of the most prominent events of the year. Congratulations to all the winners of the CIWB Awards.

CIWB Awards – Axis Connects

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL THE WINNERS: Thank you for ALL you do within our community!

Lifetime Achievement

Lorraine Mitchelmore Independent Director

Large Enterprise

Doreen Cole EVP, Downstream Manufacturing, Cenovus

Male Champion

Bryan de Lottinville Founder and Chief Evangelist of Benevity

Professional Services

Alicia Quesnel Managing Partner, BDP LLP

Social Enterprise

Wendy Beauchesne CEO, Alberta Cancer Foundation

Small and Medium Enterprise

Jennifer Massig CEO, MAGNA Engineering Services

Independent Director

Startup Canada is the gateway to Canada's entrepreneurial ecosystem. We're here to connect entrepreneurs with the support, community, and tools they need to build a successful business in Canada. Since our inception in 2012, Startup Canada has grown to support more than 130,000 entrepreneurs annually and has created an ever-growing grassroots community network from coast to coast to coast. Through our flagship and digital programs, we provide guidance, eliminate barriers, and champion the needs of each and every entrepreneur to private and public sector partners. Startup Canada supports entrepreneurs in starting up and scaling up to ultimately make Canada the best place to start and build a business. For more information,visithttps://www.startupcan.ca/.

“The gateway to Canada's entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

Meet Kyla Isabella

Kayla Isabelle is the Chief Executive Officer at Startup Canada. Kayla has dedicated her career to supporting entrepreneurs and is passionate about leveraging the power of storytelling in thebusinesscommunity,particularlyfor women entrepreneurs, as the host of the Startup Women Podcast.

KaylaistheFoundingExecutiveDirector of the Innovators and Entrepreneurs Foundation, Board Member at the Ottawa Board of Trade, Past-President of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Ottawa Chapter, Board Member at StartUP Sault Ste. Marie, Algonquin College Entrepreneurship Program Advisory Committee Member, and a former Board Member of the Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS). Kayla sits on the Allied for Startups Continental Council, and supports international communities including SXSW, the Tanzania Tourist Board, and Startup Bridge in India. With a passion for mentorship, Kayla serves as a Mentor for the Founder Institute, Propel Impact, “How to Change the World” Charity, IABC Members Connect, Carleton University Network, Algonquin College and Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization (OCISO). Kayla has also worked as a Coach at the World Skills Employment Centre for newcomers to Canada, and as a Volunteer with the Darkness into Light Suicide Prevention initiative.

Kayla has been recognized as a 2023 Globe and Mail Changemaker, 2023 Business Woman of the Year Finalist (Enterprise Leader), 2022 Top Forty Under 40 by the Ottawa Business Journal, and Ottawa Board of Trade, RBC’s 2022 Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards Finalist Social Change Award: National Impact, 2021 RevolutionHer™ "Impact in Leadership Award" winner, 2021 Woman of Inspiration “Authentic Leader Award” winner by the Universal Women’s Network, "Best BusinessSupportOrganization"by CanadianSME Magazine, StartupBeat’s 20 Under 50 Female Leaders In Tech, and is a 13x Award Winning IABC Leader, including “International Chapter of the Year” recipient in 2022.

Q: Why did the Startup Canada Tour launch?

A: Over the last few years, Canadian small business owners have faced an array of challenges - from COVID-19 shutdowns to loan repayments and declines in the economy. Facing the majorityof theseobstacles in isolation, wesawagreatneedforconnectionand bringing the Canadian entrepreneurship community together. This need for connection is what sparked the idea for Startup Canada Tour -anationalin-personeventseries connecting early-stage entrepreneurs with the support needed to build and grow their businesses.

2023wasourinauguralyear,where we mobilized the entrepreneurship ecosystem support system, stopping in Whitehorse, Halifax, Vancouver, Calgary, and Brampton! On our first Tour, we connected with 1,600 inperson attendees, over 5,800 virtual attendees for our final hybrid stop in Brampton, 169 support partners, 107 exhibitors, 126 speakers (of which 60% are women), and 98 mentors.

Q: Why is it important to support startup businesses in Canada?

A: Entrepreneurshipisattheheartof Canada’s culture and economy. By championing entrepreneurs and connecting them with the tools and resources they need to build and grow a successful business - we can make Canada the best place in the world to be an entrepreneur.

Q:Whatkindofadvicewouldyou give to startups/ founders?

A: There is no doubt about it. Being anentrepreneurisoneofthehardest things you can do, but it can also be incredibly rewarding. My biggest piece of advice to entrepreneurs is you are not in this alone! While starting a business can feel isolating, there is a community here with tools and resources to support you. At Startup Canada, we have a variety of free offerings for entrepreneurs across the country - including workshops, webinars, and resource guides through our Startup Women, Startup Global, and Startup Gov programs.WealsohavetheBusiness Owner’s Toolbox, nine easy-tounderstand modules that will walk entrepreneursthroughthejourneyof having a foolproof business plan! You are not on this journey alone.

Q & A: with Kyla Isabella

Asan attendee,you willbuild upon yourknowledgeof inclusiveworkplaces by considering an intersectional lens. Learn how to better curate your workforce, consult your employers, and impact your community through an equitable approach to employment.

This all-day event will include:

Networking opportunities

Engaging activities

Insightful speakers


A chance to hear from Government of Alberta leadership



day conference bringing community leaders, frontline workers, advocates, political leaders, and the community at largetogethertodiscusswhere weareat, what the community is doing and what needs to be done next. A remarkable two days of learning about all the different aspects of addiction, recovery, and possibilities for a stronger community.

“There are only two ways addiction ends : In recovery or in death: - Dan Williams, Minister of Mental Health & Addiction

The efforts of our provincial government is a step in the right direction for change within our province. They have stepped up to provide resources and supports to those seeking help and recovery from addictionandmentalhealthchallengesby providing financial supports to the organizations that are on the ground working the frontlines of addiction and mental health.

“Building on the success of the previous four Recovery Capital Conferences in Calgary, this year’s conference was the largest to date withover1,900registeredattendees. This includes over 700 Indigenous health partners, and several international health experts. We’re grateful for the countless productive discussions and connections made at the conference all focused on recovery. For anyone struggling, recovery is possible.”



The impact of storytelling, sharing, knowledge and truth spread across the entire audience, staff, volunteers, vendors, and sponsors as Dr Charles Weasel Head, Former Treaty 7 Grand Chief Spoke during the First Nations Leadership: A vision for Recovery Panel. When the speech was over there was a stand ovation followed by a moment of silence throughout the entire venue!

“One of my key takeaways centers around the importance of creating Recovery-Ready Workplaces. Dr. Ray Baker and Peter Gaumond from the US Office of National Drug Control Policy shared their perspectives and encouraged a call to action. We are seeing some progress in the Construction Industry (Ian Robb) but I believe further leadership is needed in the corporate environment to destigmatize preconceived notions about addiction and mental health challenges. There are several US states taking the lead on this - I’d like to learn more and advocate for the same across all areas of business here.” – Laura Jones, Recovery Coach, Business Development, Community Advocate.

Stacey Petersen RSW, Chief Executive Officer of Cedars Recovery, a presenting sponsor of the Recovery Capital Conference stated, “Recovery is possible.”

With the support of all the front-line workers, government support & community support recovery and mental health is becoming a priority. The Recovery Capital Conference broughtallaspectsofrecoverytothe forefrontandwillcontinuetoprovide space for ALL communities to talk about whats next, what needs to be done and what is being done! We hope to see you at next years event!

Life was never meant to be journeyed alone. We need others to come along side of us through the ups and downs of life. We are here to support you through your

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Calgary Institute of Counselling | Emotion Focused | Calgary, AB, Canada (counsellinginstitute.ca)

103 - 11500 29 St. SE Calgary, AB T2Z 3W9

5873508843 intake@counsellinginstitute.ca

www.simonhouse.com CELEBRATING 40 YEARS of SAVING LIVES

The Neuroscience of Addiction Recovery

WhenIdecidedtobecomeaneuroscientist over a decade ago, it was because I was enamored with the complexity of the brain and the possibility that unraveling these mysteries could benefit people’s mental wellness. For example, did you know that hugging someone you care about for at least 20 seconds releases hormones from your brain that help you manage chronic stress and reduce the risk of heart disease? (Source: https://rb.gy/ih3si5). Having seen the tragic impact mental health conditions and addiction could have in myself, in my family, and in my community, I was ever optimistic that the mysteriousveilcoveringourneuronscould be lifted. This hugging brain hack is just one example of how this understanding would unlock the secrets to health and wellness. That curiosity drove me to complete my PhD researching technologybased psychological assessment and ultimately pursue entrepreneurship to bring the positive impacts of this research to benefit community wellness. Unfortunately, while I learned about the ways to support the brain through healing, it also became apparent that these tools would be needed more than ever before.

Alberta, like much of the world, has been on a trajectory for an addiction and mental health crisis for many years. The COVID-19 pandemic merely accelerated this trend. Now, an estimated 1 in 4 Albertans are struggling with a mental health condition (source: https://rb.gy/hm6m38 ) and every day approximately 4 Albertans die from drug use (source: https://shorturl.at/eizCO ). This grim reality is not without hope, however, as steps are being taken to combat thisepidemic.Asthepandemicraged on, the stigma around mental health conditions began to lift and be began to have open, authentic, and vulnerable conversations about our brain health. Businesses have begun to realize that poor mental health in their workforce is extremely expensive for their bottom line and that wellness initiatives are not just an expense, but an investment with a 4X ROI (source: https://shorturl.at/cluK3). In the same vein, the Alberta Ministry of Mental Health and Addiction is also investing $306M in 2024 to address this problem (source: https://shorturl.at/cpIK8 ), as each successful addiction recovery brings over $40,000 in indirect economic benefits through reduced health care spending and increased workforce participation (source: https://rb.gy/48m59r, https://rb.gy/09di3a ).

However, simply throwing money at this problem will not undo the complex socioeconomic factors driving this crisis, so a deeper understanding of the problem is needed to ensure these investments by business, government, and community achieve the ROI that Alberta deserves. To that end, the critical metric to guide these investments at the heart of the Alberta Recovery Plan is Recovery Capital.

From a neuroscience perspective, Recovery Capital are the assets in life that help the brain unlock the capacity to overcome addiction. There are different kinds of Recovery Assets, such as nutritious food, housing, restful sleep, a sense of accountability, physical fitness, and a supportive community. As someone acquires Recovery Capital on their wellness journey, their brain increases its capacity for neuroplasticity-the ability of a brain to rewire itself based on experience. Since mental health conditions and addiction are both disorders of the brain,neuroplasticityhasemergedas acriticalpathwayforthetreatmentof both. People struggling with mental health challenges often have less neuroplasticity (source: https://shorturl.at/bfP24, https://shorturl.at/aFMQZ ). and are at a higher risk for substance abuse (source: https://rb.gy/lwtirb ).

Once someone has enough Recovery Capital, their brain can use neuroplasticity tore-wiretheaddiction pathways intonew habitsof health andwellness.Thisis whyit issocritical tosupportgivingRecoveryCapital to people struggling with addiction.

Unfortunately, since every brain in unique, there are countless paths to Recovery and matching the right types of Recovery Capital with the right person is extremely complex. When done well, however, it unlocks powerful outcomes. Consider the Terminatory Foundation, who train their “athletes” to complete triathlons, which in turn ignites neuroplasticity in their brain to help them achieve addiction recovery. Maybe triathlon trainingisn’tforeveryonebutgettingmeaningfulemploymentthrough On a Dime Transformations could give everyone a needed sense of purpose on their recovery journey. UAlberta Indigenous wellness researcher Dr. Darlene Auger views Recovery Capital through the lens of the Medicine Wheel and uses Ceremony to support Indigenous people on their recovery journey. In the same way Indigenous people have a different path to recovery, Stonewall Recovery has developed treatment programs to help 2SLGBTQ+ people address some of their specific Recovery Capital needs. There is a pathway for everyone to get the Recovery Capital they need to overcome addiction and achieve a healthy life.

As part of Design the Shift, 8 Bit Cortex has created a gamified Recovery Capital assessment tool for people to receive personalized resource recommendations. This citizen science initiative will be used to map out the relationship between community-based recovery programs and Recovery Capital,alongwithhowthesepathwayslookdifferentindiversecommunities (e.g. Rural, Indigenous, etc.). Scan the QR code below to access this tool. If your addiction recovery program is looking to level up its impact data strategy, inquire with Dr. Ty McKinney to be included as a collaborator.


California Wine Discovery

“Thank you to all who attended and supported EUREKA! The California Wine Discovery. It was a fabulous evening sipping, swirling, and savouring an incredible variety of some of the best wines California has to offer. Safe Haven Foundation is grateful to be California Wine’s charity partner for this event and funds raised will be directed towards completing renovations to fully open Haven's Harbour, their new housing program for at-risk young women in Calgary.” –Carolyn Holloway, Community Engagement Officer, Safe Haven Foundation.

EUREKA!(formerlyknownastheCaliforniaWineFair!)Wasanighttoexplore, taste and learn about wine from 75 renowned California wineries, at an exclusive wine-tasting event. Everyone had the chance to explore their regionally themed tasting areas title ‘California Wine on a Mission’, net proceeds from ticket sales, and proceeds from their silent auction will be donated to Safe Haven Foundation.

We highly recommend you check out EUREKA! Next year when they come to town again in support of Safe Haven. Each Winery takes the time to tell you thestorybehindtheVineyards,thegrapes,andflavourbehindthewines,and the story behind the labels.

“It was a remarkable experience, especially learning about the history and story behind how the vineyards started.” – Krista Malden. “This was a great event in support of a remarkable organization.”



We champion individuals struggling with addiction & mental health to triumph! Through our rigorous and innovative Activity-Based Recovery Therapy Program

Alberta Adolescent Recovery Centre is a long-term, semiresidential program for young, people & their families. A community of care.

Simon House provides a unique and innovative approach to addiction recovery. Rooted in the 12 Steps, Simon House incorporates various multi-disciplinary techniques and therapies to empower change and support long-term recovery.

Canada's leading mental health programs, providing innovative and comprehensive support for individuals struggling with complex mental health issues.

Improving the lives of 2SLGBTQ+ individuals impacted by addiction through specialized, innovative treatment programs and enhanced community partnerships on a local and national level.


LIVE YOUR BEST SELF. We all have the opportunity. Goal: to help clients to build a state of mind that is self-resilient, mentally tough, tenacious and full of grace.


Mission: To provide Advocacy, Balance, Clarity, and Documentation for our clients throughout their healthcare journey.

Our Mission at Calgary Institute of Counselling is to provide a safe place, free of judgement, for clients to find healing.

Remember it’s your counselling, and together we will find the right approach for you.

Mission: Get you inspired, be curious and discover the feeling of your health and wellbeing. We want you to be more adaptable and feel great in the process.


Mission: A Program dedicated to keeping homeless and atrisk girls safe, off the street and in school.

A volunteer organization providing wholesome nourishment and nurturing care to mothers and young children facing situations of adversity and crisis.

Footprints Infertility & Pregnancy

Loss Support Society provides free resources tools & mental health support bags for parents navigating these challenging issues, ensuring that every family is supported, and their angel babies count.

Strives to build confidence and selfesteem in teens and young adults.

Together we support youth to unlock their inner releasing of the magic within.


Offering individuals, leaders, and teams peer support resources. Helping people focus on what’s strong, instead of whats wrong.

GEDI-Hub, Albert’s first and only workplace resource centre for workplace equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI.)

Seven Principles to Intuitive Leadership. Let’s dive into what can make you lead again, differently.

Individual & Business Strategies.

Transforming strategies to combat Burnout by measuring impacts and implementing engaging, gamified solutions accessible to profit, volunteer, and social sectors.

My mission is to support you in moving to a new perspective that is expansive and allows you to see a bigger picture for yourself.



Sheila Willis’ passion is sharing stories from Alberta’s past. She is award winning historian, best selling author and creator of the History Check app and has recently added a magazine, blog, you tube channel to engage people in stories from the province’s history. You’ll find more about Sheila and her projects at INGON.ca

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