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ALBERTA’S LARGEST INDEPENDENT PAGING COMPANY
Years ago, I did many shows with Loie’s dad, the late Jack Unwin. It was at the tail end of the Vaudeville era; in fact, Jack had the last Minstrel show. For those who don’t know what that is, it’s white folks in black face makeup—not a big demand these days for that kind of show.
July is a very busy month for Events
ou’ll notice that I’ve been joined
by a couple of whippersnappers. I’m sure you’ve also noticed small changes to the countenance in my photo. I’ve aged slightly—not sure how that happened—since the last one was taken 14 years ago for my column. It’s like coming out of the closet.
It didn’t take as long as we thought it would before we got another pet. Quite by accident, we have a new dog. He won’t replace Sylvie… but Cue will help the grieving process. His full name on his registration papers is Right on Cue and he’s 15 months old. Dr. Ollie and I went to the Northern Alberta Canine Association’s recent dog show where we met breeder Lynda Berar of Naibara Kennels, north of Calgary… one of the best breeders of Miniature Schnauzers in Western Canada. We were admiring the pups—show stock, not for sale—when Lynda mentioned that the dog she was showing was a bit disappointing: a perfect looking animal with his share of best in breed but lackadaisical in the ring. He’d be perfect to sit on a couch and watch television. Sounded like my kind of dog. So I asked if she might consider selling him… she said she might, but phone in a couple of days. We had one secret weapon: Our groomer Hal Johnstone of Canine Experience knew her very well and vouched for us. So we now have Cue in our lives and he’s a delight. He’s made the transition from show dog to couch dog like he was meant to be.
Loie Unwin was a real mover and shaker in the early days of Klondike Days. She played banjos on street corners, ran large events and became president of the whole shebang at one time. Now she’s opened up a company called Drumawillan Management Inc. “We can help you [with]… event planning, strategic, business and process plan development, facilitation, research, administrative support or hands-on management.” I’ve known Loie since she was kid, and I’m sure her team will do a bang up job.
Edmonton. It used to be called the Edmonton Klondike Days Association and is still producing some of the City’s best events. After the Canada Day party for the whole family at Victoria Park, they get revved up for their really big show: Taste of Edmonton at Churchill Square—from 11 to 11, July 19th to 28th. You get to sample and savour the fare from 38 restaurants, including nine new participants. Once again, there’s a day-long line up of some of the best bands in Alberta—and plenty of room to boogie into the night. There are two tents for imbibers—aptly named the Taste of Wine and the Taste of Beer. Die-hard Klondikers—mostly seniors who still love to don their finery—are invited to the Sunday in the City Tea Party at City Hall on July 23rd. The day also features various activities including an antique car show and petting zoo.
I asked Harry Hole, well known philanthropist, if he enjoys spending his money this way. He’d just made a multi-million dollar donation to Concordia University College. No hesitation: “I think it’s one of the very best ways. The money goes to build a building that continues to house students for many years.” And so, the Hole Academic Centre was recently dedicated. Russ Medvedev, the new communications director at Concordia, was kind enough to send this picture, taken at the reception: Dr. Richard Kraemer and wife Janet (far right)Harry and Muriel Hole (centre) flanked by their daughters Elaine Pederson, Karen Cox and Janice Kent. (Daughter Mary Robbins was unable to attend.)
You shouldn’t miss the Dinosaur Show in the
The last few months I’ve had the pleasure of
Agri Com during Capital Ex. Based on what we saw at the pre-show for the media, it’s definitely worth a visit. Your tickets also include entrance to the exhibition. Northlands is going to rock the city again with the ongrounds entertainment—I love the chuck wagon races and the Peking Acrobats.
attending celebrations for some very old ventures in Edmonton. I was not there when they originally opened. One was the 80th Anniversary of the Edmonton Flying Club. It was started in 1927 in a tiny field, by what is now Kingsway Avenue that had not yet been named Blatchford Field. The party took place at the Wings Banquet where 27 students got their wings presented by their instructors, led by Chief Flying Instructor Dean Braithwaite. It’s a proud moment for the students and parents (who probably paid for the lessons). Going from students to pilots means they can now fly solo with passengers. Wow. The Wings Banquet was a barbeque, held at the Club hangar—casual but classy. It turned out to be a blast. Our speaker for the evening was Justice Doug Matheson who regaled the future pilots with what it was like to fly a Spitfire—the hot WWII fighter—and get shot down. The increase in new students seems to have been brought on by the airlines saying they will need 20,000 new pilots by 2020. It costs about the same as a university degree. √
Victoria Golf Course—by any other name— is the oldest municipal course in Canada. And it’s celebrating its 100th anniversary. Kevin Hogan, the head golf pro and manager, tells me I’ve already missed a few fun events, but there will be more before the season ends.
I just spent the weekend up in K country, aka Kananaskis. I was there to help Dr. Ollie and nine of her marathon friends who entered a team called Breakfast Club in a 100-mile run from Longview to Nakiska in the Kananaskis resort area. The K 100 is probably one of best organized races—keeping track of 250 teams of 10 each is a huge challenge. With each runner being timed separately and then with the team totally, a nightmare can ensue. Amazingly, by the time we had supper, the results were printed and available. Freakin’ marvelous. The team came in 36th of 56 in an open category, whatever that is.
At the annual Grande Masque Ball last year,
Call Muggsy Forbes at 780.482.4545 or e-mail email@example.com
EDMONTONIANS JULY 2007
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What do you think Mr. Katz? Wouldn’t you like to see the Rexall name on a state of the art, multi-use facility? Instead of buying the Oilers for $150+ million, how about using those funds to kick-start private investment in the downtown arena? It could be the other house that Daryl built. √ Marty Forbes is Vp and general manager of The Bear, EZRock and The TEAM 1260 Sports Radio. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Last month, the Albert Blain Performers Aid Society held a fundraiser at Cook County Saloon. The night was well attended and featured the comedy of Dave Stawnichy, Tim Koslo, Howie Miller and Andrew Grose. Musically, Chasity Dawn and four-
ou’ll be hearing more and more about
the proposed downtown arena over the next few months. I’m a big believer in the gentrification of the area. I also think it’s a tremendous idea to have a top-notch, knowledgeable guy like Lyle Best—with his team of Al Mauer, Greg Christenson, Jerry Bouma, Patricia Mackenzie, Bob Normand, Andrew Huntley and Cal Nichols—researching the benefits of such a development. The A-Team will do a very thorough job of this study and I’m glad they’ll take the time to assess all input on the arena issue. However, right now, it’s hard to disagree with Joe Average that we need to do some major catch up on big issues in our city prior to starting such a major capital project. We’ve got to deal with the homeless problem and the potholes/sinkholes, as well as other civic needs that are at the forefront in our booming economy. But, just for a moment, let’s pretend that we’ve won the big American Powerball lottery of $350 million: We could pay for this new arena with nothing but private money— absolutely no need to spend any taxpayer dollars. Sure, it’s only make-believe… but play along with me for a minute. First off, don’t blame Patrick Laforge, Kevin Lowe, or Cal Nichols and the rest of the Edmonton Oilers ownership group for this idea. Although they’re a probable major tenant, they are only going to need the arena for 41 home games, a few pre-season games and, hopefully, another Stanley Cup run, as well as 31 to 35 Edmonton Oil Kings junior games. That’s roughly 80 days out of the 365-day calendar year. Duane Vinneaux and the Edmonton Rush will add about a dozen days too. The rest of the time, the arena could/should be utilized for trade shows, mega concerts, the rodeo, large conventions, special events, and whatever else such a venue would attract simply to make it feasible. Suffice to say something is going to have to happen virtually every day of the year in the building and, so that every person sees a benefit, the variety of events should cover the social interests of most Edmontonians. The best way to prove that theory is to complement the many triplexes and multiplexes in various communities in and around the Capital Region. During the daytime, they are currently used as daycares, or places where parents can take their young children to learn how to swim, and to partake in soccer games and other indoor sports. Come evening, they welcome hockey leagues, Cubs/Scouts/Brownies/Girl Guides other service/interest groups and various events. These places are used almost 18 hours a day on a practical basis… almost every day of the year. Smart. Wouldn’t it also be great if people working in the downtown core could park their cars underground at the arena in the morning… walk an under- or above-ground pedway directly to and from their offices… and then go to the arena for events. They would avoid the frigid fun of parking at Northlands during the middle of winter and trudging through minus 30-degree temps to and from events. And, what a great, steady source of revenue for the facility. Second, building restaurants and night clubs within the arena complex would extend its value. Again, no need to drive home and back to the arena… join your pals for preevent dinner and/or post-event commiseration. Shopping? Why not? A Sports Hall of Fame in or near the arena? Absolutely. An entertainment centre? Sure. We’ve made great progress in the downtown core over the past few years—with sincere compliments to Jim Taylor of the Downtown Business Association for his amazing focus. This downtown arena—should we find an affordable and reasonable way to pay for it—could go a very long way to becoming a true sports and entertainment centre for all of Northern Alberta to enjoy. I hope that Lyle Best and his committee see things the same way that I do. And, I truly hope that everybody does see some benefit for the huge expenditure it is going to take—because, very simply, if I hit one more pothole (or worse, a sinkhole) that arena is going to be the last thing that I’m going to want to hear about when they finally make the big formal announcement of its approval for construction. Maybe the big corporations that have been benefiting from our boom over the last few years can find a way to cough up a few dollars so we don’t have to rely on the slim to nil chances of winning that giant Powerball draw.
wisdom teeth pulled. I guess they yanked the wisdom right out of my head. I hit the scene and Jennifer took one look at me and said, “Oh my, you turn right around and go back to bed. We’ve got you covered.” The word is they did a great job. The Taste of History 2007 was reported to be the most successful FEF fund-raiser ever. The proceeds are designated to completing the 1920’s Midway and Exhibition.
ust flew in from Yellowknife and, boy,
are my arms tired. Har Har. Seriously, I spent five days there producing some commercials for Canadian North Airline’s Seriously Northern campaign. Lucky enough to be there for the Midnight Sun Golf Classic. Some high profile people were on hand: the Honourable Lyle Oberg and Nashville Predator Jordan Tootoo. Dr. Oberg was there because Shiraz Jiwani, PEng, president of Aman Building Corporation, successfully bid $15,000 for the package to head north to golf with the minister—bringing the tally for the NAIT Cruise Night to $277,000. Oh wait… amazingly, Shiraz then matched the total—donating an additional $277,000! Jordan was there as a spokesman for NorTerra. He grew up in Rankin Inlet and is a great ambassador for the region. Check out the photo: Take a look at the Jordan Tootoo bend of the club in Jordan’s midnight ceremonial tee off. I didn’t see where the ball went but it is most likely still going. The Yellowknife Golf Course is unique—what with sand fairways and Astroturf greens. Shiraz sums it up, “It’s a once in a lifetime experience to tee off at midnight, watch the sun go down and be back in the club house with the sun up again. Just absolutely unbelievable.” And the social side? Let’s just say, “What happens in the North, stays in the North.”
Brian V... I met him in 1997 when he was a captain. He now leaves Edmonton as a major. Major Brian Venables and his wife Anne are enroute to Regina where he will assume the duty of Area Commander for the Salvation Army. As kind a man as you will ever meet. Both Anne and Brian gave so much to this city. Saskatchewan is lucky to get the Venables. Nice to see Steve Hogle of CTV at Brian’s going away party. Steve is a big supporter of the Salvation Army.
I grabbed a coffee with Tim LaRiviere of Owensound Studios not long ago. A fantastic musician/audio operator… you may have seen him playing with Christian Mena to name but one. We were talking about all the great shows that have come to Edmonton lately. Boom towns have their advantages. Said he: “It seems that we have been missing the grandiose, big shows around town for a while. Clapton, The Police and Roger Waters all sounded great. It is bigger than great music—these shows were all encompassing to all of my senses.” I had to agree. Because Tim is a soundman, I had to ask which show sounded best, “I would have to go with Roger Waters.” Again I had to agree. Show to see in August … Sunday night at the Blues Festival looks great. Los Lobos and Garret Mason, son of the late Dutchie Mason. Nova Scotia’s own Dutchie was dubbed the Prime Minister of the Blues years ago. Garret is that and more. A must see.
month pregnant Lisa Hewitt hit the stage. The Society was formed in 2003 to pay for the funeral of bassist Albert Blain who died of a brain aneurysm. Now it helps various performers who are in need. You can contact Lynn Wells of Atlyn Productions at 455-3900 for more information or to support the Society.
There we were at the 18th Annual Eskimos Alumni Golf Tournament. With an Eskimos helmet plastered with autographs floating on his head and a grin on his face, Ben Kolbuc, co-owner and GM of Norden Autohaus yelled out, “I’ll throw in a Porsche to drive for a day. Cayenne, Boxster, 911 what ever suits your fancy.” What a generous thing to do. The successful bidder for the helmet and Porsche was Tom Cutts of Red Carpet Freight Systems. The winning team with a 53 low net was Dale Orton, Barry James, Ben and Chris Ostby. Congratulations to Signor Mobley and Ed Hervey, the latest Eskimos to join the EE Alumni. Also, kudos to Dale Connors and the staff of A&B Catering who do food duty at the Links. Dale still cooks all his steaks the ‘proper’ way: over charcoal. Dale took over from the late Barry Glasgow—a ‘rock’ in the foundation of this city. Because of him, I use charcoal to this day.
Finally got the old bicycle out for the season. Great exercise on the trails but they’re not for commuting. With higher fuel prices, more Edmontonians want to get to work on their bikes. Unfortunately, that means hitting our streets. Good luck. A brutal experience… pot holes, not enough space, and impatient and rude car drivers are among the issues. Plus, huge numbers of cyclists don’t signal properly and too many ride on the sidewalks. Could Edmonton ever be like Paris or Munich which have incredible bicycle commuting systems? Over 200 cyclists attended a city open house and offered some ideas for improvement: better snow clearing, more paths in specific areas, safe bikeways along Whyte Avenue, crossways and bridges, more clearly marked trails, contra-flow lanes, and path along Anthony Henday ring road. “More people are commuting which anybody can do with a little preparation. A bike lane down Stony Plain road as well a 107 Avenue would be great,“ says Dennis Anorak, owner of Revolution Cycle. I hope the city makes these and more ideas happen. It would get bikes off the sidewalks and more cars off the streets. √
A bucket load of thanks to Jennifer Martin and EZ Rock’s Shane Michaels who filled in for me as auctioneers at the Fort Edmonton Foundation Taste of History event. Here’s what happened: I figured I would only need a day or so to come around after I had four
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EDMONTONIANS JULY 2007
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18 STATION YEARS
With Linda Banister
hether for splashing in the reflecting pool, viewing the Christmas lights, or conducting the business of government, the Alberta Legislature and its grounds are an important gathering point for Edmontonians and Albertans. Construction on the Legislature building itself began in 1907 but it was not until 1912 that the building was officially declared open. Since that time the Legislature has been host to numerous memorable events. In this month’s Poll Station, we asked people about their experiences visiting the Alberta Legislature and its grounds, and their thoughts about future visits.
HAVE YOU EVER VISITED THE ALBERTA LEGISLATURE?
Said they had visited the legislature within the past six months.
Said they had visited the legislature within the past year.
Said they had not visited the legislature within the past year.
To begin, we asked respondents if they have ever visited the grounds at the Alberta Legislature (including the wading pool area). Eighty-six percent indicated they had visited the grounds. Considering those who had visited the grounds, approximately one-quarter (26 percent) said they had gone within the previous six months. Thirty percent had visited within the previous year, while 44 percent said it had been longer than one year since they had been to the Legislature grounds. Respondents cited numerous activities undertaken when visiting the Legislative grounds. Almost one-quarter (23 percent) of respondents said they enjoy strolling around the grounds. A similar proportion (22 percent) indicated they have toured the Legislature itself. Other activities undertaken included wading in the pools (17 percent), watching people (15 percent), and viewing the Christmas lights (14 percent).
ARE YOU AWARE OF THE FREE GUIDED TOURS?
WOULD YOU TAKE A TOUR OF THE GROUNDS? Respondents were then asked their likelihood of taking a tour of the grounds of the Alberta Legislature should these tours become available. Most (61 percent) respondents said it was unlikely that they would take a tour of the grounds primarily because they can stroll around the grounds without being in a tour (28 percent), or because they have already visited the grounds (18 percent). Seven percent indicated they had mobility issues that would prevent them from touring the grounds.
WOULD YOU TAKE VISITORS TO THE LEGISLATURE? Finally, respondents were asked how likely they would be to visit the Alberta Legislature if out-of-town friends and family were to visit. More than half (51 percent) would consider bringing their guests to the Legislature, with approximately one-third (31 percent) being quite likely to visit with their guests. The Poll Station surveyed 100 City of Edmonton residents on the topic and, while the results of the research are not statistically reliable, they do provide a qualitative indication of what Edmontonians are thinking.
Said they learned about the free guided tours by accompanying a school trip.
Eighty percent of respondents were aware that free guided tours of the Alberta Legislature are available for the public. When asked how they became aware of these tours, 20 percent said they learned about them while accompanying a school group to the Legislature. Fourteen percent heard about them from other people, and 13 percent learned of these tours through the media. Forty percent have taken one of the guided tours; however, most (84 percent) have not taken a guided tour in the past year. Respondents were told about the variety of public tours available, the special events hosted on site (like Canada Day), and the ability to watch Question Period from the gallery. After being provided with this information, they were then asked how likely they would be to visit the Legislature. More than one-quarter (26 percent) of respondents said they would likely visit, while another 26 percent would consider it. Those who said it was unlikely that they would visit suggested that they had little interest in visiting (51 percent) or had visited previously (13 percent).
Said they learned about the free guided tours through other people.
Said they learned about the free guided tours throught the media.
Linda Banister is a certified management consultant and the owner of Banister Research and Consulting Inc., a full service provider of market research and program evaluation services. Want a question included in the Edmontonians Poll? Contact Linda at 780.451.4444 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit www.banister.ab.ca.
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THIS MONTH’S COVER
Dr. Larry Ohlhauser—a clear view of life Photo by Janis Dow, Terry Bourque Photography Published by 399620 Alberta Ltd. on the first day of each month at 333, 10240 - 124 Street, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T5N 3W6. ©All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reprinted or reproduced in any form without written permission from the publisher. Manuscripts: must be accompanied by a stamped, selfaddressed envelope. Edmontonians is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts. All stories Copyright ©Edmontonians Publications Mail Agreement No. 40023292 Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: Circulation Department 333, 10240 - 124 Street Edmonton, AB T5N 3W6 Email: email@example.com
EDMONTONIANS JULY 2007
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By Don Hill limate change: one way or the other, the decisions our generation of leaders make will have an impact on the future health of the planet. “The science is getting worse faster than the politics is getting better,” David Milliband, Britain’s environment minister recently told The Guardian newspaper. He hinted that a proposed international system of ‘carbon credits’, whereby, countries trade in their greenhouse gas emissions, could be little more than smoke and mirrors. I don’t think this is a time to be silent. Business as usual just won’t cut it anymore. As one of my correspondents to this column said, “Perhaps the shame of not speaking out is an unexplored aspect of leadership worth looking into.” I agree. So, let me tell it like it is. There’s an elephant in the room. And there is no use trying to hide it. Climate change is real—real in the sense that it is already altering the political landscape of the world. That shouldn’t frighten you. “I live in the faith of Thomas Homer-Dixon’s new book that there’s an upside to down,” said Ruben Nelson, one of Canada’s pioneers of ‘strategic foresight’, the study of probabilities and the future. “I think we do ourselves huge damage when we run away with our fears, rather than stand our ground.” We must “encourage each other and get on with what it is that we can actually do about [climate change].” I believe that once people are galvanized around common cause, what was once thought impossible becomes probable. To my way of thinking, the challenge of climate change is going to be the ‘moon shot’ of the 21st Century; it is a remarkable opportunity for Albertans. Before I explain how you—yes, you—can make a difference in an era that will likely require out of the ordinary leadership skills, please consider that nature doesn’t negotiate. In the big scheme of things, humanity is pretty small change—hardly worth thinking about. Keep that in mind when telling truth to power. “I’m not going to tell truth to power. Power never listens to truth anyway,” Gwynne Dyer said, in the break after a recent talk he gave at the Banff Centre. The award-winning journalist writes a column that’s published in over 100 newspapers around the world. “We are not to blame for our predicament,” he groused, when I quizzed him about his take on the climate change debate. “All of this ‘we are a
cancer on the planet’….all of this is repugnant and it’s wrong.” Dyer makes a compelling argument that even though human beings have had a hand in disrupting the world’s weather, “we can’t think there’s something uniquely wicked about the way we behave. We are just another life form making our way as best we can,” he remarked forcefully, and “there’s no point in beating ourselves up about this.” That said, Dyer cautioned we ought not rely on a technology fix to get us through the rough spots that climate change is predicted to deliver in the near future. “We really don’t want the job of regulating the planet’s weather,” he said. “It’s a full time task. It will never end. The children will never leave the house.”
THE TRUTH ABOUT OIL In the documentary film, An Inconvenient Truth, the petroleum industry comes off as one of the major culprits in the climate crisis. Sure, the oil patch is an easy target. But what if Al Gore is right? A month after getting his Academy Award for the film,
The global economy runs on oil. That’s a fact. No oil: All fall down go boom. So, how does a leader balance business interests, the need for securing energy supply, and the environment? “When I look at energy and understand the arguments Al Gore makes, the reality is we don’t create the demand,” said Charlie Fischer, CEO of Nexen Inc., a major player in ‘oil sands’ development. You’ve heard this justification before, I bet… and, at the time of my conversation with him, I coyly remarked that the notion of ‘we don’t create the demand’ is also the refuge of the tobacco industry and illicit drug dealers. “I don’t think I’m a drug dealer,” Fischer laughed, quick off the draw. “The reality is that people are consuming energy at an ever-increasing rate. And I don’t create that demand. It’s there. It’s implicit.” That’s true. “Oil sands are carbon intensive, but we’re working technically to improve that all the time,” Fischer affirmed. That’s also true. In fact, Gore grudgingly restrained some of his skepticism for the province’s oil patch, and he said as much during his recent talk in Calgary. “In Alberta, they have devoted a lot more attention and resources to developing technologies to capture and sequester carbon,” he said. “The issue for me is not just blame industry,” Fisher said, adding it’s public education not condemnation that will tip the balance. “Why are trucks and SUVs the vehicles of choice? Why are people building monster homes? Why isn’t public transportation more of a debate? When we look at decisions being made in our country, we are not making decisions that cause us to be energy efficient.” Things need to get more personal. Britain’s environment minister has proposed “a thought experiment of what it would be like to ‘spend’ carbon, save it and trade it in the same way we do with money”. David Milliband’s idea is each individual on the planet— you, me and everyone else—would be allotted a quota of ‘carbon credits’ in accordance with a per capita need for “personal food, household energy and travel emissions.” If you use less than your quota, you “would be able to sell to those who spend above.” That means you can drive that gas-guzzler with wild abandon if you wish, but under the proposed system of a ‘carbon credit’ exchange it will likely cost you—bigtime. What better place than Alberta to first enact a personal ‘carbon credit’ system? In my view, that would be demonstrating leadership on a global scale. √
Climate Change ...the moon shot of the 21st Century the former vicepresident of the United States came to Calgary, and spoke frankly to a sell-out crowd in the Jack Singer Hall. Citing ‘tar sands’ development in northern Alberta as “the most carbon intensive sources of energy yet produced,” he left the room with an impression that the province’s oil boom is detrimental to the planet’s well-being.
Don Hill is a ‘thought leader’ at the Leadership Lab and Leadership Development at the Banff Centre. He is also an award-winning writer and broadcaster with a large footprint on the Internet. Listen to his radio series Inspiring Leadership, a 20-part documentary on contemporary leadership and the challenge of leading in the 21st Century every Saturday morning at 8 AM on the CKUA Radio Network. For more details visit: www.ckua.com and www.appropriate-entertainment.com
EDMONTONIANS JULY 2007
Doctoring up a new career An apple a day keeps... you healthy, wealthy and wise
Dr. Larry Ohlhauser becomes Edmontonians newest Transformer Photo by Terry Bourque
Your alarm clock—mere inches from your ear—rudely buzzes to disrupt your sound slumber. You fumble for the “off” switch. Failing to locate this immediately, you silently curse. It is far too early in the morning. Rousing yourself, you remember that you have to chair an early-morning meeting, head to the airport to catch a flight or get to the office to finalize a project before deadline. That wake-up call, although unpleasant, was necessary.
By Rick Lauber
ake-up calls also occur in life. Like that ticking timepiece on your bedside table, personal alarm clocks should grab your attention; however, they should also serve as warnings. The alert could vary through physical, mental or emotional change— perhaps insomnia, mood changes, decreased appetite or even increased squabbles with your partner. When this occurs, it is time to awaken, stir your senses, pause and re-examine your own life before a problem escalates and spins out of control. Dr. Larry Ohlhauser, MD, knows this far too well. Now president and CEO of Ohlhauser & Associates, he vividly remembers his day of personal awakening. Four years ago, while attending business meetings in Colorado, he and his wife, Kelay, chose to walk from their hotel room to the conference centre. After quickening their pace, Ohlhauser tired. “For the first time in my life, I became short of breath…” He reassured his concerned wife that absolutely nothing was wrong; the altitude was to blame. But later that evening, the symptoms persisted and worsened. “About the middle of the night, I woke up with chest pain… so I spent the rest of the night holding my pulse and seeing if I was going to die …” But, unlike that annoying alarm clock, he remained silent. When Ohlhauser declined an ensuing golf game due to the continued pain, he could not hide his discomfort from Kelay any longer…she knew full well that her husband rarely declined a round. Ignoring the symptoms—“Most people think my M.D. means medical doctor but sometimes it’s massive denial,” he jokes—wasn’t working; his wife dragged him off to a doctor. The diagnosis? Stinging words: “You’re fat and out of shape.” Ohlhauser was 58 years old, and “…the heaviest I’ve ever been: 207 pounds,” he admits. “I was carrying 28 percent body fat which is 58 pounds of fat… my cholesterol and triglycerides were out of whack. Everything was really almost off the chart and I had an 18 percent risk factor of having a heart attack or stroke.” Following his wake-up call, Ohlhauser began to exercise. At age 62, he is trimmer, healthier and happier. “I now sit at about 180 to 182 [pounds]. I have 19 percent body fat, my cholesterol is down… I’ve gone from an 18-percent risk to a four-percent risk of having a heart attack or stroke,” he smiles. But Ohlhauser doesn’t need a more form-fitting lab coat—that has long since been traded in for a suit and tie. After practicing in Drumheller for 10 and a half years, he took a position with the College of Physicians and Surgeons where he served for 19 years as the registrar and CEO. “My responsibility was to
administer the Medical Profession Act which is basically to register and license physicians, set the standards for practice, and deal with complaints and the discipline process.” His entrepreneurial spirit came to the fore in October 2001 when he opened Ohlhauser & Associates. The good doctor now helps business CEOs—a marvelous match drawing from his own professional experience. “The focus was on the healthcare sector—in essence, helping people become more efficient, more effective—and that led to management issues, the conflict resolution that leads to strategic thinking that we began providing initially… In addition, on the management side, I started into the executive coaching area.” As a coach, Ohlhauser serves clientele including large corporations, health regions and hospitals. Utilizing his medical background and his bedside manner (plus some friendly pushing from his own executive coach), Ohlhauser recently authored his first book, The Healthy CEO, published in January by June Warren Publishing. It “provides practical advice on physical, mental and financial health, and the direct correlation between these areas and one’s own business. “The Healthy CEO is designed specifically for executives who want to guarantee greater returns on their most important investment–themselves …” writes Ohlhauser. “CEOs often neglect their personal health and well-being. Their lives are unbalanced, their health is often at a deficit, they face many real health risks and they neglect their personal and relational growth...” Simply put, many CEOs put their own businesses ahead of themselves. Ohlhauser has coined the phrase, “Be the CEO of your health” and urges readers to look after personal and professional affairs with the same type of attention and due diligence. The Healthy CEO, a project taking almost 3.5 years to complete, is an informative, insightful yet conversational read, which shares “the essential elements for real and lasting change, in business and in every other area of life.” Ohlhauser confesses that these tips are nothing magical: The overworked CEO just needs to slow down and recognize the importance of self-care in three selected categories. This all begins with your body. “Your body is your energy source. It supports your every activity, whether physical, mental, relational or spiritual. It comes complete with specialized tools—arms, legs, heart, brain, kidneys—that help you perform your daily tasks. The more efficiently your body is running, the more efficient your life becomes… at work, at play and at rest.” To care for your body, practice daily hygiene, eat
well and exercise (Ohlhauser still carries his own pedometer and logs a minimum of 10,000 steps per day). Ohlhauser defines relationships as extending far beyond marriage partners. “We have a host of relationships—all distinct and with their own paths and mazes to navigate—with any or all of the following: spouses, children, parents, siblings, extended relatives, friends, exes, mentors, colleagues, staff, superiors, clients, complete strangers and so on… Our relational wellness consists of how personally healthy we are with or without being involved in significant relationships. Being relationally well as individuals allows us to engage in meaningful, successful relationships,” he writes. “Financial matters are a common source of stress, anxiety and depression…” Ohlhauser continues, citing tragic numbers … “In Japan, the world’s second-largest economy, 2003 statistics showed all the signs of a suicide crisis… every day, nearly 100 people took their own lives, almost one every 15 minutes. Officials attributed over 25 percent of all Japanese suicides that year to money problems, linking the despair to unemployment, bankruptcies, accumulated debts, corporate restructuring and other economic problems.” What is refreshing is that Ohlhauser doesn’t speak from a soapbox. Instead, he challenges others to take responsibility for their own wellness. They are encouraged to become active in their own change through the book’s accompanying self-evaluation CDROM. With The Healthy CEO nearing Canadian bestseller status, he is gaining popularity throughout North America, traveling frequently as a public speaker. Ohlhauser’s attention now turns from the pages of his book to the pages of the Edmontonians. Beginning in the August issue, he will join forces with Tom Bradshaw, Les Brost and Steffany Hanlen as the newest Transformer. Ohlhauser will advise select business owners on health-related matters and is approaching his new-found role with optimism and definite purpose. “I want to give what I call this fresh holistic… this very basic view of how they can be responsible for their own health and wellness.” Through his own transformation, his business, his book and through Edmontonians itself, Ohlhauser coaches those living in life’s fast lane to steer clear of the examination room by limiting time in the boardroom. He serves as a shining example himself. And really, self-care is not an ominous task—all we have to do is pay attention to our personal alarm clock. When it buzzes, don’t turn it off and drift blissfully back to sleep. Don’t just roll over and hit the “snooze” button either. Get up and get healthy. √ EDMONTONIANS JULY 2007
Proof__ ________PROOFED BY:_______________________________________________CHANGES MADE:__________________________DATE:_________________
Whitemud Centre: Dr. F.A. Keillor’s legacy
By Sheila Edmonds
n the memory of most Edmontonians, there have always been horses at the Whitemud Equine Centre. Our River Valley Trail System began with horse trails originating from the site through Whitemud Park to Snow Valley and Emily Murphy Park.
Photo by Barb Deters
everyone down, preferring to keep it as a park. He gets a tax break “for his good citizenship.” Mid 1950s Keillor Farm is leased to Leecoll Stables, founded
by Cliff Ross, Leo Lemiuex and Bill Collins, a world-class horse trainer. Lorne Green and Michael Landon of Bonanza, and Chuck Connors of The Rifleman ride at
Leecoll for Canada’s First Indoor Rodeo. Mark Laskin of Canada’s Equestrian Team and World Champion Gail Greenough train here. 1962 City expropriates 12 acres to build Fox Drive, but won’t buy the farm. 1971 Dr. Keillor dies. The City purchases the farm. 1974-1978 Rod Edwards leases the stables. Little Bits Therapeutic Riding programs begin and have continued for over 33 years. 1978-1981 Grant MacEwan Community College operates its Equine Studies diploma program at Whitemud. 1981-1999 Jean Archer and Ann Sernyk, Grant MacEwan instructors, take over the lease and operate Whitemud Equine Centre for 22 years. 1985 The World Cup equestrian event is held at Whitemud. 1991 Council approves a policy paper for Equestrian Activities in Edmonton and Parks and Rec recommends replacement of
facilities but no money is allocated. 1995 City Council approves the Master Plan for Renewal of Whitemud Equine Centre, which is reviewed in 1998 and updated in 1999. The site is leased by WECA from the City. Keillor Road is closed to vehicular traffic. 2003 A landslide wipes out a section of Keillor Road. 2004 The Whitemud Equine Centre Association and Friends of the Whitemud Equine Centre assess program expansion and major improvements. 2006 The two associations merge, forming the Whitemud Equine Learning Centre Association. The River Valley Alliance incorporates the site’s redevelopment into its master plan. Present The site is recognized as a public treasure, supporting shows and lessons, riders and boarders. It is poised to launch an all-out effort to upgrade the facilities and expand programs. √
1908 Ontario-born Dr. Frederick Anson Keillor moves to Raymond, Alberta. After he meets and marries Martha Lillian Lyons, they relocate to South Edmonton where he opens a medical practice on Whyte Avenue. 1915 Prior to sailing to Europe for WWI, Dr. Keillor finds dry riverside property just west of the city limits below Saskatchewan Drive and east of Whitemud Creek. It has been repossessed by the Imperial Bank from John Walter whose fortunes were devastated by the flooding of Walterdale Flats. 1918 On his return, Captain Keillor buys the 61-acre parcel of land, stretching from Grandview Drive to the North Saskatchewan River. He uses the last logs floated down the river from Tomahawk (near Wabamum) to build his log cabin home. 1920s Edmontonians are welcomed at Keillor Farm for horse riding, hiking, biking, swimming, picnics, birdwatching and photography. It also becomes home to four canoe clubs and a ski club, with the good doctor providing electricity for the lights and ski tow. Dr. Keillor plants 500 upland spruce trees and helps build the Granite Curling Club. He serves, without pay, as an alderman for two years. 1925 The Keillors move to the Garneau area but retain the farm as a retreat and public recreation area. 1928 Dr. Keillor donates land for a road to Whitemud Creek (named Keillor Road after his death). The City asks for— and receives—an additional 10 acres along the river. 1929 Dr. Keillor is re-elected as an alderman for a threeyear term, and again refuses payment. The stone house and stone fence are added. Both historic homes remain on the site and in use. 1949 Individuals offer Keillor a fortune for his property, but he turns EDMONTONIANS JULY 2007
Photos by Terry Bourque
No horsing around… Whitemud Equine Centre gets serious about upgrading facility By Kris Hodgson
ersistence pays off. These words could not be more true for a dedicated group of horse lovers who have big plans for the future of Alberta’s horse industry and an Edmonton landmark: The Whitemud Equine Learning Centre. Our North Saskatchewan River Valley park system is always a contrast of urban and natural wonder, but nowhere is it more evident than along this particular stretch of Fox Drive. Who among us has not felt a small thrill— and a certain amount of pride—in doing 80 klicks past rolling meadows with their white-fenced paddocks where horses graze and canter, oblivious to our haste? There was a time when the Whitemud facility was in danger of closing down, but a group of people stepped forward, pooled their resources and purchased the assets to keep the place running. While things were not always rosy for this collection of like-minded people, their ambitious plan for a multi-million dollar learning centre in the picturesque River Valley could create a tourist destination that will attract a different breed of visitors. Interest in horses and related activities remains high. If you haven’t seen Alberta’s promotional video, you may not know that this province also boasts more horses than the rest of Canada. “Strathcona County is an area in Canada that has the highest number of horses per capita. Alberta has 30 percent more horses than any other province,” explains Linda Olson-Lipinski. “Everyone always wanted what was best for Whitemud,” says the current chair of the Whitemud Equine Learning Centre Association. And now with the amalgamation in April 2006 of two boards—the Friends of the Whitemud Equine Centre and the Whitemud Equine Centre Association—there is a stronger, consistent vision for the future. Olson-Lipinski’s own vision for a revamped Centre was a fantasy while she was attending the University of Manitoba. Her summer practicum as an architect challenged her to design the project of her dreams. “My dream was to do something magnificent for the site I always loved,” so she drew up plans for an international equine centre at the farm where she had ridden horses since she was a child. When Olson-Lipinski graduated, she got a job… yet she never presented her conceptual drawings to anyone. “I thought there was no interest.” She was wrong. Eventually someone heard about the plans and encouraged her to bring them to the board. “They were bowled over. They couldn’t believe what a grand vision I had for the site.”
FRIEND-RAISING IS KEY TO THE FUTURE Serving on the board for the past four years is developer Alan Skoreyko, who agrees the Whitemud Centre is in need of a facelift. But, he admits that getting support for a multi-million dollar facility is no small task. “It’s an aging facility that is run by a not-for-profit organization… we do not have a huge amount of capital sitting in the bank.” Skoreyko knows that if the centre is not upgraded soon, it won’t be able to accommodate the programs that are expanding. “If it’s $7 million, $20 million or $27 million… I don’t know at this point. If we want to be a learning centre, we need a modern, up to date, temperaturecontrolled riding arena. We have one classroom and we need four. Our wish list gets long. We have our wish list, now we have to look at our reality list to determine what the price is going to be.” Skoreyko helped organize a retreat last year for potential donors and others who could assist the Whitemud Equine Centre in achieving its vision. And, now there are plans for a black tie gala next spring to create awareness and launch the campaign. Events like this are crucial to raising the centre’s profile and aspirations. “It’s a little patch of country in the centre of the city. It’s to preserve and to protect what we’ve got.” The biggest challenge right now is putting forward the right plan, according to Skoreyko. The goal is to present this ambitious plan to Edmonton city council before the fall election, but he thinks it will be a new council providing feedback on the design. “There’s nothing worse when you are fundraising, when two months later your money is not going to be used how you thought it was. That spells death for fundraising. We want to make sure there is a plan in place… that it’s unified… and we want to make sure our landlord (the City of Edmonton) is supportive of what we are trying to do.” Actually, when he goes about asking for support, Skoreyko prefers to call it “friend-raising”. Those friends will be front-and-centre at the black tie gala which will also be a reunion for many of the hundreds of patrons who have been involved with Whitemud for the past 60 years. Another well-connected person who is involved with the Whitemud Equine Learning Centre is Perry Kinkaide, president of the Alberta Council of Advanced Technologies. When he joined the board in 2001, he dove right in and asked how he could help create new partnerships. He started by finding someone to develop a business plan. “It’s all about relationship building and helping develop the organization from a stable operation to something that might be a national learning centre.“
With the integration of the two boards, Kinkaide thinks the City of Edmonton now sees the Whitemud Equine Learning Centre as an organization that works more effectively with a common vision and also has the ability to resolve conflicts. On August 28th—a Linda Olson-Lipinski with night of the full Amy, a Welsh cob being moon—Kinkaide is trained at Whitemud organizing the second Moonlight in the Meadows. Last year, almost 200 people and six exhibitors took part after just three weeks of planning. This year, there is a barbeque for 300 people with 30 exhibits and a number of hosts and sponsors. “It has grown so massively, primarly because it’s so simple. Our mantra is just for the fun of it. We do the work, you have the fun.” A highlight of the evening is when a harpist and a piper play as the moon rises out of the meadows. “It adds a certain charm,” smiles Kinkaide. While there will be dignitaries and speeches, the event is geared toward people who contribute to and have an interest in the Whitemud Centre. “Over the coming years, it will become a signature event in the river valley.” For further information on the event, click on www.abctech.ca.
BROADENING THE EDUCATIONAL BASE Part of Olson-Lipinski‘s vision is for horse riding to become part of the school curriculum, including a visit to Whitemud annually. She has hopes for a research centre with partnerships with the Universities of Alberta and Calgary, the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, Olds College and more. Equine research could vary from performance analysis to nutrition, and the beneficial evidence of the interaction between horses and humans. “Interaction can improve a person’s future, outlook, attitude and success in life,” she suggests. Having the ability to train people to be ferriers and allowing for continuous education for veterinarians, husbandry and stable management could be a significant asset to the centre. The ambitious plans have been quoted EDMONTONIANS JULY 2007
Design by Linda Olson-Lipinski
in the $20-million mark… 10 years ago the price was at $6 million. These plans include two main arenas to be subdivided for smaller functions, plus facilities on the west and east ends of the site. The east building could be semi-private for children and the location of the Little Bits therapeutic riding program. The west side could be for horse shows and agriculture events including sales, auctions and exhibits. Whether the centre is the Taj Mahal of horse centres, or simply replaces the dilapidated buildings on site, “an upgrade is well deserved,” says OlsonLipinski. She started riding horses at the Whitemud stables at the age of five. Her love of horses continued through her adolescence when she and her sister begged their mom to purchase the animals closest to their hearts. “My sister and I shopped around and bought $200 scrub horses. They were Trojan horses that were beautiful to us.” Olson-Lipinski recalls, “I could afford to [board] a horse there as a starving student. I thought it would be wonderful for everyone to have access to the site and have it open to all citizens. I don’t want it to be an elite facility.”
FROM LITTLE BITS TO SHOW JUMPING Olson-Lipinski can attest to the popularity of Whitemud: every year there are about 40 boarders… 200 lesson kids including at-risk children from inner city schools… 150 riders in the therapeutic and rehabilitative Little Bits program… 10,000 horse rides… 35,000 visitors through horse shows, programs and simply checking out the grounds. All this with just 18 staff—three managers, four instructors, seven training assistants and four barn workers—and more than 150 volunteers that help out on site. The Equine Centre has always struggled to raise funds, evidenced by the current condition of the buildings where classes are held. “Right now the grouping of temporary buildings was built in the 1950s. After 50 to 60 years, they’ve reached beyond their economic life. The site is really due for redevelopment anyways. The buildings do operate fine… We just can’t serve customers we need to for the demand we have down there. There is always a waiting list,” says OlsonLipinski. “We now have the passion on our board to actually get the approval we need from city council.” Last July, the board issued an invitation to six members of city council and, while only three—Linda Sloan, Michael Phair and Bryan Anderson— showed up, Lipinski-Olson believes they saw the passion and excitement and “it was contagious.” Presentations to vested interest groups like the River Valley Alliance have garnered similar, positive reaction. Lawyer Sol Rollinger, RVA chair, is trying to raise $600 million to develop “a world-class metropolitan river front park” along the North Saskatchewan from Devon in the west to Fort
Saskatchewan in the east. The objective is to preserve, protect and enhance the river valley. Public input is being sought on the draft plan which has been divided into seven planning segments. The Whitemud Equine Learning Centre is unique within the context of the overall aspirations for the Capital Region River Valley Park. Olson-Lipinski considers the river valley “…almost second to none in any North American city—so expansive and spectacular. I think horses should become a lot bigger part of our lifestyle than they are now. There is a real wealth of interest in what happens to the future of that site. “We know that site does great things for children and adults and pulls people together. It helps children learn leadership skills and care about others in society.” But, right now, Olson-Lipinski recognizes that Whitemud “…really needs some angels.“ √
Perry Kinkaide and Linda Olson-Lipinski
Alan Skoreyko is “friend”-raising to preserve “a little patch of country in the centre of the city.” Photo by Barb Deters
EDMONTONIANS JULY 2007
By Steffany Hanlen
hange often scares us. Could be fear of the unknown. Maybe its the comfort in routine even if things are not working out or are we just lazy? Krista and Jared Hope have been on the accelerated change path for some time now. Like most of us, they started out with a plan that included getting married, buying a home, building a business, having a family, creating community. What they didn’t realize was that there were some changes they both needed to make that actually altered a behaviour or two. That is where the change monster comes in. The change monster shows up just before life is about to happen. It comes from setting goals, creating a vision, making a move, or even something as simple as getting a hair cut. It shows up in the form of chaos. Have you ever noticed that as soon as you set a goal to make a change—whether it is to lose weight, or start up a new business—all the things that you have left undone, need to do or fear, show up to stop you from getting your desired results. The trick to ward off this monster is to bravely enter the chaos. Don’t avoid it. Jared recently left the personal training industry to commit to his real estate investment business full time. This one change has caused extreme chaos for him—that job was a secure form of revenue and a comfortable social network. Jared now understands how he is perceived in different environments—plus, he has a toned down presence when he walks into a room. I also have noticed that he interacts more respectfully and he listens intently before speaking. This listening skill alone has changed how Jared interacts with Krista. At our last meeting, she told me, “I still feel he doesn’t do all the things I want him to, but now I know better when and how to ask.” The benefit is that it allows Krista to be more open with him because he understands her values much better and supports her by listening. Another change is that the Hopes let go of relationships with people with whom they no longer share common values with. This is very difficult and something we are rarely taught how to handle. The guilt and sadness that can come with letting people go may be the reason we stay in relationships that no longer suit us. Both Jared and Krista are seeing the benefits of honouring their values and the values of the people around them. As they do this more and more, they will begin to attract other like-minded people and build community around them based on WHO they are not on the shoulds of how many relationships are managed. Krista was already a week overdue when this column was written. A natural home birth is planned, but Jared was having difficulty with that choice. Just days before the due date, Jared went to Calgary for meetings and two days of golfing. This decision did not make him popular with his wife or the mom crowd. Krista was furious. Perception of whether this was good or bad depends on with whom you talk. Jared said he needed to go for business and to relax before the baby arrived. Krista felt there were a few details at home where she needed his help. When he arrived home and flopped down on the sofa, Krista lost it. Each called it lack of respect. A huge blow-up ensued. This time however, Krista spoke her truth and expressed her frustration and anger with Jared in a way he heard. He initially got defensive and stormed away… then got up at 2 am to finish some of the things she had asked him to do. In my opinion, her needs seem to outweigh his right now, so I don’t have much compassion for him. Ultimately whether Jared cuts the plastic for the bed or not, it needs to be done. She realized she had decided that he was the only one to help… even though she has other people she could ask. As she settles into the role of new mom again, it will be a pleasure to watch her ask for what she needs… and actually get it. The best part is she is not expecting Jared to be the only one to give it to her. Krista’s own network is expanding and she is seeking support and even new challenges outside her marriage. This one shift has brought Jared closer because he no longer feels pulled in so many directions. He knows he can focus on building his business and on being a better husband and father. Through this transformation—from how they speak to each other to Jared no longer wearing his hat backwards in business meetings—the Hopes have embraced change and the chaos that inevitably comes with it. Change can be a good thing. √ Steffany Hanlen is a personal performance coach who conducts “The Champion Seminars.” Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The Hopes Part II Jared and Krista
By Tom Bradshaw
By Les Brost
n my younger days I worked for my local politician. Like Jared, his speech was short, clipped, with his favourite form of oral expression being the four letter kind. He was elected and re-elected for many years, but he remained a back bencher. So was he really a successful politician? Unlike my political friend, Jared wishes to move from the back benches and be seen as a leader. To make this transition, he has committed himself to the process of change. Having worked with Steffany previously, Jared is very self-aware and realizes that these changes are mandatory to take his success to the next level. Working on the vowel sounds of Executive North American English will help to alter his speech pattern replacing his short, clipped style for one that is more drawn out and melodic. Losing the f-word and replacing it with a Shakespearian insult, “You Puking, Common-Kissing, Foot-Licker,” will not only get you more respect, it might get you a laugh or two. One of the big discoveries was the effect of an old hockey injury on his neck and voice. These injured muscles are acting as both a vocal and emotional block in his body. It will take a little longer to work through this, but already we are expanding his tone into the upper, friendlier range. Like Jared, Krista has made great strides. Working to increase breathing capacity is paying off in volume. We are also using the breath to build her ability to relax for both stress management and those times during delivery when a cleansing breath will be of great benefit. The most amazing discovery is Krista’s tone and range. While she will not admit to it yet, she has a great singing voice. One of the biggest challenges for Krista is the elimination of the verbalized pauses. Now that she is conscious of the trait, she is battling the habit and winning—it’s amazing how well spoken and articulate she becomes. This is not the person I first met a couple of months ago—that Krista had problems communicating one-on-one. Now she’s finding her voice… whether she’s offering an opinion on the family business, or speaking on a cause the she supports. Fast forward to the future: Picture Jared speaking about real estate and real estate investing. See this young entrepreneur sharing his passion and offering advice on how to be successful. Now meet his partner Krista. Hear how she discovers how to achieve balance between running this successful business and maintaining a fulfilling family life. Maybe together they will transform a few lives themselves. √
ared and Krista Hope are on the highway to the Canadian dream. They are an attractive couple blessed with good health, wealth and a clear sense of where they want to go. Yet that highway can lead to chasms of conflict. Their blessings can come with challenges that test their business and personal relationships. Jared and Krista should make a strong commitment, as a couple and as individuals, to work on the relationship “hot spots” that fester and create conflict. “Power balancing” is one of those hot spots.. but what is it? It means equalizing the power between partners so that both parties feel valued, respected and heard. Power imbalances can lead to resentment, disrespect and disaster. Jared’s hockey career has laid the foundation for their strong financial position. He is the front man—the public face of their business. Krista is the nurturing wife and mother who keeps the “home fires burning”. Yet there is much more to Krista Hope than being a great wife and mother. She is an insightful and well-balanced young woman with a keen mind and a strong interest in self-knowledge. But she also has a strong tendency to “go underground” when her personal radar detects conflict. How does Krista face her aversion to conflict in this relationship while maintaining her sense of personal power and her own authentic voice? Jared’s co-operation and support will make her work easier. It is in his long-term interests to support his wife as she establishes her present and future roles and responsibilities within the business. The first step is to take inventory. What are the skills and passions that she brings to the business? Krista’s gift for introspection will serve her well as she identifies and lists the key components of her personal power. Her work with Transformer Tom will have alerted her to the power and potential of her own authentic voice. Next, she will do an assessment of how those components of power and voice might be utilized and honoured within the context of the personal and business relationship with her husband. This will prepare her for a conversation with Jared. Here is where it all comes together. This conversation will map out Krista’s areas of power and responsibility in business and personal contexts in the short, medium and long-term. It can be a one-on-one or a facilitated conversation, but it should result in a signed agreement that Jared and Krista both “own” and support. This document will clearly define and facilitate Krista’s present and future roles and responsibilities within the company. This is conflict management at its best—building bridges of understanding today to cross tomorrow’s chasms of conflict. Can they do their work today to cross tomorrow’s chasms? Krista and Jared Hope are already starting to build the bridges. √
Tom Bradshaw is the head of the Academy of Voice & Speech. Contact: email@example.com
Les Brost is head of Southern Star Communications. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
EDMONTONIANS JULY 2007
By Ron Hiebert
equities to fixed income accordingly. The time to determine asset mix is not when stocks are sinking like a stone. If your exposure to risk is higher than your tolerance to handle it, the losses will magnify the pain until you fold like a cheap suit.
emember the cartoon character Pogo? He uttered the famous words, “We have met the enemy… and he is us.” For investors, this saying rings especially true. Often, we are our own worst enemy. The brain normally performs a yeoman’s job, navigating us through the vicissitudes of life, but occasionally this process is short circuited by our own human nature. When our thinking spits out a large hairball, it is important to understand why.
DON’T GET COCKY Researchers did a study on horse race handicappers. They asked the bettors to make predictions on the outcome of various races with five pieces of information on each horse. They ran the test numerous times, giving the handicappers 10, 20 and 40 pieces of information about each race. Surprisingly, the researchers found that the accuracy of the predictions did not increase, even though the handicappers had additional information. The success rate stayed pretty steady at about 18 percent, no matter how much extra data they had. What did go up was their confidence—by 50 percent. Investment Implication: More information equals more confidence; more confidence equals bigger bets; bigger bets equal bigger gains or bigger losses. The moral of the story is that it isn’t about more information—it is about good information. Being overly confident often overwhelms a person’s natural skepticism. Cynicism is one of the best defense mechanisms you can use to keep from being taken to the financial cleaners.
WE HATE TO LOSE MORE THAN WE LIKE TO WIN In 1979, Kahneman and Tversky conducted one of the most famous studies in investment psychology. They found that investors feel the impact of a loss 2½ times more deeply then they do a gain of the same size. Investment Implication: This 2½ to 1 ratio explains why people often sell off their stock holdings at the bottom of a bear market. They just can’t stand the emotional pain of hanging on until they go back up. No matter how good you are at picking profitable trades, you are going to have your share of losers. The best investors know their pain threshold and adjust their ratio of
By Nizar J. Somji
ne of the most common themes you hear everywhere today is that we are all time constrained. The more technology and tools we add to our repertoire, the more time constrained we become. Interestingly, someone recently loaned me a book Toxic Success: How To Stop Striving And Start Thriving by Dr. Paul Pearsall which discusses this subject in a very different yet meaningful way. The author argues, and rightly so, that we are not time constrained—we have been robbed of our attention. He suggests that the concept of multi-tasking is another form of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). We attempt to simultaneously perform multiple tasks, not necessarily accomplishing any one of them well, and spending longer to achieve all of them. This concept became clear to me as I was driving with my mother and simultaneously checking e-mail on my PDA. My mother, concerned for my safety, suggested I focus on driving. What became clear was that I was not giving her any of my attention. This may not seem so earth-shattering, except that my purpose on this day was to spend time with her. In this age of multi-tasking, we have lost one of the most powerful means of communication—giving our full attention—to a colleague, our friends and family, or an event we are attending. This is not a new phenomenon. Marketing and advertising specialists have known for a long time that the attention span is declining. Telemarketing companies recognize that the first 30 seconds of any conversation are critical: If you cannot get the prospect’s attention in this time frame, it is unlikely that you will make any progress. All of these companies have done extensive research on what it takes to capture the attention quickly, including determining which colour, size, font and presentation we are attracted to, as well as focusing the content and message for the greatest impact in the shortest time.
LOTTERY TICKET INVESTING If a lottery goes a few weeks or months without a winner, the payoff often becomes huge. When that happens there is often a buying frenzy that brings people, who would never normally waste money on such things, out of the weeds to buy tickets. Psychologists call this phenomenon ‘affect’. When the rewards are very large, people focus on the outcome, which, in a lottery, is winning millions of dollars. If the rewards are smaller, people tend to focus on the risks, which, for a lottery, is the fact that the odds against winning are astronomical. Investment Implication: Promoters have known for years that if you want to get people to load up on speculative stocks you have to get their guards down by highlighting the huge potential reward. Big gains focus people’s attention on the outcome and not on the risk. To avoid being swept away by the emotions associated with high rewards, never say yes to the purchase of any high-risk investment until you have had time to cool down. A couple of days is best, but even a few hours is often all the time your brain needs to regain its equilibrium and focus on the risks and not just the rewards.
HERD THEORY When a large number of people are doing the same thing, there is a trigger in the brain that goes off. We feel the compulsion to do what everyone else is doing, often without even feeling the need to question why. This is called Herd Theory. In psychology experiments, people will respond that 2+2=6 if enough paid shills ahead of them give that answer, even when they know that the correct outcome is 4. Peer pressure is a powerful thing. Investment Implication: Investment bubbles are started when too many people are willing to pay any price to participate in an investment trend or bandwagon. Bubbles end when that same crowd is willing to take a loss, no matter how big, to get off that same position because
everyone wants out. History tells us that there has never been a bubble that has ended well for investors. Herds are consistently wrong.
THE HOT HAND SYNDROME Humans naturally seek patterns. When they find something that works, they do it over and over again until it quits being successful. People instinctively believe that there is such a thing as a “Hot Hand”. They will keep playing the slot machine that wins, or passing the ball to the guy making the most buckets. Scientists studied a whole season worth of shooting statistics for both the Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers. They found that all the streaks and, for that matter, all the slumps as well, fell within the domain of probability and pure chance. That doesn’t mean that skill wasn’t part of the equation, but too often what people equate as skill, is just a combination of time and chance. Investment Implication: The best example of investors falling for Hot Hand syndrome was their behavior in the tech market run-up between 1995 and 1999. Many believed so much in their ability to pick one winning tech stock after another, that they quit their jobs and became day traders. Rather than having a Hot Hand or high level of skill, the real reason for their success was the fact that the entire sector was going up. Just as when the tide comes in, all ships in the harbor rise, when the tide goes out, all the ships fall. Those that rode the tech market all the way up didn’t realize how little skill they actually had until they rode it all the way back down. It takes luck to profit from a bull market and skill to survive a bear. It is important to know the difference. A successful investor needs a firm knowledge of the fundamentals and a strong insight into the frailties of human nature. It takes both to win. √ Ron Hiebert, a Director, Investment Executive with ScotiaMcLeod, teaches investment classes at Grant MacEwan College. The author of Wealth Building can be heard on CFCW radio (790 AM) Sundays from 8 to 9 a.m. on his show, Making Money. Contact him at email@example.com
Attention Deficit Disorder “Loss of control” is a powerful phenomenon, which is why we want to be constantly in touch, checking our PDA, aiming to follow-up and be connected and available at all times. Because, God forbid, to lose connection may mean loss of control, and who knows what will happen if you are not constantly reachable. The reality, of course, is that in the vast majority of the cases nothing will happen immediately. We can wait for the connection to be reestablished. Even in those very few cases where it is a situation requiring immediate attention, the ability to affect change may not be there even if one is connected. Anxiety—and depression related to anxiety—is a fast growing disorder in the developed world, and one that the developing world is also experiencing. As described by Dr. Pearsall: “The brain can mistake calmness and contentment for loss of control and even the threat of non-existence.” The other concept that drives our behavior is “time is money”—we simply cannot afford to waste time. But as Dr. Pearsall argues, “time is a convenient illusion and an artificial measure we impose on our lives… attending a long lecture, you can spend a lot of time without paying much attention.” There are two aspects to the concept of being attention constrained: (1) How can we slow down to become more effective, and (2) how can we use this understanding to drive our business? Often, we sit back and wonder… how does a successful individual accomplish so much? The busier the individual, the more the individual is able to accomplish. In all cases, there are a number of factors: BEING CALM – having a sense of focus and purpose, while enabling us to avoid the intense feeling of being overwhelmed.
ATTENTION – trying not to do everything all at once. The key is to give attention to the right things at the right time for the right reason. It is not about how much time you give any particular task, it is about how much attention you allocate. Understanding this concept also allows you to drive your business. STAFF and COLLEAGUES – ensuring that we are not only giving this area time, but also paying attention and making it personal. Creating that personal connection will enable one to build loyalty, improve productivity and reduce attrition. The personal connection is made when you pay attention in addition to time. CLIENTS and CUSTOMERS – recognizing your customers and clients are inundated with data and information. With a declining attention span, it becomes very challenging for your message to cut through the clutter and reach the appropriate person. It requires a message that is simple and focused… that can challenge conventional thinking… that appeals to all senses… and perhaps most critically, that has both an intellectual and emotional component. So as you conclude this article, I am sure you are wondering why I was given this book to read. Perhaps I was distracted while multi-tasking to increase efficiency. Perhaps the purpose was to help me to achieve more by focusing my attention instead of multi-tasking. √ Nizar J. Somji is president and CEO of Jaffer Inc., a management/ investment consulting firm; and chairman of the board of Matrikon Inc., a company he founded in 1988.
EDMONTONIANS JULY 2007
B iz IT 101 High-tech fashion—hemlines up? with Greg Michetti
Hey geeks/geekettes: Exactly what will you be wearing next fall while coding away in your cubicle? “Alessandro Dell’Acqua’s color palette is a breath of fresh air: optic white, pearl gray, black and nude with pops of blue and cherry red. His long and lean silhouette was sexy—the zip-front fitted scuba jackets, the ultimate skinny pant. My favourite pieces were the dresses; I loved the nude chiffon with a knit back and the short cherry-red pleated chiffon dress with wide nude elastic straps.” Now that last paragraph, copied verbatim from the online version of New York Magazine (www.nymag.com), represents what Ann Watson, vice-president fashion director at Henri Bendel, will be buying for her clients this fall. Here it is, just weeks after the snow has gone, the fashion plates in the clothing business are planning for winter 2007. They’re not alone. The hi-tech industry, especially the big players in the retail game, use the months of May, June and July to begin hauling out their hardware and software for the fall and winter months. That’s because the two busiest, hi-tech spending periods of the year are the backto-school time in mid-August and the November-December Christmas shopping
ivic Buzz with David Norwood
The time is coming for Edmonton City Council to make some difficult decisions in the context of its Smart Choices Program. Smart Choices is a carefully developed, comprehensive City program which generally focuses on urban land intensification with due regard to a number of factors: transit-oriented development, residential infill, neighbourhood reinvestment, and public consultation about proposed redevelopments. While not necessarily a refutation of urban sprawl, the Smart Choices concept aims at preserving or enhancing the viability of mature neighbourhoods through carefully planned developments, some of them on a large scale. Invariably, the larger redevelopments include medium- and high-density, mixed use buildings (residential, commercial, retail), and just as invariably, the resulting proposals generate significant controversy. Two current large-scale redevelopment proposals which have attracted controversy (and about which I have written in this column previously) are those for the Strathearn (Strathearn Heights Apartments Redevelopment Project) and Glenora (142nd Street and Stony Plain Road) districts. The controversy centres mainly around two aspects of each project: density and height. Critics express the view that the projects have too much density and the proposed towers—the tallest ones at least— are too tall. Overall, they fear that the greater population, increased traffic and high-rise towers will change the character of their neighbourhoods for the worse. Supporters of the projects—by no means confined to only the developers—suggest that both projects will revitalize 12
season. It’s going to happen before we know it, too. But, more importantly, most retailers need to place orders and lay out serious coin for tech products several months before delivery. And every retailer will tell you, it’s not how you sell, it’s how you buy. Want that Inventory Turnover ratio on the balance sheet to be healthy? Then you must do your homework well in advance or else the bank will turn your nice retail location into a donut shop, with you as chief barista. Remember the HewlettPackard “The Computer is Personal Again” pitch display at the local Best Buy last Christmas? Did you see the same ad on Monday Night Football? To put this into perspective, that campaign was unveiled in May 2006 in San Francisco. In May of this year, HP unveiled part of its corporate direction at an event I attended at the Battery Park Ritz-Carlton in the lower Manhattan area of New York City. Specifically, this event was held by the IPG—imaging and printing group—at neighbourhoods, and introduce pedestrianoriented urban villages with easy access to public transportation. Both are relatively close to the downtown core but are not part of, and never will be, high-density neighbourhoods like Oliver. Supporters also suggest that well-planned communities, with the high-rise towers placed in such a way that they do not encroach on the established areas of the neighbourhood, will enhance the quality of life. Readers of this column know on which side of the fence I sit. Just as I saw the merits of Century Park when that massive project was first unveiled (and is now well underway), I see very much that is good in the Strathearn and Glenora projects. Both adhere to the Smart Choices concept… both have had the benefit of ongoing and wide public consultation—in the case of Strathearn, significantly more consultation than the City requires… both resulted in modifications to the original concept. These projects will be going to City Council for review and decision in the near future. It will be interesting to see if its members will embrace the Smart Choices concept and approve them, or will it merely pay lip service to the concept and water them down, or worse, reject them? If the latter, look for Edmonton to continue to be the least densely populated major city in North America, if not the world. Given the ongoing need for accommodation, perhaps it’s a designation we can forego.
Plans are afoot again to redevelop the Charles Camsell Hospital site in Inglewood. Interested persons attended a public information meeting on June 25 where plans for the site were discussed. Gene Dub, of Dub Architects Ltd., owner of the site, submitted two applications to the City, the first to amend the west Ingle Redevelopment Plan (ARP), which would provide policy direction for the hospital
HP, the people responsible for digital cameras, scanners, printers and supplies. Translation: They generate close to a third of HP’s annual revenues of more than $90 billion (U.S.) last year. Also in May, Sun Microsystems held JavaOne 2007—the annual love-in for Java coders—in San Francisco. This four-day event has turned into Sun’s state-of-the-union address… quite positive because the company has recently strung together successive profitable quarters. Although the analysts dumped on the stock because it fell short of their revenue estimates, Sun is getter healthier at operations. Despite turbulent times, it still commands respect in tech circles and everybody has an opinion on the company. Naturally, Microsoft isn’t exactly sitting still: Its annual week-long Tech-Ed 2007 show for key developers and partners was held in early June in Orlando. It costs nearly $2K (U.S.) per person to attend
(sans food, air and hotel) and always sells out a couple of months beforehand. With a new operating system, Vista… a new version of Microsoft Office, 2007… and a new server operating system, Longhorn… there was a lot of Microsoft Kool-Aid to drink at this event. Also in June, I attended the Symantec Vision 2007 Conference, in Las Vegas. The upcoming year looks to be a big one for Symantec as they launch, among other things, Norton 360; a flagship-type application that has antivirus, anti-spyware, firewall and offsite storage capability for consumers. It will go head-to-head with Microsoft’s Live One Care as the primo security software suite for Vista… as Vistaequipped PCs may be the real rage in the fall. Oh yeah… just before I hit Vegas, I attended the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal and looked at Lenovo’s involvement in hi-tech hardware for Formula One racing. Something must be working for Lenovo as the workstations and servers they supplied possibly helped vault the ATT Williams team and its driver Alexander Wurz into a third place finish that day. Again, “show-off” events like this are aimed at strengthening endusers’ opinions about the products and company around the key buying periods. As for me, I’m just wondering what it will be like as I look in my closet before heading out on a tough day of coding next October. Will I wear the Alessandro Dell’Acqua’s chiffon… Dolce’s pewter trench… or the purple shirt from Moschino? Hmmmm. Think I will stick with the Dockers pants and Polo shirt. Those other clothes are just so February. √
Gregory B. Michetti of the Alberta-based systems integration firm Michetti Information Solutions, Inc. can be reached via www.michetti.com
redevelopment within the three-bedroom suites, ARP. The second making it attractive for application is to amend families, a component the zoning bylaw to site not usually considered in specific development Edmonton’s high-rise control provision (DC2) market until now. The and public parks zone proposal is now working (AP). Dub plans to its way through various develop the site with city departments for the medium- and high-density necessary approvals. It residential housing, up to will make a handsome 594 units, with limited addition to the commercial development. Edmonton skyline. Under the AP zoning, the northeast corner of the site It was inevitable would be developed as a that we in Alberta public park. would be joining other While this column was jurisdictions, particularly Condos planned written well in advance of those with large urban for Bellamy Hill the June 25 meeting, populations, in having to members of Connect2Edmonton (C2E) dial 10 digits when calling anyone—even were letting their views be known as soon the folks next door. And, as of September as the invitation was sent to Inglewood 12, 2008, all new phone numbers over the residents. The majority believe that entire province will be assigned a new area “Inglewood has so little to lose and so code, 587. Both can be attributed to the much to gain” from the proposed influx of newcomers and the proliferation redevelopment. As a one-time resident—for of cell phones. Alberta and British 14 years—of that neighbourhood, I couldn’t Columbia will actually be the first agree more. The Camsell Hospital has been provinces in Canada to require 10-digit empty and derelict for more than a decade dialing. and is a perfect example of a site that is No customers will be required to change ideally suited for redevelopment. And as their existing telephone numbers, and the one member of C2E put it, the kind of geographic boundaries that govern long housing proposed by Dub Architects is not distance calling won’t be affected. All threecurrently available in Inglewood, and would digit numbers, including have a positive affect on the neighbourhood 211, 311, 411, 611, and as a whole. It will be interesting to see how 911 emergency service the proposal is received. will remain the same. Ah… the price of Architectural firm Brinsmead Ziola progress and growth… and our need to talk, Kennedy is the designer of the 34-storey condominium planned for Bellamy Hill just talk, talk. √ south of Edmonton House Suites. I had David Norwood is a freelance mentioned this in a previous column, but writer/editor. Contact the drawing of the complex has changed. firstname.lastname@example.org The structure will contain 101 two- and EDMONTONIANS JULY 2007
edia Minute with Bruce Hogle
The Edmonton Journal recently featured a special section on some of the 8,000 non-profit/volunteer organizations that do so much for this city. One I was formerly associated with provincially was the National Broadcast Reading Service (NBRS). Current Alberta director is ex-city broadcaster Bob Gibson, while well known Aboriginal role model Muriel Stanley-Venne is on its program committee. Among those who set up NBRS 17 years ago is current operating officer Bob Trimbee, former Edmonton journalist and Alberta Press Gallery president. NBRS, a media not-for-profit charity, is licensed by the CRTC and has two main divisions, VoicePrint and AudioVision. VoicePrint is an “audio newsstand” for all Canadians—especially the 4.4 million vision-and-print-restricted people who are
unable to access print information—by broadcasting audio versions of stories from English language newspapers and magazines. AudioVision produces narrated descriptions of film and videos so blind and low-vision Canadians can enjoy theatrical and television dramas and programming. VoicePrint accomplishes its goals through volunteer readers at 70 local broadcast centres (LBCs) across Canada, including Edmonton, where it is run by exCHED reporter Djanna Fabjanovich… in Calgary by former journalist Steve Brown… and one just launched in Lethbridge for southwestern Alberta by community activist Renae Barlow. And what does all of this have to do with Alberta? Glad you asked. NBRS has been rebuffed by Rural Alberta Development Fund (RADF) in its bid to establish LBCs at Fort Mc Murray, Grande Prairie, Red Deer, Lloydminster and Medicine Hat. The RADF support would open the door for VoicePrint to recruit and train volunteer readers at each community, and to work with Alberta’s 113 weekly newspapers so that half a million
Albertans living in 400 rural communities could receive—for the first time—audio versions of local news and information that would enhance their daily quality of life. NBRS also envisaged AudioVision partnering with Alberta Heritage movie makers to produce described versions of films about our historical legacies. They would reach Albertans through our 300plus rural libraries. NBRS also looked to support our literacy programs at the grassroots level with a mobile reading service. In rejecting the National Broadcast Reading Service—and leaving no room for an appeal—the RADF said it is much more important to have a free 211 phone service in southwest Alberta to provide government service information. They also provided funding for expansion of training for Aboriginal people in Rocky Mountain House—but not elsewhere… a regional economic development initiative in Killam to attract agri-business—but not elsewhere… and on-line learning and business centres in Three Hills and Hanna—but not elsewhere. The only program approved so far by
RADF which might assist some rural areas is one where provincial medical students will spend eight months in six selected towns in hopes of attracting more doctors to rural Alberta. The only initiative received by the RADF which would have truly served all rural Albertans was that from the NBRS— rejected for a variety of completely unacceptable reasons. RADF directors decide who receives some of the $100-million funding to be distributed over the next three years. Too bad they don’t have the same vision, awareness, courage, leadership and decision-making capabilities as those running the National Broadcast Reading Service… from whom they could take a good lesson. √ Bruce Hogle is the former news director at CFRN TV and recently retired head of the Alberta Press Council. Contact email@example.com
my space Janna Rausch Ferguson
Revolutionizing Dinner Time
ccording to a 2005 survey done by
Columbia University, teens who eat with their families at least five times a week have better grades and are less likely to suffer from substance abuse problems. The busier we are, the harder it is to take the time to enjoy quality meals together. A 38-year old Edmonton mom has revolutionized the way we can serve healthy, flavourful, home-made and affordable meals. When Janna Rausch Ferguson had her second son three years ago, she was immersed in the world of parenting and coping with a colicky baby. Often, the last thing on her mind was what to make for supper, yet she felt pressured to prepare a hearty meal… just like her mother did. “There’s a stigma that, as a stay-at-home mother, the least you can do is have a good meal on the table at the end of the day.” So she revisited her roots and began preparing meals in advance—far in advance… weeks or months even—and freezing them to simplify her life.
Edmontonian IN EXILE
By Janet Edmondson in Calgary
For Young Entreprenuers
When harried friends asked about her pre-planned meals, Janna rented a church kitchen, invited them to sample her favourite freezable recipes and gauge the potential for a new business. That’s how Dinner Revolution got its start two years ago. The storefront operation, located at 1927-105th Street, has 14 do-it-yourself prep stations, where you can turn out a variety of meals—from meat and seafood dishes to pastas and pizzas, depending on monthly menu options—that you cook, package and take home for freezing. Each assembly station has everything you need to prepare your personallyselected, nutritious meals in either full portions (4-6 servings) or half portions (2-3 servings). Twelve full portions—enough for as many as 72 servings—cost $249. At roughly $3.50 per serving, you get value, convenience and freedom from meal-time stress. For a reasonable fee, you can have the meals prepared for you… or stop by for “ready-to-go” dinners. The marketing materials for Dinner Revolution focus on the advantages of planning and the importance of saving time. The clenched fist is reminiscent of Rosie the Riveter— We Can Do It! and is a powerful symbol, and the wristwatch alludes to the time factor, especially for working moms. But the DIY meal service is a godsend for all of us who could do with one less challenge in our busy days— whether we’re singles, seniors or executives. You can register on-line at www.edmonton.dinnerrevolution.com or call 461-4002 for information. I was impressed with the company’s take-charge attitude
thought this column was going to be about the bizarre, immature, self-indulgent behaviour of Calgarians during Stampede week. And I thought I had found the symbolic event. Couples who have walked that rocky path of romance, and now want to celebrate their lifelong commitment with a truly meaningful ceremony, were invited to enter a contest advertised in the Calgary Herald in June. First prize: a Marriage on the Stampede Midway. Ten lucky finalist couples had their creative, original and “of course, sentimental” essays and photos posted on the contest website. The general public then voted for their favourite couple, a la Canadian Idol. The winning couple has been given 10 days to prepare for this sacred event, with their wedding to take place on Monday, July 9th—Monday must be a slow day on the midway. The lucky couple won the whole package: wedding dress, tuxedos, flowers, cake, photography, and a honeymoon,
By Erin Rayner
toward its promotion efforts: Materials are continually revised and updated. It’s a lesson in forethought that many entrepreneurs don’t consider. After only two years, Janna launched an updated website in April 2007. When asked what inspired this visual renovation, she said she understands what works well for Dinner Revolution and wanted to remain visually interesting to her customers as the company evolved. The process of developing the new website was also a chance to explore a new way of addressing the creative part of marketing. “It took months of planning and going back to the designer. Instead of telling designer this is what I want, I took it in a different way and gave them complete freedom. I told them what was important to me—I am very attached to our logo. It’s empowering. I told him these are the colours that we are using... and the pages and topics that I wanted and they came back with something great.” Janna says. Janna is also revolutionizing dinner preparation in London, Ontario with a franchise there. And, she has hired Keshari Chitaka, a Nepalese native with experience at Union Bank Inn, Royal York and the Plaza Hotel in New York, to develop in-house recipes and create monthly menus. Kudos. I look forward to what’s to come. √ Erin Rayner is president of ED Marketing and Communications Inc. You can submit marketing materials for review; suggest young entrepreneurs to be profiled; nominate a Top Three; or ask a business developement question. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org Visit www.edmontonians.com for Erin’s Top Three and her advice to a budding entrepreneur. courtesy of WestJet. But the best part has to be the reception: three hours of unlimited rides, candy floss and corn dogs for family and friends. Sure hope I’m not on the guest list. But wait…. this insanity is not limited to Calgary. On researching this unholy matrimonial plan, I discovered that a lucky Edmonton couple will swing the same deal at CapitalEx. Red Deer romantics tried for a spot at Westerner Days. This rollercoaster ring-exchange is offered in more than 150 cities and towns in Canada and the U.S. Maybe, as fireworks shower above, the happy couples can launch their bouquets from “The Sling Shot”. It “flings you over 225 feet in the air reaching the spectacular speed of 160 km/hr in an incredible two seconds or less.” I hope the marriages last as long. √ email@example.com
EDMONTONIANS JULY 2007
Sizzle on the Q
with Chef John Berry
f you’re like me, you can’t wait to get home and head into the backyard to fire up the “Q”. Cooking outdoors on a barbeque is truly a summer delight. Actually, more and more of us are using our gas grills year round. However, what we are doing is, in fact, not barbequing, but grilling… over gas, propane or charcoal. Barbeque—or barbecue—is a Southern U.S. style of cooking using lots of smoke and low heat for long periods of time. My pal, Joe Goldfedder, aka Smokey Joe, brought Oklahoma Pit BBQ to Edmonton many years ago. I can’t count how many times he has reminded me that BBQ is an art form. Amen, brother. You make the best ribs and chipped beef I’ve ever tasted. Unfortunately for us, Joe has retired, but his restaurant, “Smokey Joe’s” still thrives today on Stony Plain Road at 152nd Street. If you want to try authentic Barbeque, that’s the only place to go. By grilling, we are getting what smoke we can from the drippings hitting the hot cooking element or angled surface of a stainless steel gas jet protector. It’s the smoke that gives meat and fish that wonderfully distinctive flavour. Some people add hickory, apple, cherry or mesquite wood chips to a special cast iron container that’s placed inside the Q. I prefer wild Alberta Willow. It has a sweet and savory smoke, and was used for hundreds of years by our aboriginal brothers and sisters when they smoked meat or fish. Try it. You won’t be disappointed. I have found that what you cook on is probably the biggest factor in determining whether you turn out to be a good outdoor chef or a great one. Now you don’t need to spend thousands on a grill. You just need a good unit that will deliver an even heat, and has a few bells and whistles to make your job easier and more enjoyable. Cam Mitchell of Barbecue Country on 75th Street and 51st Avenue is the guru of grilling. He says the industry has seen a good, steady growth over the past 10 to 15 years, as more people head into their backyards. Substantial growth over the past five years has translated into a 30 percent jump in sales across western Canada. “It’s different (grilling)… people are spending more time in their backyards, and they aren’t afraid to experiment.” They’ve moved beyond hamburgers, hot dogs and steaks to salmon, kabobs, stuffed meats—dishes we used to order in restaurants. Mitchell concurs that different flavours of smoke are incredibly popular.
lights inside the grill so you can see at night, smoker boxes inside the grill, and—the latest innovation—infra-red burners instead of the tubular gas bars, in both the grill and rotisserie areas. If you need help deciding what to buy or what best suits your needs, contact Cam Mitchell at Barbecue Country or visit www.barbecuecountry.com.
SPICY BLUE CHEESE-TOPPED RIB EYE STEAKS I learned how to grill over a small domed charcoal grill and, to this day, I maintain charcoal gives the best flavour. But, with all the options available on today’s modern grill, gas really is the only way to go. You don’t have to wait for 20 to 45 minutes while the coals burn down: Gas heat is immediate.
Q-TIPS If you are looking for a new BBQ here are a couple of things to remember: 1. You need an adequate heat source. Many of the models from the U.S. are made for warmer climes, and are not tested in the Canadian climate. Remember, outside temperature and wind are major factors that will affect your meal. 2. The cooking surface of the grill is a key component that will make you a grilling star. Look for grills that have good heat retention. Stainless steel and porcelain coated grills are the best. Every time you lift the lid, heat will escape, so you need a grill that will stay hot. 3. Another consideration is the construction of the BBQ underneath the cooking surface. Look for a flavour wave or bar. It looks like a peaked roof over the gas burner. The juice from your meat hits this and vaporizes immediately, creating a flavourful smoke. What doesn’t vaporize, runs off into a catch basin at the bottom of the Q. 4. You can spend anywhere from $300 to $12,000 on a good grill. I use a Broil King natural gas unit. It comes with a side burner, stainless steel tube burners, and cast iron porcelain coated grills for just over $600. The latest bells and whistles on some of the higher-end grills include LED lights on your burner knobs, halogen
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese 4 oz cream cheese 4 tsp. jalapeno pepper diced fine (minus the seeds)* 1 Tbs. finely diced green onion 1 1/2 tsp. red wine vinegar 1/4 cup diced fresh parsley 2 Tbs. olive oil 2 cloves of garlic crushed 6 rib-eye steaks, 1” thick. 1. Combine the cream cheese, blue cheese, jalapeno pepper, green onion and vinegar and set aside. 2. Combine parsley, oil and garlic and pour into a heavy duty ziplock bag. Add steaks and squeeze bag to coat them. Seal bag. Let stand for 30 minutes. 3. Remove steaks from the bag. Grill over medium heat to achieve desired doneness. Serve steaks with cheese mixture on top. The steaks go well with a baked potato, grilled asparagus and garlic toast… with a nice Pinot Noir or Merlot. √ * Chef’s Note: When handling jalapeno peppers, the seeds contain a lot of the heat associated with this pepper. Wear protective gloves and avoid touching any exposed skin, and especially your eyes. Visit www.edmontonians.com for more of Chef John’s recipes...and check www.steamwhistle.ca for beer-based recipes for the grill. Our thanks to Steam Whistel Brewing for the photos. Contact Chef John Berry at firstname.lastname@example.org
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EDMONTONIANS JULY 2007
. . l l i r d a . . . l A Gril l l i k s e m o s d n a
with Linda Bodo
have spent years transforming our patio into an outdoor sanctuary for dining, entertaining and generally just hanging out. Rustic chandeliers dangle over tables covered with Provencial fabrics. A sitting area offers the ideal location for reading the paper, playing Scrabble or catching a few zees. A small fountain murmurs over a tiled buffet that plays double-duty as a bar or food service area. The buffet was actually the first DIY project that I wrote about for Lively Lifestyles three years ago this month. Cushions, candles and candelabras add colour and ambience, and custom heaters take the chill off on cooler nights. Clay pots crammed with bedding plants, herbs and climbing vines provide food for hummingbirds and foliage for fleeing chipmunks. Depending on my mood, outdoor speakers whisper Verdi’s Four Seasons, or blare Gwen Stephani’s Sweet Escape. Plans are in the works for a double-sided fireplace scheduled for installation some time next year. I L-O-V-E my patio. My BBQ, on the other hand, was another story. My parents gave it to me some 20 years ago when they upgraded to a new one. The years had not been kind to my grill: faded paint, rusted hinges and a broken wheel left it looking haggard and unsightly. Only one burner worked… the self-ignition did not operate… the wooden handle was absconded by a squirrel who chewed the knob off in a fit of rage. We lost the cover years ago when it blew off in a windstorm and disappeared into the river valley. It was indeed a sorry sight, but I did not have the heart to get rid of it. Then, some time during our long, hard winter, tragedy struck—my outdoor grill went to BBQ heaven. I lamented briefly, hit the streets in search of a replacement. After much mulling around, I decided to purchase a propane grill insert that could be dropped into a custom made enclosure—complete with storage, decent counter space, and heavy duty wheels for mobility. Finally, our Barbie would complement the rest of our outdoor living space. I completed the task in two week-ends. Here’s how…
BodoBuilt The gas grill industry recommends a 24-inch clearance between a propane-fueled grill and any combustible material, so steel studs and backerboard are an absolute must. When designing your unit, create a base large enough to include plenty of storage for tools and tanks. Ensure you have enough counter space around the grill for plates, tongs and a glass of your favourite wine. If you are feeling brave, add a raised lip at the back of the cart to create a stand-up bar where guests can hang out while you grill. Battery operated LED lights with flexible necks easily clamp onto work surfaces for a little extra illumination.
MATERIALS Steel studs/steel channels • 3/4‘” self-drilling metal screws 1/4” & 1/2” backerboard • Backerboard screws 3/4” plywood (to attach wheels) Stainless/wood doors/hinges Tiles/Stone • Sealant • Mortar/Sanded Grout Heavy duty wheels with brakes/nuts, bolts and washers Vent
TOOLS Tape measure • Tile saw Trowel/spatula • Drill Bucket/gloves • Spacers Framing square Circular saw with metal, masonry blades
DROP IN GRILLS Drop-in grills come with a template or specification sheet to calculate the opening for the BBQ. Determine the height and width of your caddy and cut studs accordingly. Be sure to leave an opening for storage doors. Assemble frame with self-tapping screws and attach 1/4” backerboard
for sides, 1/2” for counter top and 3/4” plywood for base. Cover plywood with 1/2” backerboard. Cut opening in the backerboard at the lower back of unit for a metal vent to provide air circulation for any gas build-up. Bolt wheels onto bottom plywood sheet. Use exterior grade tile, stone or slate to cover exterior of caddy, including the interior floor, adhere with mortar. Start at the top of unit. Let dry 24 hours and grout. Seal grout and drop in grill. Attach doors.
EXISTING BBQ CADDY The availability of replacement parts has extended the operational life of our barbecues. If you want to hang onto your existing grill, you can up-grade the unit easily. Create the look of a built-in by constructing a garage to park your BBQ in. Check out this site for instructions www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=howTo&p=LawnGard en/BarbecueIsland. This is a comprehensive site that will walk you through the process, step by step. Today, the grill caddy is an integral element of our outdoor entertainment center. This appliance has become another piece of furniture that transforms into an instant serving area for appetizers, or the perfect spot to conduct quality checks on the evening’s menu. Bar stools are pulled up to the BBQ island where guests hang out, give the chef advice, and share an aperitif while mouth watering aromas waft from the grill. If the wind shifts or the rains descend, we switch gears and wheel it to a protected location, barstools and all. On top of all that, it is a one-of-a-kind model, uniquely designed, and hand crafted. I L-O-V-E my barbeque. √ Contact Linda Bodo at email@example.com or visit www.absolutebodo.com
EDMONTONIANS JULY 2007
ACQUISITIONS, DIVESTITURES & CORPORATE FINANCE
Hemisphere Engineering 50th Anniversary Celebrated at John and Cathie Chomiak’s annual BBQ at Moscow Park south of Mundare Photos by Peter von Hauff
Cathie Chomiak— happy hostess
with Stephen W. Kent, CA (780) 441-6793 Andi Pallas retired from GMC and moved to Wizard Lake where he rides a mowing tractor and takes orders from wife Liz who manages Lizzees Berry Farms—go out and pick saskatoons.
Architect Craig Henderson and Isabel Henderson of the Glenrose Foundation with Sally and Malcolm Johnson, and Gino Ferri of Read Jones Christoffersen.
Phil Klein— still sharp as a tack as he approaches his 90th birthday.
Barb and husband Brian Hlus of Capital Health
Tom Chambers with Ken Pilip of Ceapro, conspiring to get onto the golf course. Donna von Hauff, John Chomiak, and Edmontonians publisher Sharon MacLean
Thomas Lukaszuk, MLA for Edmonton-Castledowns, with two of the belles of the BBQ
13-year-old Julia Vos, who has powerful pipes and remarkable stage presence, could be Nashville bound soon.
Less is more Ten years ago, an extremely intelligent engineer went into business for himself and built a small mechanical device that was used extensively in the oil and gas industry. He was a niche player in a large industry and successfully obtained a number of orders because he was prepared to manufacture a custom product that precisely suited the purchaser’s needs. The company grew to about $1MM per year in revenues fairly quickly but there it stalled. His customers were very happy with his product but they never seemed to increase their business with him even though they were buying similar items from his competitors. He explained his situation to a friend who happened to be an entrepreneur - a true entrepreneur in the sense that he had been successful in a number of different industries. In fact, he had no experience in the oil and gas service sector at all. The entrepreneur visited the manufacturing facility and educated himself about the industry. He liked what he saw and thought the company had tremendous potential. A deal was struck and he became a part owner of the company. The entrepreneur felt that being a custom shop, even though it attracted some business, was in fact a limiting factor to the company’s growth. He proposed they reposition themselves as a manufacturer of only four standard items. They would no longer offer customization at all; if the customers did not like the products they manufactured, that was too bad. The new partner was fully committed to making a fundamental change as the company was really going nowhere. The founder was understandably concerned with this approach and was skeptical as to its success. They followed through with the repositioning and discovered that the customers had little or no concerns. In fact, they purchased far more product. As the customization, which tends to be inefficient and costly, disappeared the margins improved. Four years after the change, the company is now a dominant player in their industry. They have a specific focus, stability, growth, and their product now has brand recognition. To support this growth, the entrepreneur introduced some best business practices such as systems, processes and a complete layer of management. The business’ value has increased dramatically since the founder diluted his position by taking on a partner. Not only has the sustainable EBITDA increased but so has the multiple which is used to value the company. Sometimes less can end up being significantly more. If you are interested in making some fundamental changes to your business today in order to increase the value of your business in the future, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 780.441.6793.
EDMONTONIANS JULY 2007