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No1 Spring Issue 2013

IN FLORIDA

Discover how Orlando is

Changing the meetings Game Orlando

A home to one of the world’s leading entertainment and media universities

All work and no play...

The Real Estate Market is hot

Can we help you transfer money to and from the USA?

YES WE CAN!

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WELCOME FROM THE CONSUL GENERAL IN MIAMI MEETINGS GAME Always Evolving, Always Inspiring Discover How Orlando is Changing the

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ALL WORK AND NO PLAY

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STATE OF THE CITY ADDRESS

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CANADA CRUISE INDUSTRY

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FULL SAIL UNIVERSITY A world-class entertainment and media school in the heart of the Orlando area

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EDITORIAL

EDITORIAL

Words from the Publisher

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here is a mutual love affair between Florida and Canadians. Never before have we seen such parity between the currencies and with real estate now on a steady incline, there seems to be little to slow the number of Canadians choosing to purchase property and call Florida home for one month to several each year. We share a continent, similar cultures, and trade agreements that make us truly sister nations. It is difficult to imagine Florida without the Canadian influence on our every aspect of business and commerce and lifestyle. For this reason we have decided to publish a magazine that combines the two with Canadians in mind. We will report on life throughout the State, on issues that we feel are topical and relevant, some on business and some on life and events, some perhaps just to make you smile. On-line, every other month you will find us. Thank you for reading and we hope to keep you engaged! Yours Sincerely,

l a s s A e n i t s Ju

PUBLISHER

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TEAM PUBLISHER Justine Assal SENIOR EDITOR Carmenza Gonzalez ASSISTANT EDITOR Nicole Hatti DESIGN ORB Marketing CONTRIBUTING COLUMNISTS Canadian Consul General - Louise Leger, Patricia Tan, Hillary Page Smith, Mayor Teresa Jacobs, Mayor Buddy Dyer, FullSail University CONTRIBUTORS Carol Dudley Richard Charman ADVERTISING info@floridalinkcorp.com 407-401-9690 NEWS Nicole Hatti Q&A Justine Assal SUBMISSIONS editor@floridalinkcorp.com

CanadianLINK Magazine – The Official Canadian Expat magazine of Florida is a publication of Floridalink LLC. & ORB Marketing Solutions Printed and published in the United States. Published 6 times per year. Copyright 2013 Floridalink LLC No portions of this work may be copied or reproduced without express written permission of the Publisher. We can be contacted at Floridalink LLC Info@floridalinkcorp.com 407 401 9690 www.floridalinkcorp.com


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WELCOME FROM THE CONSUL GENERAL IN MIAMI I’m delighted to welcome readers to the inaugural publication of CanadaLink. This exciting new publication will highlight the dynamism of the Canadian community in Florida, including commercial enterprises, investors, snowbirds and tourists. Canada and the United States share a deep and abiding partnership, characterised by a long tradition of cooperation in defending our continent and fighting for freedom, the world’s largest trading relationship by far and stewardship of a rich and diverse environment. Here in Florida, we are the state’s preeminent economic and security partner. In 6 | CANADIAN LINK

2011, fully 559,900 jobs in Florida depend on trade and investment with Canada, thanks to merchandise trade, tourism and real estate. Canadian Forces personnel service at bases across the state, and on ships that patrol alongside our US colleagues in the Caribbean and elsewhere. Our bilateral trade is valued at $7.5 billion annually, thanks in part to Canadian

exports of petroleum products to Florida, and nearly 200 Canadian-owned represent fully 10% of all foreign non-bank affiliates in Florida. Canadians are overwhelmingly Florida’s top international tourism market, with more than 3.6 million annual visits and $4 billion dollars in spending. Canadians are also Florida’s foremost foreign purchaser of residential real estate, buying nearly 35% of all properties bought by foreign nationals - that’s more than all Latin American countries combined! We also recognize the tremendous role Florida plays as a gateway to Latin America. Canadian companies are interested in tapping into the growing supply chains, investment ties and vibrant cultural links that connect Florida to Latin America and the Caribbean. Their optimist is well-founded – since 2005, our two-way trade with Latin America and the Caribbean has grown by


THE CONSUL CORNER

almost 45%, faster than with any other area in the world. Today, Canada has more FTAs with Latin America and the Caribbean than with the rest of the world combined. Our ongoing negotiations in the Transpacific Partnership will establish an even stronger footing for our trade relations with the United States, Mexico and Latin American member countries. The Canadian consulate is here to help. Our team of dedicated professionals pursues four main business lines: business development and investment promotion, consular assistance, advocacy, and security interests in Florida, Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands. The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service team in Miami is part of Canada’s most extensive network of international business professionals – with representatives in more than 150 cities around the world. TCS staff assist Canadian companies attract investment, export or invest abroad, and develop innovation and R&D partnerships. Representatives also support trade missions to Florida by Canadian companies looking to meet with partners in a specific industry or potential buyers, assist with trade missions to Canada by Florida state or municipal officials and FL based companies. Investment promotion is another key service, assisting Canadian companies looking to establish themselves in Florida as well as Florida-based companies looking to expand in Canada. Our priority sectors are: information and communication technologies, cleantech, aerospace and defence, and life sciences. Our Consular section service many of the millions of Canadian visitors and snowbirds who come to Florida, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands each year, including passport services, emergency consular assistance and information on such matters as citizenship, old age security, Canada Pension Plan, birth/marriage/death cer-

tificates, taxation, and deaths and arrests abroad. Our advocacy section shares Canada’s story of sound fiscal management, responsible resource development and environmental stewardship with Floridians. We also advance Canadian interests in Florida, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, including transparent and open trade, free of protectionism, border security and efficiency through the Beyond the Border Initiative, and our security partnership in NORAD and in hotspots abroad. It’s easy to keep in touch. Contact us online at www.miami.gc.ca, through Connect2Canada, our virtual network, or on social media @connect2Canada. Our bricks and mortar contact information is below. We’d love to hear from you. Consulate General of Canada, 200 South Biscayne Blvd., Suite 1600, Miami, Fl 33131 Telephone: (305) 579-1600 Fax: (305) 374-6774 miami@international.gc.ca Louise Leger, Consul General US Army photo by SPC Keith D. Henning

Government of Canada

LOUISE LÉGER Consul General of Canada in Miami oined the Department of Industry, Trade and Commerce as a trade commissioner in 1981. Her career at Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada has included postings to Colombia, Switzerland and Israel. In 1995, she was appointed ambassador to Panama, and in 2001 ambassador to Costa Rica, with concurrent accreditation to Nicaragua and Honduras. In Ottawa, Ms. Léger has held the positions of deputy director of the Eastern Europe Commercial Relations Division as well as executive director and deputy director general at the Summit of the Americas Bureau. Ms. Léger has also twice served as director general of Trade Commissioner Service, leading the Operations Bureau as well as the Client Services Bureau. Ms. Léger began her tenure as Consul General of Canada in Miami in September 2009. CANADIAN LINK | 7


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MAYOR TERESA JACOBS

Evolving, Always Inspiring Always

DISCOVER HOW ORLANDO

IS CHANGING THE MEETINGS GAME

Orlando has recently experienced a remarkable transformation. If it’s been awhile since you have visited, our best-kept secret is how much we’ve changed. Our continued evolution has also placed us in a unique position among competing travel destinations. By: Teresa Jacobs Mayor, Orange County Florida

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cknowledged by many meeting professionals as the industry leader when it comes to flexibility, functionality and service, the Orange County Convention Center is the second-largest meetings and conventions facility in the United States. The green-friendly complex — comprised of two separate buildings connected by a 1,500-foot, open-air bridge with moving sidewalks — offers 2.1 million square feet of exhibition space plus 480,000 square feet of function space, including meeting rooms. We continue to invest in our facility and have cash funded a $187.4 million, 5 year capital improvement program to continue making aesthetic upgrades, enhance technology including digital signage while expanding dining, retail and entertainment amenities. New convention hotels — including the Hilton Orlando, Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek and the Waldorf Astoria Orlando — have played a starring role in Orlando’s continued evolution. Now get ready to add Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts to the list with a $360-million property currently under construction at the Walt Disney World® Resort. The 444-room Four Seasons Orlando Resort will offer numerous dining experiences, a 14,000-square-foot spa, nearly 38,000 square feet of meeting space, and will encompass

the existing Tom Fazio-designed Osprey Ridge 18-hole championship golf course. The property is anticipated to open in mid-to-late 2014. With seven of the world’s top 20 theme parks in one destination, not to mention a total of nearly 100 attractions, Orlando certainly knows how to entertain. After finishing the day’s business, a leisurely escape to a world of imagination and fantasy will leave attendees feeling refreshed and inspired. Whether seeking to reconnect with childhood nostalgia or experience leading-edge innovations in ride technology, our attractions are truly one-ofa-kind. An exciting new downtown venue is on its way to becoming a sought-after destination for meeting attendees, corporate groups and even team-building activities. The Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts is expected to open in fall 2014 joining the country’s most advanced arena and events center — the Amway Center — in providing additional entertainment and meeting options. Amway Center is a great place to enjoy Orlando Magic basketball games, concerts, performances, and to book group meetings. Certified as a LEED Gold facility, Amway Center is a marvel in sustainable design and cutting-edge technology.

Orlando is a true culinary hot spot with award-winning restaurants and celebrity chefs that cater to visitors from across the globe. There’s an extensive menu of fine-dining establishments, international eateries, casual cafés and chic wine bars for just about any taste or budget. Our distinctive dining districts include:  CONVENTION DISTRICT: When it comes to entertaining, the Convention District makes a lasting impression with a diverse selection of restaurants. DISNEY AREA: Big names provide plenty of star power, with exquisite fine dining, casually elegant eateries and first-class entertainment.  DOWNTOWN: With its growing and distinctive skyline, downtown

Orlando is both a vibrant entertainment district and a collection of trendy neighborhoods.  RESTAURANT ROW: This stretch of Sand Lake Road serves up some of the finest fare the destination has to offer at more than two dozen restaurants.  UNIVERSAL CITYWALK: This self-contained universe offers an electrifying selection of dining and

nightlife experiences.  WINTER PARK: New-world sophistication meets old-world charm in Winter Park, a picturesque city where arts and culture are part of everyday life. And did we mention that Orlando is the #1 visited destination in the United States? 56 million people can’t be wrong. Come visit Orlando and enjoy all we have to offer.

TERESA JACOBS Mayor of Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs was sworn into office in Orange County on January 4, 2011. Mayor Jacobs is known as a champion of ethics reform, and is a strong advocate of public participation in the governmental process. Prior to being elected Mayor, Jacobs served as an Orange County Commissioner from 2000 – 2008. During her eight years in office, she was elected to numerous state and regional boards, which she still serves on as Orange County Mayor. Jacobs and her husband Bruce have been married for 29 years and are the proud parents of four young adults. OC Connect – bit. ly/OCConnect, Facebook – facebook.com/OrangeCountyMayor, Twitter – twiter.com/Mayor_Jacobs, Youtube – youtube.com/user/ MayorTeresaJacobs C A N A D I A N L I N K | 11


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… makes Jack a dull boy, so the proverb says. Well there’s certainly no danger of that being the case for many Canadians who choose to spend time on Florida’s Gulf Coast. 14 | C A N A D I A N L I N K

loridians are used to welcoming our “snow bird” guests from Canada each winter, but recent times have seen a change in the profile of our Canadian visitors. As a Realtor® who specializes in working with foreign buyers in the Sarasota area, I have witnessed this first hand. The west coast of Florida has long been attractive as a destination for tourists and retirees to enjoy outdoor and cultural activities during the cooler months, but increasingly it is being seen by Canadians as a place to do business. One Canadian client relocated from Montreal to establish a business which organizes corporate hospitality and sporting events . The area’s many golf courses and country clubs are an obvious target for this, but close proximity to Tampa’s professional ice hockey, football and baseball teams is an added draw. At the other end of the spectrum, Lakewood Ranch which is a very successful master planned community, offers their Premier Sports Campus – 140 acres and 22 fields - to host soccer, lacrosse, field hockey, rugby, archery, senior games, Ultimate Frisbee, Special Olympics, flag football, youth football, Frisbee golf and punt/pass/kick football on local, state, regional and national levels. The owner of an Ottawa-based company that markets specialist building products recently purchased a property in Sarasota to house their staff members, as they begin to explore the Florida market for their merchandise and services. A small Toronto-based


REAL ESTATE

visitors from all over the world. The area is also known as the cultural centre of Florida where you can enjoy museums, art galleries, theater, opera, ballet, film and music festivals and the list goes on. Just as there are many and diverse activities, the real estate market has a plethora of options too. Condominiums, town homes, villas and single family homes offering a variety of lifestyle options. Many Canadians choose to purchase property in a golf and country club community, although there are many public courses available where membership is not required. Active lifestyle communities offer activities beyond the sporting norms – organized parties, trips to the theater, shopping and dining are commonplace and some communities have their own activities director. Homes range from modest condominiums to high end, larger single family homes, but typically are always in a maintenance-free environment so absentee owners can “lock and leave” their properties and be worry-free when they get north of the border. Waterfront properties are always popular, but sweeping bay views do command a premium price, as do beachfront homes. I’ve chosen a few examples of properties to include in this article, to demonstrate the wide variety on offer – we want Jack to have a comfortable home base from which to work and play, regardless of his budget! software company has decided to make Sarasota their home too, and will work for many U.S. clients from this location. Businesses can operate from many locations, but what about the proverbial Jack’s play time – what does Florida’s west coast offer? Rolling white-sand beaches and sparkling azure waters combine with sophistication and charm to form a backdrop for a host of activities. For those who love the outdoors, Sarasota boasts many opportunities for golf, tennis, boating, fishing, lawn bowling, water skiing, shell collecting, bird watching, growing exotic tropical plants and much more. Home to the number one beach in U.S.A – Siesta Key offers safe swimming, magnificent sunsets and draws

PATRICIA TAN was born in England, and her career in international sales and marketing led her to live and work in many countries around the world before moving to Sarasota in 1997. Patricia is a Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS), Graduate Realtor Institute (GRI), and Transnational Referral Certified (TRC). She is involved in global activities of the Sarasota, Florida and National Association of Realtors (NAR), teaches international real estate on behalf of the Florida and National Associations, and currently serves as NAR President’s Liaison to U.K. Her real estate business operates from Coldwell Banker on St Armands Key, where her focus is to bring international buyers to the local market. She regularly makes marketing trips to Canada, Asia and Europe, to promote Florida’s Gulf Coast and the Sarasota area in particular. C A N A D I A N L I N K | 15


MAYOR BUDDY DYER

ORLANDO MAYOR BUDDY DYER

State of the City

ADDRESS

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This year’s State of The City Address marked the beginning of my 11th year serving as Mayor of the City of Orlando and served as an excellent platform to reaffirm my continuing commitment to working for all Orlando families making this City a great place to live, work, learn and raise a family.

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year ago we said Orlando was slowly rebounding from the devastating effects of the recession, but that we were primed to come back faster and stronger because of the work our community has done to strengthen small businesses and diversify our economy. Today, signs of movement are everywhere. Orlando has showed signs of economic recovery, from the lowest unemployment rate in four years to remarkable increases in commercial and residential permitting to more than $670 million in projects underway and $500 million projects expected to start soon in Downtown Orlando. We’re seeing growth in our housing market and our region is expected to see more than 27-thousand jobs created in the year ahead, which would wipe out the losses we’ve experienced since 2008. And, commercial permitting has doubled in the last two years. Driving this upturn are Orlando’s neighborhood businesses. Established in 2008, Orlando Main Street program is an economic development program specifically targeted to provide technical assistance, training and staff support to urban commercial districts in the City of Orlando. Since it was launched, the program has helped more than 400 new businesses open, created 24-hundred jobs and generated a 137 million dollar reinvestment in our districts. More striking than the numbers are the stories of these hometown entrepreneurs who are pursuing their American dream. Creating the success stories of the future, and growing and retaining a talented workforce, is the mission of two of our City’s “knowledge industry” clusters: The Medical City at Lake Nona and Downtown Orlando’s Creative Village. At the Creative Village, we’re building the infrastructure to support our future live, work, learn and play neighborhood for technology workers. The Medical City has come to life, with all of its major facilities scheduled to be operating in the year ahead. The Medical City will ultimately cre-

ate more than 30-thousand jobs and a ten-year economic impact of 8 billion dollars. Major League Soccer (MLS) is expanding and Orlando is at the top of its list. But, securing a franchise requires a new urban stadium. We have an ownership group prepared to invest in our community, but timing is critical and we have a limited window of opportunity. So, we owe it to our community to work together to make this happen. Soccer is the world’s most popular sport particularity in Brazil, Central and South America. This means a world of soccer fans, and their economic impact, could be at our front door. A new MLS franchise in Orlando would generate nearly $1.2 billion in new direct spending over the next 30 years including the construction of a stadium, which alone would generate nearly 1,000 jobs. I have no doubt that we will continue working together for the future of our city. The best times are yet to come and with the help of residents, local governments and private enterprise, we will turn Orlando into a modern metropolis worth admiring.

BUDDY DYER City of Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer is the dean of Florida’s “big-city” mayors, having served Orlando’s residents since 2003. Under Orlando’s StrongMayor form of government, Mayor Dyer serves as the City’s chief executive and also helps govern and oversee the operations and growth of its city-owned utility and the Orlando International and Executive Airports.

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TOURISM AND CULTURE IN THE PORT CITY

On cruise ship days, Saint John comes alive. On any given day during the cruise season, you could see one, two, even three ships docked in the harbour. Gangways connect the ships to two state of the art terminals and connect their passengers to the historic port city. 18 | C A N A D I A N L I N K

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aint John, Canada’s first incorporated city, is fourth in the country by cruise traffic. This year, Cruise Saint John is celebrating 25 years of cruise and welcoming their two millionth passenger ashore. Still, even an average cruise day feels like a celebration. Passengers are greeted by a committee of volunteers who hand out roses, pins and miniature Canadian flags. Everyone is excited to welcome them. From there, passengers embark on bubblegum pink double-deck buses that allow them to hop on and off across town, each ticket supporting the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. Tour operators wait with excursions to landmarks and landscapes. Passengers also venture out on foot, blazing their own path through Saint John’s cultural core. “Tourism has a positive impact on Saint John because the growth of entrepreneurial spirit and opening of small shops, galleries and eateries which are here both during the

tourism season and all year long for locals to enjoy,” Port Saint John president and CEO Jim Quinn said. Quinn grew up in Saint John, later moving away. During his time away, the city underwent a transformation. Saint John was named a cultural capital in 2010 and one of the world’s Top 7 Intelligent Communities in 2012. “There have been many changes. Uptown Saint John today is alive with activity with a variety of galleries, shops and eateries now located in the blocks surrounding the


TOURISM

Port,” he said. Cruise tourism has played a major role in Saint John’s cultural boom. Uptown streets are lined with boutiques, restaurants and galleries, loved by tourists and locals alike. At Exchange on Germain, the city’s newest high-end fashion boutique, many of the clothes travel the same distance as cruise visitors. Owner Lisa Oland brings in upscale brands like Chanel, Coach and Ralph Lauren from places like New York, Boston, Toronto and abroad. Oland lived uptown for 13 years and knew she wanted her boutique stationed there. “I love the architecture. I love the history. I love the vibe of uptown, so it’s where I wanted to be, personally,” she said. When Oland put together her business plan, she wanted to make Exchange on Germain a sustainable business year round - not just during the summer. The boutique opened its doors last October, near the tail end of the cruise season. Oland’s business sits near the middle of iconic Germain Street, a side street famed for red brick homes, colourful doors and the historic Trinity Church. When visitors turn away after photographing the church, their eyes land on Oland’s vibrant window displays. “It wasn’t just browsing. They were shopping,” she said. Word of the boutique spread by mouth from passenger to passenger as they ventured into the city core.

Five years ago, Oland said she didn’t think Saint John was ready for a high-end consignment shop. Uptown Saint John’s cultural boom and influx of creative business owners changed her mind. Mayor Mel Norton was elected in 2012. He started building dialogue in social media around the idea of Saint John as a “renaissance city.” Along with an increase in cultural hotspots, the city’s population also grew three per cent between 2006 and 2011. Norton said the cruise ship industry in Saint John is a visible and tangible sign of the importance of the Port to the city. He called port “the heartbeat of the community.” “Conferences that come to Saint John are now focusing their events around the port. They’re accessing the cruise facilities as meeting spaces to have those conferences. They’re set in a very meaningful way right on the waterfront. It’s really neat to see,” he said.

HILARY PAIGE SMITH is an award-winning writer living in Saint John, N.B. She’s currently working in communications at Port Saint John. She can be reached at hpsmith@sjport.com.

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FULL SAIL UNIVER

A world-class entertainment and media school in the heart of t

The Orlando area is recognized as an entertainment destination based on its attractions alone, and it’s also home to one of the world’s leading entertainment and media universities.

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ocated on a 212-acre campus that has the look and feel of a Hollywood studio, Full Sail University is the educational answer to the professional, technical, and artistic needs of the entertainment and media industry. Offering associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees on its Winter Park, Florida campus and online, Full Sail’s academic programs include those in 20 | C A N A D I A N L I N K

digital arts, recording, film, video game design and development, entertainment business, web and mobile development, animation, and more.

An Educational Model Based on Industry Best Practices All programs are centered on Full Sail’s unique educational philosophy – which combines relevant industry insight with immersive experience working on the same equipment and using the same

workflow practices found in the real world. Just one example of the school’s commitment to familiarizing students with industry technology and tools is Project LaunchBox™, which equips every student – both on-campus and online – with a MacBook Pro at an institutional discount, plus the same media creation software found in the professional world.

Real-World Opportunities Full Sail University’s ongoing connections to the entertainment and media industry provide unparalleled opportunities for real-world student experience. The Full Sail University Sports


RSITY

the Orlando area

EDUCATION

Lab Powered by ESPN provides an on-site space for the network to develop original content, and allows students to gain experience working alongside the ESPN team. Additionally, WWE has brought TV tapings of its NXT programming to the Full Sail campus, and nationally syndicated morning show The Daily Buzz broadcasts live from university facilities – both giving opportunities for students to participate in television production.

Student Credits on Major Projects This emphasis on student opportunities has paved the way for many graduates to make notable achievements within their industries. Full Sail graduate credits include work on OSCAR®, Emmy®, GRAMMY®, ADDY®, MTV Video Music Award, and Spike Video Game Award nominated and winning projects. Most recently, Full Sail alumni have contributed to films such as Argo, The Avengers, The Dark Night Rises, and Brave, TV programs including Breaking Bad and American Idol, albums by artists such as Madonna, Beyoncé, Usher, and Coldplay, and video games including Red Dead Redemption, Halo 4, and the Call of Duty series.

Awards and Accolades Full Sail has been recognized as one of the Top Five Game Degree Programs by

Electronic Gaming Monthly, one of the Best Music Programs by Rolling Stone Magazine, and one of the Best Film Programs by UNleashed Magazine. In 2011, Full Sail received the “21st Century Best Practices in Distance Learning Award” from the United States Distance Learning Association, was named the “School/College of the Year” by the Florida Association of Postsecondary Schools and Colleges, and was recognized as one of the Top 100 Social Media Colleges by Studentadvisor.com.

A Campus Worth Experiencing With more than 880,000 square feet of real-world media production facilities, including more than 110 studios and labs, 60-plus classrooms, and a state-ofthe-art performance venue, Full Sail’s campus is a 24/7 hub of creative activity. The school offers its monthly Behind the Scenes Tour, which gives a personalized and up-close view of facilities and degree programs, as well as daily, hourly tours of the campus. If you’re interested in learning more about Full Sail University, or want to book a tour any day of the week, visit fullsail.edu or call 800.226.7625. C A N A D I A N L I N K | 21


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Canadianlink Magazine