Ottawa Business Journal April 9, 2018

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A fighting chance TECHOPIA PAGES 26-27


Inside Ottawa’s galas, fundraisers and networking events

Ottawa lawyer Lisa Langevin has no qualms about stepping into the ring for cancer research > PAGE 3

April 9, 2018 Vol. 21, NO. 12 PAGES 20-24

For daily business news visit

Banking on growth

Ottawa entrepreneurs are cheering the federal government’s efforts to boost funding for female-led tech startups and other women-owned firms. > PAGES 10-11

Music to their ears

Local musicians, industry advocates say city’s new threeyear plan to beef up support for musicrelated businesses is a ‘massive step.’ > PAGES 12-13

Rideau Sports Centre owner Nicki Bridgland is hoping to attract younger customers to the place formerly named the Rideau Tennis Club. PHOTO BY MARK HOLLERON

Courting a broader sports clientele New owner of Rideau Sports Centre launches major makeover of former private tennis club Entrepreneur Nicki Bridgland looks to breathe new life into century-old facility with broader range of activities and amenities > PAGES 4-5

Last call to participate Survey closes April 13 Presented by


Should you lease or buy your next commercial space? The answer? It depends. Here’s what Ottawa real estate firm Merkburn Holdings says companies should consider


pending lease expiry is often time for tenants to reflect on whether their office, warehouse or retail storefront is working effectively for their business. But along with considering whether an expansion or consolidation is necessary, there’s often a bigger question looming: Should you continue leasing or pivot and purchase your own commercial space? In short, leasing provides more flexibility while owning your commercial space allows you to save on monthly rent payments and invest in a physical asset. Business owners must weigh their

When to YOU DON’T KNOW YOUR LONGTERM NEEDS How big will your business be in five or 10 years? One of the biggest advantages of leasing commercial space is that you don’t need to answer this question. If you’re a fast-growing startup or an established firm in a rapidly changing industry, it’s hard to predict your physical space requirements several years down the line. Leasing gives you the flexibility to scale up or down as your lease turns over. Additionally, Rougeau says an engaged landlord will work with tenants to understand their requirements and can add additional flexibility, such as options to expand mid-lease.


YOU’RE LOOKING FOR A SPECIFIC LOCATION By definition, leased properties turn over regularly, meaning there’s a wide variety of spaces from which to choose.



options based on their company’s current size, growth trajectory and cash flow, among other factors. With plenty of leasing and ownership options available across Ottawa, Merkburn Holdings – a locally headquartered commercial real estate leasing and property management firm – broke down some of the considerations for business owners and managers. “There’s advantages to owning real estate,” says Kevin Rougeau, a managing partner at Merkburn Holdings. “But there’s also a cost and substantial amount of time that needs to be spent managing the facility.”


When to BUY

Do you want to be in the heart of Hintonburg? Is quick access to the Queensway important to running your business efficiently? Working with a landlord that oversees a diverse property portfolio will help you find a space that supports your organization’s operations.

YOU HAVE CAPITAL TO DEPLOY Many businesses need to facilitate their growth through investments in staff training, vehicles or additional machinery. In other cases, however, a business may have capital that would be best allocated to a real estate investment that negates monthly rental expenses.

YOU’RE KEEN TO CUSTOMIZE YOUR SPACE Many businesses view their office as a blank canvas, but typically lack the experience in turning a vision of their ideal commercial space into a reality. A good landlord prides themselves on being able to customize space to meet their tenant’s requirements. Merkburn Holdings, for example, has installed new exterior doors, loading ramps and undertaken other turnkey fit-ups to create environments that suit the unique needs of its tenants.

YOU’RE GOOD WITH TOOLS (OR KNOW WHO TO CALL) Pipes can break, roofs can leak and lights occasionally flicker. When you own your own building, it’s your responsibility to address these inconveniences. There is, however, a workaround. Some commercial real estate firms, such as Merkburn Holdings, provide third-party property management. This means you can focus on running your business, rather than running your

Considering your next move? Merkburn Holdings has a diverse portfolio of office and industrial properties across Ottawa. Check out for leasing opportunities and info on the firm’s third party property management services.

building. When selecting a property manager, it’s often advantageous to pick one based locally since they’re more likely to be able to respond quickly and have a strong network of local suppliers and contractors. “We’re here in Ottawa. If there’s a problem, we can respond quickly, we have the resources in Ottawa, an advantage over property management firms headquartered outside of the city,” says Rougeau. PREDICTABILITY IS PART OF YOUR BUSINESS Commercial real estate ownership works best for well-established businesses that are growing steadily. With a reasonably concrete business outlook, there’s less of a risk that you’ll be carrying excess space if your market goes into a downturn, for example.

CASE STUDY: ICOR Technology ICOR Technology manufactures robots, tools and equipment for explosive disposal experts and police SWAT teams around the globe. Though the firm operates out of a building in the city’s east end, it has benefited from investing in commercial real estate as a means of diversifying the company’s portfolio. This includes a building at 308 Legget Dr., located on the other end of town in Kanata. ICOR’s executives brought Merkburn Holdings in to manage the property

after seeing how much work goes into running a commercial space. “It was too much for us – we have a business to run,” says ICOR Technology president Hany Guirguis. In shopping around for a property management firm, Guirguis and his colleagues found that many of them are based in the GTA and not easily accessible for day-to-day inquiries or issues. “We felt they weren’t going to take care of the tenants as well,” says Guirguis.

WOMEN IN BUSINESS 2018 Boxing fundraiser hits home for Ottawa lawyer Kelly Santini partner Lisa Langevin stepping into the ring for cancer research in honour of late father BY CAROLINE PHILLIPS


Ottawa lawyer Lisa Langevin, a partner at Kelly Santini LLP, is putting up her dukes for charity this fall. PHOTO BY CAROLINE PHILLIPS

kids and the volunteer work. “You have to accept that nothing’s going to be perfect.” Learning how to box is proving to be a natural fit for Langevin, who already plays a variety of sports. “I think it’s work-life balance for me,” she says of her attraction to an active lifestyle. “There’s nothing better than leaving a really stressful day at work and being able to go to the gym and being able to hit stuff. “There’s nothing like getting a good sweat on and boosting your happy endorphins.”


three nights and potentially to four as the event draws closer. Their instructor is Scott Whitteker, the director of Fight for the Cure. Accomplished fighter Erica Adjei is assisting with the women’s sparring, since white-collar boxers don’t take on their competitors until fight night. “They’re definitely how I would hope they would be as our first two females,” says Whitteker of the pair’s mental toughness and strong work ethic. Whitteker is quick to acknowledge that the addition of women to Fight for the Cure was overdue. “I’m a little embarrassed that it took this long,” he concedes. “I think we should’ve had this much, much sooner.” He credits such prominent mixed martial artists as Gina Carano and Ronda

Rousey for the rising popularity of combat sports among women. The Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation also knew it was time for women to get involved, particularly since a similar charity boxing event in Toronto already includes both genders. “I think we always thought it would be a nice idea but didn’t really know where to look for women who would have that kind of interest,” says Linda Eagen, president and CEO of the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation. “As the event grew and became more popular, and more people got to know about it, some women started asking and we started asking a few women. “I’m certainly hoping there will be even more women in the years ahead.” Fight for the Cure returns to the Hilton Lac Leamy on Oct. 13.


MENTAL TOUGHNESS She and Ballard, who works for Langevin’s husband as his legal assistant, are longtime friends and members of the Ottawa Gaels Gaelic women’s football team. The sport, which originated in Ireland, combines the skills of soccer, rugby and basketball. “Getting punched in the face isn’t something that’s natural to us, but it’s not like we haven’t been hit before,” Langevin points out. The pair is currently learning basic boxing moves at the Final Round Boxing Gym in south Ottawa. Their one-nighta-week training regimen will increase to

“If I get my face pounded, I don’t care; I will have raised money for cancer, I will have honoured my father, I will have done what I wanted to do.”


ttawa lawyer Lisa Langevin had the time of her life at last year’s Fight for the Cure charity boxing gala. Still, she couldn’t help but think she’d rather be inside the ring – getting physical – than watching outside the ropes as a spectator. It just so happened that organizers of the benefit for the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation were looking to add female white-collar boxers for 2018. Langevin, a law partner at Kelly Santini LLP, was promptly recruited and is now busy training for her big night, while also raising thousands of dollars for local cancer care. Whether or not Langevin is the champ, she will at least hold the title of female fighting trailblazer, along with her competitor, Daphne Ballard. The pair will be the first women to put up their dukes at the boxing benefit, which has raised nearly $370,000 over the past decade and is best-known for Justin Trudeau’s 2012 win against then-senator Patrick Brazeau. Langevin has much to gain from participating besides ripped abs. Her biggest motivating factor remains her father, Yvon Langevin, who passed away in September 2009 following a long and difficult battle with esophageal cancer. He was 69. “Even if I look like a fool, I don’t care; I will have gone out there, I’ll have done it,” Langevin, 42, says during an interview at her firm’s office in Place Bell on Elgin Street. “If I get my face pounded, I don’t care; I will have raised money for cancer, I will have honoured my father, I will have done what I wanted to do.” Langevin was born and raised in Ottawa, although her family roots lie a couple hours north in Maniwaki, Que. She earned her law degree at the University of Ottawa, articled at Kelly Santini and has been with the firm ever since, with the exception of a sixmonth stint in government. Her practice focuses on insurance defence litigation, bankruptcy and insolvency, commercial litigation and mediation. Langevin and her lawyer husband Chris Moore are also parents to a combined five children, ages three, nine, 18, 23 and 24. “It’s crazy,” she admits of her hectic home life. “I’ve learned to accept the chaos, because otherwise you’re going to lose your mind dealing with the stress of the job, the

WOMEN IN BUSINESS 2018 Thanks to enterprising owner, historic Rideau club sports whole new business model Ottawa entrepreneur Nicki Bridgland calls $3M project to revamp former members’-only tennis facility ‘a manifestation of everything I’ve done in my career so far’ BY DAVID SALI


Nicki Bridgland is the owner of the Rideau Sports Centre. PHOTO BY MARK HOLLERON

icki Bridgland still remembers the summer night in 2003 when her bold decision to leave the fast-paced corporate world of the San Francisco Bay Area and launch a new sports and fitness venture in Ottawa really hit home. She was at Twin Elm Rugby Park, watching a bunch of adults act like carefree school kids at recess while playing ultimate frisbee, flag football and soccer. They were members of a new organization she’d started earlier that year, the Ottawa Sport & Social Club, to provide co-ed recreational opportunities to the 18-and-over set. She says she knew then and there that trading her high-tech executive post for hijinks on the field was the right thing to do.

“I stood looking out from the veranda of the clubhouse and feeling such delight knowing that I was making such an impact in people’s worlds from a healthy, active living and wellness perspective, but also from their social side,” says Bridgland, 47, who grew up in Ottawa, studied commerce at Queen’s and worked in Toronto before relocating to northern California in 1998, where she spent several years in business development at software firm PeopleSoft. “Part of a healthy life is a vibrant social life. It’s easy to take life so seriously. My motto here is this is supposed to be fun. To be able to just have fun, even if it’s just an hour, it’s like any financial worries, any family worries, any health worries, get parked for that one hour, and you get to come and enjoy being here.” By “here,” Bridgland is referring to the completely remodelled Rideau Sports Centre, the recreation facility


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“It’s opening the doors to everybody, not just to a select few, and offering many different reasons for people to come here. To be relevant to the community, we needed to bring in different services and different offerings and different sports.” – NICKI BRIDGLAND, NEW OWNER OF THE REBRANDED RIDEAU SPORTS CENTRE

she purchased from the RA Centre last summer. Formerly known as the Rideau Tennis Club, the four-acre property on the banks of the Rideau River had been devoted exclusively to tennis for its entire 105-year existence up to last fall. But the private club’s membership base of about 250 was aging fast, and Bridgland decided to completely overhaul the Rideau’s business model in an effort to appeal to a new generation of customers who wanted a wider variety of sports and weren’t keen on being locked in to yearlong commitments. “I like to think of it as cross-pollination,” says the 2010 OBJ Forty Under 40 recipient, who won’t reveal how much she paid for the club but says she’s invested $3 million in the entire project so far. “It’s opening the doors to everybody, not just to a select few, and offering many different reasons for people to come here. To be relevant to the community, we needed to bring in different services and different offerings and different sports.” To that end, the rebranded facility will now be open to the public. It will still offer six-month passes for tennis, but users will now be allowed to rent courts by the match as well.



CHANGING DEMOGRAPHICS “It’s an older demographic that is typically drawn to private-membership (clubs) and an affluent demographic,” Bridgland explains. “What we’re noticing is that with the younger generation, they’re looking not for one big investment in one place, but to be able to come and go and use (the facilities) as they please.” Since taking over the property last August, Bridgland and her team have given it a full-scale makeover, adding a new restaurant, yoga studio, massage clinic, a revamped fitness facility and community gathering space to the clubhouse. The two existing air domes were replaced and state-of-the-art LED lighting installed, with resurfaced hard courts for tennis put in one dome and new flooring for volleyball and basketball courts in the other. Bridgland is also spending $200,000 on eastern Ontario’s first pad for

dek hockey, an outdoor sport similar to ball hockey with three players a side who compete on a plastic surface surrounded by arena-style boards. “I think it’s going to have huge popularity,” she says. Bridgland concedes some past members were wary of the changes at first, but says most have been quick to embrace the new concepts and expects to see many of them back this season. “I think this first year will be really interesting,” she says. “It’s been a really beautiful process of getting to know the … former members and them getting to know us. This first year is really asking them to support us, so they can experience the offering that we have and how great it’s going to be.” The National Capital Commission, which owns the land, had to sign off on the club’s change in ownership. Bridgland, who has a 17-year lease with the agency, is already working on an extension and a possible expansion of the club’s footprint so more sports can be added in the future. In a statement, NCC executive director of capital stewardship Gary Lacey said he’s “very pleased” with the revamped facility’s new offerings. “It’s wonderful to see the renewal of this historic establishment in Canada’s capital region that is now open to the public,” he said. Bridgland is also collaborating with renowned Ottawa architect Barry Podolsky on the second phase of the renovation. Her plans include expanding the restaurant closer to the river, replacing the 155-seat covered patio on the second floor with new event space, installing a new veranda and adding a dock for kayaks and canoes. Her ultimate goal, she says, is to the make the new-look Rideau Sports Centre more than just an athletic club. “It’s a social community and a place where people come to relax, rejuvenate and connect with others who have become friends,” says Bridgland, who continues to own the Ottawa Sport & Social Club and its sister associations in six other Canadian cities. “This is really a manifestation of everything I’ve done in my career so far.”

WOMEN IN BUSINESS 2018 Expansion on the menu for Thyme & Again Popular Wellington West lunch spot and catering firm opening second location on Carling Avenue with help from high-profile chef BY CAROLINE PHILLIPS


hyme & Again is cooking up something new and exciting – a major expansion of its catering services and meals-to-go business. Owner Sheila Whyte has partnered up with one of Ottawa’s top chefs, Michael Moffatt, to open a second location in early May. Renovators are currently transforming the building at 1845 Carling Ave. into a beautiful, bright and fresh 5,000-squarefoot new space. Once general contractor Jim Gunn and interior architect and design expert Tania Kratt are done with


Contractor Jim Gunn and architect Tania Kratt along with Thyme & Again owner Sheila Whyte and chef Michael Moffatt. PHOTO BY MARK HOLLERON

it, the public won’t recognize the place as The Beer Store that it once was. Since Whyte launched Thyme & Again 26 years ago, it has become a popular neighbourhood hub in Wellington West Village. It packs an awful lot of action into its limited store space. “We’ve been bursting at the seams,” said Whyte, explaining her ambitious plans to branch out. The full-service catering company does a bustling business with weddings, special occasions, charity galas and corporate lunches. It takes orders for holiday meals, cooking close to 200 Thanksgiving turkey dinners last year. As well, Thyme & Again is a popular lunch spot, with a take-home food

grand opening!




section and artisan food shop. Now with annual sales in seven figures, the thriving company had reached the point where its kitchen was at peak capacity. At times, it had to turn business away. Whyte said she knew her business had to either expand or contract. She chose to keep growing. “I am so rejuvenated by this new project and all the possibilities,” she said. “The stars have aligned with a great new location, a creative new partner and a strong and supportive team and community. “There is something extremely exciting about growing beyond your roots.”

Our newest ReStore location at 3 Iber Road is now open Don’t miss our opening week specials!

Opportunity began knocking late last year when Whyte learned there was a vacant building up for lease in same the general vicinity as Thyme & Again. She had a successful meeting with the proprietors, who also own the Produce Depot grocery store right next door on Carling. Like orchestrating the perfect meal, it all came down to timing. Just as Whyte was looking to grow her business, Moffatt – longtime executive chef and partner in the acclaimed Beckta, Play food & wine and Gezellig restaurants – was in the midst of seeking a change. “It was time,” said Moffatt. “I love the group, but I was ready for another challenge.”

Opening week specials*: 25% off doors, 30% off windows, 50% off light fixtures, 40% off tubs, toilets & sinks, and 20% off everything else in the store! *Grand Opening specials available at all 3 locations, April 7-14

WOMEN IN BUSINESS 2018 “The stars have aligned with a great new location, a creative new partner and a strong and supportive team and community. There is something extremely exciting about growing beyond your roots.” – THYME & AGAIN OWNER SHEILA WHYTE

So, the chef with 20-plus years’ experience and two wins at Gold Medal Plates Ottawa accepted Whyte’s offer to head up operations at Thyme & Again. He officially joined the company at the beginning of March. “I would not have (expanded) if Michael hadn’t come on board,” said Whyte, a former Women’s Business Network Ottawa Businesswoman of the Year. “I really felt like I did need a partner because it’s a big project.” As part of the process, Thyme & Again surveyed its customers and neighbours to gather feedback on potential products and services that interested them. “The engagement we saw was amazing,” said Whyte. “Having that kind

of support within our community is what makes this next project so special.” The plan is to move the catering and food production to Carling Avenue, where it will be easier for customers to park and quickly pop into the store. MORE HIRING The company will be hiring between eight and 10 more people. Currently, it has a full-time workforce of more than 50, with part-timers bringing the number closer to 100. (When the business was founded in 1991, it was just Whyte, her now-general manager Rose Goyette and a cook.) Thyme & Again has caught on to the fact that many consumers really don’t want to cook anymore or, even if they

do, they just don’t have the time. It sells gourmet dips and salsas, sauces, fresh soups, desserts, frozen entrées and casseroles. Customers can, for example, buy a fresh roasted chicken for dinner rather than the store-bought rotisserie kind – which, let’s face it, can be on the dry and tasteless side. Thyme & Again also prepares platters of charcuterie, cheeses and smoked fish with salmon and Fogo Island cod, for customers to serve at home to guests. Whyte and Moffatt have a long history of working together in the community at events ranging from Canada’s Table open-air dining to the Great Canadian Theatre Company pop-up dinners to the Celebrity Chefs Night at Algonquin College, where Moffatt graduated from

the culinary management program. They plan to continue their tradition of hosting culinary community projects. Moffatt, who’s used to working long hours and preparing dishes à la minute, says his lifestyle has become more balanced since he left the restaurant industry. “It is nice,” Moffatt acknowledged. “I didn’t make the change just for that – it wasn’t the driving force – but it’s been a big benefit. “I didn’t know what I didn’t have until I had it, and, now that I have it, it’s huge.” Mind you, the pace is about to pick up. “He hasn’t gone through the really busy season yet,” Whyte added, knowingly.

CONGRATULATIONS, Cathy Hay! Congratulations to Cathy Hay, for being a finalist in the Established Entrepreneur category for the 2018 Business Woman of the Year Awards (BYAs).

Expressing gratitude, Cathy says she’s “grateful to do what (she) loves” and “to have such an incredible amount of care and support from the people around (her).” Best of luck to Cathy and all of the other fabulous women whose accomplishments will be recognized on April 19th, 2018 at the BYAs!


07 OBJ.CA | 613-728-0954


As the Owner of Hay Design Inc., Cathy has become a highly-respected go-to for all matters relating to commercial and residential interior design in the Greater Ottawa Area. Cathy is a veritable pro with everything from design renderings and space analyses to move coordination and construction administration. Her clientele ranges from restaurants and educational facilities to offices and healthcare environments.


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Jessica O’Neill, inventor of the JWalker dog harness. PHOTO COURTESY JESSICA O’NEILL

Pet project makes the big time BY REBECCA ATKINSON Special to OBJ


hen Jessica O’Neill was in the midst of recovering from dental surgery, she found her mind preoccupied with her canines. Not the teeth – though surely those were a close second – but her dogs. Pups were her business: O’Neill was already the owner of Canine Habitat, a kennelfree home for pet care and behaviour rehabilitation in Perth that opened in 2015. That business drove her to invent the JWalker harness. Having grown frustrated with the selection of canine harnesses on the market, O’Neill had developed her own custom design that used a shoulder attachment to redirect a dog’s focus. The JWalker harness is handmade from tubular climbing webbing and is designed to prevent irritation, burning or chafing of the dog’s skin. At the time, she only intended to use the harness at the Habitat. But while she was at home following the removal of her wisdom teeth, O’Neill put a few videos and photos online, explaining and demonstrating her concept to viewers. “We are listening to what people are missing and filling those voids,” she says. The approach is paying off. In its first year in 2016, sales of JWalker products totalled about $70,000. That grew to $100,000 last year, and O’Neill is forecasting it could increase to as much as $180,000 this year. In recognition of her company’s growth, as well as its international sales and foray into manufacturing, 34-year-old O’Neill was recently named

the West Ottawa Board of Trade Young Entrepreneur of the Year. The award recognizes a business owner or founder under the age of 35 “who has excelled in business, exemplifies leadership and entrepreneurial skills and demonstrates an exceptional vision contributing to the business success.” FINANCING HURDLES From her early days of living on her family’s hobby farm, O’Neill has had a passion for animals. She says she believes that it’s not your dog’s behaviour that determines if you’re a good owner – it’s how you respond to it that matters. Her business roots date back to 2010, when she launched Pet Intel, a network of animal coaches who help clients one-on-one with their pets’ behavioural issues. JWalker was a new start for the business. The group’s “first pioneer,” O’Neill says, was a pet store in Westboro. The product hit retail stores and started to blossom, expanding to shelves in Montreal and Toronto. Before she and her team knew it, demand for the product became higher than they could meet. They signed with one of Canada’s largest supply distributors, but demand remained high and O’Neill grew concerned about product quality. She has a guiding philosophy: Her products must be functional, humane and high-quality. “I knew that in order to maintain the quality and support for customers, I needed to open my own factory,” says O’Neill. Continued on page 14



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2018-04-02 1:55 PM

COMMENTARY Women entrepreneurs cheer feds’ female-first strategy Being a businesswoman in Canada has its share of challenges, Janice McDonald writes, but new funding measures in the 2018 budget could mark a positive step toward removing a key obstacle – a lack of access to capital



TELEPHONE Phone: 613-238-1818 Sales Fax: 613-248-4564 News Fax: No faxes, email PUBLISHER Michael Curran, 238-1818 ext. 228 CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER Terry Tyo, 238-1818 ext. 268 EDITOR, PRINT CONTENT David Sali, 238-1818 ext. 269 REPORTER Craig Lord, 238-1818 ext. 285


or many women entrepreneurs, it felt like Christmas in February when the federal government released its 2018 budget. The spending plan offered a specific strategy developed to assist women business owners, and many of the recommendations outlined in the recent national study on women entrepreneurs and innovation I co-authored with Clare Beckton from Carleton University were included in the budget. The government’s initiatives aimed at boosting support for women entrepreneurs include tripling the size of a venture capital fund managed by the Business Development Bank of Canada for financing female-led tech startups to $200 million from $70 million. The Liberals are also increasing the BDC’s funding for majority female-owned businesses by $1.4 billion over three years. Travelling across the country, I heard considerable support and interest in these programs, so I wanted to gauge the reaction of businesswomen in our region. Overall, I’d characterize their reactions as positive, mixed with a hint of “wait and see.” Nilufer Erdebil is the founder of Spring2 Innovation, a consulting company that has been growing steadily in the capital. She has been in business for almost seven years and has clients in both the public and private sector. Erdebil says measures to help female entrepreneurs grow their businesses are a step in the right direction. Spring2 Innovation is looking to expand beyond regional borders into other provinces and the United States, she adds. The biggest barrier she sees isn’t access to capital but rather “making sure the right people are part of the team to expand beyond borders.” Women entrepreneurs contribute billions of dollars to the Canadian economy and to the communities where they live. International Trade Minister Francois-Phillippe Champagne believes gender equality can be advanced through trade and argues that increasing the number of women entrepreneurs trading internationally would boost the economy by $150 billion.

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That rings true to Erin Kelly, who says her Ottawa-based company, Advanced Symbolics, must “export or die.” She is planning to launch a U.S. operation this year. “We have a great roster of clients now in Canada, and that gives us a terrific launching point for U.S. expansion,” says Kelly, whose firm uses artificial intelligence to predict human behaviour. For Kristine McGinn, the budget is filled with positive news. “I am really impressed with the federal government’s commitment to advancing women in business,” she says. “It represents a significant leap toward equality.” She believes the budget will help to level the playing field between men and women entrepreneurs and encourage more women to open up their own businesses. Growth and expansion are very much on her mind. McGinn is co-owner of Assurance Home Care, a boutique in-home care company offering high-quality, customized care to seniors and those with injuries, illness or post-surgery needs, a segment of the population that continues to increase in size and need. I should know – her partner is my husband. Susan St. Amand, the founder and president of Sirius Financial Services, says that although the new budget measures “will not mean a lot to my business,” she hopes the programs “highlight the success

of female entrepreneurs and focus on the visibility of leaders. If successful women are visible, it will encourage others and give them a boost of confidence to move forward.” Having more women choose entrepreneurship is beneficial, but it isn’t always an easy path. As my own research has shown in two national studies on women entrepreneurs, doing business as a woman in Canada can be a challenge.

Celine Paquette, 238-1818 ext. 252

‘SUBJECT TO STEREOTYPES’ “We are subject to stereotypes, discrimination and self-doubt,” says McGinn. “It is encouraging that the number of female entrepreneurs is on the rise, creating a growing support system for each other while closing the gap on gender inequality.” She’s right. A strong and connected entrepreneurial ecosystem benefits all members and helps to offset the challenges women entrepreneurs face. “Being involved in organizations such as Canadian Women in Communications and Technology as well as partnering with organizations such as Startup Canada – which has an extremely strong female CEO – helps in realizing the impact that women can have on business and society,” says Erdebil. Access to capital is often a challenge for women entrepreneurs, so it’s no surprise

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there is a lot of interest in the $1.4 billion over three years from BDC outlined in the budget. Jackie King, the chief operating officer of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, says the bank has a strong track record of supporting SMEs and customizing programs for women and Indigenous entrepreneurs. “Having additional dedicated funds targeted specifically at helping female entrepreneurs will help BDC build on the good work they are already doing to provide diverse financing instruments for women looking for financial support for the various stages of their businesses,” she says. Still, many women I talked to have questions about the specifics of the new BDC funding. Others want to know how the money will be distributed down to the grassroots level. St. Amand wonders if there is a “plan for engagement” and questions how many dollars will end up in the hands of the women entrepreneurs. Although she has not accessed funds from BDC in the past, she, like many other women entrepreneurs, is seeking specific details on how the money will be spent. Overall, the women entrepreneurs I spoke to are encouraged by the elements in the budget that support their efforts. McGinn believes the federal government’s

commitment “to supporting women in business is an important step toward changing the landscape for women, opening doors and creating opportunity for growth and expansion.” But, as St. Amand says, “the devil is in the details,” a sentiment shared by King. FLEXIBLE WORKING CONDITIONS “These programs will only be successful if the government addresses the most basic issues facing our economy – the increasing costs of running a business in Canada and the regulatory burden, particularly on SMEs,” King says. Many other issues are on the minds of women entrepreneurs in our region. These include sexual harassment in the workplace, accessibility and inclusion in superclusters for women entrepreneurs, childcare costs and availability, the desire for flexible working conditions and the continued need for mentorship. It’s a long list. But the new BDC funding can immediately address one key area of concern for women in business, and that’s a positive start. Janice McDonald is the founder of business strategy firm the Beacon Agency, an adviser at Carleton University’s Sprott School of Business and the co-author of two national studies on women entrepreneurs.







Breakfast Series Breakfast Series Mayor’s Mayor’s A unique opportunity to enjoy breakfast His Worship Jim Watson A unique opportunity to enjoywith breakfast with HisMayor Worship Mayor Jim Watson and hear from and community leaders about issues critical to Ottawa. and business hear from business and community leaders about issues critical to Ottawa.


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Guest Speaker:Guest Speaker: Minister of National Defence, Harjit Sajjan Honourable Catherine MarcMcKenna Seaman, Chairperson Minister of Environment and Climate Change National Capital Tuesday, April 24, Commission 2018

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How Kanata North companies are protecting an increasingly connected world from emerging threats. Stephan Jou is the chief technology officer of Interset. PHOTO BY MARK HOLLERON

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SECURING How Kanata North companies are protecting an increasingly connected world from emerging threats. Stephan Jou is the chief technology officer of Interset. PHOTO BY MARK HOLLERON


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Andrew Vincent (left) and Jon Bartlett are members of the 180-member Ottawa Music Industry Coalition, a local advocacy group. FILE PHOTO


Ottawa music strategy a sound plan for growth, backers say



Three-year blueprint for boosting local industry will help National Capital Region attract better tech talent while making city more vibrant, advocates argue BY DAVID SALI


usic City, Canada? If Jeff Leiper has his way, that will be Ottawa one day – and the region’s economy, he says, will be stronger for it.

“Music is a cultural pursuit, but it is also an economic driver,” says Kitchissippi ward’s representative on city council, who has earned the title of “music councillor” for his commitment to the cause of promoting the local industry. According to Leiper, a more vibrant music scene would boost Ottawa’s

economy in a host of ways – such as creating new jobs, drawing more tourists to festivals and concerts and making the National Capital Region a magnet for talent in all-important industries such as tech. “As we seek to make sure that we’ve got a strong, diverse economy, one of the things that we have to ensure we can do

is to attract workers to Ottawa,” he says. “I think a big part of ensuring that we’re an attractive jurisdiction to which knowledge workers might move is to have a good music scene. If you’re 26, 27 years old and you’re coming … out of MIT or Stanford, you can work anywhere in the world. Why would you want to work in Ottawa? I think that having a really good music scene is going to be one important part of that.” Last week, the city’s finance and economic development committee approved the Ottawa Music Strategy, a three-year plan to help boost the fortunes of music-related businesses in the region. The plan is slated to go before full council on April 11. Key planks in the strategy include hiring a full-time staffer at City Hall by 2020 who will help municipal economic development officials and music entrepreneurs work together to build the industry; creating special “musician loading zones” outside busy venues; encouraging agencies such as Ottawa Tourism and Invest Ottawa to spotlight the industry in their promotional campaigns; and providing up to $100,000 in annual city funding for the Ottawa Music Industry Coalition, a local advocacy group. Leiper, one of the leaders behind the new strategy, says he hopes it will help grow the local music community and make more people aware of how important the industry is to Ottawa’s economy and culture. “It doesn’t take a huge investment in order to try to encourage a strong music industry,” he says, adding that something as simple as hosting concerts at municipally owned venues such as Bayview Yards or City Hall could have a major impact. Nik Ives-Allison, the general manager of the three-year-old Ottawa Music Industry Coalition, calls the plan a “massive step” forward because she says it shows the city is taking the sector’s concerns seriously. Seemingly small changes such as implementing special loading zones for musicians unpacking their equipment, for example, would go a long way to help make musicians and the businesses that cater to the industry feel like they’re a more integral part of the city’s economy, she says. “It’s those little things that seem otherwise inconsequential that are in fact the most important,” says Ives-Allison, whose organization now has more than 180 members. “These loading zones can really make the difference between whether a music venue remains viable or not. If vans can’t load into a venue, if they can’t find parking, if they can’t access the venue and get their gear in, they’re not going to be able to play. And if they can’t play, those venues can’t stay open. And that’s a huge blow for our music community.”

Like Leiper, Ives-Allison says Ottawa needs to become a destination of choice for more of the best and brightest young workers from Canada and beyond. And she believes music could help make that happen. However, a provincially funded study three years ago found Ottawa ranked last among six similarly sized Canadian cities in total numbers of musicians, music businesses and live venues – something that has to change, she adds. “Economically, music is definitely underappreciated as an industry, and I think we’ve kind of underexploited our potential here in Ottawa,” Ives-Allison says. “But I think as the city becomes more confident in our creative industries, as we become more confident in ourselves, we’re really going to be able to show the city and the people that live here and the broader Canadian public what it means to be from Ottawa in a way that maybe ruffles some of the feathers of those who like to dismiss us as that sleepy government town.” OMIC’s roles include lobbying governments on the industry’s behalf and hosting seminars designed to aid musicians with everything from accounting to marketing. Kelp Records founder Jon Bartlett, a member of the

“If you’re 26, 27 years old and you’re coming … out of MIT or Stanford, you can work anywhere in the world. Why would you want to work in Ottawa? I think that having a really good music scene is going to be one important part of that.” – KITCHISSIPPI COUN. JEFF LEIPER, ON CITY’S NEW MUSIC STRATEGY

group’s board of directors, says the city needs a more vibrant live music scene if it expects to convince aspiring local artists to ditch their day jobs and pursue the business full-time. NEW DOWNTOWN VENUE? “Something I talk about a lot with people is just that our average salary (in Ottawa) is really high, so someone who’s like a weekender or part-timer in terms of music is maybe not as motivated or driven to quit that cushy job and put themselves out there and try to do music full-time, as opposed to their counterpart in Montreal who might be working at a cafe,” he says. To that end, the new strategy also calls for the city to look at converting municipally owned space in the downtown core into a “high-quality”

live music venue with room for about 1,000 people. The lack of such a mid-sized concert hall right now is “an obstacle for Ottawa’s growth as a music city,” says a city staff report, which suggests that funding it through a public-private partnership could reduce the burden on taxpayers. Ives-Allison says she’s hopeful the city is “getting closer” to such a venue. “I think the challenge is trying to figure out how to make that work viably without it becoming a traditional theatre, without having to rely too heavily on alcohol sales and having it work for a local audience,” she says. “We’re probably a few years out from seeing something like that, but I think especially as the LRT opens up new areas of the city to urbanization

and makes it a little bit easier to get around, there’s going to be some new possibilities that open up there – things that we haven’t even thought of yet.” Leiper, however, isn’t convinced the public appetite for such a facility exists yet. “It is going to be up to the private sector to build that venue when we’re ready,” he says. “I think that means a lot more people have to be going to shows more regularly.” But City Hall can help, he adds, by hosting local musicians, promoting performances online and in social media and doing more to raise the profile of the industry as a whole. “I think there is a role for the city to play in just helping grow awareness about Ottawa’s music industry and encouraging people to go to shows.”






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“We are listening to what people are missing and filling those voids.” – CANINE HABITAT OWNER JESSICA O’NEILL

Continued from page 8 She opened her own 1,600-squarefoot manufacturing facility in West Ottawa in May 2017. She recalls it being an interesting process for someone who didn’t consider herself very “domestic” – going from never having owned an iron to learning how to operate industrial sewing machines. Today, the company continues to grow. JWalker now has five products and it’s slowly expanding in the United States through e-commerce and upcoming shows this summer. O’Neill has sold more than 8,000 product units and has increased her retail presence to more than 200 stores. The mother of two and stepmother to two says people “grossly underestimate” the expenses involved with launching a startup and recalls the difficulties she encountered when approaching a “traditional bank.” It was her first stop, but she had already invested money of her own into the company. The bank told her

that if she’d come to them before she’d invested and leveraged herself, it could have helped her. But if she’d done that, she also wouldn’t have had any proof of concept. “It was very frustrating. It was a catch-22,” O’Neill recalls. The company continues to receive attention. O’Neill and her team recently interviewed with Dragons’ Den and are waiting to hear if they will get to pitch on the popular CBC show this spring. They’ve also been picked up by The Shopping Channel and iHeartDogs. O’Neill hopes her company can continue growing and expanding to meet the needs of her clients, but when it comes to measuring success, she has her own definitions. “What I’ve found is ... each time we do an expansion or provide another service, there’s another hurdle to jump. For me, the biggest measurement of professional success is not necessarily the outcome of jumping the hurdle, but how willing I am to attempt the jump.”






COME MEET OUR MASTER’S ALUMNI Engage with alumni from our MBA, MHA, and EMBA programs. April 19, 5:30 - 7:00 p.m. Desmarais Building 55 Laurier Avenue East Ottawa Ontario

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Ottawa’s philanthropic community comes together for Fundraising Day 2018 May 3 conference will feature prominent industry speakers and ample networking time


undraising professionals, as their title states, are exactly that: Professionals. And, like most professionals, those working in the charitable sector must continue to develop their skills to meet the challenges of a changing industry. As a way to bring the philanthropic community together to share best practices, discuss trends and connect with one another, the Association of Fundraising Professionals is hosting its 22nd annual Fundraising Day Conference on May 3. “Our goal is to bring fundraisers from our region together to network and to give them new ideas that they can incorporate to help their cause,” says Andrea Olsen-Black, a board member with AFP and the Chair of the Fundraising Day organizing committee. The day-long conference will bring together more than 300 fundraising professionals at the Shaw Centre and will feature a series of speakers from the fundraising industry. Each will speak to this year’s theme: Get on Track. MAKING CONNECTIONS Talks from the day are intended to reinvigorate an attendee’s passion for fundraising and provide actionable ideas they can use in their work. OlsenBlack says the day is aimed at all professionals within the charitable sector, no matter what stage they’re at in their career. “It’s really a two-way street at Fundraising Day,” she says. “Yes, there are seasoned fundraisers, but there are also many new folks coming into the industry. We all learn from each other.” As an industry built on relationships, fundraising professionals benefit heavily from networking and mentorship, whether as mentors or mentees. In an age where social media and digital marketing are prevalent in philanthropic campaigns, fundraisers must be open to learning new skills. MARK YOUR CALENDAR: Fundraising Day, presented by the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

WHEN: Thursday, May 3, 2018 from 8:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. WHERE: The Shaw Centre 55 Colonel By Dr. For more info and to register, head to

Canada Helps; and Jennifer Van Noort of the Ottawa Hospital Foundation. Each will speak to a time in their careers where a specific event motivated them and challenged them to become better fundraisers. The discussion will be moderated by Leah Eustace, president of Blue Canoe Philanthropy. The rest of the day will be filled with a selection of speakers. Each is categorized along three tracks: Foundation, Development and Progression. The Foundation track will focus on planning, the Development track will offer ideas on how to retain donors and the Progression track will teach effective messaging tactics for fundraisers. Attendees can attend all three talks within a given track or mix-and-match. “The charitable industry is all about giving back and helping a cause. It has been huge influence in my life,” says Olsen-Black.


DRAWING INSPIRATION As a people-driven industry, fundraising typically requires more than sheer assertiveness. “Fundraising is storytelling,” says Olsen-Black. “It’s all about embracing a cause, bringing that emotive aspect into the story you are telling.” While this is her first time as the Chair of Fundraising Day, it’s Olsen-Black’s eighth year serving on the planning committee. Each year she returns to the event, she finds herself leaving with a fresh set of ideas and a renewed passion for her work. “It’s an inspiring day,” says Olsen-Black. Fundraising Day will open with a panel discussion between three industry leaders: Alice Ferris of GoalBusters LLC; Paul Nazareth of

“Fundraising is storytelling, it’s all about embracing a cause, bringing that emotive aspect into the story you are telling.”


Join hundreds of other fundraisers for a day of learning and networking.

Attendees will be seated at tables with designated captains, who are responsible for leading each group through an engaging discussion over lunch. Table captains may be former recipients of AFP’s annual Outstanding Fundraising Professional award, a Board Member or a CEO of a relevant organization. The appointment of captains ensures attendees get the best value from the day, both through networking with their table-mates and opening a dialogue on the day’s content. “It helps when you have a mentor at the table to steer the conversation around to everyone,” says Olsen-Black. In keeping with the “Get on Track” theme, attendees will also be given a mock “boarding pass” and have access to a marketplace of exhibitors who support the event year after year. At each booth, they can get their pass stamped and those who fill their boarding pass will be entered in a draw for a number of prizes, including registration to next year’s event.


With gratitude to David Luxton and Laura Brown, the Canadian Tulip Festival presents its new, 10 person Community Board of Directors. Established by the Ottawa Board of Trade in 1953 and celebrating 66 years of growth.

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT ALDO CHIAPPA – Director – Former Special Events Coordinator- City of Ottawa. ANDY CULLEN – Treasurer – CEO/ Owner, Beavertails Ottawa Incorporated. GRANT HOOKER – Secretary – Founder/ Chairman- BeaverTails Canada Inc. PAM HOOKER – Director – Founder/Chairman- BeaverTails Canada Inc. MICHEL GAUTHIER – Executive Director. SUZANNE VALIQUET – Vice-Chair – President, Momentum Planning & Communications. HENRY STORGAARD – Chair – President, Storgaard Innovative Marketing Inc. DONNA HOLTOM – Director – Owner, Holtz SPA/ Former Canadian Tulip Festival Chair. DAVID SMYTHE – Director – Director of Operations, Lord Elgin and Gillin Hotels. ALAIN SEKULA – Former National Vice- President/ The Desjardins Group. BENOIT HUBERT (not pictured) – Director – President, PGF Consultants.

CHALLENGE Pam Hooker, co-founder of BeaverTails® pastry, believes in the value of the Canadian Tulip Festival for business and quality of life. Pam is donating $5,000 toward the support of this year’s event. And she’s looking for 9 other similarly-minded people to do the same.


Benefits? You’ll feel good and BeaverTails® will cater an event of your choice at a time of your choice. And you and 5 others will receive the Festival’s 2018 VIP treatment package.



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TOURISM Former Crowne Plaza GM returns to Ottawa to head new Hilton properties ‘I’m back home,’ longtime industry executive Denis Gilles says after seven-year stint away from capital BY DAVID SALI


fter spending decades living the nomadic lifestyle so typical of a top-level hotel manager, Denis Gilles feels like he’s finally where he’s meant to be. “Ottawa is home,” says the new general manager of Hilton’s first two downtown properties in the nation’s capital, the Garden Inn and Homewood Suites. Gilles, who assumed his new post

last month, is back in Ottawa following a seven-year absence. After overseeing the former Crowne Plaza’s conversion to the Delta Ottawa City Centre, he criss-crossed the country with the SilverBirch Hotels & Resorts chain, managing properties in Sainte-Hyacinthe, Que., Fort McMurray, Alta., Halifax and finally, for the past year, Regina. “I was on the road for seven years and now basically I’m back home,” says Gilles, who was born in Paris and grew up in Quebec City but now considers the capital his city. “It was the perfect opportunity.”

The new Hilton lodgings are set to open this fall at the site of the former National Hotel & Suites at 361 Queen St. The chain is pouring $40 million into a full-scale makeover of the Morguardowned property, which will be home to a 175-room Garden Inn geared toward leisure travellers and the 171-unit Homewood Suites catering to extendedstay guests. Gilles says Hilton – which operates nearly 600 hotels and resorts in 85 countries – was long overdue to establish a presence in the heart of Canada’s capital.

The downtown Hiltons are set to open this fall.

“For the brand, it’s very high exposure,” he says. “It’s very high-profile. There is only room for Hilton to grow.” The new Hiltons aren’t the only hotel properties slated to make their Ottawa debut this year. Le Germain is gearing up for its grand opening at the new ArtHaus complex on Daly Avenue later this month, while three more new lodgings are expected to be completed near the airport before the year is out. All told, the region’s total room inventory could jump by more than 1,000 in 2018, an increase of 10 per cent.

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The feeling is mutual Thank you to the Collins Barrow Ottawa team As a recipient of Ottawa’s Employees’ Choice Award for 2017, Collins Barrow Ottawa extends their appreciation to all the people who made this possible. We look forward to continually raising the bar to provide you with unparalleled professional development opportunities and an engaging work experience – for years to come! Here’s to our continued success. Collins Barrow Ottawa LLP T 613.820.8010 E

Tola Stewart, Sabrina Pound and Kathleen Forestall of CNIB, along with guide dog Tiffany, take part in the charity organization’s 100th anniversary celebration last month at the Canadian War Museum. PHOTO BY PATRICIA SANTOS


University of Ottawa’s Top Startups prepare for Silicon Valley trip Three companies will network and pitch through uOttawa’s extensive network of alumni


travel expenses and facilitates meetings with relevant industry leaders from its network of alumni. The annual competition chooses a handful of startups founded by either uOttawa students, alumni or faculty, and focuses on those who would benefit the most from the trip to California’s tech hub. “Part of what we’re doing as an academic institution is helping our students prepare for the next stage in their lives,” says Stephen Daze, Telfer’s Dom Herrick Entrepreneur in Residence. “For many, the next stage in their lives is running a successful business.” Past winners of the competition

include Spiderwort, a high-tech firm that uses biomaterials to aid human recovery from injuries, and Welbi, a SaaS company that helps families and health care providers track elderly patients’ well-being. Welbi co-founder and CEO Elizabeth Audette-Bourdeau was recently awarded the 2018 Bootstrap Award for Founder of the Year. As Daze explains, she met one of her current mentors on her uOttawa Top Startup trip. “In many cases, depending on the type of business and industry that they’re in, being able to experience a trip to Silicon Valley with key introductions into our extensive alumni network helps move their business along,” says Daze.

THE FINALISTS FOR THIS YEAR’S COMPETITION ARE: GAMESTRAT, a sports software company that specializes in sideline instant replay and real-time analytics; TRANSPARENT KITCHEN, an online platform that connects restaurateurs with consumers to share recipes and source local ingredients; and


ZOOMMATE, an online platform that helps people find housing based on budget, location and compatibility with prospective housemates.

“This Top Startup recognition gives ZoomMate more exposure and validates what we have been doing for the past year,” says Moktar Yusuf, the company’s CEO and co-founder who graduated from the Telfer School last year with a bachelor of commerce degree. “Entrepreneurship is my career – building things to solve big problems and this is a big step in my entrepreneurial journey.” For more information on this year’s finalists, head to


ome of the University of Ottawa’s top entrepreneurial talent will be taking their early stage businesses to Silicon Valley this spring. The University of Ottawa’s Telfer School of Management, Faculty of Engineering, Startup Garage and uOttawa e-hub have come together to present the 2018 uOttawa Top Startup designation to three outstanding companies. The winners are being sent to Silicon Valley for a week-long trip in May, where they’ll have the opportunity to pitch their startup to investors and network with uOttawa alumni based in San Francisco. The University of Ottawa contributes $4,000 to each company’s


Stories and photos by Caroline Phillips



From left, Velma McColl with Beth Everson, Canadian author and historian Charlotte Gray and Elizabeth Roscoe, senior vice-president and national practice leader of public affairs at Hill+Knowlton Strategies Canada.

From left, Lisa Delorme, co-founder and CEO of Rent frock Repeat, with Speaker of the House of Commons Geoff Regan and Catherine Clark, president of Catherine Clark Communications.

Women on the Hill celebrates female growth, leadership


International Women’s Day is a lot like birthday celebrations that end up stretching out over a month because it’s so hard to bring all of one’s busy friends from so many different groups together. Women on the Hill did manage to get everyone under one roof by hosting a large networking reception March 26 at the former bank-turned-governmentowned Sir John A. Macdonald Building on Wellington Street, right by Parliament Hill. More than 600 people accepted their invitation to the belated bash for the March 8 Women’s Day. The crowd was mostly women from politics, public service, non-profit organizations, business, media and


academia. As well, there was support from Famous 5 Ottawa and Equal Voice. The food was catered by Erin Clatney, owner of DISH. Bicycle Craft brewmaster Laura Behzadi and Dominion City Brewing Co. provided the ale, while there was vino and bubbly supplied by Prince Edward County female winemakers Mackenzie Brisbois (Trail Estate) and Vicki Samaras (Hinterland). Earnscliffe Strategy Group principal Velma McColl was on hand to welcome everyone, along with members of the all-party Parliamentary women’s caucus, which is chaired by Anita Vandenbeld, Liberal MP for Ottawa

West-Nepean. Maryam Monsef, minister of status of women, kept the energy and enthusiasm high as she congratulated all the women “who rock it” in their respective spheres. Trailblazer Shirley Westeinde, former chair of the Canadian Construction Association and BOMA Ottawa, attended. So did Lisa Delorme, CEO and co-founder of Rent frock Repeat designer dress rental service. Also there were Sharon McGarry, president of Hulse, Playfair & McGarry, and Susan Dagg Fulton, executive director of the Women’s Business Network. Among the speakers was Tonda

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MacCharles, a veteran journalist with the Toronto Star and vice-president of the Canadian Parliamentary Press Gallery. “It’s a great time to be a woman in Ottawa,” said MacCharles as she saluted the women in the room and the work they do. “I just want to let you know what has kept me going through 20 years in the press gallery, and that’s women like all of you.” She also offered this piece of supportive advice: “When it feels like all the balls are falling on your head, reach out, have a coffee, have a lunch, go for a walk, vent, gossip, network, talk. It will get you through the very worst times.”



From left, Jasmin Rose Ibrahim, Jessica McGovern, Mayor Jim Watson, Spencer Watts and Chris Knight, CEO of Gusto Worldwide Media, at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the company’s new studio on April 3.

From left, Jeff York with Chris Knight at Gusto Worldwide Media’s new TV studio and head office.

Ottawa film commissioner Bruce Harvey with Catherine Mensour, owner of The Mensour Agency, a local talent agency, at the official grand opening for Gusto Worldwide Media’s new studio and head office in Ottawa.

21 From left, Sean Murray, CEO of Sakto Corporation, with Brett Tackaberry, director of technology at Rebel, and Taryn Manias.


Boy; Carman Joynt, retired partner with Deloitte; Bruce Harvey, film commissioner for Ottawa; and such prominent faces from the culinary community as restaurateur Stephen Beckta and caterer Sheila Whyte. Other guests included Sakto Corporation CEO Sean Murray and Rob Villeneuve, CEO of Knight acknowledged there are challenges to basing his company in Ottawa. “We choose to do this here because this is a great city to live in and a great city to raise a family,” he told the room. “We look forward to being here for many, many years to come, and to doing lots of television.” It was not lost on the entrepreneur that his new studio and head office is near his childhood home, one of the first to be built in the south Ottawa neighbourhood of Elmvale Acres, on the south side of Walkley Road. Knight was born in Glasgow, Scotland, and came to Canada as a kid in 1963. His father started a construction company with the late Robert Campeau, building most of the houses in Elmvale Acres, Playfair Park and Alta Vista. “It’s full circle,” he remarked of his return to his old neighbourhood. The event fulfilled its party invitation promise to serve exceptional drinks and appetizers. It also sent guests home with gifts, such as a book of recipes from the Road Grill cooking series, an attractive package of quadruple chocolate avocado cookies and a tastefully designed T-shirt promoting Gusto’s The Latin Kitchen series.


The last time Chris Knight threw a big Gusto party was almost four and a half years ago to celebrate the launch of his new food and lifestyle specialty channel. The memorable evening was held at the Canada Space and Aviation Museum. “A lot has happened since then,” Knight, president and CEO of Gusto Worldwide Media, told some 250 guests at an official grand opening party for his new TV studio on March 3. He wasn’t just talking about the baby daughter that he and wife Taryn Manias welcomed into their lives 14 months ago. Or about the way his son, Adam Knight, seems to have suddenly grown up and is now studying at the University of Toronto. Since that party, Knight has opened a 13,000-square-foot TV studio and a new head office in Ottawa in the St. Laurent Business Park. The new space – which includes a 3,500-square-foot sound stage, post-production facilities, a 1,000-squarefoot commercial kitchen and on-site workshop – marked its official opening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony that saw Mayor Jim Watson handling the giant scissors like an experienced politician. “This is where we come to make TV shows and then bring them out to the world, to make people feel better, hopefully for a little while,” said Knight, who was joined by the hosts of three of his TV cooking shows, Jasmin Rose Ibrahim (One World Kitchen), Jessica McGovern (Flour Power) and Spencer Watts (Fish the Dish). “This is a really creative and very fun place to work.” Knight had lobbied extensively to get the city more involved in the film and television industry. “He, quite frankly, pushed us to get a studio and just gave up on us and built his own studio,” the mayor said in his brief remarks. “That’s the kind of guy Chris is; he doesn’t take no for an answer.” Knight invested more than $1 million in the new studio. “Because of his commitment to our city, we have dozens of people employed here and we have this amazing facility in the south end,” said Watson. “Your dream has come true,” the mayor told Knight. “You should be very, very proud.” City councillors Jean Cloutier and Diane Deans and Ottawa South Liberal MPP John Fraser attended. So did businessman Jeff York, co-CEO of the Ottawa-based and rapidly expanding grocery chain Farm


Stories and photos by Caroline Phillips




Restored O’Brien House brings new style to Gatineau Park



A decaying millionaire’s country mansion brought back to life as a luxury boutique hotel and restaurant in Gatineau Park welcomed its first group of guests March 24 in convincing and classy style. Yes, there was room at the inn for members of the Ottawa chapter of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO), a collection of like-minded business owners focused on business growth, personal development and community engagement. The 11-room hotel was booked up that night by the EO members, who mingled over cocktails before gathering in the dining room for dinner. “I am not a natural-born entrepreneur, but meeting and talking with other entrepreneurs has given me the confidence to do things that I would never have done, like starting a new company,” Mark Wardrop, owner of Copperstone Kitchens and Renovations, told at the party. EO Ottawa was also a support mechanism for Wardrop when he decided to sell one of his companies, Ottawa Windows and Doors, and merge another two in the home renovation market. “I rub shoulders with these people and think, ‘They’re no smarter than me. If they can do what they’re doing, then I can certainly do what I’m doing,’” said Wardrop, who previously worked 18 years in the high-tech industry. The guests added old-fashioned glamour to the gathering by dressing up in attire from the early 1930s, when the heritage house was first built. Some guests opted for dainty gloves, pillbox hats and ladylike dresses, while others went the more fun flapper and gangster route. The historic O’Brien House, with its cedar-shingled roof, log siding and granite foundations, was commissioned by Ambrose O’Brien, an industrialist and sports entrepreneur from Renfrew. He was the original owner of the Montreal Canadiens and co-founder of the hockey organization that preceded the NHL. The overall ambience inside O’Brien was inviting and relaxing. Visitors were seen cozying up to the original stone fireplace, admiring the Canadian artwork on display from the National Capital Commission’s Crown Collection and learning about the historic artifacts showcased within the hotel. Even though the night was nippy, it was worth wandering outside to the large deck to catch a sunset view of Meech Lake. Nobody could be happier about welcoming the organization to O’Brien

O’Brien, a new luxury boutique hotel at Meech Lake in Gatineau Park.

than co-owner Robert Milling. He is also a member of the EO discussion network for businesspeople. Its president is his partner Eva Cooper, who owns the women’s clothing store Delilah in the Glebe. “We all walk the same mile – we’re all entrepreneurs – so it’s nice that you are the first ones here,” Milling told his peers. He also co-owns and is founder of O’Brien’s sister property, the Wakefield Mill Hotel & Spa located about 15 minutes away by car or two hours of cross-country skiing (don’t be intimidated; it’s mostly downhill). The Wakefield Mill is the only other hotel located in Gatineau Park, a 361-squarekilometre nature park used by hikers, campers, cyclists, mountain bikers, skiers, swimmers, paddlers and snowshoers, and just minutes away from Ottawa. Milling is hoping the hotel draws the outdoorsy crowd, particularly nordic skiers and cyclists visiting the region. The hotel is very close to Chelsea’s popular Nordik Spa-Nature, which has plans to add its own hotel. O’Brien is currently open three days a week but, come May, will increase to that to five. The hotel is starting to book up with weddings and is available for corporate groups wanting to book the hotel exclusively. Plans are under way to build two modern tree houses, perched on top of the escarpment, as well as a carriage house for business meetings. Guests heard how the O’Brien project began more than four years ago and involved extensive renovations. Said Milling: “There wasn’t a square inch that wasn’t touched.” “It’s done, and we love it,” Milling said of the restored property. “It has exceeded every expectation. This place is, I suspect, nicer than it ever was.” The National Capital Commission’s board of directors had approved the property’s use as a hotel. The lease is for five years with the option of a 20-year renewal.

Eva Cooper and Robert Milling at the luxury boutique hotel, O’Brien, in Gatineau Park for a 1930s-themed party to celebrate the opening of the hotel. Seen in the background is a painting by artist Duncan de Kergommeaux.

From left, Valerie Marcoux, Julie Boszormeny and Jane Rogers at a 1930s-themed party for members of Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) Ottawa held at the new O’Brien boutique hotel in Gatineau Park.

From left, Andre Mickovitch from Assante Wealth Management with Mark Wardrop, president of Copperstone Kitchens and Renovations, at a 1930s-themed Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) party held at the new O’Brien boutique hotel in Gatineau Park. In the background is the painting On the Gatineau by artist Kenneth Lochhead.


SKIERS HIT SLOPES AT CAMP FORTUNE TO RAISE $70K FOR BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB What a relief that the charity skiathon for the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa made a big splash, figuratively speaking only – not literally. The snow did indeed stick around, allowing for 120 members of the local business community to work on their goggle tan and enjoy a day of spring skiing March 29 at Camp Fortune ski resort in nearby Chelsea, Que. Organizers took a risk by holding the fundraiser late in the ski season, but skiathon chair and BGCO board member Darcy Walsh was pretty sure the snow

racer, stepped up at the last minute to take the lead with this year’s skiathon. For years, it had been headed by CIBC Wood Gundy’s Brett Fripp out at Mont Tremblant. The 2018 event committee decided to push the fundraiser to the end of March to buy itself some much-needed planning time. “Darcy, man, you pulled it off – you and your committee,” BGCO board chair

From left, Darcy Walsh with committee member Liza Mrak, who’s also co-owner of black diamond sponsor Mark Motors of Ottawa, and committee member and former Olympic ski racer Patrick Biggs, at the Chelsea Pub following the charity skiathon for the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa.

wouldn’t melt into giant puddles or deteriorate to bare-ground conditions. “I’m not going to lie; maybe around the 1st of March, when we got that warm spell, I was saying, ‘Oh no!’” added Walsh, senior vice-president and general manager of the Ottawa office of global public relations marketing firm Edelman. Walsh, who grew up as a competitive ski

Stephen Beckta said while publicly congratulating them and thanking everyone at the aprés-ski party held at the Chelsea Pub on the town’s main drag. Beckta, who is majority partner of the Beckta, Play and Gezellig restaurants, has a personal connection to the BGCO. He spent time at its former clubhouse in Centretown as a kid. Continued on page 24

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From left, Stephen Beckta with Colleen Mooney, executive director of the Boys and Girls Club, committee member and former Olympic ski racer Ryan Semple, BGCO board member Meredithe Rechan and her husband, Les Rechan, from double black diamond sponsor Solace.

Continued from page 23 “It changed my life and my trajectory,” said Beckta. The fundraiser raised a net total of $70,000 for the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa and also saw sponsors and committee members score primo swag in the form of lightweight ski jackets. The skiathon involved the participation of 2018 Olympic skier Dustin Cook – who spoke that morning before catching a flight back to Aspen, Colo. – as well as a panel discussion with elite skiers Mikaela Tommy, Ryan Semple and Patrick Biggs, the latter of whom is the program director for Camp Fortune’s Alpine Race Club. “We wanted to make it a true ski day experience and have some of our local greatest skiers in the world be part of the day,” said Walsh. Serving as the double black diamond sponsor was Solace, a world leader in open data movement technology. The Kanatabased company’s president and CEO is veteran tech executive Les Rechan. He, with his wife, BGCO board member Meredithe Rechan, are generous supporters of the nonprofit organization. The BGCO provides after-school, weekend and summer programming for






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roughly 4,500 kids and youth each year. The number of annual visits to its clubhouses has been steadily increasing, reaching 114,000 in 2016. Solace is an official gold partner of Alpine Canada. It’s taken a big role in strategic research and innovation projects aimed at putting Canadians on top of world championship, World Cup and Olympic/ Paralympic podiums. Even though organizing committee member Brendan Bell wasn’t turning 35 for a couple more days, it was nice to hear the good old Happy Birthday song belted out in his honour by the gang who’d gathered afterward at the Chelsea Pub. Bell, a graduate of St. Pius X High School, is a former NHL player whose 13-year pro hockey career included a stint with his hometown Senators. The father of three now works in financial planning as a partner at Stratum Advisory Group. Bell wasn’t the only person there with a connection to Pius. There was also 17-yearold Tolu Lawal, a Grade 12 student from the Catholic high school. The teen spoke over the lunch hour about the important role the Boys and Girls Club has played in his life over the past 10 years. His speech garnered a standing ovation.


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On the job hunt? Here are six reasons to call a recruiter Local firm Stevenson & White weighs in on the benefits they provide to candidates


ost professionals know first-hand that conducting a job search on one’s own is time consuming and can feel like taking shots in the dark. While the promise of a new employment opportunity can be exciting, it doesn’t make the job hunting process any less daunting. For many individuals, this leads them to call on a recruitment firm for help. Engaging with a recruiter taps into their experience as well-connected experts who have an intimate knowledge of hiring. Locally, one of those firms is Stevenson & White, an Ottawa-area recruitment firm focused on filling finance, accounting and payroll positions. The company recently drew on its experiences to highlight seven benefits of using a recruiter.

decision-makers within companies that are hiring. In contrast to sending a job application through an impersonal online form, working with a recruitment firm guarantees your information is going to the designated hiring person. And since recruiters are highly skilled in finding the right fit between their clients and candidates, they back an individual to the fullest degree when they recommend them for a job. “We don’t ask our candidates to prepare individual cover letters because we act as their personal cover letter when we speak to our client on their behalf,” says Sharon Lloyd, a recruiter with Stevenson & White. 2. A true match

3. Time saved

Upon engaging with a recruitment firm, candidates know they’ll be contacted when the right opportunity crops up. This saves hours of time that might otherwise be spent poring over job boards, drafting unique resumes and cover letters as well as sending follow-up messages. Having a recruiter working on your behalf also means you’re only called upon to interview for positions that are right for you. This is especially important for those who are passively seeking a new job while employed – it saves them having to repeatedly take time off from their current job to go to interviews. 4. Complete confidentiality

In many instances, candidates are looking for a new job while still working elsewhere. This means they must be delicate in their job search, so as not to alert their current employer of their plan to leave. As hiring professionals, good recruiters are very conscious of the need for confidentiality for their candidates.

Finance. Accounting. Payroll.

At Stevenson & White, the recruitment team never sends a candidate’s resume to a hiring company without discussing the role with the candidate first, so candidates always know where their resume is being sent. The firm also has each of its client companies sign a non-disclosure agreement. Both these measures ensure the privacy of Stevenson & White’s candidates is protected, especially if they’re recommended to a hiring manager or executive with connections at their current place of work. 5. Industry expertise

Candidates also benefit from a recruitment firm’s collective expertise, and all at no cost to them since recruiters are paid by the client only when a placement is successful. Stevenson & White’s experienced recruiters offer career guidance, help with resume writing and coach candidates on best practices for interviews.

6. Exclusive access Well-established recruitment firms earn a reputation as trusted hiring experts in the regions where they work. As a result, clients often contact them to source candidates for jobs that either haven’t been posted online yet or won’t ever be, for reasons of confidentiality. As a result, candidates who use a recruiter can benefit from access to exclusive employment opportunities, all without any extra input on their part.


Stevenson & White can help. Head to for more information or call 613-225-5417.

They will often brief candidates on what topics they should raise – and which are best avoided – before they head into an interview. If selected, recruiters can also help to negotiate the terms of a candidate’s employment. Oftentimes, this involves discussions of salary, an area where some people may lack experience or feel uncomfortable being their own advocate.


Consider this: When a recruiter places a candidate, it’s their reputation that’s on the line. The company has 1. Less competition every incentive to make sure When applying to jobs the candidate is the right independently, fit for the position, chances are so a good good that your recruiter resume will E AT ID will equally end up in a ER D N OY L A consider the large pile of P C EM needs of both applicants parties to ensure that the there are no hiring company now surprises after the has to sift through. Using a candidate starts. recruitment firm can bring At Stevenson & White, you to the top of that pile and candidates are brought in increase the chances of you for an initial conversation securing an interview. completely independent of As full-time hiring experts, any particular client or open recruiters end up with an position. This allows the immense network of HR firm’s recruiters to get to professionals and hiring know the individual, gaining managers. This means they a full understanding of what have immediate access to

they’re looking for and where their priorities lie. They also have inside information about the hiring company and the role, information that is often not fully disclosed in the job posting. If there is too great a difference between the reality of the role and what the candidate is looking for, a good recruiter will be upfront about it so no one wastes their time.

privacy requests, it could be someone that was sort of administrative, someone that had good training on the legislation, etc. But I would argue that under the EU requirements, you need to have a technical person wearing that hat in your organization and someone that’s been advised on what it actually means. We can say you – this individual – have responsibility for thinking about those problems and will take a bit of time to understand privacy by design. It’s not overly onerous to understand.


From a fundamental consumer point of view, we come right up against our PIPEDA core requirements, which are consent and knowledge as to what you’re sharing and protection of the data. More and more, this discussion around the removal of data, the portability of data and the right to be forgotten … PIPEDA is a little behind the EU rules on that front, but we’re fully expecting there will be a Canadian push to bring this more into line with these new EU rules.

Do you think there’s a wakeup call right now, on the consumer side, as to how pervasive technologies and companies can be?

I think it is. It’s oddly, really helpful timing for the Facebook story to break because they were able to come out within a week with all of these planned changes that I’m pretty confident were in the works for May 25 for the EU legislation anyway. I’m sure they’ve been working on it for two years. So good for them, but because there was this scandal, it’s waking everybody up to these requirements. EU regulation on privacy, it just doesn’t sound like something that’s super compelling for a startup to consider, let alone a Canadian startup.

Can you give us an idea of what those EU-like rules would be, if we were to adopt them, and It’s not an everyday thought. what that would mean for No, exactly. But the Internet of Things is such companies developing in IoT? an interesting piece because as a Canadian

For the Internet of Things, what I’ve been talking about for a few years now is the data portability piece because it has real build implications for the technology. It goes to this fundamental idea that is out there in the privacy world; it’s called “privacy by design.” It’s this theory that from day one when you’re building a product, you’re thinking through the privacy implications – and data portability is a big one. Data that’s being collected off my watch right now, for example, can I go and take that data away from Apple and download it in a fashion that can be uploaded into some other format or some other use? If I go and get a Fitbit, can I translate that data? The short answer now is no, you can’t. The EU regulations very specifically say that you have to be able to. That’s a fundamental design issue, right? It’s not like everybody’s using Excel spreadsheets. What’s the standard collection by Craig Lord mechanism for these sorts of biometric data, just to use that example? The following transcript has been edited and So that’s a really fundamental design condensed. question. Whenever we kind of push it back at especially new-stage companies, they look Why is privacy a concern when at you with, like, terror in their eyes.

Privacy by design

Developing for the Internet of Things opens up a can of legal worms for startups, says Ottawa-based Momentum Law founder Megan Cornell





f there’s one thing on consumers’ minds today, it’s privacy. Questions about abuse and misuse of personal data aren’t reserved to platforms such as Facebook and Google – they’re inherent to wearables and other internet-connected devices as well. In Canada, privacy standards are set out by the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). For global firms, however, new, stricter regulations devised in the European Union are bound to affect business models and product design when they’re implemented next month. Ahead of her seminar at the IoT613 conference in Ottawa on April 18, Momentum Law founder and CEO Megan Cornell spoke to Techopia about the importance of designing with privacy in mind.

it comes to the Internet of Things?

The trade-off in harnessing any product that falls under the Internet of Things category is that you’re constantly providing data through your device. It’s obviously exciting and enabling: I have an Apple Watch on, we have a Nest thermostat and fire alarm at home, I am as connected as it gets to the Internet of Things. An offshoot of that is the constant collection of data about us and our use, and that’s supposed to make the products better. But as we know, No. 1, they need to be secure, and No. 2, there can be other uses for all of that data.

How can startups stay ahead of the curve when it comes to privacy? One of the requirements of both PIPEDA and then, in a much stronger way, the new EU regulations is having a privacy officer. For the most part, that’s meant having somebody in your organization that’s responsible for the implementation of PIPEDA. Now, when you’re talking Internet of Things, I would argue that the data protection officer needs to have technical capabilities. In the past, you know, when we thought about being able to respond to

startup, in that world, you’re never going to think Canada is your sole market in the world. It may be where you get some legs, but there’s no way, we’re just not big enough. So from day one, you should be planning, I think, for Canadian regulations to very quickly catch up. We’ve got a federal government that is absolutely the kind of government that will back the privacy commissioner’s request for broader powers and a broader reach that’s in line with the EU. It makes sense because commerce is global. It’s crazy from a product point of view to think, “Oh well, only these ones will meet EU compliance. We’ll make sure that we sell the ones with less protection, or we’ll have a different platform for people to use for managing the device.” It’s just not practical, right? Biometric data, health data – any of the information that falls under the category of sensitive, personal information under the EU guidelines – that’s exactly the kind of thing that’s being collected through the Internet of Things. It’s the most protected and consent levels are the highest: It must be explicit consent; it has to only be retained for the amount of time absolutely necessary to deliver the service; you need to be able to move that data; you need to be able to request it to be taken out. If built into your product is the ability to sell it to third parties, you may have to rethink your entire business model as well as your product model.

Anything you want to add about privacy and IoT?

If you turn your mind to it from day one, it’s a lot easier to build a business model and a technical model that complies than go back and have to remake everything.


Techopia Live brings Ottawa’s hottest startups and coolest tech execs to your screen every week. The live tech show airs at 12:15 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays on Techopia’s Facebook and Twitter channels. Check out our ever-growing video archive of 80+ Ottawa tech interviews at, and if you’re reading our digital edition, click play below. qUI3VnrrL7g

The Growcer CEO Corey Ellis says a University of Ottawa organization inspired him to think beyond revenue with his business. File photo

Hydroponics firm the Growcer returns food security to Canada’s north Ross Video CEO David Ross says you can’t take every new opportunity if you want to maintain cash flow. File photo

by Craig Lord

How Ross Video branches out T without losing steam by Craig Lord


“It’s trying to balance your desire to go faster with your need to go slower.” - David Ross on what keeps him up at night

40-year-plus company comes down to discipline, Ross said. Master one area of the business instead of splitting your attention, and you’ll have the resources and foundation to pursue the big opportunities when necessary. “There’s a million directions you want to go, but you have to do it at the right speed or things fly off the wheels or you run out of cash flow,” Ross said. “It’s trying to balance your desire to go faster with your need to go slower.”


head of his family’s business. “The other side of it is, ‘I want to build a company that’s going to be around for a while,’” Ross said. If you instead build out a number of offerings, even if one product or service becomes obsolete, you’ve got business to fall back on. Deciding how to branch out, however, is what separates Ross Video from the pretenders. When the firm began its work in robotics, Ross said the company’s expertise in circuit boards and programming was no help. That was the time for an acquisition to give Ross Video a foundation to build on in the space. “When you want to do something entirely new, you buy a company. When you want to be cost-effective and have things that integrate really well with what you already have, then you build it on what you already have,” he said. “And if you can’t do something new inside your company and you only have to acquire, then you’ve lost the spark.” The other question to consider when branching out is the when. There will always be new opportunities in tech, but building a


echopia Live got a crash course in live video production recently from broadcasting veteran Ross Video as CEO David Ross discussed how a 44-year-old company stays fresh in a rapidly evolving industry. The made-in-Ottawa production company is in all areas of broadcasting today, from cameras to circuit boards to graphics to robotics. Ross said that when his father was leading the firm, equipment could run for 20 years without being replaced, but production cycles have sped up significantly since the turn of the millennium. “Sometimes products we’re designing now are obsolete in as little as three years. It’s like designing iPhones sometimes,” he told Techopia Live. Ross Video has stayed ahead of the curve by branching out into adjacent products, a move that Ross said helped the firm stave off the allure of acquisition. Some companies try to fill a single gap in the market with the hope that a larger incumbent will buy them up, but that idea never sat well with the

he Growcer, an Ottawa-based hydroponics system developer, joined Techopia Live recently to talk about how the firm’s roots at the University of Ottawa have helped it grow into a difference-maker for Canada’s northern and indigenous communities. CEO and co-founder Corey Ellis broke down the company’s technology, which looks like the cross between an industrial shipping container and a greenhouse. Ellis explained that plants really only need light, CO2 and a nutrient-rich environment to grow, and that the Growcer’s hydroponics design uses automated LED lights and water systems to farm vegetation in harsh environments. That has made the tech especially useful in Canada’s North, where the Growcer has implemented and tested its systems in an attempt to reduce vegetation costs and return food security to northern and indigenous communities. “Now that we have a product that’s really robust, I think we can offer that to a much wider audience,” Ellis told Techopia Live. “We can do a lot with the technology we have now to allow any community, not only in northern Canada, but in Canada in general, to be more self-reliant. So I’d love to see a Growcer system in every major city in Canada.” Ellis pointed to the student-run Enactus organization as the roots of the firm’s success. Enactus encourages students to put a social lens on the impacts of their ventures and consider how a firm’s business model can improve lives as well as earn a few dollars. “How can I do more than just make money or just have a day job that’s nine-to-five?” Ellis said. “My experience in Enactus over the last four years was the catalyst for thinking in this way.”

LegaL Notice

TO ALL MERCHANTS WHO ACCEPT VISA OR MASTERCARD CREDIT CARDS Class action lawsuits were brought in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Saskatchewan and Québec against Visa, Mastercard and a number of banks that issue their credit cards (the “Issuing Banks”) on behalf of all merchants in Canada who accept those credit cards. The lawsuits allege a conspiracy in setting higher interchange fees paid by merchants to accept Visa and Mastercard credit cards, and other restrictions. The allegations are denied. Settlements of class action lawsuits must be approved by the Courts before they are effective. To date, four settlements with Issuing Banks have been approved, and the net proceeds of those settlements are being held for distribution at a later date. There are three new settlements with National Bank, Visa and Mastercard which provide for payments of CAD $6 million (by National Bank), and CAD$19.5 million (by each of Visa and Mastercard) for a total of $45 million for the benefit of the Settlement Class, and cooperation in the continuing action against the defendants that have not settled. The settlements with Visa and Mastercard also provide modification of “no surcharge rules” that prevented merchants from surcharging credit card use. In exchange, Settlement Class Members give the settling parties and related entities a full release. Hearings to consider whether these proposed settlements should be approved, and if so, the amounts payable to class action lawyers will take place as follows: Vancouver June 25, 2018 10:00 a.m. Supreme Court of British Columbia

Calgary July 5, 2018 10:00 a.m. Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench

Regina July 6, 2018 10:00 a.m. Court of Queen’s Bench for Saskatchewan

Toronto July 12, 2018 10:00 a.m. Ontario Superior Court of Justice

Montréal August 21, 2018 8:45 a.m. Superior Court of Québec

YOU ARE A SETTLEMENT CLASS MEMBER IF YOU ARE A MERCHANT WHO ACCEPTED VISA / MASTERCARD CREDIT CARDS AFTER MARCH 23, 2001 YOU HAVE DIFFERENT OPTIONS DEPENDING ON WHERE YOU RESIDE AND WHEN YOU BEGAN ACCEPTING VISA / MASTERCARD CREDIT CARDS • All settlement class members can comment on the proposed settlement. You can do so by delivering comments to the court-appointed Administrator at PO Box 2312, 349 W Georgia St., Vancouver BC V6B 1Y0 by JUNE 21, 2018. • Some merchants are being called upon to decide whether to continue to participate in the lawsuits (and benefit from the settlements). Participation is automatic unless the merchant opts out.


• For most merchants, the right to opt out was given with past settlements and has expired. However, merchants in Québec and “new merchants” (who only began accepting credit cards after September 4, 2015) have a limited time to decide whether to opt out from the lawsuits (and from the settlements). Opt out requests must be received by MAY 31, 2018.



This is just a summary. Full details of the proposed settlement and information about Settlement Class membership and options including how to attend hearings and opt out are posted on, or are available from one of the Class Action Lawyers below. IF YOU WANT TO SPEAK WITH A LAWYER, EMAIL OR CALL ANY OF THE CLASS ACTION LAWYERS BELOW AT NO COST TO YOU: Camp Fiorante Matthews Mogerman David Jones (604) 689-7555

Branch MacMaster Luciana Brasil (604) 654-2999

Consumer Law Group Jeff Orenstein (888) 909-7863, ext. 2 • (877) 283-6548




THE LIST 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 15





18 19 20

Company/Address/ Phone/Fax/Web WSP Canada 2611 Queensview Dr. Ottawa, ON K2B 8K2 613-829-2800 / 613-829-8299 TechInsights 500-1891 Robertson Rd. Ottawa, ON K2H 5B7 613-599-6500 / 613-599-6501 Syntronic Research & Development Canada 400-555 Legget Dr., Tower B Kanata,ON K2K 2X3 613-383-1111 Stantec Consulting 400-1331 Clyde Ave. Ottawa, ON K2C 3G4 613-722-4420 Golder Associates* 1931 Robertson Rd. Ottawa, ON K2H 5B7 613-592-9600 / 613-592-9601 CIMA+ 110-240 Catherine St. Ottawa, ON K2P 2G8 613-860-2462 / 613-860-1870 Morrison Hershfield 2440 Don Reid Dr. Ottawa, ON K1H 1E1 613-739-2910 / 613-739-4926 J.L. Richards & Associates 864 Lady Ellen Pl. Ottawa, ON K1Z 5M2 613-728-3571 / 613-728-6012 Parsons 100-1223 Michael St. Ottawa, ON K1J 7T2 613-738-4160 / 613-739-7105 Novatech Engineering Consultants 200-240 Michael Cowpland Dr. Kanata, ON K2M 1P6 613-254-9643 / 613-254-5867 exp Services 100-2650 Queensview Dr. Ottawa, ON K2B 8H6 613-688-1899 / 613-225-7337 CH2M* 330-1101 Prince of Wales Dr. Ottawa, ON K2C 3W7 613-723-0233 / 613-723-7489 IBI Group 400-333 Preston St. Ottawa, ON K1S 5N4 613-225-1311 / 613-225-9868 Robinson Consultants 210-350 Palladium Dr. Ottawa, ON K2V 1A8 613-592-6060 / 613-592-5995 Adjeleian Allen Rubeli 1005-75 Albert St. Ottawa, ON K1P 5E7 613-232-5786 / 613-230-8916 GHD 400-179 Colonnade Rd. Ottawa, ON K2E 7J4 613-727-0510 / 613-727-0704 Jp2g Consultants 410-1150 Morrison Dr. Ottawa, ON K2H 8S9 613-828-7800 / 613-828-2600 Dillon Consulting 101-177 Colonnade Rd. Ottawa, ON K2E 7J4 613-745-2213 / 613-745-3491 Thales Canada Inc., Defence & Security 1 Chrysalis Way Ottawa, ON K2G 6P9 613-723-7000 / 613-723-5600 McKee Engineering 1785 Woodward Dr. Ottawa, ON K2C 0P9 613-723-9585 / 613-723-9584

No. of local staff/ No. of licensed Year established engineers locally


Key local executive(s)

Areas of practice

Michael van Dusen Buildings; municipal infrastructure; industrial and power; vice-president, buildings transportation; environmental; project management; sustainable Jocelyn Cloutier development; energy analysis and modeling vice-president, transportation

Description of activities Canadian-owned global professional services firm working with government, businesses, developers, architects and planners to provide integrated solutions that transform the built environment and restore the natural environment.


400 1959


130 1989

John Day CEO Jason Abt vice-president of operations


135 2014

Hans Molin president


211 1975

Maurice Leger senior vice-president, Canada east


190 1960

Andrew Benson office manager

Air and noise; archaeology; biology; EAs; EHS; environmental management systems; ESAs; geophysics; geotechnical; GIS/IM; hydrogeology; land development; mine waste management; remediation; risk assessment; waste handling/management

Consulting, design and construction services in the areas of earth, environment and related areas of energy.


160 1990

Andre Chaumont vice-president and regional general manager

Mechanical, electrical, civil, structural, transportation engineering; project management; urban planning; environmental sciences; sustainability; energy

Engineering; project management; urban planning; environmental/ sustainable services


135 1985

Kevin L. Chouinard senior vice-president

Integrated multidisciplinary engineering and speciality services in buildings, energy and industrial, environment, land development, technology and telecom, transportation, transit, structures, water and wastewater.

Planning; design; construction administration; construction management; investigation; assessment; field testing; research


136 1955

Guy A. Cormier president and CEO

Civil, structural, mechanical, electrical and industrial engineering; architecture; planning; GIS; project management

Single-source multidisciplinary design and project management services including architecture, planning and all engineering disciplines.


110 1956

Sylvain Montminy André Proulx vice-presidents

Multidisciplinary engineering, planning, project management and technology firm providing a broad range of integrated systems and infrastructure solutions within the rail, transit, roads and highways, bridges, tunnels, water and ITS sectors

Transportation planning and traffic operations studies; EAs; planning and design of roads, transit, bridges and municipal (water) infrastructure; urban planning and complete street design; CA/CI services for roads and structures


100 1982

John G. Riddell president

Municipal, land/site development; transportation, aquatics, structural and environmental engineering; planning and project management; landscape architecture

Feasibility studies; site plan and subdivision development engineering; municipal preliminary and detail design; environmental studies; project management; construction administration


53 1957

Steven Burdensenior manager, eastern Ontario infrastructure Dan McNicoll senior manager, earth and environmental services

Municipal; infrastructure; land development; environmental; forensic science; building; structural and geotechnical engineering; materials testing

Infrastructure rehabilitation; land development and land use; environmental audits and assessments; soil, air and water control; building envelopes; reserve funds; building design; soil and rock mechanics; site plans; storm water management


38 WND

Peter Mallory senior vice-president

Drinking water and reuse; wastewater; water resources and ecosystem management; industrial water; intelligent water solutions; conveyance and storage

Partnering with governments, communities, businesses and organizations globally to meet clients’ infrastructure and natural resource challenges.


76 1971

Demetrius Yannoulopoulos Peter Spal

Land development engineering; transportation engineering; water resources engineering; municipal engineering; structural engineering

Residential and commercial development; road and transit planning and design; stormwater management design; utilities, sewer and watermain design; bridge design; building inspections


44 1977

Derek Potvin president

Municipal infrastructure; land development; environmental engineering; stormwater management; transportation; asset management; trenchless technology; water resources; drainage

Feasibility studies; preliminary and detail design; sustainable infrastructure; rehabilitation; contract administration; construction inspection


30 1955

C. Michael Allen

Structural engineering consultant providing services in all areas of structural planning and design.

Structural analysis and design; seismic evaluation and retrofit; feasibility studies; building condition surveys; structural heritage restoration; design and assessment to resist blast loads; arctic construction; contract documents; construction administration


55 1992

Christine Skirth vice-president

Water; environment; buildings; geotechnical

Environmental assessments and remediation; solid waste management design and construction; hydrogeology; geotechnical engineering; civil infrastructure design and implementation


37 2000

Neil Caldwell CEO David Nguyen principal

Full-service consulting engineering services: mechanical; electrical; structural; civil; municipal; water resources; environmental; hydrogeology; GIS; planning; project management

Multi-disciplinary consulting firm providing comprehensive, personalized service to municipalities, private developers, school boards, First Nations, post-secondary institutions, and federal and provincial organizations.


25 1961

Rory Baksh associate Shawn Doyle officer

Environmental; transportation planning; municipal infrastructure; bridge structures; land/site development; solid waste; asset management; environmental health and safety

Traffic impact studies; feasibility studies; environmental assessments; municipal infrastructure design; transportation design; municipal site servicing designs


188 1984

Jerry McLean vice-president and managing director of defence and security; Siegfried Usal vice-president of strategy and communication

Tier-one military system integrator. Developer of army/navy/joint and coast guard command and control; counter IED systems; and synthetic army training. Provider of radar, communications and military-grade equipment.

Integrating mission systems for land/sea/air applications; command/control/communications systems, integration of radar, electro-optic, navigation, design, development of real-time software, full-service integrated logistics support.


30 1975

Andrew Lawton president

Mechanical and electrical consulting engineers.

Building services engineering including: heating; ventilation and air conditioning; fire protection; plumbing; building automation; electrical power distribution; fire alarm, lighting, communications infrastructure

Intellectual property consulting; patent brokerage; technical analysis; circuit, process, systems and software reverse engineering. Provides advanced technology intelligence and technology-founded Markets: global; semiconductor; consumer electronics; patent advisory services. communications; medical; automotive

Research and development; software innovations; test systems; production services; aftermarket services

Engineering design house specializing in the design and development of products/solutions and test systems, including electronics, electro-mechanics and technical and administrative software. Markets include defence, telecom, med-tech, industrial and transportation.

Professional consulting services for the planning, engineering and design for: water/wastewater; transportation; mechanical/electrical/ Initial conceptual development, project planning and community structural/civil; building engineering; surveying; land development; engagement through to design, construction, commissioning, urban planning, landscape architecture; geotechnical, hydrogeology; maintenance, decommissioning, and remediation. site assessments; environmental compliance audits.

WND = Would not disclose. *Did not respond to 2017 survey – using data from previous years. Should your company be on this list? If so, please send details to This list is current as of August 8, 2017. © 2017 by Ottawa Business Journal. All rights reserved. This material may not be reproduced by any method in whole or in part without written permission by Ottawa Business Journal. While every attempt is made to ensure the thoroughness and accuracy of the list, omissions and errors sometimes occur. Please send any corrections or additions by e-mail to OBJ lists are primarily compiled using information provided voluntarily by the organizations named. Some firms that may qualify for the list are not included because the company either failed to respond to requests for information by press time, because the company declined to take part in the survey or because of space constraints. Categories are drawn up in attempt to gather information of relevance to the Ottawa market. Research by Patti Moran. Please send questions and comments to

FOR THE RECORD Contracts The following contains information about recent contracts, standing offers and supply arrangements awarded to local firms. Lockheed Martin Canada 501 Palladium Dr. Description: Radar equipment (military) Buyer: DND $94,155,815

Description: Fire alarm systems maintenance (building related) Buyer: PWGSC $702,838

Modis Canada 155 Queen St. Description: Informatics professional services Buyer: PWGSC $1,609,186 Francis Canada Truck Centre Inc. 3818 Russell Rd. Description: Trucks and truck tractors Buyer: DND $1,427,842

S.i. Systems Ltd. 170 Laurier Ave. W. Description: Informatics professional services Buyer: PWGSC $2,896,535 ADGA Group Consultants Inc. 110 Argyle Ave. Description: Informatics professional services Buyer: PWGSC $1,931,023 Colliers Project Leaders Inc. 2720 Iris St. Description: Human resource services Buyer: PWGSC


Oracle Canada 45 O’Connor St. Description: Business services Buyer: Statistics Canada $1,007,533 Bradley Air Services Ltd. 20 Cope Dr. Description: Fixed wing aircraft - airplane charter Buyer: Natural Resources Canada $981,220 Chubb Edwards 8 Hearst Way

Advanced Chippewa Technologies Inc. 802 Nesbitt Pl. Description: ADP software Buyer: Canada Border Services Agency $698,075 CloseReach Ltd. 440 Laurier Ave. W. Description: ADP software Buyer: Treasury Board of Canada $673,390 Johnson Controls 30 Edgewater St. Description: BACS - Building automation control systems Buyer: PWGSC $603,236 ESRI Canada Ltd. 1600 Carling Ave. Description: ADP software Buyer: Statistics Canada $596,997


growing C O M PA N I E S 2018

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