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Inside Ottawa’s galas, fundraisers and networking events
Constitution Square’s one million square feet of prime class-A office space is on the verge of changing hands > PAGE 12
OBJ.social RETURNING THIS FALL
August 14, 2017 Vol. 20, NO. 21
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Pedal to the metal GaN Systems hopes a new investment from BMW will shift the development of its next-generation semiconductors into overdrive. > PAGE 3
Back to his roots
‘Entrepreneur at heart’ Steve Cody is stepping down as Better Software boss to focus on new online venture. > PAGE 4
After spending most of his career at the Brookstreet Hotel, Nyle Kelly has now taken the reins of the four-diamond resort. PHOTO BY MARK HOLLERON
Feeling at home in the GM’s suite Brookstreet Hotel’s new boss believes luxury Kanata resort’s best days are still ahead of it Longtime staffer Nyle Kelly promoted to hotel’s top executive job after successful 14-year run at Matthews-owned facility > PAGES 10-11
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Rapper Kardinal Offishall (centre) with
Youngblood on the red carpet at the Juno gala
winners of Single of the
Ottawa rolls ou t the red carpet for Juno stars
Disappointed with Disappo inted with under Disa prodppo inte d with ucin g inve stments? under prod ucin g inve Disa stments ppo d with under producininte g inve stments?? under producing inve %stments?
Looking forward to sharing more news from Ottawa’s exciting social scene!
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7.75 75%% 7. 75 7. 7.75%
IN A PRESSURE COOKER
With bragging rights at stake, a group of Ottawa lawyers swapped their advocacy for aprons to participate in United Way Ottawa’s fun new Food Fusion cooking competition, held March 30 at Le Cordon Bleu Ottawa Culinary Arts Institute. Nelligan O’Brien Payne, BLG and Gowling WLG all entered teams. So did Edelman, a global communications marketing firm with an office in Ottawa. The first-time event raised roughly Marc Richard, Hans Schroeder, Michael O’Neill, $18,000 through pledges, ticket sales and Michael Crichton, Joe Thottungal and James Baker. silent auction proceeds. Organizers had come up with the concept of creating a cooking competition to appeal to the profession al sector’s competitive side while also giving participants an exciting new challenge . “People want to do things that are experiential nowadays,” explained one of the organizers, Ryan Clarke, a government relations consultan t at Edelman and a volunteer with United Way. Craig O’Brien, Jesse Bell, Jon Svazas and Michael “We also realized that we’re dealing Allen. with a group of people in Ottawa, sort of that professional class that often want to issue you a cheque, but then it’s hard to get them engaged.” The idea for Food Fusion remained on the proverbial backburner until lawyer and United Way volunteer Craig O’Brien became a partner at Nelligan O’Brien Payne and was able to secure sponsorship from his firm. He sees the fundraiser as the ideal networking event for young profession als as well as for the restaurateurs, who Kim Haliburton, Colleen Daly, Jane Forsyth, Danielle volunteered their time to mentor Mulaire and Jennifer Godfrey. the amateur cooks and judge their dishes. of standing on her feet and tediously Participating chefs included Jesse Bell peeling more cherry tomatoes than she (The Albion Rooms), culinary consultan t could have imagined, she now has a Ilan Dagan, Kyle Fewtrell (Tulips & greater respect for her husband, Duane Maple Catering), Jon Svazas (Fauna, Lepine, who is the executive chef of The Bar Laurel), Joe Thottungal (Coconut Rideau Club. Lagoon) and Julie Vachon (Le Cordon “But we’re not going to tell him that,” Bleu). she added with a sly smile. From the reception areas, attendees The winners were Gowling WLG. The – including United Way Ottawa CEO team credited Mr. Thottungal for being Michael Allen – could watch a livestream the brains behind the seared duck with of the budding chefs in their respective butternut squash mash, blackberr y kitchens located in the bowels of the chutney, beet slaw and sago crisp. building. The lawyers had trained earlier in In one of the kitchens, Erin Lepine, a the week with Mr. Thottunga l at his partner at Nelligan O’Brien Payne, was restaurant and, on the big day, were each seen helping to plate her team’s octopus assigned a specific cooking task in order dish. She recalled how her husband had to pull together the perfect dish. reacted with eye-popping surprise when Mr. Thottungal was really proud of she told him they were cooking octopus, his team but stopped short of offering which can be particularly challengin its g to members a position at Coconut Lagoon, prepare. insisting that he already has many good Ms. Lepine was happy with how people working for him. the dish turned out, but after hours
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Stories and photos by Caroline Phillip s
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Gala held at are if AMIC excellent kle that $10,000 opportunit suitable ernTwin For growth for y isinvestors more,isminimum you.mic.com. combined in the for investmen seeking visit if you advanced mortgage sound determine with MBO’s are Advanced eligible tot. invest and franchise is still chas 8. market, prospects Capital returns. outstandin g manageme are if AMIC dealing excellent is visit nt and representa suitable forJune more,Corp. investors ing successful for you. tives will advanced seeking sound For mic.com. the growth determine coveted champag returns. in the mortgage market, prospects For more, if you are eligible to invest and ne advanced TED BY are excellent for investors seeking sound if AMIC is visit suitable for you.mic.com. Mr. Lafleur rememb PRESEN er returns. For more, visit advancedmic.com. of five Stanley Cup s with Canadiens in 1973 . “It was a dream com e e OBJ.social. otosuestions has mor d ph erQ s anett s e facility aff orie#B st Mr. Bossy, who won ey.com/Stca itals. 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Please Repctopersonalized adviceassociated review the risks with this investment, www.adva consult an appropriate rie ncedcapita it “I’m On stag professional day. pe lcorp.com regarding your particular circumstance. Past investment. 13 hap at The no indication of future returns. Please book ex py that I won it, and iconic piece of ic f th performance is ing This information is for general information an appointment with our Dealing Rep to review the risks associated with this hockey hardware e-rack terror to relie an orthoped rv only and is not intended to provide specifi investment. ne was able to participa hit the nation’s capi c personalized advice including limitation, financial, legal, accounting or tax advice. Please owing from hing investment, consult an appropriate professional regarding te in all tal your particular circumstance. Past performance recently as part of ranging mfort, just kn , should anyt no indication of future returns. Please book is an appointment with our Dealing Rep to co Cups that I did, with a four-day celebrat review the risks associated with this investment. room over to in the my team ion of the Cup’s 125th ann n was . It’s g. Mr. Coffey also won iversary. surgeo winner ne wron the decided four C d go Inset ha A ve crow , former NHLers Guy ha d of close to 200 with the Edmonto l was cologist e wasn’t Lafleur and Jim Kyte gathered at the Rick Smith, Paul Dr. Sega that the on n Oilers an fonova. sh share a laugh; the Canadian Museum Coffey, Bernie Paren Alina Sa 0, but ctors March 15 event featu the Pittsburgh Pen noting of History on Mar partner t, Mike Bossy, Frank $46,00 worth ating do ns red NHL alumni (from dance guins – an ch 15 Mahovlich, Dave for ns and ore than the particip te a m mo spec left) in d Keon ial Cle evening with hoc and Guy Lafleur. each win as more raise y all inging Dr. Mark and key legends rewarding virtuall targets by br Mike Bossy, Pau nt care the NHL, as did his alone; l Coffey, Dave Keo “It’s such a hard for patie at is ed their brother, Jamie Rive champion n, Guy who won April 8. exceed nds of dollars e hospital th Lafleur, Frank Mah rs, iser on th Ottawa Gatineau sa the Presidents’ Trop that you appreciate ovlich, Bernie Pare cs fundra of thou for an area of Hotel Association l ga hy h the Do it more a with nt Se wit and the ch ,” Rick Detr ing and nc Smith, all of who oit Red Wings. board co-chair of arts. nning older you get and resear the Da m played on Ottawa 2017, whic their he care about wi the giant hosted the longer y teams that won one ia Boal close to h is “Ou ally onto invo r re d Patric fam ld lved care an ily n’t er,” in he led was or on a more Stanley Cup e he said. series of Stanley close (to a Cup ink “I do hards ial as sh h, how it tw glad s. Cup ham Ric The oc tribu cham Cup Gra J.s tes. pion made quite an entr Attendees cozied ship) but not that However, there’s tawa’s told OB Ball trophy (o . “I’m really d to CTV Ot ance, RAISER up to close,” said no fifth ch receiving fanfare an ne oke) FUND Mr. Rivers. “It’s a Mechanicsville, Civic the Cup for a photoburg, Medici she sp on the horizon for do this Hinton from the trumpetas well really hard, almost as to mee,twill be arms as portunity to perform the Gov Mr. Coffey, w playing unattain the hockey hall of in al and Wellington Village in her ernor GeneralINNOV Hospit ATION fam able trophy to win. and to ers d the op ’s Foot 2001 and remains and tour Builder unity Guards. Comm the mus ” red with a that I ha e the way I did eum second on honou ’s new Sha so Hockey Bourque wn Rivers, presiden Other NHL alumni ut in Ottawa at its CanadaUnited cause, – MorWay contrib . among NHL defe Award from e Tha in attendance t of Anish n Jus rthwhile as weBranding and . t a Game ncem included Fred Bar exhi way I did y is for a wo do as much awards dinner next month Gunn Media, watc time scoring. gala bit. Weston. rett, Jim Kyte, Ken Bonnie hed in awe ort.” “It reall nted to were many of the pp as crowd and Dr. wa t the the In su Man Holy uin we derv Grail of hockey was The Stanley Cup, ing ille and Doug Smi Bourq at we like rryl “Not for me, unfo Remy we felt e patients th e partner Da ethe originally known carried into rtunately,” business partners, includ Dancer th nc as Gatineau Mayor MaxBarbarath. the r and CEO Dom befo it wher is Grand Hall. McInnes partne k, inion re can for side was da ed add Schelc cr Hoc Arden, ing Carley Sarah key Challeng ime Pedneaudwith a smile, “Un give his “Se n, e Cup, was At her Jobin and his and eing it always give Kathleen Kemp. win. “T Element; Doug Pawso have to don Urban ated start an old-time of The Otta by Lord wa counterpart, Jim ocia. “I e said of their er and as a t), s me chills; I Stanley of forPres rs’ league.” Cappad nc think because we atologis sh ton, the ive director of the Centre Watson, were ther execut sixt ne h gove w (hem is due,” , both as a da all grew up with it and rnor Develo pment e. So were Liberal credit eral drea Ke ist) and Roan of ;Can man as Social Enterprise gen to Can t adians,” said MP ist), An Stépha log g ada, to be silen food centre is looking en awa Caterin e ne the amazing .” a rded be Now, Lau Creativ Mr. an ed zon Again to oncolog mes (patho Rive ve (Argenteuil-La Peti rs, who play Thyme and Canada’s top-rank r of Canada’s ist) ha being Secord used to hear the o includ Go ed wa t few ve. In honou r Karen selling log in an als ing ta initiati Ai When been cio las te r the m ama co She’s o Ot Nat . e ar expand ne teur hu ion) Whyte on M th tw of hocowner Sheila and Steve Ball, pres key club often think for la din edical , back on Marstore group e over FOR MORE ON THE PFC wants to install ely made acrossation” she would The ga a raffle prize word ident of the ch 18, 150th anniversary, the tion“innov a brave Segal (m their free tim oom dance. extrem 1892 her take-home food EVEN pesto at . ra es and even that and destina g “It’s and garden walls were on rmed under by bright g OUT CAROLINE by Losatellit the olde by and with ballr of kids from to any won tech, auction 150 of its garden towers spendin PHILLIPS . All eyes ing to rehigh mosGrowin ded rtnered perfo from basil grownst t reve tickets tickets wefamou out a call for more teriorstic cartoon family, The s learn sInfuturis s who AT OBJ.CA surroun were pa Ottawa to to our bachelorred trophy Canada around the city. It’s put month doctor siness . The itions, icians io Futures. A jar was gifted subject
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E 19, 2017 MONDAY, JUN
MONDAY, APRIL 10, 2017
ial c o s . J OB
© 2017 Ernst
Stanley Cup lands in Ottawa for 125th anniversary celebrations
& Young LLP.
ed. ED None. All Rights Reserv
MONDAY, AUGUST 14, 2017
We’ve been on hiatus this summer, but will be coming back in our Sept. 25 issue
IMPROVE YOUR INVESTMENT PORTFOLIO
Will she receiv same funding e the for her startup as CHA thRITY e COMPETITION PUTS boy next doorOTTA ? WA LAWYERS, PR PROS
show icians ncing s y h p a a Ottawotwork at ‘Dndraiser o u f f ’ f s f o e Doc with th
. Huebsch Lothar and Dr. Carrion Arianna Dancer
02 s. o Gome Dr. Marci
OWTH SOCIAL ENTERPRISE A GRA’S INDUSTRY AT OTTAW PARKDALE FOOD CENTRE
Will embracin robots mean g replacing huma ns?
ys rs, harvesters, spin, lantic Stud l cond and tawa BuJetsons. The ph the At Dance sponsors, business partne how to t of Ot stressfu loud noises, , Michael Moffatt is far Murray taught them work. as schools, a gues d Cory Haskins, Scott Warrick “Now I know innovation the Galla, o Arthur mentors and spaces, such ot lights an scrutiny. – not in er of the ors, wh and Daniel Halden. office buildings. fancy fo ed, nt ECK the manag at work llroom of the more than CHthat,” instruct rfect their community centres and consta light at re hard guests of the ba 0 ird de told EVENT, pe e called Secord O we s th Centre E d 73 th who , e Food ce DE le ey an TH of in th Parkda’ VI t Th ON Mayor Jim Watson flip rforman ed a crowd om bu ating in of MORE NE PHILLIPS launch of its social enterprise, pe ro five ion 8. R cip buying eir to tit ing ril pir FO rti itted Th official Ap d ins visionary, comm ROLI compe operat c Leamy, pa nt April 6 at the new a event on ined an OUT CA A e Docs Kitchissippi Ward La Growing Futures, held J.C enterta -a-ticket gala ,595 for patie l, with th Hospital the garden towers, while Hilton AT OB w Yards. ita 60 Dancing the non-profit wa Innovation Centre at Bayvie the $195 ht raised $1 e Ottawa Hosp Coun. Jeff Leiper praised annual t of The Otta g with tion of what a eon), or d The nig arch at Th The food centre is workin in supp n. for changing society’s percep ast surg rning an se re re lea (b unity d s ie st comm tio Ottawa businesses, Robert care an nada’s large t), Bonn Founda food centre should be. da gis an plant, to n olo an Ca have visited Drs. Am sch (hemat Philippe Ph partners and schoolchildre one of “I think those of you who using e, eb l t), in produc Hu gis edica grow and harvest fresh know that when you walk Lothar thalmolo Clemons (m s before selling the PFC between n (oph innovative indoor system ey.com/ca there, a#B lot of the traditional lines Westo rgeon), Mark y Bailey service etterQues food su or neighbour Jeff Turner, Rev. Anthon the produce to the local (spine client or volunteer or staff tions said and Bruce Burrows. broken down,” industry. have been completely idea after time.” Secord came up with the a new model for how you is same “It the at Leiper. unity comm pate in a unique not just to help es emergency being selected to partici work with the community, The PFC, which provid equality at the food, but to and families in residency on economic give people access to healthy food aid to individuals Creativity in and to build our skills build Banff Centre for Arts and people help late 2015.
ctor the se nding nding a t s r e a Is und as underst as key blem? o the pr n.
and Carrion Arianna Dancer
, 2017 PRIL 24
ONDAY, APRIL 10, 201
by Caroline Phillips
“Like many new Canadians back then and now, they wer e welcomed with open arms and encour aged to live out their dreams,” Mr. Rei d said JUNO AWARDS later on stage. “Their story is pro bably very similar to many of your fam ily stories: We all came from somewhere .” Mr. Reid said he was very happy with how the Juno Awa rds were being rec eived. “Ottawa has roll ed out the red car pet for us,” he told OBJ .social. “We have Unless you neglect a packed house ton ed to remove you ight. Canadian mu r earbuds last wee cha irm sic cou an k, you’d have hea of the board of the ldn’t be hotter tha rd n right now. Our Canadian the Juno Awards Academy of Rec country couldn’t were coming to ording Arts and be more exciting town, bringing some of Sciences (CARAS). than right now, globally our country’s bes .” t artists together to cele Rob Baker, lead brate Canadian For city councillor guitarist for The music. Mathieu Fleury On April 1, music Tra gica , the 2017 Juno Awa lly Hip, said he look industry players rds seemed to hav s forward to the and special guests Juno Awards bec e an authentic feel in gathered at the ause the event allo Ottawa, compar Shaw Centre for ws him when the to connect with ed with a private awards oth y last er blew mu sici dinn thro ans, who, like er ceremony, presen ugh town in 201 himself, are ofte A variety of con 2. ted by SOCAN and n busy touring. certs and high-pro held on the eve file “It’s a great cele events, along with of the 46th ann bration of the mu ual Juno a welcome recept Awards at the Can sic industry in Canada ion the at adian Tire Centre. Nat ional Gallery, wer ,” he told OBJ.soc This year, there were e hosted in the ial. “The way I look days leading up 183 nominees, incl at it, it’s a chance to Sunday’s spla uding 74 first-timers rep to get together with all shy main event. resenting 16 gen these people who res. Many of the star are out there doing Mr. Fleury, co-chair s, from The what I’m doing. of the city’s task Strumbellas to We don’t often get a chance forc Buffy Sainte-Ma e on Canada’s 150 to be in one room rie to th anniversary, said July Talk, did the to schmooze and hav he’s received rav red carpet thing, e fun and have a e reviews from visi striking togeth playful poses, flas drink ting er.” musicians on how hing big smiles or cool Ottawa has playing it cool for the cam There was no sho become. He already knew eras before ascend rtage of trendy that, of course. “Bu ENTED BY ing to and des the third floor for look s t, it’s PRES fun igne an evening of big to be reminded.” r gowns (soul sing awards er Tanika and live perform Charles donned ances. Lucian Matis, one Also on the carpet of Sophie Grégoire were Heritage Trudeau’s go-to tos Minister Mélanie Canadian Stories and pho s designers). Joly and Mark Coh FOR MOR olineEPhi ONllip on, THE EVENT, CHE by Car Rocking the kilt CK OUT CAROLINE was Allan Reid, PHILLIPS’ VIDEO AT OBJ.CA ISER on April 1.
Vocal group the Tenors.
president and CEO of CARAS and the Juno Awards. His cho sen attire, worn as part of Canada’s 150th anniversary yea r, honoured the 59 years sinc e his parents cam e from Scotland to Can ada in search of a better life.
ersatio uestions e conv rQ Join th a #Bette /c ey.com
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Reid and wife Kim
CARAS presiden t Allan
Stories and photo s by Caroline Philli ps
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has to first fix his mayor, who admittedly he can cook broken oven range before himself some pesto pasta. dozens of Attendees also included n, whose participating schoolchildre vegetables has relationship with leafy to their social never been better thanks entrepreneurism. es Thirty per cent of the revenu is donated from Growing Initiatives to support its back to the food centre r 30 per cent goes Anothe . mming progra d back into to the harvesters or is investe -five per cent is Growing Futures. Twenty charity and 15 given to an agreed-upon costs. cover to aside per cent is set
TECHNOLOGY “When everybody in the automotive industry sees that BMW is putting such a vote of confidence with GaN, it’s tremendous. It does wonders for us in the other marketplaces, too, because BMW’s brand is known globally.” – GAN SYSTEMS CEO JIM WITHAM
GaN Systems CEO Jim Witham says BMW’s investment is a huge vote of confidence in his company. PHOTO BY MARK HOLLERON
GaN Systems revved up about BMW investment Kanata firm’s next-generation semiconductor technology attracts multimillion-dollar injection of equity led by German automaker BY DAVID SALI email@example.com
investors. BMW was a perfect fit for that, and I’m really happy to have them lead our round. Electric vehicles are clearly a part of the future.” Batteries used in most current hybrid vehicles generate such intense heat the cars require separate coolant tanks. But because gallium nitride semiconductors generate less heat in the form of lost energy, coolant tanks would no longer be as necessary.
BOOSTING SALES That’s a major incentive for BMW to invest in GaN’s technology. The Munichbased automaker is aiming to boost sales of its electric cars by two-thirds this year to 100,000 vehicles, with the long-term goal of expanding the share of electric cars and hybrids to as much as 25 per cent of its total sales by 2025. “GaN Systems’ power transistors have created new possibilities for engineers to build the power electronics demanded by today’s systems,” BMW i Ventures managing director Uwe Higgen said in a statement.
“Gallium nitride-based transistors have become, in my opinion, the next big stepping stone in miniaturization. We have seen systems one-quarter of the size while providing better efficiency than traditional silicon-based alternatives. With GaN, any system that needs power can become smaller, lighter and more efficient. These capabilities are particularly relevant in the automotive sector.” In addition to growing its sales and marketing teams, GaN Systems plans to use the latest cash injection to beef up its R&D and engineering components in an effort to make its semiconductors even smaller, faster and more efficient. GaN proponents say the technology will allow electronics manufacturers to produce lighter, thinner flat-screen TVs and tablets, among a myriad of other applications such as high-tech medical devices and wireless charging systems. GaN transistors also make it more efficient for data centre providers to store and transmit massive amounts of information in the cloud. Continued on page 9
MONDAY, AUGUST 14, 2017
Kanata firm that makes transistors that help electric and autonomous vehicles run more efficiently has landed millions in funding from one of the world’s leading automakers. GaN Systems recently announced the new infusion of capital led by BMW i Ventures, the investment arm of the German high-performance car manufacturer. Existing investors BDC Capital, Chrysalix Venture Capital, Cycle Capital Management, RockPort Capital and Tsing Capital also contributed to the round. Company officials would not divulge the size of the latest investment, but several media outlets have valued it at more than $40 million (Canadian). It’s the latest funding win for GaN Systems, a rapidly growing west-end firm that specializes in high-speed semiconductors made of gallium nitride. GaN, as it’s commonly known,
is a byproduct of aluminum and zinc production known for its incredibly high heat capacity and conductivity. Besides being fast, gallium nitride semiconductors are also much more energy-efficient than their silicon counterparts. While traditional siliconbased transistors bleed up to 10 per cent of their energy in the form of heat, GaN says its products lose just one to two per cent of their energy during the power conversion process. That efficiency advantage over silicon has grabbed the attention of a host of carmakers, including BMW, that are planning to shift more of their production to electric vehicles and, eventually, selfdriving cars with sensors that will be constantly transmitting and receiving data from the cloud – a process that requires a great deal of energy. “That’s kind of the whole revolution that we’re helping drive,” GaN Systems CEO Jim Witham told OBJ recently. “We’re in a revenue growth stage. I didn’t want to get financial investors, I wanted to get strategic
TECHNOLOGY Serial entrepreneur Cody back in startup mode Better Software Company founder steps aside as CEO to focus on new online rental marketplace venture BY DAVID SALI firstname.lastname@example.org
MONDAY, AUGUST 14, 2017
ne of Ottawa’s most prolific serial entrepreneurs is stepping away from the top leadership role at the software firm he launched three years ago. Steve Cody has resigned as chief executive of the Better Software Company, the Kanata-based enterprise announced earlier this month. Mr. Cody will remain a member of the board and will continue to help promote the company but will no longer be involved in its day-to-day operations. His wife Natalie, who cofounded the software firm, will stay on as vice-president of culture and experience. A tireless entrepreneur who has founded no fewer than 15 businesses, Mr. Cody told OBJ he’d achieved all of his “key objectives” at the Better Software Company, which now employs about 30 people and has millions of dollars in annual revenues. “I had a heck of a good run there,” said the businessman known for his down-toearth demeanour. “I think we’ve found some really good market fit, and we’re well on our way to being quite successful. I kind of felt it was time for me to move on.” Before launching Better Software, the lifelong Ottawa resident who quit high school in Grade 10 to start a windowwashing company had spent most of his career building businesses in the rental industry with outfits such as Cody Party. He’s returning to his roots with Ruckify, an online marketplace for rental goods he is planning to unveil in October.
Mr. Cody said he originally conceived the plan for Ruckify years ago, before his foray into software put that idea on hold. Now that the Better Software Company is on solid footing, he said he felt it was time to indulge his true passion once again. “I’m an entrepreneur at heart,” he said. “Once something is figured out and now all you need to do is just execute, that’s not necessarily where my heart lies. I love learning new things, figuring things out. Now I’m kind of trying to revolutionize another industry that I’m passionate about. For me, that’s really exciting.” Mr. Cody said his new venture will allow him to marry the technology expertise he gained at Better Software with his extensive background in rental businesses. Using the Ruckify platform, customers looking to rent items from canoes to
wheelchairs will be able to browse an online catalogue of items, similar to the way Kijiji brings buyers and sellers together. Mr. Cody’s company will take a five per cent cut of all transactions, with a minimum fee of $5 and a maximum of $50. It will cost nothing to post items for rent, and Ruckify will take care of all insurance requirements. EYEING ANGEL INVESTORS “The younger demographic, they don’t want to own anything,” Mr. Cody said. “They want to enjoy great experiences. I think they’re very open to just renting things as they need them.” He’s currently financing the startup out of his pocket but said he’s in talks with several angel investors and a couple of major insurance companies that are interested in becoming equity partners. “If you think about it, it’s a big insurance
“I’m an entrepreneur at heart. Once something is figured out and now all you need to do is just execute, that’s not necessarily where my heart lies. I love learning new things, figuring things out. Now I’m kind of trying to revolutionize another industry that I’m passionate about.” – ENTREPRENEUR STEVE CODY, ON FOUNDING HIS LATEST COMPANY
Natalie and Steve Cody. FILE PHOTO
play,” he said. “They’re very, very keen on it.” Never one to think small, Mr. Cody added he envisions a day when Ruckify extends its services beyond the virtual realm of the internet to rent out equipment at playgrounds and tennis courts. “We see a future where, if you show up to a basketball court in the community, we’re going to have a Ruckify machine where you can rent a basketball,” he explained. “You don’t need to go out and buy a basketball and have it sitting (unused) 99 per cent of the time.” The new firm employs a total of seven full- and part-time employees, a number Mr. Cody expects to jump to 20 by launch date in October. Initially, Ruckify will serve only the Ottawa market, but he’s already planning to expand the concept to Vancouver early next year. Mr. Cody said he’s never more in his element than when he’s in startup mode. “I’m back to not being able to sleep at night because I’m excited about getting up in the morning,” he said. “Life’s so short, that’s what’s important.”
A Supreme Court decision involving Google has set a new precedence in intellectual property law. The experts at Nelligan O’Brien Payne explain what it means for businesses: bit.ly/supreme-court-intellectual-property
Adam Tracey Associate lawyer
TECHNOLOGY Co-CEOs a Better approach to management? Kanata software firm decides to share chief executive duties between two tech veterans BY DAVID SALI email@example.com
aced with the departure of its co-founder and CEO while in the midst of a product pivot, The Better Software Company has decided the boss’s role is a two-person job. The three-year-old Kanata startup has turned to a pair of tech veterans to replace Steve Cody, who officially stepped down as chief executive last week to focus on launching a new online rental marketplace. Mr. Cody will remain on the company’s board of directors but will no longer be involved in day-to-day operations. Chief operating officer Laurie Davis and chief technology officer Kevin Haaland will
“We are taking maximum advantage of, in my view, some of the most experienced managers in the Ottawa area today driving this business forward.” – BETTER SOFTWARE COMPANY CHAIRMAN LEO LAX
now share the CEO duties, the company said. Board chairman Leo Lax said the move will give the firm “twice as much horsepower” in the chief executive suite as it narrows its customer focus from small businesses to franchise operations. Mr. Lax said the board began thinking about the approach a couple of months
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ago when Mr. Cody first suggested he was going to step down. The veteran entrepreneur said he was leaning more and more on the expertise of Mr. Davis and Mr. Haaland, leading the board to consider the unconventional coCEO arrangement. When the board asked both executives
their opinion of the proposal, their response was unanimous. “Both of them, without any hesitation, said, ‘I think this is how we would work best,’” Mr. Lax said. “We are taking maximum advantage of, in my view, some of the most experienced managers in the Ottawa area today driving this business forward.” Mr. Haaland said he’ll continue to oversee product development at the company, which offers clients an all-inone solution for tackling essential tasks such as scheduling and invoicing. Mr. Davis, the founder of the Capital Angel Network, will retain the title of chief operating officer. The move comes as The Better Software Company has undergone a major shift in its sales and marketing efforts. Continued on page 13
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From diversity, strength Ottawa’s myriad of economic development organizations sometimes struggle to find a common agenda, Mischa Kaplan says – but getting all those groups on the same page could give the city a leg up in its push toward future prosperity
MONDAY, AUGUST 14, 2017
rom an economic development perspective, Ottawa is currently undergoing a massive and mostly promising transformation. From the construction of the new light rail line to Kanata’s experiment as a testing centre for self-driving cars to the redevelopment of LeBreton Flats, Ottawa is clearly a city that is looking optimistically and confidently to the future. In addition to boasting a world-class high-tech sector, Ottawa has carved a niche for itself as a centre of innovation in the areas of post-secondary education, health care and the administration of local government services. On top of this, the city is consistently recognized both nationally and internationally as providing an extremely high quality
of life, a fact which helps drive both immigrants and Canadians from other cities to the Ottawa area. Unlike some other large Canadian cities such as Calgary, Ottawa remains relatively diversified in terms of its economic drivers (a point which helps to somewhat buffer the city from fluctuations in any specific industry), and the city has mercifully avoided the insanity that has gripped the housing markets of Vancouver and Toronto. These facts all help to paint a rosy picture for the future of economic development in the nation’s capital. Yet despite such strengths, a cloud hangs over the future of the city’s economic development prospects. Like many medium and large cities, Ottawa suffers from a clear saturation
of economic development actors, each working with their own mandate and towards their own ends. From Ottawa Tourism to Invest Ottawa to the City of Ottawa’s own economic development and planning specialists, the cast of characters in this process is both numerous and diverse in terms of management, style, budget and goals. And these are just the organizations that are directly connected to City Hall. On top of this, we can add the various organizations that function mostly independently but which are still connected to city government on some level, such as the various business improvement associations (BIAs) and certain well-connected community and neighbourhood associations. And finally, there are the actors which
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Like many medium and large cities, Ottawa suffers from a clear saturation of economic development actors, each working with their own mandate and towards their own ends are completely separate from the City of Ottawa but which push their own vision for local economic development, such as the three main local business advocacy groups (the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce, West Ottawa Board of Trade and Orleans Chamber of Commerce), land development companies, citizens’ groups and special-interest advocacy organizations engaged in a wide variety of activities, and which may or may not have a strong influence on local political decisions. While not all of these actors are concerned directly with economic development in the sense that most readers of this publication might define the concept, they are in almost every case pushing a vision that will impact somehow on Ottawa’s economic prospects. While Ottawa’s situation in this regard is certainly not unique, it is nonetheless problematic. It might be argued that having a variety of stakeholders each working separately can help to bring a certain diversity and liveliness to the process of economic development, and there is, of course, some truth to this. This concept does, after all, define the nature of a democratic society, and it therefore
makes perfect sense to have several different actors each pushing their own agenda, a process which hopefully leads to some level of consensus-building. But this is perhaps where Ottawa is somewhat atypical of a Canadian city. Rather than a cacophony of competing voices (such as exists in Toronto or Vancouver), economic development in the nation’s capital is surprisingly sanguine, with most voices agreeing on at least four fundamental areas: firstly, that a net inflow of population is positive (and that this net inflow is directly tied to the image non-Ottawans have of the city); secondly, that everyone benefits when the business sector is strong; thirdly, that Ottawa has the potential to be one of the greatest medium-sized cities in the world; and finally, that in order to achieve a certain level of greatness, investments must continue to be made in developing the city’s economic resources, be they social, financial, cultural or physical. In my experience, there is almost universal agreement on these four points, and this is undoubtedly one of Ottawa’s great advantages in terms of economic development. At the same time, this also means there is a great deal of duplication in
terms of planning, administration, resources and goals. This is so true that, in some cases, it is difficult for the average observer to detect any real differences in mandate between certain organizations, despite the strong work done by these respective groups. In the past year or so, a commendable effort has been made to address this issue by bringing the various stakeholders together via the informally titled “G33” working group – a collection of organizations that meets infrequently to discuss priorities, share experiences and develop a common set of assumptions and goals around economic development in Ottawa. While it’s unclear to what extent this working group has really led to any great improvement, it seems clear that the city’s various economic stakeholders are all equally committed to working together and building a more collaborative environment. It’s also the only real venue where decisionmakers from organizations as diverse as Algonquin College, Invest Ottawa and Ottawa Tourism can formally meet to discuss plans, outlooks and goals. On top of that, the “G33” is a clear example of City Hall’s seriousness about the task of building a stronger local economy.
Ottawa is in a unique and largely fortunate position. While the city may be struggling to define a common agenda across its various economic development actors, and while these actors may not yet have developed a distinctive voice in regards to building a more vibrant economy, at least our city doesn’t suffer from a lack of engagement in this area. As technology and globalization continue to reshape the purpose and collective minds of urban centres across the country, the challenge in the future will be to ensure that Ottawa’s various economic development actors can work together in the most efficient and productive way possible. An Ottawa that can truly embrace collaboration among its diverse economic actors will be strongly positioned to navigate the dynamics of both global and local change for years to come. Mischa Kaplan is a local business owner and part-time professor in Algonquin College’s School of Business. He is also the second vicechair of the West Ottawa Board of Trade and a member of the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce’s economic development committee.
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TECHNOLOGY DragonWave directors resign, firm delisted from TSX and Nasdaq BY DAVID SALI email@example.com
MONDAY, AUGUST 14, 2017
mbattled telecom firm DragonWave will be delisted from the Toronto Stock Exchange at the end of August, the company announced earlier this month after a court-appointed receiver took over control of its business and assets. DragonWave will no longer be listed on the TSX as of Aug. 30, the company said. That followed news in late July that the firm would also be delisted from Nasdaq, a decision that took effect on Aug. 2. The company’s shares have been suspended from trading on both exchanges. Receiver KSV Kofman said in a statement it will not appeal the decisions. The Kanata-based wireless networking company also said CEO Peter Allen and three others – Claude Haw, Cesar Cesaratto and Lori O’Neill – have stepped down from its board of directors. DragonWave’s two main creditors, Comerica Bank and Export Development Canada, successfully applied to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice on July 31 to have a receiver appointed with the aim of initiating a “short, courtsupervised” sale of the company’s assets. The moves come after a series of significant financial losses at DragonWave, which saw its revenues plummet from $158 million (all figures U.S.) in fiscal 2015 to an expected total of only about $36 million this year. The company suffered a major blow in late 2015 after Nokia – which historically provided a significant portion of DragonWave’s revenue as an original equipment manufacturer sales channel –
DragonWave chief executive Peter Allen has stepped down from the company’s board of directors. FILE PHOTO
acquired DragonWave competitor AlcatelLucent. The firm’s total revenues from the Nokia sales channel dropped from $84 million – more than half its total sales – in fiscal 2015 to just $11 million, or about a quarter of its total revenues, in 2017. In a statement on July 31, DragonWave said it might consider an alternative listing on the TSX Venture Exchange or the NEX in the event it was delisted by the TSX. Officials at KSV Kofman, which is now speaking on behalf of the company, did not respond to requests for comment.
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In July, Mr. Allen conceded that the company faced “difficult operating conditions” but struck an optimistic tone when he released the company’s firstquarter earnings. DragonWave’s revenues in the threemonth period that ended May 31 fell from $12.6 million in 2016 to $9 million this year. Its quarterly loss grew to $4.3 million, compared with a loss of $4.1 million a year earlier. In a call with analysts, Mr. Allen touted DragonWave’s June deal with SmartSky Networks to install Wi-Fi
technology on planes as well as its successful cost-cutting efforts that led to operating expenses decreasing by 40 per cent year-over-year. In May, DragonWave announced it had hired restructuring consultants Alvarez & Marsal Canada ULC to help it identify and assess strategic alternatives. The term is often used by companies considering a sale of some or all of their assets, although the process can also lead to debt or equity financing, business combinations, joint ventures and strategic alliances.
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Continued from page 3 As the number of mobile devices and other technology with data-heavy applications continues to multiply, the GaN market is expected to grow exponentially. In a report last year, London-based information services firm IHS Markit predicted sales of GaN semiconductors would rise from roughly $10 million in 2015 to $600 million by 2025. “Energy is the No. 1 operating expense item for data centres,” Mr. Witham said. “The data centre guys love GaN transistors because they save energy instead of wasting it as heat and having to cool it. There’s a huge data centre play for GaN transistors.” The latest funding round follows a $20-million series-C round in 2015 that helped GaN Systems grow to about 30 employees. Since then, the firm has nearly doubled its headcount to more than 50, with 34 of those based at its head office in Kanata and the rest employed at sales outposts in Asia, Europe and the United States. GaN Systems’ second-largest office is in Taiwan, where its transistors are manufactured by a contractor. The company says it’s the world’s top producer of GaN transistors, though the field is limited to just a handful of competitors in large part because the production of gallium nitride requires a specially equipped foundry. One of those facilities just happens to be right here in Ottawa at the National Research Council. “In some respects, when we go out to big customers around the world, they’re surprised that the best power transistors in the world come from a company headquartered in Ottawa,” Mr. Witham said. “But the combination of the entrepreneurship in Ottawa, the engineering talent in Ottawa and, for us specifically, having a GaN reactor at the NRC in the early days where we could prove out our technology and show that it was superior to the other ways of doing it, those three pillars allowed us to become the company that’s the leader in GaN.” The decade-old company won’t reveal its annual revenues, but Mr. Witham says sales are more than doubling each year. Staying one step ahead of the competition is the firm’s foremost challenge, the CEO added – not to mention fending off makers of traditional silicon transistors that are still “fighting hard for their business.” In the company’s battle to remain the market leader, securing the endorsement of BMW’s investors is worth far more than any dollar figure on a cheque, Mr. Witham said. “BMW is known throughout the automotive industry as being a technology leader,” he said. “Their engineering is top-notch. When everybody in the automotive industry sees that BMW is putting such a vote of confidence with GaN, it’s tremendous. It does wonders for us in the other marketplaces, too, because BMW’s brand is known globally. It’s pretty exciting times for the company, and it’s exciting that Ottawa is a hub of where that’s all happening.”
TOURISM Brookstreet’s new GM sees plenty of room for growth Longtime staffer Nyle Kelly believes best is yet to come for Kanata resort, thanks to hotel’s new banquet and meeting facilities and beefed-up marketing efforts BY DAVID SALI firstname.lastname@example.org
t’s probably safe to say that few people, if any, know more about the inner workings of the Brookstreet Hotel than Nyle Kelly. The new general manager of the luxury Kanata resort has been employed at the facility since it opened in 2003, starting out as executive housekeeper before working his way up the ranks to assistant GM. Last month, he took over for longtime chief staffer Patrice Basille, who announced his retirement earlier this year. Mr. Kelly, 46, recently chatted with OBJ about his career trajectory so far and his future plans for the property he’s come to know so well. The following is an edited and condensed version of the interview.
MONDAY, AUGUST 14, 2017
OBJ: What’s the transition to general manager been like so far? NK: I’ve been working here since day one. I’ve been Patrice’s right hand for many, many years, so the transition into the role hasn’t been that difficult in the sense of having to learn anything new about the operation.
OBJ: What advantages does that give you? NK: I’ve seen a lot of our successes the last few years, so I can keep a lot of those things moving forward. I’ve been a part of creating the strategy of the organization for many years. We’ve really kind of shifted gears the last two or three (years), focusing more on our leisure market. Let’s face it – when we opened the hotel back in 2003, we were going to be a corporate, business hotel doing some high-end conferences and things like that. Well, the market changed. It changed very quickly, and after Nortel and some of these other large organizations disappeared, we had to change our focus and we’ve done that over the last eight years. OBJ: How successful has that transition been? NK: What used to be our quietest night of the week – Saturday night – is now our busiest night of the week. We’ve got specific market segments that we target, but our leisure business segment has been the highest growth for us in
the last five, six years. Right now, we’re probably looking at about 30-40 per cent of our (guests) coming from (the leisure segment). That’s going to grow. That used to be a very small part of our business. OBJ: What are some of the other markets you’re trying to target? NK: We’ve got three main segments: your conference business segment, which includes all of your conference type of events, trade shows and other large activities. The corporate business segment would be all the businesses and the 10,000 employees who work here in Kanata North and the corporations they work for. That’s a big chunk of our Monday-to-Friday business. And then our leisure business segment would be all the different activities that you can do here. Because it is truly a resort at the end of the day. We’ve got a spa, we’ve got golf, we’ve got lot of activities for families – indoor, outdoor pools. We’ve added a lot of games. We put ping-pong tables out this year, and we’ve got a musical park where kids can go and play music on different instruments outside in the park in front of the hotel. I’d argue there’s not another facility in the city that has all the things that we have to offer ... with the amount of conference space we have and of course the spa and golf and leisure activities that we have here. OBJ: At some point down the road, the plan is for the Senators to vacate the Canadian Tire Centre. What impact do you think that will have on your business? NK: That’s the first I’ve heard of it. (Laughs.) I get that question a lot now. The reality of the situation, I think, is that we’re looking at at least a minimum of five years before something happens. The difficult part of this question to answer is what is the building going to be (used) for at the end of it all. I’ve heard everything from water parks to event centres to weekend garden markets and different things. Until that question’s answered, we don’t know what the full impact will be. At the end of the day, (hockey-related cliente) really is a small portion of our overall business. OBJ: What are some of the ways you’re trying to drive new business? NK: One of the things we’ve really invested a lot of time and money and
effort in is our marketing machine. We’re an independent property; we don’t have a large corporation to do a lot of our marketing, so we do it all in-house. We’ve partnered with some great online digital marketing partners; we’ve just redone our website; and we’re really active in social media but also in putting new promotions out there to bring people in. That’s where we’ve really kind of grown that leisure business. The Marshes (golf course, which is part of the resort complex) and the Brookstreet are one organization now as far as our operations are concerned. We’re really working hard to package different things for our guests, like golf packages and bringing our marketing efforts together with the golf course. We also have some really cool things happening in the west end – the equestrian centre at Wesley Clover Parks has really started to develop and bring a lot more events to the west end of the city as well. We just had national and international equestrian and horse jumping events that filled our hotel for two weeks. There’s a lot of activity on that site, so that’s been bringing in more business for us. OBJ: Do you ever find that being located away from downtown is a hindrance? NK: We do benefit when the downtown core is busy. There is compression, and it pushes (business) outside of the downtown core. But we don’t really try to compete with the downtown hotels. We have a really different value proposition here. If you’re coming to the Brookstreet, you’re coming either because you’re doing business in the west end, you’re coming because there’s a conference here, you’re coming because you’re looking for a staycation or a weekend getaway or you’re coming to the city for a wedding or a family event. OBJ: Any major renovations or other changes in the works? NK: We are adding an additional 10,000 square feet of meeting space that will be open by the end of this season. We’ll have three ballrooms. Right now, we have one that’s 5,400 square feet. Our newest big ballroom will be 7,400 square feet, and we’ll be able to do gala events up to 500 people for dinner, a theatre-style setup for conferences up to 800 people, and we’ll be able to service over a thousand
NYLE KELLY’S RESUME Jan. 2016-July 2017: Assistant general manager, Brookstreet Hotel Aug. 2007-Jan. 2016: Director of operations, Brookstreet Hotel June 2005-Aug. 2007: Director of guest services, Brookstreet Hotel April 2003-June 2005: Executive housekeeper, Brookstreet Hotel Dec. 2000-April 2003: Account executive, Hostar International July 1999-Dec. 2000: Project manager, Hostar International
people a day in our banquet space. It’ll be over 30,000 square feet of banquet space, and that’s nothing like the west end has seen before. Some of the conferences that we weren’t able to go after because of our size, we can now. We’re starting to get at capacity now for our restaurant and some of our leisure space, so we’re looking at further developing that out. We’re very early on at looking at expanding our pool area. In 2018, we’ll start to explore the feasibility of more guest rooms here. I think our next challenge will be, once the conference space starts to fill, will we have enough guest rooms. (The hotel currently has 276 rooms.) OBJ: What sort of trends are you seeing in the local hospitality industry as a whole? NK: Being that we’re in a little bit of a different ecosystem here than the downtown hotels, I definitely see a trend toward more conference-type business. We do have a very value-conscious client (base) out there now with the ability to book online. I think we’re going to shift slowly away from that. People will be looking more towards overall value for the package – they’ll be willing to pay more for quality. 2018 is going to be a tough year to follow up from 2017, probably more so for the downtown hotels than it would be for the hotels in the west end. Our client base is different here than it is downtown. Just like we didn’t necessarily gain as much from some of these large (Canada 150) events, we won’t be affected (as much) by not
— SPONSORED CONTENT —
MODBOX MAPS OUT ST. CHARLES DEVELOPMENT New Brookstreet general manager Nyle Kelly. PHOTOS BY MARK HOLLERON
having some of those large events as well. I think Ottawa Tourism is working hard on citywide conferences to fill some of that gap. OBJ: What do you think of the job Ottawa Tourism is doing to boost the city’s profile? NK: They continue to do a lot more online, digital marketing. They’ve invested in more data analytics and trying to get more useful data out of the online traffic and how people book and come to Ottawa. I think they’re doing a great job in that sense.
just in guest rooms, but the hotel, the golf course, the spa. I’ve been director of operations and assistant GM for many years, so my focus hasn’t necessarily been on marketing. So for me personally, that’s where I’m going to put a lot of my efforts. Also, getting out and networking a little bit more for me personally in the city, getting to know key players and just being more engaged in the community. OBJ: You’ve spent most of your professional career at the Brookstreet. What’s kept you there? NK: We have a lot of fun here. You know who our owner is (tech titan Terry Matthews), so this organization, it’s not your typical corporate hotel environment. I worked for Fairmont for the first five years of my career. Great organization – they gave me a lot of my really good initial training. But you were kind of structured in what you could and could not do in those environments. I think here at the Brookstreet, we can do a lot of different things. We’ve got the flexibility to make change as we need it.
This organization values loyalty and commitment, and they’ve allowed me to grow personally and professionally. I was able to do my master’s at (the University of Ottawa) a couple of years back. They’ve invested back into me, so I think that’s why I’ve been so loyal to the organization. We’ve got over 30 people (out of about 140) from our small opening team who are still here after 14 years. For me, I feel like I’m at the start again. I’m excited to kind of drive the strategic direction of the organization. I think we’ve got some exciting things ahead. OBJ: Your wife Melonea works at the Westin as an account director. Is there a lot of shop talk around the dinner table at home? NK: A little bit. But we know how to put it away after all these years. We’ve got two young boys, nine and 12, and it’s a busy house for sure. We try not to talk business, because sometimes we compete for the same (clientele). Our trade secrets are kept quiet. (Laughs.)
“This is more than a building or a development,” said Modbox CEO Darryl Squires. “It is a chance to do something unique and special.” The plans for St. Charles Market include a collection of horizontal homes and townhomes wrapping around the original church structure. At its heart, the historic bell tower will serve once again as a welcoming beacon to the Ottawa community. The repurposed church will be transformed into a restaurant and local marketplace, while the original grounds will once again serve its neighbours with seasonal attractions and community events. It’s the latest business investment in Vanier, an area offering untapped opportunities for developers as well as cafés, stores, art studios and startups. “Vanier has an enormous amount of potential,” says Mr. Squires. To help entrepreneurs across Ottawa, the Quartier Vanier BIA has prepared several tools to help entrepreneurs across the city find the right home for their businesses. These include a step-by-step guide to finding a location as well as a commercial space directory. Visit www.investinqv.com to access these resources and learn more.
OBJ: What about the Brookstreet itself? What are your marketing priorities? NK: I need to fill that (new) meeting space. That’s certainly going to be job No. 1. It’s an over-$12-million project, so it’s certainly something that we need to put all of our efforts into. Overall, I think we’ve done a great job at improving our marketing efforts. We really want to increase the volume for the property overall and the overall guest spend – not
– NEW BROOKSTREET GM NYLE KELLY
In 2014, the deconsecrated Beechwood Avenue building was sold to Modbox, a company combining architecture firm Linebox with building and project management firm Lake Partnership that has little interest in ordinary condo projects.
MONDAY, AUGUST 14, 2017
OBJ: Any areas where you think the city could bolster its marketing efforts? NK: Again, it’s difficult to speak broadly in these terms because with regards to our property, our leisure business, we’re looking for (customers from) that two- to three-hour radius of the hotel, whereas a downtown property might be looking for (clients from) a larger radius, depending on which segment they’re targeting. Certainly, focusing on the U.S. market is key. I know there’s been some focus on the international markets as well, but I think the U.S. is still the biggest market available to us.
“What used to be our quietest night of the week – Saturday night – is now our busiest night of the week. We’ve got specific market segments that we target, but our leisure business segment has been the highest growth for us in the last five, six years.”
St. Charles Church in Vanier was a community focal point for more than a century before declining attendance forced it to hold its final service in 2010.
REAL ESTATE Canderel-led consortium close to purchasing Ottawa’s Constitution Square BY DAVID SALI email@example.com
group led by Montreal developer Canderel is close to purchasing one of Ottawa’s marquee class-A office complexes, OBJ has learned – marking what would be among the biggest local real estate transactions in recent history. Several sources have confirmed that the consortium, which also includes Toronto-based Forgestone Capital and Regina’s Greystone Managed Investments, is in the final stages of due diligence on a blockbuster deal to buy Constitution Square from current owner Oxford Properties. The three-tower office complex, which contains more than one million square feet of space at 340, 350 and 360 Albert St., was put on the market in the second quarter of 2017. Sources say the property attracted interest from several other potential buyers, including Morguard. Oxford Properties is the real estate arm of the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System pension fund, better known as OMERS. The company owns and manages a wide range of office, retail, hotel, industrial and residential properties in North America and Europe,
NOTABLE OTTAWA COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE TRANSACTIONS Former Nortel campus at 3500 Carling Ave. $208,000,000 (2010) Minto Place (50% interest) $188,000,000 (2017)
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200 Kent St. $143,400,000 (2012)
Chateau Laurier $120,000,000 (2013) 100 Kent St. $111,000,000 (2016) 1600 James Naismith Dr. & 1595 Telesat Crt. $80,000,000 (2011) 234 Laurier Ave. (50% interest) $75,750,000 (2014) Investors Group portfolio $64,875,000 (2015) Source: Juteau Johnson Comba Inc
but Constitution Square is its only Ottawa holding. Tenants in the three buildings have begun receiving Estoppel Certificates. The documents – which are used to verify lease terms and determine if there are any outstanding issues between landlords and tenants such as unpaid rent – are generally considered a sign that a sale is on the path to completion. “This only happens near the end of the process, so they’re pretty darn close (to a deal),” Bruce Wolfgram, a broker with Proveras Commercial Realty, told OBJ. According to a recent report from Colliers International, the sale of Constitution Square would be the city’s “largest single transaction of recent record.” The largest deal in Ottawa so far this year was Investors Group’s $188-million purchase of a 50 per cent interest in the three office towers at Minto Place from Minto Capital Management. It’s also the most lucrative transaction in the city since the federal government bought the former Nortel campus on Carling Avenue in 2010 for $208 million. The first tower at Constitution Square, an 18-storey building, was completed in 1986. A 21-storey highrise was added to the complex in 1992, and the third tower, which is 19 storeys tall, opened in 2007. The complex is a block from the future Lyon LRT station and includes amenities such as a conference centre, fitness centre and a daycare facility. ‘A GOOD TIME TO SELL’ The complex’s retail podium includes a restaurant, while the towers contain a mix of private and government tenants, including Public Services and Procurement Canada, TD Wealth, Scotia Capital and Rogers. According to Oxford’s website, a total of about 84,000 square feet of space is currently vacant in the three towers. Sources say some tenants are paying net rent of less than $10 per square foot after inducements are taken into account, a rate the new owners will likely expect to improve upon. Officials from Canderel did not respond to emails from OBJ. Brokerage firm CBRE, which is representing the sellers, would not comment, and Oxford Properties spokeswoman Claire McIntyre also said the company had no comment at this time. “Oxford may have thought now is the time to sell, and it is a good time to sell, that’s for sure,” one veteran broker said.
Constitution Square contains more than one million square feet of space. STOCK PHOTO
“There’s all sorts of reasons why people sell, and there’s certainly a ton of money sitting out there looking to buy. There’s all sorts of investors looking to put their money somewhere other than in a bank account.” Canderel develops and manages residential and commercial properties in several Canadian cities. The company has maintained a relatively low profile in Ottawa since selling its stake in Export Development Canada’s headquarters at 150 Slater St. six years ago, although it was part of a bid to redevelop LeBreton Flats that ultimately lost to a group led by Senators owner Eugene Melnyk in 2016. The developer is also building an eight-storey retirement residence across from Lansdowne Park in the Glebe and was part of a joint venture with Minto to construct UpperWest, a 25-storey, 175-unit condo project in Westboro that opened last year. “Clearly, this is going to be a major comeback (for Canderel in Ottawa) if and when this goes ahead,” one broker said of the Constitution Square purchase. Forgestone Capital is currently working with Trinity Development
Group on another project in the capital, a 680,000-square-foot mixed-use project at the corner of Rideau and Chapel streets that is expected to be completed in the spring of 2019. If it goes through, the sale of Constitution Square would come at a time when Ottawa’s downtown commercial real estate market appears to be heating up. Colliers International’s most recent office market report said the citywide office vacancy rate was 11.7 per cent at the mid-year mark, down from 12.2 per cent at the end of the first quarter. One of the big drivers of the decline was the high end of the downtown submarket, Colliers said. “Class-A assets continue to dominate the interest of tenants looking in the market, a trend that is starting to spill into upper class-B offerings,” the real estate services firm said in a report released last month. “Millennial businesses find downtown spaces to be the most attractive in terms of amenities and transportation. Smaller companies in Kanata are starting to see this appeal and have begun to pursue downtown options as well.”
Continued from page 5 Mr. Haaland said after evaluating the response to the firm’s BPro software over the past 18 months, including factors such as customer attrition and the cost of acquiring new clients, company executives felt the franchise market offered the greatest long-term growth potential. “(Franchise operations) have needs that our product is a very good fit for,” explained the former director of IBM’s award-winning Watson Analytics program. “We are laser-focused. That is allowing us to focus our product improvements in a narrower segment of the economy so we get more adoption of the features that we’re implementing.” ‘UNDERSERVED’ MARKET Better Software chief marketing officer Chris Neil said home service enterprises such as window cleaners that have traditionally performed tasks including scheduling and bookkeeping by hand or with rudimentary software have struggled with those elements of the business once they branch out into franchising. “Their challenge comes when they try to scale and become part of a franchise system,” he said. “There really hasn’t been any software available to them.
Better Software’s new co-CEOs Kevin Haaland (left) and Laurie Davis will also retain their previous job titles. PHOTOS PROVIDED
That’s what makes them a great fit. They’ve just been totally overlooked and underserved.” Meanwhile, the firm is also in the midst of another funding round that’s expected to raise $3 million, boosting the company’s total venture capital haul to about $8 million. Contributors include local existing investors Mistral
Venture Partners and Wesley Clover International. Whether the combination of more capital and a sharper customer focus will be enough for The Better Software Company to achieve Mr. Cody’s oft-stated goal of becoming a billion-dollar firm within five years remains to be seen. But Mr. Lax said he wouldn’t bet against it.
“As an ex-(venture capitalist), I was told never to guarantee anything,” he said with a chuckle. “As a chairman of the board at Better Software Company and also knowing Steve and the players that are in there and really the amazing pull from the market … I’d say it’s certainly doable, and I’m hoping that we’ll be able to get there.”
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THE LIST 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 13 15 16 MONDAY, AUGUST 14, 2017
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Company/Address/ Phone/Fax/Web Deloitte 1600-100 Queen St. Ottawa, ON K1P 5T8 613-236-2442 / 613-236-2195 deloitte.ca PwC 800-99 Bank St. Ottawa, ON K1P 1E4 613-237-3702 / 613-237-3963 pwc.com/ca KPMG LLP 1800-150 Elgin St. Ottawa, ON K2P 2P8 613-212-5764 / 613-212-2896 kpmg.ca BDO Canada LLP 100-1730 St. Laurent Blvd. Ottawa, ON K1G 5L1 613-739-8221 / 613-739-1517 bdo.ca Ernst & Young LLP 1200-99 Bank St. Ottawa, ON K1P 6B9 613-232-1511 / 613-232-5324 ey.com MNP 800-1600 Carling Ave. Ottawa, ON K2A 4B2 613-691-4200 / 613-726-9009 mnp.ca Welch LLP 123 Slater St., 3rd floor Ottawa, ON K1P 5H2 613-236-9191 / 613-236-8258 welchllp.com Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton* 2505 St. Laurent Blvd. Ottawa, ON K1H 1E4 613-236-2211 / 613-236-6104 rcgt.com Ginsberg Gluzman Fage & Levitz LLP 287 Richmond Rd. Ottawa, ON K1Z 6X4 613-728-5831 / 613-728-8085 ggfl.ca Marcil Lavallée 400-1420 Blair Pl. Ottawa, ON K1J 9L8 613-745-8387 / 613-745-9584 marcil-lavallee.ca Collins Barrow Ottawa LLP 400-301 Moodie Dr. Ottawa, ON K2H 9C4 613-820-8010 / 613-820-0465 ottawa.collinsbarrow.com McCay Duff LLP 141 Laurier Ave., 6th floor Ottawa, ON K1P 5J3 613-236-2367 / 613-236-5041 mccayduff.com Andrews & Co. 540 Lacolle Way Orleans, ON K4A 0N9 613-837-8282 / 613-837-7482 andrews.ca Hendry Warren LLP 200-881 Lady Ellen Pl. Ottawa, ON K1Z 5L3 613-235-2000 / 613-235-2643 hwllp.ca Logan Katz LLP 105-6 Gurdwara Rd. Ottawa, ON K2E 8A3 613-228-8282 / 613-228-8284 logankatz.com Connelly & Koshy Professional Corp. 1445 Woodroffe Ave. Ottawa, ON K2G 1W1 613-224-0212 / 613-225-0730 ck-ca.com Crowe BGK LLP 400-340 March Rd. Kanata, ON K2K 2E4 613-836-8228 / 613-836-8338 bgk.ca Parker Prins Lebano 1796 Courtwood Cr. Ottawa, ON K2C 2B5 613-727-7474 / 613-727-3715 parkerprinslebano.com Charles Ghadban Accounting 105-1400 St. Laurent Blvd. Ottawa, ON K1K 4H4 613-234-7856 / 613-234-7838 cgatax.com Bouris, Wilson LLP 1701 Woodward Dr. Ottawa, ON K2C 0R4 613-727-8500 / 613-727-8585 bouriswilson.com
LARGEST ACCOUNTING FIRMS (RANKED BY NUMBER OF CHARTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANTS)
Local/ national offices
Year est. locally
Full-service firm providing audit, tax, consulting, risk management and financial advisory services.
Provides professional assurance, tax and advisory services to the private and public sectors.
Full-service firm, operating through four service lines: audit, tax, advisory, enterprise (private company advisor).
Full service bilingual audit and assurance; tax, U.S. tax, SR&ED; valuations; litigation support; insolvency and debt restructuring, consulting (planning, performance, transformation, change); risk management, technology software solutions; business transition
Deanna Monaghan managing partner
Full-service firm: assurance; IT audit; fraud investigation; advisory services; domestic/cross-border tax; transfer pricing; transaction advisory to global industry associations; emerging growth; entrepreneurial; not-for-profit; government
Michael Dimitriou Sean Murphy
Accounting; tax; consulting; succession planning; enterprise risk; corporate finance; valuations; forensics; mergers and acquisitions; corporate recovery; cyber security; bankruptcy; digital transformation; technology consulting; data analytics; client relationship management
Micheal L. Burch
Personal and corporate tax planning; SR&ED tax credits; accounting/financial reporting; business advisory; doing business in Canada; financial statement audit; government contribution audit/compliance audit; M&A; corporate finance
Jean Schnob Marco Perron Alain Tremblay
Bilingual full-service firm specializing in audit, tax, strategy and performance consulting, IT audit, contribution audit, tax credit, forensic accounting, business succession and continuity, business valuation, sales and acquisitions, real estate consulting.
Deborah M. Bourchier
Full-service, specializing in owner-managed businesses. Assurance; advisory; accounting and tax services; insolvency; corporate restructuring; estate and succession planning; real estate; medical and dental professionals; construction; not-for-profits
Auditing and accounting; taxation; financial and management services; business startups; accounting personnel recruitment
Full-service firm: audit and assurance; taxation (personal, corporate, estate, international); insolvency and debt restructuring; business valuations; financial advisory; government consulting
Full service: auditing; accounting; taxation (corporate and personal); business advisory; business valuation; corporate reorganizations; fund administration; succession planning; business purchase and sales
Jeff LeBlanc David Brighten
Audit and assurance; business management services (outsourcing); personal; corporate and estates/trusts taxation; financial statements; bookkeeping; business succession planning; restructuring and financing; bank financing; mentoring; planning; business valuations
Full-service firm for small and medium entrepreneurial businesses and high net worth clients; taxation planning and compliance services including corporate restructuring, purchase and sale of business, succession and continuity and estate planning; business valuation and start-up advisory services
Personal; corporate; SR&ED; cross-border; U.S. taxation; tax planning and compliance; assurance; business advisory; corporate reorganization; back office support; estate and succession planning; recruiting services; bookkeeping
Full-service firm providing audit, tax, consulting, risk management and financial advisory services.
Michael B. McCrann
Audit and accounting; business advisory; mergers and acquisitions; SR&ED and government grants; U.S. tax; personal and corporate tax; reorganizations; estate planning; commodity tax
Full service, except bankruptcy
Charles S. Ghadban
Accounting; bookkeeping; tax planning; tax preparation; management consulting; business consulting; payroll; tax audit and appeals; incorporation and new business setup
Full service, except bankruptcy, actuarial and benefits
No. of local CPAs
No. of local support staff
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
FOR THE RECORD Contracts The following contains information about recent contracts, standing offers and supply arrangements awarded to local firms. Johnson Controls Canada LP 30 Edgewater St. Description: Chiller Maintenance Buyer: PWGSC $2,980,899 Ernst & Young LLP 99 Bank St. Description: Services for internal audit PASS Buyer: Treasury Board of Canada $2,898,450 S.i. Systems 170 Laurier Ave. W. Description: Task based professional services requirement Buyer: Health Canada $1,578,807 Beaudoin Construction 600 Vernon St. Description: IAR – Bay 2 – Anechoic chamber refit
Buyer: Canadian Space Agency $1,488,000 ESRI Canada Ltd. 1600 Carling Ave. Description: ADP software Buyer: DND $1,282,235 Jumec Construction Inc. 6 Bexley Pl. Description: Recladding and entrance podium Buyer: PWGSC $1,046,181 Spartan Bioscience Inc. 2934 Baseline Rd. Description: Real time analysis: science and technology related (R&D) Buyer: PWGSC $593,862 ESRI Canada Ltd. 1600 Carling Ave. Description: Digital maps, charts and geodetic products Buyer: DND $470,193 CH2M Hill Canada Ltd. 1101 Prince of Wales Dr.
People on the move
Carmichael Engineering 1179 Parisien St. Description: Provision of maintenance and related services for environmental chambers and vibration shaker systems Buyer: DND $365,643 Asokan Business Interiors Inc. 25 Eddy St. Description: Office furniture Buyer: PWGSC $340,089 Magal-S3 Canada Inc. 900 Greenbank Rd. Description: CCTV installation at Grierson Institution
components and accessories Buyer: DND $186,976
StenoTran Services Inc. 2446 Bank St. Description: Court reporting services Buyer: Patented Medicine Prices Review Board $282,500
Totem Offisource Inc. 1 Prom. Du Portage Description: Office furniture – categories 1 and 2 Buyer: Environment Canada $186,263 Rohde & Schwarz Canada Inc. 1 Hines Rd. Description: Vector RF source Buyer: DND $147,402
VCI Controls Inc. 9 Camelot Dr. Description: Building automation control systems Buyer: PWGSC $245,200 Highrise/Matthews Equipment Ltd. 860 Belfast Rd. Description: Elevated work platform Buyer: PWGSC $213,331 Twenty20 Insight Inc. 1735 Fieldstone Cres. Description: Optical instruments, test equipment,
Digelair HVAC Supply Inc. 49 Grenfell Cr. Description: Split A/C system Buyer: Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development $117,666
Excel Human Resources 102 Bank St. Description: Senior access to information and privacy adviser Buyer: Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions $125,680 Robinson Brothers 1730 Atmec St. Description: Road de-icer Buyer: DND $121,305
Harley Davidson de l’Outaouais 22 boul. Du Mont-Bleu Description: Motorcycles, motor scooters and bicycles Buyer: RCMP $113,406 Lowe-Martin Co. Inc. 400 Hunt Club Rd. Description: Journal printing services Buyer: DND $111,398 TekSystems Canada Inc. 123 Slater St. Description: Programmer/ software developer Buyer: Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages $107,689
Hats off Embotics, a cloud automation company, announced that its flagship vCommander platform has been named the best Cloud Management Solution of 2017 in the 32nd annual SIIA CODiE Awards. CODiE Award recipients represent companies around the world that are producing innovative business technology products. Gusto Worldwide Media’s original series One World Kitchen was nominated in the category of Factual TV Project of the Year for the international Content Innovation Awards. The awards are from Digital TV Europe and Television Business International and recognize innovations in television content, distribution and delivery, and the achievements of companies and individuals who bring content to the world. Riviera, a fine-dining restaurant on Sparks Street, was named one of Canada’s best new restaurants in Air Canada’s 30-restaurant long list. One of Riviera’s chefs, Matthew Carmichael, operates El Camino, which was named one of Canada’s best restaurants by Air Canada in 2014.
at GreyHawk Golf Course! Double-shotgun tournament
When: Tuesday, August 29, 2017 12:30 p.m. - Shotgun Start
Location: GreyHawk Golf Club 4999 Boundary Road, Cumberland, ON
Registration Fees: Individual Players Ottawa Chamber Member: $200 + HST Non-Member: $225 + HST
Foursome Ottawa Chamber Member: $800 + HST Non-Member: $900 + HST
For golf information, e-mail, email@example.com or call, 613-236-7029 ext. 136
REGISTER TODAY @ OttawaChamber.ca Don’t miss this fun-filled day on the greens!
• Fun contests & great prizes • BBQ lunch • Networking cocktail reception • Delicious dinner
Corel announced the appointment of Brad Jewett as chief financial officer. Mr. Jewett joins the company with more than 20 years of experience in the software industry in finance and risk management. Prior to joining Corel, he served as chief financial officer of OpenLink Financial, where he strengthened the capital structure of the company, enabling it to transform from a regional to a global operating company.
3V Mechanical Inc. 2285 St. Laurent Blvd. Description: Various M & E air valves cont. Buyer: PWGSC $408,900
Buyer: Correctional Service of Canada $289,183
MONDAY, AUGUST 14, 2017
You.i TV announced that tech veteran Rob White has been named the firm’s new chief financial officer. He replaces Pete Rose, who has retired. Mr. White takes the role at the Kanata-based television application developer after a career in tech finance that saw him spend 12 years with IBM. During that time, he oversaw that company’s acquisition of Cognos in a deal worth $5 billion – one of the largest acquisitions in Ottawa’s history. He also serves on the board of Invest Ottawa as well as the boards of Ottawa companies Pythian, LiveQoS, MASV.io and Cliniconex. In addition, Mr. White is a strategic adviser to MindBridge AI and Member365 and a mentor with the L-Spark accelerator.
Description: Water quality support services Buyer: PWGSC $452,000
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CELEBRATING 150 YEARS OF CANADA AND COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE
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OCTOBER 24, 2016
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MONDAY, AUGUST 14, 2017
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Published on Aug 11, 2017
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