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Inside Ottawa’s galas, fundraisers and networking events
Relishing the dual roles of mother and entrepreneur, Catherine Clark has found the ‘best of all worlds’ > PAGE 3
December 4, 2017 Vol. 21, NO. 4
OBJ.social PAGES 12-15
For daily business news visit obj.ca
After an $80-million overhaul, the Canada Science and Technology Museum is back with a revamped look and a new sense of purpose. > PAGES 4-5
Paul Whitney, who co-founded African Bronze Honey with partner Liz Connell, says his B-corp is about far more than just profits. PHOTO BY MARK HOLLERON
Honey venture worthy of the buzz Product of wild African bees gaining fans across North America thanks to Ottawa couple Importer’s dark, rich honey is finding a home in everything from lip balm to beer while helping boost African nation’s economy > PAGES 8-9
Video biz a big hit
Ottawa charities land $125,000 in funding to scale up social enterprise that helps at-risk youths learn valuable job skills. > PAGE 19
Commemorative book highlights the best of the nation and its capital
the perfect corporate gift for the holidays For orders of 12 books or more, email www.canada150book.ca firstname.lastname@example.org
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“We’ve overcome many challenges in recent years, but the result is a more diversified client base and a new business model that embraces the industry partnerships we believe are essential to expanded business opportunities” -CEO Françoise Gagnon
ADGA Group on track with a new plan and a bold vision High-calibre team plans to double the company in 10 years
MONDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2017
efence, Security, Enterprise Computing. When large enterprises and government departments need strategic services in these areas, they turn to ADGA Group Consultants Inc. Proudly Canadian, Ottawa’s ADGA Group successfully competes against, and often partners with, the world’s largest defence, security, IT and professional services firms. The pedigree that comes from 50 years in business, coupled with a revitalized management team and a reorganization around three core businesses, has positioned ADGA for long-term stability and growth. CEO Françoise Gagnon, COO John Jarvis and President Jean-Pierre Lachance have worked with a topflight advisory council led by General (Ret’d) Raymond R. Henault, former Chief of the Defence Staff of Canada. “We’ve overcome many challenges in recent years, but the result is a more diversified client base and a new business model that embraces the industry
partnerships we believe are essential to expanded business opportunities,” said Gagnon. ADGA today has 700 employees and consultants, ISO 9001 industry certification and teams across the country that deliver at the highest level. The firm’s traditional strength in professional engineering and consulting now includes a combination of services which Lachance says is unmatched by ADGA’s multinational rivals. THREE PILLARS, ONE VISION “We have a strategic gameplan in place that we expect will double ADGA’s size over the next decade and make us the leading Canadian provider of defence, security and enterprise computing,” he said. ADGA’s security business is breaking new ground in the industry with a “converged” solution. This one-stop approach integrates enterprise risk management, physical security, personnel security, cyber security and electronic security systems.
But it is defence that accounts for 50 per cent of ADGA’s business, where the team has a strong portfolio that includes niche expertise in ballistic computing, mission critical software design, and modelling and simulation training services. On the enterprise computing side, ADGA’s services range from information and project management to distributed computing and cloud computing, and enterprise architecture. Clients range from the Department of National Defence and Correctional Services Canada, to the Canadian Security Establishment, INAC, Health Canada, City of Toronto, the Canadian Space Agency to various private sector organizations located across Canada. WHY INDUSTRY LEADERS HAVE JOINED THE ADGA TEAM Lachance, who served with the Canadian Forces in aerospace engineering roles and at an executive and program manager
level with the Government of Canada, saw the opportunity to play a key role in ADGA’s recent transformation. “That was quite appealing to me,” he said. “It was wonderful to help put in place the fundamentals of a great governance program for a company with a very robust foundation and help reorganize the business around its three key areas.” General (Ret’d) Henault took the role of Chief Strategic Advisor and Chair of ADGA’s Strategic Advisory Council because of the strength and professionalism of its executive team. “This is a winning team with a deep sense of its responsibility to provide the best possible support and services to its government and private sector customers, in particular the Canadian Armed Forces, and an unwavering commitment as a good corporate citizen to give back whenever and wherever it can,” he said. LGen (Ret’d) Guy Thibault,
also a member of the Strategic Advisory Council, learned during his military career to appreciate the important contribution that private sector partners like ADGA make to the Canadian Armed Forces’ operational and institutional successes. “My role with the Council is to help this outstanding company’s experienced leadership team and talented employees adapt, grow and expand their business and grow their ability to provide smart, relevant and economical professional services and comprehensive technology solutions to all of ADGA’s current and future clients,” he said.
LEARN MORE To learn more about how this diverse and dynamic organization can serve your defence, security or enterprise computing needs, please visit www.adga.ca
PROFILE ‘I’ve found my footing as an entrepreneur’ A mother of two, owner of a communications company and a tireless volunteer, Catherine Clark believes running her own business gives her ‘the best of all worlds’ BY CAROLINE PHILLIPS
FIVE THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT CATHERINE CLARK
t was a dream job, really. For years, television broadcaster Catherine Clark interviewed former prime ministers, Supreme Court judges, military generals, cabinet ministers, Olympic athletes, astronauts, performing artists and governors general. The famous subjects revealed a side of themselves that was relatable and real. Her show, Beyond Politics, aired for eight years on CPAC (Cable Public Affairs Channel) until management decided to wrap it up. “It happened suddenly and I wasn’t 100 per cent prepared for it,” recalls Clark, president of Catherine Clark Communications. “When it ended, I was startled. On the other hand, it made me pick a new path.” Ms. Clark lost no time in deciding her next move. The following month, she took the leap into entrepreneurship and launched her own communications company. Not only did she land on her feet, but she proved work-life balance was no unicorn-riding Sasquatch myth. She recognized that she would take a salary hit in order to build a business from scratch. But with the support of her husband, she took the plunge. Ms. Clark’s company allows her to offer her communications and video production expertise to clients in a wide range of sectors, while also continuing her blogging, her column for Ottawa At Home Magazine and her emcee work, which takes her across Canada and the globe. “My deciding factor was, when I’m 60
In honour of Canada’s 150th birthday, Ms. Clark has voluntarily embarked on an ambitious blog project, called #150GreatPeople, which profiles 150 people in Ottawa who are making the city a better place.
She and her family live in Carp, so when she has downtown appointments and meetings, she heads to the members-only Rideau Club at 99 Bank St. to get her work done.
As a kid, Ms. Clark had to learn Japanese. Don’t ask her to speak it now, though. “I can barely remember how to say ‘Hello.’”
Ms. Clark’s biggest inspiration is her family. “My mom and dad, because they are examples of what you can be when you put aside your fear of what others might think of you and just do what’s right. My husband, because he’s endlessly supportive. My kids, because we all need to have a sense of purpose of why we’re here.”
Catherine Clark enjoys the freedom of running her own business. PHOTO BY CAROLINE PHILLIPS
and looking back on what I’ve achieved so far, am I going to say, ‘Wow, I’m super excited that I ambitiously pursued every professional option available to me’ or am I going to say, ‘I’m really glad that I spent every second that I could with my kids while they were kids,’” said the 41-year-old mother of two: Alexandra, 11, and Charlie, eight. “I knew the type of person I am, that box number two was the box for me.” One of the challenges to running a
business is that, while the hours afford Ms. Clark more freedom as a parent, they’re also inconsistent. “I believe that life is a stepladder, not an elevator. Sometimes you’re climbing up, sometimes you’re climbing down, sometimes it’s a lateral move. But regardless, as a mother, the key for me in starting my own business is the flexibility to make those moves as I see fit, even if that gets a bit hectic at times.”
Ms. Clark is on the board of such nonprofit organizations as CARE Canada, the Writers’ Trust of Canada and the Ottawa Community Foundation.
LIFE IN THE PUBLIC EYE Ms. Clark has lived her entire life in the public eye. She was born in Ottawa in November 1976 and spent her first two years crawling and cruising the floors of Stornoway, the official residence of the Opposition leader. Her father, Joe Clark, was head of the Progressive Conservative Party at the time. Continued on page 29
MONDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2017
I sold my home but then received a better offer. What are my options? The experts at Nelligan O’Brien Payne break down what you need to know: bit.ly/Better-Offer Kyle Stout
associate lawyer, Nelligan O’Brien Payne LLP
Locomotive 6400 continues to be one of the stars of the show at the new-look Canada Science and Technology Museum, which reopened to the public last month. PHOTO BY MARK HOLLERON
Everything old is new again at reimagined Science and Tech museum MONDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2017
Venerable tourist attraction eyes more interactive approach, puts renewed focus on local innovations as part of $80M overhaul
BY DAVID SALI email@example.com
hen Christina Tessier started her new job as head of the Canada Science and Technology Museum in November 2014, she felt a bit like she’d just won the lottery. By a lucky coincidence, she officially assumed the position the same day the federal government announced it would invest $80 million to completely rebuild the venerable facility, which had welcomed Canadians of all ages
after opening as part of the nation’s centennial celebrations in 1967. “I had my best first day of work ever,” says the museum’s energetic director general, who previously was the director of operations at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum. Built on the former site of a commercial bakery, the museum has delighted generations of Canadian children and their parents. But it was also often overlooked because of its distance from downtown and suffered from a lack of significant investment in upkeep and new exhibits.
In early 2014, the museum was shut down after mould was discovered in its walls. The closure gave the new boss and her team a chance to remake the museum into a cutting-edge temple of Canadian ingenuity that reflected the country’s past while offering bold hints of its future potential. “It’s really exciting to be able to tackle a project like this and actually be able to take something, and working with an incredible team, kind of turn it into something that relies on its roots but in my mind is really new,” Ms. Tessier says. Makeover complete, the new-look
facility finally reopened its doors to the public last month. Perennial favourites including the brain-bending Crazy Kitchen and the locomotives are back, while jaw-dropping new elements such as a giant LED display that snakes around the front entrance are vying to become must-see attractions. The theme of combining tradition with next-level tech is reflected in oldschool exhibits such as Locomotive 6400, the first artifact in the museum’s collection. Built for Canadian National in 1936, the sleek iron behemoth now sits beside a multi-sensory virtual reality
“It’s really exciting to be able to tackle a project like this and actually be able to take something and … kind of turn it into something that relies on its roots but in my mind is really new.” — Christina Tessier, director general of the Canada Science and Technology Museum
Many new exhibits are designed to be interactive. PHOTO BY MARK HOLLERON
booth built by Kanata-based SimWave Consulting that puts visitors right in the engineer’s seat, smelling the scent of burning coal and feeling the rumbling of the tracks below. “The challenge with VR is, it’s one person at a time,” Ms. Tessier says. “Museums are often places of as many people as you can kind of suss through these experiences. That’s where we’ve turned to augmented reality in other cases. For us, it’s not about knowing which one is the right one – it’s about trying different ones out and seeing how the audiences respond. “We don’t want to rely on tech for tech’s sake. It’s about bringing the tech to this audience and how do we best make use of it for that audience to expand their experience of the museum.” Continued on page 28
The museum features historic vehicles of all sorts, from cars to bicycles. PHOTO BY MARK HOLLERON
The redesigned Artifact Alley includes more than 700 items, from computers to old-fashioned radios. PHOTO BY MARK HOLLERON
Local firms put their stamp on museum’s revamp they’re travelling through a human’s digestive tract and cardiovascular system. “We really wanted to make this thing to take off and really bring VR to Ottawa,” Mr. Thomas says. “Being able to say, ‘We’re in this prominent museum and look at the work we’ve done,’ it definitely helps.” For Gatineau custom-design firm Expographiq, working on arguably the museum’s most popular and enduring attraction is a feather in its cap. The company won the contract to engineer, design and install the revamped Crazy Kitchen. The tilted room has been messing with visitors’ sense of perception for decades, and Expographiq vice-president Todd Arnold says it was an honour to be involved in its restoration. “It’s such a landmark piece in the science and technology museum,” he says. “We were thrilled to be asked to do it.” The 35-year-old firm and its sign-making division also worked on several other elements of the museum’s makeover, including the wayfinding signage, but the Crazy Kitchen is clearly the star project. The company plans to promote
its involvement on its website and social media channels in an effort to cash in on that cache. “It’s always good to be able to brag a little bit about something that people know about,” Mr. Arnold says. Still, the project had its challenges. Finding black-and-white tiles and rust-coloured wallpaper to match the original 1940s-era decor took a bit of digging. And of course, constructing a room that is basically engineered to induce vertigo isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. “For some people, I guess, it’s not a problem,” Mr. Arnold explains. “Others, you feel a little uncomfortable when you’re in there. I’m one of those people that I get in there for 15 seconds and it’s like, ‘OK, I’ve got to get out of here.’ Some guys couldn’t work on the project. It just got a little uncomfortable.” But that’s a small quibble when it comes to helping reinvent a place that pays tribute to the power of invention itself. “We’re showing off technology from the past with technology from the future,” Mr. Thomas says. “I think that’s the coolest thing.”
locomotive that’s actually there. You get to see how big it is and then you get to go drive it, which is really cool.” The VR booth is the second major museum project in Ottawa for SimWave, which was launched in 2013 and now employs seven people at its Kanata office. The company also created a virtual reality experience for the Canadian War Museum that lets visitors feel like they’re advancing with the Canadian assault on Vimy Ridge in 1917. The company developed both projects at the same time after receiving $975,000 from the Canada Media Fund, a partnership between the Department of Canadian Heritage and the cable industry. Mr. Thomas says the exposure the young firm received from its association with such high-profile organizations has been invaluable as it carves out a niche in the rapidly expanding field of virtual reality. Since then, SimWave has completed a simulation for Discovery Place Science in Charlotte, N.C., that uses specially designed software to give make users feel like
MONDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2017
For 50 years, Locomotive 6400 has been an iconic symbol of a bygone era in Canadian transportation for visitors to the Canada Science and Technology Museum. Designed and built in Montreal for Canadian National in 1936, the giant engine was a technological marvel of its time, using wind tunnel testing pioneered by the National Research Council to help create its aerodynamic shape. As part of the revamped museum’s drive to become more interactive, visitors will now not only get to see Locomotive 6400, they’ll get to experience what it was like to drive thanks to virtual reality technology from local startup SimWave Consulting. Users wearing a VR headset feel every rumble of the tracks beneath them and smell the scent of burning coal as the whistle blows in their ear and steam shoots past their face – effects created using compressed air. “It’s a multi-sensory experience, which is really, really cool,” says Matthew Thomas, director of business development at SimWave. “It’s a very immersive way to complement the
Why we all win when visitors can find their way around
MONDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2017
Ottawa Tourism leads the charge on new wayfinding initiative
For visitors new to the area, navigating Ottawa-Gatineau can be a bit like stumbling through one of those autumn cornfield mazes. It’s hardly intuitive, for example, to know that in five minutes you can walk from the National Gallery of Canada to another province for a better shot of Parliament Hill. Or that the Rideau Canal and the Rideau River are in fact two different things north of Hogs Back Park. What Canada’s capital region needs is a better “wayfinding strategy.” What’s wayfinding? An information signage system that guides people through a city, campus, or buildings that enhances our ability to navigate and understand our environment. In this digital age, “signage” can include anything from conventional street signage and information kiosks, to mobile apps that further enrich user experience, allow for more engagement and enable vital data collection. For the team at Ottawa Tourism, all the options are on the table as it works with its partners to create a single, cohesive wayfinding system that will make the region more user friendly for visitors on foot. Canada’s capital region has no shortage of directional signage, but once out of the National Capital Commission jurisdiction, visitors have to hope there will be another wayfinding sign, somewhere. And even if there is one, they will have to re-orient themselves to a new signage system. Between the City of Ottawa, Ville de Gatineau, local business improvement areas, the National Capital Commission, the federal government, Parks Canada and other stakeholders, Ottawa and Gatineau are awash with a hodge-podge of signage that can be confusing for visitors. Stakeholders on both sides of the river have teamed up to find consensus around one unified approach for wayfinding. “What we need to do is look at this in terms of how people orient
Examples of wayfinding in Boston; Toronto (top middle); and Portland, Oregon (top right). themselves when they are in a new place,” said Catherine Callary, Ottawa Tourism’s Senior Director of Destination Development. “With 13 partners working together on this issue, we have to put ourselves in the shoes of a visitor who doesn’t know the city to develop a feasible and consistent system that will work for everyone.” Toronto and Vancouver already have such a system in place. In fact, Ottawa and Gatineau are lagging many other Canadian cities, due to their multijurisdictional complexities. WHY DOES THIS MATTER TO LOCAL BUSINESS OWNERS? “Improving wayfinding improves the walkability of the city,” Callary said. “It creates a stronger civic space and a sense of place that encourages people to leave their cars and walk.” And that, she adds, can rub off on residents, meaning more pedestrian traffic for local businesses. This has proven to be the case, for example, in London, England, with its Legible London wayfinding system. The benefits extend beyond curbside shops, services and restaurants. A city that is perceived as more walkable becomes more appealing as a place to live and work. “Technology companies looking to attract and retain top talent can see benefits from improved wayfinding,” Callary said. “With initiatives like this one that are about place-making and civic spaces, the city as a whole becomes more appealing to young professionals to put down roots and build their careers here.”
SO, WHAT’S NEXT? Pedestrians polled through online and intercept surveys agreed that a unified wayfinding system would improve their experience and help guide them to particular destinations. The concept is also finding support among community stakeholders like attractions, retail, neighbourhoods, the new LRT and transit system, and other hotel and business partners. Developing and implementing a new wayfinding system for our region is being tackled in three phases. The first phase, a feasibility study and wayfinding strategy undertaken with the guidance of a wayfinding committee and public consultation, has been completed. This is being taken back to Ottawa Tourism’s partner organizations to garner more support and to lay the ground work for partnerships before proceeding to Phase 2 – the design and implementation of a pilot project that is expected to roll out early next year. Phase 3, full implementation, is expected to unfold over several years. For more information on Ottawa Tourism’s Wayfinding Strategy, please visit www.ottawatourism.ca/ wayfinding-strategy
NEWS Distribution update for OBJ readers Newspaper will continue to be distributed in green outdoor boxes throughout downtown core
arlier this week, Canadian media firms Postmedia and Torstar/ Metroland announced significant changes to Ontario’s newspaper landscape that included the closure of several local publications. Ottawa Business Journal is largely unaffected by the change, except for its newspaper distribution system, which was contracted to Metro News Ottawa. Despite the immediate closure of Metro Ottawa, readers can continue to pick up copies of the Ottawa Business Journal from 50 green outdoor Metro/ OBJ boxes located throughout the downtown core. In addition, the Ottawa Business Journal continues to reach readers through delivery to more than 1,200 businesses. OBJ’s newspaper is also available in digital format. Readers can also
subscribe to OBJToday email newsletter to ensure they are emailed an advance digital copy of the newspaper. LARGER INDUSTRY ISSUES Despite the minimal impact to OBJ, the changes cannot be ignored, says OBJ publisher Michael Curran. “OBJ has had a comprehensive and diverse business model since it was launched in 1995,” says Mr. Curran, who co-owns Great River Media with Mark Sutcliffe. “Our Dec. 4 issue is the largest of the year at 56 pages, but we never defined OBJ as a printed product. In today’s language, we have been ‘multiplatform’ for more than two decades.” From its earliest days, says Mr. Curran, OBJ created several business lines, ranging from its newspaper to specialty publications to local business events.
He adds OBJ has also kept pace in the digital evolution. OBJ’s digital audience is its largest platform. As an example of its continuing evolution, Mr. Curran points to OBJ’s recent push into live webcasts, such as Techopia Live, and the company’s expansion into content marketing services. However, this doesn’t mean that OBJ is immune to industry-wide trends. “OBJ is on a sustainable path, but as evidenced by Metroland’s closure, nothing should be taken for granted. Every day, thousands of readers depend on OBJ for exclusive local business news and information. And hundreds of local businesses have benefited from our news coverage. For that to continue, OBJ needs to deliver value and the business community needs to support OBJ. That might mean advertising with OBJ, that
The green OBJ boxes remain downtown.
might mean attending events, that might mean hiring our content marketing team. Because we have always offered free access to our news, people might have the impression that this content is free to produce. That is absolutely not the case. This is a two-way relationship and we respectfully ask people to consider ways to support us if they find value in what we do.”
Commemorative book highlights the best of the nation and its capital the perfect corporate gift for the holidays www.canada150book.ca firstname.lastname@example.org
MONDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2017
For orders of 12 books or more, email
GO GLOBAL The sweet taste of success Ottawa couple’s African honey importing venture making inroads in North American markets while helping Zambian beekeepers gain valuable business skills BY DAVID SALI email@example.com
MONDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2017
elling African-made honey from an office in Ottawa might not seem like the most conventional path to business success. But then, Paul Whitney is used to taking the entrepreneurial road less travelled. After decades of running their own businesses, the Alberta native and his partner Liz Connell were set to call it quits a few years ago and enjoy a retirement of tropical beaches and margaritas by the pool. Then they decided to “do something more interesting,” as Mr. Whitney puts it. Inspired by their friend Dan Ball, who trains beekeepers to produce organic honey deep in the dense forests of northwest Zambia, the couple invested their retirement nest egg into an enterprise to help Mr. Ball market his products abroad. It was the culmination of decadeslong recruiting drive by Mr. Ball, a former missionary who started his honey venture in the 1990s in an effort to help remote African villagers become self-sufficient. Mr. Whitney and Ms. Connell met Mr. Ball while they were living in neighbouring Zimbabwe, importing chemical recycling technology to the southern African nation. Back then, Mr. Whitney felt the time wasn’t right to get involved in the honey project. Mr. Ball “didn’t know a damn thing about business,” he says with a chuckle, and he wasn’t convinced the idea would fly. Eventually, the couple returned to Canada and settled in Ottawa, where both had family. In town for a visit in 2012, Mr. Ball made another pitch. After giving it some thought, Mr. Whitney and Ms. Connell determined the time was right to join forces with their old friend, and the social enterprise now known as African Bronze Honey was born. The couple “plunked down 100 grand” to buy a 20-ton container of honey – the equivalent of about 28,000 bottles – without having a clue where
they’d store it or who would buy it. “It showed up one day and then we realized, ‘My God, that’s a lot of bottles of honey,’” Mr. Whitney says, laughing. “We realized we had to sell it. We didn’t really know what the hell we were going to do.” With backgrounds that included running a computer store, a design company and a seafood supplier, importing honey wasn’t exactly their forte. But they believed in Mr. Ball’s quest to create economic opportunities and a sustainable business model in some of the planet’s poorest and most remote locations, a mission reflected in their first slogan: “Changing the world one bottle of honey at a time.” They started working with charitable organizations, selling the dark, rich product of wild African bees at fundraisers. But they soon realized they “needed to go deeper” and approached retailers, who were intrigued but wanted more than just honey. “Almost all the big distributors refused us,” Mr. Whitney says. “They loved the story, they loved the product, they loved the project, but they said, ‘We need at least half a dozen skews.’” So they began branching out, launching a range of honey-infused products from lip balm to throat lozenges. They’ve added to the line with a cinnamon-flavoured honey and a “hot honey” spiced with two types of chiles that “goes great on pizza and vanilla ice cream,” according to Mr. Whitney. Their newest item, a honey wine vinegar, is set to hit the market before Christmas. A certified B-Corp and a member of the Fair Trade Federation, the company is now selling its goods at more than 200 retailers in North America, including Whole Foods outlets in Canada. Mr. Whitney and Ms. Connell have also tapped into what they see as massive potential in the wholesale market, partnering with other B-corps that are using their honey to inject unique flavours into their own products. In the spring of 2016, for example, Beau’s Brewery launched a limitededition beer called “Brew the Change” that featured the Ottawa firm’s honey. The 2,000-litre batch – or about 10,000
Paul Whitney is co-founder of African Bronze Honey. PHOTO BY MARK HOLLERON
bottles – flew off the shelves, and Beau’s is considering doing another run. “It was an incredible kickstart for us,” Mr. Whitney says. The beer’s success caught the attention of fellow B-Corp New Belgian Brewing, a partner in the Brew the Change project. The fourth-largest craft brewery in the United States, Colorado-based New Belgian recently used African Bronze Honey in a creation of its own called Orange Honey Triple that quickly became its top-selling product. New Belgian is looking at adding the brew to its standard lineup, which would give African Bronze Honey a steady customer to allow it to start importing large container-loads of
product on a regular basis. Mr. Beauchesne is a big fan of the honey, calling it “rich and flavourful.” But more than that, he’s impressed with the company’s commitment to producing healthy, organic products while helping its African suppliers build sustainable businesses – a cause near to the heart of the Vankleek Hill brewer, who is helping to launch a womenowned craft brewery in Rwanda. “It kind of hit on a number of different marks for us,” he says of his collaboration with African Bronze Honey. “They are definitely working hard to be part of many different communities, both here and in Africa as well.”
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“It’s not just talk. People are actually now re-evaluating this consumer world that we have. I think we all owe it to all of ourselves and the next generations to create a better system.” – AFRICAN BRONZE HONEY CO-FOUNDER PAUL WHITNEY, ON CREATING A B-CORP THAT SELLS HONEY PRODUCED BY AFRICAN BEEKEEPERS
NEW FIRST AIR LIVERY, UNVEILED OCTOBER 12, 2017. PHOTO BY MARK TAYLOR Mr. Whitney is also in talks with other U.S. partners such as Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and a couple of cosmetics manufacturers that are considering using the honey in moisturizers. “I think what we’ve tried to do is ignite some imagination into the honey world,” he says. “We’ve asked people (to) rethink the food that you eat. It’s been a very interesting ride.” Not that there haven’t been a few bumps along the way. An affable man with a gift for colourful turns of phrase, Mr. Whitney says the firm’s planned foray into big-time retail south of the border with Whole Foods 18 months ago never materialized because his operation wasn’t ready for prime time. “We would’ve crashed and burned,” he says bluntly. “We would’ve been like Icarus and flown too close to the sun.” Before it even makes it to store shelves, getting the honey to Canada requires a logistical high-wire act.
irst Air – founded in Carp as Bradley Air Services – has been headquartered in the Ottawa area since 1946, making it one of the oldest air carriers in Canada. Its head office – now located in Kanata, along with its operations centre located on the grounds of the Ottawa International Airport – make up Ottawa’s very own, and only, home-based airline. Based on number of destinations served, First Air is Canada’s thirdlargest airline with a legacy of service and innovation. Its long history has seen it help develop important aircraft modifications and assist in mapping and surveying Canada’s Arctic regions. Serving the Arctic comes with a heavy responsibility. Unlike most populated areas of Canada, the Northern regions do not have roads connecting them – First Air is the “road.” On a yearly basis, First Air ships over 20 million kilograms of goods to the Arctic. Mail, medical supplies, food, furniture, electronics and everything in between is air lifted. First Air is the lifeline of the Arctic for many, and that requires a commitment to its operations and services. The cargo component is in addition to the over 200,000 passengers that First Air supports annually. First Air recently introduced its new brand at an event at its Ottawa Airport hangar. The new
branding and livery offer a better visual connection to the people and area it serves. It features a uniquely modern version of the iconic Inuit symbol; the Inuksuk. First Air and the Inuksuk have meaningful Ottawa Airport history and connection as the airline commissioned artists to build an Inuksuk in the airport to commemorate the opening of its new terminal in 2003. Along with its commitment to being an essential services airline for the Arctic, First Air also wants to shine a brighter focus on Arctic tourism: “We want to inspire more tourists to visit this truly exotic destination,” said Brock Friesen, President and CEO of First Air. “The Arctic is a place of wonder that is attracting more visitors from around the world in search of an out-of-theordinary travel experience. Along with providing memorable vacations to people from around the globe, First Air hopes that the economies of local Arctic communities will be bolstered by servicing new tourism ventures.” For First Air, the people of the Arctic, and the Ottawa Airport, the future will continue to shine as bright as the amazing Northern Lights.
EYEING PROFITS “Things are changing very rapidly for us,” he says. “Now that we’ve taken time to develop these relationships, those orders of $1,000 are suddenly $50,000. This is the year we break out and become a real business.” But beyond expanding his own company, he’s also hoping to spread Mr. Ball’s model to other developing countries. In the past half-dozen years, the number of beekeepers Mr. Ball works with in Zambia has doubled to 10,000, who collect more than 1,200 tonnes of honey each year. Their annual incomes have almost doubled, and they are given language and math lessons in addition to beekeeping training. Mr. Whitney says enterprises like Mr. Ball’s have the potential to change the lives of thousands of impoverished people around the world. “We both are completely committed to the idea of benefit – that you can use … the credible power of business, the enormous weight of business, you can use it for good and you could make changes that no government could, ever,” he says with genuine passion. “I’m very impressed at how companies, no matter how large they can be, can have a very significant and meaningful social impact as part of the bottom line in their company. It’s not just talk. People are actually now re-evaluating this consumer world that we have. I think we all owe it to all of ourselves and the next generations to create a better system.”
Ottawa’s Home-Based Airline a Vital Link to the Arctic
MONDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2017
SHIPPING DEAL The Zambian beekeepers use traditional methods, fashioning hives out of bark and hollow logs and hauling the honey dozens of kilometres on foot to the nearest villages. Mr. Ball’s company brings big trucks as close as to those communities as roads will allow, where the honey is brought out in pails, inspected, weighed and graded. Trucks transport the product to the edge of the forest, where it’s transferred into giant drums and taken to the capital city of Lusaka, a 12-hour drive. There, it’s processed and certified organic before being shipped in giant rail containers across the Namibian desert to the Atlantic Ocean for shipping to Europe and eventually North America. But thanks to African Bronze Honey’s sponsorship deal with shipping giant UPS – part of its prize for winning a Startup Canada pitchfest two years ago – the journey from hive to plate has become a lot smoother. “The process of getting it to the consumer is quite complicated,” Mr. Whitney concedes. “In order to be profitable, this has to be done on a larger scale. You’ve got to have your logistics organized. Having a company like UPS
… their senior management and staff have just been awesome. It’s what’s allowed us the ability to think large.” He believes African Bronze Honey is now on the verge of a breakthrough. After taking two years to move all of its initial 20-ton supply of honey, the company has sold that much in the last three months alone. Mr. Whitney expects the enterprise to turn a profit for the first time this fiscal year, with revenues forecast to rise from less than $100,000 last year to anywhere from $500,000 to $2 million in the next 12 months, depending on how many partnerships pan out.
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Despite fee hike, Costco membership still worth it After comparing prices at various local supermarkets, consumer columnist Michael Prentice came to one conclusion: Costco’s the way to go
MONDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2017
on’t read this column if you don’t want to save as much as 50 bucks the next time you go grocery shopping. That is the sum I estimate many Ottawa families save each month by paying an annual fee to shop at one of the area’s growing number of Costco stores. Costco is North America’s most successful shopping club, with millions of members, including thousands in the Ottawa area. Costco was in the news earlier this year for its decision to raise the regular annual membership fee by $5, plus tax. And Costco – never very strong on public relations – did a poor job in informing its members of the fee increase. I am a member. Several weeks after hearing a news report of the fee increase, I visited an Ottawa Costco for details. Staff said Costco was still not ready to make a formal announcement, but they confirmed that the fee increase had been correctly reported. For the past six years, regular Costco members have paid an annual membership fee of $55, plus tax, for a total of $62.15. Since June 1, the annual membership is $60, plus tax, for a total of $67.80. Why pay an annual fee of $67.80 to go shopping? As the late comedian Groucho Marx liked to wisecrack: “I don’t want to
I concluded that it’s impossible to know exactly how much one can save by shopping in one supermarket over another. But my guess is, that $350 shopping spree at Costco might have cost at least $50 more in most other supermarkets belong to any club that will accept me as a member.” But if Groucho were alive today, I would advise him to make an exception to his rule by becoming a member of Costco. I have no doubt that Costco’s annual membership pays for itself. Do the math. The annual membership fee works out to about $1.30 a week, or less than half the cost of a Starbucks coffee. I saved more than twice that when I filled up with gas recently at a Costco not far from my home. Only members can shop at Costco. Not all Ottawa-Gatineau Costco stores have a gas station, but the new one in Barrhaven does. It’s a 10-minute drive from my home. I save several dollars – sometimes as much as $8 – every time I buy a tank of gas. Of course, I don’t make
a 10-minute trip just to save a few dollars on a tank of gas. I usually do some grocery shopping, too. Another thing: Costco’s gas prices are far more consistent than most stations’ prices. Costco appears to keep to a slender but profitable margin over what it pays wholesale for gasoline. Most other stations adjust their prices frequently, not because of changes in the wholesale price but to gain an edge over other stations nearby. But the big savings at Costco are not just on gas – they are on hundreds of items that consumers need on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. My wife and I have been in the habit of shopping at Costco once a month on average. But now I plan to pay the shopping club more frequent visits.
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What changed my mind? That increase in the membership fee got me thinking: Is it really worth paying $1.30 a week for the “privilege” of shopping at Costco? The answer: You bet it is! I drew up a lengthy shopping list and compared Costco’s prices with those of three of its leading competitors – two big supermarket chains and a smaller chain that specializes in fresh produce. I was startled by what I found. Costco had the lowest price for the majority of items on my list. On several expensive items – such as costlier types of meat and fish and large containers of household products – the price difference for each item was sometimes $10 or more between Costco and one or more of the three competitors. If I had actually purchased all 30-plus items, the bill at Costco would have come to about $350. A direct comparison with the other three stores was not possible. For one thing, no other store had all the same items I priced at Costco. For another, Costco sells many products in large sizes. It’s standard practice among retailers to charge more – per litre, per pound or per kilogram – for items purchased in small quantities.
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HIGHLY COMPETITIVE INDUSTRY In estimating my savings in shopping at Costco, I started with the price and quantity of each product at Costco. Then I calculated how much it would cost to buy the same quantity in another store, using that store’s price per kilo or price per litre. I concluded that it’s impossible to know exactly how much one can save by shopping in one supermarket over another. But my guess is, that $350 shopping spree at Costco might have cost at least $50 more in most other supermarkets. The Ottawa supermarket scene is highly competitive. Retail analyst Barry Nabatian of Shore-Tanner and Associates estimates the Loblaw-Your Independent Grocer group has the largest share of the Ottawa market. Among major food stores, Mr. Nabatian says his “rough estimate” is that the Loblaw group has 40 per cent market share. By his estimate, it is followed by Metro and Food Basics (25 per cent), Costco (15 per cent), Farm Boy (10 per cent), Walmart and Sobeys (each five per cent). But why does Costco need to charge a membership fee? Good question. I suspect the answer is an odd way of encouraging us to be loyal: Having paid a membership, we feel duty-bound to shop there. One thing I am certain of: The more I shop there, the more I save.
STAY BIG OR STAY HOME!
Stories and photos by Caroline Phillips
From left, Rick Campbell with Liza Mrak and Gary Zed.
Henry Burris works his magic and, seconds later, it’s all giggles and smiles. From left, Ersin Ozerdinc and Kathleen Grimes with Maureen Shenkman and Bill Shenkman.
From left, OSEG Foundation honorary president Henry Burris with Bill Shenkman, Janice Barrresi, Roger Greenberg and John Ruddy at a reception held prior to the Grey Cup game.
From left, Paul Hindo with Bernie Ashe, Janice Barresi, Rick Campbell and Robert Merkley.
OSEG Foundation scores big for children in need A new charitable organization launched by the same group of businessmen who brought professional football back to Ottawa has scored the equivalent of a 109-yard touchdown. In its first four months, the OSEG (Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group) Foundation has raised $1.25 million with the backing of 25 community-minded business leaders and philanthropists. That’s above and beyond the foundation’s original goal of 20 donors and $1 million. “It’s a fantastic start to the foundation; we really appreciate it,” Roger Greenberg told those donors who attended a thank-you reception hosted prior to the snowy Grey Cup game at TD Place Stadium on Nov. 26. The funds will be invested in the community, helping to level the playing field so that more children and youth have the opportunity to benefit from the power of sport. “We really want to try and focus on our goals in the foundation to helping those in the community who can’t afford to participate in sports,” said Greenberg,
who donned a matching Redblacks cap and jersey. “We also want to try and train amateur coaches, individuals and volunteers who are helping kids get off the couch, so that they are active in sports.” Greenberg, executive chairman of Minto Group and of OSEG, was joined by two of his OSEG business partners, John Ruddy (Trinity Development) and Bill Shenkman (Shenkman Corporation). They are among the founding donors who have each pledged $50,000 to the new foundation, which was started in July. Also there were the foundation’s new executive director, Janice Barresi, and its honorary president, retired Redblacks quarterback Henry Burris. He brought along his infectious smile and positive energy. “He’s such a shrinking violet,” quipped Greenberg. OSEG owns and operates the Ottawa Redblacks, the Ottawa Fury and the Ottawa 67’s sports teams, as well as TD Place stadium and arena, at the redeveloped Lansdowne Park.
Bernie Ashe, chief executive officer of OSEG, donned the Redblacks’ trademark plaid lumberjack shirt. So did Redblacks head coach Rick Campbell. More than half of the donors attended. They filed into the Minto office building on Bank Street and headed up to the Commissioner’s Gameday Lounge overlooking the football field, where Toronto beat Calgary later that night. After the reception, the guests headed to the Aberdeen Pavilion for the VIP Tailgate Party. Seen from the Ottawa construction industry were John Bassi, president of Bassi Construction; Paul McCarney, senior vice-president at Tomlinson Group of Companies; Robert Merkley, president of Merkley Supply Ltd., and Kathleen Grimes and Ersin Ozerdinc from Site Preparation Ltd. Real estate executive Paul Hindo (who became our city’s most famous lottery winner this year) and his wife, Alison, are also behind the cause. So are Gary Zed and fellow founding donor Liza Mrak, co-owner of Mark Motors, an Audi and
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MONDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2017
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Porsche dealership. Other founding donors at the reception were Shawn Rivers, president of Anish Branding; Peter Hudson, founder and CEO of HTG Sports Services; Rick Iafelice, president of Main and Main Developments; Shawn Lamarche, owner of Lamarche Electric; David Maxwell, president of La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries; and Kevin McCrann, president of Shenkman. The list of founding donors also includes the Shabinsky and the TaggartParkes families, lawyer Don Bayne, general contractor Dennis Laurin and his wife, Andrea, Greenberg’s brother Robert Greenberg and cousin Dan Greenberg, with wife Barbara Crook, and OSEG partner John Pugh and his wife, Christine. Unfortunately, the Redblacks didn’t make it to the championship this year following their spectacular Grey Cup win in 2016. “Next year,” said Greenberg, his voice sounding hopeful. “We can’t win it every year, right? It’s just not fair to the other teams.”
From left, Deborah Sauvé with her husband, Fairmont Château Laurier general manager Claude Sauvé and its director of public relations, Deneen Perrin. From the Sicotte Guilbault LLP team are, from left, Christine Marc, Emilie Leblanc Lacasse, Marie-Helene Godbout, Karen Pelletier, Jessica Houle, Sylvie Patenaude and Emilie Patterson, but it’s young Simon, son of Houle and lawyer Yanik Guilbault, who stole the show. From left, Colleen Keohane with Kevin Keohane and organizing committee member Stephanie Egan from the CHEO Foundation and its vice-president of philanthropy and community engagement, Jacqueline Belsito.
CHATEAU LAURIER’S TREES OF HOPE KICKS OFF HOLIDAY SEASON
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moments frozen in time,” said Cuthbert of their decision to frame and hang some of their favourite photographs of Ottawa Senators players visiting sick children at CHEO. The tree also features tributes to the late Bryan Murray and to past Sens players. Pity the panel of volunteers who had the difficult task of judging the trees. The job is getting harder each year, said Deborah Sauvé, wife of Fairmont Chateau Laurier general manager Claude Sauvé. “People are becoming more creative and more creative and the stories behind the trees are so touching,” she told OBJ.social. Catherine McLaughlin, from sponsor Terlin Construction, was one of the judges. So was Mary Taggart, editorin-chief of Ottawa At Home and the representative from Tamarack, another major sponsor. “It’s my favourite event,” said Taggart. “You’re totally in the Christmas spirit but there’s no stress, no pressure.” In the Frozen in Time category, first place went to Sezlik.com + Royal LePage Team Realty. Its elegant tree truly was fit for a castle with its framed photographs of the late Princess Diana at the Château Laurier. It also had a 3D image of the hotel as its topper. The trees will be on display throughout the hotel’s public spaces over the holiday season. Everyone is invited to check them out, cast a vote for their favourite and, while they’re at it, make a donation to CHEO.
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MONDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2017
Bring on the mince pies and mistletoe. The holiday season has been unofficially launched, like Santa’s sleigh from a snowy rooftop, at the Fairmont Château Laurier’s annual benefit for the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario. The hotel ballroom was at full capacity Nov. 27 during Trees of Hope, a popular fundraiser that marks the start of the holiday festivities for many. At the organizing helm is Deneen Perrin, director of public relations for the hotel and a former board member with the CHEO Foundation. She’s hoping the fundraiser will bring in at least $110,000, edging out last year’s eventual total of $108,000. “It really does kick off the whole holiday season,” said CHEO Foundation president and CEO Kevin Keohane. On display were 31 trees, decorated that afternoon by volunteers with local businesses and organizations. Behind the splendour and beauty of each tree is tremendous thought and creativity reflecting this year’s two themes of O Canada and Frozen in Time. “We were trying to figure out what (Frozen in Time) meant to us,” explained Elisha Cuthbert. The Canadian actress is married to and expecting her first child with Ottawa Senators defenceman Dion Phaneuf. The support from the Sens wives and girlfriends was so great that the women decorated two trees, one for each theme, on behalf of the Ottawa Senators Foundation. “We felt like pictures are really
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Stories and photos by Caroline Phillips
Jessica Mulroney, Melinda Karlsson launch Shoebox Project for homeless women
MONDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2017
Two well-known women – Jessica Mulroney and Melinda Karlsson – teamed up on Nov. 21 for the launch of a grassroots initiative that brings joy and happiness each holiday season to women who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. Mulroney is the wife of TV personality Ben Mulroney and daughter-in-law of former prime minister Brian Mulroney – although these days, she’s more wellknown in the media for being best buds with Prince Harry’s fiancée, Meghan Markle. She co-founded The Shoebox Project in 2011 with her sisters-in-law, Ontario Progressive Conservative Party candidate Caroline Mulroney Lapham, and Katy and Vanessa Mulroney. It all began, she said, as their way of helping one local shelter in Toronto. Today, the annual holiday gift drive has distributed more than 100,000 boxes across Canada to more than 300 shelters. Mulroney was in town to promote the cause with Karlsson, newlywed wife of Ottawa Senators captain Erik Karlsson. Some 100 invited guests gathered in the cozy and festive presentation centre for Zibi, the mixed-use development that’s going to transform the vacant and derelict pulp and paper district on Chaudière and Albert Islands into a vibrant, diverse and sustainable waterfront community, both in Ottawa and nearby Gatineau. There was a small-scale model on display of what the 37 acres of commercial, residential, retail and green space will look like in another decade or two. On hand was Michael Cooper, founder of Dream Unlimited. The Torontobased real estate development and management company has partnered
Jessica Mulroney and Melinda Karlsson were at the Zibi Presentation Centre on Tuesday, Nov. 21 to launch The Shoebox Project, an annual holiday gift drive that Mulroney began six years ago with her sisters-in-law.
From left, Valamode owner Dia Shams with Angie Cambareri, owner of Vincent boutique, Bahar Marvizi, Laila Saikaley from Silver Scissors Salon and Tanya Holmes at the Zibi Presentation Centre.
From left, Ottawa Senators wives and girlfriends Tara Borowiecki (wife of Mark Borowiecki), Monika Caryk (girlfriend of Mike Hoffman), Jamie Thompson (girlfriend of Cody Ceci), Melinda Karlsson (wife of Erik Karlsson), Britt Smith (wife of Zack Smith), Hayley Thompson (girlfriend of Mark Stone) and Bibbi Alfredsson (wife of former team captain Daniel Alfredsson), at the Ottawa launch of The Shoebox Project.
with Ottawa-based Windmill Development Group on the Zibi project. The presentation centre is just over the river in Gatineau at 3 Eddy St. Dream is also the national corporate sponsor of The Shoebox Project. From Windmill was Jeff Westeinde with his wife, Colleen Westeinde. She was recently honoured at an annual awards dinner hosted by St. Joe’s Women’s Centre, a local organization that provides support and services to homeless women. Sighted in the crowd of about 100 invited guests were some of the Ottawa Senators’ wives and girlfriends out
Jeff Westeinde, president of Zibi Canada and a founding partner of Windmill Development Group, with his wife, Colleen Westeinde, at a reception held at the Zibi Presentation Centre.
to support the cause, as well as loyal participants of the gift drive and local business owners who’ve offered up their stores and shops as shoebox drop-off locations. Celebrated philanthropic couple Barbara Crook and Dan Greenberg arrived late, but they came bearing shopping bags brimming with enough little luxuries to stuff 12 shoeboxes, along with leftovers for a dozen more. Crook had just come from the Rideau Centre, where she had picked up a few final items to include in her boxes. While at the downtown shopping mall, she
From left, Cathy Auchinleck and Tara Shields are volunteering as Ottawa co-ordinators for The Shoebox Project to collect and distribute shoeboxes filled with gifts for women living in shelters over the holidays.
crossed paths with a young panhandler from the Shepherds of Good Hope homeless shelter. Crook took the time to hear her story. She also offered to buy the young woman some food. Turned out she had a craving for a Tim Hortons doughnut (don’t we all?). “Her face was in my mind the entire time I made up our shoeboxes,” Crook later told OBJ.social. Tara Shields, who is helping to coordinate the shoebox drive in Ottawa, says they’re aiming to collect 2,000 boxes this year. She suggests that participants look for nice items – not cheap junk – to make recipients feel special. Recommended gifts include cosmetics, hair and body washes, nut-free chocolates, bus fare, warm mitts, teas and gift cards. Participants are encouraged to include a warm and supportive message, and to wrap the box and lid separately in order for the shoeboxes to be easily opened for inspection. As for how much money to spend on gifts, look at budgeting about $50 for each shoebox.
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Prominent developer and businessman Bill Malhotra with his wife, Romina.
Harleen Bhandari with Monica Channa, executive director of From left, Don Finless and his wife, operations with Akran Sandra Zed Finless, with Anna Fazekas and her Marketing. husband, Dr. Paul Beaulé, and Saroj Aggarwal.
From left, Mahesh Mani, partner with KPMG, with his wife, Deepali, with Sid Kumar, president of NetIP Canada and provincial Liberal nomination candidate for Kanata-Carleton.
From left, Anand Aggarwal with Kris Singhal.
INFINITY CONVENTION CENTRE BRINGS MIDAS TOUCH TO CANCER FUNDRAISER
style entertainment, full of shaking hips and undulating bellies. The room exuded an effortless feel of royalty with its elegant dinner tables and gold colour theme. Accordingly to mythology, King Midas gained the power to turn anything into gold with just a single touch. Yet what seemed like a blessing became a curse after he unintentionally turned his daughter into a golden statue. “In the end, what’s most important is not the gold but your family and the people in your life,” said Ottawa event planner Tami Varma, who was a key organizer, along with Anu Sohal. The Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation was selected in part due to one persistent but also celebrated volunteer fundraiser named Chuck Merovitz. The Ottawa lawyer had been asking Aggarwal for years to support the cancer foundation. He attended the dinner, as did ORCF president and CEO Linda Eagen and her team. In the crowd were such prominent developers as Bill Malhotra, president and founder of Claridge Homes, and Kris Singhal, president and founder of Richcraft Group of Companies. The room heard later that evening from medical oncologist Dr. Shailendra Verma. He wasn’t the only good doctor in the room: Dr. Pradeep Merchant, a perinatologist and site chief of neonatology at The Ottawa Hospital’s Civic Campus, came out to support the cause. So did the hospital’s chief of orthopedic surgery, Dr. Paul Beaulé.
MONDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2017
You might say that Dhadkan has a heart of gold, following its Midas Touch-themed benefit dinner in mid-November at the new Infinity Convention Centre. The Indo-Canadian communitybased organization, named after the Hindi word for heartbeat, has raised more than $10 million in charitable donations since it began 15 years ago. Leading the organization is Anand Aggarwal, owner of Manor Park Development, winner of a 2015 Immigrant Entrepreneur Award and the man of the hour at the benefit dinner for the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation. He’s also one of the owners of the elegant new convention centre, along with business partners Harry Sohal and his sons, T.J., Sonny and Gary, all of whom were at the dinner. The venue enjoyed its glitzy grand opening party a year ago, hosted by Ben Mulroney. Going forward, the charity group is rebranding itself as Infinity Cares and will continue hosting events each year for local charities. The Dhadkan dinners have enjoyed a long and philanthropic history in Ottawa of supporting the Heart Institute. The Midas Touch dinner was expected to bring in about $51,000 for the cancer foundation, Aggarwal told OBJ.social. That extra grand isn’t thrown in just for fun, by the way. It’s considered unlucky in India to offer money that ends with a zero. It’s more auspicious if the amount ends with the number one. The evening featured Bollywood-
MONDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2017
TWO HEADS ARE BETTER THAN ONE: OPIN gives back with buy-one-giveone toque campaign
Ottawa digital agency partners with Alberta-based Local Laundry in hopes of donating 1,000 toques to the homeless ahead of the holidays
ttawa’s OPIN is putting its head together with a Calgary-based apparel company to keep some of the city’s most vulnerable residents warm this winter. The digital agency recently formed a partnership with Alberta’s Local Laundry to champion the Giving Toque. For every toque that Local Laundry sells, it will donate one to a homeless person in a major Canadian city. Those donated in Ottawa will be distributed to clients at the Youth Services Bureau, a local charity that delivers a range of programs and services to support at-risk youth and their families. The YSB offers support services for youth facing homelessness, including emergency shelter, food and clothing. While OPIN and Local Laundry fall into very different industries, both place huge importance on giving back and supporting Canadian business. “As a rapidly growing company, there is a responsibility that comes along with that – to give back to the
community that helped you grow and the community that also gives you business,” says OPIN marketing manager Suzy Kendrick. She is the one responsible for bringing the two companies together. After getting involved with Local Laundry during the year she was living in Calgary, she relocated to back to Ottawa in 2016 and became the company’s YOW brand ambassador. “I just love the whole idea of the brand, and representing where you come from and being proud of it,” says Kendrick. Local Laundry’s flagship line is its YYC Collection, a reference to the airport code for its home city of Calgary. To support the campaign, OPIN is acting as Local Laundry’s Ottawa champion, spreading word about the Alberta organization in the nation’s capital and encouraging other local businesses to purchase toques as employee holiday gifts. While Kendrick is ultimately the link between OPIN and Local Laundry,
the two companies share many common traits in terms of cultures and philanthropic motives.
CSR at OPIN When OPIN chief executive Chris Smith founded the firm, he knew he wanted the web development agency to be about more than just the bottom line. “At the end of the day, the Canadian community is where many of our clients come from,” says Smith. When Kendrick brought the Giving Toque campaign to his attention, the national scope of the project was one of the things that appealed to Smith most. Toques donated through the campaign will be distributed in Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary and Ottawa. “Not every great idea comes from the top. At OPIN, we really live by the idea that the people within our company all have an equal say,” says Smith. The support from her employer is
“At OPIN, every staff member matters and every cause that matters to that employee matters. It’s empowering and it makes you really proud to work there.”
Made in Canada The Giving Toque is the first piece in Local Laundry’s Local Collection. The line of made-in-Canada clothes is intended to draw attention to and muster support for a different social cause with each new piece. The toque is intended to shine a spotlight on housing insecurity in Canada, while offering help to homeless populations across the country. Local Laundry hopes to donate 1,000 toques across Canada ahead of the holiday season. Similar to Smith’s experience with OPIN, Local Laundry founder and CEO Connor Curran knew he wanted to give back when he founded the apparel company. “It was always baked into what we do right from the beginning,” says Curran. The company donates 10 per cent of its profits to a different charitable organization each month. Not only do they donate, but Local Laundry lets its customers choose where. Each time a purchase is made through their website, buyers are asked to recommend a charity. At the end of the month, one organization is randomly selected off the list. “If you’re going to build a clothing company that represents where you come from, why wouldn’t you want to give back and help build that community to make it a better place?” asks Curran. Though not all of Local Laundry’s products are made in Canada, Curran explains that it nevertheless places emphasis on carrying some locally manufactured apparel. High labour costs drove what was once a burgeoning textile manufacturing industry in Canada overseas. In carrying some made-in-Canada clothing, Curran hopes to bring at least a small piece of the industry back into the country. Made-in-Canada goods also reduce the carbon footprint of manufacturing. Shorter distances to the end user mean less emissions from the vehicles required to transport the products. The Giving Toque is available for purchase online at locallaundry.ca. You can also pick one up at retailer viens avec moi in Wellington West, located at 1338 Wellington St. West. Learn more about OPIN and its unique offering of digital services at opin.ca.
MONDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2017
- SUZY KENDRICK
not lost on Kendrick. “It just goes to speak to what an awesome company it is,” she says. “At OPIN, every staff member matters and every cause that matters to that employee matters. It’s empowering and it makes you really proud to work there.”
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MONDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2017
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18 The prize is valued at $1000. The chances of winning depend on the number of entries received. You must correctly answer a skill testing question to be awarded the prize. The Contest closes on December 31, 2017. You must be age of majority to enter. No purchase necessary. If you enter on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, you must include the hashtag #YOWinter and have a public profile. Read the full rules online yow.ca/YOWinter.
SOCIAL ENTERPRISE Video venture puts skills training in focus Ottawa charities land $125,000 for plan to employ at-risk youths to produce promos for paying clients high school going on to their careers.” The new funding from the Ottawa Community Foundation will help cover salary costs for the students and two full-time filmmakers. Youth Ottawa and the Social Planning Council are kicking in a further $12,000 apiece, with the goal of generating $70,000 in annual revenues by the time Youth Active Media is fully operational a year and a half from now. Mr. Bingeman says he wholeheartedly endorses the idea behind the New Leaf Community Challenge.
BY DAVID SALI firstname.lastname@example.org
s far as Ian Bingeman is concerned, it’s not a contradiction to believe charities should behave more like businesses. The executive director of Youth Ottawa, a not-for-profit organization that provides skills training to disadvantaged young people, is always looking for ways to supplement the money his group brings in from grants and donations. And sometimes, he says, that requires thinking like an entrepreneur. “From a charitable standpoint, if you have something that can offset your costs, it’s a huge benefit because it reduces the amount that you have to go to donors or sponsors for,” Mr. Bingeman explains. “It’s a way of just being more effective with our resources.” Youth Ottawa’s willingness to go beyond traditional sources in its quest for new revenue paid off last month, when it and another partner won $125,000 in a Dragon’s Den-style pitchfest at Bayview Yards called the New Leaf Community Challenge. It was the fourth year for the event sponsored by the Ottawa Community Foundation. The non-profit agency funds hundreds of local charities, including Youth Ottawa, and aims to help those organizations find ways of applying business principles to charitable endeavours as a means of becoming more self-sufficient. Mr. Bingeman’s organization has partnered with the Social Planning Council to launch Youth Active Media, a social enterprise that provides video production training to youths at risk of not finishing high school. The students
Rebecca Joseph is a graduate of the Youth Active Media program and is now a full-time video editor at the Ottawa-based social enterprise. PHOTO BY MARK HOLLERON
“It’s not just a job. It’s something that makes them want to jump out of bed in the morning and say, ‘I’ve got something awesome to do today.’” – YOUTH OTTAWA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR IAN BINGEMAN
work with professional filmmakers to produce promotional videos for paying clients. More than 140 students at up to a dozen Ottawa high schools are expected to go through the training program over the next 18 months, with 40 or so to be hired to produce videos for customers at a wage of $16 an hour.
Mr. Bingeman says he hopes the program shows the value of education and skills training to kids who might be thinking of dropping out of school. “It’s not just a job,” he says. “It’s something that makes them want to jump out of bed in the morning and say, ‘I’ve got something awesome to do today.’ We really want to focus on that bridge from
TACKLING UNEMPLOYMENT “I run a charity, and I agree with the vision they’re putting forward, which is that it’s going to be in my best interest to start looking at ways of running social enterprise,” he explains. “How can I start bringing in more revenue to the organization which will offset some of our operating costs?” Nine charities applied for this year’s challenge, which was aimed at finding creative ways to tackle the issue of youth unemployment. Three finalists pitched their plans to a jury of nine well-known local entrepreneurs – including former JDS Uniphase chief executive Jozef Straus and Bridgehead founder Tracey Clark – at an event on Nov. 20. The students themselves were the driving force behind Youth Ottawa’s decision to apply for the pitchfest, Mr. Bingeman says, suggesting the program is already having an impact. “It’s instilling that drive and passion about this,” he says. “That kind of gumption that comes out of it, I don’t think we could get if we were just running that traditional model of ‘We get the grant, we do something and then away it goes.’”
MONDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2017
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Keeping the lights on: How Hydro Ottawa prevents and responds to power outages Planning, preparation and execution minimize inconvenience to customers
he occasional power outage is a fact of life in a city such as Ottawa, where storms can bring strong winds and heavy precipitation. In most cases, it’s a short inconvenience. But for some of the city’s more vulnerable residents, the loss of electricity presents a health and safety risk. With this in mind, Hydro Ottawa has a carefully formulated approach to power restoration that begins well before the lights go out. “It really starts with how you build and design your distribution system,” says Lance Jefferies, Hydro Ottawa’s Chief Electricity Distribution Officer. He explains that Hydro Ottawa’s approach to power recovery is built around three main themes: planning, preparation and execution. PLANNING The first steps that Hydro Ottawa takes to prepare for power outages are preventative and built into the city’s energy distribution system. Infrastructure is designed to be storm resilient, with multiple supply paths into a neighbourhood.
During major outages, such as the 1998 ice storm, Hydro Ottawa is also able to call upon members of the North Atlantic Mutual Assistance Group. This network gives member companies access to other utility providers, who deploy their own employees to other cities – and at times countries – to help restore power. Hydro Ottawa crews have also been called upon to help other communities, including this fall when 26 local employees were dispatched to Georgia to help restore power after Hurricane Irma. EXECUTION Before a large storm rolls in, staff are often sent home to rest, since they may be
required to work tirelessly on restoring the city’s power should it go out. “When you see them in action in storm restoration is really when they’re at their best,” says Mr. Jefferies of Hydro Ottawa’s employees. “They’ll give up their own family Christmases, their own Easter dinners and family time to restore power. They really do care.” When Hydro Ottawa arrives on the scene to restore power, crews typically work through three phases. The first priority is to assess the damage and make the scene safe, for both the general public and employees. Next, they communicate information about the outage across several channels. Hydro Ottawa maintains an outage
WHAT CAUSES POWER OUTAGES? • Loss of supply from the provincial grid; • Adverse weather, including lightning, heavy winds and precipitation; • Vehicle accidents that damage hydro poles; • Falling trees and branches on power lines; • Animal contact with power lines; and • Equipment failure.
map on its website, which shows details of an outage including customers affected and the estimated time of restoration. It’s also available through the Hydro Ottawa mobile app. Hydro Ottawa is also active on social media, especially Twitter. As the face of technology changes so does the face of customer communications. Hydro Ottawa uses videos, drone footage and livestreaming from the scene of outages to more proactively engage its customers and media. Hydro Ottawa also places emphasis on communicating the details of outages to the local media as well as the city councillors of affected wards. The final step is restoring power. During widespread outages, Hydro Ottawa prioritizes restoring power to the largest segment of the population through its main supply lines first. It also works closely with the City of Ottawa to ensure that critical infrastructure and the most vulnerable people in the city, including the elderly and those in the hospital, have their power restored quickly.
PREPARATION To prepare for power outages, Hydro Ottawa has personnel on duty at all times. Staff are trained to deal with any type of situation and equipped with high-quality tools and supplies “so that when they are called to duty, they can do what they need to do,” says Mr. Jefferies. However, there are some factors outside of Hydro Ottawa’s control – namely, the weather. With that in mind, the utility has a team that’s constantly monitoring the region’s weather patterns and can ready repair crews when it sees that a significant storm is approaching.
JANUARY 2017 - ICE STORM
MONDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2017
“An optimal design is one that’s very flexible,” says Mr. Jefferies. Having more than one way to get power into a neighbourhood minimizes the impact of system damage and makes it easier to restore power and repair.
Hydro Ottawa then uses technology to augment the effectiveness of its distribution system. The utility provider has a high-tech control centre that enables staff to monitor, control and operate the entire system. The control centre gives Hydro Ottawa complete visibility of the distribution system, making it easy to act quickly when issues arise. “We really build with the end customer in mind,” says Mr. Jefferies. “We are committed to providing a safe, reliable and cost-effective electricity supply to all of our residential and commercial customers.” In addition to its extensive monitoring system, Hydro Ottawa also has a robust asset management program in place. Employees are regularly deployed to “check the pulse” of hydro infrastructure, performing repairs and replacing equipment that’s nearing the end of its life. Hydro Ottawa aims to swap out older hardware just before it breaks down. As part of Hydro Ottawa’s ongoing maintenance activities, crews regularly trim trees to reduce the risk of branches falling on power lines – a leading cause of outages.
The Sparks Street Mall has never lived up to its potential as a vibrant pedestrian thoroughfare, but the city is launching a new effort to try to change that. PHOTO BY TONY WEBSTER/FLICKR
Giving Sparks Street a jolt of new energy City, feds launch survey to get public input into plan to revitalize underused downtown pedestrian mall BY DAVID SALI email@example.com
MONDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2017
n its never-ending quest to breathe life into Sparks Street, the city is asking residents, business owners, community associations and government agencies what they want the oft-maligned pedestrian mall to be. The City of Ottawa recently posted a short questionnaire on its website as part of its long-term plan to revitalize the 50-yearold mall, which has a reputation for being a ghost town on evenings and weekends. It is asking respondents to describe “the most important things for the City to consider to ensure the future success of Sparks Street” in 250 words or fewer. The city said a more detailed survey aimed at gathering feedback on specific themes, programming and public amenities at the mall will be released before the end of the year, with the results being announced in early 2018. The city’s website said the city and its partners, the National Capital Commission
and the federal government, “are committed to engaging the public about the future of the iconic public space known as the Sparks Street Pedestrian Mall – how should it be used, what should it look like, and how should it be programmed.” The year-long consultation process will consist of a variety of online surveys, design workshops and other information sessions, the city said. A report on the results is slated to be presented to the city’s finance and economic development committee in 2019. City staff will then recommend a “cohesive plan for the future.” Sparks Street BIA acting executive director Kevin McHale praised the initiative, noting the mall hasn’t had a major redesign since the late 1980s and is badly in need of a facelift. “Over time, things come out of fashion, things change,” he said. “What I’m hoping for is a clear vision of what we want to do with the street for the next 30 years.” Mr. McHale said it’s a positive sign that the city, NCC and federal government are working together on the new consultation plan. Although the city owns the street, the
NCC has a say in its long-term vision and the federal Public Services department is the mall’s biggest landlord. “That’s what I think is kind of amazing about this project is all these people are around the table and all have a collective (will) to make it work,” he said. “I find that very exciting.” The city touts the pedestrian thoroughfare as “a famous place for residents and visitors alike to gather and celebrate in the heart of Ottawa’s downtown,” pointing to a spate of new residential and commercial development in the area as well as the recently unveiled Stanley Cup monument at the corner of Sparks and Elgin streets, light rail and the planned indigenous cultural centre at 100 Wellington St. NEED MORE RESIDENTS However, critics view the street differently. Ian Lee, an assistant professor at Carleton University’s Sprott School of Business, told OBJ in 2015 the mall relies too heavily on nearby government workers
for traffic and will never truly become a bustling hub of activity until more people live within close walking distance. “They’ve never been able to solve the problem of after 6 o’clock,” he said. “I don’t think that they can address that problem. That’s a structural problem – nobody lives on Sparks Street. Its liveliness is going to be a function of the stores that are there operating in the daytime appealing to the downtown workers who work there Monday to Friday. Unless you literally build condos on the Sparks Street Mall … the only thing you can do is encourage some businesses to locate there to cater to the daytime workers.” Retail analyst Barry Nabatian said Ashcroft Homes’ re Residences project that is slated for completion next year is a positive sign in the effort to entice more people to the neighbourhood. Located between Sparks and Queen streets, just west of Metcalfe Street, the development features two buildings with a total of about 200 condo and luxury rental units. Mr. Nabatian said the project will attract well-heeled buyers and tenants who will
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– SPARKS STREET BIA ACTING EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR KEVIN MCHALE
eat, drink and shop at nearby bars and restaurants. “The people who move there are affluent, single and two-person households,” Mr. Nabatian told OBJ two years ago. “A lot of those people, afterwards they go to the Bier Markt and other places. They’re walking on Sparks Street, and if the right type of stores are there, they’ll shop as well.” However, while establishments such as Bier Markt and Riviera restaurant have opened on Sparks in the past few years, several other businesses – including Holt Renfrew and Yesterday’s – have closed their doors. Over the years, the BIA has introduced food festivals such as Poutinefest and Ribfest in a bid to boost the mall’s profile, but other much-ballyhooed initiatives to draw tourists – including a proposed zipline – have never materialized. With a number of governing bodies
– including the NCC, Public Works, the city, the BIA and the Sparks Street Mall Authority – all having a say in how the shopping district is run, Mr. Nabatian said it’s hard to get everyone on the same page when it comes to planning and marketing. “I just don’t know how well they communicate with each other,” he said. “Sparks Street has got to be run more or less like a shopping centre. In other words, everybody has to agree on what they want it to be.” Mr. McHale, who has worked for the organization for four years, acknowledged there have been hits and misses in efforts to revitalize the street in the past. But he said he’s hopeful that this time, things will be different. “This is about getting people engaged,” he said. “I think at the core of it, everyone knows it’s not working anymore, but everyone also wants it to work.”
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Ottawa’s Clearford acquires Ontario firm in $7.8M deal BY CRAIG LORD firstname.lastname@example.org
MONDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2017
aking good on its vision of consolidating the North American water management industry, Ottawa’s Clearford Water Systems has acquired an Ontario-based wastewater solutions and equipment supplier. Late last month, the firm acquired Koester Canada, the Ontario-based subsidiary of a New York water treatment company, in a share-for-share transaction valued at $7.8 million. “This is the natural progression of the company’s unified water management business model,” said president and CEO Kevin Loiselle in a statement. Clearford designs and sells sewage treatment and water purification systems. The acquisition completes its product and services offerings, Mr. Loiselle said, though the firm is not done consolidating the market. The firm intends to purchase other businesses in the near future to bolster its newly acquired divisions.
This M&A strategy was first announced in June, as the company said it would end its reliance on contractors and bring services in-house. The company says the new business model will allow Clearford to act like a utilities operator, offering a full suite of water and wastewater solutions to municipalities and private developers. Koester Canada was growing before the Clearford acquisition. The firm reported $3 million in annual revenues last year, and had already surpassed that figure nine months into this year with $3.4 million in revenues. Following this acquisition, Clearford now forecasts revenues of more than $10 million in fiscal 2018. Clearford also made an acquisition back in 2014, then purchasing Toronto’s UV Pure in a deal worth $2.5 million. That subsidiary has performed well for the firm, making up 95 per cent of Clearford’s revenues in its most recent quarter. The firm also announced the issuing of a five-year, $2.98-million convertible debenture, which it will use to pay down short-term debt and provide additional working capital. As of Sept. 30, Clearford had a deficit of $7.58 million.
Today: celebrate! Tomorrow: accelerate! Congratulations, John Sicard, President and CEO of Kinaxis Inc., Ontario’s EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2017 (pictured left), and Bruce Linton of Canopy Growth Corp., a finalist in the Health award category. They’ve made their mark on the nation’s capital and across the country, and are building inspiring legacies for generations to come. ey.com/ca/eoy
MONDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2017
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Donation fuels entrepreneurship at uOttawa’s Faculty of Engineering Alumni honoured during annual awards
he University of Ottawa, says the new dean of the Faculty of Engineering, will be home to Eastern Ontario’s largest and leading Discovery District. “There has never been a better time to be a Faculty of Engineering student at uOttawa and it will only get better,” said Dean Jacques Beauvais. “The startup culture is booming. It took 20 years to launch our first 50 startups and in past four years, faculty and students have launched 50 more.”
“I have been really impressed by the growth of this university and the impact it is having on the community.”
“This is about connecting back with the university where I had access to a lot of resources that allowed me to grow academically and then apply that to start this company.” - Aali Alizadeh, Entrepreneur of the Year Award Winner
ALUMNUS SIMON NEHME GIVES BACK On Nov. 17, as part of its annual Design Expo, the Faculty of Engineering announced the gift from computer engineering alumnus Simon Nehme. Today, Nehme manages a portfolio of investments in high tech, real estate and hospitality. But his name may ring a bell as co-founder of Ottawa’s IP Protus Solutions, which delivers Internet fax services and PBX phone services.
Alumni Awards, all of whom give back to the university and support the Faculty in some way:
Young Alumni Award of Excellence David George (BSc ’03 – Computer Science), Senior Vice-President, North America at Accedo Mano Kulasingam (BSc ’03 – Computer Science), Senior Vice-President, Products & Solutions at Accedo
Alumni Award of Excellence Alice Thomas (BSc ’84 — Computer Science), Chief Digital Technology Officer at Sun Life Financial Entrepreneur of the Year Award Aali Alizadeh (PhD ’10 – Civil Engineering), CoFounder & CEO at Giatec Scientific
- Alice Thomas, Alumni Award Winner
The heart of the Discovery District is a $151-million STEM Complex that is scheduled to open in 2018. The ground floor of the STEM Complex will be uOttawa’s base camp for innovation, housing the Richard L’Abbé Makerspace, Makerlab, PITS (Project Integration and Team Space), where student teams can work on big projects, and the Manufacturing Training Centre, which gives students access to traditional machine shop equipment. This is in addition to other resources for students, such as the Brunsfield Group Student Engineering Project and Entrepreneurship Centre. And a generous gift from one of the Faculty’s alumni will help ensure the Discovery District helps students pursue their entrepreneurial ambitions.
“I am an entrepreneur, I’ve had a number of successful companies, and Ottawa has been my home for 30 years,” Nehme said. “uOttawa is doing so much to support entrepreneurship and encourage the next generation to venture into entrepreneurship with facilities like the STEM Complex that I just feel great about giving back and helping the next generation of leaders.” ALUMNI RECOGNIZED FOR THEIR CONTRIBUTIONS The Faculty of Engineering also honoured the recipients of its 2017
HOW CAN YOU GET INVOLVED? To learn more about how you can give back as a uOttawa alumnus, please visit : uOttawa.ca/give/faculties/faculty-engineering
- Mano Kulasingam, Young Alumni Award Winner
MONDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2017
“It’s a great honour to give back and mentor and support the student entrepreneurs who are now trying to get their businesses off the ground.”
NEHME’S GIFT WILL SUPPORT: • A new Summer School in Engineering Entrepreneurship that will educate and inspire incoming students before the September term starts, to boost the flow of students into the entrepreneurship ecosystem. • The Faculty of Engineering’s Launching Entrepreneurs Program, which offers $45,000 for student-led startups that need support to grow and thrive. • And, the Simon Nehme Design Commons, a free collaborative space on the ground floor of the STEM Complex where the walls will be covered with whiteboards and students can work on their ideas.
M&A Ottawa’s CannaRoyalty acquires California cannabis companies New buys part of holding company’s aggressive plan to expand in world’s largest marijuana market BY DAVID SALI firstname.lastname@example.org
n Ottawa company that finances and invests in marijuana enterprises is ramping up its presence in the world’s largest cannabis market, announcing late last month it is acquiring a pair of California-based firms that sell pot products. CannaRoyalty, which made its debut on the Canadian Securities Exchange late last year, said Nov. 28 it has agreed to acquire Kaya Management and Alta Supply, which manufacture and distribute marijuana vaporizer pens, chocolate and other products to more than 200 dispensaries in California. Kaya and Alta Supply combined for total sales of more than $12 million over
the past 12 months. CannaRoyalty CEO Marc Lustig said the deal will give his company a strong foothold in California, which is poised to legalize pot for recreational use and is the world’s largest medicinal marijuana market with sales of nearly $3 billion in 2016. “With the advent of a full recreational market in California in January 2018, we believe Kaya and Alta are well-positioned to drive further revenue growth,” he said in a statement. CannaRoyalty did not identify a specific dollar figure for the cash-andshare transactions. It said the value is equivalent to half of the consolidated revenues brought in by the two privately held companies in the 12-month period that ended Oct. 31, 2017, plus half the future revenues of Alta and Kaya for the 12 month-period that ends Dec. 31,
2018. CannaRoyalty will also pay US$1 million. CannaRoyalty, which has a market cap of about C$127 million, already has a portfolio of 20 companies in the cannabis industry, half of which are based in California. It said sales of marijuana products in the state are forecast to grow to more than US$6.8 billion by 2021, with vaporizer products expected to account for 15 per cent or more than $1 billion of that total. RISING REVENUES Mr. Lustig said this week’s acquisitions are the next step in CannaRoyalty’s plan to aggressively expand into the most populous state. “Our primary focus over the next 12 months will be to continue to build, support and grow our product and brand
portfolio in California, while actively pursuing opportunities to license our broader portfolio into other key jurisdictions such as Canada,” he said. Richard Sellers, the majority owner of Kaya and Alta, will join CannaRoyalty’s executive team. Mr. Sellers noted that as of July 1, 2018, all cannabis products in California will need to be sold through a licensed distributor, creating a huge opportunity for companies such as Alta. Also on Nov. 28, CannaRoyalty said its total revenues for the third quarter ending Sept. 30 were more than $744,000, up from about $127,000 a year earlier. For the first nine months of fiscal 2017, the firm posted total revenues of just over $2 million. CannaRoyalty recorded a net loss of $3.3 million for the quarter, up from $1.86 million a year earlier.
, a parochial and unsophisticated politician who succeeded more because of luck than skill. anada’s withering financial situation. Some wrote he embarrassed the country by staying out of the war in Iraq. They criticized the Clarity
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MONDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2017
THE SHAWINIGAN FOX
ght to government. They often credited his successes to his finance minister, rival and successor, Paul Martin. erviews with key figures of the time and careful analysis, Chretien made the critical decisions that positioned Canada for the 21st century
The TheShawinigan ShawiniganFox: Fox:How HowJean JeanChrétien Chrétien How Jean Chrétien Defied the Elites Defied Defiedthe theElites Elitesand andReshaped ReshapedCanada Canada
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“Having written two volumes on Chretien back in the day, I can assure you that Plamondon’s book has much to add. I highly recommend it.”
HOW JEAN CHRÉTIEN DEFIED THE ELITES AND RESHAPED CANADA BOB PLAMONDON
Bob Plamondon is the author of four nationally acclaimed bestsellers: The Truth about Trudeau, Blue Thunder: The Truth BobBob Plamondon Plamondon is the author author four of four nationally nationally acclaimed acclaimed bestsellers: TheThe Truth Truth about Conservatives from Macdonaldistothe Harper, Full of Circle: Death and Resurrection inbestsellers: Canadian Conservative Politics, about about Trudeau, Trudeau, Blue Blue Thunder: Thunder: TheThe Truth Truth about about Conservatives Conservatives from from Macdonald Macdonald and Hay West: A Story of Canadians Helping Canadians. to Harper, to Harper, FullFull Circle: Circle: Death Death andand Resurrection Resurrection in Canadian in Canadian Conservative Conservative Politics, Politics, andand HayHay West: West: A Story A Story of Canadians of Canadians Helping Helping Canadians. Canadians.
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Ottawa mulls 4% tax on rooms at hotels, Airbnbs
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hether they choose a traditional hotel room or make use of platforms such as Airbnb, Ottawa tourists could find a new tax on their stays in the new year. City staff have proposed the new four per cent hotel and short-term accommodation tax in a report to the finance and economic development committee. Revenues from the tax would fund Ottawa Tourism, an organization that conducts marketing campaigns and tourism research to raise the capital’s profile as a visitor destination. The proposal stems from changes first introduced in the Ontario government’s most recent budget, which opened the door for municipalities to implement accommodation taxes independently of the province. Similar taxes in Alberta, British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Quebec and Newfoundland are mandated at the provincial level. The concept already exists in the form of a voluntary levy from members of the Ottawa-Gatineau Hotel Association, first instituted in 2004. Ninety per cent of the OGHA’s members participate in the three per cent levy on room prices. That agreement expires at the end of this year. In recent years, the levy has generated more than $8 million. OGHA president Steve Ball says that in order for hotels to thrive in the globally competitive tourism industry, contributing
funds to organizations such as Ottawa Tourism is a no-brainer. “If you think you can succeed in promoting your municipality… by marketing ‘Come and stay at the Westin!’ or ‘Come and stay at the Fairmont!’, you are going to fail,” he told OBJ. “People don’t travel to stay at a hotel. They travel to experience a destination, to take part in events and see attractions. And then they select a hotel.” Mr. Ball says the levy and ensuing marketing campaigns have had a clear impact on the industry. The levy was briefly halted in 2010 when the HST came into effect but was restarted in 2014. Since that time, the hotel industry has had back-toback record years in 2016 and 2017. “I think you can point directly at success,” Mr. Ball says. The proposed tax stands on the principle that if accommodators are benefiting from Ottawa Tourism’s campaigns, then they should contribute to its funding. That includes hoteliers that are not members of OGHA as well as B&Bs and hosts on room-sharing websites such as Airbnb. The sharing economy giant has indicated it’s willing to co-operate with the proposal. Mr. Ball says he anticipates a bit of pushback from OGHA members who do not already voluntarily contribute to the levy, but he believes communicating the benefits of the tax will help ease the opposition. The proposal first goes to FEDCO on Dec. 5. If passed, it will go to city council before implementation on Jan. 1.
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“Jim Watson is not your typical politician. Having a 50-per-cent approval rating from the business community is impressive because it’s a (constituency that’s typically very) demanding. And having only 13 per cent saying they disapprove is a solid result for the mayor, reflecting how hard he works in the job and his staying power.” — DAVID COLETTO, CEO, ABACUS DATA This data is part of the Ottawa Business Growth Survey. Conducted by Abacus Data and made possible by Welch LLP, the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce and the Ottawa Business Journal, the survey gathered input from hundreds of local businesses. A free 40-page report can be downloaded at www.ottawabusinessgrowthreport.ca.
MONDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2017
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Museum director Christina Tessier shows off the Crazy Kitchen. PHOTO BY MARK HOLLERON
Continued from page 5 Even many of the old fan favourites have been updated to enhance the overall experience. The Crazy Kitchen, for example, now includes an explanation of why the room’s angled floor gives so many visitors that queasy feeling as it disrupts their senses. “For a family, in essence, it’s fun, but there’s some real science behind what’s happening in there,” Ms. Tessier notes. “And it’s a social experience. You go through with a group of people, rather than a solo experience. People come to museums because they want to learn and because they want to have experiences with their friends and family. This one gives them both opportunities.” ARTIFACT ALLEY Historic tech of all shapes and sizes gets its due, with Artifact Alley running across the entire length of the building. More than 700 items from bicycles and radios to computers and refrigerators offer a glimpse into the devices that have changed how Canadians work and play down through the years. “Science and tech is part of so much of our lives, right?” Ms. Tessier says. “The technology behind refrigerators hasn’t changed, but the design is something that changes.” Besides adding space for hundreds of extra artifacts and 11 new exhibits on everything from cars to medical technology, the museum’s designers moved the demo stage from the back of the building to a prominent position right in the middle. Ms. Tessier expects it to become a popular forum for
discussions on the future of science and tech and a showcase for made-in-Ottawa innovations. “We have some great sectors that are really building up in Ottawa, whether it’s around autonomous cars or AI work or other pieces that are happening here,” she says. “We want to make sure that they’re engaged with the new museum on that forward-looking piece.” As a federally funded organization, the museum has a responsibility to educate visitors about emerging technologies as well as promote Canadian industry, she adds. “It’s kind of like it’s a mandate to us that we shouldn’t just be talking about what’s happened in the past,” Ms. Tessier says. “We should be supporting this whole infrastructure because science and tech and innovation is a huge driver for our economy. We have a role to play in that ecosystem, to be supporting and creating that window, and in other ways, we invest in it.” She says the museum – which drew more than 300,000 visitors annually in the four years leading up to its closure – consulted with hundreds of Canadians during the redesign to get their feedback, even setting up a kiosk at the St. Laurent Shopping Centre with cardboard models of exhibits. Still, Ms. Tessier expects there will be critics, and she’s more than happy to listen to them. “We know that if that experience isn’t right, our audience is going to let us know pretty quickly,” she says with a smile. “Our hope is that all audiences will see something that’s going to appeal to them in the new museum.”
Continued from page 3 By June 1979, Mr. Clark’s party had won office and the family moved into the prime minister’s residence at 24 Sussex Dr. until March 1980, when they returned to Stornoway. Her mother, Maureen McTeer, is a lawyer, author and advocate for women’s health and equality issues. She made headlines when she broke with convention by choosing to keep her maiden name after marriage. Ms. Clark, an only child, travelled around Canada and the world throughout her father’s political career (he served in Brian Mulroney’s cabinet, with portfolios that included external affairs and constitutional affairs). “It was a great way to grow up,” says Ms. Clark. “I regularly feel some sadness that I can’t provide my children with the type of childhood that I was exposed to, from all types of people and situations and events and travels and opportunities. They really opened my eyes to the world around me, good and bad.” Ms. Clark attended the all-girls Elmwood School in Rockcliffe Park for much of her youth and spent her final year studying in Switzerland. She specifically chose the University of Toronto to earn her bachelor of arts degree with a major in art history. It
“I believe that life is a stepladder, not an elevator. Sometimes you’re climbing up, sometimes you’re climbing down, sometimes it’s a lateral move. But regardless, as a mother, the key for me in starting my own business is the flexibility to make those moves as I see fit, even if that gets a bit hectic at times.” – CATHERINE CLARK, ON JUGGLING HER ROLES AS A PARENT AND ENTREPRENEUR
was Ms. Clark’s hope that studying in Canada’s most populous city might bring her some anonymity. Much to her horror, she ended up at an all-girls residence, St. Michael’s College, run by Catholic nuns. Keep in mind, she went to a girls private school as a kid. “I think I cried for two weeks, thinking I was going to be single for the rest of my life,” she jokes. Ms. Clark switched early in her career to communications and broadcasting, beginning in Toronto before relocating to Ottawa with her new husband, Chad Schella. He now works for Canada Post as its general manager of government affairs.
Ms. Clark got a job hosting her own talk show on Rogers Cable before being hired by CPAC. She started with a Sunday call-in show but found the gig difficult, mostly because she hated having to interrupt people and cut short the conversations. She successfully pitched her idea to host Beyond Politics and continues to host and co-produce documentaries for CPAC under its new president and general manager, Catherine Cano. “I really was proud of the work that I was doing with Beyond Politics, interviewing well-known Canadians,” says Clark. “Being able to share their stories and to allow them to speak in a personal way about their own lives
helped Canadians to understand them better. That’s why I continue to love doing the documentaries for CPAC, because they allow me to help tell the stories of some of this country’s remarkable buildings and institutions and individuals. “I really feel I’ve found my footing as an entrepreneur, doing work that I love, with clients I respect, while still giving back to my family and the community around me. It’s the best of all worlds.” As for a future in politics, Ms. Clark hasn’t ruled it out, although she says she’s not currently looking to run for office. “If I ever did, it would probably be federal.”
On November 18th, Ottawa’s Annual Fundraiser raised $70,000 to support:
Thank you to our sponsors, donors and volunteers, including: Presenting Sponsor:
Corporate Table Sponsors:
MONDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2017
and Linda McCallum Sales Representative
Wine Sponsor: Official Print Sponsor:
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President and CEO
Harley Finkelstein*2 Chief operating officer
WHO MAKES WHAT – PRIVATE SECTOR (HIGHEST-COMPENSATED EXECUTIVES AT LOCALLY HEADQUARTERED PUBLIC COMPANIES. SOURCE: REGULATORY FILINGS)
Company Mitel Shopify
Financial year end
Chief financial officer
Chief design officer
Executive vice-president and chief sales officer
Chief human resources officer
President and CEO
Executive vice-president of global operations
Executive vice-president and general manager of Mitel Cloud Services
Chief operating officer
President and CEO
Quarterhill (formerly Wi-LAN)
Chief financial officer and vice-president of corporate services
Senior vice-president of engineering
President, CEO and vice-president / general manager of business and technology services
Chief technology officer
Senior vice-president and business unit leader
Quarterhill (formerly Wi-LAN)
C-COM Satellite Systems
Vice-president and general manager of systems Calian Group engineering
Jacqueline Gauthier Vice-president, chief financial officer and corpo- Calian Group rate secretary
Chief financial officer
Quarterhill (formerly Wi-LAN)
President and CEO
Northern Shield Resources
Chief financial officer
Chief operating officer
Quarterhill (formerly Wi-LAN)
Vice-president of licensing technology
Quarterhill (formerly Wi-LAN)
Director, chief executive officer and chair
Chief financial officer
Chief financial officer
Chief technology officer
Chief financial officer
Executive vice-president of professional services Kinaxis
President, CEO and chief operating officer
President and CEO
Clearford Water Systems
Chief operating officer of Bedrocan Canada
Senior vice-president of business development
Executive vice-president of global sales
President and CEO
Officer and president of Bedrocan Canada
President and CEO
Vice-president of acquisitions
President and CEO
Vice-president of marketing
Chief financial officer
Chief financial officer
This list is current as of August 1, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Categories are drawn up in attempt to gather information of relevance to the Ottawa market. Research by Peter Kovessy. Please send questions and comments to email@example.com.
REAL ESTATE Demand for rentals rising in Ottawa, CMHC report says BY KIERAN DELAMONT SPECIAL to OBJ
ttawa’s rental market tightened in 2017 as more people chose to rent rather than own, leaving fewer and fewer vacancies in the city’s purpose-built rental units. A new report on Ottawa’s rental market released by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. found that the vacancy rate had dropped from three per cent in 2016 to 1.7 per cent this year, while average rent rose 2.1 per cent to $1,113.
John Herbert of the Greater Ottawa Home Builders’ Association. FILE PHOTO
The July 31 edition of OBJ featured a list of the city’s largest labour and employment law firms (page 14). The list failed to include the firm of Low Murchison Radnoff LLP, which has nine labour or employment lawyers on
staff. This ties the firm for sixth place in Ottawa ranked by the number of labour or employment lawyers employed, based on figures provided to the Book of Lists. OBJ apologizes for the omission.
among people in their early 20s, while residents between the ages of 25 and 44 are generally remaining renters for longer than in the past. Developers certainly seem willing to jump on the trend. According to CMHC data, 2017 saw 1,065 new purpose-built rental units started — a 65.6 per cent increase over 2016 — while condo starts dropped to 487 from a high of 2,412 in 2014. (CMHC’s numbers don’t reflect any of the major developments that, over the last few years, switched over from condos to rentals.) Industry groups say they aren’t worried about a risk of oversupply.
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BIG MARKET “It would take a heck of a lot more than that to create a rental surplus, just because of the size of the rental market,” said John Herbert, head of the Greater Ottawa Home Builders’ Association. The full impact of the high number of rental starts over the last few years won’t be felt for a while, CMHC said. “The full effect of the rental construction boom this year will not be evident until 2019, when we expect completion to rise, pressuring the vacancy rate further up as newer units take a longer time to be absorbed,” its report reads. Ms. Shaker said broader trends in Ottawa’s economy will allow the market to absorb the new units. “We still are a growth economy,” she said, noting the continuing strength of the tech sector and the arrival of the Confederation light-rail line in 2018 should help spur demand for rentals. However, Ms. Shaker said the agency’s forecasts suggest the city will see fewer new units being built next year. Mr. Herbert said the announcement of new money from the feds for housing is a good omen for the rental market. Specifically, he pointed to the portable housing benefit – which would put around $2,500 in the pockets of lower-income renters – as a positive development. “It made a lot of sense,” he said. “It was directed towards trying to utilize the private housing stock.” That impact is still a few years – and at least one federal election – from taking effect, however. “The government’s policy changes are not having much impact yet, because frankly they haven’t taken effect,” said Mr. Dickie. “We’re going to feel the impact in two or three years.”
MONDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2017
That bucked the trend the CMHC had predicted only a few months earlier. In its fall 2017 housing outlook report, the agency forecasted the vacancy rate in Ottawa would hold at around three per cent this year and climb to 3.4 per cent by 2019. CMHC analyst Anne-Marie Shaker said unusually strong demand for rental units put pressure on the vacancy rate. “We expected it to stay around the same, because we expected supply (to) increase,” she said. “In reality, demand strengthened to cover for the supply increase. We didn’t expect demand to come in so strong.” John Dickie, chair of the Eastern Ontario Landlord Organization, called the report “positive,” adding it reflected what he’s been hearing on the ground. “Landlords were telling me that the market seemed to be tightening up, that they were renting their units a little faster than they were before.” Ms. Shaker pointed to a healthy, growing economy in the city and shifting market behaviours as possible explanations for the spike in popularity of rental units. The city has seen a healthy population growth
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SERIOUS TECH LIVES IN
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WHERE WE WORK Irdeto secures connected cars
WHAT WE’RE GEEKING OUT ON NXP eyes AI for the masses
WHERE WE LIVE Brookstreet deepens ties with Kanata community firstname.lastname@example.org
SAVE THE DATE
Hear ideas worth spreading from some of the communityâ€™s most engaging speakers on March 1, 2018, at the Brookstreet Hotel. Visit tedxkanata.com for more information.
2 KANATA NETWORKER WINTER 2017
Connect with Kanata Join the Kanata North Business North professionals Association LinkedIn group
A new chapter for the Kanata Networker
lightly more than three years ago, the Kanata North Business Association launched a new platform for sharing news and information within Canada’s largest technology park. The Networker quickly became a key forum for connecting the businesses and people of Kanata North while promoting the growing community. Now, the Kanata North Business Association and Ottawa Business Journal are partnering to expand the Networker’s reach and inform a wider audience about the exciting developments taking place in Kanata North. Some 5,000 copies of this issue of the Networker are being printed and distributed via OBJ, reaching more than 1,400 businesses and public distribution points. Another 1,000 copies are being distributed by the Kanata North Business Association. At the same time, we’ve invested in journalists to spend more time in the community, visiting some of the country’s leading labs, testing facilities and corporate offices to report on the cutting-edge work taking place in Kanata North. In this issue, we examine how Irdeto Cloakware is protecting connected cars from cybersecurity threats and look at a crucial piece of autonomous vehicle hardware developed by NXP Semiconductor. We also go behind the scenes at the Best Ottawa Business Awards to meet some of the community’s top performers and size up Kanata North’s impressive credentials as the SaaS capital of Canada. The Networker aims to be the voice of businesses in Kanata North. We want to share the stories and opinions of the engineers, developers, entrepreneurs and corporate leaders that make this community such a great place to do business. We welcome submissions and story ideas. Tell us what you’re working on, what problems you’re solving and the ideas that are being sketched out on your whiteboard. In November, Invest Ottawa CEO Michael Tremblay told a group of West Ottawa business leaders that one of the biggest challenges facing the city’s economy is recognition. We need to do a better job of raising our visibility and presenting our accomplishments if we want to be players in the global market, he said. So share your story. Our community, our city and country will be more prosperous as a result. Peter Kovessy Head of content Ottawa Business Journal
WINTER 2017 KANATA NETWORKER 3
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contents Table of
What’s new? What’s next?
Where we work:
Irdeto Cloakware protects connected cars
NO TIME? To Better Your Financial Future?
HIRE US! Peter B Fraser RFP CFP® CIM® FCSI® Senior Investment Advisor
What we’re geeking out on:
NXP’s silicon backbone for autonomous vehicles
HollisWealth® is a division of Industrial Alliance Securities Inc., a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund and the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada. P B Fraser and Company Inc. is a personal trade name of Peter Fraser. 4 KANATA NETWORKER WINTER 2017
A Canadian first for autonomous vehicles in Kanata North Page
People of Kanata North:
Tech executive Les Rechan joins Solace Accelerators:
L-Spark’s fall cohort
Page 14 Page 16
Kanata North shines at the BOBs Where we live:
The Brookstreet’s evolution www.pbfraser.com 613.271.3772 417A Hazeldean Road, Kanata
Page 18 Page 20 Page 22
Serious tech online Looking for the latest news from Kanata North? Visit www.serioustechliveshere.com
WINTER 2017 KANATA NETWORKER 5
CAE consolidates operations at 350 Legget Dr. Global simulation and training firm CAE is receiving accolades for its new home in Kanata North. Recently named one of Ottawa’s Best Offices by OBJ, the bright and open workspace brings staff from different business areas together. Managers directly embedded with the rest of the staff to improve communication and internal business relations.
“This move gave us a chance to reimagine the space to suit our workflow,” says office manager Kate Tomaszewski. “Now we have the opportunity to achieve optimal groupings and be flexible as new projects arise.” The floor is divided into four distinct zones, including a public
What’s New, What’s Next?
DISCOVER TECHNATA TECH EXPO & TALENT HUNT March 28th, 2018 at Brookstreet Hotel Kanata North’s largest Career Fair and Tech Expo is back! Discover TechNATA offers local businesses the opportunities to exhibit their products and services and recruit talent. This event provides an excellent platform for our tech community to display their innovation and the unique benefits of their culture. Thousands of job seekers, including students and professionals, attend TechNATA each year to get a glimpse of the growing tech community and the variety of job opportunities that are available. Visit www.discovertechnata.com for more details.
CENGN SUMMIT 2017 KANATA NORTH BUSINESS ASSOCIATION AGM December 7th 5:00 pm - 7:30 pm The Kanata North Business Association will be hosting their annual general meeting (AGM), an evening that brings together our tech community for a little business, a recap of the past year, and some networking over drinks. This year we are excited to have one of our community partners Big Rig Brewery at our AGM! They will on hand to quench your thirst and provide free samples of their seasonal favourites! Come meet members from our business community, and learn more about Canada’s largest tech park! Visit our events calendar to register.
December 7th 8:00 am - 7:00 pm The CENGN Summit is a fullday, annual event, which allows organizations from the private, public and academic sector to showcase their leadership in Information and Communication Technologies and Next Generation Networking. This year’s CENGN Summit will take on the theme Open Infrastructure Powering the Digital Economy, emphasizing Canada’s need for a future forward and accessible infrastructure for all. Learn from the top professionals in Software-Defined Networking and Network Function Virtualization Technologies—and better understand what the future has in store for communication technology. See our events calendar for more details.
READ NEW STORIES ABOUT OUR BUSINESS COMMUNITY Find out about the open innovation model, how Solink uses high-tech video technology to help retailers and restaurants catch thieves, and meet the new CFO Paul Carreiro at Kinaxis. Visit www.SeriousTechLivesHere.com
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Continued... > area, plus corporate, operational and laboratory zones, with increasing rigorous levels of security in place for each area. Collaborative spaces have been dubbed “think tanks.” These rooms for up to four people are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis and include either a high-end smart board or whiteboard.
Kanata office, which is owned and managed by KRP Properties. Instead, it’s choosing to work in the space for a while and discover just exactly how it’s working for those who use it. “We deliberately left room in our plan for adjustment and growth, which means this space will suit our needs for some time to come,” Tomaszewski says.
CAE is not rushing to make decisions on the final touches on its
March 1, 2018 3:30 pm - 9:00 pm Save the Date: March 1st, 2018 for the fourth annual TEDxKanata at the Brookstreet Hotel. The theme for 2018 is, “RE:DESIGN”. An idea that can be interpreted in several ways. Join us on an inspirational journey of thought provoking ideas worth sharing! Visit www.tedxkanata.com for more details.
IEEE OTTAWA LUNCH AND LEARN
with each other has changed forever with the proliferation of smartphones and other wireless devices. Soon, even the way we get around will look different as autonomous vehicles relying on communications from thousands of sensors become technologically and commercially viable. To register and get more details, visit our events calendar.
TECHTUESDAY – ‘EMPLOYER BRANDING’ December 5th 5:00 pm - 8:30 pm
A Wesley Clover event; Attract Better Employees Through Better Employer Branding. Meet Rob Lee, Managing Partner The Ottawa sector IEEE lunch with Pivot + Edge, who will and learn presents: RF Spectrum share just how important ‘EmChallenges in the Age of Netflix ployer Branding’ is in a highly and Self-Driving Cars with Nikhil competitive market for the best Adnani (CTO, ThinkRF). It is ob- employees. Lee will explain how vious the way we communicate to create an employer brand that December 5th 11:00 am - 1:30 pm.
is competitive and compelling for new hires. See our events calendar for more details.
ONTARIO ENGINEERING COMPETITION 2018 January 26-28, 2018 The University of Ottawa is hosting the Ontario Engineering Competition (OEC) from January 26th to 28th, 2018. Every year OEC brings together over 300 of the brightest young minds from 16 universities across Ontario. All engineering students come ready to showcase their technical talents, collaborative abilities, and communication skills. Each team competes in one of the eight different categories, all designed around the central theme of automation, a principle of solving the problems the smart way. See our events calendar for more details.
East India Company Restaurants For the past 50 years, we have presented the largest Indian buffet in Canada. East India’s notable cuisine can be enjoyed at either of our two locations in Ottawa, with takeout and delivery options as well.
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WINTER 2017 KANATA NETWORKER 7
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March Networks partners with NextGen Motorsports to support hurricane, earthquake victims Responding to the devastation caused by a series of natural disasters in the U.S., Mexico and several Caribbean islands, Kanata-based March Networks joined forces with NASCAR series team NextGen Motorsports to help support relief efforts.
March Networks sponsored NextGen Motorsports and driver Josh Berry in the NASCAR Kansas Lottery 300 on Oct. 21 in Kansas City. A full 100 per cent of donations raised around the event at www.donations4disasters.com were provided via the
Where we work
“Software protection can be applied in many different markets and fields,” says Jaco du Plooy, Irdeto vicepresident of engineering, seen with the company’s Kanata simulator. ALL PHOTOS BY MARK HOLLERON
Celebrating 20th anniversary,
Irdeto’s Cloakware protects connected cars Vehicle simulator inside Solandt Road office shows how security solutions can ‘heal’ software code during attack 8 KANATA NETWORKER WINTER 2017
Continued... Celia Cruz Foundation to established charities working on the ground to help families recover and rebuild following hurricanes Irma and Maria, and the devastating earthquake that hit Mexico. “We have established routes into many of the communities affected by these disasters,” said Peter Strom, March Networks president and CEO, in a statement. “We are honoured by this opportunity to join NextGen Motorsports and contribute to ongoing relief efforts that are critically needed in these countries.”
By Lucy Screnci
o matter how strong the firewall or how complicated the encryption, few firms would be willing to bet that their cybersecurity protections are completely impenetrable. Containing those inevitable breaches is where Irdeto’s made-in-Kanata technology, Cloakware, makes its impact. The firm specializes in protecting software in “hostile environments” – specifically, once a hacker bypasses the first layer of defence. “When somebody breaks into a system, we're there to prevent them from going any further and doing any damage,” says Stacy Janes, Irdeto’s chief security architect of connected transport. Cloakware was founded in 1997 by former Nortel engineers Harold Johnson and Yuan Gu, who developed cybersecurity solutions based on “software obfuscation” – deliberately making code harder to understand and hindering hackers’ reverse engineering efforts. Irdeto, a cybersecurity firm headquartered in the Netherlands, began to license Cloakware’s software solution in the early 2000s to help media companies safeguard their content. In 2007, Irdeto acquired Cloakware. “We very quickly saw that there are other opportunities outside of media because software protection can be applied in many different markets and fields,” says Jaco du Plooy, vice-president of engineering, who has worked at Irdeto for more than two decades. Now firmly entrenched in Kanata North, Irdeto’s Cloakware is tapping into the rapidly growing Internet of Things market and helping to safeguard systems in which a cyberattack has the potential to be a lifeor-death scenario. VEHICLES •AsAUTONOMOUS research and development of self-driving vehicles accelerates, the importance of safeguarding this emerging technology increases. Malware that infects a vehicle’s engine control unit could render it inoperable or, even worse, present a safety risk if the steering or braking systems were disabled, for example. Cloakware’s technology protects user data and blocks malicious attempts to install unauthorized software or modify exist-
Andrew Williams, Irdeto technical manager for connected transport, left, and chief security architect Stacy Janes demonstrate the firm’s vehicle simulator.
Company officials say Irdeto benefits from Kanata North’s skilled workforce.
ing applications. Janes says his company’s forecasts point to growing connectivity across the automotive industry in the coming years. This is leading Janes and his team to take a collaborative approach and conduct threat assessments for OEMs and suppliers to help them understand how they can address vulnerabilities as they engineer products. “Security is constantly changing, and it's our job to stay on top of that and take that worry away from our customers,” Janes says. To demonstrate the company’s solutions, Irdeto has parked a connected car simulator inside its Solandt Road office. It allows a driver to experience what it’s like to lose control of an unsecured vehicle if, for example, a hacker disables a car’s braking system. In contrast, the driver can also experi-
ence what it’s like to be behind the wheel of a vehicle protected by Cloakware. “I still maintain complete control,” Janes says during a demonstration. “We heal the code, prevent the attack and then notify the OEM of what’s going on.” He adds that security solutions are a key step towards widespread adoption of autonomous vehicles. “Taking the steering wheel away from somebody is going to be a big enough of a change,” Janes says. “We want to make sure they feel safe and they don’t think an attacker is going to take over.” RICH ENVIRONMENT •Irdeto’s Kanata location has helped fuel its expansion into securing connected vehicles. “We started out on focusing on the areas where the OEMs live – so Munich, Detroit, Tokyo,” Janes says. “It took us a little while to realize how rich of an environment we actually had in our own backyard.” He adds that they have a strong partnership with QNX, aided by that firm’s close proximity in Kanata. Du Plooy says that the company also benefits from its ability to access the region’s skilled workforce as well as tapping Carleton University and the University of Ottawa for up-and-coming talent through co-ops. “The talent is great in this area,” he says. “It’s really helped Cloakware grow to where it is today.”
WINTER 2017 KANATA NETWORKER 9
Kanata companies among Canada’s top R&D spenders A recently released report said Kanata North tech firms Mitel and Halogen Software (now Saba Software) are among this country’s leaders in R&D investments. The report by Research Infosource said Mitel was the National Capital Region’s top R&D spender at $129 million in fiscal 2016. That places the firm 24th nationally.
Halogen Software (now Saba Software) ranked 91st with $16.2 million in R&D spending last year.
Several global firms with R&D presences in Kanata North were also high on this year’s list. That includes BlackBerry at No. 10 with $405.4 million in R&D spending, Ericsson (No. 11, $315 million), CAE (No. 21, $150 million), Cisco (No. 22, $134 million),
What we’re geeking out on
By Leo Valiquette
At NXP Semi’s Kanata North facility,
every day is a moonshot Local team tackles the crucial hardware piece for autonomous vehicles
10 KANATA NETWORKER WINTER 2017
or Ali Osman Ors, it just makes sense for Kanata North to be a hub of innovation for autonomous vehicles. The area’s high-tech pedigree, after all, fits right in with the convergence of technologies necessary to put a selfdriving car in every driveway.
Not to mention the fact that any autonomous vehicle that can reliably navigate Ottawa’s winter roads can pretty much succeed anywhere. “I’m a true believer that machines will make better decisions under almost any conditions than a human driver … roads will be safer, we’ll be saving lives and reducing the number of injuries related to automobile accidents,” he says. BACKBONE •OrsSILICON is the R&D director for driver assistance (ADAS) and autonomous vehicles at NXP Semiconductor. What is NXP Semiconductor? It’s a multinational technology company with 31,000 employees around the world and revenues of US$9.5 billion in 2016. The company may not be a household name in Ottawa, but the local team of about 60 is on the cutting edge of autonomous vehicle technology. While Blackberry QNX and Ford Motor Co. get most of the headlines for their local investments in the software for autonomous vehicle development, it’s the Ottawa NXP team that is providing the silicon backbone on which that software operates. NXP’s local operation focuses on two key areas. The first is software and silicon IP development for dataplane processing, to make computing and telecommunications networks operate faster and more reliably. This part of the operation dates back decades in the area. The second is Ors’ wheelhouse – autonomous vehicle processor cores. This half of the business has been built from NXP’s acquisition of local company CogniVue (where Ors served as vice-president of engineering). Ors’ team is working to take today’s prototype vehicles that bristle with sensor racks, vision systems, LIDAR “soup cans” and large computers in the trunk that leave them looking like the DeLorean from Back to the Future Part III and turn them into
Continued... Huawei Canada (No. 25, $127.5 million) and Microsemi Storage Solutions (No. 47, $54.2 million). Outside of Kanata North, Ottawa-headquartered firms Shopify, Kinaxis and Espial Group also ranked within the top 100.
Research Infosource said it obtained its information through annual reports, financial statements, securities commission filings and surveys, which means its list is largely restricted to publicly traded companies.
Topping the list nationally was Bombardier, at $1.97 billion.
It’s about making the artificial intelligence cost-effective AND embeddable into any level of car within
any brand. Ali Osman Ors, NXP Semiconductor
something suitable for a dealer’s showroom. It’s a big challenge – make the technology all but invisible in a physical sense while at the same time ensuring it is secure, reliable and roadworthy for the expected life of a vehicle. Enterprise-grade computer servers that once filled a trunk are being reduced to the size of a golf ball. “What we are trying to do is get to something that can be deployed into any car, not just premium cars in limited geographical areas,” Ors says. “It’s about making the artificial intelligence cost-effective and embeddable into any level of car
within any brand.” ECOSYSTEM •KANATA Where does NXP’s work in dataplane processing figure into this? Autonomous vehicles don’t exist in a silo. These are connected Internet of Things devices. They are part of a system that includes adding intelligence to roads, signage and traffic signals with sensors and wireless connectivity so infrastructure can communicate with the vehicle and vice-versa. The car must also have a persistent wireless connection with a home base for regular
updates to its firmware, and to troubleshoot how to handle new and unexpected situations – like someone driving down the road with a ladder sticking out of their trunk. This makes fast and reliable network communications essential to mass adoption. Ors expects that autonomous vehicles will still be at a prototype stage five years from now, but in 10 years we might very well see the technology go mainstream. “Automotive used to be a laggard with new technology, but now bleeding-edge tech is getting incorporated into new
vehicle designs at almost the same pace as advancements in mobile technology,” he says. “Without the silicon we provide, none of this would be possible.” And Kanata North is a natural birthplace for this paradigm shift in our love affair with the automobile, from both a hardware side with NXP, and from the software side with partners such as Blackberry QNX and Ford. “It really is about the talent and the resources,” Mr Ors says. “This is where we should be. You look out the window and see a lot of buildings with high-tech names on them – it’s an automatic ecosystem.”
WINTER 2017 KANATA NETWORKER 11
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Discover TECHNATA Tech Expo & Career Fair Discover TECHNATA is a tech expo and talent hunt for some of the most innovative and exciting technology firms in the area. If you are looking for a job this is the place to be! Visit www.discovertechnata.com to register as an exhibitor, book booth space and gain added exposure by becoming a sponsor.
On-road demo bolsters Kanata North’s credentials as Canada’s
autonomous vehicle capital For the first time in Canada, a car drove on a public road without a driver’s assistance
anata North played host to a Canadian first in October that showcased the region’s status as an autonomous vehicle hub. A grey Lincoln sedan powered by BlackBerry QNX technology cruised through Canada’s largest technology park without anyone’s hands on the wheel before coming to a stop at a red light this fall, marking this country’s first onstreet test of an autonomous vehicle. In another milestone, officials from the City of Ottawa installed a short-wave radio system that messaged the vehicle when a traffic light turned red – the first time in Canada that municipal infrastructure has been connected to a self-driving car. As required by provincial law, a BlackBerry official was seated behind the car’s wheel, but held up his hands to demonstrate that the vehicle was steering without his control. With hundreds of curious onlookers watching the demo,
the event served as a spotlight on the more than 70 companies and organizations in Ottawa that are working on autonomous vehicle applications. “This critical mass of expertise and innovation is not replicated anywhere else in Canada,” then-Kanata North BIA executive director Jenna Sudds said. “They’re all here for a reason.” WEALTH OF TECH TALENT Kanata North firms are playing a key role in developing that new technology. In addition to BlackBerry QNX, which is building the software foundation, Nokia will be adding its 5G internet capabilities to the vehicles in the next phase. BlackBerry QNX vice-president John Wall, who also took part in the historic journey, said the region is the ideal development hub for autonomous vehicles, citing its wealth of tech talent and a climate that offers all the extreme testing conditions an automaker could want. “We think it’s the best of both worlds,” he said after the demonstration. “We have the allweather situation, we have a city
A self-driving Lincoln sedan powered by BlackBerry QNX technology drove through the streets of Kanata North this fall.
that’s committed, we have all the levels of government that are very interested in what we’re doing. Everybody’s supporting us. It’s perfect for us.” The car uses GPS, radar, cameras, remote light sensors and other high-tech equipment to detect and respond to its surroundings. Mr. Wall predicted luxury vehicles equipped with near-complete self-driving capability could hit the market by 2022, but said several safety and security issues
must still be resolved. But they’ll still look much traditional vehicles in one key respect, Mr. Wall predicted. “A car without a steering wheel? I can’t even envision when that is.” Economic development officials say the autonomous driving technology has markets beyond the automotive sector and could be used in agricultural equipment such as combines, enabling it to harvest a field of crops without a human operator.
Book your complimentary consultation WELCHLLP.COM/OFFICEHOURS WINTER 2017 KANATA NETWORKER 13
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December Meetup - Reactive Applications with the SMACK Stack Calling all Open Source Enthusiasts! The Ottawa Reactive Data Meetup is a meetup designed to bring the best brains in open source technologies together for an insightful, relaxed and pitch-free technical talk. The next event is Thursday, Dec. 14 at 411 Legget Dr. Visit https://www.meetup. com/OttawaReactiveDataMeetup for more details.
Tech CEO Les Rechan returns to Kanata North to lead Solace New chief executive looks to expand subscription-based revenue model
olace has turned to a well-known Kanata North tech executive to scale up operations and help the company expand to new industries and markets.
an increasingly “cloud-driven, digital first” world. “Connected cars, phones and shop floors and all the data that moves around has opened up a total addressable problem for us, which is 10 to 20 times bigger than what we’re currently doing,” says Rechan. This foray into being a softLes Rechan previously served as ware and cloud solution provider, CEO at Halogen Software before in addition to hardware, will be the it was acquired by Saba earlier this primary focus for Rechan as the year. He’s also held senior positions company heads into 2018. at Cognos, IBM and Oracle and In addition to shifting to a worked abroad in Singapore, the subscription-based model, Rechan U.K. and the U.S. says the next calendar year will Rechan was compelled to help be dedicated to building out new Solace – which develops technoldigital marketing programs and ogy to improve the speed of data executing go-to-market strategies. transfers via hybrid cloud and onHe says the timing was right premise infrastructure – address to take over as CEO, a position
14 KANATA NETWORKER WINTER 2017
Solace’s vice-president of business development. Rehan worked with Mollot at IBM and Cognos and with Fitzpatrick at Halogen. “There really is an incredible base of people,” Rechan says, adding that it extends beyond the executive team. Solace draws upon a wealth of expertise held by individuals who built their careers at storied institutions like Newbridge and Nortel. Les Rechan is the CEO of Solace. This Kanata connection exformerly held by the company’s tends to the company’s first invesfounder Craig Betts. He had always tor, local tech titan Terry Matthews, wanted the opportunity to work who still sits on the company’s with Betts, calling him “a real viboard of directors today. sionary and entrepreneur at heart.” With 13 offices around the “He’s really done his life’s world Rechan says Solace frework at Solace to get it to this quently highlights the location of point,” Rechan says. Betts still the company’s headquarters when serves on Solace’s board of direcspeaking with its global clients. tors, as does Tom Manley of Bridge “We love showing (customGrowth Partners, which owns a ers) the picture of our building principal stake in the company. with our logo (and) all the buildRechan says he’s also thrilled ings around. We always talk about to work in close quarters with assembling these appliances here former colleagues Mychelle Molin Kanata,” he says. “We play up lot, the company’s chief marketthe fact that we're 'Made in Canaing officer, and Paul Fitzpatrick, da' and we're experts.”
SAVE THE DATE
MARCH 1, 2018 | THE BROOKSTREET HOTEL | 525 LEGGET 3:30PM – 9PM | TEDXKANATA.COM/TICKETS SEATING IS LIMITED.
Kanata North is full of the best kind of surprises. We did some research (ok, a lot), analyzed the data, crunched the numbers and what we found was exhilarating. Exciting. Thought-provoking.
Kanata North is home to over 500+ companies.
value-add of Kanata North $7.8 billion net to Canada’s GDP 20,300 direct employees The average contribution to per Canadian worker $85,000 GDP The average contribution to $255,000 GDP Kanata North worker North 3x higher than the national average Kanata productivity level
75% of Kanata North’s tech firms have less than 50 employees.
20,263 + 10,416 = 30,679
directly employed indirectly employed total
Tech employment, from 1991 to present, has consistently
grown in Kanata.
Combined, the top 20 companies in Kanata North generated $3.3 billion
20% 24% 30% 11% 6% 6% 2%
1-10 Employees 11-20 Employees 21-50 Employees 51-100 Employees 101-200 Employees 201-500 Employees 501+ Employees
Who owns the businesses in Kanata North?
of the technology sector is Canadian owned
of the technology sector is foreign-owned
in revenues in 2015.
Kanata North commercial properties are valued at over $1 billion for city tax purposes.
Kanata North is the largest Technology Park in Canada and contributes an impressive $7.8 billion to GDP
WINTER 2017 KANATA NETWORKER 15
Serious tech online Looking for the latest news from Kanata North? Visit www.serioustechliveshere.com
Kanata accelerator L-Spark welcomes new cohort Local SaaS accelerator L-Spark recently added seven new startups to its portfolio. The firms, which hail from Montreal, Ottawa, the Greater Toronto Area and New Brunswick, will participate in the nine-month program with the goal of scaling their revenues 10x. Here’s the fall cohort: CYBEATS – A developer of cybersecurity defenses for enterprise IoT devices. ENERGYX – Provider of online energy audit systems designed to help homes and enterprises to implement energy savings plans. EYESOVER – Led by a former New Brunswick energy minister, this firm uses artificial intelligence for “social media listening,” discovering what relevant discussions are happening on social platforms and how a firm can leverage these debates. HEYDAY – This startup says its online chatbot can provide a more personal, adaptable customer interface experience through “Natural Language Generation” that can update personality and tone in real time. IAMSICK – Enables patients to find family doctors, book appointments, seek prescription refills and more from their home or their mobile apps. PROPERTYSPARK – Helps realtors publish and advertise their listings on social media. TRANSPARENT KITCHEN – Allows users to view partner restaurants’ ingredients, chefs and dishes to decide if the process is to their liking.
16 KANATA NETWORKER WINTER 2017
Follow the Kanata North Business Association on Facebook @KanataNorthBIA.
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QUOTABLE “There are so many little things about working out of Kanata North that fit with the culture we want to create at Fusebill.” – Tyler Eyamie, CEO, Fusebill
Kanata North shines at Best Ottawa Business Awards
ome of the most successful and innovative companies and business leaders in the nation’s capital were honoured on Nov. 15 at the annual Best Ottawa Business Awards, known better as the BOBs. Once again, Kanata North was well represented by several award recipients who were recognized for driving economic growth and prosperity in the region. “We are incredibly lucky to be home to so many companies working on ground-breaking innovations from disrupting the television experience, to autonomous cars, to contributing to Canada’s space mission, to the development of 5G networks,” said Jenna Sudds, the former executive director of the Kanata North Business Association, who was on stage to hand out several awards. Here are the stories behind some of this year’s recipients:
Solink, Thinkwrap, You.i TV, BlackBerry QNX and ‘freakin’ #SeriousTechLivesHere awesome’ Kevin Ford Company of the Year THINKWRAP of Calian Group COMMERCE Top brands turn to Thinkwrap among honorees
18 KANATA NETWORKER WINTER 2017
panies in Canada for eight years running. Revenues continue to grow an average of 30 per cent year over year with increased profitability. The team has doubled in size over the past three years. ThinkWrap continues to invest in R&D, to develop new services and keep abreast of how technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning and predictive analytics will continue to redefine retail. #SeriousTechLivesHere Team of the Year
At Solink, surveillance video is a rich source of data that can empower brick and mortar businesses to reinvent their entire operations. Solink’s unique video discovery application captures and audits 100 per cent of a retail location’s video and transactional data to reduce fraud proactively. The company’s team did such a great job of spreading that message, it collectively grew recurring monthly revenues by a factor of four in 12 months. During this same period, headcount increased Thinkwrap Commerce CEO Steve Byrne accepts by only 17 per cent. the #SeriousTechLivesHere Company of the Solink achieved this through Year award from Jenna Sudds, the former exa constant focus on process imecutive director of the Kanata North Business provement, employing new softAssociation. ware tools to drive greater efficienincrease online and in-store trafcy and productivity from staff, and fic, improve customer experience, encouraging team collaboration grow a loyal customer base, and to tackle any challenges as they achieve operational efficiencies increased in size and scale with the and higher profits. growth of the business. ThinkWrap has ascended the What happens when you log Branham300 list of Top Tech Com- that kind of lean growth? Investors Commerce as their trusted ecommerce system integration partner when they want to grow revenue,
Kevin Ford, the chief executive of the Calian Group, delivers his acceptance speech after being named CEO of the Year.
From left, Solink CEO Michael Matta, SMB general manager Christopher Beaudoin and customer success director Chelsea Stirling accept the #SeriousTechLivesHere Team of the Year award from Jenna Sudds, the former executive director of the Kanata North Business Association.
see a good thing and come knocking. Solink has been offered three term sheets for its Series-A round. On Nov.1, Solink announced that it had closed a $5-million funding round led by Generation Ventures. Exporter of the Year
The television industry is changing fast. Streaming video, multiple screens and over-the-top video offerings are becoming the new normal. That’s why major media brands like Turner Broadcasting, Crackle, Corus Entertainment and Rogers are turning to You.i TV to get the flexibility and reach they need to remain relevant to today’s connected consumer. How? With an app development platform called the You.i Engine. This platform makes it easy for media brands to create stunning video experiences on any device screen, to turn TV viewers into users, buyers and fans. And the word is getting out. In its last fiscal year, You.i TV grew its exports as a percentage of total sales by 80 per cent thanks to engagements with Sony Crackle and Turner. The North American sales team has expanded across the U.S. with the addition of 14 staff. New partners are being trained in Colombia, Russia and Sweden. Today, the You.i Engine is powering millions of current, in-market app installs for 14 major brands. It’s quite a leap for a company that not long ago derived 90 per cent of its revenue from the do-
Calling all artists, designers and creative minds! Want to see your creative imagination up on stage? Here is your chance to design the set for TEDxKanata 2018. Designers are asked to create a stage that reflects our theme for 2018 “Re:Design.” Open to all students or professionals,
TEDxKanata is excited to display the enormous creative talent we have right here in Ottawa with a brand new set design for TEDxKanata 2018. Send in your ideas and proposals by Jan. 15, 2018.
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mestic market. Heading into 2018, less than 10 per cent of You.i TV’s revenue will come from domestic sales. And a new, more economical app development platform, You.i Engine One, promises to attract a whole new customer segment.
CEO of the Year
KEVIN FORD, CALIAN GROUP
NEWSMAKER OF THE YEAR
Cars that drive themselves. The stuff of science fiction is now a serious business driven by billions in R&D taking place around the world. According to a 2015 report from the Conference Board of Canada, the country could reap $65 billion in potential benefits from autonomous vehicle developments, mainly from fewer collisions, less time in cars, fuel savings and reduced congestion. But Canadian industry, and Ottawa’s high-tech community, isn’t about to stand on the sidelines and wait for initiatives in the U.S. and Europe to bring driverless cars to our roads. At the end of 2016, Blackberry QNX announced a new $100-million “innovation centre”
Calian Group employees took to the stage with custom t-shirts to help congratulate CEO of the Year Kevin Ford
in Kanata dedicated to developing software for connected and self-driving vehicles. The centre is expected to create up to 650 jobs in the coming years. The Kanata North Business Association subsequently held an Autonomous Vehicles Summit in January to discuss the best ways forward for the city and its industry partners. Then Ford Motor Co., a partner of Blackberry QNX, announced in March it would spend $337.9 million to create an Ottawa Research and
Engineering Centre focused on developing autonomous driving technology. All this has prompted local politicians to promote Ottawa as a global test bed for driverless technology. In October, Ottawa saw its first live demonstration of the technology, when a car equipped with BlackBerry QNX technology took to Leggett Drive. It marked the first time an autonomous vehicle connected to city infrastructure on a Canadian road.
Ottawa native Kevin Ford has led one of Ottawa’s largest publicly traded corporations through a string of acquisitions, its largest contract win in its 35-year history and a record $275 million in revenues last year. Additionally, he helped to spearhead the drive to form the Kanata North Business Association and served as the organization’s first chairman. Under Mr. Ford’s leadership, Calian’s share price has risen more than 60 per cent. The Ottawa native also kickstarted a drive to expand through acquisitions. Since he joined the company in 2010, Calian has bought five companies, including four Ottawa-based firms. More recently, he’s guided the firm to the biggest contract win in its 35-year history – a renewed 12-year deal signed last month to provide health-care services to the Canadian Armed Forces that could be worth up to a billion dollars.
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Calian secures $1B, 12-year health-care contract Just hours before the start of Calian Group’s fiscal year-end staff party, CEO Kevin Ford received the news he’d been waiting weeks to hear: The Canadian government was renewing the Kanata company’s 12-year contract to provide health-care support services to the Canadian military. The diversified company supplies a range of health-care
services to armed forces personnel across the country, filling short-term positions at military bases, providing medical care in remote regions and offering access to specialists who are in high demand. Calian Group will now provide similar services to the RCMP and Veterans Affairs. The expected total value of the deals: $990 million,
Where we live
New Brookstreet GM
Nyle Kelly checks in Evolution and growth of Kanata North has been a key part of hotel’s success
W By Paula Roy
The changing face of Kanata North has absolutely helped us at Brookstreet.
Nyle Kelly, general manager, Brookstreet Hotel
INVEST IN YOUR FUTURE
hen the Brookstreet Hotel opened in 2003, much of the Kanata North Business Park was still ringed by farmers’ fields. The area has since steadily grown into a thriving community that now includes hundreds of companies spanning a diverse range of industries, numerous residential developments as well as a full suite of services, shops and leisure activities.
Throughout it all, the Brookstreet’s location in Kanata North has been critical to the hotel’s success, says general manager Nyle Kelly, a long-time employee who took the reins this summer. He replaced former general manager Patrice Basille, who announced earlier this year that he planned to retire. Kelly’s career at the Brookstreet started with a two-year stint as executive housekeeper. He later served as guest services director, operations director and eventually assistant general manager He takes over at a key time for the hotel, which is growing as it
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Continued... including $875 million for the armed forces contract, plus an additional $60 million for the RCMP pact and $55 million for the Veteran Affairs deal. “It provides a solid foundation to continue to grow the company,” Mr. Ford said.
square feet – by the end of 2017 and is looking at increasing its number of guest rooms as well. Collectively, this will allow the Brookstreet to hold theatrestyle events for up to 800 guests, easily handle 500-person sit-down dinners and be better equipped for product launches, trade shows, galas and parties.
The Brookstreet has found growth opportunities in conferences, events and leisure travellers.
OF THE COMMUNITY •ThePARTKanata North location con-
diversifies into new markets – particularly serving the Kanata North community and beyond. “2017 was our best year ever,” Kelly says. “We are optimistic that growth will continue into next year.”
•TheEXPANSION technology sector was boom-
ing in the late ’90s when planning for the hotel began, says Kelly, who has worked at Brookstreet since just before it opened. Owner Terry Matthews, who is well-known for founding and funding many of Kanata’s tech firms, was looking to develop a flagship property within the business park he founded, Kelly recalls. “The vision was to support the many corporate offices in the area at that time and to provide a place for business travellers that was close to the companies with whom they worked,” he says. The tech downturn in the early 2000s presented challenges for many businesses and landlords in the area, and pushed Brookstreet to expand its reach into other sectors. “When corporate traffic declined, it encouraged us to strate-
gically pursue new markets,” Kelly says. While corporate travellers are the foundation of Brookstreet’s business, the hotel has found growth opportunities in other segments, including conferences, events and leisure travellers. “We have developed a new
Leadership • in Software Development •
market niche with staycations, weddings, family travel and romantic packages; so much so that Saturdays are really lively and busy here now,” Kelly says. To support increased demand, Brookstreet will add 10,000 square feet of additional meeting space – for a total of almost 30,000
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tinues to be a boon for those who work at Brookstreet as well. “Many of our staff live fairly close by,” Kelly says, adding the growing number of nearby businesses adds to the community’s already strong quality of life. He notes both his doctor and dentist are relatively close, and that it’s easy to get a haircut or fit in a quick bike ride or trail walk during a midday break. And while Kelly is obviously partial to the food served at Options and Perspectives restaurants inside the Brookstreet, he concedes he has a particular fondness for Papa Sam’s pizza. “It’s legendary throughout Kanata North and beyond,” he says. Kelly says he believes that the evolution and growth of the wider community has been a key part of his hotel’s success. “The changing face of Kanata North has absolutely helped us at Brookstreet,” he says. “The diversification of industry here now stabilizes the market overall. With so many residents plus over 500 companies, including a resurgent manufacturing sector, there is a lot happening.”
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Consulting on making your infrastructure hacker-proof. Piloting and/or POC of your projects (from 30K-100K)
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Councillor pushes for LRT spur line to business park: report While the city’s western light-rail extension is not projected to run through the Kanata North Business Park, Kanata North Coun. Marianne Wilkinson is reportedly asking for a spur line to service the tech community. “I’m looking at an offshoot,” she told the Kanata KourierStandard, suggesting it could service the new DND headquarters in Bells Corners before travelling along Carling Avenue and
through the business park. The city councillor likened it to expansion plans for the northsouth Trillium light-rail line to include a spur to the airport. The city is currently conducting a planning and environmental assessment study that will chart a corridor for the future expansion of the LRT network to Kanata.
TEDx returns to Kanata in March Theme of 2018 event is ‘re:Design’
ome of Ottawa’s most innovative and interesting thinkers are once again coming together in Kanata to share some ideas worth spreading.
TEDxKanata features some of the community’s most inspiring and engaging speakers, sharing their passions and discussing their visions for the world. It’s an opportunity to hear the deep expertise and insights of a select few talented and fascinating people from our own backyard. The theme for 2018 is “re:Design.” While the title can be interpreted in various ways, organizers imagine it as a look at the way in which we’re building the future in our society, in our culture and in our relationships. Additionally, it’s an exploration of how ideas and processes can be redesigned to make way for new opportunities and approaches where disruptive new technologies lead us to create variations on what was, what is and what will be. Speaker auditions were held in early November. A final lineup is expected to be released in the coming weeks at tedxkanata.com. Applications for tickets – which are $100 and include a meal and light refreshments – will also be available soon. The goal of TEDxKanata is to connect engaging speakers with talented innovators so that the ideas presented on stage become a reality. As such, this is an invitation-only event. A selection committee is looking for attendees who are innovators representing a variety of sectors with a proven track record of generating bold ideas.
Singer/songwriter Craig Cardiff at TEDxKanata 2017, discussing “Flying cars, robots, and being open hearted through songwriting and 150 years.” (PHOTO BY TINY MARVELS)
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Date: March 1, 2018 Time: 3:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Where: The Brookstreet Hotel (525 Legget Dr.) Cost: $100 More information: Visit tedxkanata.com or email TEDxKanata curator Jenna Sudds at email@example.com
TEDxKanata 2017 speaker John Weigelt delivering “Design Canada’s future prosperity.” (PHOTO BY TINY MARVELS)
Follow the Kanata North Business Association on Twitter at @kanatanorthbia.
We focus on the lifestyle so you can focus on the innovation.
www.krpproperties.com For leasing inquiries contact Linda Sprung, Director of Leasing (T) 613.591.0549 (E) firstname.lastname@example.org
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Published on Dec 1, 2017
Published on Dec 1, 2017
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