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Spin city

Inside Ottawa’s galas, fundraisers and networking events

Redblacks all-star Jon Gott and partner Nicole Hilstob loving the fitness business > PAGE 13 PAGES 18-21

March 12, 2018 Vol. 21, NO. 10

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Benefits to the City The concept for the East Flats has been developed to support the following City of Ottawa and National Capital Commission (NCC) objectives:

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• Establish a mixed-use neighbourhood with a critical mass of residents to support vitality across LeBreton Flats and the broader downtown throughout the day, evening and week, and in all seasons; • Optimize the investment in the Confederation Line and discourage automobile usage; • Help to establish the lands along the historic aqueduct as an open space amenity and destination in conjunction with the creation of a significant new multi-use City park; • Highlight and celebrate the heritage of the aqueduct, the Fleet Street Pumping Station and the broader LeBreton Flats landscape; • Improve connections to destinations on LeBreton Flats and to the broader riverfront for pedestrians and cyclists;

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• Urbanize the east side of Booth Street to redefine its character and make it more inviting and comfortable for pedestrians and cyclists; and

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• Enhance views to and along the riverfront, and of Ottawa’s downtown skyline, while respecting federally regulated viewscapes.

height limits o includes respect to sed Official Plan pended to this Figure 3: Development Concept - Looking Southeast

East Flats rising?

Figure 4: Development Concept - Looking Southwest THE EAST FLATS PLANNING RATIONALE AND DESIGN BRIEF


Claridge’s new proposal calls for five mixed-use towers ranging from 25 to 45 storeys at the eastern edge of LeBreton Flats near new Pimisi LRT station. > PAGE 9

The case for co-ops

Techopia’s Craig Lord finds out why the University of Ottawa and RBC are bullish on new partnership that connects startups with co-op students. > PAGE 16

Agrisoma Biosciences CEO Steve Fabijanski believes his firm’s product made from a plant called carinata could be the future of jet biofuel. PHOTO BY MARK HOLLERON

Gatineau biofuel biz earns its wings Airline industry’s bid to cut greenhouse gas emissions propelling Agrisoma Biosciences’ rise Company’s plant-based fuel powers historic L.A.-to-Melbourne flight as part of major new deal with Australia’s largest carrier > PAGES 4-5

Pot will soon be legal. Can I bring weed brownies to the staff party? Tips on dealing with marijuana in the workplace

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Pot will soon be legal. Can I bring weed brownies to the staff party? Ottawa law firm Nelligan O’Brien Payne has several tips for handling marijuana in the workplace


s the date when cannabis becomes legal draws closer, many questions remain unanswered. Where exactly will people go to buy weed? Will residents be allowed to smoke up in their condo? And will there be enough pot to go around? Despite the somewhat hazy picture, the rules around cannabis in the workplace are becoming increasingly clear. The challenge for employers is ensuring their workplace policies – and approach to managing staff – match the law. Jim Anstey, a lawyer in Nelligan O’Brien Payne LLP’s employment law group, is one of the firm’s experts who’s been studying what this unprecedented legislation means for employers. He recommends that businesses and organizations take certain precautions to ensure their expectations around recreational cannabis are clear ahead of legalization later this year.

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The federal Cannabis Act will decriminalize the recreational use of marijuana. But it’s the provinces and territories that are crafting many of the rules around the consumption of cannabis. Ontario has drafted legislation that regulates the sale, possession, cultivation and use of the drug. So, can you bring pot brownies to a staff party? The answer from the province is a resounding no – Ontario’s Cannabis Act is explicit in saying “no person shall consume cannabis in a workplace.” And merely moving a worksanctioned staff party from the lunchroom to an offsite location won’t skirt the rules. In this context, the definition for a workplace is taken directly from the province’s Occupational Health and Safety Act – “any land, premises, location or thing at, upon, in or near which a worker works.” As Anstey explains, it’s important to understand this definition, especially in an age where people are increasingly working remotely, whether from home, a coffee shop or a co-working space. An important item for Ontario

residents to remember is that the prohibition on use doesn’t solely apply to your own workplace. Ontarians cannot consume cannabis in any location where it may be anyone’s place of work. For those who work from home, this potentially raises a unique situation. In Ontario, individuals will only be allowed to use the drug in a private residence. But when you invite others into your home to work – whether as freelancers, contractors or otherwise – it becomes their workplace.

HOW TO PREPARE While Ontario has ultimately taken a stance to prohibit cannabis in the workplace, Anstey advises that employers should still take steps to explicitly define expectations around the drug. Is it OK for staff to stash a joint in their desk drawer for after work? Is it OK to have a few puffs at lunchtime? To be defensible, organizations must clearly outline expectations around cannabis in their employment contracts and workplace policies. This means employers must be clear if they’re prohibiting the use and possession of cannabis at work. It also means employees must have the opportunity to read and agree to these restrictions. Employers cannot

simply tack a cannabis section or clause on to an existing contract. Anstey recommends the following: • Ensure you have a policy in place; • If you already have one, take the time to review your workplace policy and update it as needed; • Evaluate your organization’s expectations around cannabis use, especially as they pertain to consequences for ignoring the policy; • Give employees a chance to review and sign on to the new or updated policy. As an employment lawyer, Anstey cautions against overzealous employers trying to police their employees too heavily. While it remains to be seen how decriminalization will play out, he sees a parallel between cannabis and how employers treat alcohol and illicit substances in the workplace. Often, Anstey finds himself advising his clients to exercise restraint when it comes to handling suspicions of drug use at work. “It’s important to step back and look at all the facts before you go ahead and fire or insult someone” by accusing them of being drunk or stoned, explains Anstey. Ill-thought disciplinary actions can

bring trouble for employers, who can face claims of constructive dismissal and defamation. Anstey often reminds his clients that their employees have a right to privacy. Conversely, however, it’s important for employees to respect the ban on use at work. “You can’t expect employers to tolerate impairment in the workplace,” says Anstey. What can Nelligan O’Brien Payne do for you? Worried about reefer madness in your office? Not sure where to start in updating your employment contracts? The best way to prepare your organization for the decriminalization of cannabis is to sit down with an employment lawyer and review your workplace policies. Learn more at You can reach Jim Anstey at jim.anstey@nelligan. ca or 613-231-8348.

PROFILE ‘Godfather of Orleans business community’ earns chamber’s highest honour Peter Stewart’s contributions span more than a quarter-century as entrepreneur, mentor and booster of east-end businesses BY CAROLINE PHILLIPS


Peter Stewart has been a mentor to Ottawa entrepreneurs for 25 years. PHOTO PROVIDED

“Too many businesspeople don’t get involved in their community and miss out on opportunities. They miss out on talking to other businesspeople and they miss out on hearing how other businesspeople are having the exact same struggles that they are.” – PETER STEWART, FORMER EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE ORLEANS CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

“I phoned them back and said, ‘Good news, bad news. The bad news is: The other person doesn’t want the job. The good news is: I might be interested.’”


ROUNDABOUT BACKER The chamber was thrilled to have Stewart, who went on to lay a strong foundation for the organization and successfully promote local business in Orléans. Under his leadership, membership numbers increased as he organized networking breakfasts, luncheons, annual business awards, golf tournaments and allcandidate debates. Joining one’s local chamber of commerce allows business owners to be in direct contact with other business owners, Stewart says. “Too many businesspeople don’t get involved in their community and miss out

on opportunities,” he argues. “They miss out on talking to other businesspeople and they miss out on hearing how other businesspeople are having the exact same struggles that they are.” Stewart – who also simultaneously served as board chair of the Heart of Orléans BIA – was one of the driving forces behind the construction of a $2.5-million, multi-lane roundabout at the busy fourway intersection of Jeanne d’Arc and St. Joseph. The project, which was partly funded by federal and provincial infrastructure funds, was designed to improve safety and traffic flow while easing congestion. From a business perspective, it offered a gateway to Orléans. “Initially, people were against it; a lot of people thought it wouldn’t work,” Stewart recalls of the European-style traffic circle

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eter Stewart has made a career out of helping businesses succeed. Over the past 25 years, he’s gone from servicing small business operators in Orléans, to expanding and strengthening its chamber of commerce, to dishing out expert advice to aspiring entrepreneurs in a compassionate and thoughtful way. In recognition of his contributions, the Orléans Chamber of Commerce has honoured the 53-year-old business mentor with a lifetime achievement award. “The way I look at it, he’s been the godfather of the business community in Orléans,” says Sean Crossan, the chair of the chamber’s board and a director with Public Services and Procurement Canada. “He’s had such a huge and positive impact.” A native of Montreal, Stewart has called Ottawa home since he graduated from Carleton University in 1986 with a degree in urban geography. He started his career with Royal LePage commercial real estate but changed directions after noticing a trend: More people were working from home and needed a one-stop shop for their faxing, photocopying, courier services, packing and shipping, and mailbox rental. “I saw an opportunity and I went for it,” says Stewart. In 1993, he opened a franchise of Mail Boxes Etc., a retail chain of business service centres. What Stewart most liked about his business was the clientele: businesspeople. “I enjoyed the variety of business customers we got to know and their business challenges,” he says. Stewart ran his store at Jeanne d’Arc and St. Joseph boulevards in Orléans for 11 years. By 2004, Mail Boxes Etc. had been acquired by United Parcel Service. Stewart had sold his business and took on the role of area manager for the 20 franchised locations while the company was rebranding itself as The UPS Store. He also sat on the board of the Orléans Chamber of Commerce in the early 2000s. In 2006, he got a call from the chamber, which was looking to hire someone to fill the new position of executive director. The organization asked Stewart whether he would contact a specific candidate it had in mind. He did so, but the individual had recently accepted another job.

that opened in November 2010. “Now, everybody goes, ‘It works; it really works.’” Stewart left the chamber that year to get, he jokingly says, “a real job.” His three sons – Max, Alan and Eric – were heavily into sports while he was with the chamber and the position allowed him to be involved with their activities. His youngest had made the National Capital Outaouais ski team. “Officially, the chamber role was a parttime position,” says Stewart. “A neighbour of mine suggested to me that I should become a small business consultant. I found that interesting, because I had also thought that same thing.” Stewart joined a bigger and broader organization – the OCRI Entrepreneurship Centre (now known as Invest Ottawa) – as a business adviser for growth-stage companies. His commitment to helping entrepreneurs led to him becoming the manager of entrepreneurship services at Invest Ottawa in 2013. Stewart spent six years with the city’s main economic development agency, providing guidance and advice on an annual basis to more than 100 businesses from Ottawa’s east end. “I really enjoyed it and found it very interesting,” he says of the variety of ideas that were floated past him. “One guy was into intergalactic space travel. I was like, ‘No, it’s not happening.’ A lot of people think they can start a business but don’t know the basics, so we offered training, seminars and workshops. “There were some surprises, too; people who we didn’t think would make it did make it.” In May 2016, Stewart stepped down from that role to begin his own business coaching practice with Rhapsody Strategies, drawing from his previous management and professional experience as well as his local knowledge. Stewart has always been a devoted family man. In his free time, he enjoys hanging out at the family cottage near Kazabazua, Que. “We call it his kingdom,” jokes his wife, Cynthia. “He goes and he putters.” These days, Stewart’s focus is on his health. He’s been undergoing radiation and chemotherapy treatment for esophageal cancer since his diagnosis in October. He continues to maintain a positive attitude toward recovery and draws strength and inspiration from the support of his loved ones, friends and colleagues.

GO GLOBAL From seed to sky With airlines around the world stepping up their pledge to cut greenhouse gases, Gatineau biotechnology firm Agrisoma Biosciences says its plant-based jet fuel is the solution the industry’s been waiting for BY DAVID SALI

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s startup-in-ascent metaphors go, they don’t get more on-the-nose than Qantas Flight 96 from Los Angeles to Melbourne on Jan. 28. The 15-hour journey took place in Boeing’s state-of-the-art Dreamliner 787-9, but it wasn’t your run-of-themill intercontinental crossing. The 13,000-kilometre trip was the first flight between the United States and Australia propelled by a blend of traditional jet fuel and oil from a mustard-like seed called carinata. The historic flight was part of a new partnership between Australia’s biggest air carrier and a small Gatineau biotechnology firm called Agrisoma Biosciences that will see the Quebec company provide Qantas with a regular supply of aviation biofuel by 2020. As part of the deal, the two companies will work with Australian farmers to grow carinata on 400,000 hectares of land Down Under – enough to produce more than 200 million litres of biofuel a year and fulfil up to 50 per cent of Qantas’ annual fuel needs. After the seeds are crushed into oil, what’s left over will be turned into a protein-rich meal that can be fed to animals. Agrisoma CEO Steve Fabijanski says the Qantas deal is just the first of many more to come for his fledgling firm. The sector is still in its infancy, he notes, with fewer than five per cent of all flights now powered by biofuels, but he thinks the LAX-to-Oz flight could be just the catalyst it needs to get cleared for takeoff. “The biofuels industry is a bit of a chicken and an egg,” he says from the company’s Gatineau head office. “We all want biofuels, but if it’s not there, who’s going to produce it? And no one’s going to produce it unless they’ve got the raw materials to start with.” The agreement with Qantas is just one of several partnerships Agrisoma has established to grow carinata, which is now being harvested for the company in the southern United States and South America. The company says its Carinata-based fuel produces nearly 80 per cent fewer carbon dioxide emissions than fossil fuels. With 70 airline members of the International Air Transport Association pledging to cap greenhouse-gas

Steve Fabijanski is CEO of Gatineau-based Agrisoma Biosciences, which has created a biofuel that can power jet airliners. PHOTO BY MARK HOLLERON

“The biofuels industry is a bit of a chicken and an egg. We all want biofuels, but if it’s not there, who’s going to produce it? And no one’s going to produce it unless they’ve got the raw materials to start with.” – STEVE FABIJANSKI, CEO OF GATINEAU-BASED AGRISOMA BIOSCIENCES

emissions by 2020 and reduce them to 50 per cent of 2005 levels by 2050, Fabijanski believes his product could go a long way toward helping the industry reach those lofty goals. The firm already has deals with a couple of other major carriers in the works, and its CEO believes at least a third of the 300 billion litres of fuel burned by the industry each year will eventually be replaced by biofuel. “It’s going to take a while, but I think there’s a very strong commitment by the

airlines to do this,” he says. “We’d like to be a big part of that, obviously.” A biologist by profession, Fabijanski first took note of carinata about a decade ago. The plant is similar to canola in the way its oil is processed and is able to thrive in both hot, dry climates and cool, damp conditions. Its oil isn’t fit for human consumption, but researchers – including scientists at the National Research Council and Agriculture Canada who helped develop the product – discovered it had all the

makings of a viable fuel. “We started to look at this and say, ‘This could be an actual substitute for petroleum,’” Fabijanski says. BOON FOR FARMERS Carinata’s proponents tout it as the ultimate win-win for the environment and producers. It’s typically planted when fields used for growing other crops are fallow, meaning it doesn’t take away land from food production and helps replenish nutrients in the soil.


TIPS FOR GOING GLOBAL Agrisoma CEO Steve Fabijanski spoke with OBJ about the challenges of doing business in international markets. Here are some excerpts from his interview: WHAT’S THE BIGGEST LESSON YOU’VE LEARNED FROM GOING GLOBAL? “The Canadian brand is important. I also think that just being really honest in finding long-term partners is the key for an industry like this. We operate on annual crop cycles, so you don’t get to do 10 reiterations in a year. You’ve got one year to get it right, so having strong partners that understand that cycle is also really important for us.” WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO A COMPANY THAT’S LOOKING TO EXPAND BEYOND CANADA’S BORDERS? “Pick one or two places and do it well. For us, we went into Europe pretty early. It took us about five years to establish some key partnerships in Europe, but we were very careful to make sure in developing those partnerships that we were able to keep everybody on board all the time. We could have tried to do 10 things at once. Invariably, you fail. So I think the biggest advice is find one region where you know you’re going to fit and find one good partner and really work hard to prove that that model works before you do anything else.” What are the pitfalls companies need to watch out for when expanding into foreign markets? “Overstating what can be done, because you’re always judged against what you do, not what you say. There’s big gap between saying, ‘We’re going to boil the ocean’ and it really turns out to be a teapot. There’s going to be a lot of challenges to repair that. For us, it’s always been about making sure that you are able to get done what you say you’re going to get done.”


he Ottawa International Airport (YOW) is well known to locals as a catalyst for business development and trade, as well as a gateway to domestic, U.S. and other international vacation destinations. What’s not always as visible is the airport’s role as a major employer and an economic engine for Canada’s Capital Region. The Airport Authority recently hired WSP Consulting to quantify the airport’s annual contributions to the local economy, tallying up the number of people whose jobs depend on YOW, as well as its contribution to GDP and taxes paid. Here are some of the key findings: • Impact on GDP: $1.04 billion • Employment generated: 10,776 jobs • Wages and salaries generated: $602.3 million • Total income tax generated: $109.9 million “Our principal mission is to be a leader in providing quality, safe, secure, sustainable and affordable air transportation,” says Mark Laroche, the President and CEO of the Ottawa International Airport Authority. “Equally important is being a driver of economic growth. This study confirms that we’re doing just that.” BEYOND THE PASSENGER TERMINAL Anyone who’s taken a flight from YOW knows it’s a bustling place that requires the hard work of thousands of individuals who check bags, screen passengers, staff concessions, service aircraft and more. But that only scratches the surface. The airport supports thousands of additional indirect jobs, such as positions at local hotels, travel agencies and shipping firms. There’s a third layer of economic activity generated by the airport, known as induced impact. It tracks how a dollar earned by an airport employee can have a proportionately larger economic effect as it’s spent on a restaurant meal, for example.


The induced impact is particularly noteworthy given that the airport provides stable, well-paying jobs with an average full-time salary that’s more than 10 per cent higher than the provincial average. TAXPAYERS There’s another dimension to the economic impact of the Ottawa International Airport. The individuals with jobs directly, indirectly or induced by the airport collectively pay more than $100 million in federal and provincial income taxes annually, supporting the important health care, education and social services valued by residents. “Many Canadians incorrectly think that the nation’s major airports, like Ottawa, are government-run facilities spending taxpayer dollars to operate. In fact, the opposite is true. In 2017, the Ottawa Airport Authority paid the Federal Government over $9 million in rent and the City of Ottawa over $5 million dollars,” says Laroche. “The sum of the direct and indirect taxes paid to government, plus the overall positive economic impact to Ottawa-Gatineau substantiates the importance of YOW in the community, and that’s something we’re mindful of every day.”


Agrisoma has cleverly managed to create a product that benefits everyone in the supply chain from farmers to airlines while helping protect the environment, calling it “an amazing situation.” Mahmourides agrees, praising Fabijanski for combining the theoretical expertise of a scientist with the resiliency and business acumen of a seasoned entrepreneur. “Sometimes, being an academic is a liability in getting things done in the business community,” he says. “Often, companies start off with a PhD (as leader) and then they go to a businessperson. But Steven has been able to manage both sides of that equation – the technical as well as the business. “He’s become the poster boy of the bioeconomy.”

Study finds airport supports nearly 11,000 jobs

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“That’s been our mantra all along is that we know agriculture has cycles and places where things grow in wellestablished patterns,” Fabijanski explains. “We’re really looking at the areas where it’s been either impossible to grow food or you can squeeze a second crop in between food crops.” Carinata is also an economic boon for farmers, its backers contend, because the fuel and the meal give producers dual sources of revenue from a plant that’s grown when fields would otherwise be barren. “The next revolution you’re going to see in innovation is going to be happening on the farms, and it’s due to companies like Agrisoma,” says George Mahmourides, business development manager of Quebec-based industry group BioFuelNet Canada, who has followed the company’s progress since its beginning. The 10-year-old private enterprise now has deals with partners in Florida, where the crop is grown during the winter, as well as in South America. Agrisoma has teamed up with Finnish biotechnology giant UPM to harvest carinata on more than 20,000 hectares of farmland in Uruguay, with plans to double the amount of land in production next year. The partners are also conducting trials in Brazil and aim to bring farmers in Argentina on board next year. Agrisoma is also testing the crop in the Mediterranean and has long-term ambitions of partnering with growers in the massive Chinese market. Only two facilities in the world currently refine aviation biofuel, one in Los Angeles that works with Agrisoma and another in Oslo, limiting the amount of carinata-based fuel that can be produced. Biofuels are also anywhere from five to 20 per cent more expensive than traditional fossil fuels, but Fabijanski says both those hurdles will eventually disappear as more and more airlines look to make good on their pledge to cut carbon dioxide emissions and more refineries are built to meet demand. Now at more than 30 employees, Agrisoma has been doubling its annual revenues since it began selling its seeds a couple of years ago. About two-thirds of its sales come from outside Canada. The firm has landed more than $23 million in venture financing since 2014, including a $15.4-million Series-B round in late 2016 led by Montrealbased Groupe Lune Rouge and Cycle Capital Management. Agrisoma is set to announce another round of funding in mid-March that will include a pair of additional high-profile institutional investors. “We’re the overnight success that nobody knows about,” Fabijanski says with a chuckle. Cycle Capital founder and managing partner Andree-Lise Methot says

Adding up the Ottawa Airport’s economic impact

TECHNOLOGY BluMetric’s new boss eyes market ‘ascent’ Industry veteran Scott MacFabe says Ottawa wastewater treatment firm poised to shed status as ‘one of the best-kept secrets’ in cleantech BY DAVID SALI


fter more than two decades as an executive in the environmental engineering sector south of the border, Scott MacFabe was looking for the right offer to lure him back home. When his old friend Roger Woeller announced last year he was stepping aside as CEO of Ottawa-based cleantech firm BluMetric, MacFabe started thinking maybe that time had come. “I’ve known the firm for many, many years, even before I went to the States,” the 55-year-old graduate of the University of Waterloo told OBJ in early March, four days into his tenure as BluMetric’s new chief executive.

“The opportunity to come back to Canada was always in my mind. When I heard that Roger was looking to step down and other friends of mine who were on the board had mentioned that they were looking for a CEO, I offered to help.” MacFabe, a hydrogeologist by profession, helped drive major business growth as a senior executive at global engineering firms Malcolm Pirnie, ARCADIS and Kennedy/Jenks Consultants during a 23-year career in the United States. BluMetric, which specializes in water and wastewater treatment technology, is a small outfit by comparison with 175 employees and annual revenues in the $30-million range. But MacFabe believes the company – which was founded in

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2012 after Seprotech, a designer and manufacturer of water treatment and wastewater solutions, conducted a reverse takeover of Ottawa-based WESA Group – is barely scratching the surface of its potential to serve clients as diverse as mining operations and craft breweries. With offices in eight Canadian cities and El Salvador and customers in more than 60 countries, BluMetric already has a strong foundation for growth, MacFabe said. “We have an extraordinary stable of very, very smart professionals and we have an extraordinary suite of technologies that we can bring to bear for our clients,” he said. “When you put those two together, we can deliver some pretty elegant solutions for our client base. “I think (the company) is one of the


best-kept secrets in the industry. I look at the foundation that’s been laid post the (reverse takeover); it’s really ready now for us to design the ascent.” BluMetric initially struggled to gain altitude, posting annual losses as high as $7 million in fiscal 2014 thanks largely to client-driven project delays and a soft overall market. The turnaround really began when Woeller, a longtime WESA employee who’d spent a dozen years as that company’s CEO, took the reins four years ago. Under his watch, the company landed a number of multimilliondollar contracts with the federal government, primarily for remediating contaminated water supplies in Canada’s north, and has turned a profit for the past three fiscal years in a row. “My job was to get the wings level




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“The firm has produced profit, and Roger and the team have done a great job of getting us above the water line, but I know this firm has yet to realize the value that it deserves.” – NEW BLUMETRIC CEO SCOTT MacFABE

and get this thing pulling out of the dive, setting up conditions for growth for the future,” Woeller said last June, adding he felt it was time for someone with a different background to guide the company through the next phase of its evolution. Woeller told OBJ the next CEO would need to have a solid understanding of the firm’s solutions as well as the leadership and business acumen that he described as the “special sauce.” MacFabe praised Woeller and interim CEO Dan Scroggins for righting the ship at BluMetric. “Roger has done a tremendous amount of spade work to get this firm on solid footing,” he said. “That’s not easy.” Now, he says it’s time for the firm to

take things to a higher level. “We’re going to take a good, hard look at our strategy and make sure that we’re all clear in agreement on all the markets that we really want to focus on, all the geographies we want to focus on, and make some good decisions about how we’re going to smartly grow them,” he said, noting the company is looking at opening an office in Thunder Bay to serve the northern mining market. “In some cases, we will divest and in others, we’ll grow. At the end of the day, we’ve got to show shareholder value. The firm has produced profit, and Roger and the team have done a great job of getting us above the water line, but I know this firm has yet to realize the value that it deserves.”

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Merkburn Holdings turns Star Top warehouse into modern home for Vesta Marble Six-month fit-up involved custom features such as water reclamation trench, garage doors and flexibility for future expansion

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ithin a warehouse in Ottawa’s east end, Vesta Marble & Granite is putting a decidedly high-tech twist on outfitting homes across the National Capital Region. Inside the manufacturing area, workers ease 1,000-pound pieces of granite and marble with a pneumatic lift that uses powerful vacuum suction cups to support the massive slabs before carefully rotating them onto a fabrication table. High-powered water jets then precisely cut the stones to meet their customers’ custom requirements. A water reclamation system – consisting of a 350-foot trench and 10,000-gallon holding tank in the floor – captures the runoff and filters it for reuse, lowering Vesta Marble’s operating expenses and environmental footprint. “We’re on the forefront in terms of our system,” says Bruno Polito, Vesta’s chief operating officer. The high degree of customization within the 30-year-old firm’s showroom, office and manufacturing facility makes it seem like the Star Top Road property was purpose-built for the Ottawa business. In fact, the building was used by a high-tech manufacturing company prior to Vesta Marble leasing the space in 2015 and was overhauled by Ottawabased landlord and property manager Merkburn Holdings to meet the local firm’s requirements. Fitting out the 48,000-square-foot space for Vesta Marble – which creates custom countertops, sinks and furniture – meant gutting most of the old finishes and effectively rebuilding the interior from the studs up. Additionally, a large garage door and ramp needed to be installed to accommodate

Vesta Marble’s shipping and receiving requirements. Merkburn Holdings helped Vesta Marble turn its vision of a state-of-the-art facility into a reality. “There was a lot of demolition and a lot of customizing,” says Kevin Rougeau, managing partner at Merkburn Holdings. Merkburn acts as a one-stop shop for tenants fitting up space, coordinating architects, designers, contractors and the permitting process. This helps tenants move into their completed spaces as soon as possible. “When doing a custom fit-up, it’s important to get it right,” Rougeau says. “It involves a lot of planning and construction work, so the space is well thought-out and serves the tenant for years to come.” ROOM TO GROW Vesta Marble has been a tenant of Merkburn Holdings for a decade, but its operations were previously scattered across three Ottawa properties. When the building at 1402 Star Top Rd. became available, Vesta Marble saw an opportunity to both expand as well as find efficiencies by consolidating its operations under one roof. “We got to the point where we decided it was the right time to grow,” says Polito. At the time of the move, however, the company wasn’t ready to take all 48,000 square feet. Merkburn Holdings worked with Vesta Marble to find creative solutions that would give the firm flexibility to expand. “They gave us a fair amount of leeway over the last couple years to continue modifying the building to suit our needs,” says Polito.

In late 2016, Vesta Marble was ready to take another 3,600 sq. ft. on the second floor of the building. To facilitate this growth, Merkburn Holdings installed a new staircase on the production floor. The local property manager believes that providing customized solutions that

VIDEO: Go inside Vesta Marble & Granite’s showroom and manufacturing facility & hear from the real estate experts at Merkburn Holdings by visiting

support their tenants’ growth is the key to building lasting relationships in the Ottawa market. “We always work with tenants to come up with creative ways to satisfy their requirements,” says Rougeau. “It’s an important part of retaining tenants for the long term.”

Considering your next move? Merkburn Holdings has a diverse portfolio of office and industrial properties across Ottawa. Check out for leasing opportunities.


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Claridge reveals next phase of LeBreton Flats development


Proposal calls for five mixed-use towers of 25 to 45 storeys with 1,950 residential units near new Pimisi LRT station BY DAVID SALI


the remaining two would rise 25 storeys. The building heights would not violate regulations governing views of Parliament Hill, the proposal says. UNDERGROUND PARKING All parking at the development would be underground. The project is designed to create a “comfortable and generous public realm that will encourage pedestrian activity, and the future park will also draw people to the area,” the planning application says. “The density of the development, mix of uses and public realm elements ensure the East Flats becomes a ‘vibrant urban community.’” The city’s planning committee is


The development would include “a range of apartment sizes and tenures to accommodate households of a range of compositions and incomes” and a “significant component of affordable housing.”

expected to consider the application later this spring. Claridge’s proposal is just the latest construction project in a string of high-profile developments in the neighbourhood of LeBreton Flats, which is expected to undergo a multibilliondollar redevelopment beginning in the next couple of years. The RendezVous LeBreton Group backed by the Ottawa Senators and Trinity Developments is negotiating with the NCC to redevelop much of the 21-hectare site, with plans that include a new arena for the NHL club. Just a few blocks west at 900 Albert St., Trinity and partners InterRent Real Estate Investment Trust and PBC Real Estate Advisors have begun work on a mixed-use development near the intersection of the Trillium and Confederation light-rail lines. The project is expected to include three towers of 59, 55 and 50 storeys and would feature office and retail space along with 1,000 residential apartment units. Meanwhile, local builder Windmill Developments is spearheading its $1.2-billion Zibi project nearby on both sides of the Ottawa River. The 15-hectare site is slated to feature an environmentally friendly mix of condos, shops, office space and parks.

MONDAY, MARCH 12, 2018

laridge Homes has unveiled plans to build five mixed-use towers ranging from 25 to 45 storeys in the next phase of its development at the east end of LeBreton Flats. Dubbed East Flats, the project would feature more than 1.5 million square feet of residential space along with nearly 230,000 square feet of commercial space on Booth and Lett streets, northeast of the Pimisi LRT station that is currently being built on Booth Street. According to plans filed at City Hall in early March, the development’s 1,950 residential units would include “a range of apartment sizes and tenures to accommodate households of a range of compositions and incomes” and a “significant component of affordable housing.” Proposed commercial and retail uses for the development include a food store, restaurants and “other basic neighbourhood services.” Claridge’s blueprint for the 2.1-hectare site also touts a new city-built public park that “celebrates the heritage of LeBreton Flats” and would run along the historic aqueduct as well as “opportunities for cultural and other institutional uses in

the building podiums.” Claridge has already constructed several residential condo and apartment towers on the eastern edge of LeBreton Flats on land it purchased from the National Capital Commission in 2005. The new project would require additional zoning amendments. The developer presented an initial concept for the East Flats proposal to city staff and councillors Catherine McKenney and Jeff Leiper in late 2016 and held an open house for the public early last year. After the meetings, Claridge agreed to reduce the height of the tallest tower from 55 to 45 storeys. Two other buildings would be 30 storeys, while

COMMENTARY Buying at box office the ticket to savings Figures from the Competition Bureau suggest consumers end up shelling out a lot more cash for the convenience of buying through ticket agencies, Michael Prentice says



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


re you paying too much to attend a game by one of Ottawa’s professional sports teams or a show at the National Arts Centre? If you buy your tickets through Ticketmaster, the answer might be yes. The mammoth ticket agency was recently called out by the Canadian government’s Competition Bureau for allegedly inflating the cost of tickets through a policy known as “drip pricing.” This practice results in consumers paying much higher prices than advertised, the bureau says. “Ticketmaster’s mandatory fees often inflate the advertised price by more than 20 per cent and, in some cases, by over 65 per cent,” according to the bureau. With a little research, I found that some ticket-buyers in Ottawa might be paying double the face value of a ticket to an Ottawa Senators game or NAC show for the convenience of buying through Ticketmaster and having the ticket delivered to their home. Those figures from the Competition Bureau show a wide variation in the percentage markup charged by Ticketmaster. That is because the markups are not percentages at all, but flat fees. Thus, the buyer of a single ticket pays a higher premium to Ticketmaster – in percentage terms – than the purchaser of multiple tickets. And the buyer of the least expensive tickets pays the highest percentage add-on of all. Take, for example, the cheapest ticket to a concert of the NAC Orchestra. These tickets are often priced at $25, government taxes included, and with no add-ons whatsoever. Ticketmaster’s addons are $6.25 per ticket and $5 per order, bringing the price of this ticket to $36.25. On top of that, the purchaser could pay as much as $16 to have the ticket expressdelivered to his or her home. Another option for the Ticketmaster customer would be to pick up the ticket at the NAC box office, in which case there would be no additional charge on top of that $11.25 already paid to Ticketmaster by the single-ticket buyer. Of course, this purchaser could have gone to the NAC box office in the first place and paid no premium at all. Which brings me to my main point, which is: Who needs Ticketmaster? Why not buy tickets directly at the NAC box office or, for Senators games, the

Great River Media 250 City Centre Ave., Suite 500 Ottawa, Ontario, K1R 6K7

REPORTER Craig Lord, 238-1818 ext. 285 HEAD OF CONTENT Peter Kovessy, 238-1818 ext. 251 CONTENT CREATOR & CAMPAIGN MANAGER Jacquie Surges, 238-1818 ext. 222 ADVERTISING SALES General Inquiries, 238-1818 ext. 286 Wendy Baily, 238-1818 ext. 244 Carlo Lombard, 238-1818 ext. 230 Victoria Stewart, 238-1818 ext. 226

By the Competition Bureau’s estimate, many Ottawans are paying at least 20 per cent more than necessary to attend a Senators game or NAC concert Canadian Tire Centre in Kanata? If you want to go to New York and see a Broadway show or two, it could make sense to get your tickets in advance through Ticketmaster. But even then, I prefer to go to the theatre on the morning of the show and hope for the best, saving ticket-agency fees and perhaps getting a better seat for less money than would have been available through Ticketmaster. Who gets the most out of partnerships between Ticketmaster and Ottawa’s two biggest entertainment attractions, the Ottawa Senators and the National Arts Centre? I gave it a lot of thought and concluded it’s a dumb question. In a statement in January, Ticketmaster said it “remains committed to getting tickets into the hands of fans and has long practised transparency to enable informed purchasing decisions.” But by the Competition Bureau’s estimate, many Ottawans are paying at least 20 per cent more than necessary to attend a Senators game or NAC concert. That means plenty of money to divvy up among Ticketmaster, the Senators and the NAC. All three benefit with things the way they are, and it’s anybody’s guess which of the three benefits most.

As part of my research for this column, I visited the Canadian Tire Centre to check out the cost of a ticket to attend a Senators game. No one was in sight, inside or outside the box office. There was a sign on the counter that read: “Please ring for service.” I guessed the smart set were at home or the office buying their tickets online. I quickly got service, and very happily paid $43.50 – all taxes, service charges, building-improvement fees and the kitchen sink included. Well, maybe not the kitchen sink. My $43.50 even included a free meal at McDonald’s valued at almost $10. First thing I did was visit a McDonald’s to check whether my meal voucher included the tax. It does, and I am looking forward to it. I tried to learn how much the ticket would have cost from Ticketmaster (and whether it would have included a free dinner at McDonald’s) – but it was too much of a hassle. I gave up when the machine that answered my phone call could not understand my response to the question of how many tickets I wanted.

Michael Prentice is OBJ’s columnist on retail and consumer issues. He can be contacted at

CREATIVE DIRECTOR Tanya Connolly-Holmes, 238-1818 ext. 253 ART DEPARTMENT Regan Van Dusen, 238-1818 ext. 254 Celine Paquette, 238-1818 ext. 252 FINANCE Jackie Whalen, 238-1818 ext. 250 SUBSCRIPTIONS/DISTRIBUTION Patti Moran, 238-1818 ext. 248 PRINTED BY Transcontinental Qualimax 130 Adrien-Robert, Parc Industriel Richelieu Gatineau, QC J8Y 3S2 NEWS RELEASES Please e-mail to LETTERS TO THE EDITOR We welcome opinions about any material published in the Ottawa Business Journal or issues of interest to local businesspeople. Only letters with the writer’s full name, address and telephone number will be considered for publication. Addresses and phone numbers will not be published, but they might be used to verify authenticity. Letters can be e-mailed to

Ottawa Business Journal is published by

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AWARDS Are you one of Ottawa’s fastest-growing companies? growing O T TA W A’ S FASTEST


ttawa Business Journal is once again on the lookout for the region’s fastestgrowing businesses. OBJ’s Fastest Growing Companies competition is a unique opportunity for the city’s up-and-coming firms to be recognized for substantial, sustainable and profitable growth. The 2017 list was topped by software provider Fullscript, which finished in top spot for the second year in a row after recording three-year revenue growth of a whopping 3,128.6 per cent. OBJ is seeking companies headquartered in the National Capital Region that have demonstrated revenue growth over the past three years. Applicants will be ranked by percentage of revenue growth between year one and year three of their most recent three-year fiscal period. To qualify, the company must

C O M PA N I E S 2018

have completed three fiscal years with financial statements that have been subject to a review engagement or formal audit. In year one, companies must have had revenues of at least $100,000. In year three, revenues must have risen to at least $500,000. If the company is not profitable by the third year, applicants will be asked to briefly explain how the firm will be sustainable. The companies that make the list will be profiled in the May 7 issue of OBJ and honoured at a cocktail celebration on May 24 at You.i TV headquarters in Kanata. The deadline for applications is April 10. For more information on how to apply, contact OBJ print editor David Sali at – OBJ Staff


Ottawa Valley tech firm helps safeguard Super Bowl, space missions Expanded nuclear labs expected to be a boon for Renfrew County businesses


As a firm focused on nuclear technology, BTI also stands to benefit from the recently announced $1.2 billion revitalization of CNL’s Chalk River Laboratories. In 2015, CNL opened its brand new $55 million hydrogen laboratory complex and in February, CNL released plans to add three new buildings to the campus, including a new logistics complex, business hub and support facility. Further to that, design work is currently underway on CNL’s Advanced Nuclear Materials Research Centre. Once complete, Chalk River Laboratories will be among the largest active research facilities to be constructed in Canada.

David Wybou, a business development officer with the County of Renfrew, notes these residents benefit from lower housing prices and easy access to large urban centres, as well as abundant outdoor recreational opportunities such as whitewater kayaking, all types of boating, fishing, hiking and skiing. “We often talk about the wonderful vistas and the clean natural environment. It is spectacular,” Wybou says. Dr. Smith says these factors are a major draw for BTI staff. “We really enjoy Renfrew County,” says Dr. Smith, who lives in Deep River. “It’s a great place to work. There’s no traffic, very little pollution and you can see the stars at night.”


WORK-LIFE BALANCE Since 1988, BTI’s headcount has grown to approximately 50 staff, including highly-specialized professional scientists and engineers with a range of expertise. The neighbouring Town of Deep River, where many of BTI’s employees live, is among the most educated communities in Canada. According to the 2016 census data, 75.6 per cent of Deep River’s adult population has a post-secondary certificate, diploma or degree, compared to the national average of 54 per cent.

The FlexSpec Backpack from Bubble Technology Industries offers users a state-of-the-art, portable system for detecting radioactive sources.

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n Ottawa Valley defence and security firm is leveraging Renfrew County’s skilled workforce and high-tech investments to protect some of the world’s biggest sporting events. Bubble Technology Industries (BTI) develops products that detect explosives and radiation. Used by law enforcement officers and homeland security officials, the firm’s devices have been on space missions and safeguarded Super Bowls, World Series Games and the Olympics, as well as major political events such as US presidential inaugurations. Despite its global – and extraterrestrial – reach, BTI relies heavily on the expertise and suppliers found close to its Ottawa Valley headquarters. “We use companies in Renfrew County for things like electronics and mechanical parts,” says Dr. Martin Smith, the firm’s deputy manager of R&D. “We design the devices and we have components of them built by small local companies.” Since the 1945 opening of Chalk River Laboratories – a nuclear facility owned by the federal government and now operated by Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) Inc. – the Ottawa Valley has been a hub for businesses working in nuclear energy, medical and defense technologies.



The top four myths about recruiters Stevenson & White debunks some of the stereotypes around ‘head hunters’


ecruiter. For some professionals, it can be a dirty word. Despite providing a valuable service, the recruitment industry is occasionally overshadowed by negative stereotypes and a misunderstanding of how the process works. But many of those misperceptions unravel when one takes a closer look at how some top recruiters operate. We sat down with Stevenson & White, an Ottawa-area recruitment firm focused on finance, accounting and payroll, to debunk some of the stereotypes about recruiters.

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For those who haven’t dealt directly with a recruitment firm, there’s a misperception that they will email stacks of resumes to their clients in the hopes that one will stick. This so-called “shotgun” MYTH #3: RECRUITERS TAKE approach requires little skill and tends to elicit ADVANTAGE OF CANDIDATES candidates that are not a perfect fit for the job. It’s easy to initially assume that recruiters are only In fact, the best recruiters have extensive looking out for their clients – the hiring companies – experience in efficiently finding top-tier talent that at the expense of candidates. Clients are, after all, the fits within an organization’s corporate culture. ones who pay the bills. “The key is quality – However, that’s not the view that good recruiters not quantity,” says Matt take in order to generate long-lasting value for Stevenson, a partner and their clients. E T recruiter at Stevenson Sharon Lloyd, a recruiter with Stevenson A ID ER D Y & White. “Otherwise & White, says a recruiter must look beyond N O PL CA M the client is just being the fee and place equal value on the needs of E inundated with resumes, the candidate and the client, or the placement which defeats the purpose will not work. of engaging a recruiter.” For example, if a recruiter knows a candidate won’t be satisfied in a role, they shouldn’t be afraid to tell them. MYTH #2: CANDIDATES PAY FOR Conversely, recruitment firms also protect the CONSIDERATION interests of their clients. Another common misperception is that recruitment “We don’t poach people from where we place firms charge their candidates in order to be placed. them,” says Lloyd. Not only is this untrue, but in Canada it’s also illegal. In rare instances, recruitment firms have The client pays a recruiter’s fee, and typically been known to try to re-place candidates shortly only does so after a candidate has been successfully after their guarantee expires. As the recruiters at placed in the role. And, should the chosen candidate Stevenson & White explain, that is short-sighted not work out, the industry standard is to find a and not a practice they believe in. If an individual replacement at no extra cost up to three months they placed wants to move on, the candidate has to after placement. make the first move and reach out to Stevenson & At Stevenson & White, the firm guarantees its White. candidates for six months.

Finance. Accounting. Payroll.

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

“We believe in our relationship with our clients,” says Lloyd. “It’s long-term thinking versus short term gain.”


Another mistaken belief about recruitment firms is that they operate as large-scale body shops that send over as many qualified candidates as possible with no regard to “fit.” In fact, a great recruitment firm takes the time to meet with both clients and candidates so they can get a solid picture of the individual’s and company’s needs. “We don’t want anyone who comes through our door to feel like a number,” says Stevenson. He says a candidate must come in for an initial face-to-face meeting so the recruiter can get a full understanding of the individual’s goals, values and experience. On the client side, Stevenson & White does an initial on-site meeting at each client’s office to learn more about the company and see first-hand how its employees operate. Many people perceive recruiters as pushy and sleazy. In fact, a strong recruiter tends to be a true people person, with a keen intuition and a genuine desire to help. After all, recruitment firms help people land their dream jobs every day.

ENTREPRENEURSHIP Redblacks star gives business venture a spin All-star centre Jon Gott and spouse Nicole Hilstob team up to target downtown fitness market with new spinning studio BY DAVID SALI


e’s a Grey Cup champion, a two-time CFL all-star and one of the most recognizable sports figures in the nation’s capital. Now, Redblacks centre Jon Gott can add another distinction to his glittering CV: entrepreneur. In his four seasons in Ottawa, the affable offensive lineman has gained a devoted fan following for both his fulsome beard and his formidable blocking skills that helped the Redblacks bring home the Grey Cup in 2016. But earlier this year, the 6-foot-3, 300-pound Gott ventured into a whole field: business. He and his life partner, Nicole Hilstob, became partners of a different sort in January, when they opened the first Ottawa franchise of B.C.-based spinning studio chain Spinco. The 3,300-square-foot studio on Slater Street officially opened its doors on Jan. 8. But the idea first took shape several years ago when Hilstob, who lived in Kelowna until she was in her late twenties, started going to the original Spinco location in the Okanagan Valley, where she fell in love with the high-intensity physical activity and eventually became friends with Spinco founder Michelle August. She says it was during a class around Christmas 2016 that she made up her mind to become an entrepreneur. “I was like, ‘Man, I have to do this for the rest of my life. I have to figure out a way to

Université d’Ottawa


Nicole Hilstob and Jon Gott, owners of the new Ottawa Spinco. PHOTO BY MARK HOLLERON

open up one of these.’” By that time, August had embarked on an aggressive expansion drive that has seen her launch Spincos from Victoria to Halifax. The Ottawa location is the chain’s eighth. Gott, 32, knows all about the rigours of training as a high-level athlete. But the idea of earning extra income by offering a workout venue to others had never occurred to him until Hilstob broached the subject. “I was so focused on my career in football that I didn’t really think about it,” he says. “Then she started talking about it and I’m like, ‘Yeah, we could look into it.’ Then it just kind of snowballed, and now we’re running a business.”

Once they made the decision to launch the venture, Hilstob and Gott jumped in with both feet. They’ve poured about $400,000 into the franchise, funded through a combination of their own savings, a bank loan and a Toronto-based business partner. The state-of-the-art facility includes a soundproof spinning venue equipped with a $20,000 sound system that can pound out enough bass to pump up clients of all shapes and sizes and get them moving. “The thing I love the most about it is when you walk in, the music is pumping, the energy is high, everyone’s in a good mood,” Hilstob says. “You walk in here, and it’s like you feel like you’ve arrived. Nothing else matters. Everything is left at the door.”

Still, the pair concede there were a few sleepless nights getting to this point due to construction delays and other hurdles. “At times, it got stressful, but we found a way to put that aside when we needed to and it came together pretty good,” Gott says. “People come in and they love it. They come in with a smile and they leave sweaty with a smile.” Before going into business for herself, Hilstob, 34, worked in corporate partnerships with the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group – the owners of the Redblacks and hence Gott’s employer as well. The two originally met when he was playing for the Calgary Stampeders and she was working in the western club’s front office as a marketing co-ordinator. Hilstob was first to come east in 2013 as one of OSEG boss Bernie Ashe’s initial hires. Gott, an Alberta native, followed the next year, when the Redblacks claimed him from Calgary in the CFL expansion draft. ‘THIS WAS MY PASSION’ Hilstob says she had a great career at OSEG and remains a die-hard football fan, but the pull of entrepreneurship proved too strong to resist. “I had no complaints,” Hilstob says. “I loved my job more than anything else in the world. But this was my passion, and you only live once. I followed my dream and everything just came together, and here we are.” She’s already thinking of eventually opening a second location, but for now, Hilstob and her high-profile partner have plenty to keep them occupied. “People come up to me after when he’s gone and they’re like, ‘Was that Jon Gott?’ I’m like, ‘Yeah.’” she says, smiling. “They’re like, ‘Oh. What is he doing here?’ I’m like, ‘He’s my boyfriend and he actually owns the place with me.’” Gott, the operation’s resident handyman, appears to get a kick out of his celebrity status. “If they don’t know who I am, they find out pretty quick,” he says. “It’s fun.”

University of Ottawa

The University of Ottawa proudly welcomes Sylvain Charbonneau as our new vice-president, research. A uOttawa alumnus, Sylvain Charbonneau returned to his alma mater in 2013 as associate vice-president, research, after 25 years at the National Research Council of Canada and in industry. An entrepreneurial physicist, he brings a wealth of experience in research and development and in facilitating collaboration between research laboratories and the private sector.

This vision makes him the ideal choice to lead our research community and to maximize the impact of our discoveries, as the University of Ottawa continues to make its mark in Canada, as a top 10 research university, and around the world.


Dr. Charbonneau is an accomplished researcher with solid business acumen who aims to further enhance research relevance by forging

stronger ties with government, NGOs and private enterprise, locally, nationally and globally.

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Digital agency OPIN A throws its strength behind Canada’s Paralympians

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New platform for Canadian Paralympic Committee is the latest athletics project for growing Ottawa digital agency


14 Photo provided by the Canadian Paralympic Committee.

s Canada’s Paralympians take the stage – and in all likelihood, the podium – in PyeongChang this month, a local firm has geared up to support the team from right here in Ottawa. OPIN Software, a digital agency specializing in open-source web development, recently helped the Canadian Paralympic Committee launch a new, modern web presence just in time for the Paralympics. It’s the Ottawa firm’s latest foray into the sporting world, where it’s helping a growing number of organizations build digital experiences using the increasingly popular Drupal platform. “The Paralympic Games, in our eyes, are the top tier of athletic accomplishment,” says OPIN chief executive Chris Smith. “For us, helping people to realize the competitiveness and the toughness and the strength of our para-athletes is really important.” As CPC’s official digital sponsor, OPIN has designed a new online platform that both organizations hope will permanently change the way Canadians view the Paralympics. “One of the biggest barriers we face as a society is that people with special needs tend to be left out of participating in sports or physical activities,” says Martin Richard, the executive director of communications and brand for the CPC. In part, he attributes this to a lack of information, both for prospective athletes and educators. Along with a newly designed website, which launched just in time for the winter games, OPIN helped the CPC design and build several digital tools to help more Canadians with disabilities become involved in sport. A RENEWED DIGITAL PRESENCE The Paralympic committee’s new digital platform will bring the games straight to Canadians, with a schedule of events and a live medal count widget so visitors can track the team’s progress. “It goes beyond what we used to have as far as user experience,” says Richard. “It’s such a step up.” In developing the new and improved platform, OPIN was also conscious of the need to make it accessible for everyone. For the visually impaired, navigating the web can be a challenge since many websites are laid out to look appealing rather than be navigable by a screen reader. In building the digital experience, OPIN’s developers were careful to make the layout easy for a screen reader to follow. On the back end of the site, the team ensured all images were uploaded with alt text, videos with closed captions and text with the appropriate HTML formatting.


DEVELOPER’S PERSPECTIVE For Kendall Abraham and Tazirie LeClerc, the opportunity to work on the Canadian Paralympic Committee’s file was an experience like no other. Respectively, the pair work at OPIN Software as a product owner and a project manager. “We feel like we’re a part of something bigger,” says LeClerc, who saw her contribution as helping CPC make a positive impact on countless lives across the country. Working on projects for the CPC and other OPIN clients involves using the latest digital tools to deliver meaningful and engaging projects. It also means meeting and working with unique and interesting clients. “It’s really motivating for us, and for the team, to know that the work we’re doing is going towards people who have such big hearts,” says Abraham of the relationship with the CPC.

OPIN is currently growing. Learn more about the digital agency and its available positions at

The end result is that screen readers can apply intonation to the text, resulting in a richer experience for users with visual impairments.

Unlike custom-built proprietary systems, a large community of some one million users and 90,000 developers continuously contribute to Drupal by creating freely distributed add-on features and enhancements. RIPPLE EFFECT While the attention of many athletics fans is focused on PyeongChang, both OPIN and the CPC hope to leverage this month’s Paralympics and use the new web platform to build a larger and more engaged audience. Richard says the new website isn’t meant just for Paralympians and their immediate communities. It was built with a broader audience in mind, since every Canadian has the potential to be a Paralympic and para-sport fan. “People that are aware of Paralympic sports naturally become ambassadors,” says Richard. Alongside the online Paralympic Games coverage and information,

visitors will also find extensive information on how to get involved in para-sport at any level, whether as an athlete or an educator. Currently, only four per cent of Canadians with disabilities are active in sports. CPC hopes a wider following created by the new website and Paralympics buzz will have a ripple effect and encourage more Canadians with disabilities to get engaged in sports. “We’re just getting started,” says Richard. “Working with OPIN, we’re going to continue to create great things that will help our movement and sport in general.”

Follow along with Canada’s athletes by visiting the Canadian Paralympic Committee’s new digital platform at


DRUPAL Like many businesses and organizations around the globe, the CPC opted to use Drupal to power its new website. The open-source platform powers approximately five per cent of websites – including those run by Tesla Motors, Canadian Prime Minister’s Office, Pfizer, Whole Foods and some two dozen federal departments and agencies – around the world and is increasingly winning over converts with its intuitive tools for content creation, workflow and publishing.

The OPIN web development team. From top left: Valerie Boucher, Tazirie LeClerc, Kendall Abraham and Tyler Klepsch.

MONDAY, MARCH 12, 2018

OPIN’S ATHLETIC PROWESS OPIN’s relationship with the CPC began several years ago, when the agency was tasked with helping to design Find Your Sport, a web-based triage tool that allows those with disabilities to learn more about the sports tailored to their particular skills. For example, it generates a list of sports for wheelchair users, including sledge hockey and para-skiing, among a number of summer sports. Once a user selects a particular activity, the Find Your Sport tool is then able to connect them with a club in their area. As Canada’s capital, Ottawa is home to many national athletic organizations. OPIN has built considerable expertise in creating solutions for the sector through partnerships with the Canada Games

Council and Commonwealth Games Canada. The firm’s athletic work has also taken it outside the city as it delivered projects for Sport Manitoba and viaSport British Columbia, among others. “It goes along with our values around promoting healthy living for Canadians,” Smith says.

going to be involved in day-to-day business decisions, you’re going to be involved in the entire process and really get to see what it’s like to run a company. You won’t be exposed to that in all work terms.

Not all startups make it past the first year. What qualifications does a startup need to have to take on a co-op? How do they prove that in the next four months, they’re not going to go under and leave a student out on his or her luck with the coop placement?


SD: We have an internal committee here at

the university that takes a look at all of the potential startups, with an eye to, “Do we think the startup has a long enough runway to be able to provide that experience?” SD: From a startup perspective, it’s a great We’re not dealing with brand-new, ideaopportunity to access young, energetic stage startups. We’re typically dealing with talent who are very motivated to gain startups that have a little bit of traction, experience in the world of work. Depending either in the form of sales or funding, so we on the startup, it may be really relevant for have a comfort level that they’ll be around them to bring on a younger individual who long enough. has knowledge of the latest technologies related to marketing to a new generation. MAD: It’s the same approach that we take (Editor’s note: they know how to use for students that want to use the RBC Instagram) Entrepreneurship Program to work on their They’ve also got the latest information own business. The committee will evaluate coming out of the classroom in terms of the whether or not the opportunity will last the theoretical stuff. full four months of the work term, or is there It provides a startup with an opportunity a chance that it may even fail before it gets to to, I’ll use the expression, test drive a the work term? potential student who is at the front end of their career, not making as much The RBC program covers costs money as a veteran in the industry. It gives for a student’s placement. If them an opportunity to gain exposure to a startup is applying to take students who will be looking for full-time on a student, how does the employment soon. committee guarantee that the

Why should a startup take on a co-op student?

MAD: For startups, one of the advantages

The Straight Dope: Should my startup take on a co-op student? MONDAY, MARCH 12, 2018

If your firm needs some extra talent this summer, there’s a case to be made for going the student route by Craig Lord




here’s more to university co-op programs than acting as talent pipelines for mid-size and larger firms. A year and a half ago, the University of Ottawa took a decidedly entrepreneurial bend on co-op, partnering with RBC on a new program that would see a few students join early stage companies – or strike out and start their own – with a scholarship to cover costs. Six students have already taken part, joining local startups such as Welbi, with eight more going out this summer. About

half have joined an existing firm, with the rest starting their own. Techopia wanted to find out why the University of Ottawa is embracing this new take on co-op, so we talked to MarcAndré Daoust, associate director of co-op programs, and Stephen Daze, the Dom Herrick Entrepreneur in Residence at the Telfer School of Management, to get the straight dope. The following transcript has been condensed and edited.

of working with a co-op program, rather than just taking on any student who’s not with a program, is that in a structured program like co-op, the best and the brightest students are the ones that take part. They also have the support of the university. If there are challenges in the environment, challenges within the work term itself, they work with us, we make sure things work out. It’s more of a structured process.

As a student, if you’re looking for a co-op placement, how does the experience differ if you’re going to go to a new startup versus a traditional firm that has 50-plus employees? MAD: One of the reasons students decide

to do co-op is they’re figuring out where they want to work down the road, what they want to do. I think that’s one of the advantages for a student to take part in co-op. They can try a work term in a large-type firm, they can try a work term in the government here in Ottawa or work with a startup where they will see that there’s quite a difference in terms of what they’re going to do. From all of the students that have worked in a startup so far, the main thing that comes back is that they enjoy being able to be involved in pretty much everything. Because if you work in a startup, you’re not going to be the sole person doing coding or the sole person doing marketing. Chances are, you’re

student is going to get a fruitful experience from this and it’s not just a startup trying to get some cheap labour for four months? MAD: That’s a very important question,

and it’s one of the things that we ask all of the startups that apply to the program. One of the main things we need to see is that they’re going to make sure the student is exposed to the entire business: the A to Z of running the startup, or being exposed to all of these things, rather than just saying, “I want to bring in a student that’s going to do marketing from home and never actually be in touch with anyone here in the office.” We want to make sure it has that full experience. When employers are submitting their applications or letting us know they want to take part in the program, they’re providing us with the opportunity they’re going to give the student and how that opportunity is going to allow the student to develop their entrepreneurial mindset and skills.

Anything else to add about the startup approach to co-op? MAD: Most universities have focused

heavily on incubator spaces. That was the idea with the RBC program, is that we wanted to make sure we were developing skills and mindsets before students might be ready to work in an incubator-type space, and trying to figure out where they can become entrepreneurs. So this is where the program is indeed innovative.

Mark your calendar


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

The best tech events for the rest of March and beyond: CEO of the Year breakfast with Calian Group’s Kevin Ford Mar. 15, 7 to 9 a.m.

Join the Telfer School of Management for a thought leadership discussion with the recipient of the Ottawa Business Journal-Ottawa Chamber of Commerce 2017 CEO of the year, Kevin Ford, chief executive officer of Calian.

Seminar on Outlook for China and Hong Kong Mar. 22, 5 to 7:45 p.m.

Join the Hong Kong-Canada Business Association Ottawa chapter to hear about the challenges and evolving opportunities for Canadian companies in Asia as it welcomes Peter Hall, Chief Economist from EDC, to paint the current picture of the Asian economy and the short- and longer-term implications for Canada and Canadian companies.

Data Day

Mar. 27, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Data Day is an annual conference held in early spring that celebrates the latest developments in data science and analytics research within Carleton University, the local community and Canada. The event will include presentations by Carleton researchers, government and industry experts, keynote addresses and panel discussions.

Discover TechNATA Career Fair Mar. 28, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Organized by the Kanata North Business Association, the Discover TechNATA Career Fair is a tech expo and talent hunt event that offers local businesses the opportunities to exhibit their products and services and recruit talent.

Ottawa’s Autonomous Vehicle Summit Apr. 4, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

IoT613 Conference Apr. 18 to 20

Learn about the advances in connected transportation and a new world of wearable technology. Interact with instructors and colleagues to hone your technical skills and grow your business. The Internet of Things is expanding every day and IoT613 Conference 2018 is here to connect you to the fourth industrial revolution.

By Craig Lord


or an Ottawa company building its comeback on blockchain, Leonovus’s chief technical officer admitted to Techopia Live this week that it’s not easy to find talent in the capital.

It’s tough to find blockchain developers anywhere, Dan Willis says. The technology’s most fervent developers are typically cryptocurrency enthusiasts, whereas Leonovus is using it to power security applications. That makes for a mismatch in skillsets, he says, and universities are filling Stay informed about business news that matters most to you. Startups, venture capital, accelerators and other local news from Ottawa’s tech sector.

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the gap too slowly. “Frankly, I don’t think there are many institutions that are teaching blockchain yet, so new grads aren’t even something you can tap into,” he told Techopia Live. “The Ottawa market, you have a lot of mature talent coming out of the optic space, but not a lot of depth on the blockchain side.” CEO Michael Gaffney expressed similar sentiments to OBJ in December. He said then that Leonovus is “hiring like mad,” but that the firm also had ambitions to feed its own talent pipeline by nurturing homegrown blockchain developers. “We need to build local blockchain infrastructure here in Ottawa,” Gaffney said.


MONDAY, MARCH 12, 2018

Join us at The Brookstreet Hotel to learn about autonomous vehicles (AVs), connected vehicles (CVs) and mobility as a service (MaaS), and discuss what’s happening, the trends, how you can play a role, and connect with other technology companies interested in the AV/CV/MaaS ecosystem.

Ottawa blockchain talent pipeline running dry, says Leonovus CTO



Stories and photos by Caroline Phillips


Royal’s Inspiration Awards Gala raises record $469K for mental health There’s nothing glamorous about something as lonely and isolating as mental illness – except for that one night a year when Ottawa’s business and community leaders come together to celebrate those who are breaking down stigma barriers and boosting awareness over mental health issues. This year’s 15th annual Inspiration Awards Gala, held March 2 at the Delta Ottawa City Centre, also raised a recordbreaking net total of $469,000 for the Royal Ottawa Foundation for Mental Health. Special guests included honorary patron Margaret Trudeau, joined by her daughter Ally Kemper. Trudeau, who’s been candid over the years about her struggles with bipolar disorder, is a former Inspiration Award recipient. So is mental health leader Daniel Alfredsson, ex-captain of the Ottawa Senators. He has a sister with generalized anxiety disorder. Also in attendance were Scott McLean, senior litigator with Dentons Canada LLP and board chair of the Royal Ottawa Health Care Group board, and Ernie Laporte, regional vice-president of Great-West Life and chair of the Royal Ottawa Foundation board. For George Weber, it was his final Inspiration Awards Gala as president and CEO of the Royal Ottawa Health Care Group. He’s retiring – or, as he likes to put it, “re-wiring.” Under his 10-year leadership, The Royal has expanded its patient care and research and dramatically upped its profile in the region, the audience of 550-plus heard. The gala, present by TD, marked the first for Mitchell Bellman as president and CEO of the Royal Ottawa Foundation.

From left, Daniel Alfredsson and his wife Bibbi with Alex Taggart and her husband, award recipient Gordon Cudney, up in the Delta Ottawa City Centre’s penthouse for a VIP reception held for this year’s award winners and sponsors.

From left, Liza Mrak, co-owner of Mark Motors of Ottawa, award presenter Leigh Harris, president of Halo Management Consulting, with fellow Royal Ottawa Foundation for Mental Health board members Iwona Albrecht, a law partner at Soloway Wright LLP, and Marie Boivin.

MONDAY, MARCH 12, 2018



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Margaret Trudeau with George Weber at the Inspiration Awards Gala.

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Also up for grabs were: a private dinner for eight at The Urban Element with chefs Katie Ardington and Richard Wilson, with music by Jim Bryson; a team-building day at Escape Manor, with some frosty pints from Tooth and Nail Brewery; and a 25-person cocktail party catered by Epicuria at Alt Hotel Ottawa. For the adventurous type, there was a trip to Nunavut donated by Canadian North Airlines and Polar Outfittings. Music lovers could take in the Rod Stewart concert at the Canadian Tire Centre in a 100-level suite donated by Trinity. There was dinner for 10 to be hosted by Swedish ambassador Per Sjögren at his official residence in Rockcliffe, with Alfredsson as special guest. It went for $6,800. That’s because Ottawa philanthropist Barbara Crook, who bought the dinner at last year’s event but didn’t get a chance to go, donated it back. Her generosity allowed it to be sold twice, to the two top bidders. Crook was there with her husband, Dan Greenberg, whose Accora Village rental properties was also one of the sponsors. The couple was honoured with an award last year, presented to them by Alfredsson.

MONDAY, MARCH 12, 2018

He took the job over nearly a year ago. Honoured this year with awards were: Emily Pierce as Youth Leader for Mental Health; Dr. Rébecca Robillard for Young Researcher; Len Reynen and Rebecca Bodnar for Personal Leader for Mental Health; Gordon Cudney for Volunteer Leader for Mental Health; Barb Nesrallah and David Gibson for Community Leader for Mental Health; and Pat Capponi for Transformational Leader for Mental Health. Alfredsson took to the stage to present an award to his good friend Cudney, a Gowling WLG lawyer who leads The Royal’s annual charity golf tournament, serves as vice-chair of the foundation’s board and was part of the foundation’s $25-million campaign. But even more impressive, he said, is Cudney’s strength and leadership in going public with his depression. The dinner was emceed by fun-loving television personalities Sarah Freemark and Derick Fage, the latter of whom auctioned off a trip via Air Canada to the Swiss Alps for $9,500, as well as a group game of football with Redblacks stars Greg Ellingson and Brad Sinopoli at their TD Place home turf, with dinner and a tour of the team locker room, donated by OSEG.


Stories and photos by Caroline Phillips



MONDAY, MARCH 12, 2018

Mercedes dealership Star Motors of Ottawa cleared out its showroom in late February to make room for the large social gathering it hosted for finalists of this year’s Businesswoman of the Year Award. The two-hour reception – which included valet parking, of course – brought together the corporate sponsors, along with members of the BYA nominations and selection committees and previous recipients, to meet and learn more about the hardworking and accomplished award contenders. Winners will be announced at The Businesswoman of the Year Awards Gala taking place at the Infinity Convention Centre on April 19. The 2017 finalists in the Emerging Entrepreneur category are: Donna Baker, co-founder of Keynote Group; Lindy Ledohowski, CEO of literacy software company EssayJack; and Ilona Garson, founder of Jet Black Hair & Studio. Selected as finalists for the Professional category were: sports medicine physician Renata Frankovich from MEDSPORT Ottawa; chiropractor Nathalie Beauchamp, owner of Santé Chiropractic and Wellness Centre; and Gowling WLG law partner Karen Hennessey. In the Organization category, it’s: Linda Eagen, president and CEO of the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation; Kelly Stone, executive director of the Canadian Association of Family Resource Programs, and Tina Sarellas, regional president of Royal Bank of Canada. In the Established Entrepreneur category, the selection committee narrowed the choices down to: Anna Belanger with Anna Belanger & Associates; Carley Schelck, co-owner of The Urban Element;

and Cathy Hay from Hay Design. Back to emcee the reception was wellknown writer, publicist and self-described “show-off” Julie Beun. She spoke of the inspiring concept of women helping women. “The way women do business is that we pull up those behind us and we push up those ahead of us,” said Beun. Star Motors handed out swag bags to guests on their way out the door but, sadly, none contained keys to a brand new car – or even a gently used one.

Among this year’s 12 finalists for a Businesswoman of the Year Award are, from left, Cathy Hay, Anna Belanger, Kelly Stone, Linda Eagen, Carley Schelck and Donna Baker.

Butcher’s specialties at Arôme restaurant! From March 6 to April 8, 2018, come and enjoy our menu specially designed for meat lovers. Daily, from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Reserve now at 819-790-6410.


From left, Taryn Gunnlaugson with Lisa Levac and Katherine Scarlett, all from presenting sponsor BMO.

we’re all play




Ottawa philanthropist Michael Potter and his partner, Diane Cramphin, at the tribute dinner for Peter Herrndorf at the National Arts Centre.

Star-studded crowd honours retiring NAC head Peter Herrndorf






down business,” he joked, eliciting laughter and applause from the audience. The roster of talent included worldclass pianist Angela Hewitt, singersongwriter Chantal Kreviazuk and jazz singer Molly Johnson. National Chief Perry Bellegarde with the Assembly of First Nations also surprised Herrndorf with a special blanketing ceremony to honour him. As well, a fascinating collection of photos from Herrndorf’s distinguished career with the NAC was shown on giant screens and set to orchestral music. There were many mentions of Herrndorf’s lasting legacy. Among his contributions are: Creating an NAC Foundation, which has raised more than $140 million from donors across the country; increasing co-productions with theatre and dance companies from across Canada; launching the Scene Festivals involving thousands of artists from all regions; initiating the NAC Orchestra tour of China; and backing the Foundation’s National Creation Fund to support ambitious new works by Canadian artists and arts organizations. “He builds careers and opens doors,” is how Feore described his influence. “To the uninitiated, he may seem like a silent partner. But to the initiated, he is the essential cog in the machine.” Continued on page 24

MONDAY, MARCH 12, 2018

This was no ordinary retirement dinner. An influential crowd made up of Supreme Court judges, business leaders and philanthropists, politicians, veteran journalists and award-winning performing artists came together March 1 to honour one of our country’s nationbuilders, Peter Herrndorf. In just a few months, the National Arts Centre’s president and CEO will step down from a role that he’s embraced with passion, intelligence and vision since 1999. “Leading the National Arts Centre has been the greatest joy and privilege of my life,” Herrndorf, 77, told more than 400 guests who attended the tribute dinner, held in the National Arts Centre’s stunning new Canada Room. The classy event raised a net total of more than $1 million toward the NAC’s new Indigenous Theatre department. “If there’s any flaw in this evening it’s the singular focus on one person because, in fact, running the NAC is very much a team effort,” said Herrndorf. “Its many players, both inside and outside these walls, stretch back across the decades.” The dinner was emceed by AmericanCanadian stage, film and television actor Colm Feore, who promised a night of food, drinks, speeches and performances. “And, in the end, if we do everything right, Peter will rethink this stepping-


RESTAURANTS Ottawa restaurateurs hiking prices, working more to offset minimum wage hike: Study was discussing it over lunch at a friend’s cafe. He says the public debate that surrounded the wage increase before it was implemented seemed to miss the points many small business owners were trying to make, devolving into a “heated game” that often pitted owners against their staff and the provincial Liberal government. “There’s a lot of empathy from the business owners that we talked to,” Taylor told OBJ. He said most of those surveyed didn’t have an issue with the wage increase itself, but noted in comments that they would’ve appreciated a more gradual implementation or more support from the provincial government during the transition.



MONDAY, MARCH 12, 2018

wo months into Ontario’s first of two planned minimum wage hikes, Ottawa restaurant owners are coping by cutting down hourly workers’ shifts and passing the extra costs on to the customer, according to a local study. Ottawa-based Archan Consulting surveyed three dozen local restaurant owners in Canada’s capital in the first five weeks of the year to gauge how they’ve adapted to meet the demands of Ontario’s rising general minimum wage, which rose to $14 from $11.60 at the start of the year and is slated to increase by another dollar in 2019. Archan says the number of respondents represents roughly 12 per cent of locally owned and independent restaurants in Ottawa. Eighty-nine per cent of those surveyed said they raised menu prices to offset the higher wages. Roughly two in five respondents said they raised prices between six and 10 per cent, with more than a quarter saying they increased prices even more. Fourteen per cent said they had laid off staff, while 42 per cent reduced new hires. One in 10 restaurateurs say they’ve reduced workers’ benefits, a move that attracted harsh public response towards businesses including Tim Hortons franchises in Cobourg and Whitby, east of Toronto. The minimum wage increase also appears to be changing who’s doing the work at restaurants. Nearly two-thirds of those surveyed reported they’d reduced shifts for hourly workers – often students or those just entering the service industry.



“We had 36 responses and we imagine that at least four or five of those will be out of business by the end of the year. That’s not good for anybody.” – ARCHAN CONSULTING’S BRENT TAYLOR

In their place, salaried workers and owners themselves are taking on more work: 28 per cent of respondents said they’d increased shifts for the former group and 61 per cent said they were

doing more themselves, in some cases putting in up to 80 hours a week. Archan’s Brent Taylor said he first wanted to take a look at the response to the minimum wage hike when he

SURVIVAL CONCERNS When considering the impact of the minimum wage increases, 42 per cent of eatery owners said they are “very concerned” about their establishment’s ability to survive. “We had 36 responses and we imagine that at least four or five of those will be out of business by the end of the year. That’s not good for anybody,” Taylor said. It’s a good time to collect feedback, he said, because of the summer’s coming provincial election. An informed debate around the effects of the higher minimum wage can sway votes and perhaps even affect whether the planned $15 wage is implemented next January. Archan intends to do a follow-up study in the final quarter of 2018 to look at how owners have adapted throughout the first year of the wage hike and what they’re doing to prepare for the coming additional costs.



The uOttawa Faculty of Engineering’s five research themes are: Enabling technologies for health care & augmented life Under this research branch, several departments come together in an effort to improve the state of health care. Examples include virtual reality technologies and data science, which are used to help analyze complex imaging data in health contexts.

“We’re bringing in the capacity to design, to make, to build things. I call it a 21st century workshop.” Jacques Beauvais, dean of uOttawa’s Faculty of Engineering

Rejuvenated uOttawa Faculty of Engineering gears up for the future In 2017-18, the faculty has welcomed a new dean, overhauled its research themes and will open a new state-of-the-art facility


of whom are taught by researchers. “These new themes will allow us to present a much better picture of what we’re doing,” says Beauvais.

New leadership The dean is a relatively new addition to the Faculty of Engineering, having only moved

into his role last summer. Prior to that, Beauvais hadn’t been back to the University of Ottawa since the ’80s, when he completed both his undergraduate and masters degrees in physics. At that point, the school offered engineering courses, but didn’t have a dedicated faculty for it. “We didn’t talk about entrepreneurship back then, either,” says Beauvais. “We would tend to make things on our own, but we had nothing like this to be able to tinker around and develop ideas. We didn’t have that kind of support.” Having lived and worked in both Sherbrooke and Glasgow, Beauvais is excited to be back in Ottawa, where opportunities abound for engaging with innovative local companies. “That’s the best way to train our students and to develop new ideas.”

Emerging materials: design & development Work under this research area largely falls to the faculty’s mechanical and chemical engineering departments. As the name suggests, it focuses on the invention of new materials, as well as the amelioration of existing ones. An interesting example of a technology developing in this area is polymer compound that creates organic LED light. Photonics for devices, networks & energy This research theme covers a range of technologies, from telecommunications to solar energy and beyond. Currently, University of Ottawa researchers are looking for ways to reduce the overall cost to install a solar power system. While the technology is decidedly better for the environment than fossil fuels and largely self-sustaining, it also comes with a high price tag.


STEM complex When construction wraps on the new STEM Complex, it will be the largest building on the University of Ottawa campus. While impressive, it’s what is going inside the facility – and how it will change the way students learn and work – that most excites the project’s proponents. Along with research areas and teaching labs, the STEM Complex will also host an entire floor of prototyping and manufacturing facilities along with collaborative spaces. These will facilitate students’ innovation, enabling them to not only design but also build new technologies. “We’re bringing in the capacity to design, to make, to build things,” says Beauvais. “I call it a 21st century workshop.” Hands-on learning is a well-

established part of the school’s DNA. Engineering students have worked on an ever-growing list of projects for organizations ranging from hospitals to community groups to high-tech firms, making a real impact in the community. In just one example, Beauvais says students designed and built a prosthetic hand for a child with a physical disability. Other projects include accessible designs to improve the lives of people with reduced mobility, robots, which are entered in competitions around the world, and so-called “super-mileage cars,” which compete annually for the title of most fuel-efficient. The new complex will increase the capacity of students to tackle such real-world problems with creative and innovative thinking. “It’s going to take us to a completely different level,” says Beauvais.

Sustainable & resilient infrastructure This research area will build on the strength of the faculty’s strong civil engineering department. Much like the move in recent years towards ‘smart home’ technologies, which enable greater customization and engagement with our homes, there is an ever growing demand for ‘smart cities.’ Examples of research that falls under this theme is the civil engineering department’s work on improving water management in urban centres.

MONDAY, MARCH 12, 2018

t’s well-known that the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Engineering is at the forefront of Canadian innovation. What many may not realize is the investment the school makes to prepare students for careers in entrepreneurship. The university is currently gearing up for the opening of its new STEM Complex this September, which will provide a new home for the Faculty of Engineering’s civil and mechanical engineering students as well as regroup all of its existing prototyping facilities. “Our goal is to provide them with support, but let them explore their imaginations, their creativity,” says Jacques Beauvais, the freshly minted dean of the faculty who’s taken on the role of champion for many of the school’s recent initiatives. In addition to the new and improved space, the Faculty of Engineering also recently announced its five new research themes. The impact of this new focus stretches from the school’s top academics to students, many

Technology for the digital transformation of society This research theme largely falls under the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, which houses two of the fastest growing programs offered by the Faculty of Engineering: software engineering and computer science. This is an important area for the school’s researchers and instructors to stay at the forefront of. An example of a University of Ottawa technology that falls under this theme is an AI designed to learn natural languages, with an ultimate goal of being able to analyze them. Continued from page 21 Herrndorf deserves credit for the beautiful and recent transformation of the NAC into an iconic modern arts structure full of public spaces and scenic views of the city. His dedication to the arts and to performing artists was recognized last year with his promotion to Companion of the Order of Canada. Come to think of it, there was no shortage of guests with Order of Canada pins on their lapels that night. Attendees also included Supreme Court Justices Rosalie Silberman Abella and Michael Moldaver, Finance Minister Bill Morneau, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, Rogers Communications vicechairman Phil Lind, retired news anchor Lloyd Robertson and U.S. ambassador Kelly Craft, as well as Bruce Heyman, former U.S. ambassador to Canada, with his wife, Vicki. Also spotted was Mark Kristmanson, chief executive of the NCC, and Marc Mayer, CEO of the National Gallery of Canada. The room heard from Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly, NAC board of trustees chair Adrian Burns and the inaugural chair of its foundation, lawyer Guy Pratte, along with Kevin Loring, artistic director of the new Indigenous

Unlocking their potential

MONDAY, MARCH 12, 2018

Congratulations to our successful CFE writers. A talented group of professionals on their journey to becoming Chartered Professional Accountants.



From left to right: Rosa Abdollahpour, Ahmed Choudhry, Jenna Curran, Sonya Westgeest, Maka Ngwenya, Nik Karajovic, Brennan Gould, Ricky Despatie, Dany Wakim, Brandon Clifford, Jeff Everingham, Beverley McCarthy, Melissa Hudson and Laura Cavé. Missing: Brenda Tian

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Stories and photos by Caroline Phillips

Theatre department. Its first season is slated for 2019. The audience heard the story of how Herrndorf, a former journalist and one-time head of the Stratford Festival board, came to the NAC during a troubled time in its history. He had just stepped down from his demanding role as chairman and CEO of TVOntario and was enjoying his appointment as a senior visiting fellow with Massey College at the University of Ottawa when he got a phone call from the board chair of the NAC. The organization was looking for a new chief executive. Herrndorf was well aware of the recent turmoil at the NAC. It had gone through six CEOs in a decade, suffered from low morale and darkened theatres while retreating from its national mandate. As well, there was that donation scandal involving former Senators star Alexei Yashin. “When David Leighton asked whether I would consider the job, I was, to put it mildly, ambivalent,” said Herrndorf. Born in the Netherlands during the Second World War, Herrndorf was just a boy when he and his family sailed across the Atlantic in 1947 and settled in Winnipeg.

From left, Karine Mayers, who helped to organize the tribute dinner for Peter Herrndorf, with guests Shirley Kouri, Sandra Assaly and Stephen Assaly.

Herrndorf started his career as a journalist with CBC before climbing the ranks and developing such programs as The Fifth Estate. He earned his master’s degree in administration at the Harvard Business School. He also served as publisher of Toronto Life magazine. He became very good at telling stories that shaped our country. “And, as I sat and mulled over that phone call with David Leighton, I

became more and more excited about the opportunity that it represented. I called him back and accepted his offer. It would turn out to be the best professional decision that I would ever make. “The past 19 years have been an extraordinary adventure for me, and I feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude to all my NAC colleagues and to all of you for being here tonight.”

TECH ‘Confident’ Kinaxis doubles profits BY CRAIG LORD


onfidence: That was the word Kinaxis CEO John Sicard used repeatedly earlier this month during the firm’s year-end earnings conference call, in which the Ottawa-based supply chain software supplier recorded its 15th consecutive quarter of revenue growth. Sicard said Kinaxis is translating that confidence into new investments that will see the company’s sales team grow by 40 per cent this year, with specific weighting in target markets of Asia and Europe. Some of Sicard’s reasons for confidence can be found in the firm’s continual quarterly revenue growth since going public in 2014. Revenues for this past year were $133 million, up from $116 million in 2016, and net profit nearly doubled to $20.4 million from $10.7 million the year before. (All figures in USD.) Subscriptions made up 76 per cent of

total revenue in 2017, up 23 per cent yearover-year to roughly $100 million. Kinaxis also had a series of major customer signings in 2017, including Japanese automakers Nissan and Toyota. Two factors are driving Kinaxis’ global success. The first is the solution itself: software that provides concurrent supply chain planning. The system, which Sicard called a “self-healing supply chain” during the call, makes use of real-time data to update suppliers on expected performance and helps them to find quick solutions when interruptions inevitably arise. The other contributor is Kinaxis’ growing network of partner resellers. The “vast majority” of new customer activity is influenced by that partner network, Sicard said. “Now is the time to accelerate our investments in sales and marketing,” he said. “My confidence in our future remains very high.” Accordingly, Kinaxis has set its revenue guidance for fiscal 2018 between $158 million and $163 million.


Visit for more information!



Nominations Close Friday, March 30, 2018

NOMINATE ONLINE TODAY! Visit for more information! Nominations Close Friday, March 30, 2018 NOMINATE ONLINE TODAY!




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40 Nominations Close Friday, March 30, 2018 #Ott #Ott40

Are you under the age of 40 and a achiever Are you business under the age of 40 andinaOttawa? business achiever Ottawa? It’s yourin time to shine!

Are youIt’s under age 40 and a yourthe time toof shine! business achiever in Ottawa? It’sNominations your time to shine!

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NOMINATE YOUR COLLEAGUE. NOMINATE A CLIENT. NOMINATE YOUR SPOUSE. YOURSELF! NOMINATE YOURNOMINATE COLLEAGE. NOMINATE A CLIENT. NOMINATE YOURSELF. NOMINATE YOUR COLLEAGUE. NOMINATE A toCLIENT. (There is no (There disadvantage self-nomination; nominees are encouraged participate in the process) is no todisadvantage to self-nomination; nominees are encouraged to participate in the process) NOMINATE YOUR SPOUSE. NOMINATE YOURSELF! 2018 SPONSORS

2018 SPONSORS (There is no disadvantage to self-nomination; nominees are encouraged to participate in the process)



the entrepreneurs, Behind the scenes with at engineers and executives leading tech hub the forefront of Canada’s

PANTONE RED = 185 BLUE = 300 GREEN = 355

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







MONDAY, MARCH 12, 2018

Nominations are now open

for the 2018 Forty Under 40 awards for the 2018 Forty Under 40 awards We’re looking for 40 young for leaders who leaders who We’re looking 40 young exemplify business success, professional for the 2018 exemplify Forty Under 40 awards business success, professional giving. We’reexpertise, looking forand 40community young leaders who

THE LIST 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 7 7 10 10 12 13 13 15 15 MONDAY, MARCH 12, 2018




18 18 20

No. of local employees CBCI Telecom Canada 10 Hearst Way Kanata, ON K2L 2P4 613-749-0868 Freeman Audio Visual 300A-3020 Hawthorne Rd. Ottawa, ON K1G 3J6 613-526-3121 / 613-526-0850 FMAV 166 Elm St. Ottawa, ON K1R 6N5 613-565-0500 / 613-5658855 Epiphan Systems 400 March Rd. Kanata, ON K2K 3H4 613-599-6581 Duoson Multimedia 1177 Newmarket St. Ottawa, ON K1B 3V1 613-742-7474 / 613-742-3434 Baldwin Audio Visual Rentals* 9 Capella Crt. Ottawa, ON K2E 8A7 613-235-5263 / 613-235-4132 Advantage Audio Visual Rentals* 102-42 Antares Dr. Ottawa, ON K2E 7Y4 613-727-9200 / 613-727-1224 Ottawa Special Events 2491 Kaladar Ave. Ottawa, ON K1V 8B9 613-686-1179 PSAV 11 Colonel By Dr. Ottawa, ON K1N 9H4 613-569-1595 / 613-569-0935 Genesis Integration 13 & 14-22 Gurdwara Rd. Ottawa, ON K2E 8A2 613-226-2333 / 613-249-0421 Signature Audio-Video 126 Iber Rd. Stittsville, ON K2S 1E9 613-831-7140 / 613-831-7094 Interactive Audio Visual 6-5459 Canotek Rd. Ottawa, ON K1J 9M3 613-748-9388 Fleet Pro Sound and Lighting 104-6 Bexley Pl. Ottawa, ON K2H 8W2 613-829-1228 / 613-829-0656 Visual Planning (2015) Corp. 71 Meadowbank Dr. Ottawa, ON K2G 0P4 613-563-8727 / 613-563-8730 Electronic Language Communication 1-5515 Canotek Rd. Ottawa, ON K1J 9J9 613-748-5946 / 613-748-1652 Nova Visual Products 7-21 Concourse Gate Ottawa, ON K2E 7S4 613-224-4840 / 613-224-5712 Solotech 2640B Lancaster Rd. Ottawa, ON K1B 4Z4 613-736-7656 Alpha Media Group 613-236-2682 Podium Audio Visual 38-81 Auriga Dr. Ottawa, ON K2E 7Y5 613-277-1536 Dynamix Professional Video Systems 6-190 Colonnade Rd. Ottawa, ON K2E 7J5 613-724-4999 / 613-724-3888







Owner/Year est. in Ottawa Major products and capabilities Cisco TelePresence; web and video Denis conferencing; A/V; interactive Dumouchel whiteboards; projectors; owner collaboration tools; video managed 1988 services; video walls; Smart SRS WND 1983

Creative services; lighting; projection including mapping; scenic services; special events and entertainment; interactive technology

Audio and video production; lighting; staging; computers; projection; LED; Mike Maunders plasma; wireless microphones; audiBrent Beatty ence response; simultaneous 1989 interpretation; webcasting; videography; editing; content design High resolution HDMI, SDI, VGA, DVI Mike Sandler and audio/video capture, encoding, recording and streaming hardware; CEO USB video grabbers; professional 2003 streaming and recording systems Event staging; rentals and sales of language interpretation; conference Gilles mics; projectors; monitors; cameras; Goudreault microphones; sound systems; light1989 ing; computers; podiums; stage risers and drapery

Services for computer presentations

Services for traditional A/V presentations

Other presentation products Cloud services; video managed services; hosting and bridgProjections; digital media signage; Video conferencing services; video ing services; desktop video video walls; installation; media managed services, automation control presentations; facility-free solutions conferencing; web conferencing; and custom programming services webinars Mobile apps; online events; social Wi-Fi and Internet; computer rentals; media; interactive technology presentation management; online events including interactive kiosks, Flat screen displays including streaming, webcasting and e-posters, audience response videoconferencing and voting systems Graphic design and content development; Audio; video; lighting; staging; Audience response systems; computers; projection; LED; plasma; 3D animation; motion graphics; videogcreative event development; drape; wireless microphones; audiraphy; editing; graphics; sound effects; digital signage; mobile event ence response; simultaneous intervoiceovers; teleprompting; media feeds; apps; live streaming; e-posters; media servers; presentation management; pretation; webcasting; videography; virtual reality; outdoor staging editing; content; creative projection mapping, networking Products offered enable lecture recording Products for live event switching, and broadcasting, multiple overflow hall recording and streaming broadcasting, remote attendee viewing and video conferencing.

Video recording; medical imaging; webcasting; conference recording

Design; strategic planning and onsite operation of event technology for conferences; trade shows, rallies, workshops and news conferences; onsite recording; room drawings

Rigging; line array speakers; teleprompters; videoconference codecs; conference telephones; audience voting; meeting timers; remote controls; production intercoms; electrical distribution

LCD projectors; plasma displays; Data projectors; LCD projectors; sales, video conferencing; audio rentals and staging conferencing; sales, rentals, and service; simultaneous interpretation

Conferencing; sales, rentals and staging

3D imaging; event consultation

Design; strategic planning and onsite operation of multimedia switching and routing; projectors and monitors; virtual meetings and multi-language online events; webcasting and videoconferencing


Claude DeBonnville 1984


Jeff Waito 1994

Rental of all AV equipment; simultaneous interpretation for any size of conference, meeting or presentation.

Rental of LCD/multimedia projectors; LCD and LED monitors; computer monitors and portable computers

Teleconferencing; video Rental of all traditional AV including conferencing; simultaneous interpretation services; audio delivery/pickup and installation/ and video recording; multimedia dismantling duplication services


Michael Wood Peter Gilroy 2010

Produces any size of meeting, conference, convention or live musical performance; event layout software studio so planners can design conferences in 3D.

Laptops in stock that connect to projectors; laptop interfaces that allow audio presentations direct from laptops

Offers full simultaneous Projectors; screens; televisions; interpretation equipment as as Perfect Cues; full audio include Bose well as interpreters; full audio sound systems; stages; wireless miand video recording and editing crophones; full concert production services


WND 1998

All major brands of audio-visual equipment; capable of organizing and executing small to large conferences

Supports laptops and PCs with Microsoft Office 10

Overhead projectors; slides; PowerPoint


WND 2007

Design and integrate audio visual; video conferencing; digital signage; interactive displays; command and control for both secure and insecure client requirements

Sales of portable and installed projection solutions, LED displays, touch interactive displays; portable and installed screen solutions



Roger Delarosbil N/A 1996

Ian Smith 2003

A/V system design and integration of presentation, conferencing, network video streaming plus command and control. Crestron and Extron certified design and integration.


Design and integrate audio visual; video conferencing; digital signage; interactive displays; projection and control from meeting spaces to auditoriums 7,000-square-foot retail/design center; sales, installation, design; supports audio; video; theater; lighting; shading; automation; furniture; service; networks

Rigging; power; Internet services


Projectors; screens; remote controls; speakers; amplifiers; microphones; furniture

Projection; displays (LCD, plasma, video walls); interactive whiteboards; microphones; video conferencing; traditional and wireless switching presentation technologies

Multiple switching; routing; audio and video solutions; custom A/V solutions

Digital signage for way-finding; corporate communications; customized content and creation; live and on-demand video streaming


Sound; lighting; video; staging; speMichael Feagan cial effects (e.g. lasers); sales 1963 and rentals; service

Data projection sales and rentals; ED video wall

Rentals; sales; on-site service

Special effects: laser displays, smoke; corporate logos with light, truss displays; karaoke


3M; Panasonic; Webster boards; Bruce Delaney Egan Visual; Soundcraft lecterns; Draper; Da-lite and Bretford dealer; 1958 Apollo; NEC; Sanyo; Dukane

Multimedia projectors; screens; interactive electronic boards; sound systems; PCs

3M and Apollo overhead projectors; transparency films; portable or wall/ceiling screens; Draper screens



Herb Gooding 1989

Simultaneous interpretation; Gentner; Sennheiser; Auditel; DIS; Mackie; NEC; 3M; Bosch

LCD and plasma; all screens (tripod and fastfold)

On-site technicians and equipment

Electronic voting; audience responder systems; computer rentals; set design


Mike St. Louis 1995

Design, supply, install, train and maintain; AV presentations; audio-video conferencing systems for boardrooms; training facilities; digital signage solutions

Sales and servicing of display devices (e.g. flat screens, projectors); computer connectivity; routing; switching devices; IP audio and video conferencing solutions

Sales and service of all types of traditional audio-visual presentation and audio-video conferencing devices.

Sales and service of audio-visual presentation products


WND 2014

Digital signage; broadcast. Listed on the federal government AVSO and VCSO

Sales, service and installation of projectors and displays for simple presentations; video servers and software for more sophisticated events.

Full-service video, audio and lighting Audio, video and lighting sales; meeting rooms; command products; installation; after-sales centres; council chambers; service conference centres


Dan Franke WND

Projectors; screens; AV technologies

LED monitors; media players; laptop rentals

Flexible drop-off and pickup times


Chris Whiting 2002

24/7 service; laptops and projectors; wireless mice; Internet routers; conference phones; video conferencing; projection screens; podiums with PA systems

Round wooden podiums; wireless mics and PA systems; projection screens with dress kits; up to 16-foot high blue velour drape; video switching and distribution

Polycom systems; webcasts; TV stands; LED specialists; digital signage; permanent installations; distributed audio systems

Room integration; integrated computers; projectors; screens; Crestron Controls; Sony and Christie digital projectors and 4K display technologies.

Sales and service of monitors; projectors; screens; editing equipment; media storage; control systems, professional cameras.

Streaming media, digital signage


Corporate audio visual rentals; projectors; screens; sound systems; microphones Rentals and sales; permanent installations; boardroom integration; digital signage; projector and LCD/LED TV installation/sales; direct sales; personal and online; PA systems

System integrator of professional Dave Kinzinger audio-visual technologies for the corporate presentation, broadcast 1999 and production markets.

WND = Would not disclose. *Did not respond to 2017 survey – using data from previous years. Should your company be on this list? If so, please send details to This list is current as of August 6, 2017. Š 2017 by Ottawa Business Journal. All rights reserved. This material may not be reproduced by any method in whole or in part without written permission by Ottawa Business Journal. While every attempt is made to ensure the thoroughness and accuracy of the list, omissions and errors sometimes occur. Please send any corrections or additions by e-mail to OBJ lists are primarily compiled using information provided voluntarily by the organizations named. Some firms that may qualify for the list are not included because the company either failed to respond to requests for information by press time, because the company declined to take part in the survey or because of space constraints. Categories are drawn up in attempt to gather information of relevance to the Ottawa market. Research by Patti Moran. Please send questions and comments to

FOR THE RECORD Contracts The following contains information about recent contracts, standing offers and supply arrangements awarded to local firms.

ICF Consulting Canada Inc. 222 Somerset St. W Description: Energy studies Buyer: Natural Resources Canada $1,129,931

Gartner Canada 1545 Carling Ave. Description: Information retrieval services Buyer: PWGSC $28,000,000

DEW Engineering and Development 3429 Hawthorne Rd. Description: Military (R&D) Buyer: PWGSC $943,548

KPMG LLP 150 Elgin St. Description: Professional services, financial analysis Buyer: DND $9,215,088

CareWorx 1002 Beaverbrook Rd. Description: Automatic data processing equipment Buyer: Shared Services Canada $680,956

Colliers Project Leaders Inc. and Tiree Facility Solutions Inc., in joint venture 2720 Iris St. Description: Project management services Buyer: PWGSC $3,937,400

Lowe-Martin Company Inc. 400 Hunt Club Rd. Description: Publications Buyer: Department of Finance $655,646

Maplesoft Group Inc. 1545 Carling Ave. Description: Informatics professional services Buyer: Natural Resources Canada $2,000,000 Michael Wager Consulting Inc. 173A Dalhousie St. Description: Informatics professional services Buyer: Natural Resources Canada $2,000,000 Deloitte Inc. 100 Queen St. Description: Professional services, financial analysis Buyer: DND $1,795,853

Levitt-Safety Ltd. 21 Antares Dr. Description: Miscellaneous communications equipment Buyer: RCMP $493,161 ESRI Canada Ltd. 1600 Carling Ave. Description: ADP software Buyer: Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada $453,665 CA Paradis 1314 Bank St. Description: Office furniture Buyer: PWGSC $359,636 Lamarche Electric 9374 County Rd. 17 (Rockland) Description: Site infrastructure construction Buyer: RCMP $344,500

KPMG LLP 150 Elgin St. Description: Evaluation and performance measurement services Buyer: Natural Resources Canada $226,881



• Masonry Repairs • Waterproofing 3717 ST. JOSEPH BLVD, ORLEANS, ON, K4A 0Z7 TEL: 613-837-0111 FAX: 613-837-6724 • Caulking • Coatings • Concrete Repairs

GC Strategies 151 Bank St. Description: Digital delivery of climate change impacts Buyer: Natural Resources Canada $225,153


3717 St. Joseph Blvd, Orleans, ON, K1C 1T1 Tel: 613-837-0111 Fax: 613-837-6724

Cummins Canada ULC 3189 Swansea Cres. Description: Generator maintenance Buyer: PWGSC $224,211


Morin Insulation & Roofing Ltd. 2405 St. Laurent Blvd. Description: Roofing and waterproofing Buyer: NCC $219,729 ESRI Canada Ltd. 1600 Carling Ave. Description: ADP software Buyer: PWGSC $195,253 Omni Diversa Inc. Description: Translation services Buyer: Office for the Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs Canada $175,000 ITnet Ottawa Inc. 150 Elgin St. Description: Informatics professional services Buyer: Elections Canada $174,532

MONDAY, MARCH 12, 2018


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2018-03-01 2:07 PM


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






Page 20

Networker T H E K A N ATA






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

Canada’s largest technology park is our targeted and growing audience of business leaders, professionals and talent. Connect with Cindy Cutts for details:




welcome message

A COMMUNITY TEEMING WITH IDEAS ABOUT WHAT’S NEXT FOR KANATA NORTH About a month ago, I had my first meeting as a member of the Kanata North Business Association board of directors. As a new kid on this board, I couldn’t be more excited for this meeting and to learn how the business association works from behind the scenes. The day before, in preparation for the meeting, I took some time to review the agenda items, plan for the meeting and swing by Chapters to buy myself a fresh journal to capture my notes. It has always been my view that a fresh role brings a fresh start. So, fresh journal. A few days later, I posted on LinkedIn that I had accepted this exciting opportunity and I couldn’t

have been more surprised by your outpouring of support. What I could see very quickly was that there is a community of professionals who care deeply about this region, that people have ideas and suggestions about “what’s next” for Kanata North and that a detailed plan is in motion to build an engaged community. It’s working. So I took out my journal and started capturing your comments as they came in. You reached out by e-mail, text, in hallways, parking lots and grocery stores and shared your passion, giving me page after page of data that I have used as my inspiration for Kanata North. Thank you! I encourage all of you to keep reaching out. Our website says that the Kanata North Business Association advocates for and strives to create an environment for business success by facilitating connections, awareness and community pride to be a place where people want to work. It’s real. There are so many events coming up this spring including TechNATA and the Autonomous Vehicle Summit in a few weeks. You can find further information on the following pages, as well as online on the Kanata North Business Association website under events. Please make sure to stop by and share your ideas for our future – I still have lots of pages left in my new journal to fill, and look forward to our discussions.

Amanda Gordon Board of directors member Kanata North Business Association




what’s inside

CONTENTS 06 What’s new, what’s next: Upcoming events and key dates 10 Cancer Computer powers virtual medical labs from Kanata 13 DataKinetics defies the odds 14 What we’re geeking out on: How Kanata firms are safeguarding an increasingly connected world 17 New Quarterhill CEO eyes M&As amid IoT pivot 18 Mitel strikes MLB deal to upgrade stadium communications 19 Infinera enters a new phase of growth in Kanata 20 Where we live: Kanata North’s sweetest business 22 Re:Design: TEDxKanata recap

“LET’S HAVE FUN, LET’S COLLABORATE, LET’S BE HUMAN.” – Rabih Maalouf, Wind River’s vice-president of worldwide engineering, on the company’s corporate culture in Kanata. See page 8.

Networker ATA THE KAN

Winter 2017

SUCCESS HAPPENS HERE Connect with Kanata’s high-growth community


rs, the entrepreneu scenes with at Behind the and executives tech hub engineers leading of Canada’s the forefront




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Networker Irdeto secures cars connected

.ca kanatanorthbia

NXP eyes AI info@kanatano






KANATA NORTH Behind the scenes with the entrepreneurs, engineers and executives at the forefront of Canada’s leading tech hub



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


The cover of the last issue of the Networker featured a beautiful aerial photo of Kanata North taken by Fan Song. Unfortunately, due to an editing error, we neglected to include a photography credit and properly thank Song for sharing the great shot. Sorry about that.



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small business development and tourism. These projects also need to demonstrate environmental, social, and/or cultural benefits to the community. Find out more on the City of Ottawa website, under Economic development funding.

what’s new


WOMEN’S DAY – EFFECTIVELY BUSINESS & COMMUNITY MOTIVATING AND BUILDERS BREAKFAST LEADING SCIENTISTS March 22 AND ENGINEERS IN R&D 8:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. The annual Women’s Day Business LABORATORIES & Community Builders Breakfast is a celebration of women who are activating a spark for change in their communities. The event brings together many of Ottawa’s diverse business professionals to meet, mix and mingle over breakfast. Hear great speakers, network and build new connections. Organized by the Ottawa Opportunities Network, an online/offline community hub supporting and connecting social entrepreneurs, professionals and the nonprofit community. See our events calendar for more details.

March 26-27 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Clarke-Reavley Consultants provides consulting services in the fields of R&D management, science policy, technology transfer and intellectual property management. They are offering a two-day R&D management workshop targeted to first-line R&D supervisors/ team leaders or scientists/ engineers who are being considered for “promotion” to management. Visit our events calendar to find out more.

DISCOVER TECHNATA TECH EXPO & TALENT HUNT March 28 Brookstreet Hotel Kanata North’s largest Career Fair and Tech Expo is back! Discover TechNATA offers local businesses the opportunities to demo their products and recruit talent. Open to students, new grads and working professionals, TechNATA is the number one job fair for the tech sector in Ottawa. Come to discover the hundreds of job opportunities and culture of some of Ottawa’s coolest tech firms. Visit for more details.


The City’s Community Economic Development (CED) Funding Program is now open for applications. They are seeking projects that support growth of the local economy through such areas as: job creation, economic diversity, entrepreneurship,

STORIES ABOUT OUR BUSINESS COMMUNITY Business in Kanata is booming! Find out why success happens here in stories about our community. Learn how NXP Semiconductor provides the silicon backbone for autonomous vehicle software and how Irdeto’s Cloakware protects connected cars. Find out more about the people who work in Kanata North and see why many enjoy living and working here. See our ‘Where We Live’ series on


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OTTAWA AUTONOMOUS VEHICLE SUMMIT: MOBILITY-AS-A-SERVICE (MAAS) April 4 7:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. The 3rd annual Ottawa Autonomous Vehicle Summit with the theme Mobility-as-aService (MaaS), is a one-day conference that will take place on April 4 at the Brookstreet Hotel. Presented by the Kanata North Business Association and Invest Ottawa, in partnership with the Canadian Automated Vehicles Centre of Excellence (CAVCOE), the 2018 edition will showcase the advances in automated driving technology and the impacts it will have to society. There will be a series of panels, industry experts and keynote speakers with participants from industry, academia and government. For more details see our events calendar.


April 10 from 8:00 a.m. - 8:30 p.m. and April 11 from 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Breaking Through the Status Quo: Scaling Canada’s Innovation Game A number of challenge areas keep coming up in studies of Canada’s innovation ecosystem. Instead of repeating the difficulties the 17th Annual RE$EARCH MONEY conference Breaking Through the Status Quo: Scaling Canada’s Innovation Game will shed a spotlight on innovators who are breaking new ground and overcoming old habits of thinking. From these exemplars, we will review policy implications and how we can generate more success at scale.

Starting in June we will kick off our summer activities at the Community Hub. A new survey on lunch time programs and food truck schedules is being developed by KRP and KNBA and will be available soon. Yoga at the Hub all Summer long with Inner Revolution Yoga Studio! Our friends at Inner Revolution Yoga Studio will be back this summer offering FREE Yoga at the Community Hub on Legget Drive starting in June. Join us Tuesdays from 12-1pm all summer long!

Here are our top 5 reasons to take a lunch time yoga break: 1. Gets your body moving 2. Improves mental clarity 3. Creates positive social time during your day 4. It is a mood booster 5. It is FREE!

MAKE-A-WISH ROPE FOR HOPE June 15th 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

The Make-A-Wish Rope for Hope is a unique challenge event that calls on participants to raise pledges in exchange for a once-in-a-lifetime exhilarating experience to rappel down the side of the Brookstreet Hotel in Kanata. Participants can take part in a variety of ways: as individuals, in teams, or as part of a colleague or corporate group. All money raised by Make-A-Wish Rope for Hope Ottawa rappelers goes to granting the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions in Eastern Ontario. For more info see our events calendar.

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APPLICATIONS OPEN UNTIL MARCH 29, 2018! The Community Economic Development Funding Program

The City’s Community Economic Development (CED) Funding Program is now open for applications. They are seeking projects that support growth of the local economy through such areas as: job creation, economic diversity, entrepreneurship, small business development, and tourism. These projects also need to demonstrate environmental, social, and/or cultural benefits to the community. Find out more on the City of Ottawa website under Economic development funding.

where we work



ow often have you heard the story of the local startup acquired by the multinational company that fades away as its intellectual property heads south? This isn’t that story. What began as a two-person Kanata startup in the late ’90s – DSP Foundry – is today a thriving operation with 200 staff. The local team develops software virtualization platforms that simplify how we manage the increasingly complex mix of autonomous systems and intelligent devices connected to the cloud. The company is Wind River, based in Alameda, CA. When it acquired DSP Foundry in 1997, Wind River had already


established itself in the market with VxWorks, the first real-time operating system with the ability to communicate across computer networks. The company, and the Kanata operation, continued to grow in the embedded networking business over the next decade. In 2009, Intel acquired Wind River. Today, Kanata is Wind River’s largest leadership hub for engineering and one of its five global R&D Centres of Excellence. The local team works on products such as the Titanium Cloud line of virtualization software and the Helix line for autonomous and IoT-connected vehicles. The Kanata operation is headed by Rabih Maalouf, vice-president of worldwide engineering for all of Wind River. Maarten Koning, co-founder of DSP Foundry, is still part of the Kanata operation in the top technical role of Wind River Fellow. So why did Wind River, and then Intel, see value in growing the Kanata operation?

Rabih Maalouf is the vice-president of worldwide engineering for all of Wind River. PHOTO BY MARK HOLLERON It came down to a deep pool of talent, post-secondary programs that produce quality engineering and computer science grads, and affordability in real estate and payroll costs courtesy of the

exchange rate. But the biggest factor was, and continues to be, the talent. “The engineering depth, not just in Canada, but specifically in the Ottawa area, is incredible,”

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said Koning. He originally stayed on to help build the team as the operation grew, hand-selecting talented engineers who were a good fit with the cultural dynamic the founders had created. As the market shifted in the 2000s from hardware to virtualization with cloud computing, that pedigree of telecom and networking expertise made the Kanata area an obvious choice to lead the charge for Wind River. With Kanata’s tech sector continuing to grow in areas such as software-as-a-service, e-commerce and autonomous vehicles, talent is in tight demand. But Maalouf sees this as a positive development. The diversification of the local tech


The emphasis at Wind River is on a collaborative culture. market creates fresh opportunities “The richer the industry, the more talent we will attract to the city,” he said.

Workplace culture

The onus is on employers to up their game and ensure they offer not just competitive salaries and benefits, but an environment that makes people want to come to work. For Koning, ongoing professional development is important, along with a tangible connection between an individual’s effort and the achievements of the company as a whole. But it all begins with engagement. “It’s in the interests of the company to have happy, productive engineers,” he said. “The No. 1 driver is the relationships within the office – the relationship with their boss, the relationship with their peers.”

The emphasis at Wind River is on a collaborative culture that encourages people to share ideas and recognizes those individuals who lift the productivity and the morale of everyone around them. “Let’s have fun, let’s collaborate, let’s be human,” Maalouf said. The team inject that fun and humanity with Tech Sharing Days (which people can geek out and play show and tell with their interests), time off to compete in Wind River’s annual Engineering Symposium, chili cook-offs, euchre tournaments and ski trips. There is even a board where people can post notes that praise the efforts of their co-workers. Maalouf sees a lot of value in just walking around the office and treating co-workers to a smile and a sincere hello. “I grew up believing if you are happy and smiling about what you are doing, you are going to do a better job at it,” he said.

Autonomous vehicles, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things: Talk about technology these days and the conversation inevitably arrives at devices on the network edge that amass data and need to make decisions. Sure, a big part of the equation involves drawing on the elastic computing power of the cloud for big data analysis, but more and more, we need “on-premise” platforms that allow devices to assess a situation and respond in a millisecond. It could be a driver assist system in a car, or a robot working side-by-side with a human it could harm. In these scenarios, even a second of delay as data is uploaded to the cloud for analysis could mean the difference between life and death. Add to that the complexity and variety of operating systems that could be involved. The challenge is to enable machines and devices to make quick decisions on the network edge, using software virtualization technologies that never fail and that reduce the amount of physical hardware required in the device. “This is what Wind River’s DNA is all about – we’ve been building systems like this for airplanes and industrial systems for a long time,” said Maalouf. “People don’t realize how this technology is going to save lives,” added Koning. “Seeing this kind of software repurposed for automobiles is a natural progression.”

Many thanks to our 2018 TEDxKanata Sponsors!


MAKE-A-WISH ROPE FOR HOPE June 15th 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

The Make-A-Wish Rope for Hope is a unique challenge event that calls on participants to raise pledges in exchange for a once-in-a-lifetime exhilarating experience to rappel down the side of the Brookstreet Hotel in Kanata. Participants can take part in a variety of ways: as individuals, in teams, or as part of a colleague or corporate group. All money raised by Make-A-Wish Rope for Hope Ottawa rappelers goes to granting the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions in Eastern Ontario.

Harnessing Kanata’s innovation engine to help beat cancer NOT-FOR-PROFIT TEAMS UP WITH LOCAL TECH FIRMS TO POWER MEDICAL RESEARCH


n the heart of the Kanata Research Park, within the home of Purecolo – Ottawa’s newest data centre – beats a freshly commissioned node of Cancer Computer’s cloud services servers. This really is a story wrapped in a story. A group of successful home-grown tech entrepreneurs are arming the world’s best and brightest cancer researchers with the computing resources they need to beat cancer. They’re backed by a fast-growing network of corporate sponsors. And it’s all in support of the researchers and academic organizations who are the “customers” of Cancer Computer and who benefit daily by harnessing the resources afforded to them at no or significantly subsidized cost. The organization believes that computers, via computational biology, will cure cancer. Founded by Roy Chartier, who’s day job is designing cloud and supercomputing platforms for enterprises and the public sector, The Supercomputer For Cancer (Cancer Computer), began life as a few nodes of recycled donated servers running in the closets and basements of its founding team. Executive director Tyler Nelson joined in 2016 as a growing cadre of academics, IT and marketing professionals as well as not-forprofit operational experts came together to build and scale the social enterprise that’s become Cancer Computer.

Shortfall spurs action

While society at large – and often our personal lives – are touched by cancer in its many forms, most of our attention, donations and corporate sponsorship support in the fight against cancer is focused 10 KANATA NETWORKER SPRING 2018

From left, Roy Chartier, the founder and chief technology officer of Cancer Computer, with Simon Quigley, the technical architect at Cancer Computer. PHOTO BY MARK HOLLERON on patient treatment. Unfortunately, there is a collective lack of awareness of how under-resourced cancer researchers are globally in their fight to advance their work to find and validate new treatments and pharmaceuticals. While most academic and some publicly funded compute resources are available to the community, these tools are typically not offered free of charge and are capacity constrained. Furthermore, it’s not uncommon for researchers to wait months

or years for a slice of time on a supercomputer platform to conduct critical elements of their research. It was this shortfall that spurred Chartier to take on the challenge. In just a few short years, Cancer Computer’s innovative business model – powered by its team of dedicated volunteers and corporate sponsors – have propelled the social enterprise to one of the top-performing infrastructure contributors to the fight against cancer globally. Incorporated as a Canadian

not-for-profit with CRA charitable status, Cancer Computer operates in what Nelson describes as the “Goldilocks zone” – a nod to the use of the phrase to describe a “just right” space where everyone supporting Cancer Computer benefits. On one side of the business model, Nelson and the team find corporate sponsors that donate various hardware elements, servers, storage arrays, racks and power supplies, all of which have typically reached the end of their life in a production environment. This point in time is typically also when the financial capital depreciation benefits have been exhausted and the point where, after three or four years, the market’s natural evolution has delivered faster processors, more efficient storage and lower operating costs that power the natural IT replacement and upgrade cycle. Hardware donated to Cancer Computer is supported by an eligible offsetting tax deduction for the corporate sponsor along with the community and staff goodwill benefits. The Cancer Computer team then works to reconfigure, upgrade where possible and redeploy the hardware into one of their growing number of sponsor supported data centre partner locations across Canada. Here at 390 March Rd., Purecolo – along with DNS Networks, a managed IT service provider – have come together in a perfect depiction of Cancer Computer at work. The hardware was deployed into a DNS Network infrastructure hosted by Purecolo, and today a team of cancer researchers are using it to model drug and protein interactions inside a virtual lab run by Cancer Computer. That’s a social enterprise in action – and it’s happening right here in Kanata. Tyler Nelson is the executive director of Cancer Computer. Roy Chartier is the organization’s ‎chief technology officer.

Martello plans IPO in 2018 following merger NEWS BRIEF

One of Ottawa’s fastestgrowing companies kicked off 2018 by doubling in size via a merger with a Montreal firm and re-affirming plans to go public later this year. In January, Kanata’s Martello Technologies said it was joining

forces with Elfiq Networks. While the two companies called the transaction a merger, Elfiq became a subsidiary of Martello. Company officials said the two firms complement one another. While Martello

develops software to help IT professionals detect issues with enterprise communications systems, Elfiq has products that can troubleshoot and find fixes. “We’ll grow faster and solve our customers’ problems more effectively, and will be

well positioned to accelerate market share through both organic growth and future acquisitions,” said Martello CEO John Proctor, who was named to the position in late 2017. Proctor – the former vice-president of global cybersecurity at CGI – replaced former chief executive Bruce Linton, who became Martello’s co-chairman of the board

alongside Terry Matthews. In addition to planning an initial public offering, Martello is also on the hunt for additional acquisition targets, Proctor said. Last fall, Martello was named the 48th fastest-growing company in Canada – the highest ranking among Ottawa firms – on the Profit 500 list, with five-year revenue growth of 1,552 per cent.

Kanata networker full page ad-1outline.pdf 1 3/8/2018 12:52:15 PM











Thinkwrap’s triple-merger to accelerate innovation: CEO The head of one of Canada’s top ICT companies says the Kanata firm will double down on product development while being able to “think bigger” following a merger with two


other tech firms. Earlier this year, Thinkwrap Commerce said it was merging with Toronto’s Tenzing and Redmond, Washington-based Spark::red. Those two firms are

managed hosting providers for customers using Oracle or SAP Hybris commerce platforms. “This transaction puts us in a position to innovate quickly and build a leading suite of

ecommerce applications and services,” said Thinkwrap CEO Steve Byrne in a statement. Thinkwrap was founded in 2004 and provides strategy, design, software development and integration services to enterprise e-commerce companies including Aldo and Simons.

Steve Byrne is the CEO of Thinkwrap


ThinkRF opens U.K. office to tap into European markets Fresh off a $5-million venture capital round, Kanata’s ThinkRF plans to use a new office outside London, England, as a base for growth in key markets in Europe. The expansion follows the creation

of a wholly-owned U.S. subsidiary and opening of its headquarters in the Washington, D.C. area earlier in November. ThinkRF specializes in spectrum analysis solutions to monitor,

detect and analyze wireless signals. Combating corporate espionage is one application of its technology; ThinkRF’s product can “listen in” on a wide spectrum of wireless signals and determine if it’s coming from a

“friendly” device such as an iPhone or something potentially more nefarious such as a surveillance bug. In October, ThinkRF landed $5 million in venture capital from Wesley Clover International.

DataKinetics defies the odds to reach 40th anniversary HERE’S HOW A KANATA NORTH FIRM HAS THRIVED AMIDST DRAMATIC TECH CHANGES


hink about this for a moment: DataKinetics is older than the internet. How many tech companies are older than the internet? The list isn’t that big, and the internet – as we know it now – has only been around for about 25 years. Even fewer companies make it to 40 years. As Forbes pointed out several years ago, life expectancy in even the Fortune 500 stands at only 15 years and is declining all the time. And even fewer have done it in Ottawa. DataKinetics has been a part of Ottawa’s tech community since the late 1970s, outliving firms that were once household names such as Nortel, Gandalf and JDSU. So how has DataKinetics defied the odds?


DataKinetics helps the world’s largest banks as well as credit card, brokerage, insurance, healthcare, retail and telecommunication organizations process more than a billion transactions every single day – speeding up things such as your bank machine withdrawal or that credit card authorization from your shopping trip last night. It’s not glamorous, and we don’t usually make headlines, but the fact is that our products and services are generally not removed once they’re installed into production environments. They make that much of a difference each and every single day – quietly running in the background and helping our clients make things easier and faster for their customers. At 40 years, we are durable. We have thrived in some of the greatest periods of growth in the history of the tech business, successfully weathered some of its biggest slumps

and, to top it all off, been profitable in almost every single one of those years. While we’d like to think there was that one thing that made us unique, the truth is simply not that glamorous. It took a lot of blood, sweat and tears and a laser-like focus on meeting the needs of our customers – often times anticipating them. While buzzwords such as In-Memory Acceleration and Big Data have only recently entered the mainstream lexicon, we can honestly say that we’ve been doing these things for decades.

We started with a home run

To be completely honest about it – we hit one out of the park in our first at bat. Our flagship product, tableBASE was, and still is, enormously successful. It runs in the mainframe data centers in three of the top five global banks, three of the top five global credit card companies, three of the top five U.S. property and casualty insurance companies, and two of the top five U.S. health insurance companies. In fact, if a Fortune 50 company is running a mainframe, tableBASE is most likely helping it with its largescale transaction processing.

More than just one product Years ago, we were about one product, one platform and one operating system. But now we’re reaching out to all platforms, databases and operating systems – through data integration and replication – including the cloud. Today, we offer several complementary products – some developed in-house and others supplied through strategic partnerships – designed to further

provide data optimization and performance enhancements for our customers. It’s simultaneously allowing us to diversify and evolve with the technological core of today’s data centers. Our goal is to be around for at least another 40 years helping our customers deliver new service offerings and meet their business objectives. To that end, DataKinetics recently started a spin-off company – omNovos – designed to bring our data expertise to the burgeoning omni-channel business in the retail sector, growing the workforce of the combined companies by 50 per cent. Our research team is also hard at work on building the pieces required to support new and emerging technologies such as Blockchain and Smart Contracts. Ultimately, it is our fundamental understanding of data and rulesbased processing that allows our clients to save billions of dollars while simultaneously improving mainframe asset performance and reducing overall IT risk.

We’re also about people

We support our customers with – get this – live human beings. OK, I’m being facetious. But our customers are very important to us, and if a customer has a problem in their data center (as we say, if a customer is “on fire”), we’re ready to help. Now. We’re on it. No hunting on a support page searching frantically for a phone number. No 10-minute automated attendant recordings telling you to go back to the website. A live person will be able to help. A person in one of our offices. And no offshore “first line” support shops either. Our customer support and engineering staff are tasked with addressing our customer’s problems. Occasionally, that means fixing

DataKinetics products help process a billion transactions daily, including ATM withdrawals and credit card authorizations. STOCK IMAGE problems with products from other vendors. We are in it for the long haul.

And about our community

We love the city, its organizations, and institutions for all that it has provided to our employees and their families. From the quality of life that is hard to find anywhere else (trust us on this), to the fantastic support and promotion that such well-run organizations such as the Kanata North Business Association provide, you’ll be very hard-pressed to find a comparable place to live and work. That’s also why DataKinetics and its employees are committed to giving back to the community and support some of the community organizations that focus on improving the lives of people in this beautiful and vibrant city. Locally, DataKinetics is a leader among tech firms for per-capita donations to charities such as the United Way, attaining 100-percent employee participation and the highest average donation per employee. Of course, it doesn’t end there. We are also recognized contributors to several other important organizations such as The Ottawa Hospital, Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation, and CHEO, among other organizations. Collectively, this is who we are today and why we’re still in business after 40 years. The same corporate culture, technological innovation and approach to customer excellence is also why we’re still going strong and see years of additional growth ahead. Andrew Armstrong is the chief customer officer at DataKinetics SPRING 2018 KANATA NETWORKER 13


March Networks rolls out marijuana tracking solution

A Kanata developer of video surveillance technology is teaming up with a cannabis compliance specialist to offer new services to the rapidly growing marijuana market. Ottawa’s March Networks is working with KIND Financial to help cannabis companies track inventory from the time

it’s cultivated to when it’s sold to consumers using a combination of cameras and RFID tags. It allows growers, producers and retailers to run searches on a specific plant and find its last detected location. If anything is amiss – such as the inventory going missing – clients can review related

video surveillance footage to find out what happened. March Networkers and KIND Financial say the firms’ solutions can help cannabis companies meet compliance requirements mandated by some U.S. states where marijuana is legal.

what we’re geeking out on

Protecting cyberspace from Kanata



ust before 9 a.m. on a Tuesday in November 2016, Carleton University’s IT department notified the public about “network issues” on campus. This wasn’t some random glitch. The university had “detected an attempt by an external group or individual to hack into the IT network.” This affected some 3,200 computers, disrupted the school’s email platform and the online portal used for course registrations, payroll and other services. It proved to be a classic “ransomware” attack. Computer files were being held hostage pending payment of a ransom demand in the popular cryptocurrency bitcoin. That demand was valued at the time at almost $39,000. Thanks to its IT staff, Carleton was able to address the issue within a couple of days without paying up. But ransomware and other forms of malware remain an ongoing and growing threat for organizations across Canada and particularly in Ottawa. Last summer, IT World Canada tracked stats that showed Ottawa carrying a malware infection rate 980 per cent higher than the national average. In its 2018 IT 14 KANATA NETWORKER SPRING 2018

Trends in Large and MediumSized Canadian Businesses survey, Montreal’s Novipro reported that 32 per cent of Canadian businesses have already fallen victim to a ransomware attack or other computer threat. Consider it the price of progress, as digital transformation driven by cloud-computing technologies remakes how we work, transact business and conduct our personal affairs. The more our professional and personal lives intersect online, the greater the opportunity for opportunistic elements to take advantage. How do we stay one step ahead of the bad guys? It’s a multifaceted challenge. But an increasing number of companies in Kanata’s growing cybersecurity hub are doing their part.

Entrust Datacard: Do you have a plan? “There isn’t a single solution that an organization can put in place,” said Greg Wetmore, vice-president of product development at Entrust Datacard. “It really requires excellent user education, a mature information security program, basic patching software and keeping applications up to date.”

Greg Wetmore is the vice-president of product development at Entrust Datacard. PHOTO BY MARK HOLLERON Entrust Datacard supplies digital security features such as chip credit cards that protect information flowing between mobile banking apps and banks. It also helps governments safeguard ID documents such as driver’s licences and passports.

“THERE ISN’T A SINGLE SOLUTION THAT AN ORGANIZATION CAN PUT IN PLACE.” — Greg Wetmore, vice-president of product development at Entrust Datacard.

From Wetmore’s perspective, almost every breach starts with a credential, such as a password, with which the attacker can escalate privileges or access privileged information. Entrust is a strong proponent of a second type of verification, encrypting and

backing up data, and securing applications. In today’s connected world, it’s not a question of if a breach will occur, but when. That means equal attention must be given to how you will respond and recover. “Organizations need to prepare for things like critical incident response and crisis communications,” Wetmore said. “They should have good business continuity and disaster recovery plans that anticipate a breach or a delay in service of assets.”

Interset: What can you learn about the threat? Just across March Road, the team at Interset helps cybersecurity professionals with data analytics algorithms and mathematical models. These can detect and quantify behaviours within a network that are typical of various kinds of malware attacks, such as ransomware. It can also identify troublesome anomalies in enormous organizations by using artificial intelligence and machine learning tools. If Interset’s software finds a user is operating at an unusual time of day or interacting with information it shouldn’t be, those pattern deviations might signal that an employee’s account has been compromised.


Sciemetric Instruments receives $2.9M to help auto sector Building on its long-standing ties to North America’s auto sector, Sciemetric Instruments will use $2.9 million in federal support to advance its industrial Internet of Things product offerings.

Stephan Jou, Interset’s chief technology officer, offers three steps to triage how to respond to an attack. First, patch your computers as soon as possible. “It’s a hard thing to do when managing a large suite of computers, but getting that hygiene level up is important,” he said. Next, consider behaviour to help pinpoint the kind of malware at play. Jou looked to that Carleton incident as an example: “I think it would have been really helpful in this case to see: Is it a brand new case of ransomware? Is it a binary that’s never been seen before, but it’s behaving like ransomware? I think that sort of system would have been able to give a heads up earlier.” Lastly, like Wetmore, Jou emphasizes the need to have a response plan in place. “I find with a lot of companies that the best thing to do is to be open and transparent,” he said. “Have a well-laid out response plan in advance with details on who’s going to do what.”

In the early 1990s, Sciemetric developed analysis tools to detect defects during the manufacturing process. It’s since evolved into data management and analytics technology.

The federal funding came from the Strategic Innovation Fund and was part of $41 million distributed to 11 companies with the goal of supporting Canada’s automotive industry.

Stephan Jou is Interset’s chief technology officer. PHOTO BY MARK HOLLERON

Herjavec Group: Are you compliant?


Recognized as the No. 1 private cybersecurity company in the world by market research firm Cybersecurity Ventures, Herjavec Group – with offices in Kanata North – works with large enterprise customers to deliver managed security services around the world. “No executive wakes up and says I can’t wait to spend money on security today… but it’s no longer a choice,” company founder and CEO

Robert Herjavec said in a report released earlier this year. “The biggest driver of security in the coming years will be compliance.” What does he mean by compliance? Businesses will have to adopt certain security practices because they will be required to do so by government regulation, both at home and abroad, in response to the evolving malware threat.

— Robert Herjavec, company founder and CEO, Cybersecurity Ventures, Herjavec Group

This year, for example, will see the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) come into effect on May 25. This regulation aims to protect the personal data of persons in the European Union. This does impact Canada. If you do business in Europe that has you collecting, storing, transferring or processing data on EU citizens, you will have to comply with the

dictates of GDPR. If you don’t, the penalties can amount to tens of millions of dollars, or more. “You could be a company with offices in Europe that’s sharing internal data, or you take data from a client based in Europe, or you could just have a customer who’s there,” Ira Goldstein, Herjavec Group, SVP of Technical Operations, said in the report. Being prepared, having a response plan, being compliant with new regulation. Consider it the price of doing business in an increasingly connected world to keep your operations, your reputation and your stakeholders secure.



Stratford Managers strengthens product offering Stratford Managers is expanding its offering of leadership training workshops following its acquisition of an award-winning curriculum. The Kanata-based management consulting and services firm

says the new learning material, developed by CORE Consulting, will complement its existing leadership development services. “Stratford helps our clients win, and we know one of the best ways to do that is to help them

strengthen their leadership,” said president and CEO Jim Roche in a statement. The competency-based workshops focus on coaching, team building and conflict management, among other topics,

and won the HR Reporter 2017 Awards for Top Management/ Executive Development and Best Leadership and Team Development.





ANTHONY (12) • JOSHUA (5) • AMAN (18)








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 to register as an exhibitor, book booth space and gain added exposure by becoming a sponsor.

New Quarterhill CEO handed M&A mandate


ew Ottawa tech firms have undergone a transformation quite as radical as Kanata’s Quarterhill over the past year. The company previously known as patent licensing firm WiLAN dramatically pivoted in 2017, changing its name to Quarterhill and plunging into the industrial Internet of Things sector through a $63.5-million acquisition of Saskatchewan-based International Road Dynamics. Patent licensing is still part of its business. However, WiLAN is now a subsidiary of Quarterhill alongside International Road Dynamics and Viziya, a software and services provider. The firm made another major move in December, naming Doug Parker – an M&A specialist and

former OpenText executive – as its new president and CEO. He replaced Shaun McEwan, who held the position on an interim basis. Parker has a mandate to continue making acquisitions that build upon Quarterhill’s new direction. But despite the focus on the firm’s transformation, Parker said he wants to leverage the firm’s strong history in Ottawa’s tech community – a story that dates back to the early ’90s when it was a pioneer in high-speed wireless technology. “WiLAN is obviously a wellknown and successful technology company in the Ottawa region. I think this is an opportunity to build on that,” says Parker, who adds he sees the company’s history as a good foundation to growth.


Doug Parker is the new CEO of Quarterhill. PHOTO BY MARK HOLLERON

Parker was previously OpenText’s senior vice-president of corporate development where he oversaw approximately $2.5 billion in acquisition spending and onboarded roughly 3,500 employees. Reflecting on his experiences, Parker says a successful acquisition requires a broad-based effort and calls M&A transactions “a bit of a team sport.” “M&A is not necessarily a clear playbook. It’s a process of continuing improvement, in capability, process and people,” he says.

Like the commercial side of the Internet of Things – which typically refers to the wireless connection of appliances, devices and objects for applications such as controlling home electronics and lights with a smartphone – the industrial sector utilizes sensors and informationcollecting devices to generate data and communicate information and analytics to users and each other. Here’s an example involving Quarterhill subsidiary International Road Dynamics. In Western Canada, the firm is helping to manage trucks traffic in British Columbia with a network of weigh-in-motion and automatic vehicle identification technologies that are designed to improve the efficiency of commercial vehicle traffic. Once a transponder-equipped vehicle has been initially checked, it can be cleared to bypass all subsequent inspection stations for up to 24 hours.



The annual Women’s Day Business & Community Builders Breakfast is a celebration of women

who are activating a spark for change in their communities. The event brings together many of Ottawa’s diverse business professionals to meet, mix and mingle over

breakfast. Hear great speakers, network and build new connections. It’s organized by the Ottawa Opportunities Network, an online/ offline community

MLB taps Ottawa’s Mitel for on-field communication systems


he Toronto Blue Jays’ next call to the bullpen will be powered by an Ottawa telecom firm. In the midst of celebrating its 45th year in business and ringing the bell at the NASDAQ stock exchange in late February, the Kanata North firm announced its technology will power communications systems on the field for all 30 teams in Major League Baseball. The deal unifies communications between the press box, dugout, bullpen and video review rooms at every MLB ballpark from the Rogers Centre to Wrigley Field, where teams have until now relied on independent systems. There’s a practical reason to adopt Mitel’s solution: the new system can monitor and record

Fenway Park in Boston will be among the 30 MLB stadiums adopting Mitel technology.

hub supporting and connecting social entrepreneurs, professionals and the nonprofit community. See our events calendar for more details.

MITEL NAMED NO. 2 UCAAS VENDOR IN THE WORLD Kanata’s Mitel came within a percentage point of seizing the top position among unified communicationsas-a-service vendors around the world based on market share, according to a report released earlier this year. Synergy Research Group says Mitel is the No. 2 global uCaaS vendor based on its number of subscribers. “Mitel has set a high bar for growth these past few years, quickly cracking the million-customer mark,” said Jeremy Duke, Synergy Research Group founder and chief analyst, in a statement. Mitel said it has doubled the size of its uCaaS business since 2015. Its growth in that space was accelerated by last year’s acquisition of ShoreTel.


every call teams make during play, ensuring compliance with MLB rules and regulations. There’s a brand benefit for Mitel with this deal as well. The firm will become the official presenting


sponsor for instant-replay reviews across the league, making Mitel synonymous with baseball’s most exciting plays. At the stock exchange, Mitel CEO Rich McBee rang the bell to close

trading on Feb. 26, which the firm says also kicks off celebrations for its 45th birthday coming up on June 8. Mitel’s tech will be in place for baseball’s opening day at the end of March.

Office furniture names such as Haworth and Keilhauer are some of the brands we remanufacture. Our remanufacturing department – one of the largest in North America – cleans, inspects and renews more than 3,000 spaces each year, giving previously-loved products a new life. Not only is great furniture saved from landfills, we are confident you’ll find what you need to make the most of your space. ABI has been a trusted name in office furniture for over 25 years. At ABI we guarantee our remanufactured products with the same warranty as our new products. All of our remanufactured furniture meets LEED certification for commercial interiors.

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David Gourlay, Jenna Sudds vying for Kanata North council seat

The fall municipal election may still be several months away, but the contest to represent Kanata North has already attracted two highprofile candidates. Lobbyist and former Ottawa Champions president David Gourlay was the first to announce his intention to run

in February. Two weeks later, Jenna Sudds said she would also be seeking the council seat. Sudds is the former executive director of the Kanata North Business Association and currently heads the CIO Strategy Council, a nonprofit.

Infinera expands Kanata presence on strength of local talent pool SILICON VALLEY-BASED FIRM HAS GROWN FROM THREE OTTAWA EMPLOYEES IN 2009 TO MORE THAN 50

engineers. In December, Infinera executives flew to Canada’s capital to announce plans for the Kanata expansion – which include an expansion of 6,000 square feet at 555 Legget Dr. – and called their Ottawa location the “fastest growing R&D department for the company.”


n optical networking firm that set up shop in Kanata just under a decade ago is entering a new phase of growth in Canada’s largest technology park with plans to hire dozens of additional engineers in the coming years. Silicon Valley-based Infinera creates products that facilitate the high-speed transfer of information over optical networks. Specifically, its fiber-optic network technology pioneered the use of photonic integrated circuits (PICs) in its

Calibre of Kanata workforce Kuang-Tsan Wu is a director at Infinera. PHOTO BY MARK HOLLERON

intelligent transport networks. Infinera’s pitch, in plain language? “Imagine a world with unlimited bandwidth.” The firm set up a design centre in Ottawa in 2009 with three local employees. It’s since grown to more than 50 staff, predominantly


Infinera director Kuang-Tsan Wu was a member of the company’s initial Kanata team and has witnessed the company’s steady growth in the region first-hand. A 22-year veteran of Nortel’s optical division, Wu says many other engineers were looking for new opportunities following the tech giant’s collapse. The sudden exodus of Nortel talent into the local labour market ended up providing a strong


Gourlay and Sudds are seeking to replace veteran politician Marianne Wilkinson, who announced in early March that she plans to retire from municipal politics nearly 50 years after she was first elected. Ottawa voters head to the polls on Oct. 22.

base for Infinera’s initial recruiting. The calibre of Kanata’s skilled workforce was a motivating factor for Infinera to continue investing in its Ottawa operations, says Sonja Wilkerson, the firm’s senior vicepresident of human resources. “We have seen a talent pool – a skillset, a quality of talent – that we attract to Infinera that keeps us interested in Kanata,” she says. “With the amount of talent that exists in that hub, it’s absolutely critical for us to tap into it.” To find new recruits, Infinera hosts open houses and collaborated with Invest Ottawa to house a recruitment fair in late 2017. However, it also taps into resources within its own walls, believing that paying attention to properly onboarding new hires and fostering an environment where employees can be successful can turn existing staff into ambassadors for the company. “We certainly rely on personal referrals,” says Wilkerson. “That’s beginning to happen, now that we have critical mass.”


The 2018 AV Summit will showcase both the progress in automated driving technology and the far-reaching impacts this will have to society.

The Brookstreet Hotel April 4, 2018

Visit to register.


Ottawa’s AV Summit returns

where we live

The sweet success of La Maison du Kouign-Amann



family-run bakery known for satisfying the sweet tooths of its customers from Kanata North and beyond is readying expansion plans after several years of phenomenal growth. From its modest beginnings as a home-based business six years ago, La Maison du Kouign-Amann has developed a fervent following


among loyal clientele who venture from all across the National Capital Region to Kanata North for its tasty French-inspired fare. Co-owner Fran Jung, who runs the bakery with her husband, Geoff Brown, says she fell in love with baking as a teenager in the south of France. After several other careers, her passion paved the way for her

first professional culinary venture, which was creating and selling her company’s signature pastries, called Kouign-Amann. Jung concedes that she’s asked multiple times a day how it’s pronounced. “It’s quite simple: ‘Queen

Amann,’” she says with a laugh. These muffin-sized, flaky pastries boast layers of caramelized sugar and butter, plus an optional dollop of flavoured topping. La Maison du Kouign-Amann’s first retail outlet was at the Carp Farmers’ Market. It was there that

on April 4, 2018 Join us at The Brookstreet Hotel to learn about Autonomous Vehicles (AVs), Connected Vehicles (CVs) and Mobility as a Service (MaaS), and discuss what’s happening, the trends, how you can play a role, and connect with other technology companies interested in the AV/CV/MaaS ecosystem. Mobility as a service is presented by the Kanata North Business Association and Invest Ottawa, in partnership with the Canadian Automated Vehicles Centre of Excellence (CAVCOE)

Register today to secure your seat.

Jung and Brown learned how limiting selection could actually benefit their customers. Originally, the couple offered their pastries in a multitude of flavours. However, their customers found the options too enticing and had trouble deciding, leading to slow-moving lineups. That led to Kouign-Amanns only being offered in plain, raspberry, lemon, Nutella and caramel varieties.


While the pastries are still sold at the Carp and Hazeldean farmers’ markets, La Maison du KouignAmann now has a permanent home at its Schneider Road bakery where it also sells cookies, sweet and savoury tarts, sandwiches and more to neighbouring tech workers as well as visiting customers from across the National Capital Region. A storefront was never in the original plan, Jung concedes. “I was fine with selling at the market and thought in the beginning that would be enough,” she recalls. However, the business then agreed to supply several local coffee shops, which quickly ballooned to 20 across Ottawa, Gatineau and Montreal. This meant securing space for a commercial kitchen, and the owners figured they should use part of their new space for a small shop. “I am so happy we made that choice,” Jung says. “We are enjoying it so much.” When it came time to select a location, the couple says the choice in neighbourhoods was easy. They’d lived in Kanata North for more than a decade, and their

The husband-and-wife team of Geoff Brown and Fran Jung are the co-owners of La Maison du Kouign-Amann. PHOTOS BY MARK HOLLERON early west-end successes at the Carp Farmers’ Market correctly gave them confidence that they’d receive a steady and strong volume of traffic. Indeed, the business has grown by nearly 200 per cent since it was formally launched. “We are constantly amazed when people from Orléans, Gatineau or even farther afield walk through our door and tell us they have heard we have exceptional pastries,” Jung says.


Brown notes that the continued residential growth and commercial diversification of Kanata North is benefiting their business, which recently launched a catering service to respond to demand from customers in the tech sector. Jung and Brown have fast-tracked their expansion plans and are in the process of adding 1,000 square feet of space that will be used for an expanded seating area.

Jung notes that the bakery is a popular destination for cyclists and is also accessible in about 25 minutes from downtown via nearby Corkstown Road. They also welcome many weekend visitors out on drives through the nearby countryside. “Our success here in Kanata North proves that if you offer a good product and good service, people will seek you out,” Jung says.

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TEDxKanata applies tech solutions to human problems LOCAL SPEAKERS POSE THOUGHT-PROVOKING QUESTIONS ABOUT HOW WE LIVE ALONGSIDE ONE ANOTHER By Kieran Delamont ompared to an average business Re:Design


networking event, TEDx conferences – such as the latest edition held in Kanata in early March – are high-energy affairs. Inside the Brookstreet Hotel, pulsing dance music greeted guests as they took their seats ahead a series of inspiring talks by eight speakers who tackled thought-provoking questions about how we live alongside one another. “What you are about to experience, I truly believe, will change each and every one of you,” TEDxKanata organizer Jenna Sudds told attendees at the start of the event. “The person you walked into this room as five minutes ago? In five hours from now you will walk out with new inspiration.” 22 KANATA NETWORKER SPRING 2018

Though disparate in topic and varying widely in approach, each speaker channeled this year’s theme – “re:Design” – in a different way. Presenters included CPAC’s Catherine Cano, who spoke about getting millennials engaged in politics, as well as Treasury Board President Scott Brison, who presented his vision for running government like a startup. “We can’t be a Blockbuster government serving a Netflix citizenry … Digital gives us the power to reboot our relationship we have with our citizens,” he said, later adding, “Government exists to improve the lives of people. There’s got to be an app for that!” With TEDxKanata taking

place in the heart of Ottawa’s tech community, it was no surprise that many of the presentations contained tech overtones. As speaker after speaker delivered their talk, a simple message began to cut through: technological solutions for the world’s problems are possible, but only if we ensure that our social solutions stand just as tall – a reminder to keep people first. Iterations of this idea varied in interesting ways. Mark Sutcliffe, a local media commentator and business owner, discussed the concept of privilege and encouraged the audience to move outside technology when looking for solutions to human problems. “We all live in bubbles,” Sutcliffe said in his talk. “If you aren’t born in Canada or another western country, you start farther back. There’s no computer chip to even things out. You carry that disadvantage your entire life.” Other speakers included Marianne Gee of Gees Bees Honey, who underscored the importance of bees to the environment and used the creatures as a metaphor for battling climate change. The audience also heard from speakers such as Jay Gosselin, the founder of MentorU and the Discover Year Program, who spoke about getting young people excited

about post-secondary education through programs that involve travel and volunteering. DA-Integrated co-founder Scott Bulbrook spoke about his time working to create a digitally accessible communication device for someone with muscular challenges, while Emily De Sousa, a 22-yearold environmental activist, spoke about plastic pollution in the earth’s oceans.

Ideas worth sharing

For Sudds, the implicit theme of applying technological solutions to human problems and, ultimately, the call for people to do more for one another made the conference a perfect fit in the heart of the Kanata tech sector. “When I think about Kanata, I think about the technology community. We are designing and we are redesigning. That’s what our technology community does,” she said. “We’re always iterating, working on the next thing. Starting from scratch. It’s a process. This is what has to happen to be successful.” This year marked the fourth iteration of TEDxKanata, an event that’s grown considerably in size and stature. In 2015, Sudds said, there was about 100 people in attendance. That’s since quadrupled. “We’ve grown every year, to now when we have over 400 of you in the room here with us,” she said, to raucous applause. “What we’re doing here tonight, please do share,” Sudds later added. “It’s our chance to share your big ideas, right here in Kanata, with the world.”



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STOCKS & BONDS* | MUTUAL FUNDS** | CAPITAL MARKETS Manulife, Manulife Securities, the Block Design, the Four Cubes Design, and Strong Reliable Trustworthy Forward-thinking are trademarks of The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company and are used by it, and by its affiliates under license. Manulife Securities, consisting of Manulife Securities Incorporated, Manulife Securities Investment Services Inc., and Manulife Securities Insurance Inc., (carrying on business in British Columbia as Manulife Securities Insurance Agency). * Manulife Securities Incorporated is a licensed investment dealer, and a Member of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (“IIROC”). ** Manulife Securities Investment Services Inc. is a licensed mutual fund dealer, and a Member of the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada (“MFDA”). CS1045gE_CMYK 12/2014















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





We focus on the lifestyle so you can focus on the innovation. For leasing inquiries contact Linda Sprung, Director of Leasing (T) 613.591.0549 (E)


Ottawa Business Journal March 12, 2018  

Local Ottawa business news, start ups, technology, real estate, marketing, tourism, entrepreneurship, local commentary, reader comments, peo...

Ottawa Business Journal March 12, 2018  

Local Ottawa business news, start ups, technology, real estate, marketing, tourism, entrepreneurship, local commentary, reader comments, peo...