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September 2018 Vol. 21, NO. 20





Local licensed producers say a budding crop of cannabis training courses is proof their industry is growing up and entering the mainstream





‘Oh, hello there. I’m OBJ.’


Imagine a 24-year-old. Fully into adulthood. Educated. Physically and mentally strong. Modern in her thinking and ways. Excited for the future. As OBJ enters its 24th year, it’s acting its age. And this 20-something demands progress! Today, OBJ unveils major changes to its printed product (and increasingly popular digital edition). Some will be visually obvious. For I believe the third time in its history, OBJ embraces a new logo. I would describe it as modern and bold. There is also a new square printed format, which aligns with OBJ ’s debut newsmagazine approach, including a more edgy graphic design. (Shout-out to our longtime creative director Tanya Connolly-Holmes.) Of course, design isn’t much without substance, so faithful readers will also see changes in this issue – and more to come – in our content and regular features. Next comes publishing frequency. Big change again: OBJ is now a monthly. More time to create a higher-impact printed and digital-edition product. Lots more pages, too. Heft, I would suggest. Readers will also notice “Digital Edition Bonus Content” icons that signal complementary material, such



as embedded online videos and related articles from OBJ ’s extensive online archive. Finally, there is distribution. This part is good. OBJ ’s printed newsmagazine will now reach more than 20,000 separate businesses and organizations. That’s all of them from Arnprior to Orléans to Kemptville. How? OBJ has divided our region into four big zones: Kanata and Rural West, Ottawa West and South, Central, and Lowertown and Ottawa East. Each zone has about 5,000 commercial mailing addresses. Using Canada Post, every issue of OBJ will target one of these zones. It will

work in a rotational manner, starting in the Kanata and moving east. (Then it starts over.) Like that socially inclined 24-year-old, OBJ wants to meet every single business owner in Ottawa face to face. “Oh, hello there. I’m OBJ. I want to make you a more successful company.” Let me know what you think. Send a note to P.S. The people that do the heavy lifting on this are Peter Kovessy, David Sali, Craig Lord, Celine Paquette and the razzledazzle OBJ sales and marketing team. All credit to them. – Michael Curran

The Rail Deal In the October issue, OBJ looks at how the arrival of the Confederation light-rail line is poised to transform Ottawa’s business landscape

Three things to consider when buying car insurance in Ontario Read more


Amazon to shutter Kanata R&D outpost Days after breaking ground on a massive new warehouse in Ottawa’s east end, Amazon is clearing out of its research and development post in the west. In an email to OBJ, an Amazon spokesperson confirmed the Seattle-based e-commerce giant will leave its Kanata offices this fall. “After thorough review, we have decided to move roles from our Ottawa office to other offices in Canada and the U.S. to help teams operate even more efficiently and collaboratively,” read the statement issued on Aug. 22. Amazon opened its Ottawa R&D outpost two years ago and employed 30 people at its peak. Ottawa-based employees worked primarily on the Alexa

voice platform, which powers Amazon’s Echo “smart” speaker that connects with home automation and web services. The company noted in a statement that it is relocating those roles or helping employees “pursuing other opportunities with Amazon or outside of the company.” The news comes days after Amazon joined developer Broccolini in Ottawa to break ground on its new 1.02-millionsquare-foot distribution facility. The firm has said it intends to hire 600 people to service the fulfillment centre. Amazon’s decision to close its local operations is a dramatic departure from the optimistic tone that company officials struck when the firm first arrived. – OBJ staff — SPONSORED CONTENT —

Hydro Ottawa calls on customers to ‘go paperless’ for CHEO For every online billing and automated payment registration, the utility will donate $5 to the CHEO Foundation


easy to use and secure.” To register, Hydro Ottawa customers need only login on the utility’s website and opt in or speak to a customer service agent over the phone. No further action is needed on the customer’s part once they register. “This is a program that is driven by operational efficiencies, but is really answering the call of what our customers are looking for,” says Lupinacci. Online billing customers don’t have to wait for their bill to come in the

To make the switch in support of the CHEO Foundation, head to


Hydro Ottawa’s donation will support the pediatric programs, research, equipment, education and family assistance the foundation provides at CHEO. And for the utility’s customers who make the switch, the benefits are twofold. A donation on their behalf gets passed along to a highly respected and well-known charitable organization that supports one of Canada’s preeminent children’s hospitals. But customers also benefit from the greater efficiency that comes from both online billing and automated payments. “This gives them the ability to access the information on their bill 24 hours a day, 365 days a year,” says Lupinacci. “It also gives them the ability to manage their account online, which is convenient,


ydro Ottawa is making it easier than ever for residents to give back with its annual Go Paperless campaign, in support of the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Foundation. Until November 30, Hydro Ottawa will donate $5 to the foundation for every customer who switches to paperless online billing or automated payments. For those who make the switch to both services, the utility will donate $10. “Hydro Ottawa is a community company, and has been delivering an essential service to Ottawa residents for more than 100 years. Contributing to the wellbeing of the community has always been our core mandate,” says Julie Lupinacci, the utility’s chief customer officer.

mail, but can instead view it immediately through Hydro Ottawa’s web portal. Registering online also grants customers access to usage data, which can be used to make more conscious choices about a home’s energy use. “Customers today want a seamless, hassle-free experience with the same level of satisfaction that they would get talking to a person. They’re looking for access to information when they want it, not just when we happen to be open,” says Lupinacci. To her, Hydro Ottawa’s Go Paperless campaign is a win-win-win. Hydro Ottawa streamlines its billing process while reducing its environmental impact. The CHEO Foundation receives funding for its life-changing programs. And customers can rest easy knowing a small decision on their part has made a positive change for families in the Ottawa area.

PROFILE By Caroline Phillips

Family law BLG leader’s true calling Despite suffering her own family tragedy, Katherine Cooligan’s devotion to fighting for the best interests of children has never wavered

As far back as Katherine Cooligan can remember, she wanted to be a lawyer. Not only did she like to argue that black was white, or so her parents teased, but she shared her dad’s hard work ethic to never call in sick, to never be late. She was prepared to put in long hours and to devote herself to her clients. Little did she know she would also be tragically tested in a way that few lawyers experience. Cooligan, 54, was born and raised in Ottawa. She spent her summers and school breaks working as an assistant at a law firm whose partners included her uncle, the late Garret Cooligan. She gained exposure to the different fields of law, but there was one area in particular that she was drawn to due to the personal nature of the work. It was family law. Today, Cooligan is one of the top family law lawyers in town, handling mostly high-net-worth divorces that deal with the division of property, child custody and child and spousal support. She’s also a trailblazer, both as the first woman and the first family law lawyer to lead the Ottawa office of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP. She joined the firm in 2006 as its only family law partner. In 2014, she became regional managing partner in Ottawa by a vote of her Ottawa partners, which followed her term as manager of the litigation department. Cooligan and the regional managing partners of the Vancouver, Calgary,



Cooligan and her family are loyal supporters of CHEO. She’s on the board of the CHEO Foundation.


Cooligan has this advice for women interested in leadership roles: Go for it. “Don’t let the fear stop you. Don’t wait.”


Years ago, Cooligan was convinced by another young mom to take a cake-decorating course together. “I was working, like, 3,000 hours and cake decorating was the last thing I wanted to do, but I did it and I absolutely loved it,” she says.


Cooligan hosts female networking events, called Tea with BLG, using old-fashioned tea cups and saucers that she collects and gives to her guests to take home.


Cooligan is part of the new Capital Build Task Force launched earlier this year by the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce to promote city-building projects.







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“When I decided to take this role on, I did question whether I could be successful in the role and whether or not I wanted the stress of the role, but I took the challenge because I knew I would learn from it and figure it out. I knew I would get there.”


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Toronto and Montreal offices sit on the national management committee that oversees the firm nationally. BLG is Canada’s largest law firm with more than 700 lawyers. “It’s challenging, exciting –​ there all kinds of ways to describe it ​– but it’s also, honestly, an honour,” she says during an interview at BLG’s scenic downtown Ottawa office on the 13th floor of the World Exchange Plaza. “When I decided to take this role on, I did question whether I could be successful in the role and whether or

not I wanted the stress of the role, but I took the challenge because I knew I would learn from it and figure it out. I knew I would get there.” Being appointed to a senior management position has inspired Cooligan to keep growing as a leader and, in particular, to encourage more women to take on leadership positions. While she’s thrilled with how high she’s risen in the ranks, it’s her proven presents: track record as a litigator that she’s most proud of. Continues on page 9



David Segal

Founder of Mad Radish Inc.

Erin Crowe ChiefSegal Financial Officer of Martello David

Founder of Mad Radish Inc.

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How Ottawa’s commercial real estate brokers find the best space for their tenants For many industry veterans, it comes down to the quality of the landlord



ike many of the city’s veteran commercial real estate brokers, Michael Church has lost track of the number of Ottawa office spaces he’s toured with tenants over the years. In a city home to thousands of commercial properties, it’s inevitable that many will share similar features and amenities. But one variable can have a major impact on which spaces brokers such as Church recommend to their tenants: the landlord, and the quality of their service. “When you lease from a landlord, you’re basically getting married for 60 to 120 months,” says Church, a 30-year veteran of Ottawa’s commercial real estate industry and a broker, principal and managing director of Avison Young. “If both sides of the equation don’t feel like they’ve won something, that’s a terrible way to start.”



TRANSPARENCY & TRUST When brokers set out to find the perfect space, the first step is getting to know the tenant, their business and how they can best leverage their commercial space. Once they have a full understanding of a tenant’s needs, brokers must draft a shortlist of spaces for them to consider. Among the many things they take into consideration is the landlord. After all, should the relationship between a tenant and their landlord go south, it reflects poorly on the broker who connected them. “The quality of the landlord, or the openness of the landlord to making a mutually beneficial transaction, is something that factors very high when developing a

shortlist to pursue,” says Alan Doak, a partner and co-founder at Proveras Commercial Realty, an Ottawa-based commercial real estate brokerage. Maintaining open lines of communication, as well as providing detailed and up-to-date information about various spaces, is key. “We contact members of the brokerage community on a regular basis, so that they know who we are and that they’re comfortable calling us,” says Kevin Rougeau, managing partner at Merkburn Holdings, a local commercial real estate firm with a portfolio of dozens of office and industrial spaces across Ottawa. Merkburn prides itself on providing complete, transparent information to brokers and potential tenants. This includes details of a given space such as its size and amenities, but also a full breakdown of the costs associated with moving in. “Tenants don’t like surprises,” says Rougeau. While there’s the cost of rent and – in some cases – utilities, moving into a new commercial space often also requires a fit up, where the space is re-outfitted to suit a new tenant’s needs. As Rougeau explains, Merkburn is transparent with all costs up front so as to make the signing and move-in process smoother for tenants. The firm also provides other key information, such as the number of parking spaces available to a tenant based on the size of their space. Transparency and efficiency are among the reasons many of Ottawa’s real estate brokers enjoy working with Merkburn when

Merkburn’s property at 62 Steacie Dr. (Photo provided by Merkburn Holdings) searching for the best space for their tenants. “They take a lot of pride in the work that they do,” says Church. A PEOPLE BUSINESS Once a tenant has decided on a space, it’s time to negotiate the lease, complete their fit up and move in. In many instances, this process has to happen quickly, as a tenant’s current lease may be ending or they’ve outgrown their current space. The speed at which this can happen is often influenced by how quickly a landlord can approve various parts of the project. “One of the top reasons that we like dealing with Merkburn is that the decision-makers are local,” says

Doak, whose business is also based in the city. This means approvals happen promptly and questions are quickly answered. This translates to better service for tenants and in turn brokers, both during negotiations, fit up and after move in. In contrast, many large commercial real estate companies are based out of Toronto, but own and manage properties in Ottawa and other cities. This can slow down the process, and even lead to challenges should an issue arise in a building outside of business hours. “It’s a people business and Merkburn are very much aware of that,” says Church. “It’s all about people.”

Are you on the hunt for a commercial space in Ottawa? Head to for current vacancies.


ST. FRANCIS HERB FARM: Celebrating 30 years in the Ottawa Valley Family-run business has products in stores across Canada


estled in the heart of the Ottawa Valley sits one of the area’s best kept secrets: the St. Francis Herb Farm, a pioneering company in Canada’s natural health products industry. St. Francis manufactures a wide array of certified organic herbal products just a two-hour drive from Ottawa in the Village of Combermere. This year, the company is celebrating its 30th anniversary. “It’s a reflection of a commitment to quality and integrity within the business,” says Paul Rivett-Carnac, the president and CEO of St. Francis Herb Farm. He points to the company’s continuous growth and long reign in the Canadian market as indicators of its reputation as a highly trusted herbal medicine brand. Rivett-Carnac took over the business from his parents four years ago, and now runs it with his wife, Caitlin. They live with their two young sons on their 50-acre farm near the village of Barry’s Bay. “I grew up on a farm, and it was such a great childhood experience for me,” says Rivett-Carnac. “That’s something I want to provide for our own children.” Also in Barry’s Bay is the St. Francis Herb Farm R&D facility, as well as a 16-acre plot of land which will be the future site of the company’s new head office and manufacturing facility. Currently,

both the head office and manufacturing space are located 15 minutes down the road in Combermere. The second-generation family business currently employs 40 people in the Ottawa Valley, as well as 15 sales reps and four natural health-care advisers across Canada. St. Francis Herb Farm products can be found in health food stores and grocers across the country. The company has grown and sourced premium herbs to create more than 200 products over the years. These range from herbal tonics to topical treatments and even a variety of healthy oils, mineral and protein supplements. Among its best-sellers is its award-winning Deep Immune®, which is clinically proven as an effective defence against cold and flu. Right from the outset, St. Francis was a pioneer in Canada’s organic standards movement, being among the first Canadian companies in the herbal industry to sell organic products. As a company dedicated to soulful living, St. Francis Herb Farm has benefited greatly from being situated in the Madawaska Valley, in the heart of Renfrew County. “We live authentically in many ways,” says Rivett-Carnac. “This business has really been an extension of our lifestyle.”

Paul and Caitlin (left) with their children and Paul’s parents. (Photo by Bob McKeachie) Would your business benefit from a change of scenery? Head to to learn more.


From foster kid to Ottawa entrepreneur Local author pens first book, published by the Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa

“I am excited to share my story in the hope that it can inspire others” -Lual Lual

To purchase your copy of Lual’s book, head to


Lual Lual, an Ottawa entrepreneur and author, is no exception. Lual recently launched his first book, From Foster Care to Entrepreneurship, which details his life experiences both in and out of foster care, emphasizing the many valuable lessons he learned along the way. “I am excited to share my story in the hope that it can inspire others,” says Lual. “I wrote this book because I wanted to show people how the Children’s Aid Society helps kids transform their lives, replacing despair and


Most entrepreneurs have a story of how they came to be their own boss, and it’s usually filled with twists, turns, upsets and – eventually – victories.

uncertainty with confidence and hope.” While Lual has had a hand in a number of ventures, he currently sits as the CEO of Fortune South Sudan, an investment and development firm based in the east African country. Lual was born in Sudan, but grew up in Ottawa after immigrating to Canada with his family. His journey is filled with challenges including navigating his parents’ separation and dealing with the constant displacement of living in shelters and foster homes. The book launched on Aug. 15 at the Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa’s east-end office. It was emceed by Ottawa media personality Mark Sutcliffe, who is himself an author and the CEO of Great River Media. The launch was attended by a number of local dignitaries, including Walter Noble, the Children’s Aid Foundation of Ottawa’s executive director. “Lual offers tremendous insight into what life is like for children in care and how many different people can impact their lives in positive ways,” said Noble ahead of the event. In an extension of the hopeful spirit ingrained in From Foster Care to Entrepreneurship, the book was published by Great River Media with the support of The Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa, The Children’s Aid Foundation of Ottawa and the Bookworm Club of Ontario.


CULTIVATING INNOVATION: HEXO taps Stratford Managers to develop innovation lab The Gatineau cannabis producer is among the fastest growing pot companies in Canada


s one of Canada’s fastest-growing cannabis companies, HEXO is wellversed in standing out from the crowd. But with rapid growth comes the need to scale. As leaders of a high-profile company in a relatively uncharted industry, HEXO’s executives faced a unique dilemma.

How can we continue to innovate efficiently and effectively as we grow? For HEXO, formerly trading as Hydropothecary, the solution came from Ottawa consulting firm Stratford Managers. “We were a startup for a very long time. For us, it was clear that we needed to mature,” says Adam Miron, co-founder and chief brand officer at HEXO. Stratford Managers came on board to assist the Gatineau-based cannabis producer in developing its innovation lab, bringing in a cross-service team with expertise in human resources, business development, intellectual property and innovation coaching. “For the innovation lab, it’s a matter of setting up the right culture and climate so that everybody knows that they’re welcome to innovate,” says Natalie Giroux, business lead in innovation strategy at Stratford Managers. In a matter of months, the Stratford team developed a plan for implementing HEXO’s innovation lab, including staffing and resource recommendations as well as an in-depth process to follow as new ideas come about.





As a Canadian producer, HEXO is in a relatively uncharted space. Though medical marijuana has been legal since 2001, the impending legalization of recreational use this fall has left many wondering at the use of cannabis and its commercialization in Canada. HEXO’s unique target market also requires that the firm keep ahead of – or even set – industry trends. “We call them the explorers,” Miron says of his target customers. He defines them as


From left, Tim Fleming, innovation coach with Stratford Managers, Patrick Woods, project manager with HEXO, Natalie Giroux, business lead in innovation strategy with Stratford, Adam Miron, cofounder and CBO at HEXO, Elaine Johnson, VP intellectual property strategy with Stratford, Dean Fulford with Stratford, leadership development practice lead, and Timothy Koo, project manager at HEXO. Photo credit: Mark Hollleron THC. Decarb won best new cannabis product at the 2017 Lift Canadian Cannabis Awards. “We wanted a flag that people would be proud to fly,” Miron says.

Stratford Managers team will help guide HEXO’s innovation from start to finish. They include laser-focused details such as a single point of contact for the company’s CEO to Break Through the Barriers to Growth check in on recent developments and a process for determining when an idea is no CROSS-SERVICE APPROACH “For the innovation longer viable. In order to develop the many components of Other aspects of the innovation lab project the innovation lab, Stratford Managers had lab, it’s a matter of include the drafting of job descriptions for to first get to know HEXO inside out, from setting up the right specific roles and recommendations on its employees to its corporate culture and what lab equipment HEXO should acquire. beyond. culture and climate so Currently, Stratford Managers is assisting in For the Stratford team, the task came that everybody knows the hiring and onboarding process for a crop down to developing frameworks for HEXO of new employees that will help to fuel the to implement that would be realistic yet that they’re welcome to firm’s innovation process. impactful. To do this, the various members Consulting. Coaching. Virtual/Interim Management. innovate” “We knew five years ago that if we didn’t of the firm’s cross-service team conducted fillaccelerate the room with people smarter us, then interviews withspecializes employees and performed Stratford Managers in helping businesses performance andthan achieve — Natalie Giroux scale. We’re advisors and expert bench strength for many ofsays Ottawa’s it wouldn’t work,” Miron.leading “And we did markettrusted research. companies. Take the firststruggle, step to the nextwhen level. exactly that here.” “Most companies because Among the products that have already they have a good idea they go full on in that Sales | Marketing | Finance | Human Resources | Operations | Intellectual Property | IT come out of HEXO are Decarb, an activated direction to deliver on it, and they forget that marijuana powder that can be consumed in they need another idea to work on in the capsule form or sprinkled on food, and Fleur meantime,” explains Giroux. de Lune, a personal lubricant infused with The new processes developed by the high-income individuals who don’t outwardly identify as cannabis consumers for fear of the stigma and adverse impact it may have on their personal and professional lives.


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“I loved my work ​– I really did,” she says. “I could not have worked as hard as I did had I not enjoyed it as much

as I did, so I did go back.” At first, she found it hard to watch other parents in their tug-of-war custody battles and the harm that they were inflicting on the perfectly healthy child they’d been blessed with. Cooligan, who is the main provider for her family, is the mother of three: Jade, 24, Jasmyn, 19, and Jordan, 17. Justin had been her secondborn child (the only two days she takes off work are his birthday and the anniversary of his death). It was always important to her that she and her kids remain close and connected, whether it meant bringing them with her to out-oftown conferences or having them join her at her office with their DVD players or homework. “As much as possible, I integrated them into my work life,” she says. She got enormous help on the home front from her parents, Milton Cooligan, 89, who was a civilian employee with Ottawa Police by the time he retired, and Dorothy Cooligan, 86. The Cooligans both grew up on the farmlands of Luskville, Que., and currently live in a bungalow on her street. In 2016, many years after her first marriage ended, she married again, to Jim Houswerth, who moved from Chicago to be with Cooligan. Interestingly, when people used to ask Cooligan’s children what they wanted to be when they grew up, they would all reply: “Not a lawyer.” They’d seen her work too many evenings, weekends and holidays. “I work really hard, but I love it.”


Continued from page 5 “Nothing has more impact on a family’s life than getting a good result for young children when dealing with bitter custody cases,” says Cooligan. “In the last few years, I have had several very lengthy high-conflict custody trials with very young children that were very difficult and for which I had success in every case ​– and by ‘success,’ I mean in the best interests of that child.” Cooligan graduated from Ridgemont High School before earning her undergrad degree at Carleton University. After getting married, she attended law school at the University of Ottawa. She then joined Gowlings, where she articled, and remained with the multinational law firm for 16 years. It was a bittersweet experience ​– more bitter than sweet –​ when she made partner, because it coincidentally fell on the same day her five-monthold son Justin died on Sept. 19, 1997. Justin had been born with multiple heart defects and spent his brief life entirely at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario. Cooligan, who practically lived at CHEO during that time, struggled during this profoundly painful period of her life. After a short bereavement leave, she made the decision to return to family law litigation.


‘Ottawa is going to change dramatically’ BY DAVID SALI




Never afraid to express his opinions, Brad Lamb is characteristically blunt in his assessment of his latest condo-building exercise in Ottawa. “The last five years here were not fun,” said the well-known Toronto real estate agent and developer. “It wasn’t fun for my office, it wasn’t fun for me.” Bold and sometimes brash, Lamb has made a name for himself over the past couple of decades as one of the GTA’s leading condo builders ​– according to its website, his Lamb Development Corp. has sold more than $1.3 billion worth of properties since it was founded in 2001. Here in Ottawa, however, Lamb’s forays into the market have been comparatively limited. The firm has just one finished project, the 240-suite Gotham highrise on Lyon Street in Centretown. Another planned 350-unit condo on Bronson Avenue south of Lyon never came to fruition. Lamb said he sold the land to a Quebec apartment developer a couple of years ago, because he was “tired of banging my head against the wall” trying to drum up enough interest to justify the project. Still, Lamb hasn’t totally turned his back on the nation’s capital. His second Ottawa condo, the 20-storey, $90-million SoBa development, is set to open next year with 218 suites.

It’s been a project more than five years in the making for the man known as “Toronto’s condo king,” who said he bought the land at 203 Catherine St. “for nothing” but then “struggled mightily” to hit the 60 per cent mark in pre-sold inventory that’s his minimum threshold for putting shovels in the ground. “We started selling SoBa in a very bad time for Ottawa real estate,” he said during a recent stopover in the capital to deliver a real estate seminar. “It was one of the worst (markets) for a long time.” Lamb said the local economy suffered for years under a Harper government that cut federal spending. Developers didn’t help themselves, he added, by going on a building spree that flooded the market with new inventory just as potential buyers started tightening their pursestrings. “We overbuilt, and everyone got burned, from Claridge to Lamb to Urban Capital to all the other guys,” he said. “It’s a small enough real estate condo economy, 500 units is tons of money. Developers ... are very faddy. Everyone rushes to a city and builds condos and then we fuck ourselves by overbuilding. You couldn’t sell anything for years.” Recently, however, the market has turned. According to the Ottawa Real Estate Board, condo sales rose more than 14 per cent year-over-year in July and were up 16.5 per cent over the first seven months of the year.


Poised to open his first new condo project in the nation’s capital in years, brash T.O. developer Brad Lamb says the city is still a prime buyer’s market –​ but likely not for much longer


Lamb attributes that to renewed confidence in the local economy, fuelled by a Liberal government that began hiring again and construction projects that have kickstarted an employment boom. It helps that a typical condo in Ottawa costs less than half of the $605,000 the average buyer will shell out in Toronto, but there’s more to it than that, he explained. “Part of it is price, but more of it is a general sense of well-being,” Lamb said. “If you feel that you’re going to have a job tomorrow, you might rent. If you feel you’re going to have a job in three years, you might buy. You make long-term plans. I think people in Ottawa were not making long-term plans four years ago, maybe even two years ago, but now they are.” Ottawa is still a buyer’s market, he said, but maybe not for much longer. “Two years ago, there was 18 months of supply of unsold condos. Now there’s two.

Two years from now, people will look back and say, ‘Wow, I could’ve bought condos for $540 a (square) foot and now they’re $700 a foot. It’s a lot of money that’s going to be made in the next two to three years as long as the wheels don’t come off the economy – and I don’t think they’re going to.” After putting the brakes on new developments for the past couple of years, condo builders are eager to start satisfying pent-up demand, he said. “As the inventory gets down close to zero and it tightens up, you’re going to see more and more developers announcing projects,” predicted Lamb, who said he’s hearing “bold new ideas” for future properties, fuelled in part by foreign buyers looking to invest in markets beyond Toronto and Vancouver. “The city of Ottawa is going to change dramatically, I think, over the next three years, just because there’s so little to buy.” Lamb, who likens himself to “a rapacious, hoarding squirrel that loves buying real estate and dreaming up ideas for it,” called Ottawa a city that “punches above its weight.” He thinks projects such as LeBreton Flats, the Zibi mixed-use development on Chaudière Island and the rejuvenation of Lansdowne Park signal a new era of prosperity for the capital, and he’d like to be a bigger part of it. “My attention will come back here,” he said. He’s launching a couple of hotel developments in other Canadian locations, he noted, and he mused about returning to build a “really cool four-star hotel, which this city doesn’t have yet.” Warming to the topic, he rhymed off the amenities it would feature: a minibar, an ice machine in every suite, room service “that is actually food you want to eat, with a healthy bent to it as well,” a “comfortable and clubby” bar, “maybe a speakeasy in the basement,” a restaurant “that everyone wants to go to with a great chef” and “a swimming pool on the roof with girls hanging around in bikinis.” Lamb is well aware it’s not the exactly the kind of plan that screams “Ottawa,” and that’s his whole point. “But Ottawa would like it,” he said with a grin. Quiet as a lamb? Never.

The Ottawa Real Estate Show is a new online broadcast dedicated to commercial property in Canada’s capital. Watch the show at The Ottawa Real Estate Show is sponsored by Mann Lawyers and CBRE Ottawa.

Armed with IPO proceeds, Minto eyes intensification opportunities Fresh off its $230-million initial public offering of a new apartment REIT, Ottawabased Minto Group is looking to expand both through acquisitions and new developments in Canada’s largest urban markets, the firm’s chief executive said. Earlier this year, Minto spun off 22 of its Canadian multi-residential properties into a new REIT that began trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange in July. The Minto Group and its owners, the Greenberg family, are closely tied to the new REIT and own 57 per cent of the venture. Speaking on the Ottawa Real Estate Show, Minto CEO Michael Waters said the TSX listing gives the firm – which develops

new homes and condos in addition to managing residential rental and commercial properties – access to capital that will help fuel its expansion. While Minto will continue to construct large greenfield developments of low-rise single-family homes and townhomes, Waters said land-use planning policies are increasingly pushing the firm towards mid-rise and high-rise projects. “We are seeing more pressure to intensify existing sites,” Waters said. “In urban centres, we are doing a lot of brownfield site redevelopment.” When it comes to multi-residential properties in particular, Minto is tapping

into an asset coveted by investors and in high demand among tenants. Capitalization rates – a rough measure of return on an investment – of prime Ottawa multi-residential properties were hovering below four per cent in the first quarter, according to real estate firm CBRE. That’s lower than the city’s office, industrial and retail markets and indicates a relatively modest amount of perceived risk. “Whether it’s aging baby boomers looking to downsize or millennials looking for low-maintenance starter residences, there seems to be (healthy) demand and a limited supply in Ottawa of multi-

MICHAEL WATERS residential properties, which makes it attractive for investors,” said Shawn Hamilton, managing director of CBRE. – Peter Kovessy



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Cannabis 101 now in session


(or 420)



As the pot industry’s need for skilled workers ramps up ahead of legalization, more and more schools are stepping up with training programs to fill the gap


With the specifics of the Ontario government’s plan to privatize the sale of cannabis still a little hazy, Joel Dubois knows he has his work cut out for him this winter. Dubois, a partner at the Ottawa law office of Perley-Robertson, Hill & McDougall, will be breaking new academic ground in January when he and colleague Megan Wallace take the reins as the lead instructors of the new cannabis law course at the University of Ottawa. The course, the first of its kind in Canada, will run for about three weeks. Students will learn about the licensing and regulatory frameworks of the cannabis industry as well as how legalizing the drug will affect everything from employment to property law. Diane Labelle, general counsel at Health Canada Legal Services, will teach a similar course at uOttawa in

French this fall. Dubois says the forthcoming legalization of pot will have far-reaching consequences on everyone from HR managers to landlords, and lawyers need to know how to deal with the legal issues that will inevitably arise. “It’ll be fun to put it on,” he says. “There will be a lot of what-ifs and question marks. There are not going to be a lot of cases (to study) on the recreational side for some time.” Dubois says a legal landscape already fraught with uncertainty became even more unpredictable when the new provincial government decided to reverse course on a plan to have the Ontario liquor board control cannabis sales and instead opted to put the drug in the hands of private retailers as of next spring. “There were already a lot of questions, but now there’s a last-minute curveball on some of these things, which will create some chaos I suspect come Oct. 17,” he says. As an example, he says, commercial landlords now face heavy penalties for allowing pot to be sold at their properties, a situation that will have to change in time for private retailers to hit the market next April. His course will also feature a field trip to the Tweed production facility in Smiths Falls, where students will get a first-hand look at the product they’re learning about. “That’ll be fun for the students to have an opportunity to see a production facility,” Dubois says. The University of Ottawa’s new law course is just one of a number of programs cropping up at post-secondary schools across Canada in response to the explosive growth of the cannabis industry and the resulting demand for thousands of new workers.


Earlier this year, for example, southern Ontario’s Niagara College announced it was launching a one-year post-graduate commercial cannabis production program developed in conjunction with more than a dozen licensed producers, including Tweed parent Canopy Growth.

Ryerson University in Toronto, meanwhile, said this summer its Ted Rogers School of Management would be introducing a course –​ appropriately numbered 420 –​ called “the Business of Cannabis,” focusing on topics such as retailing, marketing, quality control and financing. And Montreal’s McGill University plans to enter the field by offering a diploma program in cannabis and cannabis production, likely starting next fall. Andrée St-Cyr, director of human resources at Gatineau cannabis producer Hydropothecary, is a big fan of the new programs. She says the rapidly growing firm has been “really lucky to find some exceptional employees across the board” but adds that new hires generally face a lot of on-the-job training, and any extra education they can get will help. “We’ve been able to find certain skillsets that were transferable from other industries, but there is a substantial learning curve to get to know the specifics of cannabis,” she says. The company – which is in the process of rebranding itself as Hexo – is currently adding to its headcount at the dizzying rate of 10 people a week, St-Cyr says, and now sits at about 225 employees. She says that number could hit 500 by the end of the year. Finding skilled workers at such a clip would be a challenge for any business, St-Cyr adds, but even more so in a rapidly expanding, constantly evolving young sector such as cannabis. “It’s nice for (post-secondary schools) to recognize our industry, to take an interest in it,” she says. “Really, at the

People need to understand that the cannabis industry is complex. So I think that when educational institutions … start developing programs, then we build an expertise that we will need to maintain the existing industry, take it to the next level and help it grow.” – ANDREE ST-CYR, DIRECTOR OF HUMAN RESOURCES AT GATINEAU-BASED CANNABIS PRODUCER HYDROPOTHECARY end of the day, it’s kind of a win-win because they get to train people in this booming industry where there is a lot of opportunity, and we get to have access to a qualified workforce.” At Tweed in Smiths Falls, spokesperson Caitlin O’Hara says the company was content in its early days to rely on socalled “black-market” employees who cut their teeth in the underground pot scene. But as the industry moves into the mainstream, it’s becoming more and important for producers to foster a climate where formalized education becomes the norm, she says. Natalie Wood, director of human resources at Ottawa-based National Access Cannabis, agrees programs such as those at McGill, Niagara College and Ryerson are vital to the industry’s continued development. “It reflects the fact that the majority of Canadians do feel this industry has legitimacy,” she said in an email to OBJ. “I feel that, given the pace of growth we

expect, cannabis in Canada will become a major employer, and these courses reflect a similar specialization approach as we see with other major industries in Canada such as forestry, manufacturing, oil and gas and health care.”


Critics, however, have questioned the rush for schools to close the cannabis skills gap. David Robinson, executive director of the Canadian Association of University Teachers, told the National Post earlier this year there was an “irrational exuberance” among post-secondary institutions to get into the cannabis game, comparing the situation to the dot-com boom of the 1990s when schools scrambled to boost their computer science programs. “When the market crashed, there was now serious overcapacity and many graduates couldn’t find work,” he said. But the cannabis industry has an urgent need for workers with highly

specialized skills in areas such as genetics, horticulture, cultivation techniques, pest control and biotechnology, and the new courses are simply a response to that demand, St-Cyr argues. “You’re kind of borrowing skills from pharmaceutical or food industries, but it is still quite different,” she explains. “People need to understand that the cannabis industry is complex. There are a lot of components to the cannabis industry. So I think that when educational institutions … start developing programs, then we build an expertise that we will need to maintain the existing industry, take it to the next level and help it grow.” Finding growers is a particular challenge, she adds. The producer’s current master grower, Agnes Kwasniewska, is a former researcher at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada who came to Hydropothecary after heading up a flower greenhouse. The company is now searching for a new master grower as it prepares for a massive expansion that will see it open a new, one-million-square-foot greenhouse before the end of the year. “Frankly, experience growing cannabis, especially on a large scale, is a very rare skill,” St-Cyr notes. And as the number of courses catering to the cannabis industry grows, so does interest in studying the field. The University of Ottawa accepted 25 secondand third-year students into its inaugural law course, Dubois says – but that still left a waiting list 81 names long. “I think it’s the longest waiting list there is,” he says with a laugh. “(Cannabis) is the topic du jour. Everybody is talking about it.”



CASHING IN ON CANNABIS Tourism industry not rushing to go to pot Local businesses taking a wait-and-see attitude toward cannabis-related activities while provincial legislation gets sorted out BY DAVID SALI PHOTOS BY MARK HOLLERON

An April Fools’ Day prank made it crystal clear to Brad Campeau that Ottawa is ready to embrace cannabis-driven tourism with open arms. The owner of Brew Donkey, a company that runs tours of local craft breweries,

decided to have a little fun with his customers on April 1 of last year. He announced he was launching a new service, Ganja Mule, that would offer “exclusive guided tours” of Smiths Fallsbased medical pot producer Tweed, giving customers “a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to grow cannabis.” Passengers would be transported to and from the former Hershey chocolate

factory that is now home to Tweed’s local production facility in the “cannabus” –​ a high-tech vehicle equipped with custom features that included “augmented reality, driver air-filtration and fresh local food.” Cannabis-curious citizens flocked to register at, the domain name Campeau and his team had set up. There, they were informed that, sadly, the joke was on them – though their disappointment was tempered somewhat by Campeau’s offer of $4.20 off any of Brew Donkey’s legitimate tours. Yet as light-hearted as the gag was, it showed Campeau that cannabis-based tourism has the potential to be serious business in Ottawa. “We got a lot of clicks and a lot of people told us they were ready to book,” the local entrepreneur said. “There’s definitely a taste for this kind of experience.” That’s already been amply demonstrated south of the border in states where adult use of cannabis is legal. In Colorado, where pot has been legal since 2012, the state’s department of revenue says cannabis tourism has grown 51 per cent in the past four years. In 2016 alone, the agency said, the state drew 6.5 million travellers who took part in “marijuanarelated activities.” With weed set to be legalized for recreational use across Canada as of Oct. 17, some businesses on this side of the border are already rushing to target what they hope will be an influx of foreign travellers keen on sampling the substance.





A company called Canadian Kush Tours, for example, includes activities such as cooking and growing classes in its bus and limousine tour packages of vapour lounges and dispensaries in downtown Toronto. In British Columbia, operators such as Victoria’s Canna Tours and Vancouver’s Alternative Med Tours give customers an inside look at dispensaries in those cities. Now, eastern Ontario’s own Tweed has jumped on the tourism bandwagon. A willing participant in last year’s Brew Donkey prank, the Canadian cannabis giant showed its interest in the tourism space was no joke when it opened a visitor’s centre at its Smiths Falls production centre in late August.

Tweed is now offering guided tours of its 500,000-square-foot operation, giving visitors a “bird’s-eye view” of how cannabis is grown while educating them on the plant, its history and its impact on North American culture, with exhibits touching on everything from the “Reefer Madness” scare of the 1930s to pot’s prominent role in the hippy movement of the ’60s. In its previous incarnation as a Hershey factory, Tweed’s building used to draw up to 400,000 visitors a year. Company spokesperson Caitlin O’Hara said she hopes pot will capture tourists’ fancy every bit as much as chocolate. “We really want Smiths Falls to be a tourism destination for those visiting eastern Ontario,” she said. But Tweed won’t be hawking its products as part of the tours ​– at least not yet. And if you’re a visitor hoping to get your ganja fix in the nation’s capital, you’re out of luck here too. Ottawa Tourism spokesperson Jantine Van Kregten said that when the agency asked its members in its March newsletter if they planned to launch cannabis-related activities, not one responded. “Cannabis tourism in Ottawa will be driven by our members,” she said in an email to OBJ. “If there are cannabis-related tourism opportunities that they develop, we will promote them.” Van Kregten said there are “still a lot of unanswered questions” about how legal cannabis will roll out across the province, noting the new Tory government’s recent decision to ditch the previous plan to keep cannabis sales under the control of the Ontario liquor board. The province said in August it now plans to oversee the sale of pot online as of Oct. 17 and allow private retailers to open shop next April. Over at Brew Donkey, Campeau says he still owns the domain name and remains “excited about the prospect” of one day sparking up his cannabis tour operation. But for now, he says, he needs more direction on what sort of activities he would be able to offer. “People want to get what we’re providing, which is that behind-the-scenes experience. And if we can’t get that from the industry because of legislation, then we won’t have the launch. There won’t be a point to it.”



Number of local employees

Total kg. produced in 2017

Current production capacity (kg.)

Forecasted production capacity (kg.)

Year established in Ottawa

Canopy Growth 1 Hershey Dr. Smiths Falls, ON K7A 0A8 1-855-558-9333






Bruce Linton CEO

Dried bud/flower, soft-gels, cannabis oil



HEXO (formerly Hydropothecary) 120 chemin de la Rive Gatineau, QC J8M 1V2 844-406-1852






Ed Chaplin chief financial officer

Decarb and Elixir

Providing medicine to the medical patients under the ACMPR from Health Canada. Chosen as preferred supplier for the Quebec government for the recreational market.


LiveWell Canada Inc. 179 Prom. du Portage, 3rd floor Gatineau, QC J8X 2K5 819-718-2042






Steve Archambault chief financial officer


Advanced research on cannabidiol (CBD) and other cannabinoids as well as developing and distributing prescription and consumer health products based on predictability, safety, control and experience.


KoLab Project 55 Bruce Cresc., Carleton Place, ON K7C 3T3 1-833-565-2278






Robert Maxwell president and CEO

Lemon Nigerian, Cold Creek Kush, Green Gospel.

Licensed producer under Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR). Subscription retail.

5 6

Burnstown Farms Cannabis Company Ltd.




2019: 5,600 2020: 28,000


Mark Spear founder and CEO

Cannabis oil

Cannatourism 2020

NordikLeaf 140-555 Legget Dr., Tower B Ottawa, ON K2K 2X3






James Mackenzie CEO Wynand Stassen chief financial officer

THC and CBD rich strains; oil and derivative production



Fleurish Cannabis Inc. 2725 County Rod.20 North Grenville, ON, K0G 1J0






Michael Smith CEO Renée Ellison founder



Company/Address/ Phone/Fax/Web



Popular strands/ products

Other services

*This information is from Canopy Growth’s annual filings and reflects production for the fiscal year 2018, ending March 31, 2018. WND = Would not disclose.


3|Sixty Secure

In addition to cannabis producers, Ottawa is also home to a growing network of marijuana investment firms, pharmaceutical companies, service providers and more. Here's a sample:

Ottawa 3|Sixty Secure provides transport services designed for the medical cannabis industry.

Orléans Tetra Bio-Pharma is a medical cannabis research and development firm working with prescription drug regulators to bring medical cannabis into mainstream bio-pharmaceutical use.

Canopy Rivers

Nesta Holding Co.


Ottawa Nesta is a private equity firm focused on the medical cannabis industry.

(formerly Cannabis Wheaton Income Corp.) Carleton Place Auxly is a cannabis investment company and streaming platform.

Smiths Falls Canopy Rivers is an investment firm focusing on the global cannabis sector, with ties to Canadian production company Canopy Growth.

National Access Cannabis Ottawa National Access Cannabis began as an education and clinic provider for medical cannabis. Upon legalization, it will be expanding into the recreational market.


Tetra Bio-Pharma

Ottawa CannaRoyalty is a Canadian cannabis investment and management wfirm, with holdings primarily in the U.S. market, notably California.



Stories and photos by Caroline Phillips PRESENTED BY


Galas galore liven up Ottawa’s fall social scene

The Lumiere Charity Gala, above, always draws a who’s-who of Ottawa’s tech community. Right and below, the NAC Gala is a highlight of the annual social calendar.

The fall fundraising season is around the corner, bringing with it a whirlwind of glitzy galas, cocktail soirées and awards dinners that start sometime after Labour Day and show no signs of slowing down until Old Man Winter decides to crash the party. The fundraisers really do begin with a bang, followed by an explosion of colour and lights, with the Lumière Charity Gala.

It was launched by legendary technology entrepreneur Terry Matthews in 2003 to celebrate the grand opening of his westend Brookstreet Hotel. Lumière, which raises money for the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation, returns to the recently expanded Brookstreet on Thursday, Sept. 13. This year, the event is celebrating its 15th anniversary by serving its best dishes

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Other major social events coming up in Ottawa this fall include (clockwise from top left) the Fight for the Cure; Habitat for Humanity Greater Ottawa’s Steel Toes and Stilettos Gala; the Ottawa Hospital Gala; and the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ annual Ottawa Philanthropy Awards.

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Fund is holding its annual black-tie gala in the ballroom of the Fairmont Château Laurier on Saturday, Nov. 10. The stylish soiree raises funds to provide new winter outerwear to underprivileged children. One night a year, Ottawa’s professional fundraisers come together to celebrate chosen individuals, groups, corporations and small business whose contribution of time, money and/or skills are making a difference in the community. The Ottawa chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals is hosting The Phils, also known as the Ottawa Philanthropy Awards, on Wednesday, Nov. 14 at the National Arts Centre. Finally, there’s just something so friendly-sounding about a gala that calls itself The BOBs. The Best Ottawa Business Awards celebrates successful companies and business leaders who are helping to drive economic growth and prosperity. Categories include CEO of the Year and Lifetime Achievement. The awards will be handed out at a gala dinner slated for Friday, Nov. 30 at the Westin Ottawa hotel.


from the past 15 years, paired with drinks. The evening always closes with an elaborate fireworks display. The NAC Gala remains one of best people-watching parties in town. The signature arts benefit returns Wednesday, Oct. 3 with the supremely talented Diana Ross gracing the stage to perform with the National Arts Centre Orchestra. Expect to see a black-tie crowd peppered with business leaders, philanthropists, elected officials, diplomats and other VIPs, all out supporting the National Arts Centre and its efforts to develop Canada’s next generation of performing artists through its National Youth and Education Trust. For heart-pounding excitement, there’s the charity boxing event Fight for the Cure. It’s back at the Hilton LacLeamy on Saturday, Oct. 13 to raise funds for cancer. Folks with regular nine-to-five jobs will step into the ring, following months of rigorous training, to fight in front of a large and enthused crowd. New this year is the addition of female whitecollar competitors. As the autumn nights continue to grow longer and the weather colder, The Ottawa Hospital Gala is the perfect occasion for getting into one’s gown –​ and we’re not talking about the easyaccess blue hospital kind. The glitzy event, which takes place Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018 at the Westin Ottawa hotel, brings hundreds of guests together for an elegant but fun night of dinner and dancing. Each year, awards are handed out to several local researchers who are shaping the future of health care through their extraordinary work. But you don’t need to be a science whiz to feel inspired at this gala. Just so you know, construction boots are not required for Habitat for Humanity Greater Ottawa’s Steel Toes and Stilettos Gala happening Saturday, Nov. 3 in the scenic Trillium Ballroom of the Shaw Centre. The evening will be raising funds to help lower-income families achieve their dream of affordable home ownership. The following weekend, the Snowsuit

Stories and photos by Caroline Phillips PRESENTED BY


Top row from left: Sandra Perron, Kathie Donovan and Tina Boileau; Lan Latorre, Jamilah Murray and Afrodity Aliferis; Janice McDonald and Deneen Perrin. Second row from left: Danielle Robinson, Melanie Adams and Barbara Crook; Sandra Perron, Carol Anne Meehan, Sandy Sharkey and Wendy Daniels.



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Women speakers lauded for courage in face of adversity Anyone who believes that ladies’ lunches are full of stylish socialites idling the afternoon away with vapid conversations clearly hasn’t been to the Ladies Who Lunch Ottawa event organized by Catherine Landry, the CEO and founder of Call Betty Marketing. The new Canada Room at the National Arts Centre was bustling on Aug. 21 with a crowd of 220. They were mostly female business owners, entrepreneurs and nonprofit-sector leaders, all eager to make connections in a supportive, inclusive environment. The sold-out luncheon also featured shopping experiences, a steady supply of generously donated gifts and prizes and

a gorgeous mid-day meal. As well, each guest was given a classy calla lily and a baby spruce tree to take home. The event lined up two courageous guest speakers: Tina Boileau, who is best known for being the loving and devoted mother of local hero Jonathan Pitre, along with Canada’s first female infantry officer, Sandra Perron. In her memoir, Out Standing in the Field, Perron writes about the harassment, abuse and misogyny she experienced during her time in the Canadian Forces. The book was shortlisted for a Writers’ Trust of Canada’s 2018 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing. Continues on page 20


Sue Garvey, Michelle Groulx, Dan Hwang and Jeff Leiper at the Westboro FUSE launch.




Representing the BIA’s board of directors was its chair, Westboro dentist Dan Hwang. He was looking forward to having the main street of Richmond Road shut to vehicles so that the public could move about freely. “I simply love it when the streets are closed and we’re able to roam around; I think that’s what really brings the community out,” he told OBJ. social. “I’m just looking forward to having a drink on a patio, on a pedestrian street.” Westboro FUSE takes place between Golden and McRae Avenues. The BIA started the street festival three years ago after it decided to part ways with the Westfest arts festival, which, incidentally, celebrated its 15th anniversary this summer at a new location. “Initially, when we switched the event over, there was some hesitation because we were getting rid of a good thing,” said Hwang, who owns Westboro Station Dental on Byron Avenue. “But it all came down to the costs; it was becoming unsustainable for us to be supporting a true music festival. “This is the third instalment now of the street festival, and I find that the merchants are getting more and more engaged. We’re really bringing it back to the merchants, which is what we wanted to do in the first place.”



On a rooftop terrace overlooking the village of Westboro, the sun was shining, the drinks were flowing, the tunes were spinning and, best of all, everybody was pumped over the fact that a two-day street festival was about to hit their neighbourhood. Westboro FUSE took place Saturday and Sunday from Aug. 18 to 19, bringing with it a mix of live entertainment, fashion and food, as well as fun activities for families. From fire dancing to duelling piano players to toddler races, the neighbourhood’s main street of Richmond Road was the place to go strolling that weekend. “Let’s make this a huge party that’s not going to die at 6 p.m.,” Michelle Groulx, executive director of the Westboro Village BIA, told sponsors and organizers at a VIP Reception held Aug. 16 at the tippy top of CLV Group’s 236 Richmond Road, a luxury apartment building that’s lofty enough, at nine storeys high, to catch great views of the Ottawa River. Attendees included Kitchissippi Coun. Jeff Leiper and Sue Garvey, director of Cornerstone Housing for Women, which provides emergency shelter and supportive housing for women at risk for homelessness. It and the Westboro Region Food Bank benefited from the funds raised during the giant block party bash.

WE COULD IMPROVE LIVES BY GIVING PATIENTS AND FAMILIES A STRONGER VOICE IN HEALTH CARE? Continued from page 18 Some audience members were seen discreetly wiping away tears with their fancy table napkins as they quietly listened to the women, both of whom earned standing ovations. The pair shared billing with former Ottawa radio personalities Sandy Sharkey and Wendy Daniels, who

Stories and photos by Caroline Phillips PRESENTED BY

emceed together, as well as former TV host-turned-author Kathie Donovan and former CTV Ottawa news anchor-turnedmunicipal election candidate Carol Anne Meehan. The six women were celebrated for having faced adversity, whether in their careers or personal lives, and for having grown stronger because of it.

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“They rose up; they didn’t sit down. They didn’t go, ‘Why me?’ Most importantly, they did not blame someone else,” said Landry. The luncheon was the first public speaking engagement for Boileau. Her son, known as the “butterfly boy,” passed away this past April at age 17 but not before capturing the hearts of Ottawa residents and beyond. Pitre went public with his battle with one of the most painful genetic skin disorders, epidermolysis bullosa (EB). Boileau said it’s the encouraging words of her “Jonny” that keep her going during her darkest hours. “Tomorrow will be a better day,” he used to say. She keeps his words close to her heart, in the form of a tattoo. Throughout his life, Pitre suffered from open wounds that resembled thirddegree burns. They covered more than 85 per cent of his body. Yet he always maintained a positive attitude, said his

MOTORS tearful mother. “He loved to live, despite the challenges he faced, and he did it so gracefully.” For Perron, she wasn’t used to speaking to such a large group of women. It led her to lament the fact that female veterans – who spend their careers moving from base to base – don’t have the kind of women’s network that has evolved through Ladies Who Lunch. She spoke of the need for women to be more supportive of each other at the workplace. “We are our worst enemies at work, especially in non-traditional fields like engineering, technology, math and science and military and defence,” she said. “We’ve never learned how to be mentors to one another; we’ve been taught to compete. It works well for men. It doesn’t work for us.”



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Ottawa Host: Ottawa Tourism launches customer service training for local businesses Online modules offer training in customer service skills and destination knowledge For visitors travelling in an unfamiliar city, helpful advice from a knowledgeable server, driver or front desk employee can transform a trip and leave a lasting impression. “Every interaction that front-line staff have with visitors comes with an opportunity to impress those guests,” says Catherine Callary, Ottawa Tourism’s senior director of destination development. “Wowed visitors lead to great reviews, recommendations and reputation for the destination, which are all powerful outcomes.” As the city’s destination marketing organization, Ottawa Tourism has launched a new initiative to help arm the city’s frontline staff with the know-how to create memorable experiences for visitors. Ottawa Host Customer Service Training is free to those looking to beef up their customer service or destination knowledge. It’s presented as two online training modules, composed of videos, games and knowledge-testing questions. Upon finishing each module, which take between 20 and 30 minutes, trainees can print a customized certificate showing they’ve successfully completed the training. The “I Know #MyOttawa” module focuses on knowledge pertaining to Ottawa, priming trainees with information on interesting places around the city, things to do and special events. The other, titled “I Host #MyOttawa,” is dedicated to fostering excellence in customer service.

In concert with the newly launched Ottawa Host Customer Service Training, Ottawa Tourism has also started to offer a satisfaction survey to calculate the city’s own net promoter score among both residents and visitors. The pilot for the survey was first run at the CF Rideau Centre. The Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport has also recently been added as another site that offers the survey through its WiFi. When an individual connects to the network on their personal device, they are asked to do the brief survey, which Callary explains takes less than a minute to complete. “Having a very well-trained front-line staff within your destination, that can really move the yardstick on something like your net promoter score,” says Callary. This initiative has been launched in partnership with the data analytics division of MicroMetrics, a local software firm focused on customer experience innovation. Plans are currently underway to expand this initiative to several new locations, including museums, transportation hubs and other prominent tourist sites around Ottawa. For free access to the Ottawa Host Customer Service Training, head to


NET PROMOTER SCORE One of the best indicators of whether a visitor has had an exceptional experience in the city is whether or not they’d recommend it as a destination to others. Commonly used in retail, a net promoter score measures customer loyalty by asking whether they’d recommend a store or service – or in this case a tourist destination – to their friends or family.

A family meets a rabbit at the Canadian Agriculture and Food Museum. (Photo by Ingenium)


CANADA 151 AND BEYOND The two modules have been adapted from the Ottawa Host 150 training tool, which was used throughout 2017 to train event volunteers and front-line staff around the city. A joint project between Ottawa 2017, Algonquin College, La Cité and Ottawa Tourism, Ottawa Host 150 was filled with useful information on local events, locales and activities marking Canada’s sesquicentennial “We felt it would be a great legacy to

be able to continue to provide customer service training to our front-line staff,” says Callary. The Ottawa Host 150 tool was repurposed, with 2017-specific mentions replaced with evergreen content that will be useful for years to come. Once again, Algonquin College and La Cité were involved in the tool’s re-envisioning. For example, the I Know #MyOttawa module contains tourist information on Ottawa’s many diverse neighbourhoods, including landmarks and businesses worth visiting, as well as directions on how to get to them. And though the Ottawa Host Customer Service Training is geared towards front-line staff, the destination knowledge contained in the I Know #MyOttawa module can also be useful for residents who either want to learn more for themselves or become better ambassadors for Ottawa. “The more we see resident awareness of all of the things that Ottawa has to offer, the more they can share that with friends and relatives and inspire visits to Ottawa,” says Callary. I Host #MyOttawa, meanwhile, is broken into four streams with specific information geared toward local workers in accommodations, transportation, attractions and the service industry. Ottawa Tourism encourages those who complete the module to display their certificate of completion to patrons, whether in their front entrance, vehicle or elsewhere. It can also be included on an individual’s resume.


Luc Lalande meets his makerspace

The Aletheia Guild hopes to put more art like the Gather-Ring into the world. Photo provided

by Craig Lord


ucked away in a corner of Makerspace North, Luc Lalande is forging a new venture that he hopes will bring attention to Ottawa’s creative economy. The Aletheia Guild is a partnership between Lalande, a longtime entrepreneurship adviser at both Carleton and the University of Ottawa, and architect Manuel Báez. The two are hoping to create new public installations with transformational architecture.

A prime example is the Gather-Ring, a recent collaboration between Báez and Ottawa artist Charlynne Lafontaine, which sits near the Ottawa River. The installation, which won a Canada 150 heritage art competition under the theme “dream,” uses natural and indigenous imagery to convey themes of reflection and reconciliation. Lalande says the guild hopes to leverage Ottawa’s artistic talent to put more pieces like this into cities around the world.

“I think there’s great potential for the creative industries in Ottawa. We just often don’t think of it,” he says. Lalande was first taken in by the concept while working in the innovation offices at Carleton some 15 years ago. Báez, an associate professor at the school who explores the intersection of design and scientific principles, invited Lalande to his workshop and showed him an enormous, twisting structure comprised solely of skewers and rubber bands. “I was really taken by it,” he recalls.

“There’s a lot of innovation in the cultural industries.” Now retired from the post-secondary space, Lalande has made the Aletheia Guild his full-time gig. He and Báez will select the pieces and draw on the skillsets of Ottawa artists and makers to bring them to life on a project-by-project basis. Lalande has taken up residence in Makerspace North in an effort to surround himself with like-minded makers. He says that traditional cubiclebased co-working didn’t appeal to him; he needed to be located in an open space where drills and band saws were running and Ottawa’s creative types were constantly experimenting with new projects. While Lalande has full confidence in local creators, he says the nation’s capital likely won’t be the market for the final products. “There’s an averseness to risk in this city that I find kind of daunting,” he says of Ottawa, citing European cities and markets such as British Columbia and China as being more open to “bold” designs.

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What’s been made at MadeMill?

With the help of an in-house support team, Ottawa startups are developing low-cost prototypes at an expert maker’s pace by Craig Lord


Left: The Growcer CEO Corey Ellis (left) with Invest Ottawa CEO Mike Tremblay. Photo by Mark Holleron Below: The prototypeD team helping Growcer install its hydroponics system at Bayview Yards. Photo provided

“All the tools are there. He doesn’t have to go buy them, he doesn’t have to find people that understand how to use the tools. They’re all there.” With FedDev funding running out at the end of this year, Bayview Yards is in the process of considering new models and vendors to operate the workshop

and media lab space. Tremblay says he’d like to see the concept expanded, noting that space has been the biggest constraint. Check out some of the coolest prototypes to come out of MadeMill’s first year in operation on the following page.


If anyone knows the value of demonstrating the product before going to market, it’s Mike Tremblay, who joined Invest Ottawa and Bayview Yards as chief executive from a senior leadership role at Microsoft Canada. “From somebody that’s spent a whole career in commercial markets, if you can’t show it, nobody’s going to buy it. It’s really that simple,” he says. Tremblay says the initial reception to MadeMill’s services has been positive, citing firms such as Crypto4A and AirShare as successful use cases. He says it’s rare to have a makerspace and digital media lab embedded in an innovation centre, but that it’s a model that suits early-stage companies like those in Invest Ottawa’s accelerator. Costs to use MadeMill’s tools and other resources are reduced thanks to roughly $5 million in funding from FedDev Ontario. Tremblay mentions Ellis as someone who’s saved valuable time and cash by making use of in-house services.


or the past year, startups incubated at Bayview Yards have worked just down the hall from a makerspace and digital media lab. MadeMill has been the neighbourhood’s destination for prototyping and media services, offering Ottawa startups the expertise and resources to turn their ideas into a pre-market product. The Growcer is a prime example. While the food-producing hydroponics system has its roots at the University of Ottawa, the startup turned to prototypeD, the team operating MadeMill, to support the jump from its fourth- to fifth-stage prototype. Together, the Growcer and prototypeD built a mock hydroponics system in the parking lot at Bayview Yards to experiment with new ways of delivering CO2 to the plants growing in the converted shipping container. Configuring and reconfiguring the fifthgeneration product through its multiple iterations would’ve been prohibitively expensive on a full-scale Growcer system, so the teams had to get a little creative to keep costs down during their experiments. “We’re going from a $200,000 system to something that’s got a much smaller budget. You need to be able to do it and replicate the same kind of environment for the plants,” says Growcer CEO and co-founder Corey Ellis. The Growcer prototype is no longer sitting in the Bayview parking lot; the startup is selling the product to Agriculture Canada, which will then install the system in Nova Scotia this spring. The plan is to test the system at full-scale and figure out how to make the hydroponic solution accessible to growers who could use it.

TECHOPIA was curious about exactly what had come out of MadeMill after its first year in operation. We went down to Bayview Yards earlier this month and sat down with the startups to hear how they’d benefited from the makerspace and digital media lab and, more importantly, to check out what they’d made. Turn the page for photos.


Prototype parade

Photo by Mark Holleron

Incuvers CEO and co-founder Sebastian Hadjiantoniou holds a circuit board critical to his company’s incubator. Photo by Mark Holleron

COMPANY: Robot Missions PRODUCT: A 3D-printed robot that

COMPANY: Incuvers PRODUCT: A small-scale incubator for



Erin Kennedy with Bowie, her treasured robotic companion.


cleans public spaces



conceived of as a way to make art-byrobot, the Robot Missions took on a bigger scope over the course of its development. This summer, the rolling robot Bowie has been cleaning up Westboro Beach alongside creator Erin Kennedy. Bowie’s drive system was forged with a combination of 3D-printed components and parts cut from Bayview Yard’s water jet. MadeMill also provided the Catalyst pod, a solar-powered outpost on the beach where Bowie can recharge and Kennedy can make her adjustments.

LESSONS LEARNED? “Even if you encounter a problem, there’s always creative solutions around it. As long as you’re resourceful, you’ll be able to solve it.”

scientific research

helped the Incuvers team to fine-tune the device’s sealing mechanisms and protective covers, but the differencemaker was MadeMill’s in-house Voltera system. “I was really happy when I found out they had one,” Hadjiantoniou says. The Voltera offers an automated alternative to hand-printing circuit boards, a painstaking pin-setting process that can go wrong any number of ways. Rather than sending it out to an expensive expert to do it by hand – with no guarantee of accuracy – the Voltera system automates soldering over the course of an afternoon. “We did that in three hours. It would’ve taken someone else a week,” Hadjiantoniou says.

LESSONS LEARNED? “Measure twice, cut once. I think that’s the general rule.”

CEO Rick Whittaker displays AirShare’s missile, 3D-printed in just 10 hours at MadeMill. Photo by Mark Holleron

COMPANY: AirShare PRODUCT: 3D-printed guided missiles

Crytpo4A president Bruno Couillard with the firm’s fullyencased cybersecurity product.

for disabling drones

Photo by Mark Holleron

guided missiles target drones in dangerous airspaces and explode when closeby, deploying a latex cloud that neutralizes a threat in mid-air. What makes the drone-disabling missiles so useful for special forces is that they’re 3D printed, drastically reducing the cost and logistics of transporting hefty tech to the frontlines. The 3D printing innovation brought the production timeline down from 12 weeks to just 10 hours, and has greatly improved AirShare’s value proposition. “We now offer an option where you can 3D print this in the field,” CEO Rick Whittaker says.

COMPANY: Crypto4A PRODUCT: Cryptographic defence


LESSONS LEARNED? “Rapid prototyping is always the way to go.”

against cyber attacks

HOW IT HAPPENED: Nearly every

challenge in Crypto4A’s prototyping journey has come down to a conversation with the prototypeD team about how to approach a problem, such as new configurations for the cryptographic product’s faceplate. Having an in-house support staff, that’s relatively easy. The alternative would’ve been relying on a manufacturer in the United States or China, where the lines of communication are far less direct. If that were the case, Crypto4A president Bruno Couillard isn’t sure the product would’ve ever gotten built.

LESSONS LEARNED? “You really are able to quickly see the same things … It may never occur if you were to do it over an internet conversation.”

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MasterpieceVR CEO Jonathan Gagne, with vice-president of engineering Jeff Ross under the goggles. Photo by Mark Holleron

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Smats founder Amir Ghods holds the firm’s traffic data sensor in the workshop at MadeMill. Photo by Mark Holleron

COMPANY: Smats Traffic Solutions PRODUCT: Sensors to track traffic analytics



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harvest valuable traffic analytics, such as vehicle occupancy or the time it takes to get across a border, through its mounted sensors. In order to protect these devices from weather or vandals, the team turned to the manufacturing facilities at MadeMill to create a heavy metal enclosure.


MasterpieceVR allows design teams and creative individuals to collaborate remotely in a virtual space, bringing their collective imaginations to bear on a sculpture or painting. The advent of 3D printing, however, makes many of these virtual creations physically possible. Rather than remaining in the application, colourful trees and futuristic vehicles can be brought to life as scale models or fantastical decorations.

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2018-08-22 3:06 PM


Meet the capital’s market leaders

Are you a company to watch? Contact Cindy Cutts, OBJ’s special project manager, to have your firm profiled 613.238.1818 x 240




companies to watch 2018 WHAT CAN HALO DO FOR YOU?

Trusted advisors who understand leaders


he military term is High Altitude, Low Opening (HALO) – drop people and supplies above the range of conventional weapons and radar, have their parachutes deploy at the last moment.


It’s all about stealth and the success of the mission. Get in, get the job done, and done right, leave the glory to someone else. That’s how Forty under 40 alumnus Leigh Harris and her team approach every client engagement at Halo Management Consulting, one of Ottawa’s Fastest Growing Companies. Tackle the toughest problems, under the radar. “Our reward is our clients’ success,” said Harris, who serves as President and Executive Consultant. “We get in the trenches, shoulder to shoulder,



Our sweet spot is to work with the best methods suited to the challenge

to help them and, ultimately, their organizations, succeed.” Those clients range from government departments to multinational businesses. But Harris and her team don’t work with organizations. They work with leaders - at all levels who find themselves faced with complex and high-risk challenges that demand elevated competence, utmost discretion, professionalism and assurance of trust.


“The majority of our new business comes from client referrals,” Harris said. “Peer-to-peer leaders who say, ‘if you have a sticky, risky or contentious problem, these are the people you want to call.’” Repeat clients represent eighty-five per cent of Halo’s business. The team believes that the other 15 per cent are former clients who just haven’t locked into their next challenge yet. “We don’t sell methodologies,” Harris said. “Our sweet spot is to work with the best methods suited to the challenge, blend them into a solution and course of action that is specific to each unique situation and support that with the right talent.” That talent is drawn directly from Halo’s own team, or, for specific skillsets, from the network of management consultants and industry partners Harris has collaborated with over 20+ years.

Halo prides itself on having certified, professional and, above all, experienced management consultants versed in multiple disciplines who can assist with: Strategy: Corporate Strategy and planning that achieve the results you want. TRANSFORMATION: Align people, operations, processes, information, digital and technology initiatives with your business strategy and vision. This includes post-transaction integration such as acquisitions, mergers and divestitures.



Every action has consequences. Harris characterizes her team’s approach as one of conscience and responsibility – don’t advise or pursue a course of action until you fully understand its ripple effect across the whole system. For example, it may make sense to achieve a goal by opting to cut spending, but that may ultimately leave the organization disadvantaged in some other way down the road – “systems thinking” in every situation. All this makes Halo the best of both worlds – the depth and breadth of a large professional services organization, with the agility and nimbleness of a team of independent and consciencedriven professionals who take pride and responsibility in what they do. “Halo is not a collection of lone wolves – we are a pack,” Harris said.

ORGANIZATION DESIGN, DEVELOPMENT AND PERFORMANCE: Designing, mobilizing and configuring the people and operational dimensions to advance the mission, goals and activities of your business as effectively and efficiently as possible, with a clear focus on results. STRATEGIC COMMUNICATION: Create, craft, convey and connect key concepts and campaigns, and effectively capture and engage your stakeholders, to achieve your short, medium and longterm strategic and tactical goals.

“And we are always looking to grow the pack with talented professionals and partner teams who seek work flexibility, an intellectual challenge and the reward of working in trust-based relationships with inspiring leaders and teams.” Learn more at

companies to watch 2018

HostedBizz see endless possibilities in the Cloud OBJ Fastest Growing Company alumnus finds its niche in the mid-market


We felt that HostedBizz truly understood our business and network/cloud needs as we consolidated numerous service contracts with multiple service providers into one integrated package with a single point of contact. Their responsive customer service has reassured us that we made the right choice. - Bill Chwedchuk CPA,CA, COO, Carefor Health and Community Services

outside the country – something which U.S.-based providers can’t always guarantee. All of this is supported by HostedBizz’s network of Tier 3 data centres – the most robust data centre certification available in Canada – using multiple redundant carrier-grade network service providers across the country. “We’ve built a truly utility-based consumption model,” said Jim. “Customers can provision any of the cloud services offered on our platform, get billed for what they use, then shut resources down and resume them again later.”

It’s almost ironic, considering Paul’s background in an industry that was built on locking customers into multi-year contracts with limited flexibility. “You can’t have a flexible cloud under those kind of contractual terms,” Paul said. “We are fully committed to the dynamic and elastic use of the cloud for businesses of all sizes.”


across Canada, the U.S. and, more recently, Europe. High tech companies, not-for profits, municipalities, accounting firms, law firms, real estate brokerages and hospitality services – all have turned to HostedBizz. Why? For the convenience of having a flexible and elastic cloud infrastructure service where they don’t have to worry about the heavy lifting of managing it themselves or paying for anything they don’t need. For any Canadian organization using HostedBizz’s services, data sovereignty is assured. Sensitive data never resides

Jim Stechyson (left) and Paul Butcher (right) . PHOTO BY MARK HOLLERON


o say the industry analysts. The traditional on-premise data centre for business is dead, or at least on life support. But how does your business fit into this equation? When considering cloud options, many people look to “hypercloud vendors” and “hybrid multi-clouds” from the likes of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure. Most of these services are geared toward large enterprises. Midmarket companies often find themselves attempting to shoe themselves into a service that just doesn’t fit their needs, budget or business model. Six years ago, Paul Butcher and Jim Stechyson took stock of the growing cloud market and saw an opportunity. Paul looked at it through the lens the telecommunications industry, where his resumé includes a decade as President and COO of Mitel Networks. Jim’s perspective was that of a tech entrepreneur and executive focused on small and medium-sized businesses. They saw a clear gap begging to be filled between the cloud services being developed for large enterprises and the mid-market companies that needed the same flexibility, reliability and scalability, minus the headaches of trying to architect and manage the infrastructure themselves. HostedBizz was born. Today, HostedBizz delivers cloud services to companies ranging from 10 to 3,000 employees. The company has built a distribution network that includes IT resellers and white label partners

companies to watch 2018

Achieving clearly great careers and clearly great workplaces Clariti Group builds national practice on timeless handshake values



hen asked to provide the elevator pitch for her business, Tara Azulay politely



declines. “I actively avoid giving one,” said the Clariti Group co-founder. “I want to have an actual conversation, to hear what people need. Only then can we understand how to help them get clear on whatever challenge they are facing. We are not for everyone and we are not afraid to say no.” “Our goal is to bring people together again, to have face-to-face conversations,” added her partner in business, Kevin Barwin. “We want leaders to learn to lead in that kind of climate.” It’s a philosophy that runs against convention. Clariti Group competes in an industry increasingly dominated by course material sold online, pricey cookie-cutter programs and a coaching approach that favours the next body on the bench instead of pairing a client with the best fit. For Azulay and Barwin, Clariti’s hightouch approach to career management and transition, leadership development, knowledge transfer, and workplace investigation is just what the modern world of work desperately needs. Fewer people are working full-time for a salary. More work remotely and on a freelance basis. Organizations are faced with the mass retirement of the baby boomer generation and an influx of millennials with values that can be drastically different.

Our goal is to bring people together again, to have face-to-face conversations.

Helping individuals and organizations navigate these choppy waters demands a more human approach. “No Clariti program is ever developed and delivered to a client without having a conversation first,” Barwin said. “You can’t just buy something off our website.” Clariti Group doesn’t rely on spammy marketing automation techniques to drive business, or even worry about the details of a formal contract. This is a business built on trust and honesty. And, most importantly, by not trying to be all things to all people.

Clariti Group’s founding partners, Kevin Barwin and Tara Azulay.


How can Clariti Group Help you? OUTPLACEMENT & TRANSITION SUPPORT: Working with employers to ensure a termination with respect and with individuals to build a sound career development plan. LEADERSHIP & TEAM DEVELOPMENT: Customized one-on-one leadership coaching, as well as customized workshops to build talent. KNOWLEDGE CAPTURE & TRANSFER: Ensuring employers don’t lose vital knowledge when employees retire, resign or take leaves of absence. WORKPLACE INVESTIGATIONS: Providing prompt, fair and thorough investigations into workplace complaints to minimize liability and support proactive action.

It’s a vision that has paid off. In four short years, Clariti Group has built a national practice with a robust team of facilitators, investigators and coaches – almost entirely on referrals. “We transcend all sectors and all industries,” Azulay said. “Because everyone has people needs and we focus on how best to manage and support your people, in any context.”

companies to watch 2018

Insurtech firm gives insurance industry giants the nimbleness they need


Michael J. de Waal, the president and founder of Global IQX.


Global IQX’s platform increased that insurer’s proposal capabilities by 600 per cent

Jeff Weaver, Director of Global IQX’s U.S. Underwriting and Actuarial Services in Portland, OR, experienced this first hand in his previous role as a Global IQX client. “Global IQX’s platform increased that insurer’s proposal capabilities by 600 per cent,” he said. “Global IQX has carved an interesting niche, known for its leading technology and unmatched customer service. It now has five times the customers of its nearest competitor and continues to grow.” A daily sense of accomplishment inspires Deyang Liu, who works as a development manager at Global IQX’s Ottawa office. “Everyone has a role to play and is motivated to do their best,” he said. “They are genuinely invested in a successful outcome for each one of our clients. This is a fun and tight-knit work environment. My fellow employees inspire me every day with their commitment.”


As a growing company, Global IQX is looking for new staff who are interested in a challenge and being part of an innovative team. Derek Benda, a software engineer who moved from Toronto to work at Global IQX’s Ottawa HQ, summed it up best: “We work hard together to produce leading tech and deliver for our clients on-time – after that, we play foosball. It’s about life balance. Work, play, fun.” Global IQX may have an opportunity for you. Learn more at www.globaliqx. com/careers/


designing and rating the benefit products, enrolling new employees and then generating all the necessary paperwork, including contract documents, employee information booklets and certificates. “Our team creates innovative software that empower insurers to handle sales and underwriting activities faster, better and more efficiently, to save time, save money and provide better service, to their clients and their clients’ employees,” de Waal said.



nsurtech. The term may not spark the same recognition as fintech, blockchain or cryptocurrency. But for Ottawa’s Global IQX, it’s a global business that will only get bigger. Global IQX President and Founder Michael de Waal admits it’s often a tough sell to convince people that the insurance business is cool. What his team does to make the industry work better, however, most certainly is. “We have added three Fortune 500 insurance companies to our roster of happy clients in the past couple of years, with a significantly smaller team than our clients who usually have thousands,” he said. “Our laser focus and our intellectual property allows us to configure and deploy in a matter of months a production-proven system that would take them longer to build, and at greater cost.” Since 1999, Global IQX has helped some of the world’s largest insurance companies modernize and streamline their processes with end-to-end software for underwriting and sales automation. Consider a typical national insurer that provides group benefits to employers. It may have hundreds of clients. These clients range from small businesses with a handful of staff, to multinational corporations with complex employee benefit plans that are unique by division and class. Now think about managing all that – uploading employee information,

companies to watch 2018

This is the contractor you’ve been looking for It began with two guys, a backhoe and a dump truck.


In 2006, 19-year-old Domenic



Franco Madonna founded D-Squared Construction with partner Charles DePonte. At the time, the business was up against a crowded field of small construction outfits, all vying for a share of the same pie. “D-Squared Construction stood out from this crowd with its organization and professional attitude,” said President Jessica O’Reilly. “We focused on efficiency. When we broke ground on a job, we worked diligently to finish it as quickly and efficiently as possible with the least disturbance for the client and owner.” Twelve years later, D-Squared Construction’s under 40 management team has proven that startup success stories by enterprising millennials are not limited to Ottawa’s high tech scene. D-Squared Construction has become a multimillion-dollar business with a reputation as Ottawa’s most reliable construction company. Its client list includes the City of Ottawa, OC Transpo, the National Capital Commission, Ottawa Community Housing and the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board. Thanks to its emphasis on professionalism, work ethic and service, D-Squared Construction now competes with much larger construction companies and conglomerates. The team keeps a tight rein on costs, which gives it an advantage over competitors with higher overhead.

We focused on efficiency. When we broke ground on a job, we worked diligently to finish it as quickly and efficiently as possible with the least disturbance for the client and owner. Last year, D-Squared Construction secured multi $5 million contracts for new bus shelters on Ottawa’s new rapid transit system, and to improve transit at three intersections along St. Laurent Boulevard, which are among the busiest in the city. “Opportunity drives our growth and we are never afraid to shy away from any opportunity we are presented with,” O’Reilly said. “We relish taking on new challenges and work tirelessly to ensure we complete them successfully.” The team has also developed

D-Squared at a glance D-Squared Construction works with commercial building owners, managers and engineers throughout Ottawa and its surrounding areas. Services include: • Concrete rehabilitation and new installations • Commercial paving • Emergency repair for water mains, culverts, sink holes • Site preparation and excavation • Demolition

reciprocal relationships with other construction and landscaping companies, to tackle larger and more complex jobs. D-Squared is always eyeing acquisitions to expand its inhouse capabilities. “As we continue to grow, finding additional skilled workers in our industry becomes increasingly

difficult,” O’Reilly said. “We are always looking for new talent with which to build our team.”

companies to watch 2018

Your team has to look inward before it looks outward


avid Perry and Anita Martel may be in the head-hunting business, but the title of “executive recruiter” is a poor fit. “Management consultant” is a more accurate descriptor of the work they do at PerryMartel International


We go deep inside the organization to develop a complete and compelling story that will engage your ideal hire. to go back and replace five people because the hire didn’t work out. How have they achieved this success rate? It begins by poking into the dark corners of their client’s organization and asking uncomfortable questions. That’s the only way to acquire a clear understanding of where an organization is strong, where it is weak, where it is going and what it needs to get there. “A management team needs this clear narrative, this unvarnished selfawareness, to understand who is the best fit for the job and how to market the position to attract the right person,” said Martel. Because, most of the time, the right person for the job isn’t looking for one. They are likely doing quite well where they are.


Perry and Martel’s Inside-Out Approach systematically targets a prospective candidate’s Heart, Head and Feet: The Heart: Offering more money isn’t the key to luring the ideal hire – it’s making a personal connection with the hiring organization’s cause and its executive team. The Head: Once you have spoken to the heart, you must speak to the head. The best candidates will want to understand the organization’s business goals, its challenges, its assumptions and its blind spots. The Feet: After the head comes the feet. The best candidates will want to understand the organizational culture that drives the way people interact and how things get done. “We go deep inside the organization to develop a complete and compelling story that will engage your ideal hire,” said Perry. “The result delivers more than tier 1 talent, it gives you killer competitive advantage.” “Successful organizations devote much more time to creating a clear

picture of the role to be filled, than on executing the search,” added Martel. “This is how they end up with top performers who become ‘unrecruitable’ by competitors.”


Perry and Martel’s Inside-Out Approach is the subject of two best-selling books: Hiring Greatness: How to Recruit Your Dream Team and Crush the Competition and Executive Recruiting for Dummies. Learn more about Perry-Martel International’s Inside-Out Approach and how it can help your team hire right and reap the rewards at


Their “Inside-Out Approach” is a proven and systematic process that merits consideration. Out of 1,000+ engagements, they have only ever had

From left, Perry-Martel International founders Anita Martel and David Perry, who serve as partner and managing partner, respectively. PHOTO BY MARK HOLLERON


Why? Because achieving a successful management hire in today’s market takes a lot more than circulating a job posting and wading through a slush pile of resumes. That’s not even where the process should start. Fully half of all management and executive hires fail within their first 18 months, according to research published by the Harvard Business Review. The higher you climb the corporate ladder, the more costly these failures become. It could be hundreds of thousands of dollars per misfire, or more, depending on the size of your organization. “All the digital tools we have today, the online job boards and the recruitment apps, haven’t changed this,” said Perry. “In fact, they have only accelerated the cycle of churn.” Over the past 30 years, Perry and Martel have devised their own theories about why this happens, and the practical steps organizations must take to break out of the cycle.

companies to watch 2018

How important is quality sleep to your success? Forty under 40 alumnus helps sleep apnea sufferers escape the mask





s many as 26 per cent of adults aged 30-70 years have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Men are twice as likely as women to suffer from it. Left untreated, this constant disruption of restful sleep increases the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, stroke and depression. It also makes it exceedingly difficult to be alert and productive through the day. And yet, many people choose to avoid treatment and suffer in silence rather than endure the conventional treatment. Why? Because that treatment – continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) – involves sleeping with a full-face mask strapped to your head, connected to a ventilator unit that keeps airways open while you sleep. Many people simply cannot tolerate a CPAP unit. But there is a better way to treat OSA. Dr. Haissam Dahan and his team at the Ottawa TMJ & Sleep Apnea Clinic are on a mission to educate both OSA sufferers and family doctors about the alternative – a simple mouthguard. “Only about half of OSA patients need to use a CPAP at all,” said Dr. Dahan. “An oral device is an effective treatment for mild to moderate OSA and can also help with severe OSA for those patients who can’t tolerate a CPAP.” It’s a treatment option that is much

Dr. Haissam Dahan, the founder of the Ottawa TMJ & Sleep Apnea Clinic.


Tackling TMJ disorders, too No other field related to dentistry can have such an impact on quality of life more palatable (no pun intended) for busy professionals and executives who must always be at their best and don’t want to haul a CPAP unit during work travel. “I’ve had patients come back in as little as a week – they are no longer snoring, they are energized again, they no longer feel groggy through the day,” Dr. Dahan said. “It is amazing how quickly the right treatment can work.” He decided to pursue this specialized field after his first career as a dentist and continues to operate two dentistry clinics with partners in the Ottawa area.

The Ottawa TMJ & Sleep Apnea Clinic also helps patients with temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, or TMD. TMD are conditions that affect the jaw muscles and joint, and may cause frequent headaches and migraines, as well as poor sleep. The risks of developing a TMD is highest among educated women over the age of 35. Why? Because stress, such as that related to balancing family and career, is a key contributor. Stress can lead to jaw clenching and teeth grinding (bruxism), which puts a lot of pressure on the joint. Dr. Dahan and his team can treat TMD and migraines with a range of holistic and conservative therapies that include oral appliance therapy, Botox and behaviourial modification.

Expertise you can trust Dr. Dahan is a recognized expert on OSA and TMD treatments, having authored multiple scientific papers, been interviewed by leading health and fitness magazines, and lectured at Harvard University, Tufts University and McGill University.

But it was a passion for helping people and changing lives that turned his focus to OSA, as well as temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders. “No other field related to dentistry can have such an impact on quality of life,” he said. “I can change the course of a person’s life, add years to their life. It can even save marriages by dealing with the snoring problems that are

often a symptom of OSA.” To learn more about a better solution for your OSA, visit

Materials for a new world at uOttawa’s Faculty of Engineering uOttawa researchers on forefront of developing new materials and manufacturing processes


hen in an airplane, soaring at 30,000 feet and watching a video on your phone, most people avoid thinking about the many tiny pieces keeping the craft aloft or of the different molecules that are lighting up in their electronic display. They just need to work. Locally, the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Engineering has a number of researchers focused on improving the materials we use in our day-to-day lives. Their work falls under the Materials and Processes: Design and Development research theme, one of five unveiled by the faculty earlier this year. Researchers strive to both improve existing materials and manufacturing processes and to develop new, more efficient ones. ORGANIC ELECTRONICS This includes Dr. Benoit Lessard, a Canada Research Chair in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of Ottawa. His research focuses on the development of organic electronics, which are devices fabricated using carbon-based materials, such as conductive plastics. The resulting device are inherently thin and

“I imagine in a not so far future, we will all be wearing sensor laden clothing or electronics which can tell us when to go to the hospital and can relay that information to health care professionals to help treat us” -Dr. Benoit Lessard flexible and can lead to niche applications such as wearable sensors, flexible displays or power generating window curtains. “There’s huge potential for this kind of technology, because organic electronics can be manufactured at a fraction of the price of conventional electronic devices,” says Lessard. Organic electronic technologies have already started hitting the market in the form of organic LED based displays for your phone, lighting for your desk and organic photovoltaics which can be rolled up and taken traveling. As the field evolves, Lessard predicts that organic electronics will continue to become part of our daily life, from wearable diagnostics to smart packaging and interactive advertising. “I imagine in a not so far future, we will


ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING In the Mechanical Engineering Department, researchers are also doing work to reduce the cost and up the efficiency of certain processes. Part of Dr. Bertrand Jodoin’s research, for example, focuses on additive manufacturing, which flips the traditional process on its head. Traditionally, manufacturing starts with a block of material that is then whittled down into a smaller piece, leading to a great deal of waste. In contrast, additive manufacturing starts with small grains of material that are then built up into an object. Not only does this make for a virtually waste-free process, but it also allows for the creation of parts that wouldn’t be possible using the traditional method. And though additive manufacturing is largely being used for the creation of airplane and automobile parts, Jodoin explains that it also has massive potential

in the health-care industry. He gives the example of a patient requiring a hip replacement. “Instead of going to the Wal-Mart of hip implants and selecting the ‘medium size’ for your patient, now you can take an X-ray of the real hip and reproduce the exact same size for that patient,” says Jodoin. Though additive manufacturing has been “blooming” over the past five years, Jodoin says many production materials still need refining. For example, although the process has been largely perfected for items made of plastic, manufacturing metal objects still poses a challenge.


Learn more about uOttawa’s Faculty of Engineering at

Dr. Bertrand Jodoin


Both Jodoin and Lessard are also highly engaged with their students. They each teach several classes and oversee their own teams of graduate students. “Frankly, this is why I’m doing this – because I want to educate and train highly-skilled people,” says Jodoin. Being located in Ottawa means students can work with companies to help address real-world challenges. Locally, Jodoin has had students at a number of companies including Equispheres, one of the world’s leading additive manufacturing firms. Meanwhile, Lessard’s research lab is run almost wholly by grad students.

all be wearing sensor laden clothing or electronics which can tell us when to go to the hospital and can relay that information to health care professionals to help treat us,” says Lessard. “Organic electronics will also lead to inexpensive power generation and fast point of care diagnostics for disease, which is crucial in developing countries.”

Dr. Benoit Lessard


Ottawa’s OPIN Software launches new website built through intern mentorship program The redesigned website was a collaborative effort between OPIN CEO Chris Smith and a team of interns


hen a digital agency sets out to redesign its own website, it’s important to get the fundamentals right. Logically, it follows that an agency would want to hire the most experienced developers and designers to create that website – or you could leverage the opportunity to mentor new developers. Over the summer, OPIN Software took on a team of four interns and asked them to redesign the company’s website. “We thought this would be an excellent opportunity to coach and mentor new interns learning to work in open source CMS technology like Drupal,” says Chris Liko, OPIN’s marketing coordinator. “Part of the graduation from this program involved each intern achieving the Drupal Site Builder Certification.”

“At OPIN, we foster a culture of curiosity and learning.” SEPTEMBER 2018

– Chris Liko, marketing coordinator



Over the course of the 12-week internship, the team’s three web development interns learned how to use Drupal to build a new platform for OPIN’s website. Each intern helped to design and build the website and upon graduation commenced work on client projects. A fourth intern joined the marketing team to develop marketing content and advance the new site’s SEO capabilities. More than an academic project, the new website serves as an integral part of the enterprise sales system used by OPIN Software to generate sales leads.

“The internship program here at OPIN was a training framework for prospective new hires at OPIN,” says Chris Smith, OPIN’s founder and CEO. “In 12 short weeks, our talented intern team learned Drupal, achieved industry certification and gained some excellent project experience by participating on existing teams doing client work. We are excited to present our own website as a showcase of the results of our internship program and we look forward to onboarding our next cohort of interns through similar projects.” COLLABORATION As a digital agency developing web projects exclusively in Drupal, it’s fitting that OPIN took such a collaborative approach. “At OPIN, we foster a culture of curiosity and learning,” says Liko. Drupal relies on a growing community of developers from all over the world who continue to add and improve on the many modules available on the platform. Approximately five percent of websites worldwide currently run on Drupal. OPIN has successfully partnered with a number of local organizations to design their websites, including Ottawa Tourism, Canadian Paralympic Committee and the Office of the Prime Minister. “Our digital agency seeks to work with partners in larger enterprise businesses where complex problems and solutions are required, so we really have to lean on each other and work collaboratively,” says Liko. The interns worked directly with Liko and Smith on this project. In the first eight weeks, the web development interns earned their Drupal certification after having never worked on the platform before. “It was more important to be hungry, ambitious and curious than it is to come in with a high level of expertise,” says Liko when referring to this new internship program. A POWERFUL TOOL The new website, which launched this week, was designed as a powerful lead conversion tool, both for prospective clients and employees. Along with its updated look and feel, the new also

A screengrab from the newly launched (Provided by OPIN) comes equipped with a powerful chatbot feature designed by Boston-based Drift. The bot is powered by artificial intelligence and responds to website visitors based on their search interest and click-through behaviour. It can answer questions and make recommendations on useful content, drawing on OPIN’s extensive catalogue of blog posts, podcast episodes and case studies. And for those website visitors a little further down the sales funnel, OPIN’s chatbot can also book calls directly with its account executives. “We want to take people on an efficient journey through our website, creating email subscribers who eventually turn into customers,” says Liko. “Every single piece of information on the website has value, with a call to action attached to it.” The result is a beautiful, intuitive web presence, a showcase of what OPIN – and Drupal – can do. “This internship program helped us see that it’s possible to take somebody with minimal real-world development experience and no Drupal experience, and graduate to doing client work within 12 weeks,” says Liko.


From left, OPIN marketing coordinator Chris Liko and interns Vatsla Chauhan, Le Liu, Jacob Richman and Jennifer Aube. (Photo by Mark Holleron)

Meet OPIN’s Interns

Jennifer Aube

CARLETON UNIVERSITY Masters in Computer Science

ALGONQUIN COLLEGE Mobile Application Development and Design

ALGONQUIN COLLEGE Computer Programming

Working at OPIN has been a wonderful experience. They have given me great insights into different web development platforms and have been so patient through my learning process. The staff is helpful and warm. I have been here for less than three months and it already feels like years.

As an intern at OPIN, I got the chance to learn and experiment before diving deep into work. Everyone here helps me to learn and succeed. I enjoy being exposed to new stuff every day, getting involved in awesome, real-life projects and working with colleagues from the development, design and marketing teams. I am lucky to have had this valuable experience at the start of my career.

Everyone here at OPIN has been so influential in our learning. From the very first day, everyone was so open and eager to meet us. The willingness to lend a helping hand made learning fun and exciting.


Le Liu


Check out OPIN Software’s source=obj&utm_medium=article&utm_camnew website at paign=sitelaunch&utm_ content=digital

Vatsla Chauhan

COMMENTARY Four pillars of a stronger entrepreneurial foundation No single strategy can make a large firm more innovative, but new research shows a multilayered approach can help it happen, writes columnist Mischa Kaplan THE RESEARCH Arshi, T. &

Burns, P. (2018). Entrepreneurial architecture: A framework to promote innovation in large firms. The Journal of Entrepreneurship. 27(2): 151-179. full/10.1177/0971355718781245


How large organizations can use an entrepreneurial architecture to foster innovation



innovation in a large organization begins with increasing its entrepreneurial capacity. The formula for doing this is based on four foundational pillars: leadership; organizational structure; workplace culture; and operational strategies. These four pillars are universally applicable and transferable across all sectors and business models. There is no “one-off” strategy that can make a firm more innovative. Rather, it requires a multilayered approach based on these four pillars.



One of the hottest topics in management research right now is the relationship between entrepreneurship and innovation. Not surprisingly, much of this research has been focused on small, early-stage companies, as they are generally associated with a higher level of innovative capacity and entrepreneurial spirit. Despite some interesting work being done in the field of “intrapreneurship” – the idea of fostering entrepreneurial drive, independence and creativity within the context of a broader, existing

corporate structure – the concept has remained significantly less understood than the more traditional style of entrepreneurship practised by startups working independently. Thankfully, a duo of researchers has recently provided the most comprehensive explanation to date of the relationship between entrepreneurship and innovation in large firms. For managers looking for an edge, this research should have a farreaching impact on corporate leaders wishing to harness the productive and innovative power of entrepreneurship. Professors Tahseen Arshi of Majan University College in Oman and Paul Burns of the University of Bedfordshire in Great Britain place their study within the context of what is known in management scholarship as an entrepreneurial architecture (EA), a term which refers to the broad and interconnected “ecosystem” of a firm which practises entrepreneurship. Central elements of an EA include leadership, organizational structure, workplace culture and operational strategies aimed at unleashing a more entrepreneurial orientation to business problems. Arshi and Burns use this framework as a backdrop to a quantitative study of 400 different firms. The authors highlight one central takeaway: Entrepreneurship in large firms is, unequivocally, a precursor to innovation. In other words, the more entrepreneurial a large company is, the more innovative it will be in aligning its product or service offering with the demands of its intended market.

The framework developed by Arshi and Burns emphasizes several key characteristics that a large firm must possess in order to make itself more entrepreneurial. What is most useful about this study is twofold: First, its clear articulation of how such a process can be implemented in a universal fashion across all types of large firms; and second, the ability of the authors to provide solid research proof of how effective such a program can be in fostering long-term innovation. Overall, the authors identify 22 separate measures or prescriptions which can act as precursors to innovation. In terms of building an entrepreneurial architecture, four separate areas are emphasized: culture, structure, practical strategies and leadership style. Elements include an emphasis on teamwork and team dynamics, a high level of employee autonomy, openness to new ideas and concepts, visionoriented leadership and organizational resource sharing, to name just a few. For managers, the most important aspect of this is not so much that all 22 separate measures are equally implemented, but rather that any which are implemented are mutually supportive and reinforcing. The key element here is finding a balance between the details of management and the “big-picture” view of leadership, a goal which is often far more challenging in large organizations that might struggle with moving towards a more entrepreneurial and innovative style. Mischa Kaplan is the CEO of Cardinal Research Group, a boutique consulting firm focused on innovation management and organizational design, as well as a part-time professor in the School of Business at Algonquin College.

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Be a part of something life changing. expand our programs to meet the growing demand of our services. We value our partners and the critical role they play. As a corporate partner of The Mission, not only can you give back to your community, but you can also provide meaningful opportunities to engage your employees.

TODAY, IN OTTAWA, there are too many people who struggle with poverty, addiction and poor mental health. That’s why the work being done at The Ottawa Mission is vital and must continue. Beyond providing food, shelter and clothing, The Mission has evolved over the years to meet the changing needs of our community. Today, we provide comprehensive programming to help people achieve sobriety, receive valuable education and job training, regain their health, find an affordable place to live, and so much more. Partnerships are essential to the ongoing work of The Mission. They enable us to continue to 2

Jack Welch once said that “no company, small or large, can win over the long run without energized employees who believe in the vision and understand how to achieve it.” Whether it is teambuilding, critical thinking, problem solving or leadership development, The Mission provides a unique opportunity to build capacity within your teams. It’s often when we look at things through a different lens that we find new solutions and refocused passion. The Mission understands the importance of corporate social responsibility and we are ready to

partner with your organization to achieve higher levels of comradery, success and purpose. We believe we have something to offer you, and in the process, you will be helping the poor and homeless in our community. Opportunities to partner with The Mission range from fundraising events in the workplace, to matching gift programs, on-site team volunteer opportunities at the shelter, and high profile sponsorship opportunities. We invite you on a life-changing journey of generosity with The Mission. Let’s work to change lives, together.

SEAN WONG, MA, CFRE Executive Director The Ottawa Mission Foundation

“We believe we have something to offer you, and in the process, you will be helping the poor and homeless in our community.”

Corporate giving is a fundamental part of doing business in Ottawa. But it is more than a way to show appreciation for the communities in which we work. In a time when many firms are facing a talent shortage, it has also become an important way to recruit and retain top staff. Many professionals now consider a social conscience a must for employers. After all, we spend the majority of our waking hours at work – why shouldn’t the organizations we work for give back to the communities that enable them to prosper? This is what leads many Ottawa-area businesses to support The Ottawa Mission. More than a shelter, The Ottawa Mission provides an array of services to some of the city’s most vulnerable residents. Job training and housing assistance, to help people get back on their feet. Health services, including mental health counselling and addiction treatment. Hospice care, for those who have nowhere else to go in their final days. For businesses looking to give back, The Mission’s sponsorship packages can be customized to fit any budget. Many corporate teams spend a day on-site, meeting clients of The Mission and helping to run one of many programs that it offers. As you can see on the following pages, all it typically takes is one visit to see why The Ottawa Mission is an organization worth supporting.


Steve Creighton / Dymon Storage Matching sponsor for #GivingTuesday & annual shoe drive

MAKING AN IMPACT AT HOME Most Ottawa residents are familiar with Dymon Storage facilities. The towering glass structures pepper the city, often lit up in beautiful displays at night and always sporting the blue and yellow Dymon logo. As a homegrown business, Dymon takes a great deal of pride in its local roots and Ottawa connection. “We’re very committed to giving back to the community that’s made us successful as a company,” says Steve Creighton, Dymon’s senior vice-president. The storage solutions company holds philanthropy as one of its central tenets, and has pledged to donate both 50 per cent of its profits and 50 per cent of its value creation to various charities over time. Among them is The Ottawa Mission. In 2017, Dymon partnered with The Mission as the matching sponsor for #GivingTuesday, the annual fundraising day that takes place after Black Friday. As the unofficial opening day of the season of holiday giving season, it calls on corporations and individuals to make a donation to their charity of choice. As a way to motivate others to donate, Dymon pledged up to $15,000 of the company’s own funds to match the donations of others. And the effort paid off – 2017 was Dymon’s first year as a matching sponsor, and donors raised more than $81,000 for The Ottawa Mission in the course of a single day. “There are people who are in desperate need of societal support. It’s really a tragedy to see people who are homeless and living on the streets,” says Creighton. “The Mission does great work and they need corporate support in order to continue to do that.”


Dymon also runs an annual shoe drive in support of Shoe Bank Canada’s Ottawa chapter. It provides collection boxes for the campaign, and offers all of its locations as drop-off points for those looking to donate new or gently used footwear. In Ottawa each year, Dymon has a hand in the collection of more than 100,000 pairs of shoes, of which several hundred are donated to clients of The Mission. In addition to shoes for day-to-day wear, many Mission clients also receive work boots that make it possible for them to secure a job, an expense most would not be able to afford otherwise.

“It’s corporations like Dymon that are needed – both financially and from a volunteer perspective – to really make things work better,” says Creighton. For him, The Ottawa Mission is a logical choice as beneficiaries of Dymon, given the close community connections of both organizations. “We’re locally owned and operated, and we’re quite proud of that. As a result, we really feel that there is an obligation for us to do what we can do to help people less fortunate in our society, particularly in the local Ottawa area.”


Employee engagement

Maximize the impact of your workplace charitable giving campaign. Now more than ever, it’s expected that businesses give back to their communities. A campaign or event to support The Ottawa Mission helps boost your company’s ability to recruit and retain talented staff and positions your company as a community leader.

Team building

Run a standalone campaign or designate The Ottawa Mission as your charity of choice. Corporate donations, workplace campaigns and special events to raise funds are great ways to build love around your company’s brand and give back to the community. Not sure where to start? The Ottawa Mission has resources to help. Recognition and corporate engagement packages are available starting at $2,000. Charity of Choice

Mission Champion

Mission Leader

Mission Friend

Brand recognition on Ottawa Mission van


Media exposure opportunities


Photos and/or videos of your team from the day



On-site employee engagement day



Certificate and/or letter of thanks from the Ottawa Mission




Recognition on the Ottawa Mission’s channels




For a full breakdown of the many perks that come with each package, contact Angie Kelly at

Community building

Corporate social responsibility

Brand awareness


Adam Seguin / LRO Staffing Young Professionals Network (YPN)

COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS When Adam Seguin, Director of Business Development at LRO Staffing, went in search of a way to give back to the community, he unexpectedly found a cause that also helped him make valuable professional connections. At The Ottawa Mission Foundation’s Young Professionals Network (YPN), enthusiastic individuals come together to affect change through volunteering, organizing events and fundraising, while also meeting other local business leaders. “You’re mingling with other people who are there to contribute and to grow, as opposed to going to your typical business meeting,” says Seguin, 33. “It’s like-minded people who are really trying to make an impact.” Professional development and networking are key building blocks for a successful career. And for companies looking to attract and retain millennials – who now make up the largest segment of Canada’s labour force – a robust community engagement program is a must. For LRO Staffing, a full-service recruitment firm serving the nation’s capital, supporting its employees’ involvement in the Young Professionals Network is a logical choice for community engagement. It boasts a relatively young workforce and as a staffing agency, relationships are critical to the success of the organization. As an Executive Member of the Young Professionals Network, Seguin has the chance to meet other millennials interested in making a positive change at the grassroots level. Members of YPN have the opportunity to work alongside socially conscious peers, and take an active role in supporting The Ottawa Mission and its Foundation. They sit on organizing committees for fundraising


events, such as the annual Blue Door Gala, and are often appointed as chairpeople. For young professionals such as Seguin, it provides a networking and leadership opportunity like no other. “In its social statement, The Mission says that it’s ‘more than just a shelter,’ and I didn’t really understand what that meant until I went for my first tour there,” he says. Seguin was taken aback at the services offered beyond The Ottawa Mission’s well-known emergency shelter and a hot meal. Through his involvement with the Young Professionals Network, he’s also able to support The Mission’s hospice care, addiction services, health and dental services and job programs, among many others.

“We’re going to start seeing more people in a vulnerable position,” says Seguin, pointing to Ottawa’s rising homelessness rate. “The onus is on young leaders to start taking the initiative to help support the people in need in our community.” For him, involvement in The Ottawa Mission Foundation’s YPN comes down to a matter of responsibility. “The Mission needs people like ourselves – if you’re young and ambitious and looking to really make an impact, not just in the community but within your own career, this is where you need to be.”

JOIN OUR MISSION Make a difference while building connections with The Ottawa Mission Foundation’s Young Professionals Network (YPN). More than a buzzword, millennials represent a significant segment of Ottawa’s labour force. In time, they’ll grow to become its key decision makers. YPN is for those looking to expand their professional network while making a tangible impact in the community.Members have the opportunity to meet like-minded young professionals, engage in meaningful volunteer activities and help lead fundraising events for The Ottawa Mission.

Professional development


Leadership opportunities

Community building

Membership with YPN is also a great addition to any CV. Members receive a number of benefits, including: recognition on The Ottawa Mission website; invites to exclusive events; discounted tickets to select Ottawa Mission events; access to special volunteer opportunities and communications from The Mission; and a professional development opportunity like no other. Membership fee is $20/month.

For information on how to join, contact Angie Kelly at


Andrew Norgaard / NAV CANADA Coldest Night of the Year

COLD FEET, WARM HEARTS On a brisk February evening, more than 430 residents braved the elements to trudge through Ottawa’s downtown core. But it was more than a typical winter walk. The annual Coldest Night of the Year (CNOY) charity walk raises funds for The Ottawa Mission. In 2017, one of the highest-ranking teams in Ottawa in terms of funds raised – second only to The Mission’s own kitchen team – came from NAV CANADA. “The team loved being part of the crowd that had all come together for the same reason – to support The Mission. It felt like we were really part of something important,” says Andrew Norgaard, NAV CANADA’ Vice-President of Communications and Public Affairs. Between his team members’ efforts and the company’s contribution, they raised more than $15,000 for the event, which helped bring the total raised to $136,882, crushing The Mission’s $100,000 goal. Teams raise funds through pledges, then participate in either the 2km, 5km or 10km walks on the day of the event. The walkers are then treated to a meal catered by The Mission Food Services Training Program students once they return to the event’s headquarters. Upon completing the walk, the NAV CANADA team immediately pledged they’d be back the following year, with an eye to surpassing their $15,000 benchmark. Although 2017 was NAV CANADA’s first year partnering with The Mission, Norgaard has been volunteering in the charity’s kitchen for more than four years. After initially starting to volunteer with his then-teenaged son, he has since become a passionate advocate for the organization.


“Go and spend an afternoon with the people and the programs of The Mission, and you will be convinced.” As a busy professional, the Coldest Night of the Year is an ideal way for him to rally his colleagues around a cause he feels strongly about. “We are in a privileged position. We’re able to go to work every day and draw a salary. We have the capabilities to give back to our communities,” says Norgaard. Despite being an organization with a national scope, NAV CANADA is committed to giving back to the local communities in which its employees live

and work. As Norgaard explains, it’s a philosophy within the company that is ultimately driven by passionate ”NAV Canadians” from coast to coast to coast. Not only does NAV CANADA’s commitment to philanthropy serve as a great way to engage employees, it’s also a key element of being a top employer in Canada. “Our employees expect us to have corporate social responsibility as a priority. It’s important to our employees and it’s important to our company,” he says.


Employee engagement

The Coldest Night of the Year is for teams looking to test their mettle beyond the bounds of traditional corporate team building exercises. As night falls, walkers get a glimpse of what the city’s homeless population has to contend with during Ottawa’s harsh winters. This family-friendly charity walk takes place each year in February, and gives participants the option to take part in 2km, 5km or 10km routes. Ahead of the event, team members leverage their personal and professional networks to collect online donations on behalf of The Ottawa Mission. Sponsorship packages available starting at $500. Charity of Choice

Lead sponsor

Supporting sponsor

Rest Stop sponsor

Distance sponsor

Brand awareness

Goods & Serivces sponsor

Media exposure opportunities


Premier position for team at event


Premier branding spots at event


Branding at event


Recognition on Ottawa Mission channels


Community building X

To learn more about sponsorships or how to get your team involved, contact Jennifer Graves at

Corporate social responsibility


Shannon Gorman / TELUS Fundraising and volunteering

BUILDING STRONGER TEAMS Shannon Gorman knows first-hand the effect a strong employee engagement strategy can have on a workplace. “When team members feel happy and engaged, you retain them longer,” says Gorman, the National Director of Community Affairs for TELUS. The Canadian telecom company has been a partner of The Ottawa Mission for more than 10 years. Recently, TELUS donated $25,000 towards the renovations of The Mission’s Diane Morrison Hospice, where patients receive 24-hour palliative care. As a partner of The Ottawa Mission, TELUS sent a team of its employees to spend a full day volunteering in the newly renovated hospice. Employees spent hours painting, assembling furniture and meeting with locals who use The Mission’s services. “We never have an issue finding volunteers to participate in activities that support The Ottawa Mission,” says Gorman. To her, an employee engagement campaign in support of The Mission – involving fundraising and volunteering – is a smart move for employers. Not only do they get to contribute to a local organization with a broad reach in the community, but employees get to meet the beneficiaries of their campaign. “Employees want to give back to organizations that are important to them. The Ottawa Mission is an organization that is very important to our team members in Ottawa,” says Gorman. As a resident of Ottawa herself, she has a full appreciation for the scope of the work that The Mission undertakes. Whether through its education, rehabilitation or shelter programming,


it has a positive impact on many of Ottawa’s most vulnerable residents. “Once you’ve been there, you realize that it’s a place inspiring hope for people,” says Gorman. “A lot of times, for people that go there, it’s just a stop-gap between something traumatic having happened in their life and getting their life back on track.” For corporate volunteers, days spent at The Mission help build stronger teams, inspire individual growth and make a positive change for Ottawa’s homeless population. Successful companies and organizations have community outreach built into their employee engagement plans.

Despite being a national corporation, TELUS places huge importance on supporting local, grassroots organizations in the cities in which it operates. “We give where we live,” as Gorman puts it. In addition to bolstering the strength of the Ottawa team, providing meaningful volunteer opportunities, like those at The Mission, has proved to be an effective way of increasing team member engagement at TELUS. “A lot of people come to work for TELUS because of the work that we do in the community.”



Employee engagement

Customize your team’s volunteering experience with The Ottawa Mission. Experience a life-changing day of team volunteering at The Ottawa Mission. Full day and half-day experiences are available for groups of all sizes. The full day on-site experience is ideal for teams of up to 40 people. Larger groups can be accommodated by having teams working both on and off-site.

Team building

Experiences include working in our kitchen, serving meals, sorting donations, hosting a special activity for our clients or assembling sandwiches or Hope Packages for clients. The Mission’s staff will work with you to develop an experience that your employees won’t soon forget, all while benefiting clients. Experiences are fully customizable. Employee engagement experiences start at $750.

Full day on-site

Half day on-site

Impactful on-site

(on or off-site)

Community building

Hands on

Unique employee engagement experience





Recognition across Ottawa Mission channels





Photos and/or videos of your team from the day




Certificate and letter of thanks from the Ottawa Mission




To create a customized volunteer experience your team won’t soon forget, contact Angie Kelly at

Corporate social responsibility


Brand awareness


Wendy Bell / Keller Williams Integrity Realty Charity of Choice, annual fundraiser for Red Day & annual holiday sock drive

REALTORS FIND UNIQUE WAYS TO SUPPORT COMMUNITY Giving back may be part of Keller Williams’ global DNA, but some of the brokerage firm’s Ottawa staff have found meaningful and creative ways to make an impact in their own community.

Members of the Keller Williams Integrity Realty team had the chance to volunteer on or off-site with The Mission. On-site volunteers helped to orchestrate the lunch, which fed more than 250 people.

Keller Williams Integrity Realty is part of an international network of brokerage firms overseen by Co-founder and Chairman Gary Keller and President and CEO John Davis.

Meanwhile, off-site at the Keller Williams Integrity Realty office, another team helped assemble more than 300 sandwiches and treat bags decorated with handwritten messages for Ottawa Mission clients.

Locally, Keller Williams Integrity Realty has channeled its corporate values into grassroots efforts that support organizations such as The Ottawa Mission. “Our company has a high level of cultural identity, both within the Ottawa marketplace and throughout the world,” says Wendy Bell, a Co-founder and Broker at Keller Williams Integrity Realty along with partners Marvin Alexander and Sunny Daljit. Each holiday season, the firm runs a drive to collect new socks for clients of The Ottawa Mission, many of whom spend long periods of time outside during Ottawa’s harsh winters and benefit from having access to clean, warm socks.


“It was a very humbling experience for all of us,” says Bell.

well-known for her business savvy as well as her philanthropic contributions, and uses her birthday as an international day of fundraising at the firm’s locations around the world. RED Day sees 185,000 of Keller Williams’ staff and agents from around the globe rally to raise funds for a cause of their choosing.

For both groups, the volunteer opportunity served to bring the teams closer together as they collaborated on a common goal. They also found a new appreciation for the coordination required to keep things moving at The Ottawa Mission. “We were shocked at how much manpower it takes to do this,” says Bell.

But Keller Williams Integrity Realty’s generosity goes beyond a single season.

“This year, we decided to do something a bit different,” says Bell.

To recognize the efforts put forth by the Keller Williams Integrity Realty team, The Ottawa Mission sent a representative to their office to present them with a Certificate of Appreciation as well as thanking them in a print edition of the Ottawa Business Journal.

The team also runs an annual fundraising campaign as part of the company’s RED Day, which was inspired by former President and CEO Mo Anderson’s birthday in May. The businesswoman and public speaker is

Keller Williams Integrity Realty hosted a charity bowling tournament. Funds raised at the event – which totaled more than $7,000 – went into sponsoring an upgraded lunch at The Ottawa Mission.

“Any corporation that is thinking of doing this will find that it is very rewarding, humbling and generates that team spirit that most businesses work hard to put together,” says Bell.


Brand awareness

The annual Blue Door Gala is The Ottawa Mission’s signature event, where graduates of its Food Services Training Program showcase the skills they have learned. The gala – named for the iconic blue doors at The Mission – stands as a celebration of the program’s graduating class, The Mission’s reach and Ottawa’s generous philanthropic community.

Community building

In addition to the gourmet meal, attendees also enjoy an exciting live auction, a raffle and live entertainment. An intimate and exclusive pre-event reception is held for sponsors and special guests. Join other members of the city’s business community to help change lives. Corporate tables and sponsorship opportunities are available for the Blue Door Gala. Sponsors are acknowledged both online and at the event, in programs, and display positions around the gala. Select sponsors will also receive title recognition ahead of the event, as well as on-air media exposure.

Presenting sponsor

VIP pre-event sponsor

Corporate social responsibility

Registration sponsor

Coat Check sponsor

Entertainment sponsor

Media exposure opportunities


Event name recognition



Inclusion in event promos



Speaking opportunity at event



Corporate table + access to VIP event






Branding at event






For a full breakdown of the many perks that come with each package, contact Jennifer Graves at **Blue Door Gala sponsorships start at $3,500. Corporate tables (10 people) are priced at $2,500.


QUICK STATS Average over one year

1,312 Meals served daily 236 Beds occupied each night 2,000 Individuals provided with shelter

250 Volunteers per week 45 Average age of residents 27 LifeHouse graduates 20 Food Services grads 230 People successfully housed 7,600 Patient visits to the medical clinic

622 Visits to dental clinic 14

MISSION STATEMENT Our Mission is to provide food, shelter, clothing and skills, and offer healing, faith and hope for building a wholesome life. For over 110 years, The Ottawa Mission has provided the basic necessities of life, including food, shelter and clothing to the hungry, homeless and poor in our city. Today, more people are using shelters than ever before and homelessness does not discriminate. The Ottawa Mission serves people who have suffered a life of trauma, living on the streets for a long time. But, we also serve individuals who are educated, come from loving families and had successful working lives in their past. Through partnerships, we are able to expand our programs to reach more individuals, and increase opportunities for those who use our services. We value our partners and the critical role they play. As a corporate partner of The Ottawa Mission, not only can you give back to your community, but you can also provide meaningful opportunities to engage your employees. It costs about $11 million dollars a year for us to be able to provide basic necessities and life-changing programs to the homeless and poor. In addition to city funding, we need an additional $7,000,000 in donations this year from caring individuals, corporation and foundations to care for the hungry, homeless and hurting in Ottawa. We need your help. Every single gift makes a difference.

SERVICES Food, shelter & clothing Spiritual support Mental health services Day & residential addiction treatment Education & job training Employment & housing services Primary medical & dental care Hospice/palliative care


“They  share freely and give generously to the poor Their good deeds will be remembered forever.� PSALM 112:9

46 Daly, Ottawa ON K1N 6E4 613.234.1155


The Standards Program Trustmark is a mark of Imagine Canada used under licence by The Ottawa Mission Foundation.

The Ottawa Business Journal September 2018  

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

The Ottawa Business Journal September 2018  

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