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ICTORIA – Clayton Hiles has been making positive waves in the marine-based renewable energ y industry. H i le s’ compa ny, Cascad ia Coast Research, has been grown steadily, and was recently nationally recognized for its efforts in bridging the gap between entrepreneurship and scientific research. MITACS, a national private, non-for-profit organization, recently named Hiles as the recipient of an Honorable Mention winner for one of their inaugural Mitacs Entrepreneur Awards in Calgary. “This award means a lot,” says Hiles. “It’s encouraging validation from my peers and people that I look up to.” Cascadia Coast is a coastal engineering consulting company contracted by clients when
infrastructure and transportation projects are being considered for coastline. “We specialize in modeling services, we use computer models to understand what the ocean conditions in a specific place might be, and interpret the data into actionable and useable information for our clients,” says Hiles. “For example, clients come to us to find out what might happen if there’s an underwater rupture at a fault line. Would there be a tsunami? What would the implications for the project and the surrounding area be?” The company’s services have been employed on both of Canada’s coasts, in addition to work in A laska and Indonesia. BC Ferries employed them as they were planning a new route, and the City of Vancouver and City of Surrey has commissioned Cascadia for a study on the impact of sea level increases on the coast. Other notable clients include
Clayton Hiles of Cascadia Coast Research working with ocean modeling equipment the National Research Council of Canada, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, and the University of Victoria’s (UVIC) West Coast
Wave Initiative, which looks to address issues standing in the SEE HILES HITS HIGHPOINT | PAGE 21
Employee of the Year Greenlees leads new direction for English Inn
SQUIMALT – “This is a confirmation that I’m doing what I love,” says Heather Greenlees, on winning the 2015 Greater Victoria Business Employee of the Year Award. Greenlees is the General Manager of the English Inn Boutique Hotel and Wedding Venue, which has redeveloped into a community hub during her tenure at the facility. “The award is very humbling, it’s a big achievement for the property and my staff. When I first arrived the property had gone through a
bumpy ride. I decided to focus on growing the event side of the business, and expand the Inn’s presence in the community,” she says. “The goal was to put passion back into the property, and I think we’ve been able to achieve that here,” she adds. “Myself and the team have really worked on enhancing the reputation of the property in the community, we’ve become very involved in local arts and culture, and the Esquimalt Chamber of Commerce.” Greenless notes that arts and
culture has been a strong avenue for the English Inn, drawing locals in. With events like the Township Classics Concert series, they’ve been able to host world-renowned musicians like violinist Gwen Thompson, an Order of Canada appointee. “Events have given the Inn new life, they’ve become a flow of income that wasn’t there before,” she states. “When I started here, I focused on building a really strong team, and with that team our event and wedding file expanded quickly
“The staff are very well trained, they can do a little bit of everything. That allows me the freedom to trust them, it empowers them and helps in their individual growth. In hospitality there can a mentality of ‘I have to be here at work’, my focus is to create an environment that makes staff say ‘I want to be here’.” Greenlees’ positive attitude and management style seem to be paying off, as well as a focus SEE EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR | PAGE 15
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2 VICTORIA Tourism Update “The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority is expecting 2015 to be the busiest cruise ship season to date. A total of 229 ships carrying over 513,000 passengers are expected, passing the previous 2012 record of 224 ships carrying over 503,000 passengers. All these visitors spending money in our community bodes well for the tourism economy.” Frank Bourree, FCMC Air Canada had a system load factor of 83.1% in March 2015, up from 81.7% in March 2014, on a system-wide capacity increase of 11.1%. On th is add itiona l capacity, system wide traffic for March increased 12.9% resulting in an unprecedented volu me of mont h ly passengers. These increases were led by significant growth in the US trans-border, Atlantic, Pacific and Latin American and Caribbean markets. The CTC has released a report on domestic travel by millennials (travelers 18-34, travelling without parents or kids) indicating that the number of trips by millennials is expected to double by 2020 to 300 million per year making this group a catalyst for travel industry growth. The report focuses on three major
areas related to the millennial travel market: size and economic importance; traveler characteristics, values, trip and spending habits; and interest in Canada as a travel destination.
VICTORIA Governments of Canada and BC celebrate success of Canada Job Grant T he gover n ments of Ca nada and BC will provide over $582,000 in Canada Job Grant funding to Seaspan Shipyards to help 260 workers gain shipbuilding skills. The announcement was made by the Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors) and Member of Parliament for Richmond, on behalf of the Honourable Pierre Poilievre, Minister of Employment and Social Development; along with the Honourable Shirley Bond, British Columbia Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour; and Andrew Saxton, Member of Parliament for North Vancouver. This announcement brings the total number of workers being trained in British Columbia up to 6,800, thanks to funding provided through the Canada Job Grant. To date, over 1,280 employers have been approved for funding to train employees in
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British Columbia. T he a n nou ncement took place at Seaspan’s Vancouver Sh ipya rd s. Se a spa n, wh ich employs over 2,000 people, is a diverse Canadian industrial marine enterprise primarily involved in coastal and deep sea transportation and bunkering, while offering the West Coast’s leading ship repair and shipbuilding services. As a result of Canada Job Grant funding, Seaspan Shipyards employees will benefit from state-of-the-art e-learning tools fundamental to the shipyard’s current and future training requirements under the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy, with a particular focus on machine-specific operations, docking processes, metal fabrication, steel forming, paint processes and rigging. The Canada Job Grant is an innovative, employer-driven approach to help Canadians gain the skills and training they need to fill available jobs. By requiring employers to invest in training costs, the Canada Job Grant will result in skills training that leads to guaranteed jobs. Under the Canada Job Grant in British Columbia, the Government of Canada provides twothirds of total eligible training costs, up to $10,000, for expenses such as tuition, textbooks and student fees, and the British Columbia Government delivers the program. Employers
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are required to contribute the remaining one-third of these training costs, while small businesses have additional flexibility to make an in-kind contribution towards their share of the cost through wages paid to the training participant. Seaspan will receive $582,946 to train 260 employees. T he company will invest an additional $291,473 in this training. According to British Columbia’s Labour Market Outlook, by 2022, British Columbia is expecting one million job openings created by retirements and a growing economy. Of those million anticipated jobs, more than 78 percent w ill require some form of post-secondary education; including 44 percent which will need a college education or apprenticeship training.
VICTORIA Real Estate Market Sees Growth The Victoria Real Estate Board released its report on real estate activity in the Victoria area for April 2015. A total of 840 properties sold in the Victoria region this April, a 26.5% increase compared to the 664 properties sold in the same month last year. “We’ve seen modest sales increases in the area for the past two years, which we’ve attributed to a growing consumer confidence in the market,” Victoria Real Estate Board President Guy Crozier says. “The past three months have been exceptional, and I think have surprised most people watching the market; I certainly haven’t seen forecasts even close to the numbers we see today. It’s possible that consumers who were hesitant to ma ke a move or pu rchase their first house during the recent economic downturn may have waited to see conditions like we see now - the favourable interest rates, good selection of prices and properties, and increased confidence in the local economy.” There were 3,945 active listings for sale on the Multiple Listing Service at the end of April, 10.4% fewer than the 4,404 active listings in April 2014. The Multiple Listing Service Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core this time last year was $562,000. The benchmark value for the same home this month has increased by 3.5% to $581,700. “T he last time we saw this many transactions in an April was in 2007 when we saw 898 sales,” President Crozier adds. “The market is good, but prices aren’t crazy - despite the activity levels, values in our local market are still recovering from the peaks we saw in 2008 and 2010. Depending on the area,
single family property values are as much as nine percent below the 2010 values. It is a great time to buy or sell property in our area.”
VICTORIA City to be serviced by Parking Ambassadors S t a r t i n g Ja n u a r y 1, 2 016, Parking Ambassadors will be customer-focused City representatives and advocates for encouraging high parking turnover to support downtown businesses, at the same time providing directions, answering questions and providing additional eyes and ears on the street. An inhouse model provides the City greater ability to offer a parking experience consistent with customer service objectives and stakeholder needs, while still regulating parking to ensure there is high turnover of parking spaces downtown. “We have developed a business model and determined the inhouse service can be provided at close to the same cost, while offering exceptional parking services and enhancing the vitality of downtown,” noted Mayor Lisa Helps. Parking ambassadors will be unionized staff, represented by the Local 50 Chapter of the Canadian Union of Public Employees. T he model w i l l i nclude full-time and part-time positions. Ambassadors will participate in a comprehensive customer service-training program, in cooperation with downtown businesses. T imed with the new Ambassadors, the Parking Review Office will also move into City Hall, making it easier for customers to pay their tickets, or have tickets reviewed. The contract with the Commissionaires has been extended to December 31, 2015 to allow for transition. During that time, the City will be hiring for approximately 20-25 ambassador positions. Com m issionaires continue to provide security services to several City properties.
VICTORIA Local Micro Loans Launched Community Micro Lending (CML) is announcing five new loans today on Canada’s first peer to peer lending website (w w w.vcm l.ca). W h i le continuing to support small-scale sta rt-ups, CM L had recently introduced training loans. Individuals unable to access funding through the traditional channels can now apply to have their job-training costs funded through community loans.
CML Partnered with the Victoria Refugee and Immigrant Society (VIRCS), to launch the Training Loans program as a pilot last fall. Research showed there was a need to prov ide folks with an alternate to student loans. The program targets newcomers who are unemployed or under-employed, looking to upgrade their skills in order to break into the Canadian job market. Later this year, CML hopes to move the program from the pilot stage and open it up from newcomers to all low-income people in greater Victoria looking to upgrade their skills or get shortterm training the will lead to employment. In the meantime, head to www.vcml.
VICTORIA TELUS to make big regional investments TELUS is investing $20.5 million in new communications infrastructure in Victoria this year to meet growing demand for high-speed Internet services, update every wireless site in the community to 4G LTE to increase wireless speed and capacity, and enhance Optik TV service. This significant investment is part of TELUS’ commitment to
invest $4 billion in British Columbia through 2018 to bring advanced telecommunications infrastructure to every corner of the province, enabling sustained innovation, providing access to world-class education programs, extending critical healthcare technology to more communities, and fueling economic growth. By the end of 2018, TELUS will have invested more than $47 billion in British Columbia since 2000. “By the end of this year TELUS will have invested $55 million in Victoria since 2013 as we work to bring faster, higher-capacity wireless and Internet services to the community even as demand explodes,” said Ray Lawson, TELUS general manager for Va ncouver Isla nd. “O u r networks provide access to innovative healthcare and educational options while creating new opportunities for local businesses large and small, enabling them to take advantage of the most advanced technology to help grow their own operations and support the local economy.” “As the demand for online services and access grows in Greater Victoria, so will the need for local digital infrastructure.” said Minister of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services, Amrik Virk. “TELUS’ investment will help ensure that this region has the services and capacity needed for a connected
21st century city.”
VICTORIA Foreign-Owned Businesses Key to Economy 4,000 people in Greater Victoria are directly employed by foreign-owned companies. A recent study conducted by the Greater Victoria Development Agency (GVDA) and supported by Invest Canada - Community Initiatives (ICCI), interviewed 36 companies - 18 of which were started here in Victoria but are now foreign-owned - in order to best determine how to support and grow these opportunities. “We create great companies in Victoria that are recognized globally and many are acquired by foreign owners. We commissioned this study to find ways to both retain these businesses and hopefully grow their footprint in Victoria. This study provides some excellent input into that process,” says Dan Dagg, Chair of the GVDA. “These companies not only represent 8% of our GDP but a re a m b a s s a d o rs fo r d oi n g business in Victoria. We need to ensure that the management of these companies is aware of the advantages of doing business in Victoria,” offered Dallas Gislason, GVDA Economic
Development Officer. “The work ahead is substantial but essential to implement the recommendations and work to improve our economic performance” 36 compa n ies were identified in the study. 18 of which are “homegrown” companies who, with the exception of shipbuilding, are mostly export-oriented, including ecommerce. 18 are “Inbound” companies who mainly serve the Information a nd Com mu n ications Technology needs of the Provincial government and agencies or the Canadian Navy. As a whole the companies employ 4,231 employees. Their direct economic impact is $846.2 million, and the indirect economic impact $211.5 million
ESQUIMALT Admirals Road Upgrade Work is now underway in the Township of Esquimalt to upgrade Admirals Road between M a pl e b a n k R o a d a n d Ly a l l Street. The project will include the addition of bike lanes, a twoway left turn lane and median islands, as well as improvements to the sidewalks and streetlights. These new road elements will provide access for all modes of transportation and improve
3 commuter safety. The Township will also install stormwater treatment devices and separate currently combined manholes for storm and sanitary collection systems, which will help to protect local waterways. Funding for this estimated $4.6 million project is being provided by several sources, including $2.8 m illion from the federal Gas Tax Fund, a $1.2 million loan from the Municipal Finance Authority of British Columbia and $600,000 from the Township of Esquimalt.
VICTORIA Correction In a recent story in Business Examiner Victoria on Thompson Cooper LLP, it stated that the “only intellectual property law firm on the south part of Vancouver Island that is qualified to be on the register of the Canadian Patent Office.” Business Examiner Victoria has been notified that this is not the only intellectual property law firm on the south part of Vancouver Island. Merizzi Ramsbottom & Forster is also qualified.
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Redfish, Shellfish, Bluefish, Unite at Festival
OMOX VALLEY– The BC Shellfish and Seafood Festival has evolved from its local beginnings in Comox to a provincially recognized industry-leading event. Originally started by the BC Shellfish Grower’s Association (BCSGA) nine years ago, the festival grew in popularity at such a significant rate that the board of directors and staff members were challenged to keep up with it. Enter Invest Comox Valley, who partnered with the BCSGA three years ago to expand the event beyond its original focus, incorporating the aquaculture industry and surrounding region into what is now a 10-day showcase. “The festival has grown to be more of a ‘promote the BC shellfish and seafood industry’ affair, with the idea of it being a major event in BC that brings people into the Comox Valley from across Canada, the US and Asia,” says Richard Hardy, President of the Comox Valley Economic Development Society and aquaculture manager for the K’omoks First Nation. Hardy is also the general manager for Pentlach Seafoods, and has been with the organization since 2004. The K’omoks First Nation own Pentlach, Salish Sea Foods and Salish Sea Farms, a joint venture with Manatee Holdings. This year’s event takes place from June 12-21 across a number of different venues in the Comox Valley. New to the festival industry-wise will be the BC Seafood Expo and Workshop Series, headlined by keynote speaker Dr. John Nightingale, CEO of the Vancouver Aquarium.
Richard Hardy, Aquaculture Manager for the K’omoks First Nation, with one of his staff PHOTO CREDIT: MIKE LEBLANC / AGRIFOODCOMOXVALLEY.COM
Ned Bell, celebrity chef, from the Vancouver Four Seasons Hotel and Chefs for Oceans will also be featured at the Expo. Another new event this year is Fresh Fest in the Marina, featuring live concert and salmon chef stations, presented by the BC Salmon Farmers Association (BCSFA) and
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North Island Chefs Association. Other components premiering for 2015 include: the Flying Lobster Extravaganza and Expo Opening Reception by Flying Fresh Freight at the Old House Hotel and Spa, and new family beach tours with Macs Oysters. These new events will join popular elements from 2014, like the BCSGA Chefs Gala Dinner, Fanny Bay Oyster plant tours, Seafood Feast & Casino Royal at the Old House Hotel, a long table dinner at the Best Western, and Comox Harbour Charters tours. The public will also have access to The Comox by the Sea Celebration, and oyster shucking competitions and showcases. Despite the consumer-focus of many of the festival’s components, there is a strong business focus, providing networking, professional development and educational opportunities. Topics to be covered include Wild Fisheries Trends, ‘How to Get Your Product from Here to There: Cross Border Trade and Distribution Channels to Grow Business, and Exploring the Business of Closed-Containment Aquaculture. One of the panelists for the Closed-Containment session is Dr. Stephen Cross, an associate professor at the University of Victoria, industrial research chair of sustainable aquaculture at North Island College, and founder and CEO of the SEA Vision Group. His company focuses on developing sustainable aquaculture systems, which integrate multiple species into one self-sustaining ecosystem. The unique offerings of the company have been featured in National Geographic. Dr. Cross is also a long-time board member with the BCSGA. “This festival brings aquaculture industry and academia together,” he said. “Typically industry engages with the academic community for things like the development of new products, production methods and technologies. “Especially now with climate change and its effects on the future of the industry, these kinds of events and forums are becoming more important. “The BCSGA created this festival, and
Dr. Stephen Cross, Professor, Founder at the SEA Vision Group, Director at the BC Shellfish Grower’s Association we’ve watched it evolve. “It’s now a platform where the industry showcases its products and interacts with the public, and has the opportunity to educate them on internal processes and increase transparency,” he added. “The highlight of this event is the Annual Gala. Now we have chefs competing from throughout the region to be included in the event. “It’s also an opportunity for us as producers to see the full life-cycle of our products.” Richard Hardy echoed these statements, “so often many of us in the aquaculture industry have our heads down in the trenches growing and producing great seafood products, “The gala dinner is a great way for us to see how well our products can be presented and of course the consumption of those great products speak for themselves.” The event features a six-course themed dinner and wine pairings. The festival has also become a catalyst for political and legislative changes. “T he i nteresti ng th i ng now is the SEE REDFISH, SHELLFISH | PAGE 5
REDFISH, SHELLFISH CONTINUED FROM PAGE 4
recognition by the Province of British Columbia on how important the aquaculture industry is to local communities such as the Comox Valley and Campbell River,” says Hardy. “Last year the festival was fortunate enough to have our local MLA Don McRae and Minister Teresa Wat from BC’s Ministry of International Trade moderate a round table discussion with the BCSGA and the BCSFA about how BC could assist aquaculturalists in advancing an industry that had been stagnant for nearly 12-13 years.” “The subsequent impacts from that round table resulted in both associations meeting with the Premier’s Chief Secretary in September of 2014. “That particular meeting resulted in additional staff and resources being directed towards the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources to address the back log of aquaculture applications.” An even more recent indication of the value of those meetings was the introduction of BC’s Modern Fish and Seafood Act this past March, which included input from both associations. For more information please visit: www.discovercomoxvalley.com/ shellfish-festival-info www.agrifoodcomoxvalley.com
BE PREPARED: NOT JUST THE SCOUT MOTTO Victoria has developed a “Recipe for Disaster” series of three checklists which covers preparing
your home, your pet, and your workplace
rom 2003-August 2014, I was a general manager with the National Trust in the UK. The National Trust is a charity supported by 3.7 million members, and it is responsible for a whole variety of properties from John Lennon’s childhood home to red brick manors, from miles of coastline to acres of garden. I was responsible for Clandon Park and Hatchlands Park, two eighteenth century houses and their associated garden and parkland. The National Trust receives no government funding, but nonetheless looks after all of these places for the nation in perpetuity – “forever, for everyone.” Having spent 11 years of my life in these amazing spaces, it was with shock and horror that I received the news that a fire had started in the basement at
Clandon Park on 29 April. In spite of the hard work of firefighters to contain it, the fire rapidly spread throughout the building and essentially gutted it – almost 300 years of history, art and artistry gone in hours. And while fire can’t likewise gut people’s memories, for people who got married at, visited, lived
in or worked at Clandon, the difference between now and then has been heart wrenching. You may be wondering why I am going on about this – other than soliciting donations for the Clandon Park Appeal (www.nationaltrust.org.uk if you’re interested) - but it is between this and the terrifying earthquakes in Nepal that my mind has turned to thoughts of emergency planning. This is all the more so because the west coast of Canada is located in an earthquake zone, and we are regularly told that sooner or later, “the big one” is going to hit. To my surprise, when I looked into this it was to learn that British Columbia experiences over 1200 earthquakes per year, 300 of which are in the lower mainland or Vancouver Island. The last big, or “subduction,” quake we had was in January 1700. These quakes typically take place around every 550 years, although the range of occurrence varies from 200 to 900 years. I found my information from Emergency Management BC, which forms part of the provincial Ministry of Justice and has comprehensive information on all sorts of emergency situations at www.embc.gov.bc.ca In the Capital Regional District, the municipal lead is the City of Victoria. Victoria has developed a “Recipe for Disaster” series of
three checklists which covers preparing your home, your pet, and your workplace. These are very straight forward and can be downloaded from www.victoria. ca under “Emergency Management.” If you are the owner of a small to medium-sized business, the estimated time for the business checklist is 16 hours. If you are wondering if this is 16 hours well spent then consider this. In the event of an emergency, it is recommended that each and every one of us is sufficiently prepared to manage for 72 hours without outside help or intervention. Is your business ready for this? Are you? At Clandon Park, we spent what sometimes felt like countless hours on evacuation and salvage plans and drills. This meant that when it mattered, everyone got out safely and the fire brigade working with the National Trust team managed to rescue 30 per cent of the contents of the mansion in the face of spreading flames and smoke. In the face of an emergency, advanced planning can be the difference between partial loss, and total loss. Julie Lawlor is the Executive Director at the WestShore Chamber of Commerce. You can reach her at 250-478-1130 or jlawlor@ westshore.bc.ca
IT’S OUR MONEY! Talk around the kitchen table usually focuses on how to spend the money you have
VICTORIA BRUCE CARTER
wonder if governments would budget differently if they did it around a kitchen table. At my house we sit around the dinner table and talk about what we can afford. In a typical conversation, one of us (usually a parent) will say maybe we need a new car? A child will say “You know my friend’s parents just got a great new car with a built in GPS and a backup camera, we should get one of those.” A more practical person in the family (usually the other parent) says, “You know the car we have works pretty well and I think we should save some money because we are going to need a new roof soon.” Talk around the kitchen table usually focuses on how to spend the money you have. Governments sit around rooms and talk about how they are going
to spend – whether they have the money or not. Would the conversation be different if they had to call “Gloria” (widowed and on a fixed income) and say “I know you don’t have much money but I want to take some more of what you have and give it to people who rent because it’s tough for those folk.” What if Gloria responds: “I don’t have any more money, I live off my pension. If you want to take some of that money and give it to renters I can skip lunch a few days a week” A govern ment ca l ls Jorda n
Plumber (married with two young children just bought their first home). “Jordan although we could eliminate your property tax increase this years, we’ve decided to spend your money on bike lanes and building low income housing.” Jordan might respond, “I was totally surprised at the cost of water and electricity for this house, let alone what it costs to clothe and feed a family. Really can’t you give me a break?” When governments deal with millions of dollars they seem to forget they are spending Jordan’s and Gloria’s money. The budgeting process, particularly at the municipal level, has a tenor of we have money to spend, we need to come up with good programs to spend it on. Indeed we have so many good programs now we need to raise more money and increase taxes. There is another option. Taxpayers only have so much money and we can only afford so much, so let’s set priorities and do the things that are important. Let’s work to reduce the tax burden so everyone has money to spend. Bruce Carter is the CEO, Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce. He can be reached at bcarter@ victoriachamber.ca or (250) 383-7191
JUNE CHAMBER EVENTS • Tuesday, June 9 YYJ Eats, 5:00 – 7:00 pm Location: Market Square • Thursday, June 11 Prodigy Group June Mingle 5:00 – 7:00 pm Hosted by: Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort & Spa - LURE Restaurant
• Thursday, June 11 Seminar: Is your business CASL compliant? 9:30 – 11:30 am Location: The Chamber • Thursday, June 18 June Business Mixer 5:00 – 7:00 pm Hosted by: Jim Pattison Toyota Victoria
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SMART DOLPHINS EQUALS SMART TECHNOLOGY
Employees Ryan Kingsbury and Meghan McEachern pose in the new dolphin-themed office
Victoria company helps its customers achieve greater excellence through managed services.
hen a business on Vancouver Island needs comprehensive IT service, there’s a simple and practical solution: Smart Dolphins IT Solutions Inc. Smart Dolphins is an IT support company located in Victoria that takes a holistic service approach
with its customers’ computer networks. “There are a lot of companies out there that you can call when you need a problem fixed,” said company president Dave Monahan. “We consider ourselves a managed services provider (MSP). The idea is that we charge a fixed-month fee and take full ownership and responsibility for the customer’s network. So it’s in our best interests to reduce the number of problems, mitigate risk and make IT progressive in our customer’s business. We invest heavily in this.” In other words, Smart Dolphins does it all, from strategy,
planning and budgeting to applying its best practices and installing new systems. The company does troubleshooting too, but it spends most of its time preventing issues before they even happen. Smart Dolphins is their customers’ IT department, but importantly, a proactive one. “We get much more involved than just firefighting and installing new stuff,” Monahan said. For example, with its dedicated virtual chief information officer (VCIO), Smart Dolphins fulfills a role that normally is only available to IT departments in large organizations. The VCIO works with the leaders in the company,
helping them to plan, budget and strategize that area of their business on a regular basis. “The VCIO is being progressive, rather than just reacting and selling a new computer when it breaks,” Monahan said. Smart Dolphins is the first point of contact for everything technical. This includes having the company’s customers buy their equipment through Smart Dolphins. Smart Dolphins also acts as a th i rd pa rty l ia ison when other technology vendors are involved. If a customer uses specialized software, Smart Dolphins will work with those vendors directly in resolving problems
or planning out changes. Smart Dolphins builds a relationship with its customers and knows their needs well. “Part of our process is discovering what they are doing, where they are at and where they are trying to get to,” Monahan said. “This doesn’t happen in just a meeting or two. We dig in and learn all about them on an ongoing basis.” A lot of this learning comes from their dedicated, proactive Network Administrators. The Net Admins have the luxury of ignoring the distraction of the SEE SMART DOLPHINS | PAGE 8
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reactive support work the company does and this allows them to spend full days at the Customer locations being strictly proactive. This role is very structured and organized. “We don’t just throw bodies at problems”, says Monahan. The Net Admins are responsible for implementing Smart Dolphins’ “Technology with Porpoise” – a cute tagline, but also a term they use to represent their ideal technical standard for their customers. The Net Admins use this predefined set of “Best Practices” and effectively move customers’ computer networks toward this ideal state over time. “Our Best Practices are really our secret sauce”, says Monahan. “We know that if everything is configured just right we can minimize headaches for our customers and our support staff.” Smart Dolphins philosophy is founded on an ongoing relationship. Monahan explains, “Technology is volatile. What was new and working well at one point, slowly degrades. We can’t just set something up once and forget about it. We don’t want to just wait for the phone call about a problem because by that time it is bigger than it needs to be and probably could have been avoided altogether with the right
approach.” This philosophy results in having most of their service being proactive in nature and ultimately results in a dramatic and measureable reduction in problems and risk. Monahan explains, “We’ll see new customers start with us who have been previously neglected struggling initially with between 1 and 3 problems per computer per month – a metric we watch closely. After we do our thing for 3 to 12 months, we get most customers well below 0.5.” Smart Dolphins has just celebrated 15 years – all of them showing continued growth with the last two years marking 13 per cent growth each year. Monahan grew up with an entrepreneurial father and knew early on that he wanted to build a sustainable business. He received a degree in economics from the University of Victoria (UVic) with the idea of becoming a chartered accountant. When he decided that was not his field, he went back to UVic for an intensive one-year technical program that took him into computer technology. For the co-op section of his program, he opened his own company in his home: Smart Dolphins. At that point, he took on any IT work that came his way including web design and database development. “Over time, I realized I had to do a few things really well instead of trying to do everything,” he said. “And so we evolved more into focusing on infrastructure a nd t he net work i ng side of things, which eventually led to our MSP practice.” Within two years, he had grown to the point where he needed to open an office. In 2004, he moved into a larger space. In late February of this year, the company moved again into even larger quarters where Smart Dolphins staff, now numbering 15 employees, can meet with customers, educate them, and handle their work with greater ease. Monahan said that as possibly one the only true MSP companies on Vancouver Island, part of the challenge is to educate businesses on the true impact their
“Our core purpose is changing and improving lives through business excellence and leveraging the use of technology.” DAVE MONAHAN PRESIDENT, SMART DOLPHINS IT SOLUTIONS INC.
Dave Monahan started his company 15 years ago and has steered it into a thriving company
IT has on their business and what approach is best. He noted that other businesses may claim to offer managed services: the term is sometimes stretched and important pieces can be missing. Smart Dolphins aims to be holistic, structured and process driven. “This is still an approach that is
quite new,” Monahan said. “But truly, in comparison to most situations we go into with new customers, we are doing so much more than they have had in the past. And it is important stuff, as we can see by the results.” He added that there is still far more he wants to accomplish in the coming years. In the next three years, he wants to see revenues double to further take advantages of the benefits of scale for the sake of better results for customers. He also sees more expansion in the future, in both geographical terms as well as the scope of services Smart Dolphins provides. “There is a huge opportunity to continue to take our services deeper into our clients’
companies. Our core purpose is changing and improving lives through business excellence and leveraging the use of technology. We really want to help our customers and the greater business community do more with technology. So much is possible.” Smart Dolphins IT Solutions Inc. is at 303 – 3995 Quadra Street in Victoria. www.smartdolphins.com
Congratulations on your 15th Anniversary Smart Dolphins!
A good system shortens the road to the goal.
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Our Smart Systems have been helping small businesses succeed for 20 years. • Streamline your processes • Create productivity and profits • Work smarter not harder
“Smart Dolphins is a key partner to Megson FitzPatrick. Their expertise means our team can stay focused on our customers. Congratulations on 15 years in business.” -Jay Tuson, CEO.
Smart cars with dorsal fins form the Smart Dolphins fleet
The Smart Dolphins team enjoys their work environment
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COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE Commercial Real Estate is viable option for investment dollars Commercial Real Estate varies across BC BY BETH HENDRY-YIM
nvestors looking for better returns on their investment dollars are turning to commercial real estate as a viable place to put their money. T he attraction, sa id Tim Dow n, com merci a l re a l estate agent and past president of the BC Commercial Council and current director with the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board in Kelowna, is a combination of capital preservation and return on investment. “Investors are looking for a ‘return on’ and a ‘return of’ their investment,” he said. In other words they want to be able to get their money back, but they also want a rate of return
that pays more than bank rates and has a lower risk than the stock market. Dow n explained that commercial real estate is defined as non-residential property zoned for commercial, investment and industrial uses as well as hotels/ motels and large-scale residential rental complexes. There are a variety of property types from office buildings to industrial warehouses that can be either owned and occupied or leased out to a tenant who pays rent as well as the entire annual operating costs for the property. “It can also include multi-purp ose a nd m i xe d u se mu lt if a m i ly d w e l l i n g s,” h e s a i d adding that trends in lifestyle, urban planning, environmental
factors and building costs are driving how commercial space is developed, especially in centralized locations and specific regions in BC. “Pla n n i ng depa r t ments of mu n icipa l ities a nd reg iona l districts prefer mixed use development because it enhances the living experience. Vertical building creates a community where people can live, work a nd shop, c ut t i n g dow n on the land footprint and traffic congestion.” Jason Kahl, Chair of the Commercial Council of Victoria Real Estate Board, said “Municipalities like Langford in the Greater Victoria Regional District are SEE COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE | PAGE 12
Tim Down said investors want a rate of return that pays more than the banks CREDIT:TIM DOWN
COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE
12 COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE CONTINUED FROM PAGE 10
encou rag i ng h ig her density development t h roug h comprehensive zoning regulations and a streamlined amendment process because it encourages better development that results in a stronger tax core.” He added that a municipality’s attitude around zoning leads everything to do with developing or investing in a property. “Some cities will look at zoning as a way of controlling development, while others use it as a way of inviting development,” he said. D e m o g ra p h i c s h a v e a b i g say in commercial real estate trends. According to Ron Rodgers, Chair of the BC Northern Commercial Council, Fort St. John has the highest birthrate i n Ca nada a nd the you ngest population in BC with a large majority of residents working in trades within the oil and gas industry. Workers’ needs and wants and where they spend their dollars are different from a n old e r, m ore e s t a bl i s h e d popu l at ion l i ke Kelow n a or Victoria. He said people living in the northern community aren’t necessarily looking for variety in retail and shopping, or multi family dwellings. They’re looking for space. “Our demographic, weather
Jay Cousins said the mid-island region is slated for sustained and future growth. CREDIT:JAY COUSINS
“A realtor with a background in business has a greater understanding of the challenges and sophistication behind the purchase of commercial real estate.” JAY COUSINS COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE SPECIALIST, NANAIMO
a nd top og raphy pl ay a factor.” Rodgers said. “With 40 below weather and several feet of snow, the typical, ‘city car’ do esn’t cut it. T rades need ATV’s in the summer and snowmobiles in the winter just to get into job sites. So the need for additional parking, warehouse and shop space is a necessity with most families.” He added that with northern BC’s rapid growth in the natural gas industry, commercial real estate is skewed towards light industrial. P ri nce G eorge com mercia l realtor David Black, President of the BC Northern Real Estate Board and Vice Chair of the BC Northern Commercial Council, said his city’s economy has been fairly stable for the past 25 years, especially with the addition of the university. He added that there is some speculation and waiting to see what LNG will bring to the community and the impact it will have on the economy and growth, but with the city’s stability comes a better rate of return on investment dollars. He said that part of that return is based on the future value of a property. “In Vancouver you can expect a sizeable appreciation on the value of the building,” he said. ”In Prince George the value of a property will appreciate at a slower rate than the larger city,
Top Five Considerations When Purchasing Commercial Real Estate for Your Business 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Location. Location. Location. Know your target market. Understand what is needed financially. Evaluate business needs, not just wants. Work with a commercial real estate specialist.
SEE COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE | PAGE 13
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so the CAP rate or rate of return is higher here.” Nanaimo commercial real estate specialist Jay Cousins said the mid-island region is one of two areas that he feels will be a source of sustained and future growth. The other area is the Okanagan. Both regions, he said, host a population wanting lifestyle a men it ie s t h at a re clo se at hand, which makes mixed-use bu i ld i ngs, where reta i l, office and residential spaces are combined, ideal for living and investing. “Historically it was a slower paced lifestyle region up until 20 ye a rs a go, i n t he l a st 10 years Kelowna and area have seen dramatic growth,” Down said. “The University of British Columbia Okanagan has significantly expanded. Kelowna International Airport is the tenth busiest in Canada, and we’ve got improved, state-ofthe-art healthcare centers.” The result, he said, is a community where people may have their second and third homes, including those in high-end multi-use buildings and resorts. Down said that the Okanagan is seeing an increase in investment dollars from across Canada and as a result of the Alberta oil economy, Cousins said the
Ron Rodgers recently won 2014 MLS Top Commercial Realtor from the Commercial Council of the BC Northern Real Estate Board CREDIT:RON RODGERS
mid-island region is seeing investors from Vancouver, Alberta and Asia. He added that when investors look to invest in commercial real estate they choose either a passive or an active investment depending on the investors’ desired level of involvement. “Some investors want a strictly passive investment. They buy a property with a good tenant and a long term lease. The only involvement they have is cashing a monthly rent check.”
An active investment, he said, is more hands-on and in many cases involves the purchase of a business. H e u s e d t h e e x a m pl e of a 20-suite building where the manager takes care of day-today maintenance and the investor enjoys a passive income. A mini-storage facility, on the other hand, where the investor opens and closes the gates and mans the front desk, would be more active and hands on. Cousins added that the type of i nvestment chosen is determined by the required and expected rate of return. In his com mu n ity of Na n a i mo, he said, the multi-suite building could potentially bring in a five per cent rate of return whereas industrial property could bring in as much as seven per cent. W hether the investment in commercial real estate is for creating a location for a business or a s a n i nvest ment, a qualified real estate specialist can help at every stage. Black said asking the right questions creates a clear picture of the clients’ short and longterm goals and will determine the best fit for their needs. He added that knowing and understanding market trends, demographics and the community are part of how a commercial realtor helps an investor find the right property. “K now i ng wh at i s com i ng up in the market helps get the
David Black said knowing the market helps get the right place for the right price. CREDIT:DAVID BLACK
client the right place at the right price,” he said. Down said part of what he does is help clients through the negotiation process whether it is for the purchase of a property for an investment return, starting or expanding business operations, or negotiating the right lease space with appropriate leasehold improvements or free rent and annual operating expenses. He said that for business owners, purchasing a building may not be a desired or financially feasible option. Leasing allows the business owner to rent at a desi red location
without having the added cost a nd hassle of ma nag i ng t he building; a qualified commercial realtor can help determine which is the best fit. When looking for a commercial realtor, Down suggested the investor look at the experience level and background of the professional. He also said to ask questions about local trends to determine the realtor’s understanding of the market. Kahl said to look at the industry criteria on the association’s websites and find out the depth of their knowledge of the market inventory. Rod gers st ressed t h at a ny realtor who is part of a real estate board’s commercial membership, has to pass a criteria that is skewed to commercial experience and education. “Seeking out a realtor who is a commercial member of the local real estate board is a good way to find a qualified commercial realtor,” he said. Black added that the investor should take the time to interv iew potent i a l rea ltors a nd create a relationsh ip; wh i le Cousins said to look for maturity of experience in business. “Most investors are entrepreneurial,” he said. “A realtor with a background in business has a greater understanding of the challenges and sophistication behind the purchase of commercial real estate.”
ESQUIMALT CHAMBER FOCUSES ON BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
ESQUIMALT RJ SENKO
o paraphrase Mark Twain, “the reports of our death have been greatly exaggerated”. In fact, the Esquimalt Chamber of Commerce is alive and well and working hard for local businesses. At its recent AGM members elected a new Board that is an excellent cross section of business in Esquimalt and is dedicated to improving business for our members and the Esquimalt business community in general. We are working with the Township of Esquimalt in a number of areas of economic development and expect to see great progress before the end of this year. The new Board has some familiar faces: Bill Lang, President (Songhees Wellness Centre); Don Linge, Policy and Governance (Personal Law Corp); and Heather
At its recent AGM members elected a new Board that is an excellent cross section of business in Esquimalt and is dedicated to improving business for our members and the Esquimalt business community in general Greenlees, Events and Fundraising (The English Inn). These experienced members are joined by newcomers: Barry Hobbis, Vice President - Business Development (Victoria Harbour Ferries); RJ Senko, Vice President - Communications (Esquimalt-Royal Roads BC Liberals); Luis Ambriz, Treasurer (The Office); Meghan Major, Secretary (Royal Bank, Esquimalt Branch); and Stephanie Ritchie, Member Services and Fundraising (Cooper Financial). While our new Board is forging
ahead with plans for a prosperous year, we are looking to recruit two additional Board members representing the ship building industry and the commercial businesses on Esquimalt Road. If you fit into one of these categories and are interested in joining our rejuvenated Board, please contact our Executive Director, Adrian Andrew. In addition to our business development focus the Esquimalt Chamber has a number of member-focused events planned for this year as well as our monthly “Coffee-and-a-Danish”. This open house is held the first Thursday of every month (8:30 – 10 am) at the Chamber Office (#103 – 1249 Esquimalt Road) and is quickly becoming a premier networking event for both members and non-members. For more information on the Esquimalt Chamber visit esquimaltchamber.ca, which we are currently updating to better reflect the needs of our members and the entire business community or you can give us a call at 250-590-2125. RJ Senko, Vice-President Communications and Government Relations of the Esquimalt Chamber of Commerce
Senior Marketing Advisor
PUT YOUR COMPANY IN THE SPOTLIGHT In the life of every business, certain events always stand out: • A grand opening • A brand new building • Completing a major project • Landing a major contract • Celebrating a milestone anniversary Spotlights are your opportunity to spread the word about your firm to the entire Southern Vancouver Island region. Contact me today to have your business featured in our publication.
To market your firm in the Business Examiner contact Thom Klos at 250-661-2297 or firstname.lastname@example.org
HOMEBUYERS TAKE A VIRTUAL WALK THROUGH A POTENTIAL HOME Online catalogues let buyers purchase furniture and décor from local retailers
ICTORIA — Evelyn Saurette enjoys reinventing herself. But when she decided to go back to school and get her degree in multimedia, little did she know that her next step would be inventing herself as an entrepreneur and software innovation leader. The grandmother and CEO of Picture This Today 3D Inc. opened this new chapter in her life two years ago while looking for a new home. “I had to order new furniture,” she said. “But had no idea how or if it would fit.” With a history in real estate and construction and an educated knowledge of software applications, Saurette had the germ of an idea that soon turned into a fulltime commitment and passion. “Home buyers find it hard to look past grandma’s old couch and see the potential of new décor and a personal touch,” she said. “I wanted to create a fully interactive 3D representation of property listings where buyers can apply décor, move furniture around, and get a feel for how the house will look without the dated sofa.” After hosting focus groups with
Evelyn Saurette of PictureThis said Rhodes and the team did an amazing job in creating a fully immersive experience CREDIT: EVELYN SAURETTE
realtors, Saurette had a better idea of what the industry needed and wanted, but when she began searching for 3D software that fit her needs, she hit a wall. “I thought I would be able to buy it off the shelf, but instead I was told the concept was five years out, and even, that it couldn’t be accomplished.” But Saurette doesn’t take no for an answer lightly. She believed that it wasn’t so much that it couldn’t be done as much as someone hadn’t done it yet. Eventually,
her tenacity led her to Glen Rhodes, a senior developer from Disney and one of the creators of Sony Playstation. When Rhodes heard the idea, he got excited, so excited that he not only agreed to work on the project, but is now moving his family to Victoria. Based on a gaming format, the software changes how realtors and homeowners shop and buy real estate, and, as Saurette said, is so rich with potential that it will continue to expand and evolve.
“Realtors and homeowners can now access a 3D representation of a house. They can move walls around, add flooring, paint, turn light switches on and off, see the home in daylight and nighttime, design a new kitchen, and add furniture from local retailers.” She added that the final product was a collaborative effort between her entire team of 10 employees with the outcome being an affordable marketing tool for realtors and an easy-to-use design tool for homebuyers.
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“Rhodes and the team have done an amazing job in creating a fully immersive experience without the look of a cartoon or the static feel of 2D,” she said. The process, once a listing is received, involves a staff member going onsite to carefully measure the home. Once complete, the parameters are downloaded into the 3D program to create a staged rendition of the property with tool kit and easy-to-use prompts. But for Saurette, it was never just about creating a piece of design software; she envisioned something more, something that would tie the whole home shopping experience together. With the addition of online catalogues to the software app, homebuyers can take a virtual walk through a property and then move, replace or order products, found in the catalogue database, from local retail outlets. They can even share the new design with family and friends. “The house is a blank slate,” she said. “With the click of a mouse, homebuyers can design their dream home.” According to Saurette, local retailers have eagerly gotten on board and are excited about the new technology and its ability to provide customers with a virtual look at how a piece of furniture, window covering, flooring, or artwork will fit in their new home. “Retailers help subsidize costs and in turn have direct access to buyers through the online store.” Saurette said, adding that it’s a win win for realtors, clients and retailers. Developing a novel application for a specific market, from an idea into a viable business, has had its ups and downs, but Saurette said it’s been worth the effort. Recently, the company was nominated for the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce Innovation Award and was also profiled on CBC TV. “There have been so many reasons to get discouraged, but I never once doubted the concept or our ability to develop it,” Saurette said. Picture This Today 3D Inc. is at 4470 Markham Rd. Victoria. www.picturethis.today
SOOKE/OFF THE COVER
EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
on taking advantage of each of the potential revenue streams the property has. Since taking the position she reactivated the ‘out buildings’, which are separate from the hotel, and has extended-stay tenants in 22 of the units. When she started there was just 1. “These tenants get to live in an incredible peaceful environment and enhance the life of the property,” says Greenlees. Before Greenlees’ arrival, the boutique hotel suites were the main source of revenue, and the outbuilding expansion and event focus have created new income streams. “As long as we feel that an event will compliment the venue and the community, we’ll work with it,” she says. “The Inn has hosted things like elopements, whisky tastings, funerals and concert series. Recently we hosted the First Annual Evil Acres Halfway to Halloween Masquerade Ball, which was a big hit, we had 500 people come through in 3 hours. We’re already planning for next year.” The property has the capacity to host 2,200 people, and boasts rooms for dinners and events, and a state-of-the-art kitchen. In addition to the events component, the English Inn boutique hotel had its own offerings. It’s nearly 100 years old, and features 15 unique suites. Guests and visitors also have access to a veranda offering refreshments. “The history and energy of the property are jaw-dropping,” Greenlees says. “Walking around the only sound you’ll hear is birdsong, yet you’re a stones throw from downtown. “You can come have a party, get
The entrance to the English Inn. CREDIT: JOSH MCCULLOCH
Heather Greenlees, General Manager of the English Inn. married and sleep here, and take over an old world mansion for the night, it’s a really unique opportunity,” she adds. ”The magic of it
is that is was built as a home, that’s what we want guests to feel when they walk in the doors. Our staff operate in an environment where they can be themselves, it creates a special connection between them and the guest.” On what her approach to business has done during her time at the Inn, Greenlees says “I feel the community has embraced us, when you spread goodwill and invest in the area’s residents, it’s just a matter of time before that trickles back through your front door. The locals have become our bread and butter, it speaks volumes about people putting trust in a local venue.” As for what’s next, Greenlees is focused on getting the most out of every corner of the property.
“There are things here that have not been completely taken advantage of, I’d like something booked here every single day. We’d like the community to be involved as well,” she says. “This is a creative playground, we think about ways to be different, that diversity keeps us going and engaged. We’ve also started to develop a reputation in the film industry, Gourmet Detective, was filmed here.” The film is a Hallmark Movies & Mysteries project that premiered earlier this month. “There are two separate projects in the works, but the details are unavailable right now. All I can say is that there will be filming here in 2016 and 2017, we’re very excited!” Greenlees began here career in hospitality at the age of 14, working at the Malahat Bungalows as a
member of the cleaning staff. She became head housekeeper within half a year, and has never looked back. Since then she’s been the general manager of a number of properties throughout Vancouver Island, helped to launch new locations, including the Holiday Inn in Courtenay, and worked as a sales and homeowner relations agent for a vacation rental property company. “My passions lie in hospitality. The industry is all about hands-on experience. It’s tried and true, and has allowed me to get to where I am today,” she notes. “The owners of the company [LFC Lampson Hospitality] have told me, ‘whatever you’re doing, keep doing it’. “For them to say something like that, it’s huge to me.” www.englishinn.ca
issues identified in this report. Seven years later these predictions have been proven accurate. Provincial and District of Sooke data shows that there is an accident on Highway 14 every 36 hours. Serious accidents often result in the complete closure of the highway with no alternate route. These frequent barriers to travel between Sooke and the surrounding communities have a serious negative impact on the local economy and many Sooke residents. T he much-needed highway improvements include: Highway 14 re-alignment (including straightening); improved road lighting along the length of the highway from Langford to Sooke and most importantly at intersections. If the entire 15 kilometres were lit, less than 175 street lamps affixed to existing electrical poles would be needed. T ra n sit i mprovements i ncluding facilities such as bus pull-outs, Park’n’Ride facilities, and shared parking facilities. A minimum of three new
Park’n’Ride lots are required in well-known locations as well as the development of the local road network and parallel routes to reduce demand on the main road. Widened shoulders, bike lanes to separate slow moving and stopped traffic are also needed and pull-outs, lay-bys or passing lanes to allow improved traffic flow and create opportunities to pass slow-moving industrial and commercial traffic such as logging trucks. The Sooke Region Chamber of Commerce doesn’t have all of the answers to our community’s transportation issues but we do believe the time has passed for all levels of government to work closely with the community towards resolving the long-standing safety and capacity concerns regarding Highway 14.
HIGHWAY 14 NEEDS URGENT UPGRADES Over the coming years, our urgent need for highway improvements will only increase
SOOKE SEAN DYBLE
ver the past decade, Sooke’s population has grown significantly. So significantly that the infrastructure in place to serve the community no longer does so effectively. As the second fastest growing community on Vancouver Island, Sooke’s population has increased by 50 per cent in the past two decades, without much of the additional infrastructure spending that could have been expected. By 2035, it is forecast that Sooke’s population
will double to over 25,000. As a result, transportation infrastructure is repeatedly identified as the most important issue affecting Sooke and the business community. Over the coming years, our urgent need for highway improvements will only increase. Our town’s main arterial corridor and only crossing of Sooke River, Highway 14, requires immediate upgrades to improve
road safety, reduce travel times and increase capacity. It is estimated that as many as 60 per cent of Sooke residents use a portion of the highway each day, many during peak travel hours and as commuters to Langford, Colwood, Esquimalt and Victoria. Commercial and industrial traffic has increased in lock-step with the population and the result is that all of these vehicles travel along one 15 kilometre stretch of single-lane road. In 2008, the provincial government reported that “the traffic demand on the highway is anticipated to surpass the available capacity if no future upgrades are completed resulting in service level F (breakdown flow; demand routinely exceeds capacity).” T he same report stated that “difficult roadway geometry, limited access control and increasing traffic volumes contribute to safety performance concerns along the Highway 14 corridor.” Unfortunately, few improvements have addressed the serious safety and capacity
Sean Dyble is the President of the Sooke Region Chamber of Commerce and the owner of 120 West Management Consulting
TALON SIGNS IS SHINING BRIGHT IN VICTORIA Talon Signs boasts staff with exceptional experience and expertise
ICTORIA — Steady growth and customer satisfaction are signs of things to come for Victoria’s Talon Signs Ltd. The company, founded only two years ago, is already making a name for itself in the business community. Talon Signs offers a wide array of services providing clients with a single accountable source for signage that saves time, provides manufacturing continuity, and guarantees premium quality. The breadth and variety of Talon Signs’ fabrication and installation capabilities encompass the full spectrum of visual communication including corporate identity signage, comprehensive way-finding packages including interior and exterior components, illuminated signs, LED message boards and digitally imaged graphics, custom designed vehicle and window wraps, and special event banners. Ta lon Sig ns’ ma i n focus is electric signs. However, Renee Eastman, who owns the company with her husband, Joe Eastman, said that they and the staff enjoy the challenge of taking on new projects of any kind. “We like figuring out what works best and how to make it. Everything we do is custom fabricated.” Joe comes to the company with 30 years experience in the sign industry, while his number one sales person has been working in signage for even longer than that. The entire team brings enormous enthusiasm and dedication to the business. Renee said that she grew up with an entrepreneurial father and knew that one day she wanted to follow in those footsteps. “Owning and operating a small business is something I’ve always wanted to do,” she said.
Talon Signs installed the 14’x24’ LED Video Display at City Centre
Talon Signs created the Seaparc Leisure Complex pylon sign
“We want to build really positive relationships. We’ve charted out the marketing and financial plans and we’re taking steps forward in both directions.” RENEE EASTMAN CO-OWNER, TALON SIGNS LTD.
“I watched my dad growing his business from the time I was little. Small business is exciting.” Shortly after the Eastmans opened their doors, they landed a contract for the Tally-Ho Hotel in Victoria, a project that required a number of high-profile signs including the large pylon sign
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on Douglas Street. Talon Signs also designed and fabricated the sports bar sign and designed the motor inn’s logo. It created a number of smaller signs as well, changing one sign from neon to LED. In July 2014, Talon Signs was awarded another large project: two LED digital displays at City Centre Park in Langford. The signs measure 24 by 14 feet and each is comprised of 28 panels, all of which had to be brought up from the United States. “No shipping company would bring them up here because they were too high a dollar value,” Eastman said, adding that a simple setback like that didn’t deter them. “We just sent our guys down in a rented truck and they drove back up here with the signs.” Back in the shop, Talon Signs talented electrician, Martin Knowles, accomplished the daunting task of wiring all 28
Talon Sign owners Joe & Renee Eastman individual panels to operate as one large LED display. Eastman noted that another exceptional staff member, Simon Fuller, also “makes things happen.” Other projects followed, including a pylon sign with a digital display for the Seaparc Recreation Centre in Sooke. While some projects are simple, others require in-depth expertise. Talon Signs’ field experience, site analysis skills, layout and shop drawing capabilities, fabrication expertise, and extensive on-site installation experience enable it to accomplish client objectives, providing a quality product economically and on time. The company boasts a 12x16-foot CNC router working mostly with plastic and aluminum. Its 54-inch digital printer allows it to do window displays and vehicle wraps as well as banners. Eastman said that the
company’s growing successes are putting its name out there and making potential clients aware of the quality work it does. She said that where Talon Signs really shines is in the design department. “Joe has been designing signs for over 30 years. We provide people with a proof with the quote and quite often, people will really like the look of it right away.” She added that quality is another hallmark of Talon Signs. The company will not cut corners and uses only quality materials that will last. Service is another cornerstone of the company’s success. Eastman said that their aim is to make sure that the customer is happy every time. The Eastmans also believe in treating employees well. “We want to make sure they’re happy in their job,” Eastman said. “We have been flexible with them. We know that their families are important. If they need time to be with their families, we can be flexible that way.” Keeping customers and employees happy is a big part of the company’s future plans, as is growth. Talon Signs recently hired another staff member, and that sort of slow and steady growth is exactly what the Eastmans are aiming for. “We want to build really positive relationships,” Eastman said. “We’ve charted out the marketing and financial plans and we’re taking steps forward in both directions.” Talon Signs Ltd. is at Unit C – 6675 Mirah Road in Victoria. www.talonsigns.com
IT SECURITY CONSIDERATIONS FOR BUSINESS
nformation technology (IT) security should be an important area of consideration for every business. In light of all the sensitive information businesses keep on record – from financial records to private information, it is easily understood how a single data breach could seriously damage a business and its reputation. A database of publicly reported data breaches released in February by security vendor Gemalto showed there were at least 57 incidents in which 276,789 records were taken from Canadian institutions including governments, banks and hospitals in 2014. “Many data breaches are avoidable through the use of best practices when it comes to IT Security.” says Aaron Butters, President of Technology Guys IT Solutions, a Managed Service Provider based in Victoria, BC. When asked to provide some ideas on what to consider when it comes to IT Security, Aaron offered the following: Password Policies - Implementing strong passwords and changing them on a regular basis is an easy first step to strengthening security. Using a combination of capital and lower-case letters, numbers and symbols, as well as ensuring the password is 8 to 12
Aaron Butters of Technology Guys IT Solutions characters long is recommended. Each user should have their own unique login and user password for system login, network access, and application access. “Sharing a single login and password for a number of employees creates a number of weaknesses from a security perspective,” explained Aaron “so too is sharing passwords or making them so complex you have to write them down.” In the same vein, Password Management tools are becoming increasingly useful with the number of accounts and devices that people have to manage. Security Hardware A s a front l i ne of defence, firewalls are a necessity for all
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businesses. Most businesses use a device called a router which also acts as a firewall – although firewalls and routers can be separate devices. “A firewall protects a network by controlling traffic coming in and out of the network. We also have clients whose needs exceed those of routers and firewalls.” explains Butters, “In these cases we often use security appliances to provide additional filtering and reporting.” Important to note is the need to properly configure whatever devices are implemented. “It’s one thing to have the hardware, and it’s another having it working as it should.” explained Butters. Antivirus Software - Antivirus and anti-malware solutions provide an excellent line of defence and are an important part of a security strategy. Offerings and features can vary significantly. “There are basic antivirus programs available for free – however licensing often prevents them from being used in a business setting. Free applications also tend to lack reporting systems preferred in a business setting,” explains Aaron. “There are a number of excellent business-grade solutions available for a relatively low investment.” Additionally - ensuring antivirus, antimalware, operating
system and applications are updated and patched on a regular basis is critical to ensure things are working correctly. “Frequency of patching varies from Client to Client – but it is a necessary maintenance step in any computer network,” says Aaron. Securing the Mobile Worker Smartphones, tablets and laptops are at a higher risk of being lost or stolen than traditional desktop computers and hard-wired office phones. Steps need to be taken to ensure sensitive information is protected. “Encrypting devices, enabling lockout periods, and enabling remote wiping of data when available are all effective methods in approaching security of mobile workers”, explains Aaron, “The key is having options available to protect and secure company data if a device goes missing.” Backup Backup Backup - There are a variety of methods of backing up data available for businesses. In recent years automated online methods have become popular because of relative ease – however Aaron warns about “Cloud” solutions that backup to locations geographically distanced from Victoria. “If your business can not afford to be offline for days, it is critical to consider where the backed up data actually resides
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– and how you would get the data back in the event of needing it.” Technology Guys offers a variety of backup solutions including an automated backup process that backs up data to an offsite location online. “Our ReplicateIT backup solution allows businesses to backup to a secondary business location, private residence, or to our secured datacenter. The biggest benefit to these solutions over “cloud” solutions is the speed of recovery - our solution is by far the fastest in a disaster recovery scenario,” explained Butters. “It is also important to make sure backups are tested to ensure what is supposed to be backed up is.” “There are a variety of other areas of consideration including securing levels of network access, monitoring network processes, and providing employee training and education,” added Aaron, “Technology Guys is able to provide all of them to our Clients.” Technology Guys IT Solutions is a Victoria BC based MSP, who offer IT support services for Small business to Enterprise clients. Technology Guys areas of specialization include Networking, Security, Hosting, Storage, Disaster Recovery and Planning. For more information, please visit www. technologyguys.ca
ONE-OF-A-KIND COMMERICAL BUILDING HAS BROKEN NEW GROUND ON THE WESTSHORE Wilfert Road Business Centre offers direct access, parking, location and more
ESTSHORE – The new Wilfert Road Business Centre on Victoria’s WestShore is a unique new offering. A two-storey warehouse, the second floor originally consisted of a total of 14,500 sq. ft. “Finding someone for that large a space was difficult,” said Tim Beaumont, commercial and industrial real estate agent with Coldwell Banker. “It really lent itself to being subdivided. So, through discussions with the owner Geoff Reid, we came up with the idea of creating a unique second storey for the building w ith a second storey access ramp.” The architectural and engineered design converted the huge space into something different: five separate warehouse units giving each leasehold tenant multiple parking spaces right at their doors. “They can drive up to their units and have level warehouse space similar to the second storey parking at Uptown,” Beaumont said. “It’s a very unique concept. There aren’t many, if any others quite like that in Victoria.” He added that the spaces are new and ideally suited to a wide variety of businesses. Reid said it’s important to note how unusual the building really is. He originally purchased the land and put up the building for his business, Rolex Plastics Manufacturing Ltd. When he decided to retire, he leased the ground floor space, which is now home to the Island Centre of Hockey Excellence. Following that, came the subdivision and re-purposing of the second floor. “This is something that has never been done before,” he said. SEE COMMERICAL BUILDING | PAGE 19
Construction of the new parking and entry to the Wilfert Road Business Centre units provided unique challenges and solutions
“We’ve created a completely different use and a completely different design for the building that allows people to actually drive to their second floor and have access to it rather than taking stairs or an elevator.” TIM BEAUMONT REAL ESTATE AGENT, COLDWELL BANKER
Side view of the Wilfert Road Business Centre
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COMMERICAL BUILDING CONTINUED FROM PAGE 18
“What we’ve done is taken 627 concrete blocks and created a big square behind the building. We added 600 cubic metres of Styrofoam around the building and we did that so that the 8,000 tons of crush that we put in behind the building inside that square didn’t lift up the building.” He noted that four engineers including lead engineer John Van Dyke of City Engineering worked on the project that took eight months to complete. A ramp up the side to the building also rests on Styrofoam so that the pressure won’t raise the building. Construction was completed by Ralmax Contracting Ltd. along with York Excavating Ltd. who had worked on similar projects,
but nothing quite like the scope of this one. “The concrete blocks alone, getting them positioned in the right angles, it’s very critical,” Reid said. “And then when we had to create the entranceways on the second floor, we had to re-seismic the building.” Was it all worth it? Reid gave an unqualified “yes.” The building’s second floor had been sitting empty for years when the idea for the ramp and entryways came to him at 4 a.m. one morning. First he talked to Beaumont about it. Then he approached other realtors to get their opinion. They told him it couldn’t be done. “I’ve been told all my life that things are impossible to do,” Reid said, noting that his reply was his SEE COMMERICAL BUILDING | PAGE 20
The completed Wilfert Road Business Centre
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access to the highway and is in close proximity to other thriving businesses including a number of car lots and auto related businesses. “T here are very few spaces where you can get 3,000 sq. ft. with good, high ceilings and drive-up parking right to the front of your unit,” Beaumont said. “That’s very unique.” He added that he has been selling commercial real estate for more than 25 years and this offering really is special in an area that is growing and will continue to thrive. “We’ve created a completely different use and a completely different design for the building that allows people to actually drive to their second floor and have access to it rather than taking stairs or an elevator,” Beaumont said. “It’s a very unique and
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wonderful concept.” He pointed out that with parking often being an issue in Victoria, six spaces per unit at the Wilfert Road Business Centre is a terrific bonus. The area is business-centric as well. Beaumont said that the building could house any number of businesses including processing , packaging and warehousing. Any type of supplier would find the space amenable as well as detailing or other shops and IT businesses. The building is wired for IT and offers plenty of power. “There are multiple uses for this space,” Beaumont said. “The zoning is extremely flexible. If you can come up with an idea, we can get you in there.” With marketing just beginning, one tenant has already signed on and three others are looking at the spaces. Beaumont said that
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he wouldn’t be surprised if there is only one space left in the very near future. Reid said that the completed project has turned out better than he hoped or expected. “I’m very pleased with everybody who has worked on the site – they’ve all done a terrific job and they have captured my vision perfectly. It has come together very, very well.” Beaumont said that the new space really sells itself. “Anyone interested should call direct at 250-514-5454 or have their agent call and I can show them the units any time. I’m happy to get them or their agent through it.” T he Wilfert Road Business Centre is at 2657 Wilfert Road in WestShore. Tim Beaumont: 250-514-5454
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way of wave energy technology deployment. They’ve also been used as a sub-consultant for various oil and gas projects, including liquefied natural gas in BC, examining the potential impact of ocean currents and waves, and tsunami. “Oil and gas companies use us to help answer the question: ‘is this a safe place to put a facility?’,” he adds. Marine renewable energy is also a significant focus at Cascadia, with wave and tidal electricity projects and research making up between 30-40% of the company’s business. “We’ve watched this industry grow slowly over the past few years, and have been fortunate enough to be a part of some unique projects,” said Hiles. T he compa ny worked on a project in the Bay of Fundy that harnessed the world-renowned tidal system to create electrical energy. “This is another example of where we were able to develop a computer model of the environment that the technology would encounter,” he says. “The manufacturer used our model to simulate situations their technology would be in, and adapted their design accordingly. “These kinds of projects are exciting to be a part of, but there are still long-term challenges that need to be addressed,” he adds. “People are trying to make the business-case for marine renewables, but the reality is that it’s going to be expensive to implement these systems. “Tidal energy is more relevant [than wave] right now, as the technology has converged so that the devices are similar to wind energy farms, some have been in the water for years.” A n e x a m pl e wo u ld b e t h e United Kingdom’s Seagen, a tidal stream generator, in operation since 2008. “The largest hurdle when developing new technology is proof of concept, to make producing electricity a financially viable business in this province, BC Hydro
Research shows that visitors who have personal contact with counsellors stay longer and are more likely
SAANICH PENINSULA DENNY WARNER Ocean modeling equipment used by Cascadia Coast Research wants to know that a source is reliable,” Hiles says. “Fortunately, because tidal electricity has been proven elsewhere, the technology and its viability have been increasing” The same cannot yet be said for wave energy, as there are not yet permanent full-size deployments of the technology. However, progress has been made. “We’ve started to see traction at locations that don’t have grid availability, like the Northern Ha ida Gwa i i reg ion, remote fishing resorts and other areas that transport diesel to produce their power,” he says. “Another generation of development is needed, I think it will be about 5-10 years before the technology becomes more wide-spread and cost effective.” If one thing is certain about the marine renewable energy industry, it’s that Hiles is doing his part to advance it globally. He is currently participating in an International Electrotechnical Commission project called TC 114, which is focused on the standardization of tidal and wave energy conversion technology. “The fact that international standards are being developed is a testament to the growth of the field,” he says. “My graduate research was on this subject, and I’m enjoying being able to have an impact like this.” Hiles’ entrepreneurial journey began when he graduated from the University of Victoria with a
Hiles and his team out on the water
Masters Degree in Applied Science in 2010. During the graduate research phase of his program, he was partnered with Triton Consultants through the MITACS Accelerate intern program. The program financially partners with private sector companies and pairs them with graduate students to help them with their research. The internship with Triton turned into a full time position, where Hiles worked for two years. Following the tragic passing of the company’s owner, a man Hiles considered a mentor and an invaluable support system, the company’s clients still needed service. This marked the beginning of Cascadia Coast Research. Initially, the intention was to just fulfill Triton’s remaining contracts, and then pursue employment with another firm. “I thought, ‘I’m going to have a go of it’,” said Hiles, referring to venturing out on his own. “After the first contracts completed, more kept rolling in. “We have been successful because we’re a niche business, people are scrambling to find qualified consultants in this industry. Our work is of a very high standard, and we’ve had many repeat customers. The steady growth of the company has been attributed to prudence, “we’ve grown cautiously, and have never spent money that’s not there.” Also contributing to his success has been a strong industry and entrepreneurial network within the province. Hiles regularly meets with companies like MAVI Innovations, SES Consulting and Dynamic Systems Analysis (DSA). “T he industry network has been very helpful, each of the companies are in a similar space, and we’re able to learn from each other,” Hiles notes. “Often when someone brings up a challenge, someone else in the group has gone through a similar situation and knows how to deal with it. “DSA has been a great resource, as they started three years before me, and gave me advice on what kinds of hurdles to expect when running my own business.” www.cascadiacoast.com
h e Sa a n ich Pen i n s u l a Chamber of Commerce of f ice h a s move d! We have relocated to the Pat Bay Visitor Centre and will be offering Visitor Services from this location year round. This is an exciting endeavour for a number of volunteers: those who developed the site in the early 1980s, the loyal volunteers who were enthusiastic ambassadors for the Saanich Peninsula providing visitor information from that location for many years as well as the current board, community members and staff who supported the new vision. Our Centres, Sidney and Pat Bay, are part of the Visitor Centre Network and are identified by the large, distinctive blue and yellow ‘i’. The Counsellors who work at these Centres and at the Anacortes Ferry terminal are there to provide personalized visitor counselling, travel information and brochures and to make accommodation reservations. Most importantly to our local economy, the Counsellors provide vital information about the Saanich Peninsula. You may be wondering why we are (re)investing in a physical location for visitor services in this age of digital information. Today’s visitor services include the traditional delivery of services from Centres, as well as more mobile, innovative approaches. Research shows that visitors who have personal contact with counsellors stay longer and are more likely to make a return visit to enjoy the sites and activities they may not have known about or had time to experience on their initial visit. International visitors are often travelling without mobile devices and make decisions about their travel based on recommendations provided by staff at Visitor Centres. Visitors to Vancouver Island have been shown to be more likely to make decisions about their activities while on their trip therefore accessibility to Visitor Centres remains of high importance. The Pat Bay Highway offers a strategic location for the provision of Visitor Services. Approximately 2.5 million visitors arrive on Vancouver Island at Swartz Bay via BC Ferries each
to make a return visit to enjoy the sites and activities they may not have known about or had time to experience on their initial visit
year. These ferry travellers have various motivations for stopping at our Visitor Centre. Some travellers are seeking information about the area, others see an ideal setting to let their pets out of the car for a while and some are stopping simply to make a phone call or to take a bathroom break. Our vision is for our friendly, knowledgeable, staff and volunteers to be out and around the site, connecting with visitors and motivating them to experience the treasures of North Saanich, Sidney and Central Saanich. The site itself creates opportunities for an expansion of activities. We look forward to creating space for crafters, food trucks, farm sales and much, much more. We anticipate connecting with well over 50,000 visitors via Pat Bay this year and over 85,000 visitors in total from all our locations. That represents a huge opportunity for businesses on the Saanich Peninsula. Morgan Shaw, Manager of Visitor Services, has the important job of determining how best to serve the community and our visitors in the provision of tourist information. She inspires our volunteers with her boundless enthusiasm and vision. Morgan and I, and the rest of our volunteers and staff, look forward to making the most of our opportunities with our visitors this season. Denny Warner is the Executive Director of the Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce and can be reached at execdir@ peninsulachamber.ca
COWICHAN PASTA COMPANY OPENS NEW PROCESSING FACILITY
COWICHAN VALLEY KATHY LACHMAN
owichan Pasta Company has opened a new processi ng faci l ity i nside Cure Artisan Meat and Cheese deli at 5-1400 Cowichan Bay Rd in Cowichan Bay. They are the first pasta company in Canada to make stone ground pasta from ancient grains such as Spelt, Emmer and Red Fife. www.cowichanpasta.com. ••• Malahat Nation Revitalizes Mill Bay Waterfront The Malahat Nation is developing new marine infrastructure in the Mill Bay waterfront area. The project will include construction of a new boat launch,
parking area, waterfront boardwalk and waterfront recreation areas. The project will also be a catalyst for new aquaculture business development by the Malahat Nation and will provide waterfront opportunities for new tourism businesses such as a café, gift shop, eco-tourism operators and a Malahat walking museum. T he boat lau nch a nd other amenities are expected to generate approximately $1.7M in local spending and create a dozen new jobs in three to five years. Island Coastal Economic Trust is contributing $400,000 to the project and the CVRD and Mill Bay Marine Group is also providing some funding to this project. A joint venture aquaculture operation, initially focused on farmer scallops, is also part of the long-term vision for the project. The total budget for the project is $1.85M and is expected to be completed by December 2015. Kathy Lachman is the acting Economic Development Manager for Economic Development Cowichan, a division of the Cowichan Valley Regional District. She can be reached at 250-746-7880 ext 248.
Historic Vancouver Island Blue Grouse Wines held grand opening B l u e G ro u s e E s t a t e W i ner y held t he g ra nd op en i ng of their new tasting room and winery facility at 2182 Lakeside Road i n D u nc a n, Br iti sh Colu m bi a on M ay 23 rd . Nestled in the heart of Vancouver Island’s Cowichan Valley, Blue Grouse is one of Vancouver Island’s first wineries, working with vines originally planted in 1977. Winemaker Bailey Williamson, was in attendance to showcase the latest vintages from the historic estate. The winery released ‘Paula’, a brand new sparkling wine cuvée, named in honour of the owner’s daughter. The Family-owned, inspired new winery facility was built with many sustainable elements including locally-sourced construction materials, the use of geothermal energy, onsite water collection and treatment, as well as other features that reduce mechanical heating and cooling.
BETTER OFF Breaks Through The Municipality of North Cowichan, in partnership with BC Hydro, FortisBC and City Green Solutions, is launching BETTER OFF North Cowichan this month. This community-based energy conservation initiative is
aimed at improving the energy efficiency of homes in North Cowichan, helping residents save money and reducing our community’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. “BETTER OFF North Cowichan is another example of how we are working to meet the energy and GHG emission reduction targets in our Climate Action and Energy Plan,” stated Mayor Jon Lefebure. “We are excited to be working with City Green Solutions, a non-profit energy efficiency organization, because they have so much experience working with local governments across the Province on similar programs.” With the launch of the BETTER OFF North Cowichan program, for a limited time, North Cowichan residents can now pick up their free energy and water conservation kits. These kits include a brand new high-efficiency showerhead and two faucet aerators—one for the kitchen and one for the bathroom. To participate, just be one of the first 75 homeowners or renters to bring in your old fixtures to the Municipal Hall in exchange for one of the free kits. “Installation is so easy,” says Peter Sundberg with City Green Solutions. “All you need to do is unscrew your old fixtures, screw in the new ones and start saving.” Mayor Lefebure concluded, “We’re not just saving water,
we’re reducing our energy use and GHG emissions. In short, we’re a l l BET T ER OFF w ith high-efficiency fixtures.”
Dakova Square project receives approval The Dakova Square project located in downtown Duncan has received development permit approval from city council following a 4-3 vote. It’s a 5-story, 36-unit mixed residential and commercial structure that will be built at the intersection of Government Street and Canada Avenue. The project is focused on retired individuals interested in access to outdoor activities and amenities such as golfing, fishing and boating. It’s also pet friendly, and rental friendly. T he developer, The Dakova Group, is in the process of seeking a building permit from city staff. They are a privately owned western Canadian real estate service company with more than 30 years of industry experience. Vlado Brcic is the president and founder of the company, which had its head office located in St. Albert, Alberta. Their portfolio includes projects in Edmonton, Fort Sask a tc h e w a n , S t. A l b e r t a n d Vancouver Island. They also have planned projects in Fort McMurray. Alex Robertson of Royal LePage Duncan Realty is the sales agent.
EDGE PLUMBING AND GAS LTD. HITS TEN YEAR MILESTONE “We do a lot of custom Secret to success is based on consistent policies and systems
ICTORIA - Edge Plumbing and Gas Ltd. marks a milestone this year with reason to celebrate. What started as a handshake agreement between two friends and colleagues is now a successful business with 10 years under its belt. Owned by business partners Brian McDermid and Devo Martin, the company’s secret to success is in the relationship between the two long time friends. “Devo was actually my apprentice,” McDermid said. “We ended up working together for about 10 years before deciding to shake hands on going out on our own.” It’s been a well-suited match; one that he sa id is based on teamwork, great communication and a strong work ethic. “We do most of the administrative work ourselves because both of us like knowing exactly what’s going on at every job. It also keeps us in better touch with our clients.” Martin added that the partners are in constant contact, making sure jobs get done quickly and efficiently and to the customers’ specifications. It’s a balance of skills and passion that has the duo sharing the running of the business 50/50. “We’re on the same page when it comes to providing exceptional customer service and on training our guys on how to work with clients and contractors,” he said. He added that their reputation for fair pricing and taking care of their clients has provided ongoing word-of-mouth referrals from homeowners and keeps them in good stead with contractors. A lt hou g h M a r t i n sa id t he company has been lucky with employees, its policy for hiring high quality journeymen and tradespeople with the right attitude, creates a strong platform for staff longevity. “Justin Martin and Derek Stephenson have both been with Edge for eight years,” Martin said. “It’s a young crew with lots of energy, enthusiasm and trade skill. They’ve played a big part in growing our company.” Martin added that the Edge tea m a l so receives ongoi ng training and certification in the installation of new technologies and materials, including specialty products for custom high-end homes. McDermid said his company is seeing more installations of solar hot water systems, infloor heating, gas fitted fireplaces and hot water tank replacements and
homes where I get to use all my skills and training, but we also do your typical plumbing like hot water heater exchanges and repairs, or removal and installations for renovations.” BRIAN McDERMIT OWNER, EDGE PLUMBING AND GAS LTD.
conversions from oil heating to gas. “There’s a lot of interest in solar hot water systems. When combined with in-floor heating, it gives homeowners a steady and consistent source of heat,” McDermid said adding that the Veissmann solar systems they i nsta l l even store energ y on cloudy days. “A back up s ys tem i s s t i l l needed and that’s where the gas-powered in-floor heating comes in as well as heat exchange units. It doesn’t cost as much as baseboard heating to run and the people who have it installed, love it.” Recently, Edge completed work on a $13 million home in Willis Point. The 16,000 sq.ft. home has all the bells and whistles, including solar hot water and in-floor heating. McDermid said he enjoys the challenge involved with highend homes like the Willis Point place where the installations are more elaborate and automated. He also said that working with designers from the start to finish SEE EDGE PLUMBING AND GAS | PAGE 24
Congratulations Edge Plumbing and Gas! Good friends, Great service.
Sidney 250.655.4085 Langford 250.590.5039
Brian McDermid of Edge Plumbing and Gas Ltd. said the company is seeing an increase in demand for conversions from oil to gas CREDIT: DEVO MARTIN
Edge Plumbing and Gas has a diverse vehicle fleet
Happy 10 year anniversary to the team at Edge Plumbing and Gas Ltd.
Congratulations Guys! from Rutlyn Corp, your first client
www.brventilation.com Victoria, BC
Building, renovation and project management services
250.213.8240 | email@example.com www.facebook.com/rutlyndevelopment
McDermid and Martin give credit to their hardworking crew for the company’s success CREDIT:DEVO MARTIN
EDGE PLUMBING AND GAS CONTINUED FROM PAGE 23
Devo Martin of Edge Plumbing and Gas Ltd. started out as McDermid’s apprentice CREDIT:DEVO MARTIN
250-360-7343 Outlookpm.firstname.lastname@example.org 41 Camden Avenue Victoria BC V8Z 1P8
Our team at Outlook is dedicated to their work
you’ve really outdone yourselves. Congratulations to Edge Plumbing and Gas on your 10 year anniversary. It is always an absolute pleasure doing business with you. From all of us at Bartle & Gibson
We are passionate builders who provide quality minded clients with a construction experience surpassing all expectations Outlookprojectmanagement.ca
4248 Glanford Avenue, Saanich Phone: 250-727-9976
is very satisfying. “We do a lot of custom homes, where I get to use all my skills and training, but we also do your typical plumbing like hot water heater exchanges and repairs, or removal and installations for renovations.” Because of the dramatic increase in the cost of oil and with Greater Victoria’s significant inventory of older homes and estates, McDermid said Edge is seeing an increase in conversions from oil to gas. “We run the gas lines in to the home first and then remove the oil tank. It’s pretty straightforward, especially once you get gas lines in and hooked up.” He added that part of the appeal of natural gas is the lower cost for whole home heating and the added bonus of faster cooking time for the stovetop, plus the fact that it is a cleaner burning fuel. With McDermid’s and Martin’s belief in providing exceptional service, over the past 10 years they have developed effective systems and protocols. One of the most important is providing accurate estimates. “ Und ers t a nd i n g wh at t he client needs and wants is our first priority,” McDermid said. “From there we give suggestions as to what fits, send them to the wholesalers to choose fixtures and, most importantly, give them options.” He a d d e d t h at when E d ge
provides an estimate it includes everything; there are no extras added at the end of the job and the options it provides include cost saving alternatives. When installing custom designed systems, McDermid said it is important for the client to have the safety and comfort of a good warranty, one that is not just on paper, but that will be honoured. “Manufacturers have a oneyear warranty and so does Edge. And when we work with contractors, they can have a 2,5 and 10-year warranty. We honour those as well.” Both Martin and McDermid stressed that good communication is one of the most important factors in their company’s success, especially, when it comes to ensuring the client’s needs are met. “We strive to l isten to the client, answer their questions and to keep them informed at every step,” Martin said. “Either Brian or I always answer our phone and take the time to hear what our clients have to say.” It must be working. Martin said the company has seen steady growth and they have a reputation with contractors and clients for honest, hard work. “We work fast, professionally and efficiently, have great relationships with our contractors and clients and all of us like what we do, “ Martin said. “We are in this business for the long-term.” Edge Plumbing and Gasfitting is at www.edgeplumbingandgas.ca
RECENT CASE ON THE USE OF METATAGS – RED LABEL VACATIONS V. 411 TRAVEL BUYS LAW
The judge in the Red Label
Was this a just result?
case, Justice Manson, held that the doctrine of “initial
ed Label Vacations v. 411 Travel Buys (2015 FC 19) is a recent decision of the Federal Court of Canada that clarifies trademark law as it relates to the use of metatags on websites. A metatag is a word or small phrase that is embedded in a website but is not visible on the actual webpage(s). When a person types a phrase into a search engine, such as Google, the search engine uses an algorithm to search the Internet for web pages containing the particular words. Metatags are merely one of the factors that affect search results. However, generally, the greater the number of times a search term appears in metatags and in the text of the webpage itself, the greater the likelihood that a search engine will rank the website higher in the search results (page 1 of the results list as opposed to page 6, for example). Red Label is a travel business
interest confusion” does not apply in Canada. Justice Manson con- cluded that a search engine merely gives the consumer a choice of independent and dis- tinct links that he or she may
Michael Cooper and Doug Thompson of ThompsonCooper LLP
choose from, rather than
411 Travel is an online travel agency offering information to customers through its website. Red Label uses Google A nalytics to monitor traffic on its website. When Red Label experienced a lull in web traffic, their investigation revealed that 411 Travel had been using Red Label’s registered trademarks as metatags. As a result, some people searching for the Red Label website, instead ended up at the 411 Travel website providing the same travel services.
dir- ecting a consumer to a particu- lar competitor. that offers online travel information services and bookings t h roug h its website redtag. ca. Red Label has three registered t radem a rk s: “redta g. ca”, “redtag.ca vacations” and “Shop. Compa re. Pay less!! Guaranteed.”
Red Label alleged lost revenue of $760,000. US trademark law has a doctrine of “initial interest confusion”, under which trademark confusion (and thus infringement of a reg i stered t rademark) occurs when a customer seeking a particular brand of goods or services, is drawn to a competitor’s business through the competitor’s use of the first company’s trade name or trademark to misdirect the customer’s initial interest.
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T he judge in the Red Label case, Justice Manson, held that the doctrine of “initial interest confusion” does not apply in Canada. Justice Manson concluded that a sea rch eng i ne merely gives the consumer a choice of independent and distinct links that he or she may choose from, rather than directing a consumer to a particular competitor. Rankings may affect the choice to be made, but nevertheless, such a choice exists. Justice Manson declined to find that the use of metatags alone constituted “passing off” or “trademark infringement”. Here, there was no use of any of Red Label’s trademarks or trade names on 411’s visible website. The website was clearly identified as 411 Travel Buys’ website. There was no likelihood of deception as to the source of the services provided on the 411 Travel Buys website, and the consumer was free to select the link to the Red Label website and disregard the 411 Travel Buys website. Please drop the writer an email at email@example.com if you have any comments as to whether this was a “just” result.
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BUSINESS SUCCESS AND HARD WORK ARE INTRICATELY LINKED
hat’s the most important thing we learned by playing
sports?” It’s a question a good friend and I discussed over lunch one day, musing about the benefits of having played junior hockey, and its impact on our lives, overall. Dealing with pressure, making decisions, being held accountable, handling the media, working with the public... Those were all good things, and we couldn’t disagree. My f r i e n d s to p p e d : “ Yo u know what I think it was? Hard work.” He explained it this way: “Think about it. When we were losing, we had to work harder so we could win. And if we were
winning, we had to work harder, in case we’d lose.” Hard work. I had to agree. What we learned while playing under those pressure-packed – yet fun – conditions was, ultimately, that it was good old-fashioned hard work that brought success. Not short cuts, fancy equipment, not-asgood-as-we-thought rosters. It was hard work, plain and simple. That “life lesson” holds true in business. I’ve heard the same story, from a multitude of successful business owners, over the years. July 1 will mark 25 years since I started with the Business Examiner, which we now own. Over that time, I’ve interviewed hundreds of leaders who all attribute hard work to be a key part of their success. In all my years of writing business stories, almost unanimously, every person who has shared their successful journey with me spoke of putting in long, long hours. They all know firsthand that there is no substitute for hard work. It’s what keeps us all pushing in order to attain the goal of every entrepreneur: A better financial future for
ourselves and our families, and independence. And let’s not forget that one of the perks a small business owner has is the right to work whichever 80 hours of the week we choose. Our willingness to do whatever it takes, however long it takes, to make things work, is essential. Of course, the goal is to work smarter, and by doing so, we avoid becoming a literal slave to our business. Efficiencies and improvements, are, hopefully, a by-product of ingenuity and longevity. But if they’re slow in arriving, there’s always an able substitute: Hard work. There is a common misconception that once a person starts a business, they’re printing money. They simply have to go to their back yard, whenever they feel like it, and pick as many bills off “the money tree” as they desire. When we first started our company, some congratulated us like we had won the lottery. They probably didn’t know that over 50 per cent of businesses fail. Other business owners officially welcomed us to “the club” by nodding knowingly that we would
soon enjoy many long hours, most of which paid out at less than minimum wage if we bothered to count. A salesman once told me: “I know what you go through as a business owner. I was in a commission sales job.” I had to stifle a laugh, before gently responding “With all due respect, you don’t. Not even close.” Entrepreneurs need to be able to do a little bit of everything, including, of course, sales. As revenues build, business owners tend to end up doing a little bit of everything else, including marketing, maintenance, receivables, payables, dealing with suppliers, and even janitorial duties. By the time the entrepreneur reaches the point of achieving success, they’ve probably used every tool in their toolbox, and borrowed some from others. Then there are the uncomfortable “payroll sweats”, an experience shared by business owners if cash flow and reserves are lower than the impending payment of staff wages. Now that’s pressure. Like many traits, hard work can be both good and bad. In the
formative stages of a company, it’s better and much cheaper to simply do a job by our self, rather than paying someone else to. As the business builds, entrepreneurs need to bring on others and trust them to get the job done, as opposed to doing everything, alone. If they don’t, they’ll inevitably burn out, and the success they seek will undoubtedly prove elusive. Ideally, along the way, the work ethic the owner has demonstrated will be instilled in the staff, and the company gets to where it actually runs, profitably, without the owner. That’s when it ‘officially’ becomes a business. Otherwise, it’s just a job. Then the owner can slow down a bit as staff continues on with the same work ethic. Legendary golfer Jack Nicklaus recognized the value of hard work. Someone once told him they were amazed at how lucky he was. His response spoke volumes: “The harder I practice, the luckier I get.” There are not many short cuts in life, but there is one when it comes to success in business: Hard work.
CANADA STANDS OUT FOR REDUCING RED TAPE We had hit a wall, and there was an appetite for bold solutions. The government set a goal of reducing regulations by a third within three LAURA JONES
years. To achieve the
ometimes it takes talking to an American to appreciate what is happening in Canada. I recently spoke to Uri Berliner, a journalist with National Public Radio, who was absolutely flabbergasted that Canada just became the first country in the world to legislate a cap on regulation. It is now the law that one regulation has to be removed any time a new one is added. “How can this be?” he asked. “How can this be in Canada?” Two big factors made it possible for the Red Tape Reduction Act to become law in Canada. First, the federal government had a strong model of successful regulatory reform to borrow
goal, a policy was put in place that for every new regulatory re-quirement introduced, two must be eliminated.
from in B.C. — it was the first Canadian jurisdiction to get serious about controlling regulation starting in 2001. At the time, excessive regulation was a widely acknowledged problem in the province.
Forest companies were being told what size nails to use when building bridges, restaurants were being told what size TVs they could have in their establishments, and children needed two permits to bring a tadpole to show and tell, to name just a few examples. We had hit a wall, and there was an appetite for bold solutions. T he government set a goal of reducing regulations by a third within three years. To achieve the goal, a policy was put in place that for every new regulatory requirement introduced, two must be eliminated. B .C .’s “o n e-i n-t w o - o u t” policy was culture-changing. Regulators started to see their jobs very differently. Success wasn’t defined as continuing to add more rules, but to keep the needed ones and get rid of the rest. Bureaucrats got so good at finding stuff that wasn’t needed that at one point they were eliminating five regulatory requirements for every new one introduced. Today, in order to maintain the reduction, B.C. has a “one-in-one-out” policy for regulatory requirements.
Uri, the N PR reporter, was even more gobsmacked to hear that there was no strong opposition to Canada’s Red Tape Reduction Act. He ex pected controversy and partisanship. In response, I ex plained the second reason regulatory reform has traction in Canada: Small businesses have put the issue on the political map. Small businesses are telling their stories and helping the public understand the negative consequences of too much regulation. They are asking business associations to make it a priority. They are filling out surveys that have helped us put a dollar figure on the cost of regulation to business ($37 billion a year). They are cheerleading progress, even when it is slower than they might like. They are telling politicians it is important to keep a lid on regulation if we want the next generation of entrepreneurs to succeed. Having small business owners — a respected, non-partisan voice — speak up for regulatory reform is making all the difference in Canada. It is paving the way for sensible policy that
creates a better, less-adversarial relationship between government and the citizens it serves. T h is is a sha rp contrast to what is happening south of the border. Last weekend’s Wall Street Journal featured an article by author Charles Murray, amusingly titled “Fifty Shades of Red.” The article describes out-of-control regulating by the U.S. government and advocates that people deliberately refuse to comply with rules they disagree with. To protect against a regulatory agency coming after you, he suggests: “Let’s treat govern ment as a n i nsu rable hazard, like tornadoes.” Is this really the most hopeful approach to dealing with too much regulation in the U.S.? No wonder it is big news that Canada’s government is trying to deal with the problem more constructively. Laura Jones is Executive Vice President of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. She can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @CFIBideas.
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MOVERS AND SHAKERS
To get in Movers and Shakers, call Thom at 250-661-2297 or email firstname.lastname@example.org Victoria The British Columbia Real Estate Association has announced its Board of Directors for 2015/2016. Gary McInnis from Victoria joins Jim Stewart of Nanaimo, David Kearney from Port Coquitlam, Dick Pemberton from Kamloops, James Palanio from Penticton, and Rosario Setticasi from North Vancouver. Anthony Ariganello and Sharon Bryan are the Association’s Public Directors. The executive will be lead by Sutton Group – Seafair Realty’s Scott Russell from Richmond, PresidentElect Deanna Horn of RE/MAX Treeland Realty in Langley, Past President Jake Moldowan of RE/ MAX Jake Moldowan Realty and Versatile Development Group in Richmond, and Chief Executive Officer Robert Laing. Heirloom Linens is celebrating 20 years in business. Barb Finnerty, founder of Exceptional Wealth, is expanding to 111-785 Station Road in Langford. Finnerty is also an investment funds adviser with Manulife Securities Investment Services Inc. Shaw call centre opened a new 31,500 square foot space at Uptown accommodating 500 staff from its previous 150. The focus of this location is ‘loyalty care’. The West Coast College of Massage Therapy, in operation for 15 years, has relocated to 100-818 Broughton St. It is the first massage therapy college in Canada to have agreements with universities allowing for transfers to obtain bachelor of science degrees. Mike Holmes, Manager of Pemberton Holmes is pleased to announce that Bobbi Belknap and Ellie Matheson have joined their roster of realtors. InDro Robotics Inc of Salt Spring Island builds UAV’s or unmanned aerial vehicles and has sent over 3 drones already to aid in the devastating Nepal earthquake. Ivanhoe Cambridge has appointed Nola Dunn as Marketing Director for their shopping centre properties on Vancouver Island. Dunn brings
20 years of industry experience to her expanded role, and is now responsible for strategic marketing for Mayfair Shopping Centre in Victoria as will as her current role at Woodgrove Centre in Nanaimo. An island native, Nola holds a BCIT Marketing Diploma, CMD (Certified Marketing Director) designation from ICSC (International Council of Shopping Centres). Dunn has been recognized on several occasions with the ICSC Canadian Maple Leaf awards for her work in marketing, advertising and sales promotions. Taiji Brand Group’s work for Community Futures Alberta has been awarded a Bronze Cube for Art Direction at the 94th Annual Art Directors Club Global Awards in Miami Beach. Vancouver firm Giant Ant provided animation and production. The ADC Awards is the world’s oldest continuously running advertising and design awards show. The Italian Bakery has welcomed Joe Power back to their team. Power joined the Italian Bakery team in 2001 to help launch the Sidney Italian Bakery. He focuses on the savory aspects of the business. Martin Newham, Jake Warren, Jay Longpre, Mark Hatton, Paul Curtin, Andrew Ross and Mark DeFrias have joined the Community Marketing Team of the Victoria Harbour Cats baseball club. Jerry Pena has been named as their new hitting coach, while Joe Meggs will be the third assistant. North Carolina-based Lowe’s, is considering a move to the former location of Target in the Tillicum Shopping Centre. While Canadian Tire is planning to move into Target’s former home at the Hillside Shopping Centre. Borden Mercantile Co. is celebrating their 78th anniversary. The City of Victoria has launched the Mayor’s Task Force on Housing Affordability. The task force is chaired by Mayor Lisa Helps, and includes councillors, Ben Isitt and Jeremy Loveday. Other members include: Kathy Hogan, Transport Policy Institute, Todd Litman,Transport Policy Institute, Brenda McBain, Together Against Poverty Society, Yuka Kurahawa, Together Against Poverty Society, Marika Albert and Dylan Sherlock, Community Social Planning Council, Rob Bernhardt, Bernhardt Contracting, Leonard Cole, Urban Core Ventures, Franc D’Ambrosio, D’Ambrosio Architecture, Don Elliott, Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness, Peter de Hoog, de Hoog and Kierulf Architects,
Dave Hutniak, Landlord B.C., Gene Miller, New Landmarks, Kaye Melliship, Greater Victoria Housing Society, Jeff Dean and Bernice Kamano. Kinetic Construction has announced its updated list of shareholders, they include: Bill Gyles, president
and CEO, Chris Chalecki, Victoria manager, Katy Fairley, business development manager, Mark Liudzius, project manager, Tom Plumb, Courtenay manager, Mike Walz, Vancouver manager, Ralph Burton, project manager, Sean Thomas, superintendent, John
27 King, project manager, Mark Wong, senior estimator, Alan Wilson, project manager, and one additional member who wishes to remain anonymous. The Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce has announced the winners of their 2015 Business Awards, an event held at the Fairmont Empress. The Business Leadership award was sponsored by Coast Capital Savings, and went to the Inn at the Laurel Point. BCHAZMAT Management Ltd. was a finalist. New Business of the year, was sponsored by Peninsula Co-Op and went to Kgeez Cycle. Beverly Carter Notary Public was a finalist. Business of the Year SEE MOVERS AND SHAKERS | PAGE 28
MOVERS AND SHAKERS
MOVERS AND SHAKERS CONTINUED FROM PAGE 27
(1-10 Employees) was sponsored by Chamber of Commerce Group Insurance Plan, and went to Fort Realty Ltd. Leap was a finalist. Business of the Year (11-25 Employees) was sponsored by First Data Canada, and went to Graphic FX Signworks. Pacific Rim College was a runner-up. Business of the Year (2675 Employees) was sponsored by the Greater Victoria Development Agency, and went to the Victoria Airport Authority. Orca Spirit Adventures was a finalist. Business of the Year (76+ Employees) was sponsored by Capital Magazine, and went to Specific Mechanical Systems Ltd. The Root Cellar Village Green Grocer was a finalist. Employer of the Year was sponsored by Air Canada, and went to Peninsula Co-op. Island Savings, a division of First West Credit Union, was a finalist. The Innovation award was sponsored by University of Victoria, Peter B. Gustavson School of Business and went to Rumble. Picture This 3D Inc. was a finalist. Outstanding Customer Service was sponsored by Technology Guys IT Solutions Inc., and went to Harbour Air Seaplanes. Bath Fitter was a finalist. Sustainable Business Practices was sponsored by The Chamber, and went to Oughtred Coffee & Tea Ltd. The Truffles Group was a finalist. Business Person of the Year was sponsored by United Way of Greater Victoria, and went to Daniela Cubelic of Silk Road Tea. Dan Dagg of Hot House Marketing was a finalist. Young Entrepreneur of the Year was sponsored by Royal Roads University, and went to Carmen Moya of Farm Food To Go. Sharon Rai of Sharon Rai Hair & Makeup Artistry was a finalist. Employee of the Year was sponsored by CHEK News, and went to Heather Greenlees of the English Inn. Ryley Carter of Innovative Fitness Victoria was a finalist. The Governors’ Lifetime Achievement Award went to Dr. Nazmudin (Naz) G. Rayani, owner of the Heart Pharmacy Group.
Dr. Nazmudin G. Rayani.
Anticipate Hospitality Managing Director, Daniel Melnyk, is pleased to welcome Jennifer Etherington as Partner and head of the firm’s revenue management consulting practice. Jennifer also serves as Vice President of Membership for the HSMAI – BC Chapter Board of Directors, and holds a Certificate in Revenue Management from Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration. Power To Be is honoured to welcome Owen Matthews as its newest board member. He previously served in an advisory and committee level role for five years. Matthews is a general partner at Wesley Clover, an early stage technology investor. He manages investments and sits on the boards of Referral SaaSquatch, Tutela Technologies, Pretio Interactive, TaraSpan Inc., Encepta Corp., and EchoSec. He also founded and chairs the not-for-profit Alacrity Foundation, sits on boards for DigiBC, St. Margaret’s School, CounterPath Corporation, Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island and the Peter B. Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria. He is an event partner and volunteers as an advisor/mentor with VIATeC’s regional accelerator program.
The Vancouver Island Construction Association (VICA) is proud to honour eight students and apprentices in the construction trades through its scholarship program. The Secondary School Apprentice Scholarship honours Level 1 construction apprentices on Vancouver Island who have completed a training program through the South Island partnership, Central Island partnership or North Island partnership. The $500 scholarship is awarded to the highest achieved grade point in the following categories: carpentry, electrical, joinery/ cabinet making, piping trades, sheet metal and welding. Recipients included: Carpentry, Finn McGuffin, Gulf Islands Secondary School. Electrical, Maarten Long, Edward Milne Community School. Joinery/Cabinet Making, Gavin Villa, Pacific Christian School. Piping Trades, Kyle Murai, Lambrick park. Sheet Metal, Mark Lee, Claremont Secondary. Welding, Nathaniel Wynans, Port Alberni Secondary School. The Women in Construction Scholarship is awarded to a woman registered in a Foundations program or Level 1, 2 or 3 of an Apprenticeship program in construction and is continuing her studies. The recipient was Hanna Leslie of Camosun College. The Superstar Apprenticeship scholarship is awarded to a recipient in the Foundations program or Level 1, 2 or 3 of an Apprenticeship program in construction and is continuing his/her studies. The recipient was Ali E. Alamolhada of North Island College. Recipients were selected by the VICA volunteer Construction Careers Committee. Tourism Victoria presented the 32nd Annual Miracle Award to Ms. Mandy Farmer, President & CEO of Accent Inns and the 2015 Life Member Award to Rev. Ian Powell, General Manager of the Inn at Laurel Point.
The 2015 Greater Victoria Business Award winners celebrating at the Fairmont Empress on May 14, 2015 between Maplebank Road and Lyall Street. The project will include the addition of bike lanes, a two- way left turn lane and median islands, as well as improvements to the sidewalks and streetlights. These new road elements will provide access for all modes of transportation and improve commuter safety. The Township will also install storm water treatment devices and separate currently combined manholes for storm and sanitary collection systems, which will help to protect local waterways. Funding for this estimated $4.6 million project is being provided by several sources, including $2.8 million from the federal Gas Tax Fund, a $1.2 million loan from the Municipal Finance Authority of British Columbia and $600,000 from the Township of Esquimalt.
Darlene Hollstein, Chair of the Chamber Board of Governors with 2015 Governors’ Lifetime Achievement Award winner Dr. Nazmudin G. Rayani
Island Outfitters is celebrating their 21st anniversary this year. The Station Street Apartments on Jacklin Road have recently opened their sales centre. The OceanSide Music Centre and SpeedStick (a division of The Stick in the Mud Coffee House) have recently opened their doors for business. Sooke PocketNews, The Cottage at Seaward and Teriyaki House are new members at the Sooke Chamber of Commerce. Former Saanich mayor Frank Leonard has been appointed by the provincial government as chairman of BC’s Agricultural Land Commission, he is also currently the temporary CEO. The Pat Bay Visitor Centre has reopened at 10382 Pat Bay Highway. The building also houses the Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce. Esquimalt Chamber of Commerce members re-elected Heather Greenlees, Bill Lang (Songhees Wellness Centre) and Don Linge (Personal Law Group) to the Board of Directors at its recent AGM. Existing board members were joined by newcomers: Barry Hobbis, Vice President - Business Development (Victoria Harbour Ferries); RJ Senko, Vice President - Communications (Esquimalt-Royal Roads BC Liberals); Luis Ambriz, Treasurer (The Office); Meghan Major, Secretary (Royal Bank, Esquimalt Branch); and Stephanie Ritchie, Member Services and Fundraising (Cooper Financial). Walter Riemann, president of Bauco Access Panel Solutions Inc. has appointed Andy McMahon to Customer Service Manager. Work is now underway in the Township of Esquimalt to up- grade Admirals Road
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WHO IS SUING WHOM
30 WHO IS SUING WHOM The contents of Who’s Suing Whom is provided by a thirdparty resource and is accurate according to public court documents. Some of these cases may have been resolved by publication date. DEFENDANT Ashya Properties Ltd 6054 165th St, Surrey, BC PLAINTIFF Ryan Mortgage Income Fund Inc CLAIM $447,777 DEFENDANT Boardwalk Custom Hardwood Floors 950b Gillespie Rd, Sooke, BC PLAINTIFF Schick, David R CLAIM $6,337 DEFENDANT Christie’s Carriage House Pub Ltd 7th Floor 1175 Douglas St, Victoria, BC PLAINTIFF Olson, Kirk CLAIM $10,385 DEFENDANT Condor Properties Ltd 200-931 Fort St, Victoria, BC PLAINTIFF Canadian Western Bank
CLAIM $1,174,5830 DEFENDANT Double T Developments 3908 Island Hwy South, Royston, BC PLAINTIFF McElhanney Consulting Services Ltd CLAIM $7,054 DEFENDANT Innovative Ventures Ltd d 4th Flr 1007 Fort St, Victoria, BC PLAINTIFF 0728721 BC Ltd CLAIM $356,065 DEFENDANT Interior Sport Boats Ltd 505 Fifth St, Courtenay, BC PLAINTIFF Kay, Eric L CLAIM $9,330 DEFENDANT Jason Meng Construction 201-1801 Fern St, Victoria, BC PLAINTIFF Lumberworld Operations Ltd CLAIM $11,907 DEFENDANT Kelly Carpet Cleaning Ltd 4th Flr 931 Fort St, Victoria, BC PLAINTIFF Johansson, Paul Robert CLAIM
DEFENDANT Kinship Maritime Inc 201-5710 Teredo St, Sechelt, BC PLAINTIFF Rapid Towing Company Ltd CLAIM $6,419
DEFENDANT Permadeck & Rails 3059 Glen Lake Rd, Victoria, BC PLAINTIFF Barnes, Marguerite Elizabeth CLAIM $12,827
DEFENDANT Sysco Canada 2881 Amy Rd, Victoria, BC PLAINTIFF Christie’s Carriage House Pub Ltd CLAIM $10,385
DEFENDANT Koto Japanese Restaurant (2012) Ltd 510 Fort St, Victoria, BC PLAINTIFF C2 Contracting Inc CLAIM $14,475
DEFENDANT Ray Baker Appraisals Inc 9830 4th St, Sidney, BC PLAINTIFF Bancorp Balanced Mortgage Fund Ltd CLAIM $4,853,639
DEFENDANT Taylor’s Sandy Beach Resort 8950 Clarkson Dr, Black Creek, BC PLAINTIFF Kay, Eric L CLAIM $9,330
DEFENDANT Line Level Landscaping & Development Corp 163 Levista Place, Victoria, BC PLAINTIFF Wes-Tech Irrigation Supply Ltd CLAIM $7,462
DEFENDANT Renew Building Services Inc 3059 Glen Lake Rd, Victoria, BC PLAINTIFF Barnes, Marguerite Elizabeth CLAIM $12,827
DEFENDANT Matt Gruber Construction Ltd 201-2377 Bevan Ave, Sidney, BC PLAINTIFF King’s Granite Works Inc CLAIM $11,248
DEFENDANT River Optical Ltd 5-1065 Herring Gull Way, Parksville, BC PLAINTIFF Nikon Optical Ltd CLAIM $13,703
DEFENDANT Mills Appraisal Group Ltd 500-645 Fort St, Victoria, BC PLAINTIFF Bancorp Balanced Mortgage Fund Ltd CLAIM
DEFENDANT SW Coastal Builders Ltd 4249 Middle Point Rd, Campbell River, BC PLAINTIFF Upland Ready Mix Ltd CLAIM
DEFENDANT Tm Roofing 153 Surfside Dr, Campbell River, BC PLAINTIFF Pioneer Hardware Ltd CLAIM $15,892 DEFENDANT Valleywide Excavating Ltd 3881 Fraser Rd, Courtenay, BC PLAINTIFF Handfield, Lynda Marie CLAIM $20,826 DEFENDANT Westwood Roofing Inc 2450 Highland Blvd, Nanaimo, BC PLAINTIFF Roofmart Pacific Ltd CLAIM $7,802
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PREMIER CLOSETS HANGS ITS REPUTATION ON QUALITY AND SERVICE Local manufacturer works with contractors and the public
A A N ICH TON – A loc a l compa ny h as come out of the closet to let people know that its product and service are genuinely out of the ordinary. Premier Closets Ltd. in Saanichton manufactures and installs custom closet organizers in new home construction and renovations. “Basically we organize and optimize the space people have in their closets,” said company director Bryan Joanisse. Harold Querin founded and incorporated the company in 1993. At the time he had been involved i n a not her closet shop t h at bought him out. Querin then designed a unique and sturdy closet bracket that he patented. He said that the 1990s were a tough time in the business, but he had the experience to know how to make it work. He had owned a construction company, RJ Construction that he founded in 1959 and that is now operated by his son in Cumberland. He noted that back then, during the hard economic times, Premier Closets did as much work in a month as it does now in one day. His formula for success? “Service is one of the things,” he said. “Bryan goes out, meets with the customers, finds out what they want and measures the space. And our quality is better than what you’ll find at box stores. And we build relationships. At the height of the boom, we were working with a minimum of 25 contractors.” He added that over the years, Premier Closets built an enviable reputation, not only with contractors, but also with the public. T he website, developed i n 2010, is also a big boon to homeowners. Contractors can let their customers choose from colours, finishes and styles. The company’s AutoCAD program then allows customers to see, in 3D and in colour, exactly what the finished product will look like. “They can visualize and see it right on paper,” Querin said. “People like the program and the finished product.” In fact, it’s quite usual for people to phone back or send notes. “It was a pleasure dealing with Premier Closets. Very professional, extremely pleasant to deal with and their product is h igh qua l ity at a reasonable price. Installation was prompt and flawless, thanks so much Premier Closets for a job well done. I recommend them highly.” – Wayne Regan “We were happy with the fast
Every closet is custom built for the client
Premier Closets provide unique storage solutions
Harold Querin (left) and Bryan Joanisse are steering Premier Closets into the future
Premier Closets offers a number of colours and finishes
a nd professiona l serv ice we received. The organizers look good and will provide the needed storage in style. Our painter was also happy there was no touch up to be done on the walls in the closet. The work was done with care.” – A. Derkatch “The service was fantastic and very quick ,arrived on the date stated, the product is the best I have seen in a long time, and my closet organizers are just fantastic.” – Lorna Barker “I have worked with Premier Closets for the last ten years and have found their service and quality an excellent fit for our business. It’s great to work with a company that consistently
delivers their product on time and budget.” – Martin Whitehead, Zebra Construction Inc. It’s not surprising that Premier Closets gets a lot of referrals. Joanisse said that the company will tackle any size of closet and will meet any challenge. It has even created storage solutions for garages. “We never know what we’re getting into until we see the customer,” he said. “And if it’s something we’ve never done before, we figure it out and make it work for them. No job is ever the same. You’re imagining a different layout and design for every customer.” Querin noted that for a long
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time contractors simply installed a white bar and shelf in the closets of new homes. As they began working with Premier Closets, they were won over by the difference beautiful and practical closet organizers make. And where Premier Closets once worked almost exclusively with builders, it is now also working directly with the public and letting people know what they can do. Joanisse joined the company in 2004; at that time, the company went from basic white organizers, to colours and also into California closets style organizers. The AutoCAD program has also made a big difference, Joanisse said.
Premier Closets also supplies its product to The Finishing Store in Victoria and Nanaimo – and it sells its brackets through Slegg Lumber. Querin said that as the economy improves, Premier Closets may look at expansion. With the quality of its product and first-rate service, he expects continued success. The company has an excellent warranty and if there is an issue, it is taken care of quickly and professionally. “Service is our number one driver,” Joanisse said. “We want to keep our good name.” Premier Closets Ltd. is at 6984 Veyaness Road in Saanichton. www.premierclosets.com
Congratulations to Premier Closets on more than 20 years in business
330 Wray Ave, Victoria, BC, V9E 2H5 Main: 250-361-5359 | email@example.com
Published on Jun 1, 2015
Featuring the latest business news and information for Greater Victoria, including Sidney, the Saanich Peninsula, Langford, Colwood, Sooke a...