Reveal Niagara Business Magazine - Vol. 3 | Issue 1

Page 1


plus THE 4



This highly anticipated fundraiser returns this fall, with Sally McGarr and Margie Spence, two iconic Niagara-based realtors, taking their turn in the hot seat for charity.

FREE VOL. 3 - ISSUE 1 ►2022

Welcome Back.

A long awaited, highly anticipated return to a season of excitement and in-person connection is upon us. To satisfy your exploration needs, Festivals and Events Ontario is launching a premium digital experience designed to connect you with the best festivals, events, and destinations that Ontario has to offer. PHONE: (519) 742-2226, FAX: (519) 742-206 625 King Street East, Suite 2D, Kitchener, ON, N2G 4V4

A major shift is underway for the business community; one that connects with each industry in a unique and intimate way. There is a resounding sense of eagerness in the marketplace for this next chapter to unfold, and we anticipate the exciting and bold changes on the horizon. This issue touches on some of those developments, such as the industry shifts expected in the real estate market as well as future expectations necessary for improving the Canadian healthcare system. A close look at various technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics and automation grows in relevance to every sector. While more businesses show an increased comfort level in exploring ways to integrate advanced technologies, substantial investment in innovation is paramount to maintain a competitive position.

As we reflect on lessons learned over these past two years, there are several examples of how western civilization needs to increase the speed in which we not only implement advanced technologies but also how we serve one another. Our society is forever changed, and not because of the pandemic. These systemic changes have been well underway for quite some time, but the pandemic has forced a new light on long overdue change. As a business community it is time to challenge how we operate and take every opportunity possible to break the mold and rebuild. From reassessing how to attract and stimulate the workforce to extending more valuable and effective experiences to our end users and customers. Niagara is poised for change and are excited to embark on this new journey with you. Sincerely,

Rowe & Brandy




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Volume 3 • Issue 1

PUBLISHERS Rowe Prudente Brandy Henderson


With Niagara’s ever-changing economic landscape, it is critically important to deliver highly relevant and engaging content to the businesses here while connecting the leaders of today and tomorrow throughout the region. It is our commitment to be the leading platform that delivers meaningful, effective and thoughtprovoking content, both internal and external to our community. We are proud to empower Niagara by bringing you this regional B2B publication, offering vital information for your business and the latest information impacting our Niagara community.

on the cover

CHIEF EDITOR & CREATIVE DIRECTOR Rowe Prudente MANAGING EDITOR Brandy Henderson TECHNOLOGY PARTNERS Ownera Tech Innovate Niagara EXECUTIVES Adam Shields Paul Prudente MEDIA CONSULTANTS Brian Fletcher 905-380-4005

CREATIVE Rowe Prudente Kenneth Ngo WRITERS Brandy Henderson John Benson Isabelle Tennier Jade Prévost-Manuel Evan Sitler Hailey Coltson Arthur Goldgaber Hugo Chesshire CONNECT WITH US LinkedIn Facebook Instagram GET IN TOUCH Tel: 1-844-922-2790 H.Q. 8-3643 Portage Road Niagara Falls, Ontario Canada L2J 2K8

Photography: Wise Guys Charity Fund

PHOTOGRAPHY Trevor Lindey Darren Clarke Food Network Stock Photos @unsplash Stock Photos @adobe

The Board of Directors of the Wise Guys Charity Fund, at the Wise Guys Park, St. Catharines, ON Top row from left: Erica Walters, Art Lopinski, Steve Mowder, John Pachereva, Anne Kemp, Gary Black Bottom row from left: Doug Smith, Chris Rupp Absent from photo: Betty Lou Souter

Wise Guys Charity Fund pg. 31

Reveal Magazine is published by Ownera Media, a subsidiary of Ownera Group Inc. Opinions expressed in Reveal Magazine are not necessarily those of Ownera Media or Ownera Group Inc, their owners, employees or stakeholders. All submitted content inclusive of photography is assumed to be intended for publication. The right to edit, alter or refuse content is assumed. All material and content submitted to Ownera Media for purpose of publication is done so at the risk of the submitter. Ownera Media does not guarantee the accuracy, completeness or timeliness of the information contained in this publication. Ownera Media is not responsible for any products or services of any third-party advertiser or the content in any advertising of such advertisers.

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smiles today someone

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CONTENTS the vanguard







travel & leisure



special feature cover feature special editorial





























marketing technology health & wellness finance, real estate, & investment the edge leadership


| VOL. 3 | ISSUE 1 share your message | share your brand

What we do . . . PUBLISHING & PRODUCTION Full Service Book & Magazine Publishing | Video & Commercial Production MARKETING & ADVERTISING Online Marketing & Advertising | Brand & Website Development PR SERVICES & EXPERTISE Media & Community Relations | Special Event Planning & Execution ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY APP, AR, VR & Immersive Development | Indoor & Outdoor LED Displays




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THANK YOU TO OUR CONTRIBUTORS Doug Smith Elite Advisor, C.R. Smith Financial Services Inc Sally McGarr Broker of Record, McGarr Realty Corp., Brokerage Margie Spence Broker/Manager, Royal LePage NRC Realty, Brokerage Cara Krezek Director, Career & Experiential Education, Brock University Kieren Wells Industry & Community Liaison, West, Central, and Northwest Ontario, Ontario Tourism Education Corporation (OTEC) Steve Gill General Manager, Niagara College Learning Enterprise Corporation Ken Janzen Chief Executive Officer, PenFinancial Credit Union Joe Azzopardi Commercial Account Manager, RBC Royal Bank Wade Stayzer Chief People and Culture Officer and Senior Vice President Business Banking, Meridian Credit Union Anna Olson Pastry Chef & Author Tara O’Brady Author, Seven Spoons Domenic Giammarella Pastry Chef, Restaurant Pearl Morissette Catherine Rice Marketing, Communications + Events, Innovate Niagara Evan Sitler Co-CEO & Co-Founder, XpertVR Marc Conteduca Naturopathic Doctor, Niagara Health & Rehab Centre Richard Bazinet Nutritional Scientist and Associate Professor, University of Toronto Dr. Adam Kassam Physician and President, Ontario Medical Association Erin Strumpf Associate Professor, McGill University Brandon Currie Advisor, C.R. Smith Financial Services Inc Nicolle A Lalonde Advisor, Edward Jones Corrina Massicotte Director of Operations & Communications, Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce


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A the vanguard

s results of the 2021 Census continue to be analyzed, Canada continues to be the fastest growing G7 country, a statistic that has remained unchanged for five years. The population growth is certainly an attributing factor to the exceptionally hot real estate market across the nation, and it shows no sign of slowing down. This past year has seen real estate price increases reporting as high as 25% to 30% in some top markets.

The industry’s unprecedented pace in which it has grown has led to some natural changes where regulations, policies and laws are concerned. The benchmark rate used by major banks for stress-testing the finances of new home buyers has been reviewed



and adjusted to help manage long term risk for both financiers and homebuyers. The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) raised the minimum qualifying rate for uninsured mortgages from 4.79% to 5.25%.


Although it remains unclear as to the level of impact this change will have on the temperature of the market, it is likely that it will directly lower the homebuyers purchasing power. The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has continued to adapt its policies based upon changing risk levels throughout the pandemic, with extra emphasis on mortgage qualifiers such as credit score thresholds, maximum gross debt service ratio (GDS) and down payment requirements.

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Mortgage Eligibility Highlights •

• • •

CMHC insurance is required for down payments of less than 20%, and the minimum down payment is 5% for homes under $500,000. If more than $500,000 but less than $1 million, the minimum down payment is 5% of the first $500,000 and 10% of the remainder. CMHC-insured mortgages require a credit score of 600 or more. Maximum allowed GDS ratio is 39%, and the maximum allowed TDS ratio is 44%. You cannot have an amortization period that is longer than 25 years.

Mortgage rules and policies are not the only components being scrutinized and modified in response to market shifts. The

Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) lobbied for more than ten years to enhance professionalism and accountability. The Trust in Real Estate Services Act, 2020 (TRESA), formerly known as the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act (2002) intends to modernize rules for brokerages, brokers, and agents. The second phase of development, which is currently underway, is set to focus on a new code of ethics, open bidding, and new Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) powers.

TRESA Phase Two Highlights •

The Revised Draft Code of Ethic is said to separate ethical from procedural requirements, including principle-based

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requirements related to integrity, quality of service, and conflicts of interest. A proposal to open the offer process allowing selling brokerages to disclose details of competing offers at the seller’s direction, while maintaining complete privacy of competing bidders.

The Ministry is seeking to implement proposed changes in September 2022 and will then move towards Phase 3, setting out the details for administrative penalties, regulatory reform, and the introduction of certification programs. The information contained in this article is correct at the time of publishing. As eligibility requirements and policies are continuously under review, please consult a professional for timely advice. Sources:






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The Alconauts

The Alconauts

We are The Alconauts, ... advancing in our journey to taste the beers that no one has decided to taste before. Join us as we sample beers from around the world and give you our honest opinions. We are looking to try obscure and relatively unknown suds in hopes to find that diamond in the rough that we can all add to our beer fridges. So buckle up, hold on and get ready to blast off into the unknown of the beer universe!




APRIL 2022 |



s Covid’s impact eases across Canada, business owners must start building plans to fortify and capitalize on what could be an exciting rise of inprovince travel and tourism. In 2022, relaxing Covid restrictions allow consumers to get out of their houses and return to the world. This impending return to normal, fueled by the 2022 Staycation Tax Credit and a stir-crazy population, means optimism for tourism and commerce. The Niagara region’s ideal position for northern-US and Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTAH) visitors to seek nature and picturesque, boutique escapes from the confines of their home.

in Niagara

After two years of challenging headwinds and the continued uncertainty of the next 6 months, business owners need to think about fortifying their workforce while considering the current demographic and economic landscape. With half of the population in the region either between the ages of 20 and 39 or over 65, two key workforce segments require very different recruiting and retention strategies. Younger populations are showing their willingness to leave Covid isolation early and are prime candidates for


the vanguard

by John Benson

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positions that allow for schedule flexibility as young families still face a lot of school disruptions and childcare challenges. Larger industries like Canadian airlines are still slow to recall furloughed employees and, with restrictions dropping, the number of young people open to work continues to rise. Job opportunities that work with local school schedules will be a meaningful draw. Layer in conscientious scheduling practices and solid on the job training and you can lock down this pool of talent craving opportunities to work where they live.

the vanguard

The second stage of a savvy workforce development plan is how to appeal to the 65+ year old population, more and more of whom are seeking a retirement career that keeps them mentally and physically engaged with minimal stress. Creating streamlined, intuitive workflows for frustration-free onboarding will appeal to older workers who bring with them decades of business and customer



service experience. Retaining this workforce often means finding the right balance between taking suggestions or keeping demands balanced and stable. There is no better substitute than a robust initial interview to understand the candidate’s motivations so you can match them with the right role.

refine your onboarding packet and the new hire training materials. A retired tradesman who becomes floor staff in your shop could add value by helping customers talk through their ideas with an expert, and giving them the encouragement and opportunity to provide that additional service can build deep connections with local customers.

A consistency across both groups of workers is the expertise they bring to your role. As workers become more passionate about finding a job that engages them, your understanding of their interest and motivation are key to designing an engagement strategy. These strategies are not tedious to build but require a straightforward understanding of what motivated your employee to seek out a job and an understanding of their individual strengths. A winning strategy takes these two points and pairs them to a need within your business. A furloughed teacher who joins your customer service team may find additional purpose in helping you

The next six months will be critical for small and medium sized businesses in the region. The country is reemerging from a two-year hibernation with a hunger for experiencing life and all the province has to offer. With this changing likely to come in gradual phases, business owners need to understand their needs, how the various segments of the population are being impacted, and how to weave those together into a strategy that keeps you on firm footing and ready to take advantage of the next opportunity to strengthen and grow your business.


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Industry Highlight

Real Estate by John Benson

As the Bank of Canada looks to make their

second increase to interest rates in as many

indicators worth evaluating that will influence

months there is a lot of speculation around

both demand and price elasticity. We’ll focus

the real estate industry and what Canadians

on inherent characteristics of the market, the

can expect after more than a year of historic

impact of monetary policy, and the signals

price increases. Speculators are anxious to see if the market will sustain this unprecedented growth or if prices will begin to stabilize, or

the vanguard

even recede. While the future is challenging



to predict with certainty, there are some key


around buyer behavior which will all contribute to the next 12-18 months of change within the Niagara real estate market.

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To start, we need to look closely at the landscape within the Niagara region. Unlike regions closer to Toronto, Niagara has approximately 5% of the population density of Toronto. While developers push to convert more and more land to high-density townhouses or condominiums, the Niagara region carriers a higher amount of low-density, detached housing with larger lots and agricultural plots of land. Two key factors of note here are the urgent lack of inventory in for sale real estate and the highly desirable nature of detached homes. These factors add pressure to the market which would otherwise see slower price volatility due to the distance from the Greater Toronto metropolitan center. As more people seek out work from home arrangements and look to move away from cities, Niagara is in a prime position for a quiet pace of life with easy access to amenities in nearby city centers and the highly appealing wine region. This sets up residential properties in Niagara for sustained, albeit slower, price growth in line with recent market increases in Hamilton, Waterloo, and Cambridge. The recent interest rate increases immediately raised concerns among consumers that the market would cool down as the cost of borrowing increased. Rampant speculation and consumers jumping from house to house while rapidly


growing equity in an apparent housing bubble with resales continuing to climb 4.6% month over month despite average home prices climbing more than 29% year over year, per the Canadian Real Estate Association. This hot resale market helps keep housing prices high as consumers reinvest their capital gains in new homes in desirable or expanding regions. With a second and likely third rate increase coming, many consumers feel pressure to get in on the frenzy before it cools. Everyone wants to see prices continue to climb for them to reap profits from a sale but also hope to see more stability or decreases so they can find their next real estate deal. However, thanks to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) the requirements for mortgage applicants ensure there will not be a spike of home owners who can’t afford the new rates and must turn over properties at a discount. For real estate agents and home buyers, these signs point to a slowing of real estate sales but prices should only stabilize and may even continue to increase in desirable areas like St Catherine’s where small town life can still come at a reasonable price within driving distance of Toronto. For businesses in the region, the continued migration of remote workers means a bright future for both tourism but also local population growth to provide year round consumers who support local products and services.


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Two crucial signals to watch over the coming months will be real estate listing activity and inflation. Over the past 3 months, agents across Ontario has started to see signs of the market stabilizing with inquiries and offers reducing even if sale prices have not. Consumers are becoming wary. While we mentioned the cost of borrowing as a factor, a crucial secondary factor is rising inflation and the purchasing power of the Canadian dollar. A majority of items on the Consumer Price Index have risen by at least 3% in the last year; a shocking development after two challenging years of Covid restrictions. With the annual inflation rate hitting a three-decade high of 5.7% in February, even consumers not looking to purchase a home will start to think twice about discretionary spending. The optimism from relaxed provincial Covid mandates is going to be tempered by this increased cost





of goods and services, so large ticket purchasing is going to get a second look. The likely impact on the investment market is clear; during times of high inflation an investor starts to look for lower risk options until the volatility reduces and with such an uncertain future for the value of the Canadian dollar and the price of real estate, the conservative investor will look at historically stable options like industrial and commodity stocks where inflation can be a tailwind for investment growth. Real estate as an investment purchase will be a tougher decision for most but with price stability and continued population migration the Niagara Region is positioned to see the best of the market with continued steady price growth though at a more conservative pace. Sources:

Who says YAY or NAY? by Isabelle Tennier

The Upside

travel & leisure

From a purely scientific level, space travel is important to understand space. It provides information and answers to the questions humans have about the galaxy by going out there and witnessing it first-hand. In NASA’s “Why We Explore” page from their website, they explain that traveling to places like the Moon and Mars will provide knowledge on Earth’s geomagnetic field, what effects galactic cosmic radiation has on Earth, and is close enough in




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pace travel is one of the newest trends in the science, tourism, and economic sectors and is sparking great interest worldwide. The uncharted and unknown territory of our universe makes it an alluring experience for travelers, scientists, and those who see the potential revenue gained from free-market space travel. It would also help mankind understand their place in the galaxy, pushing scientific and technological discovery in places humans have never seen before. Space travel, however, is not without its own set of unique challenges, particularly the environmental impacts as well as the financial accessibility of such an experience. By reviewing the upside and downside, we can determine if free-market space travel and space tourism is really on the horizon.

proximity to Earth that it’s a good starting spot for venturing out to other planets. Free-market space tourism and space travel can speed up NASA’s goals of understanding the universe by making interplanetary travel more accessible, and more competitive. Private companies and billionaires have the resources to experiment with their own technology, which helps in advancing planetary travel scientific research with less pressure on NASA and other organizations. It can also lead to more careers for those interested in galactic fields. Engineers and other galactic-related workers would no

longer need to compete for jobs created by NASA or other prominent space organizations. They would have the option to work for a private company, while still pursuing a job in a field they are knowledgeable and passionate about if the market is expanded. Space travel and space tourism is projected to be worth $30 billion by 2030, according to an article from, showing the growing interest in free-market space travel. With proper investment, free-market space travel and space tourism can benefit the economy and scientific research.


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with so much conflict in the world,

space exploration

can be a beacon of hope.


The Downside

travel & leisure

The expanse of space travel into private sectors does come with its own fair share of challenges. One of the main issues is the environmental costs of multiple rocket rides into space. According to an article from, hybrid engines like Branson’s Virgin Galactic rocket generate as much pollution as a 10-hour flight in just a 30-minute rocket launch. This type of excessive pollution would have serious impacts on the Earth’s atmosphere if more companies got involved in space tourism and space travel, which would speed up the global warming crisis. In addition to the environmental costs, there are economic costs. Most of the people involved in free-market space travel are the world’s wealthiest. Many average people are feeling the financial effects of the pandemic, and countries that have large populations living in poverty were also economically devastated by the pandemic. The tickets for a seat on a Virgin Galactic space tour is roughly $450,000 USD (approx. $571,000 CAD). While Bezos has not directly disclosed the pricing for the tickets with his company, Blue Origin, a seat next to Bezos was auctioned at $28 million USD ($35.5 million CAD) (NY Times). The pricing of these tickets is a display of what kind of privilege is required to participate in free-market space travel. The environmental impacts in addition to the hefty price tag give something for people to think about on who is permitted to pollute the environment in the name of science.




As space travel and space tourism become a more popular idea, it is important to consider the positives and negatives that come with such a drastic change to human life. The notion of being able to pay for a ride into space without needing to be an astronaut is certainly breathtaking. Reduced competition for galactic jobs can help bring more perspectives in developing rocket technology, benefitting both private companies and public organizations. But, free-market space travel is still in its developing stage. The severe environmental costs to test launch rockets and the unaffordable pricing of tickets can show a need to step back and think about whether this industry is developing in the right direction and for the right purpose. Tourism as it stands today, however, will continue to place immense pressure on our environment as it directly impacts depletion of local natural resources, added stress of local land use and substantial impact on endangered species. Advancing towards space travel may possess the ability to reduce environmental here on earth, but ultimately, we are at a time where travel and tourism both on earth and in space must breakthrough eco boundaries and develop with sustainability in mind. Sources

Wherever business takes you

The business landscape has changed. No matter the industry sector, market location or specific areas of business you need addressed, MNP’s accounting, consulting, and tax solutions can help. We’re here for you – where and when you need us.

Travis Dolinski, CPA, CA, Partner | 905.641.0846 |

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What Does it Take

the Wall to Bring Down

Pastry chefs Tara O’Brady, Anna Olson, and Domenic Giammarella represent the Niagara region on Canadian TV screens this year as judges on Food Network Canada’s newest show, Wall of Bakers. By Jade Prévost-Manuel


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evoted foodies have long recognized Niagara’s potential to become a burgeoning food fusion centre. Some go for the wine. Others go for the exquisite bakery scene that brings visitors from across Canada to the region for a tastebud-tantalizing culinary experience. This year, that potential — as well as the culinary accomplishments of those who call it home — is being celebrated nation-wide. In the spirit of serving a little slice of Niagara to Canadians across the country, three Niagara pastry chefs are representing the region as judges on Food Network Canada’s newest show that promises sweet, televised competition among home bakers and aspiring pastry chefs. Chefs Tara O’Brady, Anna Olson, and Domenic Giammarella join two dozen of the country’s best pastry chefs who will be judging the work of contestants on Wall of Bakers, the ultimate Canadian bake-off competition where home bakers from across the country vie for the title of show champion each episode and a $10,000 prize. Getting to represent Niagara — a part of Canada that is replete in great bakeries, fresh produce and farm-to-table dining — is an honour, says Giammarella.

special feature

“Niagara [is] a microclimate that produces some of the best fruits and vegetables in Canada,” he says. “There’s a lot of beautiful food that comes out of our region, and I’m so happy to represent this part




of Canada and help shed more light on everything this area has to offer.” It’s a sentiment echoed by Olson and O’Brady, who add that Niagara is brimming with culinary talent and innovation, its success “rooted in the bounty of the work of the farmers and producers of the region,” as O’Brady puts it. There’s no doubt about it — Niagara chefs know good food when they taste it. Wall of Bakers promises stiff competition, mouth-watering visuals, and high stakes for its contestants. But what makes a champion baker? Reveal Magazine asked O’Brady, Olson and Giammarella to weigh in on that question ahead of the show’s premiere.

Practice and creativity (sort of) make perfect They say it takes 10,000 hours of practice for a person to become an expert in their craft. In the world of baking, perfection doesn’t exist, agree the bakers. But with practice, you can get pretty close. “A lot of baking is muscle memory and the more you can rely on those routines, the better prepared you are for the unexpected,” says O’Brady, a food writer and baker from Niagara.

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In each stand-alone episode of Wall of Bakers, four amateur bakers compete in three rounds of competition. The battle begins with the CrowdPleaser round, where home chefs prepare their own signature desserts for the judges. Those who move onto the next round compete in Baker’s Pantry, where they must create a dessert using two staple ingredients from one of the judges’ pantries. But the final, Bakery-Worthy round — where two home bakers face off to create their own bakery-worthy treats inspired by a chef ’s signature confection — demands more than just practice, says O’Brady. “A balance of creativity, originality, and attention to detail is important, too,” says the pastry chef who, when she isn’t working as the food and cultural consultant on CBC’s Run the Burbs, is the culinary host for the Globe and Mail travel program. Throughout the season, the home bakers push their talents and pastries to the limit as they navigate complex pairings like tahini and dark chocolate, black sesame paste and bananas, and apple butter and rosemary, among others. Each round requires creativity on their part as they’re tasked with challenges like re-inventing a classic dessert, whipping up carnival treats, and experimenting with unusual flavour combinations. At the end of the day, practice can’t prepare the bakers for every challenge they face. But being bold and taking on risk, says Giammarella, can bring them the extra mile. “Sometimes what makes all the difference in a dish is not being afraid,” says Giam-


marella, Pastry Chef at fine-dining restaurant Pearl Morissette in Jordan Station, Niagara.

Keep an eye on the clock The competition on Wall of Bakers promises to be stiff. Contestants aren’t just competing against other people — they’re also competing against the clock. And like cinnamon or vanilla essence, their allotted time must be measured carefully and with precision. Good time management means keeping your hands busy, says Anna Olson, a Welland television chef and host of Food Network Canada’s Bake with Anna Olson, Fresh with Anna Olson, Junior Chef Showdown and Sugar. “As an apprentice, I was advised that a good baker always has something in their mixing bowl, on their worktable and in the oven,” says Olson, who also hosts Great Chocolate Showdown, a chocolate baking and confection-making series that was nominated for a Canadian Screen Award in 2021. “That means you are maximizing your time with your use of tools and space.” Giving yourself more time than you think you need and structuring your time into chunks — the mixing, the baking, and the decorating, for example — can keep you calm and collected under the pressure that the dwindling minutes impose. “These home bakers are really testing their skills under a tight timeline, and under the watchful gaze of 12 professional bakers,” says Olson. “I commend the courage it takes it do that.”


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Anna Olson Chef Anna Olson is a celebrity television chef who has hosted numerous Food Network Canada shows, including Bake with Anna Olson and Great Chocolate Showdown. Her recipes have been published in magazines and best-selling cookbooks. Her latest cookbook is called Baking Day with Anna Olson.

Tara O’Brady Put out fires with pizazz If you haven’t experienced it yourself, you’ve seen it on television — buttercream that never quite thickens, cakes that stick to the bottom of baking pans, and crumbly, overworked modelling chocolate that turns would-be masterpieces into culinary flops. Part of the baking process is understanding that things don’t always work out the way you want them to, says Giammarella.

Chef Tara O’Brady is the author of the bestselling cookbook Seven Spoons and the founder of the award-winning website of the same name. She is a contributor to The Globe and Mail and Epicurious, and her work has been featured in numerous publications, websites, and radio programs, including The Guardian, The Washington Post, and Bon Appétit.

“At the end of the day, pastry has a lot to do with chemistry, and if something goes wrong, it can only be for a small number of reasons,” he says. And while the road to master baker is paved with a laundry list of potential confectionary faux-pas’, the key to driving it is rolling with the punches.

special feature

“Being able to react to problems is one of the biggest skills one could possess,” says Giammarella. “What really makes the difference is not panicking and figuring out the solution to the problem, [because] most problems can be solved with a little know-how and some patience.”


Ready to see home bakers from across the country compete under the watchful eyes of Canada’s finest? Tune into Wall of Bakers’ sweet debut March 28 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Food Network Canada.



Domenic Giammarella Chef Domenic Giammarella is the pastry chef at Restaurant Pearl Morissette, located in Jordan Station. He developed an interest in pastry at Ottawa’s Le Cordon Bleu after leaving the beginnings of a bio-chemical engineering degree — a background he says allows him to take a very scientific approach in baking and developing new culinary creations.

APRIL 2022 |


A Legacy Thriving

Prepares for the 4th Annual Charity Roast It’s been nearly 35 years since the legacy of the Wise Guys Charity began, and each year there is extensive growth to its volunteer base and its contributions to the community. Throughout this time, an impressive $4.4 Million has been raised and rolled back into the Niagara community, reaching all twelve municipalities

Photography: Wise Guys Charity Fund

that make up the region.


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ith the unprecedented socio-economic impacts these past two years, it was paramount to continue onward and build upon the fundraising needed. The events throughout 2021 raised a total of $365,000 and with its continued dedication to serving Niagara, Wise Guys is well-positioned to navigate and direct those funds to where they are needed most.


cover feature

The roots of the organization go back to 1990 when Doug Smith and his father Chuck Smith were fundraising for the build of the Walker Family YMCA in St. Catharines. They put together a few comedy nights to raise more money and decided to continue forward and help as many organizations as possible, becoming a registered charity in 1997.

We're Local We're Global

5 St. Paul Crescent St.Catharines, ON L2R 3P6 905-687-9229

1507 Niagara Stone Road Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON L0S 1J0 905-468-9229

@McGarrRealty 32



With no administrative overhead, the organization and events are run entirely on volunteer commitment composed of engaged, dedicated, active, and responsible community leaders with a passion for giving back to their community any way that they can. This allows a maximum impact of funds raised to be directed to Niagara causes. From boxing events to pub nights and bike rides, there are numerous ways to get involved, give back and contribute directly to the community we all call home.

Years 1932-2022

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cover feature

“Our annual charity men’s golf tournament, now in its 31st year, is perennially sold out and has been a tremendous success year over year. Dad always wanted to run a charity golf tournament, and that’s precisely how it began.” Said Doug Smith, Chair of Wise Guys Charity Fund. In 2014, the success of the men’s tournament led to the inception of the Wise Girls Tee Party and carries the strong tradition forward hosting its 7th annual event this August. Coming this fall, the 4th Annual Wise Guys Charity Roast welcomes Margie Spence and Sally McGarr to brave the signature purple chairs as this year’s targets. The light-hearted jokes and entertaining banter are sure to guarantee an evening to remember all in the name of a great cause. The event takes place September 22,2022 at the Holiday Inn in St. Catharines.

| 34



APRIL 2022 |


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“The aim of the dinner and roast, just like all fundraising events, is to raise as much money as possible. The event has already been such a tremendous success these past few years, and we will be grateful for whatever amount we bring in for the community.” Said Doug Smith. In addition to fundraising, the charity roast has also raised a considerable amount of awareness in the community beginning in 2019, when Doug Smith volunteered to be its first “roastee”. Gerry Coppola from Coppola's Ristorante followed suit in 2020 and Adam and Stephen Cook from Credit Bureau Services Canada took to the stage in 2021.

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Margie and Sally are eager to support the cause, as both leading ladies have proven to be incredibly dedicated to their communities throughout their careers. Margie and Sally have shown astounding leadership skills, perseverance and are well-known trailblazers in their industry. Together, The Wise Guys Charity Fund, which consists of Wise Guys, Wise Girls & Wise Kids, are all consistently working to improve the quality of life in the Niagara Region, helping many worthy causes including but not limited to mentorship programs, advocacy centres, women’s shelters, and educational and safety equipment. They are committed to raising awareness and increasing financial support for local organizations across the Niagara Region and are fully transparent about the projects and causes that they fund. To learn more about the Wise Guys Charity Fund, please visit

APRIL 2022 |




| VOL. 3 | ISSUE 1

Notables in EDUCATION special editorial

Cultivated through traditional means delivered in elementary, secondary, and post-secondary institutions as well as industry associations with a vested interest in strengthening workforce opportunities, education is delivered not only by educators themselves, but by also by students, researchers, business owners, associations and industry leaders seeking to drive change.




Reveal Niagara Business Magazine by Ownera Media is proud to present leaders in education across Niagara who actively do their part in forging change. They are leaders that recognize the importance of local engagement, support, and mutually beneficial relationships, making them truly notable in their industry, in our community, and beyond.

APRIL 2022 |

Cara Krezek Director, Co-op, Career & Experiential Education Brock University

Working with Brock for more than 20 years, Cara is the Director of Co-op, Career & Experiential Education, a department she designed. As the first of its kind in Canada, it has been recognized as a leader in the country for its work and is leveraged as a model to replicate across other post secondary institutions. Brock University Brock has long been recognized as an innovative leader in co-op, career, and experiential education, working to ensure students can collect two years of work experience, both inside and outside the classroom, prior to graduation. The program is constantly seeking ways for students to gain experiences, understand those experiences, and articulate how to leverage those experiences to achieve their career goals. “We also encourage students to not think about job titles but instead of skills that they gain and how those skills will lead them through their career paths. To us, innovation isn't just coming up with something new or outside of the standard ways of doing things but changing the system.” Said Cara. The program was able to leverage government funding to hire 19 students to help Niagara businesses in their recovery from COVID-19. The work the program does is often highlighted as a two-way learning opportunity where the students and community members learn together. “Our students are finding employment here, in co-ops, internships and practicums, and during the school year as part-time talent for our local businesses and upon graduation. They are ready to give their skills, strengths and time to the community. Our unit helps them explore opportunities, prepares them for their experiences and coaches them on how to take those experiences from actions to learnings and skills that they can mobilize now and in the future.” Said Cara.

Kieran Wells Industry & Community Liaison, West, Central, and Northwest Ontario

Steve Gill General Manager

Niagara College Learning Enterprise Corporation

Ontario Tourism Education Corporation (OTEC)

Since joining OTEC, Kieran has been working to expand Tourism SkillsNet Ontario’s (TSNO) reach, directly contributing to the expansion of the network from 5 to 17 regions across Ontario, facilitating increased collaboration and helping identify new partnerships within the Niagara region. Ontario Tourism Education Corporation (OTEC)

Steve Gill has been with Niagara College for more than 20 years and is currently the General Manager of the Niagara College Teaching Winery, Brewery, Distillery and Vineyards. Steve was integral in creating the program that launched it all, the first of its kind in Canada, and has assisted in launching a similar program in Alberta. Niagara College Learning Enterprise Corporation A company owned by Niagara College, the corporation manages the trailblazing on-campus learning enterprises. “These Learning Enterprises play an important role at the College. They provide a real-world learning environment for students in the College’s wine, beer and distilling programs, giving them an opportunity to gain hands-on experience on our campuses before they graduate creating quality products.” Said Steve.

Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, OTEC leads Ontario in tourism and hospitality training, labour market development and workforce strategy. Known for its agility in creating innovative solutions for the future of work across Canada and internationally, they connect key players across industries – including businesses, educational institutions, associations, research and technology partners, local employment and training providers, and all levels of government. “In partnership with Job Gym, we’ve been able to put over 80 people, many of whom were dependent on Ontario Works, EI, and ODSP, through free tourism & hospitality training programs which include industryrecognized certifications as well as an increased focus on stress management and building emotional intelligence. We’ve also been able to support many of the local tourism & hospitality businesses through funded leadership and resiliency training for their employees, which will continue to be so important as we rebuild the sector.” Said Kieran. The Tourism Hospitality Recovery Initiative (THER), led by OTEC in partnership with the Future Skills Centre, has developed an AI-based labour market navigation and employment platform as well as a new Real-Time, local, data and forecasting model in collaboration with the Conference Board of Canada.


“We have many award-winning products from our learning enterprises which have been recognized for excellence provincially, nationally and even internationally. But award win is a testament to student learning at NC. Each student-created wine, beer, cider or spirit becomes a ‘resume in a bottle’ for our students. Each graduate becomes a College success story,’ says Steve. The positive impact these programs are providing to the industries remains unprecedented, and when it comes to the local community of Niagara, the impact is just as great. The program leaders and its students are eager to support causes that important. A recent example honouring International Women’s Day is NC’s 2022 Pink Boots Brew, made with a special blend from Yakima Chief Hops, a partner of Pink Boots. They have also joined others around the world to participate in ‘Brave Noise’, a global program advocating for the industry to be safe and free from discrimination for women, BIPOC, and LGBTQIA+ people.


| VOL. 3 | ISSUE 1

Notables in


special editorial

Financial institutions provide strong economic contribution at all levels. Banks and Credit Unions are not only one of the largest taxpayers in Canada but continue to be a leading industry by employment and job creation numbers. Community engagement is at the core of most financial institutions, representing a long history of the institutions and its employees supporting local economies through charitable donations, ongoing volunteer




work and curating unique community partnerships that add value at a local level. Reveal Niagara Business Magazine by Ownera Media is proud to present leaders in banking and finance in Niagara who do their part in forging positive change. They are leaders that recognize the importance of local engagement, support, and mutually beneficial relationships, making them truly notable in their industry, in our community, and beyond.

APRIL 2022 |

Ken Janzen Chief Executive Officer

Joe Azzopardi Commercial Account Manager

Joining PenFinancial in 2016, Ken has more than 35 years of experience in the credit union system, and has a wealth of expertise in Retail, Wealth, Commercial and Agricultural business areas. A proud graduate of Brock University, and lifetime resident of the Niagara region, Ken is active in the community and has held numerous Board positions for organizations such as the Niagara Children’s Centre, Red Roof Retreat, and the Foundation for International Development Assistance.

In 2006 Joe began his banking career first in retail and then shifted to commercial banking in 2014. Joe is passionate about guiding businesses through growth and finds it rewarding to witness the transition come to fruition. He values his client relationships, representing their goals as if he were invested directly in their organization.

PenFinancial Credit Union

PenFinancial Credit Union On a mission to improve lives and strengthen communities, PenFinancial embodies a Truly Local Commitment. “Through this commitment we invest a portion of our profits back into Niagara and Haldimand communities, and our employees also volunteer their time through our Truly Local Ambassador program. Because we are locallybased the decisions we make directly benefit the communities we serve,” says Ken. During the pandemic, working directly with Branch Managers, they were able to quickly identify local grassroots organizations that most needed support. This resulted in quickly directing donations to organizations such as Community Crew, The HOPE Centre, Open Arms Mission, Women’s Place, Pelham Cares, Casa El Norte, and Road to Recovery, among others. Committed to sustainability, PenFinancial was the first financial institution in Niagara to be recognized as a Living Wage Employer, proudly chooses 100% renewable energy for all of our locations through our partnership with Bullfrog Power and is part of the global movement of Certified B Corporations® who use business as a force for good, reinforcing our Truly Local Commitment to Niagara. “We believe there is a better way to do business – one that is better for workers, communities and the environment.” Said Ken. Focusing on the health and well being of their employees has always been a focus for PenFinancial, and it shows.

RBC Royal Bank

RBC Royal Bank RBC is committed to the community through its involvement supporting organizations such as United Way Niagara and Community Care as well as its core initiatives such as the RBC Race for the Kids. Joe is also an active participant annually for both the MS Bike Ride and the Niagara Golf Marathon. The investment within the organization is also critical. “Over the past 15 years with RBC I have mentored a number of new employees and it’s something I’ve always enjoyed doing. I know it can be intimidating starting a new job and I’ve learned a great deal from a number of mentors over my career so I’m happy to pay it forward,” says Joe. The need for a business owner and their support staff to have access to and manage their banking anywhere was identified. RBC has invested significantly in digital and mobile banking infrastructure to provide the tools necessary to increase business access and efficiencies. “At RBC we are highly specialized so whatever the unique need of the business are, we have an incredible group of partners that we can introduce to our clients to assist. My role is to identify different ways we can help a business grow, retain key staff and, overall, let our business owners focus on what’s important to them. The best part of my job is building those relationships that I know will be long term.” Says Joe.


Wade Stayzer Chief People and Culture Officer and Senior Vice President Business Banking Meridian Credit Union

Like Meridian, Wade has strong Niagara roots and recently celebrated 24 years of employment with Meridian. “I’ve been fortunate to engage with a wide range of people across Niagara – and Ontario – gaining insights and perspectives from all sectors. It’s a privilege to be the steward of our 2,000 strong workforce during these extraordinary times,” says Wade. Meridian Credit Union People come first at Meridian. It’s more than just giving money, it’s about doing good, something that is built into the DNA. As a purpose driven organization, Meridian has always invested in and partnered with organizations that strengthen the resilience of its communities. The cornerstone of Meridians progress has always been its engaged, personal approach and local community relationships. “I get to work with great people every day. We are a financial institution that balances purpose and profit, with an unwavering focus on helping our Members achieve their best lives. We help businesses and families achieve their personal and financial dreams and support our community partners to make Niagara Region a place I am proud to call home.” Meridians community impact is visible everyday, witnessed by employees volunteering at community events through the Good Neighbour Program, which provides grants to grass roots organizations. These range from cancer care support, LBGTQ2S+ initiatives and conservation groups to give a flavour. For 3 consecutive years Meridian has supported Pathstone Foundation’s flagship annual fundraising campaign “Fill the Pig” for children’s mental health and are the official sponsor of the Volunteer Program of the 2022 Niagara Canada Games. “Meridian can play an integral part in unifying the Niagara Region. The economic and cultural impact of this event will continue to be significant for years to come.” Said Wade.


| VOL. 3 | ISSUE 1

MARKETING Your Experience Awaits

By Ownera Media

hile it has been an uncertain time for many industries, what businesses across every sector have in common this year is an intensified need to maintain relevancy in their marketplace. The traditional mold has been broken, consumer habits and expectations have changed, and everyone is searching for something new, more valuable, and more connected than ever. Today’s consumer landscape is far more competitive than ever before.


Experiential marketing was once rooted in live events, drawing upon the high success rate affiliated with physical, in-person association and connection. Continued digital advancements have made the application of elevated marketing strategies more accessible to the masses. The use of immersive technologies such as augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and artificial intelligence (AI) are




transforming every facet of an organization’s brand identity and consumer outreach. If you were not quite ready before, be prepared to invest in new strategies as the lines between physical and digital communication will only continue to blur into the future. In its infancy, the metaverse already represents a reported $1 trillion market, announced earlier this year by JP Morgan.

JUNE APRIL2021 2022 | |



Using temporary art installations or mobile booths and pop-up experiences allow for mobility and customization across different venues. The flexibility of these transformational experiences is limitless. They can be scaled up or down to meet budgetary needs while creating very distinct and memorable brand interactions.

From interactive video media to VEM marketing, the expansive digital network is full of avenues to explore and design new ways to connect. Creativity and resourcefulness are key to integrating experiential marketing tactics into your online strategy.


Deploy a pop up experience or immersive photo booth and set the stage for consumers to share with one another online. This can be done at events, in retail locations or on storefronts.


Offer unique shopping experiences through AR, allowing potential buyers to digitally place furniture in their home or try on clothing.



Collaborate with local agencies and artists to design interactive art installations, engage a crowd at a community centre or on the street in the entertainment district.

Create immersive teaser tours in VR to showcase a resort or museum enticing people to book a trip or visit an attraction.


Gamification opportunities, challenges and scavenger hunts can be customized with VR and AR segments and used to elaborate engaging storyboards.


Replace 2D stage and screen setups at conventions and in ballrooms with interactive digital LED installations and add excitement to returning audiences.

When re-examining your marketing efforts, seek out creative ways to foster two-way communication and then capitalize upon these experiential tactics when possible. When it comes to experiential marketing, some trends will simply never go out of style, like the absolute necessity for human connection through live events. Digital technologies will only further our abili-


ties to augment and expand upon these experiences, delivering intriguing, memorable, and most importantly, valuable interactions with brands and with one another. Always aim to blend offline and online interactions and adopt a human-centric approach to redefining your strategies. Sources opportunities-in-the-metaverse.pdf


| VOL. 3 | ISSUE 1


Favourite Tech

by Isabelle Tennier

With familiarity of Artificial intelligence (AI) on the rise, the application of this technology in business is growing at a rapid rate. With the ability to revolutionize processes and systems, AI can be implemented to gain efficiencies in a range of ways, making small to large scale impact. Here we share five apps that leverage AI in different ways that could be applicable


to your business.




APRIL 2022 |

Susi Data

With businesses conducting more meet-

In today’s information-driven world, it

it’s easy for communication to get lost

the correct decisions for their company.

ings and exchanging information online,

can be difficult for businesses to make

from internet glitches and a lack of real-

Sisu Data is an AI that helps businesses

time conversation. helps by

come up with the best actions for their

creating real-time transcripts of online

company by analyzing cloud data.

meetings and stores them for later

The AI provides businesses answers on

use. is a free Google Chrome

engagement, increasing profits, and

extension and has a premium service for

preventing incidents from happening.

$10 a month.

Answer Rocket The internet has allowed for a wealth of knowledge to be accessible at

anybody’s fingertips, but the amount of knowledge can be time-consuming for businesses. AnswerRocket is an AI that

allows users to ask a data-related question, and then pulls up reports, charts, and graphs about it instantly. It also

does regularly scheduled sales reports

and brand performance. AnswerRocket has a free trial available for new users, and pricing is dependent on the tools used.


A free trial of Sisu Data is available for new users.

IBM Watson Assistant As businesses are more available

world-wide, the demand for customer service agents and marketing for that company increases across the globe. The IBM Watson Assistant is a series

of AI tools that businesses can use to

train AI for consumers. The AI requires

no knowledge of coding and relies on

real world conversations to create the most adaptable AI service agent. The

IBM Watson Assistant comes with a free version, and options for a premium service.

frase exposure, advertising, and customers.

Grammarly Business

streamline their web content and know

information moves online, writing and

about their company online. It can also

for businesses. Grammarly Business is an

offers analytics so that they are keeping

tone suggestions in real time to ensure

a 7-day free trial, and plans that start at

grammar. It also makes suggestions to

Creating a business website is one of the best ways a company can gain more Frase is an AI that helps businesses

As more company communication and

what kinds of questions customers have

grammar are becoming more valuable

write online content for businesses and

AI tool that offers spelling, grammar, and

up with current market trends. Frase has

that writing has correct and consistent

$20 a month.

avoid plagiarism and create lively writing. Grammarly Business is $12.50 a month for up to 3 members, as well as a free option.


| VOL. 3 | ISSUE 1

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APRIL 2022 |


Pros & Cons of the

METAVERSE Brought to you by Innovate Niagara

This idea for the future Metaverse has tons of nless you have been living under a potential. Still, like anything ground-breaking, it also brings many potential negatives. Many organizations rock the past few months, you are including ours weigh these pros and cons every day to help ensure the future Metaverse is more positive probably starting to get curious as to than negative. There are hundreds of pros and cons, so here, we narrow it down to three main categories: how the ‘Metaverse’ will affect your social, entertainment and education. life. These days, it is everywhere, from news Social headlines to startup decks. The only place Like today’s internet, the Metaverse will allow you to meet people from all over the world. The difference is that you can’t find it is in reality. That is because in the Metaverse, you will be standing right beside people while travelling to digital representations of their country the Metaverse still has a few years to grow or even into digital representations of their personality. You and develop before it becomes what many will even be able to create digital representations of your personality. Whether that be through the clothes your avatar promise it to be - a decentralized evolution of wears, a decorated room where friends can hang out or even a whole world filled with adventures from your favourite the internet where anyone has open access movies, novels and dreams. The best part is that it will be completely anonymous, allowing anyone who can’t express to socialize, be entertained and learn through themselves in the real world to express themselves in the Metaverse. 3D content. REVEAL NIAGARA BUSINESS MAGAZINE


Photography: XpertVR

Innovate Niagara, an organization that helps entrepreneurs start, grow & succeed, connects us with Evan Sitler from XpertVR to share his professional insights about the Metaverse.

| VOL. 3 | ISSUE 1

Photography: XpertVR

Now, this all sounds great, but there are some possible negatives. Firstly just like today, where people can bully others on social media, the same will be true for the Metaverse but may take place at larger extremes. Secondly, anonymity is fantastic, but every day we hear of tech companies getting hacked and leaking personal data or, worse yet, selling data. Similar problems may occur in the Metaverse and could genuinely hurt those who rely on anonymity. Lastly, worldwide communities are incredible for connection. Still, they can also mean people end up in an echo chamber of negativity or possibly even destructive thought. We have seen examples of this in current social media communities, but the Metaverse will only amplify it.

Entertainment Whether you’re interested in Star Wars, Harry Potter, gardening or some obscure interest, you can find a community around any topic on the internet today. Through that community today, you can read, watch or create an almost unlimited amount of content. In the future, instead of just creating content for others to consume, you will be able to place yourself and others directly inside the content.

few years, platforms like YouTube and Masterclass have made it much easier for people to explore new passions while decreasing costs and giving teachers more freedom. The Metaverse will build upon this success by providing teachers with interactive learning materials. The worry is that as large corporations gain a stronger hold in the education space, these standards will diminish or disappear entirely. This control may lead to underskilled individuals or less accessibility to different groups worldwide.

How can you benefit? The Metaverse of the future will have opportunities galore, many of which we can’t even imagine today. So, how can you benefit today? First off, many Metaverse projects need the same help every regular business needs today. So, whether you build websites, run marketing campaigns or manage communities, Metaverse businesses need your help. As a consumer business, there are many platforms for you to showcase your wares in the Metaverse. Done well, this allows your customers to experience your products and hopefully convince them to purchase. Internally you could look to create interactive training materials for employees or meet with them in Metaverse platforms to better interact remotely. Lastly, if you want to help drive the future of the Metaverse, you could join groups that are setting standards and promoting innovation. In conclusion, the exciting Metaverse will be here soon. Like every technology evolution, there will be good and bad. So, today is the time for society to stand up and ensure proper standards are agreed upon so that the Metaverse of the future doesn’t reflect the ugly parts of the internet today.

|| Expert contribution by:

The cons here are that there are no rules on the entertainment or creativity in the Metaverse. If someone wants to create something hateful or twist the truth through advanced deepfake technology, this will all be possible. So if this is the future, what privacy laws will need to be in place to ensure a random person can’t take your likeness or a world leader’s likeness and use it in any way they want?




Education today is centralized and has strict standards that everyone must follow. This is good as it ensures that you can trust a doctor is properly trained to help when you go to a hospital. But at the same time, it limits the number of people who can afford to pay for education and the number of methods a teacher can employ to teach a student. Most importantly, it limits people’s options for exploring new career paths or passions. Over the past |


Evan Sitler Co-CEO & Co-Founder XpertVR Focused on building revolutionary technology, Evan is passionate about leveraging Extended Reality (XR) to change the way people experience education today and into the future, no matter their background or geographical location.

APRIL 2022 |


Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold 13.3 20RK000NUS Foldable PC


| VOL. 3 | ISSUE 1





What to Eat and Do to Keep Your Brain in Shape Written by: Jade Prévost-Manuel

ur brains do a lot for us. They help us focus, solve problems, remember important information and make tough choices. Yet when mental fog rolls in, being productive can feel like an impossible task.

Canadians know they can train their bodies through healthy eating and regular exercise. But can we train our pandemic-affected brains, too?

Naturopathic doctor Marc Conteduca, who runs a brain training program at Niagara Health and Rehab Centre (NHRC), says that with hard work, it’s possible.

health & wellness

“For many years, we didn't think that it was possible to improve brain function or regrow nerve cells or have this thing called neuroplasticity,” he says. “But now, we’re seeing that we can do those things.” It’s welcome news for those dealing with what researchers are calling pandemic brain — brain inflammation caused by the chronic stress of living through a pandemic. Pandemic brain manifests as fatigue, brain fog and even mood changes in non-COVID-infected people. Last year, more than 50 per cent of Canadians reported that COVID-19 had increased their stress or anxiety levels. Chronic stress can affect the parts of the brain that manage concentration, decision-making and even memory. It can 52



make learning more difficult, and the people who experience it more anxious. Want to get your pre-pandemic brain back? Here are three things you can do to boost brain function.


(Without Your Phone)

Sleep helps keep your brain sharp — but most of us don’t get enough of it. According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, 1 in 2 adults have trouble going to sleep or staying asleep. “You need to prioritize sleep in the same way that you prioritize your exercise and nutrition plan,” says Conteduca. Not getting enough sleep can affect your ability to learn, create new memories and concentrate. A lack of sleep doesn’t just affect your brain — poor sleep, or no sleep, can also

APRIL 2022 |


|| Expert contribution by: increase your risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity and depression. While every person has different requirements when it comes to sleep, experts suggest aiming for seven to nine hours per night. If you have trouble sleeping, try exercising regularly, quitting caffeine in the afternoon, and sticking to a routine bedtime. Keeping your cell phone out of the bedroom can also improve sleep. In a 2020 study, researchers found that keeping cell phones near the pillow and scrolling for at least 30 minutes before bed with the lights off was associated with poor sleep quality. Other studies have shown phone use could affect working memory. Consider banning blue-light emitting screens an hour before bed and charging your phone outside the bedroom.


Exercising and spending time outside doesn’t just feel good — it can also help your brain function better. Research suggests that even short trips outside can change brain structure to improve concentration, mood and working memory. While mindless exercise — day-to-day physical activity like walking up stairs — can build better health in the long run, nothing beats mindful physical exercise when it comes to boosting cognition. “That neuromuscular, or brain to muscle connection, is very important,” says Conteduca. “What we’re finding is that intentional and purposeful exercise matters.” Try setting aside a time to walk or run outdoors, join a yoga class, or engage in exercise

you truly enjoy. Make outdoor morning or lunchtime walks a part of your daily routine. Cognitive learning also depends on repetition, so commit to lifestyle changes for at least one month if you want to see improvement.

|| Expert contribution by:


Food is fuel for the brain, which is why scientists say failing to fuel up can negatively affect brain function. Understanding how food affects the brain is a different beast because it’s a relationship that scientists didn’t begin exploring until recently, says nutritional scientist and University of Toronto Associate Professor Richard Bazinet, who researches the link between the two. “Your brain only makes up about two per cent of your body weight, depending on how much you weigh, but it's using 10 to 20 per cent of your brain energy,” says Bazinet. “So, you’ve got to feed that thing.” Bazinet says the brain is about 50 per cent fat, and that two fats — docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and arachidonic acid (ARA) — are especially important for cognition. The brain can’t make these fats on its own, so eating foods high in DHA and ARA can provide it with these essential fatty acids. Sources of these fats include seafood, fish oil, dairy and eggs. As for the rest of your diet, Bazinet says that “largely, the foods that people think are good for their heart seem to be good for their brain.” Incorporate whole, or non-processed, foods into your diet and give plant-based foods a try. Research also suggests that adding berries, such as blueberries and raspberries, to your diet can improve memory and boost brain function.

Marc Conteduca Naturopathic Doctor NHRC Marc Conteduca is a board-certified Naturopath in Ontario and runs a cognitive training program at NHRC. He’s also a private chef.

Richard Bazinet Nutritional Scientist and Associate Professor University of Toronto Richard Bazinet is a Canada Research Chair in Brain Lipid Metabolism; a process he studies to understand the role it plays in developing neurodegenerative diseases.


| VOL. 3 | ISSUE 1

Diagnosing Canada's

Health System by Jade Prévost-Manuel

Here’s How Our Health System Could Provide Better Care




Staffing shortages and long wait times were problems long before the COVID-19 pandemic made system shortfalls more visible, experts say. According to the Ontario Medical Association (OMA), nearly 20 million health care services were postponed or cancelled during the pandemic. That backlog includes surgeries and treatments as well as testing and doctors’ visits. “It will take months, if not years, to get through all of the backlog,” says OMA President Dr. Adam Kassam. health & wellness

Canadians are optimistically beginning to consider life after the pandemic, and the future of the health system is top of mind. Here are five ways Canadian health care could be revitalized.

Boost Telehealth Telehealth is a method of remotely delivering health care — one that Health Economist Erin Strumpf says saves physician resources while getting




people the care they need. Using technology in the form of online doctor visits and apps that monitor patient health, for example, can make care more accessible for remote communities and people with limited mobility while easing strain on the system. “[Telehealth] requires less time, no travel, and no waiting in a room,” says Strumpf. “No, it can’t be used for everything, but why not use it for what it’s good for?” Increase the Number of Acute Care Beds According to data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Canada ranks among the lowest of OECD countries for acute care beds per capita. Kassam says that number is far too low, adding that increasing the number of these beds in Canadian hospitals is just one piece of the puzzle. Hospitals also need to staff them.

APRIL 2022 |

“It's not just about beds, it’s also about having the human resources to provide the services to those individuals,” says Kassam.

Expand Mental Health Services Pre-pandemic, one in five people in Canada were experiencing a mental health problem or illness in any given year, according to the Mental Health Commission of Canada. That number is expected to increase post-pandemic. Making mental health care more financially and physically accessible for Canadians of all ages and professions, including health care professionals, could ease strain on the system by reducing hospitalizations and increasing quality of care.

Strengthen Pandemic Preparedness “We had a situation during the pandemic where we put lots of social restrictions in place [to] protect a health care system that is more fragile than other […] countries,” says Strumpf. In response to the pandemic, the federal government established the Centre for Research on Pandemic Preparedness to help


Canada prepare for, prevent, respond to and recover from health emergencies. Canada can better prepare for pandemics by addressing staffing shortages in public health, hospitals, and long-term care and funding domestic production of drugs and medical equipment.

Reduce Wait Times and Backlog Ontario is Canada’s most populous province but the second-lowest spender on health care per capita, according to the Canadian Institute for Health Information. But simply throwing more money at the problem isn’t enough, say Strumpf and Kassam. By investing to leverage telemedicine, revamp referral systems to cut down on wait times, and offload hospitals by allowing certain procedures and surgeries to be performed outside of hospitals, governments could make a huge difference in reducing wait times and addressing backlog. “It's simply not good enough anymore to say doctors should work longer hours after 20 months of having been worked to the bone to get through the pandemic,” says Kassam.

|| Expert contribution by:

Dr. Adam Kassam Physician and President OMA Dr. Adam Kassam is a board-certified physician in physical medicine and rehabilitation. He’s also a clinical associate at Sinai Health and Runnymede Healthcare Centre in Toronto.

Erin Strumpf Associate Professor McGill University Erin Strumpf teaches in the Department of Economics and the Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health at McGill University. Her research looks at outcomes of health care spending. REVEAL NIAGARA BUSINESS MAGAZINE

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CX 400BT True Wireless 56



APRIL 2022 |


INFLATION-RESISTANT Portfolio by Arthur Goldgaber

Is it 2022 or 1982? Investors' confidence rose last year as the pandemic and lockdowns seemed to be ending. There was positive conviction even with pauses due to outbreaks from new COVID-19 variants. Just as it seemed like there was light at the end of the tunnel, investors began to worry about new threats in 2022’s first quarter—rising inflation, interest rates, and geopolitical risks. The annual inflation rate in the United States increased to 7.9% in February, the highest since January 1982, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Energy remained the most significant contributor as gasoline prices surged by 38%. Prices for housing, food, new and used vehicles also spiked. Another worrisome development was Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, causing loss of life, the destruction of many cities and a refugee crisis. It has also ratcheted up the risk of higher inflation, especially in energy and other commodity-related products.

Higher Interest Rates

In mid-March, the U.S. Federal Reserve raised interest rates for the first time since 2018 due to the dramatic rise in inflation. The U.S. central bank lifted its benchmark rate by 0.25 percentage points and signaled plans for further rate hikes this year. When announcing the rate hike, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell stated that "The plan is to restore price stability while also maintaining a strong labor market." He added that the central bank does not want high inflation to become entrenched because "the costs of that would be too high." The Bank of Canada made a similar move in early March, increasing its target for the overnight interest rate by 25 basis points to 0.5%, the first hike since October 2018. Bank officials emphasized that they would continue to use monetary policy tools to tame inflation. Their goal is to lower it to the bank’s 2% target and keep inflation expectations well-anchored.

with all the different risk profiles depending on those objectives, you cannot approach every client with the same solution," Currie says.

As interest rates rise, bond prices, which move in the opposite direction, have fallen. For example, the U.S. 2-year Treasury yield is now 2.33%, up from 0.786% on January 3. Meanwhile the 10-year Treasury yield is now 2.41% (March 30) vs. 1.637% on January 3.

Currie’s advice follows these points: • Step One. Begin with finding a financial advisor or planner professional. One thing to remember is that their designations matter. If someone is willing to invest in their education—enabling them to increase their knowledge and skills constantly—they will take the time to invest in your future and your money.

The danger with higher interest rates for ordinary citizens and businesses is that borrowing costs could rise, which, in turn, could slow economic growth. In addition, higher bond yields cause future profits to be less valuable, forcing stock valuations to decline.

Improving your Portfolio for Rising Inflation and Interest Rates

With the macroeconomy changing so quickly, the average investor is quite concerned if their portfolio can cope with the new environment. Investors may be searching for trusted advice on to properly adjust their portfolio as inflation and interest rates rise. One financial advisor, Brandon Currie, CLU, CFP, CHS, RRC, offers the following advice to investors. His firm is licensed in British Columbia, Ontario, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, and Labrador. First, he cautions that there is no "one size fits all" investing approach. He explains that each investor is different with unique goals, dreams, and time horizons. “Then, when you couple that

Step Two. Ignore all the industry acronyms/jargon; they merely confuse you. Take the time to research what the terms mean so that you are armed with the knowledge to conduct a conversation with your professional advisor. For example, he emphasizes that learning terms such as the difference between monetary and fiscal policy, macro and microeconomics, a stock’s market cap, stock split, etc., can be overwhelming. If you do not know, then don’t be shy to ask.


finance & investment

As in the United States, inflation is at a multi-decade high in Canada. Canada's inflation rate rose to 5.7% in February according to Statistics Canada, as prices for a wide variety of goods such as gasoline and housing climbed. Statistics Canada stated that the inflation rate was the highest since August 1991. Inflation soared over January's 5.1% rate and was above the 5.5% predicted by economists.


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►►► •

Step Three. Since there is no "one size fits all" strategy, it's crucial to have a robust conversation with your professional. Currie emphasizes that you need to think about how you would react if the market corrected by 20%; what would you do? Your answer to that question will help guide your professional in advising you on solutions that meet your needs and risk profile.

Advisor Nicolle Lalonde of Edward Jones in Fonthill, Ontario, shared similar advice: “We work to understand each client's situation, their individual goals, and then provide a roadmap to achieve those goals. Lalonde explains that her firm has always taken inflation into account when planning those future goals. Her best advice is to start by defining your own goals and then ensure that you review and revise those goals annually. “Setting appropriate expectations and understanding the risks that can affect your goals is very important,” she said. As for the different vehicles in Canada for investing for retirement/small goals, there is the Tax-free savings account (TFSA), Currie explains. All TFSA contributions are made with after-tax dollars and all growth is 100% tax-free. The annual limit is set by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and the current Government through budgets. In addition, Canada also has the Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP). The account’s contribution limit is more complicated to compute, so Currie encourages readers to click the hyperlink to read more. The account enables investors to contribute with pre-tax dollars or after-tax dollars. If you contribute after-tax dollars, you obtain a tax deduction. There are many variances with the RRSP whether it is personal or group. However, these are the two main vehicles available to everyone over the age of 18, Currie says.

What you put into these vehicles needs to be a mix. To conclude, Currie emphasizes that having a mix of GICs (Guaranteed Investment Certificates) stock/bonds, and mutual funds helps investors “ensure that they are well diversified, but also you are within your risk profile to meet your longerterm objectives.” U.S.-based investors have the option of purchasing Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS) to help their portfolio keep pace with inflation. These are bonds, whose principal and interest rate payments climb along with inflation, are available in 5-year, 10-year, and 30-year maturities. The inflation protection offered by TIPS adds to their price. TIPS are more expensive than conventional treasury bonds to purchase, but they offer diversification during higher inflation. There is a similar bond called the Treasury Series I Savings Bonds. These bonds currently pay 7.12% because the rates climb as inflation rises. The rate is adjusted twice a year—in May and November. The government limits total purchase of these to $10,000 per year. They can be purchased at Treasury Direct. For investors who are either concerned about the increased risk of inflation or whose financial plans would be more damaged by higher-than-expected inflation, there is an alternative to traditional safe bonds (like Treasury securities, certificates of deposit (CDs) and high-quality municipals) that is worth considering, says Larry Swedroe, Chief Research Officer for Buckingham Strategic Wealth, and Buckingham Strategic Partners. Swedroe emphasizes that there are no free lunches in investing. However, “for investors who do not need liquidity for at least some of their portfolio (which is likely true for almost all investors), a way to reduce the risk of inflation while also increasing expected returns significantly is to shift some of their allocation to the safest bonds to interval funds of private debt, such as Cliffwater’s Corporate Lending Fund (CCLFX).

The fund is an interval fund and invests in the senior secured floating rate private debt of middle-market companies, the vast majority of which are backed by private equity firms. As an interval fund, CCLFX must provide a minimum of 5% liquidity per quarter but typically not more than 25%. Repurchase offers may be suspended or postponed per regulatory requirements. Depending on the demand for redemptions, it is theoretically possible that an investor could redeem all their assets, Swedroe explains. For additional detail about interval funds, they are non-diversified, closed-end management investment companies and involve substantial risk, including lack of liquidity and restrictions on withdrawals. Individuals should carefully consider the fund's risks and investment objectives, as an investment in the fund may not be appropriate for all investors and is not designed to be a complete investment program. An investment in the fund involves varying degrees of risk, and an investor should refer to the applicable prospectus for complete information on risk factors and risk of loss. Shares are an illiquid investment, and investors will not have access to the money invested for an indefinite period of time, Swedroe says.


Interest rates remained low for several years; two years ago, the Federal Reserve lowered rates to near zero and provided additional stimulus to help the country recover from the pandemic. As the U.S. economy continues to recover in 2022, interest rates are climbing. The Federal Reserve raised rates by a quarter-point and has indicated it will hike rates six more times this year. As interest rates and inflation continue to rise, investors should look to diversify part of their portfolios into assets that will climb along with inflation such as TIPs. Choosing assets that are appropriate to your risk level, time horizon, and investment goals can be complex.

finance & investment

|| Expert contribution by:


Brandon Currie

Nicolle A Lalonde

Advisor, Edward Jones

Chief Research Officer, Buckingham Strategic Wealth

Brandon is a trusted advisor and inspiring community leader. Always seeking opportunities to strengthen his craft, he currently holds his CLU®, CFP®, CHS™ and RRC® designations.

Nicolle prides herself on helping her clients feel in control of their financial matters and to clarify their life goals by asking questions they may not have considered before.

A published author and sought-after national speaker, Larry has spent his time, talent and energy educating investors on the benefits of evidence-based investing with enthusiasm few can match.

Advisor, C.R. Smith Financial Services Inc



Larry Swedroe


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Niagara Region

Photography: Darren Clarke



The Supply Crisis Continues

by Hailey Coltsen

he Niagara region is no stranger to the piping-hot Canadian housing market, experiencing tremendous growth alongside the rest of the nation in recent years. Despite other concerns presented by members of the Niagara community, the 2019 federal election revealed that the

According to the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), only 529 residential properties were listed in January of 2022 by the Niagara Association of REALTORS®, as opposed to 616 in January of 2021. This statistic alone displays a clear lack of housing availability for Niagara residents, resulting in an obnoxious surge in market pricing by the effect of supply and demand. Staggering increases have been recorded in recent years; according to statistics from the Niagara Association of REALTORS®, year-over-year home prices from October 2021 to October 2022 increased by 33.5% in Niagara, for a monetary value of over $170,000. Prices within Niagara Falls specifically rose slightly higher than the rest of the region with an increase of 34%.

What’s causing the lack of supply? Many factors have contributed to a lack of available housing in Niagara, with the most impactful due to living preferences of certain demographics. Recent trends studied by CREA have shown that the largest demographic of homeowners remains the baby boomer generation, limited to those born between 1946-1966. The Royal Society of Canada recorded that not only are baby boomers less inclined to leave their family homes, but 50% would rather renovate their current properties to accommodate their living needs than to relocate or move into typical assisted living accommodations.

President of Niagara Association of REALTORS®, Doug Rempel, stated that “The fact of the matter is, (baby boomers) are equity strong, they are sort of bucking the historic trend and it takes a certain amount of inventory that would otherwise be in the market out of the market”. This effect of boomer equity being tied-up in real estate endeavours contributes negatively to the problem, as it gives this generation more reason to stay where they are. Considering that baby boomers represent such a large demographic in Niagara’s population, this removes a significant amount of inventory from the home-buying pool.

finance & investment

main source of worry amongst Niagara residents stems from an immense shortage of housing.


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The intense lack of housing supply in the region, coupled with the impending crisis of unaffordability for most has left the Niagara community with little hope

finance & investment

fair housing is not an option - it is the law




APRIL 2022 |

Photography: Darren Clarke

Dating back to late 2020, demand for this municipally-subsidized resource has increased staggeringly, leaving housing applicants to suffer through a wait-list of up to 18 years. Wait time is dependent on many factors, with most aged 16-54 years old waiting up to 16 years for affordable housing in Welland or St. Catharine’s, up to 18 years in Niagara Falls, and still up to 13 years in Thorold, with similar wait times in other areas. Pressure on resources like these continues to increase, with Niagara Regional Housing receiving their largest ever recorded number of applicants last summer, with 7,700 people applying for rent-geared-to-income and low-income accommodations. Unattainable prices are clearly having a massive effect on residents of the region, forcing them to join an already-large wait list to obtain rent costs that individuals can realistically cover.

Is there an end in sight? ►►►

Rempel stated that not only is there lack of supply from occupation by this demographic, but also due to mature equity investors from the Greater Toronto Area who see great opportunity in the Niagara region. Between proximity to Toronto and this area being a previously rather untapped market for investors, they are now, more than ever, inclined to flock for opportunity that has become fewer and further between in the GTA.

Immense need for housing in Niagara The intense lack of housing supply in the region, coupled with the impending crisis of unaffordability for most has left the Niagara community with little hope for the near future. This surge in pricing and lack of availability has caused more and more residents to turn to government-funded accommodations provided by Niagara Regional Housing.

Unfortunately, housing affordability is not expected to improve anytime soon; many experts are already speculating even higher increases throughout the remainder of 2022. Home price averages across Canada are set to increase at least 9.2 percent by the end of the year, meanwhile RE/MAX predicts the increase specifically in the Niagara region to reach 14% in the same period. Experts believe that the only way prices can stabilize at more affordable levels would be from a significant increase in housing supply.



•General Foremen •Carpenters •Skilled Labourers Email resumes to

Need for new development is more serious than ever as Niagara residents wait impatiently for more options to become available. Luckily, local government is responding with $10.5 million dedicated to a new development to house individuals and families facing the possibility of homelessness, or that are currently in precarious living situations. Projects like this one are so desperately needed to accommodate the overwhelming number of residents without affordable housing in the Niagara region, and hopefully more developers will increase supply soon. REVEAL NIAGARA BUSINESS MAGAZINE

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Leaders are problem solvers by talent and temperament, and by choice. For them, the new information environment— undermining old means of control, opening up old closets of secrecy, reducing the relevance of ownership, early arrival, and location—should seem less a litany of problems than an agenda for action. Reaching for a way to describe the entrepreneurial energy of his fabled editor Harold Ross, James Thurber said" '

He was always leaning

forward, pushing something invisible ahead of

him.' That's the appropriate posture for a knowledge executive. — Harland Cleveland

Success is

not a matter of mastering subtle, sophisticated theory but rather of embracing common sense with

uncommon levels of discipline and persistence.

— Patrick Lencioni

the edge

e have all experienced personal situations or witnessed examples where it seemed common sense was lacking. Just because something is common sense, does not make it common practice. Quite often the opposite is true, where the most sensible




and basic solutions are missed while we overcomplicate the very nature of a situation. Most obstacles can be overcome with practical and sound judgment, which requires more than simply possessing “common sense”. The resolve comes with acting upon that knowledge. Common sense must be combined with initiative and action to reap the benefits.

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“Everyone who's ever taken a shower has an idea. It's the person who gets out of the shower, dries off and does something about it who makes a difference.” – Nolan Bushnell, Founder of Atari

We do not need, and indeed never will have, all the answers before we act ... It is often through taking action that we can discover some of them.

— Charlotte Bunch

Common sense is instinct. Enough of it is genius. – George Bernard Shaw

Thinking is easy, acting is difficult, and to put one's thoughts into action is the most difficult thing in the world. - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Begin to free yourself at once by doing all that is possible with the means you have, and as you proceed in this spirit the way will open for you to do more. – Robert Collier

The philosophy of one century is the common sense of the next. — Henry Ward Beecher

Common sense is perhaps the most equally divided, but surely the most underemployed, talent in the world. – Christine Collange


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ECCO PINCH BAG MINI Colour: China Blue

APRIL 2022 |



Show Real Leadership by Hugo Chesshire

a surprise, even though the Russian state remained coy right until its tanks crossed the border. The severity of Western sanctions against Russia, however, was a surprise, and probably not least to Vladimir Putin, who likely did not expect an economic bludgeoning that he has termed “economic warfare,” which, in a way, it is. Sanctions offer not only a relatively non-confrontational foreign policy option, unlikely to cross any state’s nuclear “red line,” but they are also a means for a state to “do something” without doing much of anything. Wishing to avoid armed confrontation, but heeding demands from the electorate to take action, a government can announce a sanctions package purported to punish a state, knowing that it is unlikely to produce meaningful change. Western states took these historically-ineffectual sanction policies and turned them up to 11 against Russia, however. Unprecedented measures have targeted even the Russian central bank and endangered payments of its sovereign debt; Russian leaders and oligarchs

What has also been surprising is the enthusiasm with which Western firms enacted their own private sanctions. Major international firms and brands which have already pulled out of Russia include Visa, Mastercard, Amazon, Alphabet, McDonald’s, Starbucks, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Apple, Samsung, Netflix, AirBnB, Uber, Twitter, Nike, Shell, Exxon Mobil, Boeing, Dell, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Toyota, Intel, Maersk, and IKEA, in a list that grows every day. Big business is cancelling Russia. “Woke-washing,” some will say; “rainbow capitalism,” “virtue signalling.” Firms exploit the public mood to make an ad campaign, or to recover a tarnished image. It’s an accusation that has been made of Gillette’s #MeToo ad, Nike’s Colin Kaepernick campaign, or Pepsi turning Black Lives Matter into an ill-advised pitch.


he Russian invasion of Ukraine was not exactly

have been embargoed to the point where it would be illegal for Roman Abramovich to even hire a housecleaner for his U.K. property. REVEAL NIAGARA BUSINESS MAGAZINE

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“Business ethics” is a term that gets thrown around almost carelessly, but this is an example of business ethics and business leadership at its best. Companies are willingly sacrificing their bottom lines to punish the warmongering Russian state. The original hero of ancient Greek literature was a powerful, even superhuman figure who rose in challenging times to suffer and sacrifice for a greater good. It may be a stretch to call a multinational corporation “heroic,” but we can recognize their actions as being in that vein of service and sacrifice to a worthy cause. We do not even need to go to Russia for examples of business rising to meet a communal need during a crisis. Here in Niagara, we have seen a company like Dillon’s convert its production line from alcoholic beverages to sanitizers. Niagara


But you can tell a marketing campaign and a sacrifice apart. Nike sales jumped 10 percent after its Kaepernick ad, pushing the company’s worth to $6 billion and fuelling accusations that the company was merely capitalizing on a social trend, but with over 100 stores in Russia–more than a third the number it operates in the US–Nike clearly did not expect to profit by pulling out of the Russian market. McDonald’s probably hoped to make money when it flipped its trademark “M” upside-down to form a “W” on International Women’s day. With 9% of its annual revenue coming from Russia and Ukraine, and 62,000 Russian employees still on the payroll without a restaurant to work in, its boycott of the Russian state is no opportunity for the restaurant chain.




College’s manufacturing team designed and produced PPE. Great Wolf Lodge became the distributor of free rapid antigen testing kits for local employers. None of these organizations did these things for money. They did them to serve the community. This is the leadership we need. There are crises upon us now, and there are more coming. Yet we can take a message of hope from our response to the pandemic, to Russian aggression, or to social injustice. There are people, organizations, and businesses willing to step up and step forward. There is a resolve to do what is right, to stand up for what is just, and to put the interests of the community and the greater good first. So long as that spirit lives on, we can confront whatever comes.

APRIL 2022 |


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