Reveal Niagara Business Magazine - Vol. 3 | Issue 3

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NIAGARA BUSINESS MAGAZINE VOLUME 3 | ISSUE 3 The big firm for small business, community focus and relationship building is at the core of this leading full-service chartered professional accountancy and business advisory firm in Canada. FREE VOL. 3 - ISSUE 3 ►2022 Hot! LOCK STREET BREWING CO. BEERS-NESS CARDS featuring MNP A NATIONAL FIRM WITH LOCAL FOCUS
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Our cover features MNP, an exceptional firm that continues to see tremendous growth likely related to its noteworthy commitment to serving local business needs.

Bronnie Ware

The weather is cooling, acting as a quick reminder that summer in Ontario is not eternal. Thankfully, there is a lot about fall that excites us all – from pumpkin lattes to cozy sweaters and opening the windows to let in the fresh crisp air.

As seasons change, it is an excellent reminder for business owners to assess performance, goals, and operating practices. In this issue, to name a few, we deliver key economic highlights, core education around blockchain technology, an intriguing marketing tactic to deploy, and another installment of Reveal Magazines' highly anticipated Notable community business leaders.

For our team here at Ownera, the fall issue of Reveal is usually a sentimental one as it releases during our annual business anniversary. This is a reflective time as we analyze market trends and align next steps that will allow is to continue delivering leading and innovative solutions that connect with and support our readers, communities, and fellow business owners.

Valuable information is meant to be shared, and Reveal Magazines is designed to be a dynamic, omni-channel tool for you to engage, reference and utilize regularly. As 2023 approaches, you will see more vibrant and spirited activities from our team as we launch new mediums and refine and innovate traditional ones.

We would like to take a moment to thank our team, our contributors, our supporters, and everyone we have had the pleasure of doing business with over the years. It is the passion and talent of many that allow us to bring our vision to life and illicit your excitement to receive the value presented in each new issue.


Rowe & Brandy

“Embrace the seasons and cycles of your life. There is magic in change.


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Brandy Henderson


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Brandy Henderson


Ownera Tech

Innovate Niagara


Adam Shields Paul Prudente


Brian Fletcher 905-380-4005


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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 thought-provoking content,



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MNP, a national firm with local focus - pg 31 Cover Feature
Photography by: Marc Delledonne From left to right: Travis Dolinski, Steve Aikenhead,Bill Sloper, Liz Isaak, Mike Veldhuizen, Rick Wismer, Pam Lilley, & Jack Gibson
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to empower Niagara by bringing you this regional B2B publication, offering vital information
your business and the latest information impacting our Niagara community.
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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NIAGARA BUSINESS MAGAZINE fill in the gaps inn ova tion imagine the future and expand your reach OUR MAGAZINES ARE READ AND SHARED IN OVER 103 COUNTRIES If you like what we have to share, and would like to be part of the Reveal community as an advertiser, we'd love to hear from you! To find out more, contact us at REVEAL NIAGARA BUSINESS MAGAZINE | VOL. 3 | ISSUE 3 6 | REVEALMAGS.COM | OWNERA MEDIA a subsidiary of OWNERA Group Inc.
notables 37 in Real Estate & Development Honouring Our Veterans cover feature 10 NIAGARA RIGHT NOW: Know What's Trending 14 ARE YOU READY? School is Back in Session 18 INDUSTRY HIGHLIGHT: Festivals & Eventsthe vanguard special feature27 LOCK STREET BREWING CO. Beers-ness Cards travel & leisure23 AWAY Did you leave the country this year? 31 MNP The Big Firm for Small Business 42 MARKETING What does successful Marketing Look Like in 2023?marketing health & wellness50 MANAGING SEASONAL STRESSES BEFORE THE HOLIDAYS 52 THE BEST VERSION OF YOU technology44 MY FAVOURITE TECH YOUR OFFSITE EQUIPMENT (MUST HAVES) 47 FOUR CORE TENANTS OF BLOCKCHAIN 56 CANADIAN REAL ESTATE: What Potential Investors Need To Know 59 A DOWNTURN IS COMING finance, real estate & investment leadership64 HOW INTER-ABLE HIRING COULD EASE CANADA'S LABOUR SHORTAGE the edge62 THE EDGE Information for the next level of success CONTENTS






Ownera Media offers a wide range of publishing, marketing, branding, and online/digital technology services that are customized to fit your needs. It is no secret that our industry is an ever-changing and ever-evolving world. As your partner, we lend our expertise to publish, market, and oversee the full life cycle of your business campaigns, simply because these are the things we love and do best.

Ownera Media offers a wide range of publishing, marketing, branding, and online/digital technology services that are customized to fit your needs. It is no secret that our industry is an ever-changing and ever-evolving world. As your partner, we lend our expertise to publish, market, and oversee the full life cycle of your business campaigns, simply because these are the things we love and do best.



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Arthur Goldgaber

Corporate Communications and Financial Researcher

Stephanie Bromwichs Ontario Resident & Business Professional

Sahar Tirmizi

Ontario Resident & Business Professional

Wolfgang Guembal

Founder and President Lock Street Brewing Co.

John Henricks President

Niagara Planning Group Solutions

Sarah Hart Executive Officer Niagara Association of REALTORS®

John Passero President

Silvergate Homes Limited and Silverline Group Inc.

Allan Howse

President, Branch 124 Royal Canadian Legion Niagara-on-the-Lake

Romeo Daley Korean War Veteran Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI)

Michael L Blais, CD

Founder & President Canadian Veterans Advocacy Association

Catherine Rice Marketing, Communications + Events, Innovate Niagara Brian Byrne

Chief Operating Office Great Lakes Blockchain

Shannon Lapointe

Founder, Revitalize Your Health & Bare Aesthetics Painless Laser

Harshdeep Ghadok Real Estate Agent at Prep Realty (Calgary Prime Properties)

Jodi Delage

Director of Operations for Niagara Training & Employment Agency (NTEC) and Niagara Support Services


REVEAL NIAGARA BUSINESS MAGAZINE | VOL. 3 | ISSUE 3 SEPTEMBER 2022 | 9 OUR HOME. OUR NIAGARA. @ revealmags U s e #revealbusiness to showca s e your favourite local business rockstars! READ US anywhere. Read us on issuu Find and unlock new updates, content and even contests by interacting with our magazines. We use our own technology to offer you interactive content. beyond the pages... Click on
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arlier this year, the Q2 GDP readings reported the Canadian economy stood out globally. Despite battling inflation and a projection of 4-4% growth forecast for that period, Canada did fare better than others with a reported 3.3% growth pace. Do not anticipate a similar outlook for Q3 and Q4, however. The growth rate has slowed substantially across the nation and most economies are forecasted to tread water in 2023.

The Niagara region has realized a slight boom thanks to an influx of businesses relo cating to the area and the introduction of new businesses being started in the region. It is, however, important that we, as stakeholders, understand that while some of the data points to a good news story, the region and province must focus on creating conditions that support business access to the capital, markets, and talent that they need to sustain and grow.

Evolving over the past decade, Niagara’s shift in economic and social diversity has been fundamental to its success. Ontario’s economy has undergone substantial change as well, leading to increased global competi tion, technological disruption, and the need to transition to sustainable growth models.

The outcome of these global trends will likely result in future changes to the way that businesses operate and how we plan for our future economy. To adapt to these changes and support businesses in the Niagara, it is essen tial that we understand current and future economic trends at a national and provincial levels, as well as local to Niagara.

Growth Priorities

The Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe was created so that we can under stand what our community might look like 10 to 25 years from now. What would be the impact on public transit if a

new university was built? What type of housing should be consid ered to accommodate a changing population? Which industries will be emerging over the next decade? These questions provide insight into how we want to create communities where residents live close together and enjoy vibrant amenities. They also show us the importance of being aware of both immediate needs and long-term opportunities. As leaders, it's important to work together and think about how we can invest in infrastructure projects, increase trade between other jurisdictions, build partnerships with educational institu tions, while creating opportunities for entre preneurs who are eager to innovate. Individual municipalities will need to continue to explore partnering with larger cities as these could help companies grow and remain competitive in the global market.

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The Population

Niagara is one of the fastest growing regions in Ontario with a population expected to increase by more than 600,000 people from now until 2041. The demand for lower priced properties continues to rise as people move away from Toronto and other large urban centres, creating a continued strain on supply. This forecasted growth will also create new challenges for public service, trans portation infrastructure, and housing.

Labour Market

Changing rapidly over the last decade, jobs that have traditionally been filled by young people are now being taken up by older workers, who are either delaying retirement or coming out of retirement. This trend is expected to continue with an increased number of baby boomers retiring in the near future. In response, more youth employment programs need to be developed that focus on placement, retention, and career focused opportunities. Ontario will need to continue attracting international talent as immigrants will become a fundamental part of the labour force due to demographic changes within the province. It’s also important for businesses to attract a millennial workforce because they represent 46%

of Canada’s population and this group represents a significant buying power. They are the most educated generation in Canadian history and enter the workforce with high expectations from employers. They often do not consider themselves traditional employees, so they may require flexible work arrangements to allow time for community involvement, personal projects, or individual preferences.

Major Industries

Home to many industries, including finance, tourism, food production, automotive parts manufacturing. Education and Healthcare represents the largest existing workforce in the region at 20% followed by Professional and Financial Services at 16%. Manufacturing and Hospitality also represent a strong 13% and 12% respectively, with and influx of technology and innovation companies putting roots in Niagara we anticipate continued growth throughout these emerging sectors.

With this being a municipal election year, the business community is eager to see plans that will promote business competi tiveness. This includes addressing limiting factors such as outdated labour laws, poor transportation infrastructure, lack diversity in economic sectors, rising costs of living, and lack of skilled and accessible workforce.

Sources: dq220831a-eng.htm?HPA=1

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Are you




In one of the final signs of life returning to normal after the Covid 19 pandemic, Ontario public schools are back in session with no restrictions. Children across the GTA, impacted by two years of masks and virtual schooling, were all smiles in early September as they returned to learn and play with classmates.

Parents are also feeling relief, as two years of mandates or home schooling come to an end and life truly starts to appear normal.

While the experts on both sides of the Covid debate go back and forth on risk scenarios and hypotheticals, parents that look beyond Covid 10 concerns have questions about what their children will see when they return. Will there be enough teachers and supplies? Are schools ready to take children back or still reeling from two years of closure? After years of concern about teacher shortages, what impact will the pandemic have on educa tion around Toronto? Ontario public schools look quite different after Covid, but that may not be an improvement for our children.

For two years the focus has been on a teacher shortage and stifling wages for educa

tors that haven’t kept up with the cost of living. While wages remain a major issue, the staffing issue has subtly shifted. Instead of a general shortage, we need to focus on two critical concerns: the lack of full-time contracts and the morale impact of current conditions on teachers overall.


In fact, the Ontario College of Teachers predicts that new teachers entering the system may just barely offset 2022 retirements. However, policy changes over the past several years have reduced barriers to entry for new teachers and many administrators claim the staffing issues are over. The risk is that fulltime contracts have been falling since 2015 and the occasional and supply teachers, or students now approved to teach while completing degrees, have few incentives to press on with hope for a full-time role. As a result, Ontario is experiencing a talent drain as other provinces or industries entice smart teachers to consider new opportunities.

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Brock University, St. Catharines ON | Photo: Wikimedia Commons
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As those limited roles fill, we will see a frustrated roster of educators who resign themselves to completing the minimum expectations of their roles.

This will mean fewer volunteers to take on extracurricular activities like clubs, sports, and after school programs. Education has always been an industry where that discretionary effort from teachers directly impacts the quality of the student experience, so parents should expect their children to have a very different experience than what they knew growing up.

As the new school year starts, parents should prepare to be active participants. Returning to in-person classes will be another shift in learning modality for children and the classroom environment can make it more challenging to customize the level and quality of the education to each individual student. Our children will need support at home to keep up with studies and homework. A great partnership with parents at home is the solution that will ensure the most important goal of all: the success of our children.

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Festivals & Events

Revenue increases are largely attributed to sponsorships for events, forecasting to garner a revenue of $710.7 million over the analysis period. This is attributed to the exceptional exposure that leading organizations gain through the right sponsorship opportunities. Based on event type, seminars, corporate events, and entertainment are expected to draw the most revenue and profitability across the board.

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Projected attendance increases are attributed highly to millennials,

as they enter prime spending years, meaning more disposable income than previous generations. The strong financial projections for entertainment event types is also due, in part, to this age group expressing more interest in concerts, sports events, exhibitions, and festival.

For event organizers and hosts, it is critical to take these positive financial insights as a sign to invest in planning for 2023. Planning ahead and focusing on the art of promotion well in advance of your planned event is going to help secure the results you need. With the events industry, there are no hard and fast rules to success. It's all about leveraging the power of your brand and finding the best opportunities to promote it in the most effective ways. It is important to invest in traditional advertising like radio ads, social media campaigns and print advertisements, but do not forget to find new ways to be innovative. For example, for concerts and live music, include your event in pre-concert programming or on local news stations.

The goal is to reach as many people as possible with something they will want. You can also run a contest on social media where the person who shares your post wins tickets to the show.

Social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and other blogging sites can be used organically, but should also be part of a paid campaign strategy. From buying targeted ads on these platforms to creating informative videos and infographics with links back to your website or social media pages, there are many ways digital marketing can help you spread the word about your event. It’s important to remember that it doesn’t always take much to make an impact. For example, even one paid search ad will reach thousands of people who are actively searching for events that might interest them near their location. It’s also worth noting that OTT (Over-The-Top) streaming services have changed the face of entertainment—and events. More and more people are looking for live programming that they can watch without having cable or satellite TV subscriptions.

Based upon the projected strength in sponsorship revenue, leverage this knowledge to your benefit throughout the planning of your promotional strategies. When preparing sponsorship packages that include exposure opportunities, think beyond the traditional sight lines of what has worked in the past. Take advantage of new ways to drive sponsor engagement that will be mutually beneficial. For example, install sponsored vending machines at specific intervals throughout the event so that attendees can pick up refreshments without ever leaving their seats.

In conclusion, it's important to stay on top of industry trends and be prepared to deploy innovative tactics to ensure success. It is worth noting that as operational costs such as onsite expenses, booking costs, food and catering, are all rising above expectation and may impede the projected growth rates. Despite these uncontrollable factors, there is clear opportunity to capitalize on enhanced sponsorship engagements to balance the profitability portfolio.

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CANADA has rolled back the final Covid restrictions for travel, including masks on planes; we are truly back to normal. For me, the progression back to normal has been fascinating. During 2021 and 2022 my work required me to complete occasional travel across Canada and the US. As both countries loosen restrictions that travel has increased and the changes are remarkable.

*All fares above were found in last 8 hours. Fares are round trip/one way. Fares incl. all fuel surcharges, taxes & fees and our service fees. Displayed fares are based on historical data, are subject to change and cannot be guaranteed at the time of booking. See all booking terms and conditions.

Over the past year, Canadian adher ence to the guidance from public health experts was admirable. Masks were everywhere and usage only started to slip in airports and planes in the last few months. With this adherence to strict policies came reassurance from the European CDC and International Air Transport Association (IATA) that risks for air travelers were acceptably low. The IATA cited that even on the high end, estimates of covid infection on airplanes was around one case for every 2.7 million travelers.1 That estimate may be too liberal according to a recent study at MIT,2 but it’s clear that air travel was greatly aided by the safety measures put in place internationally. Yes as recently as the end of 2021, restrictions were being quickly rolled back in the US and across large parts of Europe and South America. In a striking demonstration of efficiency, any trace of social distancing or covid restriction has been scrubbed from the dozen US airports I’ve traveled through in the last 6 months. It’s a tribute to the resilience of humanity as well as our ability to quickly forget that which makes us uncomfortable.

Regardless of your comfort level with covid protocols, a trip through an airport or on public transit at the beginning of this year was sure to include pointed looks if you failed to properly mask and socially distance yourself. By the end of summer, a casual use of masks and the normal airport crowding became commonplace. At first, it felt uncomfort able. After two years of wearing a mask, keeping your distance, and sanitizing hands constantly, a lack of personal space felt offensive for some and alarming for many. According to Sahar Tirmizi, a frequent business and leisure traveler from Toronto: “There are moments where I think we’re back to pre-endemic levels however subtle reminders remain. Mask presence is just one, but also the presence of more sanitizing stations, the sanitation provisions on planes, and the half-thought that someone is judging me for sneezing or coughing.” While the government’s guidance may state we are back to normal, the little voice in the back of my head will take more time to get comfortable with a full return to pre-pandemic life. Stephanie Bromwichs, a newlywed on her way back from a honeymoon in Mexico, shared that she was more confident traveling in recent

weeks despite the lack of regulation because she experienced being stranded abroad during the Omicron surge. “That fear of being trapped alone in a hotel room indefinitely has now left my mind and provided me with some peace of mind that I can come home when sched uled. That said, I do feel trepidation over the recent changes made on Oct 1st of a mask free experience. I felt a weird sense of security with my mask on when those around me would cough.” Bromwichs and her new husband Harry won’t be the only ones with mixed emotions about this final regulatory change.

An interesting, and frustrating, by-product of these two years of quaran tines and restrictions is our general loss of good travel habits. You likely watched the evolving saga of Toronto Pearson buck ling under the burden of the dramatic return of air travel. The rigid, practiced stream of business travelers that marched through those halls back in 2021, belts off and toiletries out, are now outnumbered by the masses of leisure travelers. Laptops and liquids caused screening lines to back up and the airport security teams quickly faced the collective wrath of a newly freed public dying to see a new skyline. While security lines and baggage claims are started to recover, travelers should expect months of more metering deplaning and long lines in customs.

I agree with Bromwichs when she says “I am actually much more comfortable now, as a vaccinated person, to travel!.” Airlines and airport teams are working hard to deliver smooth, uninterrupted trips. Vacation destinations around the world are starving for tourist dollars and are thrilled to welcome you back. However, the supply will take time to meet this new rush of demand. According to employees at Air Canada and Delta, airlines struggle to bring furloughed staff back to the sky when so many now have a taste for the work from home life. The staff who manned their posts through the pandemic are facing burnout. Both ground and air operations will face challenges returning to pre-pandemic levels of staffing and capacity for at least another six months. While the world is once again my oyster, I think I’ll stick to domestic trips this fall and winter to avoid the frustration.

“I am actually much more comfortable now, as a vaccinated person, to travel!.”
Stephanie Bromwichs



In an engaging discussion with Wolfgang Guembel, Founder of Lock Street Brewing Corporation, Reveal Magazines explores a unique branding opportunity that is turning heads. Incorporating uniqueness and personal connection, Wolfgang has leveraged his love of the brewery craft and mobilized a brand opportunity that stands above the crowd.

How did this idea come about?

I love when brands use ‘touch points’ to connect with me in ways that are meaningful and useful. I think of my favourite toque, or that bottle opener I reach for in the drawer, or the quick dry towel I still take to races, each emblemized with one of my favourite brands. I have an ‘Ironman Triathlon’ quick dry towel that I got at the World Championships in Kona HI in 2005 (still have it!), a bright red bottle opener from Split Rail Brewing on Manitoulin Island, and a great toque from Esso circa 1996 that I wore to OFFSA Cross Country Skiing… And guess what? Still have that too!

As a Realtor, my business is based entirely on relationships, building trust, and fostering positive word of mouth. In fact, I’d argue that any relevant, scalable business, is at some level dependent on the same forces.

I started Lock Street Brewing Corporation to complete a commercial heritage building redevel opment project. The brand honours those who are leaders and who take calculated risks for some form of greater good. Our products are all natural and made using traditional European standards and techniques.

Instead of pens, fridge magnets, or mini calendars, I thought that craft beer helps bring people together. People share stories, share moments, and celebrate with craft beer. It seemed ideal and fitting to use a product that brings people together as a touch point for my own brand.

A 6-pack of “Wolf the Realtor” craft pilsner at a Thanksgiving gathering or a Christmas party gets people talking… Talking about the brand and about the great product inside.


Advertorial: Lock Street Brewing Co.
Photography: Paul Prudente of The Alconauts
In the photo: Wolfgang Guembel, Founder of Lock Street Brewing Co.


Walk us through how it's done?


ONE, clients work with us to design their branded beer can labels.

TWO, we store all the printed labels at the brewery; minimum 2,000 and up.

THREE, clients then can order their branded beers; just 6 cases at a time of a favourite LOCK STREET beer!

Why just six cases at a time?

It's simply because of storage. Clients don’t need a warehouse to store all their tasty beers. Clients can just order as they need it.

How would you distribute these?

This is the fun part! Clients can get creative on using their custom beers as business cards.

For me, I take a 6-pack to my real estate's first meeting or as closing gifts. Anywhere that I do business, I’ll leave beers for them and their staff. Even the garbage and recycling truck drivers on my street get beers, no drinking on the job, of course! I enjoy giving it away. I remember when my boat was being fixed this summer… a 2-4 of Wolf the Realtor Pilsner somehow bumped my repair up a few weeks! The feedback you get is always positive!

Can it reach the target market?

Great question! I have a real estate client that I offered my Wolf the Realtor beers to for their house warming BBQ. I received calls from people I’ve never met before and they became my clients. They were inspired by our story on the can and by the feedback they got when they asked my clients about working with me. One of those new clients even took extra few cans home and was still talking about it when they had their own guests over a week later. These cans travel, and as a 'touch point' they literally spend time in the hands of those you’re trying to connect with.

What are the brew options?

Clients can choose from one of our flagship beers. Typically always in stock, our flagship beers are all very approachable and loved even by those who don’t call themselves “craft beer” people. Lock Street's ‘Port Side Pilsner’ is by far the number one choice. It’s a clean, fresh, and enjoyable. We also have a honey brown ale (Jealous Mistress), an easy drinking IPA (Industrial Pale Ale – it’s not dry hopped!), and a black lager (Black Sail) that is so smooth to drink. In some cases, with some extra lead time, a client could choose a seasonal beer

Try the LOCK STREET BREWING CO. branded beers as your BEERS-NESS CARDS. Beer comes with a variety of shades of gold. Light, dark, and glaring gold! Gold, eh? It must be a lucky sign for business growth!

or even arrange for a custom batch, as they please, of the non-flagship beers available for purchase. I’ll even offer them a deal when I list their own home for sale!

What are some compliance limitations we need to be aware of, if any?

Don’t give it to minors (or miners… that job is dangerous enough) and don’t sell it! Also, don’t pack it in your carry on at the airport, take it into schools, or try to get it past security at the Raptor’s Game. Otherwise, it’s all very simple. The product is manufactured on our licence and we remit the excise taxes. No limitations if you’re just consuming it yourself or giving it away as gifts.

What are the various lead times?

It takes two to three weeks to get your labels. Once we have the labels, you will have the product very quickly. If you need a specific beer, our flagship brews rotate in a 4-week cycle so there could be a gab if you’re waiting for the Jealous Mistress. Our Port Side Pilsner is on all the time however!

Any timely advice for businesses?

CHRISTMAS is fast approaching, if you're interested in beersness cards as your giveaways, find me, or Jake (our phenomenal head brewer) at Lock Street before the end of October and we can sort you out!

Located in Port Dalhousie’s heritage district,

LOCK STREET BREWING CO. is committed to crafting authentic brews for your absolute enjoyment.

Branding is a continuously evolving artform that involves not only impressive design and clever messaging, but also ingenious thinking - and Wolfgang is paving the way for businesses to keep up with that. With constant need to stand out, a business requires being gutsy and bold.

Your brand needs to appeal to people’s instincts, their desires to be happy, their tactile nature, and their abilities to feel authentically connected to your brand.

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© 2022 Lock Street Brewing Co. All rights reserved. Visit the website at | 15 Lock St., St. Catharines, ON, Canada. GREAT BEER ON LOCK.
MNP is a leading professional services firm that provides client-focused accounting, consulting, tax and digital services to individuals, businesses and organizations across Canada. For more than 60 years, MNP has continued to offer innovative solutions tailored to the evolving needs of its clients. IN SCOPE, IN FOCUS. NATIONAL LOCAL MNP IS THE BIG FIRM FOR SMALL BUSINESSES cover feature REVEAL NIAGARA BUSINESS MAGAZINE | VOL. 3 | ISSUE 3 SEPTEMBER 2022 | 31

While it is undoubtedly a big firm with more than 100 offices across Canada, numerous service offerings and expertise across industries, MNP is keenly focused on the small and mid-sized businesses that populate the local economy in the Niagara region. True to this commitment, the firm has a growing and ambitious team of specialists in its St. Catharines office who are devoted to helping these businesses succeed.


MNP opened its core services office in St. Catharines over six years ago, and it has since expanded based on the region and its clients. Growth may mean a lot of things for people and organizations but for MNP, it’s founded on two things: community focus and relationship building. While earnest attention is being paid to growing the St. Catharines’ office in terms of size and expertise, the firm is equally deepening its roots in all the parts of the region to ensure that small business owners recognize its presence and intention.

“Although MNP is a national firm many of our offices are situated in rural communities, so we truly understand our clients' needs,” says Travis Dolinski, Partner at MNP’s St. Catharines’ office. “And our local office is equipped to service the needs of our community,” he adds.

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From left to right: Liz Isaak, Steve Aikenhead, Bill Sloper, Mike Veldhuizen, Rick Wismer, Travis Dolinski, Jack Gibson, & Pam Lilley

Dolinski acknowledges many business owners worry that bigger firms tend to prioritize bigger clients who have the potential to deliver bigger profits. But MNP is bridging this gap by tailoring its approach and service offerings to the needs of small and mid-sized clients — and bringing in knowledgeable industry professionals who understand the unique opportunities and pain points.

“One of the advantages of our size is the number of specialists we have on our teams,” says Dolinski. “We have specialists who can focus on servicing the niche needs of any clients no matter the sector they operate in.”

From a broad perspective, MNP’s services can be categorized simply as accounting, tax and business consulting. While these services are deeply crucial for businesses of any size to succeed, it may be difficult for business owners to find where they fit in.

Across its 12 municipalities, Niagara boasts a truly diverse business environment. From the corner café to the large restaurant chain, agricultural producers and wineries, these businesses require customized and innovative solutions to succeed and be sustainable.

Take, for example, a local independent grocery store owned and run by an upper middle-aged couple in one of Niagara’s neighbourhoods. As the couple age, they begin to consider securing the future of the business by passing it down the family line. Among other important things, they need a succession strategy. This is just one area where MNP has invested significant resources over the years, with a specific focus on its critical importance to small and mid-sized businesses.

Local partner, Pam Lilley highlights the importance of ensuring that businesses across Niagara know that MNP is positioned to answer their questions and address the unique challenges their businesses and industries face — even the seemingly personal or inconsequential ones.

“Small and medium-sized businesses are key to this region and those are the businesses we are here to serve. For them, we are way more than just a tax and accounting firm. We provide services that matter to their particular needs,” says Lilley. “These services range from Enterprise Risk to Bookkeeping to Insolvency, Digital, Succession, Valuations and many more.”

Just like every existing entity, the needs of small businesses evolve as they are passed from one generation to the next. Over the years, the firm has planted its feet in clients’ businesses so deeply that it’s able to predict their next phase and proactively support them through that phase. Its strong belief in relationship building helps to achieve this.


“We’re committed to the entrepreneurial journey and have embraced that mindset in every area of our work,” says Bill Sloper, MNP’s Regional Managing Partner in South Central Ontario.

He explains that the firm’s strength comes from building lasting relationships with these business owners. These relationships sometimes cut across two or three generations and that means as partners get older, their clients get older too. To keep the relationship ongoing, the firm knows leaders need to introduce younger partners to the younger generation of clients to preserve continuity and a high standard of service.

The one-team approach

MNP’s approach to relationship building helps it to sow the seeds of these enduring relationships from within the firm. In Niagara, it has a large and growing team where active listening and meaningful conversations are encouraged. The firm’s culture enables a work environment where every individual is just as important as the team. Frequent interaction among team members is promoted by intentionally scheduling fun activities to encourage team bonding.

“When our clients come in contact with happy and motivated team members, they’re more likely to believe in our culture and our commitment to their success,” says Sloper. “It’s hard to sell a service if you’re clearly unhappy with your job.”

Dolinski shares this perspective, reiterating that work-life balance at the St. Catharine office is not a catchphrase — it’s something that’s embedded in the firm’s core values.

“We try to keep more of a family-oriented environment as best as we can,” says Dolinski. "We organize monthly social functions where we

Speaking on her experience since joining the team in 2021, Lilley says, “The advantage of a firm like MNP is you don’t have to be an expert in everything. We work as a team and we are able to lean on one another for support, seek expertise from one another and ultimately deliver the right answer to our clients. Everyone around here is always happy to help at anytime.”

MNP’s culture, the values it upholds and its one-team approach to work collectively help shape its competitive advantage. They mirror the culture of the local community, which makes it easier to build and strengthen authentic client relationships.

Lilley used to lead a competitor’s practice in the region before it merged with MNP in 2021. She says her team has integrated seamlessly with the MNP team, and both have successfully aligned on goals especially in the area of client service.

focus on personal topics and ask each other ‘how is life?’ instead of ‘how is work?’. It’s really about caring for our people.”

The diversity of expertise and experience of team members is also one of the firm’s strongest assets. Through this, team members are able to present a united front to clients as well as foster collaboration and teamwork internally.

“Collaborating with our new colleagues has been great for the team and especially for our clients,” says Lilley. “A lot of the specialty services that we provide to clients here at MNP weren’t necessarily available to our clients at the old firm. It has been an excellent addition to be able to offer consulting services that previously didn’t get the attention they deserved.”

Lilley says the one thing she appreciates most is that no client and no issue is too small. From the team here in St. Catharines to the broader team across Canada, her experience since joining the firm has been one of unity and support. One particular moment that stands out for her is the time a

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national leader for one of MNP’s service lines took the time to call her local client to discuss a specific business issue.

“I’m truly impressed by how everybody gets hands-on in helping every client, big or small, feel important,” says Lilley.

Connecting with communities

MNP is also heavily involved in different community initiatives in St. Catharines and across the Niagara region. The firm believes it is a product of the communities in which it operates and that their success is directly related to the community’s wellbeing, so it intentionally stirs up mutually beneficial relationships.

Sloper says, “For us, investing in vibrant and thriving communities is a worthwhile pursuit and we’re delighted to contribute to making positive impact everywhere we go.”

He highlights the firm’s relationship with the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce, United Way of Niagara, the Performing Arts Centre, and other charitable organizations to whom it provides talent, sponsorship, event speakers and other forms of support. Its partners sit on the boards of some of these organizations, give to them and volunteer time and expertise. The firm also engages Niagara College and Brock University for placement programs that expand its talent pipeline and introduce the students to the world of consulting and hopefully, help chart their career path.

Focusing on what matters

The over 60-person team at the St. Catharines office and our local insolvency office have committed to breathing life into MNP’s mission to be national in scope and local in focus. By focusing on the things that matter – community, relationships and communication – the team is confident about delivering personalized strategies to help small and mid-sized businesses succeed.

63 Church Street, Suite 300, St. Catharines, ON, L2R 3C4

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!

As a highly sought-after region, the continued growth in residential and commercial development throughout Niagara is undeniable. Rooted in our community are business leaders that represent the Real Estate and Develop ment sector with purpose, doing their part to protect a sustainable and responsible approach to urban development.

NPG Solutions John Passero President

Silvergate Homes Limited and Silverline Group Inc.

Sarah Hart Executive Officer

Niagara Association of REALTORS®

Honouring Our Veterans

A debt of gratitude is owed to the brave veterans and their loved ones who serve and have served. As Canadians we must recognize not only those who served in the First World War, Second World War, or the Korean War but also the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Veterans who have served Canada since then.

In Real Estate & Development Allan Howse President Branch 124 Royal Canadian Legion, NOTL Romeo Daley Korean War Veteran Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI) Michael Blais, CD Founder and President Canadian Veterans Advocacy Association




in Real Estate & Development

Reveal Niagara Business Magazine by Ownera Media is proud to present leaders representing Real Estate and Develop ment in Niagara who have a genuine passion for the right kind of growth throughout Niagara. These leaders recognize the importance of local engagement, support, and mutually beneficial relationships, making them truly notable in their industry, in our community, and beyond.

Established in 2017, John began NPG Solutions to address the growing needs of urban planning in the Niagara development landscape. John’s extensive planning experience spans throughout the public and private sector in both Ontario and Alberta.


The culture at NPG Solutions embodies a “no idea is a bad idea” perspective, allowing an openly creative and forward-thinking environment. “Even an idea not acted upon can directly stimulate other fresh ideas”, says John. “Creative thinking needs to be embraced and nurtured if we want the best that each member of our team can offer. We want people to feel stimulated.”

John and his team have displayed the ability to change priorities and accept new ways of conducting land use planning. John states “There is an opportunity to share information with the public about the need to balance housing intensification while ensuring the ongoing protection of our most valuable agricultural land. These issues are interconnected; both are essential to the future of how we house and feed people.” As an organization, NPG Solutions remains exceptionally connected to the needs of the community, allocating time and resources to support public engagement and education efforts, not only in Niagara but throughout other Ontario communities in need of balanced growth. Well-managed communities conserve its natural landscapes while fulfilling development demands.

President, Silvergate Homes Limited and Silverline Group Inc.

Beginning his career as a project manager at Silvergate Homes in 1992, John is a graduate of Construction Engineering who worked his way to leading Silvergate Homes as President for more than 20 years. He also serves on the Board for the Niagara Home Builders Association.


Owned and operated by two generations of the Passero family, Silvergate has a reputation for quality. A Tarion Warranty builder and RenoMark contractor. In addition to homebuilding, they work with homeowners on custom renovations with the same workmanship and attention to detail as they do new builds.

Through Johns leadership, Silvergate has shown its dedication to eco-friendly technologies and practices and has been a pioneer in Niagara building energyfriendly homes without compensating quality or architecture.

The first Niagara builder to apply the ENERGY STAR® environmental standard to an entire development of homes, Silvergate is a key contributor towards sustainability throughout Niagara. As a leader in the community, Silvergate Homes also supports several charitable organizations through sponsorship and fundraising efforts. Earlier this year the team raised over $1,000 for Big Brothers & Big Sisters of North and West Niagara during the the Bowl for Kids Sake Event at Parkway Social in St. Catharines.

Niagara Association of REALTORS®

An active leader in her community, Sarah has worked for the Niagara Association of REALTORS®, a not-forprofit trade association, for over 6 years. Currently enrolled in the CSAE's Certified Association Executive Designation Program, she is passionate about advocating for her members in the industry.


Representing more than 1500 members, the Niagara Association of REALTORS® is a proud member of Information Technology Systems of Ontario (ITSO) Regional MLS® system. Committed to supporting its members through a series of strategic events, training and networking opportunities.

Giving back to the community, the organization and its members contribute monthly to the REALTORS® Care Foundation.

“Annually, we support on average 10-well deserving shelter-based organizations who serve the communities of Niagara. Women’s Place, ARID Group Homes, Matthew House and Habitat for Humanity Niagara are among our past recipients. Through discussions with the leaders of these organizations, we have identified our contributions have gone towards purchasing new beds for palliative care patients, additional supports such as groceries, eyewear, and dental care for residents in the shelters and other needed areas involved in shelter-based charity work.” Said Sarah.


Allan Howse President Branch 124 Royal Canadian Legion, NOTL Allan served in the reserves for 30 years and has been a continuous supporter and advocate of fellow veterans. As current President of Branch 124, Allan served his first term in 2009, when he also committed himself to the Memory Project, breathing new life into the live-recorded experiences captured in 1987 of more than 150 NOTL Legion members who had enlisted in the military.

Branch 124 Royal Canadian Legion, NOLT Established in 1928, Branch 124 continues to hold their torch high more than 90 years later. Located on King Street in Niagara-on-theLake, they continue the work of veteran support regardless of when or where they served. Dedicated to honouring past sacrifices, the Legion also recognizes those who continue to serve today.

Fundraising initiatives and events take place regularly to assist in extending needed financial support to recipients such as the Veterans Homeless Fund, Niagara Health Organization, NOTL Pumphouse and NOTL’s Kin Club. In the community they are actively engaged in local youth sports and education programs, Air Cadets, Girl Guides, and are extremely popular for their award-winning weekly fish fry that takes places every Thursday.

With the support of local partners, Branch 124 also runs the Seniors Outreach program, offering access to food, companionship, and educational resources for those in the community.

Committed to preserving history, Branch 124 is also seeking donations to restore the widely recognized Memorial Clock Tower cenotaph, which marks its 100th year anniversary this year. The cenotaph commemorates the lives of those lost in the First and Second World Wars and is a symbol of the communities’ significant military history.

Michael L Blais, CD Founder and President Canadian Veterans Advocacy Association

Michael served two Cold War Tours in the Canadian Armed Forces with the Royal Canadian Regiment (RCR) and the Cana dian First Defence Strategy (CFDS) at Canadian Forces Base Baden Soellingen.

Canadian Veterans Advocacy Association Attaining non-profit status in 2011, the Canadian Veterans Advocacy was inspired by the televised press

Romeo Daley Korean War Veteran

Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI)

As one of more than 26,000 Canadians who volunteered to serve with UN forces during the Korean War, Romeo Daley served two tours of duty from 1950 to 1953. His war experience is unique, serving under both a king and queen when George VI died during the war passing the throne to Elizabeth II.

Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI)

April 2021 marked the 70th anniversary of the Korean War, long referred to as Canada’s “Forgotten War”. Sparked by Communist forces crossing from North

Korea into South Korea in 1950, the bitter battle fought half a world away never received the same recognition as the First or Second World Wars.

Romeo served seventeen months for the second and first battalions of the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, with five of those months in trench warfare. He has dedicated more than four decades to assist fellow veterans and share his stories to educate the youth about the sacrifices

that were made. While appropriate recognition came too late for many who served, seeing the government now educating today’s youth on this historic event is something Romeo is grateful for.

Romeo wears his service medals proudly and is a founding member of Branch 71 of the Royal Canadian Legion in Fort Erie as well as the Fort Erie Underwater Recovery Unit. Of 378 nominations, he was one of twenty-nine individ uals selected presented with the Governor General’s Sovereign's Medal for Volunteers.

In that same year, Romeo also received a Ministry of Veterans Affairs Commendation from Minister Lawrence MacAuley.

conference event where PPCLI Colonel (Retired) Patrick Stogran, stood up for the rights of Canadian veterans in 2010.

Later that year, Michael organized the first annual Canadian Veterans National Day of Protest seeking the restoration of the Sacred Obligation and equality to veterans and widows subject to

the New Veterans Charter.

It was this successful day of protest where Michael was joined by thousands of military, RCMP and police veterans, that the Canadian Veterans Advocacy Associa tion was born.

The association is guided by one motto, “One Veteran, One Standard.” Sponsored by supporter donations, participation is encouraged by all veterans regardless of age or type of service.

As an advocate for veterans suffering the mental and physical repercussions of their service, Michael is also a victim of permanent disability. He has suffered

two spinal injuries through his service, first during a UN peacekeeping tour to Cyprus that led to an air evacuation to Canada and the second, after medical remuster at the conclusion of the 1st Gulf War while serving a 4-year NATO posting to then West Germany. Through the asso ciation, Michael will continue to advocate and speak up for fair compensation of our veterans that deserve the support and honour not always received.

OurHonouring Veterans


Reveal Niagara Business Magazine by Ownera Media is proud to present the following nominated Veterans living in Niagara to honour the sacrifices made in the defence of freedom and the pursuit of world peace. These leaders recognize the importance of peacekeeping and have committed themselves to their country as well as their local community.


What Does Successful B2B MarketingLook Like in 2023

Technological shifts, new digital experiences and the rise of plat forms will fuel a transformation in B2B marketing. New dynamics will emerge that place increased emphasis on digital engagement, personalization, consumer awareness, and brand loyalty. Various factors such as these make it difficult to predict what the B2B landscape will look like in 2023—but we do have some hints.

Today, the most successful B2B marketing campaigns are crosschannel and multi-touch. They engage with customers across social media, email, digital advertising, and apps.

As the pace of the business world continues to accelerate, organizations will be looking for ways to weave these mixed experiences together through a single platform. But regardless of which technologies you use today, it’s important that you help guide customers along their journey through your brand touchpoints—while simultane ously generating valuable insights for each interaction. This helps you to gain better insight into what makes your business tick and helps you reshape your marketing as an ongoing process instead of an isolated idea.

B2B marketers will be challenged to create meaningful and lasting experiences that engage the buyer throughout their journey. Many of these efforts will focus on improving the B2B buyer experience—ensuring each stage is personal ized, seamless and optimized for mobile. But most importantly, marketers need to build an intersection between technology and human connections.

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Adapt to Changing Buyer Behaviour

With the shifting digital landscape, businesses must adapt to meet current buying behaviours. This includes an emphasis on datadriven technology that enables buyers to make more informed buying decisions, and a desire to simplify the purchasing process for the end user. A dramatic increase to B2B purchases through social media was captured by Forrester’s B2B Buying Survey1. Mobile and location-based commerce is on the rise with consumers looking for products and services at their fingertips. Social media can become an important marketing tool for B2B companies to direct buyers to find what they need.

Embody and Promote Social Responsibility

The marketing world is changing, and B2B marketing strategies are no exception. Now more than ever, organizations must focus on their corporate social responsibility to become leaders in the eyes of their customers. As the world becomes more connected, consumers are searching for brands who are socially aware and approachable. Brands that understand this and embody socially responsible business practices can increase loyalty and attract new business; thus, benefiting both themselves and their customers as well.

Post-Sale Engagement and Customer Retention

With consumers and businesses increasingly taking advantage of a multitude of marketing channels, B2B marketing strategies must keep up. Increasing post-sales customer engagement drives loyalty and substantially increases brand recall. Thoughtfully planned email strategies, loyalty promotions and programs, and value-based communications directly contribute to consistent and even increased CLV (Customer Lifetime Value).

Substantiate and Commit to a Budget

As businesses are confronted with the digital and data age and the need for more evidence-based marketing, it’s essential to continue investing in your B2B strategy to ensure relevancy in your market. In the 2022 B2B Marketing Survey2 conducted by Forrester, it was concluded that more than 50% of the companies that grew annual revenues by 20%+ had also invested 6-9% in marketing. A strategic approach to marketing is at the core of consumer and company growth.

My Favourite Tech BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Tech Kit Your offsite equipment (must haves) 44 | REVEALMAGS.COM | OWNERA MEDIA a subsidiary of OWNERA Group Inc.


A productive business landscape is an everchanging one, with evolving work models that flex between the demands of remote work, onsite client visits, in office culture, and offsite and travel requirements. To ensure success each day, being prepared with

the right tools to get the job done is key to professional confidence no matter the scenario.

From presentations to content creation and meetings, having the right equipment at your fingertips will allow you to focus on the important details when offsite.

With technological


more versatile and multi-functional, while others are traditional staples that should be in everyone’s bag.

list of must-haves

every professional should consider having before heading offsite.






advancements come enhancements to products that
Check out our
Product Recommendation: Microsoft Surface Duo 2
The tiny
we keep in our pockets are invaluable to our day
keeping us connected and
Product Recommendation: Microsoft Surface Pro 8 LAPTOP: Growing with versatility, laptops are evolving into shapeshifting devices, transitioning between laptop and tablet functionality to fit any task. Product Recommendation: Sennheiser CX Plus True Wireless HEADPHONES: Seamless connectivity, ergonomic design, superior sound quality and noise cancelling capabilities are all basic features found in the best set of headphones. barometric pressure.. Product Recommendation: C2G 3ft USB C to USB Micro B Cable ADAPTERS/CONNECTORS: Versatile cables and adapters will get you out of any bind in a pinch, so always be sure to have those components stashed away in your bag for when you need them most. Product Recommendation: Seagate Expansion 5TB EXTERNAL HARD DRIVE: Compact and easy to carry, these devices offer plenty of secure storage on the go and give you flexible back-up options while away from the office. Product Recommendation: Olympus WS-853 VOICE RECORDER: A pocket-sized personal assistant to have with you for all your meetings, this handy gadget is easy to use and can help with verbal notetaking, reminders, and on the spot recordings. REVEAL NIAGARA BUSINESS MAGAZINE | VOL. 3 | ISSUE 3 SEPTEMBER 2022 | 45 technology

Innovate Niagara, an organization that helps entrepreneurs start, grow & succeed, connects us with Brian Byrne from Great Lakes Blockchain to share his professional insights about blockchain technology.

F our Core Tenants of Blockchain

I am an award-winning musician. I spent the latter years of my career trying to understand what went wrong. Why are we holding down the people who create industry? From music to finance? None of it made sense. So, as I became more familiar with blockchain and its use cases, it became clear to me that it is the future of technology and finance.



All stocks, currency, commodities etc., fluctuate, but when you intro duce transparency and respon sibility, it is a different story. It will fluctuate hugely based on the FOMO, fud, etc., but not based on the actual store of value. That is why I have remained with so much trust in blockchain, precisely because of the following



Blockchain is secure. It is identified by your own personal set of “keys.” If properly stored and protected, no one can ever know or access the funds in your personal wallet or transact without your permission.

There is no industry, company, or person in the world that would argue that these tenants could not or will not correct a flawed-cen tric system.

Blockchain is Global. It is not limited by geography. It can send and resolve transactions from Canada to Kenya without the involvement of intermediaries. Unlike fiat currency at a bank, these transactions can be conducted in seconds between the parties involved.

Blockchain is Borderless.

There is no need to define what region, what bank, or type of fiat currency to transact in.

Blockchain is transparent. Everything is time-stamped, recorded and visible for all to see (minus their identity). There is no need to talk about banks, delays and having intermediaries involved in a transaction. Blockchain is a trustless system and is irrefutable.

4 1

We will start seeing real, true growth if we are responsible and diligent. Web3 / blockchain is the new and subsequent iteration of what we have evolved to accommodate. We didn’t trust initially trust debit cards, google searches etc., but the time to adopt blockchain and apply it to our given industry is here, and we would all be remiss not to at least reflect on the application of the four core tenants.

Expert Contributor: Brian Byrne COO, Great Lakes Blockchain

As a pioneering figure in the blockchain industry, Brian is the COO of the cryptocurrency mining company headquartered in St. Catharines. Brian is the former lead singer of the multi-platinum-selling Canadian Rock band I Mother Earth and an award-winning solo artist/ songwriter. Byrne brings over 20 years of collective experience in entertain ment as well as blockchain technology.

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Managing Seasonal Stresses Before the Holidays


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The keyto avoiding these seasonal stresses? Preparation, ofcourse. Make sure that you have a plan in place so that you can enjoyyour holidayseason without having to worryabout everything that comes with it. Here are some ofthe keyareas that most people find stressful surrounding the holidays and tips to consider that will help you break down those feelings ofanxiousness.

1) Gift Giving Tip: Begin by making a list of everyone you would like to get a gift for. Set aside some time to evaluate a variety of gift giving options and add some creative research to the process. Think of each person individually and consider more unique offerings, such as hand-written letters, personalized tokens, or experiential outings that you can do together. By exploring a variety of new options for gifting without overextending your budget, you can focus on sharing what truly matters most.

2) Social Gatherings Tip: The best way to manage these stresses is to plan ahead and avoid overcommitting. Although it may seem like preparation does not always go according to plan, it will reduce anxiousness and give you clarity to set healthy boundaries. For example, before heading into a party, consider what would make the evening enjoyable for you and set boundaries on how long you'll stay or topics that may be discussed at length with certain individuals. Knowing what is most important to you will allow you to limit any potential negative effects before they happen.

3) Weight Gain Tip: Embrace the mindful eating and drinking practices you have set for yourself, whether its listening to your body's hunger signals or following an intuitive eating plan. When hosting parties at home, try to offer healthy alternatives such as fruit kebabs or appetizer platters with veggies instead of chips and dip. When it comes to alcohol, save those calories for festivities with friends or family on the weekend and focus on a more structured approach to nutritious meals and portion sizes throughout the usual work week.

Gift Giving

The most common stressors leading up to the holidays are related to gift giving. The number of gifts you feel you need to buy, the cost, and making sure everyone's gift is unique can be overwhelming. While giving gifts often brings us as much joy as receiving them, the expectation that a physical purchase is the only way to show our expression of love and appreciation for another is a false one. Not to mention, giving out of obligation or expectation can lead to negative outcomes like financial and relational burdens and stress.

Social Gatherings

Whether hosting or attending, seasonal gatherings with friends or family can be quite intimidating. During this time of year, it can be difficult to feel like yourself. Expectations from friends and family can lead to social anxieties and pressures, which in turn can trigger a whole host of mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, mood instability or hopelessness. It is important that you take care of yourself during this time of year and give yourself permission to experience your own emotions.

Weight Gain

The holidays are a time of year where many people overeat in a hectic atmosphere, indulging in festive, rich foods and cocktails at every turn. The ongoing social gatherings that take place between Thanksgiving and New Year’s combined with the pressures related to festive eating and drinking almost always lead to weight gain and holiday blues. As a result, feelings of shame or inadequacy can often surface, and we all deserve better than that. For those who have made conscious decisions to be healthier throughout the year, whether it be with diet and exercise or consuming less or no alcohol, this time of year can be exceptionally difficult.




Why Taking Care of Your Body is So Important


bodies are amazing, complex, and beautiful pieces of “bio-machinery.” Inside our body is a chemical factory and a delicate network of systems that work together to keep us healthy and living the life we want to live. Achieving optimal physical health varies by individual and involves listening to what your body and mind is telling you. The state of your physical being, both inside and out, is a key driver behind your confidence and mental wellness.


No matter your age, appearance plays an important role in how you feel about yourself. Both men and women often forget that taking care of their appearance has a huge impact on confidence levels and social well-being. If you're feeling unhappy with some aspect of your appearance, it may be worth it to invest in treatments designed to address your areas of concern.


Shannon Lapointe, Founder of Bare Aesthetics & Painless Laser Hair Removal and Revitalize Your Health, urges individuals to bring their concerns forward to a professional.

“Facials, exfoliation, teeth whitening, laser hair removal and even botox and filler treatments can all help a person feel vibrant and renewed. By openly discussing what may be bothersome to you. A professional can recommend the right treatment that meets your comfort level,” says Shannon.

in intimate activity can be a powerful tool for relieving stress. This promotes the release of hormones that can have beneficial effects on mood and general well-being.

Whether you’re looking for deeper or more frequent connections or improving performance, there are some simple ways you can take better care of your body. Nutrition is essential in maintaining physical strength, but even small changes such as avoiding foods that cause heartburn or food allergies can make a difference when it comes to experiencing heightened arousal during intimate moments. Likewise, reducing caffeine intake and having adequate water intake will help promote excellent circulation while reducing blood pressure and keeping blood vessels dilated.

in your body that have created discomfort in your day to day living. Do not allow these ailments to go unaddressed and untreated. Common medical issues such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, depression, or anxiety should all be monitored by a medical provider. There are also less commonly discussed medical issues that should be address, as Shannon states;

“Believe it or not, incontinence is also a highly common issue among both men and women.

It can often go untreated, limiting the quality of day-to-day life and the resolution is likely within reach.”

Sexual Wellness

Another critical component of physical wellness lies with your sexual health. Feeling sensual and engaging

“From natural performance changes to more serious issues caused by disease or injury, there are a series of treatments available that do not require surgery or pharmaceutical remedies. Specialized, pain-free treatment plans can be applied that include pelvic muscle strengthening and improved blood flow.” Says Shannon.

Medical Health

Expert Contribution:

Shannon Lapointe

Founder, Revitalize Your Health and Bare Aesthetics

Working in healthcare for over 20 years, Shannon is a Certified Continence Advisor (training), Regis tered Respiratory Therapist (RRT), and Anesthesia Assistant (CCAA).

It's important to be aware of your risk factors for certain diseases so you can take preventative measures, but also to acknowledge changes

Sometimes it feels easier to shy away from discussing or researching symptoms out of embarrassment or discomfort but seeking treatment to correct the burdens of your body almost immediately improves your quality of life. Overall, we must acknowledge our bodies as the sacred vessel that they are, providing it the nurturing attention it requires. It can be difficult to identify what is plaguing your physical health. But, if you listen and then address the problem, you will feel better and be able to maintain a level of optimal health. If you have any questions about your health or how to improve it, please speak with your doctor or healthcare professional.


! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ?


What Potential Investors Need to Know

Fueled by low interest rates and low supply, real estate experienced recordbreaking sales as recently as November 2021. Fastforward to September 2022, the Bank of Canada increased interest rates from 0.25% to 3.25% over seven months to combat runaway inflation leading to a sudden decline in the real estate market. With many potential outcomes reported by economists, realtors, and media outlets, investors must pay attention to the forces shaping the Canadian real estate market.

Canadian Real Estate:
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Sources:| | dq220610a-eng.htm | | | | https://www. | emerging-trends-in-real-estate/markets-to-watch.html | https://stats. | notices/2022/thoughts-ban-non-canadians-buying-real-estate

Inflation & Interest Rates

The Canadian Housing and Mortgage Corporation (CHMC) has teams of economists and researchers committed to understanding the drivers and obstacles in housing markets. Based on an interest rate of 3.5% in September, the CHMC predicts marginal negative growth in Canada's GDP between Q4 2022 and Q1 2023, followed by an economic recovery later in 2023. Although the national average housing prices are expected to decline by 5% by mid-2023, the CHMC anticipates that mortgage rates will stabilize in 2024, supported by rising household income and immigration. Although the national average housing price was down in July 2022 to $629,971 from $662,924 in July 2021, the average national price in March 2020 was $543,920. The Canadian Real Estate Associates (CREA) forecasts that the average home price will increase by 10.8% annually by the end of 2022 to $762,386 and continue to rise through 2023 to hit $786,252. For some Canadians, this may mean they will continue to rent instead of buying property, while for others, it may provide a potential opportunity to buy at lower prices and increase rental income.

Canadian Lifestyle & Migration

The most notable lifestyle change during the pandemic was the shift to work from home. Approximately 1 in 5 Canadians is working remotely. People can relocate to less expensive areas of the country. The inter-provincial migration data released by Statistics Canada shows that more Canadians moved to Alberta than any other province between January and March of 2022, and more than 28000 people have moved to the Atlantic provinces since early 2021. Harshdeep Ghadok of Calgary Prime Properties said, "I am helping more clients coming [to Calgary] from Toronto," and he even has clients moving from the United States . According to RE/MAX Canada, smaller markets, such as Truro, NS, and Carlton Place, ON, anticipate a 25% sales increase by 2022. The MLS System of the Niagara Association of REALTORS (NAR) shows that home sales were 32% lower than the five-year average for the month of August in 2022, but the MLS Home Price Index (HPI) shows that the overall composite benchmark increased by 4.4% to $687,500 in August of 2022 from August of 2021. More active residential listings are on the market at the end of August, jumping 142.4% compared to 2021. Real estate opportunities for investors will pop up depending on where Canadians are moving and why.

Harshdeep Ghadok

Real Estate Agent at Prep Realty

Calgary Prime Properties

Known for his work ethic and exceptional service, Harshdeep is a respected real estate agent in Calgary, Alberta.

Supply & Demand

It will take 22 million housing units by 2030, combined with several government initiatives and industry changes, to achieve housing affordability for everyone in Canada. Supply for housing will fail to meet the demand for homes in the next 5-6 years and push prices higher. Canadians will likely stay renting longer, and rental vacancy rates will be lower. This situation may be ideal for Canadian investors looking

to make rental income. For foreign and commercial real estate investors with higher buying power, the markets to watch for 2022 are Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Calgary, Halifax, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Quebec City, and Saskatoon.

In the July edition of The Housing Observer, CHMC Chief Economist Bob Dugan wrote that Canadians have experienced "...strong economic growth and strong job creation have caused the unemployment rate to drop to an all-time low of 4.9%.” Despite the many challenges Canadians face, households have a higher net worth, and the value of real estate held by families is up by 2.3 trillion dollars. Foreign investors may have an advantage over Canadian investors, with favorable currency exchange rates driving lower borrowing needs. However, foreign investors will have to wait two years, effective January 2023, to invest in Canadian real estate according to the Prohibition on the Purchase of Residential Property by Non-Canadians Act passed on June 23, 2022. As post-pandemic Canada evolves, investors must watch institutional lending policies, Canadian migration patterns, and the real estate supply chain to discover and take advantage of the right investment opportunities. For those that understand the forces of change in Canadian real estate, there will always be opportunities to invest, sooner or later.

finance, real estate, & investment


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no denying that Canada’s financial system is one of the strongest in the world, however, he accumulated impact of how several vulnerabilities have evolved over this past year means that a downturn is inevitable. The resiliency witnessed throughout the pandemic does not change the fact that interest rates continue to rise, global inflation is high and geopolitical tensions continue to flare.

A DOWNTURN IS coming !

Anyone reviewing the data may find it quite discouraging. The Bank of Canada has provided extensive analysis surrounding key vulnerabilities such as elevated house prices and levels of household indebtedness, reliance of some businesses on high-yield debt markets, high potential demand for market liquidity relative to suppl, cyber threats in an interconnected financial system and mispricing of assets exposed to climate-related risks.

At a global level, The International Money Fund (IMF) reports regularly on the three largest global economies continuing to stall with world GDP growth estimated to drop to 2.9% in 2023 and advanced economies to as low as 1.4%.

real estate, & investment


Global inflation has been increasing over the past year, with the price of many goods and services increasing by more than 20%. The obvious contributors remain, such as worldwide pandemics and natural disasters, limited supply of raw materials, and positive global growth trends that have pulled many emerging economies out of recession. It is likely that inflation will continue to rise in the coming months, and another interest rate hike for is expected again in late October as inflation remains above the two percent target. Economic pressures are certainly closing in and while we should be bracing for a bumpy ride, it is a storm that can be weathered.

Statistics Canada recently released July data showing that manufacturing and wholesale trade posted declines, however the mining, quarrying, oil and gas sector grew by 1.9% after following slight declines two months prior. Forestry, fishing, hunting and agricultural sectors also grew as overall crop production increased.

In an outlook released this past July, Royal Bank of Canada cited “This recession will be moderate and short-lived by historical standards—and can be reversed once inflation settles enough for central banks to lower rates.”

Technically, a recession is defined by two financial quarters of decline in economic activity. There are varying levels to recession, such as the “great recession” of 2008 where the economy contracted by 4 to 5% across several quarters and unemployment rates remained between 5 and 10%. It is expected that, while growth worldwide will be minimal, the economy itself will continue to expand, just not strongly enough at a pace required to maintain pre-pandemic levels of stability. As financial pressures are felt throughout our households and the surge in consumer demand begins to level out, it is expected that inflation will begin to cool off.

Aside from the European war continuing to disrupt natural gas prices, supply chain relief has been seen and global shipping indicators are showing

continuous improvement for time and cost for transporting of goods. These trends are well-received throughout several sectors that have been navigating tumultuous pricing changes and unprecedented delays in delivering their own goods and services to consumers.

As the world recovers from pandemic-related supply constraints and demand rises, policymakers will have to take strong steps to boost global supply. These include lowering trade barriers, investing in infrastructure projects, and promoting free trade agreements with developing nations.

Policymakers should also accelerate the transition to low-carbon energy sources and introduce measures to reduce energy consumption. Increased demand for oil in Asia will lead, on the supply side, to more investment in new fields, greater exploration of shale gas and tight oil, and a faster rate of depletion of existing fields. On the demand side, this will lead to increased trade flows with Europe and India as well as competition for resources.

With respect to strains on

workforce, reduced cost of workrelated expenses and increasing the availability of public or subsidized jobs is something the government is focused on. More consideration needs to be placed on labor-market policies that will ease constraints in the labor market, increase laborforce participation and reduce price pressures, such as easing constraints on employment arrangements, introducing tax incentives for work, and promoting education opportunities and training programs.

In summary, while a recession is imminent, we will persevere. Being prepared for difficult times has always been advice well worth taking and today’s climate suggests that advice is exceptionally relevant now. The country's debtto-GDP ratio is one of the highest in the world and its vulnerability to a housing correction is far higher than other developed countries. Do not let this be the case for your household. Make every effort to avoid overextending yourself.

Resources: https://www. bankofcanada. ca/2022/06/ financial-sys tem-survey-high lights-spring-2022/ https://www.imf. org/en/Blogs/Arti cles/2022/07/26/blog-weoupdate-july-2022 https://www150. daily-quotidien/220929/ dq220929a-eng.htm?HPA=1 https://thoughtleadership. my-is-headed-for-a-re cession/ https://www.britannica. com/topic/great-recession https://www.bankof assessing-climatechange-risks-toour-financialsystem/

This is an excellent time to review your portfolio; most importantly make sure you have enough cash on hand to weather any potential storm and understand how long you can last without taking new risks or investments. Keep your eye on the news, especially with regards to the country's economy and central bank policies. As always, diversification is key when protecting against risk so keep this in mind when building up your portfolio. If anything seems too risky, think twice about investing. Lastly, make sure to remain in contact with your financial advisor on all matters related to your portfolio.

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Unleash your creativity

From Albert Einstein and Picasso, to Steve Jobs, creativity manifests in many forms. The process is extremely complex, and both the process and the output are so beautiful because each human holds a unique perspective of the world.

Without creativity, progress would be stifled in a world lacking innovation. Creativity fuels evolution. When we choose to see the beauty amongst the rubble, it allows us to live an inspired and creative life, inflaming our utmost human existense.

you need to
Edward De Bono
“There is no doubt that creativity is the most important human resource of all. Without creativity, there would be no progress, and we would be forever repeating the same patterns.”
Albert Einstein
"Creativity is seeing what others see and thinking what no one else ever thought."
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George Bernard Shaw Bruce Lee
"You use a glass mirror to see your face. You use works of art to see your soul."
“The creative process is a process of surrender, not control.”
Elizabeth Gilbert Mary Lou Cook
“A creative life is an amplified life. It's a bigger life, a happier life, an expanded life, and a hell of a lot more interesting life”
“Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.”
Rajneesh /Osho
Austin Kleon
“Draw the art you want to see, start the business you want to run, play the music you want to hear, write the books you want to read, build the products you want to use – do the work you want to see done.”
“To be creative means to be in love with life. You can be creative only if you love life enough that you want to enhance its beauty, you want to bring a little more music to it, a little more poetry to it, a little more dance to it.”
Pablo Picasso
“Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.” Henry Thomas Buckle
“ Others have seen what is and asked why. I have seen what could be and asked why not.”
Photography: Unsplash | WikiMedia Commons REVEAL NIAGARA BUSINESS MAGAZINE | VOL. 3 | ISSUE 3
the edge



Businesses need talent, but many recruiters are overlooking a crucial group: people with disabilities.

Canadian hospitality businesses have spent the last year playing a game of catch up.

In a world where pandemic labour shortages have reduced profits, increased operating costs, and created a climate of inferior customer service for hotel and accommodations businesses—according to the Hotel Association of Canada— businesses say they’re struggling to find and retain staff.

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That shortage isn’t exactly new. Ask Restaurants Canada, and they’ll tell you that, for years, they’ve seen signs pointing towards a growing lack of labour in the industry. Young people account for about 40 per cent of food service workers, but that population has been shrinking for decades. Today’s teens are entering the work force later, and immigration— which the organization says has long provided a source of food service workers—is only now rebounding after pandemic delays.

“There are businesses that can't fully open because they don't have the resources to do so,” says Jodi Delage, Director of Operations at Niagara Training & Employment Agency Inc, or NTEC.

And yet, there is an eager and willing segment of the population ready to fill that labour shortage: people with disabilities.

Approximately 6.2 million people in Canada—one in five—live with a disability. And while an estimated 645,000 of them have the potential to work, they are 20 per cent less likely to be employed than non-disabled candidates.

In Ontario alone, around 2.6 million people—one in four—are living with a disability. NTEC’s job is two-fold: to help people with disabilities seek competitive employment and to provide competitive employees to local businesses.

The ministry-funded organization supports people with mental health and developmental disabilities

through various programs and initiatives designed to help them secure, and succeed in, employment. One of those programs is a six-week, classroom-style job readiness program that teaches students basic interview and resume-writing skills as well as wellness habits that keep them healthy on and off the job. Pay a visit to NTEC’s Port Robinson office, and you’ll come across raised gardens brimming with vegetables that serve as a teaching ground for students who want to work in horticulture.

Helping those who are referred to the organization, Delage says, means teaching them the skills they need to become competitive candidates.

Jodi Delage

Director of Operations for NTEC and Niagara Support Services

Specializing in transitioning persons with disabilities into the workforce, Jodi works directly with employers to ensure successful, inclusive placement opportunities.
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