Page 1

innovation issue

Dec/Jan 2018

the future is here

Dr. Kate Moran

on Climate change

From the overdose crisis to going mobile, young innovators solve real-world problems Why mentorship still matters A local Technology firm strengthens the future for Indigenous companies Here comes the weed rush

eco Feature

The sustainable workplace PM41295544

Devesh Bharadwaj, founder of Pani Energy

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Š2016 Steelcase Inc. All rights reserved. Trademarks used herein are the property of Steelcase Inc. or of their respective owners.

Dec/Jan 2018



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30 The Future Is Here


These young innovators are solving real-world problems — and they’re just getting started. BY Athena Mckenze and Karin olafson

38 Here Comes the Weed Rush Island marijuana producers get ready for weed to grow legit. BY Keith Norbury

48 Why Mentorship Still Matters

In the age of rapid change and constant innovation, having sound advice can make all the difference. BY Alex Van Tol

4 Douglas


A local entrepreneur celebrates femininity, Camosun’s new Interaction Lab, and need-to-know business trends for 2018


Get your head in the game

22 In conversation

Dr. Kate Moran of Ocean Networks Canada on her front-row seat to climate change BY David Lennam


Animikii Indigenous Technology blends business and social goals into opportunities BY Jody Paterson


Keeping it in the family at Russell Books BY karin olafson

INTEL (Business Intelligence) 57 Communication

What’s trending on social? by Coralie McLean

58 money

Planning your investment strategy for 2018 by Steve bokor

60 Growth

Get clued in to co-creation BY Clemens Rettich

How can you make your community smarter?

SMART SOUTH ISLAND OPEN INNOVATION CHALLENGE We are looking for “smart” project ideas that will improve livability for local residents in the following areas: ■ ■ ■ ■ ■

Housing Transportation & Mobility Economic Resiliency & Inclusion Human Health Environmental Health

Top pilot project teams will be invited to pitch their “smart” ideas in front of a live audience and expert panel of judges for a chance to win $15,000 and the possibility of being included in our federal proposal to Infrastructure Canada through their Smart Cities Challenge. Learn more about the Smart South Island Innovation Challenge and Smart Cities Canada Competition at

ABOUT SIPP The South Island Prosperity Project (SIPP) is an economic development organization based in Greater Victoria, B.C., comprised of 33 members, which include 10 local governments, two First Nations, three post-secondary institutions, two non-profits, five industry and sector associations, and 11 private businesses, whose aim is to bolster our region’s economic and social prosperity by catalyzing the creation of highquality, household-sustaining jobs, so that more families can afford to live, work and build a life here.


Jeffrey Bosdet/Douglas Magazine

From the Editor

Enriched Thinking™ for your family, business and future. A team-based approach for a total wealth strategy that addresses the entirety of your life. C.P. (Chuck) McNaughton, PFP Senior Wealth Advisor 250.654.3342

Bet you didn’t know the average person wastes 33 hours over the course of a year waiting for their kettle to boil. I wait for the kettle to boil for my tea every morning, and I didn’t even realize I had a problem with it until I read about iKettle Third Generation. Suddenly, my life felt incomplete without this Internet of Things (IoT) device that prepares water to the perfect temperature via connectivity to Alexa, Amazon’s personal assistant. And it does this even if you’re half asleep in bed. Just say, “Alexa, I’d like my morning tea.” I came across the latest iteration of iKettle on my internet search of trends for this issue of Douglas. I also read about drones that warn of potential shark attacks; military cyborgs; a synthetic tongue that differentiates between types of whiskey (now why would anyone want that!?); and Dubai International Airport’s upcoming biometric security system, where travellers will walk through a tunnel-shaped virtual aquarium stocked with “fish” that scan for facial recognition. What began as a quick search turned into a down-the-rabbit-hole journey that left me disoriented, with a sense of anxiety that all of this technological and social change is happening too fast for humans to fully process. But as disorienting as all this change can be, it’s also incredibly exciting. I just learned that We don’t need to look far to find innovation in action. In common kitchen this issue, you’ll find a group of under-30 innovators who foil rescued NASA’s are creating everything from an app to connect drug users with nearby people carrying naloxone kits that may reverse entire Voyager opioid overdoses, to a potentially world-changing face-to-face mission from failure. communication technology that makes Skype and YouTube look old school. Indeed, our universities and colleges are hubs of innovation. Recently, at the University of Victoria, biomedical engineer Stephanie Willerth received a $140,000 grant for her work with Aspect Biosystems to 3D print human neural tissue that can be used to re-create the pathology of spinal cord injuries and neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s disease. Royal Roads University (RRU) was recognized this fall as a leader in change and social innovation by the Ashoka U Changemaker Campus Network, one of the largest global networks of its kind in the world. In fact, RRU Associate Professor Geoff Archer recently became the institution’s first faculty member to have a patent granted for an invention. His E Z Carry Cone reinvents the traffic cone, featuring molded handles to make it easier to carry cone stacks with one hand. He’s researching how the product will boost safety and efficiency by decreasing the time a worker needs to be on the road placing cones. All of this research makes something like the iKettle seem trivial, but even seemingly frivolous inventions can lead to greater things. Case in point: I just learned that common kitchen foil rescued NASA’s entire Voyager mission from failure when it provided a lastminute, pre-launch solution for protecting critical parts of the spacecraft from Jupiter’s magnetic and radiation fields. Sounds a bit absurd, right? But Einstein nailed it: “If the idea is not at first absurd, then there is no hope for it.” In this age of ultra-innovation, there’s plenty of room for crazy ideas.

Scotia Capital Inc. is a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund and the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada. For more information visit

6 Douglas

LOG040-Jul-AD-McNaughton-2x9.indd 1

It’s Getting Innovative (and a Bit Crazy) Out There

2016-08-04 12:33 PM

— Kerry Slavens

4409 Moonlight Lane, Victoria


168 Wild Duck Rd., Bamfield






9344 Ardmore Dr., North Saanich

1126 Gillespie Rd., Sooke

2898 Mount Baker View Rd., Victoria

4826 Spring Rd., Victoria

BEDS: 6 BATHS: 9 9,359 SQ.FT.

BEDS: 3 BATHS: 2.5 149 ACRES

BEDS: 5 BATHS: 4.5 5,119 SQ.FT.

BEDS: 4 BATHS: 4.5 6,356 SQ.FT.

One of the finest homes on the west coast. The 9,359 sq. ft. residence impresses with unparalleled ocean views. Logan Wilson 250.857.0609

Magical Oceanfront Estate: 149 pristine acres, mostly natural state, with custom home & 2,000 ft of ocean frontage on Sooke Basin. 250.661.7232 Glynis MacLeod PREC

Designed by Jim Grieve, this timeless West Coast retreat offers an elegant and dramatic floor plan with ocean views. 250.514.1966 Lisa Williams PREC

This stunning Ken Murray custom built home is a masterpiece with exquisite finish & detail. Sophia Briggs 250.418.5569 Nancy Stratton 250.857.5482






1450 Ocean View Rd., Saanich

11370 Wild Rose Lane, North Saanich

1725 Texada Terrace, Victoria

168 Wild Duck Rd., Bamfield

BEDS: 5 BATHS: 5 3,589 SQ.FT.

BEDS: 4 BATHS: 3 3,532 SQ.FT.

BEDS: 5 BATHS: 6 5,218 SQ.FT.

Custom built quality home in superb condition: featuring terrific layout, brilliant location with golf course view.

New custom Città Group build on a half acre. West Coast modern meets East Coast craftsman. Beautiful ocean views.

Extraordinary executive home on the ‘Street of Dreams’ in Dean Park area. Stunning views toward Sidney and beyond.

BEDS: 10 BATHS: 6 4,010 SQ.FT.

Victoria Cao PREC

The Garman Group

The Garman Group




Adventure awaits. Residential property, with turn-key fishing lodge potential, located in Bamfield, BC. Katherine Gray 250.516.4563








937 Step Moss Close, Langford

2002 Hannington Rd., Victoria

3990 Stirrup Pl., Metchosin

BEDS: 6 BATHS: 5 4,656 SQ.FT.

BEDS: 5 BATHS: 5 4,063 SQ.FT.

BEDS: 6 BATHS: 3.5 4,656 SQ.FT.

Valley View Estates is quickly becoming a very desirable place to live. Call today for a complimentary home estimate. Brett Cooper


This home was quickly and efficiently sold for over 22% more than the tax assessed value. call Neal today for details. Neal Carmichael


411 Powell St., Victoria

Considering selling a home on rural acreage? Call for an evaluation today. Dean Boorman

Best-In-Class Marketing Innovation Digital. Mobile. Global.


BEDS: 2 BATHS: 3 1,350 SQ.FT.

A 2 bedroom +2 bathroom home with unbeatable location, private and sunny yard with updates in many area, It's a gem. 250.883.1995 Mark Imhoff PREC

SOTHEBYSREALTY.COM 14 million annual visits

No other company offers local and global marketing for Canadian homes on websites designed to showcase properties with an immersive, seamless and mobile-optimized experience.


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Sotheby’s International Realty Canada, Independently Owned and Operated. E.&O.E.: This information is from sources which we deem reliable, but must be verified by prospective Purchasers and may be subject to change or withdrawal.


2269 Compass Pt., Langford







3220 Exeter Rd., Oak Bay

2269 Compass Pt., Langford

1030 St Charles St., Victoria


BEDS: 5 BATHS: 4.5 5,732 SQ.FT.

BEDS: 7 BATHS: 8 7,413 SQ.FT.

Custom home with over 4,051 square feet of one level living in the prestigious Uplands neighbourhood.

Stunning, upscale executive home sited on a majestic view property in a private and exclusive gated community in Bear Mountain.

One of Rockland's finest estates, this historic design has been tastefully restored to preserve its timeless charm.

Melissa Kurtz

Brad Maclaren PREC

Andy Stephenson



851 Sayward Rd., Victoria


BEDS: 3 BATHS: 2.5 2,547 SQ.FT.

Sensational Transformation: No expense spared on this total renovation on 1.7 acres. Ideal location. 250.661.7232 Glynis MacLeod PREC



$1,199,000 3820 Hillbank Rd., Cobble Hill BEDS: 3 BATHS: 4 6,396 SQ.FT.



9406 Creekside Dr., Cowichan Valley

2043 Hedgestone Lane, Langford

3565 McInnis Rise., Victoria

BEDS: 4 BATHS: 3 2,714 SQ.FT.

BEDS: 4 BATHS: 3 2,826 SQ.FT.

BEDS: 4 BATHS: 3 2,318 SQ.FT.

Extremely private 7.92 acre estate with 700 ft. river frontage. Enchanting French mansard-style home offers over 5,000 sq. ft.

Captivating lakefront masterpiece on the shores of Lake Cowichan.

Fabulous, like new, view home on a quiet cul-de-sac, overlooks the 18th fairway on the Bear Mountain Golf Course.

Constantin Popa PREC

Tom de Cosson

Andrew Maxwell





Panoramic skyline views from this four bed/three bath two level home at the top of the subdivision. Donald St. Germain









102 Marler Dr., Victoria

8697 West Coast Road, Victoria

5403 - 2829 Arbutus Rd., Saanich

319 - 1400 Lynburne Pl., Langford

BEDS: 4 BATHS: 3 2,651 SQ.FT.

BEDS: 2 BATHS: 2 1,393 SQ.FT.

BEDS: 2 BATHS: 2.5 2,575 SQ.FT.

BEDS: 1 BATHS: 1 613 SQ.FT.

Exquisite views across Juan de Fuca Straight to the snow-capped Olympic Mountains. Rebecca Barritt 250.514.9024

Andy Stephenson

This charming family home is set on a quiet cul-de-sac in View Royal and offers excellent access to the outdoors and Thetis Lake. Christine Ryan


Andy Stephenson Andrew Maxwell

Lisa Williams

WHITE ROCK 604.385.1840

Mark Imhoff

This luxurious condo in Ten Mile Point's pristine Wedgewood Estates community boasts sensational views of the city.

Brad Maclaren

Beth Hayhurst

Brett Cooper

Christine Ryan

Constantin Popa

Melissa Kurtz

Mike Garman

Nancy Stratton

Neal Carmichael

Rebecca Barritt


WHISTLER 604.932.3388


SUN PEAKS 250.578.7773


Lovely one bedroom suite in Finlayson Reach with spectacular views over the golf course. Sophia Briggs 250.418.5569 Nancy Stratton 250.857.5482

Dean Boorman Donald St. Germain Glynis MacLeod

Sophia Briggs


Scott Garman

Tanya Piekarski

KELOWNA 250.469.9547

Katherine Gray

Logan Wilson

Tom de Cosson

Victoria Cao


MONTREAL 514.933.4777

Sotheby’s International Realty Canada, Independently Owned and Operated. E.&O.E.: This information is from sources which we deem reliable, but must be verified by prospective Purchasers and may be subject to change or withdrawal.

710 Red Brick Street

One block south of Mayfair Mall

(250) 595-5212

Volume 12 Number 1 Publishers Lise Gyorkos, Georgina Camilleri

Editor-in-chief Kerry Slavens

Director of photography Jeffrey Bosdet

Production Manager Jennifer Kühtz

Editorial Designer Jo-Ann Loro

deputy Editor Athena McKenzie Associate Editor Karin Olafson contributing Designer Janice Hildybrant

Contributing Writers Steve Bokor, David Lennam, Coralie McLean, Keith Norbury, Jody Paterson, Clemens Rettich, Alex Van Tol

PROOFREADER Vivian Sinclair

Contributing Photographers Dean Azim, Jeffrey Bosdet, Darrell LeCorre Contributing Agencies Shutterstock p. 28; Thinkstock p.13, 52-55 Advertising Representatives Vicki Clark, Sharon Davies, Cynthia Hanischuk

Innovative Business Insurance Solutions

general inquiries


“Improving andCommunity” Community” “Improvingthe thelives Livesof ofour our Clients, Clients, Team Team and

Warmth {for the whole family}

Letters to the editor

To subscribe to Douglas subscriptions@

Advertising Inquiries Online Facebook DouglasMagazineVictoria Twitter Cover Devesh Bharadwaj, founder of Pani Energy Photo by Jeffrey Bosdet Published by Page one Publishing 580 Ardersier Road, Victoria, BC V8Z 1C7 T 250-595-7243 E

Printed in Canada, by Transcontinental Printing Ideas and opinions expressed within this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of Page One Publishing Inc. or its affiliates; no official endorsement should be inferred. The publisher does not assume any responsibility for the contents of any advertisement and any and all representations or warranties made in such advertising are those of the advertiser and not the publisher. No part of this magazine may be reproduced, in all or part, in any form — printed or electronic — without the express written permission of the publisher. The publisher cannot be held responsible for unsolicited manuscripts and photographs. Canadian Publications Mail Product Sales Agreement #41295544

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$500 Credit

For New Automatic Delivery Customers Greater Victoria 250.652.3212 Duncan 1.877.333.3933 10 Douglas

Undeliverable mail should be directed to Page One Publishing Inc. 580 Ardersier Road, Victoria, BC V8Z 1C7

Douglas magazine is a registered trademark of Page One Publishing Inc.

Advertise in Douglas! Douglas is a premium magazine dedicated to innovation, leadership and business lifestyle. Established in 2006, Douglas is the first choice for business leaders and achievers. Align your business with Douglas. For more information or to request an advertising rate card, please call us at 250.595.7243 or email us at

Innovation | Design | Business | Style | People 

[In the Know ]

Get Loud With the release of Amplify Her, a Victoria entrepreneur celebrates femininity and encourages creative collaboration. by Karin Olafson

Nicole Sorochan, principal and creative director at One Net

Photo: Jeffrey Bosdet/Douglas magazine

“I wanted to show what it looked like when women got the opportunity to be in key creative roles. If we want to be able to change the ratio of women to men in an industry, then women need to work together to lift each other up.”

Illustration: Alexia Tryfon

Who We’re Talking About Nicole Sorochan, principal and creative director of One Net, a Victoria-based creative marketing agency working with tech and entertainment companies in Silicon Valley and beyond on ultra-creative videos, websites, ad campaigns and more. Sorochan says transmedia storytelling is about telling a single story across multiple platforms to provide a richer end-user experience. Why We’re Talking About Her Sorochan has turned up the volume with her most recent big project, Amplify Her, a transmedia creation that kicked off its North Americawide Purple Carpet Tour at Victoria’s Vic Theatre on October 20. On the surface, Amplify Her is a feature-length documentary about female DJs carving their way in a maledominated electronic dance music scene. On a deeper level, it’s about empowering equality, welcoming femininity and encouraging creative collaboration. Five years in the making, Amplify Her started as an indie project with filmmaker Ian MacKenzie. After One Net was brought in to create the digital experience, it became clear that the women DJs and their stories would be powerful in both a graphic novel and animated comic series. The result? A compelling transmedia project created using the imaginations of 14 female writers, illustrators and animators and seven female DJs. What’s the Business Lesson? That business operates in a fluid world, not a “this or that” world. One Net deepens its creative approach and impact by combining corporate work with socially relevant projects such as Amplify Her.

Douglas 11

Business in Action

Starting in 2018, cruise ship visitors to Ogden Point will have access to a new fleet of quieter buses with lower emissions thanks to Pacific Northwest Transportation Services (PNWTS), a joint venture between The Wilson’s Group and CVS Tours. In exchange for an investment in newer buses and consolidation of terminal tour-bus services, the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority has provided exclusive access to PNWTS to provide dispatch and cruise shuttle services for the terminal, and to supply all buses for shore excursion tours. Oughtred Coffee & Tea is Roast magazine’s Roaster of the Year, the first time a Western Canada company has ever received the award. The award recognizes the company’s coffee quality, roasting innovation, business practices and commitment to sustainability, and employee wellness and education. Anthony Everett is the new CEO of Tourism Vancouver Island. Everett, who succeeds Dave Petryk, began his career with The Butchart Gardens visitor services, later launching Butchart’s media relations department. His career trajectory included positions at Tourism Victoria, Tartan PR and the Northern British Columbia Tourism Association. He has received several awards, including the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. Victoria-based Maple Leaf Adventures has received the new Remarkable Experience Award from Tourism Vancouver Island. The award recognizes the boutique expedition cruise company for its exceptional Salish Sea expedition, which was cobranded with Canadian Geographic. The expedition included visits with an elder who taught Coast Salish names, and the history and philosophy of local islands, plus a visit with a naturalist, along with nature and wildlife guiding, gourmet food and island cruising. Maple Leaf Adventures has operated small expedition cruises from the Salish Sea to Haida Gwaii, the Great Bear Rainforest and Alaska since 1986.

12 Douglas

Jeffrey bosdet/Douglas magazine

Scott Phillips of Starfish Medical has received Ernst and Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year 2017 Pacific in the technology category. The E & Y award is lauded as a mark of prestige and recognizes entrepreneurs who “dare to take risks, dive into uncertainty and overcome challenges with innovative solutions.”

Ideas Come to Life at Camosun Interaction Lab


ow do you officially launch a college’s shiny new Interaction Lab that features some of the Vancouver Island’s most inventive technologies? You do it with a virtual ribbon cutting, of course. That’s what happened on October “It’s a game-changer 24 when Camosun College officially for applied learning, launched the Babcock Canada interdisciplinary research and Interaction Lab at Camosun Innovates innovation that on October 24, aided by the global will drive forward engineering firm’s donation of $800,000 regional economic to Camosun’s TRADEMark of Excellence development with our campaign to support next-generation industry partners.” specialized equipment. — Dr. Tim Walzak, director, The groundbreaking lab, located Camosun Innovates at the Interurban campus, allows students, faculty and staff from diverse disciplines to turn ideas into market-ready innovations through collaboration and state-ofthe-art technology. It’s also a resource for local businesses, who can access advanced equipment and engage in student-industry collaborations for everything from industrial prototyping to tech solutions to streamlining business processes.

Tourism Wins


Victoria’s ranking on Condé Nast Traveler magazine’s 2017 list of the top 20 small cities outside the U.S. The city beat out global hotspots like Florence, Italy and came in just behind San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Three hundred thousand readers participated in the Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards.

INTERACTION LAB HIGHLIGHTS ▼ Robotics The lab features numerous robotic systems, such as an ABB IRB 120 robot with Cognex vision system and the Universal Robot UR10 arm. When Camosun is looking to help a business enhance productivity, robotics may be the automation tool of choice, providing high impact for a fairly low cost. 3D Scanning and Prototyping Using two different 3D scanning technologies, Camosun can capture real-life objects as digital 3D models. The range of applications includes design reference, restoring lost CAD files, manufacturing verification and quality control. A recent project created 3D print dyes that were used to press aluminum mouldings needed to restore a classic 1922 Wills Stainte Claire roadster. Virtual Reality (VR) Lab Camosun Innovates uses HTC VIVE technology and equipment to power its VR simulator. This tech allows manufacturers in the design and manufacturing process to enter a virtual reality space and experience a product in 3D. Working with VRX simulators, Camosun designed and manufactured a lightweight dash and console for a two-seat driving simulator.

Trends 2018 Trend Opportunity

Assisted Development

Future-proof your business Trends Canadian Firms Need to Watch in 2018 A new BDC survey, Future-proof your business, has found that shifting demographics and new digital technologies are changing the Canadian business landscape in profound ways.

Here are the trends and strategies for leveraging them:

Aging workforce




As boomers retire, the working-age population will grow at a slower pace and even shrink in some parts of Canada.

Rise of millennials Millennials and Gen Z-ers will account for half of the workforce by 2020.

A more culturally diverse population By 2032, immigrants will account for up to 80% of Canada’s population growth.

Growth of virtual marketplaces


E-commerce is growing fast in Canada. Businesses are increasingly using these platforms to sell products and services worldwide becoming, in effect, micromultinationals.

Automation of business activities


Adoption of robotics by Canadian manufacturers lags behind other developed economies, but global demand for industrial robots is booming.


Percentage of Canadian business leaders who said they changed the way they do business following the integration of new technologies. — 2017 BDC survey of 1,400 business leaders

Strategy Difficulty attracting and retaining skilled employees will no doubt become more acute, particularly in Eastern Canada. As the talent pool shrinks, companies will need to position themselves as “employers of choice” in their market.

Strategy Canadian businesses that adapt management practices to take advantage of this generation’s strengths will reap the benefits.

Strategy A winning recruitment strategy in a tight labour market includes embracing diversity and reaching out to immigrants. Openness to diversity requires buy-in from top management and a willingness to root out unconscious biases in the workplace.

Strategy An online presence has become a must, even for businesses that don't sell online. The most competitive businesses will be those that can leverage their digital platform to exceed customer expectations and expand beyond Canada’s borders.

Strategy To stay competitive, Canadian entrepreneurs must embrace automation, which boosts productivity, reduces costs and helps maintain a flexible business by reducing time to market and increasing responsiveness to customers.

One of the top five trends listed in’s Consumer Insights 2018 report looks at the post-demographic trend of delayed adulthood and smart ways businesses can respond to this growing Gen Y and Millennial market need. TREND You’ve heard of arrested development. Now, get ready for assisted development. In 2018, these consumers in young adulthood will expect brands to help them craft the narratives of adulthood that suit them. REASON Sky-high home ownership and rental prices, stagnant wages and high youth unemployment have put the traditional staging posts of adulthood on hold for many people, often until they are in their 30s. BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY Ask how the life-stage narratives are changing for the people your business serves? What life goals and life staging posts would they look to you to help achieve? Co-working spaces are one example of meeting the needs of the assisted development generation. In the U.K., Selfridge’s department store is offering homemaking courses. In the U.S., Loftium provides home down payments up to USD 50,000. The no-interest loan is repaid by splitting the revenue of short-term Airbnb rentals in the home with Loftium, which also offers hosting support services such a pricing guidelines, a digital lock and hosting supplies.


Percentage of young Canadian adults aged 20 to 34 living with at least one parent in 2016, a share that has been increasing since 2001. — Statistics Canada

Rise of the data economy


Businesses that use insights from data to optimize their operations will become more competitive.

Strategy Businesses can use mobile and the Internet of Things to redefine their models, i.e., a company that sells machinery can shift to a “product-as-a-service” model, charging based on usage, rather than simply making one-time sales.

Read all of Trendwatching’s top five trends for 2018 at

Douglas 13

SOUTH ISLAND BY THE NUMBERS The 2017 Prosperity Index is a snapshot of the region’s competitive position. How does the South Island rank with other Canadian and global cities when it comes to prosperity? The South Island Prosperity Project (SIPP) aims to answer this question with their first annual South Island Prosperity Index, sponsored by Coastal Community Credit Union. “This gives us objective standards, rather than anecdotal information, so we can measure our progress year after year,” says Emilie de Rosenroll, CEO of SIPP. The index tracks a series of 140 indicators

across five themes: Economic Resiliency; Transportation and Mobility; Housing and Affordability; Human Health; and Environmental Health. These themes correlate to the ISO 37210 framework, an international standard used by the World Council on City Data. “We’re hoping to give people a common language to say, ‘This is where we are,’” says Rosenroll. “This index allows us to find areas where we can make things better or set ambitious targets.”

Victoria Canadian CMA Key Indicators at a glance * city average Economic Resiliency

% of city population living in poverty % of persons in full-time employment # of higher education degrees per 100,000 population

13.3% 61% 51,996

12.32% 44% 47,539

0 41.1 27%

3.64 88.1 24.54%

304.41 0.4%

340.9 3.1%

118.62 47.81

722.76 43.53

3,391 83.47% 285.78

626.23 97.08% 166.54

Transportation & Mobility

Kilometres of high-capacity pubic transport system per 100,000 population Kilometres of bicycle paths and lanes per 100,000 population % of commuters using a travel mode to work other than a personal vehicle Housing & Affordability

# of homeless per 100,000 population (Capital Region) Apartment vacancy rates Human Health

Violent crime rate per 100,000 population per year Square metres of public outdoor recreation space per capita Environmental Health

Green area (hectares) per 100,000 population (Capital Region) % of city population served by wastewater collection Total domestic water consumption per capita (litres/day)

*Census Metropolitan Area, 2016

Find the full report at


When it Comes to Women in tech #MoveTheDial, a movement focused on increasing participation and advancement of women in technology, has released Where’s the Dial Now?, a report exploring gender disparity in Canada’s tech industry. Co-authored by #movethedial, PwC Canada and MaRS, the report’s key findings include:



Only of Canadian tech companies have a female founder

13% when

Women make up of the average tech company’s executive team

companies with male and female co-founders are factored in


of tech companies have no women executives


On average, only of directors are women

671 Wilson Street

250.385.3541 14 Douglas



of boards have no women at all

... If we want Canada to be a global technology leader — whether in e-commerce, artificial intelligence or quantum computing — we need to be bringing our full talent pool forward. — Chris Dulny of PwC Canada

Campbell River

Goes Big with its Own Broadband Network To help its business community compete globally in the digital economy, Campbell River has launched CR Advantage, its new municipal broadband fibre optic network. The City is the Vancouver Island’s first municipality to offer an open-access network of this kind, which enables high-speed, high-bandwidth Internet connectivity for businesses and residential developments in the city’s downtown core, with plans to expand the infrastructure over time. CR Advantage allows local businesses to host high-traffic, bandwidth-needy websites, web apps, social networks, video platforms and data centres. It provides identical upload and download bandwidth, scalable to one gigabyte per second — putting Campbell River businesses on equal footing with competitors in downtown Vancouver, Palo Alto, San Francisco and New York City but at a fraction of the cost of living or doing business in any of those cities. To sign up, visit

“This is essential for those small-, mediumand large-sized tech companies that require the infrastructure to maintain their business.” — Andy Adams, Campbell River Mayor

Discover Your Earthquake Risk with


With the click of a mouse, Greater Victoria residents can now access a comprehensive earthquake 1 in 3 hazard report for any The probability property in the region, of a major thanks to an online tool earthquake in developed by a local Greater Victoria in entrepreneur. the next 50 years. The brainchild of geographer Ben Kerr, CEO of the Victoria-based environmental science firm Foundry Spacial, Quaky Victoria makes it possible for users to discover the geology beneath and around their properties, and inherent risks posed by earthquakes and tsunamis, including ground motion, amplification and soil liquefaction. Quaky users simply type in their addresses, pay a $20 fee and receive a 20-page detailed report and preparation tips. Visit

Do Canadian citizenship & immigration rules leave you puzzled? We can help. 740—1070 Douglas St. Victoria BC V8W 2C4 Canada +1.250.590.2951 All legal services are provided by the Robert S. Sheffman Law Corporation.

Douglas 15

Simon desrochers

Save the Date

2017 10 to Watch winners Mike Walker and Amanda Eyolfson of Roll.Focus. Productions

Douglas magazine’s “10 To Watch” panel at the SOHO Summit January 26, 2018, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Victoria Conference Centre

At this year’s SOHO Summit — which empowers small and home office (SOHO) business owners through workshops, one-on-one sessions, peer collaboration and networking — Douglas editorin-chief Kerry Slavens will moderate a panel of the magazine’s 2017 10 to Watch Award winners. Discover the secrets of startup success and how to sustain business momentum from the winners of Vancouver Island’s most prestigious new business award.

LIFT Startups Nanaimo launch January 11, 2018, 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. S.O.U.P. Cowork, Nanaimo

LIFT Startups is a collaborative marketing and business development service. Their inaugural event in Nanaimo will include networking time and a BizDev workshop, where two businesses “on deck,” will give three minute summaries of their businesses — including opportunities and challenges — followed by a round of questions, feedback, and help.

Engaged HR’s Lunch & Learn: Onboarding January 24, 2018, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. Engaged HR, Victoria

At Engaged HR’s January lunch and learn session, set your new employees up for success with tips from Engaged HR’s Engagement Associate Lyndsey Nelson. Find out what new staff need to be told from day one and how to successfully integrate them into your organization.

Record Numbers at Ogden Point in 2017




Cruise Ships

Seasonal Visitors


source: Greater victoria harbour authority

16 Douglas

A New Spark in Communications

How Island Cities Rank In the 2016 Canadian census, Parksville was pinpointed as the B.C. city with the highest percentage of homeowners. At the other end of the spectrum, Victoria has the fourth highest percentage of renters in B.C., behind Prince Rupert, Dawson Creek and Fort St. John. Parksville 82% own ■ 18.1% rent Port Alberni 73.3% own ■ 26.7% rent Duncan

73.1% own ■ 26.4% rent Jeffrey bosdet/Douglas magazine

Two well-known media and communications professionals have teamed up to launch a new Victoria-based communications company. Media sales professional Amanda Wilson, and TV and radio broadcaster Bruce Williams, both previously with CTV Vancouver Island, have joined forces to create Spark Strategic Group. Working as a multidisciplinary team, Wilson will focus on marketing and advertising strategy while Williams will specialize as a business connector, philanthropyand community-engagement strategist, and messaging mentor, coaching clients on public presentation. Why did they choose the name Spark? “It’s what we both have done throughout our careers,” says Wilson. “We spark connections, conversations, ideas — the spark that ignites whatever [our clients] are doing. We both love helping people to their success.”

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Douglas 17

Innovation outlook Manufacturer investment over next five years




remain at the same level

3% decrease

What manufacturing executives say would make innovation easier


Lower tax rates on income directly generated from innovation activities

Take three 

Get Your Head in the Game Take back control of your work life with these innovative tools to help you block out distractions, declutter your mind, be present and create a focused workspace.


Higher SR&ED tax credit rates/easier eligibility for SR&ED program

SOURCE: Grant Thornton Manufacturers’ Outlook 2017

Douglas Reads

Go to the Source From Dropbox founder Drew Houston to Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz, Timothy Ferriss’s new book, Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice from the Best in the World, is a compendium of inspirational tips for success, happiness, meaning and more. Ferriss — the author of The 4-Hour Workweek and Tools of Titans — interviewed more than 100 eclectic experts, including entrepreneurs, athletes and other top performers, to help us all navigate the common pitfalls of business and life. Among the myriad take-aways, learn the mindfulness practices of filmmaker David Lynch, why and how Facebook’s Moskovitz says “no” to most incoming requests, and how astrophysicist Janna Levin reframes obstacles in everyday life.

Business Lingo

SUNSET (verb): to stop funding, terminate an employee, eliminate a department or retire a product before its time

App Your Productivity 

18 Douglas

Inertia Killer Designed by a Victoria company, Momentum is a personal Chrome dashboard designed to eliminate distraction, provide inspiration and focus, and up your productivity. Each day, Momentum prompts you to set out your primary objective, and it keeps it front and centre on your dashboard so you get the reminder every time you open a new tab. There are also sidebars for your to-do list, a bookmark manager and local weather and time features. And it's all set against a breathtaking landscape photo that changes daily along with an inspirational quote. A paid upgrade brings other productivity features, including the ability to sync with task managers such as Asana.

Team Player Trello makes managing a team easy and efficient. Users create tasks as “cards” that can be assigned to individual team members. It’s easy to see how a project is progressing and who is working on what — and you can customize those lists by adding colours and stickers.

focuslist, a daily planner based on the Pomodoro technique, ensures you track your time and stick to your to-do list. It also reminds you to take a five-minute break after every 25-minute burst of work, helping you stay focused.

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ENGLISH Changing markets and our changing lifestyles can send a once-balanced portfolio into disarray. That’s why it’s so important to take advantage of regular portfolio reviews.

Mind over matter

The following is a quick reference guide to E colors, fonts, and logos.

Meditation is having a moment — the number of leaders who list it as an important aspect of their daily routines keeps growing. So how do you embrace and evolve your practice? The Muse brain-sensing headband will give you feedback about your meditation in real time by translating your brain signals into the sounds of wind. When your mind is calm and settled, you hear calm and settled winds; when your mind is active, the winds will pick up and blow. By giving you accurate, real-time feedback on what’s happening in your brain as you meditate, Muse can then provide motivational challenges and rewards to encourage you to build a regular practice.

Colors PMS 116C PMS 5535C

Get Your Fidget On If you find that physical movement (such as doodling in meetings) helps you with cognitive activities, then fidgeting could actually be a useful trick for when you need to think or express yourself. You could try a fidget spinner — or go one better with the Real Think Ink pen that bends, spins and transforms — and promises not to be as distracting to your office mates. Available via think-ink-pen.

PMS 160C PMS 647C


Gotham Gotham is used for all Edward Jone pieces. It is primarily used for body go below 9 pt. on 13 pt. Preffered d

ITC Franklin Gothic

ITC Franklin is® used for tabl Anne MGothic Delves, CFP Financial Advisor used for our HNW category. Call or stop by to schedule your portfolio review today.

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Promotional logotype that helps business leaders prep meetings by Used for in those ourimportant national examining and sharing relevant branddata campaign and on contacts and companies. marketing materials. The preferred treatment is black logo and tagline on a rectangle of PMS 116. The tagline can be

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Douglas 19


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Thomas John Watson Jr., Chairman and CEO of IBM, 1952-1971

Thomas John Watson Jr. Chairman and CEO of IBM 1952-1971


When Thomas Watson Jr. coined the phrase “Good Design is Good Business” in 1973, he understood that innovation was inextricably As Registered Interior Designers, we hen Thomas Watson Jr. coined for your investment. linked with design. Forty-four years later, design case studies and awards continue to recognize the integral role that design are certified with the National Council the phrase “Good design success and the Professional effectiveness plays in commercial creation of interior businessdesigners growth. have the

for Interior Design Qualifications, and is good business” in 1973, education and experience necessary to Interior design is about more than just aesthetics. It's about finding creative design solutions for interior environmentsmembers while supporting are professional of the Interior he understood that innovation was oversee the complex tasks of designing the health, safety and well-being of occupants and enhancing their quality of life - at work and at home.

Designers Institute of BC and the Interior inextricably linked with design. Forty-four and managing the construction of interior Designers of Canada. We plan space years later, designredesigning, case studies and awards environments. Designing, or renovating an interior space often involves a significant investment of time, money, and effort. Hiring a considering building code, and health, continue to recognize thedesigner integralisrole thatway to ensure Whether a private residence, professional interior the best youdesigning get value for your investment. 

safety and welfare requirements; design design effectiveness plays in commercial commercial office, retail environment, interior designers have the education and experience to oversee the complex tasks schemes of designing and lighting and layout plumbing successProfessional and the creation of business recreation facility ornecessary public institution, managing the construction of interior environments. Whether designing a private residence, commercial office, retail environment, fixtures; design and detail custom growth.recreation facility, or public institution, interiorinterior designers coordinate with other designers coordinate with other trades, suppliers, and licensed practitioners to ensure millwork and furnishings; offer complete Interior design is aboutcompletion more thanof a project. trades, suppliers and licensed practitioners the safe, successful specification packages of finishes, fixtures just aesthetics. It’s about finding creative to ensure the safe, successful completion Interior Designers on Vancouver Island all have one thing in common — we have each invested a minimum all of six years to and equipment… while coordinating our design Registered solutions for interior environments of a project obtain our professional certification, through accredited education, mentored work experience and an intensive series of professional design work with architects, engineers, and while supporting the health, safety and Registered Interior Designers on exams.

other building professionals on your project well-being of occupants and enhancing Vancouver Island all have one thing As Registered Designers are are certified with the for Interior Design Qualifications, and are professional team. their quality of life —Interior at work and at we home. in common — National we haveCouncil each invested members of the Interior Institute and the Interior Designers of Canada. considering Building dedicated Code and to We are a profession Designing, redesigning orDesigners renovating an ofaBC minimum of six years to obtain our We plan space Health, Safety & Welfare requirements; design lighting schemes and layout plumbing fixtures; design and detail custom millwork and creating meaningful spaces no matter interior space often involves a significant professional certification, through furnishings; offer complete specification packages of finishes, fixtures and equipment… all while coordinating our design work with where you live, work or play. investment of time, moneyand and effort. accredited education, mentored architects, engineers other building professionals on your project team.

There is a lot more to design than Hiring a professional interior designer work experience and an intensive We are creating meaningful matter where you live, work or play.

choosing paint colours. series ofspaces no professional exams. is the best waya profession to ensure dedicated to you get value There is a lot more to it than paint colours.

Visit us for a listing of all Registered at for aDesigners listing of allon Registered Interior Designers on Vancouver Island Interior Vancouver Island, and find out and find out what design can do for your next project. what good design can do for your next project.



THE INTERIOR DESIGNERS INSTITUTE OF BC Dedicated to creating meaningful spaces

In conversation with Dr. Kate Moran, President and CEO, Ocean Networks Canada ■ BY David Lennam ■ photo by jeffrey bosdet

There is No Normal As CEO of Ocean Networks Canada, Dr. Kate Moran spends her life studying the oceans and has a front-row seat to the causes and results of climate change.


hose who feel the pull of the tides and the lure of endless blue know exactly what famous oceanographer Jacques Cousteau meant when he said, “The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.” Growing up in Pennsylvania, Kate Moran remembers lazy summer days at the beach and an early love affair with the ocean. It was a feeling that never left her and one she could hardly have realized would set the groundwork for her life’s work. After earning a degree in civil engineering, Moran got a job with Procter & Gamble but realized quite early that the rungs of the corporate ladder weren’t something she wanted to swing from. “That job basically scared the crap out of me,” she laughs. “It was like, ‘Here’s your life for the next 30 years.’” And so, as countless disillusioned dreamers before her have done, Moran turned to the sea and its depth of mystery and scientific wonder. Someone suggested she explore a then-new program in ocean engineering at the University of Rhode Island. That was all it took. “I went out to sea in one of the worst storms that I’ve ever been in, and I fell in love with it.” What followed was a heady career arc that included several post-graduate degrees, dozens of publication credits and even working for a couple of years in Obama’s White House as assistant director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy with a focus on climate policy issues. She was front and centre for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill of 2010. Her research has made her one of the world’s most sought-after voices on marine geotechnics, paleoclimate and seafloor stability — and she’s led major expeditions, including the first drilling in the Arctic Ocean in 2004 and finding the source of the earthquake that caused the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Moran arrived at the University of Victoria in 2011 as professor in the Faculty of Earth and Ocean Sciences and as director of NEPTUNE Canada (the ocean observation and monitoring system). The next year, she took over as president and CEO of the UVic-based Ocean Networks Canada (ONC), which operates the world’s most scientifically and technologically advanced cabled ocean observatory network off Canada’s 202,080 kilometres of coastline. ONC's research, she says, is getting out on the edge of things, like sequestering CO2 into the seafloor and testing for earthquakes too small to be felt on the surface. “We have the resources. We have the technical people. So we can jump on those things.” She counts among her good friends Bob Ballard, the man who discovered the wreck of the Titanic and owns, through his Ocean Exploration Trust, the deep-sea exploration ship Nautilus, which is based in Victoria and used by ONC. 22 Douglas

In a frank conversation with Douglas, Moran shared her concerns for the future of our oceans. What’s the biggest threat to our coastline?

Globally, the sea level is rising. In the northwest of Alaska, there’s no sea ice forming — [or] it’s now forming much later in the fall — storms happen earlier in the fall and there’re huge erosion events. They’re moving villages. The coastline of Virginia is sinking, and the sea level’s rising. It could be tied with the loss of sea ice in the Arctic. That has all these other linking problems. You lose sea ice in the Arctic — it was probably the cause of the “warm blob” in the Pacific that caused the lack of nutrients that has meant now we’re seeing less returns of salmon. It’s also causing the jet stream to go wonky, so we have these really extreme winters. I think that here, right in this location, there’s a naturally occurring upwelling. So deep Pacific water upwells just off our coast. It’s naturally low in oxygen and more acidic because of the way ocean circulation is. So now we’re adding ocean acidification that’s caused by the absorption of carbon dioxide (CO2) [and] that’s making our water more acidic. We’re just putting in a buoy in Baynes Sound to start monitoring acidification directly for the shellfish industry. [Ocean acidification] will affect the food web more greatly on this coast than on other coasts. Climatologist James Hansen has chastised scientists for editing their own observations so conscientiously that they failed to communicate how dire the threat of climate change really is. Why have scientists done this?

There was a study that analyzed climatechange papers, and even though the evidence was strong about how [climate change] was serious-serious — it was climate change, it was human caused

The Cable Innovator, docked at Ogden Point, is the world’s largest vessel of its kind, specifically designed for laying fibre cable.

As a world-leading scientist in ocean engineering and the CEO of Ocean Networks Canada, Dr. Kate Moran knows more about climate change than most. And she's also sending a message: this is beyond urgent.

Douglas 23

We believe the ultimate measure of our performance is our client’s success. It has guided our approach for over 30 years.

— the scientists were always cautious about saying anything in the paper. They were afraid of being accused of being sensationalists. That has to change. The polarizing language being used across society isn’t helpful. I look at it from the geological perspective. We’ve had extreme events in the past like we’re in now, but this is worse. Maybe not as bad as the really bad day for the dinosaurs, but there weren’t people there at those times. We’re here now. We’re seeing it. To me, I wish I weren’t the age I am because I just want to see it to understand the planet’s response. Holy crap! We’re actually causing an extreme climate event ourselves. We’re going to have to do things about it. It’s happening. We already have enough CO2, it’s happening. The planet heating up like a furnace, drought, an inability to grow grain in many parts of the world, starvation, diseases stored in Arctic ice that will be released, economic collapse, war due to climate change — where do we even begin this conversation?

Ian Clark, CFP 250-405-2928

Joseph Alkana, CIM, FCSI 250-405-2960

Steve Bokor, CFA 250-405-2930

I think we have to look regionally. What’s happening to us here and what shall we do about it? First, we just have to stop [creating] CO2. That’s just simple, and we have to do that ... the soft cost associated with renewables is dropping like a rock, and internationally, there has been success in getting rid of the dominant fossil-fuel subsidies. So those two together are converging in a positive direction. Maybe it’s not fast enough, but you know how things can take off — I’m optimistic about that.

“We’re pretty unique. We’re highly reliable. We put sensors in the hardest place on the planet and they work 24-7.” Do the oceans hold some key to survival?

P U R I T Y. B A L A N C E . W I S D O M .


The paleoclimate records from the ocean [hold the key]. This event scientists call the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, I usually call The Big Heat. It’s an extreme event that happened about 55 million years ago and there was a huge amount of CO2 released … so we know the rate at which it was released, we know the temperature increases, we know there was mass extinction in the ocean, and we know that it took about 100,000 years for the climate to get back on the track it had been on before. That’s what we’re in right now. It’s something like that. So when people say there’s going to be a ‘new normal,’ I’m just so sick of that. There is no normal. What about ocean acidification?

1 41 1 G OV E R N M E NT STRE ET

24 Douglas

25 0 -38 8 - 4419


That’s a big issue. During The Big Heat, there was mass extinction in the ocean. I think we’ve

got to advance on aquaculture. What species can survive in extreme ocean acidification? We’re not taking advantage of aquaculture at all in Canada. It is really pathetic here in terms of what we are doing. The fish farms in the ocean are ridiculous. We know the planet is going to warm by at least 1.5°C. But what happens if we don’t manage to keep the temperature from rising less than 2°C (the target set out in the Paris Climate Agreement)? What happens to the oceans?

Well, we’ll have places on the planet that are uninhabitable by humans. We’ll have no sea ice in the summer in the Arctic, which will change the weather patterns. We might see a major change in what’s called the meridional overturning circulation in the Atlantic. That means the weather in Europe will change dramatically — and change the economy. Wineries will be going north. Island nations will have to move. Species are going to migrate or go extinct. Humans are going to be OK, although there are going to be people, particularly in poor countries, who can’t adapt who will be in trouble. What do the federal, provincial and municipal governments have to do to protect our oceans from climate change?

We have to invest in adaptation. You need to unharden the coastal structures [by ensuring

more natural vegetation and marshes], and plan so that critical infrastructure is not on the coast. Look at Houston. It was idiotic for the chemical plant to have their power systems integrated there, that they didn’t have a way to keep the chemicals safe. That was a complete lack of adaptation to something they knew would happen. Fukushima is another example. What needs to happen to make us take charge of climate change?

I think the economic impact of these storms we’re having right now is going to be the beginning. [Hurricane] Katrina was big, but the costs weren’t as big as what’s happening now [with Irma and Harvey]. The insurance companies get it. They know exactly the issues and they know exactly the impact. When it becomes an economic issue, it becomes everybody’s issue. According to the August issue of Nature magazine, all major industrialized nations are failing to meet the pledges they agreed to in the Paris Agreement. Do you see that changing?

I had a discussion with Mark Jacobson, a renewable-energy guy at Stanford. He gave examples from World War II, saying the amount of industrial effort needed to power the U.S. from offshore wind and take it off liquid fuels, is the equivalent of the U.S. building the machines of war during World War II — and

that happened in an 18-month period. So those kinds of things give me hope. If, economically, everyone gets it, we’re just going to do it. It’s economically more favourable to use renewables. Elon Musk’s experiment to power a whole region in Australia [with lithium-ion batteries] is an example. When I first started to be seriously concerned about the fact we need to stop [creating] CO2, I got involved in the first offshore wind farm in the U.S., which just got built last fall. I was one of the two people who started that in Rhode Island when I was there. With the way the planet is reacting to our being here, are we past the tipping point on climate change? You sound hopeful.

Yes, I’m hopeful. It’s happened in the past, geologically. And we know there’s going to be a lot of stuff that happens, but I wouldn’t call it the tipping point. We've put a lot of CO2 into the atmosphere at a rate that’s faster than The Big Heat, so we know that the earth is going to have to readjust — and it will take hundreds of thousands of years for it to readjust ... A lot of shit’s happened to the earth. We need to work on how to adapt. So do scientists have to be both scientists and crusaders? Is it urgent?

Yes. It’s past being urgent. ■


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Douglas 25

the big idea BY jody paterson Photo by dean azim

Truth & technology There are more than 43,000 First Nations, Inuit and Métis in Canada who are business owners, according to the 2016 National Aboriginal Business Survey. Douglas talks to the people at Animikii Indigenous Technology, an innovative firm blending business and social goals into creating opportunities.

26 Douglas


hat can a network of passionate Indigenous businesses accomplish when they work together to strengthen the future for Indigenous people in Canada? Animikii Indigenous Technology can’t wait to find out. Manitoba-born Animikii founder and CEO Jeff Ward was a tech entrepreneur when he and his wife, Robyn Ward, launched a web service business in 2003 in Edmonton, relocating to Victoria two years later. Jeff had been working in California’s Silicon Valley to that point, but returned to Canada wanting to build a tech business that blended business and social goals to benefit Indigenous people and support a movement. “People tend to think of us as things of the past — in museums, hunter-gatherers from a long time ago,” says Jeff, of Indigenous people. “While it’s important to share with the public the realities of the Indigenous experience in Canada, we also want to share the resilience and strength of our people — that we are shining despite all those things. We’re still here, and innovating in many different ways.” This past spring, Animikii became the anchor tenant in a shared workspace on the top floor of the bright and open-space Songhees Wellness Centre, overlooking Esquimalt Harbour. The goal of the space, called the Songhees Innovation Centre, is to be a place where Indigenous


While it’s important to share with the public the realities of the Indigenous experience in Canada, we also want to share the resilience and strength of our people ...

Robyn Ward (left), content strategist, and Jeff Ward, founder and CEO, sit in Animikii’s office located in the Songhees Wellness Centre. Animikii is a tech business that benefits Indigenous people in part by selecting clients who share Indigenous values and that have an Indigenous focus.

entrepreneurs, thinkers and leaders, can work independently and collaborate. Stigma, racism and a lack of historical knowledge remain common barriers for Indigenous people in the business world, says Ward. “There’s really no excuse in this day and age not to be educated,” says Ward, whose company worked on the San’yas Indigenous Cultural Safety Training initiative now available through the Provincial Health Services Authority in B.C. “Number 92 in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC) calls to action is for the corporate sector, and educating your management and staff is part of that.” Ward and other members of his team stress

— Jeff Ward

the importance of reading and reflecting on those calls to action as an important step for any Canadian. Ward’s own time as a statement gatherer for the TRC, from 2012 to 2015, was life-changing. “I was listening to the stories of residential school survivors day in and day out at national and regional events,” he says.

Future Stories But while the tragic stories of being Indigenous in Canada must continue to be told, there are other stories to tell at the same time, Ward notes. In the tech sector alone, he has seen a rise in the number of skilled young Indigenous

people working in the industry in the last decade. Not only are there growing numbers of Indigenous enterprises providing work and cultural connection for a new generation of skilled workers, more non-Indigenous businesses are seeking out Indigenous companies to partner with. “The reason we leveraged technology through Animikii is, well, first, it’s my skill set, but when you think about helping Indigenous organizations leverage technology on a large scale, this world is ready to see Indigenous people as technologists. Because we’ve always been technologists,” says Ward, citing the powerful role that social media played in the Idle No More movement. Ward is Ojibway and Métis, and chose the Ojibway word for Thunderbird as his company’s name. The Thunderbird is an important and respected being in Ojibway culture, and also the name given to Ward as a boy at a ceremony. As a Certified Aboriginal Business and B-Corp, Animikii seeks clients who share values and an Indigenous focus. “We are always looking for projects that have benefits for Indigenous people,” says Ward. For many years, Animikii’s sole employees were Jeff and his partner Robyn in a home-based arrangement that gave them the opportunity to “breakfast, lunch and dinner” every day with the couple’s two children. But when Canada’s political leadership changed in 2015, along with the TRC’s report, Ward felt a shift in national thinking that, to him, signalled a time to do more. Faced with the option to sell or grow, the Wards picked expansion. Animikii has since grown from two people to 10, the majority telecommuting from Vancouver and Whitehorse. “When you look at the TRC calls to action to the corporate sector, the country is being called to do better,” says Ward. “If there was ever a time to take our business in a direction that benefited more people, this is the time. That and my kids were getting a little older.” (They’re now eight and 12.) Two developers were hired first. Then Animikii producer Jordyn Hrenyk joined the Douglas 27

company a year ago, with a job description that adapts as required according to client needs. “We say it’s more about who our clients are, not what we do,” says Hrenyk, who is Métis and Caucasian and a resident on Lekwungen territory. “If our client needs us to do X, then we’re doing X.” Graphic designer Mark Rutledge joined the team as a contractor in March and is now an employee. He lives in Whitehorse, Yukon. “My very first job out of design school was working as the creative director for Aboriginal Voices, an Indigenous magazine published by Gary Farmer,” recalls Rutledge. When he got an email from Ward asking if he’d be interested in working for an Indigenous company, the two realized after email and phone exchanges “that our philosophies, goals and dreams aligned perfectly,” says Rutledge. Working at Animikii “feels like family.”

Defining Values Robyn Ward, Animikii’s content strategist and administrator, says the business recently adopted the Ojibway Seven Grandfather Teachings as a guiding philosophy. What struck her most when the team reflected on Animikii’s vision to that point was that the seven teachings — Humility, Honesty, Respect, Courage, Wisdom, Truth and Love — were largely already in place.

Teamwork is important to how Animikii runs and operates. “Collaboration is very important to our team,” says Jeff. “How we work is rooted in Indigenous values, and ways of knowing and being.”

“We value each member of the team for what they bring,” says Robyn. “We hold our clients in high regard. Luckily, we’ve attracted a lot of folks with the same values.” A self-described white settler, Robyn was stunned during her own recent Indigenous cultural safety training to see how little she’d been taught at school about Canada’s Indigenous history. “So much information that I never learned, that young people still aren’t learning. It really opened my eyes, and gave me respect for the harm that’s been done.” Next big project for Animikii? Web services for

the newly released movie Indian Horse, based on the 2012 book by the late Ojibway writer and residential-school survivor Richard Wagamese, who died in March 2017. The important project exemplifies the use of business services to serve social goals that’s at the heart of Animikii, says Hrenyk. “Some non-Indigenous people will be learning about the residential-school experience through this movie, and wanting to do more,” she says. “We’ll provide the web services and digital tools to maximize people’s ability to do more. Everyone has a role they can play in reconciliation.” ■

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by Athena McKenzie and Karin Olafson Photos by Jeffrey Bosdet

Momentum thru Mobile


or 29-year old Samarth Mod, “persistence trumps everything.” Mod founded FreshWorks Studio — a mobile and web application company, in Victoria — with his long-time friend, Rohit Boolchandani (also 29), while the two were still working on their MBAs at the University of Victoria. “There were times when we could have folded,” Mod says. “Running the company and doing the MBA, time and money were very tight, it was hard on us … but it prepared us for the battles we are doing now.” Given that FreshWorks is rated third in the category for top app developers in Canada by Clutch, a research company that specializes in identifying leaders in the software field, their “battlefield” has expanded well beyond Victoria’s borders. Clients include BC Hydro, BC Ferries and Along with their new head-office space downtown, the company has satellite offices in Vancouver and India. Their staff has grown to 32 employees. And expansion into the U.S. is on the horizon.

30 Douglas

“I’ve recently joined the Entrepreneurs' Organization — only founders whose businesses are doing more that $1 million U.S. in revenue can join,” Mod says. “It’s a peer network that helps you connect in different areas. I’m hoping this is going to help us get those U.S. contracts. Plus, we’re working on a Fortune 500 contract.” Along with their persistence, Boolchandani also credits their handson experience with their success. The pair were friends in India, and after graduating together with computer science degrees, both worked at programming mobile apps for a large corporation, Tartan Consulting Services. “In general, when someone is running a company like us, they do not have the hands-on developing experience,” Boolchandani says. “We talk to developers and understand their side of things. When we talk to our clients, we understand their side of things because of our MBAs.” It’s a business model that is working. “Now we have to double down and capitalize on it,” Boolchandani says. “We have just started our journey.” — A.M.

Who inspires you? Mod: Elon Musk. One of the things he said that stuck with me is about the importance of working hard. Basically, if you’re putting in an 80-hour workweek (and we sometimes do) and your competitor is working a 40-hour workweek, in four months you will be much further ahead than he will be in two years. What’s something you wish you’d invented? Mod: I wish we had come up with Slack. It solves a realworld pain. When we were just starting, we would email each other so much. Our emails were so cluttered. Most-used app? Mod: LinkedIn. It’s important to keep FreshWorks fresh in people’s minds. Your tips for being more productive? Boolchandani: Try to be friends with software; try to be friends with machines. [Our] being a small company, I’m proud of the fact that we use software to complete so many tasks, and so many processes — like recruitment, employment management and payroll — are automated. Where do you look for ideas? Boolchandani: I’m more visual and learn from experience, so I reach out to my mentors.

Samarth Mod (left) and Rohit Boolchandani founded their app development company, FreshWorks Studio, while they were working on their MBAs. It now has three offices and 32 employees. Douglas 31

Dan Briggs (left) and Geige Van Den Top have developed technology that allows for no-lag interactive streaming to a million viewers — at no cost to the user. Co-founder and chair Alex Glassey says their company, FacetoFace Broadcasting, will be Victoria's first unicorn.

Better Living by Broadcasting


big challenge for Geige Van Den Top, 25, and Dan Briggs, 24, is the elevator pitch for their new broadcasting technology. “There are a lot of different applications, which makes the use question hard to answer,” says Van Den Top, a engineering graduate at the University of Victoria. “It allows people to meet, to teach, to webinar or to live stream online with up to a million people — and it’s all on your browser, so there’s no need to download any software.” And the image is super clear with no lag time. Their company, FacetoFace Broadcasting (F2F), promises to empower individuals to share their ideas, collaborate with colleagues or even entertain fans. Currently in the beta-two stage, the platform is being

32 Douglas

used for webinars, instructors doing fitness and guided meditation, and companies using it for corporate meetings. Briggs and Van Den Top use it for their own morning scrums with co-founder and chair Alex Glassey. “Because they’re going out there walking in the land of giants [with competitors like YouTube and Skype] the thing has to be absolutely unbeatable,” Glassey says. “You have to push through the boundaries. A million people, zero lag and it’s free, you’ve got a hope of having a business that will survive in the marketplace.” A turning point for Briggs was last January when they realized they could keep the costs really low. “Online content is pretty powerful, and we can help more people share content without any barriers,” Briggs says. Geige adds, “[F2F] will join the land of the giants. It will drop giants.” — A.M.

What’s something you wish you’d invented? Van Den Top: Bitcoin — there are things that aren’t positive about it but at a cocktail party there wouldn’t be anything cooler than to say, “I invented Bitcoin.” Tips for being productive? Briggs: I really value sleep. I meditate in the morning and then prioritize everything I am going to do that day. A morning routine does a lot for me. Where do you look for ideas? Van Den Top: The world around me. Conversations. What’s a friction point for people in everyday life. Who inspires you? Briggs: Gandhi is my role model, if you could call him an innovator — I would. Most-used app? Briggs: Audible. Although I also have a sleep tracker that runs around nine hours a night, but I’m not exactly active on it.

Tech and the Overdose Crisis


or 22-year-old Heather Cape, logic and innovation go hand in hand. The software engineering student is using technology to address timely social problems in a simple, logical way. Now in her final year at the University of Victoria, Cape is part of a team developing Antidose, an easy-to-use Android app with the goal of mitigating the overdose crisis in B.C. Development on Antidose began in the summer of 2017, and while it’s still in the development phase, when complete it will allow for faster responses to nearby overdoses by connecting those at risk of an overdose with individuals carrying naloxone kits, using alerts, notifications and map views. Considering the extent of the crisis — B.C. had 129 suspected overdose deaths in May 2017 alone — Cape wanted to help by using the skills she already has. “It takes a huge amount of bravery by first responders or witnesses to help someone [in an overdose crisis],” says Cape. “Even though I’m not helping directly, working on Antidose is something I can do to help.” As a full-time student, she had to balance course work and work placements with the long hours of development and learning new technologies. But she credits teamwork and mentorship, a good work ethic and the desire to make a much-needed impact as driving factors behind this app’s successful forward movement. When asked about future plans for this technology, again Cape is logical: “There’s no reason Antidose needs to stay in Victoria — it could work in any place that’s facing an overdose crisis like the one we’re seeing in B.C..” — K.O.

Heather Cape, a student at the University of Victoria, is part of a team developing Antidose, an easy-to-use Android app that helps connect those at risk of an overdose with individuals carrying naloxone kits.

What’s something you wish you’d invented? I really like video games and I wish I’d invented Stardew Valley. It was all made by one person and it’s inspiring to see what one person can do.

Most-used app? Pocket Casts, the podcast app.

Who inspires you? Elon Musk. He’s creating technologies that people don’t know they want yet.

Where do you go for inspiration and ideas? In a room with the other people I’m working with. Having a group of people to bounce ideas off of is really helpful.

Tips for being productive? I think making lists and writing down what you’d like to accomplish in your work period is really important.

Douglas 33

Ann Makosinski invented her Hollow Flashlight, which is powered by body heat, at 15 years old. With a U.S. patent and a pending licensing agreement, the flashlight will be manufactured soon.

What’s something you wish you’d invented? The transistor. Where do you look for ideas? The world around me. I want to solve other people’s problems. Tips for being productive? Delete Netflix from all your devices. Most-used app? Email. Who inspires you? Charlie Chaplin. I love old movies, and he brought such innovation to film.

34 Douglas

Emerging Energy

you kn





t might surprise some people that Ann Makosinski is studying English Literature at university. The 20-year-old Victoria native — now in her third year at UBC — is a bit of a celebrity for her alternative energy inventions: the Hollow Flashlight that runs off the heat of the human hand and the e-Drink, a mug that uses heat from your coffee or tea to charge a phone. But Makosinski believes art and science share important crossovers. “The world and the media often ignore this connection and separate them,” she says. “But there are skills from both areas that are an important complement to each other.” At 15 years old — hoping to help her friend in the Philippines who had no electricity and couldn’t do schoolwork at night — Makosinski created a working flashlight powered by body heat. She got second place in a local science fair and then won the 2013 Google Science Fair, along with a gold medal and the Energy Award at the Canada-Wide Science Fair and four awards at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. “Since I was a little kid I liked electronics and tinkering,” Makosinski says. “I want to solve other people’s problems. And I’m drawn to harvesting alternative energy.” The awards for her original invention led to her inclusion on Time magazine’s 30 Under 30 in 2013 and an invitation to appear on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. She also presented her second invention, the e-Drink, on The Tonight Show and was named to Forbes magazine’s 30 Under 30 2017 in the energy category. “The mug is a functioning prototype,” Makosinski says. “And after three years and a lot of investment, I finally have a U.S. patent for the flashlight and am in the process of signing a licensing agreement. We will start manufacturing the flashlight soon and then turn the focus on the e-Drink.” Along with founding her own company, Makotronics Enterprises, Makosinski is a full-time student and an in-demand public speaker, recently appearing at the SingularityU Canada Summit in Toronto and the KAUST Enrichment program in Saudi Arabia. “Balancing everything is very stressful, and I struggle with it every day,” she admits. “I don’t have much of a social life except when I’m back in Victoria — but it’s 100 per cent worth it.” — A.M.

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In 2017, Devesh Bharadwaj founded Pani Energy, which develops economically accessible technologies for clean water and clean energy industries.

Clean Power, Patents Pending


rowing up in New Delhi, Devesh Bharadwaj was accustomed to seeing creative innovations that accomplished a lot, using only a little. He calls it jugaad, a Hindi word that translates roughly to mean finding an innovative solution or fix to any problem. Bharadwaj, now 23 years old, certainly practices jugaad. He’s been an entrepreneur and problem solver since high school — as a teen he sold high school graduation hoodies when no one else in New Delhi was doing it. Bharadwaj moved to Victoria in 2012 to study mechanical engineering at the University of Victoria, and not long after starting his studies, he knew he wanted to engineer an affordable technology that could positively impact the environment. Bharadwaj founded Pani Energy, which incorporated in March 2017. Pani Energy develops economically accessible technologies for clean water and clean

36 Douglas

energy industries — using just the physics of water, salt and a specially designed, semipermeable membrane Bharadwaj invented. Less than a year after incorporating, Bharadwaj’s company already has two patents pending. Pani Energy first hopes to commercialize a patent pending adaptive desalination technology, which is estimated to reduce the energy required to desalinate water by between 10 and 30 per cent. Bharadwaj has identified potential customers at desalination plants in Spain, India, Algeria, Israel and Australia, and hopes the technology will be commercialized by the end of 2018. A second patent is pending for Pani Energy’s osmotic energy-storage technology, which economically and efficiently stores renewable energy on a large scale. While Bharadwaj hopes Pani Energy will become a multinational corporation within the next 10 years, his main goal is to use the economically feasible technologies he’s engineered to sustainably improve how we access essential resources. — K.O.

What’s something you wish you’d invented? The light bulb. Who wouldn’t want to light up the world? Who is an innovator you find inspirational? Srinivasa Ramanujan. He had no formal training in mathematics, was from a rural village in India and went on to make substantial [mathematical] contributions. Most-used app? When working, Slack. When not working, WhatsApp. Tips for being productive? Planning is good for productivity. For each task, we know why we are doing it, how we are doing it and what we expect to learn from it. Where do you go for inspiration and ideas? I meditate, twice a day usually. It’s something I grew up doing in India.


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Here Comes the Weed Rush Douglas explores how the Island’s legal pot producers are gearing up for the recreational market, anticipated to be in the multi billions, as Canada gets ready to make it legit. by Keith Norbury

photos by jeffrey bosdet

In a 3,200-square-foot white room with no windows, about 2,000 flowering marijuana plants reach almost to the ceiling where 99 600-watt high-pressure sodium lights feed their rapid growth. “These are about a week away,” says Mikael Rykes, a senior grower with United Greeneries Ltd. during a tour of the company’s 16,000square-foot facility in a grey concrete building just south of Duncan on Mission Road. “They’ve been flushing for just over a week now.” Before entering the production area, a visitor must don disposable booties, gown and hairnet — in order to protect the plants from contaminants. The visitor is also issued a pass card that must be scanned before entering and leaving each room, which must happen in the 38 Douglas

company of a Responsible Person in Charge (RPIC), such as Rykes, per Health Canada regulations. The scene, procedures and pungent pot odours are reminiscent of those experienced three years earlier on a Douglas magazine visit to the Tilray medical marijuana operation just south of Nanaimo. That attention to procedure is exactly how Health Canada wants legal pot produced. At United Greeneries, the pot plants themselves, consisting of five strains with such traditional stoner monikers as Kosher Kush, will have their buds trimmed and dried before being stored in stainless steel kettles inside a secure vault. Eventually, those buds will find their way to customers who are legally permitted to purchase and possess marijuana.

“Every plant in the facility is barcoded and tagged for traceability, so Health Canada can come anytime and see how many plants are on this table, what strain it is, all that kind of fun stuff, and audit our inventory,” Rykes says. United Greeneries has already produced four harvests from its three identical grow rooms under a medical marijuana cultivation licence from Health Canada. But in the byzantine world of legal marijuana commerce in Canada, by early September the company was still awaiting a permit to actually sell its products. (On Oct. 13, the company announced that it had received its sales permit.) “The process is that you have to get the licence to cultivate, you have to produce a number of crops, you have to demonstrate that

Mikael Rykes, a senior grower with United Greeneries Ltd., located just south of Duncan, walks through the production area wearing a gown and disposable hairnet to protect the plants from contaminants.

you can produce those to the required quality, and then you have to demonstrate that you can do all of the processes required to sell it in terms of packaging, labelling, processing of paperwork," says Graham Whitmarsh, the chief financial officer of Harvest One Cannabis Inc., which became the parent company of United Greeneries following a reverse takeover last year. "And once you’ve done that, you get a licence to sell. While in the process of getting its sales permit, United Greeneries started doubling its grow rooms by moving its mother plants, which produce the clippings to propagate the flowering clones, into a mezzanine area. But that expansion is only a tiny precursor to much bigger plans the company has to ramp

up production to meet an expected explosive demand for adult-use recreational pot when the Canadian government makes that legal next July. Getting Ready for the Gold Rush

Other legal medical marijuana producers on Vancouver Island are also preparing to ramp up production. They include Broken Coast Cannabis Ltd. just north of Duncan, on Drinkwater Road in North Cowichan, and Saanich-based Emerald Health Therapeutics Inc. Nanaimo-based Tilray is also expanding, although it will remain focused strictly on the medical marijuana market, says Philippe Lucas, the company’s VP of patient research and access. However, Tilray’s parent company, Seattle-based venture capital firm Privateer

Holdings, is eyeing Canada’s recreational cannabis market. In the U.S., Privateer doesn’t cultivate or retail marijuana but focuses on processing and distribution of various cannabis brands, including Marley Natural, a partnership with the late reggae legend’s family. “We plan to bring these brands to Canada once the government legalizes cannabis consumption for responsible adult-use,” says a Privateer spokesperson by email. Tilray is planning a “significant expansion” to its existing 60,000-square-foot facility on Maughan Road that currently employs about 200, Lucas says. The company also announced in August that it plans to build a greenhouse facility in Enniskillen, Ontario, at a cost of up Douglas 39

Mikael Rykes inspects a crop that is near maturity at the United Greeneries Ltd. production facility. All strains of pot will have their buds trimmed and dried before they are stored in stainless steel kettles in a secure vault.

to $30 million. When built out, it is expected to increase Tilray’s annual production up to 51,000 kilograms. That isn’t just for Canadian customers but for export markets, including for patients in Chile and Croatia, and for clinical trials in Australia. “So Tilray is always going to be a medical brand,” Lucas says. "There won’t be a circumstance down the road where you see Tilray products available in a recreational outlet.” As of October 20, Health Canada had approved 67 licences to produce medical marijuana across the country under Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR), the latest iteration of federal rules created in response to court rulings requiring reasonable access to medical marijuana. Sixteen of those licences are in B.C., with five of them on Vancouver Island — United, Broken Coast, Emerald, Tilray and Central Saanichbased Evergreen Medicinal Supply Inc. Emerald (TSXV: EMH), and United’s parent, Harvest One (TSXV:HVST), are publicly traded. United Greeneries says it has an agreement with Cowichan Tribes to build a marijuana greenhouse on 13 of 40 acres of non-reserve land the tribe owns next door to the existing United Greenerics facility. Douglas wasn’t able to connect with elected Cowichan Tribes Chief William Seymour. However, he said in a Canadian Press article in August 2017 that the project would provide employment opportunities for Cowichan Tribes members. According to a news release from Harvest One in January 2017, that greenhouse project, 40 Douglas

with a price of $9 million, would be the first of three phases that would ultimately cover the entire 40 acres. By 2020, should the plan be fully implemented, United Greeneries would increase production to 51,000 kilograms a year from about 1,000 kilos at present. Daniela Vaschi, United’s CEO, says that the arrangement also includes building training programs with Cowichan Tribes. “So people will have an equal opportunity,” Vaschi says. “They’ll have a chance of being trained and therefore being ready for employment.” At present, United Greeneries employs about 14 people. Whitmarsh expects the greenhouse to add another 70 to 120 workers to the operation’s payroll, making it “a very significant employer in Duncan.” Billions in B.C. Bud?

International consulting firm Deloitte recently crunched numbers from jurisdictions where recreational pot is legal — such as Colorado and Washington State — to estimate that the recreational marijuana market in Canada would have a retail value of $4.9 billion to $8.7 billion annually. Factoring in ancillary revenues, like security and transportation, ratchets the potential impact to $22.6 billion. Taxes, licensing fees, paraphernalia sales, and tourism would add even more. “A big chunk of that could be in B.C.,” Whitmarsh says. John Koury, a consultant doing businessdevelopment work for United Greeneries and who accompanied Douglas on a tour of the site,

goes much further than that. “Cowichan Valley needs to be the B.C. Bud region of the world,” says Koury, a former North Cowichan councillor who helped draft a bylaw regulating marijuana producers in that municipality. “Whoever decides to put a billboard on their highway that says, ‘Welcome to B.C. Bud region,’ just like they would for the wine region, they’re going to own that brand.” Koury, who was once the constituency assistant to then Reform party MP Keith Martin, is a life-long conservative — a political movement typically opposed to pot legalization. However, Koury, who has run as a federal Conservative party candidate and for mayor of North Cowichan, considers himself a libertarian and endorses a harm-reduction approach to drugs. Duncan Mayor Phil Kent, who has called for sharing marijuana tax revenues with municipalities, voices skepticism about Koury’s vision, noting that the rest of Vancouver Island has the same moderate climate as the valley. The employment United Greeneries is proposing would “definitely have an impact on an area like this for sure because we’ve lost a lot of the primary industry jobs,” Kent says. However, he adds later, “But will it become a massive resource industry? I doubt it. I think the competition’s rough.” That competition includes Saanich-based Emerald Health Therapeutics Inc., which recently signed a deal with Village Farms International Inc. to convert a 1.1 millionsquare-foot greenhouse facility in Delta into a legal pot-growing operation.

“We want to be ready when the legal market opens,” says Dr. Bin Huang, CEO of Emerald Health Inc. and its subsidiary Emerald Health Botanicals Inc., which oversees production and distribution. The company, formerly called Thunderbird Biomedical Inc., currently has a small production facility of only a few thousand square feet on Commerce Circle in Saanich. It is licensed to produce and sell dried cannabis as well as cannabis oils. So far sales are low — about $250,000 for the second quarter of 2017. Dr. Huang says the company planned to submit its application for the greenhouse in September with an aim to begin growing in the second quarter of 2018. “We can move pretty fast once the licence is in place and the legislation is completed,” Dr. Huang says. She expects the greenhouse project will produce 75,000 kilos of marijuana annually, “maybe more.” Emerald also has an option with Village Farms to expand to 4.9 million square feet — enough to produce 300,000 kilos a year. That would supply about half the 600,000 kilos that Deloitte gives as its low-end estimate for the entire Canadian recreational cannabis market. “Right now we’re looking at just over 10 per cent of the market so it’s going to be a very significant player,” Dr. Huang says. Currently, Emerald is not significant at all. A fact sheet on Emerald’s website reveals that as of April 2016, it had a market cap of $118 million with a funded capacity of 15,000 kilos. Those figures were dwarfed by industry giants such as Canopy Growth Corporation, with a $1.41 billion cap and 66,000 kilos funded capacity, and Aurora, with an $818 million cap and 99,000 kilos funded capacity. “Initially there might be a shortage, so nobody’s worried about competition at this time,” Dr. Huang says, expressing a common sentiment about widespread concerns that licensed producers won’t be able to produce enough pot to meet the demands of the legal market when it launches next July. “This joint venture is all about scale and also speed to market,” Dr. Huang says. Still, she expects that within three to five years the inefficient players will be squeezed out. That’s why Emerald is happy to be involved in a joint venture with an experienced greenhouse operator like Village Farms. In North Cowichan, Broken Coast is also expanding. It hopes to ramp up annual production to 4,500 kilos in time for the legalization of recreational marijuana, says John Moeller, the company’s business-development strategist. At present, Broken Coast produces around 2,400 kilos a year at its 26,000-square-foot facility on Drinkwater Road. After expansion, the facility, which now employs about 50 people, will be 43,000 square feet. Broken Coast, which was originally named Greenleaf Medicinals, is also exploring a hybrid greenhouse “on a trial basis to see if we can keep the quality and efficiency of it up,” Moeller says. An attraction of greenhouses is that they reduce costs, especially for electricity. A downside is they aren’t as secure from pests as indoor grow operations. Broken Coast recently negotiated two deals with marijuana streaming company Cannabis Wheaton that would finance two more expansion projects. One of those calls for a state-of-the-art cannabis-production facility of at least 100,000 square feet. That venture would give Cannabis Wheaton a 49 per cent stake in Broken Coast. So far Broken Coast has yet to receive any of the 42 Douglas

Canada has one of the highest rates of cannabis use in the world.

40% of Canadians have used cannabis

20% of Canadians aged 15-24 years used cannabis in the last year

70% of Canadian cannabis users are age 25 or older Source:

promised financing, Moeller said. “The deal is still kind of in the works, I guess. But we’ll see how it goes,” Moeller said. A spokesperson for Cannabis Wheaton confirmed the $50-million value of the Broken Coast deal. The company is now doing its due diligence on about 15 cannabis companies, most of which had yet to receive Health Canada licences by mid-September. Among the licensed companies on the list are two other Island producers: Harvest One and Evergreen Medicinal Supply Inc. “It definitely will get overbuilt and overproduced,” Moeller says of the industry. “By 2020, you’ll see the cracks starting to show. That’s my guess.” “It’s not like everybody’s going to do badly, but there’s going to be an excess of capacity and somebody is going to have to throw it in the garbage,” he adds with a chuckle. He just hopes that won’t be Broken Coast, “because that’s not a fun day.” Anyone who has any doubts that the race to ramp up legal pot production is a modern-day gold rush should consider that Cannabis Wheaton’s business model is patterned on mining streaming companies that provide financing for mining firms as they grow. “Streaming agreements are financing arrangements where companies are offered capital in exchange for an interest in future mine production,” notes a posting on Daily Investing News. “A streaming company will provide an upfront cash payment to silver mining companies in exchange for a percentage of production or revenues from the mine. A funder makes an agreement with a mining company to purchase all or part of their precious metals production at a low, fixed, predetermined price. The streamer can then sell the metal for a profit.” The “Wheaton” is a nod to the Wheaton River, which the company says is “synonymous with the 19th century’s Yukon gold rush.”

SETTING THE RULES A legal market for recreational marijuana could give Canada’s economy a boost of up to

$22.6 billion

annually, says a 2016 study from business-services firm Deloitte. The study estimates that marijuana sales, even initially, would be at least as large as hard liquor sales in Canada, at around

$5 billion

annually, but could be as large as $8.7 billion, making them as high as wine sales. Source: deloitte

In the modern marijuana gold rush, sometimes things go awry despite the industry’s stringent regulations and monitoring. This August, for example, Broken Coast undertook a voluntary Type III recall of three lots of dried marijuana that tested positive for trace amounts of myclobutanil, a pesticide approved for food production but not for cannabis. Health Canada noted that a product subject to a Type III recall “is not likely to cause any adverse health consequences.” Broken Coast refunded the money of its affected customers. But beyond that, Moeller says, “I don’t think there’s any significant decline in customer registrations or anything like that.” On the flip side, the recall is another example of how stringent Health Canada’s regulations are for licensed marijuana producers. Several other licensed marijuana producers, including Tilray, have conducted voluntary recalls in recent years. “The rules are good because they provide transparency for the clients,” Moeller says. The prevailing expectation in the industry is that the federal government will simply grant licences to produce and grow recreational pot to the existing holders of medical marijuana licences. But nobody can say with absolute certainty if that’s what will actually happen.

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“My hope would be that they perhaps move away from some of the very stringent security requirements, which we believe are significantly more than is required,” says Harvest One’s Whitmarsh, formerly a deputy minister with the B.C. government. “But I think the commitment to quality that Health Canada has in its regulations is likely to remain and it should remain.” SEIZING THE MOMENT

But the biggest regulatory question mark as 2018 approaches is exactly what the retail landscape for legal adult recreational pot will look like. The University of Victoria’s Centre for Addictions Research of B.C., in a paper published last year, recommends that a government-controlled retail system would be the best for minimizing potential adverse effects from legal marijuana. “The research shows it’s not like oregano. It isn’t a harmless herb,” says Dr. Tim Stockwell, the centre’s director. Hazards include harm to the lungs from smoking pot as well as a risk that marijuana can trigger and exacerbate psychosis in people predisposed to it. On the whole, though, Dr. Stockwell says marijuana is less harmful than alcohol or tobacco, which is why he favours legalizing pot in ways pretty much identical to what the federal Liberal government is proposing. But again he has a caveat. “It’s generally accepted by economists that when cannabis is legalized, the price will come down and more people will use it. So that’s the downside.” The fate of the illegal medical marijuana dispensaries that have sprung up across B.C., including nearly 40 in Victoria, are beyond the scope of this article. But Whitmarsh, like others in the nascent legal industry, favours a retail model similar to what the currently illegal dispensaries now offer. “People like to go into a store,” said Whitmarsh, who admits he has never smoked marijuana. “They like to talk to people about it. They like to smell it. They like to look at it. So it’s hard for me to imagine this being a success without some kind of a viable retail presence.”

On the Precipice At press time, the federal government’s enabling bill to create the Cannabis Act had passed second reading and the Standing Committee on Health had proposed amendments to allow for edibles and concentrates. On November 21, 2017, the federal government released its proposed cannabis regulations. Canadians have until January 20 to voice their opinions in written submissions or an online questionnaire. The Island’s cannabis companies weren’t waiting around, though, for the governments to finish their work. They are working to seize the moment. ■ 44 Douglas

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Why Mentorship Still Matters The word mentorship has gone in and out of fashion over the years, but in the age of rapid change and constant innovation, having sound advice can make all the difference. by Alex Van Tol


Photo by Darrell LeCorre

s a developing entrepreneur, you know — or at least you should recognize — that you don’t have all the answers. This is where mentorship comes in. Typically, a mentor is someone who’s 10 or more years deeper into the game than you are, and in possession of knowledge and experience that can help you avoid common pitfalls, anticipate challenges and deal with the changes that growth brings. “There’s nothing that replaces that personal connection and personal advice that you get from a mentor,” says Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce CEO Catherine Holt. Not only can a mentor help you with one or more aspects of your business by providing information and expertise, says Holt, but they can also

48 Douglas

connect you with others who can provide knowledgeable guidance. “I think the biggest value I’ve received over the last few years is revealing the things that I didn’t know I didn’t know,” says Luke Taylor, founder of Loomo Marketing. “Normally I take advice the first time, because I prefer to learn from other people’s mistakes instead of making my own. I’m happy to adopt other people’s successful patterns.” For Taylor, it’s working: Loomo has exploded off the launch pad since Taylor brought a partner and staff on board in 2015, when two big contracts demanded more services than he could deliver as a branding specialist. Now with offices in Calgary, Vancouver and Victoria, Taylor still keeps his ears open to the wisdom of those who have gone before.

What Should You Look for in a Mentor? This one is easy: fit. Let your interpersonal intelligence guide you: Is there a rapport? Do you sense the other person’s interest in your business and in your questions? Do you respect and admire what that other person has achieved so far in their career? Can you learn from this person and grow as a result of the relationship? Mentorship should only occur between people who genuinely like and trust each other. And don’t get hung up on age: sometimes a younger person might have a deeper experience base in an area that you lack.

How to Find a Mentor Mentors can come from anywhere, and they don’t necessarily have to be in your industry.

Since high school, Luke Taylor (left) of Loomo Marketing has looked up to Kevin Walker, former owner of the Oak Bay Beach Hotel. “As my company grows, I try to take him out for lunch whenever I can, to pick his brains about good business practices.”

Many businesses share common challenges regardless of sector: establishing funding, hiring great people, planning for growth, health and dental benefits, marketing — you get the picture. Here are a few places to start: Your own network. Taylor has benefited greatly from an older family friend who built a successful engineering company that was eventually acquired by a much larger group. “Now he goes around the world mentoring business owners and teaching them how to grow a successful business,” says Taylor. “But because he’s known me for so long, he offers me these insights that he charges other people for, pro bono. And I appreciate his amazing advice.” Networking events. Mingles and networking evenings are ideal for meeting people who can help with your next step. But you’ve got to come

Pitching for a mentor Last August, dozens of mentors gathered on a downtown rooftop to enjoy local beer and listen to pitches from new startups looking for mentorship. The event was a collaboration between VIATEC, UVic’s Innovation Centre, the South Island Prosperity Project, Island Women in Science and Technology, and the Victoria Chamber. It offered 90 seconds of air time for each potential mentee

to present themselves to more experienced business people. Networking followed, bringing potential mentors and mentees together in an organic, already-informed way. “I thought [the event] was so valuable and it really demonstrated leadership,” says Robyn Quinn of Big Bang Communications. Quinn admits she has grown impatient with the typical scenario of simply being asked to mentor

students in post-secondary business programs. “The thing is, [mentees] are all asking the same busy people to mentor them — you know the saying 'If you want something done, ask a busy person'? And so it was good to get together and say, 'How can we create a realistic mentor pool? How can we create something that will serve all of us and would actually create a mentor community?'” Douglas 49


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with the intent to expand your reach — it’s no good to just hang out with the people you know. Be sure to circulate. And do make a point of being interested in other people’s gigs, too, and not just selling your own. Often you end up exceeding your own goals when you look for ways to be of service to others. Get practised at introducing people who you feel could benefit from being connected to each other. It’s a great networking skill, and one that Robyn Quinn has mastered in her efforts to champion others — particularly women — in science and tech. “A champion would say, ‘I’m going to introduce you to Robyn,’” says the president of Big Bang Communications and founder and COO of Big Bang Analytics. “‘I think Robyn might be able to help you, and if she can’t, she’ll probably introduce you to the right people.’” Structured mentorship events. Events like last August’s rooftop gathering [see sidebar on page 49] are an efficient way to spread awareness of new businesses among the pool of existing experienced business owners. An ordered program and a presentation element also provides an opportunity for mentors to approach potential mentees with a much greater understanding of where there might be a fit.

Be a Rock Star Mentee MBA and professional programs often try to pair experienced members of the business community with students, but many mentors find this an artificial and inappropriate way to guide new entrepreneurs. Potential mentors turn off the moment they sense students sniffing around for a job.

“What people don’t understand is that it’s a two-way street,” says Quinn. “You don’t just have mentors on a shelf as if they’re all a bunch of cute toys, and ‘Here we’ll take this one down and give it to this person, and we’ll take this one down and give it to that person.’” The mentee has got to have something to offer, too; a mentor typically expects some sort of return for their investment. But contrary to a monetary expectation, most mentors want to feel that they’ve contributed to someone’s improved navigation of business, which in turns produces a better product or service. Sure, someone who supplies you with seed money may in fact be one of your mentors, but true mentorship is a philanthropy of knowledge more than anything else. Any owner of a small- or medium-sized business will say it’s the network of people they’ve built up around them that helps them navigate the millions of challenges that come with the territory. A lot of time and effort go into building that network. If your mentor gives you the keys to that group, you are holding gold dust in your hands. “That’s an invaluable asset,” says Holt. “When you’re starting out, that takes years to build. So if you can leapfrog from starting your company to inheriting a strong network of advisors from somebody who’s solved all those problems, that’s a huge step up in your success.” And the final word? Just one: reputation. Victoria is a fast-growing city, but business in this town still operates on word of mouth and a proven track record. Pick your people well, provide them with value, and prove that you’re a worthwhile investment. ■

More tips Make good on your participation in a mentoring relationship. “The person who’s getting advice has to trust it’s good advice or it’s not helpful,” says David Green, president of Carmanah Management Corporation, who actively mentors entrepreneurs in the tech and social innovation sectors. “On the other end of it, when you put time in and suggest things to people, you are trusting that they’re going to follow through. If you put your time in and provide suggestions and so on, if nothing happens that’s frustrating.”

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■ Don’t imagine your mentor can solve all your issues. Cultivate a net of mentors who can provide guidance across your points of need. For example, one expert may be your go-to for HR concerns, where another person’s experience can help you figure out how to scale your idea.

■ Choose the right mentor for the right time. “You don’t have the same mentor for the whole journey,” says Big Bang’s Robyn Quinn. Not only do you not want to put that kind of pressure on one person, but you also want to gather expertise from a number of different areas. Variety is the key.

■ Don’t blow a connection. If you’ve developed a relationship with an awesome person who is ready to introduce you to people on their contact list, then honour the value of that. “If you give one of your treasured connections to someone,” says Green, “and if they mess that up by bothering them or not following through, the whole thing sours and you don’t want to tell them your next connection.”

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Eco Feature

If you have a cloud network, there really is no need for some employees to be in the office all of the time. Tech advancements allow for video conference calls, screen sharing and remote employee collaboration.

Track Your Electricity Use and Save BC Hydro has online tracking tools to help your business reduce electricity use and cut costs. The energytracking tools calculate estimated costs based on actual electricity-use patterns. If your patterns change, the estimate changes accordingly, enabling you to quickly see the impact of those changes. With the online tools, your business can: ■ See how much

electricity your business is using each day and at what cost ■ Customize electricity-

use information by rate class

The Sustainable Workplace Depending on the type of business you have and where you are in your business cycle, you may not be able to invest in a custom sustainable building or redesign your entire office to meet stringent green standards. But there are ways you can make a significant contribution to sustainability by making a few simple shifts in the way you operate your workplace. Get Organized

Start by appointing a person or working group to oversee your sustainability program and help educate staff on the benefits of reducing the group and individual environmental footprint. One of the tasks of this group should be to measure the impact of green initiatives and share the information to inspire improvements and celebrate the wins.

Conduct a green review or audit. Programs like the Vancouver Island Green Certification program have an excellent step-by-step process for figuring out where you are, where you need to be and how to get there — and participation in the program is something your business can actually promote as part of your commitment to a clean, green community.

■ Compare with last

year’s electricity use and see how the outside temperature affects your usage ■ If you are a small

business, access hourly use in kilowatt hours and dollars (medium and large general-service-rate customers can access electricity-use data in five-minute intervals, up to the previous day)

In the U.S., more than four million disposable pens are thrown away every day. Office Supplies

Create a green products policy and only buy products that meet sustainability standards, from staple-less staplers to pens that can be refilled repeatedly rather than sent to a landfill.

■ Download electricity

data for offline analysis ■ Set an electricity-use-

threshold target and receive an alert when you are halfway to or have exceeded your threshold 52 Douglas

Buy products, such as paper and paper clips, that are made from post-consumer content, and eliminate products that have no green alternatives, such as rubber bands.

Save paper by not printing whenever possible. Put a prominent sign up in the office to remind users to print only when necessary.

Save paper by printing on both sides of a sheet of paper whenever possible.

Use your printer’s eco-mode if it has one.

Manage Your Paper Trail

While it may not be practical to go entirely paperless in an office, lightening the load can save time and contribute to a healthier environment. And it’s easier than ever thanks to new technologies. Here are some easy-to-implement ways to reduce the use of paper in your office: Use online invoicing and payment. Harvest and Invoicely are both highly rated online invoice systems that make it easy and efficient to bill digitally and accept payments online.

Switch to cloud-based team collaboration tools and services instead of shuffling paper back and forth throughout your office. Slack allows you to send documents and photos almost instantaneously, as well as collaborate on projects. Google Docs lets you easily share files and collaborate on spreadsheets or documents simultaneously with coworkers.

Store your files digitally. With cloud storage, there’s no need to store hundreds of files filled with pounds of paper in space-grabbing filing cabinets. Two popular secure file sharing and storage solution are Dropbox Business and Canada-based

By 2050, plastic in the oceans will outweigh fish. — Ellen MacArthur Foundation, in partnership with the World Economic Forum

Install print monitoring programs to check for extra pages and wasted space. Encourage your co-workers to store documents electronically rather than printing reams of emails and documents.

Send out office memos and inter-office docs using Slack rather than printing copies for everyone, and use whiteboards to display meeting agendas rather than printing and distributing them.

Make sure your mailing lists are up to date to avoid sending out unnecessary letters, thus saving the paper, printing and postage.

Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) or LED bulbs. These use 75 per cent less energy while delivering the same light output.

Recycle old computers and computer accessories. When you buy a new replacement computer, ask your vendor if they offer e-waste recycling programs.

Encourage staff to use actual dishes and cutlery rather than disposables.

Heating and Cooling

Keep your office thermostat at a maximum of 21°C when people are there and 16°C when everyone is away.

Set up a water filtration and dispensing system and create a staff challenge to avoid the use of disposable plastic water bottles. In fact, why not make your workplace a plastic-bottlefree zone?

Use weather-stripping and caulking on door and windows to reduce heat loss.

Use coffee filters made of recycled paper or buy a coffee maker (not one that uses disposable plastic pods!) that doesn’t require paper filters. Compost coffee grounds.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Set up your recycling centre in a convenient location in your office, and invest in workstation recycling boxes. Keep a paper recycling box near printers and a general recycling box in the staffroom. Empty recycling boxes regularly.

Make your recycling system as straightforward as possible. Post fact sheets by recycling stations to help staff learn the benefits of recycling. To find out what you can recycle in B.C., visit

Office Cleaning

Ease Up on Electricity

Turn off your computer at the end of the day, and set a short standby or sleep mode for when your computers are not in use.

Recycle used computers with a reputable program.

Turn the lights off when not in use, or set lights to go on and off automatically in rooms that aren’t constantly occupied, such as staffrooms and meeting rooms.

Ask suppliers if they take back packaging for recycling or reuse. Visit for an up-to-date list of which retailers are participating in the Recycling Council of B.C.'s take-back program.

Work with janitorial and maintenance firms that have demonstrated green practices.

Living the lessons key for energy managers As someone who regularly delivers presentations about energy management and conservation to students, Alexandra Tudose says she’s conscious about authenticity.

secret of their success relates to strategic energy management, because of the clarity around targets, processes, and how individuals can truly make a difference.

“If I walked in carrying a disposable coffee cup, they would mark me as a fake right away—I see that every time I walk into a school. It’s so important to model environmental values every day.”

“I love being in the education system because there is so much opportunity to both teach and learn. Our key account managers at Hydro have been amazing advocates and sources of knowledge for us, and have really helped streamline the process of getting projects approved.”

In her energy management role, considering both infrastructure and behavioural changes is a constant balancing act around priorities and budgets, but it’s one Tudose enjoys. In the last fiscal year alone, the school district saved 1,241,000 kWh of power, enough to power 110 homes for a year. She says the

—Alexandra Tudose, Manager, Energy & Environmental Sustainability, School District 42 (Maple Ridge—Pitt Meadows)

To learn more about the many ways integration of strategic energy management could benefit your business, please contact your Key Account Manager, call 1 866 522 4713, or visit BCH17-815

Douglas 53

Deepen Your Commitment There are a number of credible organizations that can help you assess the current environmental impact of your business and create a solid sustainability plan. Here are just a few highly rated green business certification programs available on B.C.’s West Coast. Vancouver Island Green Business Certification Program (VIGBC) This program, launched by Victoria’s Synergy Foundation — organizers of the annual EcoStar Awards — recognizes the efforts of businesses to reduce their environmental impact on Vancouver Island. VIGBC’s certification process will guide you through greening your business and educating your staff. VIGBC green certification is also a signal to consumers that your business is committed to green practices. Green business certification is verified by a third party for accountability, transparency and credibility. See B Corp A B Corp or Benefit Corporation is a newer class of corporation with a legal framework that requires its owners and managers to create a positive impact on society and the environment and to meet higher standards of transparency and accountability. More than 1,150 companies, including some on Vancouver Island, have chosen to become B Corporations across 121 different industries. Of these, more than 1,000 have chosen to become certified, using the B Impact Assessment tool to green their operations, upgrade their social responsibility and achieve a minimum score of 80 points out of a possible 200. See  Climate Smart Climate Smart helps companies and organizations reduce their emissions, strengthen their businesses and build a resilient economy.  It is a social enterprise based in Vancouver that helps innovative small businesses find ways to join the transition to a prosperous, low-carbon future. The organization says 74 per cent of companies that have trained with Climate Smart report financial benefits, as well as new customers and increased productivity. See 54 Douglas

Make sure your office only purchases green products that are not damaging the environment.

Use cloth towels or hand dryers instead of paper towels.

Green Space

Encouraging green space on your business property removes carbon dioxide from the air and replaces it with cleaner air. Green space also encourages employees to move outside for their breaks, which is great for boosting moods and energy levels.

Hire gardening and landscaping companies that follow green practices and avoid the use of pesticides, gasoline-powered leaf blowers and chemical fertilizers.

Getting to and From Work

Consider a telecommuting program. If you have a cloud network, there really is no need for some employees to be in the office all of the time. Tech advancements allow for video conference calls, screen sharing and remote employee collaboration.

If employees require cars on the job only occasionally, check into car-sharing services such as Modo.

Install secure and weather-proof bicycle lockups to encourage employees to cycle to work, and, if possible, install a shower room and lockers.

The Business Case for Sustainability Most of us know greening our businesses is the right thing to do, but just in case you need extra incentive, here are some positive benefits of implementing a strategy for sustainability.

Simple steps like improving air quality, increasing natural light and introducing greenery can also have a dramatic impact on the bottom line by improving employee productivity and reducing absenteeism, staff turnover and medical costs. Win Customers, Build Brand

Purpose-led purchasing is big. As consumers become more conscious of their buying choices, they are willing to invest more in eco-friendly products and services. Nielsen’s 2014 Global Survey on Corporate Social Responsibility, which surveyed 30,000 consumers in 60 countries, found that 55 per cent of global online consumers were willing to pay more for products and services from companies committed to positive social and environmental impact. More recently, a Havas Group study reported on found that 53 per cent of consumers actively avoid buying from companies that have a negative environmental or social impact. That jumped to 66 per cent among early adopters. The same Havas study found that 73 per cent

of consumers — and 84 per cent of early adopters — surveyed said brands have an obligation to do more than simply generate profit. That jumped to 84 per cent among early adopters. If your business is committed to green action and you now want to go to the next level and make sustainability part of your brand image, make sure you put a lot of time and thought into developing a transparent, authentic and dedicated sustainability strategy. You will almost certainly win over your customers and gain positive publicity and maybe even some awards, but in an age when people have become wary of greenwashing, consumers will almost certainly hold your business to a high standard. So make sure you are ready before you launch a green marketing campaign. According to Nielson’s 2014 corporate social

responsibility report Doing Well By Doing Good, a five-part approach is required for succeeding at sustainability through brand strategies. ■

Vision: Be clear, actionable and global.

Endorsement: Get adoption and action from senior leadership.

Strategy: Focus on outward messaging and consistent cause messaging.

Accountability: Use key performance indicators, internally and externally.

Measurement: Quantify program outcomes and return on investment consistently across markets.

A sustainable company is a source of employee pride.

In a survey of 200 Canadian building owners, 38% of those who reported increased value said healthy buildings were worth at least 7% more than normal ones, 46% said they were easier to lease, and 28% said they commanded premium rents. — World Green Building Council 2016

A sustainable way of doing business implies the company cares about its employees.

Sustainability connects organizational values to employees’ personal values.

Create a Healthier Workplace

Implementing green strategies in a business can improve overall working conditions, contributing to healthier employees, and that means less time lost due to illness. “Staff are the most valuable resource in most organizations, typically

Attract Values-Based Employees

Employees like to be associated with the positive, especially millennials who have grown up with increasing education about and awareness of the problems affecting the planet. The 2014 Nielson survey found 67 per cent of respondents preferred to work for a socially responsible company. According to the Network for Business Sustainability, there are three reasons for this:

2017 EcoStar Award Winners

The bank of not knowing when to quit

The EcoStar Awards are given to local champions of initiatives, projects and innovations that contribute to a vibrant future in which our communities and ecology both prosper. The 2017 EcoStar award winners are: Award Winner Climate Action Ocean Outfitters Community Leadership Pacific Industrial & Marine Ltd. Community Leadership The Truffles Group Ecological Stewardship Victoria Airport Authority Eco-Preneur of the Year Academy Dental Experiential Tourism Alderlea Farm and Cafe Food Security LifeCycles Project Society Greenest Office Stephen Whipp Financial, Leede Jones Gable Inc. Greenest Restaurant Harvest Road 1-25 Employees Greenest Restaurant My Chosen Café 25+ Employees Greenest Retail Store Inspire Hair Design Leadership in Design Waymark Architecture & Construction Lodging & Accommodation Tigh-Na-Mara Seaside Spa Resort Manufacturing Excellence The Very Good Butchers Maritime Industry DP World Social Impact Animikii Indigenous Technologies Technology Excellence Pheasant Hill Homes Ltd. Transportation Mode-Shift Kid Sister Ice Cream Waste Management BCHAZMAT Management Water Conservation Victoria Golf Club

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2017-10-20 11:23 AM

accounting for 90 per cent of business operating costs, so even a one per cent improvement in productivity can have a major impact on the bottom line and competitiveness of any business,” according to Building the Business Case: Health, Wellbeing and Productivity in Green Offices, a 2016 report from the World Green Building Council (WGBC). “Even simple steps like improving air quality, increasing natural light and introducing greenery — those which typically have environmental benefits such as using less energy — can also have a dramatic impact on the bottom line by improving employee productivity and reducing absenteeism, staff turnover and medical costs,” according to the report.

We’re not a stepping stone to Wall Street. We think the world’s bigger than that.

Boost Productivity

Companies that voluntarily enact green practices and standards have employees who are 16 per cent more productive than the average, according to a 2014 study led by UCLA professor Magali Delmas, an environmental economist, and Sanja Pekovic of the Université Paris–Dauphine. “It’s good for your employees and it’s good for your bottom line,” Delmas noted. “It’s truly a big difference between firms that have adopted these practices and firms that haven’t. I expected a contrast, but not such a strong, robust jump in productivity.”

Find a Canadian MBA true to you.


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account executive:

art director:

Save Money

copywriter: producer: Greening your creative business makes sense on sostudio director: artist: many levels, including the bottom line. While not every green initiative will save money js jw ck AGF (using recycled printer paper, for instance, may cost more, but offers eco benefits) the cost can be offset in other ways. approval: (sign off required) As part of your sustainability strategy (and as further incentive), it’s important to measure the impact of your eco efforts. Simply measure what you were spending before you began your MODIFICATION DATE: February 2017then 2:23 PM what is being green 9, program, measure spent after the changes, and compare the two to see if you saved money. To begin, decide what you want to measure. Hydro use? Paper costs? Garbage removal costs? Start with two or three initiatives to avoid overwhelming your systems and staff, and use metrics you can easily measure. It’s easier to measure paper costs, for instance, than brand loyalty. Be Part of Better World

We’ve talked about several benefits of greening your business, but the biggest one is obviously making a positive difference in a world where climate change, deforestation, toxic waste pollution and air-quality degradation are realities. So put your business on the green side and contribute to a better world. ■ 56 Douglas


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58 Money

Planning your investment strategy for 2018

[business intelligence ]

60 Growth

Get clued in to co-creation

communication by Coralie McLean

“Siri, What’s Trending on Social?” Change is constant in social media. Here’s what was trending in 2017 and on the horizon for 2018.

the ability for iPhone users to live stream their screen’s content.

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Augmented Reality (AR) was trending in 2017. Google Lens is an innovative form of AR that allows you to hold up your phone to a store or restaurant, for example, and see reviews and ratings in real time appear as an augmented layer over the storefront.


rom augmented reality to chatbots and artificial intelligence, we’re faced with many astounding changes that are transforming the way we communicate — and the way we do business. To get future-focused, I explored the top social trends of 2017 and zeroed in on forecasts for the year ahead. Trend 1 Enhancements to Video Video still reigns as king. Its most popular uses

in 2017 on social were in the form of stories, disappearing videos and live streams. While quality high-resolution videos bode well for businesses, a growing number of people are responding more favourably to authentic in-themoment videos. Snapchat’s usership did see some growth this year, but surprisingly, Instagram became the dominant stories tool in August of this year. YouTube also announced improvements, including

Trend 2 Virtual Reality (VR) VR is surfacing in social media — and it’s no longer just for gamers. Facebook announced its new Spaces app at the F8 developer conference in April. The app, which is in beta, can be used to hang out with friends using personalized cartoon avatars. You can be live at a concert or vacationing in another country and bring everyone along with you, virtually. Spaces could become a great business tool for remote team collaboration, but it still faces some technical challenges before it’s widely adopted in the workforce. Trend 3 Augmented Reality (AR) AR is becoming increasingly popular on social media. We’ve had a taste of it with the Pokémon Go craze and on Snapchat (remember the dancing hot dog?). It’s now grown from flower crowns in selfies, to enhancing the way we communicate and do business. This year we saw a growing number of companies take advantage of AR for advertising through sponsored filters on Snapchat. Google Lens could be one of the most groundbreaking technologies announced in 2017 for AR. This Douglas 57

intelligent camera technology will allow you to hold your phone up to a restaurant, for instance, and its reviews will appear as an augmented layer over the storefront, in real time. AR will soon have far greater influence than just live restaurant reviews, and its integration into social is something to watch closely. Trend 4 Chatbots Do you remember the mass rebellion when Facebook announced it would require you to download a separate app for Messenger? Since then, it’s grown immensely. According to Facebook, more than two billion messages are exchanged on Messenger between people and businesses each month. Messenger’s growth has led to an acceleration of the adoption of chatbots, first with the introduction of auto responses for businesses in 2016. They have now made their way into group chats by recognizing when people are making plans and providing suggestions. Chatbots help companies manage inquiries on their websites or help patients check in at clinics, for instance. They use Natural

Language Processing (NLP) to analyze human conversations and sentiments to generate responses. Chatbots are being more widely adopted and are expected to become more robust in 2018 as email becomes increasingly obsolete. Trend 5 Artificial Intelligence (AI) Yes, there have been a few alarming news headlines about AI. Remember the one about the AI assistants who learned to talk to each other in a language they created all on their own? And then there’s the oh-too-common fear about robots taking over the world. Despite the nervousness about AI, we are beginning to recognize the major efficiencies that can be realized in business through AI. Chatbots are being more widely adopted and are expected to become more robust in 2018 as email becomes increasingly obsolete. I’m hoping to see an increased use of AI to flag fake news, especially on Twitter, which could help the platform rebound. Twitter’s usership levelled out this year and it saw declining revenues. While its real-time news cycle capabilities are brilliant, it’s more

important than ever for people to know what information to trust. Google announced a larger focus on AI this year with its Google Assistant. Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri compete in this same space. I also believe we’ll see growth in the use of AI home devices, including Google Home, Amazon’s Echo and Apple’s HomePod.

Who’s in Charge Here? There’s a dominant theme to all of the above trends: Facebook is the trailblazer. I still get asked whether the social-media giant is dying, but Mark Zuckerberg and his team aren’t going anywhere. Facebook knocks any other social-media platform out of the park with its 2017 milestone of hitting more than two billion active monthly users. I’ll be keeping a close eye on Facebook’s developments as well as the integration of chatbots, AI, VR and AR in business across all social platforms. Then, who knows? By this time next year I could be sitting down with my coffee, debating with my AI assistant about what the social media trends of 2019 will be. Let’s hope she’s nice. ■

Coralie McLean is the founder and director of LivelyCo.

money by steve bokor

Planning Your Investment Strategy for 2018 MONEY FOR LIFE — YOUR CHANGING NEEDS

When it comes to investments, pre-plan now to maximize your financial health for the coming year.



can’t believe it’s that time of year again. For many, the holiday festivities have already started and so has the rush to buy gifts for loved ones, but don’t forget to take care of your financial plan. Given all of the bumps and blips this year, we need to stop and take a serious look at our investment portfolios so that we’ll pay the least amount of taxes to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and prepare for 2018.

Building for the future

Getting ready for retirement

in retirement

■ Basic living

money for food, clothing, shelter and anything that’s non-negotiable for you

Take Care of Your Taxable Investments

■ Protection

money for insurance solutions to protect your income and family

Typically, there are several major areas that need to be addressed to maximize your financial health. First, reduce or eliminate any realized capital gains in your portfolio. For trading purposes, there has been a change by the Canada Revenue Agency. The last day to execute trades for 2017 is now December 27th . So look for any dogs

■ Saving

money that you set aside regularly or invest for future needs

■ L  ifestyle and growth

money for the things you want to do (including personal or household expenses) or to invest for growth potential

■ Health

money to cover health expenses that typically emerge as you age

■ Legacy

money to leave behind for the next generation or a charity

58 Douglas

(investments trading below their adjusted cost base) in the portfolio. By selling them, you will crystallize the loss, which can then be used to reduce the tax liability on investments sold at a profit. But what if you don’t have any losses? In that case, take a look at your spouse’s investment portfolio. If your spouse has unused, unrealized losses, there is a way to make use of them, so ask your accountant about using the superficial loss rules to your advantage. This is a relatively unknown strategy, but I’ve been using it very successfully for my clients for years. However, it is critical to start the process in November, so do make a note to address this earlier next year. Now, for those investors who have incurred significant capital losses this year, it might be advisable to trigger a capital gain, which will then be sheltered from tax. And if you are still in love with the investment, you can repurchase the security but now it will have a higher adjusted cost base.

AL’S BUSINESS TIP FOR SUCCESS “If you expect your employees to provide great customer service, then create a culture at work that is both enjoyable and rewarding.” Al Hasham, President of Maximum Express


The TFSA now permits a lifetime contribution limit of $52,000,

which will jump to $57,500 on January 1, 2018.





Finally, if your review has uncovered a realized capital loss and you can’t or don’t want to trigger a capital gain, the Canada Revenue Agency does permit taxpayers to apply a realized loss against realized capital gains for any of the previous three tax years. Simply fill in the “Request for Loss Carryback” form available from the CRA or have your accountant do it for you when your tax returns are filed.

Review Your Registered Investments Once you’ve squared away your taxable investment portfolio, it’s time to review your registered investment portfolios. For retired investors, there are a number of strategies. For example, if you are over 65 but still working, consider converting part of your Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs) to a Registered Retirement Investment Fund (RRIF) and withdrawing $2,000 per year in order to receive the pension income tax credit. Either that or continue to maximize your RRSP contribution until the year you reach age 71. For investors over age 71, the plan administrator of your RRIF will inform you of your mandatory RRIF withdrawal each year, before December 31. However, if you do not need the cash due to pensions or investment income, consider taking your RRIF payment in kind. There is no need to actually convert your RRIF assets into cash in order to make Douglas 59

a payment. The value of the withdrawal will still be added to your income for that year, but you can avoid transaction costs if you take the payment in kind. For the rest of us, we have to consider the importance of maximizing RRSPs, Tax Free Savings Account (TFSAs) and, for some, Registered Educational Savings Plans (RESPs). The government now allows investors to wait until 60 days after the calendar year to make a RRSP contribution, but why not avoid the rush? I know what you’re thinking — sometimes it’s hard to come up with all that cash in December, especially when you are maxing out the credit card or credit lines. Again, consider making all those contributions with non-registered investments. Call your financial advisor and have them contribute mutual funds, stocks, bonds and ETFs in lieu of cash. However, there is a catch because the CRA considers contributions to registered accounts as a disposition for tax purposes — and it gets worse. If the contribution results in a capital gain, you have just incurred a tax liability, and if the contribution results in a loss, the CRA denies the tax benefit. So unfortunately, it’s better to sell a dog and contribute the cash. It’s what I refer to as “heads they win … tails you lose”. In terms of priority, I advise my clients to first consider maximizing their RRSP contributions,

then their RESPs, if applicable (remember, the government provides a 20 per cent bonus on contributions up to $2,500) and finally their TFSAs. The TFSA now permits a lifetime contribution limit of $52,000, which will jump to $57,500 on January 1, 2018. TFSAs are available to all Canadians over the age of 18 but in British Columbia the plan cannot be opened until age 19. The federal government seems intent on creating a more fair tax system but in my experience it generally leads to higher taxes not lower ones. In all fairness, the Government of Canada now has extensive online information regarding the choices investors have when looking at registered versus non-registered investments as well as RRSP maturity options, but in my opinion the information is getting more complex. I believe Canadians need to use the rules to their advantage. If you are turning 71 in 2017, your RRSP will mature so don’t wait until December 31 before choosing an option. And do choose the one that best suits your income needs, now and for the future. Talk to a professional to ensure you have made the right decision. ■ Steve Bokor, CFA, is a licensed portfolio manager with PI Financial Corp, a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF).

Asking Smart Questions There are seven questions an organization must answer to move from a retention focus to a value co-creation focus.

Do you know where you are going?





60 Douglas

fundamental relationship between talent and growth. We live in a world where where productivity, engagement and retention have become like religious incantations. Construction, tech sector, mining, medicine and more — all of these sectors are experiencing growing labour shortages. And these shortages show no signs of improving, unless we have another recession. Economic recessions don’t strike me as a great go-to fix. So what’s going on?

What’s the Fix? Clued-in businesses are engaging in endless cycles of salary increases, trust-building retreats (can you do "trust falls’" one more time?) and beer Fridays, to keep their talent

You can’t co-create value if you can’t understand what that means for each other.

Employers wax on about teamwork, creativity, risktaking, discretionary effort, but can’t provide any evidence of feedback, reinforcement or reward for those behaviours.

Do you have time to listen?


Co-creating value takes time: hours of face-to-face time each week. Done right, that time will be the best investment you make as a leader. But you must commit first.

Do you have time to learn?


The key to attracting and keeping great employees in the time of big labour shortages is to forget any being-the-boss bias about top-down management. Instead, get in the mindset of co-creating. riving down the highway from Duncan I pass a billboard featuring a Knappett ad for carpenters. A whole billboard looking for employees. It reflects every conversation I’ve had lately with employers. They all tell me: we can’t find enough qualified employees — or we find someone with a pulse and they don’t even show up for the interview. Or the first day of work. And if we finally get them, we can’t hang on to them. But this is just on the surface. Underneath, something more profound is happening. The very relationship between our growth and our employees is changing. It isn’t just about employees being hard to get or about good employees being hard to keep. It is about the

What do your employees dream about?

Can you walk the talk?

Growth by Clemens Rettich

For Employee Retention, Get Clued In to Co-Creation

You have a mission to accomplish in your organization. Write it and communicate it. It’s the only way your employees will know if you’ll be good travelling partners.

There is no growth in busy-ness. Leaders need to set aside time for reflection, communication and design. Your employees, especially your top-level decisionmakers, need the same time. People can’t create meaningful value off the sides of their desks.

Can you close the loop?


All learning is shaped by feedback. Provide precise performance feedback to your team members, and ask the same of them for yourself. Feedback loops flowing in both directions are a hallmark, and a precondition, for the co-creation of value and for growth.

Are you ready to let go?


Good people leave. Get over it. Transform your talent acquisition and development so exits are gracious, and the onboarding of the next person is low-friction and rapid. The point is not to hang on; the point is to create maximum possible value, to maximize the ROI on the relationship, while it exists.

We can’t force people to be productive or loyal or engaged any more than we can force them to be happy. Efforts to manipulate productivity, engagement or retention directly are doomed to fail. Often expensively. The effort betrays a mechanistic, binary us-and-them Industrial Age mindset. Instead, we get the results we want and need by co-creating our futures with our employees, as partners. ■

Clemens Rettich of Great Performances Group has an MBA in Executive Management, with 20 years of experience in education, management and small business.


Wikimedia Commons

density (a phrase coined by Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix) high. Clued-out businesses still think it’s 1950 and people will do what you tell them because you pay them. Neither kind of business is getting what it really needs: growth. If this system worked, the employeeemployer relationship should create a virtuous cycle of value: employment would fuel employees’ personal and professional growth; having employees would fuel business growth. That’s not what’s happening. What is happening is that global productivity is in a decades-long slump and employees are benefiting less and less from any improvements in productivity that do occur. Shareholders are sucking all that up for themselves. So neither employers or employees are getting what they want. So what does work? “[At Netflix] we try to constantly encourage employees to figure out how to improve the culture, not how to preserve it,” says Hastings. When we pay attention to language, it gives us clues about how to dislodge another broken machine of the Industrial Age, and replace it. The clue is in the Hastings quote: it is not about preservation or retention; it is about improvement and growth. We have to get past just getting and keeping. We must start co-creating growth, with our suppliers, our customers and our employees. The word retain means “to hang on to.” You can either white-knuckle this process, or you can let go and start co-creating value and growth. Our customers don’t stick around just because we beg them to. We create loyalty by creating value. Why would our employees be different?

… we try to constantly encourage employees to figure out how to improve the culture, not how to preserve it. ­­— Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix

Find your space.

Your REALTOR ® will help.

The Co-Creation By designing an organization that focuses on co-creating value, your investment in the growth of an employee is matched by her investment in your business. It is a virtuous cycle. This involves understanding and communicating exactly what value looks like for both parties and actually working together constantly, to review and refine that understanding. The kicker? When we get that process right, engagement, productivity and retention become consequences. Like happiness and profit, employee engagement is the consequence of other things done right. Getting there starts with transforming your organization. How much you have to transform it depends on how value-centric you already are. Organizations that have already embraced Lean Thinking, inclusive decision making and positive feedback management will find this next step easier. Owners who mistake showing up on time for creating value, or who mistake control for trust, are going to find this painful.

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By the Books by Karin Olafson

62 Douglas

Russell Books By the Numbers Ratio of New to Used Books


Number of Russell Books Staff


Number of Russell Books Locations


Years Victoria’s Russell Books Has Been Open


Generations in the Russell Books Family Business


Jeffrey bosdet/Douglas magazine

It’s a reality across the country: many once-booming independent bookstores are shutting their doors. But not Russell Books. Here, business is better than ever. Visit one of the business’s two downtown locations and there’s no sign at all that books are going out of fashion. Hundreds of thousands of books — mostly high-quality used books, as well as new, collectible and rare ones — are neatly stacked from floor to ceiling. And Russell Books’ collection is only growing, with shipments of new books and people bringing in from 500 to 1,000 secondhand books for appraisal each day. This family-run business — and the largest used bookstore in Canada — is not worried about e-readers and behemoth online booksellers. “We have never seen a down month,” says Andrea Minter, the daughter of Diana and Ron DePol, the couple who opened Russell Books’ Fort Street location in 1991 under the guidance of Reginald Russell. Reginald, Andrea’s grandfather, launched the first Russell Books in Montreal in 1961. Andrea now runs the Fort Street and View Street stores with her husband, Jordan. Andrea’s brother, Chad DePol, is a partner. Under Andrea and Jordan’s management, the business’s main challenge has been keeping up with demand. The business expanded in 2005 and again in 2013, growing in size from 1,000 square feet to 16,000 square feet. But some things never change, including the vast variety of books and their low prices. And for the Minters, the key is to provide customers with a great experience — and that isn’t something you can get shopping for a book online. “I think interested customers, great service and the fact we’ve been around so long is a formula that every business hopes for,” says Andrea. “Things are changing, but we hope to be able to keep up with the new trends and continue the family legacy.”

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Douglas magazine  

Page One Publishing