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Development and Construction Issue

Jun/Jul 2017

What’s Going Up Downtown? Growth begins Beyond the Comfort Zone

Chris Le Fevre, Le Fevre & Company

The new vibrancy of Vic West

Lone Wolf

Workplace designs that work Troll Patrol Dealing with negativity on social media

One man's hope for the city's future PM41295544

© 2017 Porsche Cars Canada Ltd. 2017 718 Boxster S shown below. Porsche Centre Victoria DL2230 # 31209

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The new 718 models were made for the sport of it. They are mid-engined roadsters that unite the sporting spirit of the legendary Porsche 718 with the sports car of tomorrow – and transfer it to the roads of today’s world. With one goal: to take the everyday out of every day.

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559 Kelvin Road | Victoria, BC V8Z 1C4 OUR SPECIALTIES 250.475.1300 • OFFICE • LIBRARIES


+ Contents Jun/Jul 2017

Follow us

What's Going Up?

Douglas takes a look at who is building what in the core of the city.







34 Pushing Beyond the


62 LAST PAGE Still in the groove

13 IN THE KNOW Tourism Victoria’s big win, a tech-industry breakthrough by a UVic chemist, and five minutes with the new CEO of BC Ferries

BY john threlfall

20 TAKE THREE Making your reception

Don’t let the trolls get you down

Comfort Zone

As these business experts show, real growth is only possible beyond the comfort zone. BY Kerry Slavens

46 The New Vibrancy of Vic West Vic West is eager to embrace its bright future but mindful of its working-harbour roots. BY Jody Paterson

52 How to Design a Workplace that Works

Victoria’s top designers share tips on moving to a new space or renovating the one you have. BY Shannon Moneo 4 Douglas

INTEL (Business Intelligence) 57 Communication

area memorable is a business win

By Coralie McLean

22 In conversation Douglas talks

58 Leadership

to Chris Le Fevre about his unique development approach and hope for the city BY Athena Mckenzie

Good leadership takes heart

28 THE BIG IDEA At TrichAnalytics,

Busting the myth of work-life balance

science meets business, changing the way we see the world BY Shannon Moneo

BY Maggie Kerr-Southin

60 Growth

BY Clemens Rettich

We create places that help communities thrive Design with community in mind

District of Highlands Community Hall, British Columbia

Victoria: (250) 388-9161 | Sidney: (250) 656-7966

Architecture, Structural, Mechanical, Electrical and Civil Design Services

Jeffrey Bosdet/Douglas Magazine

From the Editor

Enriched Thinking™ for your family, business and future. To find out how a comprehensive wealth strategy can help you reach your financial goals, contact me. C.P. (Chuck) McNaughton, PFP Senior Wealth Advisor 250.654.3342

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

What happens in Vegas ...

A few weeks ago, I headed to Vegas, desperate for some sunshine and pool time. I hadn’t been there in a decade, so maybe I conveniently forgot how money-sucking yet absolutely riveting Glitter Gulch could be. What fascinated me most was the culture of entrepreneurial overdrive, where everyone from shoe-shiners to the conglomerates that run most of the hotels on The Strip has an angle. Most conversations are attempts to qualify you and few things are ever what they appear to be or cost what anyone says they will. Fittingly, all of this took place beneath the gigantic Trump sign at the top his 24-kt-gold gilded Vegas hotel. I couldn’t help but think the co-author of The Art of the Deal would feel more at home on the Vegas Strip than in the White House. I frowned up at Trump’s hotel in the distance every time he mentioned NAFTA on the news, and the Canadian dollar dropped even more. So it was a bit of a relief to get back to YVR with its serene waterfall and smiling custodians offering me free luggage carts. As I waited for my flight to Victoria, I kept thinking about what an American entrepreneur said to me: “Vegas represents the extreme of the bottom-line brashness and audacity that’s built into American business culture. Canadians don’t get it; it’s not part of their DNA.” Now, I’m not saying all Americans are brash in business, but I think there is truth in what my friend said. So just for fun, I decided to look at advice from business experts about the differences between doing business with Canadians and Americans: COMISSCEO Global advises: “Plain and simple talk is very much valued in America. Americans see coded, indirect communication which relies on body language as confusing and unnecessary.” In contrast, COMISSCEO’s Canadian assessment is: “Canadians appreciate politeness and expect others to adhere to the proper protocol for any given situation. In Canada, communication is moderately indirect perhaps reflecting an amalgamation of both North American and British tendencies.” Today Translations says: “American executives are opportunistic and willing to take chances. Risk taking often results in Americans going for the biggest slice of the business …” The same website cautions Americans: “... do not mention your expectations for success based on your experience in the United States — Canadian business people will not appreciate the comparison. Be careful not to bring lilies as a present as they are associated with death.” I’m not sure why they felt compelled to mention lilies; perhaps they just ran out of things to say about Canadians. These are stereotypes, but they do demonstrate a global perception about our two business cultures. And as humorous as the comparisons are, our cultural differences will very much come into play in the upcoming discussions about NAFTA, for which the U.S. has just enacted the mandatory 90-day waiting period prior to renegotiating this free-trade agreement. Note the language surrounding the economic elephant standing on the border: Trudeau: “We look forward to sitting down with President Trump to talk about how we can make sure that we are helping the middle class in both of our countries ...” Trump: “NAFTA is the worst trade deal maybe ever signed anywhere....” Do you see it? It’s Vegas, baby. The art of the deal is totally in play. — Kerry Slavens

I couldn’t help but think the co-author of The Art of the Deal would feel more at home on the Vegas Strip than in the White House.


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European models shown for illustration purposes only.*Starting from price of $43,495 based on the 2017 BMW 320i xDrive Sedan with automatic transmission with a MSRP of $41,200 and includes freight & PDI ($2,295). DOC fees ($395), tire levy ($20), environmental levies ($100), license, taxes, insurance and registration and if applicable PPSA (up to $45.48) are extra. Features not available on every 2017 BMW 3 Series Model. ©2017 BMW Canada Inc. “BMW”, the BMW logo, BMW model designations and all other BMW related marks, images and symbols are the exclusive properties and/or trademarks of BMW AG, used under licence. See BMW Victoria for complete details. DL 10135 #31009

Victoria’s Inner Harbour






Bayview Place and the E&N Roundhouse site unites a living past with a vibrant future. It is an inspiring 20-acre master planned community integrating a rich history with the best of modern west coast architecture and design. Patricia and Kenneth W. Mariash Sr. have a vision that is shaping a new community in the neighbourhood of Vic West. Residences Bayview One and Promontory are now joined by the third tower, Encore, with the fourth residence in the design phase - all connected by pathways and urban parks. The Mariash vision is built on connection – connecting people, connecting histories, and connecting Victorians to a city that is growing, diversifying and facing a fresh and inspiring future.

“ The success of Bayview Place will be FUTURE PHASES

measured by the people it attracts and the extent to which it becomes an urban magnet within the city.” Patricia and Kenneth W. Mariash Sr.




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

For All Your Commercial Real Estate Needs Volume 11 Number 4

Publishers Lise Gyorkos, Georgina Camilleri

Editor-in-chief Kerry Slavens

Director of photography Jeffrey Bosdet

Victoria Office

Bev Highton 250.381.2265

Central Island Office

Bob Moss 250.753.5757

Comprehensive Offerings In: Office, Industrial, Retail Multi-Family, Land & Investment Properties Business & Asset Sales Property Management Financial Consultation New Home Construction & Sales (Victoria)

Commercial Real Estate Services, Worldwide

Production Manager Jennifer Kühtz

Editorial Designer Jo-Ann Loro

deputy Editor Athena McKenzie

contributing Designer Janice Hildybrant

Contributing Writers Maggie Kerr-Southin, Coralie McLean, Shannon Moneo, Jody Paterson, Clemens Rettich, John Threlfall PROOFREADER Vivian Sinclair

Contributing Photographers Jeffrey Bosdet, Simon DesRochers Contributing Agencies Thinkstock p.14, 20-21, 30, 38, 44, 55, 57, 60 Advertising Representatives Vicki Clark, Sharon Davies, Cynthia Hanischuk

general inquiries


Letters to the editor

To subscribe to Douglas subscriptions@

Advertising Inquiries Online Facebook DouglasMagazineVictoria Twitter Cover Developer Chris Le Fevre of Le Fevre & Company. 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 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

12 Douglas


Inn o va t i o n | D e s i g n | B u s i n e s s | S t y l e | P e o p l e 

Jeffrey Bosdet/Douglas magazine

[In the Know ]

Bird Patrol The Raptors, a wildlife sanctuary in Duncan, specializes in training and working with captivebred birds of prey. Along with the educational programs — aimed at raising awareness and promoting conservation — their trained falcons, hawks and eagles work at airports, landfills, industrial and agricultural sites across Canada, providing wildlife management. “At an airport, birds on the runway are a serious safety issue, so one of the ways we can mitigate that is by flying predatory raptors to chase those [other] birds away, mitigating birdstrike risk and improving aviation safety,” says The Raptors general manager Robyn Radcliffe. As for landfills, Environment Canada requires the sites to have vector control because so many seagulls use landfills as a food source. “One of the main issues with the gulls feeding on the garbage is that they can spread disease and spread garbage to neighbouring areas,” says Radcliffe. “It’s also a safety and health hazard for workers, so we come in and birds like Magnum [pictured here] will fly around and chase the gulls away.” Along with their working time, the birds at the centre do get to fly free everyday. “Sometimes they go soar for five minutes, sometimes they’re gone for an hour,” Radcliffe says. “They choose to come back because we have this relationship with them. It’s pretty profound.”

Magnum, a two-year old red-tailed hawk

Douglas 13

Award Winners Hotelier Highlights Two hotel-industry veterans from Victoria were honoured at the first BC Hotel Association and the Alliance of Beverage Licensees hospitality industry awards: Hotelier of the Century Terry Farmer, co-founder, Accent Inns. Farmer’s career as a hotelier began in 1986 when he opened a motor inn in Victoria. He is a past recipient of the Governors’ Lifetime Achievement Award from the Chamber.  Hotelier of the Year Michelle LeSage, general manager, Oak Bay Beach Hotel. LeSage joined OBBH in February 2012, prior to its opening in December of that year under critical financial circumstances. However, LeSage demonstrated excellence in leadership in the midst of uncertainty and recent ownership changes, and has led an engaged, dedicated team to deliver outstanding business results.

Viatec Shines light on tech stars Scott Phillips, CEO of medicaldevice maker StarFish Medical, will receive the Colin Lennox Award for Technology Champion at this year’s VIATEC awards. Phillips will be honoured at the 16th annual awards ceremony on June 2 at the Victoria Conference Centre. Also at the gala, RevenueWire will receive the Member of the Year award, ParetoLogic will get the Community Involvement Award, and the Newcomer Award will go to former Shopify executive Scott Lake. The Capital Investment Network has introduced its own Angel of the Year Award, which will be presented to Rasool Rayani at the VIATEC gala.

14 Douglas

Love is Welcome Here A marketing campaign aimed at welcoming LGBTQ visitors to Greater Victoria has won gold at an international competition for advertising and PR professionals. “Love is Welcome Here,” created by Hothouse Marketing and Tourism Victoria, won gold in the Integrated Marketing Campaign category at the Hermes Creative Awards in April. The campaign was chosen out of more than 6,000 entries from around the globe. “To be successful in marketing a destination, you need to stand out and drive an emotional connection with the customer,” says Tourism Victoria’s president and CEO Paul Nursey. Tourism Victoria approached Hothouse to create a campaign targeting the LGBTQ community and encouraging them to share their experiences through various digital channels. They created a map — believed to be the first of its kind in the world — of genderneutral washrooms in Greater Victoria. The campaign marketing was executed mostly online through programmatic advertising, with outdoor advertising in select markets.

They created a map — believed to be the first of its kind in the world — of gender-neutral washrooms in Greater Victoria.

“We were inspired by a story we heard when we attended a LGBTQ Healthy Saanich SubCommittee meeting in the spring,” says Nursey. “A transgendered person told us she walks 15 minutes from her work to the local Starbucks because she doesn’t feel comfortable going to the bathroom at work. The gender-neutral-bathroom map was her idea, but Hothouse ran with it.” The “Love is Welcome Here” campaign is live at

“This award is further reinforcement that Victoria is a welcoming and inclusive destination ...” — Paul Nursey, Ceo, Tourism Victoria

Capital Mission Yields Results The 2017 Capital Mission, hosted by the City of Victoria, VIATEC and the Capital Investment Network, has started producing a return on investment for the region’s tech sector. The 2nd annual Capital Mission, held in February, brought angel and venture-capital investors with an interest in early-stage tech companies to Victoria to learn about the city and its businesses, opportunities and talent. As a result of the mission, says Mayor Lisa Helps, the National Angel Capital Organization [NACO] will hold its regional summit in Victoria in February 2018. The Summit is expected to attract 100 angel investors and NACO members to the city.

3M Tonnes

The weight of personal information and communications technology discarded as hazardous e-waste worldwide in 2014

12.5M lbs

Amount of waste diverted from city landfills across Canada by London Drugs in 2016

London Drugs

Gets Closer to Zero Waste London Drugs reports another record year for waste diversion in 2016. The B.C.-owned chain says its 79 stores’ sustainability efforts resulted in 92.8 per cent waste diversion from city landfills across Canada. Vancouver Island stores achieved an average of 97 per cent waste reduction. Since the chain’s What’s the Green Deal? program launched in 2008, waste disposal has been tracked at all stores, and the retailer continues to work with vendors and sustainability partners to increase diversion rates. Items customers can recycle at London Drugs locations include TVs, computers, small appliances, plastic and cardboard packaging, cell phones, batteries, compact fluorescent bulbs and more.

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Think Local

Thinks of the Future Paul Hadfield of Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub is the new president of Think Local First, taking over from Gayle Robinson of Robinson’s Outdoor Store, who has headed the organization since its launch five years ago. Since 2012, Think Local First has grown from 68 businesses to over 190, whose aim is to work together to promote a vibrant independent business community.

Jeffrey Bosdet/Douglas magazine


We will continue to build a stronger local business community, reinforcing the diversity of local enterprise for the benefit of business, residents and visitors.” — Paul Hadfield

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Douglas 15

Five minutes with

Mark Collins

us to enable more fare options. We’re looking more at time-of-day pricing and time-of-week pricing.

new CEO of BC Ferries

Where do you look for innovation? We’re very active on a global front on studying other ferry services and other transportation industries, including airlines and train and bus services. … For example, flexible fares by time of day or day of week is a fairly common feature in Europe, whereas it’s relatively unusual in North America. But we know that airlines in North America have adopted it for good reasons, so we need to look at it and how we bring it into the ferry environment in North America.

by athena Mckenzie

Mark Collins is not a new face at BC Ferries. When it was announced he was taking over from Mike Corrigan as CEO and president, Collins was serving as vice-president of strategic planning and community engagement — and before that he was vice-president of engineering. “I’ve been with the company for 12 years, so I’ve travelled with the system a lot,” Collins says. “But this is a new role for me and it’s a new lens for me to look at things through.” Collins plans on travelling extensively on BC Ferries this summer, riding every route and visiting every terminal, to meet with customers, front-line staff and the 13 ferry advisory committees along the coast. “I’ll be out really trying to get a feel for the business so we can begin to craft a longer-term vision,” Collins says. What’s the biggest challenge facing you right now? This summer has the opportunity to be one of the biggest tourist seasons in recent years for Vancouver Island — and there is the possibility we could break our all-time traffic volume. In the short term, my immediate challenge is making sure we are ready to deliver a great customer experience this summer. How does BC Ferries find a balance between being a tourism operator and a vital service for residents? I don’t see that a balance is required. I see them as one and the same

thing. By providing a great service to the residents of British Columbia, we are providing a great service to the tourism operators, and a great experience for visitors to B.C. What can customers expect for fares? We recognize there has been a pattern of fare increases up until the year past. This year, we’ve largely held fares the same and we’ve even reduced the cost of travel when you roll in things like reservation fees. We’re working hard to increase the value for money that people perceive they get from BC Ferries

and we’re doing that through internal efficiencies and trying new and innovative ways that we can deliver services to our customers. What initiatives are you working on? Right now, we’re working hard on our IT platform. We’ve spent much of the past 10 to 12 years working on our physical assets, the ships and terminals, to bring those up to scratch, and invested a lot there. Now we’re investing in our information technology. Our platforms today date from the 90s and they’re not as flexible as they need to be in this modern mobile environment. This will allow

What feedback do you expect on your summer rounds? Call me biased, but I think our service is pretty reliable. But there are always areas where we can do better. I expect on the Sunshine Coast they will tell us our service to Horseshoe Bay is not sufficiently reliable in terms of on-time performance and they are right. … In other parts of the network, people are feeling that they would like to see more service, and in other parts, they would like to see a longer service day …These are things we’ve heard before but it’s important to get out there and listen and refresh our knowledge. Things change in communities, and we want to stay on top of the latest thinking.


University of Victoria chemist has developed a breakthrough material that will make computers and smartphones faster, more durable and more energy-efficient. The new material allows computer chips to exist at a molecular level, through a technology known as light-induced magnetoresistive random-access memory [LI-RAM]. Developed by Natia Frank, a materials chemist, the invention is part of an international effort to reduce the “power wall” of energy consumption and heat produced by modern computer processors. This power wall is creating an environmental concern and limiting the development of faster computers. Compared to the current standard, LI-RAM uses 10 per cent less power, creates almost no heat and has higher durability, while processing information faster. This more eco-friendly form of RAM uses light rather than electricity as an information conductor.

16 Douglas

“Data storage for mobile phones, computers and electronics is just one way this technology can be used. Potentially, this material could have other uses in medical imaging, solar cells and a range of nanotechnologies,” says Frank. “This is just the beginning.” LI-RAM’s patent was secured in partnership with GreenCentre Canada, which named it one of their top achievements for 2016. Frank is now working with international electronics manufacturers to optimize and commercialize the technology, which could find its way to consumers in the next 10 years.

UVic Photo Services

This Chemist’s Breakthrough Will Make Computers Smarter, Faster, with Less Eco-Impact

University of Victoria materials chemist Natia Frank (right) with PhD student Aiko Kurimoto with early-stage prototype devices.

By the Numbers

New report by CPABC shows region’s economy looking good


conomic indicators from the Chartered Professional Accountants of BC [CPABC] Regional Check-Up 2017 for the Vancouver Island/Coast Development region are "very positive," according to Chuck Chandler, a partner at Grant Thornton and certified professional accountant. Like other CPAs, he studies economic trends to see how they will impact his clients and their future plans, borrowing activity, investing and hiring practices. “The economy has been very good here, and it’s Decline in one of the two regions in the number the province that bucked of business the trend with employment bankruptcies growth,” Chandler says. reported in “Two of the big areas are the Vancouver Island/Coast tourism and real estate.” region from As for areas business 2015 to 2016. owners should look to, Chandler says the region’s population increase of Vancouver approximately 10,000 Island/Coast people is “a good sign.” Industries He also calls attention with the to housing sales (up 27 most job per cent), house prices gains in 2016 (up 12 per cent), housing starts (up 46 per cent) and building permits (up 58 per cent). “On the flip side of that, it’s a harder region to find housing in,” Chandler says. “If you are trying to attract talent from the rest Public of the country, they look at Administration Victoria with some sticker (+5,100) shock.” While the report points to a bright immediate Business future, Chandler agrees Building and that NAFTA and TPP could other Support be problematic. Services “Obviously everyone (+3,700) thinks of softwood lumber,” he says. “But in the larger sense, B.C. Professional, is pretty well positioned Scientific and because there has Technical been a fairly significant Services (+2,600) diversification of our trade over the years. Just over 50 per cent of our trade is to the U.S.; China, Japan and South Korea accounted for approximately 30 per cent in 2016.”


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for Cruise Ship Passenger Arrivals in Canada by Port 2016 Vancouver






Saint John



Garden Suites as Housing Strategy In a move to improve housing availability and affordability, Victoria City Council voted on April 13 to approve garden suites in single-family zones. “It helps with both the rental-affordability issue and the housing affordability issue because people, as a right, can build a rental unit in their backyard,” says Mayor Lisa Helps. “It’s a mortgage helper, helping out the rental market.” Two weeks later, the City also voted to remove some of the existing restrictions on secondary suites, self-contained units within existing single-family dwellings.

City of victoria

Victoria in Top 3

Garden Suite

108,928 82,186

Sydney Montreal






St. John's

62% Percentage of total cruise ship passenger arrivals in Canada via Victoria and Vancouver in 2016


All other ports


Source: The Economic Contribution of the International Cruise Industry in Canada 2016, prepared by Business Research & Economic Advisors

■ Garden-Suite Primer A garden suite is a small, ground-oriented unit located in the rear yard of a single-family detached dwelling. The City’s guidelines outline eligible locations and include a design section with guidelines to optimize privacy between neighbours. There are no additional parking requirements for the creation of a garden suite, but the primary dwelling should have a minimum of one parking stall, which may not be located in the front yard.

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18 Douglas

■ Economy Booster One of the city’s biggest challenges is housing. “This will have an economic impact not only in terms of making it more affordable to buy homes, but also in terms of providing housing for workers,” says Helps. “Working people are having trouble finding housing — even workers in tech and tourism, our two biggest industries. There are about 6,700 single-family dwellings that are now eligible to build rental units.”

■ Building Supply Victoria’s vacancy rate of 0.5 per cent is among the lowest in Canada. “More rental supply is badly needed,” says David Hutniak, the CEO of LandlordBC. “Garden suites will augment the existing secondary rental market with an attractive housing form. At the same time, market demand highlights the need for the building of more purposebuilt rental housing [multi-unit rental apartment buildings] to better address the community’s longterm rental housing supply needs.  Purpose-built rental is the most secure and affordable form of rental housing, and new supply is needed throughout the CRD.”

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of people would unfollow a brand on social media if their platform is dominated by “too much” self-promotion. – BuzzStream

Colour increases brand recognition by up to


– University of Loloya


of people say shared values are the main reason they have a relationship with a brand.

Take three 

First Impressions When a client walks into your reception area, they get an immediate sense of your company. By making yours inviting and comfortable — and adding great design elements — you’ll also make it memorable, and that’s a big business win.

– Harvard Business Review

Douglas Reads

Human Connection Forget artificial intelligence. The Harvard Business Review’s Emotional Intelligence Series argues that it’s time to reconnect with being human at work. Featuring essential reading on the “human side of professional life,” each book in the four-volume set — Happiness, Resilience, Mindfulness and Empathy — includes proven research showing how our emotions impact our work lives, practical advice for managing difficult people and situations, and inspiring essays on what it means to tend to our emotional well-being at work.

Business Lingo

Zombie Project: A dead-end project — eating up valuable company brain power — that won’t die either because the boss thought of it or because nobody can think of anything better.

Office Concierge  20 Douglas

Tip Choose reception furniture that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing.

Donut You Know? Striking back against the clichéd office meeting snack: Empire Donuts. Handmade offerings change day to day, but faves include Cinnamon Butter, Blueberry Cream and Root Beer Cake. Empire delivers Wednesday through Saturday — you just need to order a dozen.

Book buddies Corporate book clubs are a great way to convene colleagues, diversify employees’ business reading and foster new connections. gives business book recommendations, especially for entrepreneurs and business owners.

MORE THAN JUST TENTS... Call us to find out how Island Tents & Events can make your next event truly memorable!

In the details Nelson Marshmallow sofa by Herman Miller (Price upon request, Monk Office Supply,

Just because your lobby furniture needs to be comfortable and durable doesn’t mean it can’t turn heads. The unique design of the Marshmallow sofa fits the bill perfectly.

A matter of REception Fantoni Multipliceo desk (multiple variations available through

Your reception desk is an opportunity to add character to your office. The sleek design and glossy colour of Italian design leader Fantoni's offering is one way to make a bold statement.

SweatWorking Encourage your workers to take their next meeting to the gym. Clubs such as Innovative Fitness offer corporate fitness programs that guide your team through everything from desk stretches to workouts to emotional health.

Lead the Charge KnollExtra Power Cube (special order available through Blackburn Young Office Solutions in Vancouver,

Visitors always appreciate a place to charge their devices, and Knoll’s Power Cube serves as a stylish but useful lounge table. Its clean design lines suit a variety of aesthetics, and its white marker-board finish allows you to write welcoming messages or guests to doodle while they wait.

Bliss Out Book a group tune-up at the new Sattva Spa. Many of the body rituals and massages are geared toward helping Type A personalities destress and refocus on goals. The private Lapis Lounge is the perfect spot to connect before and after treatments.


250.385.3541 Douglas 21

In conversation with Chris Le fevre ■ BY Athena McKenzie ■ photos by jeffrey bosdet

The challenge is what matters Often described as the Lone Wolf of Victoria developers, Chris Le Fevre stands behind his vision to create attainable housing that celebrates the city’s character.


n a credenza in Chris Le Fevre’s airy office at Le Fevre & Company on Herald Street sits his immigration form, dated March 2, 1970. It reads: “Money in his possession: $50. Money to follow: Nil.” Le Fevre, who recently framed the document, says he thinks about its significance often. After leaving London, U.K., and arriving in Toronto — to cold weather he “never could have imagined” — Le Fevre made his way to a rugby club (“rugby was my salvation”) to train and met someone who needed a car driven out to Vancouver. He said yes. “I got a job there as a clerk in a real estate office and it’s as simple as that,” Le Fevre says. “From there, I became a real estate salesman, made a few bucks and found my way into development and construction.” As effortless as he makes it sound, he’s created something of a legacy in the city of Victoria, where he’s been based for the last 40 years. From the Morley Soda Water Factory and historic Leiser Building to the recently restored Lum Sam and Lee Cheong buildings, he’s brought sections of Old Town back to life. “Chris is a real visionary,” says retired City heritage planner Steve Barber. “He can see the potential in these buildings that not too many other developers could. He’s really done a tremendous service to the city and Old Town in terms of giving these old buildings new life.” Barber believes increasing the residential population in Old Town has given the area’s streets a sense of life and vibrancy.

22 Douglas

“I think Chris has been a big contributor to that,” he says. “You go back in time and start to add them together, [then] you realize this is one man and one developer who has accomplished so much in a fairly small area in Victoria’s Old Town.” To Barber's mind, the number of heritage projects that Le Fevre has completed makes him deserving of a significant heritage award. "I hope that some of the societies, such as Heritage BC, will eventually acknowledge that and give Chris the recognition he deserves,” Barber says. For Le Fevre, recognition isn't the motivating factor. “Many of the things in my life are driven by the challenge,” he admits. “Challenge is the big word for me. It’s what motivates me.” For a lot of your projects, affordability seems to be key. Why is that?

There are a few reasons. First, I’m from a very humble background. I started off with nothing, so I’ve always  Chris Le Fevre calls been a bit of an underdog. the Lum Sam and Once I got rolling in the Lee Cheong buildings development business, I some of the most "pure didn’t want to just build heritage restoration" for a chosen few. I wanted he's done because he’s to respect those who were returned them to their setting out in life without original use. much, which was my case.

Douglas 23

Jeffrey Bosdet/Douglas magazine

But the “affordable” word is a very delicate word, for the obvious reasons. I would say that I build to make housing attainable for a broad variety of people and will continue to do so whenever I can. What I tend to do is build to a price point, so I know that if you go beyond a certain price point, a young person or couple simply cannot afford it, so I don’t put it out there. You have to bring it down to a point where you can deliver something for a certain price. It may be a modest place, but it doesn’t matter if they can afford to buy it; it’s better than being in the rental market. In some of my projects, you’ll see relatively small units; they’re not shoe boxes, but they’re built to a price point. And as a result of that, I’ve built through the recessions and the downturns. In an interview for Douglas in 2007, you were worried that the City lacked in urban planning and vision — has it evolved since then?

It definitely has. What’s happened most significantly is that there's been an in-migration, largely due to what I would call a tidal wave of Vancouver finding its way through to the veins of Victoria, and that 24 Douglas

“... I’m a strong guy, but I don’t have the compulsion to say I have a vision. I think it would be better to say that I have a hope.” — Chris Le FEvre, pictured in front of a future commercial/ industrial project, the former BC Hydro PowerHouse Building

in itself has brought more sophistication to the marketplace, more demand, more money and more energy. With those ingredients, you’ve got to have some planning associated with it, otherwise you end up with chaos. That having been said, I’m not a planner myself. I respect community plans and things of that nature because you have to have a document that deals with the future. Do I see major screw-ups in the Capital Regional District? Absolutely not. Is there too much traffic coming in from Langford? Yes, there is, but outside of that, the growth that has taken place here is remarkably acceptable. What are the challenges facing Victoria with respect to construction and development?

The workforce is stressed from the top of the Island to the bottom. And that’s a cycle I’ve seen before and it takes time to work it’s way through. If ever there were something that is going to slow the growth down, it’s workforce. And associated with that, you always get an increase in costs. That can affect viability too.

Is there a solution to the workforce problem?

There isn’t one and the reason is because there isn’t enough accommodation over here to house workers on an [economical] basis. If you’ve got some overflow from Alberta or the Prairies, where you’ve got a weaker economy, those people coming here have a very tough time finding accommodation. So, it’s a bit of a stalemate and it’s a bit of a concern. What would you change about the current approach to growth?

I don’t see enough inspired architecture out

there at the moment and that disappoints me. With growth of the nature that we’ve got going on, there is opportunity for inspired architecture and I haven’t seen that arrive here. But that’s just a personal point of view. I’m sure other developers think they’re inspired. I go to Vancouver and I see guys really jamming it, and I don’t see it here. Why doesn’t it happen here?

First of all, everyone here is fairly conservative, which can be a positive thing in certain ways. I think the nature of the domestic developer

Le Fevre & Co. converted the morley soda Water Factory, originally built in 1884, into Nine modern residential suites. 


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Douglas 25

here is one of conservatism. As outside developers come in, the likelihood of getting more inspired architecture will prevail because they will bring architects that have operated in other urban areas that have got a little more excitement in them. What is your attraction to heritage projects?

I started out in Gastown in the early 70s working for a developer working on older buildings and what they meant to the fabric of the city. When I moved to Victoria, I realized I had the opportunity to potentially work in that field. The pivotal thing was the fact that

everything goes in cycles and the desire to have downtown living was creeping back in. I could see the upper floors of many of these older buildings had nothing but pigeons in them. I saw the potential to bring housing back into those old areas. That was the initial motivator. Then there was the fascination with these buildings. It’s pretty profound. As an office boy in London, I walked by big old powerful buildings on Regent Street. I know what heritage buildings do to the feel and ambiance of a city. I wanted to be involved in them. And then, once you get involved in the game, you tend to be the guy that gets the sniff

first on some of these things. That’s how it all works. What’s next?

I just completed the Lum Sam and Lee Cheong buildings in Chinatown. They are the most pure heritage restoration I’ve ever done because I’ve not created new uses for old buildings; I’ve gone back to their original uses and put them back in place. That’s exciting, to put housing back into buildings that were housing. Another heritage project that’s on the ramp is the BC Hydro buildings in Rock Bay. The original Powerhouse and the administration building there. Those two incredible buildings will be redone for commercial/industrial use. The location is very fertile; there’s a scene down there on the edge of Old Town, and I’ll be part of it. What different challenges does a modern project such as the Raincoast Commons in Ucluelet pose?

company works as a team

Anything out there poses challenges because you’ve got to get [supplies] out there and you’ve got to get it built. Raincoast Commons is a pocket neighbourhood and it’s a way to create attainable housing for young people in what is becoming a dynamic little community. Ucluelet is the Pemberton to Tofino, à la Whistler, so I’m very high on it. It’s a little town that’s found it’s way back from fishing and logging to be a very vital community of entrepreneurial young people driven into the hospitality industry.

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How did you come by your approach?

J.E. Anderson & Associates (JEA) is a full-service land development consultation firm with offices in Victoria, Nanaimo, Campbell River and Parksville, British Columbia. In operation since 1959, the 2017-VIREB WINNER

site planning and preparation

services, subdivision design,

I’m a person who learned by experience. I left school at 16 and have never been back. I may be dressed in a suit today, but many times I’ve been sitting on a bulldozer in my Carhartts and in some ways I’m just as happy there as I am here. Now, I’m not saying I’m working on the sites as a labourer — not anymore — but I sure as hell have, and I’m incredibly respectful of the people who work on these sites. Sometimes they are the forgotten soldiers.

infrastructure design and

What is your vision for Victoria?

client representation at all

If I had a vision, that would be conceited of me. I’m a strong guy, but I don’t have the compulsion to say I have a vision. I think it would be better to say that I have a hope. My hope would be that the city finds its way in the same way it’s done in the past, which is gradual and well considered. So, what does that mean? It means, don’t make any outlandish changes, such as granting permission to put the equivalent of a high-rise on the waterfront of the city or granting huge height variances in Old Town. You’d be changing the complexion and the character of the place. Victoria is what it is, and there is so much that is right about the place, as more and more people are becoming aware. ■

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the big idea BY SHANNON MONEO

The year was 1845, when explorer John Franklin’s expedition set sail from England in two ships in search of the Northwest Passage. By the next year, both ships were trapped in Arctic ice, and eventually all 129 crew died. There’s been much speculation about how the men died. Was it scurvy? Lead poisoning from canned food? Starvation? Lead poisoning remained the dominant theory until December 2016, when the Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports published a remarkable research paper by four scientists, including Victoria’s Dr. Jennie Christensen, an environmental scientist. These scientists put forward a new theory based on the laser ablation analysis of crew member John Hartnell’s big toenail and thumbnail. His nail samples actually revealed that he was severely zinc-deficient, which could have 28 Douglas

suppressed his immune system, opening the door to tuberculosis and, later, death. The study also found that Hartnell showed no signs of significant lead exposure during the expedition. The research has changed the story of one of the biggest exploration mysteries of the North. And key to that research was Christensen, an expert in the groundbreaking science of laser ablation. THE DRIVE TO SOLVE MYSTERIES

As she discusses everything from 160-year-old toenails to the properties of carbon, it soon becomes apparent that Christensen is powerfully drawn to unlocking mysteries, particularly around health and nutritional deficiencies. With just a single strand of hair — or a fingernail or feather — Christensen can measure human or animal levels of nutrients and toxins. The reason?

At TrichAnalytics, the business started by Dr. Jennie Christensen, laser ablation is used to measure levels of nutrients and toxins in biological tissues, which can aid in monitoring health and the environment.



Jeffrey Bosdet/Douglas magazine

It Changes the way we see the world

A toxicologist-turned-entrepreneur has dipped her toe into the business pool, launching a company dedicated to unlocking scientific mysteries related to health and the environment through groundbreaking technology.

Together. Sophia Briggs and Nancy Stratton have formed an unbeatable team. Their wealth of talent, experience and passionate commitment to quality service is unsurpassed. The result is inevitable — a host of satisfied clients. Because as hair, nails and feathers grow, elements in the blood bind to the keratin in the growing tissue and record changes in those elements. Now Christensen, one of the lead scientists doing the Franklin research, intends to use her novel methods to find answers to various mysteries via her new company. According to Christensen, her company TrichAnalytics is the only commercial lab in Canada employing laser ablation (LA) to study a variety of animal and human body parts. With LA, when a laser is used to burn tissue (nails, hair), it releases the bound elements. These elements are then sent for mass spectrometry via gas to determine their concentration.

“Each growing tissue has a story to tell. People have stories to tell that haven’t been told,” says the 41-year-old PhD. “I also think this has the power to be an incredible monitoring tool for health, the environment.” Enamoured with science since childhood, Christensen was a natural learner. She skipped grades to an early graduation in St. Albert, Alberta, starting university at age 16. Between earning a bachelor of science degree at the University of Alberta, a master’s degree in environmental toxicology at the University of British Columbia and a PhD in toxicology at the University of Victoria, Christensen also held jobs as a biologist and toxicologist. “I’ve always been one of those who finds her own path. I’m not a ‘should’ person — I’ve

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30 Douglas

It was during her work in the field that Christensen progressively developed research tools that suited her inquiring and compassionate personality. “I do not like invasive technology at all,” she says. Much of her work focused on environmental contaminants and their effects on wildlife. To avoid killing tadpoles to test for poisons, she developed a sperm test to measure contaminants. It was also that aversion to harm that spurred her to use hair instead of flesh, after doing trail-blazing, award-winning work on grizzly bears and their diet. In 2011, Christensen began working for Stantec in Victoria. “Instead of keeping me in a box, they told me, ‘You’re creative. We trust you. Go create something,’” Christensen recalls. It was at Stantec’s Sidney location that she developed the LA tool for mammal and bird toxicity research. The company also funded the Franklin research through its Greenlight program that helps employees develop new ideas. Christensen was able to test her hypotheses. It was also while working for Stantec that Christensen met Joyce McBeth in 2015 at a Calgary conference. McBeth is an assistant

For 150 years, scientists and explorers have been trying to determine what happened to Sir John Franklin and the 128 men who died with him on the famous Arctic expedition. In 2016, a scientific team that included Dr. Jennie Christensen unlocked groundbreaking evidence contained in a toenail sample.

professor in geological sciences at the University of Saskatchewan. The friendly collision of the two scientists was serendipitous. “[Jennie] said she needed help with the Franklin project. Her concern was that her data didn’t make sense,” McBeth recalls. The two joined forces and came up with a hypothesis about the high lead levels in Hartnell’s nail. “We had to throw our hypotheses away several times. We had to dig deeper,” says McBeth, a geomicrobiology and biogeochemistry expert as well as a master of the synchrotron, just the tool Christensen needed to verify the nail thesis. McBeth conducts highly specialized experiments at Saskatoon’s Canadian Light Source, the nation’s

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only synchrotron facility. This synchrotron is a $230-million device that produces different spectra of light to gather molecular information about structural and chemical properties of materials. After getting “beam time,” the team was able to make detailed elemental maps of what the toenail contained.

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Christensen, says McBeth, “lived and breathed the Franklin project. I wasn’t going to use the word passionate, because it’s overused, but she is passionate. It infuses people around her. She’s also very tenacious. She wanted results quickly. It’s really hard to say no to Jennie.” Christopher Frederickson, a Galveston-based, PhD scientist and international expert in zinc deficiency, calls Christensen a “busterette. She’s a pistol.” While conducting online research a few years ago, he came across Christensen’s studies. “She just does beautiful work. Her practice of measuring zinc in hair is completely, scientifically, solidly robust,” Frederickson says. “People have been trying to use hair for 50 years. She’s broken through.” Significantly, Christensen tests the root of the hair, which reveals the latest biological information and hasn’t been contaminated by outside substances, which the ends of hair are. TrichAnalytics’ services are important to Frederickson because he’s working on a project about how zinc or other mineral deficiencies impact autism and depression. “She does really creative, imaginative work," he says. "It’s unusual to find someone both daring and careful.”

No Tricks at TrichAnalytics Dr. Jennie Christensen’s company does standard analysis of metals and elements found in body tissues. TrichAnalytics is also one of the few that:

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 uses micro-sized lasers to analyze biological tissues (hair, whiskers, feathers, fish ears/fins, bones, teeth, nails, claws, talons)  requires exceptionally tiny tissues, e.g. one hair  produces hundreds of results from minuscule samples  specializes in growing tissues, like hair, which means that changes over hours, days or seasons in elemental or metal exposure can be determined

u Did yo ? w o n k One grizzly-bear hair can reveal when the animal started consuming salmon and the amount the bear ate daily.

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A freshwater-fish otolith can give information on water-quality changes over the fish’s life. The progeny growing inside a 3 mm plankton crustacean can be analyzed for metal uptake.


In an intriguing twist, it turns out that Jennie Christensen has been obsessed with hair since the age of six. In fact, she had a compulsion to pull hers out, a disorder known as trichotillomania. "It was very challenging to grow up with," she notes. "I hated it. I hated myself. But I've turned an obsession into a research business. I took a flaw and turned it into one of my greatest strengths." In fact, her recently launched company, TrichAnalytics, could impact human health in a substantial way. Christensen believes her market is unknown and, conceivably, limitless. Her hope is to impact the future, investigating large and complex environmental health issues, from animals exposed to mercury to children dealing with lead exposure. Showing the impacts of the contamination, she believes, could lead to vital changes. C Her company can also work with individuals who want to know the health impact of what M they've been exposed to in the environment. Y It costs approximately $150 to sample one strand of hair, which would give a client a CM comprehensive and fascinating analysis of MY everything from potassium and magnesium CY levels to arsenic and mercury. For now, Christensen is renting space at UVic CMY because she doesn’t have the roughly $500,000 K needed to build a lab. She does, however, have conservative growth plans. Her intent is to have a backlog of projects, and thus income, before any capital expenditures. “You need patience when you start a company,” she says, noting she’s not quite ready for active investors, but silent backers would be okay. “I don’t want to end up in box with someone telling me what to do. “I’ve got a tiny seed. It’s a damn good seed. It could be huge. It could be a bomb.” ■

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34 Douglas

pushing beyond the

comfort zone From highperformance sports psychologists to top-level business coaches, the message is clear: real growth is only possible beyond the comfort zone. By Kerry Slavens

cn tower

At the CN Tower's EdgeWalk in Toronto, participants lean off the roof of the tower's restaurant — 356 metres above the ground. Douglas 35

You can't get there from here. The biggest risk is not taking any risk. If you keep doing what you've always done, you'll keep getting what you've always got. What do these oft-repeated phrases have in common? They all point to the power and benefits of moving beyond that anxiety-free field known as the comfort zone. You might ask, why should I leave my comfort zone when it’s just so ... comfortable? The reasons are compelling. Out there, beyond that zone, is where you discover that you’re capable of more than you think, you’re more resilient

than you knew, your focus and concentration are enhanced — and new ideas are within reach, ready for you to grasp. Performance management expert Alasdair White, who in 1999 published the paper “From Comfort Zone to Performance Management,” called the area beyond the comfort zone the “optimal performance zone” (see page 41), the space between complete ease and dangerously high levels of stress. That’s where the sweet spot is, and it’s different for each individual. Beverly Booth, CEO and founder of The Magical Marketing Booth, a Victoria-based tourism-marketing agency, says leaving her comfort zone and finding the courage to do things like skydive from a plane in the middle of a hail storm eventually gave her the confidence to launch her own business, which specializes in luxury-tourism marketing, working with high-profile clients such as the Oak Bay Beach Hotel and The Discovery Club.

Most recently, in an extreme feat of urban adventure, Booth allowed herself to be outfitted in a harness and tethered to a metal wire 356 metres (1,168 feet) above the city of Toronto to take part in the experience known as the EdgeWalk. “They open the door, and wind just rushes in at you. The girl beside me was shaking so hard; the adrenalin is just rushing,” says Booth. In an hour-long adventure high above Canada’s largest city, Booth and other participants built up courage in increments until finally, in an act of supreme trust in their trainers, their safety equipment and themselves, they leaned out away from the tower, tilting into the abyss. “You’re hanging in the air over Toronto,” Booth laughs. “You see planes taking off and landing, and the lake and traffic way far down. Some people were struggling and we began cheering for them — and then, once they do it,

Taking the turns in a Porsche 718 Boxter at Vancouver Island Motor Circuit.

First-hand experience

A Lesson in Pushing the Limits What happens when a cautiously pragmatic professional writer lets go of the speed limit in an ultra-fast marvel of modern auto engineering?

I drive a bare-bones 2010 Toyota Corolla, so you’d think I’d have leapt at the chance to get behind the wheel of the new Porsche 718 Boxster, a compact specimen of German engineering that can accelerate from zero to 100 km/h in just over four seconds and reach speeds of almost 285 km/h. Not only would I be piloting the $78,000 vehicle on Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit’s challenging and exceptional 2.3 km track near Duncan, I’d be speeding on unfamiliar roads in a car that rumbles at takeoff and rockets into action. The offer meant I had to vacate my comfort zone in more ways than one. What if a Cowichan Valley water buffalo suddenly broke through a fence and met me blasting through at 130 km/h? Or what if I pushed the wrong button on the heavilyoutfitted dashboard? Would the top of the car fly off? Would I be ejected? Would an air bag inflate? These “What ifs?” began to fill me with auto angst. But I had to decide quickly, because this was

36 Douglas

a limited offer and for every “No, thanks,” there were plenty others happy to drive a luxury vehicle on one of North America’s best highperformance tracks. In this case, my desire to be fearless and try something novel won over my innate cautiousness and worrisome nature. I went with my gut, telling myself I would regret it if I didn’t. As they say on Roman roads, carpe diem. And, in a way, it was good not to think about it too long. Overthinking a new situation often leads to the creation of multiple excuses. Over about four hours, under the pro guidance of the Island Circuit crew and Porsche Centre Victoria staff, instead of being stuck in one gear, comfortable at a practical speed, I discovered that yes, I could do something I’d never done before — and love it. When I began driving along the winding circuit, following the pilot car, my palms were sweating, my shoulders hunched and my head achy. There was no way I wanted anything to go wrong in a

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vehicle that costs more than many people earn in one year. But after discovering how this low-slung, superbly designed piece of metal hugged the road, how the brakes really did let you stop on a dime and how you felt enveloped in a Teflon bullet, my palms dried, my head cleared, and it became a legitimate joy ride. By the time I hit the track, with its 19 turns, many of them dare-worthy, plus its stomach-churning changes in elevation, I was ready to roar. I’d started as a mouse and had become a lion. In about an hour, I’d found that I, a middle-aged woman, could handle a Porsche just as well as the leather-gloved aficionado. After finishing two circuits on the track, and doing very well, according to the pace-car driver, I wanted more. And to think 24 hours earlier I wasn’t going to do it. So what happened?

“The Porsche push was a lesson enveloped in a good time.” Removed from a predictable life, I was forced to make the most of an unpredictable day by embracing an unfamiliar track. The brain can handle it. I realized I could master the Porsche, and any surprises that came my way. If I had said no, I would not have learned new skills. The Porsche push was a lesson enveloped in a good time. So go ahead. Be rational, heed the instructions, but the same time, push your boundaries, ratchet it up based on the conditions, don’t say no to new experiences and, in the course of it all, master a new situation.

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you see the expression on their faces. It’s like, ‘I really did this.’ It’s empowering. “You find out what you’re capable of. I still keep those pictures up in my office as a reminder that sometimes you just have to go and do it. It solidified my belief that I can dream big and achieve my dreams (skydiving was on my bucket list for years) and it also confirms that living life fearlessly can be really fun.”

What is a Comfort Zone (and why do you need to get out of it)?

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Get Uncomfortable Tony Joe, a Greater Victoria real estate professional of 26 years, says one of his biggest epiphanies, which he only came to in his early 40s, was finding that he exists at his optimum when he’s outside his comfort zone. “Sometimes it’s almost like I yearn to get out of that zone,” he says. “It’s not quite an addiction but ... every once in a while in a moment of inspiration, I’ll say, ‘OK, it’s time to get uncomfortable again.’ When you do that, that’s when your radar really peaks and you start looking out for those opportunities.” Living outside the comfort zone may seem like a given for Joe. After all, he leads a successful real estate team at the newly rebranded Prime Real Estate Team at Remax/ Camosun, he’s a founder of the Victoria Business 4 Business network, he hosts a CFAX real estate show, and he’s an energetic community champion who chairs the Chinatown Night Market and works with a long list of charities. But Joe said a decade ago, his attitude to life was very different and he actually had to be challenged to push the limits. “It’s easy for people to remain static and maintain the status quo,” he says. “For me, things changed when I began working with a business coach — and in that time period I experienced three areas of diving in the deep end without a life jacket. I remember how scary those areas were.”

Not everyone needs to skydive or “edgewalk” to get out of their comfort zones. For some people, just speaking in front of a crowd or making a courageous business decision is an edge experience. But what exactly is a comfort zone? Simply put, it’s a psychological space where you experience maximum self-control, minimum stress and reduced risk. Sounds good, right? Contentment is high, anxiety and fears are constrained, and our brain works efficiently because it is operating out of habit, with no new experiences to tax it. That’s because the brain actually seeks efficiency. It looks for patterns of what works, then carves out neural pathways that allow it to repeat those actions with minimum effort. But that wonderful sense of comfort and efficiency can also lead to stagnation. Two psychologists, Robert M. Yerkes and John D. Dodson, found this out in 1908 when their experiments with mice revealed Tony Joe of Prime Real Estate that a certain level of increased stimulation led to improved says participating in diverse performance. Over 100 years industry organizations has later, we still know that to be broadened his comfort zone. true.

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Joe’s three areas of deep growth didn’t involve skydiving, but they were just as profound when it came to business growth:

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› He hired an assistant “I remember lying awake, wondering what I was getting myself into, worried about having the responsibility ... But the added productivity way overcomes the expense. I remember being forced on the ledge by my coach and being mad. Today, I would never go back.” › He handed over his financial tasks “My business coach explained I would free up a lot of mental real estate if I got rid of things that I wasn’t good at. It was hard to let go, but I eventually did. He was right.” › He let go of a five-year employee “It was tough and there’s emotions involved … I’m not saying having that employee was bad, but I needed to make that decision to grow my business.”

Ian Clark, CFP 250-405-2928

Joseph Alkana, CIM, FCSI 250-405-2960

Steve Bokor, CFA 250-405-2930

Joe is a perfect example of why business professionals often turn to coaches for growth: as many world-class athletes have found out, sometimes you can’t see your own biases and you need to be coached to move out of the comfort zone to find your true potential.

deciding to Grow Sometimes moving out of your comfort zone means choosing the more difficult road — but one that holds the promise of bigger rewards. For business consultant Clemens Rettich, who has worked with Joe as a coach, that shift came when he was teaching music and film at a Haida Gwaii school. At that time, educators were being advised to upgrade their degrees to masters or PhDs. While many of Rettich’s colleagues opted to stay in the education paradigm, Rettich had an epiphany that business skills could improve his understanding of education management, so he decided to get his MBA in Executive Management. It was certainly outside the comfort zone for a teacher, but Rettich wasn’t interested in having an upper-level education degree that would put him on the path to superintendent: he was interested in exploring his potential. He has no regrets. “I’m beyond happy because, to be frank, I’d lost my faith in [what I was doing],” he says. Today, as a business adviser with Great Performances Group, Rettich works with business owners to create maximum longterm value in their businesses. In his clients, he says, he encounters two basic types of people: 40 Douglas

1. People with permanent growth mentalities “These people seem to be constantly seeking change and preparing to make change. They’re always reading, talking, exploring ... 2. People who claim a certain reality and hunker down on it “They’re the ones who need something like an epiphany ... they need a light to go on before they will make a change ...” While people with a growth mentality might not need much prompting or planning to leave their comfort zones, Rettich says everyone can benefit from the following advice when it comes to making life changes that take them beyond the known: Meditate “Most of our lives are spent in the running and reaction mode; every once in a while you need to slow down.” Do detailed visioning exercises “Don’t be vague about it. Write down your vision and use the present tense, as if you were actually doing it. I am, not I will. There’s a lot of research in the area of sports psychology that shows athletes like figure skaters visualize their successes in great detail. It helps them make a mental commitment.” Make a list of pros and cons “Write down positives and negatives. If you can do that in

Optimal performance Zone

“Everything began happening for me when I got involved in organized real estate at the Victoria Real Estate Board, and I got to know how boards function and about team-work and collaboration,” he says. “When we work together, we can do good things together. If you talked to me eight or 10 years ago, I never would have imagined this. It makes me think, ‘Where will I be in eight or 10 years?’ The horizon has expanded.”

Danger Zone

Following the Vision

Comfort Zone

Alasdair White, who wrote the paper “From Comfort Zone to Performance Management,” believes performance can be enhanced by some amount of stress: the optimal performance zone.

the context of having a conversation, it’s even better, because on our own we only come up with a limited list.” Rettich is also a big fan of finding ways to combine “unlike things.” For business people, that could mean taking part in multi-sectorial roundtables that challenge confirmation biases. Getting involved with other community members can also be an eye-opener, as Tony Joe found through involvement with his real estate industry group.

Sometimes the greatest challenge is not getting out of the comfort zone, but refusing to be put into it. That was certainly true for Tim Cormode, founder and executive director of the Power To Be Adventure Society, a Victoriaand Vancouver-based organization that works with at-risk youth, people with disabilities and others facing major challenges, empowering them to “explore their limitless abilities through inclusive adventures rooted in nature.” “We put people in supportive environments where possibilities that were never thought of due to financial, physical and social barriers are removed,” says Cormode, “so when people come forward, they see the possibilities of what they can do.” The idea had its roots in Orillia, Ontario,

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where Cormode’s first summer job was with an outdoor organization. At age 16, surrounded by nature and working with young adults with disabilities, he found a skill set and a sense of purpose. But once the experience was over, and he began working for institutions “where the culture was more about the issues with the culture than helping people,” the feeling began to get lost. So at age 26, Cormode took a leap. “I left my job and went on unemployment insurance, not knowing where I was going, but knowing what I had been doing wasn’t a fit for me anymore.” He decided to take a course in outdoor leadership at Yamnuska Mountain Adventures in Canmore, Alberta. There, he discovered people doing the kind of work he knew he was destined to do. “I didn’t know where it was going, and I was at an age where you think, ‘I should have a more defined path,’ but here I was, doing camp counselling like a kid.” Then one day he climbed a mountain peak and looked around. “A real sense of euphoria and gratitude came over me, and I thought, ‘If I feel this way, how cool would it be for other people to feel that way?’” he recalls. “I literally saw a vision for myself I wanted to explore — and I could see the vision so clearly and where I could go. It completely changed my life.” In 1998, he launched Power To Be, which has since gone on to work with more than 8,000 participants, exposing them to experiences in nature. Like Rettich, Cormode is a strong advocate of visioning. “I try to do my very best to look at my day and the choices ahead, and ask, ‘What’s the desired outcome?’ I picture that goal or outcome and figure out ‘what do I need to do to get there?’ That outcome always has to be ‘Is this outcome in the best interest of Power to Be and is it worth the risk I need to get there?”

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So how do you know if you need to move out of your comfort zone? Perhaps the biggest question to ask is this: Is where I am making me happy? Do I have real enthusiasm for my life or am I dissatisfied? This can manifest as feelings of boredom or restlessness, and feeling tired or lacklustre. It can happen to people — and it can happen to organizations. Moving out of this zone, beyond the so-called “terror barrier,” isn’t always easy, but as Tony Joe says, “There are so many people saying ‘there's always tomorrow’ and then they are in their 50s and they say it’s too late. I say that because I’m approaching my 50s — and even though I still feel young at heart, there’s a sense you have to be bold and do it. And if you’re a competitive person, look at it this way: take the leap or someone else will.” ■

What’s Going Up,


With its housing inventory at 35 per cent of last year’s active listings and its rental market in a deep squeeze, Victoria's real estate has become as big a topic as the weather. With an energetic economy and high demand for housing, it’s little wonder one of the most common skyline views in Victoria’s urban core these days is the construction crane. Douglas takes a look at who is developing what in the core city.


Vic West

28 29 8

21 madrona at Dockside Green Catalyst Community Developments This affordable housing development, from studio apartments to townhomes, is part of Dockside’s vision of an inclusive neighbourhood in Vic West.



Building by the Numbers 16,000

People working in the construction sector in metro Victoria in the fourth quarter of 2016, an 11.9% increase over the third quarter.


Victoria rental vacancy rate.


Average house price in Canada, March 2017.


Condo units under construction in the City of Victoria.

Average House Price


 $684,900

Number of rental units under construction in the City of Victoria.


in Victoria, April 2017.


Active listings in the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of April 2017, 34.8% fewer than the same time last year.

885 Total properties

sold in Greater Victoria Real Estate Board region in April 2017, 31.2% fewer than the 1,286 properties sold in April of last year.

in Victoria, April 2016.

Building Higher and Higher Victoria’s Current Tallest Building  Bosa Properties’ The Promontory at Bayview • 21 storeys • 66 metres


Value of residential permits issued in the CRD in fourth quarter of 2016, a 33% increase over 2015. Non-residential permits increased 44% during the same period.


acceleration in construction costs in 2017 on Vancouver Island.


Canadians who plan to buy a home in the next two years, down from almost 30% in 2016.

Tall Building Rivals At press time, we’re awaiting news of which development is set to be Victoria’s new tallest building.  Bayview’s Unnamed New Tower • Estimated 25 to 26 storeys • Approvals have been

granted by the City for as high as 77 metres. T  ownline’s Hudson Place One • Estimated 25 to 30 storeys • Approvals have been granted by the City for as high as 75 metres. Townline is proposing a height increase for greater density.

SOURCES: Canadian Real Estate Association, 2017; Canadian Mortgage & Housing Association, 2017; RBC Housing Poll Canada, 2017; Vancouver Island Construction Association, 2016; Victoria Real Estate Board, 2017.

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James Bay


Downtown Properties Abstract Developments 1 Black and White 1033 Cook St. Under construction 75 units/6 storeys Condos/commercial

Amadon Group 6 The Wade 1105 Pandora Ave. Pre-sales 102 units/4 storeys Condos/commercial

2 Unnamed 1201 Fort St. & 1050 Pentrelew Pl. Proposed 2 condo buildings with townhomes Condos/townhomes

BlueSky Properties 7 BlueSky Victoria 1008 Pandora Ave. Approved 207 units/6 storeys Rentals/commercial

Alpha Project Developments 3 Legato 960 Yates St. Under construction 88 units/17 storeys Condos/commercial 4 Unnamed 1400 Quadra St. In planning 125 units/15 storeys Rentals

Alston Properties 5 Unnamed 727-729 Johnson St. Approved 30 units/5 storeys Rentals/commercial

Catalyst Community Developments 8 Madrona at Dockside Green Vic West Under construction 49 units/two 3-storey buildings Rentals, incl. townhomes Chard Developments 9 The Yates on Yates 848 Yates St. Approved 2 buildings plus connecting podium from Yates to Johnson Yates: 111 units Condos Johnson: 113 units Condos/retail

IronWorks Le FevRe & Company The progressively modern architecture of Ironworks, complete with steel cladding, honours Old Town’s industrial roots, including nearby Capital Iron and the old Albion Iron Works.

36 30

39 38



31 31 11

25 5


ThE Wade Amadon group Mid century meets new century at The Wade, a 1953 medical arts building turned sustainable development of edible plantings, rooftop gardens, alkaline water treatment, low-VOC design and naturalized fresh-air exchange.


25 4 9 10 34 35


7 18 19 6 17




2 2

20 16

Black & White Abstract Developments Described as gravitydefying, Black and White’s unique façade features alternating bands of white and dark brick,accented by wood-framed patios or enclosed balconies.


13 14


26 40


Capital Park Jawl and concert Properties On the edge of James Bay, this mixeduse project includes two AA LEED Platinum office buildings, a library, Red Barn Market, condos and rental units.

10 Yello on Yates 819 Yates St. 209 units/15 storeys Rentals/commercial

15 Capital Park Phase II 545 Superior St. 6 storeys Office/retail

Cielo Properties 11 595 Pandora 595 Pandora Ave. 53 units/5 storeys Condos

16 Capital Park Phase IIB 530, 500 & 560 Menzies St. 53 units/4 storeys Rentals/retail

Concert Properties 12 Tapestry 701 Belleville St. Approved 173 units/15 storeys Seniors condos/rentals/ commercial Concert Properties & Jawl Properties 13 Capital Park Phase I 525 Superior St. Under construction 5 storeys Office/commercial 14 355 Menzies St. Under construction 53 units/4 storeys Rentals/retail, including library and Red Barn Market

Cox Developments 17 989 989 Johnson St. Approved 206 units/15- and 17-storey buildings plus 6-storey podium Condos/commercial 18 Unnamed 1075 Pandora Ave. Under construction 134 units/13 storeys Rentals 19 Unnamed 1088 Johnson St. In planning 37 units/10 storeys Rentals


Empresa Properties 20 Unnamed 1120-1128 Burdett Ave. In planning 36 units/4 storeys Condos bosa properties with focus equities 21 Bayview-Encore Under construction 2 buildings: 134 units/ 5 & 17 storeys Condos focus equities 22 Bayview-Unnamed In design 25 or 26 storeys within approved geodetic height 200 condos/groundfloor mixed retail

Jawl Properties 25 1515 Douglas and 750 Pandora Under construction 6 storeys (Douglas) and 13 storeys (Pandora) Office/retail JN Development Group 26 Unity Commons 1303 Fairfield Rd. In planning 16 units/4 storeys Rentals/commercial Kang & Gill construction 27 The Row 1154 Johnson St. In planning 48 units/6 storeys Condos

Bayview Future Le Fevre & Company Development 28 Horizon I 2 5-storey seniors residences 767 Tyee Rd. + 4 condo buildings Pre-sales, limited remaining Homewood Constructors 2 sections: 35 units/4 storeys, & 6/3-storey 24 Cityzen Residences SkyHouse units 613 Herald St. Condos/townhomes 32 units/6 storeys Condos/commercial 23

29 Horizon II 767 Tyee Rd. Presales summer 2017 2 sections: 36 units/4 storeys & 4/3-storey SkyHouse units Condos/townhomes 30 Ironworks 515 Chatham St. In planning 170 units/4 storeys Condos/commercial 31 Lee Cheong & Lum Sam 534 Pandora Ave. Sold (resales only) 25 units/2 storeys Condos/commercial

Method Built Homes 32 Unnamed 953 Balmoral Rd. Pre-construction 17 units/6 storeys Rentals Mosaic Properties 33 Jukebox Victoria 1029 View St. Under construction 215 units/9 storeys Condos/commercial

Information available at press time; subject to change.

Ian Laing Properties Ltd. 34 Sawyer Building 840 Fort St. Altering existing development permit 60-64 units/6 storeys Residential/commercial Pacific Arbour Six Residences and Parc Retirement Living 35 Fort and Parc 829-891 Fort St. In planning 280 units/10 storeys Rental/commercial RealHomes Development Corporation 36 Azzurro 1950 Blanshard St. Construction complete 65 units/7 storeys Rentals/commercial Reliance Properties 37 Johnson St. Gateway/ Northern Junk 1314-1324 Wharf St. Under combined rezoning & DP application 2 heritage + 1 new building 120 units (est.)/ 5-7 storeys Condos/commercial

Townline 38 Hudson Place One 777 Herald St. Under construction 175 units/ 25-30 storeys Residential 39 Hudson Place Two 1700 Blanshard St. Proposed 120 units/16-18 storeys Residential/rental/office/ retail

Tri-Eagle and Jawl Residential 40 986 Heywood 986 Heywood Ave. In planning 21 units/4 storeys Condos Urban Core ventures 41 Unnamed 212-220 Cook St. Pre-construction 17 units/5 storeys Condos/townhomes/rentals/ commercial 42 Unnamed 71-75 Montreal St. 19 units/2 storeys

Douglas 45

The new vibrancy of Right: Construction of the 28-slip Victoria International Marina near the Songhees Walkway.

Vic Left: Dockside Green's CafĂŠ Plaza, which includes Foi Epi bakery and Caffe Fantastico. Below: Horizon l, the most recent phase of the Railyards development, which has been built in stages since 2004.

Right: The Railyards development, along the Selkirk Waterway, includes a range of housing from studio apartments to townhouses. Far right: The Galloping Goose Trail begins at the south end of the Selkirk Trestle, at the foot of Alston Street in Vic West. 46 Douglas

West With a new marina and several trendy developments in its future, Vic West is a neighbourhood with a vision, eager to embrace the future but mindful of its working-harbour roots.

■ by jody Paterson

■ photos by simon desrochers

If slow and steady wins the race, Vic West must be in line for a gold medal. The little neighbourhood “across the bridge” has been marked for bigger things for decades now, but high-profile development dreams for former industrial lands in the community have been painfully slow to materialize. “From my perspective, we’ve been sitting here waiting for 30 years,” says Spinnakers Brewpub owner Paul Hadfield, who opened his Catherine Street pub in 1984. “We need people. We need life, not derelict dirt like we currently have in the community.” But could this be the year when it all comes together for Vic West? The massive Dockside Green development is finally back on track after stalling out eight years ago at only 22 per cent build-out. Meanwhile, developers of the Roundhouse development on Esquimalt Road say that much-anticipated project is “well-established and moving forward.” The 500-unit Railyards townhouse development is down to its final two buildings and set to be completed in 2018. A new luxury marina for mega-yachts is slated to open on the Songhees waterfront this summer. Add in the scarcity of available land remaining for development in Victoria’s downtown core, and sleepy Vic West is suddenly top of mind. “We see immense opportunity there,” says Dave Ganong, Victoria managing director of commercial real estate agency Colliers International. “In terms of urban fabric, they’ve got so much that other areas would be envious of. I’d almost say ‘overlooked’ to describe that area up to now, but it could be something truly special if they let the density come. “When I look at Vic West, it has the best Victoria has to offer: An economic base due to the working harbour, availability of land in a city that’s extremely short of land, an affordability level and reasonable retail because it’s close to Esquimalt and close to the downtown. It’s a walkable subcommunity in an immensely walkable community. And there’s diversity.” Defining Vic West Even locals can end up confused about the boundaries of Vic West. The community, an approximately 158-hectare wedge bordering Esquimalt on the west side of the Gorge waterway, was created in 1890 under a City of Victoria bylaw that redefined and expanded city boundaries. The triangle-shaped neighbourhood — bordered by Victoria Harbour, the Gorge and Esquimalt at Dominion Road — was a Songhees Nation stronghold once upon a time. But Douglas 47

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48 Douglas

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the Hudson's Bay Company had other plans at the turn of the last century, ordering the relocation of the Songhees people to what is now Esquimalt in order to make room for new industry along the Upper Harbour. Back then, Vic West was a mix of housing for the working class and the wealthy — the former enjoying proximity to industrial workplaces that soon lined the waterfront, the latter drawn to the ocean views, mountain vistas, and proximity to the downtown. Development proceeded at a stately pace even in those years, and many of the neighbourhood’s original homes still remain as a result. Making the Transition to Modern Much of modern Vic West is made up of single-family homes and small apartment buildings, with commercial pockets scattered in between. Large tracts of former industrial lands along Tyee Road were targeted for residential/ commercial development as long ago as the 1970s, but the lands were contaminated and in a sorry state after decades of industrial use. It wasn’t until the early 2000s that developers took a more serious interest in Vic West. “The industrial land was vagrant wasteland in those days,” recalls developer Chris Le Fevre, who bought CN land for his Railyards development. “When I bought the property, there was a crummy little path down by the water, and maybe half a dozen people walking along it at any given time. I built the Galloping Goose along the waterfront [from the Selkirk Trestle to the Bay Street Bridge] as part of my master development plan, and now there are thousands using that trail.” The ambitious Dockside Green project was approved by the City of Victoria in 2004. Billed as a sustainable and relentlessly green neighbourhood of 1,200 condos and assorted commercial buildings to be built over the next decade. The project, backed by Vancity Savings Credit Union, won a number of environmental awards before stalling out in 2009. (As it turned out, not enough potential buyers were willing to pay a premium just to be green at the time.) Developer Joe Van Belleghem sold his 25 per cent share in the project that year to Vancity, which became the sole owner. Fast forward to 2014 and a reworked Vancity team was back at the table, pitching a new plan that will see individual builders contracted to build 12 condo towers and a number of commercial buildings. That plan finally won City of Victoria approval in January of this year, bringing the dormant project back to life. While the condo towers will be phased in according to market demand, construction of 49 units of affordable rental housing got underway last summer and will be completed this fall.

fit into the community. A lot has changed since 2005 when Dockside was conceived, and Vic West has evolved in that time.” Updating the original Dockside plan has been a critical aspect of reviving the project, he adds. “The market has changed substantially even in the two or three years of our recent process,” he says. “The old plan was only achievable in a positive market; some of the buildings had 200 units. We needed to turn them into 80 to 120 units — a building scale deliverable in a regular market, where it’s all based on pre-sales. So now the plan allows for this. You need a plan that has resiliency.”

On the Bayview site in Vic West, masterplanned by Focus Equities, upcoming developments include Bosa Development’s Encore, approved for up to 77 metres. The much-anticipated and historic Roundhouse Marketplace is included in Bayview’s future development, once the Bayview site has reached appropriate residential density.

Commercial development and access to public spaces and community parks that are part of the plan will run along Harbour Road, across from Point Hope Maritime shipyard, while residential buildings will be on Tyee. “What we’ve been undertaking is updating the neighbourhood plan and working with the community to talk strengths and challenges,” says Ally Dewji, director of development for Dockside Green. “It’s been a reflective process both for the immediate project and how it will

Developing the Vision Up on the hilltop property off Esquimalt Road that’s home to the Bayview Place development, Focus Equities owners Patricia and Kenneth W. Mariash Sr. still aren’t putting any dates to when the eagerly anticipated Roundhouse development will begin. But Ken Mariash says “market response has been very positive” for condo towers on the property. The first two towers “have achieved a high degree of success,” and pre-sales for a third tower, Encore, are now fully subscribed. The Roundhouse plan revolves around a former train-maintenance site owned by Focus

Douglas 49

Equities, and envisages a marketplace, cultural area and even a revival of rail service along the old E&N rail corridor. “We are making sure the heritage district, the E&N Roundhouse site, evolves and doesn’t become someone else’s idea of what a brickyard market should look like. We are very committed to the authenticity of the site and are doing a great deal of research to achieve that through our design phase,” he says. Construction of the Victoria International Marina is finally underway on the Songhees waterfront after more than three decades of heated community debate over whether it should be allowed. The 28-slip marina for luxury mega-yachts opens this summer, while a new marine business centre, posh crew lounge and restaurant are expected to open in October. Craig Norris, CEO of Community Marine Concepts — which took over the project last year from developer Bob Evans — says the first order of business in getting things back on track was to rework the “Frankenplan” approved by the City of Victoria in 2008 so that it made financial sense. So far, interest appears to be high among the mega-yacht (65 to 180 feet long) owners who are the target clients. “Three of the four bookings we’ve got for long-term rental are from locals, who have never had a local place to keep their yachts,” says Norris. “In terms of the transient piece, we’re close to being able to say we’re booked for the rest of the year.”


50 Douglas

Remembering the Real Neighbourhood A number of people interviewed for this piece used the word “overlooked” to describe Vic West to this point, but Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps says that’s an outsider’s perspective. People who actually live in Vic West have long known that it’s a gem of a neighbourhood, she says. “Vic West has a very strong sense of place. It might be overlooked by those who don’t live there, but not by those who do,” says the mayor. “Vic West has been a leader on urban gardens, orchards in the city, food-centred feasts at the community centre. It’s an innovative, forward-looking neighbourhood, with a lot of similarities with Fernwood.” Big developments can present risks to the feel of a community, especially when so much of the Vic West development along the waterway is aimed at a higher-end market. Will new residents savour the unique flavour that Vic West’s working harbour provides? Are long-time residents worried that their proudly working-class neighbourhood could become the next candidate for tear-downs to make way for luxury homes? “We want Vic West to continue feeling like a village in the centre of the city — a place for

young families to thrive, that attracts single adults and couples and helps seniors to age in place,” says Justine Semmens, president of the Vic West Community Association. “Some of the big themes to emerge have included a desire to maintain the heritage and character of the neighbourhood, while embracing opportunities that the future holds, such as building a more sustainable community that promotes local food security, ecology and conservation, multivalent transportation. Development needs to be managed carefully, but the influx of new community members through condominium development brings added opportunity.” There have been times over the years when strong opinions were aired about whether residential development of the Vic West industrial lands could co-exist alongside harbour industries like Point Hope Maritime shipyard, which stretches along Harbour Road. But those with a stake in the neighbourhood now agree that the working harbour is a unique asset that not only creates well-paid, permanent employment, but adds visual interest to the landscape. “I think the working harbour is awesome,” says Paul Hadfield. “Whenever I see those guys, I thank them for the show. It reminds me of Granville Island, and it speaks to something

The shopping village on Craigflower Road serves as a Vic West neighbourhood gathering spot and offers several stops, including a bakery, cafe, barber shop and general store.

other than the typical urban environment.” One of the appealing components of the original Dockside Green proposal was the construction of 49 units of rental housing designated for families with household incomes between $25,000 and $60,000. The original plan set aside $3 million to make that happen, and non-profit social enterprise Catalyst Community Developments Society — which counts Vancity


among its founding supporters — is finally spending that money to bring the two Madrona buildings to life as its first project in Victoria. Catalyst president Robert Brown says the society will own the units, expected to be on the rental market by August or September. Fol Epi proprietor Cliff Leir was an early tenant at one of the first Dockside Green commercial buildings, and says he has loved getting to know the Vic West residents who have shopped at his bakery since it opened in 2009. Leir acknowledges he picked the location to capitalize on what was then a plan for full build-out by 2014, but hung in there anyway after the project stalled the very year he moved in. “I love being in an older, working-class neighbourhood that has that industrial feel,” he says. Developer Chris Le Fevre says he’s confident Vic West will hold on to its charm even as big projects get underway and reshape the waterfront. “It’s not going to end up overrun with development. There’s not enough land, and there’s a solid community association whose active involvement is testament to what it’s all about,” he says. “There’s a nice balance there between preservation and commonsense growth. It’s all going to let Vic West keep shining in its own little way.” ■




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Douglas Magazine.indd 1


Douglas 51

How to Design a Workplace that Works Thinking about moving to new office space or renovating the one you already have? Douglas asks top commercial designers how to get the best results — and visits the United Way’s stylish new space and Workday’s funky yet functional digs for examples of how to do it right. by Shannon Moneo 52 Douglas


lot of people spend more of their waking hours at their workplaces than at home, yet most offices just aren’t the sort of venues they would opt to spend more time at. Not so for the almost 40 employees of Workday, whose 7,000-square-foot Victoria office was designed to be the extension of a playful and eclectic home. “People come into the space and go, ‘Like, wow. I can really visualize myself working here,” says Stuart Bowness, Workday’s vice-president of media cloud engineering.

 The United Way of Greater Victoria worked with Ann Squires Ferguson, RID, a partner at Victoria’s Western Interior Design Group, when they moved into their new 7,100-square-foot space on Courtney Street. The linear lines of the bold graphic carpet represent the organization’s connections to the community. Transom windows along the hall allow natural light into the offices.

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Photos: jeffrey Bosdet/Douglas magazine

▼ According to Ann Squires Ferguson, wall graphics, such as the one in United Way’s reception and the ones along the hall, are a small investment and wonderful way to promote brand messaging.

Investing is about working together. Your goals. Our solutions. Jeff Cohen, BA, CFP, FCSI Wealth Advisor

Their Bastion Square office exudes warmth and a feeling of community. It’s functional, yet swathed in sophistication. Open work spaces, bold colours, exposed brick, comfy couches and vintage items reflect Workday’s culture. The eclectic space also became a recruitment tool. “We were able to bring the best and brightest engineers to the city. It correlated with our workspace. They love it. It continues to be why people choose to work in our office,” Bowness says, adding that the roughly

$150,000 spent to create the office they wanted was definitely a savvy investment. THE SPACE TELLS THE STORY Kyla Bidgood and her team at Victoria’s Bidgood + Co. created Workday’s office, starting even before new space for the rapidly growing tech company was chosen and working with their client until the last piece of furniture was assembled. Bidgood, one of only 22 registered interior

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Member - Canadian Investor Protection Fund. Member of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada.

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designers (RIDs) on Vancouver Island, says owners often have great ideas about a new office design. But then, as they get into it, they abandon once-ambitious plans because they’re too busy running their businesses. So usually, the result is less than appealing and doesn't reflect the company's mission or its culture. “I’ll walk into an office and have no idea what they do,” says Bidgood. “The space doesn’t tell their story.” She also gets calls from business owners who tell her something “doesn’t feel right” in their office. Problems include purchasing unsuitable office furniture, too-obvious over-branding, keeping the square footage too low and ignoring employees’ comfort and wishes. When Bidgood takes over, it’s performance time. “A good designer is like an actor. We put the client’s personality through our filter, using our expertise.” CREATING MEANINGFUL SPACES Some of that expertise includes not thinking about design in a sequential way. “[Professional designers] are taught to think in a non-linear way. We approach problems from all angles,” says Ann Squires Ferguson, RID, a partner at Victoria’s Western Interior Design Group. Often a client will tell her

they need a new space, but in reality they’re not using their current space efficiently. For example, graphic designers will be in one area, sales people in another. Instead, the office should be designed to create “collisions” where those who need to talk to each other do so in naturally occurring, meaningful encounters. Squires Ferguson doesn't view design as some rarified practice where she comes in from on high and dispenses specialized knowledge. Instead, the goal is to design an office that makes people who work there happy and thus boosts productivity — which is why she spends much time speaking with owners and employees. “We’re bringing humans into spaces,” Squires Ferguson says. "It’s not about the space. It’s about the people." To gather intel, she interviews staff and stakeholders to understand their wishes and concerns. She then synthesizes the information and creates bubble-like diagrams that are brought back to the client. Space is sorted into public/private and active/passive categories, not into departments. She also creates three layouts, giving the client choice. “I spend time looking at how the space supports the purpose of the business. People ask me about paint colours on the first phone

call. That’s so far down the line,” she notes. Last summer, Squires Ferguson began consultations with the United Way of Greater Victoria as the organization relocated from a three-storey Fort Street space to a 7,100-squarefoot, singe-floor space on Courtney Street. By December, the 20 staff moved into what the United Way’s director of operations calls a “fresh, beautiful space with lots of colour. “Even the landlord was surprised," says Janet Tudor. "There were no glitches. We had to do a demolition and were on a tight time frame, had to get materials quickly, yet we came in on budget and on time." Gone were the cubbyhole offices in favour of open, light-filled spaces. As well, because Western Interior Design acts as contractor during construction, it shepherds the project through all stages, even travelling to Vancouver to oversee the purchase of office furniture. One notable and often overlooked problem when new office space is acquired is that clients don’t realize how long it can take to get new furniture, or else they opt for off-the-shelf, assemble-it-yourself furniture, which is typically poor quality and not suited to office demands, Bidgood notes. Georgi-Anna Sizeland, an RID with 30 years of commercial experience, believes office space

Our new showroom is your new resource.

3375 Tennyson Avenue, Victoria BC

54 Douglas

Photo by Modern Home

has to be strategic. “It needs to be purposeful. What behaviours do you want to encourage in this space?” asks Sizeland. Creating a setting where the balance between collaborative efforts and heads down to work is one goal. A solution is to design hubs where the coffee area overlaps with the meeting area. As Ferguson notes, such spots become places where ideas are traded. Others choose the middle ground: few offices, open work areas, some private spaces, stand-up counters and lounge areas, Sizeland says. “Clients think when they lease existing space, they can drop

people in. That doesn’t work.” Like Squires Ferguson and Bidgood, Sizeland interviews a cross-section of staff or, with large companies, uses focus groups. She finds how employees spend their work days, what the company culture is and what employee expectations are. For instance, older workers may like to shut doors and work in private spaces, while younger employees may prefer communal space, she says. As Workday’s Bowness notes, “Try to get a millennial to work in a cubicle; good luck.” In the end, a good design solution should

How to find the Ideal Workspace

The Canadian Home Builders’ Association – Vancouver Island Celebrates the Winners of the 2017 VIBE Awards! Congratulations to MAC Renovations and TS Williams Construction on 4 VIBE wins each and Pheasant Hill Homes on 5 wins! Go to for photos of all the finalists and winners.

Kyla Bidgood, owner and principal designer at Victoria’s Bidgood + Co. Interiors, has designed a guide on how to find and build the ideal workspace.

Thank you to all of our partners, including our Emerald Partners Slegg Building Materials and FortisBC and Gold Partner, BC Housing.


C  alculate the space needed; for example: • 4-person meeting room – 100-120 sq. ft. • 10-12-person meeting room – 300 sq. ft. • standard office – 100-120 sq. ft. • large office – 225 sq. ft. • workstations – 30-50 sq. ft. • kitchen – 150 sq. ft.+ • reception – 100 sq. ft.+ • lounge – 300 sq. ft.+ •w  ashrooms/phone rooms/storage – 50 sq. ft.+ 20% for circulation  Next, consider if your space will be condensed (100 sq ft/person), dynamic (140-150 sq ft/person) or traditional (175 sq ft/person).

Looking For a Space — What To Consider

 Does the building’s existing classification allow office use?  Does the floor plate need to be changed to create a smaller suite?  Do existing suites need to be joined to make a larger suite?  Will additional exits or washrooms be required?  Are there plumbing restrictions?  Is the heating/cooling controlled in the suite or base building?  What’s the air quality?

 How is the sound transfer from adjacent tenants?

 What’s the condition of walls/windows?  Will the building’s age affect upgrades and what are possible complexities of construction, i.e. narrow stairwells?  What are potential unknowns such as asbestos or lead paint?  Will the space accommodate future growth?

Space Is Found; Now What?

H  ire a designer. H  ave a basic floor plan.

U  se the layout to create a pre-design construction budget with the designer.

Project Schedule

1) Design of construction drawings: 6 to 8+ weeks 2) Securing building permit: 2 to 8 weeks 3) Tendering: 2 to 3 weeks

4) Post-tender cost engineering: 1 to 2 weeks 5) Construction: 6 to 12+ weeks 6) Furniture orders: 6 to 10 weeks 7) Move & set up: 1 to 2 weeks

> TS Williams Construction, Nanoose Bay for The Element with project partner KB Design

 What’s the current electrical capacity?


Before Leasing A Space

 I dentify needs such as the number of workstations, private offices, meeting spaces, phone rooms, lounge/kitchen areas, who needs to be near who/ what, acoustic/privacy/light needs and specialty spaces.

N  egotiate your tenant improvement allowances and determine what are the landlord’s responsibilities. D  efine what falls under the tenant improvement allowance. Does the tenant get a lump sum or does it get paid directly to contractor by landlord? Does the allowance get paid back during the lease’s term?

> Pheasant Hill Homes, Nanaimo



Here’s what to pay attention to before you sign the lease.

> Pheasant Hill Homes, Nanaimo

W  orking with your designer, determine which other consultants are required, collect estimates and establish time needed to do respective jobs.

All info courtesy Kyla Bidgood

Douglas 55

Workday’s office, designed by Kyla Bidgood of Bidgood + Co., highlights the company’s lively, playful and positive work environment, and features unique elements such as private meeting and breakout areas.

56 Douglas

save the company time and money. For a 30-person company, if Sizeland reduces the per-person office space by, say, 10 or 20 square feet, presto, there’s the space for a meeting area or lounge. “And for a small company that’s growing quickly, that’s leasing space for only a short time, why use 10-year carpet when three-year carpet will work?” she says.

Workday has worked with Kyla Bidgood since 2013 and is now working with her again to prepare for the company's move to its spanking-new, 15,000-square-foot offices in the under-construction development at 1515 Douglas. For Bowness, this relationship highlights the importance of choosing a commercial designer whose style you like and whom you get along with at a personal level, because the process is highly collaborative. He recalls that when he first saw the oncebarren Bastion Square space, he couldn’t imagine its potential. “Kyla saw it. She made the space eyepopping,” Bowness says. He also sees the dollars and sense in bringing in a designer instead of relying on staff. “If I would have loaded the work on our management team," he notes, "it would have been a hugely burdensome task. If you can outsource it and get a professional to do it, you’re massively ahead.” Bidgood and her team coordinated the work, ran interference with the contractors, ordered the goods and furniture, installed it all and, oh yes, did the design. “They probably saved us a huge amount of pain,” Bowness says, “delivering a product far above what we would have visualized.” ■


57 communication

Don't let the trolls get you down

58 Leadership

Good leadership takes heart

[business intelligence ]

60 Growth

Busting the myth of work-life balance

Don’t Feed the Trolls! Dealing with negativity in social media Monitor

Did they ask a question?

 Assess



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Commented  on more than one post?



Was the comment offensive?




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 Dilute

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Don’t Let the Trolls Get You Down How to combat the nasty naysayers and keep your company in a positive light.


et’s say you run a clothing store and have an online fashion blog to promote your products. You write an article, share it on your company’s Facebook page and, lo and behold, it’s gaining traction. Likes and shares are going up, and comments are flying in. “Great tips, thanks for sharing” says one reader. “Fantastic article!” says another. Then you spot the dreaded nonsensical rant: “Terible

waste of time!! your ugly and nobody should pay money for these cloths!!!” (Misspellings intended). This is the work of the oh-too-common troll. You’ve likely heard the term troll, but let’s dissect it a bit further. Trolls are ugly, mean specimens who hide in anonymity and feed off making other people’s lives miserable. They’re argumentative, attention-seeking and tactless,

to put it nicely. They post long-winded hurtful comments wherever they feel they can do the most damage, including social media, online forums and sites where companies rely on feedback for ranking purposes, such as Google, Yelp or TripAdvisor. I managed social media for television news for many years. There were countless times I wanted to jump through the computer screen and call people out for being mean. Instead, over time, I learned a better way. I learned there’s a way to manage trolls. I now work with businesses to help mitigate the wrath of these trolls, and want to share my tips with you. Douglas 57

Let’s break this down into two main points: prevention and management.

factors to look for. An upset customer’s post will likely explain a situation or experience, whereas a troll’s post will Prevention likely be an unrelated rant. Did your company make a mistake? It could be ◆ Decide whether you want to disable comments. as small as a typo or as big as a major product For many social media channels and website malfunction. Respond to these posts publicly and platforms, “allow comments” defaults to On. Deciding quickly, then immediately follow up with a direct to leave comments on or off can depend on the size message to address the issue. of your team to manage comments How fast do you need to respond? or whether you’re legally bound to A recent study by social A recent study by social customerallow comments due to freedom of customer experience experience experts Lithium Technologies speech. This may apply to public experts Lithium says 72 per cent of people who complain entities, including news stations. Technologies says via Twitter expect the company to ◆ Have an external policy in place. respond within an hour. Other social List your guidelines wherever you media platforms aren’t far off. If those allow comments and outline what complaining don’t get a response, time you will not tolerate. This can be in just adds fuel to the fire. of people who complain your About section on your Facebook So perhaps no social media is the via Twitter expect the page or footer of the Comment solution? Well, the benefits of having company to respond section of your website. For instance, your company online far outweigh within an hour. Facebook has a Community dealing with nasty trolls. Plus, as your Standards section where it outlines: online following grows and you create “To help balance the needs, safety, and interests of a loyalty, your followers will naturally start to defend diverse community, however, we may remove certain you. Hooray! kinds of sensitive content or limit the audience that There’s also good news for Twitter users. It’s sees it.” currently rolling out new features that automatically Having your own set of rules gives you something filter out "low-quality" and "abusive tweets." It’s also to reference when needing to hide or delete allowing tweeters to mute words from their timelines. comments. With all of this said, keep up those positive posts and remember: whatever you do, don’t feed the trolls. ◆ Have an internal policy in place. Be sure your


team members are familiar with your external policies so they can use a unified message if a troll comes into the picture.

Coralie McLean is founder and marketing director of LivelyCo.

Management ◆ Don’t feed the trolls. They are hungry for attention and won’t stop until they find someone who will give it to them. Responding to a troll can actually rank a nasty post higher and show up in more of your followers’ feeds if it’s gaining traction. Instead, try ignoring them. Trolls are known to leave quickly if no one plays along.

LEADERSHIP by Maggie Kerr-Southin

Good Leadership Takes Heart

◆ Hide mean comments. Some sites give you the ability to hide comments, which blocks them from the public, but not the troll. This is safer than deleting a comment. Deleting can add fuel to the fire and cause the troll to keep posting and make the posts more damaging.

Why leadership is not the same thing as management — and why great leaders understand the concept of servant leadership.

◆ Have the right team in place to combat the trolls. In addition to the above prevention tip on having an internal policy, having a proper team in place to stickhandle the trolls is key. This is a job for those with thick skin who can keep a diplomatic face for your company.

hen I think of the people whom I consider great leaders, I see one thing in common: a desire to serve their people, their organizations and the world to achieve a common goal. These leaders inspire their followers to find ways to be successful and trust their inherent abilities to do so. Looking back on my early days as a business owner, I realize I was a natural leader. I was ready to lead the way to save the world from one social injustice or another, or at least pave the way for Canadians to be more successful with their health care, employment or other social challenges. As time passed, I learned more about being a manager and forgot about being a leader. While a leader models the way through inspiration and creating a long-term vision, a manager plots out the

Not All Complainers are Trolls Now, it’s important to note the difference between a troll and an upset customer. A troll’s behaviour is irrational, comments are filled with misspellings and poor grammar, and the messaging is often callous or even abusive. An upset customer may resemble a troll at first with his or her negative comment, but there are distinguishing 58 Douglas


6 Ways to

Enlist Others in a Vision

According to James Kouzes and Barry Posner, authors of The Leadership Challenge, the ability to inspire a shared vision is key to leadership excellence. To do this, you have to appeal to the shared aspirations of the people you hope to lead, whom the authors refer to as constituents:

1 Talk with your constituents and find out about their hopes, dreams and aspirations for the future. 2 Make sure your constituents know what makes their products or services unique and special. 3 Show constituents how enlisting in a common vision serves their longterm interests. 4 Be positive, upbeat and energetic when talking about the future of your organization, and make liberal use of metaphors, symbols, examples and stories. 5 Acknowledge the emotions of others and validate them as important. 6 Let your passion show in a manner genuinely expressive of who you are. — Excerpt from The Leadership Challenge: How to Make Extraordinary Things Happen in Organizations, 6th Edition, 2017 (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.)

individual steps, then ensures team members follow each step precisely as prescribed. I was encouraged to focus on the micro picture and use my head more than my heart. I was bogged down in managing projects and HR. I spent a lot of time reading financials. What do you think happened? If you guessed that I lost my way and my passion, you would be right. I stopped dreaming and became much more automated. In short, I stopped thinking I could change the world. I stopped being a “servant leader.” Leading Through Empathy While servant leadership is not new — Robert Greenleaf coined the phrase in the early 20th century — it is experiencing a resurgence based on those who are finding that dictating to the workforce and micromanaging team members is eroding loyalty and workplace satisfaction. Greenleaf’s concepts of empathy and compassion in leaders are making a comeback. It takes a lot of self-awareness to extend empathy to your employees. This aha moment came a few months ago when I took an excellent workshop on leadership. I felt so validated to learn that the new leadership model is to use a human-based approach, not dictatorial. We talked about listening and asking questions to learn how team members tick and then help them grow in Omicron_Douglas_Ad_Final_R2.pdf



The humility imperative is simple: If you’re an egofuelled leader, find humility today, before it’s too late. Instead, choose to recognize your place in the universe is no more important than anyone else’s. Know you can learn from every single interaction — no matter the person’s credentials. — Dave Balter, founder of BzzAgent

their own capacities as problem solvers. These coaching questions open up the opportunity for innovation. I have enough humility to admit I don’t have all the answers; I have enough trust to know others can discover them if I provide opportunity. The Leadership Challenge Yes, leadership can be messy. Great leaders have to make difficult decisions and be willing to “take one for the team” if those decisions fail. They need to reflect — not ruminate — on the results. Leaders may not always be correct, but they need to do what they say they are going to do. Without honesty, there is no trust. Without trust, you don’t have a team. James Kouzes and Barry Posner have been studying and teaching leadership skills for more than 30 years, amassing a significant body of work on the attributes of exemplary leaders.


12:52 PM

Their international survey results over the years reveal that while the things we value in leaders may vary, the top four attributes have not changed in three decades: honest, forwardthinking, competent and inspiring. These four themes form the basis for the leadership development discussed throughout their book, The Leadership Challenge: How to Make Extraordinary Things Happen in Organizations. I’d add humility to the list or, perhaps more appropriately, humility is the stage upon which these attributes can succeed. It was Nelson Mandela who famously advised to lead from behind and put others in front, especially when there is cause for celebration. A leader steps to the front when times are dangerous or challenging. Lack of humility almost cost Dave Balter his business. When the founder of BzzAgent, a leading word-of-mouth marketing company,










Omicron is an integrated firm that provides development, design and construction services on southern Vancouver Island. Recent projects have added retail and commercial services where needed most, and created attractive residential properties across the region. New large-scale projects, Eagle Creek Village in View Royal and Sidney Crossing at Beacon Ave and Hwy 17, provide services that enhance communities, keep people shopping where they live, and provide employment opportunities. Learn about our better way, today.

Douglas 59

was featured on the cover of New York Times Magazine and was the subject of two Harvard Business School case studies, Balter says his ego was running unchecked. Then the recession hit in 2009. BzzAgent was particularly hard hit because of Balter’s “outsized ego and the way I was leading the company.” The chairman of his board called him on it. That rude awakening led Balter to change his mindset and become a student of life and business. Now a passionate humility evangelist, his 2011 article in Inc., “The Humility Imperative: CEOs, Keep Your Arrogance in Check,” led him to start a movement called the Humility Imperative.


by Clemens Rettich

Busting the Myth of Work-Life Balance If you start a business believing work-life balance is part of the deal, you’re making a big mistake.


successful consultant recently told me this story. She was at a dog park with her young daughter and their dog. As it was the middle of the week, she sat on a bench, working on her mobile, while her daughter and dog played. After some time, her daughter asked, “Why are you on your phone? You should be spending time with me.” The business owner gently explained to her daughter that because she was able to do business by phone, it meant she could actually find time to go to the park instead of sitting in an office, imagining a life with a perfect work-life balance. She knew work and life can no longer be separated into different sides of the teetertotter. The reality is that work and life are on a continuum. Expecting them to fit neatly into separate categories is a recipe for disappointment and even disaster. Part of the issue has been management and happiness gurus telling us that we can have it all. They tell us that if we’re struggling, then we must be doing something wrong, and for only $29.99, they will sell us the answer to set it all right again. 60 Douglas

A wiser Balter says, “The humility imperative is simple: If you’re an ego-fuelled leader, find humility today, before it’s too late. Instead, choose to recognize your place in the universe is no more important than anyone else’s. Know you can learn from every single interaction — no matter the person’s credentials.” Discovering True Leadership I’m older and wiser, too. Yes, I learned a lot from the strict business minds around me, but I also learned that to be a good leader I have to be my authentic self. I did have the right idea in my early years and didn’t have to sacrifice it while learning the principles of business. Once I

returned to my instinctual methods of leading, I definitely saw great results. There is no better way to show humility, trust, inspiration and empathy than to model the way for others. It becomes contagious. You will easily recognize the true leaders in your organization when they start exhibiting the same behaviours. Challenge, motivate, innovate, achieve, celebrate. Repeat. It’s not New Age mumbo jumbo; it’s raising an engaged, loyal workforce.

Maggie Kerr-Southin is a communications professional in Greater Victoria. Maggie has a keen interest in leadership and community engagement.

There is no work-life; there is only one thing called life — and that life is about a passion to master a discipline and to create something remarkable, because being an entrepreneur is not what you do — it is who you are.

The biggest problem is blame. When things don’t turn out the way we imagined, we blame our customers for being unreasonable, our employees for being unmotivated and ourselves for being too stupid to figure it out. “After all,” we think, “look at all those other happy business owners on Facebook and on the covers of their books. They can figure it out; why can’t I?” Our customers wonder what’s wrong, our employees leave us, and we lose hope in our own enterprise. It can all be avoided if we start with a realistic expectation — that really is this hard. There is no balance to being an entrepreneur or business owner. It is an unbalanced undertaking. It is also a place of joy, accomplishment and growth. The Great Missed Opportunity Work-life balance is based on a destructive assumption: that life and work are two separate things. This is a notion born out of the Industrial Revolution, when human lives were fractured into jobs and home life — and many workers spent their lives doing something

they constantly sought to escape from: a life of dreaded Monday mornings and dreamed-of Friday afternoons. A gift of being an entrepreneur is we can escape that division and create a life that is whole. Consider the arts. Did anyone tell Miles Davis he should stop practicing and performing for so many hours and get some work-life balance? Does Margaret Atwood feel she is lacking work-life balance as she cranks out hour after hour of writing? Picasso? Keith Richards? We acknowledge being an artist is a life. Entrepreneurship is a discipline like sports and the arts. If the art of growing a business does not bring you joy and purpose, we don’t have a work-life balance problem. We have a problem of calling — and that’s a different conversation entirely. An Operator’s Licence? I wish there was a course similar to driver training or CORE (the Conservation and Outdoor Recreation Education program for hunters) for people (and their spouses) thinking about starting a business. Here are some of the things

that course should share with would-be business owners: Read Gerber’s The E Myth Revisited. Gerber reminds us that baking and owning a bakery are two different things. The first is about the joy of creating food. The second is about the joy of growing a business. One is about flours, flavours and temperatures. The other is about money, relationships and management. Before you open that bakery, ask yourself which of the two joys is yours. Know you are starting a difficult journey. The second destructive assumption of the worklife balance myth is: this should all be easier. We invest thousands of dollars and hours trying to fix a problem that doesn’t exist. That it isn’t easy doesn’t mean you are doing anything wrong. It is simply this hard. Truly. Especially in the first three to five years. Tell your friends not to worry if they don’t see you every weekend. It’s okay. Heal the rift between work and life. Work-life balance is an artifact from the time before we left our jobs. In that job, we had to balance a broken whole: work (not us) and life (us). As business owners, we have an opportunity to heal that rift. We have the power to redefine what a life looks like, as something that includes passion to create something remarkable. We can do that for our employees as well. Read The Nordstrom Way, for example, and see how a business with 50,000 employees continually finds ways to empower everyone to be an entrepreneur within the larger enterprise and to heal the rift between life and work in their own lives. Being an entrepreneur is not what we do, it is who we are. Make business both a means and an end. One of my clients is a highly successful business owner and an avid hunter. Yes, he puts hundreds of hours into his business, but he finds opportunity for growth in every one of those hours. And when he wants to go hunting, he goes. As a successful business owner, he has the power to put in place the means to make other parts of his life possible. There aren’t two things to balance in his life. He lives one life, which he creates every day. As business owners, we have the power, and perhaps even the responsibility, to challenge the idea of the binary life. We have the power to create and model a whole life that doesn’t need balancing. ■

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

HEALTH CANADA ISSUES 40th CULTIVATION LICENSE TO EVERGREEN Health Canada issued the country’s 40th Cultivation license to Victoria-based Evergreen Medicinal Supply Inc. in March. What’s next? Private Market Specialist Ted Snider is about to start a third round of private capital raising after successful prelicense and post-license rounds of investor funding this past January and April. Some publicly traded licensed producers have seen their valuations rise more than 10 times from early August 2016 to April 10, 2017. New investor funding will be taken on a first come first serve basis. Available only to Accredited Investors. Minimum $15,000. To find out more, please contact: Ted Snider 250-412-3021 Ted (Theodore) Snider is registered with Robson Capital Partners Corp and the BC, AB & ON Securities Commissions. This is not an offering of securities.

Find your space. Your REALTOR ® will help.

Buying a home is one of the biggest financial transactions you’ll make in your life. Get expert help from your Victoria Realtor, then enjoy your space. Get started at

Douglas 61

Last Page What’s on Gary Anderson’s Retro Vinyl bestseller list? Albums: Abbey Road, Harvest, Rumours, Graceland and Brothers in Arms Artists: Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Bowie, Prince and Traveling Wilburys

Still in the Groove Back in 1984 when The Turntable opened on Store Street in Victoria, CDs were only two years old, cassettes were big and vinyl was still king. Three years later, owner Gary Anderson moved to Fan Tan Alley and began The Turntable’s rise to local iconic status. Weathering three decades of industry changes hasn’t been easy. “The 90s were the toughest,” Anderson says, noting the mainstream shift to CDs, digital and now streaming. “Very few people were buying vinyl.” Diversifying helped, with T-shirts, posters and American imports, as did appraising record collections for insurance companies and a new wave of DJs, snapping up his stock of R&B, funk and jazz. Celebrating its 331/3-year anniversary in September, Anderson credits much of The Turntable’s success to location. “Being in Fan Tan when the cruise ships come in — it’s like a few months of Christmas,” he says with a chuckle. With vinyl sales rocking a 25year high in 2016 (still only five per cent of the overall albums market), newcomers like Vinyl Envy and Supreme Echo are edging into territory held by longtime players (Ditch, Lyle’s Place); even London Drugs stocks wax now. But much like classic rock, Anderson has proven his mettle as a bricksand-mortar vinyl retailer with a 20,000-title inventory worth about $113,000 and climbing, thanks to increased demand for a dwindling supply from a new generation of enthusiasts. “I owe Victoria a huge thanks for keeping me going,” he says. “A lot of really good people just didn’t want to give up their turntables.”

62 Douglas

Jeffrey Bosdet/Douglas Magazine

By John Threlfall

Resilience. Resilience. WE CAN HELP YOU ndYOURS. YOURS. YOU fi find

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