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Capital SUMMER 2016

HOW VICTORIA WORKS

BUILDING BOOM

MAKERSPACE: WHERE VICTORIA’S BRIGHT MINDS GO TO WORK AND PLAY

BACK FROM THE PATCH BEAR MOUNTAIN AWAKENING RED-HOT REAL ESTATE

C A P I TA L G I V I N G

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© 2016 Porsche Cars Canada Ltd. 2016 Porsche Boxster and Cayman shown below. Porsche Centre Victoria DL2230 # 31209

Introducing the mid-engine models from Porsche Porsche: in the harmonious blending of style, functionality, and innovation. Nothing less than the total refinement of Porsche’s belief of what a roadster should be, honed and sharpened to give it a completely new expression.

Boxster

Porsche Centre Victoria

Cayman

®

A Division of the GAIN Dealer Group 737 Audley Street, Victoria BC, V8X 2V4 | t. 250-590-3022 e. info@porschevictoria.com | porschevictoria.com porschevictoria

Vehicle shown for illustration purposes only and may be equipped with optional equipment. *PSMP all factory recommended servicing for first three years/ 45,000 kms. See Porsche Centre Victoria for complete details.


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height adjustable desks encourage frequent posture changes to provide healthier and more productive work environments. www.graphicoffice.com R

GRAPHC I OFFICE INTERIORS

Š2013 Steelcase Inc. All rights reserved. Trademarks used herein are the property of Steelcase Inc. or of their respective owners.

1751 Sean Heights Saanichton BC V8M 0B3 P. 250.544.3500 #104-335 Wesley St Nanaimo BC V9R 2T5 P. 250.741.8996 E. info@graphicoffice.com www.graphicoffice.com


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FANFARE •

DAVE OBEE

Into the groove: Our capital is rocking with new ideas

39 Lindsay MItchell shows her mettle as a welder at Makerspace. BRUCE STOTESBURY, TIMES COLONIST

As summer arrives in Greater Victoria, there is no doubt that our future looks bright. Consider the stories we are telling in this issue of Capital, the Times Colonist magazine devoted to the local business scene. They are about human capital, and making a difference. Skilled tradespeople are coming home from Alberta’s slumping oilpatch, bringing their skills with them, ready to get to work here. They might run into the people from Makerspace, creative people with cool, cutting-edge ideas. The residential real estate market is hot, smashing records and moving us into uncharted territory — yet we are still a bargain compared to Vancouver. The look of Greater Victoria is changing quickly, with new energy and new ideas transforming our downtown, Vic West, Bear Mountain, Esquimalt and just about every other corner of the region. Victoria is on a roll. We have our groove back. This has always been a good place to live and work, and it’s getting even better. Welcome back to Capital. As you will see, this is an inspiring issue.

6 Buzz: Catch the business news, people on the move and timely issues around the capital region.

14 A healthy economy is fuelling a building boom in residential and commercial sectors.

17 As oil prices continue to wane, skilled trade workers are filtering home, filling needed jobs.

26 Greater Victoria’s record-breaking real estate sector is showing no signs of cooling.

36 Makerspace: Meet the people who work and play at Greater Victoria’s idea factory.

Capital DAVE OBEE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF DARRON KLOSTER EDITOR ROGER WHITE DESIGN EDITOR DAVID WHITMAN ADVERTISING DIRECTOR JASON SCRIVEN SALES MANAGER WENDY KALO ADVERTISING OPERATIONS MANAGER

56 Tech Question: What’s the biggest hurdle

COVER PHOTO: 14-year-old Zach Sousa with the 3D printer he designed at Makerspace in Saanich. He’s also making motion detectors, robots and other gadgets.

CEOs face in growing their businesses.

58 Eat: Catch up with what’s new and tasty

BRUCE STOTESBURY PHOTO

in the capital’s restaurant industry.

60 The Social Scene: People, places and events. 64 Really, who are the millennials?

Capital is published by the Times Colonist, a division of TC Publication Limited Partnership, at 2621 Douglas St., Victoria, British Columbia V8T 4M2. Canadian Publications Registration No. 0530646. GST No. 84505 1507 RT0001 Please send comments about Capital to: Editor-in-Chief Dave Obee, dobee@timescolonist.com To advertise in the next edition, phone 250-995-4464, or email Sales Manager Jason Scriven at jscriven@timescolonist.com

Jack Knox’s take on a mysterious generation. •

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MAXIMIZE YOUR VALUABLE OUTDOOR SPACE

Ideal for pubs and restaurants! Transform your patio or deck space for year-round use. Also works great at home! Call Don for a complete outdoor solution.

PH. 250.361.4714 TF. 1.800.563.5558 2-2745 BRIDGE STREET, VICTORIA PACIFICROLLSHUTTERS.COM

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BUZZ MEDIA DUO JOIN FORCES TO GIVE DIGITAL ADVICE

> David Scott has joined Investors Group as an associate to senior financial consultant Brian Blair. Scott was most recently a senior financial adviser with CIBC and has been working in the industry for five years.

APPOINTMENTS

> Justine Stoehr is a new associate at Investors Group, working with senior financial consultant Amrit Lalli. She has six years in the financial services industry, most recently with CIBC.

Capital

> Four members of the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board have received Realtors Care Awards. Nancy Allwarden of Discovery Islands Realty on Quadra Island; Jillian Dashwood of Royal LePage Nanaimo Realty in Ladysmith; Ian Mackay of Royal LePage Parksville-Qualicum Beach Realty; and Dawn Walton of Re/Max Nanaimo were honoured for volunteering and community service.

NEW FIRM TO HELP STEER THROUGH HEALTH SYSTEM

> The Investment Agriculture Foundation of B.C. has appointed Donna Anaka as Buy Local Program coordinator. She joins IAF following a 20-year career with the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture, where she worked on buy local and agritourism initiatives. IAF is an industry-led non-profit representing the agriculture, food processing, farm supply and post-farm gate sectors across B.C.

SPRING 2016

New partners at Treehouse Media: Don Landels, left, and Steve Hutchinson.

Treehouse Media, Victoria’s only independent media-buying company, has joined forces with Don Landels. Previously with Rogers Media for 23 years, Landels joins Treehouse Media owner Steve Hutchinson in providing marketing and advertising consulting services to industries throughout the region. Hutchinson founded Treehouse in 2003 and the company provides media strategy, planning and buying services for clients and a select group of creative agencies. Hutchinson and Landels have both had long careers in Victoria. The duo, who combine almost 45 years of experience, say they will help companies determine how and where to best spend their advertising dollars in the age of digital advertising and changes in the traditional media world. Landels held several roles with Rogers Media, the most recent as general sales and operations manager.

Josée Bélanger has launched a new company, My Nurse Advisor

Josée Bélange has launched a new company, My Nurse Advisor, to help clients navigate the health-care system and have a smoother medical experience. The company’s team of registered nurses will arrange and attend appointments, review and coordinate treatment plans, provide clear explanations of medical terminology and prescription drugs, and liaise with the family doctor, specialists, health authority, or palliative care as needed. Bélanger has been a registered nurse since 2004 and has experience in oncology, orthopedic, medical and surgical nursing, and she has a Master’s Degree in educational technology. My Nurse Advisor offers services to individuals, families, businesses and health organizations. •

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HarbourCats hire new voice to call plays for Victoria baseball games Jonathan Hodgson is the new voice of the Victoria HarbourCats for the West Coast Baseball League team’s online broadcasts. He will call all 27 regularseason home games plus three exhibition contests and a showcase game at Royal Athletic Park streamed live on harbourcats.com with highdefinition video. Hodgson, 24, joined the HarbourCats in December as baseball and communications adviser. He was previously the voice of the summer-collegiate Okotoks Dawgs for eight seasons in the Western Major Baseball League. The HarbourCats’ opening day is June 7 against the Wenatchee AppleSox with special guest Krazy George.


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BUZZ JUNE

AUTO HONOURS Tom Harris given lifetime achievement award

June 7: Say so long to Bruce Carter, who is leaving his post as CEO of the Victoria Chamber after 12 years. There’s a celebration from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Laurel Point Inn.

Bruce Donaldson is on the Royal Roads University board of governors.

RETIRED DEFENCE LEADER JOINS ROYAL ROADS

June 2: Vision of the West Shore, Olympic View Golf Club, starting at 5 p.m June 8: West Shore Chamber of Commerce mixer hosted by Farley Martin Notaries Public, 2871 Jacklin Rd., 5 to 7 p.m.

The former vice-chief of the defence staff has joined the Royal Roads University board of governors for a three-year term. Vice-Admiral (Ret’d) Bruce Donaldson retired as second-incommand of the Canadian Armed Forces in 2013 after more than 35 years in the military. “His exemplary leadership and strategic insights will benefit the board’s effective operations immeasurably,” says board chair and chancellor Wayne Strandlund. Donaldson managed the $20-billion Defence Services Program and long-range strategic and capability planning for the armed forces.Previously, he commanded domestic and continental operations for the armed forces during the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and the G8/G20 summits. He served for 18 months as director of the Strategic Joint Staff and for two years was in command of the Canadian Pacific Fleet.

June 9: Prodigy Group Monthly Mingle, 5 to 7 p.m. at Diversity Auto Films, 111-2740 Bridge St.

CALENDAR

June 15: Chamber business mixer hosted by Victoria HarbourCats, 5 to 7 p.m. at Royal Athletic Park. June 16: Join Mike Reilly of Freedom 55 Financial to learn about charitable giving as part of your financial planning, 4 p.m. at West Shore Chamber of Commerce, 2830 Aldwynd Rd., Langford. June 21: Experience a variety of gourmet food samples local wine, craft beers and specialty cocktails created by some of the region’s most popular chefs, breweries, cideries, wineries and spirit makers at YYJ Eats Festival, 5 to 7 p.m. at Market Square. June 28: West Shore Chamber coffee and snacks, 7:30 a.m. at The Wine Maker, 254 Island Highway, Colwood.

K’ómoks First Nations Chief Robert Everson has been appointed to the North Island College board of governors and will be a key player in the college’s five-year strategic plan to focus on aboriginal education. Everson sits on the Kumugwe Cultural Society executive and is one of six Kwakwaka’wakw First Nations leaders on the Nanwakolas Council, which works with provincial and federal governments to support land use, marine planning and regional economic development issues.

Tom Harris has been awarded The New Car Dealers Association of B.C.’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Harris was dealer principal of Tom Harris Chevrolet Cadillac Ltd. from 1983 to 2009, and is currently principal of Harris Kia in Nanaimo. Mr. Harris is also president of Tom Harris Cellular Ltd., a chain of 50 Telus Mobility stores in British Columbia and Alberta. He is also partnered in Harris Mazda, Harris Oceanside Chevrolet Buick GMC, Harris Victoria Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, and OK Tire Parksville. He was previously partnered in Harris Nissan North Island and Harris Mitsubishi, which were sold in 2014 and 2015 respectively. Other Lifetime Achievement winners include Marnie Carter, matriarch of the Carter Auto Group, and Jimmy Pattison of The Jim Pattison Group.

The provincial government has re-appointed two Campbell River businessmen to the North Island College board. Derek Lamb, pictured, and Roy Grant will serve on the board until July 2019. Lamb is a CPA and partner with Chan Nowosad Boates. Grant has been a real estate agent in Campbell River for 25 years and has worked in mining industry management, owned a business and was elected to city council three times.

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BUZZ

She’s top dog: Veterinary hospital manager honoured Jennifer Harris, with Nina the dog and Bob the cat. Jennifer Harris is ready for anything on any given day. The manager at Hillside Veterinary Hospital can marshall through dozens of cats and dogs with a variety of ailments or trauma, medical treatments and rehabilitation assignments. It’s the nature of her job at one of the busiest veterinarian practices on Vancouver Island, which has 33 staff and hundreds of clients, and Harris keeps it all

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purring along with a compassion for four-legged furry friends and a flair for efficiently. The registered veterinary technologist was named one of three finalists as North America Practice Manager of the Year Award, sponsored by Pet Plan. The pet insurance giant recognizes outstanding individuals in veterinary health care and received more than 5,000 nominations in six categories this year.

BRUCE STOTESBURY, TIMES COLONIST

The honour was well-deserved, says Dr. Sylvie Abrioux, a partner with Dr. Jennifer Chan and Dr. Glynis Newman at Hillside Veterinary Hospital. “It’s quite an accomplishment to receive such an award and we are extremely proud of her. “To my knowledge, it is the first time that a veterinary professional in Victoria has been recognized in this capacity.” Harris, who has been in the

industry for 30 years, says her award is a reflection of the owners and a hard-working group of caring staff. “The No. 1 thing is we all love animals,” says Harris. “And so we are drawn to animal care and their well-being. And we become involved with [pet owners]. “We understand what their pets mean to them … they are family members.”


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BUZZ Odd expense requests Forty per cent of chief financial officers say they’ve seen an increase in employees asking for reimbursement for inappropriate items, such as toilet paper, cosmetic surgery and cigars. A Robert Half Management Resources survey of more than 270 CFOs found employees have asked to be paid back for purchasing items such as a pair of socks, a video game console, yoga and pilates classes, and hair supplies. Some big-ticket items included a trailer rental for a family reunion, a sweet 16 birthday venue and a camping trip. Here’s some other unusual items CFOs say employees sought a reimbursement: ski trips, lottery tickets, rental homes, cruises, tennis rackets, speeding tickets, pets, haircuts and driving lessons.

Tesla’s new Model 3. AP

ELECTRIC AVENUE Plug-in vehicle numbers growing in B.C. Electric vehicle registrations are surging in B.C., but the overall number of hybrid and fully-electric cars on the road remains low, relative to their gas and diesel-powered counterparts. That gap could come down to lingering fear over drained batteries. Since 2011, the province has committed about $31 million to help build charging stations and make electric vehicles more affordable to buyers. In that year, just 160 electric vehicles and another 22,000 hybrids were registered in the province, according to the Insurance Corp. of B.C. Since then, electric and hybrid vehicles have infiltrated the lineups of major manufacturers, from Ford and Toyota to Mercedes and Porsche. Some electric or hybrid vehicles — including the Chevrolet Volt — are on

TIDBITS

Etiquette blunders Booking.com, a global leader in connecting business travellers with places to stay, surveyed 4,500 business travellers in eight countries about their attitudes toward business etiquette. It found that one-third of business travellers admit to having committed a cultural faux pas when travelling internationally on business and half are worried they will unknowingly offend a client or business associate. The top five etiquette blunders include: • Being on a mobile device during a meeting 46 per cent • Not greeting people appropriately 43 per cent • Inappropriate attire 36 per cent • Speaking loudly 32 per cent • Not responding to emails within 24 hours 19 per cent

their second or subsequent generation. Meanwhile, Tesla’s fully-electric Model S has become one of the most attractive cars on the road and its newest model, the more affordable Model 3 with a price tag of $35,000 US, had hundreds in B.C. putting down $1,000 downpayments for delivery in late 2017. By the end of 2015, there were 3,200 electric cars registered in the province, a 1,900 per cent increase in just four years. Hybrids also jumped 63 per cent in that time to 36,000, according to ICBC records. While the growth is impressive, the overall count relative to conventional autos is less so. Electric and hybrid vehicles account for less than two per cent of B.C.’s 2,297,000 registered passenger vehicles on the road in 2015.

Victoria in space A specialized instrument developed by a Victoria company is floating above our heads aboard the International Space Station. Firgelli Technologies’ PQ12-S microlinear actuator will be used by NASA to compress asteroid soil samples during experiments aboard the U.S. section of the space station. An actuator is a small motor that moves or controls a mechanism or system and is powered by electrical charge. The device was blasted into space in early March from the Kennedy Space Centre. Firgelli keeps a low local profile, but is international in scope with highprofile clients such as Tesla, Apple and Google. •

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BUZZ •

Oddball job interview questions The Top 10 oddball job interview questions in Canada over the last year, according to a study by Glassdoor, a jobs and recruiting company, based on hundreds of thousands of interview questions shared by job candidates:

TIDBITS

1. “What was the last thing you Googled?” — Tim Hortons Leadership Development Program job candidate. 2. “Which Game of Thrones character do you like most?” — Bench Accounting associate job candidate. 3. “If you could sit next to one person on a transcontinental flight, who would it be?” — Salesforce sales representative job candidate. 4. “How do you calculate the number of red cars in a city?” — Manulife actuarial associate job candidate in Toronto. 5. “If you were a utensil, which one would you be and why?” — Jack Astor’s cocktail server job candidate. 6. “If you had only 24 hours left on planet Earth, how would you spend it?” — Iridia Medical executive assistant job candidate. 7. “Do you ever feel like a plastic bag?” — Canada’s Wonderland job candidate. 8. “We meet on an elevator, and you have until we reach the 10th floor to convince me that you’re right for the job. Go!” — Sunwing Airlines seasonal flight attendant job candidate. 9. “If you were a prime minister for a day, what one law would you change and why?” — Davies Ward Phillips and Vineberg student-at-law job candidate. 10. “How would you shuffle a deck of cards?” — StackAdapt Software engineer job candidate.

Peter Dinklage in Game of Thrones. HELEN SLOAN/HBO

From left, Karen Hudson and Stefan Hudson, new owners of RadioWorks, with former owners Eleanor Salisbury, Wayne Salisbury and Alan Gilmour. DARREN STONE PHOTO

COMMUNICATION FIRM KEEPS IT ALL IN THE FAMILY RadioWorks, one of the largest two-way radio dealers in the province and a major communications supplier to government agencies, commercial businesses and public safety organizations, has a new generation at its helm. Karen and Stefan Hudson has taken over the Victoria-based company from Eleanor and Wayne Salisbury, who founded the firm in 1989, and Wayne Gilmour, who has been a partner since 1991. They will stay on as advisers and all staff have been retained. The transition is a family affair. Karen Hudson is the daughter of Eleanor and Wayne Salisbury and was involved at RadioWorks for several years before going on to finance and government. She was most recently manager of program finance in the provincial government’s technology solutions division. She will be RadioWorks’ new controller. Stefan Hudson holds a Royal Roads business degree in entrepreneurial management. He has spent the last 10 years with a local Cisco dealer, developing his own sales, technical, and management skills. He will be RadioWorks’ new general manager. RadioWorks is a major player in the region’s communications sector. It sells two-way radios, wireless network services, communications accessories and installation services. It also provides

computer mounts, public safety equipment such as tsunami warning systems and GPS fleet tracking devices. The company also specializes in the design and outfitting of fleet vehicles for police, fire and government organizations and provides technical services for the installation, repair and maintenance of radio equipment. RadioWorks owns and operates its own communications network with simulcast wireless coverage from Sooke to Campbell River and through the Gulf Islands. Paging customers include hospitals, firefighters, first responders, search and rescue organizations, doctors, midwives and couriers who need to notify groups of people with a single phone call or email notification and who can’t rely on cellular as their sole source of critical communications. The company began operations as a Motorola Radius dealer, occupying a small sales office and a single service bay. In 1992, the company bought the Motorola sales and service shop in Victoria and has grown to 6,000 square feet of sales, service, installation and repair facilities. It is the only authorized Motorola Channel Partner on southern Vancouver Island and the only authorized Motorola Service Centre in the area. It is also an authorized distributor for Codan (formerly Daniels Electronics), David Clark, GPS Trackit, Swissphone and Zetron.

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BUZZ

YOUR MONEY

Don’t bank on your inheritance

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If you are counting on a giant-sized windfall from your parents, you might want to think again. That’s the finding of a Vancity report that said while nearly 40 per cent of those between the ages of 18 and 34 expect an inheritance of more than $300,000 from their parents, just 12 per cent of parents anticipate leaving a legacy that big. “There’s a gap between what the millennials expect and what may be the reality of what their parents are expecting to leave them,” Vancity investment adviser Sophie Salcito said. “They need to be thinking about doing their own planning, because the bank of mom and dad may run out. If they don’t do it, they may have mom and dad back with them or be needing to help them later on.” The report found a contributing factor to the disconnect may be that fewer than half of parents have spoken with their kids about what to expect in terms of inheritances or wealth transfer. As well, 60 per cent of B.C. parents surveyed said they have already provided a portion of their wealth to their children, helping with down payments for a house or car, or paying off student loans or other debts. The report also found: The average inheritance in B.C. in 2012 was $137,800, while the median was just $50,200, suggesting that the vast majority of inheritances were less than $100,000. The median asset value of B.C. households 65 years and older is about $594,400.

Paul Junhyuck Kim has won a prestigious award for outstanding leadership.

LESSON IN INSPIRATION Passionate UVic student shows the way A University of Victoria biochemistry student known for his passion of philanthropy and science has won one of Canada’s most prestigious awards for outstanding leadership. As one of 10 3M National Student Fellows across Canada, Paul Junhyuck Kim receives a cash award of $5,000 and is invited to attend the annual conference for the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. He will participate in a 3M National Student Fellowship Program retreat and develop a cross-Canadian collaborative project to enhance teaching and learning at the post-secondary level. “Working with other fellows is going to be a great opportunity. It’s going to give me new ideas and perspectives on the projects I’m working on at home,” says Kim. “It was humbling to be nominated for the 3M award, but to actually win it makes me speechless.” The award comes as no surprise to Kim’s professors and peers, who know that he’s a passionate leader both in and out of the classroom. “He has the ability to inspire whether it’s coaching a Taekwondo student, building consensus when chairing meetings, mobilizing a team for a fundraising event, or providing one-to-one support to an overwhelmed student,” says Rozanne Poulson, the co-operative education co-ordinator who nominated Kim. •

Last summer, he completed a studentship with the University of British Columbia Centre for Blood Research, where he studied a novel drug to determine its potency against Methicillinresistant Staphylococcus aureus (staph infection). This summer, he’ll complete a term as a co-op student with the B.C. Cancer Agency’s Deeley Research Centre in Victoria. Outside the lab, Kim is co-president of UVic Students Offering Support, an organization that leverages revenue raised through UVic exam review sessions to support education in Latin America. He served as the chairperson for the Tobacco Taskforce of the Canadian Cancer Society, where he gave prevention presentations to students across Vancouver Island. His newest project is co-founding GivGro, a non-profit organization that offers philanthropists investment services before their donations are distributed to charities. Kim is also a fourth degree black belt in Taekwondo. And when he saw that there wasn’t a Taekwondo club at UVic, he started his own. Since then he’s taught more than 50 UVic students. The 3M National Student Fellowship is presented by 3M Canada in partnership with the society. Another UVic student, Navarana Smith, was a 2015 recipient.


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BUZZ

CAN 1930S CHICAGO CUT IT IN ISLAND HAIR PURSUIT? Tommy Gun’s Original Barbershop, a modern men’s hair and straight-shave spa with a throwback theme to 1930s Chicago, has staked new turf on Vancouver Island. The Kelowna-based chain opened this month at Langford’s Town Centre Shopping Centre and has another opening in June at Hillside Centre in Victoria. The capital locations will give the six-year-old company 47 locations in six provinces — including 10 in B.C. — and another five in Australia. “We create an environment that guys like to be in, where they get extra attention to detail for haircuts and shaves in comfortable chairs,” said chief exec-

utive Keenan Fisher, who runs the company with president and father, Ken Fisher, and sister Madison. “You can bring your son along and watch sports on big TVs … we give you the remote … have iPad access and arcade-style games and enjoy a coffee or a soft drink.” Ron Frolek, former owner of the Nevada Bob’s Golf business in Victoria, will operate both franchises in the capital. “It’s a great concept for guys to get that great haircut and pamper themselves with a hot-towel, traditional shave,” says Frolek. “We call it a five-star experience because there’s such a wide array of services we provide.” Despite a proliferation of new

Tommy Gun’s Original Barbershop owners Keenan Fisher, left, and Ron Frolek. DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST barbershops, Fisher and Frolek believe there is plenty of room in the marketplace as men make personal grooming a priority. The company uses Koken

replica barber chairs, a 200-yearold brand, sewn in red leather. Each shop will employ about 15 staff. www.tommyguns.com

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BOOMTOWN

Healthy economy, low interest rates, population growth fuel construction sector B.C.’S TOP TRADES EMPLOYED, 2016 1. Carpentry 2. Electrical 3. Plumbing 4. Welding 5. Heavy Equipment Operation 6. Roofing 7. Construction Craft Work 8. Metal Fabrication 9. Glazing 10. Cabinet Making 11. Sheet Metal Work 12. Painting 13. Mechanical SOURCE: B.C. CONSTRUCTION ASSOCIATION

B.C. CONSTRUCTION COMPANY SIZE BY NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES, 2016 15% Less than 5 More than 100 11% 15% 51 to 100

33%

26%

5 to 20

21 to 50

BY ANDREW A. DUFFY Heavy duty cranes pepper the city’s skyline, dump trucks and concrete tumblers roll through the downtown core at regular intervals and hard-hat supply stores are likely digging through back inventory as Victoria’s construction industry is firing on all cylinders. And it has been for a while. Driven by a boom in residential real estate demand and prices, which is keeping homebuilders booked solid, Greater Victoria is in expansion mode. The most recent building permit figures compiled by Statistics Canada show the $128.5 million of construction permits issued in February was double the amount issued in both January and February 2015. “There is lots of work coming up ... the permit numbers support that,” says Greg Baynton, president of the Vancouver Island Construction Association, which represents commercial, industrial and institutional builders. “Residential construction is still driving the market for the moment, but we are seeing some modest increases in non-residential construction.” The residential side of the ledger is hopping. High demand driven by low interest rates, a buoyant economy and low inventory levels has pushed homebuilders into the market. The Victoria Real Estate Board notes there are often multiple offers on homes in the core municipalities and that demand is pushing interest into outlying municipalities.

SOURCE: B.C. CONSTRUCTION ASSOCIATION

Photo: Construction at 1515 Douglas St.. downtown. BRUCE STOTESBURY, TIMES COLONIST

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JANUARY 2016

JANUARY 2016

1/70

2/3

B.C. high school students going directly into construction trades

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JANUARY 2016

JANUARY 2016

45%

15% increase from 2014

Number of employees in B.C.’s construction sector

New statistic

No change since 2014

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., which had estimated Victoria would see about 2,000 new homes started this year, is considering revising that estimate to well above that level. “The state of the industry right now is very encouraging,” says Casey Edge, executive director of the Victoria Residential Homebuilders Association. “It appears [building] is heading north. If things continue as they are, we will be well over 2,000 starts this year.” Edge says given the hot real estate market, would-be buyers or homeowners looking at renovating their spaces are going to have to be quick or lucky to secure a contractor. “Anticipate that contractors are busy and are going to be busy,” he says. The buoyant market is being held up by the low interest-rate environment, good employment numbers and population growth. “They are the fundamentals of a strong housing industry, and those indicators have been improving in our region,” Edge says. “But I would say there has also been significant influence from the Lower Mainland with people perhaps looking at the Victoria market now due to affordability issues there.” The other side of the construction ledger is also busy, though it’s more steady than the fevered pace of the residential market. “It’s very consistent right now ... quite stable,” says Baynton, with a nod to the dozen cranes spinning over the city on any given day. But it also depends on what part of the business companies are in. Baynton says there has been a flood of investment in condo towers and rental apartment buildings, with commercial space at grade which has kept larger firms very busy. There’s also a lot of infrastructure work from municipalities — roadworks, sidewalks, waste water and the like — that has kept civil contractors hopping. “The civil side is flat out right now, a lot of

215,000

of employers hired a worker that came directly from working in Alberta’s oil and gas sector

Workers in B.C.’s skilled trades are over the age of 45

JANUARY 2016

Last 3 years

$296B

Available capital cost of proposed construction projects in B.C. $26B increase from 2014

JANUARY 2016

8.1%

Contribution by the construction industry to B.C.’s GDP $1B increase from 2014 JANUARY 2016

$81.7B

Value of current construction projects in B.C. Consistent with 2015 JANUARY 2016

15,000

Number of construction jobs in B.C. that will be unfilled due to labour shortages by 2024

13% increase from 2011

dumptrucks and excavators, and a lot of the skilled trades are very busy, but there are some mid-sized general contractors finding the market is very competitive and not necessarily as busy as they’d like it to be,” Baynton says. That may change as the federal government contemplates where to spend $60 billion in infrastructure funding. However, Baynton expects the bulk will go to depressed economic regions where it’s needed, meaning the Island and B.C. may only get a small taste of it. “It will be interesting to see how that filters down,” he says. There are some factors governing both residential and non-residential construction that could influence the pace of building. “There are bottlenecks because so many projects are at similar stages,” says Baynton. “They all need concrete forming guys and then the next thing you know they all need wall and ceiling trades because they are at the same stage and that aggravates a skills-shortage problem.” That shortage, exacerbated by a buoyant building climate, is due to a general shortage of skilled labour that has been looming for years. “It is hard to find good people,” says Baynton. “There has been a little bit of relief from Alberta, so there has been some help there.” Construction has also benefited from investment in trade schools, such as the $30-million expansion of Camosun College’s Interurban campus and a campaign targeting high school students to consider a career in the trades. “We were getting one in 84 students entering the trades ... now it’s one in 74. That’s a really good sign,” Baynton says. “But it is still a problem.” Edge agreed, noting it’s bound to happen in a strong building market. “It will always be a bit of a challenge unless we can get secondary schools to promote the trades a little bit more.”

41% decrease from 2014 JANUARY 2016

3.4%

5.8% (All Sectors) 3.4%

Unemployment in B.C.’s construction sector 45% lower than B.C. average

JANUARY 2016

JANUARY 2016

$56,170

94%

Average annual salary of a B.C. construction industry worker

1% increase from 2014

JANUARY 2016

D

HELP WANTE

B.C. construction companies planning to hire in 2015 No change since 2014

92%

B.C. construction companies with less than 20 employees 1% decrease from 2014

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BACK FROM THE PATCH As work in the Alberta oilfields dries up, Islanders return home for work BY CARLA WILSON East Sooke’s Joshua Roy never misses a chance to beef up his credentials. He credits those efforts with helping land a job with Victoria’s Perma Construction Ltd., after construction work dried up late last year in the Horizon oil sands north of Fort McMurray. Hired by Perma in February, Roy, 44, is now the site superintendent for a heating and ventilation upgrading project at William Head Institution in Metchosin. He’s the senior person on the job, responsible for everything from managing the day’s activities and scheduling sub-trades to quality control and health and safety practices. “I really love it,” Roy says. “It worked out very, very well.” Roy arrived in Victoria 12 years ago from Guelph, Ont., to join family in the capital region. He completed an apprenticeship in carpentry, earning his Red Seal ticket. Working on local construction projects led him to move up to become a lead hand carpenter, putting him in a supervisory position. Like hundreds of other Island residents, he was lured to northern Alberta in September 2013. “I heard about other guys going up there and making big dollars.” The money was good. Some blew their earnings, but Roy focused on home improvements and paying down the mortgage here at home.

JOSHUA ROY

PHOTO: BRUCE STOTESBURY

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He quickly became a foreman in the oilpatch, overseeing a crew of 50 and typically working 12 to 14 hour days. “It was really good. It was really challenging.” The job called for Roy to work 14 days on and seven days off. He was outdoors virtually all the time when working. “The winter was pretty rough,” he said. The coldest day he worked was minus 52. “You don’t get used to that, you just don’t.” Worse than the cold were the clouds of biting bugs that arrived in the hot dry summers. Then there were tar beetles, which stay for about three weeks. “They bite and they take a chunk out of you.” Workers lived in accommodation at Canadian Natural Resources Ltd.’s construction site. Roy had a small room, and the site had amenities such as a fitness centre and cafeteria. His employer paid for flights to and from Victoria and for food and accommodation. During that time, he took every opportunity to earn new specialized certifications. He now has about 20. In December 2015, the job was finished. “The entire sector disappeared,” said Roy. Even so, experience gained in Alberta proved useful when Roy embarked on a job hunt. He returned home to his wife, Weyla Roy, an aboriginal supervisor at Belmont Secondary School, and their family of five children. Coming back without prospects was “pretty tough,” he said. “I knew there would be no more work up there for the foreseeable future.” Unemployment was not for him. Roy quickly fired off about 100 resumes seeking work in northern B.C. and Alberta, but did not get any replies. He worked closely with Hamish Stewart, vice-president at the B.C. Regional Council of Carpenters, and praises the union for its support. “They have been a huge help to me.” The union linked Roy up with Perma. For others in a similar situation, Roy recommends jumping on professional development opportunities. Maintain a good relationships with previous employers, he says, and work hard. Former drilling rig worker Brad Thompson is living his dream working on a 40-acre Cowichan Valley farm that he has owned for seven years. “It is quite a challenge, but it is really wonderful,” says the 43-year-old. “It is a beautiful property that I paid for by working on the oil rigs.” When work dried up in Alberta’s oilpatch, Thompson had a back-up plan. Originally from Bashaw, Alberta, he fell in love with the Cowichan Valley during a past visit to Vancouver Island. While fellow workers were buying expensive sports cars and high-end motorcycles, Thompson was maxing out his contributions on his Registered Retirement Savings Plan, paying for the farm, and buying some farm equipment. The land was carved out from a previous farm and there’s lots of work to do to make it

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BACK FROM THE PATCH

BRAD THOMPSON productive again. Thompson has planted three-quarters of an acre with fruit trees and berries, has put in raised beds, and is using permaculture techniques. He expects to have to pick up other off-farm work to support himself. “I’m very cautious because farming is a very risky way to make a living, so I’m looking at keeping my expenses down.” Thompson’s 14 years on rigs took him on a global trek following work in China, Australia, the U.S. and Europe, before returning to Alberta.

When it comes to the wages Thompson said: “You are getting paid for your life, because you are not home ... You live on the drilling rig as a rule.” Another way to boost pay was to work many more days and it is not uncommon to get called out at night if something comes up. “You work for your money out there.” Thompson is ready to return to the rigs if the market rebounds. He’s a pragmatist. “If the farm doesn’t work out, I’ve at least got a very beautiful property to live on.”


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Graham Flegg, 27, was making $100,000 a year working on natural gas drilling platforms in Alberta and Northern British Columbia. When drilling slowed, he switched to surveying pipelines. It was less money — about $70,000 a year — but the work was easier, he was in a hotel every night and all expenses were paid, including travel to and from Victoria and the work site. It also gave Flegg “transferable skills” to use in the event of any downturn in the energy sector. In hindsight, it was a good move. Flegg was laid off from Calgary-based Midwest Survey in March as the price of oil tumbled and pink slips piled up in Alberta’s energy sector. Now he’s back home in Victoria looking for work. “Surveying basics are the same, whether in pipelines or if you’re doing roadwork or subdivisions ... there’s still a bit of a learning curve and I’m ready to learn that,” says Flegg. He’s talking with Island-based surveyors about possible work opportunities and is being told there may be jobs opening in spring or early summer. He doubts he’ll ever go back to the oilpatch, even though money was good. After six years of working two weeks in and one week out (he flew out of Victoria to either Grande Prairie, Alta., or Calgary), he figures he’s back on the Island to stay. Flegg has no regrets about his experiences in the oil industry. He valued the hard work, the camp life and the good wages. He used a lot of the money to travel, often taking backpacking trips through Asia and Central America.

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BACK FROM THE PATCH

GRAHAM FLEGG

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CITYSCAPE Construction projects on the drawing boards and on the go in Greater Victoria

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Downtown • 1515 Douglas St. and 750 Pandora Ave. Description: Construction is underway on a six-storey building facing Douglas Street and a 13-storey building to the east, with an entry in the mid-block of Pandora Avenue. The project features a high-performance building envelope system with geothermal loop for heating and cooling, heating distribution within the premises via a radiant ceiling panel system. As well, it has low-flow plumbing fixtures, LED lighting, abundant tenant amenities to support healthy lifestyles and alternative transport, such as a fitness centre, shower and changing facilities, plenty of secure bike storage for building occupants and visitors, and a dozen charging stations for electric vehicles. Inside, the design provides for extensive light penetration to the interior areas of the office floors. The six-storey building includes a central atrium, which on the upper levels will bring natural light indoors and at the main level will be used as a public gathering space for events. The total area for both buildings will be 287,000 square feet — 267,000 will be offices, and the balance will be retail. About 70 per cent of the space is spoken for. Developer: Jawl Properties. Status: The completion date for both buildings is January 2018. Value: Not released.

Opposite, top: A proposal from Jawl Enterprises calls for construction of two towers of six and 13 storeys across Douglas Street from City Hall. Architect: D'Ambrosio Architecture and Urbanism and Owner: Jawl Properties Opposite, below: Rotherham Plaza Two office buildings - one with a rotunda - plus a lively mix of ground-floor retail and commercial uses are planned for the 1500 block of Douglas Street in the latest major development coming to the north end of downtown where tens of millions of dollars are being dedicated to construction. Architect: D'Ambrosio Architecture and Urbanism and Owner: Jawl Properties

Roundhouse

Rolling stock (7)

Performance stage

Car shop

Vic West • The Roundhouse at Bayview Place Description: The collection of historic buildings at the former Canadian Pacific Railway site in Songhees is slated to be repurposed into a lively community gathering area with retail shops, grocery store, performance space, boxcars, and interpretive centre. The plan is to create a Vic West version of Vancouver’s popular Granville Island. The 40,000square-foot Roundhouse was completed in 1913. Owners: Ken and Patricia Mariash’s Focus Equities owns the National Historic Site, part of the 20-acre Bayview development property. The site includes Bayview One condo tower finished in 2009. Vancouver’s Bosa Properties partnered with Mariash to build the 21-storey Promontory condominium project. Ground was broken in March for Bosa’s second tower, the $40-million Encore with construction expected to wrap up in 2018. Status: Mariash won approval from city hall in mid2015 to redevelop the Roundhouse, a project he sees as critical to the entire Bayview project. The goal is to start final environmental cleanup of the site this summer. Knappett Projects is doing seismic work and getting the buildings ready for tenants in late 2017, followed by tenant improvements and openings in spring 2018. Value: Combined environmental work and construction is just over $20 million.

Turntable plaza

Stores building

Retail 1, 2 and 3

Sand tower interpretive kiosk Capital

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James Bay • Capital Park Description: Mixed-use project on 6.2 acres south of the legislature is bordered by Superior, Menzies and Michigan streets. The province sold the site for $34 million to help balance its books and build new offices to replace outdated 1940s buildings. Site includes 235,000 square feet of offices in two five-storey buildings, built to platinum LEED environmental standards, for provincial workers. Also included is 17,500 square feet of street-level retail, and 175 rental and condominium units, all built to gold LEED standards. The people-friendly site includes outdoor gathering spaces, pathways and 400 underground parking spot. Developer: Jawl Properties and Concert Real Estate. Status: Work began last July and continues. It will be completed in stages, starting with three houses being converted into rental units. That will be followed by the office building at 525 Superior St., expected to be operational in early summer 2017. After that, work is expected to wrap on a four-storey retail-residential building along Menzies Street that will have 53 rental apartments over 14,000 square feet of streetfront retail. The building is being considered as a branch for the Greater

Victoria Public Library. In the fall of 2017, work will start on the next office building. Assuming time lines are met, the entire project would be finished in late 2019. Value: not released.

Langford • Belmont Market Shopping Centre Description: A 52,700-square-foot Thrifty Foods store is scheduled to be open by the third quarter of 2017, with site work starting later this year at what was once the location of Belmont Secondary School. The triangular 21-acre site will also include several other commercial stores, office buildings and more than 300 residential units along the Galloping Goose Trail. Sobeys, parent company of Thrifty Foods, bought the land in 2014 for $23.25 million. There is strong interest to lease space in this project, according the CBRE, the real estate firm marketing the property for lease. The form said a number of locally owned commercial firms are also keen to move in. Developer: Sobeys owns the site. CBRE is marketing it for lease. Status: Expected to start construction later this year. An estimate is the first phase will be open for tenants in the third quarter of 2017. Value: Langford Mayor Stew Young has estimated its overall value at more than $100 million.

Esquimalt • Town Centre

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Esquimalt Rd.

Town hall

Fire department

er S

t.

Justice institute/ library/office

Fras

Park Pl.

Description: This project is aimed at revitalizing Esquimalt’s core. Aragon Investments Ltd. signed a memorandum in March with the Township of Esquimalt to acquire and develop the village next to the municipal hall. Land transfer is expected to take place during coming months. The site’s concept plan was developed by D’Ambrosio architecture and urbanism and public consultation is ongoing. Structures would total 138,000 square feet. This would include 4,400 square feet of commercial space, 49,000 square feet of institutional/commercial, and between 100-130 residential units of between 500 and 1,300 square feet. Four buildings are planned on the 1.9-acre site. A six-storey building at Esquimalt Road and Park Place is slated to have ground-floor restaurants and cafés, and five floors of rental apartments above. A plaza is planned to the east of that building. A five-storey building on Park Place may house a relocated Esquimalt branch of the Greater Victoria Public Library on the ground floor. The second floor may hold the Justice Institute of B.C. and offices are planned for upper levels. The two remaining buildings, likely each six storeys, are planned, with one at Park and Carlisle Avenue, and a neighbouring building on Carlisle, are planned for residential units. The design also calls for a through-block art walk. Developer: Aragon Investments Ltd., also owner of Esquimalt Inn

Residential

Residential

Health unit

Carlisle Ave. 30 metres

and former Trio Gravel site in Saanich. Status: Expected start early 2017. Completion in 2019 Value: Not available

Recreation centre


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Saanich • The Shire on Inverness Description: This 92-unit condominium project with two five-storey building and one at six storeys is at the corner of Quadra and Inverness streets. Units in the buildings range from about 550 to 900 square feet. The project is being constructed to Built Green standards, aimed at reducing a building’s impact on the environment. These include energy efficiency, materials, ventilation and waste management. The development includes preserving a Garry Oak meadow. Paths, open green spaces with ponds and streams, which help handle runoff from the property, are part of the project. Developers: Jim McLaren, Dave Vidalin, and Len Wansbrough. Status: Start January 2016. The first two buildings are expected to be completed by March 2017, followed by the third a few months later. Value: About $30 million.

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Downtown • Black and White on Upper Fort Description: The six-storey building with a striking contemporary design on the corner of Fort and Cook streets will have 11,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space, with insets for open areas from the street. It will be topped by 81 condos in five storeys. Designed by Cascadia Architects, the exterior features dark charcoal and white bricks. The building includes a 20-foot tall patio at the corner of Cook and Meares streets for residents and located above the ground floor. Underground parking for 70 vehicles is planned. Developer: Abstract Developments Inc. Start: Expected later this year. Completion: Expected 2018 Value: $30 million


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Central Saanich • Marigold Lands Description: The eight-acre Marigold Nurseries site is slated to be transformed into a park, commercial space and about 215 residential units in a variety of housing types, including affordable units, and condos and townhouses. D’Ambrosio architecture and urbanism has been engaged for site planning. Plans are subject to rezoning and the property would be developed in three phases. The land is on the Lochside Trail and plans call for washrooms, a repair station for bicycles, and retail possibly offering ice cream and coffee. First to go in would be commercial space, park, a road, and all the buildings along Lochside trail which is duplexes and townhouses and one condominium building. This initial stage would cost about $24 million. Developers: Tim Hackett and Steve Mann Start: Subject to rezoning, hoping to begin site servicing late fall. Completion: First units on the market summer 2017. Value: $89 million.

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TOTAL NEW MLS LISTINGS AND SALES Greater Victoria, January 2014 to April 2016

1,800

New MLS listings

1,600

Sales

1,400 1,200 1,000 800 600 400 200

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F M 2016

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The rush for real estate Record-breaking sales and prices set a frantic pace for 2016 BY ANDREW A. DUFFY Multiple offers on homes, prices rising steadily and sales records being smashed — that’s the new normal for Greater Victoria’s real estate market this year. The market has stormed out of the gates with two new sales records set in the last two months. The number of property sales through the Victoria Real Estate Board’s Multiple Listing Service set an all-time record in April, with 1,286 properties changing hands. That came just a month after breaking a 15-year-old sales record in March when there were 1,121 property sales. That has real estate agents hopping, would-be buyers having to be ready to pounce when suitable homes hit the market and some homeowners wondering if now is the time to stake a for-sale sign in the front lawn. As for what’s driving the activity, insiders say it’s a grab bag of factors from a stable and growing local economy, solid employment numbers, population growth, continued low interest rates and some spillover from a white-hot Vancouver housing market that has attracted plenty of foreign money. All of those factors have fuelled a sense of urgency in buyers, who often face stiff and “over-asking-price” competition when looking at property in some of the more desirable neighbourhoods of the region.

quarter of this year. Lower Mainland buyers accounted for 8.2 per cent of sales up from 7.4 per cent last year. Between them U.S. and Asian buyers accounted for less than two per cent of sales through the first quarter of this year. Alberta buyers accounted for 3.9 per cent of sales with buyers from Quebec and Ontario making up 2.5 per cent.

DEMAND The desire for single-family houses has run up against lack of supply, says Brian Yu, senior economist at Central 1 Credit Union, noting that is what’s “driving price momentum.” In a classic supply-and-demand scenario, there’s a squeeze on supply. There were 2,594 listings on MLS at the end of April, down 34 per cent from April 2015. While homebuilders are working flat-out to add to the inventory available and take advantage of the demand, that takes time. The Victoria Residential Builders Association estimates there will be well over 2,000 housing starts this year alone. Strong in-migration to the region, due its buoyant economy driven by high-tech, tourism, shipbuilding and government, and Victoria’s attractiveness as a retirement destination for Canadians, has created a very strong seller’s market According to the Victoria board, the sales-to-active listings ratio is over 60 per cent. Anything above 25 per cent is considered a seller’s market.

WHO’S BUYING Despite rumours, foreign money is not playing much of a role in eating up the inventory and driving up prices of Victoria’s homes. The vast majority of sales are local. According to the real estate board, 72.5 per cent of buyers were from Greater Victoria, with another 7.5 per cent from the rest of the Island through the first 26

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THE VANCOUVER EFFECT Last year, 600 Lower Mainland buyers bought in Greater Victoria, a 63 per cent jump from 2014. And so far this year that trend continues with more than eight per cent of all buyers coming from the Lower Mainland.


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MEDIAN SELLING PRICE Greater Victoria, January 2014 to April 2016

$650,000 $600,000

Single family homes

$550,000 $500,000 $450,000

Townhouses

$400,000 $350,000

Condominiums

$300,000 $250,000 $200,000 J

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According to agents, the buyers are either priced out of the Vancouver market, or are hoping to cash out and use a windfall of home equity to buy homes in a market like Victoria that remains relatively affordable. Central 1’s Yu believes the effect of the mainland market could result in a price jump of between three and five per cent in Greater Victoria.

WHAT’S BEING ADDED The hot market has spurred homebuilders and developers to act and they are well ahead of last year’s building pace. Through the first quarter, there were 593 total starts, up from 476 at the same time last year and both single-family home and multi-family developments are ahead of last year’s pace. So far this year, 375 multi units have been started, 226 of them in Langford and 104 in Victoria, which Victoria Residential Builders’ Association executive director Casey Edge says is indicative of a problem. “A number of municipalities have not built multis in a few years, that’s a concern, you have to rezone and embrace multi-families to make that happen,” he says with a nod to municipalities such as Oak Bay, North Saanich and Metchosin. Single-family housing is still strong in areas such as Langford, Colwood and some parts of Saanich where there is room and zoning to build. Edge says builders are willing to do spec homes in those areas, while it tends to be custom home building in some parts of Victoria, Oak Bay and in pockets of Saanich and the Peninsula. Limited space in some core municipalities has raised some fears of losing older housing stock to redevelopment, with older homes knocked down in favour of subdividing some larger lots or simply being replaced by larger buildings. The limits of space have also spurred on increased density development in places like Victoria with condominiums in various stages of completion around the downtown core, many of them being started as rental suites. “Victoria has been, for quite some time, transitioning to a more higher-density housing stock,” says Cameron Muir, the B.C. Real Estate Association’s chief economist.

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LOOKING AHEAD B.C. housing sales and prices will hit a new high this year, with strong sales and price increases through 2018, according to Central 1 Credit Union’s April forecast. Muir says Victoria’s market is booming as a result of the province’s economy being deemed the best-performing in the country and a surge in population. “This kind of climate only comes around once every several years in which we see consumers en masse decide that this is the time in which they want to get into the housing market,” he says.

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CHRIS GEROW

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Buying your first home tough but not impossible

High Point Farm – 10 Acres Harmonious combination of formality and casual.

Between the glut of sold signs on nearly every corner and the stories about bidding wars even before a property is officially on the market, buying a first home in Greater Victoria might feel like a pipedream for most renters right now. That south-facing single-detached home on a quiet corner of Fairfield? Definitely a fantasy. But if you manage your expectations about the what and where (opting for a condo or townhouse in a less trendy neighbourhood your first time out) there’s still lots of room for you to play in as the supply of listings opens up this spring. If you’ve saved a deposit and are in the headspace to buy for the first time this year, there are a few relatively simple conversations you can have to position yourself as a buyer in fast-paced market conditions like these. For starters, work with a real estate agent. Time is of the essence in a hot market and local agents have access to listings a day or two before they are published online. It’s a window that will be a big advantage in the bidding process when you’re seriously interested in a property. Also, chat over your home ownership goals with a financial adviser and then get your financing pre-approved at the outset of your search. Knowing what you can afford before you start looking will let you make offers with one less condition and keep the scope of your options and bids realistic. This is particularly relevant when properties are moving quickly and it’s easy to panic yourself into the top end of your budget. Truth is, some of those $120,000-over-asking, no-condition buyers that got swept up in the bidding process get hit with buyer remorse when they see how much they overbid, walking away from their sizable deposits to start again on another property. In a seller’s market like this, it’s best not to get too emotionally attached to any particular listing. As a first-time home buyer, it’s unlikely that you have the option of eating $20,000 in security (and you will want to include an ample deposit in your offer as a show of good faith in this market if you can). It’s important to loop your adviser into this conversation because they are intimately familiar with the financial plan you’ve been working on outside of home ownership, such as invested assets that you can tap into to supplement your down payment, other debt you’re working off and insurance considerations depending on the make-up of your household. I get asked to be the sober second opinion when it comes to using RRSPs and crunching the numbers beyond initial down payments and mortgages. In a low-interest environment, mortgage payments can be less than rent, but you need to make sure you can still afford your home when rates bounce up a few basis points. Rates will eventually rise and you will still be making payments when they do. The costs of home ownership do not begin and end with your mortgage. Taxes, strata fees, insurance and maintenance can run you $5,000 or more a year in expenses that you weren’t paying as a renter. If you don’t have that kind of wiggle room now in your budget, you’re going to have to make some adjustments. Despite the buzz, buying for the first time in Greater Victoria is still within the realm of possibility. You just need to manage your expectations about what home can look like, take care of the financial paperwork in advance and make sure you’ve got support to help you make quick decisions that make sense for your personal goals and situation. Chris Gerow is a Victoria-based investment and insurance advisor with the Island Savings division of First West Credit Union and Credential Asset Management. cgerow@islandsavings.ca

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Awakening at Bear Mountain

Ecoasis chief executive Dan Matthews looks out at Bear Mountain Resort. Top: golfer Cory Renfrew, cyclist Raphaël Gagné.

BY ANDREW A. DUFFY

New entrance and roadway opens up further development

There hasn’t been a lot of noise made atop Skirt Mountain over the past two and a half years. That’s a big change for an area that houses the Bear Mountain development, which announced itself with a bang when it started coming out of the ground in 2002. The din of construction that lasted nearly six years was also followed by a loud crash when the money behind the project dried up in the economic crisis of 2008. But since high-end developer Ecoasis bought the project at a discount from HSBC Bank Canada in 2013, it’s been relatively quiet. And that’s by design, according to Ecoasis chief executive Dan Matthews. “We have spent a lot of time with the community

PHOTOS: MATTHEW, GAGNÉ: DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST | RENFREW: BRUCE STOTESBURY, TIMES COLONIST

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up here [through] open houses while we were putting our master plan together. You’re making decisions that will impact generations to come, so these things cannot be taken lightly,” Matthews says, adding that mindset doesn’t change even in a real estate market that continues to heat up. Matthews notes they acquired the project from HSBC at a cost that allows them to take their time. And they have done just that. “Once you cut in a trail or put in a road or a piece of infrastructure that isn’t done the way you would have done it if you’d had time to think and plan it out, you dilute the overall offering,” he says. So the moves they have made have been slow and deliberate.


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THE WORK SO FAR

BEAR MOUNTAIN 1

Bear Mtn. Pkwy.

R am Millstre

New entrance

d.

In the past two years, Ecoasis has overseen the completion of the 51-home Turnberry development along Bear Mountain’s mountain golf course that started under HSBC’s watch. Matthews says they only did that because it work had started and it would give them some insight into the marketplace. Ecoasis has also drawn up plans to complete what was to be the Highlander high-rise — reconfiguring it as an 11-storey building with the top six storeys constructed with wood atop an existing five-storey concrete foundation. That multi-family project, now called Renaissance, will start this summer. The company has also established Bear Mountain as the home of Team Canada’s men’s and women’s development golf teams, the highperformance training centre of the Canadian National Mountain Bike Team and is constructing eight clay tennis courts that will serve both the community and Tennis Canada. According to Matthews, each amenity and project is weighed in terms of its benefit — accessibility to the facility, coaching, programs — to the community as well as its use to groups such as Golf Canada. Matthews says being responsive to the community and developing its trust is also high on his agenda. He believes they have have made strides in that regard, and that investment in upgrading amenities, holding regular open houses to provide insight into what’s going to shape the development and to hear concerns has gone a long way to establishing that trust. It’s also resulted in some small wins for the community, such as a market that opened in early May to save people from having to head down the mountain for provisions.

Florence Lake McCallum Rd.

Leigh Road interchange

1

Langford Lake

N 50 m 50 500

Leigh Rd.

stre Gold am Ave.

14

NEXT PHASE Plenty of feedback has been taken into consideration as Ecoasis prepares to unveil a new master plan that will guide the development over the long term. “Bear Mountain is a small city that’s going to be 10,000 over the next 15 to 20 years, so we have spent a lot of time with the community putting the plan together,” says Matthews. The plan — more than two years in the works — will include details of a 100-lot development called Cypress that will begin construction this year, details on the proposed retail centre, information on the inclusion of electric vehicles with each real estate purchase, and the infrastructure needed to accommodate them. It will also lay out plans of Ecoasis’ effort to reach a goal of being carbon neutral by 2020.

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CRITICAL PIECES The next phase and the overall picture of Bear Mountain has also changed dramatically with the advancement of two major infrastructure projects — the $85 million McKenzie interchange project and a $5 million extension of the Bear Mountain Parkway. Matthews believes the new McKenzie interchange could cut travel time between Bear Mountain and downtown Victoria by 20 minutes in heavy traffic, is a big help – but it’s the new parkway that has him excited. “It is a game changer,” he says. Matthews said a new Bear Mountain Parkway, accessed via the Leigh Road/McCallum intersection off the Trans-Canada Highway, represents the development’s true front door. The rationale for the extension and a financing plan for the road have been submitted to Langford council, including a breakdown of who is paying for the construction. The proposal is to have Langford borrow the money and then tax property holders, such as Ecoasis and others in the area, to pay it off. Matthews said designs of the route are almost compete and he expects construction could start as early as July with completion early in 2017. Matthews says the interchange cuts commute times and a proper front entrance adds to the ease of access. They are key factors in controlling the real estate price gap between some Greater Victoria areas such as Fairfield and Bear Mountain. “People are starting to understand there is a good community up here. They are understanding our amenities are superior and the

ones we’re adding will be spectacular,” he says. “But what always resonates with them is that bottleneck.” “So when our front door is open and you can get down to the highway in two minutes and you don’t have to sit in the Colwood crawl, all of a sudden we become a real consideration when looking at real estate opportunities for the local market.” That will get its first test this year as Ecoasis plans to release about $100 million worth of real estate onto the market. “Right now, the [price] gap is too big. Should [Victoria real estate] trade at a premium? Yes for now, but at 100 per cent? Not even close,” says Matthews, adding when the distance feels closer, the gap should close. “You’ll see compression and, as infrastructure is built out, I won’t say parity but that gap will narrow.” However, Bobby Ross, a real estate agent with Pemberton Holmes, said while the gap is 100 per cent in some cases, it will take time to narrow the gap. “The new interchange will ease the commute and in turn open up the Westshore and make it more accessible, however, I feel the price gap will remain substantial,” Ross says. “At the moment the simple economics of supply and demand is driving the markets in the core area. There is incredible pressure on single family homes in James Bay, Fairfield, Oak Bay and Saanich East/West. “In the Westshore there is a much higher supply and that is keeping prices in check. There is plenty of new product being built and brought onto the market at comparably affordable prices.”

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PASSION PERFECTED

MEET YOUR NEW PROVING GROUND We know sports car owners are passionate about performance. You demonstrate this in every aspect of your life and in what you drive. Now you can drive that passion on an exclusive and challenging motoring experience? The new 19turn Tilke-designed circuit is designed with you in mind. Featuring a lively topography with a maximum incline of 11.5% and downhill slopes of up to 12%. Combine that with incredible elevation changes and a constant change of corner banking and it will surely give members and guest drivers enough challenges to master while also creating memories to last a lifetime. Welcome to the uniquely all-season motorsport country club that awaits passionate drivers like you.

For more information visit: www.islandmotorsportcircuit.com P: 778.406.1380 ext. 456


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SAFETY LIGHTING & FLAGGING:

APEX OF PERFECTION

The track marshals will react to any incident and will quickly advise and alert following drivers of any possible danger ahead. One of our values will be to always provide every member with the most fun and excitement combined with the least amount of risk.

Corner 3: Good speed, 90 degree right with 10% banking leads onto top straight (2nd fastest)

Corner 15: Uphill hairpin, late apex as it turns right for maximum exit speed

Corner 8: Entry is under heavy braking 90 degree left, starts 12% plunge to turn 9 Corner 2: Entry high speed 20 degree right continues uphill to heavy braking zone

Corner 9: Good speed, compresses as it turns left in preperation for turn 10

Corner 10: Lower speed, very challenging off camber right turn Corner 1: High speed, 30 degree right at end of front straight. Starts the uphill climb to fastest part of The Circuit

Corner 11: 5 degree left, accelerate on exit as it leads to the short straight

KERB TECHNOLOGY: Every aspect of the track layout to the grading, and even the asphalt mixture, are specially designed. Kerbing in the correct position of every corner is essential in the taking of a safe racing line, while maximizing the speed carrying through the corner.

Corner14: Accelerating through slight right, compresses then starts uphill


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SAFETY & PERFORMANCE MONITORING: While members or corporate clients drive, they can always be certain there is a team of marshals and instructors watching over them, supported by the most sophisticated track safety features and equipment available today. A network of track cameras will be combined with digital safety flags.

Corner 6 & 7: Quick right/left combination with crest in middle as it exits downhill Corner 4: Crests prior to entry, lower speed downhill 90 degree right, off camber, careful here Corner 5: Maintain speed, slight uphill preperation for right/left combination of turns 6 & 7 Corner 16: Crests prior to entry, heavy brake zone, lower speed, off camber right turn downhill

Corner 17 & 18: Low speed, right/left combination, delicate balance, maintain speed, continues downhill

Corner 13: Crest at middle of left turn, increase speed for downhill run to 14

Corner12: Good speed, 110 degree uphill left turn with positive camber, roll onto throttle

For more information visit: www.islandmotorsportcircuit.com P: 778.406.1380 ext. 456

Corner 19: 90 degree right, strong off camber, patience here, power down as exits to front straight


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M A K E R S PA C E Meet the people who work at Victoria’s brain factory S TO RY B Y A N D R E W A . D U F F Y • P H OTO S B Y B R U C E S TOT E S B U RY

Wilkin

son R d.

Interurban Rd.

VICTORIA MAKERSPACE 4476 Markham St. At the Vancouver Island Technology Park Space: 4,500 square 17A feet overall , including Makerspace 1,500-square-foot classroom, 800-square-foot metalshop, 800-squarefoot electronics lab, Markham 400 square-foot biology St. lab, 400-square-foot 500 50 00 m lounge and recording studio, 300- square-foot woodshop, 300-squarefoot laser cutter and 3-D printer. Available equipment/amenities include: Soldering irons, oscilloscopes, 3-D printer, drill press, mitre saw, band saw, table saw, variety of hand power tools, metal lathe, welder, grinders, oxy-acetylene torch, biosafety level 1 biology lab, polymerase chain reaction machine, freezer and fridge. Open to members: 24 hours a day seven days a week. Non-members can get access during open house events on Tuesday evenings from 7-9 p.m. Cost of membership: For monthly access it’s $51.50; student access is $30 per month. www.makerspace.ca

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For six years, Victoria’s Makerspace has been the garage away from the house, the lab far from the castle and the escape for many who work with their hands, their minds and their imaginations. From its roots in 2010 on a farm on the Saanich Peninsula where for three years it brought a small group together to share tools, space and thoughts as they worked on various projects, Makerspace has grown into a braintrust of 120 people with wildly different backgrounds who work on cutting edge projects at their expansive workshop at the Vancouver Island Technology Park. For the labyrinthine 4,500 square-foot space it’s a far cry from its roots as the laundry facility attached to the former Glendale Hospital, now the tech park. President Derek Jacoby said Makerspace members run the gamut — from hobbyists and people both learning and teaching new skills to some establishing real-world businesses with the help from the collective mind within its walls. “It’s really as broad as the things they do here,” says Jacoby, noting at one point they had an 11-year-old working on robots and an 82-year-old working with a 3-D printer. The labyrinth of labs offers areas for welding, metal work, wood work, coding, electronics of all description and even a recording studio. “The braintrust here is unbelievable,” said Mark Sutin, who is working on commercial building automation products. “What it allows me to do is find other people with good ideas and they can help a little bit and I can help them. The people here are absolutely stunning.”


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EUAN THOMPSON Protecting the beer around here from unsafe bacteria When Euan Thompson, a microbiologist out of the University of Alberta, was looking for a place he could use to create a new means of ensuring beer production was safe and hygienic at Phillips Brewing, he turned to Makerspace.

The quality control manager for the brewery, Thompson was looking for a means to institute new protocols to ensure the beer was free of spoilage bacteria. “Over a year ago we decided we wanted a better way to dial-in bacterial detection … if you don’t catch it fast enough the beer will be out the door,” he said. Older tests can take weeks, which means breweries are holding beer back from delivery until they have an answer. “They are always holding beer at various stages,” he said. But using a polymerase chain reaction —

which allows reproduction of DNA in a short time period — the results can come within a day, which clearly does wonders for a brewers’ bottom line. Thompson said they had all the necessary equipment and biology lab at Makerspace and they got to work proving their reaction would work. “When [brewery owner] Matt Phillips saw the proof work here, we invested at the brewery,” Thompson said. Since they installed the system over a year ago they have modified it and let it evolve, he said. Capital

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VINCEGEISLER In the biology lab, he’s hoping to turn algae into gold Tucked into a cluttered corner of Makerspace, Vince Geison believes he’s on the cusp of something big. Surrounded by tubing, beakers and bubbling algae, the radar engineer, has found a new passion in the biology lab, and poten38

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tially a cure for Victoria’s sewage ills. “Our goal is to produce bio-derived bitumen using algae,” he said, adding they have already proved they can do it on a small scale. “This is our second scale-up operation and we’re looking at a third and growing from there.” According to Geison, for the last two years they have been working to prove that by enhancing genetic pathways they can get algae to work some magic and literally turn waste into gold. His back-of-a-napkin estimate is that given the amount of sewage created in the CRD

each year the process could produce 550 barrels of bitumen, which can be used to manufacture biofuels and plastics. He said Makerspace was instrumental in the work as the collective braintrust gave the engineer – more comfortable in electronic design of ground-penetrating radar systems – room and resources to learn and experiment. “It’s the collaborative approach here, you have access to people that you wouldn’t have access to in any university,” he said. “There is access to fresh minds and people who are actually doing things.”


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L I N D S AY M I T C H E L L Welder gets to work building her future while trading secrets Lindsay Mitchell wanted more control and balance in her life, and a chance to work for herself. And the 34 year-old welder, who used to spend a big part of her day commuting to a job at Viking Air from her home in Victoria, was able to take the leap without breaking the bank and setting up a shop because of

Makerspace. “I wanted to build my own future and do my own thing, so I joined [Makerspace] and started building things here as a hobby and then I decided I wanted a change,” she said. When she was told it was OK to start a business out of Makerspace she got to work – for herself and as a part of the Biophilia Design Collective – making custom furniture and fixtures. She found some clients and fans through some stores in the city where she had been hired to help them put in fixtures, display cabinets, built-in storage units and the like. The product line has since been broadened to steel and wood tables, benches, cof-

fee tables and high-end dining room tables. Like almost everyone at Makerspace, Mitchell has been willing to trade her secrets and knowledge with the others to get direction and help in other areas. “There’s something about working collectively that I think people seem to be drawn to these days,” she said. It’s certainly allowed her to start her to get this start, and has her peering long term at eventually establishing a brick-and-mortar storefront. “But right now we’re building and getting our foot in the door and keeping overhead low, and here I can experiment, play around and try new things,” she said. Capital

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ZACHARY SOUSA ‘This is what I’ve always wanted to do,’ says teen designer of robots, 3-D printer Zach Sousa is not your typical 14 year-old, and he hasn’t been typical in a long time. When he was 11 years old, Sousa, who is now a student at Claremont Secondary, wanted to start building robots. He cast around looking for the ways and means and 40

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in his online travels he found Makerspace. Three years after first touring the facility with his mom, Sousa is now a regular, has been teaching classes in the space and has designed a 3-D printer that he sells online. “I came to the open house, and then I started coming every week, that was three years ago,” he said, while working on a part for a new 3-D printer. “I’d wanted to start building robots, but now I want to design new things.” Sousa has managed to start a bit of a business, selling the printer design and kit online for $225, and he’s been able to open his mind to see what’s possible – all long before being able to drive.

“This is what I’ve always wanted to do,” he said, again picking up some electronic components and working with them. Sousa has already designed and built a motion detector and a robot that monitors a plant’s health – detecting moisture levels and determining if it gets enough light. He is studying programming and some basic robotics in high school, and while he intends to go the post-secondary route, he’s not sure yet what that will look like. He said Makerspace has allowed him to tap into a lot of knowledge and practical experience that will help him, but he’s not too shy to admit he has been the teacher on occasion.


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MARK SUTIN His goal is to make life easier, safer and more comfortable Some come to tinker with hobby projects, others come to experiment. Mark Sutin has come to Makerspace to develop a commercial product aimed at making life better and easier for everyone. Sutin, who has a background in industrial engineering and electronics, has been at

Makerspace since it was operating on the Saanich Peninsula, and has devoted the last two and half years to developing a building automation business using Makerspace’s time, space and tools. “What I’ve found is people don’t make things work well enough,” he says matter-of-factly. “I want to make things easier, faster, improve people’s lives. The goal is to make life easier, safer and more comfortable.” Like everyone else within the walls, Sutin has at times tapped into the collective mind of Makerspace, and has tried when he can to offer his expertise to others.

The expertise he’s tapped into has helped him along the way to build his products like sensors to tell people in other spaces what machinery is in use, and data-controlled entry systems and electronic keys to allow for remote entry. He expects the products he is developing will be easily applied to door control, temperature control and water leak sensing. “We're also working on a living-at-home health care solution for seniors,” he said. Sutin’s products are currently for sale and for wider testing. “At this point, we're producing to order,” he said. Capital

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ADVERTISING FEATURE

QUALITY OF LIFE Participants in Victoria Foundation’s 2015 Vital Signs survey were generally very positive about their quality of life and feelings of connectedness to their community.

Giving is a very good thing to do! LIVE, LEARN, WORK & GROW IN YOUR COMMUNITY While there are many reasons to give, the majority of people simply believe in the value of giving itself. Subconsciously, you know that it just feels good to give.

CHARITABLE GIVING HOLDING STEADY 25 % of all tax filers in Greater Victoria made charitable donations in 2014, on par with 2013. $410 was the median donation in Greater Victoria in 2014, up from $400 in 2013, and the same as B.C., but much higher than Canada ($280 in 2013).

Get involved! ckc.victoriafoundation.bc.ca Being part of community improvement is something everyone can do. Whether you’re new to the area or a long-time resident, old, young, rich or poor – there’s a role for you.

VOLUNTEERING In 2014, 54 per cent of Greater Victoria residents volunteered during the previous year. The rate of volunteering and participation in community organizations was highest in the Gulf Islands. 42

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LOOKING FOR A PLACE TO START? Check out the Victoria Foundation’s Community Knowledge Centre, with links to profiles to more than 160 Victoria-area charities, including photos, videos, financial information and more.

SHARE THE VISION Thanks to the generous donors who share the Victoria Foundation’s vision for a healthier, happier, more vibrant community. The Victoria Foundation continues to improve the lives of citizens within the region, the province and across the country. A growing number of people just like you are instrumental in this change. If community matters to you, the Victoria Foundation is where you can make your priorities known. Content and data quoted in this article are from the Victoria Foundation’s 2015 “Vital Signs” report. Find the full report online at: www.victoriafoundation.bc.ca/vital-signs/victoria


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ADVERTISING FEATURE

YOU DON’T NEED TO BE IN YOUR GOLDEN YEARS TO

Leave a golden legacy

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HETHER retirement is

still a distant destination or hovering just around the corner, many of us are continuously looking back on what we have accomplished in our lives and thinking ahead to determine what more we can do for the causes we believe in and the organizations we care about in the future. Making a legacy gift to the Saanich Peninsula Hospital Foundation is a very special way for you to realize this goal. Your gift ensures that the Saanich Peninsula Hospital Foundation will continue to provide state-of-the-art facilities, exceptional programs and valued healthcare services to residents of the Saanich Peninsula and Gulf Islands into the future. One of the most significant decisions we can make is how we

structure our estates and how we can best make use of our assets. This thinking enables us to not only provide for our loved ones, but also to make a positive and lasting difference to the world they will inherit. The Saanich Peninsula Hospital Foundation has developed a planned giving program that provides donors the opportunity to establish legacy gifts. Many foundation supporters have discovered that you don’t necessarily need to be elderly or wealthy to create a profound difference. A planned gift enables you to provide a larger donation to a cause you believe in, and often, your estate realizes significant tax savings. Planned gifts are often invested, not spent, and provide long-term financial stability, thus enabling us to weather the storms of economic

Legacy gifts made through the Saanich Peninsula Hospital Foundation’s Planned Giving program can make a significant difference.

downturns, when charitable donations often drop. Planned gifts also continue to give long after donors have passed away, often enabling them to give much more than they ever could have during their lifetimes. The Saanich Peninsula Hospital Foundation is able to receive many types of planned gifts, including

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bequests, securities and shares, life insurance and remainder trusts. Always consult your legal or financial advisor before making a planned gift. Additionally, we are happy to supply you with information about how you can accomplish your planned giving objective. It’s our hospital.

Just think of all the good your planned gift can do.


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Celebrating the Power of YOU BEHIND EVERY CHANGED LIFE IS SOMEONE WHO MADE IT HAPPEN

U

nited Way Greater Victoria (UWGV) would like to thank the over 10,700 donors, 550 volunteers and 300 workplaces who joined their fundraising efforts in 2015 to deliver hope and possibility to those who need it most in the Capital Regional District. Together, this dedicated group helped raise $5.5 million for our community. Because of donor support, 97,000 lives were impacted positively through a network of over 110 funded programs. That number represents 8,000 families, 27,000 children and youth and 62,000 individuals. “The citizens of Greater Victoria have stepped up, yet again, and demonstrated their commitment to building a strong and inclusive community,” says Patricia Jelinski, CEO at United Way. “With 79 years of experience behind us, we have seen a lot of change in our community, but the one thing that remains constant is that people still face struggles in life. While many of us have a support system to help overcome our challenges, others need a helping hand. That’s why United Way was established, and

why it’s still relevant today.” “Our 2015 campaign was driven by innovation as we developed new and meaningful ways to engage our residents to better understand the important investment United Way makes in our community. Acting as campaign chair for two years means I can continue to advance the new initiatives and plans we began this past year. Building on these successes, we aim to engage even more donors and change more lives in 2016,” says Bruce Williams, United Way 2016 campaign chair. “I’m sending a big thank you to all who invested their dollars, time and ideas in our campaign. Our volunteers and United Way staff have all worked very hard to ensure we assist as many people as possible. I look forward to reaching our goal of having 13,000 donors strong. Together, we are changing lives. Together, we are possibility”. In the spirit of working in a ‘united’ way, UWGV would like to welcome Mike Eso, President, Victoria Labour Council and BCGEU Vancouver Island Regional Coordinator as our 2016 co-chair with Bruce Williams. uwgv.ca

UNITED WAY 2015 CAMPAIGN 1. Connecting donors to the impact of their donations through new online resources like the Impact Calculator: uwgv.ca/my-impact and Make the Month: makethemonth.ca/victoria 2. Increasing engagement opportunities through new partnerships. February was dedicated to Raise the Red: uwgv.ca/raisethered

SPIRIT AWARD RECIPIENTS United Way would like to congratulate the 2015 workplace Spirit Award recipients. Thank you for your continued support and inspiration! POWER OF YOU Gulf Islands National Park Reserve of Canada & PSAC-UNE OUTSTANDING EMPLOYEE CAMPAIGN CHAIR (Under 100 Employees) Cory Mireau – Island Savings (Mayfair Branch) OUTSTANDING EMPLOYEE CAMPAIGN CHAIR (Over 100 Employees) Shawn Johnson – TD Canada Trust OUTSTANDING CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE HP Advanced Solutions Inc & BCGEU 1201 LEADERSHIP GIVING Canada Revenue Agency PSAC-UTE 20028 & PIPSC COMMUNITY IMPACT Stantec Consulting Ltd

LABOUR PARTNERSHIP Viking Air Ltd & Unifor 114 OUTSTANDING WORKPLACE CAMPAIGN Greater Victoria Public Library & CUPE 410 POST SECONDARY CUP University of Victoria & Affiliated Unions FINANCIAL CHALLENGE RBC Royal Bank ENGINEERING CHALLENGE Read Jones Christofferson TRIPLE CROWN Schneider Electric NADEN BAND SPIRIT OF EXCELLENCE Royal Roads University RRFA & CUPE 3886

COMMUNITY PARTNER Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria & BCGEU 301

CHAIR’S AWARD OF DISTINCTION Jamie Cassels, QC President & Vice-Chancellor University of Victoria

Spirit Award Sponsor:

Spiritfest Sponsor:

Highlights

3. Expanding donor directed gifts. Aligning individual donors with projects they care about most in the community. 4. Growing legacy opportunities through planned giving and bequests. 5. Sixty per cent of money raised in workplaces in 2016 came from unionized work sites.

uwgv.ca

Together, We are Possibility

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ADVERTISING FEATURE

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Power To Be makes nature accessible VICTORIA-BASED NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION OFFERS INCLUSIVE ADVENTURES IN NATURE, YEAR-ROUND n a world where many people Vancouver, Adaptive Recreation hear no more often than they supports people living with a hear yes, Power To Be is chang- barrier or disability in experiencing ing the conversation. The Victoria- inclusive recreational activities. based non-profit organization offers Participants live with a diverse range inclusive adventures rooted in of considerations such as autism, nature to empower people, inspire developmental disabilities, mental belonging and transcend expecta- health considerations, acquired brain injuries, cognitive disabilities, tions. “One of the best pieces of physical disabilities and medical feedback we hear from participants illness. Offered in Victoria, Wilderness is that Power To Be empowered them School is a three-year co-ed to do something they never thought program for youth living with they could do, or in some cases, financial or social barriers. Program something they never thought they activities include kayaking, would do again,� says Tim Cormode, canoeing, rock climbing, hiking and Power To Be Executive Director. camping, among others. Supported “Our participants consistently prove by a dedicated team of staff and that with the right support, so much volunteers, Power To Be works with is possible.� more than 50 community partners That can mean helping a teenager to summit Mt. Albert to extend access to nature. “Physical activity and time Edward or supporting youth living with autism to explore nature outdoors is paramount for health together, among other adventures. and happiness, and Power To Be Power To Be offered such makes such experiences accessible experiences to more than 1,200 to people who might not otherwise participants in 2015 through more be able to adventure in B.C.’s than 450 program opportunities. beautiful outdoor spaces,� Cormode Based in B.C.’s varied landscapes, says. Power To Be relies on the the outdoor adventures are aimed at increasing confidence and generous support of its donors and exposure to nature, while fostering volunteers. To learn how you can a sense of community through two help inspire possibility and support life-changing programs within your program streams. Offered in Victoria and in community, visit www.powertobe.ca.

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Donate today. Inspire possibility tomorrow. powertobe.ca Power To Be facilitates inclusive outdoor adventure programs in Victoria and Vancouver, making adventures in nature possible to more than 1,200 participants in 2015. 46

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ADVERTISING FEATURE

Transforming Lives

J

oel lives in a rural area and is from a family with limited income. They are unable to get him to the activities so many other kids participate in. The Boys and Girls Club identified Joel as someone who would benefit from participating in their Outdoor Adventure program, as they noticed he was having a hard time making and maintaining friendships. Joel was very excited to hear that he had been chosen, but he was also very nervous about participating in activities like rock climbing, archery and outdoor games. Because of the small group size and the compassionate encouragement of staff, he was quickly able to build relationships with some of the other participants. One of these friendships continued in school, and he is now ‘best friends’ with one of the other participants. There were other positive outcomes, too. His classroom teacher said he was “like a new person” after participating in the Adventure program. Joel began to speak more in class, and he made more connec-

tions with his peers. He also displayed a higher sense of self-esteem and spoke to others about his achievements in the program. The staff at Boys and Girls Club offer individualized care to each and every participant in the program. They focus on every child’s needs, listen to them and and are able to coax out the intrinsic skills and abilities that can transform a child’s life. Your legacy gift to support Boys & Girls Clubs helps them continue to transform the lives of children and youth. A careful review of your long-term needs along with advice from a lawyer, accountant or other financial adviser will ensure that tax and other considerations are taken into account, and that your wishes are met while still supporting kids like Joel. If you would like more information on Boys & Girls Clubs or would like to discuss planned giving options, contact Kate Mansell, Director of Development, at: 250-384-9133, ext 115. Together, we can show kids that we care about them, and help build a brighter future for them.

“What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.” – Pericles

Every child deserves to reach their potential. With the right support and encouragement, a child could grow up to discover the cure for cancer or a renewable source of energy. But perhaps more profound are those children who grow up healthy and engaged in our community.

Your gift could change the world.

Your gift can help Boys & Girls Club keep kids discovering all they can be. The young do not know enough to be prudent, and therefore they attempt the impossible, and achieve it, generation after generation. --Pearl S. Buck

To learn more visit www.bccivc.org or call us at 250.384.9233 CRA #890511975RR0001

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SPREADING ITS ISLAND ROOTS Coastal Community Credit Union expands into the south Island

A conversation with chief executive Adrian Legin ADRIAN LEGIN is president and CEO of Coastal Community Credit Union, the largest financial services organization based on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. The Nanaimoheadquartered company is the 22nd largest credit union in Canada with $1.951 billion in assets, 80,981 members, more than 600 staff and 23 branches, 16 insurance offices, four regional business centres and a centralized contact centre — most on the mid- and north Island. With Legin at the helm, Coastal Community has recently made a push into the capital region with branches in Langford and downtown Victoria. It’s a bold move into a region already serviced by the big banks and much-larger credit unions, but one that Legin felt essential as the last of the larger Island-exclusive credit unions. PHOTO: DARREN STONE

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You’ve targeted Greater Victoria for expansion. Why is that a priority for Coastal Community? It was important for us to build on our position as the largest financial institution based on Vancouver Island, and to provide even more services to the thousands of members and clients from the Victoria area that we already served, and repeatedly asked us when we were going to offer more of our services in the capital region. With dozens of locations including banking, insurance, wealth management and business and commercial, we truly are the Island’s financial institution. And our locations are complemented by the latest in digital services, including mobile and online services, as well as our call centre, which is called our Relationship Centre to reflect our higher level of personalized service.


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Is it a tough market to crack, with all five big banks and several larger credit unions already established? We believe that that people are hungry for the deeper relationship-based service that we offer. Our strategic focus is to improve financial health of the people and communities we serve, and to build healthier communities. We believe we deliver more innovative and personally focused service, with a strong connection to and understanding of the uniqueness of the communities and neighborhoods we serve. Each of our Victoria locations offer the comprehensive services of all our business lines. These locations also use new technologies and innovations to make for an even better banking experience. People have been very complimentary of our innovative branch structure and our other access points to connect to our services and expertise. Mergers are common in credit unions. What’s the merger history with Coastal? There are many examples of times when members of Coastal Community Credit Union and its various pre-merger predecessor credit unions have been very supportive of mergers. In the past 20 years alone, we’ve had five mergers — all with Island credit unions, including Parksville and District Credit Union, Chemainus Credit Union, Evergreen Savings Credit Union, Comox Valley Credit Union and Quadra Credit Union. In regards to mergers that members did not support, yes there was one about 15 years ago in which Coastal Community members voted just short of the two-thirds majority vote required for a proposed merger to go ahead. The wishes of our membership were respected, because we’re a democratic organization. In your quest to grow membership, is the millennial population a key target? Why? The millennial population is a very important target for us and very important to our current and future success, as are all the other people, community organizations and businesses on the Islands. We work harder to understand where each individual is in their life, and where each business is, to personalize our services and expertise to uniquely serve them. We strive to provide this personalized, integrated service regardless of whether you want to connect with us at our branches, through mobile services, online, through our ITMs, through e-chat, or on the phone. And our members give us extremely high ratings on the ability to connect with us and access their accounts through these access points. What separates you from banks and other credit unions? With our focus on caring, personalized service, we’re the largest financial institution based on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands, with local expertise and decision making. That means people’s

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BY THE NUMBERS •

CANADA’S LARGEST CREDIT UNIONS BY ASSET SIZE, EXCLUDING QUEBEC As of fourth quarter 2015, with 4Q 2015 assets under management

1. Vancity, B.C. 19,741,701,238 2. Servus Credit Union, Alberta 14,275,305,050 3. Coast Capital Savings Credit Union, B.C. 13,729,149,281 4. Meridian Credit Union, Ontario 11,104,168,150 5. First West Credit Union, B.C 8,693,501,340 6. Conexus Credit Union, Saskatchewan 5,448,159,666 7. Affinity Credit Union, Saskatchewan 4,775,070,459 8. Steinbach Credit Union, Manitoba 4,760,341,385 9. Assiniboine Credit Union, Manitoba 4,177,243,285 10. Connect First Credit Union, Alberta 4,135,029,876 11. Cambrian Credit Union, Manitoba 3,287,072,662 12. FirstOntario Credit Union, Ontario 3,214,670,000 13. Libro Credit Union, Ontario 3,131,206,475 14. BlueShore Financial Credit Union, B.C 3,119,265,501 15. Alterna Savings and Credit Union, Ontario 2,963,414,965 16. Prospera Credit Union, B.C. 2,886,130,363 17. Westminster Savings Credit Union, B.C. 2,681,658,193 18. DUCA Financial Services, Ontario 2,282,536,761 19. Interior Savings Credit Union, B.C. 2,198,662,871 20. Crosstown Civic Credit Union, Manitoba 2,180,777,365 21. Innovation Credit Union, Saskatchewan 2,142,680,064 22. Access Credit Union, Manitoba 2,065,031,864 23. Coastal Community Credit Union, B.C. 1,951,462,011 24. Gulf and Fraser Fishermen’s Credit Union, B.C. 1,404,208,138 25. Caisse Financial Group, Manitoba 1,399,967,643 Source: Credit Union Central Mergers occurring in the first quarter are not reflected in ranking

money gets put to work locally on the islands. Whether it’s re-invested as mortgages for homeowners or loans for renovations or car purchases, or for loans to local businesses, your money stays here to help Islanders, local communities, Island economic development, and creating local jobs. Also, there are many ways Coastal Community aims to make visible and meaningful differences on our islands. In the past five years alone we have contributed almost $2.5 million to community partners across our islands, and each year our employees give thousands of hours in time, leadership and expertise to causes they care about. What is Coastal doing that’s innovative? We are focused on providing access to our services and expertise where and when people want it. Our innovations include the Island’s first Interactive Teller Machines (ITMs), providing the best of hightech and high-touch through their ATM-like qualities, along with the ability for people to securely connect to Coastal Community experts through live video. Both Victoria locations have ITM services. Other innovations include Deposit Anywhere, which allows people to deposit a cheque by taking a picture of it with their mobile device, and our Relationship Centre, which is staffed by our own experts on the Island who can connect with you by phone, online chat, or video-enabled ITMs to deliver personalized service and expertise that goes to the heart of your needs, goals and priorities.

You were brought in from Saskatchewan, birthplace of credit unions. Are those founding principles the same? Yes. I think the principles that bond and define the people in Saskatchewan and B.C. are the same, and I would describe it as a deeper level of community caring and connectedness. I find that the spirit of co-operation and support for the benefit of our families, our neighbours and the communities we live in is distinctly and uniquely strong in both provinces. This is something we can all be proud of and should continue to foster and build on. Coastal Community’s purpose is to do that, and our employees are people that passionately believe in helping and giving back. Some might say banks are no different from credit unions? What is your response to those people? I would disagree, and say we are “different on purpose” ... pun intended. Coastal Community fundamentally exists to improve the financial health of the people, businesses and community groups we serve, and to build healthier communities. I would also say you should give our credit union a try to experience the very real differences in service and focus. In addition to our highly personalized, highly integrated services and expertise with Island-based decision-making, you’ll experience the difference the passion and caring approach from our amazing people can make in your personal and business lives, and in your community. Rather than have people’s deposits leveraged elsewhere, credit unions keep your money, and profits of the credit union, working for you close to home by investing in local businesses, community and economic programs and the lives of the island people that matter to you. Since arriving in Greater Victoria, what has Coastal done to spread its goodwill and be part of the community? For decades, our organization has been giving back to Island communities. Last summer we expanded our Sunset Cinema Series to include the Victoria region and the free movie event was a huge success — more than 2,500 people attended. We will be back with the giant three-storey high movie screen again this summer. Through our Building Healthier Communities Fund, we were a major supporter of the Fort Street Parklet, Luxton Station Market Society and several others. We have sponsored events through the Westshore Chamber and the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce and have recently signed on as a member of the South Vancouver Island Economic Development Society. These are some of the highlights of our community support and we look forward to supporting and building stronger partnerships with community organizations in the Victoria area in the years to come.

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THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUP

! T R O P

. . . CELEBRATING OUR CANADIAN ASSOCIATION FAMILY ENTERPRISE OF THE YEAR AWARD

WILSONSTRANSPORTATION.COM

PROUD...

to be doing business in Victoria for over 35 years

EMPLOYING... more than 180 people in our community

LOCALLY...

owned and operated


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MARC STOIBER IN VICTORIA’S INNER HARBOUR

PHOTO: BRUCE STOTESBURY, TIMES COLONIST

CAPITAL COMMUNICATORS Consultant taps your ‘inner TED’ BY ANDREW A. DUFFY Victoria-based business consultant Marc Stoiber is hoping a new gig putting words into people’s mouths will pay off. The former advertising executive has launched Your Ultimate Speech (yourultimatespeech.com), a service for those who have hemmed and hawed or stammered their way through new-venture pitches, trade show sessions and TED-like talks. Stoiber, who estimates he does between 40 and 50 speeches a year, said the idea of the new venture is to create a whole new group of must-have speakers and give him a break from what he calls the often soul-destroying work of consulting. “I write a lot of speeches, and I give a lot so I asked myself why couldn’t I write 100 at the same time — scaling something,” he said. Stoiber plans to tap into a vast network of writers, editors, presenters and presentation coaches who will work with clients on a one-on-one basis — over the phone, via Skype and other means — to craft a speech that he boasts will be remembered. “Why not grab all these incredibly smart people, put myself in the middle as quality control, and I’ll go out and pitch the idea to clients who need to make speeches,” he said. “I saw a need and a supply and if I’m in the

middle I can control the quality of the product.” His target market is varied, from the executive who wants to unleash “his inner TED,” who has been invited to a conference or bought a booth at a trade show but is a poor speaker, to start-up firms who are pitching their new ideas to venture capitalists. The service, which Stoiber claims can work within a 10-day window at a cost starting at $5,000 for individuals or $15,000 for large corporations, where there are more moving parts involved, is designed so the speech closely reflects the speaker’s mind and voice. “There’s a huge danger of it not sounding like them, that’s where services like this can fall down,” he said. Stoiber’s service works over six “meetings” which go from mapping out what the client wants to say, establishing the kinds of stories they can use, turning those into key words and bullet points and then working on delivery with a presentation coach. “The promise is if the power goes out, if the slide show crashes, if they are jet-lagged or hungover, or they have forgotten their script they can still be in the front of a room, tell stories and be the best speech at the conference,” Stoiber said. Stoiber said the time is right for this kind of service as people no longer trust brands, but they still trust people and want to hear from them. “These days it’s not enough to run a company, you have to get out and give wisdom to people, it’s not enough to be a good guy,” he said. The company launched last summer and has now completed 15 speeches, with two in the works and three more in the hopper.

RingPartner gets a new president RingPartner, the Victoriabased pay per call exchange, has appointed Mike Williams as the company’s new president. For the past three years, he has served in a variety of roles at RingPartner, most recently as the company’s VP of marketing and MIKE WILLIAMS operations. Williams will oversee RingPartner’s daily operations and implement the CEO’s vision. Serial entrepreneur Todd Dunlop will continue as RingPartner’s CEO and will partner closely with Williams to continue to grow the company. RingPartner works with distribution partners around the world to engage consumers when they are ready to take action and call about a product or service. The calls are then delivered to advertisers at the exact moment that consumers are ready to buy. This year, RingPartner plans to aggressively grow its Victoria operation. Coming on the heels of the recent launch of the RingPartner Self-Serve call marketplace, the company plans to launch additional tools and services to better service partners in the pay per call marketing space.

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BARTERING IS BACK Island Tradelink Network president Doug Robb PHOTO: DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST

Providing the highestquality customer service solutions for your office technology requirements.

250.384.7243 unitybusiness.ca 52

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Island Trade Link connects businesses with range of goods and services BY ANDREW A. DUFFY Bartering for goods and services has been around for centuries. And while to many it may seem a practice tied to another time and place, exchange without currency is very much alive. In fact, aided by the connectivity and networking afforded by the Internet era, bartering seems to have come of age, again, and there are hundreds of exchanges doing business around North America. The Island Tradelink Network, which has been around for 12 years, is currently having a bit of a growth spurt. “It’s hardcore expansion mode right now,” says network president Doug Robb, who has added another 15 local businesses over the last month. “I want to add 15 more a month for the next few months to keep this thing expanding and growing.”

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Growth seems to be key with this kind of endeavour. “If you’re not growing it and don’t have things people will be interested in and want to buy, they will get frustrated,” says Robb. He bought the network over a year ago and has since grown it from about 50 businesses to 100. “I’m trying to do 30,000 to 40,000 worth of transaction dollars each month. When I started, it was averaging about 16,000 a month,” he said. Convincing businesses to get involved often means helping them get their heads around the system. It’s not direct trade, in which one company has goods or services and simply swaps them for the equivalent with another company. Instead, a barter network operates by businesses establishing accounts that will accrue trade dollars for goods or services they provide to others in the network. Those trade dollars can then be used to procure hard goods or services from any other business in the network. A dentist, for example, who regularly has a block of free time on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons, may offer that time to the network. In exchange for $3,000 worth of work, the dentist banks 3,000 trade dollars. That money could then be used to pay for marketing, update the office or anything else the network has listed. “Once people get it, they tend to love it,” says Robb. “It’s a service for people with excess time and excess capacity — they have more than they

need and will sell for trade dollars, which may be better than selling at a discount.” According to the International Reciprocal Trade Association, the global trade and barter industry has grown to a point it sees $14 billion worth of transactions annually. The exchange comprises traditional retail barter exchange companies, large-scale corporate barter companies, countertrade between governments and complementary (local) currency systems. Robb’s job, as something of a central bank, is to make sure his members are using the system and ensuring fresh items and services are available on the network. In exchange, member businesses pay a membership fee, which Robb says he uses for marketing, and a 12 per cent commission, to be paid in cash, on the buy side of the transaction. Robb said there is a broad spectrum of businesses involved, from handyman services, moving companies and paint supplies to excavation companies, tourism companies and fitness options. The Island Network is also linked to larger barter networks in the U.S. and beyond to broaden the goods and services available. Robb says for many it’s a new window to grow their business. “In a perfect world you get so busy because we help you build business that you can’t accept trade anymore, but you will tell the guy a few steps below you in the market that it’s how to build your business,” Robb said.

When it comes to our communities, we like getting our hands dirty. And our feet wet. The best way to support a community is to get involved in it. Every year, our employees around the world pitch in to protect their local water by cleaning up, planting some greenery and learning about water through RBC Blue Water Makeovers. It’s all part of the RBC Blue Water Project®, which has supported over 700 charitable organizations so far and is our commitment to help protect water. When it comes to clean water, Someday™ can’t come soon enough.

® / ™ Trademark(s) of Royal Bank of Canada. VPS93193

35184 (04/2015)

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ON THE MENU: A FRESH VISION

3 TIPS FOR RETAINING EMPLOYEES ✓ Develop a long-term relationship with community so residents will recommend your business as a good place to work. ✓ Be open to suggestions from staff about improving the workplace such as adding interesting elements to an employee lounge. ✓ Most turnover happens within the first three months of hiring as new staff become stressed in their new experience. Employees can feel lost on the job following initial training. Build a buddy system among staff to create a bridge for new workers where a more experienced staffer can offer answers and advice.

BY CARLA WILSON International co-op student Maria Tepina brought fresh eyes to fast-food when introducing new human resources practices to three McDonald’s restaurants on the Saanich Peninsula. Not only did Tepina recruit new employees quickly, but they stuck around, reducing employee turnover dramatically. “The important thing is always be open, be friendly and be honest with the people you work with,” says Tepina, who is from Russia and a student in Camosun College’s human resources management program. She was named Student of the Year by the Association of Co-operative Education for B.C. and the Yukon. Tepina also won Camosun’s Thompson-Page Award as an co-op intern. Tepina worked from June to August last year as hiring manager for Grant Reid’s GSB Enterprises Ltd., franchise owner of the three McDonald’s restaurants. Reid was so impressed that he kept Tepina on part-time after she returned to school last fall. The “thirty-something” student earned a PhD in personality psychology from the South Federal University of Rostov-on-Don in 2008. She worked in human resources positions in Russia, but realized that she needed more businessrelated education to advance her career. Looking to North America, Tepina, who already spoke English, settled on Camosun’s human resources advanced diploma. She graduates this spring. Admitting that she loves challenges, Tepina said that she always does her best the first time when attempting something new. In this case, she was new to the restaurant sector. Reid figures

Maria Tepina on recruiting employees: “The important thing is always be open, be friendly and be honest with the people you work with.” BRUCE STOTESBURY, TIMES COLONIST that has been a bonus because Tepina has brought a new viewpoint to their operations. Although he was not always keen on with her ideas, she was allowed to pursue them anyway. “She always proved me wrong,” Reid says happily. First on the Tepina’s agenda was hiring more staff for restaurants at West Saanich Road, Mount Newton Cross Road and Sidney. Staff numbers have climbed to 200 from 150, Reid said. Turnover is traditionally high in the fast-food sector, Reid said. Tepina’s efforts saw turnover reduced from 38 per cent to 19 per cent in six months. “As a direct result of Maria’s initiative and thoughtful decision-making, our sales have grown by 11 per cent as a result of having fully staffed

restaurants,” Reid said. “The key there was that Maria was really listening to the new employees.” Tepina embarked on a concentrated hiring push, posting advertisements frequently and tracking results. Participation in job fairs was increased, as was strengthening connections with the neighbouring Tsawout First Nation and local school district. She made a personal phone call to everyone who applied for work, saying that resumes from young people new to the job market do not always reflect their abilities. “Usually people were surprised,” by the calls, she said, adding they said they rarely received responses from other potential employers. Tepina hired as quickly as possible and she developed a

hiring website specifically for the three restaurants, peninsulamcdonalds.careers. When it comes to retaining staff, Tepina said it includes developing a long-term relationship with community, so that citizens will recommend their restaurants as a good place to work. It’s important to Tepina that she is happy in her work and wants other employees to feel the same way. A foosball table, board games and adult colouring books were added to the employee lounge after she sought suggestions from staff. Most turnover happens within the first three months of hiring as new staff become stressed in their new experience. In followup surveys with new workers, Tepina learned that they can feel lost on the job following their initial training. That’s why she came up with a buddy system to create a bridge for new workers. Once someone is hired, they are paired with a co-worker, who can offers answers and advice. Among staff, 75 per cent are teenagers and this is often their first job, Tepina said. It’s important for them to feel connected to the workplace. As for Tepina’s future, she is planning to apply for a postgraduate work permit that will allow her to stay in Canada. This was Reid’s first time hiring a co-op student. “It has been a great success.”

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Q

TECH

We asked tech CEOs: 1. What the biggest hurdle they have had to cross in growing their business in Victoria 2. What one program they would like to see that would help their firms and others thrive

ERIC JORDAN CEO, Codename Entertainment 1. The biggest struggle in growing Codename Entertainment has been enabling potential players to find our video games. Accessing players has always been an issue for the video game industry and it isn’t a coincidence that the industry started growing in Victoria as new distribution channels emerged. However, as these distribution channels have matured, they have become highly competitive. This means Codename must innovate and find new ways to continue to stand out in a crowded market. 2. I would like every high school student in Greater Victoria to clearly understand what a career in video games and other high-tech industries could look like and what steps they could take to purse this dream.

Ho Kim

Richard Glickman

Elton Pereira

Scott Phillips

Former CEO Camacc, now VP of Protection 1 Canada

Co-Founder, chairman Aurinia Pharmaceuticals

Founder, ParetoLogic

CEO, Starfish Medical

1. Hands down the biggest hurdle we had to face was securing financing. No traditional lender would touch us when we first started our company back in 1998. We had to secure financing from our parents. It wasn’t until we had a few years of historical business with a traditional lender that they even considered approving a working line, but even then it was secured with full personal guarantees, hooks into our assets and our first born child.

1. In general I have been pretty lucky with accessing capital and human resources elsewhere and relocating those professionals to the Victoria area. Over time as the operations grow and the investor base changes to predominately American, there is increasing pressure to relocate companies to the prime biotechnology hubs in the U.S. as there is a perception that the Island can’t attract adequate professionals to complete more mature leadership teams. So the greatest challenge has been keeping these companies here once they get closer to commercialization.

1. Having a corporate culture that is fun, positive and engaging while aligning with our core family values is a major factor in our success. The challenge is finding strategies to continue to nurture those strong family values and culture within our organization while we rapidly grow, experience new competitive pressures and our business naturally evolves.

1. Finding key staff to develop into a premier North American company in our space. Also figuring out how to be a successful business operator.

2. I believe there should be more incubators such as VIATEC’s accelerator program. A program that prequalifies individuals and business concepts then aligns those individuals with a mentor that can help fast track the business concept to market.

2. I am not a huge fan of government intervention in the private sector, that said, we do have a dearth of venture funding available in B.C. today. Funding prepared to support early stage higher risk ventures with competitive levels of early stage funding. We have no shortage of sciencebased opportunity and an aggressive program of venture funding which is strategically linked to global venture sources would be invaluable.

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2. Because I am a huge believer in good people that are high performers and positive motivators, retaining the best talent and growing from within is very important to me. As a result, I always appreciate internal and external programs that foster employee learning, growth and development and creativity such as HR roundtables, technical and behavioural training programs, and initiatives that promote social connection.

2. Useful content on how to run a business that would be attractive to entrepreneurs and taught by people with street cred. When I went looking at programs from local educational institutes early in my business career nothing seemed worthwhile.

Q

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QUESTIONS Clayton Stark

James DeGreef

Brad Van Vugt

Matthew Watson

Tobyn Sowden

Head of technology, KixEye

CEO, Chatterblock

Co-founder, Sendwithus

CEO Redbrick

1. I’ve raised money in Victoria for two companies, GenoLogics and ChatterBlock, and overall its been very difficult raising money, partly as there aren’t too many active angel investors in Victoria, and partly as they operate lonewolf style and aren’t well coordinated. Now that we’ve sold GenoLogics and I’m investing in local startup companies, I’m seeing just how much time Victoria’s startup entrepreneurs are spending raising money. And the companies are often poorly funded and under capitalized compared to their U.S. competitors.

1. Attracting U.S. investors. Victoria has a great core of local investors who took a big chance on us early, but gaining access to Silicon Valley firms was very challenging (and well worth the effort).

Executive chair, SendtoNews

1. The biggest hurdle has been the punitive tax laws that remove the research and development grants that are available if you are owned by Canadian funders (offering instead a fraction of the supports, in the form of a rebate on taxes paid -- you aren’t paying much taxes pre-revenue, so this doesn’t help much for venturebacked start-ups). Canada isn’t rife with risk-tolerant investors, and foreign funds injected into our economy to hire Canadians shouldn’t remove tax advantages; it’s still Canadians we’re putting to work to pay taxes and drive the economy. 2. Remove the CRA’s Canadian-controlled private corporation laws that prevent early stage start-ups with foreign funders from participating in tax advantages provided to Canadian-owned start-ups. Let’s not pretend we can replace Silicon Valley as a source of funding with some homegrown risk-tolerant deep pockets. We can’t.

2. I think activities to help grow, educate, and organize angel investors in Victoria is of paramount of importance. That is why I’ve joined the board of directors for the Capital Investment Network, a new angel group in Victoria, and am working hard to help launch an angel fund in Victoria, partnering with VIATEC and the Capital Investment Network.

2. We need more technical talent and recruitment programs. Every startup in Victoria is hiring and there are amazing developers in Toronto, Waterloo, and Montreal that would love to live here and don’t know it yet.

Q

1. Although of course it is changing, and we’ve largely overcome it, our business partners/customers tend to be headquartered in New York, Chicago, Toronto and Los Angeles, and ultimately London and Geneva so we do have to work harder to become and sustain being front of mind. There is of course no single place to be located that doesn’t require some travel but we aren’t able to be bumping into our business partners in the neighbourhood or on the soccer field. 2. Maintain or even improve the tax treatment of employee stock options to incentivize and reward the entrepreneurs and their employees who are willing to be pioneers in developing new businesses and technologies of value.

Q

1. People love living in Victoria, and for that reason, we have been able to build an amazing team of smart, technical and creative people here at Redbrick. That said, our beautiful city only has a small pool to choose from, and keeping up with our own growth, from a people perspective, has been a huge challenge. We have hired and brought talent in from across the country to meet that demand. 2. It would be great to see a bigger, and louder, push from the tech community in Victoria, and perhaps the B.C. government, to get more developers out to this West Coast tech mecca we are building. Our proximity to the Silicon Valley is a huge advantage for us, and so many of our colleagues, and has helped us scale our business globally. We want technical talent across the country to know that we are building something incredibly exciting here in Victoria, and the opportunities are truly endless.

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BORELLA

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O BISTRO

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NOURISH

Two careers on order ANDREW A. DUFFY

Jamie Carlson, left, and Tyler Gotto.

DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST

A pair of 20-year-old chefs are getting more than a paycheque and experience with each dinner served at a new Italian restaurant in Langford. Borella, just opened by Petr Prusa — the man behind the chain of Floyd’s Diners and Belleville’s Watering Hole and Diner — has instituted a full back-of-house apprentice program that will give its two chefs a chance to establish a career in the high-turnover, highstress restaurant business. Head chef Tyler Gotto, who is in charge of his first kitchen at Borella, said the program made his decision to join Prusa’s new venture an easy one. “It’s definitely a plus ... we knew about [the program] and now we get to experience that,” he said, adding it was important as he intends to spend his career in the business. Sous chef Jamie Carlson agreed, saying it was nice to see a restaurant “pick up the program and run with it.” Carlson, whose passion for cooking was born in his family kitchen with his parents and grandmother, said his first job, like Gotto’s, was in the dish pit of a national chain restaurant. And, like his colleague, he’s been hooked on the industry ever since. Keeping motivated young talent in an industry known for burning out staff is what the program is all about, said Prusa. “I want to do this across all [of my restaurants]. I have red seal chefs downtown and in Langford, people who are happy to take on the program,” Prusa said. “The goal is that ultimately these guys will go off

and open up their own restaurants or maybe they love working for us and they go on to run something when we open another restaurant.” Management consultant Jason Tilley of Ambition Enterprise, who is administering the program in conjunction with Gilbert Noussitou at Camosun College, said it’s about creating more than just a job, but establishing stepping stones in careers. Tilley, a red seal chef himself, said a new online component of the apprenticeship program makes it easier to keep people in kitchens instead of losing them for long stretches to on-campus training components of the red seal program. “It’s a much more streamlined process. I can now track these guys and submit their hours online,” he said, adding the training model they are implementing means a lot of the training that would normally be done on campus can be done online. He also noted that classroom work, which normally requires sixweek time periods away from work, is now stretched through shorter terms over six months. That means chefs spending more time working in the kitchen and earning. Tilley said it’s also a bonus for restaurants who will no longer lose good staff for extended periods of time. “And at the same time it increases the shelf life of a cook by offering them on-site training.” Prusa said having his two young chefs on site is key in helping to establish the new restaurant, the 10th he’s opened on the Island. Borella, 2345 Millstream Rd., features live Gypsy jazz on Sunday evenings.

Passion on a plate Chef Kevin Koohtow has unveiled a French bistrostyle menu at O Bistro in the Oswego Hotel. To reinvigorate the culinary experience at the property, Koohtow developed an on-site herb garden and is leading a mushroom-foraging group. He is also responsible for the Oswego’s catering and in-room dining operations. Suzanne Gatrell, general manager of the Oswego in James Bay, said Koohtow “brings a wealth of experience, a passion for his community and a refreshing approach to cuisine to our property.” Koohtow previously held the position as

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Chef de Parti for the Victoria Marriott Inner Harbour, and was also acting chef at the Lake Louise during a four-month secondment. He is Red Seal Certified and volunteers with Breakfast Clubs of Canada through Mealshare. In May, Koohtow appeared as one of the contestants on Food Network Canada’s Chopped Canada. “It was an amazing and surreal experience,” says Koohtow. “The best part about filming the episode was not knowing the secret ingredients in the basket; I mean, there could have been anything in there!”

Chef Kevin Koohtow.


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EAT Nourishing the body soul

&

Hayley Rosenberg believes she’s breathing new life and bringing back a smile to a Victoria restaurant landmark. The owner of Nourish Kitchen last year set up shop at 225 Quebec St., the home to Pablo’s French restaurant for 30 years before it closed at the end of 2006. There’s new light and laughter in the space now, and Rosenberg says some of that is a tribute to the fine-dining restaurant it once was. “There was an unusual feeling in here when we came and looked at it, it just didn’t honour the space,” Rosenberg says. “It didn’t suit it.” Rosenberg said there seemed to be a sadness in the building, which she believes has been dealt with by opening it up, adding bright, vibrant colours and offering fare that she maintains nourishes and improves the body and soul. The sadness may have to do with the failure of a number of restaurants that moved into the space after Pablo’s closed. But almost a year into her tenancy in the striking, Victorian-style building, Rosenberg is thriving. Nourish was recently named as one of Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants in a competition adjudicated by KPMG. Rosenberg said a lot of that is down to

Nourish Kitchen owner Hayley Rosenberg. how people feel in a restaurant that also offers a take-away cafe and “chill” space for people to relax, unwind or work outside of homes and offices. “[Canada’s Best recognition] comes down to vibe and what people feel when they walk into the room,” she said, noting Nourish is filling a need both for people on a healthier path and for a building that needed some TLC. “There’s so much to be given here and now you walk in and it’s vibrant and happy and people feel good.” Nourish started as a tea room at the Horticulture Centre of the Pacific in 2010, and quickly became a favourite of locals looking for a healthy local food option in a peaceful setting.Rosenberg, who studied holistic nutrition,

BRUCE STOTESBURY, TIMES COLONIST

was driven by an ideal of nourishing body, soul and connection. “We were really successful,” Rosenberg said, though she notes some of that success — an eggs benedict in particular had the kitchen scrambling to do as many as 130 a day — taxed them to the limit. Enter Pablo’s, an empty space that had everything she wanted. “I feel a restaurant has so much power to offer more, it can draw people into a philosophy or ideal or a lifestyle,” she said. “This space allows us to do that.” The kitchen is larger and the menu is much more expansive and they are now open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 9 a.m. till 3 p.m. on the other two days a week.

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the social scene

people places events

Erin Keller and Chris Orchard celebrate the launch of the Victoria Film Festival.

PHOTOS BY B R U C E S T O T E S B U RY and DARREN STONE •

Murray and Lynda Farmer receive the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce Lifetime Achievement Award during a gala celebration at the Empress Hotel. The Farmers are long-time community builders and philanthropists.

Sydney Romanyshyn, Kieran Took, Nic Vanbergen and Riley Shark celebrate the release of Spectre, the new James Bond movie, during a launch party at Distrikt nightclub in the Strathcona Hotel.

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Gina Sicotte and her children, Sienna Yaremchuk, 13, and Savanna Yaremchuk, 11, take part in a birdhouse fundraiser for Syrian refugees called There’s No Place Like Home. Gina displays her birdhouse, Mosaic.


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United Way Greater Victoria CEO Patricia Jelinski, University of Victoria president Jamie Cassels, Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps and Frank Bourree of Chemistry Consulting attend the United Way’s Spirit Awards luncheon.

Victoria Symphony board members Anne and Brian Butler and Patricia Lortie attend a reception and open rehearsal to announce the symphony’s new season.

David Keighley, Paul Wild, David Douglas and Jim Barath at the Imax Victoria reopening celebration and laser technology launch.

Film producers Sarah Robertson, Patricia Sims and Barbara Hager enjoy one of the final nights at the Bengal Lounge at the Fairmont Empress Hotel.

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Sabrina Ruud, Vangel Roberts and Wynona Wensley take part in the Extreme Outreach fundraising dinner and gala at the Oak Bay Beach Hotel David Foster Foundation Theatre.

Nicky Fast, Clare Yazganoglu and Michelle Young at the Women In Need Community Cooperative grand opening of a new resale store in Langford.

Annie Bellis, Matt Jones and Carollyne Yardley are in high spirits to celebrate at the Victoria Whiskey Fesitval.

Dave Cheperdak, Janice Kerr and Paul Morgan attend the Broadmead Care Society Donor Tea at Government House.

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Better Business Bureau CEO Rosalind Scott and Tom Oshiro, retired pastor and spiritual director of the Mustard Seed, enjoy a social gathering to mark National Philanthropy Day celebration at the Empress Hotel.

Mack Rowden, Brianna Suddaby and Maija McKenzie display some of the baking at the Vancouver Island Vegan Association’s talent show fundraiser that helped raise funds for the rescue of View Royal’s rabbits.

Spinnakers chef Ali Ryan shows off some of her bite-sized samples to showcase the kickoff to Dine Around, a major promotion for the region’s restaurant scene.

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Population by age, Canada, 2015 Gen Z

600,000

Millennials

Gen X

Boomers

Pre-Boomers

500,000 400,000 300,000 200,000 100,000 0 0

5

10

15

20

25

30

35

40

45

50

55

60

65

70

75

80

85

90

95

100+

Age SOURCE: STATISTICS CANADA AND ENVIRONICS ANALYTICS

Really, who are the millennials?

JACK KNOX

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When University of Victoria support staff threatened to strike in 2012, the university argued cooks and cleaners should have to stay on the job because today’s students — and here I paraphrase — are so useless that they would starve to death if left on their own. OK, what UVic actually argued to the labour board was that first-year students in residence are “Millennials” who might have trouble caring for themselves because someone else has always done it for them. “This generation is the most watched-over generation in history, having a heavily structured upbringing with a

significant degree of parental involvement,” the labour board synopsis read. Well, gosh, what a ringing endorsement. Millennials, roughly defined as those born between the early 1980s and the end of the 1990s, might be the most maligned cohort in history. Self-absorbed. Selfie-absorbed. Characterized by narcissism, assertiveness and unearned high expectations. Sometimes known as Generation Y, as in “why didn’t your helicopter parents let you stand on your own two feet and give you common sense instead of a sense of entitlement?” They are also known as

Generation Me, the title of a 2006 book written by psychology professor Jean Twenge, who followed that up in 2012 with an analysis showing Millennials to be far less civicminded or interested in current affairs than people of previous generations were at the same age. Twenge found that for all their talk about being “green,” three times as many Millennials as Baby Boomers said they did nothing in their personal lives to help the environment. And mollycoddled? We have become used to stories of tough-marking university profs having to contend not with angry students (who, having


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Millennials and Gen X use the internet for purchases

Most millennials live in urban areas, but high concentrations are found elsewhere

Per cent of total population that purchases goods or services on the internet at least once a month

Municipalities (10,000 or more population) with the highest concentration of Millennials Whistler, B.C. Wood Buffalo, Alta. Greater Vancouver, B.C. Fort St. John, B.C. Grande Prairie, Alta. Petawawa, Ont. Cold Lake, Alta. Saskatoon, Sask. Sylvan Lake, Alta. Victoria, B.C.

51%

38.5%

46%

38.4% 38.1%

29%

37.7% 37.5%

10%

36.4% 35.1%

Millennials

34.5%

Gen X

Boomers

Pre-boomers

SOURCE: STATISTICS CANADA

33.2% 32.9%

Canada: 26.6% SOURCE: ENVIRONICS ANALYTICS, 2015 DEMOSTATS

Generational Size Matters Born Age in 2015 Population in 2015 % of population % of labour force Households in 2015 % of households

Millennials

Gen X

Boomers

Pre-boomers

1981-2000 15-34 9.5M 27% 37% 2.8M 19%

1966-1980 35-49 7.2M 20% 31% 4.1M 28%

1946-1965 50-69 9.5M 27% 30% 5.6M 38%

Before 1946 70 and older 3.9M 11% 1% 2.1M 15%

SOURCE: STATISTICS CANADA AND ENVIRONICS ANALYTICS

Millennials and Gen X are highly educated, especially females Per cent of population with post-secondary degree or diploma, Canada, 2015 75% 65%

68%

Male Female

74% 59%

56% 44% 34%

Millennials*

Gen X

Boomers

SOURCE: STATISTICS CANADA AND LABOUR FORCE SURVEY

tasted failure for the first time in life, bolt straight to Coachella for “healing”) but also their whack-job parents. Now we also hear of parental pampering extending even farther into adult life: National Public Radio reported on moms and dads who go to their children’s job interviews, even lobby their kids’ bosses for raises and holidays. We are also told that the business world is turning itself upside down trying to figure out how to cater to this generation (translation: squeeze them for all their money). For example, the CEO of movie theatre giant AMC Entertainment told Variety he is open to

Pre-boomers

If you’re going to apply to sweeping generalizations to an entire generation, then you must also include this: author Jean Twenge argues that Millennials are more tolerant, more open to equality, than those who preceded them.

* AGES 25 TO 34

allowing Millennials to use their phones during movies because, “When you tell a 22year-old to turn off the phone, don’t ruin the movie, they hear ‘please cut off your left arm above the elbow.’” That's not catering, it’s pandering. But here’s the deal. If you’re going to apply to sweeping generalizations to an entire generation, then you must also include this: Twenge argues that Millennials are more tolerant, more open to equality, than those who preceded them. They are statistically less likely to commit crime, or to abuse alcohol or get pregnant as a teen (wonder if those last two are related).

Millennials have lower average household income Average annual household income, Canada, 2015 $102,000

$98,000

$71,000

Millennials

$68,000

Gen X

Boomers

Pre-boomers

SOURCE: ENVIRONICS ANALYTICS, 2015 DEMOSTATS

Millennials are heavy users of social media Per cent of total population that access social networking daily 73%

42%

Millennials*

Gen X

24%

8%

Boomers

Pre-boomers

SOURCE: STATISTICS CANADA

They are less scared of the world. A Gallup poll this spring found American Millennials travel more and are more worldly, and therefore aren’t frightened by Muslims, or terrorism, or the rise of China or any of the other things that Donald Trump persuades old people to be afraid of. And really, when you look at the Millennials you know, does any of this pass the reality test? Or should we factor in that as we age, we all tend to view younger people as JPEG photos — a pale imitation of what came before, losing quality with each generation. In the 1960s, the gulf

between the hippies and their Depression-raised parents was called the Generation Gap. That gave way to the Me Generation of the 1970s and ’80s. Way back in 1771, Town and Country magazine published a letter complaining about the new generation of “effeminate, self-admiring, emaciated fribbles.” And 2,000 years ago, the Roman poet Horace wrote: “Our sires’ age was worse than our grandsires. We, their sons, are more worthless than they; so in our turn we shall give the world a progeny yet more corrupt.” Then he Tweeted a selfie of himself making a duck face. Capital

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PARTING SHOT •

HAPPY THEN, HAPPY NOW

1991 Happy Coxford at his shop in Estevan Village, 25 years ago and this year.

BY DARREN STONE Happy Coxford (yes, that’s his legal name) has been a fixture cutting hair in Oak Bay for 25 years, and he’s one of the last of the old-time barbers plying his trade in the region. Happy celebrated the milestone on May 14 with long-time customers and a band at his shop in Estevan Village. Oak Bay Barbers spans a long history in the community. It operated for 62 years on Oak Bay Avenue before Happy took it over. He moved the shop to 2538 Estevan Ave. nine years ago and runs the one-man shop in the mornings. Be ready for a few laughs and plenty of conversation. As Happy says: “What’s the difference between a hairdresser and a barber? About $20.”

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Capital Magazine Summer 2016  

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Capital Magazine Summer 2016 Edition